Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and his wife Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser al-Misnad hold a copy of the World Cup trophy he received from FIFA President Sepp Blatter (unseen) after the announcement that Qatar will be the host nation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Zurich in this December 2, 2010 file photo. Sheikh Hamad and his glamorous second wife Sheikha Mozah have gained a reputation as modernisers in recent years, however, raising the country’s profile significantly with the launch of the Al Jazeera television network and successful hosting the 2006 Asian Games, as well as initiating the country’s World Cup bid. To match QATAR-NEIGHBOURS/ REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files (SWITZERLAND – Tags: SPORT SOCCER ROYALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
In some ways, this tournament could be more interesting than the USMNT’s friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand.
The United States U-20 team is preparing for World Cup qualification by facing a fearsome threesome in the Four Nations Tournament in England.
[ MORE: PST talks with Michael Bradley ]
The Yanks will play Germany on Wednesday in Leigh, the Netherlands on Friday in Manchester, and England on Monday in Rochdale.
Among the names to watch, of course, are Spurs’ Cameron Carter-Vickers and Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem. Also, Jonathan Klinsmann, son of USMNT boss Jurgen, is one of two goalkeepers in the bunch.
A pair of Fulham players make the cut, as does new UD Las Palmas signing Emmanuel Sabbi. Seattle Sounders forward Victor Mansaray and Orlando defender Tommy Redding rep MLS on the roster.
It’ll be a must-follow tournament, considering the opposition. The Yanks will be tested by an English roster which includes Premier League players Reece Oxford (West Ham), Joshua Onomah (Spurs), and Lewis Cook (Bournemouth). England’s full roster is here.
U.S. U-20 roster
GOALKEEPERS: Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California), Justin Vom Steeg (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
DEFENDERS (8): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy), Marcello Borges (Michigan), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Marlon Fossey (Fulham), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC), Miles Robinson (Syracuse), Toni Suddoth (VfB Stuttgart), Auston Trusty (Bethlehem Steel FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Luca De La Torre (Fulham), Derrick Jones (Bethlehem Steel FC), Brooks Lennon (Liverpool), Weston McKinnie (Schalke 04), Jonathan Suarez (Queretaro), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal)
FORWARDS (5): Jeremy Ebobisse (Charleston Battery), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC), Emmanuel Sabbi (UD Las Palmas), Sebastian Saucedo (Veracruz), Isaiah Young (PDA)
Still, Klopp isn’t that happy.
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That’s because Liverpool were second best in the first half as they failed to cope with Swansea’s high-pressing and were behind 1-0 at half time.
Despite plenty of optimism over Liverpool’s strong start to the season — they have won five of their opening seven games and have 16 points on the board — the German coach wasn’t best pleased when speaking to Sky Sports afterwards.
“We are really happy in this moment, second half was like the whole game should have been. We were really angry with ourselves with the first half because the body language was not good and too late in mind and all that stuff. It was far away from our best performance but we showed a reaction in the second half and that’s important,” Klopp said. “You can lose football games and we will lose football games in the future but you have to show minimum part of your usual face. That’s what we showed second half and that was Liverpool and that’s what we think we should be. We were the deserved win in the end.”
Liverpool deserved to just edge the game but they could’ve been 2-0 or even 3-0 down at half time had Swansea been more clinical. Defending set pieces continues to be a problem for Klopp and his side have now conceded the most from those situations in the Premier League since he arrived last October. There was no surprise Leroy Fer‘s goal came from a set piece as zonal marking was again an issue for the Reds, while goalkeeper Lorus Karius looked a little nervy at times when coming for crosses as Mike Van der Hoorn should’ve equalized in the dying stages for Swansea.
With plenty of euphoria around Liverpool’s stellar start to this season, question marks over their defensive play still linger. Liverpool has now failed to keep a clean sheet in any of its last 10 Premier League away games dating back to last season, which is closing in on the club record of 12. Yes, we know they are the top-scoring team in the Premier League in 2016 but shoring up these defensive issues will be the priority for Klopp.
Klopp also confirmed that both Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren are struggling with groin injuries. Lallana hobbled off in the first half and Klopp believes the England midfielder will not be available for Gareth Southgate over the international break.
“One or two problems today. Adam with a groin problem and Dejan Lovren too. I’m pretty sure they both cannot go now to national team,” Klopp confirmed. “We need further assessment and then we will see. Hopefully they can use the time to recover and be back in the race for the next game.”
Liverpool remain in the race for the PL title with yet another win but Klopp knows his side will come up against better opponents than a struggling Swansea and they got out of jail a little bit on Saturday.
Four games take center stage at 10 a.m. ET in the Premier League on Saturday.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]
Hull City host Chelsea at the KCOM Stadium, while struggling West Ham host Middlesbrough at the London Stadium.
Elsewhere Bournemouth head to Watford and Sunderland is hoping to get their first win as West Brom head to the Stadium of Light.
You can stream each game live by clicking on the links below or above.
10 a.m. ET: Hull City vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Sunderland vs. West Brom – Premier League Extratime [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: West Ham vs. Middlesbrough – Premier League Extratime [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Watford vs. Bournemouth – Premier League Extratime [STREAM]
Before Crystal Palace drew Everton 1-1 at Goodison Park on Friday, they turned their attention Stateside.
The club released a video message in support of United States third tier side FC Cincinnati on Friday, as the third-seeded USL club prepares to take on No. 6 Charleston Battery at Nippert Stadium on Sunday.
[ MORE: PST talks with Michael Bradley ]
Palace visited FC Cincinnati this summer, with 35,000-plus showing up as the Premier League side beat its USL opposition in a wonderful showcase for American soccer supporters.
Well, Pards and the boys were impressed, and issued a vote of good luck:
The playoffs are underway, with 16 of the 29 clubs making the march forward. Reigning champion Rochester Rhinos open up against Charlotte at Rhinos Stadium on Saturday, while the No. 1 seeds are New York Red Bulls II (Eastern Conference) and Sacramento Republic FC (Western Conference).
Full first round
Sacramento Republic (1) vs. Orange County Blues (8) — Saturday
Swope Park Rangers (4) 3-0 LA Galaxy II (5)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks (3) 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (6)
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (2) vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC (7)
New York Red Bulls (1) vs. Orlando City B (8) — Sunday
Rochester Rhinos (4) vs. Charlotte Independence (5) — Saturday
FC Cincinnati (3) vs. Charleston Battery (6) — Sunday
Louisville City FC (2) vs. Richmond Kickers (7) — Sunday