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Arenalytics, MLS edition: Who do stats say deserve USMNT call-ups?

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This Thanksgiving, we here at ProSoccerTalk are grateful for the coaching change of the United States men’s national team. No, not because we hated Jurgen Klinsmann nor on account of a love for Bruce Arena.

For the posts, friends. For the posts.

Today, let’s take a look at the best MLS players stats-wise as longtime LA Galaxy head honcho takes the USMNT wheel for his latest turn as head coach.

These are the top Americans in the MLS stat pages, culled from several sources including MLSSoccer.com and Squawka.

[ MORE: Stock up/down under Arena ]

It’s worth noting, and it’s a longer story for another day, that Americans don’t exactly run roughshod through the stats. It’s another “problem” for the league with its growing popularity: getting better soccer players doesn’t mean getting better American soccer players. Money does that, and it’s a lesson learned in England, Germany, and other leagues well above MLS.

Some quick takeaways before we get to the numbers:

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sacha Kljestan #16 of the United States (R) is congratulated by Christian Pulisic #10 and Fabian Johnson #23 following a goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad &Tobago at EverBank Field on September 6, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Kljestan (R) with Christian Pulisic Fabian Johnson (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

— Looking at these, it seems a no-brainer that Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, and Darlington Nagbe will get the chance to be back in the fold.

— If Dom Dwyer and Ozzie Alonso could play for the national team, that would be cool (Of course Cuba won’t release Alonso and England-born Dwyer still has to formally apply for the honor).

— Could lesser-known names like Scott Caldwell (New England), Wil Trapp (Columbus), and even Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas) get a look?

[ MORE: Premier League Player Power Rankings ]

*denotes rookie
#denotes currently ineligible for USMNT

Top American MLS goal scorers, 2015 & 2016
Chris Wondolowski, 28
Dom Dwyer, 28#
Jozy Altidore, 23
Clint Dempsey, 18
Ethan Finlay, 18
Benny Feilhaber, 17
Chris Pontius, 15
Will Bruin, 15
Patrick Mullins, 14
Sacha Kljestan, 14
Juan Agudelo, 14
Lamar Neagle, 13
Jordan Morris, 12*

Top American MLS assistmen, 2015 & 2016
Sacha Kljestan, 34
Benny Feilhaber, 28
Ethan Finlay, 22
Lee Nguyen, 21
Dax McCarty, 13
Mike Grella, 13
Kelyn Rowe, 13
Tommy McNamara, 12

Successful passes amongst Americans in MLS, 2016
Osvaldo Alonso, 1816#
Wil Trapp, 1654
Michael Parkhurst, 1369
Sam Cronin, 1211
Scott Caldwell, 1211

Successful passes amongst Americans in MLS, 2015
Dax McCarty, 2087
Sacha Kljestan, 1602
Michael Parkhurst, 1501
Darlington Nagbe, 1496
Scott Caldwell, 1371
Wil Trapp, 1350

Duels won amongst Americans in MLS, 2016
Osvaldo Alonso, 218#
Chris Pontius, 154
CJ Sapong, 153
Ryan Hollingshead, 150
Kelyn Rowe, 145

Duels won amongst Americans in MLS, 2015
Darlington Nagbe, 291
Ryan Hollingshead, 224
Dax McCarty, 224
Sacha Kljestan, 224
Matt Miazga, 209

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Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

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Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

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Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

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Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.