4 days until Premier League season begins on NBC Sports

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For those eagle-eyed observers out there, you may have noticed we added a countdown clock to our homepage at PST.

We’re pretty excited about the start of the new Premier League season. Not long to go now.

In fact there’s less than four days until the start of the 2013-14 Premier League campaign and we’ve been very busy previewing every aspect of the new season over here at PST.

Check out our extensive team-by-team previews. While we have also started counting down five players to watch in each position this term. The goalkeepers and defenders have been covered… more to come in the next few days.

So, four days from today – on Saturday, August 17 – NBC Sports Group kicks off the most ambitious, extensive and comprehensive coverage of the Premier League available anywhere in the world. Coverage begins at 7 AM ET on NBC Sports Network with the Liverpool-Stoke City match and continues throughout the season on the networks of NBCUniversal, on the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package, and streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Find out the TV schedule for all the games live on NBC Sports.

PREMIER LEAGUE NUMBER OF THE DAY: 4

Newly promoted Crystal Palace have earned promotion to the Premier League on 4 separate occasions. Palace hope that this Premier League stay lasts longer than their previous stints, each of which lasted just one season.

Over at NBCSports.com, they caught up with NBC Sports’ Premier League analyst Kyle Martino and asked him a few questions ahead of the new season. Here’s what the former US national team and MLS star had to say.

What I am most looking forward to this Premier League season is…

One of the most wide-open title races since the Premier League’s founding in 1992.

I am preparing for this season of telecasts by…

Only looking up from my phone or laptop to eat.

Before I go on air, I need…

1 gallon of hairspray and a high-five.

There is no way…

[Crystal] Palace are staying up.

If I’m not watching soccer…

I’m figuring out why I’m not watching soccer.

NBC Sports Group will make available in the United States all 380 games from the Premier League. That’s more than anywhere else on the globe (including the U.K.).  All games will be preceded and followed by Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows from the NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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