Eusebio remembered in America as great teammate, player, friend

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To be remembered as a great friend is the mark of a life well-lived, and Eusebio da Silva Ferreira’s time in North America left an indelible imprint on his teammates.

Long after he had driven Portugal to third place at the 1966 World Cup, after his World Footballer of the Year Award and multiple Golden Boots had been handed out, the Portuguese legend came to North America to play, spending time in Buffalo, Boston and Toronto amongst other stops.

On the day of his passing at 71, several of his teammates and competitors reflected on what it was like to play against and alongside the international superstar whose free kick lifted the Toronto Metros-Croatia to the 1976 Soccer Bowl title.

Eusebio is being remembered a world-class competitor, a humble man and a great teammate, someone it was an honor to know and play alongside. Argentine defender Francisco Estes played against Eusebio in the NASL and was teammates with him on the Buffalo Stallions of the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1979-80.

“You like playing basketball, you want to be around Michael Jordan,” Estes said. “At this moment, you want to be around Messi or Neymar. It was a dream come true to be in the same locker room, practicing every day with Eusebio. A dream come true.”

Jim May played both against and with Eusebio in a long career that began with the Rochester Lancers of the NASL and moved onto the Stallions, where he was an All-Star.

May credits Eusebio as a progenitor of what American soccer has become, that he carried himself as an ambassador of the game and understood the duties that came with such a position, that the decision to play here along with Pele and other greats could kickstart the game in the United States.

“The only reason I got to play is the rule in the NASL was that two Americans had to be on the field,” May said. “I was lucky. It was about good fortune. When they did the George Best special, I was telling my son what it was like to play against him. You take him, Eusebio, Pele… and to me, that’s three of the best.

“You look at Eusebio and talk about his playing in the United States and you think about it: NBC just bought all the rights and you can see every game in the world. I never thought I’d be alive to see that.”

Jim Sinclair became the captain of the Stallions and was emotional in reflecting on his late friend. The former junior Scotland player was MISL rookie of the year in 1979-80.

“Gentleman, as a person,” Sinclair said of Eusebio. “It’s a great loss to society, not just to the football world. He was a special person in my heart. I have nothing but fantastic memories of the man.”

source:
Eusebio and Pele during a Boston Minutemen/New York Cosmos game in the 1975 season (NASLjerseys.com).

By the time Eusebio came to Buffalo, he was not only a veteran of top tier football, but a veteran of surgery. After spending 1975 split between the Boston Minutemen of the NASL and Monterrey, he scored 18 times in 25 games for Toronto in the NASL. Yet he played in less than 50 games between then and 1979, when he arrived in Western New York.

Eusebio played in just five games over a season with the Stallions, but despite his rough knees, he’s remembered as hard worker who never rested as a teammate.

“It’s quite amazing that at the end of his career, he was almost the cheerleader of the team, always encouraging people, never negative, never criticizing,” said Sinclair, who said Eusebio taught him how to treat people. “He was such a leader. He taught his own teammates that none was bigger than the team. He could be doing whatever he wanted to do, but he was there and encouraging.”

Pat Occhiuto was a rookie out of Fredonia State when he walked onto the Buffalo Stallions roster with Eusebio.

“He came to practice every day, even though his legs weren’t what they used to be, and he worked harder than anyone,” Occhiuto said. “A real teacher, he kinda took me under his wing. We spent a lot of time after soccer, some nights at Mulligan’s (Brick Bar in Buffalo), just talking about soccer, Pele and his experiences. Real good guy. I’m sad to hear he’s passed away.”

When Eusebio left the United States in 1980, Occhiuto took his jersey number No. 13 in honor of the player and his mentorship.

Sinclair was given the physical jersey.

source:
May and Escos with the Stallions in 1979-80 (nasljerseys.com).

“Eusebio’s first point in indoor soccer, I scored the goal, and I didn’t score that many,” Sinclair joked. “That made it more special. I’m very fortunate to have the great man’s Buffalo Stallions jersey as a souvenir. It’s special to me, very very special in my heart.”

May remembers Eusebio not just for his skill, but for his lack of arrogance.

“He could hit a ball from everywhere,” said May, who went on to become the general manager of the Buffalo Blizzard. “Great player, that’s obvious, but down to earth, good guy, not egotistical. He could’ve been that guy, but he wasn’t.”

Rochester Rhinos team president Pat Ercoli was a member of the Toronto Metros-Croatia during their stunning run to the 1976 Soccer Bowl, and remembers Eusebio’s heroics fondly.

“I will never forget his free kick in the NASL final,” Ercoli said. “When he arrived in Toronto there was concern that he may not be able to contribute much because he had  several operations on his knees at the time, but he showed that although he didn’t have the speed he once possessed as a young man, he still possessed the skill and precision of an artist with every pass and every kick.

“Not only did he help Toronto win their first and only NASL Title, but helped many of us rekindle our passion, he was a true leader.”

source:
http://www.nasljerseys.com

Eusebio is survived by his wife, Flora, two daughters and several grandchildren. Before his funeral mass at a Seminary Church near Benfica’s stadium, his coffin will be carried around the Luiz Stadium, where fans can pay their respect.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Roy Hodgson is set to make his re-debut as Crystal Palace manager when the Eagles host Leicester at Selhurst Park on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE CRYSTAL PALACE vs LEICESTER

Patrick Vieira was fired on March 17 after going 11 games without a win (0W-5D-6L) after the calendar turned over to 23, leaving Crystal Palace (27 points – 12th place) closer to the relegation battle than they have any business being. Speaking of having no business being in the relegation battle, Leicester (25 points – 17th place) sit just one point and one place above the bottom-three ahead of Saturday’s trip to south London.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs Leicester

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How to watch Crystal Palace vs Leicester live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Hodgson came out of retirement to take over until the end of the season, at which point Vieira’s (still to-be-chosen) permanent replacement will take charge with another summer of squad turnover to come. Though they sit nearer to mid-table than the bottom-three heading into matchweek 29, the gap between Crystal Palace and 18th-place West Ham is only three points, meaning they could tumble as far as 17th with another defeat (pending results elsewhere). Wilfried Zaha’s six Premier League goals lead the way for Crystal Palace this season, but the Ivorian international hasn’t scored since Nov. 6 (11 appearances, all starts). Since Zaha’s last league goal, Palace have scored just seven goals in 15 games (1W-5D-7L).

Leicester’s winless run isn’t quite as long as Palace’s (only five games – 0W-1D-4L) since the Foxes inexplicably scored four goals in back-to-back victories over Aston Villa and Tottenham at the start of February. Since then, two goals in five games and three clean sheets against. In fairness, they have faced Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Brentford during the slide, which is perhaps the reason that Brendan Rodgers is still in the job through the recent international break. The other defeat, by the way? It was to last-place Southampton. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are level on nine goals each, while forwards Patson Daka, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy have combined to score eight PL goals this season.


Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Sam Johnstone (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Vicente Guaita (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), James McArthur (illness), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed)

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (achilles), Youri Tielemans (ankle), Jannik Vestergaard (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Harry Souttar (ankle), Victor Kristiansen (ankle), Jonny Evans (undisclosed)

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Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 29 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

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Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: William Saliba (back), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (undisclosed), Kieran Tierney (calf)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Jed Steer (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Philippe Coutinho (thigh), Matty Cash (calf), Boubacar Kamara (ankle), Leander Dendoncker (undisclosed)

Bournemouth injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Illia Zabarnyi (foot), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Kristoffer Ajer (calf), Vitaly Janelt (knee), Keane Lewis-Potter (knee), Shandon Baptiste (suspension) | QUESTIONABLE: Mads Roerslev (thigh)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Tariq Lamptey (knee), Adam Lallana (thigh – out for season), Jakub Moder (knee) (undisclosed)

Chelsea injuries

OUT: Thiago Silva (knee), Armando Broja (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Reece James (thigh), Raheem Sterling (hamstring), N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Mason Mount (abdominal), Cesar Azpilicueta (head), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (back)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT: Sam Johnstone (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Vicente Guaita (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), James McArthur (illness), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed)

Everton injuries

OUT: Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension – MORE), Willian (suspension – MORE), Neeskens Kebano (achilles), Layvin Kurzawa (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Shane Duffy (calf)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Tyler Adams (hamstring – out for season), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Wilfried Gnonto (ankle), Maximillian Wober (hamstring)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (achilles), Youri Tielemans (ankle), Jannik Vestergaard (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Harry Souttar (ankle), Victor Kristiansen (ankle), Jonny Evans (undisclosed)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed), Stefan Bajcetic (undisclosed), Calvin Ramsay (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Konstantinos Tsimikas (ribs)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Phil Foden (illness), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin – MORE)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Casemiro (suspension), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Raphael Varane (undisclosed), Marcus Rashford (knock), Anthony Martial (hip), Marcel Sabitzer (knee)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Miguel Almiron (thigh), Emil Krafth (knee), Ryan Fraser (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Sven Botman (illness), Anthony Gordon (ankle), Nick Pope (knock)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Scott McKenna (thigh), Willy Boly (thigh), Dean Henderson (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Brennan Johnson (groin), Chris Wood (thigh), Cheickou Kouyate (thigh), Andre Ayew (knee), Serge Aurier (knock), Wayne Hennessey (knee), Ryan Yates (shoulder)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder), Valentino Livramento (knee), Juan Larios (adductor) | QUESTIONABLE: Che Adams (calf)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

OUT: Rodrigo Bentancur (torn ACL – out for season), Yves Bissouma (foot), Emerson Royal (knee), Ben Davies (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Richarlison (undisclosed), Hugo Lloris (knee), Ivan Perisic (calf), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh)

West Ham United injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Michail Antonio (calf)

Wolves injuries

OUT: Hugo Bueno (hamstring), Matheus Nunes (suspension), Diego Costa (knee), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Jonny (suspension), Hee-Chan Hwang (undisclosed), Chiquinho (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Boubacar Traore (groin)

Premier League relegation history – What do the stats tell us about this season?

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With nine teams currently separated by four points, from 20th to 12th places, the 2022-23 Premier League relegation scrap 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.

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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.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League table for 2022-23 season ]

Below is everything you need to know about the relegation scrap set to unfold over the final eight weeks of the 2022-23 season…


Who are the clubs in this year’s Premier League relegation scrap?

Crystal Palace – 27 points, 12th place
Wolves – 27 points, 13th place
Leeds – 26 points, 14th place
Everton – 26 points, 15th place
Nottingham Forest – 26 points, 16th place
Leicester – 25 points, 17th place
West Ham – 24 points, 18th place
Bournemouth – 24 points, 19th place
Southampton – 23 points, 20th place


What was the magic number to avoid relegation in recent seasons?

2022: 36 points
2021: 29 points
2020: 35 points
2019: 35 points
2018: 34 points
2017: 35 points
2016: 38 points
2015: 36 points
2014: 34 points
2013: 37 points
2012: 37 points
2011: 40 points
2010: 31 points
2009: 35 points
2008: 36 points


When was the last time each club was relegated from the Premier League/top flight?

Fulham: 2021 (promoted 2022 – 1 season in PL)
Bournemouth: 2020 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Aston Villa: 2016 (promoted 2020 – 4 seasons)
Newcastle: 2016 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Wolves: 2012 (promoted 2018 – 5 seasons)
West Ham: 2011 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Southampton: 2005 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Crystal Palace: 2005 (promoted 2013 – 10 seasons)
Leeds: 2004 (promoted 2020 – 3 seasons)
Leicester: 2004 (promoted 2014 – 9 seasons)
Manchester City: 2001 (promoted 2002 – 21 seasons)
Nottingham Forest: 1999 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Chelsea: 1988 (promoted 1989 – 34 seasons)
Brighton: 1983 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Tottenham: 1977 (promoted 1978 – 45 seasons)
Manchester United: 1974 (promoted in 1975 – 48 seasons)
Liverpool: 1954 (promoted 1962 – 61 seasons)
Everton: 1951 (promoted 1954 – 69 seasons)
Brentford: 1947 (promoted 2021 – 2 seasons)
Arsenal: 1913 (promoted 1915 – 103 seasons)


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


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Indonesia stripped of hosting U20 World Cup by FIFA

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GENEVA — Indonesia was stripped of hosting the men’s U20 World Cup on Wednesday only eight weeks before the start of the tournament amid political turmoil regarding Israel’s participation.

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FIFA said Indonesia was removed from staging the 24-team tournament scheduled to start on May 20 “due to the current circumstances” without specifying details.

The decision came after a meeting in Doha between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Indonesian soccer federation president Erick Thohir.

Israel qualified last June for its first U20 World Cup. But the country’s participation in Friday’s scheduled draw in Bali provoked political opposition this month.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation and does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel, while publicly supporting the Palestinian cause.

Indonesia’s hosting was cast into doubt on Sunday when FIFA postponed the draw.

It is unclear who could now host the tournament, which was scheduled to be played in six stadiums in Indonesia. Argentina, which did not qualify for the tournament, is reportedly interested in hosting.

“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged,” FIFA said.

The Indonesian soccer federation could be further disciplined by FIFA. A suspension could remove Indonesia from Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, which starts in October.

FIFA seemed to remove all blame Wednesday from Thohir, the former president of Italian club Inter Milan – the team Infantino supports – and a former co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

[ MORE: Manchester City vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, team news ]

FIFA staff will continue to work in Indonesia in the months ahead, the governing body said, “under the leadership of President Thohir.”

Soccer and public authorities in Indonesia agreed to FIFA’s hosting requirements in 2019 before being selected to stage the 2021 edition of the U20 World Cup. The coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be postponed for two years.

But Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Tuesday evening that his administration objected to Israel’s participation. He told citizens that the country agreed to host before knowing Israel would qualify.

Israel qualified by reaching the semifinals of the U19 European Championship. The team went on to lose to England in that final.

Israel plays in Europe as a member of UEFA after leaving the Asian Football Confederation in the 1970s for political and security reasons.

FIFA bills the men’s U20 World Cup as “the tournament of tomorrow’s superstars.”

Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba are previous winners of the official player of the tournament award, and Erling Haaland was the top scorer at the 2019 edition.