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Top 25 players in the USMNT player pool right now

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There’s reason to be worried about the United States men’s national team and the 2022 World Cup following the latest round of player call-ups from Gregg Berhalter.

That’s not because this roster in itself is inherently bad, or that Berhalter’s choices are a singular terrible moment that signals the downfall of his tenure.

And it’s also not because this unit will not qualify for Qatar. They probably will. It’s worth discussing whether they should be entering this window without qualification in the bag, yes, but this is more of a big-picture discussion.

[ MORE: Best XI for qualifiers | USMNT World Cup qual. schedule]

Most people would agree that the age of the USMNT roster and an analysis of the player pool means the side is likely to be at the peak of its powers heading into the 2026 World Cup, but that doesn’t mean the Yanks can’t do real damage at this winter’s World Cup with a halfway decent draw. Talking about how darn young your team is compared to historical version of it is only impressive if you aren’t leaving older players behind out of principles or stats (Just ask Frank Lampard how good it was to play the youth of Chelsea when Thomas Tuchel put the vets back out there and won the European Cup).

Look at the philosophy behind, construction of, and performance by Berhalter’s unit and it’s very difficult to imagine he’s going to make an unbiased selection of the best group of players for a World Cup, adopt the appropriate mentality for a growing power in the sport, and humbly appreciate whichever international opponent stands between him and USSF immortality.

By far the least of the problems caused by the uncertainty of Berhalter’s plan for the program is our USMNT Player Pool Power Rankings, for there is now a “Top 25 USMNT players in the world” and a “Top 25 USMNT players to Gregg Berhalter” that are very different. The key word is the modifier: Very. Every national team manager is going to have a preference or three — Ask any MLS fan about Jurgen Klinsmann and Benny Feilhaber — but Berhalter’s got a bunch than are more than hunch than punch.

The prevalence of advanced stats now makes it possible to compare players from different leagues. If we accept that the top five leagues in Europe are, while a different animal in style, largely superior to MLS.

John Brooks as an example

Let’s start here: Even without explicit acknowledgment or even much innuendo, we have to operate in a mindset that Gregg Berhalter sees John Brooks’ personality or reputation inside of the team as reason to keep him out of the squad. His omission in the Fall felt appropriate given form and both coach and player handled the issue with class, so it seems like the veteran back “got it.”

But Brooks is healthy and playing well for Wolfsburg now. Of backs to play more than 15 league matches, he’s

  • 18th In clearances
  • 11th in aerial duels won percentage
  • 18th in ground duels won percentage
  • 37th In interceptions
  • ninth in accurate long balls per game
  • 18th in clearances
  • 20th in passes attempted
  •  not made an error that’s led to an opposition shot
  • is 25th in SofaScore rating.

Regardless, even a dipped-in-form Brooks is superior to most of the backs of the pool, so whether it’s just a clash of strong personalities or a story we won’t get for a long time, let’s try to accept that Berhalter knows what he’s leaving home and hope that somehow the trade-off is worth it.

As an exercise and with expectation but without pre-judgment, I’ve used the site FBRef.com and its collection of StatsBomb data to put Brooks and the four called-up USMNT pool center backs into the same FBRef.com comparison.

With the caveat that we used the 2021 MLS seasons of James Sands, Miles Robinson, and Walker Zimmerman instead of Sands’ rarely-used start at Rangers and three-match sample sizes for the latter, here’s how Brooks and Erik Palmer-Brown stack up alongside the aforementioned trio. We’ve excluded Aaron Long as he returns from a long-term injury.

Current USMNT CBs stat leaders in club play, per 90 minutes

Passes attempted: Robinson, 59.9 (Brooks 2nd, 59.6)

Passes completed: Robinson, 51.5 (Brooks 3rd, 50.5)

Pass percentage: Sands, 90 (Brooks 3rd, 84.7)

Pass progression distance: Brooks, 410.5 yards (Robinson 2nd, 364.9)

Tackle percentage: Palmer-Brown, 73.7 (Brooks 3rd, 54.3)

Pressure percentage: Palmer-Brown, 38.8 (Brooks 2nd, 38.6)

Shots blocked: Brooks, 1.94 (Robinson 2nd, 1.84)

Tackles+interceptions: Brooks, 4.22 (Palmer-Brown 2nd, 4.18)

Clearances: Zimmerman, 5.9 (Brooks 2nd, 5.5)

Distance progressed: Robinson, 290 (Brooks 2nd, 243.7)

Aerial duels won %: Zimmerman, 76.7 (Brooks 5th, 65.3)

Yep. Brooks leads in some huge categories lauded by Berhalter and is only worse than 3-of-5 in aerial duels won (which is, actually, stunning). And it’s encouraging to see the deeper numbers/analytics explain the Erik Palmer-Brown call-up, a long-time promising defender who is probably not meriting a ton of eyeballs at Troyes.

That’s not to say that he’s a beast among beasts and destined for the very upper reaches of the Bundesliga, which was once a thing. But he’s a strong player who is going to have a strong selection of very good teams from which to choose his next club this summer, and it wouldn’t be surprising if sometime soon we read a hit-piece on why he’s out of the national team fray right now, or learn that he said, “Don’t call me up if I’m not starting.”

I have zero proof of either, which are concocted in a logical lab, but I just can’t calculate another explanation.

Two Big Worries

Presuming the Yanks qualify for Qatar — because if they don’t (and they won’t), U.S. Soccer House should be the most dramatically and peacefully overturned apple cart in sports history — there are two huge worries for U.S. men’s national team fans.

1) The omitted XI

Realistically, in how many meaningful international should an argument be able to be made that a program the stature of the United States men’s national team has 11 healthy players that could defeat any group of XI chosen from the called-up squad.

So, let’s be true here, who wins this matchup?

Called up XI

Sean Johnson, Reggie Cannon, Aaron Long, James Sands, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta, Luca de la Torre, Cristian Roldan, Paul Arriola, Jordan Morris, Jesus Ferreira.

Healthy and uncalled XI

Brad Guzan, John Brooks, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tim Ream, Joe Scally, Julian Green, Frankie Amaya, Paxton Pomykal, Sebastian Lletget, Djordje Mihailovic, Josh Sargent

Guzan, Amaya, Pomykal, and Ream probably shouldn’t be a part of the discussion and Green and Greuther Furth have struggled, but could you make an argument for calling the others up over the “Called up XI” members (which includes Johnson, Acosta, and Yedlin who are easy to explain as members of the roster but we needed to hit 11)?

We thinks so.

2) Know-it-all arrogance limits USMNT’s ceiling

But really, it just feels at times like Berhalter is one of those managers who believes he’s operating on a higher plane, one that a writer or a player or most of his peers could not possibly understand with their non-galaxy brains. And that’s combined with a stubborn streak that’s made him walk from proverbial beach sand into chest-deep ocean waters, shift back and forth in his stance until he’s ankle-deep, and just hope he’s read the waves right.

And maybe that hope isn’t even coming from Berhalter, but from USMNT fans who are looking at one of the less than 20 World Cups they get to see in their lifetime (until Gianni Infantino starts staging them monthly, at least). Hope is powerful and never dies, paraphrasing the famous quote from “Shawnshank Redemption,” and to be staring down the next World Cup with varying hopeful pleas — one that Berhalter won’t mess up the next week or the players will overcome the nonsense and another that he won’t bungle the World Cup once in Qatar — is a tremendously disappointing vibe.

One Big Asterisk*

Let’s also celebrate the incredible depth of the United States men’s national team, which barely registered blips with Julian Araujo choosing Mexico for his national future and Tyler Boyd not being on the radar after starring right away following a switch from New Zealand to the USMNT.

There was a time that either of those would’ve dominated all of our conversations — remember Jonathan Gonzalez and Gedion Zelalem — but are now just met with mild exhalations and groans.

Not only are MLS academies churning out top players in Major League Soccer as well as a bevy of exports to Europe, but here’s a list of players not even mentioned above or in the player pool rankings below:

Nicholas Gioacchini, Montpellier
Konrad de la Fuente, Marseille
Mark McKenzie, Genk
Justin Che, Hoffenheim
Henry Kessler, New England
Matt Miazga, Alaves
Bryan Reynolds, AS Roma
Sam Vines, Antwerp
Shaq Moore, Tenerife
Gyasi Zardes, Columbus Crew
Jackson Yueill, San Jose
Matthew Hoppe, Mallorca
Jonathan Lewis, Colorado

Top 25 players in the USMNT player pool right now

Before we go any further with this list, 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 Marseille youngster.
  • Finally, if you’re breaking a tie between players… ask which you’d be more upset to hear was unavailable for a USMNT camp.

Here we go

Players with an * were unavailable for this month’s qualifiers, # went unselected, last ranking In parentheses

1.  Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (1)
2. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig (2)
3. Weston McKennie*, Juventus (3)
4. Timothy Weah, Lille (4)
5. Yunus Musah, Valencia (5)
6. Antonee Robinson, Fulham (6)
7. Miles Robinson, Atlanta United (13)
8. John Brooks# , Wolfsburg (18)
9. Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund (9)
10. Chris Richards*, Hoffenheim (11)
11. Walker Zimmerman, Nashville (7)
12. Jordan Pefok, BSC Young Boys (16)
13. Sergino Dest*, Barcelona (8)
14. Joe Scally#, Borussia Monchengladbach (15)
15. Brenden Aaronson, Red Bull Salzburg (12)
16. Zack Steffen, Manchester City (10)
17. Kellyn Acosta, Colorado Rapids (22)
18. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders (20)
19. Ricardo Pepi, Augsburg (17)
20. Gianluca Busio, Venezia (19)
21. Ethan Horvath, Nottingham Forest (NR)
22. Erik Palmer-Brown, Troyes (NR)
23. Cameron Carter-Vickers#, Celtic (NR)
24. Matt Turner*, New England Revolution, loan from Arsenal (21)
25. Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders (NR)

Antonio Conte, Tottenham part ways

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Antonio Conte’s belabored but seemingly inevitable exit from Tottenham Hotspur was just that, as Spurs announced the Italian legend’s exit late Sunday.

Conte went off on everyone at the club following a 3-3 draw with Southampton in Premier League Matchweek 28, and the international break did nothing to calm or rectify the situation.

“I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into the game],” Conte said at one point, later criticizing ownership, coaches, and staff. See the full press conference atop this post.

Cristian Stellini will stay on and oversee the season as “Acting Head Coach” with longtime Spurs man Ryan Mason assisting the Italian.

[ MORE: Saka, Kane scored as England cruises past Ukraine ]

Conte, 53, was appointed Spurs boss on Nov. 2, 2021 following the firing of Nuno Espirito Santo, and helped Tottenham to a top-four finish and a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Spurs went unbeaten in their first seven matches to open the 2022-23 season, only losing away to West Ham and Chelsea, but a 3-1 loss at Arsenal in the North London derby started a run of ups and downs not normally associated with Conte teams.

After beating Brighton and Everton, Spurs failed to win consecutive Premier League matches between October 19 and late January, when Spurs beat Fulham and Man City on consecutive match days.

Tottenham was on a 5W-1D-2L Premier League run when Conte launched into his incredible rants following the Southampton draw. That, combined with a lifeless Champions League exit against AC Milan, was far too much to sustain him at the club.

Tottenham Hotspur statement on Antonio Conte

From TottenhamHotspur.com:

“We can announce that Head Coach Antonio Conte has left the Club by mutual agreement. We achieved Champions League qualification in Antonio’s first season at the Club. We thank Antonio for his contribution and wish him well for the future.

“Cristian Stellini will take the team as Acting Head Coach for the remainder of the season, along with Ryan Mason as Assistant Head Coach.

Daniel Levy, Chairman: ‘We have 10 Premier League games remaining and we have a fight on our hands for a Champions League place. We all need to pull together. Everyone has to step up to ensure the highest possible finish for our Club and amazing, loyal supporters.'”

What now?

It’s very strange that Spurs would wait one week into the international break and then announce that Conte was leaving without a new coach in place (Stellini was a long time Tottenham assistant).

Spurs are currently in fourth place on the table with 49 points, one point behind Manchester United, but Newcastle (47 points) and Liverpool 42 points) both have two matches-in-hand on Stellini’s men. Brighton’s also on 42 points and has three matches-in-hand on Spurs.

Stellini actually may have a pretty easy task presuming he didn’t follow up Conte’s comments about the players by yelling, “Yeah, I agree!”

There are points to be had along the way as Spurs return from break to meet Everton, Brighton, and Bournemouth, but the relatively soft landing ends with Newcastle, Manchester United, and Liverpool in the following three PL matches.

Palace, Villa, Brentford, and Leeds wind down the fixture list, so it’s reasonable to think Spurs will return to the Champions League if they can get through Liverpool on April 30 with a look at the top four.

EURO 2024 qualification live! EURO qualifiers schedule, updates, standings

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EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions started off 2024 qualifying well as Harry Kane snapped a tie with Wayne Rooney atop England’s all-time goals list with a 2-1 win in Italy, the nation’s first in the country since 1961, and then Bukayo Saka led the Three Lions to a 2-0 win over Ukraine on Sunday.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

[ MORE: Live scores, updates, standings from EURO 2024 qualifying ]

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.



EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan
Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Czech Republic 3-1 Poland
France 4-0 Netherlands

Saturday, March 25

Scotland 3-0 Cyprus
Israel 1-1 Kosovo
Armenia 1-2 Turkey
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Norway
Croatia 1-0 Wales
Andorra 0-2 Romania

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
England 2-0 Ukraine — Video, player ratings as Saka leads Three Lions
Liechtenstein 0-7 Iceland
Slovenia 2-0 San Marino
Slovakia 2-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Northern Ireland 0-1 Finland
Luxembourg 0-6 Portugal
Malta 0-2 Italy

Monday, March 27

Montenegro vs Serbia — 2:45pm ET
Netherlands vs Gibraltar — 2:45pm ET
Poland vs Albania — 2:45pm ET
Austria vs Estonia — 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs Azerbaijan — 2:45pm ET
Moldova vs Czech Republic — 2:45pm ET
Hungary vs Bulgaria — 2:45pm ET
Republic of Ireland vs France — 2:45pm ET

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET


EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A

Spain — 3 pts, +3 GD
Scotland — 3 pts, +3GD
Georgia
Norway — 0 pts, -3 GD
Cyprus — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group B

France — 3pts, +4 GD
Greece — 3 pts, +3 GD
Republic of Ireland
Gibraltar — 0 pts, -3 GD
Netherlands — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group C

England — 6 pts, +3 GD
Italy — 3 pts, +1 GD
North Macedonia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Ukraine — 0 pts, -2 GD
Malta — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group D

Turkey — 3 pts, +1 GD
Wales — 1 pt, 0 GD
Croatia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Latvia
Armenia — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group E

Czech Republic — 3 pts, +2 GD
Faroe Islands — 1 pt, 0 GD
Moldova — 1 pt, 0 GD
Albania
Poland — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group F

Austria — 3 pts, +3 GD
Belgium — 3 pts, + 3GD
Estonia
Azerbaijan — 0 pts, -3 GD
Sweden — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group G

Serbia — 3 pts, +2 GD
Montenegro — 3 pts, +1 GD
Hungary
Bulgaria — 0 pts, -1 GD
Lithuania — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group H

Slovenia — 6 pts, +3 GD
Northern Ireland — 3 pts, +1 GD
Denmark — 3 pts, +1 GD
Finland — 3 pts, -1 GD
Kazakhstan — 3 pts, 0 GD
San Marino — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group I

Switzerland — 3 pts, +5 GD
Romania — 3 pts, + 2 GD
Israel — 1 pt, 0 GD
Kosovo — 1 pt, 0 GD
Andorra — 0 pts, -2 GD
Belarus — 0 pts, -5 GD

Group J

Portugal — 6 pts, +8 GD
Slovakia — 4 pt, +2 GD
Iceland — 3 pts, +4 GD
Bosnia and Herzegovina — 3 pts, +1 GD
Liechtenstein — 1 pt, -7 GD
Luxembourg — 0 pts, -10 GD

USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup

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After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the general manager (Brian McBride) and sporting director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

[ MORE: USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams ]

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.


How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock


USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup

2023

vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — Won 7-1 | Recap & highlights + Player ratings
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)


USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0


USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1


USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 


Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification


Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5


Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Bukayo Saka leads England to 2-0 win over Ukraine in EURO qualifying

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Bukayo Saka scored a goal and set up Harry Kane for another as England beat Ukraine 2-0 in a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday.

That gives England six points from six to start qualifying and Ukraine barely got a sniff of goal after an early chance didn’t go its way. The Three Lions out-attempted Ukraine 18-3 and led the xG battle 2.05-0.12.

England was without Phil Foden, who had his appendix removed, and several others but was minimally troubled over 90 minutes.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – England vs Ukraine ]

It was an extremely emotional atmosphere in London as the war rages on across Ukraine following the Russia invasion just over a year ago. The English Football Association gave away close to 1,000 free tickets to Ukrainians who were forced to flee their country and resettle with families in the UK.

The United Kingdom have been one of Ukraine’s key partners in the fight against Russian forces. Over 4,200 Ukraine fans were estimated in the away end at Wembley. This match was Ukraine’s first of 2023, as they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after losing to Wales in a playoff last summer.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2024 qualifying schedule, standings ]

England beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday as Harry Kane became their all-time leading goalscorer with his 54th goal for the Three Lions and they held on after going 2-0 up as Luke Shaw’s red card with 10 minutes to go complicated matters.


England vs Ukraine player ratings: Stars of the Show

Bukayo Saka

Ben Chilwell

Jordan Henderson

Georgiy Sudakov

England vs Ukraine player ratings
fotmob.com

Harry Kane goal video: Saka cues up North London rival

Bukayo Saka goal video: Sensational curl makes it 2-0


How to watch England vs Ukraine live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12pm ET, Sunday (March 26)
Updates: Via NBCSports.com
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
Stream: Fubo


Key storylines, in-form players

The last time this nations met England ran out 4-0 winners in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020. They will be the heavy favorites in this game but Ukraine should not be underestimate as the No. 26 ranked team in the world have the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Vitalii Mykolenko all playing in the Premier League.

England’s forwards ran riot in the first half against Italy with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka sensational, plus Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from midfield give this Three Lions side an extra dimension. There is more creativity and cutting edge about this England side compared to recent years and it feels like they are ready to win something. There will be a ceremony before this game to honor Harry Kane becoming England’s all-time goalscorer as he passed Wayne Rooney with his goal in Italy on Thursday.


England team news, lineup options

Luke Shaw will be suspended for this game after his red card in Italy, so Ben Chilwell comes in at left back. Jordan Henderson enters for Kalvin Phillips in midfield, while Phil Foden misses out after undergoing appendix surgery. Reece James is also out, but Jude Bellingham perseveres through an injury to start and James Maddison is also in the XI.

Ukraine team news, lineup options

Andriy Yarmolenko (three goals away from equalling Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer) has been struggling with a hamstring injury and misses out, while Bournemouth’s Ilya Zabarnyi and Shakhtar’s Oleksandr Zubkov are both out. Roman Yaremchuk offesr real quality in up top while Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko is the heartbeat of this Ukraine side and Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk will drive the left side in front of Everton’s Vitalii Mykolenko.



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