What will USMNT learn from potential Guatemala friendly?

2 Comments

Okay, so apparently Jurgen Klinsmann has lined up another friendly this summer.

Reports from San Diego have the USMNT squaring off with CONCACAF foes Guatemala in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium on July 5.

The friendly international would act as a warm-up for the Gold Cup tournament, with Klinsmann already stating many new faces will be used late this summer as the main USMNT faces are used solely in the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

However, just what will the US learn from having a friendly wedged into an already hectic summer?

The US already have 12 games to play between May 29 and October 12. That is a pretty hefty schedule. Plus more games could follow, depending on how far they advance in the Gold Cup.

That being said, almost two different squads will be used by Klinsmann. This week the German coach said he will call up between 23-25 guys for the upcoming camp but he mentioned that at the moment his staff are following the progress of almost 50 players.

So, would Guatemala be a good idea given the huge number of players Klinsmann has to sift through? Absolutely.

(More: Late arrivals to USMNT camp, but they aren’t all the same)

He has already stated his intent to call on USMNT players based in MLS and Scandinavia for the Gold Cup, so having an extra friendly before that to help team cohesion and work with them up close isn’t a bad thing. Plus, the Nats will face Belize in the Gold Cup opener at JELD-WEN Field just four days later on July 9.

Guatemala and Belize will be a similar style of opponents, so I can see what Klinsi is thinking.

However, call me old fashioned, but I just don’t see the point of cramming in so many friendlies. Klinsmann will know his best XI, Gold Cup XI, Reserve XI and all the rest of that already. And if he didn’t he could find that out during camps and training sessions.

When all is said and done, the friendly hasn’t been confirmed yet. But it does seem pretty likely. So it will be an extra chance to see the USMNT in action, allow fringe players to prove their worth and provide a break from the rigors of a pre-Gold Cup camp.

Okay, maybe it is worthwhile after all. What do you guys think?

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Watford

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Chelsea are without N'Golo Kante, Victor Moses (both hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still absent.
  • Watford remain without Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (both thigh), plus long-term absentees Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee).
  • Watford have not won against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but the Hornets have won 10 points of a possible 12 on the road. 
  • Chelsea have lost three of their first eight matches this season. No team has ever lost this many of their opening eight matches and still won the Premier League title.

Watford heads south for another London derby with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Hornets have had an amazing start to the season and currently occupy fourth place on 15 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, which has lost two-straight Premier League games. The Blues have struggled without N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata and there have been reports of grumbles from the squad about dissatisfaction with Antonio Conte‘s training methods, but the Chelsea coach has brushed those rumors off.

Meanwhile Watford is coming off a confidence-boosting win last weekend against fellow Londoners Arsenal, and the club is looking to take down another big club for a second-straight week.

What they’re saying

Watford manager Marco Silva on his team’s start“I want everybody to be really calm. We did really in the first eight matches but it’s too early. We want to continue to work hard every day. Everything changes fast and you need to keep going and treat the next game as the most important. But of course I feel proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being under pressure: “‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.”

Video Preview

Prediction

Chelsea has its back against the wall but the team’s overall quality should be enough to see them through with all three points against Watford. The Hornets luck runs out in Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hold on for a late win. Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

Getty Images
2 Comments

Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

[ LIVE: Stream every Premier League game ]

“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.