US Beats Grenada 5-0, Ferreira Hat-Trick
Hard to make much of the USA 5-0 shellacking of Grenada (ranked 170) on Friday night (highlights). While these Nations League early games are good for the minnows in CONCACAF – they certainly don’t help the top 4 teams in my opinion. That being said – good showing by #9 Jesus Ferreira – his 4 goals (the most by a US forward in a long time). After he scored the hattrick – I don’t understand why Wright didn’t come right in – but what the heck. Again his movement was good and he finally finished his chances. I thought Arriola also looked good on the right wing and had a sublime assist on Ferreira’s goal. Carter Vickers looked good on the night, and he should be in the discussion to pair with Zimmerman come World Cup time. I also liked Eric De La Torre in the midfield on the night, he almost always takes it forward, has good vision, he had 2 assists, and did not give up the ball in tough situations. Good win on a night when honestly the best thing might have been Berhalter’s behind the back pass on the throw in. (Men in Blazers reaction) (The Berhalter bounce pass has become a thing to watch for lol). Oh and is Berhalter the Worse Dressed Coach in Soccer History or what? Seriously its embarrassing. At least wear a dang golf shirt.
USA @ El Salvador Tues Night, 10 pm FS1
Looking ahead – El Salvador is a legit match-up against the old US bench coach. Berhalter has already announced that Wright will get the start at the #9 which is good – we need to see if can score against a decent team with Pulisic and Weah on his flanks. Assuming McKinney is not going to play a full game – (recovering from broken foot) does Berhalter start him or Aaronson (either way Aaronson gets in at wing or mid at half if not starting- I think Aaronson is a must play in a must win game right now – not sure who sits to give him that spot though?) De La Torre played most of the last game so I assume its Musah in the middle of either the MMA or MAA midfield. Finally in the back I want more CCV – need to see him under pressure with Zimmerman. I am merely worried about pace with CCV and Zimmerman together. On the outside does he go with our starters or give Bello and Cannon a shot to earn spots with a good show? In goal I would hope we see Horvath – Sean Johnson got his chance – its time for Horvath to get his in between the pipes. El Salvador is not a bad team and they tied / beat us in World Cup Qualifying there – the US needs pull out a win – and will 2-1 with Wright scoring hopefully. US Prep video. Preview
Shane’s Starters for Tues Night vs El Salvador
McKennie or Aaronson/Musah
Robinson or Bello/Carter Vickers/Zimmerman/Yedlin
The 26-man roster for June Games
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest),
Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution), Sean Johnson (DC United)
DEFENDERS (9): George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic FC), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes), Antonee Robinson (Fulham FC), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Luca de la Torre (Heracles), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Malik Tillman (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor)
World Cup Qualifying – Costa Rica & Australia, Wales all In
Exciting games last week as Wales advanced past Ukraine, and this week as Australia defeated Peru in Penalty kicks and Costa Rica and GK superstar Keylar Navas beat New Zealand 1-0 today. Lots of Great saves this month with Nations League and World Cup Qualifying going on (see below).. First check out the Dancing Goalkeeper who won the PK shootout with his “dancing” before shots. The announcement of the US Cities that will host the 2026 World Cup is expected this Thursday – here are the favorites. Currently Cincy is the only close venue to us here in Indy – and they are a long shot – dang Chicago refused to put a bid in which means we’ll have to travel (Nashville is also a longshot as Kansas City appears to have passed them). I plan to travel and follow the US team – though that will certainly cost me a mint.
Indy 11 Women Play Friday night at Grand Park Events Center
Our Indy 11 women are off to a great start with 5 wins and 1 tie on the season for tops in the league, after their 3-0 win last weekend at a sold out Grand Park. They play Friday night 7 pm at the Event Center at Grand Park Friday night vs Racing Louisville so make plans to go out and see the ladies !! Tickets for that contest are available at indyeleven.com/wleague-tickets for only $8. To learn more about the newest edition of Indiana’s Team representing the women’s game, visit indyeleven.com/wleague. On the men’s side they got the 1-1 tie at Miami last Wednesday and will next play in Colorado Sat, June 18 on MyIndyTV 23/ESPN+. The boys in blue return home July 2 at 7:30 pm with fire-works display after so make your plans to be there tix are just $15 @ indyeleven.com/tickets.
BIG GAMES ON TV
Tues, June 14
2:45 pm FS1 Germany vs Italy NL
2:45 pm Fubo England vs Hungary NL
8 pm Para+ Mexico vs Jamaica
10 pm ESPN+ USA @ El Salvador
Weds, June 15
7:30 pm ESPN+ New England vs Orlando
Make your own teams or we can add you to a team. Cost is just $105 includes Jersey.
CHS Boys -2022 Hounds Soccer Camp –July 11-14, 2022 9 am to 11 am $95 per Boys/Girls 8-14
Carmel High School Girls – 2022 Middle School Camp – 6/7/8th Graders $90 (includes T-shirt) July 18-21 Murray Stadium 2:30 to 4:30 pm
W2W4 – El Salvador – S&S
What We have Learned so Far from US Games – Philly Inquirer – Jonathan Tannenwald
Straus: The Value of the USMNT’s Toughest Pre–World Cup Test
Jesus Ferreira’s four goals tie mark as U.S. routs Grenada in World Cup sendoff
Gaga Slonina: why the US teenager is prized by some of Europe’s top clubs
The USWNT Concacaf roster
Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit).
Midfielders: Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC).
Honduras Stuns Canada 2-1
Ecuador still in World Cup as FIFA rejects Chile complaint
Mbappe salvages draw for France in Austria
Majestic Modric gives Croatia victory in France
England and Italy in Nations League draw as Germany held by Hungary
Wales rally to hold Belgium to 1-1 draw
Haaland strikes twice as Norway edge Sweden
Lethargic England lacking sharpness, says Southgate after Italy
Spain celebrate as Portugal fall to 57-second sucker punch
World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites?
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|USA vs El Salvador – Kickoff’s at 10 pm EDT Fox Sports 1 — and at your American Outlaws chapter bar, of course.|
|And back to Central America our squad goes for the first time since World Cup qualifying – and likely the last time for awhile – before a three-month break from international duty. The foe: El Salvador, who held us to zeros on our visit down there last September, and who held strong in Columbus in January before falling victim to The Force. Still coached by USMNT legend Hugo Pérez, their Nations League squad includes many of the same players who competed in qualifying. Missing, however, is perhaps their best player from the Octagon, Alex “Brother of Christian” Roldan of the Seattle Sounders. It sounds like we’ll see another mix of the guys whose tickets to Qatar are likely booked and those who are still making their case. We do know who will start in goal: Gregg confirmed yesterday it’ll be Ethan “The Mile High Hero” Horvath. Regardless, y’all know the drill. Playing in Central America has never been, nor likely ever will be, a walk in the park. The field will probably be a mess and the crowd will be loud. It’s the CONCACAF Nations League – what could be better? Oh yeah, watching it with your fellow chapter members tonight. It’ll be the last time the MNT kicks off at nighttime for us in the States for a long, long while, after all.|
What we learned from the U.S. men’s soccer team’s last home games before November’s World Cup
Jesús Ferreira, Haji Wright, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Malik Tillman have been among the headline names so far this summer. Here’s a look at why.Jesús Ferreira (right) looks to have the inside track for the starting striker job after scoring four goals against Grenada on Friday night.Chuck Burton / AP
by Jonathan Tannenwald Jun 11, 2022 Philly Inquirer
AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. men’s soccer team’s 5-0 demolition of overmatched Grenada on Friday in the Concacaf Nations League was the team’s last home game before this fall’s World Cup. Now there are just 270 minutes of soccer (plus stoppage time) for the Americans to play before the tournament kicks off in November in Qatar.
So it’s a good time to look at a few things we’ve learned so far this summer.
Jesús Ferreira is now the No. 1 story, for better and worse.
He started all three home games and played the entirety of Friday’s blowout, cementing his place atop Gregg Berhalter’s striker depth chart. But there’s a case to make that he shouldn’t have played so much because at a certain point that takes away minutes that are needed to evaluate other players at that position.There’s also the none-too-small matter of his big-moment misses against Morocco and Uruguay, likely the best teams the U.S. will face before the Black Friday blockbuster against England. And yes, that includes the Americans’ first group stage opponent, Wales.When the Grenada game kicked off, Ferreira’s critics were ready to pounce. They seized on his missing his first three scoring chances, all of which were good looks.Late in the first half, Ferreira finally broke through. And he went on to score three more times, tying the record for the most goals by a U.S. men’s player in a game with four. “Any time a player is under pressure, you look for how they respond,” Berhalter said afterward. “And no matter what the level of the opponent is, the player still has to perform.”Ferreira admitted before and after the game that he’d been in a funk. This should have snapped him out of it.“I talked to him to this afternoon, and I told him that we don’t judge him just based on goals,” Berhalter said. “And I’ve said that to you [the media] all along — he does a lot of other stuff that really helps this group be successful. I just said, ‘Go out there and relax, and play your game.’”Ferreira certainly did that, but his critics still have some fuel. He shot 4-for-10 overall on the night, and you don’t get 10 chances against good teams. So how much can really be taken from pounding the world’s 170th-ranked men’s squad?We won’t know the answer for a while.
Haji Wright clearly is in the race to go to Qatar, thanks to his close ties to U.S. teammates and the praise Berhalter has given him. Has he risen enough to overtake Ricardo Pepi or Jordan Pefok, the latter of whom has the best finisher’s touch in the striker pool?Pepi was given this camp off to recover from a taxing first season in Europe, and Pefok is injured. We can suspect, though, that the U.S. World Cup team will probably only have two pure strikers on it — unless FIFA expands rosters to 26 players, as is currently being debated. Then the calculus changes.We’ll learn more Tuesday, because Berhalter announced that Wright will start the Nations League game in El Salvador (10 p.m., FS1, UniMás, TUDN).“He’ll have an opportunity, and that was the plan all along,” Berhalter said. “We wanted to give Jesús 90 minutes today and have Haji ready and fresh for Tuesday’s game.”
It will be a big moment for Wright and for Berhalter.
» READ MORE: Can Haji Wright be the U.S. men’s soccer team’s answer at striker?Haji Wright, who has made two appearances this window and scored against Morocco, is set to start Tuesday against El Salvador.Jeff Dean / AP
Even Berhalter’s critics can agree that Walker Zimmerman has earned the right to be a lock as one of the team’s starting centerbacks. The other starting spot and the bench places remain up for grabs.
Aaron Long is a candidate, as shown by his starting these last three games. Chris Richards would likely have taken some of that playing time had he not been injured, and a lot of observers think he’s the best choice to start next to Zimmerman.Take note, though, of Cameron Carter-Vickers. After a few seasons in the European club wilderness, the son of 1983 NBA first-round pick Howard Carter just finished an outstanding campaign with Scottish champion Celtic. And after earning a place in the Scottish players’ union’s team of the year, Carter-Vickers earned something even more important.
Carter-Vickers was at Celtic on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. On Friday, Celtic bought him outright for $7.4 million. That’s a big vote of confidence. If he keeps playing regularly and well, he’ll be on the plane to Qatar.
» READ MORE: The dream has come true for Brenden Aaronson, with Leeds United and the U.S. men’s soccer team “I’ve been on loan for the last few years now, kind of moving about,” Carter-Vickers said. “Which is not necessarily a bad thing — I’ve had some great experiences and learned a lot. But, yeah, it’s nice to have somewhere where I’m going to be settled for a few years, and try and kick on.”Who else is in the mix? Erik Palmer-Brown for sure. He missed Friday’s game with a minor hamstring injury. Former Union stalwart Mark McKenzie could be too, but needs a strong start to the season at Belgium’s Genk.Then, of course, there’s John Brooks. The 2014 World Cup hero seems to be on the outs with Berhalter, and that likely won’t change before November.
A game against Grenada in sweltering Texas heat probably wasn’t the main reason Malik Tillman chose to play for the United States. Still, it seemed reasonable to expect he’d play Friday, after playing 25 minutes against Morocco and not at all against Uruguay.He did indeed, coming in at halftime for Weston McKennie. That put Tillman in a central midfield position, after he played on the left wing against Morocco. The 20-year-old from German powerhouse Bayern Munich was quietly effective in the middle. Fellow central midfielder Luca de la Torre — who has really raised his stock, by the way — liked what he saw.“He’s definitely got quality,” de la Torre said. “He’s young, he plays for a really big club, he has a really kind of easy way with the ball.”We’ll see if Tillman plays in El Salvador. Then the wait will begin to see if he plays more this season at Bayern.
Previewing USMNT vs. El Salvador,
ASN’s Brian Sciaretta previews the USMNT – El Salvador with a look at key positional battles. Plus, he looks at Ethan Hovartha’s media call, the big shakeup at NYCFC as Ronny Deila leaves the club, and LAFC’s big-name acquisition in Giorgio Chiellini.
BY BRIAN SCIARETTa JUNE 14, 2022
THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL team will conclude its four-game run on Tuesday night with a visit to El Salvador as part of its Nations League campaign. It has been a successful month for Gregg Berhalter’s team that defeated Morocco, drew Uruguay, and then trounced Grenada to open its Nations League defense. The main story, however, is that this game is the final opportunity players will have to make an impression within the team ahead of the September window – the final window before the 2022 World Cup.The competition is tight – both among players on the “bubble” to make the team and also among those who are likely to make the team but who are simply pushing for starting jobs or more minutes in Qatar.
In terms of players to watch against El Salvador, here are a few players or positions I will be watching for tonight.
Ethan Horvath: the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper is on the bubble of making the team but is facing the issue of not being a starter at his club. Mostly likely he and Sean Johnson are pushing for that third goalkeeper spot with Johnson having been playing regularly for NYCFC and also having played well for the U.S. team in the 0-0 draw against Uruguay. Horvath will start against El Salvador, and he needs to match Johnson’s performance. The pressure is on.
Cannon vs. Yedlin: This is a tight battle between DeAndre Yedlin and Reggie Cannon for the backup right back spot to Sergino Dest. Given Cannon’s positional switch at the club level to a right central defender in a three-man backline, perhaps he gives Berhalter some versatility. But Yedlin more closely resembles the main starter, Sergino Dest, in terms of style. Maybe both go, but right now this is a tight competition and not much separates the two.
Aaron Long, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown: While the U.S. team has not conceded any goals over its first three games, central defense has been up and down. Goalkeeping and luck bailed out the U.S. team both against Morocco and Uruguay while Grenada simply did not test the U.S. team. Walker Zimmerman has performed well but Berhalter has rotated the other three central defenders. Palmer-Brown struggled against Uruguay, Carter-Vickers was mixed against Morocco, Long has also been mixed. Whoever can play well against El Salvador could be in a good spot heading into September. Zimmerman and Chris Richards are in a good spot right now. After that, it is wide open.
Brenden Aaronson vs. Yunus Musah: Aaronson, the new Leeds United man, is a lock to make the World Cup team but it remains to be seen how Berhalter will use him. While he’s mostly been a winger for the U.S. team, Berhalter tried him as his No. 10 against Morocco and Aaronson played well. He now has his foot in the door in central midfield and that puts him in direct competition with Yunus Musah who had that position throughout qualifying. Musah has played well for the U.S. team and has a big upside, although his final ball and shot are sometimes lacking. For Aaronson, that is his strength. If Aaronson continues to play well and if Musah doesn’t improve on his finishing, Aaronson could shift Musah to the bench in terms of the first choice XI.
Haji Wright: After a strong season in Turkey, Wright has put himself into a great spot to compete for a spot on the World Cup team. The U.S. team needs a No. 9 and over the past year, Berhalter has used Josh Sargent, Matthew Hoppe, Daryl Dike, Ricardo Pepi, Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Pefok, and now Wright. Ferreira has done well in a different kind of role that helps open the game up for others. But can Wright build up the case to put distance between him and players like Pepi, Pefok, and Sargent.
Joe Scally vs. George Bello: The backup left back spot behind Antonee Robinson is wide open. Scally another talented young American player, but it remains to be seen if he’s ready or is one for the next cycle. Bello (who was teammates with Scally on the U.S. U-17 team in 2019), is also very much uncertain. Bello has had more opportunities to date than Scally but both Bello and Scally have had a tough run in Germany since the start of the new year. Scally started off the Bundesliga season well for Borussia Monchengladbach and has floated between right and left back. Bello, meanwhile, joined a Arminia Bielefeld team in a bad spot, got relegation, and now has to compete in the 2.Bundesliga. If neither Bello or Scally leave camp without having made a positive impression, Berhalter might look to other options like DeJuan Jones, John Tolkin, or Sam Vines in September.
TILLMAN OUT FOR EL SALVADOR
Malik Tillman struggled in his sub outing for the U.S. team against Grenada but Gregg Berhalter said there was a reason for that.Berhalter indicated that Tillman suffered an injury after coming on against Grenada and it progressively got worse. The U.S. manager said that is why Tillman looked frustrated. Because of this, Tillman will not be available to play against El Salvador.Berhalter said Tillman had a good first camp for the United States team, although it remains to be seen how much in contention he will be for Qatar or if he is viewed as a potential player for next cycle.The answer will probably come down to how he does to start the 2022/23 season where there have been reports that Bayern Munich is looking to loan Tillman out.
HORVATH ADDRESSES THE MEDIA
Ethan Horvath is the lone American player on the roster who hasn’t yet appeared for the U.S. team the first three June games. The Colorado native, however, told the press on Monday that he will start against El Salvador for his first start with the U.S. team in over a year. That was shortly after his triumphant moment when he replaced Zack Steffen in the final of the Nations League against Mexico and stopped an Andres Guardado’ penalty in the 118th minute to preserve a 3-2 win.But after that moment, things for Horvath have been mixed. He was the backup keeper to Brice Samaba and despite playing well (aside from one noticeable error in the first half of the season), he rode the bench. Before that, he was the backup for three seasons at Club Brugge behind Simon Mignolet.With Nottingham Forest having secured promotion to the Premier League, their goalkeeping position is in flux. Brice Samba might be on the move, or might be looking for a pay increase. But there are also reports Forest are looking at bringing in another goalkeeper with Nick Pope’s name having been mentioned.Horvath, now 27, has played such little soccer over the past four years that he told the media he just wants to play and that the national team is just one reasons why.“The World Cup is coming around and that is part of the reason why I want to play, but to be honest, I just want to play again to feel that adrenaline and those butterflies and just that game-day feeling day in and day out,” Horvath said. “We’ll see what happens. We’re in close contact with Nottingham and whatever happens, happens there. The main objective is to play, with Nottingham or somewhere else.”It’s a tight competition to make the World Cup team and the third goalkeeping spot will likely come down to Horvath or Sean Johnson. It’s too early to give an edge to either of the players as it might come down to who is playing this fall and who is playing well.But Horvath said the competition is making everyone better.”It’s a healthy competition,” Horvath said. “If it’s one of the other three playing, I want them to do good. It’s a team sport. And at the end of the day, we all have the same objectives and the same goals. And in trainings, we have a good time. We have laughs, but at the same time, it’s also a healthy competition. We get our work done. We want to make each other better.”
USMNT seek to end June camp “on a good note” against “more aggressive” El Salvador
By Charles Boehm @cboehmMonday, Jun 13, 2022, 08:34 PM
As many observers and players alike have noted, World Cup qualifying is at its core a pass/fail exam – either you made it to the dance or you didn’t – and the US men’s national team earned their spot in Qatar 2022 via one of the Concacaf Octagonal’s three automatic qualification slots.
Yet the Yanks’ 1W-3L-3D record in away matches was an unsightly blemish on their campaign, a dereliction of the region’s traditional “win at home, draw on the road” formula for success that left them third in the final standings, well back of Ocho winners Canada.
For head coach Gregg Berhalter, that raises the importance of both the performance and the result in Tuesday night’s Concacaf Nations League visit to El Salvador (10 pm ET | FS1, Univision and TUDN), where the US labored to a 0-0 draw on the opening matchday of the Ocho back in September.
The USMNT opened their CNL title defense with Friday’s blowout of Grenada, as expected, and now want to round out their June camp successfully with a solid outing in what should be a much more demanding task.
“We’re pleased with the game on Friday. Any time you beat an opponent 5-0 at any level, I think is good. Any time you limit them to zero shots on goal, that’s important. So we were pleased with that performance,” Berhalter said of the 5-0 win over the Spice Boyz in Monday afternoon’s matchday-1 press conference. “You can only play against your opponent on the field, right, and we have to take care of business and we did that on Friday, we put ourselves in a good position.
“El Salvador will be a different opponent. They’ll be more aggressive, I think they’ll be a higher pressing, better counter-pressing, and away from home. So for us, it’s how do we deal with those elements and then how do we put a good performance in a way from home, that we haven’t always done since we’ve been together? So that’s certainly going to be a challenge for this group. We know it’s the last game before we go on break from each other, and we want to end on a good note.”
As the World Cup draws ever closer, assessment of both individuals and on-field relationships continues as well. Berhalter has already revealed that striker Haji Wright and goalkeeper Ethan Horvath will start on Tuesday for the first time in this international window, while newcomer Malik Tillman aggravated an injury against Grenada and is out for Tuesday.Others on the fringes are also likely to get extended minutes in a setting that could prove much more demanding than Friday’s in Austin.
“Everyone in this camp is trying to be an established player, and we have a lot of guys here that have been the core of the team for the last three years,” said the coach. “So I’d say that any time a player gets an opportunity with the national team, it’s an opportunity for him to show that he belongs there and show that he has what it takes to play international soccer.“When you’re talking about the detal of chemistry between guys and certain partnerships working together, that’s something that you don’t always get in some of the lineups that you’re playing. But it’s still an opportunity for guys to show that they belong playing at this level … that’s an important part of the evaluation process.”With El Salvador having already dropped points on their visit to Grenada last week, a 2-2 draw in St. George’s, a USMNT win on Tuesday would effectively put them in the catbird seat for winning CNL Group D even with two matchdays still to play in 2023. Making games like this a proving ground for Qatar while also picking up positive results is a priority.“The tricky thing about the national team is that you have to perform each and every time that you’re in camp,” said Berhalter. “How do we get better collectively as a team, how do we evaluate players and then how do we start defending our Nations League title? And we’re very much in the present right now and focused on, how do we win against El Salvador?“That overall evaluation process will take place, it takes place after each and every game in seeing how players do and seeing how they perform in their positions, see if they’re executing the roles that we have them in based on what we’re doing on the field. So all those things are daily work. We’re not in a position right now where we’re saying, ‘OK, this person’s locked in or not locked in,’ or this person’s out. I don’t think we’re there yet. But certainly we’re using these games to evaluate performances.”
The USMNT Goalkeeper Roulette Wheel Keeps on Spinning
Ethan Horvath will get his long-awaited chance in a national team shirt as part of a process that’ll determine who will be the go-to backstop at the World Cup.
- BRIAN STRAUS 5 HOURS AGO SI You are reading 1 of 4 free premium articles. Subscribe for unlimited access for just $1. Members log in.
More than a year later, Ethan Horvath’s national team number is finally being called again.It was in early June 2021 when the goalkeeper enjoyed a Hollywood moment that seemed like it might alter his U.S. trajectory. Starter Zack Steffen went down with an injury in the second half of the Concacaf Nations League final against Mexico, and Horvath, who grew up in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, took the Mile High field and then sensationally saved an Andrés Guardado penalty kick in extra time. The American men held on and won the trophy
“To come have a performance like that in his hometown, it’s stuff that storybooks write about,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said that night.Horvath was suddenly back in the national team fold following about two years away. And after too much time on the bench at Club Brugge, he was on his way to England and Nottingham Forest. Things were looking up. A few days after the euphoric win over Mexico, Horvath went the full 90 minutes in a friendly shutout of Costa Rica. Steffen was about to spend another season on the periphery at Manchester City. Matt Turner had one cap to his name, and Sean Johnson had yet to backstop New York City FC to an MLS Cup. The World Cup was in 18 months, and Horvath appeared to be back in the U.S. picture. That storybook pretty much ended there, however. He started just 10 times for a Forest side that earned promotion to the Premier League. Turner was outstanding in the Gold Cup and wound up battling Steffen for the No. 1 job during World Cup qualifying. And although he was called up by Berhalter a couple more times, Horvath never played.Enough time passed for the U.S. situation in goal to be settled. Horvath likely wondered if he’d get another shot. But uncertainty remains a year later, and so the American goalkeeper roulette wheel is spinning yet again. No one is certain where the ball might land when the U.S. opens the World Cup against Wales on Nov. 21. What has traditionally been a position of strength for the American men is now a source of some concern.Tuesday night in El Salvador, Horvath will get his long-awaited chance when the U.S. meets La Selecta in its second game of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League. It’s also the fourth and final match of this international window. Berhalter’s decision to start Horvath is as much about his potential as it is a commentary on the goalie depth chart. The position, and the careers of the men who may fill it, are in flux.“We have to take them both into consideration, and it may not be perfect,” Berhalter said Monday when asked how he’ll weigh a goalkeeper’s club form against his national team experience when making his World Cup decisions. “It may come down to small differences amongst the group. But right now, it’s really too early to give an in-depth comment on it because we just don’t know what their situation is going to be.” https://104e1c5fab61e0c24097301c523229ef.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html Turner is headed to Arsenal this summer after breaking out in New England.
Katie Stratman/USA TODAY SportsAt the moment, Horvath, Steffen and Turner, who’s on his way to Arsenal, are all slated to be Premier League backups. Johnson is the only regular starter, but for a long time he didn’t seem to be anything beyond Berhalter’s third choice. Both Steffen and Turner had their ups and downs during qualifying, and while Steffen appeared to lock down the starting U.S. job last fall, some back trouble and then a couple shaky moments in March opened it back up. Berhalter had expressed concern about Turner’s comfort with the ball at his feet and his role in the American buildup, but the departing New England Revolution star has been working on that and is expected to do so even more frequently at Arsenal. The analytics (advanced stats like goals prevented, etc.) also favored Turner during qualifying.
Speaking at the start of the current window, the second-to-last before the World Cup, Turner said he’s eager to bet on himself in England after a dizzying rise from undrafted afterthought to MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Gold Cup Golden Glove winner.“Being a week-in, week-out starter in MLS didn’t guarantee me to be a starter for the national team and going to the World Cup. I obviously want to play games, so I needed to shake things up in my club career and I think this is a positive step forward for me in the long term and in the immediate future,” he said in Cincinnati.“If you’re going to tell me that somebody’s No. 1, or a position is completely set, I’m not sure I really buy that because in professional sports, you always have to show up and you always have to put your best performances out there if you want to maintain,” Turner continued. “You can have something, but you need to maintain it and be consistent over a number of games, a number of years, whatever it is.” urner and Steffen started the U.S.’s World Cup qualifiers and appear to be the top two goalkeepers on the depth chart.Steffen and Horvath are in a slightly different spot than Turner. They made their moves to England, but they haven’t broken through. Horvath, 27, acknowledged his complicated situation when speaking on the eve of his first U.S. start since last year.“I don’t 100% know what will go on, but I think mine and everyone’s main focus going into these last couple of months is playing time and just getting as many games as possible before Gregg makes the final decisions,” Horvath said.“Yeah, there is the uncertainty,” he added. “But going into this summer period, my main objective is to play. And I know that, yes, the World Cup is coming around, and that is part of the reason why I want to play. But to be honest, I just want to play to play again, to feel the adrenaline and those butterflies and just that gameday feeling day-in and day-out. So yeah, we’ll see what happens. We’re in close contact with Nottingham and yeah, whatever happens, happens there. The main objective is to play, if that’s with Nottingham or somewhere else.”Turner played in the window-opening win over Morocco in Cincinnati and was very good, and then Johnson made his own statement with a clean sheet against South American power Uruguay in Kansas City. Turner had almost nothing to do in the Nations League opener against Grenada last Friday. Now, it’s Horvath’s turn. Steffen pulled out of this month’s camp for undisclosed family reasons, which paved the way for Johnson’s inclusion.“It’s a healthy competition, you know? If it’s Zack, Sean, Matt or myself playing, if it’s one of the other three playing, I want them to do good,” Horvath said. “It’s a team sport and at the end of the day, we all have the same objectives and the same goals. And in trainings, we have a good time. We have laughs. But at the same time, it’s also healthy competition. We get our work done. We want to make each other better.”
t’s a healthy competition that will end in one of two ways. Either someone will emerge as the starter because of form or performance (or injuries to others), or Berhalter simply will have to make a choice when the alarm rings on Nov. 21. Playing regularly has to matter to an extent, and Horvath has an opportunity at the Estadio Cuscatlán to show Berhalter, Nottingham Forest or another club that might be interested that he’s capable and worthy. It’ll be a game that doesn’t have much in the way of competitive stakes. The Nations League’s primary purpose, apart from giving Concacaf’s smaller countries more competition, is Gold Cup qualifying. All the U.S. has to do to ensure its place in the 2023 regional championship is not finish third in its three-team group when it concludes in March (otherwise, it’ll enter a four-team playoff). Grenada’s presence makes that extremely unlikely.So, Tuesday is about individuals and the opportunity to step up and stand out in a road game against an energetic Salvadoran side that has demonstrated it can be tough to deal with. The U.S. will have only two more matches before leaving for Qatar—September friendlies on European soil against a pair of Asian teams. Time is running out. Horvath has been clutch for the Americans before. He may have to be clutch again to maintain his place in the competition and boost his club prospects.“I’m very happy to get the start [Tuesday],” Horvath emphasized. “It’s one of three last games before we head to the World Cup.” “Every roster spot is going to be carefully considered, and what’s worked in the past may not work now,” Berhalter said Monday when discussing his keepers. “I’ve seen Spain, where they’ve taken a really old goalkeeper [to the World Cup] because he [Pepe Reina] means a lot to the group. I see other teams take young goalkeepers. And for us, nothing’s set in stone right now. “What we know is we want, A; guys that can perform up to the level, and B; guys that are bought into the team ethos and and fit the culture of our group. So we’ll make a decision based on those two parameters and hopefully get it right.”
Which U.S. cities will host 2026 World Cup games? We’re about to find out
Mon, June 13, 2022, 1:03 PM
The 16 United States cities bidding to stage the 2026 World Cup will finally learn on Thursday whether they’ll get that chance.It’s been exactly four years since FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, awarded the world’s most popular sporting event to North America. Ever since, two dozen cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico have been preparing and politicking, trying to prove themselves worthy of hosting matches.On Thursday in the 5 p.m. ET hour on Fox Sports 1, FIFA will pick anywhere between 16 and 19 of them — including 10-12 in the U.S. — and leave the others feeling as if this agonizingly thorough, oft-delayed process was all for naught.In Mexico, FIFA’s decision is a foregone conclusion. Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey will host a combined 10 games down south. Another 10 will be played in Canada, where Toronto and Vancouver are locks, and Edmonton is the third candidate. The North American bid committee originally proposed that there would be three host cities north of the border, and 10 in the U.S., but there have been rumblings that FIFA could select an 11th U.S. city, or even a 12th — perhaps at the expense of the less-glamorous Edmonton, or in addition to it.With four U.S. cities long considered locks, and a few more shoring up their status in recent months, that leaves 12 American contenders for either six or seven spots in the 2026 World Cup rotation. According to conversations with people familiar with the process and previously reported information, here’s how the race looks with less than a week to go.
Which USA cities will (almost) definitely host 2026 World Cup games?
1. New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium)
An obvious choice, and the favorite to host the final.
2. Dallas/Arlington (AT&T Stadium)
The grandeur of Jerry Jones’ palace outweighs any functional aspects that make it unsuitable for soccer. Originally pitched as a semifinal venue, Jerryworld is, according to one source, the only other candidate to host the final, because it has one thing that MetLife does not: a roof. Domes can make for strange soccer settings, but, contrary to traditionalist assumptions, FIFA loves indoor stadiums for their weatherproof-ness. The nightmare scenario is a July thunderstorm in North Jersey interrupting the most-watched game in all of sports.
3. Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
With one of the few NFL stadiums that regularly hosts soccer matches, Atlanta will be a prime candidate for a semifinal. It also could be the site of the International Broadcast Center, the tournament’s main media hub.
4. Los Angeles (SoFi Stadium, Rose Bowl?)
One ideal city, two less-than-ideal stadiums — and that’s why Los Angeles’ status as a favorite to host the U.S. opener has gotten shaky. It has ritzy SoFi, with just about every imaginable amenity but not enough field space for soccer. It has the Rose Bowl, which is steeped in history but relatively bare-bones compared to the other venues on this list.It’s unclear whether both will get games or, more likely, FIFA will choose one. SoFi is the logical choice, but if FIFA is unwilling to compromise on field dimensions, it might have to sacrifice thousands, if not tens of thousands of seats — an adjustment that could jeopardize L.A.’s candidacy for a high-profile match like an opener or semifinal.
5. Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
Perhaps no city’s bid has been more squeaky-clean and impressive than Philadelphia’s. It began this whole process on the bubble. By late-April, according to a report from Grant Wahl, it was in the running for a semifinal, which could coincide with the 250th anniversary of the crafting of the Declaration of Independence in … the nation’s original capital, Philadelphia. (July 4 itself, though, would likely be the date of a quarterfinal.)
6. San Francisco/Santa Clara (Levi’s Stadium)
Grass field at a modern stadium in a moderate climate near an airport and an attractive metropolitan area. There’s a reason Levi’s has hosted some high-profile soccer matches since it opened, and there’s no reason to think it won’t get more in 2026.
7. Houston (NRG Stadium)
City infrastructure and the retractable roof are two big pluses — nobody wants to play in 95-degree Texas heat in June. It’s unclear whether Houston’s proximity to Dallas is a pro or con, but its proximity to Mexico, and specifically Monterrey, is another plus. Teams will, at some point, have to travel between the U.S. and its neighbors, and only two other American host cities (Dallas and Atlanta) are within a four-hours-or-less flight from Mexico City.
8. Seattle (Lumen Field)
Rich soccer culture? Check. Proximity to two other host cities (Vancouver and San Francisco)? Check. Natural grass? Nope, and that’s the reason Seattle doesn’t get more big-time internationals and preseason friendlies. But it isn’t alone here — nine of the 17 American stadiums in the mix have artificial turf. FIFA has said that, in general, “that’s not a concern.” Sod can be temporarily installed. And Seattle should be selected.
Which American cities will likely host 2026 World Cup games?
9. Miami (Hard Rock Stadium)
The first of the modern NFL stadiums built to accommodate soccer, Hard Rock has hosted summer friendlies over the past six years, including the first stateside Barcelona-Real Madrid Clasico in 2017. The assumption all along has been that FIFA will pick one of the two Florida cities still standing, and that Miami is the destination of choice.
10. Baltimore/Washington D.C. (M&T Bank Stadium)
FedEx Field, as you’ve probably heard, is a dump. FIFA officials confirmed that perception when they toured the then-Washington Football Team’s stadium last fall. So, with D.C. slipping from contention, and Baltimore always a longshot, the two DMV cities merged their respective bids into one.
The games would be in Baltimore. Many festivities would be 45 minutes away in D.C. On one hand, it seems ridiculous to even consider such an unwieldy arrangement over a dozen other solid options. On the other hand, it seems ridiculous to hold the world’s biggest tournament in the world’s most powerful nation without the nation’s capital involved.
An alternate solution could be to hold various ceremonial events in D.C., but not games in Baltimore, which is why this joint bid remains on the bubble. But two sources with knowledge of the process said recently that they couldn’t fathom FIFA snubbing it.
Which U.S. cities are on the World Cup 2026 bubble?
11. Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium)
Kansas City is the only contender even remotely close to the middle of the country. (Chicago, which would have been a near-lock, pulled its bid in 2018 due to taxpayer risk, leaving the Midwest without another legitimate option.) The question is how FIFA will interpret that geography. Does K.C.’s location help bridge geographical divides between the two coasts and Texas, because it cuts some flight times in half? Or, if FIFA wants “clusters,” as one of its top officials has said, is Kansas City a tad too isolated?
Local officials are confident enough in a favorable answer that they’ve scheduled a downtown watch party for Thursday’s announcement.
https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3JlZnNyY19zZXNzaW9uIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6Im9mZiIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9LCJ0Zndfc2Vuc2l0aXZlX21lZGlhX2ludGVyc3RpdGlhbF8xMzk2MyI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJpbnRlcnN0aXRpYWwiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X3Jlc3VsdF9taWdyYXRpb25fMTM5NzkiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoidHdlZXRfcmVzdWx0IiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1534894059470348291&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fsports.yahoo.com%2Fworld-cup-2026-host-cities-170311724.html&sessionId=5880f228685e2138d03b6d93560efae78edb8716&siteScree 12. Boston/Foxboro (Gillette Stadium)
Perhaps the most polarizing bid of the bunch, Boston has first-hand World Cup hosting experience and, most importantly, Robert Kraft — a Major League Soccer founder and 2026 bid committee honorary chair who boasts a personal relationship with FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Unfortunately, it also has an inconvenient, barely-even-suburban stadium with neither a roof nor natural grass, which makes it extremely unattractive. There has also been a litany of minor issues behind the scenes. If it weren’t for Kraft’s political pull, Boston would surely be out. As it stands, it’s squarely on the bubble.
13. Nashville (?)
FIFA officials left Nashville impressed after their visit last fall, but uncertainty surrounding the future of the Music City’s NFL venue — the Titans now plan to build a new stadium rather than renovate Nissan Stadium — has left FIFA asking a simple question: Why, with so many low-risk options, would we gamble on a construction process that could become a race against time?
Unless they’ve secured assurances in recent weeks, Nashville will be on the outside looking in — though it could remain in contention to host non-soccer events, like the preliminary or final draw.
Which USA cities are FIFA World Cup 2026 longshots?
14. Denver (Empower Field at Mile High)
The calculus here is similar to Kansas City, but Denver is much more of a longshot. There’s better soccer infrastructure and a richer soccer culture in K.C.
15. Orlando (Camping World Stadium)
See Miami. (The stadium in Orlando is one of the least impressive and, more importantly, least weatherproof.)
16. Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium)
With all due respect to Cincinnati, whose training facilities have twice lured the USMNT, it probably shouldn’t even be in this conversation.
What factors are being considered in World Cup 2026 host cities?
FIFA considers dozens of factors, from a city’s hotels and public transportation, to its willingness to commit public funds to events, to its training sites. But there is one absolute non-negotiable: “The pitch is everything,” FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani said last November. “The pitch is sacrosanct.”
More broadly, the stadium is the single most important factor. As spectator venues, each of the 17 proposed American stadiums is beyond sufficient. The difficulty is in converting them to soccer venues with natural-grass surfaces that are wider than NFL fields, and that don’t have any imperfections that might mar games that billions of fans around the world will watch. (The World Cup is, above all else, a television extravaganza; what matters is the quality of the product that shows up on TV screens.)
Who, exactly, will make the decision?
FIFA. Colin Smith, its “chief tournaments and events officer,” is leading the charge. But he and his team have consulted a wide range of stakeholders, from local bid committee officials to U.S. Soccer Federation executives. In fact, FIFA recently hired two former USSF employees, former CEO Dan Flynn and VP of events Amy Hopfinger, to help lead the local subsidiary that it has created for the 2026 World Cup.
How many games will each selected city host?
That hasn’t been decided, but if there are 10 sites for 60 stateside games, that’s an average of six per city. The North American bid committee originally proposed that each U.S. city would get a minimum of five.
And it’s reasonable to assume that each host city will get at least one knockout-round match. In fact, the bid committee sketched out a schedule way back in 2018 that put at least two knockout games in each U.S. city. With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams, there’ll be a truncated group stage (16 pods of three teams, and three games each) and a Round of 32, meaning 31 win-or-go-home games over a span of three weeks.
Will the snubbed cities get any consolation prizes?
The half-dozen cities that aren’t selected on Thursday, plus others who weren’t even finalists, could host ancillary events, team base camps and pre-World Cup friendlies. North American officials also proposed “pop-up fan fests” — tamer versions of the official fan hubs that FIFA sets up in each host city — in cities that don’t stage matches.
When will ticket sales begin?
Likely sometime in 2025. But if you’re interested in buying tickets, get ready to pay handsomely. The average ticket across all rounds, based on sales and revenue projections submitted by the North American bid to FIFA years ago, will cost upwards of $300.
What, exactly, will FIFA announce on Thursday?
Not much beyond the list of host cities. Details will likely trickle in over the coming years, in part because intermittent announcements mean more opportunities to build excitement and generate interest, but also because the logistics of organizing a World Cup are unfathomably complex.
FIFA originally hoped to announce the host cities in 2021 and the match schedule in 2022. Delays, some of them related to the COVID-19 pandemic, have pushed back the timeline. An early draft of a schedule, including the hosts of the final and openers, could be revealed in 2023. Qualifying processes and the “preliminary draw” will likely be set in 2023 as well.
When does the 2026 World Cup begin?
In June, and most likely on or around June 11, specifically. The final would likely be on July 12. Despite the expansion to 48 teams, the tournament will still fit in the traditional 32-day window.
How to watch the host city selection
The Thursday announcement will be made during an hour-long live show that begins at 5 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The network will announce details soon.
A follow-up news conference is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, and can be streamed live on FIFA’s website.
Will the Women’s World Cup come back to the U.S. anytime soon?
Possibly. U.S. Soccer officials have said they’re planning to bid for either the 2027 or 2031 tournament. The more likely option is 2031. But FIFA hasn’t yet finalized bidding processes for either of the t
Megan Rapinoe among the surprises on U.S. women’s CONCACAF W Championship roster
Kevin Baxter Mon, June 13, 2022, 12:02 PM LA Times Megan Rapinoe, right, celebrates with teammate Alex Morgan after scoring on a penalty shot for the U.S. in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final against the Netherlands. Rapinoe and Morgan will represent the U.S. in the CONCACAF W Championship in July. (Francisco Seco / Associated Press)
U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski on Monday called up a mix of young and veteran players for next month’s CONCACAF W Championship, the qualifier for the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics. And that makes the 23-player roster one full of surprises — both for who made it and who didn’t.Making it were forward Megan Rapinoe and defender Becky Sauerbrunn.Rapinoe’s inclusion was surprising because the 36-year-old hasn’t started for her NWSL club this season, playing just 154 minutes over four games for the OL Reign. And she hasn’t been part of the national team since October.Less surprising was the inclusion of Sauerbrunn, who is a week past her 37th birthday. Although she missed the national team’s April camp because of a knee injury, Sauerbrunn has played in the Portland Thorns’ last six NWSL games. She is also the U.S. captain and leads all active players with 202 international caps.Also returning for the first time since October is Alex Morgan, the NWSL scoring leader with nine goals in as many games for the expansion San Diego Wave. She is the national team’s leading active scorer, ith 115 goals, and she’ll be joined by Wave midfielder Taylor Kornieck, who is looking for her first senior national team cap.Among the missing is Angel City forward Christen Press, who hasn’t played with the national team since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics. She left Angel City’s match in Louisville on Saturday with a knee injury, but Andonovski said she wouldn’t have beaten out Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith — whom he called the two most exciting players in NWSL — even if she was healthy.“She’s performing well. But it’s not just her now. It’s her competing with the players that are in front of her,” he said. “It’s not easy to be a forward in United States. The competition has just gotten bigger and bigger.”Eight other regulars were not available because of injury or maternity leaves, among them Abby Dahlkemper Catarina Macario, Sam Mewis, Crystal Dunn and Julie Ertz.The coach said Rapinoe, third among active players with 187 caps, was included largely because her experience will be valuable on a team that features 10 players under the age of 26 and eight players with fewer than 10 caps.“She is very important for this group,” Andonovski said. “Her winning mentality, her knowledge and understanding is very valuable for the group.”Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan, all members of the World Cup-winning team in 2019, were included as well.“They’re on the team, first and foremost, because they can perform,” Andonovski said. “Their experience is a bonus.”
The U.S. will play friendlies against Colombia on June 25 in suburban Denver and on June 28 outside Salt Lake City before flying to Monterrey, Mexico, for the eight-team CONCACAF tournament, which kicks off July 4. The U.S. will play Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico in group competition. Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, the reigning Olympic champion, will play in the other group.The top two teams in each group will earn berths in next summer’s expanded World Cup field, as well as spots in the tournament semifinals. The W Championship winner earns an automatic berth in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The second- and third-place finishers will meet in a September playoff with another Olympic invitation at stake.The last time the U.S. played in a World Cup qualifying tournament in Mexico, in 2010, the Americans suffered their only loss against Mexico, which forced them to win a two-leg playoff with Italy to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.
DEILA LEAVES NYCFC
As one of the more impressive foreign managers in MLS, Ronny Deila has decided to return to Europe and join Standard Liege after the Belgium club agreed to terms with the Norwegian Deila and agreed to pay a termination fee to New York City FC.It marks the second time NYCFC has lost a successful head coach midseason after Patrick Viera left in 2018 to take the job at Nice.Deila has been a successful manager having won a Norwegian title at Stromsgodset in 2013, then in Scotland with Celtic in 2015 and 2016. In 2021, he won MLS Cup with NYCFC.His time in New York was very successful as he guided the team to a 46-29-15 record across all competitions. In 2022, following its elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League in the semifinals to Seattle, NYCFC has been the best team in MLS. The team has one of the best rosters in the league and is 7-0-1 in its last eight league and has also advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.Former Manchester City women’s head coach Nick Cushing will take over as the interim head coach after he joined NYCFC as an assistant coach in 2022.
What to make of this?
This is the business of soccer and the price for success. After he left Stromsgodset in his native Norway to move abroad, Deila has never stuck around with a club for more than three seasons. It is the same with Tata Martino who left Atlanta after winning MLS Cup in 2018 but who rarely stayed at any club for more than two seasons. Some managers move frequently and there is a good chance Deila won’t be at Standard Liege in more than three seasons.NYCFC knew or should have known that this is what happens when it looks for talented foreign managers who have a history of moving around. There is nothing wrong with it, but it’s the business. You’re not going to get a talented local manager like Brian Schmetzer or Jim Curtin who is going to build up a good team over many years. Instead, it becomes a priority for the front office to set the philosophy and culture while then looking to bring in a manager who fits the culture.The problem, however, is that it is never easy. Just look at Atlanta United in the years following Martino’s exit. The good news, however, is that NYCFC has done a good job so far with Viera and Deila both having success. NYCFC has a pretty good idea of what works.
CHIELLINI JOINS LAFC
While most big-name imports made by MLS teams have been younger in recent years, LAFC made a throw-back signing on Monday when it announced the signing of legendary Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini from Juventus.Chiellini, 37, is not a designated player but was signed using TAM money.Such signings were more common in the earlier days of MLS when teams would bring in older players from Europe in the twilight of their careers. That trend ended within the last decade as top targets were younger, often from South America. MLS teams found the younger players were often hungrier and looking to still make their way in the game. Meanwhile, older imports like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andres Pirlo, Rafa Marquez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and others were struggling.Chiellini is certainly older but is not far removed from incredible moments. In 2021, he was named European Championship’s best defender as Italy defeated England in the final.LAFC is also looking to add a player who will complement what the team already has as opposed to hoping that Chiellini can elevate a club by himself.“Giorgio is a special, one-of-a-kind player and person,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said. “Signing Giorgio was a unique opportunity to improve our club. He will complement what we believe is already a strong team as every day he will set the right example with his leadership competitiveness, and experience. He is a serial winner at the highest levels, and we are grateful he has chosen LAFC to join in our pursuit of trophies.”For me, it would not be surprising at all if Chiellini turns out to be a success. LAFC is one of the better teams in the league and Chiellini is not a designated player. The club can bringing him into the fold as its own pace and the fact that he will be surrounded by the better teams in the league will only help him.While this is a throw-back signing in terms of bringing in an “big-name” older player, there still will be those in that mold who will find success. The question is whether it is a right fit.
Premier League season is second-most watched
The English Premier League season averaged 507,000 viewers per window across the NBC family of networks (including additional streaming data not tracked by Nielsen), up 21% from last year (414K) and behind only 2015-16 (514K) as the most-watched ever on U.S. television.Last weekend’s season-ending EPL Championship Sunday averaged a combined 2.2 million across NBC’s linear networks and Peacock, matching 2019 as the highest on record. Manchester City-Aston Villa led the way with a 0.48 and 817,000 on NBC, that figure rising to 955,000 with Peacock included — the largest audience on record for a Championship Sunday match. Liverpool-Wolverhampton on USA averaged a 0.33 and 652,000 (681K including additional streaming data), a record for a Championship Sunday match on cable.
Maddy Williams’ Historic First Half Hat Trick Helps Keep Indy Undefeated, Atop Great Lakes Division
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Friday, June 10, 2022) – The Indy Eleven women’s squad remained undefeated and atop the Great Lakes Division standings courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Flint City AFC in front of another sellout crowd of 1,041 fans at the Grand Park Events Center. The result included a historic performance from forward Maddy Williams, who notched the first hat trick in Indy Eleven’s short USL W League history, with all three tallies coming in the first half and lifting her into a tie for the team’s scoring lead alongside Katie Soderstrom.The result pushed the Eleven’s undefeated record to 5W-0L-1D after the first half of the squad’s 12-game W League campaign. The three points also pushed Indy back into solo possession of the Great Lakes Division lead on 16 points, with Indiana’s Team now sitting two points clear of Racing Louisville FC and holding a game in hand on its rival.The action towards goal started early on both sides, with Rachel McCarthy pushing a near-post header just side from five yards only 30 seconds in and Flint City defender Abby Werthman putting a 3rd minute free kick from just outside the area just wide of the left post. The scoreboard wouldn’t stick on zeroes for long, however, as Williams started her hat trick off in the 7th minute by taking down Robyn McCarthy’s diagonal into the left side of the area with a touch in space before finishing into the middle of goal past Flint netminder Kayla Shuk for the opener.It was another well-placed diagonal into the left side of the area that set-up Williams’ second of the night in the 17th minute, this time via a low ball by midfielder Ella Rogers that took three defenders out of the play. With ample time and space Williams chose to chip Khuk, with her bending effort from 15 yards dipping perfectly into the upper right corner for a classy finish and a 2-0 Indy lead. Williams upped the degree of difficulty to cap off her hat trick in the 22nd minute, when she took a popped up clearance attempt first-time with an audacious volley from 20 yards out that hit the inside of the far right post, leaving the Purdue product shrugging her shoulders and Flint asking plenty of questions down 3-nil just a quarter of the way through the match.Flint City AFC nearly pulled one back in the 36th minute after a long spell of possession ended with Eleven ‘keeper Nona Reason chasing a cross off her line and the ball eventually landing at the feet of Alexa Sabbagh, but the AFC striker sailed her chance from six yards over frame. Williams looked to continue her dominating performance in the 41st minute by nutmegging a defender to get into the left side of the area once again, but her clipped effort from 10 yards missed the upper right 90 by a foot. The Eleven closed out the first half in stoppage time with Grace Bahr’s 25-yard rocket off a free kick that Shuk did well to grab onto without spilling at her left post, allowing the score to stay at 3-0 Indy heading into the halftime break.The second half saw the Noblesville H.S. grad Reason called into more action during her first start of the season, starting in the 51st minute when she extended fully to her right to get both hands on a shot across her frame from 15 yards. Five minutes later AFC midfielder Alana Wood ended a mazy run from midfield and into the area with a solid 15-yard effort, but once again Reason was on the spot at her right post to make a sure-handed stop.As substitutions chopped up the game following the hour mark, Indy Eleven still kept its foot on the gas, with forward Rachel McCarthy looking the most dangerous down the stretch. The BYU striker nearly had Indy’s fourth in the 78th minute with Kruk drawn off her line, but late pressure forced her to dribble an angled effort just past the base of the far post. Half chances would be all that was left for the remainder of the match, giving Indy a second straight victory and third win at its Grand Park home in as many outings.Indy Eleven will kick off the second half of its USL W League campaign with a two-game week, starting on Tuesday evening when it travels to the Cincinnati area to take on Kings Hammer FC at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Girls in Blue will return home to the Grand Park Events Center next Friday, June 17, for a pivotal showdown against Racing Louisville at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tickets for that contest are available at indyeleven.com/wleague-tickets for only $8, and fans who cannot make it to the match can watch the proceedings via ISC Sports Network. To learn more about the newest edition of Indiana’s Team representing the women’s game, visit indyeleven.com/wleague.
2022 USL W League Regular Season – Matchday 6
Indy Eleven 3 : 0 Flint City AFC
Friday, June 10, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
Grand Park Events Center – Westfield, Ind.
IND – Maddy Williams (Robyn McCarthy) 7’
IND – Maddy Williams (Ella Rogers) 17’
IND – Maddy Williams (unassisted) 22’
Indy Eleven lineup: 1-Nona Reason (GK), 5-Grace Bahr, 6-Julia Leonard, 9-Katie Soderstrom (7-Becky Dean 62’), 12-Maddy Williams (10-Milica Bulatovic 62’), 13-Jenna Chatterton (17-Emily McCalliget 73’), 22-Greta Kraszula, 23-Robyn McCarthy (Selena Barnett 73’), 26-Ella Rogers (15-Isadora Gadjobranski 73’)
IND substitutes: 1-Mackenzie Wood, 4-Kristina Lynch
Flint City AFC lineup: 0- Kayla Shuk (GK), 2-Kendra Zak, 5-Isabelle Karkaba (15-Kayla Robbins 45’), 10-Abby Werthman, 12-Arianna Hudson, 13-Zoe Hudson, 14-Alli Leonard, 16-Anna Schroeder, 17-Sam Lopez, 18-Alana Wood (11-Alexis Kufta 64’), 22-Alexa Sabbagh
MID substitutes: 7-Jaden Frigerio, 16-Katie Ferguson