Martin O’Neill “disappointed” at Sunderland exit

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He’s quickly become a forgotten figure amid the fascism fuss surrounding Paolo Di Canio’s appointment as his successor at the Stadium of Light.

But like a lot of people, Martin O’Neill has questioned Sunderland’s decision to hand the Italian the role. O’Neill’s reasoning? Nothing to do with politics, everything to do with respect he felt he’d earned.

“With the experience I have had over the years … also coming into the football club at a time when the club was pretty well on its knees. I believed I saved it from relegation last year and I thought that opportunity should still have been afforded to me,” the 61-year-old told the BBC.

O’Neill was fired after last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester United, which left the Black Cats only a point clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone. He took the reins in December, 2011, and guided a struggling side to a respectable 13th-place finish in his first season.

“I’m still disappointed and frustrated but life goes on,” he added.

Given all the experience he alluded to, with impressive spells at Leicester City, Aston Villa and Celtic, it’s surprising he appears so taken aback by chairman Ellis Short’s ruthlessness. Surely O’Neill should know what happens to managers at clubs who spend big, decline from the previous year and go on a run of eight games without a win?

USMNT vs El Salvador: How to watch live, team news, updates

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The USMNT host El Salvador in a winner-take-all CONCACAF Nations League Group D finale on Monday (7:30 pm ET), at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings vs Grenada | Recap/highlights ]

The group winner will qualify for the finals (four teams) of the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League (June 15-18) as well as the 2023 Gold Cup (June 24-July 16). The group runners-up will also qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup.

Following their 7-1 thumping of Grenada on Friday, the USMNT is in good shape and interim head coach Anthony Hudson will likely rotate his first-choice back four back into the lineup.

[ MORE: Folarin Balogun to USMNT? “It’s something that will come to me”

Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi all sparkled in the final third against Grenada and we could see Alex Zendejas and Daryl Dike from the start in Orlando.

Of course, Folarin Balogun is also expected to be watching on from the stands as intrigue grows around his possible switch from England to the USMNT to give the Americans another fine young attacking talent.

Here is everything you need for the USMNT vs El Salvador.


How to watch USMNT vs El Salvador live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30pm ET
Stadium: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Florida
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – USMNT vs El Salvador ]


USMNT squad

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)


Major League Soccer 2023 season: How to watch MLS, schedule

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Major League Soccer launched its latest campaign on the world in February, and there were plenty of changes to watch for the 28th season of MLS.

For one thing, there’s a new way to watch (see below) and it’s going to take some time before it settles in as the new norm for Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: NBC Sports’ MLS hub — Stats, schedule, more ]

The league has also launched a brand new team, as St. Louis City SC has acquired a spot in MLS and has met the ceremony with substance, winning its first five (5?!?) games.

What’s worth watching in 2023? Plenty, but let’s start with these questions:

  • Is a Bob Bradley/Toronto FC renaissance coming as Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne get their first full seasons under his watch in Ontario? The Reds are 1W-1L-3T to start the seeason.
  • Is Thiago Almada going to go from Newcomer of the Year to MVP, can Hany Mukhtar defend his throne, or will someone new seize the mantle?
  • Will former Celtic star Giorgos Giakoumakis become as beloved in Atlanta as he was in Glasgow?
  • WIll Brandon Vazquez or Jesus Ferreira continue to see their MLS stars ascend as they hope their USMNT futures meet their domestic status?
  • Imports! How will one-time USMNT winger Tyler Boyd look after moving to the LA Galaxy from Besiktas? Will Timothy Tillman shine after moving from Greuther Furth to LAFC?
  • Is Wayne Rooney going to get DC United sorted and how much will Leeds living legend Mateusz Klich help?
  • What about Burnley star Ashley Westwood? Will his exquisite delivery cue up improved attacking numbers for Charlotte FC?
  • Will Philadelphia’s Jim Curtin, the reigning MLS Coach of the Year, be pulled into the upcoming USMNT head coach search?

Fun!

Read on below for information on how to watch the games, as well as the schedule for the 2023 season.



Major League Soccer schedule, dates, how to watch

Dates: Feb. 25 – Oct. 21 (regular season)
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: Apple TV


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 1

Saturday, February 25 – Monday, Feb. 27

Nashville 2-0 NYCFC
Philadelphia 4-1 Columbus
FC Cincinnati 2-1 Houston
Atlanta United 2-1 San Jose
Charlotte FC 0-1 New England
Orlando City 1-0 New York Red Bulls
DC United 3-2 Toronto FC
Inter Miami 2-0 Montreal
Austin FC 2-3 St. Louis City FC
FC Dallas 0-1 Minnesota United
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders 2-0 Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers 2-1 Sporting KC


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 2

Saturday, March 4

LAFC 3-2 Portland
New York Red Bulls 0-0 Nashville
New England 3-0 Houston
Orlando City 0-0 FC Cincinnati
Atlanta United 1-1 Toronto FC
Columbus 2-0 DC United
Inter Miami 2-0 Philadelphia
Chicago 1-1 NYCFC
St. Louis City 3-1 Charlotte FC
Austin FC 1-0 Montreal
FC Dallas 3-1 LA Galaxy
Colorado 0-0 Sporting KC
Seattle Sounders 2-0 Real Salt Lake
San Jose 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 3

Saturday, March 11

Charlotte 0-3 Atlanta
Vancouver 1-1 FC Dallas
NYCFC 1-0 Inter Miami
Philadelphia 1-0 Chicago
FC Cincinnati 1-0 Seattle Sounders
DC United 1-1 Orlando City
Toronto FC 1-1 Columbus
Sporting KC 0-0 LA Galaxy
Minnesota United 1-1 New York Red Bulls
Nashville 2-0 Montreal
Real Salt Lake 1-2 Austin
San Jose 1-0 Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers 1-2 St Louis City

Sunday, March 12

LAFC 4-0 New England


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 4

Saturday, March 18

Seattle Sounders 0-0 LAFC
Montreal 3-2 Philadelphia
Atlanta 5-1 Portland Timbers
New England 1-0 Nashville
Orlando City 1-2 Charlotte
Toronto FC 2-0 Inter Miami
New York Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus
NYCFC 3-2 DC United
FC Dallas 2-1 Sporting KC
Houston 2-0 Austin
St Louis City 3-0 San Jose
Chicago 3-3 FC Cincinnati
Colorado Rapids 1-2 Minnesota United
LA Galaxy 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 5

Saturday, March 25

Portland 0-0 LA Galaxy
Charlotte 1-1 New York Red Bulls
Philadelphia 1-2 Orlando City
DC United 1-2 New England
Columbus 6-1 Atlanta
Inter Miami 2-3 Chicago
Nashville 0-1 Cincinnati
Sporting KC 1-4 Seattle Sounders
Austin 1-1 Colorado
Houston 1-0 NYCFC
Minnesota United 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Real Salt Lake 0-4 St Louis City
LAFC 2-1 FC Dallas
San Jose 0-0 Toronto


Major League Soccer schedule: Week 6

Saturday, April 1

Toronto vs Charlotte  — 7:30pm ET
LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders — 7:30pm ET
New England vs NYCFC — 7:30pm ET
Philadelphia Union vs Sporting KC– 7:30pm ET
Orlando City vs Nashville– 7:30pm ET
Columbus vs Real Salt Lake — 7:30pm ET
Cincinnati vs Inter Miami– 7:30pm ET
Atlanta vs New York Red Bulls — 7:30pm ET
FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers — 8:30pm ET
St. Louis City vs Minnesota United — 8:30pm ET
Chicago vs DC United — 8:30pm ET
Colorado Rapids vs LAFC — 9:30pm ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact — 10:30pm ET
San Jose vs Houston — 10:30pm ET


MLS Eastern Conference Standings

MLS standings
NBC Sports’ scoreboard page

MLS Western Conference Standings

MLS standings
NBC Sports’ scoreboard page

Key Bayern Munich players signal concerns as Thomas Tuchel takes charge

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DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) Strange, a shock, a sign of how heartless soccer can be.

Comments from two key Bayern Munich players hinted at unease in the squad even before new coach Thomas Tuchel takes his first training session.

Midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka voiced concerns Saturday following the sudden firing of Julian Nagelsmann and his replacement with Tuchel, a Champions League winner with Chelsea.

“Of course it’s strange,” said Kimmich of the coaching change after captaining Germany to a 2-0 friendly win over Peru, in comments reported by German agency dpa. “At the end of the day that’s how the business is, not much love, not much heart. We have to learn to cope with and live with the decision.”

[ MORE: Bundesliga standings, schedule, stats, results ]

Kimmich later denied he was criticizing Bayern management and said he was describing soccer in general terms, dpa reported. Kimmich had praised Nagelsmann as an “outstanding” coach Friday, hours before his departure was confirmed. His verdict on Tuchel: “I don’t really know him yet.”

Goretzka said he trusted the management to do the best for Bayern but that he had been “extremely close” to Nagelsmann and “when someone like that is suddenly no longer there, out of nowhere, I believe it comes as a shock for everyone,” dpa reported.

Kimmich has played 35 times for Bayern already this season, including 10 games as captain, and Goretzka is close behind with 29 appearances. They will still be with the national team preparing for a friendly against Belgium when Tuchel takes charge of a reduced Bayern squad Monday for his first training session.

He will have just five days to work with his squad before playing Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in a game that could be crucial to the Bundesliga title race. Dortmund leads Bayern by one point in the standings after Bayern lost Nagelsmann’s last game 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. On April 11, there’s another key game against Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Tuchel said Saturday he was focused on preparing for Dortmund and accepted not everyone would be “super happy” at the coaching change. The priority this week is building motivation for the Dortmund game, he said.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Not everyone at Bayern was as close to Nagelsmann as Kimmich and Goretzka were, though. Nagelsmann’s last few months at Bayern were notable for club intrigue. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer went public with his unhappiness over the removal of a favored goalkeeping coach and Nagelsmann hunted for a “mole” he said leaked tactical secrets to a German newspaper.

That kind of drama is unlikely to suit Tuchel, who has often made clear his frustration with soccer politics in his previous jobs. By the time he left his last job in Germany at Dortmund in 2017, his relationship with chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke had fractured. Tuchel’s tenure at Paris Saint-Germain saw him win two French titles and reach the Champions League final – losing to Bayern – but his time in France was marked by disagreement with sporting director Leonardo over transfers.

Tuchel’s departure from Chelsea in September came as a surprise. The new American ownership signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, an old Tuchel favorite from his Dortmund days, then fired the coach a week later.

England vs Ukraine: How to watch live, team news, updates

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England host Ukraine in a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at Wembley with an extremely emotional atmosphere expected in London.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – England vs Ukraine ]

As the war rages on across Ukraine following the Russia invasion just over a year ago, the United Kingdom have been one of Ukraine’s key partners in the fight against Russian forces.

The English Football Association have given away close to 1,000 free tickets to Ukrainians (and their sponsor families from the UK) who were forced to flee their country and resettle with families in the UK. Over 4,200 Ukraine fans will be in the away end at Wembley amid a sea of blue and yellow and you can expect plenty of mutual respect and support from fans of both countries towards each other. This match is Ukraine’s first of 2023, as they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after losing to Wales in a playoff last summer.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2024 qualifying schedule, standings ]

England beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday as Harry Kane became their all-time leading goalscorer with his 54th goal for the Three Lions and they held on after going 2-0 up as Luke Shaw’s red card with 10 minutes to go complicated matters. Gareth Southgate’s young side are developing but will they be able to finally win a major tournament?

They have to qualify for the Euros in Germany next summer first, but a first win away in Italy since 1961 was a great start to this qualifying campaign.

Here’s everything you need for England vs Ukraine.


How to watch England vs Ukraine live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12pm ET, Sunday (March 26)
Updates: Via NBCSports.com
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
TV: FS1


Key storylines, in-form players

The last time this nations met England ran out 4-0 winners in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020. They will be the heavy favorites in this game but Ukraine should not be underestimate as the No. 26 ranked team in the world have the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykhailo Mudryk and Vitalii Mykolenko all playing in the Premier League.

England’s forwards ran riot in the first half against Italy with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka sensational, plus Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from midfield give this Three Lions side an extra dimension. There is more creativity and cutting edge about this England side compared to recent years and it feels like they are ready to win something. There will be a ceremony before this game to honor Harry Kane becoming England’s all-time goalscorer as he passed Wayne Rooney with his goal in Italy on Thursday.


England team news, lineup options

Luke Shaw will be suspended for this game after his red card in Italy, so Kieran Trippier or Ben Chilwell will come in at left back. It is likely Jordan Henderson will come in for Kalvin Phillips in midfield, while Phil Foden could start over Jack Grealish out wide. Reece James and Conor Gallagher could also come into the team as Bellingham limped off towards the end of England’s win against Italy.

Ukraine team news, lineup options

Andriy Yarmolenko (three goals away from equalling Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer) has been struggling with a hamstring injury so he may start on the bench, while Bournemouth’s Ilya Zabarnyi and Shakhtar’s Oleksandr Zubkov are both out. Yevhen Konoplyanka and Roman Yaremchuk offer real quality in attack, while Zinchenko is the heartbeat of this Ukraine side.