No Lamela, Tevez or Speroni for Argentina’s March 5 friendly with Romania

Leave a comment

It’s hard to tell whether the buzz for Alejandro Sabello’s Argentina roster for a March 5 friendly against Romania is more about who’s on the list or who’s off it.

There are surprising inclusions on the 22-man roster, thought the names not included are some notable ones: Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Erik Lamela (Spurs), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan) and Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace).

Tevez hasn’t played for his country since 2011 and apparently his club form — he has 14 goals for The Old Lady this season — has not swayed Sabello. Meanwhile, Lamela’s World Cup hopes have suffered along with his playing time at White Hart Lane.

Our pals at Soccerly note the roster’s three biggest surprises:

Former Porto defender Nicolás Otamendi makes his return to the national team after heading to Brazilian side Atlético-MG.

Another former Vélez man getting a look is also Gino Peruzzi as Sabella looks to observe another option at right back. Peruzzi has been a callup of Sabella’s twice already in the 2012 edition of the Clásico de las Americas and also was part of the national team when Argentina played Venezuela and Bolivia in March of last season.

Another surprise in Sabella’s list was that of Getafe’s Lisandro López.  The stalwart for Arsenal’s title-winning side last year is now looking to earn a spot at central defender as that position is still wide open for the taking.

Here’s the full list:

Messi, Lionel – FC Barcelona (ESP)
Mascherano, Javier – FC Barcelona FC (ESP)
Sosa, José – Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
Di María, Ángel – Real Madrid (ESP)
Fernández, Augusto – Celta de Vigo (ESP)
López, Lisandro – Getafe (ESP)
Campagnaro, Hugo – Inter (ITA)
Álvarez, Ricardo – Inter (ITA)
Palacio, Rodrigo – Inter (ITA)
Higuaín, Gonzalo – Napoli (ITA)
Fernández, Federico -Napoli (ITA)
Andújar, Mariano – Catania (ITA)
Peruzzi, Gino – Catania (ITA)
Biglia, Lucas – Lazio (Italia)
Agüero, Sergio – Manchester City (ENG)
Zabaleta, Pablo – Manchester City (ENG)
Lavezzi, Ezequiel – Paris-Saint Germain (FRA)
Romero, Sergio – AS Mónaco (FRA)
Garay, Ezequiel – SL Benfica (POR)
Rojo, Marcos – Sporting Lisbon (POR)
Basanta, José – Monterrey (MEX)
Otamendi, Nicolás – Atlético Mineiro (BRA)

VIDEO: Pedro scores stunning goal for Chelsea

Leave a comment

Not a bad way to start the Premier League weekend…

12 minutes into the first game of Matchweek 9, Chelsea’s Pedro curled home a stunning effort into the far corner and off the far post after a corner was played short to him.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

A simply stunning goal from the Spaniard which you can watch in the video above.

Watch Live: Chelsea v. Watford in top five clash

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chelsea host Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via as fifth and fourth clash.


Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea are without a win in three games in all competitions and some pressure is starting to build on the Blues as they’ve fallen further behind the two Manchester clubs atop the PL table.

As for Watford, Marco Silva‘s men are in fourth place and aiming to keep up their impressive away form in the PL this season with three of their four wins coming on the road.

In team news Chelsea’s injuries are piling up with Victor Moses and N'Golo Kante missing but Alvaro Morata does start after recovering from his hamstring injury, while Watford start Troy Deeney up top after his impressive cameo against Arsenal last week.


Chelsea: Courtois; Rudiger, David Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison. Subs:

Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr named NWSL league MVP for 2017

Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images
Leave a comment

CHICAGO (AP) Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player for this season.

Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals and became the league’s fifth Golden Boot winner to also be named MVP.

[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]

She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.

Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.

The Mendy Effect: Pep praises injured back

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Full back Benjamin Mendy cost Pep Guardiola and Manchester City $68 million, but perhaps he’ll be just as valuable as a very expensive sports psychologist.

The “Shark Team” member was amusing on social media even before his ACL injury sent him to the sidelines until at least April, but he’s become a must-follow Twitter fixture with his in-game messages (See some of his work below).

[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]

City faces Burnley at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on CNBC and online via

It’s fairly clear his act has translated in private, too, as apparently Mendy is just as good in group messages (Let us in, Pep. We won’t tell anyone). From

“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad. They sometimes train apart and feel isolated.

“Mendy decided to be present. He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”

It’s not surprising for anyone who’s been following the former Le Havre, Marseille and Monaco man.

Keep in mind, these Tweets below are from the last few days alone!