Geoff Cameron on USA’s progress, high hopes with Stoke City

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LONDON — Geoff Cameron is back fit and ready to go for the USA’s two friendlies against Colombia and the Republic of Ireland over the next week.

Cameron, 29, has recently returned to action for Premier League side Stoke City after six weeks out with hernia issues that required surgery. After strong performances in both central defense and central midfield during the World Cup this summer, Cameron is keen to kick on for the final two games of the USA’s season this week.

[ RELATED: News, notes from US in London ]

Asked by local media how the USA can keep progressing after a World Cup performance which drew plenty of praise from across the globe, especially the UK, here’s what Cameron had to say.

“We have to take baby steps. It’s a long process over four years for every World Cup but there’s the Gold Cup and Copa America so there’s busy summer’s ahead,” Cameron said. “We are trying to take the national team to the next level. We can’t go gun-ho. There are baby steps as to what you need to improve as a team with new guys coming in and younger faces, I think there is a lot of potential for our team.”

[ RELATED: Guzan on Villa, leading US ‘keepers

The perennial questioned asked by the British media to American players then arrived, as Cameron was asked how ‘big’ soccer is in America and if he has noticed a difference in support numbers, level of play and general interest levels since the 2014 World Cup.

“When I first started my career in the MLS and coming back for qualifiers and whatnot, the attendance from fans was absolutely amazing,” Cameron said. “Soccer has become huge. It is more mainstream now and eventually I think it will take over the big sports in America. If you look at it, it has to go from generation to generation. It’s a time thing. I have children, they grow up in a soccer environment then that’s what these kids learn. Now with the diversity we have in the U.S., the different cultures and different ethnicity they all come from soccer backgrounds and grew up in that environment. I think that is the reason why soccer is becoming huge.”

Cameron also admitted that the head coach of the U.S., Jurgen Klinsmann, is a big reason why the program is moving forward.

“He has done it all. He knows what it takes to win and he’s a guy that you want to play for because he has respect and he knows what you are going through as a player. Mentally, physically. Everything,” Cameron added. “He knows what to do to push you and he is always there for advice. For me he has been fantastic and you’ve seen what we have done over the last few years. I think he has taken the national team to the next level.”

source: Getty Images
Cameron believes the USA are heading in the right direction.

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Cameron has returned to action over the past three weeks for the Potters after missing out through injury from August until early October. The Bostonian was heavily linked with a move away from the Britannia Stadium during the January transfer window but Cameron has remained with the Potters and spoke about his ‘dream’ of playing in the Premier League.

“It’s not a bad living, you get to wake up and play football everyday,” Cameron smiled. “Playing in the Premier League has been a goal of mine since I was a young kid. Playing at the Emirates and against the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, you are playing against those big teams. Those are the games you want to play in.”

Following Stoke’s impressive win at Tottenham Hotspur, Mark Hughes’ side sit in ninth place on 15 points. That’s just three points off the top four and Cameron believes his team can push on further.

“It was a big 2-1 victory [against Tottenham]. We definitely needed that,” Cameron said. “We were disappointed from last weekend to give up a 2-0 lead against West Ham, not getting three points when we had an opportunity to climb the table. But going to Tottenham, it’s always a tough place to play. It was a great result. In the next couple of months we have a few tough games ahead of us, they are all  pretty tough, but we have a tough run. You just try and get as many points as you can.”

ProSoccerTalk will be with the USA in London all week ahead of their game against Colombia at Craven Cottage on Friday. Stay in touch with the latest news, here.

Ukraine to join Spain-Portugal host bid for 2030 World Cup

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NYON, Switzerland — Hosting World Cup matches in 2030 would be “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko said Wednesday after his country launched a joint bid with Spain and Portugal.

The leaders of the three soccer federations joined together at UEFA headquarters to present a campaign they hope will connect people beyond the world of sports.

“This is the dream of millions of Ukrainian fans,” Pavelko said at a news conference, “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war or are still in the occupied territories and over whom the Ukrainian flag will surely fly soon.”

Pavelko said the project is backed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

[ MORE: Premier League Golden Boot race ]

The expected Spain-Portugal bid, which has been in the works for more than three years, previously was made UEFA’s preferred candidate. FIFA will vote on the host in 2024.

“Now it’s not the Iberian bid, it’s the European bid,” Spain soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said at the launch. “Together we represent the power of transformation football has in society.”

No details were given about how many games at the 48-team World Cup would be staged in Ukraine or in which cities. The Olympic Stadium in Kyiv hosted the finals of the 2012 European Championship and the 2018 Champions League.

The European bid is expected to face a South American candidacy with co-hosts Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Saudi Arabia, which has built close ties to FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, has been preparing a multi-continent bid potentially including Egypt and Greece. It is unclear how Greece would be approved by UEFA to be part of that.

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

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Crystal Palace and Leeds meet Sunday at Selhurst Park in a bid to snap twin four-match winless runs in Premier League play (watch live, 9am ET Sunday on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

Palace has won just once this season, drawing three times and sitting outside the relegation zone on goal differential.

STREAM LIVE CRYSTAL PALACE vs LEEDS

Leeds have three more points, good for 12th on the table.

Former Hudson River derby rival manager Jesse Marsch and Patrick Vieira will both look to kick their seasons forward with a much-needed win in South London.

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

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


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

Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Palace has given up 11 goals this season and expected goals say that perhaps it should be worse for the Eagles, who have received four of their seven goals from one man: Wilfried Zaha.

Leeds won’t have Luis Sinisterra, who was sent off last week, but Brenden Aaronson and Rodrigo have been producing plenty of attacking moments. Finish has to come next, although Leeds’ 10 goals puts it middle of the pack. Perhaps Patrick Bamford is ready to deliver the goods?


Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Joachim Andersen (calf). OUT: Nathan Ferguson (ankle), Nathaniel Clyne (ankle), Jack Butland (wrist), James McArthur (groin).

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Adam Forshaw (ankle). OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Archie Gray (toe), Luis Sinisterra (suspension).

Newcastle vs Brentford: How to watch, live stream link, team news, lineups

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Newcastle looks to run its Premier League unbeaten run to five when it hosts Brentford at St. James’ Park on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

The Magpies beat up 10-man Fulham last weekend to pick up their second win of the season. Eddie Howe’s team has only lost once, a controversial setback at Liverpool, and sits seventh with 11 points.

STREAM LIVE NEWCASTLE vs BRENTFORD

Brentford’s only collected one fewer point than their Saturday hosts, but the Bees have been blanked in consecutive outings and failed to find a way past Bournemouth in a scoreless draw on Oct. 1.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle vs Brentford.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Newcastle vs Brentford live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Exciting forward Allan Saint-Maximin could return for Newcastle, making an already cohesive unit more dangerous. The 25-year-old has a goal and two assists in four appearances this season and scored in this fixture, a 3-3 draw, last season.

Brentford has scored the fifth-most goals in the Premier League this season — quite good — but only six teams have conceded more than the Bees. Goalkeeper David Raya has made 30 saves, tied for third in the Premier League with… Nick Pope. So perhaps it’s time to expect fireworks.


Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh). OUT: Karl Darlow (ankle), Alexander Isak (thigh), Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee).

Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Ethan Pinnock (knee). OUT: Keane Lewis-Potter (ankle), Pontus Jansson (thigh), Christian Norgaard (tendonitis)

Premier League top scorers: Who is leading 2022 Golden Boot race?

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For those tempted to write off Erling Haaland’s historically-hot start to life as a Premier League striker, we get it: There’s something rather dull about not wondering the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, but just the number of his final tally.

Haaland’s Premier League-leading 14 goals from eight games has him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

His third hat trick of the season, joined by three Phil Foden goals in Man City’s 6-3 derby win over United, keeps him on pace for more than 60 goals this season, a mark that would

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s already becoming clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is not farfetched at all.

Take a look at these digits. Haaland isn’t just punching in goals; He’s made an almost seamless transition to Pep Guardiola’s system, producing chances for others in addition to his powerful self-positioning.

Erling Haaland
fotmob.com

Haaland is unlikely to hit even 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault

Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.

Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.

Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:

  • 30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
  • Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
  • Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
  • 11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)

Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.

Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot race

  1. Erling Haaland, Man City — 14
  2. Harry Kane, Tottenham — 7
  3. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham — 6
  4. Phil Foden, Man City — 5
  5. Ivan Toney, Brentford — 5
  6. James Maddison, Leicester City — 5
  7. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — 5
  8. Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal — 5
  9. Leandro Trossard — Brighton — 5
  10. Three tied with four. (Alexis Mac Allister, Rodrigo, Wilfried Zaha)