Comparing NFL and Premier League stars

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Ever find yourself watching the NFL and wondering how a Premier League player would get on? Or vice versa?

Yeah, me too.

[ MORE: Ranking top 10 players in each position

With so many Premier League stars now growing up watching the NFL in England due to the success of the International Series (yes, we are talking about you and your Patriots fandom, Harry Kane) this summer plenty of PL stars caught up with NFL stars during their preseason tours to the States.

That got us thinking here at Pro Soccer Talk: what are the best examples of PL/NFL crossovers with active players from both leagues?

With the 2017-18 PL season kicking off this weekend and the new NFL season next month, remember the following comparisons when cheering on your favorite teams/players.

And of course, feel free to add your own pairings in the comment section below.


Andrew Luck/Harry Kane – The golden boys who you’d want your daughters to date. Face of their franchises and will be for many years. Consummate leaders

Le’Veon Bell/Alexis Sanchez – Flair and ability to pull off the unbelievable with an incredible inner-drive. But, locked in contract disputes

Antonio Brown/Sadio Mane – Absolutely rapid and able to punish opponents in an instance

Odell Beckham/Paul Pogba – Languid and full of sublime skill, star names who aren’t afraid of the spotlight

Tom Brady/Cesc Fabregas – Passmasters who are hated by many outsiders but loved by their current clubs. Serial winners

Larry Fitzgerald/Romelu Lukaku – Get the job done no matter what. Not always the most influential on the pitch/field but reliable

Ben Roethlisberger/Vincent Kompany – Have two titles tucked into their back pocket and keep returning from injury for more

Julio Jones/Mesut Ozil – Laid back on the field and off it. Stars of teams who are almost always the bridesmaids. Mercurial

Clay Matthews/David Luiz – The dudes with the funny hair but also damn good defenders who stop opponents with considerable style

Ezekiel Elliot/Dele Alli – Rising stars for sleeping giants and set to become the face of the league. Enough said

Cam Newton/Daniel Sturridge – Plenty of sass and confidence but can back it up on the pitch. Well, when they’re healthy anyway

Julian Edelman/Sergio Aguero – “Mr. Clutch” characters who always come up with the good when their teams need it in the biggest moments

MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 2-1 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For nearly 75 minutes, NYCFC couldn’t muster up any chances in the attacking third, but thankfully their captain did what he does best. David Villa scored his 19th goal of the season on Sunday night to pull out a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution, but it was rookie Jonathan Lewis that notched the winner. The visitors took the lead 20 minutes prior after Sean Johnson spilled a shot in front of his own goal, allowing Teal Bunbury to pounce on the rebound. NYCFC now moves to within four points of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC with nine matches remaining in the regular season.

Three four moments that mattered

16′ — Harrison breaks ankles, but Villa can’t finish — This might be the only time all see you’ll see David Villa miss a chance like this…

38′ — Johnson gets a finger tip to Rowe’s blast — Sean Johnson had no work to do in the first half, at least until Kelyn Rowe decided to rip a shot from distance just before halftime.

57′ — Johnson’s error grants Bunbury, Revs the lead — Look away, NYCFC fans.

77′ — Villa find the back of the net — When you need a goal, who you gonna call? That’s right. David Villa. The NYCFC captain is now up to 19 this season.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Teal Bunbury (57′), David Villa (77′), Jonathan Lewis (90+4′)

Honoring victims of attacks, Barcelona wins league opener

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Wearing shirts honoring victims of the recent attacks in Spain, Barcelona opened its Spanish league season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday.

[ MORE: Neymar double helps PSG cruise past Toulouse ]

Players had the word “Barcelona” instead of their names on the back of their shirts, and the Catalan hashtag “TOTSSOMBARCELONA” (We are all Barcelona) was on display around the Camp Nou stadium. The message was also shown on the stadium’s large screens, as well as on many banners carried by fans.

An emotional minute’s silence was held before the game as the music of Catalan cellist Pau Casals played in the background.

Before the minute was up, the more than 55,000 fans at the stadium broke into a round of applause and began chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid), a chant which has become a symbol of people’s reactions to the attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 120 in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.

Extra security was implemented in and around Camp Nou.

There was a minute’s silence before every Spanish league match this weekend.

Without Neymar and the injured Luis Suarez, Barcelona got off to a winning start in the league after consecutive losses to rival Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.

It scored two goals three minutes apart near the end of the first half – an own-goal by Betis defender Alin Tosca and a close-range shot by Sergi Roberto. Both goals came after plays started by Gerard Deulofeu, one of the players expected to try to replace Neymar after his world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We lost depth with Neymar’s departure and we have to find a way to overcome that,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Lionel Messi looked lively but wasn’t able to score his 350th goal in La Liga. He came close, though, being denied by the woodwork three different times.

AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni contributed to this report.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Brighton breaks club record with signing of winger Jose Izquierdo

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Brighton hasn’t gotten off to the ideal start in its debut season in the Premier League, but a key reinforcement is on the way.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Spurs at Wembley behind Alonso’s brace ]

After starting the 2017/18 campaign with back-to-back defeats, the Seagulls announced on Sunday the signing of Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge in Belgium for a record fee.

The 25-year-old spent three seasons in Belgium’s top flight and totaled 38 goals across all competitions for Brugge, prior to making the move to England.

Additionally, Izquierdo has worked his way into the Colombia squad as of late, and scored his first international goal for his country in June 2017 in a friendly against Cameroon.

MLS Follow Live — NYCFC hosts Revs, Minnesota meets Sounders

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Only two matches will feature on the MLS docket Sunday evening, but luckily two of the league’s most exciting teams will take to the pitch.

[ MORE: Toronto tops Fire as East leaders reach 50 points on season ]

First, New York City FC will attempt to continue its ascent up the Eastern Conference ladder when they host Kei Kamara and the New England Revolution.

In the night cap, the Seattle Sounders look to extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches when they welcome newcomers Minnesota United to CenturyLink Field.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Here’s the schedule and kick-off times for Sunday’s two MLS fixtures.

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution — 6 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 10 p.m. ET