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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.

Stoke City imploding after 3-0 loss to Wigan

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Manager Gary Rowett laid out to the media details of a club that is eating itself alive from the inside out.

Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Stoke City is winless in its first four matches of Championship play. Their most recent loss came in devastating fashion, conceding a pair of penalties and losing 3-0 to newly promoted Wigan.

[ MORE: Premier League power rankings ]

“It was weak and pathetic and if you do that you’re going to lose games of football,” Rowett said after the match. “When you’re not winning games everybody gets a bit edgy and frustrated. We’ve got to take collective responsibility, it’s no good fighting between ourselves.”

Rowett’s final phrase referred to an incident at halftime that took place in the Stoke City locker room, with goalkeeper Jack Butland, captain Ryan Shawcross and winger James McClean all shouted at each other during the break. “Reputations now mean nothing,” Rowett said after the match. “I’ve got to start picking the team on which players deserve to be in, not which players have played in the Premier League for 10 years.”

New Stoke signing Tom Ince blasted two shots both over the bar in the opening 15 minutes, before Wigan took the lead on the first of two Will Grigg penalties. Ince had some brutal words for the team after the match. “We must man up, grow some balls, put ourselves on the line and actually show some hunger to put things right. We have to make this a horrible place to come.”

For Wigan, American international Antonee Robinson would have picked up an assist had Nick Massey not been fouled, leading to Grigg’s his second penalty.

Wigan, Manchester City cooperating with police after pitch invasion

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Some Wigan Athletic fans got a little too excited following the club’s shock 1-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup, and the police are now investigating alleged crimes that happened on the field and outside of the stadium.

Police confirmed to the BBC that two supporters were arrested outside the stadium on suspicion of assault while the police are working with both Wigan and Man City to investigate what happened pitch side after the final whistle.

[READ: Wigan bounce 10-man Man City]

Man City striker Sergio Aguero was involved in an altercation with a fan on the field after the game, and it appeared that Man City supporters threw down advertising hoardings onto the field.

“Football is a family event and the disruption that players and fans alike faced will not be tolerated,” Greater Manchester police chief superintendent Stuart Ellison told the BBC. “As soon as people were on the pitch, we immediately deployed our resources to the front of the stands, where they were able to keep the two groups of supporters apart and prevent any further disruption.”

Derby County book place in Championship playoff final

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Derby County just might find themselves playing in the Premier League next season. With Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, the Rams have booked themselves a place in the Championship playoffs.

After beating Brighton 2-1 last Thursday, Derby made an even more emphatic statement in the second leg. The Rams, who’d finished third in the Championship, thrashed the Albion 4-1 this time around. Brighton, who’d barely managed to wiggle their way into sixth, were only allowed a consolation goal in the 89th minute.

With their 6-2 aggregate win, the Rams will be celebrating tonight. They’ve got plenty of time to rest up before the big day, as the final isn’t for two more weeks. Derby will travel to Wembley on May 24, hoping to finish the day with a march to the winners’ podium.

It’s uncertain who they will be facing, however. Wigan and Queens Park Rangers played out a rather dismal draw last week, and are scheduled to meet again on Monday. Both sides were relegated from the top flight last season, and are looking to bounce right back.

Should Derby emerge triumphant at the end of the playoffs, their supporters will doubtless be hoping for a better showing than their last in the Premier League. In 2007-2008, the Rams made history when they suffered relegation as early as March, and ended the season with the lowest points total ever, notching just eleven points in the 38 matches played.

Sunderland manager would rather an FA Cup loss than a replay

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On Saturday, Sunderland host Southampton in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The Black Cats then have to travel to the Emirates next week to try and take points off Arsenal, before a relegation six-pointer against West Bromwich Albion. March then kicks off with a trip to Wembley to face Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final.

With all that on Sunderland’s plate, is it really any wonder that manager Gus Poyet said he’d rather take a loss in the FA Cup than face a replay?

(READ MORE: FA CUP FIFTH ROUND PREVIEW)

Under Poyet, Sunderland have finally lifted themselves from dead last in the Premier League. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe – far from it. The Black Cats are still in the relegation zone, having a worse goal difference than West Brom, with whom they’re tied on points. Having to face Arsenal and Liverpool, with the Baggies and the Cup challenge in between, can’t have Poyet feeling fantastic about his side’s chances on digging themselves out of the bottom three.

And so it’s easy to agree with the Sunderland manager when he says a loss would be better than a replay, adding yet another fixture to the crowded schedule. “The last thing we want to do is a Wigan,” says Poyet, referring to Wigan beating Manchester City in the FA Cup last year, but getting relegated to the Championship in the same season. Perhaps a comparison with Birmingham City is more apt, as in 2011, the Blues beat Arsenal to lift the League Cup, only to find themselves relegated. Three seasons later, they remain in the Championship.

While it would certainly be nice for Sunderland fans to watch their  side lift some silverware, Poyet’s got it right this time. And it’s not as though he’s saying he’ll field a weakened side to focus on league play (although we’ll see when the lineups come out). But the Black Cats still have a chance for survival, particularly with the bottom half of the table so tight this season. Better the Premier League than a hollow draw with the Saints.