Shaq
Northampton Town

PHOTOS: Shaq cardboard cutout to cheer on Northampton Town

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Northampton Town will have at least one fan in the stand when they take place in the League Two playoffs next week, with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal present in the stands in cardboard cutout form.

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Shaq is a fan of the fourth-tier English side and with the League Two regular-season ended in a vote last week, the playoffs will now commence to decide which teams will be promoted to League One.

Why does Shaq support Northampton? Well, he owns a radio station with Northampton Town chairman Kelvin Thomas, so there’s that.

Northampton host Cheltenham Town on June 18 in the first leg of their playoff semifinal and the Cobblers released a photo of the Shaq cardboard cutout which will be in the stands at the Sixfields Stadium.

The winner of that home and away playoff series will face the winner of Exeter City v Colchester United at Wembley in the League Two playoff final on June 29.

Below is how you can get involved and have a cardboard cutout of yourself in the stand for the big League Two playoff semifinal first leg next week.

Who knows, maybe you’ll be sat next to Shaq cheering on the Cobblers?

FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez suspended amid abuse claims

Jesse Gonzalez
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FRISCO, Texas — MLS suspended FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez on Friday amid allegations of domestic abuse.

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The league said the decision came after a report of alleged incidents of abuse made to police in Frisco, the Dallas suburb that is home to the soccer club. Frisco police didn’t immediately respond to a request for documents.

MLS said Gonzalez voluntarily entered the league’s program for substance abuse and behavioral health. He won’t be eligible to return until he is cleared by doctors in that program and the league has finished its investigation.

The 25-year-old Gonzalez has been the primary starter for FC Dallas since 2017 and had a career-high 84 saves in the regular season last year. FC Dallas lost to Seattle 4-3 in the first round of the playoffs.

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Gonzalez, who grew up in Dallas and was one of the club’s homegrown players, made his 100th career start in this year’s season opener. He was in goal again for the second game before the season was suspended because of the pandemic.

The league said it was in “close communication” with FC Dallas and law enforcement officials. The team said it learned of allegations against Jesse Gonzalez this week.

“FC Dallas takes these matters extremely seriously and fully supports the league’s swift action to suspend the player while an investigation takes place,” the team said. “We continue to work closely with Major League Soccer regarding this.”

Gonzalez made his first appearance with the FC Dallas youth academy as a 15-year-old in 2010. Five years later, he became the youngest starting keeper in franchise history at 20 years, 89 days.

Day Six: All the action from the U20 World Cup

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For the second consecutive tournament, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is poised to qualify for the knockout stages of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

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In its second match of this year’s edition in South Korea, the U.S. earned an important three points in a 1-0 victory over Senegal, while its main rivals Ecuador fell, 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. The win shot the U.S. up to first place in Group F with four points while Senegal and Saudi Arabia sit just below with three points. Ecuador occupies the final spot in the group with one point through two games.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Sargent scored for the second straight game and the defensive unit anchored by Erik Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers in central defense held tight to earn the U.S. a clean sheet. The U.S. finishes up the group stage on Sunday against Saudi Arabia.

In Group E action, France thrashed Vietnam 4-0 and New Zealand defeated Honduras 3-1.

Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Thursday’s four games in Groups E and F.

Group F

USA 1, Senegal 0

Saudi Arabia 2, Ecuador 1

Group E

France 4, Vietnam 0

New Zealand 3, Honduras 1

Stream Live: USA takes on Senegal at U20 World Cup

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The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is halfway home in its second game of the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup group stage, holding a 1-0 lead over Senegal after Josh Sargent’s left-footed blast.

[ LIVE: USA U-20 vs. Senegal ] 

Tab Ramos’ side came back to draw Ecuador 3-3 in a wild first game of the tournament but after losing central midfielder Gedion Zelalem, holding midfielder Derrick Jones has moved into the starting lineup and provided more stability in the center of the park.

Below you can watch a replay of Sargent’s first-half goal and above is a link to stream the U.S. game live via Telemundo Deportes.