Soccer

Premier League Roundup: Sheffield United avoids injury scare from Callum Robinson

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Premier League Roundup: Sheffield United avoids injury scare from Callum Robinson

Two weeks into the Premier League season and there's already been a little bit of everything on the pitch. Teams are prepping for Matchday 3 and are having to navigate some early season injuries before getting there. 

Here are the latest news and notes surrounding the Premier League:

Team/Player News

Brighton & Hove Albion: Striker Tomer Hemed has departed for Championship side Charlton Athletic. The Israel international has been on the books at Albion for four seasons, scoring 33 times in 108 appearances for the club. He was a key part of Brighton's Championship squads, scoring in double figures for two seasons as they won promotion at the second attempt, though his game time has been limited since they made it to the top tier.

Chelsea: Full-back Davide Zappacosta has joined Roma on loan until January, with the deal including the option to extend the loan until the end of the year.    
Zappacosta saw his role reduce when Maurizio Sarri took control of the club, seeing just 125 minutes of league action during the 2018-19 season. Chelsea has also extended Zappacosta's contract through the 2022 season. 

Manchester City: There were concerns when Oleksandr Zinchenko went down clutching the back of his left thigh on Saturday (vs. Tottenham). However, after a brief pause in play, Zinchenko was cleared on-field to continue, and he completed 90 minutes. Speaking to CityTV after the match, he confirmed. "It was just a cramp. Everything is okay." 

Once again they could be without their center back John Stones who missed City's last match. City released a statement before their Tottenham tie on their revealing that Stones had "suffered a rectus femoris strain" which would keep him out of the match. Nicolas Otamendi was handed a recall, and the Argentine could continue at Bournemouth on Sunday as the thigh problem is likely to rule Stones out of game week three as well. "He has a muscular problem," Pep said in his post-match press conference. "A week to ten days [before he can return to play]."

There is good injury news though as defender Benjamin Mendy has returned to training for the first time since a long-term knee injury. He'll like have to battle Zinchenko for a starting spot as the Ukrainian has established himself as Pep Guardiola's first-choice left-back.

Sheffield United: The Republic of Ireland international, Callum Robinson, limped off with a muscular problem before the hour mark on Sunday, and there were fears that he could be set for spell out. But Robinson moved quickly to quell those fears by insisting he will be ready for the visit of Leicester citing fatigue and hamstring tightness. Robinson has been the preferred attacking partner of Dave McGoldrick in the first two games, but Chris Wilder would have no hesitation in selecting Oli McBurnie who is eager to impress following his arrival from Swansea. "You’ve seen a glimpse of what Oli offers you today, and I think everyone is excited," the United boss said post-match.

Source: NBC Sports Rotoworld

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Washington Spirit trade USWNT forward Mallory Pugh for draft picks

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Washington Spirit trade USWNT forward Mallory Pugh for draft picks

The Washington Spirit traded U.S. Women's National Team forward Mallory Pugh to Sky Blue FC on Thursday.

In the deal, the Spirit received the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's NWSL draft, which they used to select UCLA junior forward Ashley Sanchez. The Spirit also acquired the No. 4 and No. 8 picks of the second round and a 2021 first-rounder.

Washington initially announced that the trade was for a "player to be named later." A post on the team's Twitter account thanking Pugh eventually confirmed the news.

"Thank you @MalPugh for everything you have done for the club and this city. Best of luck with @SkyBlueFC," read the tweet.

Pugh, 21, played in 19 games with seven starts for the U.S. national team in 2019, and her six goals tied for fifth on the team. She made three appearances and scored one goal with one assist as the U.S. claimed gold in the World Cup. She had 10 goals and four assists in three seasons with the Spirit.

Like Pugh, Sanchez is also a member of the USWNT program. After being selected on Thursday, she said the process of turning pro was stressful.

"It was a little stressful, but I'm just really excited," Sanchez said. "This is what I've always dreamed about. And to be at a team like Washington, it's really humbling."

Sanchez led UCLA with 15 assists in the 2019 season, tying her own school single-season record from the previous season, and she was second on the team with seven goals. Sanchez is UCLA’s all-time assists leader with 42 and was a 2018 first-team All-American.

"Ashley is one of the most dynamic players to ever play at UCLA," said UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell. "It's remarkable that she broke our career assists record as a junior. We know Ashley's success as a Bruin will help her in her endeavors as a professional and national team member. We are excited for her future and wish her the best of luck."

In the second round, the Spirit drafted USC's Natalie Jacobs and Washington State's Averie Collins. They drafted Kansas' Katie McClure in the third round and Sanchez's UCLA teammate Kaiya McCullough in the fourth.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric could be headed to D.C. United , per report

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Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric could be headed to D.C. United , per report

Former D.C. United striker Wayne Rooney returned to England earlier this month, but another European soccer star could be headed to D.C. this summer.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric could be headed to D.C. United as early as the 2020 summer, according to The Athletic.

The two sides met first following the end of United's 2019 season and Modric is very open to the idea of moving stateside, according to the report. 

Modric, 34, is widely considered one of the best midfielders of all-time. Modric led Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, earning the Golden Ball, given to the best player in the tournament. He won the Ballon d'Or in 2018 as well, given to the best player that year, both club and international.

The midfielder arrived in Spain's capital in 2012 and has been a staple in Real Madrid's lineup since. Modric has scored 15 goals in 214 appearances with Madrid and 16 goals in 127 appearances with Croatia. The 2019-20 season has been the first time Modric hasn't been an every match starter, as he's been splitting time with 21-year-old Fred Valverde. 

Should he join United, Modric would immediately be the team's best player and likely the best player in all of Major League Soccer. Buckle up, folks.