United States Training Session

USMNT lineups announced as Costa Rican police assure timely arrival


There was much talk of the Costa Rican taxi force collaborating to clog up the roads in an effort to make the US National Team’s travel to Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica a living hell.

That never materialized, at least not according to the USMNT, who took to twitter to thank the Costa Rican police for ensuring their arrival at the venue without hitch.

The police, according to Doug McIntyre of ESPN, lined the enterance to the stadium to make sure nobody could toss projectiles in the direction of the team.

As for the lineup, Jozy Altidore is only fit enough to make the bench as Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen to stick Clint Dempsey up front in the striker role with Landon Donovan slotted in behind him in a 4-2-3-1 lineup. Here it is:


United States – Howard; Orozco, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley; Bradley, Jones; Zusi, Donovan, F. Johnson; Dempsey.
Bench – Altidore, Beckerman, Bedoya, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Diskerud, Guzan, Jóhannsson, E. Johnson, Parkhurst, Rimando.

UPDATE: Michael Bradley sprained his left ankle during warmups, and is being replaced by Geoff Cameron in the starting lineup. A massive blow to the USMNT midfield. Hopefully it’s not a long-term issue and he can return against Mexico.

Costa Rica – Navas; G. Gonzalez, J. Acosta, Umana; Gamboa, Oviedo, Borges, Tejada, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz.

Couple of things to note. First, wow, Michael Orozco (officially his last name, no longer Orozco-Fiscal, per his passport) at right-back, beating out Michael Parkhurst and Geoff Cameron. Also, it’s officially Clint Dempsey’s 100th cap for the United States, so congratulations to him!

In terms of the Costa Rican lineup, it’s interesting to see Bryan Ruiz up front as a striker. He’s not naturally a striker, much like Clint. So there’s no true striker on the pitch for either side! This also means that Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío is pushed back to the bench.

Contest to crown “Best American Bar” for Premier League fans

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For most of the weekend mornings, bars across the United States of America turn into places filled with jerseys of every color imaginable and either screams of despair or yelps of delight fill the air.

[ MORE: Klopp merch you need to see ]

Fans of the Premier League in the U.S. flock to plenty of pubs and bars across the nation to watch all the action and now NBC Sports wants to crown the “Best Premier League Bar in America” with your help.

Below are the details on how to get involved in the contest, as you can submit a nomination by visiting NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest.

Oh, and by the way, the winning bar will receive $50,000 and an exclusive viewing party hosted by NBC Sports, plus be featured in a national commercial.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ] 

Also, hit play in the video above to get a flavor of the competition.

STAMFORD, Conn. – October, 2015 – This week, NBC Sports Group introduced a contest searching for the best Premier League bar in America.

From now through December 6, NBC Sports Group is asking fans to “show their pub some love” by submitting nominations  to help their bar take the throne at NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest. Additionally, fans can support their pub by:

  • Checking in on the NBC Sports Matchmaker App
  • Sharing stories, images and videos by tagging their bar and using #BestPLBarContest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Describing how much their Premier League pub means to them here.

The contest site also features a full list of participating bars, a list of trending bars, a social media feed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #BestPLBarContest, and a schedule of upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Following are the 10 bars currently trending:

  • The Londoner, Dallas, TX
  • Maggie McGarrys, San Francisco, CA
  • Irish Channel, Washington, DC
  • Carragher’s, New York, NY
  • Lucky Bar, Washington, DC
  • Boston Beer Garden, Boston, MA
  • 11th Street Bar, New York, NY
  • Beef & Barley, Chicago, Ill.
  • George and Dragon Pub, Seattle, WA
  • The Blind Pig, New York, NY

2015 MLS playoff scenarios heading into penultimate week

Michael Bradley, Toronto FC
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This is it, we have arrived at the penultimate week of the 2015 Major League Soccer season and there is still a lot to be decided.

[ MORE: Update on Beckham in MIA ]

Only five teams, the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps have booked their spot in the postseason so far and the regular season Western and Eastern Conference titles are still up for grabs.

That, coupled with teams on the bubble (Orlando, Houston, Portland and RSL, I’m looking at you) for the playoffs is adding up to an enthralling final few games of the season as teams currently in the playoffs are only separated by a few points here and there.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ] 

Below, courtesy of the league office, are the scenarios for each MLS team to clinch a berth in the playoffs. Study. Worry. Repeat.

We will have an updated list of the scenarios later this week after the next batch of games are played on Wednesday.


Columbus Crew SC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Columbus Crew SC win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New England Revolution will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • New England Revolution win or tie vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Toronto FC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Toronto FC win or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Montreal Impact will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Montreal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New York Red Bulls will clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF

  • New York Red Bulls win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday