Three things we learned from Stoke City’s win vs. Chelsea


Stoke City beat Chelsea 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday as a Jose Mourinho-less Blues lost for the seventh-time in the Premier League this season.

[ MORE: New-look Stoke progressing ]

Marko Arnautovic‘s second half scissor kick sealed a big win for the Potters, just their second-ever PL victory over the Blues, as Chelsea’s woes continue despite an improved display without their manager in the dugout.

[ MORE: Stoke beat Blues

Here’s three things we learned from Stoke’s second win in 10 days — the won on penalties in a Capital One Cup clash at the end of October — against Chelsea.


Sure, Stoke struggled to get a foothold in the game in the first half but anytime they got the chance to attack and get at Chelsea they grabbed it with both hands. Bojan played in Glen Johnson in the first half and his shot was well-saved by Asmir Begovic. Xherdan Shaqiri looked a threat and full of tricks whenever he got on the ball. At the start of the second half Johnson surged forward and his cross found its way to Arnautovic at the back post who scissor-kicked the ball home and sent the Britannia Stadium wild. Stoke had only won once in their previous 15 PL games against Chelsea, and despite the reigning champs struggles this season, this victory represents a big coup for Mark Hughes and his players.

This week I spent a day at Stoke’s training ground chatting to three of those players — Bojan, Jack Butland and Geoff Cameron — about the new-look Potters and how Hughes has changed their philosophy into a team who likes to possess the ball and can now punish opponents when they’re handed opportunities. In their ninth season in the PL, Stoke have transformed themselves from a team who were known as long-ball merchants under Tony Pulis to having incredibly talented attackers such as Bojan, Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Ibrahim Affelay on the books. After a slow start to the this season, Stoke’s flair players are figuring the PL out. Hughes added 12 new guys over the summer and as this result showed, the team are beginning to gel and understand what is required within the framework of a traditional Stoke side. Yes, they have a new philosophy and a more exciting way of playing but the Potters are blending in their previous blue-collar, defensive style and it is working a treat. They have finished ninth in each of their last two seasons and if Stoke are going to better that they need to keep that defensive guile — Butland was once again superb in goal — and ability to grind out wins and let their mercurial talents win games for them just like the did on Saturday. The atmosphere inside the Brit was bubbling and it was just like the old days, except, now, the Potters can really play and kick on to challenge the PL’s elite consistently.


Sitting in a hotel room somewhere in Stoke-on-Trent, it would have been interesting to see Mourinho’s face at the final whistle as Chelsea lost three-straight league games for the first time in 16 years. Handed a one-game stadium ban following his latest misconduct charge from the English FA, the Portuguese coach wasn’t on the sidelines on Saturday and couldn’t communicate with his bench or his players before or during the game. Fans in and around the stadium did their best to try and imitate Mourinho (see the photo below) by wearing masks of his face and holding up cardboard cutouts of him, but we will never know if his presence on the bench would have made a difference and rescued Chelsea from this latest damaging defeat. Following ther 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League, Mourinho praised the “strong mentality” of his players for responding to a negative moment when they were pegged back to 1-1 with 15 minutes left. His side, for probably the first time this season, truly rallied after going behind and pulled through for a win. As soon as Stoke scored seven minutes into the second half on Saturday, you never truly felt Chelsea would get level.


Pedro hit the post with a curling effort, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa put in an incredible shift and the only moment when Chelsea’s defense hesitated — Baba Rahman was skinned by Johnson for Arnautovic’s goal — they were punished. That’s the way it’s been going for the Blues this season. Bad luck or bad judgement, it continues to happen and the reigning champs are in ruins as losing that nervousness and fragility at both ends of the pitch won’t happen overnight. This will take a long time to rectify. So, for seemingly the 4,000th time in this young season, it is time to ask: what’s next? Now comes an agonizing two-week international break for Mourinho to mull over the issues his side are having and will face against Norwich City at home when they return on Nov. 21. Remarkably, the game before each international break so far this season had ended in defeat for the Blues — a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, then a 3-1 loss to Southampton and now a 1-0 loss at Stoke — to leave a sour taste in Mourinho’s mouth. How he deals with this latest setback, even though he wasn’t on hand to witness it, could be career defining as the pressure mounts. Depending on how Arsenal and Manchester City get on this Sunday, Chelsea could be up to 17 points behind the league leaders with a third of the season in the books. As our studio analysts say in the video below, they have to snap out of this losing habit. Fast.


Despite being on the losing team, Hazard can hold his head high. The Belgian winger, 24, put in one of his best displays of the season so far, as he tormented Stoke’s defense on multiple occasions. In the first half his link-up play with Pedro and Costa saw Stoke’s defense not knowing which way to turn. Hazard’s movement is so hard to track and at the start of the second half he spun on a six-pence and smashed a shot just over the crossbar as he looked to the heavens in frustration. In the 78th minute, a flick from Oscar and Cesc Fabregas set him up on the left of the box but his shot towards the far corner was deflected wide.

It was a case of another dose of bad luck for Chelsea and Hazard as their shots squirmed just wide, loose balls at the other end fell to Stoke and the Blues lost for the seventh time in 12 PL games this season but in truth, their first half performance, and Hazard, deserved more. The Premier League is an unforgiving league and when this fixture came out, it will have been one Mourinho will have circled on his calendar as a potential banana skin. Chelsea have now lost twice in 10 days at Stoke and three of their last four encounters at the Britannia. Hazard wasn’t to blame for this loss and he showed glimpses that the man who tore apart the PL last season is slowing getting back to his best form.

USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ LATEST: Balogun named to Nations League roster ]

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson was in temporary charge but he has now moved on with B.J. Callaghan taking over an interim basis as the search for a new permanent head coach continues.

After both the general manager (Brian McBride) and sporting director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months, Matt Crocker has arrived as U.S. Soccer’s new sporting director and has some huge decisions coming up as the USMNT’s talented youngsters need some guidance with a World Cup on home soil just three years away.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil. 

How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock

USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup | **** Gold Cup


vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights

at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — Won 7-1 | Recap & highlights + Player ratings
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Won 1-0 | Recap & highlights
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details

vs Mexico ** — June 15, 10pm ET — Las Vegas, Nevada (Nations League semifinal)

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 

vs Jamaica**** — June 24, 9:30pm ET — Chicago, Illinois 
vs TBD****
— June 28, 9:30pm ET — St. Louis, Missouri 
vs Nicaragua****
— July 2, 7pm ET — Charlotte, North Carolina

October 2023

vs Germany* — October 14, 3pm ET — Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
vs Ghana* — October 17, 8:30pm ET — GEODIS Park, Nashville, TN

USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0

USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1

USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 

Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification

Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5

Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

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USMNT’s new interim boss Callaghan names Nations League squad


New interim United States men’s national team coach B.J. Callaghan has named his 24-man roster for the CONCACAF Nations League final round in Las Vegas later this month.

Callaghan took the wheel for Anthony Hudson after the former Colorado Rapids coach stepped down late last month.

The USMNT will meet Mexico in a June 15 semifinal in a rematch of the memorable first CNL final, with the winner meeting the winner of Panama and Canada for a June 18 final.

[ MORE: Sevilla come back, win Europa League in penalties ]

There are some new names in the mix, including Champions League veteran goalkeeper Josh Cohen of Maccabi Haifa and Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun.

Eight players have four caps or less, and Christian Pulisic’s 58 caps are by far the most of the group.

Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Giovanni Reyna, Yunus Musah, and Brendan Aaronson are all listed, as is Timothy Weah.

Tim Ream of Fulham, Zack Steffen of Man City, and Tyler Adams of Leeds miss out through injury

Full roster after the jump.

USMNT roster for CONCACAF Nations League Finals

Attached clubs are listed by USMNT and include loan spots at end of 2022-23 season.

Goalkeepers: Drake Callender (Inter Miami), Josh Cohen (Maccabi Haifa), Sean Johnson (Toronto FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal). 

Defenders: Sergiño Dest (AC Milan), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace, Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 

Midfielders: Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alan Soñora (FC Juárez).

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Folarin Balogun (Stade Reims), Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Weah (Lille), Alex Zendejas (Club América)

The Soccer Tournament to air across NBC platforms in summer 2023


27 games from the The Soccer Tournament (TST) will be aired across NBC Sports’ platforms in the summer of 2023 as some of the biggest clubs in the world will be represented as teams square off to try and win the $1 million grand prize.

[ LIVE: Watch The Soccer Tournament on Peacock ]

Games will be aired on Peacock and CNBC, as the inaugural 7-a-side tournament takes place in Cary, North Carolina and the likes of West Ham United, Wolves, Borussia Dortmund, Wrexham and various teams from around the world including former USMNT and USWNT players will compete.

“On June 4th, two teams will face off in our championship game for a million dollars. The second place team will get nothing. We are excited to showcase the drama of that moment and 26 additional high-stakes matches through this partnership with NBC Sports, home of the Premier League in the United States,” said TST founder and CEO Jon Mugar.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

What is The Soccer Tournament?

Here are more details on what to expect from The Soccer Tournament this summer:

“A first-of-its-kind soccer event, TST will feature 32 teams from eight different countries competing in a World Cup-like group stage. Sixteen teams will advance to the knockout stage, where they will compete in single elimination games for a $1 million grand prize.

“Teams competing in the event include 7-a-side teams from notable European clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, West Ham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wrexham, Como 1907, Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, MLS club Charlotte FC, Liga MX’s Club Necaxa, Clint Dempsey’s Team Dempsey, and US Women, a team of former US women’s national team players organized by Heather O’Reilly and coached by Mia Hamm.

“Notable players include legendary Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas (Como 1907), NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (Nati SC), social media influencer and former MLS Academy product Noah Beck (Borussia Dortmund), among others. TST’s field will also include 23 former U.S. senior national team players on both the men’s and women’s side with nearly 1,400 matches of experience combined.”

Below is the full TST game schedule and tickets for all TST games are on sale now at

The Soccer Tournament schedule, how to watch live, start times, dates

June 1, 2023

Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoosiers Army (Indiana Alumni) – June 1, 9am ET
West Ham United vs. Far East United – June 1, 10:30am ET
US Women vs. Say Word FC – June 1, 12pm ET
Wrexham Red Dragons vs. Como 1907 – June 1, 1:30pm ET
Wolverhampton vs. Blade & Grass – June 1, 5pm ET
Club Necaxa vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv – June 1, 6:30pm ET
Wrexham Red Dragons vs. US Women – June 1, 8pm ET
Team Dempsey vs. Sneaky Fox – June 1, 9:30pm ET

June 2, 2023

Borussia Dortmund vs. Kingdom FC – June 2, 9am ET
West Ham United vs. Culture by Mo Ali FC – June 2, 10:30am ET
Wrexham Red Dragons vs. Say Word FC – June 2, 12pm ET
Team Dempsey vs. Zala FFF – June 2, 1:30pm ET

Knockout Round (8 games) – June 2, 6pm – 11pm ET
Quarterfinals (4 games) – June 2, 12 pm – 4:45pm ET

June 3, 2023

Semifinals (2 games) – June 3, 7 pm and 9:30pm ET

June 4, 2023

TST $1M Championship Game (Live) – June 4, 3pm ET CNBC – Encore to air on June 10, 2pm ET (NBC)

USWNT release 2023 World Cup jerseys


The USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys have arrived and the Stars and Stripes will certainly stand out from the crowd at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

[ MORE: Schedule, how to watch, bracket for 2023 World Cup ]

Vlatko Andonovski’s side are going for a third-straight World Cup title, something which has never been achieved in the history of the men’s and women’s game.

Led by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, this USWNT side have so much experience but there are also exciting young talents coming through with Mallory Swanson and Trinity Rodman excelling in recent months.

Below is a closer look at the the new USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys, with the away kit also to be worn by the USMNT.

USWNT 2023 World Cup jerseys

U.S. Soccer say that the inspiration for the jerseys are “from abstract expressionism, an international art movement that started in the 1940s in New York and shifted the art epicenter from Europe to the U.S., similar to what the USA team has done for women’s soccer.”

They add there is “a custom USA ‘signature'” as the “bespoke mark is hand painted with ink on paper, and is a nod to the abstract expressionism movement, where each artist would sign their painting. Lastly, the USA’s inner pride mark celebrates the USWNT’s four Women’s World Cup championships in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019.”

When it comes to the home kit, U.S. Soccer say it is “an unexpected take on the tradition of wearing white at home and features a bespoke drip paint technique pattern. Highlighting the energy of the USWNT and how they are diverse players and personalities, but always united, the action painting method pattern features a distinctive placement, making every single jersey unique.”

Courtesy: US Soccer

For the blue away kit, which will be worn by both the USWNT and USMNT, there are “bespoke stars and stripe print on the sleeve cuffs – a diagonal stripe with intersecting stars – and a neckline that also features red blades, formed to look like the tip of stars.”

They add that those shapes are “subtle, patriotic nods to the hidden shapes that are inspired by abstract expressionism art.”

Courtesy: US Soccer

Here is a look at both USWNT World Cup jerseys in a little more detail, plus the USMNT showing off their new away kits.