Somewhere, probably in his helicopter hovering over Southern California, Jurgen Klinsmann is smiling.
Like spring after winter and the sun rising every morning, this debate is one you can always count on cropping up every single time the USMNT play a game. And there is no easy answer to it. Is there?
Due to US Soccer focusing on a European-heavy 24-man squad for their friendlies against Wales and Panama this month (due to the MLS Cup playoffs and ease of travel with players already based in Europe) only Sebastian Lletget, a replacement for Josh Sargent who was unavailable, came from MLS.
With Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Tyler Adams and now Yunus Musah playing regularly in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga, the USMNT youngsters are getting invaluable experience in some of the biggest leagues in the world.
Reggie Cannon leads calls for European experience
Speaking to the media in a conference call ahead of the international friendly against Panama, right back Reggie Cannon had this to say after his move from FC Dallas to Boavista over the summer.
“I’ve always wanted to play in Europe and that’s been my goal for the longest time,” Cannon said. “I have always given this advice to the young guys, to the upcoming guys, … all those guys that competed in the FC Dallas ranks and ultimately the MLS ranks. There’s so much to accomplish in Europe, especially for Americans.
“It’s so amazing to see the level of competition over here. It’s just a completely different level I can’t, I can’t explain in words. You just have to experience it. Ultimately, it’s just going to raise your game as a player. It’s going to make you want to be the best. This European lifestyle is completely different than what MLS offers and again that’s no slight to MLS. I just think that for all these young guys coming up and that should be your goal to ultimately help not only yourself but the national team and everything going forward.”
Cannon, 22, was fascinating on the topic and he has clearly kicked his game on to a new level in the matter of just a few months playing in Portugal’s top-flight.
He is now challenging Dest for the starting slot at right back, so much so that Dest may play on the left to try and get Cannon into the team.
The clubs the 🇺🇸 #USMNT starting lineup v. Wales play for:
GK: Man City RB: Barcelona CB: Anderlecht CB: Wolfsburg LB: Fulham CM: RB Leipzig CM: Juventus RM: Dortmund AM: Valencia LM: Barcelona CF: LA Galaxy
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter is a long-time advocate of MLS but spent 16 of his 19-year playing career in Europe in Holland, Germany and England.
He also became the first-ever American coach of a professional team in Europe when he led Swedish side Hammarby. Remember that?
Berhalter told the media over this break that there is no one right way for a player to develop, and that is true, but he also stressed how big of a deal it is that a record 10 USMNT players have been named in Champions League squads for the 2020-21 season.
“It is a great step for American soccer,” Berhalter said. “I’m a firm believer in the measure of talent in any given country is based on how many players they have playing in the Champions League. I think it is really important we get those numbers up. The two things that lead to success is having a strong domestic league and having players playing in the Champions League. It’s good to see we have that.”
Berhalter is right to point out that every player should make the best decision for their own career and if you move to Europe but you’re not playing regularly, is that better than playing week in, week out in MLS as a youngster? Klinsmann got in hot water in the past as he urged his young players to move from MLS to Europe, but look at all of them breaking through now. Was he wrong to push that agenda?
Cannon urged other youngsters who have come through MLS academies to head to Europe as soon as they can.
“The chances of challenging yourself because in MLS, you can get so comfortable at times,” he said. “You can almost create a bubble of comfort around yourself. Being with family, being able to see all your friends at all times, playing a competition that isn’t nearly as challenging as the rest of the world, make plenty of money and just be comfortable. It’s just so easy to just stay where you are and be satisfied.”
“That’s what the great players and the elites do. They go to Europe to challenge themselves. And that’s not saying you can’t be successful in MLS and still playing a World Cup. Of course, you can. But I think just for this player pool, the best thing and the upcoming player pool, the best thing for us to do is to go to Europe and challenge yourself and get a taste of what real football is like, because I think that’s ultimately going to create so much challenge and so much unity within the team that everyone can experience this lifestyle and challenge each other for spots. That’s what makes teams great.”
When you look at the most recent USMNT squad, over a third of the players now playing in Europe started in MLS academies.
Matt Miazga and Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Cannon, McKennie and Chris Richards (FC Dallas), Sebastian Soto and Richie Ledezma (Real Salt Lake), plus Gio Reyna (New York City FC) and Uly Llanez (LA Galaxy). The MLS academies are producing great young talent and Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union) is heading to RB Salzburg soon.
“It’s just a higher level in Europe,” Cannon added. “That’s going to make everyone the greatest they can be, which will ultimately make our chances of entering the World Cup and winning a World Cup the best it can be. I think that’s the best statement I can give.”
Cut to a shot of Klinsmann walking off into a sunset horizon.
The simple fact is that MLS continues to develop top young talent and that after a few years of honing their skills, the best USMNT youngsters should head to Europe before the age of 21. Again, that’s not the right answer for everyone but as we saw over the last week it’s working out pretty well for this crop of USMNT youngsters.
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Arsenal push them all the way? Will Chelsea and Liverpool recover to finish in the top four? Can Manchester United’s new-look side surge into the title race? What about Tottenham? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
2:45pm: AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
2:45pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest
2:45pm: Leicester vs Aston Villa
3pm: Chelsea vs Liverpool
Wednesday 5 April
3pm: Man United v Brentford
3pm: West Ham v Newcastle
Saturday 8 April
7:30am: Man Utd v Everton
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
12:30pm: Southampton v Man City
Sunday 9 April
9am: Leeds v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday 15 April
7:30am: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Brentford
12:30pm: Man City v Leicester
Sunday 16 April
9am: West Ham v Arsenal
11:30am: Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Monday 17 April
3pm: Leeds v Liverpool
Friday 21 April
3pm: Arsenal v Southampton
Saturday 22 April
7:30am: Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Sunday 23 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
9am: Newcastle v Spurs
Postponed due to European action
Man Utd v Chelsea
Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 25 April
2:30pm: Wolves v Crystal Palace
2:45pm: Aston Villa v Fulham
2:45pm: Leeds v Leicester
Wednesday 26 April
2:30pm: Nottingham Forest v Brighton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Brentford
2:45pm: West Ham v Liverpool
3pm: Man City v Arsenal
Thursday 27 April
2:45pm: Everton v Newcastle
2:45pm: Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
3:15pm: Spurs v Man Utd
Saturday 29 April
7:30am: Crystal Palace v West Ham
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
12:30pm: Arsenal v Chelsea
Sunday 30 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
9am: Fulham v Man City
9am: Man Utd v Aston Villa
9am: Newcastle v Southampton
11:30am: Liverpool v Spurs
Monday 1 May
3pm: Leicester v Everton
Wednesday 3 May
3pm: Liverpool v Fulham
3pm: Man City v West Ham
Thursday 4 May
3pm: Brighton v Man Utd
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Spurs v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Liverpool v Brentford
Sunday 7 May
9am: Man City v Leeds* subject to possible Champions League schedule
11:30am: Newcastle v Arsenal
2pm: West Ham v Man Utd
Monday 8 May
10am: Fulham v Leicester
12:30pm: Brighton v Everton
3pm: Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool
Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?
As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.
Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?
Who are the candidates for relegation?
Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.
Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City can momentarily cut the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points but there are question marks swirling around the fitness of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland heading into this game. City are looking for a three-peat of Premier League titles and five in the last six seasons, but Arsenal don’t look like they’re going to slip up anytime soon. So City can’t afford to either. They’ve won six in a row in all competitions, scoring 23 and conceding once in that run. We all know they love to kick on at this point of the campaign, so let’s see if they can do it again.
As for Liverpool, well, it has been one step forward and one step back pretty much all season long for Jurgen Klopp’s side. After their 7-0 shellacking of Manchester United, they then lost at Bournemouth to infuriate Klopp and their fans further. The front three of Salah, Nunez and Gakpo are all clicking through the gears nicely but Liverpool have to become more consistent and dominant games in midfield if they’re going to close the gap to the current top four. They’ve had success against City in recent years as their contrasting style of play match up well but this seems like a different, more fragile, Liverpool this season.
How to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday TV Channel: Peacock Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
The fitness of Haaland is obviously a huge concern for City as he suffered a groin issue and did not play for Norway over the international break and returned to Manchester for treatment. If he isn’t fit to start then expect Julian Alvarez to come in. Elsewhere, City are flying with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gunodgan having a big role to play with Phil Foden out following his Appendectomy. As always, Kevin de Bruyne is the main man and will relish this chance to cut Arsenal’s lead atop the table.
Liverpool just can’t find consistency right now. They have improved defensively but they are a real Jekyll and Hyde team. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of that and showed his frustration after their defeat at Bournemouth, which was their last Premier League game and was way back on March 11. He’s had a few weeks to stew over that loss and it will be intriguing to see what plan he has come up with. For this game as earlier this season Liverpool beat Man City 1-0 at Anfield by playing a front four which pinned City in.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin) | OUT: Phil Foden (appendix removed)
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Kostas Tsimikas (rib), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed)
How are the Hammers in this situation? Well, they’ve won just two of their last 14 Premier League games and the pressure is mounting on David Moyes as his side sit in the relegation zone with 12 games of the season to go following their 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last time out in the league. They have won all eight of their UEFA Conference League games as they’ve reached the quarterfinal (they play Belgian side Gent in the last eight) but their league form has suffered badly. Five of their six Premier League wins this season have come at home though, so they will be hoping the home fans get behind them early on in this one.
As for Southampton, well, they are scrapping. Interim head coach Ruben Selles saw his side fight back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 late on against Tottenham last time out and that draw felt like a win. Can Saints keep the positive momentum going? They have become better defensively but time is running out and although they are just two points from safety they have played at least one more game than all of the teams around them. They have a tough remaining schedule but have fared well against the big boys this season and they drew with West Ham in the return game back in October as this looks like a very even matchup.
How to watch West Ham vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday TV Channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Declan Rice is the main man for West Ham and he is doing his best to dig in and drive them forward. Other than that, Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings all need to find some form, and fast, if they’re going to drag West Ham up the table and away from this relegation battle they were never supposed to be anywhere near.
Southampton’s main man James Ward-Prowse is also dragging Saints through games and an unlikely resurgence from the fit-again Theo Walcott has played a big role in them picking up plenty of points since Selles took charge. The young duo of Romeo Lavia and Armel Bella-Kotchap continue to progress nicely in midfield and defense respectively and Saints now feel like they have a chance of getting out of the bottom three.
West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Michail Antonio (calf)
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Juan Larios (thigh), Valentino Livramento (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Che Adams (calf), Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder)