The 4th ranked Carmel High Girls face #3 Noblesville 9/17 away and #19 Brebeuf Thurs and Zionsville Sat at home at Murray Stadium all at 7 pm. Saturday night is PACK THE HOUSE NIGHT- SENIOR NIGHT. Free admission if you wear your Carmel FC or Carmel Dad’s Club Jersey!! Just $5 for adults.
USA vs Mexico
So the US beat Mexico for the first time in a while at home in Nashville on Sept 11. I thought the US military presence and the 9/11 tribute along with the tribute to Dempsey were cool. The Game – well this was Mexico’s Youngsters vs the US youngsters and honestly it was a very even game. I thought Mexico was a little better in the 1st half as caretaker manager Dave Sarachan started 4 defensive mids in the game. Don’t ask me what the heck the proves – seriously 4 d-mids in the midfield? Obviously it was a cluster on disorganization until Weston McKinney of Schalke got hurt (bruised knee-should be ok) and the US were forced to sub. On came Julian Green and wham we shot 3 times in the last 8 minutes until the half. After half Green came out as a forward running off Bobby Wood and things started to open up. The combination of Mexico going down a man after a straight red card – and the insertion of natural left back Antonee Robinson for Leijah and everything changed. Robinson served no fewer than 3 perfect crosses leading to the game winning goal for Tyler Adams in the 65th minute. The US attack came alive with the man advantage and they should have scored another to give us that ever popular dos a cero finish. Instead we got Uno a Cero – and of course any win over Mexico is a good thing anywhere, anytime! Overall I thought the D looked good with Miazga cementing his spot on the back line while Carter Vickers also played well. New Goalie Zach Steffan of Columbus made a mistake with a handball outside the box but overall he played very well and made some key saves. Its definitely time to sign a new head coach – Sarachan has does a fine job but his personel decisions over the past few games has been CLUELESS. 4 Dmids vs Mexico? Maybe vs Brazil but not Mexico? We need to find other creative players besides Pulisic who can make things happen – playing 4 Dmids does nothing to help us do this? I also would have like to have seen back-up GK ____ get a half of play. Continued really weird decision by Sarachan just reminding us exactly why HE IS NOT THE GUY to take this program forward. Hopefully that new US Coach decision will be made before the new International window in November.
EPL Huge Games
So 2 huge games between contenders this weekend as League Leaders and undefeated Liverpool and Mo Salah and Mane travel to face Tottenham and Harry Kane on Saturday at 7 am on NBCSN. CNBC gives us Chelsea hosting Cardiff City at 10 am, while Man City will host Fulham at 10 on NBCSN before surprisingly undefeated Watford will host Man United at 12:30 pm on NBC. Nothing worth watching Sunday.
Champions League Group Stages Sort-of
So Champions League group stages are back – Unfortunately I don’t think you can see most of the games. Yes TNT outbid Fox Sports and will officially carry like 2 games a day only 1 at a time however. So while the rest of the World gets to chose from Barcelona and Messi or Tottenham and Harry Kane Tuesday at 1 pm – we in the US will get just the Barcelona vs PSV game on Tues on TNT. Yes it seems after getting Champ League and Europa League soccer for the last few years on cable TV on Fox 1 & 2 and Fox Soccer – we in the US now get screwed unless you are willing to pony up and pay for ONLINE only coverage. Makes me sick and I am not sure I will be promoting these games as much anymore. In a good way Champions League has added 1 pm games to the 3 pm line-up which gives us 2 good games per day – unfortunately there are 3 good games on at 3 pm and 2 at 1 pm– good luck watching them. I will see if any bars are showing the other games and let you know as watching my precious Atletico Madrid vs Monaco is going to have me teed off on Tuesday I assume. Interesting the rumors amid Spain’s La Liga statement they may bring a regular league game to Miami next year that the Champions League Final might come to New York City in 2021.
Our Boys in Blue at 12-9-8 have fallen to 5th overall in the USL with their1st loss in 9 matches this on the road at Penn 0-1 Wednesday night. The Eleven will be on the road Saturday at the 2nd place Pitts7 pm on ESPN+ before returning home Wed night, Sept 26 vs the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the 11 present Faith and Family night. and of course discount tickets below $15 are available Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code. Just 2 home games left before the playoff so get plans to catch a game before the playoffs get underway.
GAMES ON TV
Fri, Sept 14
2:30 pm Fox Sport 1 Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Frankfort
2:45 pm beIN Sport PSG (Weah) vs St Etienne
Sat, Sept 15
7 am beIN Sport Atletico Madrid (Greisman) vs Eibar)
7:30 am NBCSN Tottenham vs Liverpool
9:30 am FS 1 Bayern Munich vs Bayern Leverkusen
10:15 am beIN Sport Real Sociadad vs Barcelona
10 am CNBC Chelsea vs Cardiff City
10 am NBCSN Man City vs Fulham
12:30 pm NBC Watford vs Man United
12:30 pm Fox Soccer Mgladbach (Johnson) vs Schalke (McKinney)
2:45 pm beIN Sport Athletic Club vs Real Madrid
3:30 pm Univision Colorado vs Atlanta United
7 pm ESPN+ Toronto vs LA Galaxy
7 pm eSPN+ Pittsburg vs Indy 11
Sun, Sept 16
8:30 am NBCSN Wolverhampton vs Burnley
9 am ESPN+ Juve vs Sassuolo
9:30 am FS 1 Werder Bremen vs Numberg
11 pm NBCSN Everton vs West Ham United
1 pm ESPN DC United (Rooney) vs NYRB
5 pm FS1 Chicago Fire vs Orlando City
Tues, Sept 18
1 pm TNT Barcelona v PSV
1 pm Inter vs Tottenham
3 pm TNT Liverpool vs PSG
3 pm Monico vs Atletico Madrid
Weds, Sept 19
1 pm TNT Ajax vs AEK Athens
1 pm Man City vs Olympique Lyonnais
3 pm TNT Real Madrid vs Roma
3 pm Valencia vs Juventus
Weds, Sept 26
7 pm myIndytv Indy 11 vs Tampa Bay Rowdies
8 pm ESPN+ DC United vs Min United
Thurs, Oct 11
7:30 pm FSI USA vs Colombia (Tampa)
Thurs, Nov 15
3 pm ESPN2 England vs USA (Wembley)
Sat, Nov 20
3 pm ESPN2 Italy vs USMNT
WORLD & EPL
Champions League Group Stages Start Tues/Wed Fantasy Picks
Tues, Sept 18
1 pm TNT Barcelona v PSV
1 pm Inter vs Tottenham
3 pm TNT Liverpool vs PSG
3 pm Monico vs Atletico Madrid
Weds, Sept 19
1 pm TNT Ajax vs AEK Athens
1 pm Man City vs Olympique Lyonnais
3 pm TNT Real Madrid vs Roma
3 pm Valencia vs Juventus
Great Saves during the International Break Areola, Donarumma, DeGea,
EPL Saves of the Week 3 Foster, Putricio
Get Your Tickets to be with the BYB
The Boys in Blue get a week-long rest after a 22-day, 7 game stretch. The BYB will be following the team for two away games this month. For those who cheer the team on from Indiana, there will be watch parties and home games to get your beautiful game fix. 9/26 v Tampa Bay Rowdies (7pm) is Faith & Family Night. Don’t wait, get your BYBTIX today. It is also the evening for us to celebrate the original live mascot, Loki/Victorio. Watch for more information as the date approaches.
9/22 Sat 7 pm watch party v Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Union Jack in Broad Ripple ~watch for the BYB as we drown out the Puddle Poodle fans with our traveling crew.
9/26 Wed 7 pm Indy 11 vs Tampa Bay Rowdies Home
Premier League W2W4: Can Liverpool win at Spurs? Will Watford stun Man United?
3:14 AM ETNick MillerESPN.com writer
Ahead of each round of fixtures in the Premier League, W2W4 looks at the main storylines to keep an eye on.
- Liverpool can prove just how much they’ve improved
It’s always difficult to get a handle on the truth when teams win games while not playing especially well. Do we assume that those results were semi-flukes and that a crash is coming? Or is it a sign that if they can collect maximum points without reaching their own maximum, then the rest of the league had better watch out? It’s not that Liverpool have been bad in their four fixtures so far, simply that there’s been a strong sense there is plenty more to come from them.The trip to Tottenham at the weekend obviously represents their toughest test of the season so far, but it’s also a useful barometer for how much the Reds have improved on last term’s biggest weakness: away games at their immediate rivals. It’s just over a year since they were battered 5-0 at Manchester City, and around 11 months from the day Spurs took them apart at Wembley. Last season Liverpool lost five league games, and four of them were against rivals (add the 2-1 loss at Manchester United and the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to the list).In theory, everything is there. Liverpool now have arguably the best defence in the Premier League (assuming Alisson’s aberration against Leicester last time out was merely that) and a midfield improved by Naby Keita and eventually Fabinho, while that whirling, twirling, goalscoring forward line is still in place. Saturday is the time to turn theory into reality, and prove that those first four games have merely been them warming up.
- What’s eating Harry Kane? Is anything eating Harry Kane?
It’s been a weird six months or so for Harry Kane. Over most of that spell, Kane has looked sluggish, often off the pace, seemingly a man either playing through an injury or an extended period of bad form. But in that time, he’s won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, bagged two in Tottenham’s first four matches, dismissed the admittedly slightly silly notion of an “August curse” with a goal against Fulham and scored at Old Trafford.But he undoubtedly doesn’t look himself. The problem isn’t fatigue, according to Mauricio Pochettino anyway. “We know Harry Kane well and have worked with him the last more than four years, and we know this is not a situation that worries us,” he said on Thursday. So who knows what the problem really is. Who knows if there is actually a problem. What we do know is that if he excels against that brilliant Liverpool back five on Saturday, the problem can’t be that big.
- Would Watford beating United even be an upset?
It’s easy to forget that Watford were heading for relegation when Javi Gracia arrived in January. Now, having avoided the drop comfortably, they go into Saturday’s game against Manchester United with a perfect record from four games, and among the finest compliments that could be paid to Watford and Gracia is that it probably wouldn’t register as an upset if they won. Last weekend’s win at Burnley will convince precisely nobody that things are fine and dandy at United, Jose Mourinho’s side still looking barely anything like a side that could challenge for the league title. Throw their defeat at Vicarage Road last season in alongside Watford’s fine form, and you’ve got the strong potential for this to be an implausible fifth win from five for Gracia’s men.
- Will Burnley’s slow start become a crisis?
This week Joe Hart insisted there is more to come from Burnley. There had better be, really — otherwise this is going to be a very long season ahead for Sean Dyche’s men, who have gained just a single point from their four games so far. Last season, a game against a newly promoted side might have looked appetising for the more established Clarets, but only one of them and this weekend’s opponents Wolves have looked like they belong in the top flight so far this season.The distraction of the Europa League was the reason that many thought Burnley might struggle, but with that out of the picture and a week or so to breathe during the international break, Dyche’s side now have no excuses. Should they lose to Wolves, everyone will wake up to the potential season of struggle at Turf Moor.
- The latest step towards VAR is taken
The most interesting part of this weekend might not happen on the pitch, but rather in a windowless room somewhere in west London. For the first time in the Premier League, video assistant referees will be trialled in five games on Saturday to fully test whether the system can be made to work in concurrent games, as opposed the single cup matches for which it has been used in England so far.This is most certainly a dry run, because there will be no contact between the men watching the Premier League’s bank of VAR monitors and anyone at any of the grounds. Indeed, one wonders just how much use the trial will be, given that one of VAR’s key components is how it meshes with the officials at the games. But this feels like a box-ticking exercise, necessary admin on the path towards VAR being implemented in all 380 Premier League games over a season. VAR is coming, whether we like it or not.
U.S. boss Dave Sarachan praises ‘winner’ Tyler Adams in victory vs. Mexico
1:02 AM ETJeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan hailed the contribution of midfielder Tyler Adams in leading his side to a 1-0 victory over archrival Mexico on Tuesday night.The New York Red Bulls midfielder scored the only goal, latching onto a low crossing pass from Antonee Robinson and side-footing home from 12 yards past Mexico keeper Hugo Gonzalez in the 71st minute. The goal came just four minutes after Mexico forward Angel Zaldivar was sent off for a late tackle on U.S. midfielder Wil Trapp.”This kid’s a beast,” Sarachan said of Adams. “I mean, when you look at data and analytics and at the volume of work he does in 90 minutes … you guys on the outside see a good part of it, but the data backs it up. He’s just a winner, this kid.”The goal was Adams’ first at the international level and came in just his seventh international appearance. But the 19-year-old has been making an impression on Sarachan in all facets of his game.”I think I’ve been really pleased in terms of [Adams’] growth with the ball in tight spots,” Sarachan said. “We know he can run and cover ground and win tackles and compete. But at the next level, can you have a presence with the ball in picking your spots? It just keeps getting better.”It’s not perfect, but I think he’s shown that he’s emerging. Everyone’s starting to look up to him a little bit. When the game was getting crazy, Tyler was trying to calm it down; real good night for him.”For his part, Adams said he was thrilled to stand out.”It was a gritty game like I expected. Obviously, getting a sniff of that at the youth national team level, I kind of knew what to expect because [there were] a lot of young faces from their team as well. So going out there and competing was the most important part,” Adams said.”Obviously to grab my first goal is pretty cool on this day, but to recognize all the people as well that went through such a tragic day, it’s nice for us to get a win. The U.S. is all about pride and character, and I think we showed our character today.” For many of the U.S. players, the match was a first encounter with Mexico at the senior level and the win was even more emotional given that it came on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives.”Playing here against Mexico on 9/11, it was an important night on many fronts, but from a soccer perspective, overall again I was pretty pleased in terms of the effort, and in terms of the collective, the way we made it hard on Mexico to create a lot of chances,” Sarachan said. “I thought the first half, once again it could have been a little better in terms of our use of the ball and being a little dangerous.”The U.S. was forced into a 40th minute substitution when midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of the match with a left knee sprain. Sarachan brought on Julian Green and then switched to a 4-4-2 formation to start the second half. The forced change ended up benefiting the Americans as it not only increased the effectiveness of the U.S. attack, but it helped defensively as well, as Trapp had Adams deployed alongside him.”I had toyed with the idea of playing two forwards to start the match,” Sarachan said. “Weston took a knock. We kept an eye on him and he did need to come off and we felt that by adding Julian [Green], it was just another player that could hold up play for us. And I knew with Wil [Trapp] and with Tyler [Adams], they could certainly cover the middle of the midfield. I thought [adding Julian] gave us a little more of an opportunity to be dangerous going forward.”The game, which had been fairly subdued for the first 65 minutes, came to life after a confrontation between U.S. defender Matt Miazga and Mexico midfielder Diego Lainez. The flashpoint was followed quickly by Zaldivar’s red card and Adams’ goal.For the U.S. it proved to be a positive introduction to a rivalry that has been plenty heated over the years. Sarachan, a veteran of many past encounters with El Tri, was pleased that his side kept its cool.”This group definitely got a real taste of [the rivalry] over the last 72 hours after the Brazil match. As I’ve said, a lot of these young guys have played Mexico at the youth level, so it’s not new to them, but we knew that at some point in the game, things might boil over and I think our guys showed great composure.”I think that’s one of the things going into games against CONCACAF opponents is having composure in moments where it could lead to maybe a red card or something. They got a good taste of it today.”For Sarachan, the win ended the current fixture window on a positive note.”We’ve talked a lot about the tactics and the soccer, but the thing that we tried to keep talking to this group about is: What’s the identity of this team? When fans watch this team, what do they come away with? We nitpick on the technical side, but you saw a team tonight that played aggressively, competed hard and won most of their duels. I think that’s been a constant over the time I’ve had the group and over the past two games against Brazil and Mexico.”I thought tonight was a little bit better with the ball. Still an area to improve, for sure. But this team, it was a real collective effort from the first guy to the 22nd. As a staff, what else can you ask for?”
Tyler Adams gives U.S. youth a 1-0 win over Mexico in fiery friendly
11:34 PM ETArch Bell, U.S. writer
Three points from Nissan Stadium as the U.S. claimed a 1-0 win over rival Mexico in Tuesday’s international friendly.
- U.S. doesn’t dazzle but does enough to win
There was a lot of talk following the U.S. defeat against Brazil about this young group of Yanks needing to be braver and more creative in attack. But for 67 minutes playing 11-on-11, they were anything but on Tuesday night in Nashville, Tennessee.This time, a lack of experience cannot be faulted. Yes, this was another young U.S. squad on the field, but it wasn’t like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Andres Guardado and Rafa Marquez were playing for El Tri. This was an equally inexperienced Mexico side, and after being on the end of a 4-1 pasting from Uruguay on Friday night, the visitors were the better side for a good chunk of the match.For the U.S., “going forward” (if you can call it that) consisted of the defense circulating the ball around before one of the center-backs — usually Matt Miazga — hoofed it up to Gyasi Zardes surrounded by two Mexican defenders. Unsurprisingly, possession would be lost and Mexico would go back to being in control and the U.S. would invite further pressure. The one time Zardes did hold up the ball, he drew a foul to give the U.S. its best chance of the first half with a dangerous free kick from right outside the Mexico area. That was pretty much it in attack, outside of a quick spurt before halftimeThe lack of any U.S. threat played right into Mexico’s hands. The El Tri midfield dominated and had all the time it wanted to switch and spread out the field, allowing the likes of Jose Abella and “wonderkid” Diego Lainez to operate down the right flank and look for the deep runner
The only time U.S. fans were treated to any spice was when Miazga and Lainez were barking at each other midway through the second half. Angel Zaldivar’s 67th-minute red card then tipped the balance in the U.S.’s favor. After struggling against Brazil, Antonee Robinson came off the bench and showed why he can be a part of the national team’s future by getting forward and crossing for Tyler Adams, who did well to convert following a long sprint into the penalty area.It was a nice moment for this young group of Yanks — beating Mexico is always a positive — but it does not cover up what was largely a listless performance.
- Trapp as the No. 6 is not working
Wil Trapp is a favorite of still-interim coach Dave Sarachan, but Tuesday night only reinforced what was seen on Friday: playing him as the defensive midfielder in the 4-1-4-1 is not working.
Trapp’s distribution was lacking against Brazil; too many of his passes between the lines failed to reach their targets. While one could cut him some slack for Brazil’s working him over in midfield — Brazil does that to a lot of players — his lack of influence against Mexico was alarming, even though Trapp’s teammates weren’t exactly lining up to receive the ball. Things got better for Trapp in the second half, but the humbling pressure he received from Lainez and his inability to link raise red flags for his role moving forward.Perhaps that role will be given to Adams or another player in the pool — wouldn’t Jonathan Gonzalez have been nice? — but there is enough of a body of work at this stage to conclude that Trapp is not the solution in a critical position.
- Lainez is the real deal
There were moments last Friday against Uruguay when Lainez showed why the likes of AS Roma are on the hunt for his services, and he backed that hype up against the U.S. on Tuesday, too.In the opening 45 minutes, he was the best player on the field. His move to break Trapp’s ankles toward the end of the first half will be the meme of the night, but there were plenty of other instances in which the 18-year-old put his stamp on the affair, including some aggressive play to fend off several U.S. players and win back possession.The exchange of words with Miazga will go down as one of those ridiculous “It’s Never A Friendly When These Two Teams Meet” narratives going forward, but one has to like the spirit of the young Club America man facing up to the bigger and taller Miazga. That fearlessness will serve him well as he looks poised to be a part of this rivalry for years to come.
Antonee Robinson 6/10 for sparking U.S. victory over Mexico as a sub
12:22 AM ETJason DavisU.S. soccer writer
It took 70 minutes for the fire to show up in the latest edition of the “CONCACAF Clasico,” but when it did, it sparked an American goal and an eventual 1-0 win for Dave Sarachan and his young squad.
After more than an hour of limited attacking success, the U.S. took control of the game after Angel Zaldivar’s red card. With no reason not to push their advantage, the Americans used the width provided by left-back Antonee Robinson and a late-arriving midfield run from Tyler Adams to make it count. The U.S. was generally solid defensively, with Mexico limited to 10 shots over 90 minutes.
The American attack was rudderless until Mexico’s red card opened up space. When the U.S. was able to get on the ball — and it was not nearly enough — the plan seemed to be to knock it around the back before playing a low-percentage long ball to Gyasi Zardes. The lack of creativity allowed Mexico to dictate terms and exploit gaps in the American defense.
Manager rating out of 10
4 — Sarachan’s lineup included a known-quantity veteran in Eric Lichaj playing out of position on the left, a choice that allowed Mexico to dominate in that area of the field. The interim head coach’s decided lack of fire at halftime — after 45 minutes of little to no threat from the attack — was disappointing. The first substitution was forced on him, but Sarachan does get some credit for introducing Robinson and changing the Americans’ fortunes. The choice to insert Julian Green centrally and leave Kellyn Acosta wide was a head-scratcher.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Zack Steffen, 6 — Made a solid save off a header in the first half. Lucky to avoid a card — possibly red — when he appeared to handle the ball outside of the box.
DF Shaquell Moore, 5 — Played a passable game on both sides of the ball. Did well in a couple of one-on-one defensive situations.
DF Cameron Carter-Vickers, 6 — Did not stand out, which is a good thing for a center-back.
DF Matt Miazga, 6 — Brought energy and fight to the game, with his confrontation with Diego Lainez helping turn the game in the USMNT’s favor. Beaten occasionally but responded well.
DF Eric Lichaj, 3 — Miscast as a left-back behind Timothy Weah, which allowed Mexico plenty of space to attack up the USMNT flank. Committed numerous silly errors with distribution, leading to turnovers.
MF Wil Trapp, 4 — Rarely influenced the game from his deep position, with passes that failed to stress Mexico’s midfield. Struggled with defensive moments, especially when isolated.
MF Kellyn Acosta, 5 — Committed several turnovers with loose passes when miscast on the right side. Struggled to provide width. Sprung Robinson for the cross that led to the U.S. goal.
MF Tyler Adams, 6 — Excellent run from deep resulted in the lone goal of the game. Looked most influential and involved once U.S. went up a man.
MF Weston McKennie, 4 — Came off five minutes before halftime with an injury. Never found the game on either side of the ball. Missed several chances to set up the U.S. break with loose passes.
MF Timothy Weah, 5 — Mishit several crosses, but seemed to be the only American looking to shoot. Had no connection with Lichaj behind and disappeared for large stretches.
FW Gyasi Zardes, 5 — Set on an island for an hour and forced to battle with defenders for 50/50 balls in the air. Won a foul in a dangerous area with a smart dummy but was limited in influence otherwise.
MF Julian Green, 5 — Entered for McKennie in the first half and played in a central position. Added an edge to the U.S. attack but was often too slow with the ball.
DF Antonee Robinson, 6 — Changed the game when introduced for Lichaj in the 56th minute. Provided an excellent cross on the ground to set up Adams’ goal.
FW Bobby Wood, NR — Managed a few touches in a cameo, was unable to turn on the ball when set up with a chance in the 81st minute.
MF Christian Roldan, NR — Two touches for the midfielder in a few minutes.
DF DeAndre Yedlin, NR — Contributed two defensive interventions in limited time.
Growth of Tyler Adams, Matt Miazga and rivalry with Mexico offset U.S. dull play
9:31 AM ETJeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For 65 minutes, Mexico and the U.S men’s national team played one of the dullest matches in the rivalry’s long and storied history.The match was ragged to say the least. While Mexico midfielder Diego Lainez showed off some slick dribbling moves at times, El Tri was largely kept at bay by a U.S. defense led by Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers. But that was more than could be said for the U.S. attack, which looked lethargic and predictable, especially in the first half.Then the match came to life, and a rivalry that is very much in a state of transition received an injection of fuel in the form of some new heroes and villains. Miazga tangled with Lainez in an amusing exchange that saw the 5-foot-5 Mexico midfielder square up to the 6-foot-4 Miazga. Miazga then poked fun at his lack of height.
It wasn’t quite U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu staring down Mexico forward Jared Borgetti during a World Cup qualifier back in 2005, but the exchange still had the same effect. The U.S. team kept its composure while Mexico lost its. El Tri forward Angel Zaldivar was sent off for a late challenge on Wil Trapp two minutes later, and a match that had already begun to tilt in the U.S. team’s favor soon saw the home side running downhill. In the 71st minute, substitute Antonee Robinson broke down the left wing and his centering feed found the late arriving Tyler Adams to convert with a first-time finish.”I feel like after the 60th minute, when I start to make those late runs, that midfielders can’t really track me,” said Adams. “It was good timing, and the ball just trickled right to me. It was one of the weirdest things. Watching it was like in slo-mo, the ball just came to me and I was able to finish it.”The U.S.-Mexico rivalry has long been characterized by the dynamic that while El Tri had the skill, the U.S. had the mental edge. That changed during the last cycle, with Mexico excelling on both fronts and winning a World Cup qualifier on U.S. soil for the first time in more than 40 years. And while this was nothing close to Mexico’s first team, the same was true for the U.S, and collectively it grasped the game’s mental challenges better than its rivals.”It was normal. We talked a little smack. It’s part of the game,” said Miazga about his set-to with Lainez. “It’s mental warfare. We got in their heads and they got a red card right after that. You saw what happened. We took control and we won the game.”Adams, for one, appreciated Miazga’s willingness to engage in some jawing.”Typical Miazga, I love that from him,” he said. “It gets the guys going. He’s not [going] to back down from someone like that. At the end of the day, your teammates see that, and you want to keep going and back your guy up. And the next tackle is going to be a tough one. That’s another one that you want to win that one and we were aggressive … For us, we kept our composure to the best of our ability, no stupid yellows and we moved on from it.”The goal also amounted to a bit of redemption for Robinson. The U.S. defender was given a torrid time last Friday by Brazilian attacker Douglas Costa, who torched him in the run-up to the Selecao‘s first goal. Coming on as a substitute, Robinson rebounded to play a critical role in the match.”I didn’t have it too much on my mind, the Brazil game,” said Robinson. “I just thought I’ve got to go out and do my best whenever I’m needed.”There is a strong impulse to dismiss friendly results, but this one has value. It adds an additional building block or two as this program lurches forward and tries to rebuild. And it provides some needed experience for encounters with El Tri down the road.But there is also no reason to get carried away. The soccer the U.S. played was downright brutal at times, and it’s worth noting that it took a forced substitution — Weston McKennie going off with a sprained left knee and being replaced by Julian Green — combined with a change of formation at halftime for the U.S. to begin to get on top in the match.The change involved Green operating as a second forward and it was clear that having an extra body in the attack in closer proximity to Gyasi Zardes made the U.S. more dangerous. The move had the added benefit of placing Adams alongside Trapp. In the first half, Trapp was asked to provide the primary shield in front of the back line and he was neither mobile enough to track the likes of Lainez — who looks an immense talent — nor rugged enough to win his individual duels.With Adams by his side in the second half, Trapp stepped into passing lanes more confidently and was overall more of a defensive presence. It seemed to lift his attacking game as well.And so for what seems like the millionth time, the U.S. showed once again that it is much more comfortable operating out of a two-striker alignment. U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan said he had “toyed” with the idea of playing with a second forward prior to the match, before ultimately deciding to start the game with the 4-1-4-1 that has been used during the bulk of his tenure. But it’s pretty clear that in the absence of a creative force like Christian Pulisic, the U.S. simply has to have an additional forward on the field to generate any kind of sustained attack.
The use of two holding midfielders will also need to be examined, as well as Trapp’s place in the lineup. Historically he has fared better with someone at his side, and these days with the Columbus Crew that man is the Brazilian Artur. Having someone like Adams next to him on a full-time basis might have the same effect.
That will be on Sarachan’s mind when the team reconvenes next month for friendlies against Colombia and Peru. But so will the growth of players like Adams and Miazga, who look to be mainstays in this rivalry for years to come.
Mexico lost focus after Matt Miazga mocked Diego Lainez, needs ‘Tuca’ Ferretti’s guidanceTaylor Twellman explains why the United States’ win over Mexico didn’t answer all the questions about the rebuilding USMNT squad. (1:33)
9:46 AM ETTom MarshallMexico correspondentEmail
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United States’ 1-0 victory over Mexico will be remembered mainly for Matt Miazga mocking Diego Lainez’s height in the second half.It was an incident and a photo that will go down in the collective consciousness of the relatively young U.S.-Mexico soccer rivalry. It gave a spark to a game that threatened to be stale. The giant U.S. defender making fun of the skillful, diminutive 18-year-old laid down a marker for the new generation in a Clasicothat needed a jump start.
The moment was especially poignant because Club America’s Lainez is not just a teenage hopeful, but Mexico’s brightest young talent; a player who received an offer from Serie A side Roma a matter of weeks ago and whose dribbling dazzled against the U.S. And while U.S. fans applauded Miazga for his bravado, Mexico fans could rightly be impressed by Lainez’s maturity in playing down the importance of it all.”The [incident] with the two-meter center-back and the beloved little [Lainez] will be useful to him,” said 64-year-old Mexico interim coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti in a news conference after the game. “He’ll remember it the rest of his life and it’ll help him.”Ferretti is right. It will be an incident that Lainez won’t forget and, underneath the portrait of calm he showed as he gave interviews after the defeat, there’ll be a steely resolve insideLainez’s time to prove that talent beats size when it comes to soccer will surely come further down the road in games against the United States.But what that road will look like for Lainez and Mexico is the real issue at present. The Miazga story was the main headline, but there were deeper takeaways on the night from El Tri‘s perspective.Mexico has now lost four consecutive games for the first time since 2001, and while that is no cause to panic — given that only two or three of the 19 players available on Tuesday for El Tri would likely be in Mexico’s “A” squad — a 4-1 loss to Uruguay and a 1-0 defeat to the United States is not a great start for this group of youngsters.As Ferretti suggested, these players need to be “polished” and it was concerning that after the Miazga incident, Mexico’s players seemed to lose focus, with Angel Zaldivar seeing red two minutes later in the 67th minute and the team going on to concede a goal in the 71st.Ferretti accepted Mexico lost control a little after the incident and said it was “normal” after the red card.In reality, it was a lack of game intelligence that — coupled with the loss to Uruguay last Friday — really drove home the fact that the absent Europe-based players really are a long way ahead of this new generation, however much potential it has.Ferretti has got the narrative just right. He’s pleaded for patience from the press for this group of players and the reaction to two losses has been a long way from the hostility handed out to former coach Juan Carlos Osorio.A Mexico red card helped turn the tide in the United States’ favor, as Tyler Adams’ first international goal stood up as the winner in Nashville.What we don’t yet know yet is whether Ferretti will be given the keys to manage the generational change El Tri requires. We’ve heard the Brazilian come closer than ever to accepting his interest in the job, but it’s no guarantee given that Tigres are unlikely to let him leave easily.And the Mexican federation also needs to think long and hard about whether Ferretti is the right manager.Certainly, the last week has been substantially different than under previous coach Osorio. There was a more closed feel to the national team and no real access for the press, but Ferretti has been jovial and engaged in news conferences, joking around and participating in training ahead of the U.S. game. He even laid down his authority when he sent Hirving Lozano, Erick Gutierrez, Guillermo Ochoa and Raul Jimenez back to Europe instead of hanging around for the U.S. game.On the pitch, Ferretti swapped from a 4-2-3-1 formation against Uruguay to a loose 5-3-2 against the United States, showing versatility, but missing out on the results. And the possession-based style we’ve seen for years at Tigres was evident, although it will take time to get up to full speed with that.The overriding question resolves around Ferretti’s future, with the youngsters showing enough to suggest that the raw material for a gradual generational change is there. The key now is finding someone to manage it.
Mexico’s Angel Zaldivar on red card: U.S. played ‘dirty game’
1:36 AM ETTom MarshallMexico correspondent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Angel Zaldivar was sent off for Mexico’s 1-0 loss to the United States on Tuesday and pulled no punches in criticizing the opposition’s attitude.
The Chivas forward saw red in the 67th minute, two minutes after 6-foot-4 defender Matt Miazga had appeared to mock 5-5 Mexico forward Diego Lainez about his height.
Miazga was then photographed waving off Zaldivar as he left the field, something which irked the 24-year-old.”You see what their values are, they don’t know how to win,” Zaldivar told Univision afterward. “They poked fun, [and] tried to play a dirty game that honestly we don’t think is how you should play. That’s their game and we couldn’t do anything about it.”Mexico coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti suggested that the incident will serve Lainez moving forward.”The [incident] with the two-meter center-back and the beloved little [Lainez] will be useful to him,” said the 64-year-old. “He’ll remember it the rest of his life and it’ll help him.”Ferretti added that he was disappointed in the loss but confident that the young group of players have a bright future.”I’m upset, honestly,” said Ferretti in the post-match news conference. “I feel bad. But this is about results and performance and I think that a lot of players have made us realize that there is raw material that needs to be polished, molded and given the opportunity it deserves.”Ferretti said that Mexico had been marginally the better side until Zalivar’s red card — which the coach said could’ve been a yellow — and that the United States hadn’t caused much danger until Tyler Adams’ goal in the 71st minute.”Until the sending off it was a good game from both [teams], with the flow in our favor,” stated Ferretti. “If my memory serves me their first chance was the goal and it was one game until the red card. Having a player less is complicated, it happened today and the numeric superiority came into effect.”The current Tigres manager was once again asked about his future and replied that he has already talked about what would be required for him to take over on a permanent basis.”We all know the situation,” Ferretti said. “Hopefully there is a decision soon one way or the other. The cards have been laid on the table.”Ferretti had stated on Monday that there is a buy-out clause in his contract with Tigres, although ESPN Mexico reported Tuesday that the Mexican federation is not willing to pay it.
Advanced scouting: Top fantasy soccer picks for every Champions League tier
Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world, so it’s no surprise to find him among our top picks for Champions League fantasy. KIKO HUESCA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
1:53 PM ETDavis Mattek
The Champions League group stage begins on Tuesday, September 18 and with it, the most exciting and competitive soccer tournament in the world gets underway. The World Cup every four years is fantastic but the high-level play in the UEFA Champions League dwarfs what was on display this summer in Russia. The best players in the world, with their most optimal sets of teammates, take the field.A few things you need to know before entering the eight-tier ESPN Fantasy game for the Champions League: The group stage games are normally quite high scoring as there are matchups where clearly superior teams from England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy play smaller teams from other European nations. The best plan is to play attackers from heavy favorites in the betting markets and rack up goals, assists, shots on goal and chances created as our game rewards those stats much more heavily than defensive stats.What follows are notes to help you make your selections in all eight tiers of the first set of choices for Matchweek 1.
Tier One Forward
This is likely the tier that your captain is going to come from, as it contains the games’ best. Barcelona is the biggest favorite in the betting markets and they have a projected goal total of over 3 (around 3.3 projected goals). Lionel Messiis the cream of the crop that includes Neymar, Luis Suarez and Kylian Mbappe. Neymar does all things for PSG but has a much tougher matchup against Liverpool while Barca plays PSV Eindhoven, a team from the Netherlands. Messi scored 6 goals with 2 assists in 8 UCL starts last season while shooting 4.4 times per contest. Messi is also likely the best choice for your captaincy.
The second tier of forward is more difficult as we go away from the true superstars of the game. Lorenzo Insigne, Memphis Depay, and Alexis Sanchez have the best chance of accruing what we call “peripheral” statistics. That means outside of just goals and assists, they will create chances, get shots on goal and generally provide value to your fantasy team even if they are unable to get on the score sheet. Depay has a tough matchup against Manchester City but he is his team’s primary free-kick and corner-kick taker which adds assists and chance created points. Insigne is on the road against Red Star Belgrade, a team that Napoli should be much better than, but playing on the road in Eastern Europe is notoriously tough. The best pure goalscorer on the slate is Robert Lewandowski but if he doesn’t score, he is likely sitting on your lineup with a lackluster score on the road against tough Portugese side Benefica.
Tier One Midfielder
For many people, this tier will be the hardest decision they have to make. Christian Eriksen is the primary engine in Tottenham Hotspur’s attack and they play at home against mediocre Italian side, Inter Milan. David Silva and Raheem Sterling offer a lot of passes completed and chances created upside for Manchester City (particularly Silva), while Phillipe Coutinho has the same cushy matchup as a massive favorite that Messi does. However, the class of this group is likely Gareth Bale who is classified here as midfielder and has nine appearances for club and country this soccer season and has 8 goals and 2 assists, including 3 goals in 3 La Liga starts. Bale is one of the five best footballers in the world while healthy and a home matchup against a dilapidated Roma side is not discouraging for his value. If not for Messi in this slate, Bale would be my captain selection.
Tier Two Midfielder
This is an incredibly deep tier of players and I expect that it will be one of the most wildly different among fantasy managers. There is not one clear player that leaps out over the rest. Arturo Vidal is the biggest name and has the great matchup against PSV, but he is less of an attacking player and more of a pure central midfielder. Vidal’s upside lower than someone like Isco or Marco Asensio, two attacking midfielders for Real Madrid. Isco is my favorite selection of this group as he is the creative engine for Madrid with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but I see merit in Asensio as a differential, Arjen Robben as a high upside play for Bayern Munich on the road against Benefica, and also Dele Alli as a potential goals plus assists plus chances created monster, if he is fit to play for Spurs.
Tier Three Midfielder
Educated soccer fans will get a fairly decent edge when we get to Tier Three. We are presented with two Shaktar Donetsk mids in Alan Patrick and Maycon, both of whom have an advantageous matchup against Hoffenheim. Patrick is a huge sleeper in this tier as he is fresh from Brazil and seems to be Shaktar’s next in the line of talented young Brazilians that stretches from Douglas Costa, Luiz Adriano, and Willian. Manuel Fernandes is a similar value as he takes all of the set pieces and is the primary creator for Lokomotiv Moscow who have an easier matchup at home against Turkish side Galatasaray. I also think Benefica central midfielder Pizzi is a high upside play as he has been tearing up his home league and the UCL qualifiers with 6 goals and 2 assists in club play so far this season. Pizzi also takes corner and penalty kicks for Benefica.
Tier One Defender
Benjamin Mendy for Manchester City is the cream of this crop. He has been an attacking force for the best attacking team in the EPL so far in 2018 and plays more like a winger than a defender. Sergio Ramos does take penalty kicks for Real Madrid and will get some blocks and interceptions and Joao Cancelo for Juventus is a very attacking-minded fullback but this tier starts and ends for me with Mendy.
Tier Two Defender
Alex Telles is the primary set piece taker for FC Porto and is very talented from open play as well. Telles had 3 goals and 13 assists in his league campaign last season and will post stats more like a central midfielder than a defender. Lukasz Pischek is another talented attacking defender but his set piece role will be non existent and the club does play away in Belgium. Most of the other options here are center backs (who will not generate many offensive stats) or full backs for teams who are not expected to attack very often.
While there are more ways for goalies to get points than in other fantasy scoring systems (smothers, claimed crosses and punches) the best way for goalies to get points will be through saves and clean sheets. We do want some save opportunities as just 10 points for a clean sheet is not great. David De Gea plays for a strong Manchester United team but they do seem to funnel shots his way and he is the best GK in the world, making him the top option. Man City’s Ederson has very strong win-to-0 odds as does Barca’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
RECAP | INDY ELEVEN FALL FOR FIRST TIME IN NINE MATCHES AGAINST PENN FC, 0-1
By James Higdon, 09/12/18, 10:45PM EDT “Boys In Blue” concede second half goal in close contest against Harrisburg side
rough night for Indy Eleven as they fall on the road to Penn FC, 0-1. A second-half goal by Penn midfielder and former “Boys in Blue” midfielder Paulo Junior saw Indy’s unbeaten streak halted at nine. The loss marks the first for the Circle City side since falling on the road to the Tampa Bay Rowdies on July 21.“It was a game where I thought that in the first half we actually played quite well,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “We created a few decent openings, but we didn’t manage to take chances that we had created in the half. We felt that overall the conditions were quite difficult, and I think they [Penn FC] adapted and adjusted to those conditions a little better than we did.”Both sides held off minimal scoring opportunities throughout the first half. Penn came out strong with a solid first look at goal in the eighth minute by forward Aaron Dennis that went just wide of the right post. Nine minutes later, Penn midfielder Richard Menjivar played an in-swinging cross from the corner to the top of Indy’s six-yard box, where defender Tiago Calvano leapt up for a header. The Penn Captain’s attempt narrowly missed its mark as it lofted out around the left post.Where Penn asked questions, Indy responded. Indy’s first look at goal came in the 25th minute when defender Ayoze’s 40-yard free kick rocketed towards goal. Though the cross was on target for goal and for defender Karl Ouimette to follow up with a header if necessary, Penn goalkeeper Romuald Peiser managed to get his gloves on the ball first. Forward Eugene Starikov, who scored two of Indy’s three goals last time out, followed up with an attempt four minutes later. The 29-year-old controlled a cross by Eleven goaltender Owain Fon Williams deep into Penn’s half for a chip over Peiser, only for the shot to veer around the back post.Eleven forward Jack McInerney had his sights set on the leading goal in the opening moments of the second half on a breakaway play, but the striker’s low shot was denied. Seth Moses found a similar chance at distance in the 82nd minute, but the low strike flew directly into the keeper’s arms. Though Penn had several opportunities in the second half, the Harrisburg based side managed to only capitalize on one chance in the 57th minute. Paulo Junior beat the ball around Eleven defender Reiner Ferreira with a slight touch, freeing the former “Boys in Blue” midfielder for a shot to the far post. The goal, assisted by Penn defender Harri Hawkins, was Paulo Junior’s third since joining Penn in June.“I think ultimately we lost the game because Paulo Jr. got free and scored a good goal. There wasn’t really too much between the teams other than that,” Rennie said. “Obviously we are disappointed tonight because it didn’t go our way. It was the first time that we have lost in a long time, so we need to brush ourselves off and now come back and go on a really good run between now and the end of the season.” The “Boys in Blue” are on the road again 10 days from now to take on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. After that, “Indiana’s Team” return home on Wednesday, September 26, for Faith and Family Night against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Fans can buy tickets to the midweek match at IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.
USL Regular SeasonIndy Eleven 0:1 Penn FCWednesday, September 12, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.FNB Field – Harrisburg, PA
Scoring Summary:PEN – Paulo Junior (Harri Hawkins) 57’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L–>R): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Reiner Ferreira, Brad Rusin, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette; Ayoze (Dylan Mares 66’), Nico Matern (Nathan Lewis 86’), Matt Watson(C); Eugene Starikov, Ben Speas (Seth Moses 66’), Jack McInerneyIndy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Brad Ring, Dylan Mares, Juan Guerra, Seth Moses, Soony Saad, Nathan Lewis
Penn FC lineup (5-3-2, L–>R): Romuald Peiser (GK); Harri Hawkins, Tiago Calvano (C), Kyle Venter, Marco Franco, Miguel Jaime, Richard Menjivar; Walter Ramirez (Lucky Mkosana 70’), Dan Metzger (Haruna Shaibu 90+1’), Paulo Junior; Aaron Dennis (Prince Baffoe 88’)Penn FC bench: Sean Lewis (GK), Saalih Muhammad, Prince Baffoe, Calvin Rezende, Lucky Mkosana, Haruna Shaibu, Jorge Rivera