6/1/18  Indy 11 Ties 3-3, US vs Ireland Sat 3 pm ESPN2, World Cup Teams playing, Zidane Leaves Real Madrid, TV Games

Indy 11 Ties 3-3

It was a 6 goal thriller at Lucas Oil – Wednesday night as our Indy 11 looked to defend the home turf with a last minute goal a screamer on a free kick by Saad for the winner.  Unfortunately Charleston scored in the last seconds to tie the game and hold on to their 3rd place in the USL East.  The Eleven will return to the field next Saturday, July 9th  at 7 pm with a home match-up with Atlanta United.  Of course discount tickets below $15 are available Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code – It will be the last chance to catch our Indy 11 in person until June 30th.

USA Plays Ireland Sat 3 pm ESPN 2

The US team dropped a tired Christian Pulisic and replaced him with experienced but young New Castle defender Deandre Yedlin for the trip to Europe to face Ireland this Saturday at 3 pm on ESPN2 and France next Saturday at 3 pm on Fox Sports 1.  The full roster average age increases from 23 years old to 24 years old for this NEW HOPE US group.  I will repeat what I wrote last week –

The bottom line is after winning at the U17 and U20 World Cup levels under US Coach Tab Ramos – this version of the US National Team is looking a whole lot better than the lost generation.  It’s been since the Landon Donovan generation that the US has had such success at the U20 levels – and this NEW HOPE Generation of players with 75% of our former US National Team U20’s plying their trade in Europe might just bring with them new success never before seen in the US.  Stick around after on ESPN2 for MLS LA Galaxy and Zlatan traveling to Portland at 5 pm.

Zidane Leaves Real Madrid

The news that Zinedine Zidane was stepping down at Real Madrid Coach was certainly shocking – this after becoming the first manager and team to win 3 straight Champions League Titles since Ajax of the 1970s.  That Zidane was able to have this kind of success in just his first 3 years of managing after a World Class career as a player for both France and Real Madrid was surprising enough.  But remember this was the guy that was red carded in the Final of France’s World Cup Winning Year for headbutting a player after a derogatory remark about his mother.  Zidane has always been rapped to his own beat and perhaps stepping down while on top of the game was his best move.  Obviously he’s too young to not manage again – I wam with the all the rumors that next up will be taking over the French National Team after the world cup.  Either way I think as we see Real Madrid implode next season – what Zidane did in his 3 years at Real Madrid will be better appreciated.  Good luck to the guy who steps into that role next. Oh in case you didn’t see it here was  Bale’s Bike in the Champions League finals.

 

 

WORLD CUP TEAMS ON TV THIS WEEK

As the World Cup is just around the corner with a June 14th start on Fox – we get lots of teams playing this week in their last warm up games before the cup.  Also I am thinking of doing a World Cup Pool this summer – anyone interested in playing?  RE and let me know if interested.

CUP GAMES THIS WEEKEND AT GRAND PARK

Certainly want to wish the best of luck to all those teams playing in Cup games this Saturday at Grand Park – especially our 2 Boys and 2 Girls Carmel FC Teams. Looking for something to do on Saturday – head out to Grand Park to see some seriously good soccer.

CARMEL FC Teams in Presidents Cup with a Chance to Advance to Regionals in Cincy 

U13 Gold Boys vs Michiana Echo  Sat 3:45 pm  Field 13

U17 Boys vs Millennium Soccer   Sat 6 pm Field 28

CARMEL FC Teams in Challenge Cup

U13 Blue Girls vs  Center Grove  Sat 3:45 pm Field 12

U14 Gold Girls vs Tigers SC 04G   Sat 2 pm Field 12

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Tryouts for Carmel FC – @ Shelbourne Fields

June 5 – Academy U8-U10 – 5:30 pm- 6:45 pm

June 11 & 12 (U11-U13 5:30 pm- 6:45 pm), (U14-U19 – 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm)

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SUMMER CAMPS

Indy 11 Soccer Camp at Carmel Dad’s Club Badger Fields June 4-7  

FC Barcelona Camp – Grand Park June 11-15 $499

Carmel High Girls Middle School Soccer Camp  Ages middle schoolers – June 18, 20, 25, 27 July 16, 17, 18, 19 at Murray 3-5 pm $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Skills Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 8:30-10:30 am $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Tactical Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 11 am till 1 pm $85

 Indy 11

Indy 11 Draw with Charleston – Indy Star Kevin Johnston

Late Equalized Salvages Tie for Indy 11 vs Charleston – Indy 11

Peter Wilt Talks his Days in Indy In Soccer America –

Indy 11 Schedule

USL Standings

Indy 11 Discount Tickets for Saturday’s Game!   (Code 2018Indy)

Flex Packs: Discount Indy 11 Flex Pack Tickets
Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan

Its Official – Cincy FC Joins MLS in 2019

FC Cincy Joins MLS – ESPNFC

GET READY TO TAILGATE WITH THE BYB – Brick Yard Battalion Indy 11 Soccer Fan Club

Park and Tailgate for indy 11 Games with the BYB – Parking in the Gate 10 BYB Section is $4 cheaper per game than the stadium’s South Lot- and OBVIOUSLY more fun! Located at 343 W McCarty Street, Gate 10 is just across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Gate 10—the 2018 official home of the BYB–is convenient and affordable. Parking is $11 per car for single games !  Click HERE to purchase your pass today. You Won’t want to watch the game in any other section after standing, screaming, singing, dancing, and partying with the BEST SUPPORTERS SECTION in the US – the BYB.

USA

Match Preview USA vs Ireland – Dylan Butler – MLS.com

Villafana Return to USMNT a Wild Spring Wide –

Sarachan: USMNT kids have promise, but be patient

Sarachan opens up about stint as USMNT boss

US – Pulisic dropped, Yedlin returns to USMNT for Europe Trip

MF Keaton Parks Long Winding Road from high School to Portugal to the USMNT

McKennie, at 19, joins Pulisic as Bundesliga Starter – Yahoo Soccer

USA Player Says Bringing in Foreign Players Hurt US Soccer – USA Today

Pulisic Transfer to EPL speculation is Hogwash – Says Pulisic’s Father

US Soccer Federation General Mgr Search Almost Done with Ernie Stewart in Front

Where Did it All Go Wrong for US in World Cup Qualifying – Jeff Carlisle ESPNFC Video

US Ladies Name Roster for China Games

Jalene Hinkle says no to USWNT Call Up because of Pride Month

 WORLD

Why Zidane Really Left Real Madrid after Winning 3 Champions League Titles – ESPNFC Gab MArcotti

Zidane’s Exit Shows he’ll Always Surprise US  – Tom Hamilton – ESPNFC

 GK

Top 10 Goalkeeping Mistakes

Liverpool Goalkeeper Loris Karius has nightmare Night

Top Champions League 2018 Saves

Any Goalkeeper’s Nightmare – Bale’s Bike

Best Saves MLS in Week 13

Saves of the Week – USL

MLS

Power Rankings Red Bulls and Columbus On Top

Week 14 Slate – Armchair Analyst – Matt Doyle MLS.com

FC Dallas and Carmel resident Matt Hedges host LAFC with Top Slot in the West on the Line

Preview Portland hosting LA Galaxy on ESPN2 Sat 5 pm

WORLD CUP

World Cup Not as Entertaining as Champions League – Michael Cox ESPNFC

2018 World Cup: Why is the USMNT missing from the 2018 World Cup?

Every World Cup winner: From 1930 Uruguay to 2014 Germany

World Cup power rankings: Rating all 32 teams, from hopeless to hopefuls

World Cup Team Previews: What You Need to Know about all 32 teams – ESPNFC

 GAMES ON TV

Fri, June 1  

2 pm FS 2                         Tunisia vs Turkey

3 pm ESPN Desp          France vs Italy

Sat, June 2  

2:45 pm EPSN3             Belgium vs Portugal

3 pm ESPN2     Ireland vs USMNT

5 pm ESPN2                    Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy (Zlatan)

8 pm ESPN+                    Dallas (Hedges) vs LAFC

8 pm Fox Sport1         Mexico vs Scotland

Sun, June 3  

10 am beIN sport        Croatia vs Brazil

3 pm ESPN3/Desp       Spain vs Switzerland

8:30 pm FS1                   Sporting KC vs Min United

Mon, June 4  

2:45 pm ESPN3/Dep Italy vs Netherlands

4 pm FS2                           Morocco vs Slovakia

Thur, June 7  

3 pm FS1   England vs Costa Rica

3:15 pm beIN Spt       Portugal vs Algeria

9 pm FS1   US Ladies vs China

Fri, June 8  

1:30 pm ESPN3/Des Germany vs Saudi Arabia

2:45 pm beIN Spt       Poland vs Chile

8 pm ESPN+                    Philly vs Toronto FC

Sat, June 9  

2:45 pm ESPN3/Dep Spain vs Tunisia

3 pm ESPN      France vs USA

5 pm ESPN             Columbus Crew vs NY Red Bulls

7 pm Myindy23           Indy 11 vs Atlanta United

Tues, June 12

7 pm ESPN2     USA Women vs China

Thur, June 14        World Cup on Fox

11 am Fox              Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Fri, June 15           World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox Sport1    Egypt (Salah) vs Uruguay

11 am Fox              Morocco vs Iran

1 pm Fox                Portugal (Renaldo) vs Spain

Sat, June 16          World Cup on Fox

6 am FS1                France vs Australia

9 am Fox                Argentina (Messi) vs Iceland

12 noon FS1          Peru vs Denmark

3 pm FS1                Croatia vs Nigeria

7 pm ESPN+    Toronto II vs Indy 11

Sun, June 17         World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox 59          Costa Rica vs Serbia

11 am Fox Sport1 Germany vs Mexico 

2 pm FS1                Brazil vs Switzerland

World Cup on Fox TV Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

 Despite a thrilling goal, Indy Eleven settle for a draw 3-3

Kevin Johnston, Special to IndyStar  Published 10:32 p.m. ET May 30, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven forward Soony Saad’s appearance on the SportsCenter Top 10 earlier this season must’ve gone to his head. Against Nashville SC on April 14, Saad ripped a free kick from 35 yards out to make the list.In Indy’s thrilling 3-3 draw over the Charleston Battery on Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium, Saad duplicated the feat, hitting another screamer perhaps even nastier than the first. Central midfielder Brad Ring tapped the ball on the indirect free kick, and Saad’s strike had so much swerve that opposing goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky didn’t even budge as the ball soared into the top right corner.”That’s the easiest assist I’ll ever get,” Ring said. “Soony’s hitting the ball well. He hits it good in practice. He’s hit a couple in games. He hits it hard, and when he hits it it dances and it’s tough for goalies to get a read on.”Left back Ayoze scored Indy’s other two goals, the first on a converted penalty and the second via a free kick from the edge of the box in the stoppage time that looked like it would be the winner. Charleston responded a minute later, however, on a clever pass and finish from Ataulla Guerra to Tah Anunga shortly before the final whistle.”It was a really exciting game if you were coming to watch as a neutral fan,” said Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “A roller coaster of emotions where you’re up and then down, and then up again, and then down.” On the whole, the individual moments of brilliance by Saad and Ayoze somewhat masked what was just an OK performance by the hosts. Saad’s strike was the only shot on target by either team in the first half, as neither side generated much in the way of quality chances earlyCharleston made it 1-1 as midfielder O’Brian Woodbine scored in the 62nd minute on a rebound. Forward Gordon Wild attempted a shot from just outside the box that required a save by Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams, and Woodbine — wisely finishing his run at the far post — slotted the ball into the back of the net.The visitors took a brief 2-1 lead in the 80th when Nicholas Rittmeyer got behind the defense and played a low cross to the near post that Guerra banged home. But moments later, Indy forward Jack McInerney was shoved down in the box and Ayoze tied it 2-2 from the spot.Once stoppage time rolled around, the drama escalated. Ayoze’s second brought the crowd of 8,070 to its feet thinking a win for the hosts was moments away, only for Anunga to play the spoiler with a stunner.”It was just a crazy game,” Rennie said. “Not one you see very often.”The draw moved the Eleven’s winless streak to four matches. They host Atlanta United FC 2 on June 9.

RECAP | LATE EQUALIZER SEES INDY ELEVEN, CHARLESTON BATTERY LEVEL

By IndyEleven.com, 05/31/18, 12:00AM EDT   Six-goal thriller sees the “Boys in Blue” share the points with the visitors

Indy Eleven draw, 3-3, and share a point at home against Charleston Battery. The six-goal thriller marks Indy’s third draw of its inaugural USL season, and the team’s first at Lucas Oil Stadium.The “Boys in Blue” set their sights on an early lead. In the 12th minute, Indy midfielder Nathan Lewis juked around a Battery defender on the edge of the 18-yard box. The Trinidadian international chipped a cross to striker Soony Saad at the top of the 6-yard box. Saad’s header nearly ended on frame, but the ball floated over the crossbar.Charleston retaliated in the 39th minute. Battery midfielder Vincenzo Candela’s free kick from the top-corner of Indy’s 18-yard box almost found the head of defender Skyler Thomas for the first goal of the match. The square pass was ultimately punched out of play by Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.Indy Eleven found the first goal of the match minutes later from another Saad stunner. In the 43rd minute, midfielder Brad Ring poised himself next to Saad close to 35 yards out for a free kick opportunity. Captain Ring pushed the ball forward as Saad ran up for his kick. The ball took a heavy curve outward before it swerved back to the near post and into the back of the net. Indy closed out the remainder of the first half with the single-goal lead.Indy entered the second half on the hunt for a second goal in the 61st minute from forward Jack McInerney, before Charleston leveled a minute later. Battery forward Chris Wild shot from the top of Indy’s 18-yard box off the counter attack. Eleven defender Brad Rusin attempted to block, which led the ball to take an awkward deflection into the box. Battery defender O’brian Woodbine capitalized on moment and sent the loose ball into the back of Indy’s posts.Charleston surged into the lead in the 82nd minute. Battery midfielder Nico Rittmeyer’s quick one-two play to the top of Indy’s 6-yard box saw forward Ataulla Gurra net his team’s second goal with a single touch.Six minutes later, Indy drew level once again with a penalty kick from defender Ayoze. “Indiana’s Team” was awarded a penalty kick after McInerney was brought down in front of Battery’s goal by Thomas. Ayoze stepped up to the spot and sent his kick to the upper-right corner of Charleston’s net. Ayoze’s penalty kick marks his third from the spot this season.Indy’s goal count didn’t stop there. Ayoze found his second goal of the evening in the 93rd minute from a free kick outside of Battery’s 18-yard box. The former La Liga defender lined up and sent his shot flying past Battery goaltender Joe Kuzminsky. This time into the upper-left corner of the goal.Unfortunately, Indy’s last-minute lead was short lived. In the 94th minute, Battery midfielder Tah Anunga netted the game’s sixth goal and his team’s equalizer after a pass from his teammate, Guerra, was left unattended in the center of Indy’s 18-yard box. The whistle blew shortly after, and left the honors split.“The goals we scored from the free kicks were literally as good as you’re gonna get,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “The disappointing thing was losing the late goal, but the other goals too. We need to defend better and were disappointed with that. But it was an exciting game and fun to be a part of where we can take a lot from and build on.”The “Boys in Blue” will return home next Saturday, June 9th, at 7:00 p.m. to take on fellow inaugural USL side Atlanta United 2. Fans can get tickets to the next home match starting at just $15 by visiting IndyElevenTickets.com or by calling (317)685-1100.

Ireland vs. United States | 2018 International Friendly Match Preview

May 31, 201811:00AM EDTDylan ButlerContributor

Following a 3-0 win over Bolivia on Monday, the US national team head to Europe for a pair of international friendlies a week apart, beginning with a match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.U.S. coach Dave Sarachan shuffled the deck a bit, bringing in 10 new players, while releasing seven others from the 22-man roster for Bolivia.The team is still young — averaging 23 years of age — with veterans DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Wood joining the fray, along with the New York Red Bulls duo of Tyler Adams and Tim Parker, and Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp from Columbus Crew SC.“We’re excited about the chance to add some of the veterans from Europe as well as younger guys in MLS who have been part of our group since November,” Sarachan said in a statement. “The games against Ireland and France will bring increasingly more difficult challenges, so we felt it was important to bring in some players that offer a bit more experience. These matches provide another big development opportunity for these players who are growing in their international careers.”

With a bolstered roster of 25 players for the two friendlies, it is likely that Sarachan has some roster rotation for the final two matches until September.Six players earned their first cap against Bolivia — Alex Bono, Erik Palmer-Brown, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent, Keaton Parks and Matt Olosunde — and three could make their first appearance against Ireland — Parker, Luca de la Torre and Shaq Moore.Adams is seeking a fourth consecutive appearance with the United States after earning a penalty kick Wood converted in a 1-0 win over Paraguay on March 28, while Trapp has worn the U.S. armband in his last two appearances, the 0-0 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina and the victory against Paraguay.Steffen comes into camp riding a club-record five-match shutout streak that spans 505 minutes.

Ireland Outlook

Ireland will face the United States in their second friendly before meeting Wales in their first match of the newly-formed UEFA Nations League in September. Like the U.S., Martin O’Neil’s side narrowly missed qualification to the FIFA World Cup, losing to Denmark 5-1 on aggregate in a UEFA playoff.On Wednesday, Ireland fell to France, 2-0, at a rain-soaked Stade de France, with Blackburn Rovers’ Derrick Williams and Milwall’s Shaun Williams earning their first international appearances, while Shamrock Rovers striker Graham Burke became the first League of Ireland player to earn an Ireland cap since 2007.Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir struck just before halftime to lift Les Bleus, who will face Italy Friday before taking on the United States in their final World Cup tune-up June 9 in Lyon.Ireland’s squad is largely made up of players from the English Championship.

History

The United States are 2-5-2 all-time against Ireland. The last match was Nov. 18, 2014, a 4-1 loss in Dublin. Mix Diskerud scored the lone United States goal, a 39th-minute leveler, while Robbie Brady struck for a second-half brace to lift Ireland.

Players to Watch

United States — Tim Parker. While we’ve seen what Yedlin and Wood can do on the international level, and even how well Adams has done, it is exciting to see what Parker can bring to the center back position with the United States. At 25, the powerful and deceptively quick Parker could throw his hat in the ring in that position for the future with a strong performance against Ireland or France.

Ireland — James McClean. The 29-year-old midfielder has 10 goals in 57 appearances for Ireland, including the dramatic lone goal at Cardiff City Stadium that sent Ireland past Wales and into the World Cup playoff against Denmark. He reportedly turned down a move to the New York Red Bulls in 2015, and could be in line for a return to the English Premier League despite extending his contract with recently-relegated West Bromwich Albion.

Christian Pulisic rested; DeAndre Yedlin returns among USMNT squad changes

May 29, 2018Jeff CarlisleSoccer

With Christian Pulisic among seven players to drop out, U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan has made 10 additions to what is now a 25-man roster, ahead of friendlies against Republic on Ireland on June 2 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and France a week later (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).The added players consist of goalkeepers Zack Steffen and William Yarbrough, defenders Shaq Moore, Tim Parker and DeAndre Yedlin, midfielders Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Kenny Saief and Wil Trapp and forward Bobby Wood.Meanwhile, among those released are five players — Pulisic, Alex Bono, Lynden Gooch, Matt Olosunde and Walker Zimmerman — who featured in Monday’s 3-0 win vs. Bolivia, as well as Alejandro Guido and Ethan Horvath,.The moves had been expected, with Sarachan having to juggle the club demands of MLS players along with the need for some European-based performers to get time off following long seasons. The changes have also added some experience to the U.S. squad and resulted in its average age creeping up from 22 years, 286 days to 23 years, 102 days.”We’re excited about the chance to add some of the veterans from Europe as well as the younger guys in MLS who have been part of our group since November,” Sarachan said. “The games against Ireland and France will bring increasingly more difficult challenges, so we felt it was important to bring in some players that offer a bit more experience. These matches will provide another big development opportunity for these players who are growing in their international careers.”Steffen will attempt to move up the goalkeeping depth chart after making his first two international appearances earlier this year. Yarbrough, meanwhile, has been called in for the first time since November 2016.Yedlin is the most-capped player on the roster, having made 50 appearances, but plenty of eyes will be on Adams as well, given that he has been linked with a move to Red Bull Leipzig. Saief returns having finalizing a move to Anderlecht, where he spent the second half of the season on loan.

USA Detailed Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 2/0), William Yarbrough (Club León/MEX; 3/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG; 2/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 15/1), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 5/1), Shaq Moore (Levante/ESP; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City/ENG; 1/0), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Everton/ENG; 1/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 17/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 50/0)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 3/0), Joe Corona (Club America/MEX; 21/3), Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG; 0/0) Julian Green (Stuttgart/GER; 9/3), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 2/1), Keaton Parks (Benfica/POR; 1/0), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/0), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 4/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 2/1)

FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Reading/ENG; 2/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 1/1), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 37/11)

Christian Pulisic’s father calls transfer speculation is ‘hogwash’

May 30, 2018ESPN staff

Christian Pulisic’s father says speculation the young American star could move to the Premier League is “hogwash,” and told Sky Sports his son plans to return to Borussia Dortmund — at least for next season.The 19-year-old has long been linked with a move to either Liverpool or Manchester United in the future, and the Telegraph reported this week that Tottenham are considering adding the U.S. international as well.But his father, Mark Pulisic, told Sky on Tuesday that no “concrete” talks have taken place over any potential transfer.”He was linked to Tottenham. Last week it was Liverpool. The week before Man United. The week before this… it’s hogwash,” Mark Pulisic told Sky Sports.”He’s linked with a different club every week. I have no idea. His agent right now is working and looking, in close relation with me and Christian, and we’re just trying to see what the best phase of his next development will be.”Now is the time that the season has just ended that we’ll sit down with Dortmund, we’ll sit down with, I don’t know whether other clubs are in the mix, [and see what] Dortmund’s idea is and their plans for Christian.”But there’s nothing concrete. Right now, Christian plays for Dortmund and that’s where he is planning on playing again next year.”However, Mark Pulisic acknowledged that his son would like to move to England in the future, and said staying at Dortmund for his entire career would be unlikely.”I think the Premier League is a league he’s always aspired to be in and play in,” the elder Pulisic said. “As a player nowadays, there are so few players staying at one club throughout a career. The chances of him moving to different clubs and different leagues is a high probability.”Christian Pulisic will not turn 20 until December but he has already played in 70 Bundesliga games with Dortmund over the past three seasons, scoring nine league goals.But his father said there’s no easy way to tell if Dortmund is still the best place for his son.”You kind of have to go with the flow and make sure the player feels comfortable, whatever the decision is. There’s no magic formula,” he said. “Is it right to stay at Dortmund? Who knows. Is it right to move to another club? He might think it is, or someone else might think it is, but it might not be in part of his mind.”The only thing we can do is continue to talk with him and make sure he’s always in the loop of what’s going on, present all the facts and the content of what can happen, or will happen. It’s up to the player to make that final call.”After playing in most of the United States’ friendly victory over Bolivia on Monday, Christian Pulisic will remain in the U.S. while the national team goes on to Europe to face Ireland and France in the coming weeks.With the U.S. failing to qualify for the World Cup, he will likely be able to rest until Dortmund resume training ahead of their U.S. tour in late July as part of the International Champions Cup.

HIS WAY: KEATON PARKS’ LONG AND WINDING ROAD FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO THE USMNT

May 25, 2018

As he prepared for graduation day at Liberty High School, Keaton Parks had two vastly different routes available for the future. After three standout seasons with Liberty, Parks had verbally committed to a soccer scholarship at nearby Southern Methodist University. Born in the Dallas suburb of Plano, he’d go to school in his backyard and play for the Mustang team that he grew up watching.Parks had spent his whole life in Dallas, but he ventured overseas for the first time after his sophomore year in 2013. That trip planted the seeds of his second thoughts. He had followed his club coach from team to team since age eight, and that summer, he followed Armando Pelaez to Portugal, where Peleaz had played professionally. Between that summer and the next, Parks trained with several Portuguese clubs. Now, they wanted to bring him to Europe full-time.Parks took the leap, an ocean away from his comfort zone. He hasn’t looked back. His upward trajectory since has brought him to his first-ever camp with the U.S. Men’s National Team.“It was a big jump for me, but I definitely made the right decision,” Parks said. “The options were there. SMU would have been a great option. Portugal was a whole new country. Since I was a kid, I wanted to play in Europe. Just following my dream and everything was definitely the right decision to make, especially looking back at it now. This is what I wanted to do.”A former pro in Portugal and Venezuelan national team member, Peleaz preached possession as Parks came up through the ranks. It’s molded him into a player who, even at 6-4, can glide with the ball at his feet.“Always possession, keep the ball, a lot of touches and stuff,” Parks said. “That’s how I learned to play football. I’m really tall but I think I have really good feet and I’m good on the ball in tight spaces. When I have the ball, just looking at the field I can find good passes all across the field. I think I have good vision in that sense. I can also complete the pass as well.”Parks’ development with Pelaez lead to that first trip abroad in the summer of 2013. While Pelaez initially brought Parks to train with his former teams, an agent took interest in the young American and opened the door for opportunities at other Portuguese clubs.That initial European exposure came before Parks’ growth spurt. Back in Plano, he earned All-State honors and led Liberty on a deep playoff run as he sprouted up. When Parks returned to Portugal the following summer, he had gone from 5-5 to over six feet tall.  He would spend only one more semester at Liberty. Parks graduated early and passed up a final full season of high school soccer for another trip overseas and a taste of the top-tier amateur game. After the fall term, Parks didn’t return to high school, but made his way overseas for another trip of training and trials in Portugal that confirmed his potential to sign professionally.He returned stateside in time for the spring NPSL season. Pelaez coached the Liverpool Warriors , a local Liverpool affiliate, in the budding amateur league. Instead of a final high school campaign, Parks tested himself across Oklahoma and Texas against top amateurs and college talent in their offseason.His time with the Liverpool Warriors also booked him a final short-term spell overseas. Parks had caught the interest of second division side Varzim in his winter trip to Portugal. When the Warriors went to play a tournament hosted in the city of Povoa de Varzim, it cemented the club’s interest. A few weeks after the trip, Parks put pen to paper with the small club.As his friends packed their bags for college, the tall Texan picked up and moved overseas to begin life as a professional athlete in a foreign land. Far from the comforts of any dorm room in Dallas, he started life anew in a country where he could hardly speak the language. Parks had to rely on a bilingual friend to translate between him and his teammates at Varzim.“At first, in training, I would listen to the coach but not catch anything,” Parks said. “I would just watch them do the drill and just copy what they did. I would just speak English really slowly to them and they could catch some things and try to reply.”After a few appearances with Varzim’s B team to kick off the season, Parks spent the rest of 2015-16 with the U-19 squad. While it supplied valuable experience, his transition abroad brought its own challenges. Instead of school and soccer just 25 miles from Plano, he launched a career nearly 5000 miles from home. “There definitely were times that I’d just be in my apartment, lonely,” Parks said. “I had a couple friends, but most of the people didn’t speak English very well. I had SMU as the backup plan, so that was also enticing. I could just stay in my hometown.”But Parks stuck it out. He got more comfortable in coastal Povoa de Varzim, started to learn the language, and a successful season with the U-19s brought him to training with Varzim’s first team by the end of the season. At the launch of the 2016 campaign, Parks immediately integrated into the first team.He made his professional debut on Sept. 4, 2016 in Varzim’s fifth league game as a late substitute. A midseason managerial shift saw him lock down a regular spot in the starting lineup. In his final two games before the winter break, Parks scored his first two professional goals.Just as he began to find his footing with Varzim, a contract dispute derailed the second half of his debut pro season. Parks trained, but couldn’t play in any games that spring. Despite the lack of regular action, he had shown enough the previous fall to earn his first Youth National Team call-up to a pre-World Cup Under-20 MNT camp in London. Over the summer, Parks officially left Varzim to sign with Benfica, historically the most successful club in Portugal.“At first, I just couldn’t really believe it, I was playing for one of the most well-known clubs in the world,” Parks said. “Especially when I started training with the A team, these guys I watch on TV and play with on FIFA, I thought it was really cool.”After half a season in the second division, Parks found himself at one of the biggest clubs in Europe. He started out with Benfica’s B team, star-struck as the first team trained a field over. When his play with the reserves earned him full team training time, the players he idolized became peers. A chip over legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar in training brought the first team down to Earth.“I would see the A team training on the field next to us and I was like ‘Wow, those guys are so good, I know that guy!’” Parks said. “That goal was a really cool moment for me. I started feeling more comfortable in the training sessions. The guys talked to me more and they were teaching me. I started realizing, these are my teammates, I’ve got to stop admiring them so much.”It took until his first game with the senior squad to fully see them as teammates rather than objects of admiration. That came on November 18, when Parks came on as a 71st-minute substitute in a domestic cup match. Back home, Parks would have been a college junior preparing for Thanksgiving break. An entrance in front of tens of thousands of rowdy red-clad fans in Lisbon was a world away.“Walking out of the tunnel was really cool for me,” Parks said. “When they sent me to warm up at the beginning of the second half, I was like ‘Dang, I might go in to this game, it’s crazy. I got my chance.”From then on, Parks trained full time with the full team. Almost two-and-a-half years after his arrival, he’s continued to fully integrate himself in Portugal, both in football and the language. Benfica put him through Portuguese lessons all year in preparation for the potential of interviews in the local tongue next season.Parks still played primarily with Benfica’s B team in 2017-18 and starred as a regular starter, but began to make the first team bench more regularly as the season went on. He made a few more appearances, but with the club locked in a down-to-the-wire battle for Portugal’s second and final Champions League qualification spot, minutes became hard to come by.Still, Parks showed enough in his limited minutes and in his key role with the reserves to draw the attention of the Men’s National Team. A few weeks before the start of camp, assistant coach John Hackworth gave him a call to check in. E-mails from the team administration followed, and Parks officially earned his first MNT invite.
U.S. U-17 MNT head coach and MNT assistant coach John Hackworth helped bring Parks into his first MNT camp.

“I called both my parents, my brother, my sister and Armando too,” Parks said. “He was really excited for me, he was like ‘I told you I’d get you there, thank you for trusting me!’ He was really proud of me.”Back in the USA, Parks’ introduction to the MNT has granted a smoother transition than his move overseas. For one, he can understand when the coaches explain drills. For another, he fits right in among the freshest-faced USA roster in recent memory. Parks checks in just below the average age of 22, as he’ll turn 21 in August. Camp also reunites him with former North Texas Olympic Development Program teammate Weston McKennie as they share the field for the first time in years.Unlike some of his youthful peers, Parks didn’t come through the YNT pipeline. The U-20s scrimmaged against English club teams last April, but Monday’s match against Bolivia will be Parks’ first-ever opportunity to represent the red, white and blue in an international match. With the opportunities now at hand, he couldn’t have made a better decision for his post-high school plans.“I’m really excited,” Parks said. “Hopefully I’ll get my chance in the game and I can show what I’m capable of. I expect it to be the best feeling in the world, the best moment of my life so far. We’ll see what happens.”

McKennie, at 19, joins Pulisic as Bundeliga regular

RONALD BLUM (AP Sports Writer),The Associated Press 5 hours ago

Weston McKennie thought back to last summer, when he was an 18-year-old midfielder trying to impress at his first preseason training camp with Schalke’s first team. Leon Goretzka, one of the club’s leaders, delivered a message.”I made two bad passes in a keep-away and possession game we were playing, and Leon was like, ‘Wes, you’ve got to make those passes. This isn’t the U-19s anymore,”’ McKennie recalled. ”I was like: Oh, no.”Having left the FC Dallas Academy to sign with Schalke in the summer of 2016, McKennie spent a season with the Under-19 team and made his first-team debut on May 20 as a late second-half substitute. He earned a spot on the senior roster and made his first Bundesliga start Sept. 19 at Bayern Munich, then was picked for a new-look U.S national team and showcased ball-control skills when he dribbled into the penalty area and scored in his debut , a 1-1 exhibition tie at Portugal on Nov. 14.McKennie wound up playing in 22 of 34 league matches plus three in the German Cup as Schalke finished second, gaining a Champions League berth with its highest place in the standings since 2009-10. He bounced back quickly from a partially torn meniscus in his right knee which sidelined from from Jan. 21 to March 3.Schalke showed confidence, giving McKennie a five-year contract last September that extends through the 2021-22 season, two years longer than his first deal.”He’s got a personality and he’s got a presence about him, which is important,” U.S. interim coach Dave Sarachan said. ”I think he’s developing a thick skin soccer-wise because he’s in a pressure-cooker at a place like Schalke.”McKennie is on the U.S. roster for Saturday’s exhibition against Ireland in Dublin. Sarachan, who replaced Bruce Arena after the Americans were eliminated in World Cup qualifying last October, said McKennie, 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams and 22-year-old defender Matt Miazga put themselves in consideration for a World Cup roster had the American advanced to the tournament in Russia.”We got knocked down, yeah, we didn’t qualify, but we always keep our heads up and try and make the best out of it, and turn a negative into a positive,” McKennie said. ”I think that’s what we’re doing, bringing a lot of the young guys in, the new faces, trying out new things. At least it goes to show that, yeah, we’re making changes. Many people would say it’s better to make changes earlier.”Born in Texas, McKennie lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany, from age 6 to 9 while his father was stationed at Ramstein Air Base, and the young fan met Landon Donovan and Carlos Bocanegra before a U.S. exhibition against Poland at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in 2006. Back in West Elm, McKennie spent seven years in the youth system of FC Dallas, which hoped to sign him to a homegrown player contract. He signed a letter of intent with the University of Virginia, then decided against college and Major League Soccer to sign with Schalke.”It was a hard decision for me, of course, because I’d been at Dallas so long. And you can’t just be like, ‘oh, here comes Schalke. It’s a big club. Let me just throw out Dallas right now,”’ McKennie said. ”I’ve never said anything bad about the MLS, but it’s not at that level yet, obviously, and many people, maybe they’ll be like, oh, he’s bashing the MLS. But it’s the truth. The Bundesliga is one of the top leagues if not the top league of teams in the world.”He lived in a hotel when he first arrived in Gelsenkirchen but stayed much of the time with Nick Taitague, a midfielder from Virginia who signed with Schalke in 2017.”Just chillin’ out there,” McKennie said.McKennie got his own place last October and moved in following the winter break. Adjusting was somewhat easier because he had learned the language when he lived in Germany as a child.”Everything just started to refresh and get familiar again,” he said.Schalke has played the 6-foot-1 McKennie in defensive and playmaking midfield roles, and coach Domenico Tedesco experimented with him at center back in a three-man back line during an exhibition. He joined star 19-year-old midfielder Christian Pulisic, his friend from youth national team training, for the first time on the senior national team in Monday’s 3-0 win over Bolivia in Chester, Pennsylvania.”I think he can be a guy that can play deeper but also has a comfort level of getting forward out of the midfield position and creating,” Sarachan said.Living on his own, 5,000 miles from home, has changed McKennie.”It definitely gave me tough skin. I’ve always been mentally strong. I think that’s one of my strengths. I don’t let a lot of stuff get to me. Not a lot of outside factors can influence my decisions and how I live my life, and how I play the game, as well,” he said. ”You just learn many things and learn quickly, and you have no choice but to learn quick. Otherwise, the train moves on and you’re left behind.”

U.S. Soccer Federation general manager search ‘in final stages’

May 29, 2018Jeff CarlisleSoccer

CHESTER, Penn. – The U.S. Soccer Federation clarified the responsibilities of the nascent general manager position, stressing that the role is intended to be long term in nature, and that the hiring process is in the “final stages.”The USSF’s Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn, who oversees all technical areas for the Federation, led the briefing, stating that the a six-person technical committee had interviewed 10 candidates, most of whom are American, with at least one Latino candidate. He added that fluency in Spanish is preferred but not a deal breaker.Romeijn declined to provide any additional details on where things stand in terms of the hiring process. Numerous reports have stated that current Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart is the leading candidate and is in negotiations with the USSF about the post.The GM’s remit consists of eight primary areas of responsibility. These include: overseeing the technical side of the senior national team — including specifying the style of play the team will implement — as well as managing the day-to-day operations of the men’s national team, driving the culture of the team, drive the process of hiring/firing the national team coach, building an integrated staff including some national team assistants, incorporating analytics and high performance, monitor the player pool, and increasing and formalizing oversight.A particular aim of the GM position is to provide stability and a long-term pathway so that items such as style of play don’t change simply because there is a change in manager.”The head coach isn’t the Federation, he’s part of the Federation,” said Romeijn.He added: “We don’t want to change everything when you hire a new coach.”In terms of hiring and firing the senior national team manager, Romeijn stated that the GM would research potential candidates, help compile a short list, and be an important part of the interview process, but that the ultimate decision would lie with the USSF Board of Directors.With regard to staff, Romeijn said he expected that the new manager would bring in some of his own people but that it’s not a given that all of the staff from the previous regime would be fired and thus start over from scratch.Romeijn added that the USSF wants the GM to have a strong personality but also be a team player. The candidate must have knowledge of the U.S. soccer landscape as well as the international game. He reiterated that the GM would not have oversight of youth national teams.”We think this is a big job, so asking someone to look at national team but also overseeing all the youth teams, we don’t think he could give the focus that we want,” he said.The approach seems intent on avoiding the situation that took place during Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach of the national team, in which one person amassed considerable power. In Klinsmann’s case that included being named technical director in addition to his duties as manager. Romeijn however denied that the approach was formulated as a reaction to the Klinsmann era. Rather it has been derived more out of a belief that this is the right way to do things going forward.While that approach is understandable to a degree, there does appear to be potential areas of conflict between the GM and head coaching posts given that most managers will prefer to institute their own style of play and hire their own staff, though Romeijn stated there would be some flexibility with regard to both areas.

 US women’s roster announced for exhibitions against China

APPublished 5:22 p.m. ET May 29, 2018 | Updated 6:35 p.m. ET May 29, 2018

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CHICAGO (AP) — Midfielder Tobin Heath is back on the U.S. women’s national team roster after spending the start of the year recovering from surgery.Coach Jill Ellis named a 23-player roster Tuesday for a pair of exhibition matches against China next month.Heath, who turned 30 on Tuesday, hasn’t played with the national team since appearing as a substitute in a friendly against New Zealand last September. She had surgery to remove bone growth on her right ankle in early January.lso returning to the national team is Julie Ertz, who missed a pair of April exhibition matches against Mexico because of a knee injury. Amy Rodriguez, who missed 2016 because of the birth of her son and 2017 with an ACL injury, was also included by Ellis.Christen Press, left off the roster for Mexico because she was not on a club team at the time, also returned to the roster.Press, who was traded to the Houston Dash in the offseason but never joined the National Women’s Soccer League club, is currently playing in Sweden with Goteborg.

The U.S. roster including club team:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Casey Murphy (Montpellier HSC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Abby Smith (Utah Royals).

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (NC Courage), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC).

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Allie Long (Seattle Reign), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage)

Forwards: Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Kopparbergs/Goteborg), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals).

Why Zinedine Zidane really left Real Madrid after Champions League glory

9:28 AM ETGabriele Marcotti

On Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane said, “No mas.”He walks away from the biggest job in world football and the opportunity to become the first manager to win four straight European Cups. And he does it less than four days after leading Real Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League crown.He used the word “desgaste” — the same choice of terms used by Pep Guardiola when he left the Camp Nou six years ago — and it has a specific meaning. “Worn out, out of gas.” And yet he also said he wasn’t tired: “I’ve been doing this for three years, I’m certainly not out of energy.”

The great French stone face was once again inscrutably Sphinx-like.He echoed the old football maxim whereby if you want to keep winning over time, every few years you either need to change the players or the coach.”The time is right,” he said. “It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I thought about it carefully and it’s the right decision, even though I imagine many may not agree. After three years Real Madrid needs a change, another way of working, another idea, if we are to continue winning. I feel it’s going to be difficult to continue winning. And because I’m a winner, I’m going.”Do we take this at face value? Is he leaving because he knows that victory in Kiev can’t paper over a season that saw Real finish 17 points out of first place in La Liga, and in the Champions League, get outplayed for long stretches by Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern?Maybe. But even then, the enormity of walking away while on the verge of further cementing his place in football immortality is staggering — particularly since this is a team that is built to win here and now.The average age of the starting XI is 29, most of the regulars are locked in through 2021 or beyond and most are on the sort of wages that make them difficult to sell. But perhaps that’s not how Real Madrid president Florentino Perez saw it. Perhaps after three summers in which not a single starter was added — the last two, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas, arrived in 2014 — the plan for 2018 was to blow up the team and rebuild.Maybe the post-match statements from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale — with both men talking, albeit in different circumstances, about hypothetically moving on — weren’t entirely coincidental. Maybe they knew this would be the summer of upheaval and they wanted to test the waters early. And maybe Zidane simply did not want to be part of a rebuild. It’s a theory, and a popular one. Whether it corresponds to fact will likely be revealed in the coming weeks.So what’s next for the club?If the above theory that we’re on the verge of a massive rebuild is incorrect, you’re tempted to back the candidacy of Guti as the replacement. Like Zidane, he was part of the Galacticos, he spent 24 years at the club as a player and he’s been coaching at the youth level for five years. He’s not going to command the respect Zidane did (nobody will), but he’s the insider and the continuity candidate.If all this group is getting is a tweak, if you still need somebody whose main job is keeping the “panoladas” at bay, the fans happy, the media subdued and the egos in check, then Guti is as close to the ideal candidate as you’re going to get. (The alternative here is Santi Solari, the current coach of Castilla. Similar charisma, similar history as part of the Galacticos, though obviously less of a Bernabeu lifer.)On the other hand, if the squad is to be rebuilt, given a new philosophy and formed with a new identity, you can push the boat out.Mauricio Pochettino? His style of football would represent a fairly strong break from the past — possibly the most jarring change tactically since Benito Floro a quarter of a century ago — and of course, he has just extended his contract with Tottenham, which would mean entering the circle of hell that is a negotiation with Daniel Levy.Maurizio Sarri? He’d arguably be an even more extreme philosophical shift, plus you wonder whether he has the personality to handle superstars at this level.Antonio Conte? His drill-sergeant ways don’t seem to be a great fit for a squad that have won everything. It worked for a while at Juventus because years had passed since they won silverware. It would be different at Real.Arsene Wenger? Florentino did twice pursue him in the past, and he’d be the romantic choice. But still …There will be time for Perez to weigh up the options. What’s clear is that Zidane leaves the way he arrived. He’s not somebody who needs the job or the trophies or the adulation. His silverware — he won nine of the 13 trophies he entered in less than two and a half years — isn’t his way of keeping score, either. Zidane says it’s a hasta luego (see you later) rather than an adios (farewell), and that he won’t be coaching anytime soon. I mean, why would he? He leaves at the very top.And whether it’s out of the ultimate sense of responsibility — Real needs change, some form of “creative destruction” to stay at the top, and by definition, he can’t be a part of it — or because he’s simply had enough of the daily goldfish bowl, Galactico whispering and babysitting that the job entails, the fact remains:Zidane was unlike anybody else as a player, and he’s unlike anybody else as a manager.He’s simply Zizou.

Top 10 goalkeeping mistakes: From Petr Cech, to Oliver Kahn, to Moacir Barbosa

May 27, 2018Nick MillerESPN FC

Liverpool’s Loris Karius is not the first goalkeeper to have a shocker, though he did manage it in one of the most high-profile matches. But who are some of the other keepers from history who have made big mistakes?

  1. Jim Leighton: Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace, 1990 FA Cup final

This is less a tale about the error — or in this case, errors — which were bad but not heinous, and more about the aftermath. United scraped a 3-3 draw in the 1990 FA Cup final after Leighton had lost the flight of two crosses, allowing Gary O’Reilly then Ian Wright to score for Palace. Alex Ferguson ruthlessly dropped Leighton in favour of Les Sealey for the replay, which United won 1-0. It’s a bit much to say Leighton never recovered (he played at the 1998 World Cup for Scotland), but it was a long way back, finding himself dropped by Dundee after moving there in 1993. Sealey gave Leighton his cup winner’s medal, but Leighton returned it, doing the same with a special medal United had made for him.

  1. Rob Green: England vs. USA, 2010 World Cup

Green probably shouldn’t have even been in the England team for their 2010 World Cup opener. Joe Hart, a man with a few high-profile gaffes in his future, was the new, young, in-form keeper, but Fabio Capello opted for Green, and the decision backfired just before half-time against the USA. Clint Dempsey lined up a speculative shot, Green dropped to gather it easily, but the ball, like a bar of soap, slipped through his hands and agonisingly trickled over the line.

  1. Petr Cech: Czech Republic vs. Turkey, Euro 2008

You could make the argument that Cech, previously a towering colossus of goalkeeping, was never quite the same after this mistake in a madcap Euro 2008 group game against Turkey. The Czechs were 2-1 up over Turkey when Cech inexplicably dropped a cross at the feet of Nihat Kahveci, who gladly accepted the easy goal before going on to score a much more difficult one, winning the game 3-2. Cech has since been an excellent keeper, but has he ever been quite as good as he was before this game?

  1. Pat Bonner: Ireland vs. Netherlands, 1994 World Cup

Ireland were already 1-0 down in their second-round game of the 1994 World Cup against Netherlands, but having beaten Italy earlier in the tournament, anything was possible. Anything, that is, until Wim Jonk’s routine shot more or less straight at Bonner simply bounced off the Irish keeper’s palms, and bobbled into the net. “In life, you make mistakes,” said a philosophical Bonner years later. “If you can minimise your mistakes down to one or two, then you’ve done well.”

  1. Oliver Kahn: Germany vs. Brazil, 2002 World Cup

The cruelness of goalkeeping was laid bare by Kahn in the 2002 World Cup final. The German No. 1 had not just been the best goalkeeper, but one of the tournament’s better players full-stop, helping carry his country to a surprise appearance in the final. But once there, his error went a good way to costing them victory, spilling a shot from Rivaldo which Ronaldo swooped in to snaffle, opening the scoring for what would eventually be a 2-0 win.

  1. David Seaman: Arsenal vs. Real Zaragoza, 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup final

You could view Seaman being lobbed once from miles out as a misfortune … but twice starts to look like carelessness. Twice in huge games Seaman was caught out by speculative punts. Nayim’s last-minute effort from the halfway line was intentional and won Zaragoza the game 2-1. “I remember looking at Seaman the whole game and in the last minute I tried it — luckily everything went right,” Nayim, the former Tottenham player, said later. Seaman went on to have a wonderful career, but the lob came back to haunt him when Ronaldinho’s skewed cross for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals saw England knocked out.

At the age of 42, Milla became the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history by scoring against Russia. And played for two more years. Allsport

  1. Rene Higuita: Colombia vs. Cameroon, 1990 World Cup

If you drive everywhere at 100 mph, eventually you’re going to have an accident. Higuita would probably think himself a maverick, but in reality he was a goalkeeper who took pointless risks, and sooner or later one would prove extremely costly. Dithering near the halfway line in extra-time of Colombia’s World Cup second-round game against Cameroon, Higuita attempted a dragback but was dispossessed by Roger Milla, who ran through to score. Milla was anticipating the chance, knowing of Higuita’s tendency to wander from playing with Colombia captain Carlos Valderrama at club level.

  1. Nery Pumpido: Argentina vs. Cameroon, 1990 World Cup

Pumpido very nearly lost a finger after his wedding ring got caught on a hook, so his mistake in the 1990 World Cup might not have been the worst thing to ever happen to him. But it was probably close. Argentina’s keeper for their World Cup win in 1986, Pumpido let a weak Francois Omam-Biyik header squirt through his grasp to seal Cameroon’s most remarkable upset in the 1990 World Cup opener. Things got even worse for Pumpido: He broke his leg in the next game, Sergio Goycochea excelled and he never played for Argentina again.

  1. Luis Arconada: Spain vs. France, Euro 84 final

The cruelty of top-level goalkeeping is that, even after a career of excellence, you can be remembered for one single mistake. The 1984 European Championships had been a broiling tournament, France reaching the final after an extraordinary semifinal against Portugal, but they were handed a big advantage in the final against Spain. Luis Arconada, nicknamed “the octopus” and winner of three Zamora trophies in Spain, seemed to have gathered Michel Platini’s weak free-kick from the edge of the penalty area easily, only for it to wriggle from his grasp and into the net. It would become known as “the Arconada goal.”

  1. Moacir Barbosa: Brazil vs. Uruguay, 1950 World Cup

The old adage that a goalkeeper shouldn’t be beaten at his near post is something of a misnomer, but that didn’t stop Moacir Barbosa from getting the blame for the most traumatic single goal in Brazilian football history. Barbosa was expecting Alcides Ghiggia to cross in the closing stages of the 1950 World Cup’s final game, but instead he shot, the ball creeping in and winning the tournament for Uruguay. Barbosa was blamed for years, treated as a bad-luck charm, and went to his grave in 2000 aggrieved — quite justifiably — at being made the scapegoat of all scapegoats.

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