USMNT Looks Ahead to Costa Rica After Mexico Loss

Nov 14, 2016 by Alex Baker

The era of “dos a cero” was brought to a close on Friday night, as the United States men’s national team lost 2-1 to Mexico at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus had until now been something of a stronghold for the U.S. who had won the previous four matches there against Mexico by a scoreline of 2-0, or dos a cero.

U.S.A. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has since come under heavy criticism for Friday night’s loss. The German tactician, who has been in charge of the USMNT since 2011, got creative with his lineup, sending his team out in a 3-5-2, as opposed to the 4-4-2 most were expecting.

While the formation gave the Yanks more bodies in midfield to better transition from attack to defense and clog the... Read More

USMNT Meets Mexico in Crucial WC Qualifier

Nov 11, 2016 by Alex Baker

The United States men’s national team resumes its World Cup qualifying campaign with a meeting with Mexico in Columbus, Ohio Friday. Columbus has typically proved a happy hunting ground for the U.S. with the Yanks having won four consecutive meetings with El Tri at Mapfre Stadium by a scoreline of “dos a cero,” or 2-0.

But Jurgen Klinsmann’s team will have its hands full this time as it lines up against a stacked Mexico squad. His counterpart Juan Carlos Osorio has pulled out all the stops, calling up a high-powered squad led by the likes of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Giovani Dos Santos, and in-form striker Carlos Vela.

Klinsmann too has called up just about the strongest squad available to him including teenage Borussia Dortmund sensation Christian Pulisic, Toronto FC duo... Read More

Games to Watch in Final Round of 2016 Euro WC Qualifiers

Nov 09, 2016 by Alex Baker

The UEFA region’s final round of World Cup qualifying for 2016 gets underway this weekend. The continent’s top teams will look to consolidate their positions in their respective groups before qualifying resumes next March. Here is a look ahead to some of this weekend’s key matches.

France vs. Sweden

Euro 2016 finalists France will host Sweden in World Cup qualifying on Friday. Led by attacker Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Paul Pogba, Les Bleus boast one of the most talented squads in Europe and will be favorites at home against a Sweden side still struggling for identity in the post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic era.

Marcel Deschamps’ side has won two out of three of its last three qualifiers and sits atop Group A. Deschamps is dealing with some injuries in the defense department,... Read More

Five Things We Learned from the Euro World Cup Qualifiers

Oct 12, 2016 by Alex Baker

The international break has drawn to a close and European club soccer mercifully resumes this weekend. But before we play it forward into the weekend’s league action, let’s take a look back at what we learned about the continent’s big guns from the latest round of UEFA World Cup qualifiers.

Costa Finally Clicking with Spain

Dropped by former manager Vicente del Bosque after his disastrous World Cup campaign, striker Diego Costa has been restored the Spanish lineup by new manager Julian Lopetegui and the Chelsea striker has been impactful. Costa stored twice last month against Lichtenstein and played 67 minutes in last week’s 1-1 draw with Italy.

But he came up big time on Monday against Albania, opening the scoring in what proved a 2-0 win that saw Spain... Read More

USMNT Rotates Lineup Ahead of New Zealand Friendly

Oct 09, 2016 by Alex Baker

Jurgen Klinsmann has introduced major rotations for the United States men’s national team’s upcoming friendly with New Zealand on Tuesday. Six starters and a total of nine players who were in the squad for Friday’s 2-0 win over Cuba have been allowed to return to their club teams.

A group of the team’s European-based players formed the core of the departing group with John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Bobby Wood (Hamburg), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Ethan Horvath (Molde) all rejoining their European teams.

Julian Green (Bayern Munich) and Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian) have remained with the squad. Major League Soccer’s Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) and Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) have also left to rejoin their teams.

Klinsmann has called up... Read More

Italy Host Spain in World Cup Qualifying

Oct 04, 2016 by Alex Baker

European heavyweights Italy and Spain will clash at Juventus Stadium on Thursday as World Cup qualifying for the UEFA region gets back underway.

Italy ran out 2-0 winners the last time these two faced off in the round of 16 at the European Championships last summer. That was the first time in over four years the Azzurri had managed a win against Spain.

Going into Thursday’s clash there’s a sense that these nations are both in different stages of the rebuilding process. Italy’s golden generation, which won the World Cup in 2006, have largely moved on. But Antonio Conte’s youngish Italy team was one of the surprise packages of Euro 2016.

Conte has of course gone on to Chelsea. But his successor Giampiero Ventura carried on Conte’s good, work... Read More

European World Cup Qualifiers this Weekend

Sep 02, 2016 by Alex Baker

UEFA World Cup qualifiers are back underway on Sunday and Monday as the continent’s best get back on the road to Russia 2018.

Here are three must-see matches to catch over the three-day weekend.

Slovakia vs. England

Sam Allardyce’s first competitive fixture in charge of England will see the Three Lions taking on Slovakia Saturday. These two teams actually met at Euro 2016 earlier this summer in a group stage encounter that ended in a scoreless draw.

This time around, Allardyce will be looking for more production out of his squad, particularly in the goals department, as he looks to get his career as England manager off on the right foot. That could mean a start for Raheem Sterling who has started the Premier League season off in... Read More

U.S. Resume World Cup Qualifying Against St. Vincent

Aug 31, 2016 by Alex Baker

The United States Men’s National Team will be back in action Friday as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side faces St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Due to a combination of injuries and other factors, Klinsmann is using the clash with the small Caribbean nation –- which on paper should be a walkover -– to try out some different players in his squad.

Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes are both injured and will miss Friday’s game as well as Tuesday’s clash with Trinidad and Tobago. Meanwhile, Michael Bradley is suspended for Friday’s game and Jermaine Jones hasn’t played since July due to injury. Jon Brooks has been left out of the team so he can get his Bundesliga campaign with Hertha Berlin underway.

Brooks’... Read More

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