There’s been a whole lot of hullabaloo over Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments that winning the World Cup is “unrealistic” for his United States squad.
So if many outlets are going to talk about his comments without including the subsequent, “the sky is the limit” if they get out of Group G line, then we should probably give equal time to his comments from the eve of Monday night’s 6pm ET opener against Ghana.
“In every area the game is growing and we have the chance to be the locomotive with the National Team. We embrace that and take it one step at a time. Our goal is to go far and I booked my flight to come back after the final.”
The comments were among many hopeful quotes from the US head coach and his players as they prepare to open their World Cup this evening at the Arenas das Dunas in Natal.
Here’s Clint Dempsey:
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play against Ghana, which is a top team. But at the same time, if we play with the best of our ability, we have the quality to go far in this tournament, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
… and Michael Bradley:
“It’s clear that as the game continues to grow in our country, so do the expectations – the media, the focus – and so I think we all welcome that. We welcome the pressure of playing in a World Cup. We know that it won’t be easy, but we certainly feel like if we step on the field and are sharp and are able to play to the best of our ability that we can have a really good World Cup.”
With CONCACAF off to a solid start in the tournament — the confederation is 2-1 with Honduras’ 10-man loss to France the blemish on Costa Rica and Mexico’s impressive wins — the States will be looking to bring more good vibes to the continent.
And maybe we can stop pretending Klinsmann’s telling his guys they are going to lose and might as well just get hammered before the matches even begin?
You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.
“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”
Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.
Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.
Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.
[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]
The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.
Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.
MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.
Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.
He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.
[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]
The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.
Malago recommended Micciche for the position.
The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.
The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.
As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.