Every now and again I hear people casually make fun of Norwich City. A match between Norwich City and Swansea?
‘What a joke!‘ they’ll laugh.
Those famed yellow and green kits?
‘Ugliest in the Premier League!‘ they’ll say.
‘Where the heck is Norwich anyway?‘ they’ll question rhetorically.
Really though, not taking Norwich seriously is a mistake that borders on ignorance.
Since gaining promotion back to the Premier League two years ago, they’ve finished 12th in the table in 2011-12 and 11th in 2012-13, leaving clubs like Aston Villa, Newcastle, Fulham and Sunderland all looking up. Factor in that Norwich (pronounced: Nor-ich) nearly won the Premier League in the inaugural 1992-93 season – they finished third after leading the league for most of the season – and this is not only a club on the rise, but one with history as well.
This year they’ve added some impressive new players in strikers Gary Hooper and Ricky von Wolfsfinkle (hot tip: pick RVW up on the cheap in Fantasy Premier League), as well as defensive midfielder Leroy Fer (pictured).
But I digress. I’m not a Norwich fan, just an admirer. When the 2013-14 Premier League season opens next Saturday, we’ll see what the Canaries are made of when they welcome Everton to Carrow Road.
The season is almost upon us. Excited? Of course you are. To get you ready for the new campaign, check out the latest Premier League previews here.
And in the meantime, check out this video NBC Sports has put together for Norwich. And don’t forget that you can watch those crazy Canaries and every other bird mascot in the Premier League live on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Sports Group.
If you’re having a rough Monday morning, things could always be worse.
You could be PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.
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On Sunday PSV’s goalkeeper scored one of the most bizarre own goals ever as he stopped a shot on the line in the 82nd minute, then as he pulled the ball into his chest while on the floor he actually carried the ball over the line.
The Goal Decision System (GDS) awarded the game-winning goal and the reigning Dutch champs lost 2-1 to Feyenoord who are the current Eredivise leaders and stretched their lead over third-place PSV to 11 points.
Take a look at the video below to see the monumental error, as the video replay showed that all of the ball was about one blade of grass over the line.
Fine margins indeed…
Since arriving on the New York City scene two years ago it’s fair to summarize Mix Diskerud’s tenure with New York City FC as a disappointment.
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While the expectations of a quick transition from life in Europe to MLS were surely massive, the 26-year-old midfielder has failed to live up to the billing of not only being one of the NYCFC’s highest-paid players but also as a potential U.S. Men’s National Team candidate.
Diskerud saw his playing time dwindle down from 23 starts in 2015 to nine this past season under new manager Patrick Vieira, and it doesn’t appear that the Norwegian-American will see an influx of opportunities during the upcoming 2017 season.
Rumors have surfaced throughout the offseason about NYCFC potentially buying out Diskerud’s contract, however, the midfielder’s cryptic post to social media on Sunday afternoon suggests that he may not be in New York for much longer.
It has been suggested that Diskerud would possibly consider a return to Europe in the event that his contract was in fact bought out, however, the difference in salaries would likely be drastic.
According to figures released by the MLS Players’ Union, Diskerud made $761,250 in 2016, which was the fourth-highest salary on NYCFC books behind only David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, each of whom were classified as Designated Players.
Gabriel Jesus was a revelation for Manchester City before suffering an injury, but even with a spot in the lineup for the time being Sergio Aguero may not be coming back to Manchester City next season.
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According to the Sun, Spanish giants Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for Aguero in the hopes that the Argentine striker will join the club at the conclusion of the Premier League season.
Prior to joining City back in 2011, Aguero played five seasons in La Liga with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 101 goals in all competitions for the Rojiblancos.
While Aguero is likely to hold his starting spot for some time due to Jesus’ injured metatarsal, manager Pep Guardiola had heavily favored the young forward over Aguero since officially joining the club in January.
Tab Ramos’ side completed their first task, but now the U.S. Under-20 national team has its next challenge lying in front of them.
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The U.S. U-20s finished second in Group B at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship after winning two of its three group stage matches.
Now, Mexico and El Salvador await the U-20s in the classification stage with a spot at May’s Under-20 World Cup in South Korea on the line.
During the classification round there will be two groups of three teams, with the top two teams advancing to the World Cup. Each group winner will meet in the CONCACAF Championship final.
Classification stage schedule
Feb. 27 — U.S. U-20s vs. Mexico
Mar. 1 — Mexico vs. El Salvador
Mar. 3 — U.S. U-20s vs. El Salvador
Feb. 27 — Panama vs. Honduras
Mar. 1 — Honduras vs. Costa Rica
Mar. 3 — Panama vs. Costa Rica