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The best goals of MLS week 34

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The 2022 Major League Soccer campaign has officially come to a close. Sunday’s Decision Day action marked the last of the regular-season fun, making way for the highly anticipated playoffs.

Clubs battled for the last ticket into the postseason, seeing players give it all on the attack and provide some stunning strikes.

Here’s all the great Decision Day goals you missed…

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To start, we have a rookie! Kristian Fletcher marked his Major League Soccer debut with a goal in D.C. United’s last game of the season.

The player connected with teammate José Antonio Alfaro Vázquez, before receiving it on the left and sending it to the opposite corner of the net. Though the Black & Red did not qualify for playoffs, the two goals gave fans something to cheer about until they return to action in 2023.

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We just had to have one last regular-season goal from Chicharito!

The player’s first half goal doubled the tally for the Galaxy, inspiring the 3-1 victory to secure the Western Conference’s fourth place slot. The team will now host Nashville SC at Dignity Health Sports Park, securing the edge in the fight to reach the Conference semifinals.

Elias Manoel was unstoppable against Charlotte. The player scored twice, in the eighth minute and in the second half, securing the three points. But it’s his second goal of the game that earns his a spot on this list, connecting with Frankie Amaya to find the back of the net in a stunning manner.

The Red Bulls’ 2-0 victory over Charlotte FC established their fourth place spot on the Eastern Conference table, securing a home match during the playoffs. Now, the team will host FC Cincinnati at Red Bull Arena.

Another LA Galaxy goal, by none other than Riqui Piug. The recent signing has proven to be quite valuable for the Western Conference giants, helping them reach fourth in the West and make the playoffs.

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His goal equalized the game against the Dynamo, giving the Galaxy the necessary boost of energy to finish off the game and end the regular season on a high note before preparing for the playoffs.

And at number one, we have Dylan Borrero.

The player scored a stunning goal for the Revolution, curling the right-footed shot into the upper, left corner. Chicago Fire goalkeeper Chris Brady attempted the save, but there was no stopping his strike.

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Though the Revolution failed to make the postseason, concluding in 10th place on the Eastern Conference table, the draw against Chicago paves the way for 2023.





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

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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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Club Leon appoint Nicolas Larcamon as new head coach

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Club Leon has appointed Nicolas Larcamon as the new head coach, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He replaces Renato Paiva, who announced his departure just days ago.

Larcamon now joins after serving as head of Puebla for two years, where he managed a record of 27W-21L-32D in 80 Liga MX games total. During the 2022 Liga MX Apertura, Larcamon inspired Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarter-finals before falling to Club America. 

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He announced his resignation from Puebla shortly after being eliminated from the Liguilla, claiming the team needed ‘renewed energy’.

“The truth is that the decision is mine, obviously that the perspectives of what is coming for the team at all levels are taken into account a little, which is going to be very challenging,” he said to TUDN.

”That is why I understood it very fair to give the place to someone with renewed energy, with maximum motivation, the institution deserves it. There were four tournaments of great intensity, demands, where we were always at our best, and the decision had more to do with these issues. There was a lot of speculation, it coincided with Piojo in Tigres, but it has nothing to do with it. it was a decision made days before and we were only in negotiations.”

He will now take on new challenges with Club Leon. 

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The team concluded the 2022 Apertura in 10th place, qualifying to the Liguilla playoff match before losing 1-0 to Cruz Azul. 

Leon kicks off the 2023 Clausura on January 6, against Mazatlan.

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Ben White leaves England World Cup squad due to ‘personal reasons’

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Arsenal star Ben White has left England’s World Cup training camp and isn’t expected to return for the remainder of the tournament.

The defender didn’t make an appearance in any of the Three Lions group stage games, and has now left the squad due to ‘personal reasons’.

In a statement released by England, the Three Lions confirmed the news: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.

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Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

White has enjoyed a fantastic domestic season with Arsenal, becoming the club’s first choice right-back – and one of the best right-backs in the Premier League – as the Gunners have gone from top four challengers to table-toppers.

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