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USMNT notes: Robinson moves to Wigan, and more

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It’s been a busy day of U.S. Men’s National Team related news, from Tyler Boyd signing with Besiktas to U.S. Soccer announcing a friendly match with Mexico in September at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here’s everything else you may have missed today relating to the USMNT and Americans Abroad.


Robinson joins Wigan in permanent transfer

Antonee Robinson is heading back to the Championship, but this time, he won’t be heading back to Everton at the end of the season.

Robinson on Monday completed a permanent transfer to Wigan. where he spent last season and helped the club avoid relegation. Robinson has signed a three-year contract and he joined for a reported $2.5 million transfer fee, per Wigan Today. He battled injuries to make 26 appearances in all competitions.

Robinson, born in England to an American father and British mother, came up in Everton’s Finch Farm academy but never broke through to make a first team appearance. Instead, he spent time in the lower levels on loan to Bolton and then Wigan. With Everton’s signing last year of Lucas Digne, the left back spot is locked up for quite a while, leaving Robinson second-choice and in search of first team minutes again.

For the USMNT, Robinson made his debut in the 3-0 win over Bolivia in late May, 2018, and has gone on to make seven appearances for the senior team, including a start against Jamaica, though it didn’t go well in a 1-0 defeat at home. Robinson was on the 40-man provisional Gold Cup roster for coach Gregg Berhalter and he also took part in a European-based training camp for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team as the team starts preparing for Olympic qualifying, which will likely take place later this year.

Robinson will likely play a key role in helping the U.S. make it to their first Olympics since 2008 in Beijing.


Reyna heading to USA with Borussia Dortmund

Claudio Reyna’s son Giovanni Reyna is off to a strong start after officially being announced as a signing by Borussia Dortmund. Whether for marketing reasons or sporting reasons, Reyna was one of the 26 players to make the flight to Seattle as Dortmund takes some preseason action in the U.S.

BVB will face the Seattle Sounders in Seattle on Thursday before heading to take on Liverpool in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday.

It’s a quick burst in the U.S., but perhaps Reyna can get a few minutes of action in his home nation before heading back to Germany to try and see if he can break into the squad.


Scott set for Newcastle? 

British-born American midfielder Kyle Scott appears that he will still be on the books at a Premier League club next season.

According to multiple reports, including the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle FC is interested in signing Scott, thanks to a reported recommendation from former coach Rafa Benitez. Scott, 21, has spent the past 12 years in Chelsea’s academy and reserves, but he’s hardly sniffed a match, at least for the first team. He spent some time on loan with Dutch second-division side Telstar last year, but it wasn’t declared permanent.

Now, having been let go by Chelsea, Scott is looking for a new club. It’s unclear, however, considering his lack of first team experience, if he’d be able to step into the lineup at Newcastle and really make a difference so soon.

In the past, Scott has appeared for the U.S. Under-18s and U-20s. Perhaps some regular playing time in the Premier League can get him into the senior national team.

Report: Discussions being held between Newcastle and Bruce

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If talks go well, Newcastle could bring a life-long fan of the club in as its new manager.

Steve Bruce confirmed on Saturday after a Sheffield Wednesday friendly match in Portugal that talks are being held between he and Newcastle over the club’s open managerial position. Newcastle has been without a manager since June 25 when Rafa Benitez left the club due to a difference in opinion between he and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

[READ: Pogba refuses to discuss transfer rumors]

“It’s in the hands of the clubs,” Bruce told BBC Sheffield, via the BBC website. “It’s come from nowhere over the last two or three days, so let’s see what the weekend brings. It’s happened so quickly that I’ve got to take stock of the whole situation. We’ll see what develops over the next 24 to 48 hours.”

It’s an interesting development for Newcastle, but it would always be difficult for them to replace a manager as good as Benitez with another one with his experience and man management. With Newcastle constantly on the verge of being sold it’s a tough job for any manager, which likely won’t get the backing from the front office they need to succeed.

As such, perhaps it makes sense that the only manager Newcastle is going for is one who was born nearby and is a long-time fan. Bruce once managed Sunderland in the Premier League but blamed his firing mid-season in 2011 on tribal hatred from Sunderland fans who wouldn’t let an “outsider” into the club.

By hiring Bruce, who hasn’t coached in the Premier League since taking Hull City up in 2013 and down in 2015, Newcastle could also be looking to try and win over the fans first, who may be disenfranchised by Benitez leaving, and the fans could potentially give the manager some slack if it’s another season without a top-ten finish.

Copa America: Watch Newcastle’s Almiron sets up Paraguay opener with 60-yard sprint (video)

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For the second time in as many games, Argentina has allowed it’s opponent to score the first goal. This time, it has Miguel Almiron to thank.

Starting with a dummy that lead to a more than 60-yard sprint to the end-line, Almiron showcased his top-line speed, strength, and dribbling ability as he lead Paraguay down the field in transition, eventually crossing into the middle. It was there that Olimpia’s Richard Sanchez met the cross and sliced it home to put Paraguay up 1-0 in the first half.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Atlanta United fans saw plenty of that blazing speed during Almiron’s two years in the U.S. If Newcastle fans get to witness this in person more this coming season, Almiron will be a fan-favorite.

 

 

Benitez on his future at Newcastle: We’ll meet this week

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Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his wish to receive substantial funds to improve Newcastle’s squad over the past few years, yet he’s been rebuffed time and time again.

This season almost proved to be a breaking point, and despite the thin squad, Benitez guided Newcastle to a 13th place finish in the Premier League table, with 45 points, one more than a year ago. Now, the big question is whether Benitez will remain. His response, basically – we’ll see what happens.

[READ: Newcastle routs Fulham at Craven Cottage]

“We meet hopefully this week and see where we are,” Benitez told BBC’s Match of the Day following Newcastle’s 4-0 win at Fulham on Championship Sunday, referencing a potential meeting with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. “We have plenty of time to enjoy, I have been very clear about the potential of this club.”

Benitez and Newcastle were able to break the club’s transfer record with the $27 million signing of Miguel Almiron, and while the Paraguayan didn’t score, he did provide a boost to the squad and set up a few goals on Newcastle’s way to securing survival in the Premier League.

However, there’s plenty of improvement needed across the squad, from improving the backline, central midfield, and potentially even at striker. Solomon Rondon is only at the club on loan, at the moment, and while a talented player, he still only finished with 11 goals this season in 34 Premier League matches.

Additionally, Newcastle will likely lose holding midfielder Isaac Hayden this summer as he looks to move to a club in London where he can be closer to his daughter and family. Should Benitez leave, there could be further overhaul, something that may negatively impact right back DeAndre Yedlin and Almiron moving forward.

Long-time Newcastle, Liverpool left back Enrique says he is cancer free

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The world is full of bad news these days, but here’s a story that should be uplifting to you, regardless of who you support.

In an Instagram post on his official page, former Liverpool and Newcastle left back Jose Enrique announced that a recent MRI revealed he was free of cancer after an 11-month long battle. In May 2018, Enrique revealed after going to the hospital for some headaches and vision problems, doctors had found a tumor in his head, a rare type called a chordoma, per the BBC. This type of cancer grows along the spine, and in Enrique’s case, it was sitting behind his left eye along the base of his skull.

However, despite the world-shattering diagnosis, Enrique seems to have responded just as doctors had hoped to treatment, and he revealed he’s cancer free in the video below.

“We’re so happy about it,” Enrique said. “I can look forward now, not looking back, and I can keep fighting.”

Enrique played 127 times for Newcastle between 2007 and 2011 before moving to Liverpool, where he featured 99 times for the Reds before being released in 2016.

Now retired, it’s great to see Enrique is healthy and hopefully he can now focus on whatever pursuits he wants to make in the future, whether within or outside of soccer.