Report: DeAndre Yedlin close to Tottenham switch, urged to stay at Seattle

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One of the U.S. national teams’ stars of the summer could soon be suiting up for Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Reports from various outlets suggest Spurs are closing in on Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin and hope to have the deal completed in the next few days.

Goal.com believe that Yedlin will play out the remainder of the 2014 Major League Soccer season with Seattle and then move to the Premier League in January. Yedlin was not present at Sounders practice on Friday and according to reports head coach Sigi Schmid confirmed the youngster was “overseas right now.”

Since then Adrian Hanauer has spoke about Yedlin’s trip overseas and a club spokesman confirmed to ProSoccerTalk that Yedlin is “in talks with a major European team” and that he will arrive back this week and spend the rest of this season with Seattle. ProSoccerTalk have also been in contact with Tottenham but have yet to get an official comment.

The deal for Yedlin is thought to be the largest ever fee paid for a Homegrown MLS players, as Spurs are expected to pay $4.5 million for the pacey right back. Yedlin, 21, may be loaned out to another European club to start with but it is expected that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino would give him a chance to establish himself in the first team.

Former Seattle and Tottenham ‘keeper Kasey Keller isn’t over the moon about the prospect of Yedlin following in the footsteps of Keller and Clint Dempsey as Americans to ply their trade in North London. According to the London Evening Standard, Keller believes Yedlin stick around in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

“Spurs is a tricky place to play,” Keller said. “They’re a team that has a lot of turnover in players. Spurs are a team that has the money, and they are always looking for a bargain, but it’s a tough place to go. I just want to see young American players play regularly, week in and week out. If that’s at Tottenham, great. But if it’s not, then it’s not the right move. It’s hard to develop if you don’t play. I’m not sure DeAndre would even qualify for a work permit. He’s never started a game for the national team, [England] is a tough place to get a work permit. My guess would be that if Tottenham is in the race, it would be to sign DeAndre and loan him out somewhere.”

Keller does bring up a great point. How often will Yedlin play?

Time and time again we have seen young American players move overseas and then a lack of opportunities to play have followed, stunting their development, even though their bank balance may look a lot healthier.

Yedlin could likely command a very large boost in wages from MLS after his stellar performances at the 2014 World Cup and you do have to question what he would gain at sitting on the bench at Spurs, who already have Kyle Walker locked in at right back, than staying and playing regularly for the Sounders.

Lets see how this one plays out as rumors about Yedlin’s future persist.

Henry, Aguero discuss playing up top under Pep

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One great striker got another one to open up on an up-and-down year at Manchester City.

Thierry Henry — one of the greatest of all-time, it must be said — sat down with Sergio Aguero ahead of Thursday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium, and asked the Argentine about Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, and more.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

At times, it’s a fascinating discussion on playing lone striker. Even apart from the obligatory questions regarding Jesus’ arrival at City, Henry and Aguero speak their craft in a manner you don’t see too often.

That’s helped by the fact that Henry played for Guardiola at Barcelona, and can relate to the positional demands of Man City’s boss. Consider this exchange, from Sky Sports:

HENRY: When I was at Arsenal, I played up front and if I wanted to drift out to the left, I could. But when I got to Barca, I had to stay out wide and press. Sometimes doing that can be hard.

AGUERO: The thing I’ve found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches. That’s what Pep asks me to do. It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I’m like.

I’ve been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I’m not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.

In the game itself, I may not realise because I’m so immersed and you can’t stop yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a No 9 and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, “If there’s a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who’s in there? Nobody.”

HENRY: I know all about that, believe you me.

I love this, because it shows how difficult it is for an elite striker to adapt his mentality. Both Henry and Aguero found world-celebrated success by playing in a certain fashion, and Guardiola understood that and still demanded a change. Earlier this season, the manager somewhat famously spoke of improving Aguero.

Aguero has been linked with Real Madrid given the tumult at City.

PHOTO: Liverpool unveils 125th anniversary kit for next season

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Liverpool rolled out its 125th anniversary kit, featuring a special crest to celebrate the occasion.

The Liver bird has 1892 on one side and 2017 on the other, with “125 YEARS” spelled out underneath the club’s emblem.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The red shirt with a gold crest has a white V-neck and white at the ends of the sleeves. The goalkeeper kit is green.

The jersey will be available on May 19, and was announced last month.

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Jara’s goal lifts Pachuca to CONCACAF Champions League crown

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Hirving Lozano’s dipping shot rebounded into the path of Franco Jara, who scored the goal that won Pachuca its fifth CONCACAF Championship early Thursday morning.

The Argentine’s goal was the only one of the win over UANL Tigres, and gave Pachuca its first continental title since 2009-10. USMNT veteran Omar Gonzalez played for the winners, while Jose Torres started for Tigres.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

Major League Soccer teams were eliminated in the semifinals, with FC Dallas falling to Pachuca and Vancouver Whitecaps losing to Tigres.

Beginning with the 2017-18 tournament, qualified MLS and Liga MX teams will not enter the tournament until the Round of 16. The entire tournament will be held in the same calendar year.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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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.