Kyle Scott

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Conte admits selection headache before wild 12-day run

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Antonio Conte has a selection headache after Willian scored twice and both Olivier Giroud and Pedro also found the back of the net in an FA Cup thrashing of Hull City on Friday.

[ MORE: American debuts for Chelsea ]

Given the relative struggles of the rest of the team in recent weeks — aside from a 3-0 win against lowly West Brom — that has Conte assessing who’s best suited for a brutal 12-day stretch which sees Chelsea play Barcelona, Manchester United, and Manchester City.

Alvaro Morata is in a prolonged slump, and Giroud has put in a couple of fine performances. Willian has been one of Chelsea’s best players for some time, but with Pedro and Eden Hazard also on song, well, there are a lot of cooks for this particular stew.

From ChelseaFC.com:

‘I’m very happy because before the game against Barcelona I go to my house with many doubts in my mind about what is the best starting XI for the game. Now we must take the right time to make the best decision.

‘The last two wins were very important for our confidence and to prepare in the right way for Barcelona. It’s a massive game. We must be confident to prepare for it in the right way. The game starts at 0-0, and then we have to try to move it in the right direction.

The four-goal Friday first half allowed Conte to pull off Pedro at half and Cesc Fabregas after 62 minutes — handing a senior debut to U.S. prospect Kyle Scott — and that will allay plenty of exhaustion fears.

Willian and Hazard should be given against Barcelona, and Pedro also seems fit for the three men behind the big striker (especially considering his limited Friday duty). In terms of form, Giroud’s the guy. But Morata was brought here for nights like this.

Scott, dual Americans must top Cordeiro’s USMNT priorities

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With no national team in the World Cup and without a wild outsider laying claim to the U.S. presidential chair, many American soccer fans have let the United States men’s national team slip to the back of their minds.

And while that’s understandable, new boss Carlos Cordeiro needs his recruiters working hard in two areas: finding the top man to be U.S. technical director, and making sure the next Jonathan Gonzalez isn’t largely ignored while he decides to switch allegiances to Mexico.

[ MORE: American debuts as Chelsea tops Hull ]

He may not have a ton of convincing to do, thanks to current staffers, but there are a least a couple dozen short phone calls he should make on behalf of the men’s national team.

“Hey, I’m the new president. We’re going to hire some new soccer people and a USMNT manager, but I want you to know we know and care about you.”

LONDON: Scott holds off pressure from Evandro Goebel (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images).

Kyle Scott stands as one of three reminders just this month. The Chelsea 20-year-old center midfielder, born in Bath, represented England at U-16 level and Republic of Ireland at U-17 before switching to the U.S. for U-18 and U-20 duty.

He is, barring some unknown FIFA bylaws, another prospect who could fall between the cracks™.

Eight days ago, Bundesliga.com listed 10 young league talents who could “soon join the USA national team,” including teenagers like Bayern Munich youth Timothy Tillman, Malik Tillman, and Jalen Hawkins, as well as established players like Borussia Dortmund’s Jeremy Toljan (23).

Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep moved four Mexican-American prospects into the hopper when he wrote about three LA Galaxy prospects and NC State right back Manny Perez.

Plus: we’re all quite aware of Spurs center back Cameron Carter-Vickers.

I was critical of U.S. Soccer for implementing a number of significant measures last month in the run-up to the presidential election, things that might have been better with approval from the new president, but it’s worth noting that not a single one of these players needed to wait for a recruitment push from Tab Ramos or any number of influential people in the USSF set-up.

To be clear: playing in a German youth set-up doesn’t make a player superior to stateside prospects, and there are any number of perceived European academy washouts playing NCAA Soccer who won’t go on to sniff an MLS Draft slot, let alone a battle between Hoffenheim and Mainz.

But Bob Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann were both very successful at convincing players, future stars and let-downs alike, to choose their American heritage. Whether Bruce Arena or Tim Howard thinks these players are American-blooded enough to succeed is irrelevant in my opinion, let the field sort that out.

But Cordeiro could go a long way toward currying favor with his new populace by finding the next Klinsmann-level super recruiter to make sure that the player pool is as deep as possible.

American debuts, Willian stars, Chelsea wins

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Willian made a statement within 120 seconds of kickoff on Friday, and Chelsea repeated it often during a four-goal first half: Hull City was not getting near the FA Cup quarterfinals.

The Brazilian scored twice, while goals also came for Olivier Giroud and Pedro in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over the Tigers.

[ MORE: West Brom players investigated in Spain ]

Hull’s Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, won a penalty kick in the 49th minute off a hasty Cesc Fabregas tackle, and David Meyler was stopped by Wily Caballero to preserve the clean sheet.

American U-20 center midfielder Kyle Scott made his full Chelsea debut in the match, subbing on for Fabregas in the 62nd minute and joining Matt Miazga and Roy Wegerle as U.S. players to don the blue of Chelsea.

Scott entered the game with 60 appearances for Chelsea between the U-18 and U-23 levels, with four goals and seven assists.

The Blues got a pair from Willian, including a 2nd minute opener off a poor Hull idea, as they rolled past the Tigers at Stamford Bridge.

Willian dinged the far post with an 89th minute effort, denied of the hat trick.

Here’s the opener:

Chelsea 3-3 Roma – Thrills at the Bridge

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  • Luiz, Hazard put Chelsea up 2-0
  • Kolarov, Dzeko brace flip lead
  • Hazard nabs equalizer
  • U.S. U-20 mid Scott on bench for Chelsea

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea overcame the sacrifice of a 2-0 lead and the Blues drew AS Roma 3-3 at Stamford Bridge in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

David Luiz also scored for Chelsea. Ex-Man City men Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov starred for Roma, with Dzeko scoring twice and Kolarov adding a goal and an assist.

Chelsea has seven points to lead Group C, two more than Roma and five ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid. The sides will meet again in Rome on Halloween.

[ MORE: Landon Donovan, USSF prez? ]

Luiz started the scoring with a delightful strike. Call it a second bite at the proverbial apple if you must, but then admit he sunk his teeth into it.

Eden Hazard made a darting run to double Chelsea’s lead, but Kolarov pulled Roma within one with a deflected strike past Thibaut Courtois.

Diego Perotti curled a shot that hardly troubled Courtois in the 63rd minute, the Chelsea keeper just leaving his feet collect it.

Dzeko and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Then the former Man City striker struck again, seeing a long diagonal ball over his shoulder and whizzing a perfect left-footed volley through the flailing arms of Courtois.

Dzeko then made a late move before a Kolarov free kick to lose his mark and nod home a go-ahead goal.

It wasn’t over, as Hazard found his way to space and a cross from Pedro.

The Belgian headed his chance beyond a diving Alisson, and it was 3-3 with 15 minutes to play.

American-English midfielder Kyle Scott did not make his Chelsea bow. The 19-year-old has represented England at the U-16 level and the U.S. at the U-18 and U-20 levels.

Premier League releases 25-man squads for 2017-2018 season

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With the close of the transfer window, Premier League rosters are now set for the season.

On Friday evening, after teams submitted their squads, the Premier League released each team’s 25-man squads for the current season.

There are some notable omissions. Arsenal left out Santi Cazorla, who continues to recover from an achillies injury while Chelsea left Abdul Baba Rahman off its list. However, Diego Costa was included on Chelsea’s roster despite the Spanish international’s attempts to force a move away. Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk and Everton’s Ross Barkley made their club’s squads as well.

There are six Americans currently registered for the upcoming season. Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron, Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin and Huddersfield Town’s Danny Williams are registered as senior squad members. Bournemouth’s Emerson Hyndman, Arsenal’s Gedion Zelalem and Chelsea’s Kyle Scott are registered as Under-21 players, while Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers, on loan at Sheffield United for the season, is also registered as an Under-21 player.

 

Per Premier League rules, no more than 17 players who don’t fulfill the league’s “home grown” requirements can be registered. A home grown player is someone who has been registered by the FA or the Welsh FA for three years before the age of 21.

Under-21 players, those born after January 1, 1996, are eligible to play in the Premier League this season without being registered. Teams can update and change their squads

Here’s a look at the 2017-2018 Premier League squads:

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