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Netherlands tops Chile for Group B as Fer, Memphis tally goals

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Leroy Fer scored in the 77th minute and Memphis Depay added a goal in stoppage time as the Netherlands won Group B in the 2014 World Cup with a 1-0 decision over Chile in Monday’s group finale.

It was another close win for Louis van Gaal’s squad, which did not have a player with ‘van’ in the lineup for the first time since 1996.

Netherlands now gets the second-place team in Group A, likely Mexico or Croatia, while Chile earns a date with the winner (likely a tantalizing match with host nation Brazil).

[ MORE: Mexico surge past Croatia | Neymar lifts Brazil | Spain conquers Socceroos ]
[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]

It was a sleepy affair without a great deal of offense, as the intensity of both nations knowing their may have played a role in the great deal of nothing. This was especially true in the first half.

How brutal was it? This’ll help the description.

The second half at least supplied some moments, as Dirk Kuyt headed a strong Arjen Robben corner kick wide of the Chile goal in the 75th minute. Memphis lashed a shot on goal in the 77th that was deflected over the bar by Bravo.

But Fer, the Norwich City man, found the target on a free kick moments later, turning his head into a hammer to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Soccerly examines how Dutch won the group ]

Chile carried possession, danger and corner kicks late, but could not find their way through for an equalizer. Then Robben’s counter ended with a gorgeous low pass that Memphis buried for his second goal in as many matches.

Memphis, 20, is a transfer rumor favorite this offseason for Manchester United and Real Madrid amongst others.


Chile: Bravo; Silva (Valdivia, 70′), Medel, Jara; Mena, Isla, Aranguiz, Diaz; Gutierrez (Beausejour, 46′); Sanchez, Vargas (Ferrara, 80′)

Netherlands: Cillessen; Vlaar, de Vrij, Blind; Janmaat, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Kuyt )(Kongolo, 89′);  Sneijder (Fer, 75′); Robben, Lens (Memphis, 68′)

Goals: (Fer, 77′), Memphis (90+2′)

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.