Oranje in Bern

Oranje in Bern: random Euro Championship video of the day

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Euro 2012 starts June 8 – and it can’t get here fast enough.

To set the mood, we’ll put up a video each day between then and now. Great goal. Great team. Great fans. Great Euro greatness. That kind of thing.

This one is from Bern, an absolutely gorgeous Swiss town that hosted games in the 2008 European Championship.

I happened to be in Switzerland then (as a fan, not a journo). And I descended one day into the madness that became Bern of Oranje. That is, some 40,000 Dutch fans took the city by orange storm. It really was quite something, as the town isn’t that large, and the tranquil city center is quite a compact space, just a few city blocks bordered by water and bridges.

Good tickets could be had for that day’s France-Holland biggie – for the low, low rate of about $1,200 for a single. I believe that’s what you call a “seller’s market.”

An American scalper told me, “Eh, just hold off for the next Dutch game. Tickets will be going for about 100 bucks.”

So my friends and I did just that. And we watched on the big screens of the city center, posting up to protect our share of the endangered beer supply in a brilliant sea of sweaty, funny-hat-wearing, festive Dutchmen. Brilliant stuff … the perfect example of how Euro rocks, in large part because of proximity and how many supporters show up, never mind if they ever get into a game or not.

The video is in Dutch. Then again, I’m guessing that most readers aren’t that interested in what Helene Hendriks, the young, blonde broadcaster, is saying. The pictures (not just of Hendriks, but all of them) are the thing. Enjoy:

(Oh, and to that lovely Swiss woman who helped us wiggle out of a tricky spot, whom we  rewarded with beers and riveting conversation: I do not, in fact, own three mountain chalets near Montreaux. Nor a small chain of fried chicken restaurants in Geneva. I am sorry.)


Everton’s John Stones out of England squad with injury

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: John Stones of Everton clears during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on September 12, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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John Stones has been ruled out of England’s upcoming EURO qualifiers after suffering a knee injury while playing for Everton.

The 21-year-old center-back has missed Everton’s last two Premier League matches, and was unable to recover in time for England’s qualifiers this weekend.

Manager Roy Hodgson has called in Tottenham’s Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker as replacements for the absent Stones.

[ REPORTS: Klopp, Liverpool making quick progress ]

England has already qualified for EURO 2016 with a perfect record in Group E, winning all eight of their matches. With upcoming games against Estonia and Lithuania, Hodgson has said he will experiment a bit with some new players, which lessens the impact of Stones’ injury.

Despite the match being meaningless in terms of a result, players will still be eager to impress the manager in an effort to lock up a spot on the final roster for the tournament in June.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw is out for an extended period of time after breaking his leg in the Champions League, while Everton’s Leighton Baines hasn’t played since August after undergoing ankle surgery.

[ RELATED: Samir Nasri rules out a return to France squad, hints at MLS move ]

Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand has been recalled to the side, and said he will try to grab the left-back position “by the scruff of the neck.”

Liverpool’s Danny Ings was given his first call-up and Swansea City’s Jonjo Shelvey returns to the fold, although both players missed training with injuries and their status moving forward is uncertain.

Landon Donovan: Klinsmann should be fired if USMNT loses to Mexico

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States looks on before playing Peru during an international friendly at RFK Stadium on September 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Landon Donovan and Jurgen Klinsmann haven’t had the rosiest of relationships.

Since being left off of the 2014 World Cup roster and retiring from the game, Donovan has often been critical of Klinsmann and his tenure with the USMNT.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Ahead of Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against Mexico, Donovan said he believes Klinsmann should be fired if the United States loses.

Speaking to ESPN FC:

Around the world, if a player plays poorly and a player has a bad string of results, they get dropped from the team.

Jurgen said many times he wants our players to feel pressure — so if they lose a game they can’t go to the grocery store the next day. If they lose a game, they are getting hammered in the press.

Well, the same holds true for the coach, and so we had a very poor summer with bad results in the Gold Cup. The last game against Brazil was probably the worst game I’ve seen them play under Jurgen.

The reality is that now, anywhere else in the world, if this coach had those results, and they lose this game against Mexico, they’d be fired.

I think if Jurgen wants to hold all the players to that standard, then he has to be held to that standard too.

Heading into the Gold Cup this summer on the heels of some great wins over the Netherlands and Germany, the United States’ performance was wildly disappointing, losing in the semifinals to Jamaica and finishing in fourth place.

[ RELATED: Top moments from USMNT vs. Mexico ]

President of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati has shown great faith in Klinsmann, giving him a contract until 2018 as both manager and technical director of the program. However, pressure has been building after a string of poor results.

For Klinsmann, this is arguably his biggest match in charge of the USMNT. Not only does it have implications for the Confederations Cup in 2017, but it is also against Mexico, which always puts added pressure on a manager. If the U.S. loses, more people than Donovan will be calling for a change.