Everton 1-0 Watford: Goal for Barkley in his last game at Goodison?

Leave a comment
  • Barkley’s 5th goal this season broke the deadlock
  • Everton locked into 7th-place finish
  • Watford miss chance to go 10th, remain 15th

With their season two games from the finish line and virtually nothing to play for, you’d almost understand if Everton turned in a pair of subpar performances to close out the 2016-17 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

On Friday, though, with Watford visiting in the final game at Goodison Park this season, Ronald Koeman‘s side cruised to victory courtesy of Ross Barkley‘s fifth goal of the season just 10 minutes after halftime.

Tom Davies forced Gomes into a difficult diving save in the 22nd minute, as the 18-year-old academy product fired from 25 yards out but Watford’s Brazilian no. 1 was quick to scramble across the face of goal and push the swerving ball wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Barkley, with constant speculation over his future at Everton ongoing, put his name into the headlines once again with a well-hit strike from 25 yards out in the 56th minute. The ball’s downward movement froze Gomes ever so slightly as it dipped and moved right to left before nestling itself into the inside netting.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Perhaps Everton should have been awarded a penalty not long after the hour mark, as Romelu Lukaku was taken down by Daryl Janmaat‘s sliding challenge in an attempt to win the ball. If Janmaat won the ball, the contact he made with it was ever so slight and simultaneous to contact with Lukaku.

The lone moment in which Joel Robles was called upon to preserve Everton’s lead came in the 87th minute, as the ball was played long and into the box, and M’Baye Niang blasted a shot toward goal from eight yards out. The Spanish goalkeeper was quick to react and dive to his right, making the save with his outstretched right hand.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The result sees Everton, who can’t finish any higher or lower than seventh this season, cross the 60-point plateau as they reach 61 points for the first time in three seasons. Watford, meanwhile, would have gone 10 in the PL table with a win, but the defeat means they’ll spend another few days in 15th instead.

Photo: Flamengo supporter tattoos club jersey on body

MAURÍCIO DOS ANJOS VIA VICE
Leave a comment

A supporter in Brazil has taken fandom to a whole new level with a piece of body art that shows his devotion to the club.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Maurício dos Anjos, a passionate Flamengo fan, has been a life-long supporter of the Rio de Janeiro-based club, and has the tattoo to prove it.

While it may look like body paint, Dos Anjos has a tattoo on the upper-half of his body depicting the Flamengo jersey, and it’s pretty awesome.

“People ask me if I don’t find it strange that I’m always wearing a Flamengo shirt. And I just don’t,” dos Anjos told VICE. “To me, it’s normal. But it doesn’t seem like anyone I talk to about it actually dislikes my tattoo.”

In total, Dos Anjos says the body work took over 90 hours and 30 sessions to complete the tattoo.

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Leave a comment

When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

[ MORE: Go behind the scenes at NYCFC’s new training facility ]

Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.

Report: USMNT likely to face Brazil, Mexico in September friendlies

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.

[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]

ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.

The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.

Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.

The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.

The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment
Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]