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Loan Report: Mannone Named MLS Goalie Of The Year

The Italian’s top performances have earned him plenty of plaudits stateside.

SOCCER: AUG 27 US Open Cup Final - Minnesota United FC at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Vito Mannone’s loan deal at Minnesota United has come to an end, but he ended it in style by being voted MLS Keeper of the Year. This accolade definitely reflects on the excellent year the Italian has had between the sticks for Minnesota, and one would imagine that his manager, Adrian Heath, would be desperate to get the keeper back.

However, he will be having mixed emotions this week. On Monday, his Minnesota United side lost 2-1 to LA Galaxy in the first round of the MLS playoffs. All three goals in the game came in the final twenty minutes, but two in four minutes from LA Galaxy were enough to see out the game, despite the Loons grabbing a lifeline with three minutes to go. Mannone will be disappointed that he didn’t save one of his better performances for the playoffs.

Sam Smith will be disappointed that he didn’t manage to get himself on the scoresheet this past week, especially considering Cambridge beat Exeter City 4-0. Smith started the game and had plenty of chances but couldn’t convert in a dominant display. The youngster did manage to grab an assist in a good performance from the loanee, and with the game wrapped up, he was brought off with just over five minutes to go.

Colin Calderwood will be wishing his side could have made it two wins from two in midweek against Grimsby, enjoying 72% of possession and more efforts on goal, but couldn’t find the breakthrough in a game that finished 0-0. Smith once again started the game but had a pretty poor game by his current standards, missing a first half penalty in the process and was brought off with quarter of an hour to go.

Reading legend Phil Parkinson was recently appointed the new Sunderland manager, and he has endured a mixed start to life at the Stadium of Light. His first game in charge was against high-flying Wycombe. In a tightly contested game, Gareth Ainsworth’s side came away with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal just before the half hour. Marc McNulty was brought on with twenty minutes to go in an effort to grab an equaliser but it wasn’t to be for Parky in his first game in charge.

His first home game in charge was much more successful as Sunderland dispatched Tranmere 5-0. Five goals by five different goalscorers but McNulty will be disappointed one of them wasn’t him. Starting once again on the bench, McNulty came on ten minutes into the second half and grabbed an assist in a performance that will please the manager and the fans who have endured a tough time recently. This Sunderland fan was certainly impressed by Marc McNulty’s performance.

An international break brought no change of fortune for Modou Barrow’s Denizlispor as their poor run of form continues. No wins in six in the league, and sliding quickly down the table after an impressive start to the season, has brought the newly promoted side down to earth with a bump.

Last Sunday saw Denizlispor host Turkish giants Fenerbahce, with the visitors picking up a 2-1 win. Barrow started the game and was a good outlet for his team in an effort to draw level, with his team mates giving him the ball often to try and make something happen. With Denizlispor chasing the game however, Barrow was replaced with five minutes to go.

Atletico Baleares extended their lead at the top of the Segunda Division B Group 1 table thanks to a 1-0 win away at then 2nd place Ibiza. The only goal of the game came ten minutes into the second half and this sealed the win for the visitors. Jordan Holsgrove started the game for the league leaders but was brought off at half time.

The revival of Steaua Bucharest continues as they picked up a 2-1 win away from home, coming from behind to beat Chindia Targoviste. The home side took the lead just before the quarter of an hour mark, but Steaua drew level after half an hour through an own goal. Adrian Popa didn’t start the game but was brought on at half time and he proved a vital difference, grabbing the assist for the Steaua’s second goal, which proved to be the match winner. This result sees Bucharest just one point off the top six.

Two games in five days saw Coventry claim an impressive four points against two good sides in League One, in MK Dons and Fleetwood. A 0-0 away at MK Dons on the Saturday, followed by a 2-1 win at home to Fleetwood on Wednesday made it a good week for Mark Robins’ side. Tennai Watson was an unused sub in both games.

What’s that saying about waiting for buses? KSV Roeselare picked up their first win of the season last time out at the eleventh time of asking, and last Saturday they grabbed their second win in succession, an impressive 3-0 win against Union Saint-Gilloise. With all three goals in the second half, this result sees Roeselare move off the bottom of the table. Despite making his debut in the last game, Tom Holmes was an unused sub in this game.

In a return to SPL action after the international break, Hamilton hosted Hibs with the game ending in a 1-1 draw. Hamilton had to rely on a penalty to get themselves a point, and would have been disappointed with this result, with Hibs below them in the table. Luke Southwood was an unused sub in this game.