Aldershot Town v Rotherham United - FA Cup Third Round

FA Cup Roundup: The other 25 Saturday games

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I’ll admit at the onset, I didn’t watch any of these games (only saw a bunch of clips). However, good guy that I pretend to be in public, I’m going to try and point you in the right direction. And newsflash: Nobody has watched all these games (yet).

Besides, as you’re flipping through PST and reading about other results, you might want to know what else happened during the FA Cup’s third round.

The four we’ve covered:

For the day’s other results, feel free to add your analysis in the comments. Here, however, is a brief rundown:

Crystal Palace 0-0 Stoke City – With the January window open, all Palace news will be about Wilfried Zaha, the 20-year-old attacker and rumored target of various Premier League giants. He played 55 minutes, drew some raves, but was unable to break the deadlock. For that matter, neither was Michael Owen, who got the start for Stoke. Palace manager Ian Holloway: “I wanted a win or a loss.” [more]

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Bournemouth – A bit of an embarrassing result for Wigan, who needed a second half goal from Jordi Gomez to draw at home with third-tier side. For Bournemouth, the result continues the club’s resurgence (unbeaten in 17) since manager Eddie Howe returned from Burnley. [more]

Fulham 1-1 Blackpool – Like Wigan, Fulham needed a late goal to earn a replay a against visiting a lower-level side. Blackpool capitulated in the 80th minute to Giorgos Karagounis and are left the try their luck at home. [more]

Aston Villa 2-1 Ipswich Town – Michael Chopra gave Villa a scare before Darren Bent (against his old club) and Andreas Wiemann dismissed the Championship side. [more]

Charlton Athletic 0-1 Huddlersfield Town – The Addicks fall after former Everton striker Jermaine Beckford’s early goal holds up, Charlton playing the match’s final 34 minutes with 10 men. [more]

Macclesfield Town 2-1 Cardiff City – The day’s token “magic of the Cup” game. Cardiff, leading the Championship, falls after Matthew Barnes Homer scored twice in the last seven minutes of regulation time, sending the non-league side through. [more]

Barnsley 1-0 Burnley – It took the home side 50 minutes to take advantage of their 10-man guests, but Danny Rose’s 85th minute winner wins the battle of Championship clubs. [more]

Manchester City 3-0 Watford – As competitive as you’d expected. City where up two at half and were able to get 17-year-old Marcos Lopes a second half, debut goal. Carlos Tévez and Gareth Barry also got on the scoresheet. [more]

Leicester City 2-0 Burton Albion – Two tiers and two goals separated the Foxes from Albion, with Chris Wood and Richie De Laet pushing the Championship side through. [more]

Millwall 1-0 Preston North End – Liam Feeney’s first half score sent the Championship site into the fourth round, past one of David Beckham’s former clubs. [more]

Derby County 5-0 Tranmere Rovers – An easy day at Pride Park for the second-tier Rams, getting four second half goals to send the American-owned club past League One’s Rovers. [more]

Crawley Town 1-3 Reading – Adam La Fondre struck twice, once from the spot, for the Royals, with three goals by the 49th minute helping to turn around Nicky Adams’ first minute opener. [more]

Aldershot Town 3-1 Rotterdam United – Aldershot’s Danny Hylton (pictured) scored three times before being red carded in the 84th minute. Not quite a Gordie Howe hat trick, but a noteworthy night nonetheless. [more]

Middlesbrough 4-1 Hastings United – That Hastings, a seventh-tier side, made it this far was the story. The result, however, was predictable. Merouane Zemmama scored twice for Boro. [more]

Oxford United 0-3 Sheffield United – As the Yorkshire Post tells us, Sheffield United is now the lowest-ranked Yorkshire club still alive in the FA Cup. A goal from Dave Kitson helped the League One side survive. [more]

Queens Park Rangers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion – Like Ian Holloway, Harry Redknapp can’t relish this result. His club has more pressing considerations than a third round replay in the Midlands. Kieron Dyer’s stoppage time goal, however, forced the replay for Rangers. [more]

Peterborough United 0-3 Norwich City – Chris Houghton’s team had an easy time at London Road as Elliott Bennett, Simeon Jackson, and Robert Snodgrass goals see off the struggling Championship side. [more]

Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Sunderland – The Black Cats needed goals from Connor Wickham and Craig Gardner to avoid an upset at the regrouping Trotters, who jumped out early thanks to Lee Chung-Yong and Marvin Sordell. Martin O’Neill, typically successful in cup competitions, will get another crack at the second-tier club.  [more]

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Oldham Athletic – As if Forest fans didn’t already have reason to rue the Alex McLeish era, the team loses at home to a League One club in the cup. Danny Collins’ 59th minute dismissal set the stage for Forest’s failure. [more]

Hull City 1-1 Leyton Orient – Steve Bruce’s team needed a stoppage time goal from Nick Proschwitz to salvage a result. The Tigers have been surging in the Championship, but the home draw to a third-tier team is one of the more disappointing results (and per the report, performances) since Bruce came on board. [more]

Leeds United 1-1 Birmingham City – In a tie between two clubs that might be too big for the Championship (if such a distinction exists), Luciano Becchio’s goal on the hour sent the match back to St. Andrews. [more]

Southend United 2-2 Brentford – Two headers from Barry Corr reversed a two-goal deficit for Southend, the League Two side sending salvaging a replay. [more]

Luton Two 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Alex Lawless’s goal just after halftime ended up costing Stale Solbakken his job, the Wolves coach dismissed after losing at the non-league club. [more]

Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Milton Keys Dons – Nothing. Seriously. Read the match report. The word “uninspiring” is in the first sentence. [more]

3 things we learned from the USMNT win over Canada

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - NOVEMBER 17: Jermaine Jones #13 keeps the ball in play during a World Cup Qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and USA as part of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018 at Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 17, 2015 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen Getty Images)
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The United States played to a disjointed and sloppy win over Canada to wrap up January camp. It was promising at times, but mostly a cringe-worthy display by both sides. Here are the key notes from the 90 minutes at StubHub Center in California.

1) Jermaine Jones should never play CB again

Look, this probably wasn’t ever the plan, and it probably never is. It’s the “break glass in case of emergency” option. With Matt Miazga likely supposed to start one or both these games before he left for Chelsea, and the departure of Michael Orozco and Brad Evans, the U.S. was thin at the back.

Still. Yikes…

Jones was flat out awful. Just days after he played well in a midfield distribution position against Iceland, he was a total mess at the back. Jones was miserable on the ball, giving it away with ugly touches, he lunged in on challenges including one on Cyle Larin early that very well could have resulted in a Canadian penalty. And he charged forward – something a central defender can never do – leaving his teammates caught out at the back. This ended with Matt Besler getting a yellow card:

Please, Jurgen. Never again.

2) Jordan Morris is developing into a useful player

In his first cap since signing a professional contract with the Seattle Sounders, Morris gave his critics much to think on. Many said the 21-year-old would come and go without much staying power, but he partnered well with Jozy Altidore. There wasn’t much service up front during his time on the field, but when there was, Morris drew defenders off Altidore, and he provided a solid foil to his bigger partner with his speed and precision. He didn’t have many opportunities, but when he did, he made his presence known.

3) Playing players out of position very rarely bears fruit

Soccer coaches often have two choices at their disposal when building a lineup: either pick the best 11 players and position them into a formation that fits their skills best, or pick a formation and then select the 11 players that fit that formation the best. Klinsmann prefers neither. Instead, recently he’s been picking 11 players he wishes to play, choose a formation he feels will fit the opponent, and then tries to force the players he chose into the formation he selected.

It hasn’t worked, especially not today. He tried to force 3 center-backs onto the back line. He tried to force three central midfielders (and Zardes) into a flat four midfield that occasionally looked like a flat diamond. Neither worked. It’s an experimental environment, sure, but the benefits of his choices aren’t entirely clear.

We know what doesn’t work, but we still don’t really know what works, and isn’t the latter what January camp was for?

4) Jozy Altidore needs to work on his heading…oh

Bonus! So, as the game wound down, I had written that Jozy needed to work on his heading in front of net. The 26-year-old had a few headed opportunities in the box throughout the game, and he failed to capitalize. He looked to drill it into the ground on multiple occasions, but from the distance most of his efforts came from, he likely should have looked to aim his headed shots rather than use the ground pound technique.

Then, you know, he scored the late winner on a header. So, yeah. Never mind. But still. Yeah. Whatever.

United States 1-0 Canada: Altidore snatches late winner in sloppy meeting

CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States battles with Steven Vitoria #15 of Canada during the first half of their international friendly soccer match at StubHub Center February 5, 2016 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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It was sloppy. It was sleepy. It was cringe-worthy at times. By the final whistle, Jozy Altidore refused to let it end goalless.

January USMNT camp wrapped up with an erratic, disjointed but successful 1-0 win over their northern neighbors as Jozy Altidore bagged a headed winner in the 89th minute.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann chose to start a number of players out of position, including a trio of central defenders along the back line and an odd midfield combination that sat back for much of the game. Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris partnered up front, and worked well with the sparse service they received.

Both back lines looked relatively shaky to start, and each midfield was sloppy under heavy pressure from the opposition. The first true chance came on 15 minutes as a beautiful touch with the outside of Gyasi Zardes’s foot found a cutting Jozy Altidore, and the forward’s shot beat Maxime Crepeau but crashed into the post. The ball then rebounded into the back of Crepeau and back off the post a second time before the Canadian goalkeeper finally collected.

Four minutes later, Canada had a penalty shout as Jermaine Jones lunged into the back of Cyle Larin who was attempting a volley from the top edge of the box, but the referee waved it off.

As those chances faded, the game became a snoozer and the U.S. attack devolved into long balls lumped forward. Jones was miserable at the back, looking completely out of position. Both Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud sat back in possession, leaving Lee Nguyen and Gyasi Zardes isolated up front with no wide threat.

The U.S. had another spell of attack before halftime. Altidore sprung Jordan Morris on the left edge of the box, but his chipped effort skittered just wide. Bradley tried a left-footed effort on net on 39 minutes, but his shot was easily saved low by Crepeau. Matt Besler earned a yellow card by clipping the heel of Larin just before the break, forced into the foul after Jones was caught out of position.

Thankfully, the first half ended. Klinsmann made one halftime change, bringing on Brandon Vincent for his first USMNT appearance in place of Kellyn Acosta, whom the manager said had a hamstring problem. The U.S. pushed forward early, and they had a 53rd minute chance when Diskerud lofted a ball to the far post where Altidore met it with his head, but he pushed an effort on goal just wide left, inches out of Morris’ reach.

Things settled until the 66th minute, when substitute Jerome Kiesewetter found Altidore in the box, but he drove it into the ground meekly. In the 70th minute some U.S. pressure bought a shot for Vincent, but it was saved well by Crepeau’s feet. Altidore had another big chance with six minutes to go, and he went for the off-balance chip that aged as it traveled through the air, slow enough to allow Crepeau to recover and slap it out of danger.

Klinsmann brought Morris off with just three minutes to go in regulation, bringing on Ethan Finlay, who had an instant impact. Finlay cut inside from the left and lofted a ball to the far post, one which Altidore lept to meet, finally finding the back of the net after having bungled a few earlier headed opportunities.

The win leaves the United States 2-0 in January camp, and despite a few clear deficiencies, the end results were there.

USMNT lineup vs Canada sees Jermaine Jones at CB, Morris and Altidore up front

at StubHub Center on January 31, 2016 in Carson, California.
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The United States takes on Canada for the second of two friendlies that test those involved in January camp. With Iceland already dispatched 3-2, Canada is next up, at 10:30 p.m. ET from the StubHub center in California.

Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen his lineup, and it’s not easily discernible.

[ MORE: Full preview United States vs Canada ]

The back line is the biggest head-scratcher, with three central defenders starting, and at least one of them out of position. Jermaine Jones, who performed well in a midfield distribution role against Iceland, has been moved back to the defensive line, partnering with Matt Besler. Steve Birnbaum, also a central defender who had ups and down against Iceland, is back in the lineup. There’s nowhere to fit a third central defender, so he will play out wide. Kellyn Acosta, a natural full-back, rounds out the back four.

In midfield, the personnel lends itself to a flat four, if only because there’s really no other way it can go. Again, a multitude of central defenders are deployed, with Michael Bradley, Lee Nguyen, and Mix Diskerud forming some kind of CM/CM/Winger combination (Nguyen is likely the odd man out wide), with Gyasi Zardes out wide on the other end.

[ MORE: 3 key battles for USMNT vs Canada ]

Jozy Altidore returns up front, this time to partner with Jordan Morris, who makes his first USMNT appearance as a professional player.

Finally, San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham makes his USMNT debut between the sticks.

Jurgen Klopp says Daniel Sturridge is focused on getting healthy, not leaving Liverpool

during the Capital One Cup quarter final match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on December 2, 2015 in Southampton, England.
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Jurgen Klopp has made his frustrations with Daniel Sturridge‘s injury history very clear, but he still knows the England international is a crucial part of his squad, and he will be patient, no matter how frustrating it is.

Sturridge has been out since early December, and has made just five appearances all season due to a number of recurring injuries that have sapped him of his consistency for the last two years.

But with the 26-year-old back in training the last two days, the English media has speculated that Sturridge is looking to leave Liverpool, and that the club is trying to rid themselves of him as well. Klopp does not see it that way.

[ RELATED: Daniel Sturridge says he’s “good to go” ]

“I have no feeling that Daniel is thinking like this so stop thinking about it,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference, speaking ahead of the match Saturday against Sunderland. “I spoke to him but not about this. I didn’t ask: ‘do you want to leave?’ “Why should I? He’s been back in training for two days. I don’t go over and say: ‘Daniel, I hear you want to leave? Is there truth in it?’ I don’t believe that it is like this.”

Klopp called the rumors a “non-story” and believes as soon as Sturridge is out on the field, the rumors will stop. He just has to get out on the field first.

“Since I was here I’ve had a normal relationship with Daniel Sturridge,” Klopp said. “The only problem is I have only had him 10 or 12 times on the training pitch – that is the truth. Now he is back we hope he can stay in team training and everything will be good. If everything is normal from now on then he is in the race.”

The German said that just having returned to training, Sturridge won’t be ready for Saturday’s game, but he could potentially be back to action for the FA Cup match against West Ham on Tuesday.