USA 1-1 Ecuador: Player ratings for Donovan’s farewell match

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EAST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT —

It was a bittersweet scene on Friday night as Landon Donovan’s international career came to an end after a solid 40 minute outing in the 1-1 draw with Ecuador.

Playing just inside of Jozy Altidore, Donovan found pockets of space in between the opposition midfield and defense but was unable to complete the storybook ending with a final match goal.

A dinged post and a header straight at Ecuador goalkeeper Maximo Banguera were his best looks but it wasn’t to be. Overall, it was a strong performance by Donovan and his National Team peers as Mix Diskerud’s 5th minute goal was balanced out by a dipping Enner Valencia effort in the 88th minute.

Below are the player ratings for the US.

STARTERS

Brad Guzan – 6.5
Called to duty on four occasions in the first half, producing a brilliant shoulder block on Renato Ibarra in the 27th minute and strong reaction to a Jozy Altidrore deflection on the ensuing corner. Looked destined for a clean sheet before Valencia’s dipping effort left Guzan stone-footed.

Greg Garza — 6.5
Impressive performance from the 23-year-old Tijuana left-back. Lively getting forward, nearly finding himself through on goal but for a Diskerud mispass, and produced a number of strong defensive challenges including a sensational sliding block on Valencia to deny him a clear chance on target.

John Brooks (off for Ream, ’62) — 6
Quiet first half where he found himself disjointed with center-back partner Michael Orozco but improved positioning and communication in the second half to put together a performance to be proud of.

Michael Orozco (off for Gonzalez, ’62) — 6
Stood up well to Valencia on multiple occasions, producing a superb lunging tackle in the 17th minute before standing him up in the 26th minute, forcing a weak shot that Guzan easily collected. Quieter in the second half but solid overall.

Timmy Chandler — 4
Looked anxious throughout the match, giving the ball away unnecessarily on a few occasions and running himself out of position on others. Possesses fantastic attacking ability and could’ve been in on goal on a second half run but went down easily to draw the penalty and the ref wasn’t having it. Talented but still has aways to go in terms of maturity.

Joe Gyau (off for Wood, ’22) — N/A
Displayed breakaway pace on two occasions before going off in the 21st minute with a reported sprained left knee.

Mix Diskerud – 6.5
Excellent finish on the goal and pulled all the strings for the US in the first half. Enjoyed acres of space throughout the match but faded at times in the second half and tried to do too much when the simple pass was on. When and if he gives a full 90, Diskerud will run this team.

Alejandro Bedoya — 5.5
Was decent but underwhelming in the middle, won a few nice tackles but seemed tentative with his positioning alongside Diskerud, unsure of whether to take an advanced or defensive role. Confirmed his status as a winger.

DeAndre Yedlin – 7.5
Tremendous performance from the Sounders man. Showed his versatility doing it on the right wing tonight, was strong, pacy and played a number of slick passes both through the air and on the ground. Displayed great vision on the assist to Diskerud, dropping the pass back from the by line.

Jozy Altidore (off for Wondolowski, ’76) — 6
Beastmode. Great strength in the hold up play, Altidore complimented his physicality by laying off some stellar balls for Donovan and others to run on to. Faded a bit in the second half.

Landon Donovan (off for Corona, ’41) — 7.5 
Nearly enjoyed a storybook ending when Alitdore found him clear through on goal but his carefully placed effort dinged the post. Also had an open header that was right at Banguera but he created the goal and was lively for the 40 minutes he played.

SUBSTITUTES

Bobby Wood (on for Gyau,’22) — 6.5
Worked his tail off and got himself in a number of dangerous positions going forward. Should’ve done better when Alfredo Morales provided a soft back post pass that he vollied wide and again, just before the final whistle when his last ditch pass to Wondolowski came too slow. Worked well with Donovan and Yedlin throughout the match and looks to be a potential one for the future. Needs more reps, wears his heart on his sleeve.

Joe Corona (on for Donovan, ‘41) — 5.5
Didn’t see a ton of the ball, was solid when he did but from his place in the center of the park it was a relatively unremarkable performance.

Tim Ream (on for Brooks, ’62) – 6.5
Produced a key block the minute he stepped on the pitch and another one on Joao Plata in the 87th minute before Valencia’s looper went over his head.

Omar Gonzalez (on for Orozco, ’62) – 6
Wasn’t called to task too much but did well to contain Valencia during his 68th minute charge into the box.

Alfredo Morales (on for Bedoya, ’62) – 5.5
Impressive swerving cross that Wood could’ve scored on in the 65th but overall a quiet performance.

Chris Wondolowski (on for Altidore, ‘76) – N/A
Would’ve scored had Wood found him on the cross in the final minute.

Man City – Leicester: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Man City – Leicester: Pep Guardiola will have just 13 first-team players at his disposal when Manchester City hosts Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

MAN CITY – LEICESTER STREAM LIVE

With a combination of injuries and confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently ravaging an already-thin squad, City have no choice but to tread water and simply stay afloat in the coming days and weeks as they attempt to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool. It’s a difficult position to be in, no doubt about it, and Leicester should present a tricky challenge for Guardiola and Co., without the likes of Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, among others.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Man City and Leicester spent much of the 2019-20 season second and third — and third and second — in the PL table, each looking up at Liverpool miles and miles ahead, before winding up second and fifth, respectively. City won each of the two meetings last season — 3-1 at home in December, and 1-0 away in February.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Man City – Leicester this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Man City – Leicester (INJURY REPORT)

Aymeric Laporte makes the bench for City and Oleksandr Zinchenko is available but Bernardo Silva (thigh), Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), and Joao Cancelo (foot) are out.

James Maddison is on the bench for Leicester City.


What they’re saying: Man City – Leicester

Pep Guardiola, on Man City’s injury issues: “With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy. We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him. We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player. We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player. We congratulate the academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them.”

Brendan Rodgers, on how to improve Leicester: “Firstly, we have a number of young players who can improve. Last season, we showed lots of real potential in the squad. I always felt that two things would help us to improve and continue to develop this process. One of those was time. That means time to work with the players who are here, making them better year on year, particularly the young players. They will have gained from the experiences of last season — good and bad. Time will improve James Maddison. Time will improve Harvey Barnes. Consistency will make us better as well. That will come with the introduction of quality.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Perhaps a bit surprisingly given their ongoing injury issues, City (-350) are heavy betting favorites with Leicester checking in as massive underdogs at +850. The draw (+480) might just make for the perfect speculative wager this weekend.

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Prediction: Man City – Leicester

City struggled to put away Bournemouth in the League Cup on Thursday, and will have largely the same group of players available on Sunday. Facing Leicester will be a significant increase in quality of opposition. Leicester might just get something out of this one and do Liverpool an early-season favor in the process. Man City 1-1 Leicester.


How to watch Man City – Leicester stream and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Benfica boss: Man City’s Otamendi “could be involved in Dias transfer”

Dias to Man City
Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Benfica boss Jorge Jesus expects Ruben Dias to skip town, likely to Manchester City, pending a last-minute turn of events.

He’s hoping that Nicolas Otamendi will head back the other way, validating rumors this week that City had been dangling the Argentine in a hope to land Dias or Sevilla back Jules Kounde.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Jesus saw academy grad and Portuguese national teamer Dias score in a 2-0 win over Moreirense on Saturday, a goal the defender described as emotional in a nod to a possible departure.

The manager admitted that a Dias sale became likely when Benfica bowed out of the UEFA Champions League and was drawn into a discussion on Otamendi, whose value is being challenged by his lack of import at the Etihad Stadium.

“Otamendi is a Manchester City defender who could be involved in the Ruben [Dias] transfer. He already showed his ability at FC Porto, he plays for Argentina and has been a regular starter most years at Manchester City.

“He has stopped starting now and if it hadn’t been for that, maybe he wouldn’t have been included in this possible transfer.

“Of course, he’s a player we’d like to have. The player who joins us will have to be understand that my ideas are completely different from those at Manchester City.”

So that’s something.

Dias would combine with Aymeric Laporte and/or Nathan Ake to continue City’s center back revolution. John Stones and Eric Garcia are also currently at City with Otamendi and last season’s makeshift center back Fernandinho.

Bamford nods Leeds past Blades in goalkeepers’ duel

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Sheffield United – Leeds United: Patrick Bamford’s late goal gave Leeds an entertaining 1-0 win over Sheffield United in a day dominated by strong goalkeeping at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]   

Leeds moves to 2W-1L on the season and keeps its first clean sheet after allowing seven goals through two matches.

Blades are now 0-3 and have not scored a goal.


3 things we learned: Sheffield United – Leeds United

1. (Mostly) Stymied! Leeds has been involved in two 7-goal thrillers and Blades were without two longtime starters at center back, so goals were on the menu. What was served? Enticing, small plates. The football was good but the finishing not there for most of the affair.

2. Bamford perseveres: Chance after chance came for Bamford, who looped a header over the goal and saw another good effort saved by Ramsdale before he pounded a header inside the far post with mere minutes to play.

3. Ramsdale shines: Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was just okay last season with Bournemouth so it was a bit surprising to see the price tag attached to him. He looked the part on Sunday, making six saves including two inside of the box and would’ve been Man of the Match had Bamford not won their day-long duel.

Man of the Match

Bamford


Sheffield United – Leeds United recap

Leeds was bright and ready, a dynamic long pass to Jack Harrison undone by a rough touch and Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale making a save on an advanced Luke Ayling.

At the other end, John Lundstram hit a shot wide in the sixth minute to signal intent from the hosts.

Illan Meslier made a terrific save in the 29th when David McGoldrick’s cute flick to Lundstram was saved in the heart of the six.

Ramsdale made a good save on Stuart Dallas eight minutes later, both teams finding openings to shoot.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Bamford popped a header over the goal in the first half and challenged Ramsdale to win a corner in the 56th minute.

Basham cleared a Stuart Dallas chance off the line five minutes later, the opportunities certainly real and dangerous.

Bamford found his winner in the 88th, Leeds grabbing a second win on the season off a cross from ex-NYCFC man Jack Harrison.

Tottenham – Newcastle United: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

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Tottenham – Newcastle United: Can Newcastle United score an upset against travel-weary Tottenham Hotspur in North London on Sunday (Watch live at 9 am ET Sunday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)?

Spurs have gone from London to Bulgaria to Southampton to Macedonia and are now back in London for Sunday’s match-up with a Newcastle team that surprised them at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a little over a year ago.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Spurs bent Shkendija in Europa League play on Thursday, with Heung-min Son posting a goal and two assists over 90 minutes. Harry Kane and Giovani Lo Celso came off the bench in what could be a sign of Jose Mourinho’s intent for Sunday.

Newcastle has been off since Wednesday’s 7-0 demolition of 10-man League Two side Morecambe in the League Cup. Steve Bruce did the trick without fitness-question Allan Saint-Maximin as well as rested Jonjo Shelvey and Callum Wilson.

STREAM TOTTENHAM – NEWCASTLE UNITED LIVE

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Tottenham – Newcastle United this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Tottenham – Newcastle United (INJURY REPORT)

Sergio Reguilon makes the bench for Tottenham, but the big news is that Dele Alli has been left off the 18 altogether.

Miguel Almiron finally gets his place back in the Newcastle XI, but it’s only because electric winger Allan Saint-Maximin missed out through injury. Jamal Lewis (eye) makes the bench after a scary injury at the foot of Yves Bissouma, while Andy Carroll heads to the bench for Joelinton.


What they’re saying: Tottenham – Newcastle United

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on Tanguy Ndombele’s 90 minutes versus Shkendija: “He played very well. Of course in a game where I can imagine our percentage of ball possession was very, very high and our percentage is high he feels obviously much more comfortable. However, even without the ball he had recovery, he had duels, he had defensive transition. It was a really positive game from Tanguy, really happy.

Newcastle’s Steve Bruce on meeting Spurs: “We can’t think we can go and play against the top teams and match them just in a game of football. We have to do something different, tactically. We did it well against the top teams last year. Let’s hope we can do the same again this year.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Newcastle United is not expected to get anything out of this, +600 to win and +360 to take a point compared to Tottenham’s -225 to win.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Tottenham – Newcastle United

The Magpies can take some hope from Palace’s consecutive wins away to Manchester United, but Spurs should deliver the goods. Questions about Saint-Maximin’s fitness even if he does play ask even more, as does the fact that Steve Bruce has been keeping Miguel Almiron on the bench to start matches. Throw in Bruce versus Mourinho and it’s safe to expect Spurs to overcome their travel-weary legs and post a 3-1 win.


How to watch Tottenham – Newcastle United stream and start time

Kickoff: 9 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com