Thanks to Jose Villarreal and Luis Gil, the U.S. U-20s are one step closer to this summer’s World Cup, with the team’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday giving the team Group A at the CONCACAF tournament in Puebla, Mexico. Now the team faces a in-and-in Tuesday against Canada in the competition’s quarterfinals.
The four quarterfinal victors will clinch spots in the 2012 U-20 World Cup, which begins in Turkey on June 21.
The U.S. had already clinched a place in the knockout round after Haiti lost to Costa Rica on Wednesday. With the victory over the Ticos, the U.S., winners of Group A, avoided the first place team in Group B. Costa Rica gets that honor, slated to play Cuba on Tuesday.
Friday’s only goal came early in the second half when Gil lofted a corner into the middle of the area. Villarreal rose uncontested to head a shot toward Jairo Monge’s goal line, the Costa Rican keeper unable to react to a well-headed ball that became the game’s only score.
Gil now has a goal and an assist in the tournament having scored in the third minute of Monday’s 2-1 victory over Haiti.
Per U.S. Soccer’s report, head coach Tab Ramos deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation against Costa Rica, a setup that featured Villarreal at its tip. Gil, Sporting KC draftee Mikey Lopez, Columbus prospects Shane O’Neill and Wil Trapp, and Chivas USA defender Juan Pablo Ocegueda were other Major League Soccer representatives in the U.S.’s starting lineup.
The tournament continues Saturday with Jamaica facing Panama while Mexico takes on El Salvador. All four teams, having already clinched spots in the quarterfinals, are jockeying for position in the knockout round.
Here are the highlights, courtesy of FOX Soccer.
The Foxes haven’t had the start to the season that Craig Shakespeare and Co. would have hoped for, but Monday’s performance was certainly a step in the right direction.
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Leicester City pulled out a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the King Power Stadium, however, the Foxes remain in the bottom three of the Premier League.
Riyad Mahrez had plenty of chances on the day, and he rescued his side with 10 minutes remaining after powering home a strike into the far corner. The goal marks the Algerian’s first of the 2017/18 campaign.
Despite a frustrating opening hour, the visitors led on 63 minutes when Nacer Chadli curled home a brilliant free kick that left Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel stunned.
For the Belgium international, Chadli becomes West Brom’s seventh different goalscorer of the season.
Leicester nearly came out flying in the second stanza whenMahrez had an open chance in the center of the Baggies penalty area, however, the Algerian winger’s left-footed attempt was too high to hit the target.
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Mahrez’s chance came just minutes after West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill was nearly sent off after the 34-year-old took out a streaking Jamie Vardy on the edge of the penalty box.
Monday’s result means both clubs have now gone six matches with a win in PL play.
Saturday’s titanic clash between Liverpool and Manchester United ended in an uneventful draw, but that didn’t mean the match itself was short on drama.
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Reds defender Dejan Lovren wasn’t happy with Romelu Lukaku‘s action after the former made a tackle on the Man United striker during the first half of the 0-0 draw.
The Liverpool center back spoke ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match against Maribor.
“I made a tackle there and I just felt he was over me and could just move away,” Lovren said in regards to the play in question. “To be honest, my point of view is that he did on purpose.”
Despite his claims of Lukaku’s malice, the FA has already come out and stated that they won’t take any action against the Belgium international.
“It is not my decision,” Lovren continued. “He seemed nervous during the game and maybe that’s why. Normally if you do it, you apologise.
“It happened and it’s over. Nobody can change it.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team scene is quite uncertain at this point, despite U.S. Soccer announcing an international friendly against European powerhouse Portugal on Monday.
Since Bruce Arena’s announcement on Friday that he would step down as USMNT manager, the million-dollar question has been: who’s next?
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One name that continues to be floated around is Tab Ramos — current U.S. Under-20 MNT coach and national team assistant.
Ramos, a former national team midfielder in his own right, was in attendance at Sunday’s New York Red Bulls match and spoke with Metro New York.
“If you’d ask everyone here at the Red Bulls game if they’d be interested in the national team job they would say yes,” Ramos said on Sunday. “And I’m just another fan so I’d say yes as well.”
The 51-year-old played in two World Cups during his career on the pitch (1990, 1994), but Ramos is familiar with what it’s like trying to rebuild the pieces of a failed World Cup bid.
Ramos’ first international appearance with the USMNT came two years after the Americans had missed out on qualification into the 1986 World Cup.
“It was very hard back in the ’80s to get people to recognize that we play soccer. Sometimes it feels like a slap in the face that we have to go dig ourselves out,” he said.
“One thing I know about us is that we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves us back in 1989. We’ll do it again.”
Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion clash on Monday in a big clash between Midlands rivals at the King Power Stadium (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN an online via NBCSports.com).
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Neither team has won a game in the Premier League since August and pressure is starting to mount on Leicester’s manager Craig Shakespeare in particular.
As for Tony Pulis and West Brom, the Baggies have not been beaten in three trips to Leicester in the Premier League.
In team news Leicester start Kelechi Iheanacho up top with Vicente Iborra making his first PL start for the Foxez.
West Brom’s goalkeeper Ben Foster is out injured so Boaz Myhill comes in to start in goal, while the Baggies have gone to a 4-3-3 with Nacer Chadli making his first start of the season in the PL.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton; Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Chilwell, Amarety, King, Gray, Slimani, Okazaki
West Brom: Myhill; Dawson, Evans, Hegazi, Gibbs; Livermore, Barry, Krychowiak; Chadli, Rondon, Rodriugez. Subs: Palmer, Nyom, Yacob, Phillips, Brunt, McClean, McAuley