The road to London now seems to go through Mexico

3 Comments

We’ve covered the flaws in the U.S. under-23 team. And good luck fixing all that.

So now let’s examine the hole that’s Caleb Porter’s team just dug. Because his under-23s grabbed themselves a mess of shovels, started madly turning over the dirt and dug themselves a real lulu.

The United States definitely can beat El Salvador on Monday. It’s no slam dunk, for all the reasons outlined in the previous post. Still, there’s no reason Porter’s men can’t come shining through and extend the Olympic dream.

But that’s just it; this whole thing isn’t about showing El Salvador what’s what. Months of planning, training camps, new coaching hires, etc., weren’t all about overcoming a small Central American country on one Monday night in Nashville.

It’s about getting to London, of course. And the road to London just went underwater, suddenly much more difficult to navigate.  Here’s why:

Beating El Salvador only gets the United States into the semifinals, a stage that probably just became significantly tougher.

Best-case scenario for Porter and his team was to win Saturday, gain complete control of the group and switch on the cruise control by changing out eight starters. They could have rested the main men for that important semifinal ahead. (Both semifinal winners gain London 2012 berths.)

Now Porter has no choice but to put his best and brightest out there Monday – for the third time in five days, an absurdly demanding schedule. They will have four full days of rest before the March 31 semifinal in Kansas City. Still, fatigue becomes an issue, especially if their Group B opponent can comfortably rest its top talent in Los Angeles on Tuesday. (The full CONCACAF qualifying schedule is here.)

Speaking of that opponent:

It was always likely to be Honduras or Mexico. By finishing first in Group A, the U.S. under-23s could have maximized their odds of dodging Mexico in the money round. Now, if things go as expected, Mexico will finish first in Group B with Honduras placing second.

Because a U.S. win Monday would most likely leave Porter’s team in second place, that means … yep: Mexico and the United States would meet for a winner-take-all semifinal. Only one of the CONCACAF big boys will go to London.

That’s all assuming the United States can win Monday.

So it looks now like the road to London doesn’t just go through Monday’s dangerous neighborhood (the win-or-go-home against El Salvador). Now it also goes through Mexico’s talented assembly – more than likely, anyway.

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

1 Comment

If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.

Now we are approaching the final few months of the campaign, it is so tight up and down the Premier League table.


Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.


What about the top four and European places?

Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.

Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?


Who are the candidates for relegation?

Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.

Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – March 19

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard



Follow @AndyEdMLS

Projected USMNT lineup for Nations League games in March

0 Comments

The USMNT have two intriguing CONCACAF Nations League games coming up at Grenada and at home against El Salvador over the next week and interim head coach Anthony Hudson has some big decisions to make.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Who is the starter in goal? Who will replace the injured Tyler Adams in midfield? Will Gio Reyna start in attack? And perhaps the biggest question for the USMNT over the last few years: who is going to start as the No. 9?

Below is a look at the projected USMNT lineup for the key Nations League games, with this international window a key window ahead of the Gold Cup this summer.


How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock


Projected USMNT lineup for Nations League games vs Grenada, El Salvador

—– Turner —–

— Dest — M. Robinson — Ream — A. Robinson —

—- McKennie —- Musah —-

—- Reyna —- Aaronson —- Pulisic —-

—– Pepi —–


Analysis of the USMNT lineup options

There is a real battle between Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen emerging. Not quite Friedel, Meola and Keller, but it’s still very good. Turner has looked understandably shaky for Arsenal in his recent Europa League outings and he needs to head out on loan to play regularly next season. That is what Steffen and Horvath have done and their moves from the Premier League to the Championship have worked out perfectly as they’re both regulars for teams battling for promotion to England’s top-flight. Don’t be surprised if Steffen starts over Turner in at least one of these games.

The back four pretty much picks itself with three of the four starters from the World Cup included in this squad in Sergio Dest, Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson. Having Miles Robinson back is a huge boost and it will be intriguing to see his partnership alongside Ream.

In midfield, captain Tyler Adams is missing through injury but you can expect Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah to both be deployed in their usual areas in the engine room. It would be great if Brenden Aaronson was given a free role in the No. 10 position to roam and create just ahead of them but Luca de la Torre could come straight in for Adams in a more defensive kind of role.

In attack Christian Pulisic is a lock on the left wing, while on the right it is time for Gio Reyna to come back into the fold as a regular now that he has finally had regular minutes under his belt at Borussia Dortmund with his injury issues hopefully behind him.

Up top it is one of Daryl Dike, Ricardo Pepi or Alex Zendejas with Taylor Booth an intriguing option following his first senior call-up. It will be fun to see if either Dike or Pepi can take this chance to nail down a starting spot as both have been in good form for West Brom and Groningen respectively, while Zendejas has been in good form for Club America.

USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup

0 Comments

After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the GM (Brian McBride) and Sporting Director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

[ MORE: USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams ]

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.


How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock


USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup

2023

vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — St. George’s, Grenada
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details 

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)


USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0


USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1


USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 


Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification


Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5


Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Premier League relegation scrap: Current form, fixtures, odds, predictions

2 Comments

The Premier League relegation scrap needs some serious paring down, as a remarkably-high nine teams sit within four points of 20th place on the 2022-23 Premier League table.

That means we’re set, at least for now, for more relegation six-pointers than at any time in recent memory — many of them, you’ll see below, will involve Bournemouth — and the odds are in favor of a relatively surprising team heading down to the Championship.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

As for now Everton, Leeds, and Saints are the form teams in the fight, while Leicester and Crystal Palace sure could use a win.

Will the Premier League’s current bottom three of Bournemouth, West Ham and Southampton still be there when the season ends?

Below you’ll see the latest standings, the fixtures for the teams still in danger of dropping into the second tier, relegation odds, and our prediction for who will collect how many points.


Closest Premier League relegation scrap in history?

As the table below shows, after at least 26 matches of a PL season this is the tightest it has ever been between 12th place and 20th place.

Just four points separates almost half of the Premier League.


Premier League table, current form (March 19, 2023)

Premier League standings

Latest Premier League standings on NBCSports.com


Remaining fixtures for relegation scrappers

Wolves: Forest (A), Chelsea (H), Brentford (H), Leicester (A), Palace (H), Brighton (A), Villa (H), Man Utd (A), Everton (H), Arsenal (A)

Crystal Palace: Leicester (H), Leeds (A), Southampton (A), Everton (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Spurs (A), Bournemouth (H), Fulham (A), Forest (H)

Leicester City: Palace (A), Villa (H), Bournemouth (H), Man City (A), Wolves (H), Leeds (A), Everton (H), Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H)

West Ham: Southampton (H), Newcastle (H), Fulham (A), Arsenal (H), Bournemouth (A), Liverpool (H), Palace (A), Man Utd (H), Brentford (A), Leeds (H), Leicester (A)

Nottingham Forest: Wolves (H), Leeds (A), Villa (A), Man Utd (H), Liverpool (A), Brighton (H), Brentford (A), Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H), Palace (A)

Leeds: Arsenal (A), Forest (H), Palace (H), Liverpool (H), Fulham (A), Leicester (H), Bournemouth (A), Man City (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Spurs (H)

Everton: Spurs (H), Man Utd (A), Fulham (H), Palace (A), Newcastle (H), Leicester (A), Brighton (A), Man City (H), Wolves (A), Bournemouth (H)

Southampton: West Ham (A), Man City (H), Palace (H), Arsenal (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Forest (A), Fulham (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H)

Bournemouth: Fulham (H), Brighton (H), Leicester (A), Spurs (A), West Ham (H), Southampton (A), Leeds (H), Chelsea (H), Palace (A), Man Utd (H), Everton (A)


Key fixtures that will decide the Premier League relegation scrap

Saturday, March 18: Wolves 2-4 Leeds – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Saturday, April 1: AFC Bournemouth vs Fulham — 10am ET
Saturday, April 1: Crystal Palace vs Leicester — 10am ET
Saturday, April 1: Nottingham Forest vs Wolves — 10am ET
Sunday, April 2: West Ham vs Southampton — 9am ET
Tuesday, April 4: Leeds vs Nottingham Forest — 2:45pm ET
Saturday, April 8: Leicester vs AFC Bournemouth — 10am ET
Saturday, April 8: Leeds vs Crystal Palace — 12:30pm ET
Saturday, April 15: Southampton vs Crystal Palace — 10am ET
Saturday, April 22: Crystal Palace vs Everton — 10am ET
Saturday, April 22: Leicester vs Wolves — 10am ET
Sunday, April 23: AFC Bournemouth vs West Ham — 9am ET
Tuesday, April 25: Wolves vs Crystal Palace — 2:30pm ET
Tuesday, April 25: Leeds vs Leicester — 2:45pm ET
Thursday, April 27: Southampton vs AFC Bournemouth — 2:45pm ET
Saturday, April 29: Crystal Palace vs West Ham — 7:30am ET
Sunday, April 30: AFC Bournemouth vs Leeds — 9am ET
Monday, May 1: Leicester vs Everton — 3pm ET
Saturday, May 6: Nottingham Forest vs Southampton — Time TBD
Saturday, May 13: Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth — Time TBD
Saturday, May 20: West Ham vs Leeds — Time TBD
Sunday, May 28: Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest — Time TBD
Sunday, May 28: Everton vs AFC Bournemouth — Time TBD
Sunday, May 28: Leicester vs West Ham — Time TBD


Premier League title odds (As of March 24, 2023)

(Our betting partner is BetMGMBetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links.

Crystal Palace: +450
West Ham: +400
Leicester City: +350
Wolves: +300
Leeds: +275
Everton: +160
Nottingham Forest: +100
Bournemouth: -200
Southampton: -225


Prediction for Premier League relegation scrap

12. Wolves, 40 points
13. West Ham, 39 points
14. Palace, 39 points
15. Leicester, 37 points
16. Everton, 36 points
17. Nottingham Forest, 35 points

18. Leeds, 35 points
19. Southampton, 35 points
20. Bournemouth, 31 points