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Minnesota United sign goalkeeper Eric Dick to new one-year contract



Minnesota United have re-signed goalkeeper Eric Dick to a new one-year contract, the club have announced.

The 28-year-old was set to become a free agent following the conclusion of his previous deal, but his new contract now keeps him at Allianz Field through the 2023 MLS season. Minnesota United also hold an option to extend his contract beyond that point.

“God is good. I am simply honored to wear this crest another year,” Dick wrote on social media. “Let’s have some fun and be special MNUFC nation! Safe holidays to everyone. Much love and See you all soon.”


Dick joined the Loons at the start of 2022 following previous spells with Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew.

Since then, the goalkeeper has made just one senior appearance in the US Open Cup, primarily operating as backup to Canada international Dayne St. Clair and Tyler Miller – the latter has now left the club as a free agent.

The majority of Dick’s professional performances have come in USL with Sporting Kansas City II, Indy Eleven, Phoenix Rising, and FC Tulsa.


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Player ratings as El Tri crash out after manic thriller



Mexico beat Saudi Arabia in their final group game, but the 2-1 scoreline was not enough to jump ahead of Poland in the Group C standings as El Tri exit the World Cup before the knockout rounds for the first time since 1978.

Goal difference was ultimately the deciding factor, with Salem Al-Dawsari breaking Mexican hearts deep into stoppage time after Henry Martin and Luis Chavez had put them on the verge of the last 16 if they could find another goal.

Mexico had a glorious opportunity within the first three minutes that Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais was equal to. Orbelin Pineda’s through ball played in Alexis Vega, whose shot was immediately smothered by Al-Owais rushing off his line.


Not much more time was on the clock before Al-Owais had to push an awkward ball clear before Martin could get his head to it in the six-yard box.

Both sides started at an aggressive tempo – the tone was set before kick-off with a set of exuberant anthems – and Saudi soon went close when Mohamed Kanno sent a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Midway through the first half, Al-Owais made two more fairly routine saves, one from Luis Chavez and the other from Pineda – the sting was taken off the latter effort by a last-ditch tackle.

By the closing stages of the half, the game had become bitty and tempers threatened to boil over on more than occasion as both teams continued to go at it. But things did pick up again in stoppage time and a better connection off Sultan Al-Ghannam’s head might have given Saudi the lead.


Having been denied by Al-Owais earlier on, Martin found the breakthrough right after the restart. In truth, he couldn’t miss, tapping in from a couple of yards after a clever near post flick from Cesar Montes, up from the back at a Mexico corner.

El Tri quickly capitalised on that momentum when Chavez, who hadn’t been scared to shoot from distance all night, sent a sublime free-kick flying into the top corner.

Saudi Arabia were stunned and were inches away from being 3-0 down straight after that, with only an offside flag keeping the deficit at two goals when Hirving Lozano found the net. Just after the hour mark, Lozano was denied another potential goal by Al-Owais’ sprawling right hand.

Martin lacked composure when he blazed a volley over the bar, while it took a spectacular Al-Owais save to stop another Chavez free-kick bound for the opposite top corner to his earlier goal. Pineda also narrowly missed the bottom corner with a curling low effort.


Mexico had the ball in the net again with only a few minutes of the 90 left as substitute Uriel Antuna fed the ball underneath an onrushing Al-Owais, but he failed to time his run and the flag went up. Al-Owais beat away a Lozano free-kick as stoppage time began.

But as Mexico pushed and pushed to get the third goal to send them through, Saudi Arabia put together their first meaningful attack of the second half, capitalising on the spaces left open, to score a very neat goal as Al-Dawsari finished neatly beyond Guillermo Ochoa.

GK: Mohammed Al-Owais – 8/10 – Had plenty to do from the very start, made a number of good stops and Mexico aren’t in the last 16 because of his saves. Couldn’t be blamed for the goals.

RB: Sultan Al-Ghannam – 5/10 – Missed a really good headed chance at 0-0 that proved crucial in hindsight.

CB: Hassan Al-Tambakti – 6/10 –
Had the upper hand in a first half physical battle but was second best when Mexico increased the pace and tempo.


CB: Abdulelah Al-Amri – 6/10 – A little wasteful in possession but made a few decent tackles and blocks in amongst the chaos.

LB: Ali Al-Bulaihi – 5/10 – Unable to shake off a first half injury.

RM: Firas Al-Buraikan – 5/10 – Played on the fringes of the game.

CM: Ali Al-Hassan – 4/10 – Only lasted one half but struggled to imprint himself on the game.


CM: Saud Abdulhamid – 6/10 – Impressive defensive performance. Shifted over to left-back when Al-Bulaihi was forced off.

CM: Mohamed Kanno – 7/10 – Went close with a first half free-kick. Put himself about all over the pitch.

LM: Salem Al-Dawsari (c) – 6/10 – Too few touches for much of the game but broke Mexican hearts in stoppage time.

ST: Saleh Al-Shehri – 5/10 – Struggled to really hold the ball up and bring others into play.


SUB: Riyadh Sharahili (37′ for Al-Bulaihi) – 5/10

SUB: Abdullah Madu (46′ for Al-Hassan) – 6/10

SUB: Abdulrahman Al-Aboud (62′ for Al-Shehri) – 5/10

SUB: Hattan Bahebri (88′ for Al-Ghannam) – 7/10


Manager: Herve Renard – 5/10 – Forced into changes earlier than he would have hoped. Also couldn’t light a fire under his team at half-time the way he had previously done in the win over Argentina.

GK: Guillermo Ochoa – 6/10 – Largely a spectator. Beaten at the end.

RB: Jorge Sanchez – 6/10 – Got forward plenty in support of the attack.

CB: Cesar Montes – 7/10 – Lovely assist for the crucial opening goal.


CB: Hector Moreno – 6/10 – Didn’t win his aerial duels but decent on the ground and in possession.

LB: Jesus Gallardo – 7/10 – Got forward and put a number of teasing crosses into the penalty area.

CM: Edson Alvarez – 6/10 – Arguably fortunate he wasn’t further punished when laying a hand on the referee right after getting booked and continued to walk a disciplinary tightrope.

CM: Luis Chavez – 8/10 – Often willing to try his luck from distance and eventually scored one of the goals of the tournament.


RM: Hirving Lozano – 8/10 – Really turned up the pressure in the second half and was always asking questions.

AM: Orbelin Pineda – 7/10 – Creative livewire for El Tri from the start.

LM: Alexis Vega – 6/10 – Thwarted by a good early save from Al-Owais.

ST: Henry Martin – 7/10 –
Struggled to physically compete in the first half but clever movement made him a threat and he was rewarded with a goal. Missed a great chance to score a volley.

SUB: Uriel Antuna (46′ for Vega) – 6/10


SUB: Raul Jimenez (77′ for Martin) – 5/10

SUB: Carlos Rodriguez (77′ for Pineda) – 5/10

SUB: Rogelio Funes Mori (86′ for Alvarez) – N/A

SUB: Kevin Alvarez (86′ for Sanchez) – N/A


Manager: Gerardo Martino – 6/10 – This ended up being his last game as Mexico coach. His team finally fired up in the second half but it was too little too late in the end.

Player of the match – Mohammed Al-Owais (Saudi Arabia)

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Player ratings La Albiceleste make it through to knockout stages



Goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez ensured Argentina’s place at the top of Group C and their place in the round of the 16 of the FIFA World Cup. Poland also squeezed through despite losing thanks to Mexico only managing to beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.

Argentina started the game brightly, getting Lionel Messi on the ball frequently in and around the penalty area – which is always the game plan for La Albiceleste. The PSG star would have the first notable shot on goal in the 10th minute, bursting into the left hand side of the penalty area before stinging Wojciech Szczęsny’s palms with a fierce strike on goal.

La Albiceleste were able to sustain that pressure with relative ease thereafter as Poland were more than happy to sit in and defend a point that would see them through to the last 16.

Marcos Acuna was next to come close for Argentina around the half-hour mark, drilling a shot just wide of the foot of the right post.


Julian Alvarez would then force Szczęsny into a great save five minutes later, with the Juventus number one deflecting Alvarez’s effort on goal from the left side of the penalty area out wide.

Moments later we witnessed the worst refereeing decision of the tournament thus far. Argentina were awarded an egregious penalty following a lengthy VAR check after Szczęsny was adjudged to have touched (?) Messi’s face while both were up challenging for a cross into the box.

The resulting spot kick was then brilliant saved by the Poland goalkeeper, who dove to his left to tip Messi’s effort wide. Justice well and truly served.

Immediately after the second half whistle, Argentina finally got their goal. Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister would be the man to get it, latching onto a low cross from right-back Nahuel Molina to drill past Szczęsny and into the bottom right corner of the net.


That goal would finally wake Poland up as an attacking entity and, in the 49th minute, they almost grabbed an equaliser through Kamil Glik. The veteran defender rose highest to head a set piece from the right flank just wide.

After a few tactical tweaks, Lionel Scaloni’s men firmly regained control of the game. In the 67th minute they deservedly doubled their lead through Julian Alvarez. The young forward held off two Polish defenders before firing high into the net.

It was so nearly three in the 72nd minute when Messi played a wonderful through ball into the path of Alvarez again. The forward, however, could only find the side-netting with his subsequent strike on goal.

In the 85th minute, Lautaro Martinez came off the bench to nearly knock Poland out of the competition. After latching onto a loose back pass, the Inter man stormed into the penalty area but shanked his shot on goal wide of the post.


Jakub Kiwior then saved Poland from an early exit with a stunning clearance off the line in the 93rd minute. The towering defender got back well to head clear a dinked Nicolas Tagliafico finish to keep his nation in the tournament.

GK – Wojciech Szczęsny – 8/10 – Saved his second penalty of the group stages and looked generally unbeatable in the first half. He was finally beaten in the second, but by God what a performance regardless.

RB – Matty Cash – 3/10 – Didn’t get forward as Poland would’ve liked.

CB – Kamil Glik – 4/10 – The sort of game that suits him at this point in his career and yet he still wasn’t particularly good.


CB – Jakub Kiwior – 7/10 – Got caught out with Molina’s cut-back cross which led to the opener. Made amends with a fantastic clearance off the line in added time.

LB – Bartosz Bereszynski – 3/10 – Struggled to defend his side.

CM – Piotr Zielinski – 3/10 – Needed to be better on the ball than he was in this one.

CM – Krystian Bielik – 4/10 – Defended quite well but generally looked hopless in possession.


CM – Gregorz Krychowiak – 2/10 – Got stuck in when he could get near the ball…which wasn’t often because he can’t run anymore.

AM – Przemyslaw Frankowski – 1/10 – He did literally nothing and was subbed off at half-time.

ST – Robert Lewandowski – 2/10 – So, so isolated.

ST – Karol Swiderski – N/A – Did he play? He didn’t, did he? Surely not.


SUB – Michal Skoras – 4/10.

SUB – Jakub Kaminski – 3/10.

SUB – Damian Szymanski – N/A.

SUB – Artur Jedrzejczyk – N/A.


SUB – Krzysztof Piatek – N/A.

GK – Emi Martinez – 5/10 – He had zero to do.

RB – Nahuel Molina – 7/10 – His brilliant low cross from the right flank led to the opening goal.

CB – Cristian Romero – 5/10 – Dealt with the little threat Lewa posed well.


CB – Nicolas Otamendi – 5/10 – An easy night at the office for Otamendi.

LB – Marcos Acuna – 6/10 – Drilled a shot just wide in the first half and got forward well.

CM – Alexis Mac Allister – 8/10 – Scored his first ever international goal at the best possible time.

CM – Enzo Fernandez – 7/10 – Another impressive performance from the young man.


CM – Rodrigo De Paul – 4/10 – Sloppy on the ball again. Surely he shouldn’t start for this team.

RW – Angel Di Maria – 5/10 – Saw a lot of the ball but didn’t do a whole lot with it.

CF – Lionel Messi – 4/10 – Missed a penalty. He’s not very good at penalties.

LW – Julian Alvarez – 5/10 – Scored a great goal in the second half. Well deserved start for the Man City striker.


SUB – Leandro Paredes – 6/10 – Did a decent job in midfield when he came on.

SUB – Nicolas Tagliafico – N/A.

SUB – Lautaro Martinez – 5/10 – Missed a decent chance in the 85th minute.

SUB – German Pezzella – N/A.


SUB – Thiago Almada – N/A.

Man of the Match: Alexis Mac Allister

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Katie Zelem discusses the ‘catch 22’ Man Utd face ahead of Old Trafford return



Manchester United captain Katie Zelem has described the two-week break since a momentous WSL win over Arsenal as ‘catch 22’ for the squad because that time out of action before facing Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday has both positive and negative implications.

Having lost to Chelsea in early November, their first league defeat of the season, United responded by mounting a 3-2 comeback win at the Emirates Stadium when club football resumed after the recent international break.

Another two-week pause in the club schedule, during which time United have played a behind closed doors friendly, has offered both the chance for rest for starters and minutes for those less involved so far this season. But there is a risk that positive momentum fades.


“It’s catch 22 in football. Everyone is dying for a break, but equally when you’ve got a good run of momentum, you want to keep it going,” Zelem said of the paradoxical situation.

“We’ve got to look at it as a positive. People were able to get minutes in a friendly match we played. We obviously had a hard week of training and it means we’ve been able to prep properly for the Villa game. Often, when there are really busy three game weeks, it reduces your prep time.

“As a team, we’re in a really good place going into the weekend and we all can’t wait.”

United manager Marc Skinner welcomed the opportunity for rest, insisting that it is the team that is responsible for nurturing momentum.


“It was probably a good moment to recharge, get everybody fresh and just make sure we’re competitive within the team because that’s the real driving factor for us,” Skinner explained.

“I’ve said this before, whether it’s a loss going into a break, or a win going into a break, it’s about us taking charge of momentum.”

As far as the game itself, United have won on both previous occasions they have played at Old Trafford – against West Ham in 2021 and Everton earlier in 2022 – and find familiarity that the pitch dimensions are actually the same as at usual home stadium Leigh Sports Village.

Even if the setting will obviously be different because of the much larger stands that surround the grass, it feeds into their preferred style of play and makes the transition smoother.


“We pride ourselves on keeping the ball and building our attacks. For us, at Old Trafford that will be vitally important,” Zelem went on to say.

“We know that Villa will try and catch us on the break and they’ve got a lot of attacking threats. We need to look at it like we’re playing at Leigh…it’s obviously a lot harder when there are so many more people and huge stands around you. It’s just another game for us and that’s how we’re taking it.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!

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