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Another young USMNT lineup hosts Brazil in friendly

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John Brooks and Matt Miazga start in the heart of defense for the US National Team as they host Brazil in a friendly at 8:00 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. It is just the pair’s second time playing together with the national team, having completed 45 minutes together against Portugal last November.

The United States has just one win in 18 tries against the South American powerhouse, coming 20 years ago. The US two wins, three draws, and a loss in its last six matches dating back to the disastrous loss in Trinidad & Tobago that knocked the USMNT out of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

[ FOLLOW: USMNT vs. Brazil ]

PSG youngster Timothy Weah begins the game on the bench, with Bobby Wood earning his 40th cap as he starts up front in the attack. Supporting will be RBNY midfielder Tyler Adams who has impressed in his first five caps with the senior national team, showing pace and creativity going forward. Wil Trapp captains the team as midfield cover for the back four.

DeAndre Yedlin has shaken off an early-season injury on Premier League duty with Newcastle to earn his 53rd appearance. Yedlin has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise difficult start for Rafa Benitez in the English top flight. On the other side of the back line is 21-year-old Everton LB Antonee Robinson who has played all 540 minutes of Wigan’s start to the Championship, on loan from Goodison Park.

It’s somewhat disappointing for Weah not to be in the starting lineup, given his stellar start to the season in the French capital, only losing his place in a Champions League squad after Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani all returned to action from extended World Cup rest. He is likely to come on at some point during the 90 minutes tonight.

Also on the bench alongside the 18-year-old is Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers who was only recently sent out on loan to Swansea in the Championship. Cristian Roldan is also on the bench, hoping to return to the regular fold after a positive start to his national team career was cut somewhat short by a bad ankle injury. He is joined by Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono who made his national team debut against Bolivia in May.

With an average age of 23 years and 117 days, it’s the fifth straight match that Dave Sarachan has selected a starting lineup under the age of 24. All 11 players are 25 years old or younger.

Brazil, meanwhile, has started a full-strength starting lineup, a daunting task for the United States. Neymar wears the armband after being named permanent captain yesterday by head coach Tite. Casemiro holds down the midfield in front of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva in defense. Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino gets the start up front leading the attack.

USMNT: Steffan; Robinson, Brooks, Miazga, Yedlin; Trapp; Green, McKennie, Adams, Arriola; Wood.
Bench: Bono, Carter-Vickers, Zardes, Roldan, Weah, Lichaj, Parker, Acosta, Delgado.

BRAZIL: AlissonFabinho, Marquinhos, Silva, Luís; Fred, Casemiro, Coutinho; Costa, Firmino, Neymar.

Red-hot Rebić scores again as AC Milan tops Torino

AC Milan
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MILAN (AP) Ante Rebić kept up his scoring form to lead AC Milan to a 1-0 win over struggling Torino in Serie A on Monday.

The Croatia international beat his marker to redirect a cross from the center of the area midway through the first half at the San Siro.

The score raised Rebić’s tally to six goals and an assist in eight matches since he earned his starting spot – a move that coincided with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the Rossoneri.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Bouncing back from a derby loss, Milan moved up to eighth and just beyond the Europa League places. The seven-time European champion is hoping to return to continental competition after voluntary withdrawing from this season’s Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches.

Torino, meanwhile, lost its fifth straight, with new coach Moreno Longo still unable to turn things around in his second match in charge.

Ibrahimović narrowly missed a curling shot shortly after the break.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Simeone: Liverpool intensity “makes me admire it as a rival”

UEFA Champions League
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The UEFA Champions League returns at long last on Tuesday, and two of the greatest managers in the game will match wits for the first time.

No we’re not talking about Lucien Favre and Thomas Tuchel, the meeting of the minds in Tuesday’s other kickoff between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in Germany.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone in Spain, and the fiery German thinks it will be “absolutely interesting.”

From The Liverpool Echo:

“People say I emotional on the sideline,” Klopp said. “I am only on level 4, Diego is level 12. Really I am the kindergarten cop against him. He is so impressive after all these years, after so many years at the club – eight years. That is really long and having still this emotional level, still, wow. So impressive. I say, his teams are always organized world class.”

The admiration is mutual.

Simeone expects a huge challenge from a Liverpool team he regards on a historic plane.

“We are facing a magnificent team, really well-trained by a coach who is different and has different alternatives in his team,” he said, via The Independent. “We have always spoken about great teams throughout time and I have no doubt this Liverpool is going to go down in history as a great team because it is different to teams that we have admired. This team is much more intense, more adaptable, and it makes me admire it as a rival.”

The bettors say Liverpool is the heavy favorite in the first leg despite the match’s location at the Wanda Metropolitano. With football geniuses like Klopp and Simeone, however, either could have a plan to throw the other for a loop.

CONCACAF Champions League preview: Five MLS sides eye history

CONCACAF Champions League preview
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Once the Premier League and La Liga had taken their final bows of the day on Saturday, there felt was a particular absence, one soon-to-be filled by domestic soccer.

Yes, MLS is coming soon, and the CONCACAF Champions League is even closer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Five MLS sides begin their Round of 16 ties over the next three evenings, some with easier paths than others to elusive CCL glory.

The competition may not have burned itself onto the mainstream, lagging behind continental competitions in Europe and South America, but those who’ve embraced it (hint: this guy) love the thing.

For all the progress Major League Soccer has made in its quarter-century, it’s yet to find much success in dealing with Liga MX powers in the fight to qualify for the Club World Cup.

MLS sides have not won the competition since it was rebranded the CCL. Only three MLS sides have made the CCL final this decade, with Real Salt Lake (2011), Montreal Impact (2015), and Toronto FC (2017) all coming up short at the last step.

The CCL provides everything you love and hate about World Cup qualifying, and those dicey pitches with sometimes worse lighting mean the favorites aren’t guaranteed much.

The top half of the bracket sees three MLS teams — Montreal, Seattle, and NYCFC — and just one Liga MX side, while the bottom half gives us a Liga MX v. MLS match-up straight away.

That’s Leon v. LAFC, and it begins Tuesday night in Mexico. That tie carries the added intrigue of MLS superstar Carlos Vela bringing his act back to his home country for the first time… ever.

Bracket

Saprissa (Costa Rica) v. Montreal — 8 p.m. ET Weds.
Olimpia (Honduras) v. Seattle — 10 p.m. ET Thurs.

San Carlos (Costa Rica) v. NYCFC — 8 p.m. ET Thurs.
Alianza (El Salvador) v. UANL Tigres — 8 p.m. ET Weds.

Leon v. LAFC — 10 p.m. ET Tues.
Portmore United (Jamaica) v. Cruz Azul — 8 p.m. ET Tues.

Comunicaciones (Guatemala) v. Club America — 10 p.m. ET Weds.
Montagua (Honduras) v. Atlanta United — 10 p.m. ET Tues.

The 2 Robbies podcast: VAR carnage at Stamford Bridge

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle dissect a crazy game at Stamford Bridge that saw Chelsea on the wrong side of several VAR decisions (00:45).

The gents also recap the big moments from the weekend; Liverpool beat Norwich (18:30), Son’s late winner against Aston Villa (24:45) and Arteta‘s attackers thrash Newcastle United (30:15).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]