Premier League-bound? The next MLS youngsters with European futures

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The amount of young talent — whether from the USMNT, Canada or a handful of South American nations — thriving after making the jump from MLS to the Premier League or the rest of Europe has spiked in recent years, leading many on the other side of the pond wondering, “Who’s next?” ahead of the start of the 2021 season on Friday.

[ THE RUN-IN:  What’s the latest in the top-four battle? | Europa League race ]

As the standard of youth development continues to improve in the United States and Canada, so too will the quality of players entering, and departing, the league.

  • Daryl Dike is 20 years old and reportedly on the cusp of moving to the Premier League for somewhere between 10 and $20 million, thanks to a stellar loan spell at EFL Championship side Barnsley following a stellar rookie season (8 goals, 4 assists in 19 appearances) at Orlando City
  • 19-year-old right back Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas) needed just 27 MLS appearances spread over a season and a half to secure his $8-million move (rising as high as $14 million) to Roma in January
  • Brenden Aaronson was the breakout star of MLS in 2020 and joined Red Bull Salzburg for just under $10 million after two seasons (54 appearances) for the Philadelphia Union
  • Other players, like Chris Richards have spent time in MLS academies (FC Dallas, in his case, and that of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie) before moving to Europe without making a first-team appearance

The path taking players from MLS to Europe is clearer and friendlier than ever before, and the aforementioned recent success stories are merely the tip of the iceberg.

The below list debuts with just five players at the start of the season, but will undoubtedly expand as lesser-heralded youngsters showcase their talents and surge forward into the shop window.


Sam Vines, Colorado Rapids/USA

Age: 21 (May 31)
Position: Left back
Pro experience: 2 seasons (3,832 minutes)

What was once a barren wasteland of nothingness for the USMNT, the full back positions current runneth over with (almost) too much young, promising talent. Vines was one of a select few to show well during the USMNT under-23s’ Olympic-qualifying failure, and that was simply a continuation of two strong seasons in Colorado, where he has developed into one of the league’s steadiest outside backs. Vines’ range of passing — both on the ground and through the air as he looks to exploit gaps in the channels — is excellent and could eventually see him move to central midfield, where his lack of athleticism can be papered over.


Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution/Canada

Age: 22 (Feb. 8)
Position: Forward
Pro experience: 2 seasons (1,751 minutes)

Buchanan is the typical late bloomer in MLS: he played two seasons in college (Syracuse) before he was drafted in 2019, making him 20 years old at the time of his debut; he struggled as a rookie (0 goals, 2 assists in 10 appearances) before becoming a regular under Bruce Arena in 2020 (2 goals, 2 assists in 23 appearances). The selling point with Buchanan is that he’s an elite athlete with good technical ability. Buchanan recently scored a brace for Canada’s under-23 team at the Olympic qualifying tournament and a few European clubs reportedly took notice.

MLS
(Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images)


Cole Bassett, Colorado Rapids/USA

Age: 19 (July 28)
Position: Midfielder
Pro experience: 3 seasons (2,442 minutes)

If not for Aaronson’s blistering 2020 season, Bassett would have reached darling status with his 5 goals, 5 assists (in just 15 appearances) as he helped the Rapids to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Bassett is more goal-minded than Aaronson (more of a 9-and-a-half, if you will, compared to Aaronson as a versatile no. 10/no. 8/winger).


Diego Rossi, Los Angeles FC/Uruguay

Age: 23 (March 5)
Position: Forward
Pro experience: 6 seasons (3 in MLS – 7,481 minutes)

Rossi might just be the most talented player in MLS right now — a bold statement about someone who plays on the same team as Carlos Vela, but the numbers make an almighty strong case (43 goals, 22 assists in 88 MLS appearances). There were hushed rumors linking Rossi with a European move last summer, but the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic likely proved a stumbling block for most interested suitors. Rossi would go straight into most Europa League sides, but he won’t come cheap (15 or $20 million, minimum) given the established and further room for growth still on offer.


Caden Clark, New York Red Bulls/USA

Age: 17 (May 27)
Position: Midfielder
Pro experience: 1 season (355 minutes)

Clark just made his MLS debut in October, and he only needed 47 minutes to score his first goal — a fantastic volley from the edge of the box (below video) — and send the USMNT hype train into overdrive. While the teenaged Minnesota native still has a long way to go to develop before reaching his final career destination, Clark is the surest bet to move abroad in the next 12 months. Various reports claim a pre-agreement is already in place with RB Leipzig, where he would join USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams. Of course, an unexpectedly strong start to 2021 could see that timeline moved up by six months if Leipzig like what they see.

USMNT vs Colombia live: How to watch, stream link, start time

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Anthony Hudson takes the reins for his second friendly in charge of the USMNT, two days after the U.S. Soccer Federation confirmed that he’ll be the interim coach through a hiring process that could take through the end of the summer.

Hudson’s first game was a 2-1 loss to Serbia on Wednesday, as Julian Gressel cued up a Brandon Vazquez goal but a mistake at the back and a brilliant free kick helped the Serbians to victory.

[ MORE: Follow FA Cup scores, updates ]

San Jose star Cade Cowell impressed with his electric pace and engine, while Chelsea goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina was put in some tricky spots over his time. Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long split time at center back, next to LA Galaxy youngster Jalen neal.

Colombia’s first game of 2023 is just its fifth since the conclusion of World Cup qualifying in 2022.

Los Cafeteros, like the USMNT, will not have a ton of usual suspects, but Frank Fabra will be joined by Cucho Hernandez, now with Columbus Crew, as well as five other MLS players.


How to watch USMNT vs Colombia live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30pm ET, Saturday (January 28)
Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, Calif.
TV channels in English: TNT
TV channels en Español: Universo
Streaming en Español: Peacock


USMNT vs Colombia Preview

The Yanks fell 2-1 to Serbia in a match about as scattered as you’d expect for a largely out-of-season, MLS-based side and a Serbia team with droves of uncapped players.

Saturday’s opponents will be of similar ilk, as no player besides veteran Frank Fabra of Boca Juniors boasts more than three caps.

[ MORE: Grades for USMNT players at 2022 World Cup ]

With recent USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter currently under investigation by the U.S. Soccer Federation after he admitted kicking his now wife in 1991 when they were in college together, assistant coach Anthony Hudson will lead the USMNT. Hudson has been leading practice during the January camp and will take charge until the USMNT tabs a new coach by the end of summer.

Five players who went to the 2022 World Cup with the USMNT are on this roster (Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman, Kellyn Acosta, Sean Johnson and Jesus Ferreira).


USMNT quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 11
Coach: Anthony Hudson (temporary)

Colombia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 17
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
Coach: Nestor Lorenzo


USMNT vs Serbia video highlights, Brandon Vazquez goal video

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League is back with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.


Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest though Newcastle is not going away and Manchester United has surged into contention.

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle, while Liverpool is struggling to stay in the Champions League scrap. Chelsea has some work to do while surprising Fulham and Brighton are hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns.


Who are the candidates for relegation?

Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton currently occupy the relegation places.

But Leicester, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy start.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – January 23

Premier League schedule
https://scoreboard.nbcsports.com/soccer/season/93741/standings


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FA Cup fourth round schedule, how to watch live, predictions

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The FA Cup always delivers shocks and plenty of Premier League clubs have tricky tasks facing them in the fourth round.

After Aston Villa, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth were all knocked out by lower league opponents in round three, plus Everton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Brentford knocked out by fellow Premier League sides, there are only 11 top-flight teams left in the last 32.

[ LIVE: Follow FA Cup scores, updates ]

The fourth-round draw’s already been conducted and Arsenal will tangle with Manchester City in a tantalizing tie, while Brighton against Liverpool has the makings of a classic and Manchester United will be on upset alert against Reading and so too will West Ham as they face a tough trip to third-tier Derby County.

Read on for FA Cup stream info, fixtures, and predictions.


FA Cup live scores, schedule, dates, how to watch

Dates: Fourth round (January 27-30)
Times: Below
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: ESPN+


FA Cup fourth round schedule

All games 10am ET unless otherwise stated

Friday
Man City vs Arsenal – 3pm ET

Saturday
Accrington Stanley vs Leeds United – 7:30am ET
Walsall vs Leicester City – 7:30am ET
Fulham vs Sunderland
Bristol City vs West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday vs Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers vs Birmingham City
Luton Town vs Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town vs Burnley
Southampton vs Blackpool
Preston North End vs Tottenham Hotspur – 1pm ET
Manchester United vs Reading – 3pm ET

Sunday
Brighton vs Liverpool – 8:30am ET
Stoke City vs Stevenage – 9am ET
Wrexham vs Sheffield United – 11:30am ET

Monday
Derby County vs West Ham – 2:45pm ET


FA Cup fourth round predictions – By Joe Prince-Wright

Friday
Man City 2-1 Arsenal

Saturday
Accrington Stanley 1-3 Leeds United
Walsall 1-2 Leicester City
Fulham 1-2 Sunderland
Bristol City 1-2 West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Birmingham City
Luton Town 3-1 Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town 1-3 Burnley
Southampton 2-0 Blackpool
Preston North End 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United 2-1 Reading

Sunday
Brighton 2-2 Liverpool
Stoke City 2-1 Stevenage
Wrexham 1-2 Sheffield United

Monday
Derby County 1-1 West Ham


FA Cup third round replays

Tuesday 

Swansea City 1-2 (AET) Bristol City
Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Birmingham City (original tie postponed due to waterlogged pitch)
Wigan 1-2 Luton
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
West Brom 4-0 Chesterfield

Wednesday

Leeds United 5-2 Cardiff City

Tuesday, January 24

Accrington Stanley vs Boreham Wood


FA Cup third round results

Friday

Manchester United 3-1 Everton

Saturday

Preston North End 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Reading 2-0 Watford
Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth
Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers vs Birmingham City — PPD
Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton
Hull City 0-2 Fulham
Middlesbrough 1-5 Brighton
Fleetwood Town 2-1 QPR
Ipswich Town 4-1 Rotherham
Bournemouth 2-4 Burnley
Blackpool 4-1 Nottingham Forest
Chesterfield 3-3 West Brom
Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United
Boreham Wood 1-1 Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland
Brentford 0-1 West Ham
Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham
Luton Town 1-1 Wigan
Grimsby Town 1-0 Burton Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle
Liverpool 2-2 Wolves

Sunday

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City
Derby County 3-0 Barnsley
Cardiff City 2-2 Leeds
Stockport 1-2 Walsall
Hartlepool 0-3 Stoke City
Norwich 0-1 Blackpool
Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage
Man City 4-0 Chelsea

Monday

Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal


Manchester United vs Reading: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Manchester United looks to stay in the mix for a pair of domestic cups when it hosts old pal Paul Ince and Reading in the fourth round of the 2022 FA Cup on Saturday.

United scored a solid win at midweek to move within 90 minutes of the League Cup Final and of course also harbors hopes of winning the Europa League and, perhaps less so, the Premier League.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Reading sits 14th in the Championship, five points off the playoff places and fairly clear of the relegation mess.


Manchester United vs Reading, FA Cup fourth round: How to watch live, stream link

Kick off: 3pm ET, Saturday
TV Channel: ESPN+
Online: Updates via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch 

Tom Ince, Paul’s son, is leading the club both in goals and assists, and sits among the leaders in pretty much everything else from tackles to completed dribbles.  Yakou Meite has also been a busy piece of what Reading has done well.

United’s stars are well-known, as Marcus Rashford continues to thrive at forward. Wout Weghorst picked up his first Man Utd goal at midweek and could be in line for more playing time while Anthony Martial recovers from injury.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

Manchester United won’t have Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Donny van de Beek, and Jadon Sancho, while Luke Shaw is a question mark with an illness.

Reading team news, injuries, lineup options

Paul Ince’s bid to upset United will not include Naby Sarr, Sam Hutchinson, and old foe Andy Carroll.