Shouldn’t Peter Vermes be in the future U.S. national team coaching discussions?

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Coaching openings in Major League Soccer will soon be filled at Chivas USA, Vancouver, Dallas and (after last night’s big news) Real Salt Lake. We assume they will be, at least. I mean, tick-tock…tick-tock, guys! What are you waiting for?

But where domestic soccer coaching is concerned, let’s introduce one more element into the ongoing conversation:

Shouldn’t Peter Vermes name be mentioned when we start talking about successor to U.S. national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann?

(No, Klinsmann isn’t going anywhere for now. But history reminds us that so many international coaches last just one World Cup cycle, even if U.S. coaching longevity has owned a little more staying power. Either way, talking about the “next” U.S. manager, regardless of standing for the current top man, has always been a wonderful U.S. Soccer supporter pastime.)

For a few years now, two names have come up repeatedly, and deservedly so. If we assumed the next guy is will be as “born in the U.S.A.” as Bruce Springsteen – not saying he will be, but let’s assume for this particular exercise – then Jason Kreis and Dominc Kinnear are the always warming up in the bullpen of discussion.

Kinnear has always managed to get the most from the least in Houston. Not saying the Dynamo doesn’t have any talent; but this is a small budget operation, one that refuses to rely on pricey stars, so Kinnear gets it done through chemistry, drive, accountability and old-fashioned, common horse sense.

Kreis’ recent results speak for themselves; that’s why he’s the hand-picked choice of the league’s new glamour club, the Manchester City-owned New York City FC club.

But now we add Vermes’ name. Or we should.

Sporting KC’s record over the past three seasons: 48-26-28, a sterling mark considering the parity that generally rules MLS. Sporting’s placing in the Eastern Conference race over those seasons: 1st, 1st and 2nd.

Now he has an MLS Cup trophy to place as a cherry on that yummy sundae of a resume.

Vermes is a taskmaster and perfectionist, a hard worker, a demanding boss who is not afraid to put a star on the bench who isn’t pulling his weight (Benny Feilhaber and Claudio Bieler, most recently). Sounds like a solid platform for building a national team manager, eh?

Not saying he should be the choice … but he should definitely be in the conversation.

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

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In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

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While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad — 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse — 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria — 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin — 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya — 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva — 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim — 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka — 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon — 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha — 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin — 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys — 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET