Top 25 players in the USMNT pool right now

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The challenges with assessing the United States men’s national team after a half-month of glorious madness are easily summed up by describing the four matches played during that time.

First, the Yanks looked at-worst “very poor” and at-best “rusty as all get out” in their first match against a first team of world-class merit when they lost to Switzerland in St. Gallen.

Then, they were just “very poor” in a 1-0 win over Honduras when they escaped — like rivals Mexico — from the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal.

Third, there was whatever the final was: a tumultuous and joyful 3-2 extra-time win that was more a potpourri of everything that could possibly happen in a soccer game than any sort of example of your average exhibition of the sport itself.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings v Costa Rica ]

Finally, there was a 4-0 friendly win over Costa Rica that looked like the USMNT we’ve seen so many times between circa 2000 and Couva 2017, a controlling show of superiority with a few warts for those who want to sort out their narratives (this fella included).

And while it’s hilarious that Mexico’s players and staff almost uniformly claimed a vastly superior performance than the Yanks in the final, there’s no doubt that El Tri were the second-best opponent the Yanks have played in over a year. And No. 1 is Switzerland.

Mexico had 18 shots to the Yanks’ 13 over 120 minutes, and their first half featured the best chances as Hirving Lozano’s off-day of precision (six shots, no goals) betrayed his four goals in Mexico’s previous five matches.

So how do we reassess the USMNT player pool at this point, fresh off a fairly legendary win and a friendly show of status versus Costa Rica that recalls the halcyon days of Clint Dempsey’s prime?

Dunno. But we will anyway, and then re-assess after Gold Cup.

Before we go any further, here’s a reminder of how we sort the talent with some ground rules:

  • The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.
  • Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one that could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward.
  • Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously Konrad de la Fuente is a better long-term prospect than Gyasi Zardes, but the Columbus Crew forward is currently better prepared for the stage than the Barcelona youth.
  • Finally, if you’re breaking a tie between players… ask which you’d be more upset to hear was unavailable for a USMNT camp.

On to the rankings?

Some notes before the numbers.

A few players benefited from the relative struggles at their positional peers in the player pool.

That includes rise for Walker Zimmerman and Chris Richards when Mark McKenzie struggled and Matt Miazga wasn’t put in focus.

And Julian Green: The Greuther Furth midfielder remains criminally overlooked but that should change when one of 2.Bundesliga’s most consistent mids hits the top-flight stage, but we’re already boosting him given a small step back from Jackson Yueill and a puzzlingly long look at Kellyn Acosta.

Ethan Horvath’s addition to the list as the second goalkeeper is all about his show-stopping performance versus Mexico. Reggie Cannon moves up due to strong play combined with some head-scratching quietness from Sergino Dest that can probably be attributed to positional changes (that was Gregg Berhalter’s suggestion and we are buying it).

One other note: It’s incredible the depth of possible players who would’ve been one of the next USMNT big things in perhaps 15 of the last 20 years? Remember Nicholas Gioacchini, Uly Llanez, Jesus Ferreira, Sebastian Soto, Chris Mueller, Tyler Boyd, Matthew Hoppe, Johnny Cardoso…. and about a dozen others? Of course you do, and you probably will again soon consider their status as soon as the Gold Cup… but wow.

Top 25 USMNT players – post-Nations League, friendlies (last ranking in parentheses)

  1. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (1) — As if there’s any other answer. Back in focus as a team’s focal point, Pulisic overcame the focus and fouling of Honduras and Costa Rica to deliver a historic moment despite being merely average relative to his lofty standards.
  2. Weston McKennie, Juventus (2) — It isn’t even debatable whether anyone else should’ve been the winner of the Best Player at the Nations League tournament, though spare a though for Memo Ochoa being left out to dry by his team off set pieces.
  3. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig (3) — We only got about 100 minutes of reminding that there’s no one else in the pool who can fill his role in the XI anywhere near as well than the Leipzig star.
  4. John Brooks, Wolfsburg (5) — What we wrote about Adams, just with more minutes and at center back.
  5. Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund (5) — If we’re really honest about wanting to have a vigorous debate — and Reyna is way, way, way down in this particular individual battle — we’re willing to raise our hands to stand on Reyna’s side of a “Higher ceiling: Pulisic or Reyna” discussion. You know, for the children.
  6. Walker Zimmerman (10)
  7. Josh Sargent (8)
  8. Timothy Weah (11)
  9. Sergino Dest (4)
  10. Reggie Cannon (14)
  11. Zack Steffen (9)
  12. Ethan Horvath (NR)
  13. Brenden Aaronson (19)
  14. Julian Green (18)
  15. Yunus Musah (7)
  16. Chris Richards (13)
  17. Antonee Robinson (12)
  18. Sebastian Lletget (15)
  19. Jordan Siebatcheu (NR)
  20. Daryl Dike (20)
  21. Bryan Reynolds (24)
  22. Matt Miazga (17)
  23. Jackson Yueill (16)
  24. Miles Robinson (NR)
  25. Tim Ream (NR)

Last five out

Mark McKenzie (Genk), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray), Djordje Mihailovic (Montreal Impact), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)

Dropped out from last ranking

Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen), Aaron Long (RBNY), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United), McKenzie.

Deserving of a place, but long-term injured

Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)

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Manchester United vs Leeds, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

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Manchester United welcomes Leeds to Old Trafford on Wednesday as a stung foe heads to Manchester days after a managerial change (watch live, 3pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

Leeds fired Jesse Marsch on Monday, and fellow American boss Chris Armas will be among the men guiding the club as it seeks a new boss and a way out of the relegation scrap.

Marsch helped Leeds bound out of the bottom three last season but the club has struggled of late and enters this Premier League midweek match in 17th only by virtue of tiebreakers.

STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER UNITED vs LEEDS

Man United, meanwhile, has won four-straight across all competitions ahead of two-straight matches against Leeds (the second, at Elland Road, is Sunday).

The Red Devils can pull level with second-place Man City on points with a win on Tuesday

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester United vs Leeds.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester United vs Leeds live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Marcus Rashford had scored in six of United’s last seven Premier League matches and he’s zipped up the PL goals list as one of just six players with at least 10 goals this season.

One player Rashford is likely to pass is fellow 10-goal man Rodrigo, who will not play for Leeds. The visitors will be looking to new signings Georginio Rutter and Weston McKennie to help lead the way, while Wilfried Gnonto and Jack Harrison seem likely to keep pestering opponents with pace.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Antony (lower leg). OUT: Mason Greenwood (suspension), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Scott McTominay (other), Casemiro (suspension), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee)

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Sonny Perkins (ankle). OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin), Archie Gray (ankle), Rodrigo (ankle/foot)

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, Brentford 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, Wolves, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy season so far.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – February 5

Premier League schedule
NBC’s Premier League scoreboard page


Follow @AndyEdMLS

Southampton vs Wolves: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Southampton host Wolves in a huge relegation six-pointer in the Premier League and all of the pressure is on the hosts.

STREAM LIVE SOUTHAMPTON vs WOLVES

After a dreadful run of form which has seen new manager Nathan Jones lose six of his first seven Premier League games in charge, including a 3-0 drubbing at Brentford last week, Southampton sit bottom of the table. However, they are just three points from safety and badly need a win to unite their fanbase, players and coaching staff.

Wolves are looking so much better under new manager Julen Lopetegui as they hammered Liverpool 3-0 last time out to move further away from the bottom three. Lopetegui has won three of his six Premier League games in charge but they remain just two points off the relegation zone.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Here’s everything you need for Southampton vs Wolves.


How to watch Southampton vs Wolves live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Saints are in freefall and if they lose this game it feels like Nathan Jones will lose his job. The Welsh coach went on a bizarre rant following their shellacking at Brentford and said he has pandered to others and hasn’t done his job properly ever since he arrived at Southampton in November. The owners are backing him, for now, but in midweek they admitted results have to improve. After spending big on deadline day to bring in forwards Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana, now is the time for Southampton to drag themselves off the bottom. If not, they could have a third manager of the season very soon.

Wolves were brilliant against Liverpool and have found a great system for the players they have with the 4-4-2 working wonders. Lopetegui is famed for having a solid foundation defensively but the big change has been Wolves being much better on the counter and finally finishing off chances. After bringing in Sarabia, Cunha, Lemina and Dawson in January they have added experience and quality in key areas and it seems to have given the entire club a lift.


Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options

Kyle Walker-Peters should be fully fit after a recent hamstring issue, while Alex McCarthy remains a doubt and Valentino Livramento and Juan Larios are definitely out. Onuachu and Sulemana should start, while Nathan Jones has favored a 3-5-2 formation in recent weeks so it will be intriguing to see if he persists with that despite fan unrest towards his tactics.

Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

Chiquinho, Sasa Kalajdzic and Boubacar Traore remain out, while Pedro Neto will miss this game. Mario Lemina is a doubt, while Hwang Hee-chan is out after suffering a thigh injury. Adama Traore, Daniel Podence and Joao Moutinho could come into the starting lineup given these injuries.



 

West Ham vs Chelsea: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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West Ham host Chelsea on Saturday in a massive London derby as both teams aim to kick-start their respective campaigns.

STREAM LIVE WEST HAM vs CHELSEA

The Hammers have improved in recent weeks as they beat Everton and drew at Newcastle last time out. David Moyes’ men are still hovering just above the relegation zone but it looks like they will now kick on in the second half of the season and they usually fare well against their bitter London rivals Chelsea.

As for the Blues, they have won just once in their last six Premier League games but they are becoming very tough to beat, and score against, under Graham Potter. Three shutouts in a row have them on a three-game unbeaten run and now they have all of their January additions on board, expect Chelsea to climb closer to the top four.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Here’s everything you need for West Ham vs Chelsea.


How to watch West Ham vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

The Hammers are slowly getting back to their best and Nayef Aguerd has been in fine form at center back and is now fully fit after arriving in the summer. Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta and Michail Antonio have been among the goals in recent games and there is a menacing look to West Ham on the counter.

Chelsea’s new signing Enzo Fernandez made a great impact on his debut against Fulham last time out, while Badiashile has also impressed at center back, while Mudryk and Madueke are both getting up to speed on the wing. Joao Felix will finally be available again after he missed the last three games due to his red card on debut.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

Kurt Zouma (thigh) and Maxwel Cornet (calf) remain out, while Gianluca Scamacca is battling back from a knee injury. Alphonse Areola and Thilo Kehrer are struggling with hamstring issues. It will be intriguing to see if Moyes starts with January signing Danny Ings up top in this game or if he continues with Michail Antonio as the focal point.

Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja remain out, while Wesley Fofana and Mateo Kovacic are close to being available. Denis Zakaria and Edouard Mendy are out too, but Joao Felix is back from suspension which gives Potter a very lively option up top and it would be no surprise if the Portuguese stars starts this game.