Is this the right fit, and other questions raised by Cameron’s Stoke move


Geoff Cameron’s about to make the big leap to England, finishing a meteoric rise from Major League Soccer second round draft pick to Premier League (as Steve detailed here). Stoke is, however, a very specific type of team under Tony Pulis, known for a hard-edge pragmatism that’s built around brawn at the back, direct play in transition, and the reliance on size and strength for goals.

The symptoms:

  • In 2011-12, Stoke was the only team in the Premier League to score more set piece than open play goals (16 to 14);
  • They were last in the league in shots per game (9.9) and shots on target (2.5);
  • And they were the only team in the league to post more than 10 percent of their shots from inside six yards (16 percent; Manchester United second with nine percent);
  • Stoke was the only team to average less than 40 percent of Opta possession (39.9);
  • They had the worst passing completion percentage in the league (69.5);
  • And recorded the fewest interceptions per game (12.1).

Basically, they played like a big, slow squad incapable of keeping or winning the ball. Which they were.

Stoke has devoted too many squad spots to interchangeable forwards who lack diversity. The defense corps are all similar: Central defenders, enough of whom have the minimal versatility to play elsewhere. Their forwards are a series of target men who, like their defensive counterparts, might do enough to serve as an ill-cast number 10s.

It leaves the team with only one way to play. Having devoted too many resources to collecting center halves and number nines, Stoke’s lack of midfield talent inhibits their ability to influence any match.

That’s the situation Cameron’s being pulled into, raising four questions as to how this transfer will immediately play out:

1. Can Cameron crack Stoke’s defensive depth?

Stoke’s back four seemed set: Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Matthew Upson and Andy Wilkinson (with Mark Wilson thrown in), all players who profile as central defenders. It’s an approach that’s generally helped Tony Pulis meet minimal expectations: Start four central defenders along the back, and let size be your advantage.

Huth and Shawcross are locks. Upson is hurt enough to where Cameron could get time, though don’t expect a healthy Upson to sit. Even if he does, Wilson’s more likely to get the call, playing at left back while Huth moves in (from right back). Time on the right could be taken from Wilkinson, but Ryan Shotton’s as likely to get it as Cameron.

If Danny Higginbotham returns to health and form, Cameron will have another obstacle for playing time off the bench.

2. Will midfield enter the picture?

It was a common question at MLS Cup in November: Do you see yourself as a defender, now? Cameron didn’t seem ready to give up him midfield identity. He was starting to get used to the idea of being a defender (he said), and his USMNT future depended on that adjustment, but you could tell: He still thought he could make an impact in the middle.

Will that versatility tempt Pulis? Wilson, a player who has similar versatility (though plays as a full back in defense, not a central defender), has at times been used in central midfield since moving from Portsmouth in January 2011. Last year, injuries kept him at the back, but even during his days at Pompey, Wilson provided a valuable midfield option for coaches who wanted to indulge their conservative side.

Could Pulis use Wilson and Cameron as a way to get six defenders onto the field? With Ryan Shotton on the right, that number could go as high as seven. Who knows with this Stoke team? Whereas two years ago they seemed to be embracing a less brutal approach, now Pulis has the personnel to play to the extremes.

It worked when Stoke first came up, and after struggling last season, perhaps the Potters are ready to relent: This is what we are.

3. What does Stoke’s style of play mean for Cameron?

One thing Cameron does well, especially for a defender: play with the ball at his feet. He’s not Thiago Silva or Mats Hummels, but his years as a midfielder leave him highly skilled for a central defender.

One thing Stoke’s players (let alone defenders) don’t do: play with the ball at their feet. In terms of holding, passing, protecting and retrieving the ball, they were amongst the worst in the Premier League, data that hits at a beguiling vortex between style and talent.

Particularly with the approach Jurgen Klinsmann’s trying to implement with the national team, you have to wonder if Stoke is a good fit. Even if Cameron does get valuable playing time in England, that playing time may instill bad habits.

4. And what does this mean for Cameron’s national team future?

On the surface, it seems like a given: Cameron’s time in England can only help. Right?

I’m not so sure. If, at this crucial stage of his development, Cameron goes to Stoke and absorbs too much of the Potters’ approach, he could be develop into a more limited player than Klinsmann would like from his center halves – a player more on the Oguchi Onyewu than Carlos Bocanegra path. Gooch was a stalwart under Bob Bradley. Under Klinsmann, he seems miscast.

And that assumes Cameron plays. The competition to get into the team should only help him, and if he does break into Tony Pulis’s starting XI, he will provide a dimension Stoke’s defense desperately needs.

If Pulis embraces those dimensions and incorporates them into a more progressive approach, Cameron’s move should only help his quest to claim the spot next to Bocanegra in Jurgen Klinsmann’s defense.

Manchester City vs Manchester United: How to watch FA Cup Final


It’s a Manchester derby in the FA Cup Final for the first time in tournament history when Manchester City and Manchester United trade blows at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Not that any more juice is needed for an FA Cup Final or a derby, let alone both, but Manchester United can deny Man City its hopes of joining the Red Devils as a treble winner.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

And a win for Erik ten Hag would give him a domestic cup double in his first season as United boss, leaving Pep Guardiola to max out as a Premier League and Champions League winner should City beat Inter later this month.

The FA Cup has been played since 1871, and Man United’s 12 tournament wins trail only Arsenal’s 12. United last won in 2016 and appeared in 2018.

City has rung up six FA Cup wins and last claimed the prize in 2019.

Man City smashed Manchester United 6-3 in October on a double hat trick day spread between Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, but United won 2-1 at Old Trafford early in 2023 to split the season series.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Manchester United.

How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, FA Cup Final fstream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
Online: Stream via ESPN+
Updates: Stats, commentary on

FA Cup Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM 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. 

Man City (-200) vs Manchester United (+525) | Draw over 120 mins (+375)

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Antony. OUT: Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Donny van de Beek.

Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few to claim such an honor.

The Premier League winners three times running could have an FA Cup under their belt by the time the Champions League Final in Istanbul arrives on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Should City get past rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup Final, Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09.

And it would forever burn United to have domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier Leagueb club to win it.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM 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. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish

Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.

USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


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.

[ LATEST: Balogun named to Nations League roster ]

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson was in temporary charge but he has now moved on with B.J. Callaghan taking over an interim basis as the search for a new permanent head coach continues.

After both the general manager (Brian McBride) and sporting director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months, Matt Crocker has arrived as U.S. Soccer’s new sporting director and has some huge decisions coming up as the USMNT’s talented youngsters need some guidance with a World Cup on home soil just three years away.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their 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 | **** Gold Cup


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 — Won 7-1 | Recap & highlights + Player ratings
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Won 1-0 | Recap & highlights
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details

vs Mexico ** — June 15, 10pm ET — Las Vegas, Nevada (Nations League semifinal)

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 

vs Jamaica**** — June 24, 9:30pm ET — Chicago, Illinois 
vs TBD****
— June 28, 9:30pm ET — St. Louis, Missouri 
vs Nicaragua****
— July 2, 7pm ET — Charlotte, North Carolina

October 2023

vs Germany* — October 14, 3pm ET — Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
vs Ghana* — October 17, 8:30pm ET — GEODIS Park, Nashville, TN

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)

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USWNT release 2023 World Cup jerseys


The USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys have arrived and the Stars and Stripes will certainly stand out from the crowd at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

[ MORE: Schedule, how to watch, bracket for 2023 World Cup ]

Vlatko Andonovski’s side are going for a third-straight World Cup title, something which has never been achieved in the history of the men’s and women’s game.

Led by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, this USWNT side have so much experience but there are also exciting young talents coming through with Mallory Swanson and Trinity Rodman excelling in recent months.

Below is a closer look at the the new USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys, with the away kit also to be worn by the USMNT.

USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys

U.S. Soccer say that the inspiration for the jerseys are “from abstract expressionism, an international art movement that started in the 1940s in New York and shifted the art epicenter from Europe to the U.S., similar to what the USA team has done for women’s soccer.”

They add there is “a custom USA ‘signature'” as the “bespoke mark is hand painted with ink on paper, and is a nod to the abstract expressionism movement, where each artist would sign their painting. Lastly, the USA’s inner pride mark celebrates the USWNT’s four Women’s World Cup championships in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019.”

When it comes to the home kit, U.S. Soccer say it is “an unexpected take on the tradition of wearing white at home and features a bespoke drip paint technique pattern. Highlighting the energy of the USWNT and how they are diverse players and personalities, but always united, the action painting method pattern features a distinctive placement, making every single jersey unique.”

Courtesy: US Soccer

For the blue away kit, which will be worn by both the USWNT and USMNT, there are “bespoke stars and stripe print on the sleeve cuffs – a diagonal stripe with intersecting stars – and a neckline that also features red blades, formed to look like the tip of stars.”

They add that those shapes are “subtle, patriotic nods to the hidden shapes that are inspired by abstract expressionism art.”

Courtesy: US Soccer

Here is a look at both USWNT World Cup jerseys in a little more detail, plus the USMNT showing off their new away kits.