U.S. Men’s National Team up six spots to No. 13 in FIFA World Rankings

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The strong form of the United States Men’s National Team has skyrocketed the Yanks to No. 13 in September’s version of the FIFA World Rankings.

The new ranking is based on the USMNT’s 4-3 victory in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 3-1 loss at Costa Rica and Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Mexico.

The 13th place ranking is a six spot improvement from last month and represents the USMNT’s highest ranking since holding the 13th spot back in July 2010. It also hands the Stars & Stripes top honors in the CONCACAF region as Mexico’s poor form drops them one place to No. 21, Costa Rica shoot up nine spots to No. 33, Panama rise five spots to No. 35, Honduras move three notches to No. 40 and Jamaica fall two places to No. 78.

At the top of the table Spain hold on to the No. 1 spot while CONMEBOL’s top team, Argentina, move up two places to No. 2, taking over for Germany who fall to No. 3. A resurgent Italy climb two spots to No. 4 while Colombia fall two notches to No. 5. Rounding out the Top 10 are Belgium, Uruguay, Brazil, Netherlands and Croatia.

Leaders from the other three confederations all dropped points. Cote d’Ivoire, the top team in the Confederation of African football, fall one spot to No. 19, Japan drop five spots to No. 42 to claim top spot in the Asian Football Confederation and New Zealand slump ten positions but nevertheless remain atop the Oceania Football Confederation.

The six point climb by Jurgen Klinsmann’s men is the largest move of any Top 20 team. Other big movers are Sweden’s eight point jump that lands them at No. 22, Slovenia’s sixteen point boost taking them to No. 29 and Bob Bradley’s Egypt team moving up eleven points to No. 50.

Other notables include Portugal (No. 11), Greece (No. 12), Russia (No. 15), England (No. 17), Cote d’Ivoire (No. 19) and Peru (No. 34).

AT THE HALF: Manchester derby scoreless after 45 minutes

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After 45 minutes, the final Manchester derby of the 2016-17 Premier League season — the one that’ll go a long, long way toward deciding which of the city’s sides will finish in the top-four — is scoreless, but not without incident.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

The game’s best chances thus far fell Manchester City’s way, as Sergio Aguero missed a clear-cut chance after 10 minutes — Kevin De Bruyne whipped in the perfect ball to the back post, and Aguero put it wrong side of David De Gea‘s post.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ander Herrera has, once again, be Manchester United’s danger man, combining well with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Claudio Bravo made the one save he was forced into during the first half. One thing to keep an eye on during the final 45 minutes: Rashford picked up a knock very early on, and struggled to move around the field after that.

STREAM LIVE: The Manchester Derby

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The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Sergio Aguero starts for Man City, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

On the other side, it’ll be a physical middle-third guarded by Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini. Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard start on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Fernando, Navas, Clichy, Gabriel Jesus, A. Garcia

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

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Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Men in Blazers podcast: Chelsea tops Spurs, Top Four predictions

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Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”

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