Who is Gabriel Slonina? 'Gaga' signs for Chelsea over Real Madrid after USMNT commitment over Poland
18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina could be one to watch in the near future for the U.S. national team after affirming his commitment, while making a major club move shortly after as well.But the future could be now for Slonina on the international scene, and the USMNT faced a battle to keep one of its brightest young stars.
It was reported in early June that Spanish giants Real Madrid had a bid rejected for Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina, who pledged his international future to the United States Men's National Team even though Poland, the birth country of his parents, were also interested in landing his services. © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Chicago Fire FC goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina
A different team has swooped in and met Chicago's asking price.
Per an ESPN piece, English Premier League club Chelsea signed Slonina for a reported base fee of $10 million. Add-ons could increase the fee to $15 million when all is said and done, and Chicago will receive a percentage of any future transfer fee Chelsea earn from selling the 18-year-old. Additionally, Slonina signed a six-year contract with the Blues but will remain with the Fire through the rest of the Major League Soccer season and then join Chelsea on Jan. 1 of next year.
Arsenal vs Chelsea result: Gabriel Jesus scores again in dominant derby display
Arsenal put forth another stellar preseason display with a 4-0 dismantling of London rivals Chelsea in front of a record crowd in Orlando. Four different scorers found the back of the net for the Gunners, while it's back to the drawing board for Thomas Tuchel.The Gunners were all over Chelsea from the opening whistle with aggressive and direct play and the tone was set by center forward Gabriel Jesus who scored the opening goal after Chelsea were turned over in their own half. A similar quick-fire move led to Martin Odegaard's strike as Arsenal entered halftime up 2-0.
Previously, Slonina was also linked with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton. In total, he has thus far made 34 appearances for the Fire and kept 14 clean sheets.
"I joined this club with ambitions of playing at the highest level and it’s been a dream come true to wear the Chicago Fire jersey," Slonina said in a statement shared by Jonathan Sigal of the MLS website. "This club has become my second home, my second family, and there are so many people that have played a big role in helping me get to where I am today. I’m so thankful for all the support that I’ve received from my family, coaches, teammates, and everyone associated with the club. It’s been an incredible honor to work alongside each one of you.
"To the fans, I want to thank you all for supporting a local boy from Addison. You have inspired me to work my hardest day in and day out. I promise that I will continue to give everything in these final 11 games to help get us back into the playoffs and compete for a championship."
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Related slideshow: The best fictional sports books (Provided by Yardbarker)
The best fictional sports books
Sports are full of drama, intensity and sometimes moments of comedy. They don’t need to be fictionalized to tell great stories, but off course, they can be. There have been a ton of great sports movies, but don’t forget about the written word. People tend to focus on the non-fictions sports books, but there are plenty of fiction tomes on the shelves as well. Here are some of our favorite fictional sports books.
'The Art of Fielding'
A lot of sports novels are of the light, beach-reading variety. They are for kids or written by the likes of John Grisham. “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach, though, was a well-received work of literature. Harbach’s debut novel tells the story of Henry Skrimshander, a young, promising shortstop playing college baseball. It’s coming of age meets sports.
'A Fan's Notes'
Frederick Exley dubbed his novel “a fictional memoir,” and it is labeled as fiction. The book, which was released in 1968, is a riff on Exley’s life growing up as a sports fan in the 1950s. It’s a dark story at times, viewing sports fandom through a critical lens of toxicity. To this day, “A Fan’s Notes” has a cult following.
'North Dallas Forty'
Peter Gent played basketball in college, and then, like Antonio Gates many years later, Gent jumped to the NFL, even though he never played college football. Gent played for the Cowboys from 1964-1968, but the story gets even better for him from there. After he retired, Gent wrote his debut novel, which was “North Dallas Forty.” The book was then turned into a successful movie starring Nick Nolte. Not too shabby.
'The Great American Novel'
Talk about a bold name for a book. You can pull this bit of ironic titling when you’re Philip Roth, who is actually a legendary novelist. Did you know he wrote a novel about sports? He did indeed, in 1973. “The Great American Novel” is about the Patriot League, an imagined baseball league that has been overrun by communists.
Leonard Gardner wrote only one novel, but he made a mark with it. “Fat City” tells the story of down-and-out boxers trying to make ends meet in Stockton, California. It’s considered one of the most-famed novels about boxing and was turned into a film directed by none other than John Huston.
'The Universal Baseball Association Inc., J. Henry Waugh Prop.'
The title is a bit of a mouthful, and the plot of the book could also be considered a turnoff for many. After all, the action revolves around an imaginary baseball game created by the titular Waugh. And yet the book perseveres as a classic. Many consider it the best book about baseball ever. The novel is considered a dark comedy, as Waugh watches his imaginary, and real world, begin to fall apart.
'You Know Me Al'
Ring Lardner is one of the most famous sportswriters ever. He was even a character in “Eight Men Out” and got namedropped in “The Catcher in the Rye.” Lardner also wrote one of the first sports novels way back in 1916. “You Know Me Al” is an epistolary novel, which means it consists of a series of letters, primarily written by baseball pitcher Jack Keefe to his friend from his hometown, Al Blanchard.
'Red or Dead'
At 736 pages, David Peace’s “Red of Dead” is a bit of a doorstop. It’s also considered maybe the best novel about soccer ever written. The book is a fictional account of legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly’s time with the Reds. British soccer fans loved it, and it also got shortlisted for England’s Goldsmiths Prize.
'Bang the Drum Slowly'
Mark Harris wrote four novels about the pitcher Henry Wiggen, of which “Bang the Drum Slowly” is second. It’s also considered to be the best of the bunch. Sports Illustrated named it one of the 100 best sports books ever, and it was also turned into a movie starring Robert De Niro. You can check out the full four-book story if you like, but if you have time for only one, “Bang the Drum Slowly” is the choice.
This is one of the most recent novels on the list, but “Stephen Florida” got a lot of positive reviews when it came out in 2017. It’s considered one of those books that are “about sports” but is really just a work of literary fiction within the realm of sports. “Stephen Florida” is a dark tome about college wrestling, and the title character can be a lot for some to handle.
How about a little hockey in the mix? Fredrik Backman’s New York Times bestseller got a lot of comparisons to “Friday Night Lights,” as it also focuses on youth sports in a small town. Beartown is a small community struggling, but its junior hockey team has found a lot of success. Can the team handle the pressure of representing an entire town? It’s a classic sports story but also a story of community.
'The Throwback Special'
Every fall, a group of 22 men reunite to intricately recreate the play where Washington quarterback Joe Theismann had his leg broken. Chris Bachelder’s novel delves into the lives of these men, what’s going on in their lives and what drives them to come together every year to recreate the infamous moment when Theismann’s leg snapped.
'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk'
It’s a mild stretch to include “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” in a list of sports novels, but it still is close enough to fit. Largely, it’s a satirical war novel, but the events of the story all take place as Lynn, a veteran, is preparing to take part in the Dallas Cowboys’ halftime show on Thanksgiving as a lauded member of the military. While the book was well received, the Ang Lee adaptation film seemed to just come and go without making a big splash.
You probably know this story better by the name used for the movie based on the book, “Field of Dreams.” While some deride that movie as maudlin, a lot of people love it, so it seemed only fair to include “Shoeless Joe” on this list of sports novels. W.P. Kinsella’s magical realist story features a farmer who…well, you’ve seen the movie. You know the story. The only difference is that the book features J.D. Salinger as the reclusive author.
The best Ryder Cup players of all time .
After being postponed in 2020, the Ryder Cup is back and ready to thrill at Wisconsin's Whistling Straits. The world's best golfers from the United States and Europe will be on hand.