Man of the Match: Involved in both of Portland’s goals, Franck Songo’o may have had his best match of the year. Portland’s right midfielder was surprisingly effective in possession through the middle. In the 29th minute, Songo’o won the individual battle that started the Timbers’ goal-scoring counter, eventually providing the final ball on the opener. In the 59th minute, his restart from 50 yards – hit right to the edge of the six-yard box – led to Portland’s winning goal.
Packaged for takeaway:
Both teams played 4-4-2 formations that would have cancelled each other out without a few tweaks. Both teams wanted to play one midfielder high (Darlington Nagbe for Portland, Khari Stephenson for San Jose), but their defensive shapes were practically flat across the middle.
After an initial spell where Portland seemed bothered by San Jose’s pressure, the Timbers started to generate the match’s first opportunities – chances that resulted from a couple of twists in the midfield battle.
San Jose started with Rafael Baca on their left. Throughout the year, this set-up’s turned out to be an advantage for the Earthquakes. Naturally a central midfielder, Baca’s been able to come inside, giving San Jose a numerical advantage against two-man midfields (which, with Nagbe and Lovel Palmer, Portland played on Tuesday).
Portland, however, played wide midfielders Eric Alexander and Songo’o very narrow. A couple of early Portland goal kicks saw the teams’ 20 outfield players lined up within 25-30 yards of each other across the width of pitch.
Within that confined space, Alexander and Songo’o put in some of their finest soccer of the season, leaving Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson, and Baca outgunned through the middle.
Portland used this advantage to generate chances down their right, with right back Jack Jewsbury given free rein to streak unmarked into attack.
This is, however, highlighted one of the limitations to putting Jewsbury, a natural midfielder, at right back. Portland coach John Spencer wants to keep his captain in the team, even though there are no spots in midfield for him. After early season troubles at the full back positions, Jewsbury’s been moved into defense. The switch has provided some needed stability; however, Jewsbury doesn’t offer much on the ball when attacking from wide positions. Given multiple, uncontested chances to get dangerous passes into the box, Jewbury failed to pick out a man. Despite an interesting tactical battle in midfield, Portland didn’t have the personnel to make it pay off.
Instead, their goal came on one of the season’s better counterattacks, one you might see in one of the hundreds of tactics texts you can get on Amazon. Its six key parts:
A corner from the right of goal from Shea Salinas targeted Alan Gordon far post. Futty Danso did enough to move Gordon off the ball, …
leaving the cross to go through the box to Baca, who had it taken from him by Songo’o.
A couple of dribbles and some quick touches between Kris Boyd and Alexander, and Songo’o was alone on the ball streaking down the right flank.
As Songo’o approached the area, Danny Mwanga made an early run far post.
Alexander went far post, drawing a man that didn’t matter.
Mwanga’s early, decisive run beat his man, was easily picked out by Songo’o, and gave Portland the opening goal.
It was Mwanga’s first goal since being traded to Portland; his first goal of the season; and his first goal in over a year.
The goal came at a pivotal moment of the half. San Jose had seemed to weather the home team’s opening “storm” (never testing goalkeeper David Bingham, it was more of a mild shower than full-fledged storm). They’d started one-touching their way through Portland’s midfield with relative ease, having adjusted to the rhythm of the match. Those adjustments created the corner off which Portland countered, the goal restoring momentum to the Timbers.
Halftime cooled that momentum, and the sides started the second on even footing. Fourteen minutes into the half, an aberrational goal hand the night to the Timbers:
A foul just inside San Jose’s half saw a Songo’o restart target the right post. At the edge of the six, Bingham collided with Danso, the ball spilled across the face of goal. Jewsbury won the race to the ball, sliding onto the Timbers’ second goal.
It was a goal which some referees may have waved off, though it was unclear Danso had committed a foul. Often goalkeepers are given the benefit of the doubt when they get their hands to the ball, though it didn’t look like Danso had necessarily initiated contact. By the book, it was unclear the winner should have stood. By convention, it was a rare goal to see stand.
The shock of the goal left San Jose momentarily bewildered, but 15 minutes later, the Earthquakes pulled themselves back into the match. A cross from Justin Morrow was headed clear by Lovel Palmer, though a lurking Marvin Chavez pumped a shot back in from 19 yards out. The ball deflected off Alan Gordon and into the middle of Troy Perkins’ net – another late goal given up by the Timbers.
Shortly before the goal, Songo’o had to be stretchered from the field, with Timbers medical staff taking im straight to the locker room.
The match’s last quarter hour saw a nervy Timbers desperately keep San Jose at arms length, though Portland again looked like a team that doesn’t quite know how to get to full time with a lead. Though they got there tonight, the way they reached full time won’t inspire much confidence.
Confidence, however, is not a column in MLS’s standings, which now have the Timbers on the edge of a playoff spot. Portland now sits on 19 points, only three short of fifth-place Colorado in the West.
For San Jose, it’s their fourth loss of the season, though the Quakes maintain the league’s best record and a four-point lead in the West.
Perhaps more importantly, the match didn’t provide any real reason for concern. Though Frank Yallop may be beyond such condolences, his team didn’t play badly. While they may have never truly hit top gear, they also were undone by a couple of surprise goal – a counter attack and a aberrational set piece turned good. Going forward, the counters against them won’t be executed as well, and the set pieces won’t be as freakish.
Premier League relegation history – What do the stats tell us about this season?
With nine teams currently separated by four points, from 20th to 12th places, the 2022-23 Premier League relegation battle is not only set to last until the final day, but the final two months of the season are sure to be one of the wildest roller-coaster rides of all time.
Three clubs will be relegated from the Premier League (and replaced by three teams from the EFL Championship, of course) at season’s end. Never before have this many clubs been this close to the bottom-three, and the bottom of the table, at this point of a season.
How many games remaining between relegation candidates?
There are 23 remaining head-to-head matchups between the nine teams currently in the relegation battle.
Crystal Palace: 8 games (1 against every other team)
Wolves: 4 games
Leeds: 5 games
Everton: 4 games
Nottingham Forest: 4 games
Leicester: 6 games
West Ham: 5 games
Bournemouth: 6 games
Southampton: 4 games
Mexico and the USMNT are the first two (of four) sides through to the final round, with Panama and Canada currently in pole position to finish atop their respective groups when they conclude play on Tuesday.
It was a frustratingly slow start by the USMNT on Monday, as El Salvador refused to let the Americas get comfortable or play their game. Long balls over the top of the USMNT defense created a few nervy moments early on, but interim head coach Anthony Hudson’s side looked a completely different side after halftime.
The USMNT’s first real scoring chance came in the 46th minute, when Gio Reyna cut in from the left wing, worked his way past two defenders and fired a shot low and hard toward the near post. The ball smashed the front of the post and the rebound ricocheted back into play, just out of Alejandro Zendejas’ reach atop the six-yard box.
Zendejas went close to opening the scoring just two minutes later, as he audaciously — but necessarily — lobbed the ball over a frazzled Mario Gonzalez in goal, only to pull it just wide of the far post.
The Yanks kept the pressure up as the second half wore on, and eventually got their reward in the 62nd minute. A minute after Pepi came into the game, Weston McKennie found the 20-year-old forward making a dangerous run in behind the Salvadoran defense, but Gonzalez saw it early as well and came out to close down his angles as Pepi jostled with the last defender. Pepi went for the cheeky chip over the ‘keeper, to go with the two goals he scored against Grenada on Friday.
When Miles Robinson ruptured his achilles in May of last year, the USMNT lost its most consistent defensive performer throughout much of World Cup qualifying, leaving Gregg Berhalter with only two reasonably tested options at center back: Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman.
Ream was something of a revelation at 35 years old in Qatar and Zimmerman held his own in his three starts, but the damage was done with the USMNT’s highest-ceiling center back suddenly out of the picture. But Robinson returned to the USMNT fold on Monday, after making four appearances to start the MLS season, and the 26-year-old, who will be out of contract at the end of the year, was arguably the best player on the field.
Having suffered a major injury just months before his first trip to a World Cup, it’s likely that Robinson will look to take every opportunity ahead of him and test himself overseas, and he shouldn’t be short on options either. Short term, he’ll continue to partner Ream; long term, the hope is that Robinson and Chris Richards, who has struggled to stay healthy for much of the last two years, will form a formidable partnership ahead of the 2026 World Cup.
When the USMNT reconvenes for its next camp next month, the Yanks will face rivals Mexico in the Continental Clasico in Glendale, Ariz, on April 19.
A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland
Friday, March 24
Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan
Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Czech Republic 3-1 Poland
France 4-0 Netherlands
Saturday, March 25
Scotland 3-0 Cyprus
Israel 1-1 Kosovo
Armenia 1-2 Turkey
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Norway
Croatia 1-0 Wales
Andorra 0-2 Romania
Sunday, March 26
Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
England 2-0 Ukraine — Video, player ratings as Saka leads Three Lions
Liechtenstein 0-7 Iceland
Slovenia 2-0 San Marino
Slovakia 2-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Northern Ireland 0-1 Finland
Luxembourg 0-6 Portugal
Malta 0-2 Italy
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Arsenal push them all the way? Will Chelsea and Liverpool recover to finish in the top four? Can Manchester United’s new-look side surge into the title race? What about Tottenham? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
2:45pm: AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
2:45pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest
2:45pm: Leicester vs Aston Villa
3pm: Chelsea vs Liverpool
Wednesday 5 April
3pm: Man United v Brentford
3pm: West Ham v Newcastle
Saturday 8 April
7:30am: Man Utd v Everton
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
12:30pm: Southampton v Man City
Sunday 9 April
9am: Leeds v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday 15 April
7:30am: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Brentford
12:30pm: Man City v Leicester
Sunday 16 April
9am: West Ham v Arsenal
11:30am: Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Monday 17 April
3pm: Leeds v Liverpool
Friday 21 April
3pm: Arsenal v Southampton
Saturday 22 April
7:30am: Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Sunday 23 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
9am: Newcastle v Spurs
Postponed due to European action
Man Utd v Chelsea
Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 25 April
2:30pm: Wolves v Crystal Palace
2:45pm: Aston Villa v Fulham
2:45pm: Leeds v Leicester
Wednesday 26 April
2:30pm: Nottingham Forest v Brighton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Brentford
2:45pm: West Ham v Liverpool
3pm: Man City v Arsenal
Thursday 27 April
2:45pm: Everton v Newcastle
2:45pm: Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
3:15pm: Spurs v Man Utd
Saturday 29 April
7:30am: Crystal Palace v West Ham
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
12:30pm: Arsenal v Chelsea
Sunday 30 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
9am: Fulham v Man City
9am: Man Utd v Aston Villa
9am: Newcastle v Southampton
11:30am: Liverpool v Spurs
Monday 1 May
3pm: Leicester v Everton
Wednesday 3 May
3pm: Liverpool v Fulham
3pm: Man City v West Ham
Thursday 4 May
3pm: Brighton v Man Utd
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Spurs v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Liverpool v Brentford
Sunday 7 May
9am: Man City v Leeds* subject to possible Champions League schedule
11:30am: Newcastle v Arsenal
2pm: West Ham v Man Utd
Monday 8 May
10am: Fulham v Leicester
12:30pm: Brighton v Everton
3pm: Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool