ProSoccerTalk’s Best XI from Week 22 in Major League Soccer includes two men who were big in Seattle’s showy 4-0 win Sunday over the defending champs:
FC Dallas Kevin Hartman
Rationale, motive and intent: Included in his Round 22-high six saves were a couple of real pieces of work as 10-man Dallas split the points in Portland.
Montreal’s Hassoun Camara
Chicago’s Austin Berry
Sporting Kanas City Seth Sinovic
Rationale, motive and intent: Camara is looking settled in his new right back spot for the Impact, where Alessandro Nesta is now the stability provider along the back line. Berry had the game-winner for Chicago and continues his outstanding rookie campaign. As for Sinovic: Saer Sene was big and bold a week before along New England’s right side, but SKC left back tamed the man Saturday, helping guide his side to a huge three points on the road.
Colorado’s Joseph Nane
D.C. United’s Nick DeLeon (pictured)
Houston’s Brad Davis
Seattle’s Mauro Rosales
Rationale, motive and intent: Nane didn’t just score a goal, he was a force in midfield in a match Colorado so desperately needed to win. Davis is a Team of the Week starter for the second consecutive week. DeLeon looked more like the spry rookie who took the league ROY race by the scruff of the neck in the spring, less like the poor young man who ran dead up against the proverbial rookie wall. Davis was his usual, dependable self as the Orange made fairly easy work of the New York Red Bulls down in Texas.
Seattle’s Eddie Johnson
Sporting Kansas City’s Teal Bunbury
Houston’s Mac Kandji
Rationale, motive and intent: Johnson started August as he finished July, with an important goal in a big win for his club. (He also set up two goals in a Player of the n a Week performance.) Kanji, lined up left in Houston’s 4-3-3, gave the New York defense everything it could handle down at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Premier League Preview: Swansea City vs. Liverpool
The hosts badly need to pick up points, though few expect them to do so on Monday. Skeptics, however, will note that Liverpool under Klopp has been giants against the top teams and often lackluster against the other sides.
What they’re saying
Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal on springing an upset: “I would prefer to be Goliath, I would rather be in his position. But during my career most of the time has been spent in the position of David, and we have been able to do some surprises as David. We have done it often, we are working to make more of them. I was kind of the Goliath when I was with Besiktas and Sporting Lisbon, but during those moments Goliath was a little ill.”
Liverpool’s Klopp on goalkeeper Loris Karius: “My favourite solution, always, is that we do it with our boys. They step up, they deliver, they improve. The problem they have is that everyone is watching them (through a magnifying glass) and saying ‘still not good enough!’ I will only mention one name. Everyone talks about him with us and that is Butland. I only saw the game (against Manchester United). Fantastic goalkeeper but was he perfect? No. He wasn’t in that game. But everyone says ‘still better than our boys!'”
It’s hard to see this going in Swans favor at all, though we’ll peg them to keep it close on the score board: 2-0 to Liverpool.
Newcastle United reportedly leads the pack for the former Chelsea scorer, who is struggling to get time at BVB thanks to a glut of fantastic wingers including Christian Pulisic.
Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has a good relationship with the Westfalenstadion set, having taken Mikel Merino off their hands in August. Newcastle currently uses Christian Atsu on the left wing and Matt Ritchie on the right, but Schurrle can play center forward and Benitez may prefer to use the 27-year-old in the middle of his trident.
But they’ll face competition, and HITC says BVB is willing to pay half of his wages on an 18-month deal to keep him reasonable for some clubs. This could be a boon for Spurs.
Newcastle and Stoke City have also been linked with Galatasaray midfielder Papa “Badou” Ndiaye, with the Magpies said to have bid just a bit higher than the Potters but still under Gala’s buyout clause.
And here’s a wild one, according to ESPN: Chelsea’s rumored pursuit of current Premier League scorers now includes Marko Arnautovic. The audacious Austrian attacker cost West Ham around $35 million when his head was turned from Stoke City in the summer.
He didn’t perform well but Slaven Bilic, but David Moyes has been able to get some fine performances from the powerful Arnautovic. Chelsea has previously been linked with West Ham teammate Andy Carroll, Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, and Stoke’s Peter Crouch as it attempts to find a center forward to ease the burden placed on Alvaro Morata in his first Premier League season.
Voted “the best right back” in Europe between 1962-64, the former England and Blackpool captain also had a successful management and broadcasting career.
Armfield was a member of the 1962 and 1966 World Cup squads, though a toe injury kept him from his place in the starting lineup when England won the tournament.
He spent his entire playing career with Blackpool before managing Bolton Wanderers to promotion and Leeds United to the European Cup Final, righting the ship after Brian Clough’s infamous spell in charge of the club.
There’s a statue outside Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, and the club legend has a stand named after him inside the venue.
While Zach’s night was certainly a memorable one for many reasons, it was Julie that arguably had the better performance — which included a goal in the 19th minute off of a close-range volley.
The USWNT had trailed through 14 minutes, but a combination of goals from Alex Morgan and Ertz in a span of two minutes quickly erased the deficit.
For Morgan, it was her 80th goal for the Stars and Stripes.
Meanwhile, a second-half brace from teenage sensation Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn’s finish with nine minutes to play proved to be the icing on the cake for Jill Ellis’ side, who kicked off 2018 with a bang.