9/16/16 Liverpool vs Chelsea today 3 pm, Indy 11 Host Miami Sat TV 8, Carmel MLS Star Matt Hedges wins US Open Cup, Games of the Week  

Huge congrats to former Carmel High School star and current Dallas FC defender and Captain Matt Hedges who scored the winning goal vs NE in the US Open Cup Final on Tuesday night.  Dallas who leads the MLS Western Division won their first US Open Cup before traveling to play NYCFC in Yankee Stadium Sat night at 7:30 pm on YES network.   Sunday we have a battle of the top 2 teams in the East as #1 Toronto and Michael Bradley/Jose Altidore/Sebastion Giovinco face Sacha Kljestan and the NY Red Bulls at 5 pm on Fox, right after Landon Donovan returns to LA as they host Sporting KC at 2 pm on Fox.

Champions League had some intriguing matches Tues/Wed – great to have the Group Stages back this time on Fox Sports and ESPN.  US young rising star Christian Pulisic became the youngest Dortmund player ever to have an assist in Champions League as he started in the 7-1 win.  Defending Champs Real Madrid needed 2 late goals including a beat by the just returned Renaldo to hold beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1, Juve was stunned with a 0-0 tie at home, while my Foxes of Leicester City got a 3-0 win on the road, Man City rolled at home, Arsenal survived a 1-1 tie with PSG and Tottenham lost at Wembley in their return to UCL.  Match-day Two returns Sept 27/28 with Bayern Munich traveling to Atletico Madrid, Real @ Dortmund and Leicester City hosting Porto.

In World League Play – Liverpool @ Chelsea is the best EPL game on Friday on NBCSN at 3 pm, while Everton hosts Middlesborough at 12:30 on NBC Sat.  Inter hosts Italian League Champion Juve Sunday on beIN Sports at noon. Locally the Indy 11 host Miami at 7:30 pm Sat night – game on TV 8 looking for their first win in over a month.  The 11 will host Octoberfest with beer specials before and during the game.   Nice Story on Soccer Coaching.

cfcu12bg_champs

Carmel FC 05 Boys Gold wins Championship Game verse CESC Orange at Fall Classic 1-0. Two years in a row. Congrats Coaches Doug Latham and Commish Jeremy Slivinski

GAMES OF THE WEEK 

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 Fri, Sept 16                                              

3 pm NBCSN         Chelsea vs Liverpool   – weird to have this huge game on a Friday with  no decent games on the weekend – tape it to watch Sat.

Sat, Sept 17

7:30 am NBCSN         Hull City vs Arsenal

12:30 pm NBC                                      Everton vs Middlesborough  – wow this is the best the EPL can give us on NBC?
7:30 pm YES                                           NYCFC vs Dallas   battle of top teams can NYCFC defend Yankee Stadium?

7:30 pm TV 8, GolTV   Indy 11 host Miami

Sun, Sat 18

7 am CNBC                                               Watford vs Man United

9:15 am NBCSN                                    Crystal Palace vs Stoke City – US defender Geoff Cameron @ CP

12 noon beIN Sports                                                Inter vs Juventus        – Inter hosts the Champions        

2 pm Fox                                                   LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC – Landon Donovan’s return home vs KC.

5 pm Fox                                                                          Toronto vs NY Red Bulls

7 pm FS 1                              US Women vs Netherlands

Tues, Sept 20

2:45 pm beIN Sports                        LEAGUE CUP – Leicester City vs Chelsea

Sat, Sept 24

7:30 am NBCSN                                    Man United vs Leicester City

12:30 pm                                                                         Arsenal vs Chelsea 

INDY 11

OctoberFest Celebration for Sat Night home Game

Indy 11 vs Miami preview

Loss to Ft. Lauderdale 2-1

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The Wrap-up of Champions League Day 1 (second day)

Champions League Match Day 1 Wrap Up – NBC Soccertalk

US Pulisic becomes youngest Dortmund player with a Champions League Assist

Leicester City Have Dream UCL Debut in 3-0 Road Win

UCL Team of the Week

Dortmund Hi-Lights 6-0 – Christian Pulisic starts and has assist

Real Madrid Score Twice Late to Survive vs Sporting CP

EPL Champ Leicester City crush Brugge 3-0 in first UCL Game

Tottenham loses at Wimbley to Monaco

EPL and World

EPL Predictions

Marcotti’s Musings-  Around the World of Soccer –  ESPN FC

Pep’s Early Tactics Were the Difference in the Manchester Derby  – Joe Prince Wright – NBC Soccer  Video

USA

Heather ORiely, Megan Rapino share the spotlight in Rout

US Ladies Heather ORiely Retiring Thurs Night

Clint Dempsey returns to Training after Heart Scare

US Hot List

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2016/09/11/four-american-goal-scorers-in-europe-this-weekend

Things Looking Up for USA – ESPN FC

Pulisic to Receive new contract offer from Dortmund

MLS

Former Carmel High now Dallas Defender Matt Hedges Scores Winning Goal vs NE

Youthful Dallas FC wins US Open Cup

Donovan’s Return Shows lack of Stars in MLS

Will Canadian Team’s pull out of MLS?

Toronto FC can Grab Playoff Spot this Weekend

Stevie Nicols New Book

Goalkeeper Matt Lampson Lives his Dream after Cancer Battle

Pirlo’s Best Assists for NYCFC

MLS Table

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

More GAMES ON TV

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

Fri, Sept 16                                              

3 pm NBCSN                                           Chelsea vs Liverpool

Sat, Sept 17

7 am beIn Sports                                 Barcelona vs Leganes

7:30 am NBCSN                                    Hull City vs Arsenal

9:30 am Fox Sports 1                       Buyern Munich vs Ingolstadt

9:30 am Fox Sports 2                       Dortmund vs Darmdstadt

10 am NBCSN                                        Man City vs Bournemouth, Leceister City vs Burnley,

12:30 pm NBC                                      Everton vs Middlesborough

12:30 pm Fox Soccer +                  Borussia Mgladbach vs Werder Bremen                                                    

7:30 pm YES                                           NYCFC vs Dallas

7:30 pm TV 8, GolTV   Indy 11 host Miami

Sun, Sat 18

7 am CNBC                                               Watford vs Man United

9:15 am CNBC                                       Crystal Palace vs Stoke City

9:30 am FS1                                            Augsburg vs Mainz

9:30 am Fox Soccer Plus                Ingolstadt vs Hertha BSC

9:30 am Fox Sports 2                                               Freiburg vs Borussia M’Gladbach

11:30 am NBCSN                                 Tottenham vs Sunderland

12 noon beIN Sports                                                Inter vs Juventus                                 

11:30 am FS 2                                       Hertha vs Schalke 

2 pm FS 1                                                                         LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC

2:45 pm beIN Sport                                                  Espanyol vs Real Madrid

5 pm FS 2                                                                         Toronto vs NY Red Bulls

7 pm FS 1                              US Women vs Netherlands

 Tues, Sept 20

2:45 pm beIN Sports                        LEAGUE CUP – Leicester City vs Chelsea

 Sat, Sept 24

7:30 am NBCSN                                    Man United vs Leicester City

10 am NBCSN                                         Liverpool vs Hull City, Bournemouth vs Everton, Swansea vs Man City

12:30 pm                                                                         Arsenal vs Chelsea

Sun, Sept 25

11 am NBCSN                                        West Ham United vs Southampton

5 pm? ESPN                                             LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders

7 pm Fox Sports 1                              Columbus vs NE Revs

9:30 pm Fox Sports 1                                               Houston Dash vs Seattle Reign

 Sept 27

Man City @ Celtic

Bayern Munich @ Athletico Madrid

Sept 28

Real Madrid @ Dortmund

Porto @ Leicester City

MLS TV Schedule ‘

EPL TV Schedule on NBC + NBCSN

German Bundesliga TV Schedule on Fox Soccer and Gol TV

Report: Dortmund to give US youngster Pulisic new contract; Liverpool still pursuing

Leave a commentBy Andy EdwardsSep 15, 2016, 12:09 PM EDT

It sure is nice to be wanted, isn’t it?  Christian Pulisic is a wanted (young) man with the soccer world at his feet. After starring for the U.S. national team in a pair of World Cup qualifiers during the most recent international break, Pulisic made his UEFA Champions League debut for his club team, Borussia Dortmund, on Thursday, and provided the assist on the fifth goal of a 6-0 blowout over Legia Warsaw, the reigning Polish champions.Pulisic, who’ll turn 18 on Saturday, broke into the Dortmund first team during the second half of last season, which resulted in the hot pursuit of a pair of Premier League clubs — Liverpool and Stoke City — this summer. Despite a wealth of other young attacking talent, much of which was signed this summer, Dortmund rejected all suitors.Those bids, coupled with his standout showings for the USMNT and BVB, have the Hershey, Penn., native reportedly set to be offered a new, improved contract to keep him in Germany for the foreseeable future. Not exactly the worst coming-of-legal-age birthday present.While playing as much first-team soccer as possible is important, Pulisic seems to be at the perfect club for a young attacker to develop, whether he’s an everyday starter or not. Of course, Klopp wouldn’t be the worst manager in the world to play for, though the we want results, and we want them now now now nature of the PL would likely lead to a full-time substitute’s role with older, more experienced players preferred to the teenager.At Dortmund, a club lauded for its development of young players, he’ll get just enough game time and still be forced to show every time out that he’s cut out for the Bundesliga and CL levels.

Liverpool’s test at Chelsea, Manchester United need derby response

Liverpool have won 4-3 at Arsenal and thrashed champions Leicester 4-1 so far this season. Friday night’s trip to resurgent Chelsea represents the latest test to their upward trajectory.

Elsewhere, Manchester United need a response to their 2-1 derby defeat at home to Manchester City as Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Watford on Sunday, while Pep Guardiola’s side are at home to Bournemouth.

Predict the results of every match in our polls.

CHELSEA: An exciting, incident-packed encounter is in prospect as two lively attacks face up to two brittle defences. Diego Costa, at the peak of his goal-scoring powers for Chelsea, will no doubt be the focus of Liverpool’s wind-up merchants meaning referee Martin Atkinson is likely to be the busiest man on the pitch.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool — Mark Worrall

LIVERPOOL: With strikers on both sides in fine form there should be goals in what is normally a tense, tight affair. The home side have the edge defensively but the Reds rarely disappoint in away games against the top sides, so both teams’ advantages should cancel themselves out.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool — Steven Kelly

MAN CITY: Pep Guardiola’s men are in splendid form. They’ve won all seven of their opening matches of the new season and the new coach has got them playing beautiful, attacking football. Bournemouth won their last outing in the Premier League but are enduring a difficult second season so far. With City’s attack, this should be a formality.
Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth — David Mooney

BOURNEMOUTH: Last weekend’s 1-0 win over West Brom will fill Bournemouth with plenty of confidence heading into their next fixture against Manchester City. However, it’s still a colossal task for the Cherries to overturn Guardiola’s undefeated side. Eddie Howe’s team won’t go down without a fight, but they will lose.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth — Will Kent

HULL CITY: You have to go back to 1915 for the last time Arsenal came to East Yorkshire and failed to leave with a victory but Mike Phelan’s side will fancy their chances of bucking the trend. Hull City are playing as well as their seven-point haul would suggest and showing no sign of trepidation against stronger opponents. That wasn’t quite enough against Manchester United three weeks ago but they are capable of exposing Arsenal’s frailties.
Prediction: Hull City 1-1 Arsenal — Phil Buckingham

ARSENAL: A long trip to Hull after a draining sojourn to Paris presents an early test of Arsenal’s mettle, but it is one they should pass. Class will prevail as Arsenal have too much talent, even if the two teams are locked together on seven points after four games of the season.
Prediction: Hull 0-2 Arsenal — Tom Adams

WATFORD: Walter Mazzarri’s men will be confident after a stunning comeback away at West Ham, but will be wary of a wounded Manchester United who will be looking to bounce back after their derby day defeat. The pressure is on Mourinho’s men, but the Hornets must avoid the slow starts that have plagued their season if they are to avoid defeat here.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Manchester United — Mike Parkin

MAN UNITED: Watford have shown some strong form this season, providing a stern test for Chelsea and overwhelming West Ham. Manchester United, perhaps a little shaken their derby defeat, still have an attack that could punish the home defence, and should have enough for the win.
Prediction: Watford 1-2 Manchester United — Musa Okwonga

Leicester City:  The champions will be confident of rounding off a superb week at home to Burnley. After thrashing Club Brugge 3-0 on Wednesday night, the Foxes will expect another three points. Riyad Mahrez has found his goalscoring touch and his Algerian compatriot Islam Slimani will look to get off the mark. Leicester will get a huge ovation following their Champions League success and can win equally as handsomely as in Brugge.
Prediction: Leicester 3-0 Burnley — Ben Jacobs

BURNLEY: Leicester’s European exertions should give an advantage to the Clarets. They have had a full week to prepare for this game, rather than a couple of days, although a win against Club Brugge will be a lift to the Foxes. With both sides relying heavily on energy for their game, this could be a frantic match and Burnley can claim their first away point of the season.
Prediction: Leicester City 1-1 Burnley  Jamie Smith

TOTTENHAM: Spurs could not ask for a much easier fixture after Wednesday night’s disappointment in the Champions League. They have slipped up in such circumstances before of course and, like Monaco, Sunderland will probably set up to defend and frustrate — but Spurs’ squad is stronger than it was last season and they should come out on top.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland — Ben Pearce

SUNDERLAND: David Moyes’ men have lost all three of their televised games this season and were thumped 4-1 in the corresponding fixture in February. Changes may be made at the back and there is a possibility Moyes may select three central defenders in a bid to stem the goals conceded while Victor Anichebe may add some much-needed muscle up front.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland — Pete Sixsmith

WEST BROM: The Baggies need both a good performance and result at the Hawthorns against fellow early season strugglers West Ham to ease the pressure on head coach Tony Pulis. Brendan Galloway will need to improve on last week’s performance against Bournemouth if he wants to keep the in-form Michail Antonio quiet.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 West Ham — Matthew Evans

WEST HAM: Pulis’ side have struggled this season so far but are on a high after beating Bournemouth. West Ham, meanwhile, are still stinging after huge criticism following last Saturday’s defensive nightmare against Watford. These are two early season crisis clubs and it’s hard to separate them.
Prediction:  West Brom 2-2 West Ham — Peter Thorne

EVERTON: Evergreen midfield mainstay Gareth Barry could make his 600th Premier League appearance, against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Alongside the equally impressive Idrissa Gueye, Barry has been the driving force behind a fine start that has the Blues chasing a fourth consecutive league win and third successive clean sheet.
Prediction: Everton 2-0 Middlesbrough  Luke O’Farrell

MIDDLESBROUGH: Boro will be looking to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season, at the hands of Crystal Palace. The Teessiders will be hoping to cut out the careless mistakes that let them down last week, but rallying against a buoyant Everton will be no mean feat. Centre-backs Ben Gibson and Daniel Ayala will be occupied with the unenviable task of keeping Blues’ striker Romelu Lukaku quiet, but it might be too much.
Prediction: Everton 2-0 Middlesbrough — Catherine Wilson

CRYSTAL PALACE: The Eagles appear to have found a spring in their step in recent weeks and with more confidence and a striker hungry for goals, Alan Pardew’s side look reinvigorated. It’s the perfect time to face a Stoke side struggling to find their stride.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 3-1 Stoke — Rob Sutherland

STOKE: Having overseen the club’s worst start in 110 years, Mark Hughes will be firmly under the microscope when he takes his rock-bottom Stoke side to Palace. Playing away from home could help them, but the thought of an in-form Wilfried Zaha running at the Potters’ porous defence is a frightening one.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke — James Whittaker

SOUTHAMPTON: The Premier League season may only be four matches old but this already looks like a pivotal game for Claude Puel against a Swansea side expected to struggle. The Frenchman is yet to taste victory in the league and is already coming under fire from fans over his tactics.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Swansea — Alex Crook

SWANSEA: Swansea’s unlikely 2-2 draw against Chelsea last Sunday should give Francesco Guidolin’s side some belief, and belief might be all that’s required to defeat the winless Saints. The Swans have beaten Southampton just once in the Premier League. Sunday presents a golden chance to make it twice.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Swansea — Max Hicks

To get you in the mood for the weekend’s action, read Richard Jolly on the issues facing Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp at their respective clubs, while Scott Patterson says Henrikh Mkhitaryan needs to be patient at Manchester United.Michael Cox, meanwhile, says Mourinho has a problem fitting in his playmakers at United. Can the Portuguese find the right mix at Vicarage Road this Sunday? Vote in the match poll and have your say in the comments.

Real Madrid get late win, Leicester and Manchester City win in UCL

Late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata earned Real Madrid a comeback 2-1 win against Sporting Lisbon at the Bernabeu.Bruno Cesar had put Sporting into a 48th-minute lead with a low curling effort but the holders left it late, first Ronaldo scoring a free kick in the final minute of normal time before Morata headed home in the fourth minute of added time to earn Los Blancos all three points.Leicester City began their debut Champions League campaign with a bang, running out 3-0 winners against Club Brugge in Group G.Marc Albrighton took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score from close range on five minutes and Riyad Mahrez doubled the Foxes’ advantage, in front of a below-capacity stadium, with a 28th-minute free kick.Mahrez added a third from the spot in the 61st-minute after Jamie Vardy was fouled by Brugge goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle.Manchester City kept up their perfect start to the season and began their Champions League campaign with a win, at the second attempt, by beatingBorussia Monchengladbach 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of a Sergio Aguero hat trick.Aguero turned in a low cross from Aleksandar Kolarov after eight minutes, added a 28th-minute penalty when debutant Ilkay Gundogan was fouled, and completed his treble on 77 minutes when Raheem Sterling’s through-ball allowed him to round Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer and tap in.Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to add a late fourth. That result puts City second in Group C, behind Barcelona on goal difference.It wasn’t a good start for Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on their Champions League return, however, as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat againstAS Monaco.Bernardo Silva had the Ligue 1 side in front on 15 minutes before Thomas Lemar added a 31st-minute second. Toby Alderweireld pulled one back for Spurs on 45 minutes with a header from a cornerJuventus played out a frustrating 0-0 draw with Sevilla, Gonzalo Higuain’s second half header, which struck the crossbar, their best chance against the three time Europa League winners.Headers from Mario Gotze and Sokratis and a close range tap-in from Marc Bartra had a rampant Borussia Dortmund three goals ahead against Legia Warsaw inside 20 minutes as they ran out 6-0 winners in Poland. Raphael Guerreiro added a fourth early in the second half after Ousmane Dembele’s blocked shot fell kindly to him in front of goal before substitute Gonzalo Castro and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed the rout late on.CSKA Moscow fought back from two goals down to earn an unlikely 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga side controlled the opening exchanges, and took a two-goal lead through Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu inside the opening 15 minutes, but against the run of play Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko pulled the Russian champions level and earned a point.In the other game in Leicester’s group, Porto were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man FC Copenhagen. Andreas Cornelius pulled Copenhagen level on 52 minutes after they had fallen behind to Otavio’s 13th-minute strike for Porto, before Jan Gregus was dismissed for a second bookable offence. That draw leaves Leicester top of Group G.Goals from Corentin Tolisso, Jordan Ferri and Maxwel Cornet gave Lyon a convincing 3-0 win against Dinamo Zagr 

Riyad Mahrez up and running as Leicester enjoy dream UCL debut

Leicester City put in a near-perfect performance to beat Club Brugge 3-0 in their Champions League debut on Wednesday night. The Foxes were ruthless and arguably still had a gear to go up. On this evidence they will have no problems getting out of Group G.

Positives

Riyad Mahrez’s brace could kickstart his season. The Algerian looked far more like his old self, even if he is yet to score from open play this term. It was also encouraging to see the Algerian link up effectively with international teammate Islam Slimani. The fact Porto were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Copenhagen was a welcome bonus, too.

Negatives

The game could have been different had Jose Izquierdo handed Brugge a 1-0 lead after just a few minutes. City must use that scare as a warning in order to stay grounded. There is no room for complacency in the Champions League even if City probably only need to win the return leg against Brugge plus one victory from the two games with Copenhagen to reach the round of 16.

Manager rating: 10

9 — Claudio Ranieri got his tactics spot on. He was forced to replace the injured Danny Simpson with Luis Hernandez and the latter used his long throw to set up Marc Albrighton for the opening goal — Leicester’s first in Europe since Muzzy Izzet scored against Red Star Belgrade in 2000.

The decision to keep Daniel Amartey in the starting XI instead of Andy King could have backfired, but the Ghanaian rewarded his manager’s faith. Ranieri also played a master stroke before a ball was even kicked, claiming it is “impossible” for Leicester to win the Champions League even though the Foxes are just 50-1 shots. Saying so alleviated any pressure on his squad.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Kasper Schmeichel, 7 — Barely had a save to make, although was a bit fortunate to keep a clean sheet after Izquierdo missed an early sitter and hit the post late on. Important not to concede after shipping four against Liverpool at the weekend.

DF Luis Hernandez, 8 — Replaced the injured Simpson and provided the assist for Albrighton’s opener courtesy of his trademark long throw. Pace of the game definitely suited the Spaniard.

DF Robert Huth, 8 — Never troubled at the back and unlucky not to score from a header in the second half.

DF Wes Morgan, 7 — Didn’t have much to do, but will go down in history as Leicester’s first ever captain to win a Champions League game.

DF Christian Fuchs, 7 — Flawless at the back and was given far more license to charge forwards than in the Premier League thus far.

MF Riyad Mahrez, 10 — Back to his very best. Totally controlled the game. Scored a wonderful free kick and finally converted from the penalty spot, too, after a series of woes from 12 yards.

MF Danny Drinkwater, 9 — Solid and at times a touch audacious. Hit the target with a long range free kick and saw a spectacular dipping volley fizz just over. Given a touch more freedom and proved he is far more than just a defensive midfielder.

MF Daniel Almartey, 7 — Responded well after a sluggish shift at Liverpool. If anything, he may prove more of a threat in the Champions League than the Premier League.

MF Marc Albrighton, 8 — Has the honour of scoring Leicester’s first ever Champions League goal after lingering in the area and taking a gamble at the back post.

FW Islam Slimani, 7 — Still finding his feet, but Leicester’s record signing showed flashes of flair and held the ball up well. Clearly has a strong understanding with Mahrez, who he set up for a curling shot that was deflected just wide. However, there remain question marks over his temperament, as illustrated by his needless shove on Bjorn Engels.

FW Jamie Vardy, 8 — His pace caused havoc against a slow Brugge backline. Won the penalty which Mahrez scored after being fouled when clean through. Now looks totally match fit.

Substitutes:

MF Demarai Gray, N/R — Great experience for the youngster to get a few minutes. Will only help with his development.

FW Ahmed Musa, N/R — Came on when the game was safe. Slimani’s arrival may mean he has to get used to cameos from the bench.

FW Leonardo Ulloa, 7 — Held up the ball well and shrewdly wound down the clock towards the end.

U.S. Hot List: Jozy Altidore in best form of his career, Julian Green cools down

There are several ways to figure out what Jurgen Klinsmann is thinking at any given time when it comes to the state of the national team player pool. The most telling is watching who the coach does (and does not) call in for games and how he uses players during international breaks. Actions speak louder than words, of course.But occasionally, the coach speaks and offers genuine insight into how he views his various options.That was the case on Monday afternoon, when Klinsmann conducted a live Facebook chat with U.S. fans. As is often the case, the supporters’ questions tended to concern individual players. “Here and there you can ask about different topics as well,” Klinsmann joked, but the answers to those others offered real clues about how the Americans will approach October’s exhibitions at Cuba and against New Zealand in Washington, D.C. — the last tune-up games before the final round of World Cup qualifying begins with a visit from archrival Mexico.”Going forward we’re trying to still integrate more talent into our pool, still see what youngsters are coming through to challenge the older ones,” Klinsmann said. “We have two friendlies coming up, big friendlies for us. It gives us a last opportunity to test things out before we hit Mexico on Nov. 11.”Based on his comments and their play with their clubs, here are 11 guys who may or may not be in the mix.

Warming up

Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC (MLS)

Why he’s here: With nine goals in his last 10 games for club and country, the 26-year-old is quite simply in the best form of his career right now.What this means: “Jozy, if he is healthy, if he is fit, if he has confidence, he’s a difference-maker,” Klinsmann said, adding that he’s confident that the hamstring injuries that have plagued Altidore in recent years are a thing of the past. “He still so young. Hopefully he stays healthy. We need him in top shape.”

Paul Arriola, M/F, Club Tijuana (Mexico)

Why he’s here: Arriola scored off the bench in last week’s 4-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago in Jacksonville, Florida, giving the 21-year-old San Diego-area product two goals in two U.S. games.What this means: Arriola still has to establish himself with Xolos — he’s been used exclusively as a substitute this season after winning a starting job last spring — but he clearly impressed with the U.S., and not just during the game. “Arriola stuck out for me in training all week,” teammate Sacha Kljestan said in Florida. “He works his butt off.”

Steve Birnbaum, D, D.C. United (MLS)

Why he’s here: Birnbaum started and played well against the Soca Warriors, then returned to United and scored a huge goal in Sunday’s 2-2 tie against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.What this means: The Americans’ depth at center-back could make it hard for Birnbaum to keep his place when Matt Besler and John Brooks are available (both missed the T&T game), but Birnbaum remains ahead of Liga MX-based Omar Gonzalez on the U.S. depth chart.

Aron Johannsson, F, Werder Bremen (Germany)

Why he’s here: The Icelandic-American missed almost a year with a hip injury, but he has started both of Bremen’s first two games of the Bundesliga season and scored from the spot on Sunday in Bremen’s 2-1 loss to Augsburg.What this means: Johannsson is just a couple of matches into the new campaign, and it sounds like Klinsmann has an eye on the striker not for next month, but for the Hex itself. “He’s not at 90 minutes (fit) yet,” Klinsmann said of the 25-year-old. “We need to be patient with Aron for a little bit. Hopefully soon we have him back. If that will be already the games against Cuba and New Zealand, that’s questionable.”

Lynden Gooch, M, Sunderland (England)

Why he’s here: Gooch is still looking for his first senior cap, but he started Sunderland’s first three games of the Premier League season and he was right back in David Moyes’ XI following the international break, going 56 minutes in Monday’s 3-0 loss to Everton.What this means: The 20-year-old will be in the coach’s plans if he keeps playing. Klinsmann called the Californian recently. “He just said well done for what I achieved and just told me to keep working hard and make sure I stay in the team,” Gooch told Men in Blazers.

Sacha Kljestan, M, New York Red Bulls (MLS)

Why he’s here: With two goals and two assists in two games for the U.S. following his surprise recall, the MLS assists leader sealed his spot in next month’s camp.What this means: “He matured,” Klinsmann said of Kljestan, who went more than two years between international invites. “Sacha definitely took his chance in these two World Cup Qualifiers and made a strong case. I told him see you back in October.”

Timmy Chandler, D, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)

Why he’s here: The German-American made the Copa America Centenario roster in June before having to withdraw through injury, and he has started his hometown team’s first two games of the season at right-back.What this means: Some U.S. fans love to hate on the 26-year-old. But Chandler’s pedigree, age and — most crucially — his position will keep him in the mix. “Where we’re lacking is definitely full-backs, left-backs and right-backs that are natural in that position,” Klinsmann said. “He’s another player that we’re looking at.”

Cooling down

Julian Green, F, Bayern Munich (Germany)

Why he’s here: The 21-year-old dressed but was an unused substitute in both of Bayern’s first two Bundesliga games.What this means: It’s hard to see Klinsmann calling Green in next month if nothing changes. Answering a question about Green and Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem, the coach said this: “They are not seeing any minutes with their club teams, so it’s really difficult to bring them into the senior environment right now.”

Clint Dempsey, F, Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Why he’s here: The national team’s second career leading scorer remains sidelined indefinitely because of an irregular heartbeat.What this means: Three weeks since news about Dempsey’s condition first broke, there has been no update about his potential return. “I’m in touch with Clint,” Klinsmann said. “I can only say from our end that we hope to have him back as soon as possible.”

Brad Guzan, G, Middlesbrough (England)

Why he’s here: He started two league games for Boro while ex-Barcelona and Manchester United keeper Victor Valdes was injured and played well. But with Valdes back, Guzan returned to coach Aitor Karanka’s bench for Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.What this means: With U.S. teammate Tim Howard playing every week for the Colorado Rapids, Guzan might need to oust Valdes over the next eight weeks to earn the start against El Tri.

Gyasi Zardes, M/F, LA Galaxy (MLS)

Why he’s here: The hard-running and versatile attacker is out until November with a broken foot, and others — including a certain touted teenager — are gunning for his spot in the lineup.What this means: “It’s a bummer for Gyasi because over the last two years he’s been big for us,” Klinsmann said. “We’d love to have more alternatives in midfield on the wing, especially with Zardes out for a little bit. With Christian Pulisic, I think we found a kid that gives us a huge option now.”Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.

Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe share spotlight in U.S. Ladies rout

By Graham Hays | Sep 16, 2016    Heather O’Reilly subbed off for final time

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thursday night’s game between the United States and Thailand was a great many things. Heck, it was a lot of things before the actual game was five minutes old.The first mile on the road to France and the 2019 World Cup?Not so much. On a night when the United States beat Thailand 9-0, when Carli Lloyd tallied three goals and four assists, the game was about two people. And Lloyd wasn’t one of them.One was celebrated as she stood alone in a national team uniform for the final time.One was watched as she knelt on the ground, surrounded but solitary, before the game.Thursday was about Heather O’Reilly becoming part of the team’s past after her final game and Megan Rapinoe stoking controversy in the present by kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the first time while wearing a national team uniform.Neither has much to do with what happens across the Atlantic Ocean in three years.”The most important thing for me is Heather O’Reilly having a fitting send-off game,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “That was the most important thing, in terms of with the team internally, externally, what we tried to do and how we honored her. That was the priority.”On a different night, really any other night, O’Reilly would have had the spotlight to herself. This was the antithesis of that laborious game in New Orleans last December when the United States tried and tried to send off Abby Wambach with a goal and instead lost to China.In the minutes before the game, O’Reilly blasted the ball into the top of the goal during a shooting drill. Starting and wearing the captain’s armband in the last of her 231 appearances for the national team, O’Reilly appeared more than ready to go out as more than a ceremonial figure.Less than 60 seconds into the game, she got to the end line and delivered a cross — of course she did — that Lloyd finished for the opening goal. For someone with more assists than all but five women in the team’s history, it was a fitting way to exit. Except O’Reilly wasn’t done. In the fifth minute, Christen Press having already extended the lead to two goals in the intervening seconds, Lloyd returned the favor and set up O’Reilly for her first international goal in nearly a year. She nearly poached another goal, chasing a Tobin Heath goal into the net, relentless effort that in its own way summed up the player.

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Even a final act that Ellis made sound like something of an audible proved perfect. When the United States made its sixth and final substitution in the second half and O’Reilly stayed on the field, it seemed she wouldn’t get the typical farewell curtain call. But with only a handful of minutes remaining, Ellis got approval from the referees to make a unique move.Up went the fourth official’s electronic board with O’Reilly’s No. 9 as the departing player. But where the number of her replacement would have been, there was nothing. O’Reilly walked off alone, and the United States played the final minutes with 10 players on the field.”I thought it was just fitting that she get a standing ovation, a moment to herself in this game,” Ellis said. “I just felt she needed that singular moment to be acknowledged and recognized by everyone.”Left unsaid was that it was a night when singular moments were difficult to come by. O’Reilly was honored on the field before the game in a ceremony that included Mia Hamm, a fellow North Carolina Tar Heel and former national teammate when O’Reilly first appeared as a high schooler. But that felt like prelude to the national anthem that followed. After saying Wednesday that she wasn’t sure if she would stand or kneel, Rapinoe made her choice.If you hadn’t been looking, you might not even have noticed her flanked by the other bench players who remained standing. But, of course, everyone was looking. The day after a police shooting in Columbus in which a 13-year-old African-American boy was killed after reportedly pulling what proved to be a realistic looking BB gun from his waistband, Rapinoe knelt.”I never felt like it was wrong in the first place,” Rapinoe said of her decision. “I never felt it was disrespectful. I felt very convicted in Chicago that night when I took that knee for the first time. And I think that I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make everybody happy. That’s not possible. I truly believe in what I’m doing and the things that I’m saying and the need for this conversation to happen, especially in light of what happened last night in this city.”I think, ultimately, I know I can sleep at night with the decision that I made.”What some people heard as a single voice shouting “Stand up Pinoe” was the only audible response, although it later sounded as if some boos greeted Rapinoe when she took the field in the second half.Ellis made clear the day before the game her belief that national team duty conveys a responsibility to stand for the anthem. In a statement released during the game, U.S. Soccer expressed an almost identical stance. But Rapinoe said no one asked her to stand for the anthem and the statement made no mention of potential sanctions. Ellis, too, said she didn’t consider not playing Rapinoe. But she also left room to suggest that isn’t permanent.”I think for me and who I am, I’ve given this a lot of thought and a lot of contemplation,” Ellis said. “And I think tonight I was not going to get caught up in an emotional response in the moment. I’m pretty measured in everything I do, and certainly even to the game plan was measured in minutes and that was factored in, including Megan. I think that’s just how I am.”Now it’s continued conversations and thoughts on my part and probably with the federation.”

I never felt it was disrespectful. … I think that I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make everybody happy. That’s not possible. I truly believe in what I’m doing and the things that I’m saying and the need for this conversation to happen …

Megan Rapinoe on kneeling

It took until now to even mention that the United States played the game without Hope Solo in goal, a situation that will be so for at least the next six months. Then again, it took until the 34th minute for the crowd to get a chance to cheer starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris in her first appearance for the national team in more than a year, when a teammate played a ball back to her. But for a second-half sequence in which Thailand nearly scored a goal, replays suggesting Kelley O’Hara’s goal-line clearance was either perfect timing or an advertisement for goal-line technology, the defensive half of the field was an afterthought for the Americans.Of course, except for those that involved O’Reilly, the nine goals they scored at the other end were ultimately an afterthought, too. With apologies to Lloyd’s haul, history will not long remember the final score of the game. It might well remember the rest of the night.This is supposed to be the doldrums of women’s international soccer for North American teams. The United States won’t play another meaningful game until 2018. But when nine goals and Solo’s absence don’t even make the top of the page, these are interesting times.So it was left to O’Reilly, who half-jokingly confirmed she was still sure about international retirement in the wake of such a strong performance, to offer her final words as a member of the national team not about the celebration but the latest controversy.”She did talk to the team, that she was thinking about doing that,” O’Reilly said of Rapinoe. “And we know, obviously, why she is doing that — because she loves this country and she wants to see change and that’s how she feels, in her heart, that she’s demonstrating it.”We will eventually start down the road to France. It just didn’t happen Thursday night.Graham Hays covers college sports for espnW, including softball and soccer. Hays began with ESPN in 1999.

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs Miami FC   Saturday, September 17, 2016 – 7:30 p.m. ET   IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

Watch/Listen Live:Local TV: WISH-TV

Indy Eleven:Fall Season: 6W-3D-5L, 21 pts, 4th place // Combined Season: 10W-9D-5L, 39 pts., 3rd place

Miami FC: Fall Season: 7W-4D-2L, 25 pts, 2nd place // Combined Season: 8W-8D-7L, 32 pts, 5th place

Click here for the complete NASL Fall Season standings

Last Time Out – Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2 : 1 Indy Eleven

The “Boys in Blue” fell to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last Saturday at Central Broward Stadium in a scrappy match that finished 2-1. Though Indy had a few chances early on, it was the Strikers who got on the board first through Paulo Jr. In the 19th minute. The Brazilian raced forward on a counterattack and used his pace to streak down the wing and into the box, where he beat Eleven ‘keeper Jon Busch low to his right-hand side. The 1-0 scoreline would remain the same through halftime as Indy pressed back but could not find an equalizer.Just after 20 minutes of action in the second period, the Strikers would take advantage of dispossession in the center of the park, and attacking weapon Maicon Santos would tally past a stretched Indy backline to increase the host’s lead. The Boys in Blue continued to pressure the Fort Lauderdale goal as the match wore on, but it wasn’t until the 88th minute when they found the back of the net. Defender Lovel Palmer stood on the right wing and whipped in a perfectly weighted cross that met the head of forward Justin Braun, and the American buried it from close range to make it a contest.Ultimately, the Eleven could not find a last-gasp equalizer and fell in the Sunshine State to drop to fourth place in the Fall Season – but remain in third place in the Combined Season standings.

Home Sweet Home

The team returning to Carroll Stadium on Saturday means one thing – another chance to defend the fortress that has been #TheMike in 2016. The “Boys in Blue” were unable to break down the Tampa Bay Rowdies in their last home, but that draw followed eight straight home wins dating back to the 4-2 win over Minnesota United FC on May 21. If you can’t remember the last time Indy Eleven lost on the IUPUI campus it is for good reason – Indiana’s Team will carry a 14-game home unbeaten stretch with it into Saturday’s game, dating back to last October. With the home crowd behind them, Indy Eleven has been unbeatable (seriously) and will now look to continue that momentum against a Miami FC side that has earned some impressive results in recent weeks.

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: FW Eamon Zayed

One of many to watch on Saturday night, Zayed has not scored since the loss at Carolina on August 20 but remains one of the team’s biggest threats going forward. Alongside Justin Braun, the Irish striker has a knack for goal that has earned him the nickname “El Raton” from head coach Tim Hankinson, like “the rat that chases his cheese.”In training, Zayed has been transitioning seamlessly with his striking partner and working hard to connect with the midfield in an attempt to get himself more space from the defense – and it has worked. A true poaching forward, look for Indy’s No.9 to put himself in position to get back on the scoresheet when Miami FC comes to town.

Who to Watch, Miami FC edition: FW Dario Cvitanich

The name to know from the visiting side Saturday is forward Dario Cvitanich, who took just one minute to score against Carolina Railhawks FC midweek in their 1-0 home win.Cvitanich has nine goals and four assists in 21 appearances for Miami FC and has scored in all three of their matches in the month of September, all of which they won. The Argentine will be ahead of midfielder Poku, who showed his capacity as a dangerous midfielder in the last meeting with Indy Eleven, and will look to pounce in the same fashion that saw him score in the 2-1 win at the end of July. Indy’s backline will have to keep their eyes on that pair, and Cvitanich specifically, as they look to limit scoring chances in their return home.
Match-up to Mark: MF Poku vs. MF Gerardo Torrado

Two extremely impactful midfielders are at the center of Saturday’s match when former NYCFC midfielder Poku lines up against Mexico legend and a staple in Indy’s starting XI in Gerardo Torrado.With five goals and one assist in 12 appearances in 2016, Poku acts as Miami’s No.10 with an attacking presence that his marginally increased in the Fall Season. The Ghanaian midfielder is one of many engines in the visiting side that will look to both create and finish chances in front of the Indy net, but will have to get past Torrado in order to do so.Arriving in the Fall Season, Gerardo Torrado has yet to register a goal or assist in 11 appearances but plays an incredibly important role in the fluidity of the midfield. Winning 19 of 21 tackles, tallying 22 interceptions, and completing over 80% of his passes, nearly 40% of which have gone forward, the former Cruz Azul man will be tasked with acting as a roadblock between the Miami FC midfield and attack on Saturday.

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Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

 

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

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