U.S. – Mexico: Just the facts

4 Comments
  • Kickoff at 24,000-seat Crew Stadium is set officially for 8:06 p.m. ET (ESPN, UniMas in Spanish).
  • The United States has won 12 of its last 13 matches; the lone loss was Friday at Costa Rica (3-1).
  • Manager Jurgen Klinsmann added four players to the U.Ss roster following Michael Bradley’s injury and the yellow card suspensions for Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler and Jozy Altidore. He added defender Clarence Goodson and midfielders Joe Corona, Brad Davis and Jose Torres.
  • The United States is 6-0-3 all-time at Crew Stadium and is 4-0-2 in its last six home qualifiers against Mexico.
  • Eight players from the current roster appeared in March 26 draw (0-0) at Estadio Azteca, the United States’ second tie in qualifying on Mexican soil. The lineup was: Brad Guzan; Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley; Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu; Grahama Zusi (Brek Shea, 82), Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez (Brad Davis, 71); Jozy Altidore (Eddie Johnson, 55).
  • Clint Dempsey was the latest U. S. man to earn his 100th cap, doing so Friday against Costa Rica. With his penalty kick goal, Dempsey became the country’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup qualifiers with 13 goals.
  • U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard has 31 career shutouts, one behind Tony Meola for second-most in U.S. history behind only Kasey Keller (47). Howard also has 50 career wins, second-most in program behind Keller (53).
  • Five U.S. men play professional for Liga MX clubs (in Mexico): DaMarcus Beasley, Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, Orozco and Jose Torres.
  • Landon Donovan has five career goals against Mexico, including his first career international strike and a goal in the Round of 16 win at World Cup 2002. He has 15 total caps against Mexico.

The U.S. roster looks like this:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Tigres), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC).

(MORE: Will it be Landon Donovan time tonight? Seems like it … )

(MORE: PST’s United States-Mexico preview)

(MORE: The history of “Dos a cero,” and the history of U.S.-Mexico in Columbus)

(MORE: Michael Bradley talks about his injury, absence)

(MORE: U.S. wary of Mexican backlash amid team turmoil)

(MORE: Jurgen Klinsmann says the time to qualify is NOW!)

(MORE: Where is the biggest hole in the U.S. lineup?)

(MORE: Klinsmann adds in reinforcements for Tuesday’s match vs. Mexico)

 

Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi nominees for FIFA prize for 3rd year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar are the contenders for FIFA’s top player award for the third straight year.

The nominations for the FIFA Best awards were announced Friday in London, where the ceremony will take place next month. Ronaldo is favored to join Messi as a five-time winner.

While Ronaldo won the Spanish league and Champions League last season at Real Madrid, Messi and Neymar only collected the Copa del Rey title with Barcelona.

Off the field, the three players have all been embroiled in tax cases in Spain over the last year.

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Tottenham

Leave a comment
  • West Ham have 14 PL wins vs. Spurs, more than against any other opponent
  • Spurs have lost 3 of their last 4 trips to West Ham
  • Since the start of 2015-16 Spurs have won the most points (164) and matches (47) in the PL
  • Harry Kane has five goals in his last five PL games vs. West Ham

West Ham United host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday at the London Stadium (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a big London derby.

The Hammers have won both of their last two home games against Spurs 1-0 to scupper Tottenham’s title bids which has added extra spice to this rivalry in recent months.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League games

With West Ham winning their first home game this season against Huddersfield Town, Slaven Bilic is looking to make the London Stadium a fortress. Spurs will be eager to play another game away from their temporary home for the season, Wembley, after Mauricio Pochettino‘s men have failed to win any of their opening three home PL games at Wembley.

If Tottenham prevail in east London it will mean they have won their opening three away games in the league for the first time since 1991-92.

In team news West Ham will be without injured duo Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini but skipper Mark Noble is available. Ben Davies could return for Spurs, while Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela and Danny Rose remain out.

What they’re saying

Slaven Bilic praises Christian Eriksen in The London Evening Standard: “They have many excellent players but the one who is maybe the unsung hero is Christian Eriksen. I don’t want to say he is under-rated because everyone in Europe is aware of the talent that he possesses. Apart from being a vital link in their team, he is also making clever little moves into pockets of space or into the box.”

Mauricio Pochettino on taking his players out for dinner: “We need time for the players that we signed to engage with everyone, know everything. It’s only a few weeks that they are involved in the dynamic of the team, the club. You need time to create a good dynamic. Not only tactics but outside too. We had a dinner in a restaurant in London with all the staff and players that I invite, of course. I paid the bill at the end! That is important because you can say: ‘Tactics here in the morning’ or you prefer to go last night and put all the staff, the players and the chairman too in a restaurant. That is tactics too. It is so important, just as it is important to work on the pitch. To get to know each other better, to speak in a different way. That creates links between them, emotion.”

Prediction

Spurs will have too much going forward for West Ham’s shaky defense and they will relish not only an away day but also putting their poor recent record against West Ham to bed. Tottenham to win 3-1.

USMNT’s Danny Williams out injured for Huddersfield

Getty Images
1 Comment

Potentially bad news has arrived  for Danny Williams as the U.S. national team midfielder has suffered an injury at the worst possible time.

[ MORE: JPW sits down with Williams ]

Williams, 28, has suffered a “small fracture” to a bone in his foot and will not play for Huddersfield at Burnley on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

UPDATE: Pro Soccer Talk understands Williams’ injury will keep him out of action for about 2-3 weeks.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the trip to Turf Moor, Wagner gave some more information on Williams’ injury.

“Danny Williams has a small fracture in a bone in his foot. We have specialists appointment tomorrow[Friday] where we will get some information on how long he will be out,” Wagner said. “At the moment it is totally open because it is a very, very small fracture. So we will see. For sure he is out for Saturday.”

So, it doesn’t seem like a long-term injury but after Williams battled to start his first-ever start in the Premier League against Leicester City last week in a 1-1 draw, this knock has come at a very frustrating time for the German-American midfielder as he established himself at his new club.

Williams has battled hard to get into Huddersfield’s starting lineup after his free transfer from Reading over the summer.

Some USMNT fans were also calling for Williams to get a recall from Bruce Arena ahead of the U.S. national teams crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago next month.

The combative midfielder now faces an anxious wait about the severity of his injury.

Antonio Conte thanks Diego Costa after Chelsea departure

Getty Images
Leave a comment

These will likely be the final questions Antonio Conte faces about Diego Costa.

[ MORE: Liverpool’s Matip talks to JPW ]

On Thursday it was announced that Chelsea has sold their leading scorer in each of the past two seasons back to Atletico Madrid with a protracted fallout between Conte and Costa finally coming to a logical conclusion.

After Conte reportedly sent Costa a text message stating he was no longer needed at Chelsea, just days after they lifted the Premier League title together, the Brazilian born striker refused to return to preseason training and remained in Brazil with family as he demanded to be sold back to Atletic Madrid.

He was fined by the club but has finally got his wish with a $77 million move back to Atleti sealed for the 28-year-old who won two Premier League titles in three season at Chelsea but also brought controversy with him on many occasions as the bullish striker upset opponents and teammates alike.

Speaking at Stamford Bridge on Friday ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Stoke City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) Conte thanked Costa for his efforts.

“About this issue, we want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said.

Asked about the deterioration of his own relationship with Costa and if his team will miss the goals of the Spanish international, Conte was less open.

“Now it is not important, I am not interested to continue talking about this issue,” Conte said. “I am working with my players and am happy to work them them. We must work and fight to win every competition. We are Chelsea and we need to try to do this in this season. We have to try to do our best in every competition. Our target is to do our best every day, every week, every month in this season.”

Stating multiple times that he was “not interested in talking about the past” and that only the current and building for the future was important, Conte did thank Costa once again and said he will remember the success they achieved together last season.

“I do not forget we won together last season,” Conte said. “For sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us but not only last season, the period he played for Chelsea.”

With this saga now over, Chelsea will turn to Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi to score the goals they need to be successful on all four fronts this season.

After recovering well from a sluggish start to the season it appears Conte’s decision to oust Costa will, long-term, be the correct one. Even though Morata has taken a little time to settle and Batshuayi blows hot and cold, the Blues have goals everywhere you look with Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and others able to chip in.

There’s only one Diego Costa and Conte must be somewhat relieved to see the back of him.