We love our up-and-comers in American soccer. We are ever vigilant on the watchtower for our next Landon Donovan, our next Clint Dempsey.
We tend to get a bit frothy when talking about that kid who just went overseas or the youngster tearing up Major League Soccer – and whether he might soon go overseas?
So the weekend’s news on D.C. United attacker Nick DeLeon might cause a slight disturbance in the force around U.S. Soccer supporter-dom. The news is that DeLeon may soon line up for Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly.
DeLeon was raised in Phoenix and went to college at UNLV and at Louisville, so he’s as American as they come. His father, however, is from Trinidad. (In fact, Leroy DeLeon was a Trinidadian international.)
The younger DeLeon was occasionally just a blinding flash down the left side of RFK Stadium last year. He started fast and finished fast as a rookie in 2012. Unfortunately, the “in between” was a bit flat; he was a rookie, after all, and the longer season tends to smack first-year types squarely upside the head at some point.
At any rate, Nick DeLeon, 22, has a big future, and his year ahead for United is worth following. Meanwhile, DeLeon is about to make a big decision about where that future might take him. The United attacker has been called for T&T for a Feb. 6 friendly. That won’t bind him as it is not an official FIFA competition.
Still, it’s a piece of the selection puzzle. There are a lot of moving parts on this one, including DeLeon’s relationship with his father. So the pull to play for the Soca Warriors may prove strong.
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.