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U.S. players with most to gain in Portugal

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Attaching significant weight to the first friendly after a generation-punching defeat is a bit tricky, but the United States men’s national team Tuesday friendly against Portugal is an opportunity to bring some light to a dour fan base.

Not to mention the federation could use a fine “all’s not lost” 90 minutes or so following the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Fekir to Arsenal? ]

For some players, it’s a last chance to make an improved impression on not Big Sam, not Big Sam, not Big Sam whoever might be thinking of leading this team in the future. For others, it’s an opportunity to state their claims to spot in the future while also getting some rare run in Europe, where scouts will certainly be checking out the brightest young Portuguese prospects as well.

Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town) — The 28-year-old center mid is getting regular run in the Premier League, and was criminally overlooked by Bruce Arena and Jurgen Klinsmann. While we can debate the merits of each staff’s wedding to Michael Bradley in the center of the park, there won’t be too much room for veterans in the young and promising center midfield pack moving forward.

And, in case you forgot, he’s not just a nasty tackling man:

The goalkeeper(s) — Bill Hamid (27 later this month) is the oldest of the bunch, but whoever earns the start for Dave Sarachan’s men has a chance and the opponent to demand a place in the team moving forward. While this could be the trio for some time aside from a Tim Howard testimonial or Brad Guzan renaissance, here’s a first chance to lay claim to the top spot.

Kelyn Rowe — Rowe had an outstanding Gold Cup, and Arena rewarded him by keeping him nowhere near the squad for the rest of his second tenure as USMNT bench boss. It’s not apple to apple, Rowe gets a look over Nagbe here, and has proven over time to be better at crossing and is dispossessed less. The diminutive 25-year-old is also one of the good guys off the field, and worthy of the chance.

Juan Agudelo — Rowe’s New England teammate is still just 24, but has wasted so many chances to become a big part of the USMNT. Sixteen of his 26 caps came before he turned 20. Here’s his timeline with the USMNT:

Nov. 2010 – Oct. 2011 — 16 caps, 2 goals, assist
Nov. 2011 – Oct. 2012 — No caps
Nov. 2012 – Jan. 2013 – 2 caps, 53 minutes, assist
Feb. 2013 – March 2015 – 1 cap, five minutes
April 2015 – June 2015 – 2 caps, assist
July 2015 – Oct. 2016 – No caps
Oct. 2016 – Feb. 2017 – 3 caps
March 2017 – June 2017 – No caps
July 2017 – Sept. 2017 – 3 caps
Sept. 2017 – present – No caps

At some point, the caps stop coming.

Wagner praises “proper Terriers reaction” and fans

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David Wagner was beaming after Huddersfield Town’s hard-fought 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Huddersfield won the game thanks to Rajiv Van la Parra‘s stunning goal in the first half and their fighting spirit after Christopher Schindler was sent off early in the second half.

Speaking to the media after the game, Wagner said the gutsy display was one of the highlights of his entire two years in charge of the Terriers.

“Today was one of the highlights of my two years here,” Wagner said. “The players totally deserved the win and had a long way to go after the red card, but the players showed a proper ‘Terriers’ reaction. The crowd played their part in getting the result over the line; they were unbelievable again. We showed team spirit, fighting spirit and the ability to defend. The game’s story makes it one of our biggest wins.”

Huddersfield secured back-to-back wins in the top-flight for the first time since 1971 and they’ve now won four games in the Premier League and gained 15 points to nestle themselves safely into midtable after 11 games of their debut campaign in the PL.

It’s all going very nicely for German-American coach Wagner who is getting the best out of his players and the synergy between the staff and the fans is incredible after the home fans helped push their short-handed side over the line late on against West Brom.

The win in a game they simply had to win to keep their feel-good factor going, was also largely down to their goalkeeper who Wagner ran straight towards at the final whistle.

Jonas Lossl came up with big saves to deny James McClean and Matt Phillips late on and the Huddersfield ‘keeper was mobbed by players and staff at the final whistle.

In a nutshell, this game summed up exactly why Huddersfield gained promotion to the Premier League and also why they’re doing such a fine job early in the season.

With Wagner’s two-year anniversary of taking charge of Huddersfield coming up on Sunday, he can reflect on an incredible journey so far.

Huddersfield 1-0 West Brom: 10-man Terriers dig deep

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  • Rajiv Van la Parra scores stunner
  • Schindler sent off in 57th minute
  • West Brom without a PL win since August

Huddersfield Town secured back-to-back home wins in top-flight for the first time since 1971 as David Wagner‘s men battled to a 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Rajiv Van La Parra’s goal proved to be the difference for a Terriers side who had Christopher Schindler sent off early in the second half but goalkeeper Jonas Lossl came up big late on to secure all three points.

With the win Huddersfield move on to 15 points for the season and into the top 10, while West Brom are just two points off the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Brom looked dangerous from set pieces early and Ahmed Hegazi almost got on the end of a corner but Huddersfield cleared.

Huddersfield responded well and Aaron Mooy‘s corner reached the back post but Christopher Schindler’s effort was off target.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Tom Ince then forced Ben Foster into a save with a low effort as the Terriers continued to press. From another Mooy corner the ball dropped to Ince but he smashed his shot over the bar under pressure from Kieran Gibbs.

Just before half time a magical moment arrived as Van La Parra picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, then sent a dipping, curling effort into the top corner to send the John Smith’s Stadium wild.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Huddersfield were dealt a huge blow in the second half as Schnidler was shown a second yellow card (his first yellow came in the first half for blocking off Hal Robson-Kanu) for a reckless tackle on Hegazi. The Terries were down to 10-men for the final 35 minutes.

The home side handled the challenge of going down to 10-men well but West Brom sent on plenty of attackers to try and grab a point. Salomon Rondon flicked a header just wide of the near post as Huddersfield had to batten down the hatches late on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

There were some tough moments for Huddersfield late on with goalkeeper Lossl coming up with several big saves as the Terriers fans, as always, created a great atmosphere to help drag their team through.

What a gutsy win from the newly-promoted team.

VIDEO: Huddersfield’s Van La Parra scores stunner

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Rajiv Van la Parra, take a bow.

Huddersfield Town’s winger scored a stunning goal from distance to give them the lead against West Bromwich Albion.

Van La Parra picked the ball up 30 yards out and sent a bending, dipping shot into the top corner to send the John Smith’s Stadium wild.

Click play on the video above to watch his first-ever goal in the Premier League.

Watch Live: Four Premier League games at 11am ET

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Four Premier League games are coming your way at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday and you can watch them all live online.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Newcastle United host Bournemouth, West Brom head to Huddersfield, Southampton welcome Burnley and Swansea clash with Brighton.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 11 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all four games at 11 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. West Bromwich Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Southampton vs. Burnley – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM
10 a.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]