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Report: Steven Taylor to join Timbers, give PDX another nasty CB

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Nat Borchers’ achilles injury was a huge blow for Portland, but the Timbers are about to make up for it (perhaps and then some).

Longtime Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is set to join ex-Premier League center back Liam Ridgwell in the Portland back line, according to Sky Sources.

[ MORE: Immobile finds new team ]

Taylor, 30, has made 265 appearances for Newcastle but did not have a place under new coach Rafa Benitez.

Any concerns about how he’ll fare in Major League Soccer have nothing to do with skill or intelligence, rather his injury history; Taylor has dealt with achilles, knee and head injuries in several of his 13 seasons with the Magpies.

It’s a huge pickup for Portland, though the Timbers need a lot of help to repeat the form that got them to the 2015 MLS Cup; Portland is 7th in the West and winless on the road.

Shy of injuries, Taylor’s skill set will instantly translate to MLS. Look for him to pitch in offensively as well, and be an instant leader. Most notably, Taylor turned down interest from around the PL when Newcastle was relegated in 2009, opting to stay alongside Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez in instantly returning NUFC to the top flight.

Manchester United 0-0 Newcastle United: Magpies impress to frustrate Red Devils

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  • United unbeaten, yet to concede a goal this season
  • Krul denies “Chicharito” with vital late save
  • Rooney has goal disallowed for offside after 5 minutes
  • Mitrovic heads against crossbar for Newcastle in first half

Manchester United and Newcastle United played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the Red Devils and Magpies both going close to snatching all three points on a sunny day in Manchester.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

After just five minutes it looked like United had gone ahead but Rooney had a goal disallowed for offside. On second viewing, Rooney appeared to be level with Steven Taylor when the ball was played but it was an incredibly tight decision against the Red Devils’ captain. In a positive first half for the home side, Juan Mata first tested Tim Krul with a free kick on target and then in the 15th minute the Dutch goalkeeper saved well down low after Mata jinxed inside and his low left-footed effort went towards Krul’s near post.

Despite United pouring forward in the first half and dominating the game, Newcastle came closest to scoring as Aleksandar Mitrovic hit the crossbar with a towering header from Chancel Mbemba’s superb cross, as Sergio Romero was beaten. So close for the Magpies to snatch the lead.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Newcastle improved dramatically before half time, with Massadio Haidara becoming dangerous on the left as Mata failed to track him back. In the 42nd minute, Newcastle again came close as Ayoze Perez’s shot squeaked just wide of the post after the ball pin-balled in and around the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half the tempo of the game slowed down but United pressed as the game wore on and should have been ahead in the 64th minute when a corner from the right found Chris Smalling at the back post but he couldn’t get clean contact on the ball and the chance passed him by.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

Late on Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez came on for United as they tried to nick all three points. In the 73rd minute Mata blasted an effort high and wide, then Luke Shaw’s effort went straight at Krul soon after. Chicharito had a glorious chance to win the game 10 minutes from time, but after breaking free inside the box he was denied by a wonderful stop from Krul.

Then in stoppage time Smalling had a header hit the post and seconds later new Newcastle signing Florin Thauvin came so close to stealing the win for Newcastle as he slid in. There was time for one more chance but Michael Carrick’s shot deflected wide of the far post as the teams shared the spoils

Watch Live: Manchester United vs. Newcastle United (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Manchester United welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) with the Red Devils aiming to make it three wins from three to start the season.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

Louis van Gaal’s boys have ground out two 1-0 wins so far this season but will be hoping for a bigger victory against winless Newcastle. Steve McClaren’s side are still finding their feet with plenty of new additions over the summer but it promises to be a long season for the Magpies as the rebuild continues following their close shave with relegation last season.

In teams news, United make one change from the team who beat Club Brugge on Tuesday as Bastian Schweinsteiger replaces Michael Carrick in midfield. It is the Germans first competitive start for the Red Devils. As for Newcastle make three changes with Steven Taylor, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez coming into the starting lineup.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Januzaj, Memphis; Rooney. Subs: Johnstone, McNair, Valencia, Carrick, Herrera, Young, Chicharito

Newcastle United: Krul; Mbemba, Taylor, Coloccini, Haidara; Anita, Colback; Perez, Wijnaldum, Obertan, Mitrovic. Subs: Darlow, Williamson, Tiote, de Jong, Aarons, Thauvin, Cisse

Newcastle United leader Coloccini signs extension, retains captain’s armband

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Fabricio Coloccini isn’t going anywhere.

Newcastle United’s Argentine captain spent another summer on the “will he or won’t he leave” bus, but has agreed to an extension to his contract through 2017, with an option for another season.

[ MORE: Januzaj headed to Northeast England? ]

New boss Steve McClaren didn’t take long to recognize what all recent Magpies bosses have seen: Coloccini is the leader of the squad.

More importantly, he’s a steady center back who has maintained some semblance of normalcy despite a substandard cast of characters next to him in the middle of Newcastle’s back four.

From NUFC.co.uk:

United head coach Steve McClaren said: “From day one at the Club, Fabricio has been a stand-out character and I’m delighted we have secured his future with us.

“Once we sat down together to iron things out, I knew straight away his heart was with the Club and the new contract was agreed very quickly. Fabricio is my captain. He is a leader, hugely respected throughout the Club and a top-class player on top of that.”

Coloccini added … “I am also very happy to continue as the captain of this football club. Captaining Newcastle makes me so proud. I am not from this city or this country, and so to be given the responsibility of wearing the armband every week is a very special thing.”

The Magpies’ stable of center backs is dicey, with fiery but injury-prone Steven Taylor joined by an inconsistent at-bst Mike Williamson and new signing Jamaal Lascelles.

Watch Live: Sunderland vs Newcastle (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Sunderland will need to make it five straight over Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle if they wish to pull themselves out of immediate danger at the bottom of the table.

The two heated foes will take to the Stadium of Light at 11am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra. Newcastle seems to be safe from the drop but interim manager John Carver has still seen his side to three straight losses, so both sides have trends to buck.

WATCH LIVE: Sunderland vs Newcastle live on NBC Sports Live Extra

For Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland, Lee Cattermole is back from a two-match suspension, and Billy Jones makes a return to the back line after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury. However, the Black Cats are still missing Wes Brown and Emmanuel Giaccherini due to injury, while Will Buckley surprisingly returns from a knee problem to make the bench.

Carver, meanwhile, has to deal with news that Massadio Haidara will no longer be available for the rest of the way due to knee surgery, and his team is severely thinned from injury and suspension. Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, and Siem de Jong are all out injured, while Papiss Cisse remains banned for spitting on an opponent and Fabricio Coloccini continues to serve his red card suspension.

Anything goes in a Tyne-Wear derby, and nothing sums that sentiment up than Sunderland’s current streaks. The Black Cats have won four straight in this fixture, while they’ve gone unbeaten in six, but come into today’s matchup winless in eight straight matches across all competitions.

LINEUPS:

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Jones, O’Shea, Vergini, van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Gomez; Fletcher, Wickham, Defoe.
Bench: Bridcutt, Johnson, Reveillere, Graham, Coates, Buckley, Mannone.

Newcastle: Krul, R.Taylor, Janmaat, Williamson, Colback, Sissoko, Gutierrez, Gouffran, Ameobi, Cabella, Perez.
Bench: Elliot, Anita, Abeid, Kemen, Obertan, Riviere, Armstrong.