CHIVAS USA: In all honesty, there are a few things to like for Robin Fraser’s Goats, even in Saturday’s game, one dragged down by soggy conditions. The defense and possession was better – but there’s no getting around two consecutive shutouts at home. They need a win. Or at very least a doggone goal, if only to help temporarily allay those growing attendance concerns.
Panic quotient: small backyard grass fire
NEW YORK RED BULLS: Only in New York or Los Angeles would two road losses to quality sides raise such a ruckus. But these are the Red Bulls, and history says if any Major League Soccer club can take a whole bunch of talent and manage, somehow, against all odds, to mangle it into mediocrity, it’s this one. Hence, Hans Backe’s team appears on the debut ProSoccerTalk MLS Panic Quotient (®). Wilman Conde’s return to the back line could help, although Temmu Tainio’s ankle injury and potential midfield absence pushes the PQ slightly higher, because this week’s home opener against Colorado is a “gotta have.”
Panic quotient: Oxygen masks falling in the main cabin; captain says “just a precaution.”
PHILADELPHIA UNION: Peter Nowak’s “worry list” is growing by the day. His young goalkeeper’s confidence must be at low ebb. His veteran center back, Danny Califf, can’t figure out why he was left out of last week’s lineup, a troubling situation, indeed. (And Califf keeps looking for that knee injury Nowak insists the center back has.) The Union just lost a rare home match, and now talented right back Sheanon Williams has been summoned to the Olympic qualifying effort. That’s all against the backdrop of a smoldering angst over Sebastien Le Toux’s unpopular trade and further fan acrimony over Roger Torres’ limited role. Besides all that, things look completely hunky-dory around PPL Park.
Panic quotient: “Your test results are in. The doctor would like to see you immediately.”
Tottenham Hotspur’s thin hopes of winning the Premier League demand all three points from its visit to Chelsea on Monday (Watch live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).
Spurs are eight points behind Leicester City, and a loss or draw makes the Foxes the 2015-16 champions.
[ MORE: Burnley clinches promotion to the Premier League ]
Reigning champion Chelsea, in an odd twist, can play the spoiler for either its London neighbors or the fairytale Foxes.
Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro; Diego Costa. Subs: Amelia, Baba, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Hazard, Traore.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Davies, Wimmer, Carroll, Chadli, Mason, Clinton.
Sam Vokes‘ 61st minute header has Burnley back in the Premier League at the first time of asking, and there’s only one way to describe it.
[ MORE: Bobby Wood to Hamburg for $4 million? ]
Burnley clinched automatic promotion thanks to its 1-0 win over QPR and Brighton’s draw earlier in the day. With Brighton facing Middlesbrough this weekend, only one could pass Burnley in points.
Take away the math, though, and Burnley is flying off the emotion of the 1-0 win.
From the BBC:
“It’s magic, it’s a great feeling. You could feel the anticipation around the place when we kicked off. We knew what we had to do after the Brighton result earlier. Magic scenes here today. Getting that goal sparked relief around the place. I missed a lot of the Premier League last season but hopefully I’ll get another chance next season.”
And here’s Sean Dyche, classically stoic in the face of extreme emotion:
“That was well off our performance level but the result was all that mattered today. The resilience, belief and character got us through. You can’t be brilliant every week, we don’t think we’re the real deal, but we’re a real group that sticks together.”
If you don’t know much about Burnley, we suggest Joe Posnanski’s SportsWorld piece from last season’s Premier League campaign.
Congrats to the Clarets.
One claret and blue team has been relegated from the Premier League, but another is taking its place.
Sam Vokes did not score in 15 Premier League appearances last year with Burnley, but his goal on Monday boosted the Clarets back into England’s top flight.
[ MORE: Bobby Wood to Hamburg for $4 million? ]
Vokes, 26, headed home in the second half to give Burnley a 1-0 lead over Queens Park Rangers, and the Clarets held on to make sure their absence from the Premier League was a mere season long.
The win gives Burnley 90 points with one match to play. With Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion sitting on 88 points and playing each other on the final day of the season, only one winner can pass the Clarets.
There seems to be growing interest in USMNT striker Bobby Wood, who is having a sensational season for Union Berlin in 2.Bundesliga.
Linked with Liverpool in March, Wood is now said to be desired by Hamburg in Germany’s top flight.
[ MORE: Klinsmann calls up 40 for Copa America camp ]
Hamburg’s strike corps consists of young target forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga, ‘Gladbach loanee Josip Drmic and veteran Ivica Olic.
Bild.de says the fee is around $4 million, but that the club has yet to begin discussing terms with Union.
Wood has 17 goals and 3 assists in league play this season, and has also become a mainstay with the U.S. team under Jurgen Klinsmann.
[ MORE: Timbers striker wanted by Palace, St. Etienne ]
Union Berlin is sixth in 2.Bundesliga, while Hamburg is 11th in Bundesliga.
Fellow USMNT striker Aron Johannsson has faced a long injury lay-off with Werder Bremen, while a similar situation has faced Terrence Boyd. The latter is with Red Bull Leipzig and is set for a promotion to the Bundesliga barring extreme unlikelihood over the final few weeks.