Bruce Arena’s original Gold Cup roster fit the essence of the tournament itself, a B-list team for a B-list tournament, but still one with plenty of intriguing young talent. Following an uneven group stage, Arena’s six additions for the knockout stages included first-team veterans Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey. Bradley and Altidore were on hand last November for a 4-0 shellacking in Costa Rica, and Bradley and Dempsey played in the USA’s 2-1 defeat in the 2015 Gold Cup semifinals. Both losses came under Jurgen Klinsmann, and with the opportunity for redemption on the table, Arena was more aggressive with the roster changes than any other coach.
Manchester United beat Real Madrid 2-1 on penalty kicks after drawing with the reigning European champions 1-1 in normal time in Santa Clara, California. Jose Mourinho’s men took the lead right on half time as Anthony Martial‘s fine run down the left flank ended with a perfect ball to Jesse Lingard who finished easily. Real equalized through Casemiro’s penalty kick in the 69th minute which set up one of the worst penalty kick shootouts in memory with just three penalties scored from the 10 attempts in the International Champions Cup clash.
Initial word was that while the decision to have Kevin Owens reclaim the United States championship from AJ Styles came at the last minute, and despite a less-than-crisply executed finish, the Battleground title change was planned. Not so fast. Several sources are now raising doubt about that, starting with Twitter-er rovert, who posted this video clip of the end of the match - something WWE didn’t show on the Network broadcast or anywhere else since - and questioning the lack of reporting about whether this went to script, when his sources indicated it didn’t: Fightful followed up on rovert’s report, and found fans in the arena who said Styles wasn’t in the ring after the match to sell the loss,