Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic, left celebrates after scoring the opening goal with teammate Edin Dzeko during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Manchester City still dream of a quadruple after beating Chelsea to advance in the FA Cup


Prior to hosting Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Manuel Pellegrini insisted that he would not change the approach of his Manchester City side, that they would go out and attack. And attack they did, beating Chelsea 2-0 to advance to the quarter finals – and remaining alive in all four competitions they’re involved in.

Any doubts that some had over Pellegrini’s decision to continue with his same tactics, despite being beaten by Chelsea not even two weeks earlier, were erased by the 16th minute. That’s when Stevan Jovetić, who’d hit the bar just a minute before, put Manchester City ahead. While David Silva sent the ball up the pitch, Jovetić, running up the right, easily left Cesar Azpilicueta in the dust, arriving just in time to grab a ball from Edin Džeko. His tidy finish hit the inside of the far post, leaving Petr Cech helpless.

José Mourinho tried to change things up by replacing Samuel Eto’o with new boy Mohamed Salah at the half, but Chelsea were still unable to get a look in. Nor did the introduction of Fernando Torres for Ramires at the hour mark do much to provide hope to the visitors.

Instead it was City that got the second. Samir Nasri, on for Jovetić just six minutes earlier, exchanged passes with David Silva before tapping in for the Citizens’ second. Replays showed that Silva was just a touch offside when receiving the ball from Nasri, but it also looked like David Luiz may have managed to stop the goal had he tracked the run rather than stopping with his hand in the air…

Man City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Javi Garcia, Toure, Silva (Navas 68), Džeko (Negredo 80), Jovetić (Nasri 61)

Goals: Jovetić 16′, Nasri 67′

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Matic, Ramires (Torres 61), Willian, Hazard, Eto’o (Salah 45)

How will USMNT line up vs. Mexico in CONCACAF Cup?

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You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.

With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.

Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.

JPW’s choice

—– Guzan —–

— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —

Jones —– Bradley

— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Mix-and-match XI

—– Howard —–

— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Williams —–

— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —

— Altidore — Zardes —

Stopping Mexico

—– Howard —–

— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Cameron —–

— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —

— Altidore —


I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.

The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.

“Legends World Cup” hope to bring Beckham, Zidane to Mexico

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David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane coaxed out of retirement to play in a “Legends World Cup” you say?

Well, that got my attention.

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According to an interview with the BBC’s world service, the organizers of the 2017 Legends World Cup are hoping to entice both Becks and Zizou to roll back the years and represent their nations in Mexico.

Beckham, 40, and Zidane, 43, are already putting their boots back on to captain a Great Britain and Ireland XI vs. a World XI for a friendly at Old Trafford on November 14 to raise money for UNICEF, and former Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos, 48, has urged the duo to take part in the tournament in 2017 where he will coach Mexico’s team.

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From the BBC:

“I want to see Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazilian Ronaldo,” said Campos, 48, the flamboyant ex-Mexico goalkeeper who will coach his country.

“Everybody wants to see Argentina’s Diego Maradona, but he can’t play. He’s too old.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2017, with 12 teams in total — four from the Americas, six from Europe and one each from Africa and Asia — taking part.

Given the age (players must be aged between 35-45) and caliber of the players Campos and Co. are trying to recruit, let’s have a think about who would play for the U.S.

Landon Donovan and Brian McBride up front? Brad Friedel in goal? Let us know who would make the squad.