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Roma join Manchester City in pursuit of Australia’s Daniel Arzani – sources

Roma are rivalling Manchester City for Australian teenage sensation Daniel Arzani, sources have told ESPN FC.

Melbourne City star Arzani is one of the hottest properties in world football after impressing for club and country during the last 12 months.

The skilful attacker burst onto the scene halfway through last season’s A-League campaign and his performances saw him win a call-up to Australia’s World Cup squad.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

The 19-year-old was the youngest player at the World Cup and his featured in all three games during Australia’s World Cup campaign.12

Arzani made a positive impression during his cameo appearances at the World Cup and his performances have brought him to the attention of a number of Europe’s top clubs.

Manchester City have been leading the race for Arzani as Melbourne City are the Premier League champions’ sister club under the City Football Group umbrella.

City plan to sign Arzani and then possibly loan him out like they did with Aaron Mooy before eventually selling him to Huddersfield Town.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

However, Roma are monitoring Arzani’s situation at Melbourne City and they are ready to offer the forward a pathway to first-team football in the Italian capital.

Roma have shown they are shrewd operators in the transfer market having signed young talents like Justin Kluivert from Ajax this summer and they see Arzani as a potential star in the making.

U.S. Open Cup: Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union book places semifinals

Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas each scored twice, accounting for three second-half goals within 22 minutes, as the host Houston Dynamo overcame an early deficit to storm past Sporting Kansas City 4-2, sending the defending U.S. Open Cup champions out in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

SKC’s Johnny Russell got the champs on the board first at BBVA Compass Stadium with a goal in the second minute. The lead held up for more than a half hour, until Quioto evened it up in the 35th minute. Twenty minutes after intermission, the floodgates opened.

Quioto scored his second goal in the 66th minute to give the Dynamo a 2-1 lead. Three minutes later, Manotas made it 3-1. He made it 4-1 with an 88th-minute goal to put the game away. Yohan Croizet scored in the third minute of stoppage time — with an assist from Russell — to make it 4-2.

SKC’s loss also means the U.S. Open Cup will once again fail to have a repeat winner since Seattle won three in a row from 2009-11.11

Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya scored in the fourth minute, and the Philadelphia Union kept Orlando City out of the net to advance to the semifinals with a 1-0 win at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.

After Orlando keeper Earl Edwards Jr. made the save off a Fafa Picault header, Bedoya put the rebound into the net to move the Union to within a win of their third U.S. Open Cup final. They have never won a trophy, having lost in the championship match of this tournament in 2014 and 2015.

The win also stretched the Union’s streak of U.S. Open Cup matches without an official loss to 13 — the Union’s last three losses in the event have been on penalty kicks, which don’t count as official losses. Orlando has never reached the U.S. Open Cup semis.

The Chicago Fire had little trouble with their USL foe Louisville City, scoring early and often in a 4-0 win at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., to easily advance to the semifinals. They will play Philadelphia on Aug. 7 or 8 for a spot in the championship match.

Four different players scored for the Fire: Nemanja Nikolic, Aleksandar Katai, Diego Campos and Elliot Collier. Chicago is a four-time U.S. Open Cup champion but has not been to the final since losing to Seattle in 2011.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

An own goal off Portland Timbers midfielder David Guzman opened the scoring in the 33rd minute and ultimately proved to be the difference as LAFC advanced to the semis with a win at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Monumental mashing: Ranking D.C.’s record 10 All-Star Game homers

Don’t be ashamed. It’s OK to admit you like home runs. You can still go on YouTube and watch highlights of your favorite skinny dudes and slap-hitting middle infielders from the 1970s and ’80s in their too-tight pullover jerseys and beltless pants swinging at 86 mph fastballs. That brand of baseball was fun. All brands of baseball are fun.

That style of game, however, no longer exists. Not in 2018. It’s all about power hitters and power pitching. The big guys hit home runs, the little guys, the in-between guys, the middle infielders and at the 89th All-Star Game, it seemed as if everyone hit home runs, as the AL pulled out a wild 8-6 victory in 10 innings Tuesday night at Nationals Park.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

There were a record 10 home runs hit, four more than the previous mark from 1971, and as many as the previous six All-Star Games combined. Jean Segura looked like the hero and then Scooter Gennett was the hero and then a pair of Astros — Alex Bregman and George Springer — homered off a Dodgers pitcher and suddenly we flashed back to last October. All six home runs in 1971 came from future Hall of Famers; I’m guessing some of the 10 players who connected in this game will end up in Cooperstown as well, and even if you don’t like home runs, we can at least appreciate the talent we saw on display.

Here’s how crazy this game turned out: There were tying or go-ahead home runs hit in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings. The last time that happened in any regular season, postseason or All-Star Game was Aug. 7, 2002, between the Mariners and Blue Jays.12

This quote from Astros manager A.J. Hinch after the game says a lot about Bregman’s rise to All-Star status: “I’m not sure if anyone I’ve come across in the big leagues loves baseball more than Alex Bregman. It starts with that and he continues to get better.”

The 24-year-old third baseman has 20 home runs, already topping the 19 he hit last season. Before the game, Bregman had a simple explanation for his increased power output: “Pull the ball hard in the air.” Against Stripling, he took a cutter down the middle on his first pitch and then “went into battle mode and just was trying to put a line drive in play and it left the yard. It was crazy.” Yep. He hit the ball hard and hit it in the air.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

There’s also a neat tie-in between Bregman and Washington, D.C. His grandfather was general counsel for the Senators. “My dad grew up on Ted Williams’ lap,” Bregman said, referring to Williams’ stint as Senators manager. The trophy Bregman won as the game’s MVP? The Ted Williams MVP Trophy. His dad had a photo of him and Williams that Williams had signed. “I looked at that picture for 10 years growing up and our only thing, growing up, my dad always told me, ‘You’ve got to be the next guy to hit .400 in the big leagues.'”

As trade rumors whirl, Machado snaps selfie with Dodgers’ Kemp

As if having a great first half and being the trade-deadline darling weren’t enough, Machado snapped a selfie in the middle of the All-Star Game. But it was whom he took it with that made it the talk of the game.

Following a leadoff double by Matt Kemp in the bottom of the second inning, Machado moseyed over to second base, whipped out his phone and took a picture of himself and the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“That’s my boy,” Kemp said afterwards. “We go back. Worked out in the offseason a couple times a couple years ago. Yeah, that’s my boy.”11

Recounting their conversation about second base, Kemp shared that, “We were just talking about where we’re going to eat after the All-Star game. Just talking about food, good things like that. How’s the family, fun stuff like that, and just enjoying the All-Star game.”

In his first full season as the Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop, Machado was voted the American League starter after a first half in which he hit .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs. A free agent after this season, the 26-year old slugger is widely expected to be traded before the All-Star break concludes later this week.

Asked about the rumor that Machado might be traded to the Dodgers, Kemp said, “Is he? Is that official? That’s still speculation, so I can’t say that happened already, right?”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Machado has been at the center of trade rumors over the past weeks, and reports have surfaced that the Orioles have a deal in place. The Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies are thought to be the two main suitors for Machado’s services.

Manchester City furious with Napoli over Jorginho deal with Chelsea – sources

Manchester City are unlikely to do business with Napoli again after they pulled out of an agreement for midfielder Jorginho, sources have told ESPN FC.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

The Italy international was a top target for Pep Guardiola but has now joined Chelsea on a five-year deal worth around €60 million.

City believe that Jorginho, 26, preferred a switch to the Premier League champions despite claims from Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis that he would rather move to London.

As recently as Thursday, Jorginho told City that he preferred to join them, but sources told ESPN FC he was “bullied” into a move to Chelsea with the threat of being forced to see out the remaining two years of his contract with Napoli.

A £43m transfer fee was agreed between De Laurentiis and City last month, but Napoli reneged on that deal, leaving club hierarchy stunned.

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Chelsea have since sacked manager Antonio Conte and appointed former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, with Jorginho becoming his first signing.

City refused to match Chelsea’s offer and walked away from the deal just as they refused to match demands they saw as excessive during the January transfer window, including deals for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred — both of whom joined Manchester United.

Leicester City also wanted around £95 million for winger Riyad Mahrez in January, and City finally signed him last week in a deal for £60m.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Mahrez and Jorginho were City’s two top summer targets, and they now have less than a month to sign a replacement for Yaya Toure, who left on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic and Southampton’s Mario Lemina have been linked as potential alternatives.

Cubs surge to top of NL at All-Star break thanks to clubhouse culture

All is right in Cubs Nation as the 2016 world champions used the final week before the All-Star break to take command of their division, and the National League, and now find themselves on top of both after a weekend sweep of the San Diego Padres.

“I think in some regards, people look at us in a less than [favorable light] only because of what the Red Sox and Yankees have done,” Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before the team’s 7-4 win on Sunday.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china “Otherwise we’ve done pretty nice work.”

It should come as no surprise they’re in the playoff hunt again but the journey to the top of the standings — at the symbolic halfway point of the season — didn’t go exactly as scripted.

The Cubs poured a huge amount of resources into their starting staff over the past 12 months but other than Sunday’s winner, Jon Lester, the rotation was the weak link in the first half — if the sixth-ranked ERA in the league can be considered a weak link. Instead, a maturing offense and deeper-than-thought bullpen carried the load.10

In fact, their offense might be the envy of the NL before it’s all said and done. They rank first in every major category except for home runs — but they think that’s a good thing. It means they’re getting the job done in other ways — more entertaining ways, in fact. Ways that could come in handy in October.

“In general, MLB is looking for this,” Maddon stated emphatically. “They’re looking for more action in the game. They’re looking for the ball to be put in play. You can have it both ways. You can.”

Maddon is referencing perhaps the most important statistic for his team in the first half, though it might be the least sexy. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Cubs rank first in opposite-field hits in the NL and second in baseball after ending last season ranked 19th in that category. In their fourth season together as position players, they’ve finally understood the message Maddon has been preaching.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“The best way I can describe it is, for the last several years, every hitter has been trying to hit every pitch they see for a home run, which is impossible,” he said. “Thus you get this big swing-and-miss. Pitchers throw homers.”

That last line has resonated with his hitters the most. It’s usually the opposing pitcher who determines the outcome of the at-bat. If he gives a player a cookie to hit, then it’s his job to put it in the seats, but if the pitch hits the corner then putting the ball into the opposite field — or laying off a borderline one — is the winning move. The Cubs finally get it.

Happy, not satisfied: Yankees know they have to improve from big first half

Regardless of whether the New York Yankees would have won Sunday’s first-half finale at Progressive Field, to a man, the postgame clubhouse refrain still would have been the same.

We’re good, but not yet good enough.

This is a team, nearly 30 games above .500 entering the All-Star break, that is mostly pleased with the way it performed throughout the earliest stages of the season. But the self-aware bunch also knows it can — and must — be even better if it wants to close the second half as a division champ and World Series winner.

“We’re not satisfied at all in that room,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

The 4½ games his team trails the rival Boston Red Sox in the American League East are part of the reason why.

“I’m pleased with the way we played in the first half,” outfielder Brett Gardner said Sunday following New York’s 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, “but I’m not pleased that we’re not in first place in the division.

“So we’ve got some work to do.”8

That’s the common sentiment among the 62-33 Yankees: that once they return to action at home Friday, hosting another Subway Series against the crosstown rival Mets, there is work to be done.

It’s work that spans the entire team. The Yankees believe no one area is as strong as it can be at this point, nor is one part of the roster infinitely superior to any other.

“We can pitch a little better, we can play a little better defense, and we’re capable of scoring more runs,” Gardner said. “It’s easy to sit here and nitpick and try and see what we could’ve maybe done different or to see how we could be better, but ultimately we have to be better if we want to win the division and get to where we want to be at, which is win a World Series.”

Starting pitching has been among the list of Yankees bugaboos since the season began. With a distinct drop-off in consistency behind the likes of ace Luis Severino and vet CC Sabathia, questions about the Yankees’ rotation have persisted.

The easiest and most discussed solution to address some of New York’s starting woes is to add a veteran pitcher before the trade deadline.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Since near the start of June, the Yankees have been doing their due diligence in making phone calls with other big-league teams to see what it might take to get a trade partner. Although there have been conversations regarding trades for position players such as Baltimore’s Manny Machado, New York’s primary focus from the start has been to get more arms for their shaky staff’s postseason run.

Might we see a deal that shores up the Yankees’ rotation within the next two weeks? Boone couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty as he began his All-Star break on Sunday. Still, he has full faith in the behind-the-scenes work general manager Brian Cashman and others are doing.

The legend of SaQuads Barkley and his Giant legs

Saquon Barkley could be throwing a first pitch, running over a defender or hitting a golf ball. It doesn’t matter. Muscles seemingly protrude from his quads as if he’s the Incredible Hulk, no matter the task.

It’s the inevitable consequence of having tree trunks pose as limbs. There is a reason Barkley can squat 650 pounds, clean more than 400 pounds and holds just about every record for a running back in the Penn State weight room.

Barkley has 28-inch quads, according to Tom Marchitelli, the owner of Gentleman’s Playbook Custom Suits, who fitted Barkley for his draft day suit. Marchitelli said that is bigger than most of his clients who are linebackers.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Barkley’s new teammates with the New York Giants have noticed these gargantuan legs, perhaps because they seem more appropriate (based on sheer size) for a lineman but have the definition usually reserved for finely tuned skill-position players. They’ve seen up close and personal during workouts and practices the sheer size of these monsters. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham even minted the nickname “SaQuads” back in the spring, according to Barkley.

This is all new to Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. He’s been called SaySay or Say or Quon before. But never SaQuads, until now. It seems to have caught on.

Giants fan Joe Ruback, better known as License Plate Guy, even put the new nickname on the back of Barkley’s jersey at the Landon Collins Celebrity Softball game he organized last month. Barkley wore it with pride, even though the nickname isn’t exactly his favorite.12

“It’s fun. It’s all fun,” Barkley said. “You know, SaQuads. I’m a rookie right now. They’re having a little fun with me. That’s cool. It’s cool. I think the fans are enjoying it. I’m going to stick with it a little bit.”

In the long run, Barkley is hoping that he will be better known for what he does on the field with the Giants than the size of his leg muscles. Maybe then SaQuads will fade.

At Penn State, Barkley went from a fine physical specimen to a somewhat mythical physique. He did it by dominating in the weight room.

“He’s got the quads and calves of a 300-pound bodybuilder,” said Brian Stamper, Barkley’s pre-draft trainer at Tom Shaw Performance in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.

Galt insists that if Barkley wanted, squatting 700 pounds would be attainable. Already, he’s third all-time at Penn State, having successfully squatted 650 pounds. Only an offensive lineman and a defensive tackle surpassed him.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Galt and the Penn State coaching staff had to walk the fine line between allowing the relentless Barkley to grow physically and putting his football future at risk. They were holding him back at practice to protect their most valuable asset and needed to do the same in the weight room, for the sake of the player and the team.

Man United to call up several youngsters for United States tour

Jose Mourinho is set to include a number of young players in Manchester United’s squad for their preseason tour of the United States after training with the first team at Carrington.

With the bulk of the senior squad still participating in the World Cup or on holiday after their exertions in Russia, Mourinho has bolstered his numbers by promoting a host of academy graduates.

Demetri Mitchell, RoShaun Williams, James Garner, Ethan Hamilton, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have spent the week training with returning first-team regulars such as Chris Smalling and Juan Mata and are in line to be included in the squad that jets off to Los Angeles on Sunday.cheap nike nfl jersey

Garner has captained England’s under-17s and Greenwood is still just 16 but finished as a top scorer in the U18s last season.

Diogo Dalot, a £19 million summer signing from Porto, will also be in the group.10

United will play games in the U.S. against Club America, the San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Daley Blind was one of the senior players to report back on Wednesday but his participation in the tour is in doubt amid interest from Ajax.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the clubs have opened talks over a move for the 28-year-old, who started just four Premier League games last season, and are keen to tie up a deal before United depart this weekend.

Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN FC that Neil Ryan, son of Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant Jimmy Ryan, is in line to take over as U18 coach from Kieran McKenna.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Ryan is in Austria for a joint training camp with the U18s and U23s with reserve team manager Ricky Sbragia and academy chief Nicky Butt.

McKenna is set to travel to Los Angeles as part of Mourinho’s new-look coaching team that also includes Michael Carrick.

Aroldis Chapman to skip All-Star Game due to knee tendinitis

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has pulled out of the All-Star Game, saying Friday it was a difficult decision but that he wants to rest because of left knee tendinitis.

“Definitely a tough decision,” Chapman said through an interpreter. “It’s an honor to be selected to an All-Star Game. Your peers vote for you, the managers, fans and all that. And anytime you have an opportunity like that, you want to participate.

“But at the end of the day, it was the smart decision for me to help me recover and get ready for the second half, one that’s going to be very demanding and very exciting.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Houston Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (11-2) has been named to the American League All-Star team to replace him.9

Chapman, among the AL leaders with 25 saves and a 1.38 ERA, said a week off would be good for him to be fresh for the second half.

“It was the right decision to take at this time, rest and get ready for what we have coming up,” Chapman said.cheap nike nfl jersey

The left-hander is still available Friday night and for the rest of the Yankees’ series against the Indians in Cleveland.

Chapman said after pitching Thursday night’s ninth inning in the Yankeess’ 7-4 win that his ailing knee actually felt good and that the discomfort he has been feeling in recent weeks was about the same as it has been.