VIDEO: Gyasi Zardes Puts USA in Front of Ecuador Late With Deflected Goal From Outside the Box

?Team USA and Ecuador battled it out in an ?International Friendly on Thursday night. With the score knotted at 0-0 for the majority of the game, Gyasi Zardes put an end to that. Zardes found himself with the ball after an Ecuador turnover, and unleashed a deep kick from outside the box. Goaltender Alexander Dominguez whiffed on the save attempt, as the ball deflected off the crossbar and into the net.

?A lucky shot? Yes. Does it matter? Not at all, as Team USA walked out of Orlando with the 1-0 victory.


Manuel Lanzini Opens Up on Possibility of Returning to Former Club River Plate

?Manuel Lanzini has opened up about his desire to one day return to boyhood club River Plate.

The Argentinian is part of a select group of youngsters who attended the River Plate academy before going on to ply their trade in Europe. Lanzini, who joined West Ham in 2016, followed in the footsteps of players such as Hernan Crespo, ?Javier Mascherano and the Gonzalo Higuain

Manuel Lanzini

Whilst speaking to TNT Sports and as quoted by ?AS, ?Lanzini expressed his wish to one day make a return to River.

He said: “River makes me happy, they are living incredible things since the Doll [Marcelo Gallardo] arrived. I was in Madrid, in the Emirates and I know that at some point I’ll be back if the club allows me to.”

A serious knee injury ruled ?Lanzini out of the World Cup in 2018 and sidelined him for eight months. He managed 90 minutes for the first time since then during his most recent outing for ?West Ham, and earned an instant recall to the International team for this weeks matches. 

Manuel Lanzini

In reference to his recent call up, he explained: “I’m more mature, I’m happy, I came back in the best way, in the club they give me tremendous confidence and Scaloni also. I’m happy, something very hard happened to me that I do not want anyone [to experience].”


Reiss Nelson Reveals Per Mertesacker’s Advice Amid Reports of Disciplinary Issues at Hoffenheim

Reiss Nelson has revealed the advice he’s received from Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker, after the on-loan Hoffenheim star was supposedly dropped for disciplinary issues. 

Nelson has followed the recent trend of young English players opting to move to the Bundesliga in search for first-team football, after joining Hoffenheim on loan for the 2018/19 season. 

Nelson enjoyed an encouraging start with the German side, boasting an impressive six goals in his first 11 appearances. However, despite his blistering early form, the 19-year-old has since struggled to earn a starting place in the side. 

Reiss Nelson,Daniel Brosinski

In addition, Julian Nagelsmann admitted to dropping the starlet for ‘educational reasons’, amid reports of disciplinary issues.

However, Nelson remains in contact with Arsenal academy manager Mertesacker, who is helping him remain focused on and off the pitch. Reflecting on these issues, the starlet opened up about adapting to the new league and culture.

“I’m learning a different culture. I’m taking in the environment,” Nelson said, via the ?Metro. “Per’s just been very direct to me, telling me it’s not always about football sometimes it’s about off the pitch.

Per Mertesacker

“‘He tells me ‘you’re learning a new language, new environment, just keep up with your performances.'”

Mertesacker had a positive outlook of Nelson’s development in Germany back in December, explaining, via Goal“It’s quite interesting for him, the journey he’s facing in Germany. The challenges and he’s describing it as a tough time.

“Everyday in training there’s something he takes on. With a young manager [Nagelsmann] who really believes in him and gives him chances, sometimes he comes off the bench and makes the difference.”

Patryk Dziczek,Krystian Bielik,Reiss Nelson

Nelson is not the only young England forward attempting to showcase his talent in German football, with Jadon Sancho helping ?Bundesliga giants ?Borussia Dortmund’s title challenge. Nelson has also admired close friend Callum Hudson-Odi’s rise this season, amid speculation of his move to ?Bayern Munich in the January transfer window.  

Hudson Odoi and Sancho will be linking up for the first time together in the England senior squad, as they take on the Czech Republic and Montenegro in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Jadon Sancho,Callum Hudson-Odoi

Nelson, talking to ?Sky Sports, spoke highly of his admiration for Hudson Odoi’s recent progress, stating: “I’ve played against him in the youth league when he was at Chelsea.

“He’s my friend so you want to get there as well. ‘It’s very inspiring, just wants to make you push even more, train even harder and get to that level.”


David Alaba Admits Being an Arsenal Fan as He Discusses Idea of Premier League Move

Bayern Munich star ?David Alaba may have put the Premier League’s powerhouses on high alert after admitting he could be interested in a move to one of England’s ‘big clubs’, while also admitting a childhood support for Arsenal.

Austria international Alaba has made over 300 appearances caps for the Bavarians and has asserted himself as one of the worlds top left backs. 

At only 26 years of age, he has already won six Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League. While happy at Bayern for the moment, Alaba has discussed the option of looking for a new challenge elsewhere in the future.

David Alaba

Speaking to German newspaper ?Bild, as quoted by ?Goal, the Austrian said: “I can imagine trying something else but I really feel very comfortable at Bayern. 

“Every year there are new challenges and new objectives and the pressure will always be there. I’m happy in Munich but of course I can imagine seeing something else [in the future].”

When asked which leagues interest him, the left back replied: “Spain, England. In Spain it would be the two big clubs, I guess? Real or Barcelona. Also the big clubs [in England].”

David Alaba,Hector Bellerin

?Arsenal supporters will be particularly pleased to hear that Alaba is a Gunners fan, revealing that he has supported them from a young age.

He added: “Yes, I was [an Arsenal fan as a child]. When you’ve been Arsenal fan as a kid you will be one your whole life in some way.”

Known for his versatility, Alaba would have his pick should he choose to leave ?Bayern at some stage and his latest comments will have the top sides hoping to lure him away sooner rather than later.

As for now, he and his team find themselves in a close race with ?Borussia Dortmund for the ?Bundesliga title. Bayern will be back in action on 30 March when they travel to Freiburg looking to continue their run of six consecutive wins. 


Milan Skriniar’s Agent Talks Up Interest From Barcelona & Real Madrid Ahead of Possible Summer Move

?Milan Skriniar’s agent has told reporters his client has attracted strong interest from Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the duo set to battle it out over his signature this summer.

Skriniar has showed himself to be one of the game’s most accomplished central defenders since joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2017, making 76 appearances in just over a year and half with the ?Nerazzurri.


Speaking to ?AS, Halis, who is one of the partners at the agency which represents the Slovakian, revealed: “Real Madrid want to sign him, so do Barcelona; whoever can convince Inter to let him go will sign him this summer.”

Los Blancos are understood to see the 24-year-old as a potential replacement for rumoured wantaway centre back Raphael Varane.

And Halis continued: “Skriniar is a model professional. If Real Madrid want him, they could get him but there are other agents who have a vested interest in taking players where they want.”

He then claimed that the only complications that could arise in the transfer revolve around the possible intrusion of super-agent Mino Raiola, explaining: “Mino Raiola, who represents Ibrahimovic and Pogba, might try to mislead Skriniar, but the player is on the books at our company – we have a contract with him.

“?Inter paid Sampdoria €28m for Skriniar and six months later, Manchester City came in with an offer of €55m. Now he is valued at around €100m. Any deal would certainly be complicated by the interference of intermediaries.”

Halis is a compatriot of Skriniar, but largely specialises in Turkish football, and had some further revelations about another centre back Madrid have been rumoured to be looking at, VfB Stuttgart’s Ozan Kabak, whom he has known since his early academy days at Galatasaray.

However, this time Halis was charged with playing down said links, declaring: “Ozan Kabak is an exceptional talent, but he’s not ready to join a top level club like ?Real Madrid. 

“At the moment he is not on Madrid’s list of candidates. He needs to get a few seasons under his belt and improve his game at Stuttgart before he goes anywhere else. There are a lot of steps he must go for before being in a position to join a side like Madrid”.