NBC- Peacock Money Grab on EPL Coverage
Ok after bitching a month back about having to shell out $5 a month for Champions League to get CBS All Access to see the Final 8 games – that nasty Streaming only delima comes up again with NBC. Yes NBC has been great about showing us a lot of EPL games over the past couple of years most on a new Network called NBCSN which is now included on most cable networks (thanks in part to their EPL Coverage). They have featured the best pregame and post game set-up in the US for soccer and thrilled us by showing almost all of the games and all of the big games on either NBC, NBCSN or sometimes USA or CNBC. Their gold package was there to see all the other games from smaller EPL clubs that were playing what were essentially the 8 or 9th most popular game of the weekend – no big deal. Now with the New Peacock Streaming Service however – NBC wants us all to poney up again another $5 a month to watch now BIG Games like Tottenham vs Everton last Sunday. (yes I missed James debut)☹. Of course getting the streaming service is impossible however on TV unless you have Comcast cable because Roku and Amazon Firesticks don’t even recognize the new Peacock App. So poney up and watch the game on your phone with massive delays and no replays I hear?? I don’t even know what to say. Oh and buying Peacock doesn’t mean you get all the games? No you still need NBCSN for their games and NBC for their games. So this is not just spend $5 and get all the games like ESPN+. This is buy our app and still have to pay to get NBCSN. I tried to find a stream online with the Chelsea game Monday with no luck? Man being a fan of soccer in the US is honestly as difficult as like 4 to 5 years ago. Now the EPL (Peacock), Champions League, Europa League (CBS) , FA Cup, Serie A, German Bundelisga, European Nations League, MLS and USL (ESPN+) are all behind firewalls with monthly subs needed while Spain’s La Liga and France’s Legue 1 are on beIN Sports – a cable station few get. Univision and telemundo have some games as well – heck I don’t even know anymore as I don’t get those stations either. Heck even Serius Radio FC 157 – seems to have lost some games this year as well – they have always been the one constant place you could find the big game if nothing else. These are trying times my fellow soccer fans. I guess we’ll all have to share our logins and try to defeat the money grabbing stations trying to take our soccer away here in the US!!
Indy 11 fall to 2nd with 3 straight defeat to Louisville
Frustrating night for our Indy 11 – first they shut down sales the day before reducing capacity to 2500 instead of the normal 5000 – then we started a front line that had no chance of scoring – and of course we didn’t score. I assume Tyler Pasher – our leading scorer was injured as he didn’t enter until the 60th minute after we ere already down 1-0 to dreaded Louisville. City won 2-0 on the night. They really have our # – and now are all but assured 1st place in the East with mark of (8W-3L-2D, 26 pts.) The Indy 11 (7W-5L-1D, 22 pts.) still have a 4 point lead for 2nd place and should secure a playoff if they can knock off St. Louis (5W-4L-3D, 18 pts., 3rd in Group E) next week. The 11 host St. Louis Wed, Sept 23 at 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium, tickets are available at www.indyeleven.com/tickets. This is game 4 of a 5 game homestand.
Germany & Italy Start this Weekend on ESPN+
Germany kicks off its first season on ESPN with Friday’s opener wih fans of UCL Champion Bayern Munich hosting Schalke at 2:30 pm on ESPN. Saturday Werder Bremen and Stuart host Hertha Berlin at 9:30 am on ESPN+, and Gio Reyna and Dortmund will host B Mgladbach at 12:30 on ESPN+ (I miss free FS1 coverage already). Sunday at 9:30 Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig host Mainz on ESPN+. Italy and Juventus kickoff Sunday with newly minted midfielder Weston McKinney hosting Sampdoria at 2:45 pm on ESPN+.
Games to Watch
CBS has NWSL on Saturday at 1 pm with the North Carolina Courage hosting the Orlando Pride – the game last week 350K in viewership. Eight EPL games this weekend but only 2 of them on TV –Arsenal facing West Ham at 3 pm on Sat on NBCSN and Liecester City vs Burnley on NBCSN Sun at 2 pm. Real Madrid opens its campaign at Real Sociedad at 3 pm on beIN Sport Sunday, while early morning gives us Nice vs PSG at 7 am on beIN Sport. Of course the biggest game of the weekend in Chelsea – (WITHOUT CHRSTIAN PULISIC-who is injured still) hosting Liverpool on Peacock on Sunday at 11:30 am – too bad we can’t see it!!
Former Carmel FC GK Erin Baker and other Seniors at 2nd Ranked Carmel honored on Senior Night
Great seeing 5 of the 8 seniors celebrated for Carmel High last week were former Carmel FC players who all played for former Carmel FC Coach Carla Baker in the middle. Here’s a great story from the Indy Star about Erin and her mom -former long time Carmel FC Coach Carla Baker (see in the OBC below)
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GAMES ON TV
Fri, Sept 18
2:30 pm ESPN Bayern Munich vs Schalke- GERMAN Bundesliga Starts
Sat, Sept 19
7:30 am Peacock Eveton vs West Brom
9:20 am ESPN+ Werder Bremen (Stuart) vs Hertha BSC
10 am Peacock Leads United vs Fulham (Ream, Robinson)
11 am bein Sport Lens vs Bourdaauex
12:30 pm ESPN+
12:30 pm NBCSN Man United vs Crystal Palace
1 pm CBS NC Courage vs Orlando Pride NWSL
3 pm bein Sport Celta Da Vigo vs Valencia – Spain
3 pm NBCSN Arsenal vs West Ham United
Sun, Sept 20
9:30 am ESPN+ RB Leipzig (Adams) vs Mainz
11:30 am Peacock Chelsea (Pulisic) vs Liverpool
12 noon ESPN+ Wolfsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen
1 pm CBS All Access Chicago Red Stars vs Sky Blue NWSL
2:45 pm ESPN+ Juventus (McKinney) vs Sampdoria
3 pm beIN Sport Real Sociedad vs Real Madirid
Mon, Sept 21
1 pm Peacock Aston Villa vs Sheffield United
3:15 pm Man City Wolverhampton vs Man City
7 pm My Indy TV 23, ESPN+ Indy 11 vs St Louis at Lucus Oil
McKennie, Pulisic, Reyna and more: Where the USMNT stars are across Europe Jeff Carlisle, Tom Hamilton ESPNFC
Liverpool shouldn’t panic, unpacking PSG-Marseille mess, Arsenal win big but questions remain 6hGabriele Marcotti ESPNFC
Salah saves the day in 7 goal thriller Doug McIntyre Yahoo Soccer –
Chelsea’s Pulisic still in doubt for Liverpool clash
Extended highlights: Brighton 1, Chelsea 3 In Case Like Me you Missed Seeing the Game
Big-spending Chelsea start with win at Brighton
Lampard assesses Chelsea win – ‘We were OK’; Pulisic injury update
Matthew VanTryon Indianapolis Star
It’s not every day you find out your mom played in a World Cup.Not everyone is Erin Baker.It wasn’t until seventh grade that Baker, now a senior goalkeeper for Carmel, got the news. “I’m not even completely sure if I understood how much of a big achievement that was and how unique it was,” Baker said. “I always thought it was pretty cool. I remember going and telling my friends and being like, ‘My mom played for the Canadian national team. Like, isn’t that cool, guys?’”
Carla Baker certainly didn’t have to wait that long to tell her daughter about a 12-year international career in Canada, one that reached its peak in 1995 when she played in the World Cup in Sweden. It was also the same year she won a national title as an assistant coach for Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team.“1995 was a very good year for me,” Carla said.
But that’s about as far as she will go in touting her own accomplishments. Even in her time as an assistant coach at the high school level, first for Carmel and now for Park Tudor, some players come and go without knowing her achievements.So even when it came to her own daughter, Carla wasn’t in a hurry to mention her own legacy. If anything, she was hesitant to do so — especially when Erin developed her own passion for soccer.“There’s no reason for me to brag about that. I didn’t want it to influence anything that she did,” Carla said of her daughter’s career. “I wanted her to play soccer because she loves playing soccer. I didn’t want her to play just because her mom was a national team player. I wanted her to be able to decide what journey she wanted to be on.”It wasn’t a coincidence that Erin a two-time All-State selection for Carmel, chose to be a goalkeeper.“Most people look up to their mom,” the senior said. “I’d always wanted to play goalkeeper because it was something that my mom did and I thought it was really cool.”While the younger Baker might not play for the national team, she has certainly made her mark. After sitting on the bench as a junior varsity player during her freshman year, she took advantage of roster turnover and was the varsity starting goalkeeper as a sophomore. That team won a state title, losing just once all season. Baker allowed just four goals all season with 45 saves.“I had the best defensive backline in the state that year,” she said. “It was an incredible first-year experience and I was able to learn, communication-wise, how to set up my defense.”
Carmel returned to the state finals last season, again losing just once, but this time in the championship match against Noblesville. Baker had 59 saves and allowed just five goals on the season. This season, Carmel is off to a 6-0 start. Baker has 21 saves and hasn’t allowed a goal.Baker’s persona has changed over the past few years as her role on the team has increased. Her leadership on and off the field has become a bigger priority, thanks in large part to her mom’s influence.“From a young age, I would watch her coach,” Baker said of her mom. “Observing how she talked to people, which was always super kind, she never made them feel bad about if they’re making a mistake, she would positively improve what they’re capable of. That was a big thing for me, learning how to show people respect as you lead them.”Baker isn’t sure what her college plans are yet. Of course, her mom isn’t afraid to vouch for her potential.“I think Erin can go on and play at a very high level if she chooses to do so,” she said. “And I’ll support whatever journey she ends up going on post-secondary.But Erin doesn’t feel pressure to follow in her mom’s footsteps.“I try not to connect her legacy with mine too much. She doesn’t put pressure on me,” Baker said. “If I didn’t want to end up playing soccer in college, that’s totally fine. I can do whatever I want. If I want to just focus on my academics, that’s totally fine. She just lets me make my own decisions.”Follow IndyStar high school sports insider Matthew VanTryon on Twitter @MVanTryon and email him story ideas at email@example.com.
Soccer on TV: Bundesliga kicks off on ESPN, Weston McKennie’s Juventus debut, NWSL on CBS, Chelsea-Liverpool
by Jonathan Tannenwald, Posted: September 18, 2020- 5:00 AM
Americans Abroad in England: Pulisic’s Chelsea Encore, Steffen’s Man City Role in Spotlight
With the start of the new league seasons in England, all American eyes are on players who figure to play a role in World Cup qualifying—and a handful of others working their way into the mix.
BRIAN STRAUS SEP 11, 2020
A decade ago, among the 23 players on the U.S. team that would win a World Cup group for the first time in 80 years, there were eight who spent the 2009-10 club campaign in England. Seven were on Premier League teams. On the 2015 squad that faced Mexico in a climactic playoff for a Confederations Cup place, there were seven men based in England. Four were from the Premier League, which was the most well-represented foreign circuit on the squad. For a while, it appeared the England’s top tier was either the most welcoming or most preferred (or both) destination for American players abroad. But if there were a World Cup next summer, following the 2020-21 English season, how many Premier League players would U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter likely call on?
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is the country’s best player and is a certainty to start—if he’s healthy. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen appears to have the national team’s No. 1 shirt sewn up, but he may find minutes at Manchester City hard to come by. Defender Tim Ream is a veteran who has Berhalter’s trust, and Antonee Robinson is in position to make the left back role his own. But both play for Fulham, which is favored by many to face relegation after one season in the top flight. And DeAndre Yedlin has slipped behind right backs Sergiño Dest and Reggie Cannon on the USA depth chart, and appears to be on his way out at Newcastle United. There are additional Americans in England, either coming through at Premier League clubs, on loan from Premier League clubs, or in the Championship and League One. But at first glance, it does seem like the number of U.S. players in the top tier has declined. There are a few potential explanations: the increased buying power of MLS clubs, the Bundesliga, a dip in generational quality, the stringent U.K. work permit criteria or coincidence. Perhaps it’s some of each. Whatever the reason, as the Premier League season kicks off this weekend—less than two months after the 2019–20 campaign concluded—there are fewer Americans expected to play prominent roles. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s less reason for intrigue.It begins with Pulisic, who enters 2020-21 facing more pressure and under a brighter spotlight than any American in Premier League history. And also, fittingly, with concerns about his fitness. Last season, following a groin injury and the pandemic shutdown, Pulisic lit up London and helped carry Chelsea to a fourth-place finish and the FA Cup final with five goals and four assists in 11 appearances. His adaptation to the Premier League was quick and appeared complete, and his ability to put defenders on their heels and change games was remarkable. He emerged as a legitimate star.But this season presents several challenges, both new and wearisome. The first is Pulisic’s health. When he’s fit, he’s borderline unstoppable. But on a worrying number of occasions in his young career, Pulisic, who turns 22 next week, has been sidelined with muscle injuries. He’ll always be the first name on Berhalter’s team sheet when healthy, but the unpredictability of Pulisic’s fitness isn’t ideal. And the Premier League is relentless.After scoring a sensational goal in the FA Cup final against Arsenal, Pulisic limped off with a hamstring injury. He’s been fighting to be ready for Chelsea’s Premier League opener on Monday at Brighton & Hove Albion, the last of eight games scheduled this weekend.“He’s doing well. The leg is doing really well. It’s recovering, it’s healing and he’s in good spirits and the club is focused on getting him back ASAP. We have a lot of confidence in Chelsea and a lot of confidence in their medical staff, and a lot of confidence in Christian,” Berhalter said two weeks ago.The U.S. manager said Pulisic’s “explosion on the scene” is “all down to his work ethic and him being focused on playing well. It was great to see, and we’re excited to see how he comes back and starts his second season in England.”Berhalter isn’t in denial, however. He knows Pulisic has struggled to stay healthy for extended periods.“This is something we have to look at, but it’s certainly not uncommon,” the coach said. “A lot of players go through this, particularly early on in their careers. But as his body strengthens and he gets used to these congested fixtures, I think he’s going to be fine.”Chelsea manager Frank Lampard certainly will want to see Pulisic healthy, but he’ll be better equipped to handle his absence than Berhalter. That’s because Chelsea is deep, and this summer the Premier League’s third-most productive attack got even deeper thanks to a spending spree by owner Roman Abramovich. The Blues spent around $200 million to acquire in-demand attackers Timo Werner (from RB Leipzig), Kai Havertz (from Bayer Leverkusen) and Hakim Ziyech (from Ajax).With that spend comes expectation, and in Lampard’s second season in charge, Abramovich probably will want to see his club push title favorites Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table and do well in the Champions League. The pressure for points, and maybe even for playing time, will be like nothing Pulisic has experienced in his career. It’ll be fascinating to watch. The second sure-fire USA starter in the Premier League is Steffen, who was U.S. Soccer’s men’s player of the year in 2018 and spent last season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Man City has recalled the 25-year-old netminder, however, which leaves him sitting behind Ederson on Pep Guardiola’s depth chart. If City doesn’t make a move over the next few weeks, how many games can Steffen realistically expect to play this season? And would sufficient rust accumulate to give Berhalter pause when selecting his teams?Berhalter chose to focus on the positive when addressing the issue last month.“Man City is a super high level … To gain that experience for a year, to be in that training environment and have the opportunity to potentially break into that team is exciting, and I think it’d be worth it,” the manager said. “You always have to weigh if you’re going to be sitting on the bench and not playing enough games, but to me that opportunity alone is something special. Not too many players in the world get a chance to play for one club like that.“Hopefully they continue to play goalies in cups and other competitions and you can get some games there,” Berhalter continued. “Hopefully the national team can feature heavily in his development in that case.”Manchester City launches its quest to reclaim the title on Sept. 21 at Wolverhampton Wanderers (which features another American on the rise, 19-year-old midfielder Owen Otasowie).At the other end of the spectrum sit Ream and Robinson, who may get national team development every day while playing next to each other for the Cottagers. The USA’s left back spot is open, and Robinson has said he’s committed to seizing it. And Ream remains an experienced option for Berhalter at center back. It’s likely the pair will get plenty of work this season as Fulham adjusts to Premier League opposition. The club’s fight for survival will make for a tense campaign for the two Americans and for Berhalter, who will want as many players as possible competing at the highest level as qualifying for the 2022 World Cup begins next September. Fulham’s last stay in the Premier League lasted one season. It was relegated in 2019 after finishing 19th.Among other Americans on Premier League rosters, both Yedlin and Tottenham Hotspur defender Cameron Carter-Vickers likely will be on the move. Yedlin, 27, has been at Newcastle for four seasons and his contract expires next summer. Both player and club have been considering their options, and reports have emerged recently tying the former Seattle Sounder to a potential return to MLS or to a league elsewhere in Europe. Carter-Vickers, 22, hasn’t been able to break through for Spurs and spent the spring of 2020 on loan at Championship club Luton Town. He was ever-present for the Hatters as they finished 19th and avoided relegation by three points. But that consistency was short-lived. The defender’s 2020–21 destination is uncertain. In recent days, AFC Bournemouth, which was relegated from the Premier League to the Championship, reportedly expressed interest in a permanent transfer.Matt Miazga is another American Premier Leaguer on perpetual loan. The 25-year-old center back has been on the books at Chelsea but spent the past four seasons at Vitesse Arnhem, Nantes and Reading. His contract expires in 2022, but a future at Stamford Bridge seems unlikely.Meanwhile, nobody would blink if Aston Villa loaned out American attacker Indiana Vassilev. He’s just 19. But the U.S. U-17 World Cup veteran, who signed with Villa out of the IMG Academy in 2018, already has earned his first taste of Premier League football. He made his debut on Jan. 18, entering as a substitute against Brighton, and then made three more cameo appearances as Villa staved off relegation by a point. So even if the number of Americans in the Premier League drops, there may be a new one to watch.The marathon Championship schedule begins Friday as Middlesbrough visits Watford, and a few familiar American faces will be starting their seasons this weekend. Duane Holmes, a crafty midfielder who played in two U.S. friendlies last year, was a regular starter for Derby County in 2019–20 before having injury issues toward the end of the season. The Rams host Reading on Saturday. Geoff Cameron remains at Queens Park Rangers (where he was named club captain), although he’s out of the national team picture. And New York Red Bulls academy product Matthew Olosunde, a defender who initially signed with Manchester United, now is at Rotherham United and was a regular as the club earned promotion from League One. The Millers begin their Championship campaign Saturday at Wycombe Wanderers. Remaining in League One but perhaps still on Berhalter’s radar is Lynden Gooch, who’s 24 and scored 10 goals in 33 matches for Sunderland last season.
McKennie, Pulisic, Reyna and more: Breaking down a big season for USMNT stars across Europe
https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.410.0_en.html#goog_1346325439 14, 2020 Jeff Carlisle Tom Hamilton
The 2020-21 soccer season is kicking off all over Europe, with the English Premier League and Spanish Primera Divisions beginning this past weekend, and the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A (both leagues available LIVE all season long on ESPN+ in the United States) starting on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19 respectively. In addition to the usual talking points and discussions over title favorites and relegation threats, it’s indirectly a big season for the U.S. national team, who boast several of their stars in top European leagues along with several prospects beyond the 2022 World Cup cycle.
With so many USMNT stars dotted around Europe and gearing up for a long campaign, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle and Tom Hamilton broke down where they all are, and what their prospects are for the new season.
Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (English Premier League)
Overall, Pulisic’s first year in the Premier League was a success, as he tallied nine goals and four assists in 34 league and cup appearances. In the process he put to rest any doubts about whether he could hack it skill-wise in the EPL, as he often dazzled on the left wing while also drifting inside.
This season, Pulisic will be hoping to build on what he achieved in 2019-20, but with an added challenge: staying healthy. The U.S. international suffered two muscle injuries — a hip ailment at the start of the year and a hamstring issue in the FA Cup final — and that continued a trend from his time at Borussia Dortmund. The competition for places is still there with the likes of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech arriving to replace William and Pedro, along with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to contend with. But there seems to be a bit more faith in Pulisic heading into the season, as witnessed by him being given the No. 10 shirt. — Carlisle
John Brooks, DF, VfL Wolfsburg (German Bundesliga)
As has been a recurring theme throughout his career, Brooks endured an inconsistent season for the Wolves. He made 31 appearances in all competitions in helping Wolfsburg to a seventh-place finish and qualification for the Europa League. But he also endured a hamstring injury that sidelined him for a month, and he was even benched for a time by manager Oliver Glasner in February. To his credit he reclaimed his spot shortly thereafter, but then faded a bit after the return from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Brooks is likely to continue to be a mainstay for Wolfsburg this season, even if his start — he was red-carded in a Europa League defeat to Shaktar Donetsk — was auspicious. That only highlights the need for more consistency. Can he achieve it? At age 27, Brooks is basically fully formed as a player, but one can still hope that his accumulated experience will see him raise his level during the current campaign. — Carlisle
Weston McKennie, MF, Juventus (Italian Serie A)
All summer, as McKennie trained at Schalke waiting for his move, it looked like the USMNT star centre midfielder would be off to the Premier League. McKennie, 22, was being chased hard by Southampton and Leicester; then, as Andrea Pirlo settled into the hottest of seats at Juventus, in came the Serie A giants and in the blink of an eye McKennie was on a private jet to Turin.
McKennie is a brilliant box-to-box midfielder. Throughout Schalke’s tough campaign, in which they finished 12th in the Bundesliga, McKennie’s energy was infectious and he was a rare ray of light in a dismal campaign in Gelsenkirchen. He led from the front and was also one of the early voices in football’s messages of anti-racism and support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This season, McKennie will not have it easy at Juventus. At Schalke he was one of the first names on the team sheet, but this term he has the likes of Arthur (arriving from Barcelona for £66m), Sami Khedira, Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur and Aaron Ramsey to contend with for a spot in the starting XI. Still, expect him to thrive. He has signed for Juventus on a loan deal with the option to make this a permanent stay, and we predict this will become a formality as he slots right into life at the Serie A champions. — Hamilton
Tyler Adams, MF, RB Leipzig (German Bundesliga)
The versatile 21-year-old scored the winning goal for RB Leipzig in their Champions League quarterfinal win over Atletico Madrid in the 2019-20 campaign and has established himself as a key cog in the Julian Nagelsmann machine. Having signed for the Bundesliga high-flyers from New York Red Bulls in January 2019 for a bargain £2.37m, Adams’ versatility means he can cover any position across the back four and happily slot in along the midfield. For a manager who doesn’t believe in formations and values pressing, Adams is a dream of a player.
Having played 18 times for Leipzig last campaign, Adams’ goals for this term will be to start more matches for the Bundesliga side. With a relentless campaign facing Nagelsmann’s squad as they battle on three fronts, with the Champions League also on their radar, his versatility and work rate will be key. The goal for Leipzig is a top-four finish in the German league, and Adams will be doing everything to ensure they reach and, ideally, surpass expectations like they did last season. — Hamilton
Zack Steffen, GK, Manchester City (English Premier League)
Having signed for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City from Columbus Crew in July 2019 for £6.14m, the goalkeeper is still waiting for his first-team debut as he spent last term out on loan at Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf. He made 18 appearances in Germany until injury cut short his season in December. Having suffered from a problem with his knee, he battled back to full fitness only to sustain MCL damage in April that saw him play no further part in the 2019-20 campaign.
Now back at Manchester City, Steffen is seen by Guardiola as a key part of their squad. With Claudio Bravo having left City at the end of last term on a free transfer and now between the pots at Real Betis, Steffen will vie with the world-class Ederson for a spot in City’s first team. He will likely clock up a number of starts in cup competitions and will add to his 17 caps for the USMNT. – Hamilton
Sergino Dest, DF, Ajax (Dutch Eredivisie)
The young right back enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019-20 and went from the fringes of the senior squad to being one of the most sought-after fullbacks in Europe. Dest, 19, signed his first professional contract with Ajax in December 2018 and made his first-team debut in August 2019. His impressive form for Ajax started turning heads at the Netherlands and then-boss Ronald Koeman was keen for Dest to declare for the Oranje. But Dest, who played youth-level football for the U.S., took his time to shore up his decision and opted for the USMNT.
Exclusive: Why Dest chose U.S. over Netherlands
His trajectory has been rapid, like his darts down the right flank, and he was crowned U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year for 2019. But there’s still a chance he has a new club by the end of the transfer window on Oct. 5 as he’s getting plenty of interest. Ajax have a practise of eking out one final season from their ridiculous list of prodigious young talents before they secure a move to one of Europe’s bigger fish. Bayern Munich are still being heavily linked with Dest, and if he moves there he’ll have Benjamin Pavard and Joshua Kimmich as rivals for a spot. But if he does stay put he’ll still be front and centre of Ajax’s Eredivisie and Champions League campaigns. He will look to another season of starting week-in-week-out for the Dutch giants and continuing to develop his game. — Hamilton
Gio Reyna, MF/FW, Borussia Dortmund (German Bundesliga)
The sky’s the limit for the 17-year-old forward. Having joined Borussia Dortmund from MLS side NYCFC in July 2019, Reyna made his debut for the Bundesliga giants in January 2020 and scored a memorable first goal in their DFB-Pokal defeat to Werder Bremen in February. But it was enough to make people sit up and take notice, while those who had followed his promising career — including father Claudio, who won 112 caps for the USMNT, and mother Danielle Egan, who won six caps for the USWNT — knew it was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ Reyna would start making his mark for Europe’s elite.
It is easy to forget he has played just 18 first-team matches for Dortmund. But in a team that boasts all-world young talent like Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, Reyna has the perfect role models around him to take his game to the next level. He is still waiting to make his USMNT debut — his first chance was delayed in the spring due to the coronavirus outbreak — but expect that to come sooner rather than later. He has all the ability and application to be a USMNT mainstay for the next 15 years, but his goals this season will be to get as much first-team football as possible for Dortmund and continue to develop. — Hamilton
Antonee Robinson, DF, Fulham (English Premier League)
Robinson’s 2019-20 campaign was a veritable roller-coaster. He was one of the few standouts on a Wigan team that ended up being relegated from the English Championship, with his runs forward offering a threat in attack. He nearly parlayed that into a dream move to AC Milan, only to have it scuttled by a heart condition that showed up during his medical. He eventually made a move to Fulham, freshly promoted back to the English top flight.
Robinson’s goal this season will be to force his way into the first team, no easy task at a Premier League club, especially with playoff final hero Joe Bryan ensconced at left-back. Robinson didn’t make the subs bench in the Cottagers’ 3-0 opening-day defeat to Arsenal, but given the investment Fulham have made in him, he’ll be given time to acclimate. — Carlisle
Injuries — in particular a recurring hamstring ailment — have so curtailed Weah’s playing time that he’s almost the forgotten man of the U.S. player pool. In his first season with Lille, Weah made just three appearances totaling 84 minutes. Given the time lost, this is very much a critical season for the New York City-born attacker. The early returns on the 2020-21 campaign are that Weah is still in the thoughts of Lille management, making two substitute appearances. Given the difficulty Weah has had staying healthy, it amounts to a promising start that he hopefully can parlay into additional minutes. — Carlisle
Reggie Cannon, DF, Boavista (Portugal Primeira Liga)
Patience paid off for Cannon, who, after two years in FC Dallas‘ academy, a brief stop in college soccer at UCLA and then three-plus seasons with FCD, made the move to Europe with Portuguese side Boavista in September. Since the start of the 2018 season, Cannon was a consistent presence at right back and while his numbers didn’t necessarily catch the eye — he had three goals and five assists in 68 league and playoff appearances — his attacking instincts impressed U.S. national team manager Gregg Berhalter.
At Boavista, Cannon will be making his initial foray into European soccer and he’s already made a positive impression, scoring the opening goal in the club’s 4-1 friendly win over CD Tondela last weekend. The right-back spot for the U.S. is there for the taking, so he’ll need to adapt quickly if he is to grab that position at the international level. — Carlisle
DeAndre Yedlin, DF, Newcastle United (English Premier League)
The big question for Yedlin is simple: Will he even be in Newcastle much longer? Yedlin was a peripheral figure last season, making 20 league and cup appearances, but just 10 starts in league play. (The majority of those came in the front half of the season, too.) Hip and hand injuries also made it difficult for Yedlin to remain in the lineup and he ultimately lost his starting spot to Javier Manquillo.
A change of scenery might do Yedlin good. One would expect that at age 27, and given his Premier League experience, Yedlin would be a shoe-in to be the right back for the U.S. men’s national team, but he seems far from first-choice there. If he can establish himself at a new club — Turkish side Besiktas is among the sides interested in Yedlin — then that might revitalize his career and allow him to reclaim his spot with the U.S. national team. — Carlisle
Tim Ream, DF, Fulham (English Premier League)
The center-back has been a mainstay with Cottagers for the last five seasons, making his 200th appearance for the club in the season-opening 3-0 defeat at Arsenal. In last season’s promotion push, Ream made a staggering 47 league and playoff appearances, testament to his consistency and durability. His passing ability out of the back remains a strength, though as U.S. fans can attest he is guilty of the occasional gaffe.
This season will mark Ream’s third foray into the Premier League, having had previous campaigns with Bolton Wanderers in 2011-12 as well as Fulham’s previous season in the top flight in 2018-19. If Fulham are to avoid relegation this time around, Ream will certainly need to be at his best on both sides of the ball. Fulham can only hope that Ream’s consistency comes to the fore over the course of the campaign. — Carlisle
Matt Miazga, DF, Chelsea (English Premier League)
The 25-year-old centre-back signed for Chelsea in 2016, but has made two Premier League appearances in four years having spent much of that span out on loan. It’s long been Chelsea’s policy to buy promising talent and develop them by sending them out to trusted teams to aid their development. Miazga spent two seasons with Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie and six months at Nantes before arriving at Reading in the Championship. He has played there for the past 18 months.
Miazga made 24 appearances for Reading last term, in a campaign disrupted by a hamstring injury at the start of the season and an ankle injury in January. He picked up a red card in their defeat at Derby in June, following an altercation with Tom Lawrence after the final whistle, and would play one further match for the Royals. This term Miazga will likely spend another season out on loan and is not short of suitors, though his destination is at yet unknown. — Hamilton
Josh Sargent, FW, Werder Bremen (German Bundesliga)
Mark 2019-20 as a season that tested the hugely promising 20-year-old, though one that would have taught him a huge amount. Having been left out of the USMNT Gold Cup squad in the 2019-20 preseason, he had to battle with oscillating between starting for Werder Bremen and finding his role reduced to that of an impact substitute. He picked up an untimely hamstring muscle tear in December that kept him out for six weeks, but as Werder Bremen battled to avoid the drop in the latter part of the Bundesliga campaign, Sargent was instrumental in the German side keeping their spot in the top flight as they won their relegation playoff against Heidenheim.
The signs in 2020-21 are promising for Sargent, who played across the front line last term. He carried his impressive preseason form into Bremen’s opening match of the 2020-21 season proper, starting and scoring in Bremen’s 2-0 win at FC Carl Zeiss in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. — Hamilton
Alfredo Morales, MF Fortuna Dusseldorf (German 2. Bundesliga)
Morales shook off an early hamstring injury to be a steady presence for Dusseldorf last season in the center of midfield, making 31 league and cup appearances. But despite his ball-winning and prowess in the air, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Rhinelanders from avoiding the drop.
Now Morales will play in the 2. Bundesliga. It’s a league with which he is familiar, having spent a total of five seasons in Germany’s second tier with the likes of Hertha Berlin and Ingolstadt. The challenge this time around will be to return Dusseldorf immediately back to the top flight, and Morales appears to be very much in his team’s plans. He logged 78 minutes in a two-way midfield role in Dusseldorf’s 1-0 German Cup road win over Ingolstadt, the kind of result that Morales and Dusseldorf will need more of as the season progresses. — Carlisle
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Tyler Boyd, Besiktas (Turkish Super Lig)
Boyd spent the 2019-20 campaign adjusting to the pressure and expectations of playing for Besiktas, one of Turkey‘s biggest clubs, and it proved to be an up-and-down campaign. The good news is that Boyd made 28 league and cup appearances, but he scored just three goals along with one assist. That level of offensive production was far below what he achieved during a loan stint the previous season with Ankaragucu, when he tallied six goals and four assists in 14 matches.
This season, matters are already looking up for Boyd, with Besiktas showing continued faith in the winger. That was repaid in part when he scored the opener in Beşiktaş’ 3-1 win over Trabzonspor to start the Turkish Super Lig campaign, cutting in from the left wing to fire inside the far post with the help of a slight deflection. Boyd and Besiktas will no doubt be hoping that this is a sign of things to come. — Carlisle
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH
Christian Cappis: The midfielder established himself at Danish Superliga side Hobro last season, making 30 league appearances and scoring one goal while filling a variety of central midfield roles. Cappis even secured an invite to the annual January camp for the U.S. men’s national team, though he was an unused substitute in a 1-0 friendly win over Costa Rica. Those performances were such that there was talk of Cappis moving on, but now he finds himself in an unusual situation. Cappis has two years left on his contract, but his work permit to play in Denmark wasn’t renewed and he had to leave the country. Reports out of Denmark say that Hobro’s owner, Lars Kühnel, believes that Cappis will be back some time in the autumn, assuming the player isn’t transferred. In the meantime, all Cappis can do is wait to see how the situation plays out. — Carlisle
Chris Richards: The 20-year-old centre-back is yet to make his USMNT debut, but is on Berhalter’s radar. He is at Europe’s reigning Champions League holders, Bayern Munich, and made his debut in June. This season he will either be in the first-team mix or leave on loan. — Hamilton
https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html Nick Taitague: The 21-year-old attacking midfielder was promoted to Schalke’s first team ahead of this season. He arrived at Schalke in 2017 from the Carolina RailHawks and has played for Schalke II but has the number 29 to his name and will want to make his mark in the Bundesliga this term. — Hamilton
Matthew Hoppe: The Schalke forward has his sights set on breaking into the Bundesliga side’s first team this season and following in the footsteps of the departed McKennie. He is performing well for Schalke’s Under 19s and will look to put forward his case for senior recognition this term. — Hamilton
Ulysses Llanez: The 19-year-old signed for Wolfsburg from LA Galaxy in April 2019 and was promoted to the Bundesliga side’s first team a year later. He scored on his full USMNT debut in February, too, but he’ll spend the season on loan in the Dutch Eredivisie with SC Heerenveen after signing his first professional contract with Wolfsburg this week, a deal that connects him to the club through 2024. — Hamilton
INDY ELEVEN FALLS 0-2 IN LAST Game 2020 WITH LOUISVILLE CITY FC
By Indy Eleven Communications, 09/16/20, 10:15PM EDT
Indiana’s Team Still Controls Postseason Destiny with Three Games Remaining in Regular Season
In the final of four regular-season matchups between Indy Eleven and Louisville City, the surging Kentucky side posted a 2-0 win over Indiana’s Team at Lucas Oil Stadium. Following a late first-half score from Cameron Lancaster, a goal by Corben Bone in the 76th minute provided the final margin for the visitors.With only one point separating the rivals in the Group E standings coming into Wednesday’s affair, this latest chapter of the Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) series had plenty riding on it. While the result pulled Louisville (8W-3L-2D, 26 pts.) four points clear of Indy (7W-5L-1D, 22 pts.) atop the group, Indiana’s Team is still in control of its playoff destiny, itself sitting four points ahead of Saint Louis FC for the second available playoff spot from the group.“It was a disappointing score-line and a disappointing result for us. I was really proud of the players tonight and felt that we were unfortunate to certainly be down a goal at half time. In the first half, we were on top most of the time and they got a goal out of nothing, really,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “For the majority of the game, maybe my mind will change when I look back on it, I felt at this time we deserve much better than we got tonight. I don’t usually say that, and if I think we didn’t deserve to win, I would say that, but I definitely don’t think that we deserve to be on the losing side tonight.”If there was any doubt as to whether the last installment of the LIPAFC rivalry for 2020 would be a physical affair, Louisville’s Pat McMahon put that to rest early with a flying knee into the back of Ayoze just 60 seconds after the opening whistle. The energetic start was not entirely adversarial, however, with both sides circling together at midfield across the seventh and eighth minutes to pause the match and honor the ongoing movement around social injustice and the need for positive change in our sport and in our society.
Indy captain Paddy Barrett’s 13th minute shot from 50 yards out in an effort to catch LCFC goalkeeper Bun Lundt off his line began a series of half-chances for both sides that dominated the middle of the first half. Following a 37th minute yellow card issued to Eleven defender Karl Ouimette, Louisville took their possession and played all the way down the field, concluding with a corner attempt. Louisville defender Oscar Jimenez’s kick was headed out of the box, but it bounced to a waiting Antoine Hoppenot, whose right-footed strike was redirected by Lancaster past Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton and into the upper-right corner for his seventh goal of the season.Hoppenot was awarded with a shot-turned assist for his efforts, and two minutes later he nearly had one for himself, but his near-angle effort flashed just past the far-left post. Indy striker Nick Moon nearly equalized in first half stoppage time, but his header off a corner kick flashed just over the bar, leaving LouCity in front 1-0 heading into the break.
Not even two minutes into the second half, Indy Eleven’s energetic play almost tied the game, but midfielder Cam Lindley’s cutback pass from the endline that made its way past the keeper and into the center of the box was cleared before it could reach an Eleven teammate. The home side kept knocking on the door with two crosses providing plenty of danger at the top of the six-yard box around the hour mark, but a volley by midfielder Carl Haworth and a header by Ouimette two minutes apart both just missed Lundt’s frame.In the 76th minute, a counter-attack opportunity allowed Louisville to double its advantage. Midfielder Napo Matsoso crossed a ball into the middle of the field, where an unlucky deflection by Tyler Gibson fell directly to a cutting Brian Ownby, whose touch pass set up Bone behind the Indy defense. Bone successfully converted low and left in his 1-v-1 with Newton to get his fourth goal of the season and extend the Louisville lead.Indy kept the pressure on in an attempt to salvage a result, with substitute Conner Antley’s flick-on of Ouimette’s centering ball in the 79th minute that forced a save by Lundt at his left post providing the most drama of the Eleven’s late chances. Gibson’s last-ditch effort to get on the scoreboard from outside the box was high-and-wide in the 93rd minute, ending the action and keeping Indy winless against its rival in 2020.Indy Eleven continues its five-match September homestand next Wednesday, September 23, with the first of two pivotal meetings down the stretch of the 2020 regular season against Saint Louis FC. (5W-4L-3D, 18 pts., 3rd in Group E). The 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Indy Eleven’s annual Hispanic Heritage Night, presented by Financial Center First Credit Union, can be followed live on MyINDY-TV 23, ESPN+, Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/exitos943.com, and the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.
USL Championship Regular Season – #INDvSKC Indy Eleven 0 : 2 Louisville City FC
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 – 7:00 p.m. ETLucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Ind.Attendance: 2,500
2020 USL Championship records
Indy Eleven (7W-5L-1D, 22 pts., 2nd in Group E)
Louisville City FC (8W-3L-2D, 26 pts., 1st in Group E)
LOU– Cameron Lancaster (Antoine Hoppenot) 39’
LOU – Corben Bone (Brian Ownby) 76’
IND – Karl Ouimette (yellow card) 37’
LOU – Paolo DelPiccolo (yellow card) 66’
LOU – Corben Bone (yellow card) 66’
LOU – Antoine Hoppenot (yellow card) 73’
LOU – Sean Totsch (yellow card) 79’
Indy Eleven lineup (3-4-3, L–>R): Evan Newton; Neveal Hackshaw, Paddy Barrett (captain), Karl Ouimette; Ayoze (Conner Antley 72’), Drew Connor (Matt Watson 72’), Tyler Gibson, Carl Haworth; Jeremy Rafanello (Tyler Pasher 59’), Cam Lindley, Nick Moon
IND Substitutes: Jordan Farr (GK), Mitch Osmond, Ilija Ilic, Andrew Carleton
Louisville City FC (4-3-3, L–>R): Ben Lundt; Oscar Jimenez, Alexis Souahy, Sean Totsch, Pat McMahon (Wes Charpie 90’); Antoine Hoppenot (Brian Ownby 74’), Corben Bone, Speedy Williams, Paolo DelPiccolo (captain) (Jimmy Ockford 85’), Napo Matsoso (Akil Watts 90’); Cameron Lancaster (Jason Johnson 85’)