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Luis Suarez is the best in the world, says Steven Gerrard

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Steven Gerrard has confirmed what many soccer fans have been saying for some time now – that right now, Luis Suarez is the best player in the world.

“On current form he’s the best player in the world,” Gerrard told Sky Sports television.

“Lionel Messi’s out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo’s had a bit of an injury of late,” the Liverpool captain said. “He (Suarez) is certainly the best striker out there. He’s proving that with his minutes-to-goals ratio.”

No disagreeing with Gerrard on this one. Luis Suarez is an absolute phenomenon.

Liverpool are a quality side with a savvy manager but without Luis Suarez there’s zero chance the Reds would be in first place. Top 4, yes. But top of the table? No way.

The fact that blows me away is Suarez’ goals per game average and how that could transpire over the course of the season. In 12 appearances he’s notched 19 goals, a rate of 1.583 goals per game.

If calculated over the remaining 21 games of the 2013-14 season that means the Uruguayan is projected to score 52 goals this year. Fifty-freaking-two! That’s bananas.

The scoring record in the Premier League can be looked at in two ways: Under the 42 game season that the Premier League utilized during its first three seasons (1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95) the record is 34 goals scored, shared by Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-94). In the modern day 38 game season the record is 31 goals, held by Shearer (1995-96) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08).

Either way, Suarez is on pace to absolutely slaughter those records. In fact, at his current pace he could set the modern day record by the February 8th home clash against Arsenal.

Imagine that? Crowning a new scoring record holder with 13 matches left in the season – and doing it against the club that tried to buy him last summer?

Whether Suarez sets the record in February, March or April makes little difference. Assuming things like form, injuries and suspensions continue to go in Suarez’ favor, that record is going to fall in a big way.

Gerrard is a truthspeaker.

Luis Suarez, best player in the world.

Klinsmann blames Costa Rica loss on Mexico hangover

Jurgen Klinsmann

The United States lost their third straight match on home soil tonight, the first such losing streak since 1997.

Following an extra-time loss to Mexico on Saturday, the U.S. failed to compete in a friendly against Costa Rica, putting in another poor performance as the side continues to struggle.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

In his post match press conference, Jurgen Klinsmann said his team was still shaking off the loss against Mexico, and couldn’t recover in time for tonight’s game.

Yes, the United States’ match against Mexico went 120 minutes. Yes, it was a very tough game both physically and mentally. However, it’s time for Klinsmann to stop making excuses.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the USMNT’s loss to Costa Rica ]

Of the starting XI against Costa Rica, only four started against Mexico. Of the six substitutes Klinsmann brought in today, only Bobby Wood played in the Mexico match, and for less than 25 minutes.

The problem isn’t that the U.S. lost tonight; it’s that they didn’t even show up. What Klinsmann needed to do was walk into his press conference and say, “We didn’t come to play tonight. We stunk. That can’t happen and we need to be better. It starts with me.”

[ PLAYER RATINGS: Howard’s return highlights poor performances from USMNT ]

Top teams don’t dwell on past results. Top teams rebound quickly and back up poor performances with strong performances. When a top team would have bounced back, the United States fell flat.

Clearly the argument is, well, the United States isn’t a top team. But isn’t that what Klinsmann was brought in to do? To help develop the USMNT into a top team? The least they could do is act like one, and that starts with the manager.

College Soccer Update: Tragedy strikes USC Upstate with horrible car accident

USC Upstate
USC Upstate
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No interviews today. No star players and programs. Just mourning.

USC Upstate lost four students earlier this week, two of them men’s soccer players, in an early morning car accident this weekend. A fifth was injured when the car they were driving in ran off the road, hit a tree, and caught fire.

James Campbell and Mills Sproul are the soccer players who’ve left the pitch for the final time.

[ MORE: College soccer news ]

USC Upstate’s athletic department held a candelight vigil on Monday, and honored both players with online memorials.

From Campbell’s, entitled “James Campbell Was an Intense Player Whose Competitiveness Made Those Around Him Play Harder”:

While Kyle Juell and James attended different high schools, they played club soccer together. “James was intense and passionate on the field,” Juell said. “He was the kind of aggressive player you wanted as a teammate. He was fun and warm and full of life and he cared so much about his teammates.”

From Sproul’s, entitled “Mills Sproul Put the Needs of Others Before His Own and Was Accepting of All”:

Mills’ teammate Deon Rose said that Mills was like the brother he never had.

“The first time I met him, I knew that he was special,” Rose said. “Not because he asked me if we had beaches in Canada or how Canadians survived without Chick-fil-A, but because he had an unconditional love for everyone and everything.”

Our thoughts are with the USC Upstate team, and entire community. Rest in peace.

Three stars of the week

1. University of California Santa Barbara — The Gauchos leapt from “receiving votes” to No. 14 in the nation. The Gauchos have won five-straight, all in-state, by a combined score of 13-3.

2. Joey Piatczyc, West Virginia — The midfielder leads the nation in assists with 12, one coming in Tuesday’s upset of Penn State, a match in which he also scored his first of the year. The Mountaineers shocked PSU with a 3-0 home win in Morgantown.

3. Francis Atuahene and Colin McAtee, Michigan — The Ghanaian freshman is a lightning bolt, and keeps producing goals along with the redshirt senior McAtee, who hails from San Diego. The Wolverines beat Duquesne 3-0 on Tuesday.

Other notes

— Creighton dropped two of its 24 first place votes, one each to North Carolina and Stanford, but remains the No.1 men’s team in the nation.

— Wake Forest hasn’t allowed a goal in three matches, against quality competition in NC State, South Carolina and Boston College. There were stretches in the 2-0 win over South Carolina where they looked unbeatable.

— Speaking of the Demon Deacons, they’ll face dangerous UNC on Saturday in what will be a cracker.

— Also No. 1:Florida State (Women’s D-1), Gannon (Women’s D-2), Trinity of Texas (Women’s D-3), Pfeiffer (Men’s D-2), Franklin & Marshall (Men’s D-3).