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Americans Abroad: Chandler registers brace in goal-heavy weekend

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A handful of Americans scored over the last three days, making it one of the most action-packed weekends for Americans abroad this year.

Timothy Chandler scored a brace for Eintracht Frankfurt, while Duane Holmes added a goal in Derby County’s thrilling win against Swansea City.

In Belgium, Chris Durkin made the scoresheet, along with Shaq Moore in Spain’s second division.

Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea — Pulisic and Chelsea were inactive this weekend.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin and Newcastle were inactive this weekend.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic —  Robinson did not dress for Wigan on Saturday, days after a failed move to AC Milan. Chelsea, Newcastle and Aston Villa are reportedly monitoring the fullback as a possible summer signing, however. 

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes started and scored a goal in Derby’s 3-2 win over Swansea City on Saturday.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old is out with a hamstring injury. There is no timeline on his return.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tiger’s captain played 70 minutes  in Hull City’s 1-1 draw with Reading.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender did not dress for QPR on Saturday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luton Town (loan Tottenham Hotspur) — Carter-Vickers started and played 90 minutes in Luton’s 1-0 loss to Cardiff City on Saturday.

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — Chandler, arguably, had his best game this season. The defender scored two goals in Frankfurt’s 5-0 thumping of Augsburg on Friday.

John Brooks, Wolfsburg – The 26-year-old defender was left on the bench in Wolfsburg’s draw.

Weston McKennie, Schalke —  McKennie started and played 90 minutes in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Paderborn on Saturday.

Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen is out with an injury, while Morales started and played 90 minutes on Saturday. 

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  Sargent came off the bench and played 21 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 2-0 loss.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams started and played 90 minutes as a fullback in RB Leipzig’s 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach — Borussia Mönchengladbach’s match this weekend was postponed.

Eredivisie

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Ajax’s match this weekend was postponed.

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — The 21-year-old striker came off the bench and played a minute in Venlo’s 1-1 draw with Heerenveen on Saturday.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah didn’t feature for Lille on Friday.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Jordon-Siebatcheu didn’t feature for Rennes on Saturday.

Honorable Mentions

Chris Durkin, Sint-Truiden — played 90 minutes and scored a goal in Sint-Truiden’s 5-2 win over Eupen on Saturday.

Chris Richards, Bayern II — played 90 minutes and scored a goal in Bayern II’s 4-2 win over Viktoria Koln on Saturday.

Shaq Moore, Tenerife — started and played 85 minutes in Tenerife’s 4-2 win over Extremadura on Saturday.

Usmanov buys first option on naming rights for Everton stadium

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LIVERPOOL, England — Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has paid Everton $39 million to secure an exclusive option on naming rights for the Premier League club’s proposed new stadium.

[ MORE: Lukaku continues tear with goal in opening 20 seconds (video) ]

The 66-year-old Usmanov, who sold his 30 percent stake in Arsenal for $715 million in August 2018, is a long-time business partner of Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and already sponsors the club’s training ground.

His holding company, USM, now has an agreement in place for first option of naming rights, at current market rates, once the venue at Bramley-Moore Dock is near completion. It is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

[ MORE: Inter Milan still chasing January deal for Christian Eriksen ]

The latest investment by Usmanov was announced by Everton as the club published its accounts for 2018-19, showing a loss of $145 million despite posting the second-highest revenues in its history, of $245 million.

Premier League Preview: Sheffield United v. West Ham United

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The Premier League gets back in business on Friday at Bramall Lane when Sheffield United hosts West Ham United (Watch Live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Their table fortunes are indicative of the Premier League’s lack of clear tiers so far this season.

Blades are two points off fifth and seven back of the Top Four, while West Ham is two points off the drop zone and a win off 11th.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

West Ham cruised past Bournemouth in opening David Moyes‘ second tenure with the Irons, while the Blades are coming off back-to-back losses and are winless in three.

The sides met Oct. 26 in London, with Lys Mousset‘s goal leveling the line after Robert Snodgrass put West Ham up at home.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE


Injuries/suspensions

Sheffield United: OUT —  None. QUESTIONABLE — Michael Verrips, Simon Moore.

West Ham United: OUT — Michail Antonio, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere. QUESTIONABLE — Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble.


Probable lineups

Sheffield United: Henderson; Egan, Basham, O’Connell, Stevens, Norwood, Fleck, Besic, Baldock, Mousset, McGoldrick.

West Ham United: Fabianski, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Fredericks, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Anderson, Snodgrass, Haller.


What they’re saying

Blades defender John Egan on rebounding from tough losses: “They were really tough trips to (Man) City and Liverpool. They’re probably the two best teams in the country, so going away to them was always going to be tough. The Man City game, we were quite unlucky not to get a result. … The Liverpool game was a bit of an eye-opener for us. We weren’t at our best, which we have to be to try and get a result. We came away from those two games, saw where we went wrong and we have to learn from it. All we can do is try and get better so next time we play these teams we have a better chance of getting a result.”

West Ham boss Moyes on transfer links: “I think West Ham have been linked with just about every player in the country and I’m here a week and a half, so it’s interesting, but I think that’s the norm for here. Quite often we are linked with a lot of players. We won’t be bringing in a bundle of players in, but obviously we’d like to add to the squad if we can. Gedson Fernandes is one name we’re talking about. He’s a young player with potential, probably more for the future. From that point of view, I’d like to bring young players in for the future, players we can look to build to get a strong, young team, but I also have to be wary that I need players who are ready for now and can feature in the first team as well.”


Prediction

The Blades are a handful, but West Ham’s new lease on life also feels pretty real. How about another split of the spoils and 1-1 at Bramall Lane?

PL Sunday Preview: Sheffield United v. Manchester United

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Highlighting Chris Wilder‘s successful season thus far (or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s underwhelming work at Old Trafford), Sheffield United head into Sunday’s game above  Manchester United in the standings (Watch Live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Since their soul-crushing 1-0 loss to Liverpool, Blades are unbeaten in their last five, making them the most consistent team outside of the top five. Throughout that span of games, the newly-promoted side have picked up wins against Arsenal and Burnley.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Despite being only a win outside of the tope five, United have kept their distance from the concept of consistency. In 12, league games this season, the Red Devils have failed to pick up consecutive wins, meaning that a win at Bramall Lane would bring an end to such negative run.


Injuries/suspensions

Sheffield United: OUT — None QUESTIONABLE — John Egan (calf)

Manchester United: Scott McTominay (ankle), Marcos Rojo (calf, 7 Dec), Paul Pogba (ankle) QUESTIONABLE — Eric Bailly (knee), Diogo Dalot (groin), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee), Luke Shaw (thigh), Axel Tuanzebe (hip)


Probable lineups

Sheffield United: Moore; Stevens, O’Connell, Egan, Basham, Baldock; Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck; McGoldrick, Mousset

Manchester United: DeGea; Williams, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Martial, Fred, Matic, Pereira, James; Rashford


What they’re saying

Chris Wilder on Manchester United’s greatness, despite current state: “Manchester United are one of the most iconic teams in the world, and there will always be an aura surrounding them. No matter how their fortunes on the pitch may fluctuate, it’s still one of football’s true powerhouses that we are talking about whenever we mention their name. They are an incredible football club who are just going through a spell right now where they are not having it all their own way. That happens in football. But fortunes can fluctuate very quickly in this game and they will find their way back to the top, that’s for certain.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the gap between Manchester United and the top four: “It’s a clear gap in the league between top four and I don’t know how many teams within a range of three or four points. It’s about consistency now. We turned a corner, we felt, performance-wise and with results after the last international break but it’s so tight I’m just looking forward to this game. We need to have a good performance and result.”


Prediction

The Blades have been decent at home this season, picking up wins against Burnley, Arsenal and Crystal Palace. With positive inertia powering them, it feels that Wilder and company may spoil Harry Maguire‘s return to Bramall Lane. That said, with both Wolves and Burnley picking up wins, United are more than obliged to go for the jugular, especially if they want to go into the most taxing part of the season with some hope and positivity. Manchester United, 3-1.

Euro qualifying: Hazard stars for Belgium, Wales grabs big win

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The early slate of Euro 2020 qualifiers on Saturday saw a few teams assure themselves of a playoff position as the qualifying cycle nears a close.

Wales was assured of at least a playoff spot after Sweden topped Romania yesterday, but they continued a push towards automatic qualification by topping Azerbaijan 2-0. Wigan striker Kieffer Moore opened the scoring 10 minutes in as Harry Wilson nearly bagged a stunning strike from outside the box, but his curler struck the underside of the bar, then the inside of the post, and came out. Moore was there to head home the rebound and Wales had the lead. They doubled that lead before halftime as Bournemouth’s Wilson would get his goal, and Wales saw out the rest of the match to move one point back of Hungary in an automatic qualifying position.

Belgium has already qualified for the finals, but Roberto Martinez’s side continued its good form with a romping 4-1 win over Russia behind a brace from Eden Hazard. Romelu Lukaku also scored in the match, while Thorgan Hazard bagged a goal as well. The win assured Belgium of the top spot in Group I, moving six points ahead of their opponents.

Scotland picked up a gutty road win at Cyprus 2-1 behind John McGinn‘s 53rd minute winner, jumping into third place in Group I, although they have already secured a playoff position thanks to their Nations League results. Ryan Christie and Georgios Efrem had cancelled each other out before Aston Villa’s McGinn poked home Greg Taylor’s cross from near the penalty area to put the visitors ahead for good in Nicosia.

Slovenia needs a miraculous comeback to qualify for the finals, but they stayed alive and in contention with a 1-0 win at Latvia behind an Igors Tarasovs own-goal in the 53rd minute. The victory pushed Slovenia to 14 points, two back of second-placed Austria in Group G and five behind Poland, but the top two teams in the group still have yet to play today and could both secure qualification wins.

Elsewhere, in a result with little effect on the qualification process, Kazakhstan topped San Marino 3-1 in a matchup of two eliminated teams.