Luke Shaw has taken criticism about his fitness levels on the chin, as the most expensive teenager in the world adapts to life at Manchester United.
Shaw, 19, was sent to train on his own this week by new United boss Louis van Gaal after the Dutchman deemed Shaw’s fitness levels to be inadequate.
[RELATED: Shaw not fit enough]
The England international, who was the youngest player to perform at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has been deployed in a left wing back role in three friendlies for United on their U.S. tour so far, instead of his usual left back position. Under van Gaal United are likely to play a 3-5-2 formation so it’s a position Shaw should get used to playing. On Tuesday evening the former Southampton defender came on for the second half against Inter Milan after Reece James was unable to play. Shaw had already been put through a heavy training session on Tuesday in Washington D.C. after van Gaal stated he is “not fit enough to do what I want” but he played the second half.
Speaking after United’s penalty shootout win over Inter at FedExField, Shaw agreed with van Gaal’s assessment.
“It’s something I totally agree with. Playing in this formation you really have to be fit. I am fit but not at his high demands,” Shaw said. “I know I have got to get fitter to get up and down. That’s something I am going to work on, and tonight in 45 minutes I felt really good, so I am looking forward to keep on progressing until the start of the season. I didn’t come into United thinking it’s going to be much harder and that’s something I made a mistake on. I thought it was just going to be the same but United is the biggest club in the world and there are world-class players in training so it’s something that is going to push me on.”
Give the last two sentences above, Shaw obviously underestimated the physical demand facing him during preseason. Over the past two seasons in the PL he often came off in the second half of games with small injuries but his pace and power shone through from left back in every single outing.
It seems as though van Gaal is using Shaw as an example to the rest of the United squad. He will not tolerate anything less than peak fitness and he is not scared to bench you. Shaw is 19, willing to listen and learn and has just left Southampton (where he was since the age of 7) for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
This whole episode will be a learning curve for Shaw but as long as he has van Gaal as his mentor and listens to him, he will go far.
John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.
That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.
Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.
The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.
Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.
Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.
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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.
The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.
Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.
According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.
The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”
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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”
Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.
The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.
This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.
The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.
But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.
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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.
Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.
Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:
“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.
“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”