9/16/22  CHS Boys host Pack the house Tonight, US Roster & Jersey Drops, Big TV Games, UCL Results

Games to Watch – Madrid Derby

With ½ the games in the EPL canceled again this weekend – not much to see in the EPL again this weekend Sat NBC does have Tottenham vs Leicester at 12:30 pm, while MGladbach and American Joe Scally host RB Leipzig and new coach Thomas Tuchel at 12:30 pm on ESPN+.  Sat AM’s game to watch is American Gio Reyna who started in Champions League on Wed hosting Schalke on ESPN 2 at 9:30 am.  Sat night gives us a huge matchup in NWSL with Alex Morgan and San Diego opening their new stadium on Para+ and hosting Angel City (my daughter is going!) The big game is of course Sunday’s Madrid Derby – with Athletic Madrid hosting Real Madrid at 3 pm on ESPN+.  Of course the USA plays next Friday at 8:30 am vs Japan and National team games start Thursday.

US Men

I will have my full reaction to the US Men’s Roster next week in a special mid week USA Breakdown.

Indy 11 @ Monterey Sat – Return next Sun 5 pm

Indy Eleven will make its longest road trip of the 2022 season when it heads to the Pacific Coast for its first meeting against expansion side Monterey Bay F.C. on Saturday evening.The Eleven enter the weekend on a roll, unbeaten in 4 straight games, including 3 wins at home against playoff-bound competition. Postseason participation isn’t the team’s primary motivation at this point, but another win this weekend would stave off mathematical elimination heading into the final four weeks of play. Indy Eleven will carry a three-game unbeaten streak back into Carroll Stadium on Sunday at 5 pm, when it welcomes Loundon United to the Circle City on Hispanic Heritage Night

High School Local – CHS Boys host Pack the House Night, Friday 9/16

Free admission for all Carmel FC and Carmel Dad’s Club players with their uniforms on.  Carmel High School Girls & Boys Varsity Schedules.

BIG GAMES ON TV

Fri, Sept 16

3 pm USA                            Aston villa vs Southampton

3 pm Peacock                    Notingham Forest vs Fulham

7:30 pm Para+                     Racing Louisville vs Orlando Pride

Sat, Sept 17

7:30 am USA                       Wolverhampton vs Man City

9:30 am ESPN                     Dortmund (reyna) vs  Schalke

10 am USA                          New Castle vs Bournemouth

12:30 pm NBC                    Tottenham vs Leicester

12:30 pm ESPN+          MGladbach vs RB Leipzig

3:30 pm Unimas          Atlanta United vs Philly Union

6 pm FS2                     Monterrey vs Atlas Mexican

7:30 pm ESPN+                  Monterey Bay vs Indy 11

7:30 pm Para+                   NC Courage (Murphy) vs Seattle Reign (Lavelle, Rapinoe, Huerta)

9 pm Univision                  America vs Guadalajara

10 pm Para+                       San Diego Wave (Morgan) vs Angel City

Sun, Sept 18

6:30 am para+                    Udinese vs Inter Milan

7 am USA                             Bretford vs Arsenal

9:15 am Peacock               Everton vs West Ham 

9:30 am ESPN+                  Union Berlin (Pefock) vs Wolfsburg

2:45 pm                                AC Milan vs Napoli

2:$5 pm bein Sport          Lyon vs PSG

1 pm ESPN                          Columbus Crew vs Portland Timbers

3 pm ESPN+                        Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid (Madrid Derby)

10 pm FS1                            Tijuana vs Necaza

5 pm Para+                         KC Current vs Portland Thorns (Smith, Horan, Sauerbrann)NWSL

Fri, Sept 23

8:25 am ESPN                     USMNT vs Japan in Germany

Tues, Sept 27

2 pm ESPN                          USMNT vs Saudi Arabia in Spain

Fri, Oct 7

3 pm FOX                             US Women  vs England in London

Tues, Oct 11

2:30 pm ESPN2                  US Women  vs Spain (Pamplona)

Sat, Oct 29

8 pm CBS                             NWSL Championship Game

Indy 11 Schedule

NWSL Women’s Schedule

MLS National TV Schedule

World Cup Schedule

Soccer Saturday’s are every Sat 9-10 am on 93.5 and 107.5 FM with Greg Rakestraw

FC Cincinnati will host Club Deportivo Guadalajara, “Chivas” at TQL Stadium on Wednesday, September 21 as part of the 2022 Leagues Cup Showcase. This friendly match will be the first ever meeting between FC Cincinnati and the historic LIGA MX club. The match kicks off at 7:00 pm. Tickets start at just $20 and are on sale now! 

The Leagues Cup Showcase will serve as a preview to the 2023 Leagues Cup, the month-long official tournament between MLS and LIGA MX. All 47 MLS and LIGA MX clubs will participate next summer, with the tournament champion earning automatic qualification for the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) round of 16.
BUY TICKETSMORE INFORMATION

US Men

US Roster Announced – Bushnell Yahoo Soccer
U.S. men’s soccer team missing key players to injury ahead of World Cup warmup matches

USMNT keeper Steffen misses fourth-straight Middlesbrough match

US Fans Trash the New USA Kits

Champions League  


Champions League: Bayern Munich punishes Barcelona again; late goals stun Tottenham and save Liverpool


Man City vs Dortmund: Haaland scores winner vs former club (video)

Allegri’s credit runs out as ‘worried’ Juve flounder

Benfica sink dismal Juve to win 12th straight match

Front three all score as PSG fight back to beat Haifa

Rangers defy UEFA, but defeated by Napoli

Inter beat 10-man Plzen in Champions League

Paulinho strikes late as Sporting stun Spurs

Frustrated Celtic settle for draw against Shakhtar

Milan beat Dinamo Zagreb to top Champions League Group E

Chelsea vs Salzburg: Blues cough up late lead in Potter’s debut (video)

Barcelona report: Lionel Messi could make sensational return – but won’t make decision until AFTER World Cup

New-look Barcelona show positive signs in defeat to Bayern

Lew wasteful in Return to Bayern – Barca Reality Check
Abraham fires Roma to win at Empoli

Vinicius and Rodrygo ‘making Real Madrid dream’ says Ancelotti

Champions League: Sporting Lisbon shock Spurs with 2 goals in stoppage time
Liverpool vs Ajax: Matip plays Anfield hero in 89th minute

Late Matip winner gives Liverpool Champions League lift off

EPL


Premier League All-Star game: what’s it all about and who would play?

Live at Leeds: how Jesse Marsch brought New York grit to the Premier League fight

Leverkusen’s late goals sink Atletico in Champions League

WORLD

 World Cup Qatar Fails Opening of Lusail Stadium

Pepi and Sargent In at USMNT No. 9, Pefok, Wright and Vázquez Out as Berhalter Names Roster for Last Games Before World Cup

Out with injuries: Steffen, Jedi Robinson, Weah

   Grant Wahl Sep 14
 

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter released his 26-player roster on Wednesday for upcoming friendlies against fellow World Cup 2022 entrants Japan and Saudi Arabia. The two games are the U.S.’s last ones before the World Cup starts in Qatar.The biggest news is at the center-forward position, where Berhalter called up Josh Sargent, Ricardo Pepi and Jesús Ferreira and omitted Jordan Pefok, Haji Wright and Brandon Vázquez.Injured players who are not included in the call-ups include Zack Steffen, Jedi Robinson and Tim Weah.

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Here’s the roster (club/country; caps/goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0), Sean Johnson (New York City; 10/0), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 18/0).

Injured: Zack Steffen.

Notable Omissions: None.

My Thoughts: I expect that Turner, who has started playing in cup games for Arsenal, will be Berhalter’s starter, though I don’t say that with absolute 100 percent certainty since Horvath and Johnson have been the full-time starters with their clubs.

DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 27/1), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 11/0), Sergiño Dest (Milan/ITA; 17/2), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 27/3), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 8/0), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 2/0), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL; 8/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami; 74/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville; 31/3).

Injured: Jedi Robinson, Miles Robinson.

Notable Omissions: Ream, Sands, Brooks.

My Thoughts: The only semi-surprise for me here is that Berhalter hasn’t called up Sands, who has had some good games for Rangers, which is in the Champions League group stage. Ream has been playing very well and captaining Fulham, showing that he can hack it in the Premier League, but he has been out of Berhalter’s call-up picture for a bit now. So too has Brooks, who recently signed with Benfica. It has been clear for a while that Brooks is not in Berhalter’s plans, though he does bring experience and skill at the position.

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 52/2), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG; 30/1), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 11/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 35/9), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 19/0), Malik Tillman (Rangers/SCO; 2/0).

Notable Omissions: None.

My Thoughts: There aren’t really any surprises in the midfield. Yunus Musah has been breaking out at times for Valencia. It’s a bummer for Djordje Mihailovic that he got injured in June and missed out, because I think he could have made a case for himself. Tillman has played well for Rangers, and I expected he would be called up, though it’s interesting to note that he’s listed as a midfielder and not a winger/forward.

FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 22/6), Paul Arriola (Dallas; 47/10), Jesús Ferreira (Dallas; 13/7), Jordan Morris (Seattle; 48/11), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen/NED; 11/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 51/21), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 12/4), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 19/3).

Injured: Weah.

Notable Omissions: Pefok has been the starting center-forward for a Union Berlin team that is currently leading the Bundesliga, but he isn’t called in for the USMNT? That’s certainly a choice by Berhalter, who likely thinks Pefok isn’t a great fit for his game model. But still. Haji Wright has five goals this season for Antalyaspor. But you got the sense that Berhalter felt like Wright didn’t make the most of his chance with the national team in June. And Brandon Vázquez has 16 MLS goals this season but didn’t get the call. Berhalter is clearly going with players who have spent more time in his system.

My Thoughts: The biggest surprise of this roster for me is that Ricardo Pepi is on it, despite not having scored a goal for club or country since last October’s World Cup qualifying win against Jamaica in Austin. It’s a huge vote of confidence from Berhalter as Pepi tries to get things going again on loan at Groningen. Sargent’s inclusion is a reward for the five goals he has scored this season for Norwich, which is finally using him in the No. 9 spot. Ferreira still figures to be the starting center-forward, though, which I expect will continue at the World Cup.

USMNT weekend viewing guide: Before the break

Last chance for club impact heading into Septembers international window.

By jcksnftsn  Sep 16, 2022, 2:13pm PDT  

4 Comments / 4 New

Presumably either because they hate Americans generally, or because they hate Todd Boehly and his idea of an all star match specifically, the English have decided to respond by cancelling the most American matches of the weekend. Chelsea FCLeeds United, and Crystal Palace will not play, with Fulham being the only team slipping through the cracks because neither of their Americans were called up. The joke is on them however, as this just ensures that Christian Pulisic, Brendan Aaronson, Tyler Adams, and Chris Richards will have a little extra break as they had into the final camp to prepare for the upcoming World Cup and their matchup with England, where the real payback will happen.

Saturday

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – 9:30a on ESPN2

Welcome back, Gio Reyna. Reyna saw his first start of the season, and just his fourth appearance of more than 35 minutes in over a year on Wednesday in Dortmund’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City in Champions League group play. It’s been a brutal year for the young man, and it seems likely the club will continue to take the cautious approach with him so he may not start right away this weekend as they face Schalke on Saturday in a match that is breaking through the Plus barrier to show up on network TV. Dortmund do need to get a result against Schalke this weekend after being thumped by RB Leipzig 3-0 last weekend. They still remain just two points back of league-leading Union Berlin and tied with Bayern Munich, but will rue the missed opportunities at the end of the season if they are unable to defeat the newly promoted side.

Other notes:

  • Atlanta United cling to a sliver of playoff hope as they host a Philadelphia Union side that has been steamrolling their competition recently. This match will be at 3:30p on Univision and Twitter.

Streaming overseas:

  • Pellegrino Matarazzo’s Stuttgart snatched a point last weekend with a late goal against Bayern Munich and now face Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Joe Scally and Borussia Mönchengladbach face RB Leipzig at 12:30p on ESPN+. ‘Gladbach are coming off a scoreless draw with Freiburg last weekend.
  • Yunus Musah has picked up a knock that has forced him to withdraw from the upcoming USMNT camp and he is unavailable for his club this weekend when they take on Luca de la Torre’s Celta Vigo at 12:30p on ESPN+.
  • Timothy Weah remains sidelined for Lille who face Toulouse at 3p on beIN Sports.

MLS mashup (all matches on ESPN+):

Sunday

Union Berlin v Wolfsburg – 9:30a on ESPN+

The most surprising omission from Gregg Berhalter’s list of September call ups was Jordan Pefok, whose Union Berlin side continue to lead the Bundesliga six matches in to the season. It’s early days but still a surprising result for the Berlin side. Union defeated Köln 1-0 last weekend on the back of an own goal just three minutes into the match. Pefok had a chance to add to his Bundesliga goal tally several minutes later, but was unable to bury the opportunity from the penalty spot. Union Berlin will now take on a Wolfsburg side that finally picked up their first win of the season last weekend 1-0 over Eintracht Frankfurt. Kevin Paredes was an unused substitute in the match.

Other notes:

Streaming overseas:

  • Weston McKennie and Juventus have some work to do to get back on track coming off a 2-1 loss to Benfica in Champions League play and struggling to find the expected results in league play. They face a Monza side that picked up their first point of the season last weekend in a 1-1 draw with Lecce. The match will be played at 9:30a on Paramount+.
  • Sergiño Dest and AC Milan face a tough matchup with Napoli at 2:45p on Paramount+. Dest has been seeing regular time off the bench for his new club. The two clubs are tied on points for the league lead with Napoli holding the top spot due to goal differential

MLS mashup (all matches on ESPN+):

  • DC United have gone into play your kids mode with their season effectively over, which could lead to some opportunities. They face DeAndre Yedlin and Inter Miami at 5p.
  • Kellyn Acosta and LAFC look to stay within striking distance of the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters Shield race when they take on the Houston Dynamo at 10:30p.

What the players missing from the USMNT September friendlies roster says about the team

It says… hey, what about Tim Ream?

By Parker Cleveland@AekprrAcdeellnv  Sep 15, 2022, 10:00am PDT  

Fraport TAV Antalyaspor vs Trabzonspor: Turkish Super Lig

It is just under nine weeks until the start of the World Cup and it’s getting to be decision time for Gregg Berhalter. The USMNT manager finds himself in the enviable situation of having the deepest and most talented American men’s player pool in the history of the team and it is inevitable that some players will be left out.

He commented on some of those following the roster announcement.

Kyle Bonn of the Sporting News posted on Twitter that Berhalter noted that Jordan Pefok wasn’t called in so that Ricardo Pepi could get a look.

Berhalter on Jordan Pefok: “We know what Jordan can do, he’s been great in the Bundesliga, and we just went with someone else in this camp…we didn’t want to just give up on Pepi.”

Sounds like GGG isn’t out on Pefok just yet, wants to give Pepi a shot to earn it #USMNT— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) September 14, 2022

Berhalter went on to describe that Pefok was considered but didn’t put much detail forward about anything Pefok could do to lock down a roster spot. Perhaps if Pepi had only gotten 44 minutes so far this season it would be a different story.

Elsewhere, Meg Swanick of the Guardian and Philly Inquirer noted that Berhalter is mulling over some other names for the World Cup roster.

He goes on to name specific players who could earn their way onto the team, including: Zack Steffen, Gaga Slonina, James Sands, Tim Ream, EPB, Matt Miazga, Mark McKenzie, Shaq Moore, Johnny Cardoso, Eryk Williamson, Jordan Pefok, Haji Wright & Brandon Vasquez— Meg Swanick (@Meg_Swanick) September 14, 2022

Other roster news came that an October camp for MLS players who are eliminated from the playoffs will be planned.

Berhalter says there will be an October camp for MLS players whose teams aren’t in the playoffs. #usmnt— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) September 14, 2022

Of course, depending on how the regular season shakes out and where teams end up finishing this could include a wide range of players from Jordan Morris to… Cade Cowell or Sebastian Lletget in a roster that will be sure to enthrall fans.

The names included in the lists above and elsewhere in the player pool do offer some interesting possibilities and gives insight into the overall strength of the player pool that’s worth reviewing.

Goalkeeper

Woof. Having typically been a strength of the USMNT with a starter usually well established, the no. 1 shirt is up for grabs. Presumably as long as Matt Turner isn’t forced to play a game on Hoth, he has the inside track to the job. The fact that Zack Steffen has been left off, and has reportedly lost a chance to be the starter at Middlesbrough, also makes it seem as if at least two keeper spots are open.

Defenders

The list that was called in seems pretty solid and the names that have been left off are not totally objectionable.

John Brooks is, of course, missing as he’s taken the mantle of “guy who isn’t on the roster because the manager doesn’t rate him for reasons” in a tale as old as soccer time.

Tim Ream has not been called in, but with the USA facing England and Wales in the group it’s almost surprising that a player who has defended a fair share of players from the UK (even if Fulham isn’t exactly known for their defense in the top flight) isn’t in the conversation more.

James Sands has also been logging solid minutes with Rangers and is not on the list as well. He has the capability to play in central midfield and when it comes time to pick players for a World Cup that might see him get a bump.

Left and right back might not be the strongest spots depth-wise also. There’s no shortage of Americans in these positions, but saying that there are many pushing for callups is debatable.

Midfield

The main player who could make an impact not on the list is Djordje Mihailovic, but aside from him… Johnny and Eryk Williamson aren’t exactly players that seem like the could make a big difference at this stage. If anything the list of midfielders not on the list indicates that depth behind first choice players is a bit lacking.

Forward

It’s very difficult to see a player like Pefok or Haji Wright not making a World Cup squad unless Ricardo Pepi finds the back of the net in the Netherlands on a regular basis soon. Of course, there’s plenty of time for that to happen, but striker is still an unproven position for the national team. There have been some nice performances by players here and there in a USA shirt, but there won’t be any statues built for the players on the list as of now at least.

Pepi and Sargent in, Pefok and Vazquez out as USMNT September roster released

September 14, 2022 11:00 am ET

U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter has named a 26-man roster for the team’s final two World Cup tune-ups against Japan and Saudi Arabia.The biggest headlines were perhaps at the hotly contested striker position, where Berhalter opted to call in Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent, and omit Brandon Vazquez and Jordan Pefok.Pefok (Union Berlin) and Vazquez (FC Cincinnati) miss out despite strong form for their club sides, while Pepi gets his first USMNT call since March after leaving Augsburg on loan for Dutch side Groningen. Sargent, meanwhile, returns to the USMNT for the first time since September 2021 after his red-hot start to the season with Norwich City.

Gio Reyna is also back with the USMNT for the first time since March after his return to form for Borussia Dortmund, as the 19-year-old is gradually brought back into the fold after an injury-hit 2021-22.

There were also a few notable injury absences: Antonee Robinson, the team’s normal starting left back, was left out after suffering an ankle injury against Tottenham on September 3. Sam Vines, who is off to a strong start in Belgium with Royal Antwerp, was called in his place.Goalkeeper Zack Steffen missed out after he missed Middlesbrough’s past four games with a knee injury, and Tim Weah was also omitted as he recovers from an ankle injury.

The USMNT will face Japan on September 23 in Düsseldorf, Germany (8 a.m. ET, ESPN2/UniMás), and will then face Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain on September 27 (2 p.m. ET, FS1/UniMás).

USMNT September roster (caps/goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 18/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 27/1), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 11/0), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA; 17/2), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 27/3), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 8/0), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 2/0), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL; 8/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami; 74/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 31/3)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 52/2), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG; 30/1), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 11/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 35/9), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 19/0), Malik Tillman (Rangers/SCO; 2/0)

FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 22/6), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; 47/10), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 13/7), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 48/11), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen/NED; 11/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 51/21), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 12/4), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 19/3)

What Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad vs. Japan, Saudi Arabia suggests about his World Cup plans

Sep 14, 2022

  • Kyle BonaguraESPN Staff Writer

Experimentation time is over. With only two friendlies left before the United States men’s national team begins World Cup play against Wales on Nov. 21, there’s no time left for coach Gregg Berhalter to waste on determining the final, mostly inconsequential roster spots.

For that reason, the 26-man roster he called in for the upcoming games against Japan (Sept. 23) and Saudi Arabia (Sept. 27) will serve as somewhat of a World Cup preview. The team is without potential starters goalkeeper Zack Steffen, left-back Antonee Robinson and winger Timothy Weah due to injuries, but outside of those three there isn’t much reason — barring more injury complications — to believe anyone else in the U.S. player pool remains in serious contention to contribute in Qatar.

Berhalter stressed otherwise Wednesday, saying other players can still make the final roster — he has no incentive to say anything to the contrary — but his selections are a clear message about how he views the team. The reality of the way this World Cup is structured requires these next two games to be used to help the team gel.

Let’s take a look at who’s in the team, and at whose expense.

Striker

In: Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Ricardo Pepi (FC Groningen), Josh Sargent (Norwich City)
Out: Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati)

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

Ferreira was the only near-lock at this position. The combination of his MLS form (18 goals in 30 games) and increased role with the U.S. in the past several months indicated as much.

So, that left the five others vying for inclusion, and what’s tempting to read into is how many players are on this roster. Mexico, for example, called in 31. There isn’t a limit. If Berhalter wanted to bring in another player or two, he had that option. He chose not to, citing the desire the mimic the amount the team can carry at the World Cup (26) and the lack of game time to get players on the field.

The most notable omission here is Pefok, who has started five of six games in the Bundesliga for first-place Union Berlin, scoring two goals. By Berhalter’s own admission, he’s been “tearing defenses up.” Contrast that with the inclusion of Pepi, who hasn’t scored since October 2021 and was so ineffective following a big-money move to FC Augsburg (currently 13th in the Bundesliga) that he was loaned out, and the logic is hard to follow.

Berhalter acknowledged Pepi has had a tough time since scoring three goals early in qualifying and that they are trying to get his confidence up. Maybe it pays off. Pepi has shown he can be a prolific goal scorer, but it’s certainly a gamble to use this period to get a young player’s confidence up ahead of the World Cup instead of going with a more proven, in-form option.

Playing out of position on the wing last year in the Premier League, Sargent’s opportunities with the U.S. became limited. But now that he’s playing at his natural No. 9 position following Norwich’s relegation, he’s regained his form with five goals in his past five league games (all wins). The question now becomes: How close is he to earning the starting job?

Winger

EDITOR’S PICKS

In: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Out: Tim Weah (Lille), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Konrad de la Fuente (Olympiakos)

This group is straightforward. Weah isn’t in because of injury, and if Berhalter elects to carry five wingers in Qatar, that likely means the final spot will be between Arriola and Morris, neither of whom figure to have a significant role.

Reyna’s return is massive. He’s slowly been worked back into form at Dortmund early this season after a disastrous year on the injury front that limited his involvement with the national team. When healthy, he can be the most impactful player on the roster. Both Reyna and Aaronson give the team some positional flexibility. They’re both in the mix to start on the right wing — opposite Pulisic on the left — but can also be effective playing in central midfield. After seeing how effective Aaronson has been for Leeds, it will be tough to keep him off the field.

Midfield

In: Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Malik Tillman (Rangers), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC)
Out: Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Sebastian Lletget (FC Dallas)

Similar to winger, the midfield almost self-selects at this point. There is a clear starting trio with Adams, McKennie and Musah, with De la Torre, Acosta and Tillman clearly in a different tier.

Josh Sargent’s form for Norwich City has seen him move to the front of the line to be the U.S.’s No. 9. Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The only player in this group whose World Cup roster spot doesn’t appear solid is Tillman, who is on loan at Rangers from Bayern Munich. “He’s done well but he needs to do better,” Berhalter said. “He needs to increase his level. Disappointed with his last couple performances against Ajax and Celtic but he’s got a ton of quality.” It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, which hints at that possibility that his spot is vulnerable upon Weah’s return (taking into account, again, Reyna and Aaronson’s flexibility).

Full-back

In: Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp)
Out: Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld)

With Robinson, an established starter, out due to injury, it provides both Vines and Scally a chance to compete for the backup left-back spot. It seems unlikely either will factor in much in Qatar, but both are off to good starts with their club teams. Berhalter said Vines is “in the form of his life,” playing regularly in Belgium. Dest is almost assured to start at the World Cup and the preferred pairing is with him on the right and Robinson on the left, but with Robinson unavailable it will be interesting to see Berhalter’s selections for the friendlies. Does he play Dest on the right to build chemistry with those he’ll most likely play alongside in Qatar? Or does he shift to the left, which he’s done in the past, to get Cannon or Yedlin on the field ahead of Vines or Scally? The inclination here would be to play Dest on the right because, to stress this point again, this should be as close to a dress rehearsal as possible.

Center-back

In: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
Out: Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes), James Sands (Rangers), Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati), John Brooks (Benfica)

Dan Thomas is joined by Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others to bring you the latest highlights and debate the biggest storylines. Stream on ESPN+ (U.S. only).

In this calendar year, Berhalter has given minutes to six center-backs: Zimmerman (630), Miles Robinson (425), Long (305), Carter-Vickers (216), Richards (180) and Palmer-Brown (55). With Robinson out through injury and Palmer-Brown the least used of the group, the four roster selections were in no way surprising.

Still, there were other players that deserved strong consideration. Ream is captaining the 10th-place team in the Premier League, Sands is playing in the Champions League and McKenzie has locked down a starting spot for the second-place team in Belgium. Berhalter name-checked those three, plus Palmer-Brown and Miazga, noting that it made for difficult decisions. It remains bizarre that Brooks, who was on Benfica’s gameday roster in the Champions League on Wednesday, has fallen so far out of favor without a clear explanation, but that’s only barely still noteworthy.

Goalkeeper

In: Matt Turner (Arsenal), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Ethan Horvath (Luton Town)
Out: Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough)

Turner or Steffen? That’s been the main question for more than a year. They’re the only two who have really factored into the discussion about who should be the No. 1, and now neither of them are playing. As expected, Turner has been on the bench following his move from the New England Revolution to Arsenal, while Steffen is out with injury following a shaky start to his loan at Middlesbrough, where there’s speculation he’ll be on the bench upon his return to health.

It’s a problematic situation that won’t be solved by switching to Johnson or Horvath, who have two combined caps since the start of World Cup qualifying.

Grant’s – My 3 Thoughts on the Men’s Champions League Matchday

Haaland’s outrageous game-winner, thoughts on USMNT players and a call for Zidane to come back to Juventus

   Grant Wahl Sep 14

The athleticism shown by Erling Haaland on City’s game-winning goal, when he was well-covered by three defenders, was incredible (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The hyper-compressed men’s UEFA Champions League schedule is already two matchdays in. Here are my three thoughts on Wednesday’s games:

• On a day when Manchester City was there for the taking, Borussia Dortmund couldn’t seal the deal. The game I watched most closely was City hosting BVB, which deservedly went ahead through Jude Bellingham in the 56th minute but then saw City’s talent win out in the end. John Stones equalized with a long-distance strike, and João Cancelo pulled out a trivela assist to Erling Haaland, whose outrageously skillful finish saw him hit the ball karate-kick style with his boot at a crazy height in a goal that reminded me of prime-years Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Good news for U.S. fans: Gio Reyna started, went 62 minutes and played well, which is a good portent for his role in the upcoming national-team games. Gio, still 19, just doesn’t look out of place at all in games of this magnitude, and the U.S. needs as much of that fearlessness as humanly possible for the World Cup. Another note: Jack Grealish is a shadow of his Aston Villa self for Man City. He keeps getting chances and started this game, but his ity tenure has been entirely underwhelming so far, and that continued today.


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• Reyna and Cameron Carter-Vickers aside, it was an underwhelming Champions League day for USMNT players. Christian Pulisic got just six minutes in Chelsea’s disappointing 1-1 tie against Salzburg in Graham Potter’s coaching debut. (Todd Boehly presumably thought there should have been a penalty-kick shootout to determine a winner on the day.) Weston McKennie played all 90 minutes for Juventus, but it resulted in a 2-1 home loss to Benfica that left Juve six points behind PSG and Benfica and home fans booing their own team in Turin. And James Sands, who was left off today’s U.S. roster, got yellow cards two minutes apart to be sent off as Rangers lost 3-0 at home to Napoli. At least Cameron Carter-Vickers, freshly off being included on the U.S. roster, had a mostly solid 90 minutes for Celtic as it got a point on the road against Shakhtar in a 1-1 tie. Also, save a thought for American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, whose Maccabi Haifa team went up 1-0 at home against might PSG, only for PSG’s trio of Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar to score in a 3-1 comeback win. I’d lose my nerve if I was a keeper playing against those guys, so I’m raising a glass to Cohen tonight.

• Is it time for Zinédine Zidane to replace Max Allegri at Juventus? Heck yes. We saw two coach firings after Matchday 1 (at Chelsea and Leipzig), and Juventus really should consider becoming the third team to make a change. Juve needs a different direction, and if Zizou is interested the club should make it happen. Juve just isn’t a very good team this season, if we’re being honest, and it’s only partly about the players.

Former Hoosier Tommy Sommer Selected to Germany’s World Baseball Classic Team

Former Indiana pitcher and current Chicago White Sox minor-leaguer Tommy Sommer got dual citizenship this spring and is now a German citizen as well. As it turned out, it’s giving him a great international opportunity, because he’s been chosen to play for Germany in the prestigious World Baseball Classic.

  • TOM BREWSEP 2, 2022 8:26 AM EDT SI.com Hoosiers
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Juergen Sommer’s parents were born and raised in Germany, and when he left Indiana to play professional soccer in Europe in the early 1990s, one of the first things he did as a dual German-American citizen was to get a passport overseas so he could play right away on the continent.So when Germany extended its dual citizenship program a few years ago, Sommer thought it would be a good idea if his two sons, Tommy and Noah, did the same thing. In dealing with the German consulate in Chicago, they got it all done this summer, and both of his boys are German-American dual citizens as well.Tommy, who played baseball at Indiana from 2018 to 2021, was picked in the 10th round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. His professional career is off to a good start, and he’s seeing the very first rewards of his German citizenship. He has been invited to play for Germany in a qualifying tournament for the prestigious World Baseball Classic next month.He’ll be the first Indiana player to ever play in the WBC.“My dad’s parents are German, and my dad is an American-German dual citizen. When he played overseas, it was a big deal to be a German citizen so he could play in the Premier League,” Tommy said last month. “Little did we know that six or eight months later, this would come about for me, this amazing opportunity. He had a lot of forethought for sure.” 

Tommy Sommer was an important Friday starter during his time at Indiana. He was 13-9 in his career. (Photo courtesy IU Athletics) https://a2b281d17c32633e5e304c700246941a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html Sommer was 13-9 during his career at Indiana with a 3.71 earned run average. He’s been very good in the minor leagues as well, and has already been promoted once this season in the White Sox organization. He’s 6-7 on the season with a stellar 2.77 ERA, and the organization is high on the left-hander.”He’s having a great year, so it’s awesome that he’s getting this opportunity to play in the WBC,” Indiana coach Jeff Mercer said. “I love Tommy, and he was great to coach. Even last offseason, he stayed around here to work out and he was a huge help for a lot of our younger guys. The way he works, he’s a great role model.”Juergen Sommer is glad that everything worked out so well. He knows both of his sons will benefit from this, much like it did for him.”When I first got to talking to the people at the consulate, this program was expanded because so many families left after the war,” Juergen Sommer said. “There are kids and grandkids now in these families, and they want to make that new connection with those families.”It’s great for us. Noah, who’s a junior at Vanderbilt, speaks fluent German, and this will create a lot of business opportunities for him, as well. The entire process took some time, but we did the final interviews in May. It’s great that it’s done, especially with this opportunity coming together so fast for Tommy.”The World Baseball Classic has become a popular event on the Major League Baseball calendar. It started in 2006, and was meant to be designed after soccer’s World Cup. There have been four events — in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2017, but there hasn’t been one since because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full event will take place next spring, but there are two qualifying tournaments in September to fill the newly expanded 20-team field. Germany is one of six teams in Pool A, along with Spain, France, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Great Britain. The tournament is Sept. 16-21 in Regensburg, Germany, with the top two teams advancing to the full field next spring.Germany gets a bye in the first round, and will play the Great Britain-France winner on Sept. 17. The games are broadcast live on the MLB Network.Sommer is finishing up his minor-league season this week, and then will have a few days at home in Indiana before flying off to Germany. It’s a fun next step in his baseball journey.All from a thought about citizenship and an email to the manager.”I sent an email out about Tommy after the draft and heard back from Steve Janssen, who runs the German team,” Juergen said. “They were coming here to look at players, and he was excited to meet Tommy. They went to camp to see him. They had dinner and he saw him throw, and that’s when they added him to the player pool.”

Tommy Sommer was promoted to High-A Winston-Salem in July and has had a great first full season in the Chicago White Sox organization. (Photo courtesy of Winston-Salem Dash) https://a2b281d17c32633e5e304c700246941a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html For Tommy Sommer, 2022 has flown by. He started the year in Kannapolis, N.C. with the White Sox’s Low-A team. In his last six starts there, he allowed only four earned runs in 30 1/3 innings, a stingy 1.19 ERA.He was called up to High-A Winston-Salem on July 24, and has made eight starts. there. He’s allowed two runs or less in six of his eight starts.“It’s been a lot of fun. I played in Kannapolis in our Low-A for three months and had a really good time there,” Sommer said. “I’m here now in Winston-Salem with our High-A team, and it’s been great. It’s a different level of competition, and a lot of new guys, but it’s been good. I’m getting used to the new surroundings and I feel like I’m pitching pretty well. It’s been a good year for me. Former Indiana Baseball Pitcher Tommy Sommer Talks Minor League

Former Indiana baseball pitcher Tommy Sommer chats with Hoosiers Now publisher Tom Brew about his time in the Chicago White Sox organization.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.530.1_en.html#goog_1920519449 0 seconds of 59 secondsVolume 90%“I’ve just been keeping my head down and doing what I can control. I’ve worked hard for it, and to actually get the call (to High-A), that was a good thing to see. When it comes, you just have to adjust and keep working hard.Sommer has posted solid numbers in his year-plus in the pros. He was always a smart, crafty left-hander at Indiana, and he’s adjusted well at the next level and dangerous hitters“The biggest difference (between college and the pros) is just more talent and more power,” Sommer said. “They will do damage to you a lot quicker, but there’s also ways to attack hitters with your best stuff, and I’ve had a lot of success in transferring that mindset. I’ve been pretty spot on so far.’’He said he’s also adjusting to life on the road, and has made a lot of new friends in the White Sox organization.“Last summer was the big adjustment, going from IU where you had a totally controlled environment, and being close to home and everything,” Sommer said. “Then I went right out to Arizona (after the draft) with no car and you just get adjusted to everything going on with the next level of baseball. “This year has been a lot different. I’ve made a lot of friends on this team, and we’ve been having a good time. I’m very happy with where I’m at right now. I know they have other guys that they have bigger investments in, but I’m just going to keep working and keep pitching well, and see where it all takes me.”We know where it takes him next — to Germany for baseball’s biggest international event.

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