Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had fine words for Paul Pogba, but was tickled by the performance of 21-year-old Scott McTominay in the Red Devils scoreless draw with Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
[ RECAP: Sevilla 0-0 Man Utd ]
The visitors emerged unscathed, though without an away goal, and Mourinho raised eyebrows when he kept Pogba on the bench to start the match. The young McTominay started the match, and was paired with Pogba once Ander Herrera left the match with injury.
When a reporter asked Mourinho about McTominay after the match, the boss asked if he could give the reporter a hug before elaborating (via the BBC):
“In the press conference, the questions were about Paul [Pogba] but the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic. He did everything well. He put pressure on Ever Banega and stopped him playing, he’s their playmaker. I think Scott was brilliant.
“I think Paul made a big effort to try to give the team what I asked of him. Paul replaced Ander, he tried to bring to the game the same kind of qualities. He lost a couple of possessions but he also gave us stability because we had a good percentage of possession for the way we played.”
Mourinho was sure to include Nemanja Matic as a big part of the midfield trio.
The Pogba-Mourinho questions aren’t going to go away any time soon, though it should be noted — perhaps strongly — that the player was ill this weekend and United has to face Chelsea in Premier League play this weekend.
Still, he couldn’t help but mention how much he believes “Old Trafford has missed a big European night,” and how he’s looking forward to a potentially big win come March 13.
Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.
Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.
[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]
The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.
Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.
MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.
Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.
He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.
[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]
The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.
Malago recommended Micciche for the position.
The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.
The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.
As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.
U.S. Soccer will wait until after the World Cup to decide on a new head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that U.S. Soccer had extended interim coach Dave Sarachan’s contract through June, after his original deal was set to expire this month. Sarachan has led the U.S. since the resignation of Bruce Arena last October. Sarachan was Arena’s long-time top assistant coach with the LA Galaxy and USMNT before taking the reigns.
[READ: Manneh added to USMNT squad]
Sarachan has led the U.S. to a pair of draws with Portugal and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with two U.S. starting lineups stocked with youngsters as the preparation for the 2022 World Cup gets underway.
Sarachan and the U.S. are currently holding a training camp in Cary, N.C. ahead of a friendly match next Tuesday against Paraguay. Sarachan will also coach the U.S. against Bolivia, Ireland and France before departing.
By extending Sarachan through June, it makes it more likely that U.S. Soccer will either look abroad for its next coach or pick a coach who is currently a free agent – like Caleb Porter – or already within the system – like Tab Ramos. It’s possible, but unlikely, that U.S. Soccer could sway Peter Vermes, Oscar Pareja or Gregg Berhalter to leave their clubs halfway through the season for the national team job, and it’s equally unlikely that U.S. Soccer would hold the position open until the next MLS offseason.