Highlights of Jurgen Klinsmann’s conference call


I’ll link to the full transcript from U.S. Soccer when it’s available. Until then … here’s what you really want to know:

Klinsmann said he wants to bring about 20 field players into the May training camp, but also develop a stand-by player roster, a list of talent available on short notice in the event of injuries. “I don’t want to go with more numbers because it reduces the quality of training sessions.That’s the idea behind it right now.”

On Caleb Porter’s role with U.S. Soccer going forward: Klinsmann said he met Tuesday in Chicago with Porter and says he has a more complete understanding of where things went wrong. Obviously, as he’s said before, there’s disappointment for the opportunities lost.

“That said, we believe Caleb is a very talented coach. We chose him for a reason. He has a huge career ahead and sooner or later he will jump into the professional field.”

Klinsmann said wants to find appropriate roles for Porter within the program, whether that’s with the youth side or in some other player development role. “The goal is to keep Caleb connected to us, because we really think he has a lot of upside. He learned a tremendous amount in the last four months…. And we think he has a tremendous coaching career ahead of him.”

He said Porter was the right under-23 coaching choice. “The reason it didn’t work out was definitely not because he’s a college coach and that we needed a professional coach.”

Klinsmann singled out Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona as players that stood out in his mind from Porter’s under-23 team.

He said Herculez Gomez is absolutely on his radar, and that he’s seen several of the Santos striker’s matches over the last few weeks and months. Essentially, Klinsmann said, every time Gomez scores, his chances of a U.S. call-up increase.

“Hopefully he continues that goal scoring period, and the more he scores the more his chances increase. It’s really as simple as that. But that’s our message to all players all the time. …Herculez is on the radar screen. But he’s always been on the radar screen. Hopefully he can make his case even stronger over the next couple of weeks.”

Klinsmann clarified what he believes has been a media misconception, lost in too many discussions of 4-4-2, 4-3-3, etc.  Essentially, system of play and formations are one thing, but that’s not the “style” per se.

“When talk about a style … it’s not depending on the system. It means we want to play a more pro-active way, a more forward-minded style, a more high-pressure style. We want to play our own game, to have more possession … but that doesn’t lock you into a system. The system is just a way to adjust things on the field, on how to get things done.

“In all those systems, you can play pro-actively, can play high-pressure, can put the other team into their half, you can be highly aggressive. You can use whatever system you want to express yourself.”

Tuanzebe injured in warm-ups, Rojo now in Manchester United XI

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Well then.

Manchester United’s announced XI has changed thanks to a presumed injury to center back Axel Tuanzebe.

Marcos Rojo will take the youngster’s place in a back three with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Liverpool and United kickoff from Old Trafford at 11:30 a.m. ET (Watch live at on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The 29-year-old Rojo has played four times this season, but just 30 minutes in the Premier League.

Phil Jones has been added to the bench.


Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Mata, Martial, Jones, Greenwood, Garner, Williams.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi, Firmino. Subs: Adrian, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana.

Lukaku scores 2, celebrates with Conte as Inter Milan bounces back

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If this guy was still in red, Manchester United would have a lot more hope heading into today’s visit from Liverpool.

Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth and fifth Serie A goals of the season on Sunday as Inter Milan outlasted Sassuolo 4-3 at Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch Sargent scores ]

Lautaro Martinez also scored twice in the win, as Inter rebounded from its loss to Juventus and reclaimed second place. Inter sits a point back of The Old Lady.

Lukaku caused a bit of buzz online when he raced over to manager Antonio Conte following his second goal for a fiery embrace (It’s Conte. Fiery is his thing).

From Football-Italia:

“Conte and I are both team players, so when I score a goal, I want to celebrate with everyone. I am focused only on working and giving my best in every match.”

Inter is home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in almost a must-win given its slow start to life in the Champions League.

Lukaku, who’s also scored six goals in his last four appearances for Belgium, already has a goal in a Milan Derby and a solid strike partner in Martinez.

He ranks near the top of Inter’s performance charts on WhoScored, chipping in on the defensive end as well.

Watch Live: Manchester United v. Liverpool

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Manchester United chases a notable home win over rivals Liverpool without Paul Pogba and David De Gea, as the visitors look to match a pair of Premier League records on Sunday at Old Trafford (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).


Liverpool can tie the standard for consecutive away Premier League wins (9) while also winning its 18th-straight league match.

There’s a place on the Manchester United bench for Anthony Martial, but there are three center backs in the forms of Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, and Victor Lindelof.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is not ready for any sort of return.

David De Gea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have passed fit for United, while Divock Origi starts with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for Liverpool.


Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Mata, Martial, Rojo, Greenwood, Garner, Williams.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi, Firmino. Subs: Adrian, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana.

Ederson as the league’s best? Increased action, stats make the case

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Christian Benteke rose above a pack of players, snapping a header toward the far post and, perhaps, a Crystal Palace lifeline against Manchester City.

The view from outside the 18 best tells the story of what happened next, as City goalkeeper Ederson appears from behind the fray to stop the ball from reaching its location with a remarkable save.

He had a few of those in Saturday’s win, the latest in which City’s Brazilian backstop kept a clean sheet behind cobbled together back line.

One of his makeshift center backs, Fernandinho, labeled the performance “superb,” while Pep Guardiola said the saves were “incredible.”

We’re seeing a lot more love for Ederson these days, mostly it seems because City is conceding more shots and the Brazilian has to play a bigger role.

The PL’s second place side and two-time reigning champs are one of five clubs to allow less than 10 goals this Fall, helping City stay within reasonable distance of Liverpool in a bid for a three-peat.

Brought for his skills in possession, Ederson has completed a league-high 90 percent of his passes and 65 percent of his long balls. Only three others are above 80 percent on all passes and just Kasper Schmeichel is above 50 percent on long balls.

Ederson, though, has been so much busier in dangerous spots, with his 19 saves inside the box behind only the backstops for three much weaker teams in Norwich City’s Tim Krul, Brighton’s Mat Ryan, and Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch  | Sargent scores ]

Perhaps this should then serve as a warning signal as City waits for Nicolas Otamendi to be fully fit, let alone star center back Aymeric Laporte‘s long-term return.

According to SofaScore, only the outstanding Bernd Leno and Ryan rate better than Ederson on the whole, and the incredible passing numbers take him over the top.