It has been quite a 2014 already for Sporting KC’s Erik Palmer-Brown, and now it’s about to get even wilder.
The 17-year-old American center back was reportedly at the center of a $1 million bid (and then more) from Juventus in January, and was tabbed for first-team action when Ike Opara suffered a season-ending injury.
With Matt Besler in United States camp, a hamstring ailment for Aurelien Collin and Lawrence Olum suddenly called up to Kenya, Palmer-Brown is one of Vermes only options for Sunday’s match against Chicago.
“Is it the best situation for him to step into? I don’t know,” Vermes said. “But what I do think is that I’ve seen him play at every level. I was there at his trial when he first started with our academy, and I think he was 9 years old and playing on the U-12 team, or 11. I can’t remember the age group that it was, but he was a couple of years younger, and I was blown away that he was that many years younger and he made the team.”
Vermes noted that Palmer-Brown always aims to play up a level.
“It’s like when he went to the [US] 17s, they were surprised,” Vermes said. “At the time, he was 14, and all of a sudden he’s playing there. Then he went to the 18 camp, and the next thing you know, he’s playing there. Then I talk to the U-20 coach, and he said, ‘You really think?’ and I said, ‘Look, he’ll be the best central defender you have. Then he goes and plays, they were like, ‘You’re not kidding. He was the guy who carried the game.’”
The report says Chance Myers could slide into a center back role as well, with defensive mid Uri Rosell having a chance to feature as well. But the World Cup is raising the profile for some future American hopefuls, and it feels extremely likely we’ll at least get our much-anticipated view of EPB on Sunday.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi left the field with a back injury in the second half of a 1-0 victory over Honduras in a friendly Friday night.
The Argentine team captain and Barcelona star was hit on an apparently inconsequential play and immediately went to the locker room. He was replaced at the 62-minute mark by Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and never returned to the field.
“Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and rib cage,” the Argentine Football (Soccer) Association said in a statement, adding that doctors were looking at the injury.
[ MORE: Hull City snares last PL spot for 2016-17 ]
Messi is not a player who leaves the field with minor injuries like he did Friday at San Juan’s Bicentenario stadium.
“I would not dare to venture a diagnosis,” said a concerned Argentine manager, Gerardo Martino.
Gonzalo Higuain, who scored for Argentina, said it “was an important win and here’s hoping that what happened to Leo is nothing.”
Messi was scheduled to fly to Spain to resolve a tax issue and then rejoin the team in Santa Clara, California.
Mohamed Diame was the hero on the day for Hull City, as the Tigers gain promotion to the Premier League next season.
The Senegalese attacker sent Sheffield Wednesday packing on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium after hitting a scorching long-distance effort past goalkeeper Kieren Westwood in the second half.
After an initial back-and-forth spell of chances over the opening half hour-plus, Sheffield was drastically taken out of the match as Hull began to gain their composure on the ball.
Hull City will join Championship winners Burnley and Middlesbrough in the Premier League in 2016-17 after being promoted. Relegated clubs Newcastle, Norwich City and Aston Villa will take their place in England’s second flight.
After their devastating defeat two seasons ago, Atletico Madrid looks for revenge and their first UEFA Champions League title on Saturday against Real Madrid.
Milan will be the site for the action, as Zinedine Zidane and Real are seeking their 11th title in the competition and have the opportunity to knock Atleti out in the title match for the second time in three seasons.
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Real Madrid: Navas, Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema Subs: Casilla, James, Nacho, Lucas Vasquez, Jese, Isco, Danilo
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Filipe Luis, Godin, Savic, Juanfran; Gabi, Fernandez, Koke, Saul Niguez; Griezmann, Torres. Subs: Moya, Tiago, Correa, Hernandez, Thomas, Ferreira-Carrasco, Gimenez.
With Atlanta United FC set to make their MLS debut in 2017, the club is reportedly set to make a major splash with one or possibly two Mexican stars.
[ MORE: Agent: Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not join Man United ]
ESPN FC‘s John Sutcliffe reported from the team’s future home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, on Friday, saying that the team is targeting both Andres Guardado and Carlos Vela.
[ MORE: Edgar Castillo to replace Timmy Chandler for USMNT ]
Guardado, who currently plays for PSV Eindhoven, has long been a staple of the El Tri midfield, making 124 appearances for the Mexican national team.
While Vela wasn’t included in Mexico’s Copa America Centenario roster, the Real Sociedad striker has every bit of talent you’d want from a future Designated Player, which is likely what either Guardado or Vela would be.
Atlanta currently has three players on their roster. Greek goalkeeper Alexandros Tabakis, Junior Burgos and Jeffery Otoo currently round out the squad.
The potential addition(s) of an Andres Guardado or Carlos Vela would prove to be not only big for Atlanta but for MLS as a whole, more so with Vela though. MLS’ growth over recent years has brought young DPs like Sebastian Giovinco and Giovani Dos Santos to Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy, respectively.
Another league addition who is in the prime of their career will only continue to build the league’s reputation, and immediately put Atlanta on the map next season.