6/6/19  USMNT loses to Jamaica, Women’s World Cup Preview-starts Fri, CFC Tryouts Mon/Tues, US U20 WC quarterfinal Sat 11:30 FS1, Nations League Final Sat, Full TV Game Schedule

Carmel FC Tryouts & Camps are Set

Tryouts for kids from U11 till 18 are right around the corner.  Carmel FC is a community based club who has put tons of kids on the local high school teams at Carmel High, Guerin, University and more.  Tryouts are June 10 & 11 for U11 & above. Click here for more info about CFC Tryouts.  Also Carmel FC is looking for Coaches for the 2019/20 Seasons please click here if interested.

Indy 11 Soccer Camp – Carmel Dad’s Club Badger Field June 17-20 9-12 noon.ages 6-14 $135

Carmel FC Summer Soccer Camps – July 15-18 9-12 pm Beginner Camp $150

Carmel FC Summer Soccer Camps – July 15-18 3-5 pm Elite Player Development Camp $150

Carmel Dad’s Club Alumi Soccer – College Aged or just out of college players are invited to play Carmel Dad’s Alumni Soccer on Wednesday nights, all summer long.  Cost is just $95 for the season – bring a team or we can add you to one – guys and girls – rec play thru travel play – there is room for everyone!!

Carmel Dad’s Club Alumi Soccer – College Aged or just out of college players are invited to play Carmel Dad’s Alumni Soccer on Wednesday nights, all summer long.  Cost is just $95 for the season – bring a team or we can add you to one – guys and girls – rec play thru travel play – there is room for everyone!! Please click here  to register for this league.  Registration is open now- June 12.  Questions please contact the office 317-846-1663 or League Coordinator Mercedes Martin admin@jamesembry.com 

So just because the European Leagues and Champions League has wrapped up does not mean soccer stops – in fact it’s a very busy Summer of Soccer.

USA World Cup

The #1 ranked team in the world and defending champs are in France for the World Cup which kicks off next weekend. Check out the Casual Fans Guide to the Women’s World Cup, the World Cup Power Rankings and follow along on Yahoo Soccer for all the updates.  The World Cup from France gets underway June 7 with the US starting June 11.  I am still worried about our defense – against a solid France squad in the Quarter finals in Paris could be trouble for the US. Meet the 23 members of the USWNT 2019 World Cup roster.  (See the full Ladies World Cup Schedule on the Schedule on the OBC.)

  • Fri, June 7 3 p m  FS1                            France vs South Korea
  • Tues, June 11: 3 p.m. ET, Fox                S. vs. Thailand,
  • Sun, June 16: Noon ET, Fox                 S. vs. Chile,
  • Thurs, June 20: 3 p.m. ET, Fox S. vs. Sweden

On the men’s side –The USMNT U20’s with coach Tab Ramos knocked off the favorites and one of the top ranked U20 teams in the world with a huge come from behind victory over France 3-2 in the under 20 World Cup.  Two more huge goals from our #9 Soto who now has 4 goals in 4 games for the US – also impressive were Tim Weah and midfield sparkplug _______ from Dallas FC.  This is first US U-20 team with all professionals (no college players) on it. The US becomes the only team in the world to make 3 straight quarterfinals of the U20 World Cup.  Next up on Saturday at 11:15 am on Fox Sport 1 or 2 is Ecuador who surprisingly knocked off Uraguay to advance to the quarters.  We’ll see how the US handles being one of the favorites now.

US Men

Wow well the USMNT is going to have to play a lot better than they did against Jamaica to have success at the Gold Cup here in June?  I thought Goalkeeper Zach Stephen, the now Man City man headed to Germany on loan, made some pretty good saves last night in the 0-1 loss.  But that 3 man defense was sliced and diced many times, and while the US had more possession, Jamaica had far more shots and shots on goal.  I know this was not the US A team – but still – this was not a good performance.   So the roster has been set for the Gold Cup and very disappointing to see forward Josh Stewart left off.  If he’s not playing for the full team he should be at the u20 World Cup?  Interesting decisions.

One last chance to right the ship this Sun, June 9th at 2 pm on Fox vs Venezuela in nearby Cincinnati.  The pressure is on our new coach to at least get to the Championship game for this Gold Cup – I will reserve comments until then.

Champions League

So Liverpool won 2-0 over Tottenham – but did not dominate the way I thought they might.  Honestly I felt bad for Tottenham giving up the first goal on a PK due to an unfortunate handball.  It did hit his arm and his arm was extended – not a natural position – as he was pointing to his defense to move.  I thought it changed the game – as Spurs had to score and had a lot more possession in the game than I thought they would have.  Liverpool’s GK Alisson was certainly called on to make a lot of saves and may have well been Man of the Match – showing the huge difference he has made for the team this year.  Liverpool coach Klopp singing ‘Let’s Talk About Six, Baby!’ was right up there with Captain Jordan Henderson hugging his dad who has recently recovered from Cancer.  The title for Liverpool is their 6th overall European Champions League Title – passing Barcelona + Bayern Munich with 5 each.  Only Real Madrid (13) and Inter Milan (7) have more.

Indy 11

The Indy 11 remain undefeated at home after dispatching the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night.  The next 2 weeks find the 11 on the road with Saturday night games on ESPN+.

Carmel FC Tryouts & Camps are Set

Tryouts for kids from U11 till 18 are right around the corner.  Carmel FC is a community based club who has put tons of kids on the local high school teams at Carmel High, Guerin, University and more.  Tryouts are June 10 & 11 for U11 & above. Click here for more info about CFC Tryouts.  Also Carmel FC is looking for Coaches for the 2019/20 Seasons please click here if interested.

Indy 11 Soccer Camp – Carmel Dad’s Club Badger Field June 17-20 9-12 noon.ages 6-14 $135

Carmel FC Summer Soccer Camps – July 15-18 9-12 pm Beginner Camp $150

Carmel FC Summer Soccer Camps – July 15-18 3-5 pm Elite Player Development Camp $150



Sat, June 8

8:50 am ESPN 2 Croatia vs Wales– Euro Qualifying

9 am Fox Sport 1                    Women’s World Cup  Germany vs China

11:20 am Fox Sport 1  U20 WC  USA vs Ecuador

12 noon Fox                            WWC Spain vs South Africa

2:30 pm Fox Sport 2               U20 WC  Quarterfinal #3

2:45 pm ESPN+/3                   Greece vs Italy  Euro Qualifying

3 pm Fox                                 WWC Norway vs Nigeria

8:30 pm ESPN+                  Memphis 901 vs Indy 11

Sun, June 9

7 am Fox Sports 1                   WWC Australia vs Italy

9 am ESPN 2                           UEFA Nations League 3rd place

9:30 am Fox Sports 1              WWC Brazil vs Jamaica

12 Noon Fox                            WWC England vs Scotland

2 pm Fox                              USMNT vs Venezuela in Cincy

2:45 pm ESPN                    UEFA Nations League Final Dutch vs Portugal  

Mon, June 10

12n Fox Sports 1                     WWC Argentina vs Japan

  • 2:30 pm ESPN News Spain vs Sweden– Euro Qualifying
  • 3 pm FS1 WWC Canada vs Cameron

Tues, June 11

  • 11:30 am Fox Sports 2           U20 WC – Semi Final 1
  • 12 noon FS1 WWC Chile vs Sweden
  • 2:30 pm ESPN2 Italy vs Bosnia – Euro Qualifying
  • 2:30 pm FS2 U20 WC – Semi Final 2  USA??
  • 3 pm FOX USA Women vs Thailand

Wed, June 12

12n Fox Sports 1                     WWC Germany vs Spain

  • 3 pm FS1 WWC France vs Norway
  • 7:30 pm ESPN+ Cincy vs Louisville City  US Open Cup
  • 10:30 pm ESPN+ Seattle vs Portland  US Open Cup
  • 10:30 pm ESPN+ La Galaxy vs Orange County FC US Open Cup

Sat, June 15

9 am Fox Sports 1                   WWC Netherlands vs Cameron

12 noon Fox Sport 1                U-20 WC Final

  • 3 pm FS2 WWC Canada vs New Zealand
  • 3 pm ESPN+ Venezuela vs Peru  Copa America
  • 6 pm EPSN+ Argentina vs Colombia Copa America
  • 7:30 pm ESPN+ Loudoun United vs Indy 11
  • 7:30 pm FS2 Canada vs Martinique GOLD CUP
  • 10 pm FS2 Mexico vs Cuba GOLD CUP

USA Women’s World Cup June 7-July 7

  • Tues, June 11: 3 p.m. ET, Fox                S. vs. Thailand,
  • Sun, June 16: Noon ET, Fox                 S. vs. Chile,
  • Thurs, June 20: 3 p.m. ET, Fox S. vs. Sweden
  • Sun, July 7 3 pm ET, Fox Women’s World Cup Finals from France

Gold Cup TV Schedule June 15– July 7

Indy 11 TV Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

NWSL. You can stream every game live on Yahoo Sports.

International Champions Cup Schedule July 16-Aug 18

Summer of Soccer has Started

USA/Women’s World Cup

Carli Lloyd knows her moment will come again with U.S. women

— Women’s World Cup 2019: Everything you need to know
— Team preview: U.S. women
— Injured Marta expects to return before WWC

Women’s World Cup – All Teams Preview – S & S

Group D #3 England/Scotland/#7Japan/Argentina Preview S&S


U20 US Men Victory over France 3-2

US Gold Cup Roster

Josh Stewart left of US Roster

US Loses to Jamaica 0-1 – MLs.com



Is Chile’s Old Guard Ready for Copa America Defense? ESPNFC

Sergio Ramos to Stay at Madrid

Where will Hazard Fit in for Real Madrid?  Goal.com

Champions League

– Marcotti: Journey for Liverpool’s European champions is not over
– Liverpool ratings: 8/10 Alisson, Van Dijk set foundation for victory
– Tottenham ratings: 5/10 Kane, Alli struggle as Spurs fall short
– Toe Poke Daily: Klopp sings ‘Let’s Talk About Six, Baby!’

– Ogden: Tottenham must answer some difficult questions

Only the Start for Liverpool with Klopp on board

Liverpool GK Alisson Savior Once Again for Liverpool in Final

Oh and that Hug with Henderson and his dad who had Throat Cancer

Sissoko’s Hand Ball?

Ranking Champions League Finals

Women’s World Cup 2019: Carli Lloyd knows her moment will come again with U.S. women

Carli Lloyd, crowned the top player in the 2015 World Cup, comes off the bench for the U.S. women. The veteran insists she’s playing the best football of her life and is ready to do more than merely lend her support to the Americans’ hopes of repeating. Rich

10:12 AM ET  Graham HaysespnW.com

HARRISON, N.J. — Thousands of eyes and the blazing midday sun followed Carli Lloyd with equal intensity as she went through her pregame routine before the U.S. women’s national team played its final World Cup send-off game last week. As her teammates warmed up in groups around her, Lloyd dribbled in patterns discernible only to her. She juggled. She paused and surveyed the field.In stadium after stadium, the same scene played out over the past year, Lloyd in her own space.On the eve of her fourth Women’s World Cup, she intends to be ready when her moment comes. And she believes it will come. She knows only one way to prepare. Not as a starter. Not as a substitute. But as Carli Lloyd.”This last and final phase,” Lloyd said recently of her soccer journey, “the belief I have in myself is probably stronger than the entire course of my career.”It’s convenient to say Lloyd’s signature moment arrived in the 2015 World Cup, but it isn’t accurate. No single moment earned her the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament and catapulted someone who already had scored gold medal-clinching goals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics to a level of stardom few achieve. It wasn’t the opening goal against Germany in the semifinal. It wasn’t the goal from near midfield in the final, or even the first-half hat trick in that game against Japan.It was all of it. Lloyd’s moment four years ago stretched over days as she breathed oxygen into a smoldering U.S. attack.Four years on, a moment might be precisely the scale of opportunity that awaits Lloyd as the World Cup opens Friday. She’s 36 years old now, older than Marta or Christine Sinclair, but by her own estimation, Lloyd is the fittest she has ever been. She is ready, willing and insistent that she can play 90 minutes as often as asked. Yet to be a centerpiece of a world championship at 36 would, statistically, break new ground — and force Lloyd to excel in a role she doesn’t particularly want.Through 2016, Lloyd started in 176 of 202 appearances for the United States over the previous nine years. She has come on as a substitute in 28 of 42 appearances since the start of 2017, more than those previous nine years combined. Eight of her nine appearances this year are as a sub.When the U.S. women committed to a 4-3-3 formation in 2017, in part to get Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on the field together, it came partly at the expense of a natural fit for a midfielder like Lloyd. To ask her to not only chase from box to box but cover so much ground laterally at this stage of her career risks playing against her strengths and wasting her skills in and around the 18-yard box. The shift also coincided with the emergence of Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis, a new generation of midfielders who needed and earned minutes.But in the aftermath of the Rio Olympics, U.S. coach Jill Ellis struggled to find a second option up top in the middle who could be an aerial presence and hold-up player if Morgan wasn’t on the field or deployed wide. Enter Lloyd, still as good in the air as anyone on the roster and whose 110 international goals — 74 of them in her 30s — speak to her finishing instincts. The results of late: 10 goals in her past 16 appearances, five of which were scored in the team’s final four games entering the World Cup. It lends a measure of statistical support to her assessment that she is playing the best soccer of her life and is more well-rounded after getting up to speed as a forward.Not that she is looking for outside confirmation.”That’s not for anyone else to judge, that’s for me personally,” Lloyd said. “I know where I am. I know the kind of football I’m playing. I see myself grinding every single day, improving on things every single day. … I’m the sharpest I’ve ever been. I think my finishing ability, because I’ve been really, really working on that, has improved tremendously.”Asked after her most recent off-the-bench brace against New Zealand if she was beginning to enjoy the role of second-half game changer, Lloyd’s raised her eyebrows.”I’m trying to get off the bench,” she said. “If I liked coming off the bench, there would be something wrong. That’s not my mindset. I want to do everything I can to help this team. I’ve been sharp every single day in training, which none of you see, and just trying to be better every single day.”People always say, ‘You’ve got this chip on your shoulder,’ [and it’s about] proving people wrong,” she added. “To an extent, yes, but that’s who I am, that’s how I’m wired. I’m competitive with every single thing that I do, whether it’s in a training session with a 4-v-4 match or at home kicking around, got my husband on the opposite team. It doesn’t matter that you’re my husband, I’m going to be a train wreck and I’m going to come through you. That’s just how I’ve been. I believe in myself every single step of the way.”ow Lloyd fits into the U.S. women’s effort in France — their first game is June 11 against Thailand — is one of the World Cup’s intriguing subplots. It is not, however, anything the tournament hasn’t seen before. When Germany lost in the knockout rounds at home in the 2011 World Cup, 33-year-old Birgit Prinz — a veteran forward who was central to world titles in 2003 and 2007 — got a sizable chunk of the blame for faltering as a starter early in the tournament. Four years ago, on the other hand, then-35-year-old Abby Wambach’s willingness to accept a secondary role as the tournament progressed helped the U.S. women succeed, tactically on the field and behind the scenes.Anyone who expects Lloyd to settle into the role of reserved elder stateswoman will be disappointed. She gets along fine with her teammates; one of three captains, she says she’s having the time of her life playing with this group. But she will always believe she should be starting and goes out every day to prove it. That’s not a bad thing for a team that has 11 players making their World Cup debut. If Lloyd’s greatest strength is her unwavering belief, the team should use it as a reminder to train like someone is coming for your job.”We kind of make jokes now that she’s gotten a bit softer, now that she’s married and living with her husband and things like that,” U.S. defender Crystal Dunn said. “But she’s still the same Carli, bringing her A-game and really competing every single training and proving that she’s a top player.”So Lloyd waits. Not quite brooding but far from content. Not ready to merely lend her support. Ready for one opportunity to show everyone else what she believed all along.

Sargent snub the biggest surprise from Berhalter’s U.S. Gold Cup roster

Jun 6, 2019Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Josh Sargent maneuvered through the postmatch mixed zone Wednesday night, the look of disappointment on his face was clear. He had nearly equalized for the U.S. late in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Jamaica, only to be denied by a sharp save from Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake. It capped off what had been a difficult night for him, as well as his U.S. teammates.

“It was tough to get on the ball sometimes, and it was a difficult game it seems like for us to get a rhythm,” he said. “It was a little frustrating for me, but we have to learn from this experience and move on.”las, a tough night for the forward was about to get worse. U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter told Sargent later that night that there was no room for the 19-year-old on the 23-player Gold Cup roster. The decision was easily the most perplexing that Berhalter made. Heading into late spring, the biggest decision surrounding Sargent was whether he would go to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup or stay with the senior team for the Gold Cup. The least likely scenario — or so it appeared — was one in which he did neither.Yet, that is precisely what happened, and Berhalter was left to explain himself on a conference call with reporters. To hear the U.S. manager tell it, deciding to leave Sargent at home was the toughest call he had to make. And what sealed Sargent’s fate wasn’t so much what he did on the field or in training, but a hamstring injury to Sebastian Lletget that caused the Galaxy midfielder to be left off the roster, as well. Lletget’s versatility allows him to play any one of three midfield roles, be it as a deep-lying midfielder, an attacking midfielder or out wide. That forced Berhalter to select multiple players to fill in for what Lletget is capable of individually.”When [Lletget] got injured, it put a wrench in the plans a little bit, and we didn’t feel we could afford to carry three strikers on the roster anymore,” Berhalter said.So Sargent was the odd forward out, with Jozy Altidore and Gyasi Zardesselected instead, and Berhalter was clear in his reasoning as to why.”It’s a simple reason, and it’s that we think they’re ahead of [Sargent] right now,” said the U.S. manager. “We had to do what we felt was best for the team right now, and that’s the decision we made.”Altidore has the experience and know-how, and Zardes is more adept at stretching defenses with his speed.As for whether Sargent should have been placed with the U20s, Berhalter instead sought to praise what that U.S. side has done without Sargent. Tab Ramos’ outfit is now into the quarterfinals, and forward Sebastian Soto has stepped in nicely; his four goals are presently tied for the second-most at the tournament.

“I think with Josh in that team, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see someone like Soto perform, and he’s flourished in that,” said Berhalter.In many respects, Berhalter was being consistent. He is very much a system man, and the players he selected seem able to plug in to his approach. The U.S. manager has also put a premium on players getting time with their clubs; as impressive as it is for a 19-year-old to be in the first-team of a Bundesliga squad, the reality is that after bagging a pair of goals for Werder in December, Sargent’s playing time eroded, and he was barely called upon the last two months of the season. He is still a player with just 10 first-team appearances to his name. It’s not to say the forward won’t ever make the next step. He just failed to do so now, and it is very much the present that Berhalter is thinking about.”We have to remember that he’s 19 years old, and that he has a bright future in front of him,” Berhalter said about Sargent. “When I talked to him and gave him the news, one thing I mentioned was that he’s going to be the striker for the national team in the future. We’re sure of that. He’s got a great skill set. Unfortunately, he didn’t carry that momentum from Werder Bremen in the second half of the season. He wasn’t able to play as much as he could have. He lacked a little sharpness. But Josh is a top striker, and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities in the future.”All that said, Sargent’s omission is certainly puzzling. Bringing him to the Gold Cup seemed to make sense given that the U.S. seems to have ample cover at the wing positions through Paul ArriolaJordan MorrisJonathan Lewis, and Tyler Boyd, who recently had his one-time switch from New Zealand approved. Fellow newcomer Duane Holmes is also certainly capable of filling in out wide, as well. Given Sargent’s upside, there seemed to be more to gain by including him rather than leaving him at home.In terms of damage that has been done to Sargent, that is bound to be minimal. There is no question he would have benefited from being at the Gold Cup. Even if his playing time was limited, it would have given him more experience, which would have helped him heading into preseason next year. But it is the daily work at Bremen that will ultimately determine just how much he progresses.It’s just unfortunate that U.S. fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Sargent perform again at international level.

Liverpool’s latest European Cup win comes on a journey that is far from over

Jun 1, 2019Gabriele MarcottiSenior Writer, ESPN FC

MADRID — And now, after a 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, it is six European Cups for Liverpool. With Barcelona and Bayern Munich left behind, ahead are Milan — just one away — and then 13-time winners Real Madrid, who have owned the European Cup competition like no others. No club can be separated from its past, but Liverpool, more than most, are marked by what came before, from the sublime to the tragic.

The latest title mirrored those that came before in the sense that it was gutted out and filled with might-have-beens, probably many more than there should have been. That has been the story of Liverpool’s European wins: twice on penalties, twice by a single goal, always with the game in the balance until the final minutes.So maybe it was apt that after the final whistle, when most of the newly crowned champions had collapsed to the Wanda Metropolitano pitch, felled by equal parts exhaustion, elation and the need for release, the last to get up was Jordan Henderson.The Liverpool captain stayed down for what felt like an eternity, first with head in hands, then hunched on all fours. Only when substitute Divock Origi put the match out of reach, with three minutes to go, had Liverpool been able to shake a creeping fear that a final marked by errors and fatigue could take a twist against them.

There, for much of the second half, when Tottenham shook off the torpor and finally realized that if they were going to go down, it could not possibly be with the sort of flaccid whimper that characterized the opening 45 minutes, was Henderson. Arms flailing, legs pumping, barking orders.He was not flawless, nor decisive, but he was the realization made flesh that a season’s work — heck, four years’ work — could be undone by a single, cruel moment. And in his ability to suffer, to fear and to excrete energy from every cell in his body, lay the key to Liverpool weathering Tottenham’s late revival.This was not the Liverpool side we had seen for much of the season, but it was the Liverpool side that needed to show up in order to win the European Cup, one year after losing in the final to Real Madrid.”It was a big challenge for both teams, after three weeks without a competitive game, with the heat, it turned into a fight,” manager Jurgen Klopp said. “Usually, I’d be sitting here to explain why we had played so well and lost. It’s nice not to do that.”The Wanda Metropolitano is a concrete bowl, surrounded by lanes of expressways, that still feels unfinished nearly two years after its opening. In truth, Atletico Madrid’s new home is about as welcoming as a port-a-potty, but less than a minute into the game, there was no place any Liverpool fan would rather have been.Moussa Sissoko‘s arm was up and away from his body, possibly pointing at potential runners in the Tottenham penalty area, when Sadio Mane‘s chip struck him near the shoulder. Referee Damir Skomina did not even need VAR: under the handball protocol, it was as straightforward a penalty as they come.Mohamed Salah converted from 12 yards and celebrated with a hint of rage, his own moment of release. Just over 12 months ago, his Champions League final was cut short after a clash with Sergio Ramos in Kiev. Now, not only was he back, he had scored early.The goal stunned Tottenham. You can understand why. For three weeks they had built up to this game, they had visualized, they had planned, they had dreamed. And now the cartoon piano had fallen on their heads.For the rest of the first half they were sloppy and imprecise in passing and movement. Harry Kane looked like what he was: a guy who had not played competitive football in nearly two months. Son Heung-Min was frantic and frenzied, his button stuck on 16x, but not in a good way. Christian Eriksen was AWOL, and the less said about full-backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier, the better.Chalk some of this up to Tottenham’s limitations, some of it to the psychological after-effect of the Sissoko blunder and some of it to a Liverpool press that worked just the way it does in Klopp’s mind: Mane and Salah rapaciously doubling full-backs and midfielders, Henderson and Fabinho squeezing up, Virgil van Dijk keeping the defensive line high enough to deny all but the most vertical balls for Son.Indeed, right up until an Eriksen shot just before half-time that landed among the Liverpool fans, Spurs’ only effort on goal was Sissoko’s attempt at redemption that also sailed into the second tier.But the early goal also had its effect on Liverpool’s forwards. They could pop Tottenham attacks like soap bubbles, but could not turn possession won back into clear-cut chances. Other than the odd strike from distance — Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson had one each — there was little to trouble Hugo Lloris.Whether it was a creeping overconfidence or the fact that Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld slowly got the measure of Liverpool’s front three, it felt as if Klopp’s crew had wasted much of the opening period when it had an opportunity to close out the game.

Both teams went into the break knowing they could do better. A lot better. Previously subdued Tottenham supporters sprang into life with a rousing rendition of “When the Spurs go marching in,” perhaps remembering that, no matter how poor their team had been, they were still very much in the game.Mauricio Pochettino’s men could not let the club’s first European Cup final end like this and they did not. Robertson had to snuff out a 5-on-4 counter with a brilliant tackle on Harry Winks, and Joel Matip channelled his inner Dikembe Mutombo to reject a close-range Dele Alli effort.Klopp also had answers on his bench. On for Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum came Origi and James Milner: respectively, the late-goal hero of the semifinal comeback and the tireless veteran whom Lionel Messi called “burro” (which means donkey and which Milner, the epitome of humility, probably took as a compliment).When Klopp makes substitutions with a lead, the purpose is not to slow the game down and play on the counter, it is to add fresh legs, energize the press and go for the kill. And thus the game opened up.Milner — keyed by one of those patented Mane zero-to-60-in-nothing-flat accelerations — shot just wide. Van Dijk neutralized a Son scamper in his own apparently effortless way — 64 and counting, in fact. When Tottenham did pose a threat, Allison made a trifecta of stops, denying Son, Lucas Moura and Eriksen.Then came Origi’s moment and the sense of liberation for Liverpool that comes from knowing it is your night, no matter what came before. It is not a coincidence that Klopp said his overriding feeling was “mostly relief.” Silverware matters, of course it does, but he knows that what matters more is the work behind it, the journey that takes you there.Especially in a campaign with key moments that could easily have gone the other way, from the semifinal comeback against Barcelona to the dramatic 1-0 win against Napoli at Anfield in the final group-stage game, Klopp has seen enough, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, to treat those impostors — victory and defeat — just the same.It is about the process and it is not over. For one, there is the desire to go one place better in the Premier League and claim a title the club has chased for 29 years. As Klopp himself pointed out, this is not the culmination of anything; this is an intermediate stage in a long-term plan that began with his appointment on an October day nearly four years ago.”The players are still young; they have lots more to give,” the manager of the European champions said.The journey continues.

Tottenham must answer tough questions to emulate Liverpool’s success

Jun 1, 2019Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC

MADRID — Defeat on the biggest stage can trigger two responses: The losers either allow the disappointment to drag them down to the realms of the also-rans or use it as inspiration to go again and come back stronger.Liverpool, having suffered a painful and comprehensive 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final, took the latter option. The Anfield club invested wisely in the likes of Alisson and Fabinho and, having almost won the Premier League with 97 points, ended this campaign with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur that delivered the club’s sixth European Cup.Tottenham face that same fork in the road, but there are too many question marks hanging over Mauricio Pochettino’s team — not least that of the manager’s own future — to suggest with any conviction that the North London outfit will follow Liverpool’s example this summer. In the aftermath of this defeat, deep inside the Wanda Metropolitano, Pochettino was again careful not to banish the questions marks.”I think it’s not a moment now to talk too much,” he said. “You can interpret things in different ways. After five years in Tottenham, it was so clear the project. Our ambition was amazing, and the commitment of our players amazing, providing us with our first ever Champions League final. But now it’s time to be calm, change our mind and have time to talk.”Pochettino has three years to run on his contract at Tottenham, but recent non-committal remarks about whether he will stay or go after five years in charge have created doubt where there needs to be absolute certainty.If he does leave, then Tottenham will be back to the drawing board. But even if Pochettino can be persuaded to stay for another crack at turning the club into trophy winners, the job he faces will be a big one, both in terms of finance and ambition.Tottenham must somehow square a circle that has seen initial projections of the club’s new stadium costing £400 million, rise to an eventual £1 billion. They have to pay for the ground at the same time as investing in a squad that has not had a penny spent on it since Lucas Moura arrived from Paris Saint-Germain for £25m in January 2018.Pochettino’s ability as a coach has helped him work wonders overcoming that competitive disadvantage, guiding Tottenham to this final and a top-four finish in the Premier League once again. However, the lack of investment is why his line-up in Madrid featured two half-fit Harrys — Kane and Winks — and out-of-form right-back Kieran Trippier, whose dip since the World Cup last summer led to his being dropped from England’s squad for next week’s Nations League finals in Portugal.”We looked at the qualities of our players, but it would have been incredible to have won this trophy because Tottenham prioritised their stadium and spent zero on transfers,” Pochettino said. “We’re not the smartest in the class but not the stupidest, either.”Tottenham maximised every resource to reach the Champions League final, but if this run is to act as a springboard, rather than a high watermark, things have to change. They must spend to build, but also show the ambition that will convince the likes of Kane, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli that they can win silverware.Kane, who will turn 26 next month, is approaching the peak years of his career, yet the man who won the Golden Boot at last year’s World Cup does not have a winner’s medal of any description to his name.Tottenham’s homegrown poster boy tasted the biggest stage as a runner-up in Madrid, albeit short of fitness following a seven-week injury layoff, and Kane has to decide whether he wants to fast-track himself to the winners’ podium by following the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric from North London to a club of Real Madrid’s stature.The same applies to Alli — younger than Kane at 23 — and Son, 26. Both have their admirers, even though Alli has had a disappointing season, and Tottenham could face a battle to convince both that they should reject interest from elsewhere to stay. Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen is refusing to sign a new contract to replace his current deal that expires in June 2020 and might be the first to move on.One way to banish doubts over the futures of star players and manager would be for Daniel Levy to sanction the major spending required to maintain an upward trajectory. The chairman has never put the club’s financial well-being in jeopardy, though, so if the numbers do not add up, big spending will not happen anytime soon.Liverpool never looked like a team at the end of its journey last year, but it is hard to see how Tottenham can emulate them by bouncing back to win the Champions League in Istanbul 12 months from now. After the biggest night in the club’s history, arguably their biggest summer lies ahead.”We need to be clever now and, after a very painful game like this, it’s about building for the next period of your life,” Pochettino said. “Of course, it’s going to be tough.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.