There are 1,000 reasons we shouldn’t make any Spring MLS predictions regarding who will be left standing in December, and the August transfer window coming with two months left in the Major League Soccer season is one of them.
The New York Red Bulls strengthened again on Tuesday, picking up 25-year-old Argentine midfielder Gonzalo Veron. The move comes one week after New York signed Shaun Wright-Phillips, now No. 98 to his brother’s 99 on RBNY.
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A winger, Veron scored eight times in 52 appearances for Argentine power San Lorenzo, and will bring his attacking prowess to a unit with Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty.
Full marks to Jesse Marsch for keeping this basically brand-new unit near the top of the East despite roster tumult that saw Thierry Henry, Eric Alexander, Ambroise Oyongo and Tim Cahill skip town along with coach Mike Petke this offseason.
But, again, considering the league is on a non-traditional schedule that sees loads of transfers in August, those of us who predicted that RBNY would finish near the bottom of the East shouldn’t feel too bad.
Look at the pickups this month alone: RBNY, Montreal and Seattle have all added unexpected pieces. Go back a month with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, et. al. This is one of the unexpected boons of the unorthodox window, but also disappointing to teams that plan a bit better.
The transfer windows fall before and midway through the European calendar. They fall well before and near the end of the MLS season. That’s not going to change any time soon, but it continues to make the MLS regular season feel a bit unsteady (even given the parity of the league).
2-0 to start the season, Liverpool and Arsenal are both bidding for their first marquee three points when they tangle at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
Alexandre Lacazette is on the bench for Arsenal as record signing Nicolas Pepe starts for the Gunners, who have beaten Burnley and Newcastle United.
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Liverpool’s wins have come against Norwich City and Southampton, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is deploying his very best to face the Gunners.
We’ve got goals. We’ve got red cards. We’ve got fun.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]
All four Premier League 10 a.m. ET Saturday kickoffs have reached halftime. Here’s your primer to select which second half to stream live.
Watford 1-1 West Ham United
Chances and entertainment for days at Vicarage Road, where Mark Noble‘s early penalty was quickly offset by Andre Gray‘s emphatic finish of a Will Hughes through ball.
Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Southampton
Florin Andone has been sent off for the hosts after a gnarly challenge on Yan Valery, and further insult for Brighton came when VAR spotted a clear foul on Lewis Dunk‘s headed goal.
Sheffield United 0-1 Leicester City
Jamie Vardy may not tire of throwing parties, and James Maddison sure designs delightful invitations.
Manchester United 0-1 Crystal Palace
Possession doesn’t matter much if you can’t handle a 70-yard goalkeeper pass, and Victor Lindelof‘s lost header to Jeff Schlupp allowed Jordan Ayew as much time as he needed to slot past David De Gea.
United probably should be up a man after Gary Cahill chopped down Anthony Martial, but only a yellow arrived at Old Trafford.
Frank Lampard was all business in being asked about his first Premier League win as Chelsea boss.
Coming on the heels of a loss and draw heading into Saturday’s 3-2 defeat of Norwich City, Lampard was ready to talk about the big picture (especially considering the Blues dealt with a pre-match injury to Pedro).
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With a lot of young players and a tricky transfer ban, Lampard has to walk a fine line between the expectations of Chelsea and the reality of working with a side he hasn’t been able to improve through the transfer window. From the BBC:
“We want to compete. We know this year is difficult on different levels. We’ve had a tough start, and yep, we needed a win. It helps confidence.”
On the other end of the spectrum is Tammy Abraham, who has no qualms whatsoever with his first Chelsea goal in the Premier League.
“I didn’t even know how to celebrate so I just ran over to the management and the staff. It always gives confidence to me and the young boys when the coach believes in you.”
Sheffield United is next, a real chance for the Blues to round into form even if the Blades have been plucky early in their Premier League return.
Four Premier League games kick off at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as Matchweek 3 is in full swing.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]
Man United host Crystal Palace, Southampton head to Brighton, Watford and West Ham do battle and Leicester travel to Sheffield United.
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You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.
[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]
For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.
The schedule for all four games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.
10 a.m. ET: Man United v. Crystal Palace – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Brighton v. Southampton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Leicester – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Watford v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]