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Seven players England must call up for debuts

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The English national team will soon be back in action for the first time since reaching the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and Gareth Southgate will have some intriguing decisions to make for his 23-man squad.

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Will he stick with the vast majority of the players who led the Three Lions to a fourth-place finish in Russia this summer? Or will he freshen things up and bring in a few new faces?

If he does the latter for the UEFA Nations League games against Spain and Switzerland in September, then there are plenty of emerging candidates who he could have a look at.

Below is a closer look at seven players who deserve to be called up to Southgate’s latest squad.


Phil Foden (Manchester City)
The star for England’s U-17 side which won the World Cup last year, Foden is a regular in Man City’s matchday squad and often comes off the bench. His ability to hold the ball and play defense-splitting passes is something that England missed massively at the World Cup. In the Adam Lallana mould, but just 18 years old. Some may say this call is too early but Foden’s talent has been nurtured by Pep Guardiola and if he’s ready to contribute regularly for City, surely he can play a part for England.


Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
A former Man City star who starred alongside Foden at the U-17 World Cup, Sancho had really made a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund. He made 12 appearances for Dortmund’s first team last season and scored once as the 18-year-old can play anywhere across the front line. An exciting talent who can dribble past defenders and use his electric pace and power to cause havoc, Sancho is getting invaluable experience at German giants Dortmund at such a young age.


Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
Although he played for the Republic of Ireland youth teams, Grealish pledged his allegiance to England some time ago and the mercurial playmaker was a star for Villa last season as they were so close to promotion to the Premier League. At 22 years old, Grealish has matured on and off the pitch but still has a nasty streak which seems to bring out the best in him. Steve Bruce was adamant to keep hold of him as Tottenham wanted to sign Grealish all summer long and like Foden and Sancho, he can hold the ball, surge forward and has a real eye for a pass.


Alex McCarthy (Southampton)
There’s no doubt that Jordan Pickford is England’s undisputed No.1 following his heroics at the World Cup, but with Nick Pope out with a long-term injury and Jack Butland battling with Stoke City in the Championship and Joe Hart clearly out of Southgate’s thoughts, Southampton’s Alex McCarthy will surely be included. The former Crystal Palace and Reading goalkeeper had a sensational end to the 2017-18 season as he helped save Saints from relegation and he’s kept up that good form at the start of 2018-19. Many believe he was England’s fourth-choice goalkeeper over the summer and he could well have elevated himself to at least third-choice.


James Maddison (Leicester City)
A regular for England’s U-21 side over the past few years, Leicester’s new $35 million winger has looked the part in his first few games as a Premier League player after arriving from second-tier Norwich City over the summer. Maddison, 21, already has a goal to his name in the PL and his pace out wide and ability to cut inside and make things happen will intrigue Southgate. England have plenty of players in Maddison’s mould with Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and others springing to mind, but given his form for the U-21s and his start to the season for Leicester he may just be rewarded.


Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
After battling back from multiple injuries, Wilson has started the season in great form for Bournemouth. The powerful striker has scored twice already, including a wondergoal at West Ham, and his ability to hold the ball up and make intelligent runs into the channels show he can slot in and replace Harry Kane, if England need that. At this point he is playing regularly, and delivering, in the Premier League and that’s not something the likes of Marcus Rashford is doing.


Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Another Leicester player who is thriving under Claude Puel‘s ability to get the best out of youngsters. Gray is still only 22 years old and with Riyad Mahrez gone, he now has the chance to be the main attacking threat for the Foxes. His well taken equalizer at Southampton on Saturday proved he is capable of composure in the box as well as scoring stunners. Gray has scored six goals in 18 appearances for England’s U-21 side and it seems like the time is now for him to step up to the seniors.


Honorable mentions: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City, Declan Rice (West Ham), Conor Coady (Wolves), Danny Ings (Southampton)

Gold Cup: Mexico secures place in knockout round with win over Canada; Martinique over Cuba

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The Mexico National Team at the 2019 Gold Cup has been very focused on introducing inexperienced players into the squad, and yet, it was a veteran on Wednesday that reminded everyone how much he still has left in the tank.

Mexico captain Andres Guardado, who came off the bench for the injured Erick Gutierrez in the first half, scored a brace as Mexico held off a surging Canada late in the match. Guardado’s first goal was an absolute golazo from 30-yards out, while his second showcased his poise and calm in the box.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Mexico – as is custom for El Tri – controlled possession and looked very confident on the ball, zipping it around midfield and at times, playing on a faster speed than Canada, it seemed. However, with Canada sitting in a low defensive block, it took until the 40th minute for Mexico to get on the board through Roberto Alvarado finishing into an empty net after a big save from Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Canada pushed higher up the field in the second half and seemed to be turning the tide before Guardado picked up a loose ball – and there may have been a foul on Canada – and el Principito unleashed a rocket that Borjan had no chance to keep out.

Canada made six changes in the starting lineup from its first game and it was the introductions of Scott Arfield, Jonathan Osorio and Jonathan David in the second half that began to get Canada back into the game. A mistake by centerback Nestor Araujo in the 75th minute, trying to be fancy with a Cruyff turn allowed David to advance down the Mexico goal on a breakaway. After a cutback, David played Luca Cavallini in the box and Cavallini scored to cut it to 2-1.

However, Guardado, and LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antuna, put the game away for good two minutes later. Antuna got around his defender and centered to Guardado. The wily midfielder took three Canada defenders out of the play with a quick touch to his right, before scoring a deflected goal off the post and in.

Earlier in the evening, Martinique recorded a dominant 3-0 victory over ten-man Cuba. Star striker Kevin Parsemain didn’t score, though he did play a role in Martinique’s third goal with an outstanding back-heel pass.

Copa America: Watch Newcastle’s Almiron sets up Paraguay opener with 60-yard sprint (video)

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For the second time in as many games, Argentina has allowed it’s opponent to score the first goal. This time, it has Miguel Almiron to thank.

Starting with a dummy that lead to a more than 60-yard sprint to the end-line, Almiron showcased his top-line speed, strength, and dribbling ability as he lead Paraguay down the field in transition, eventually crossing into the middle. It was there that Olimpia’s Richard Sanchez met the cross and sliced it home to put Paraguay up 1-0 in the first half.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Atlanta United fans saw plenty of that blazing speed during Almiron’s two years in the U.S. If Newcastle fans get to witness this in person more this coming season, Almiron will be a fan-favorite.

 

 

Transfer Roundup: Neymar to cost $337 million? Could Jorginho follow Sarri to Juve?

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Will he stay or will he go?

That’s the main question surrounding Neymar this summer. If reports out of France – and there are many – are to be believed, Neymar will have to stay.

[READ: Landon Donovan to lead USL franchise]

Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that if Neymar was to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer, it would cost an insane $337 million (€300 million) in transfer fees. With that price, and UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, it pretty much rules out any club from Europe from signing the Brazilian star. Neymar has recently been linked with a move back to Barcelona, with $112 million and other players reportedly included in a deal from Barcelona to PSG.

There’s so many moving pieces involved in any case. Antoine Griezmann is expected to leave Atletico Madrid, with Barcelona the rumored destination. But if Neymar goes to Barcelona, could Griezmann head to PSG? Meanwhile PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi pretty much called out Neymar for some of his off the field – and on the pitch – antics, likely hurting their relationship.

So while it seems like Neymar – and PSG – may want the relationship to end, PSG won’t miss out on getting its money back.

Here’s more transfer stories from around Europe:


Jorginho to Juventus? 

Jorginho is to Maurizio Sarri like red wine is to a medium-rare steak. They just go great together.

With Sarri moving to Juventus, that raises the question that Jorginho, who moved with Sarri to Chelsea, could move back to Italy this summer. There’s plenty of reasons why it could make sense. Despite playing 56 times for the Blues, including helping lead them to the UEFA Europa League title, he took plenty of criticism from the media and fans for his lack of defensive ability. Fans were also upset with Sarri’s insistence of playing Jorginho at the 6, and not at the 6 or as part of a double pivot with N’Golo Kante. In Premier League games that Chelsea was undone, it was because Jorginho was overrun in midfield.

Jorginho meanwhile could go back to Italy, where he has citizenship, plays for the national team and enjoyed so much success with Napoli.

According to reports out of Italy, Jorginho’s agent said that the player is happy in London, but they would wait and see what happens next from Juventus.

“Chelsea have a four-year contract with the man,” Joao Santos said, via Football Italia. “We’ll wait a few days to figure out whether there is any truth in this interest mentioned in the papers. His past at Napoli won’t be an issue, because Jorginho is a professional. Right now, Jorginho is happy at Chelsea. He found a great atmosphere and we can’t really say that he’d like to go elsewhere, but anything can happen on the transfer market. We’ll wait and see…”

Follow Live: Mexico faces Canada in Gold Cup doubleheader nightcap

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From Mile High USA, Denver, Colo., the 2019 Gold Cup continues with a highly-anticipated matchup between Mexico and Canada.

El Tri is coming off a 6-0 rout of Cuba in the opener at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena last week, while Canada thrashed Martinique, 4-0 in its opener. All of which leads to Wednesday, when an up-start Canada faces a young and firing Mexico in the 10 p.m. ET nightcap.

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The LA Galaxy’s Uriel Antuna, a late addition to the squad, scored a hat-trick against Cuba and is one of the many young players getting their first chance to impress new Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. Meanwhile, Canada is having a recent resurgence, with young stars Jonathan David, Alphonso Davies and Mark-Anthony Kaye all making an early impact.

Meanwhile, Cuba and Martinique now battle it out in the first match of the night from Denver at 8 p.m., with both sides hoping for three points and a chance to emerge from the group in third place. Cuba has already lost one player to asylum in the U.S., but it’s unclear what kind of impact that will have on the team.

Follow along with us on the link above and in the comments below.