11/6/18 Champions League Tues/Wed, MLS Playoff Spectaculars, Indy 11 $99 Season Tix Specials in Nov, Carmel FC Training

Champions League

Barcelona sits top of the table with Inter Milan in 2nd as Barca hosts the 3 pm game Tues at 3 pm on TNT.  Of course Dortmund and US youngster Christian Pulisic will be on to the round of 16 if they win as group winners vs Atletico at 3 pm Tues online – while Atletico is thru with a win and Monaco and Brugge tie.  Liverpool is thru as the # 1 team with a win as they travel to Crevena on TNT at 1 pm Tues.  While the winner of PSG and Napoli will determine who goes thru in Group C at 3 pm Tues on TNT as GK Gigi Buffon returns from his suspension from last season for PSG.  Wed Juventus and Renaldo return to Juve for the 3 pm game on TNT – Juve will be thru as the top team with a win.  In the other TNT game Wed CSKA Moskva will travel to Roma who stands tied with Real Madrid for top slot.   For those who are frustrated like me trying to find your favorite team’s games – try visiting https://www.univision.com/deportes and see if your cable allows you to log in and watch for free – I have been able to watch all the games online along with the TNT games on TV.  Yes it stinks –but it has worked for me.  Email if you need my login to try to watch!  I hate this new set up!

MLS

The MLS Playoffs have been great so far as LAFC was surprisingly eliminated early and Columbus has a 1-0 lead on MLS wins leader NY Redbulls after the first leg.  Seattle will host Portland down 2-1 in aggregate on Thurs eve at 10:30 pm on FS1.  While the 2nd legs of the other 3 semi-finals are all Sunday afternoon starting at 3 pm on ESPN with Columbus @ NY Red Bull & NYCFC @ Atlanta 5 pm on ESPN, and 7:30 pm Salt Lake @ Sporting KC on FS1.

 INDY 11 $99 Season Tickets

The USL Final featuring defending Champs Louisville City hosting former Chelsea Star Drogba and Phoenix Rising will take place Thurs night at 8 pm on ESPN2.  Ok for folks looking for great Christmas ideas – the Indy 11 have come out with a family Season ticket plan that simply rocks.  $99 Season tickets in the South End Zone, or $150 in the BYB.  Seriously -these are level 1 seats for the full season for less than 1 Colts or Pacers game.  If you put just $50 down on Reserved Seat Tickets that start at just $289 before Nov 26th you get the bonus of Free Parking ($20 per game value).  All Season ticket holders get Exclusive Meet the Team Events, More Games on Saturdays less on Weds, Ticket Exchange Program (mix and match your games if you miss a game get double seats for another game of choice, 20% off team merchandise.  Click here for more info or Call 317-685-1100 for more details and tell them the Ole Ballcoach Sent you!

Indy11_Seasontix

 CARMEL FC PLAYERS

We have access to Murray Stadium the next two weeks and we will be offering free outdoor training sessions for Carmel FC travel players and our Select Players.

Here are the dates:

  • Monday (11/5),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Wednesday (11/7),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday (11/8),  5:45pm – 6:45pm  *Goal Keeping Training Only
  • Monday (11/12),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Wednesday (11/14),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday (11/15),  5:45pm – 6:45pm  *Goal Keeping Training Only

Here is the schedule for the training sessions:

  • Academy Sessions (8U-10U boys and girls) – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • 11U/12U Boys & Girls – 6:40pm to 7:40pm
  • 13U/14U/15U Boys & Girls – 7:50pm to 8:50pm
  • Goal Keeping training will be on Thursdays only
  • 5:45pm – 6:45pm (U11-U15, Boys & Girls only)

 Champions League

How teams can Qualify for the Knockout Rounds this Week ESPNFC

European Super League Details Leaked? ESPN

It’s time to fix — and save — the Champions League  ESPNFC

Man United in awe of Juve but can win in Turin Smalling Says

Liverpool Omits Shaquiri for Red Star Belgrade Trip

Spurs Season like a House of Cards – Pochettino Says ESPNFC

Barca Are UCL Favorites but Look out for Juve – Allegri Says

– Latest Champions League tables

– Upcoming group fixtures

– Champions League statistics

MLS

Biggest Take-Aways for the MLS Semi-Final First Legs – SI

Real Salt Lake Boots LAFC from Playoffs in Thrilling Knockout Match

Berhalters Gamble Works out for Crew SC in 1 leg of East Conf Semis – Kevin Johnson Soc Sakes

538: Who is likeliest to make Conf Championship?

Injury letoff, response boost Sounders for Leg 2

How each Leg 1 turned on a key coaching call

Wiebe: Who’ll win MLS Cup? The haters will say…

Power Rankings – Greg Doyle MLS.com

Indy 11

Indy 11 Season tickets for just $99 if U order by 11/26

Meet the Team Events, Free Parking for the Games ($85 savings), More Games on Saturdays less on Weds, Ticket Exchange Program (mix and match your games if you miss a game get double seats for another game of choice, 20% off team merchandise. Call 317-685-1100for more Details and tell them the Ole Ballcoach Sent you!

11 Reasons to Get Your Indy 11 Season Tickets today with Mike Henn

USL Championship Features Louisville vs Phoenix Rising & Drogba Thurs Eve 8 pm on ESPN2

Defending Champion Louisville City FC to Host Drogba, Phoenix Rising FC for 2018 USL Cup

Sights & Sounds – Louisville City FC Claims the Eastern Conference

 GAMES ON TV

Tues  Nov 6   Champs League

1 pm TNT                   Crevena vs Liverpool

3 pm TNT                                                  Inter Milan vs Barcelona

3 pm Uni Desp        Atletico Madrid vs Dortmund (Pulisic)

3pm                             Tottenham vs PSV

3 pm Univision OL Napoli vs PSG

3 pm                            Schalke vs Galastary

Weds  Nov 7   Champs League

1 pm TNT                     CSKA vs Roma

3 pm TNT                    Juve vs Manchester United  

3pm                               Man City vs Shaktar  

3 pm                             Viktoria vs Real Madrid

3 pm                             Bayern vs Athens AEK  

3 pm                             Benefica vs Ajax  

Thurs  Nov 8   MLS Playoffs

10:30 pm FS1                    Seattle Sounders vs Portland (Leg 2)

8 pm ESPN 2                Louisville FC vs Phoenix Rising USL Champ Game

 Sat, Nov 10   

9:30 am Fox Soccer      Werder Bremen (Seargent) vs Mgladbach (Johnson)

12:30 pm NBC            Crystal Palace vs Tottehham

12:30 pm FS 2              Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Bayern Munich  

12:30 bein Sport        Atletico vs Athletic Club

Sun, Nov 11  

7:30 am NBCSN            Liverpool vs Fulham (Ream)

9;30 am FS1                       RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen

9:15 am NBCSN             Chelsea vs Everton  

11:30 am NBCSN         Man City vs Man United

2:30 pm ESPN+            Milan vs Juventus

3 pm ESPN             NY Red Bulls  (0) vs Columbus (1)  (MLS Playoffs)

pm ESPN               Atlanta United (1) vs NYCFC (0)  (leg 2)  

7:30 pm FS1           Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake (leg 2)

Thur, Nov 15  

2 pm FS1                  England vs USA Men

Champions League: How teams can qualify for the knockout rounds

Dale JohnsonGeneral Editor, ESPN FC

The top two teams qualify for the round of 16, with the third-place team dropping into the Europa League and the bottom club eliminated from Europe.If two teams are level on points, head-to-head record is the first tie-breaker.

GROUP A

Borussia Dortmund are almost home and hosed with a 100 percent record, three points clear of Atletico Madrid. Dortmund’s place in the knockout rounds will be confirmed if they win at Atleti on Tuesday or if Monaco vs. Club Brugge — who both have a slim chance of progressing — is a draw that day. Atleti have a five-point cushion to the group’s bottom two teams, and they can book their place with a home win over Dortmund next time out if Monaco vs. Club Brugge is a draw. The only realistic chance for the bottom two is that Atleti lose to Dortmund.

GROUP B

The group is a carbon copy of Group A. This time, Barcelona have the 100 percent record and will be through if they win away to Inter Milan, who have six points, or Tottenham vs. PSV Eindhoven is a draw. Inter, meanwhile, will be through if they beat Barca and Tottenham vs. PSV Eindhoven, who both have one point, is a draw. Spurs or PSV must win and really need Inter to be beaten at home.

GROUP C

Liverpool, on six points, have the edge, but this group is exceptionally tight, and no team can advance on Matchday 4. It is very evenly poised with Napoli on five points and Paris-Saint Germain on four. With Napoli hosting PSG next time out, Liverpool know they can take a firm grip on the group by winning away to Red Star Belgrade, who have one point, but the Serbian outsiders could give themselves a chance with a shock win against the Reds.

GROUP D

Porto are well placed in the group on seven points and will expect to take a giant leap toward the knockout rounds when they host Lokomotiv Moscow, who have lost all three of their matches, on Tuesday. But they cannot secure qualification until Matchday 5. Schalke, on five points, and Galatasaray, on four points, meet in Germany in two weeks, and the Bundesliga outfit know they will almost be through if they can win that match.

GROUP E

Ajax and Bayern Munich are in control of the group, on seven points with identical records and four points ahead of Benfica. Ajax will book their place in the round of 16 if they can win at Benfica on Wednesday, and that result would also allow Bayern to secure safe passage with a victory at home to rock-bottom AEK Athens. While a draw at home to Ajax would keep Benfica mathematically in the hunt, they need to win that game to bring themselves truly back into contention. AEK will have to win all three of their remaining games to have a chance of going through.

GROUP F

It is tighter in this group, with Manchester City a point ahead of Lyon and both Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk a further three points back. But City can book their place with a win at home to Shakhtar, should Lyon pick up a victory at home to Hoffenheim. Lyon cannot qualify on Matchday 4, but Hoffenheim would be eliminated if they lose to Lyon and City beat Shakhtar. However, if Hoffenheim or Shakhtar can pick up an away win next time out, it will make the group very interesting.

GROUP G

Real Madrid and Roma are well placed on six points, two better off than CSKA Moscow. No team can qualify on Matchday 4, though bottom club Viktoria Plzen will be eliminated should they lose at home to Madrid and Roma win in Moscow. CSKA probably need to avoid defeat to Roma to stay in with a realistic chance of making it through, while victory would move them into the top two.

GROUP H

Juventus have a 100 percent record and will be through should they win at home to Manchester United on Wednesday. United, meanwhile, have just a two-point cushion over third-placed Valencia and could be overtaken should they lose in Turin. The final-day meeting of Valencia and United on Dec. 12 looks like it will be decisive, but Young Boys will have a say if they pull off a shock in Spain on Matchday 4.

European Super League plans detailed by leaked email sent to Real Madrid – reports

Nov 2, 2018ESPN

A leaked document sent to Real Madrid last month appears to show that plans are still ongoing for a long-speculated European Super League featuring the continent’s top football clubs.An Oct. 22 email to Real Madrid from Madrid-based investment firm Key Capital Partners included a “binding term sheet” of 11 clubs and five “initial guests” to form a breakaway, private league, according to multiple news outlets that received the document among thousands of others from the “Football Leaks” whistleblower platform.Reports of a potential new league for Europe’s top clubs have persisted for years, most notably in 2016 when officials from English clubs met in Londonwith American businessman Charlie Stillitano, the founder of the International Champions Cup summer tournament in the United States.Information regarding that meeting was also included in the “Football Leaks” documents, German magazine Der Spiegel reported. And though nothing ever came of those talks, the email to Real Madrid purports to show that the idea of a Super League is far from dead.

According to Der Spiegel, the term sheet in the email awaited signatures dated November 2018 from 11 “founders” — Spain’s Barcelona and Real Madrid; England’s Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United; Italy’s Juventus and AC Milan; France’s Paris Saint-Germain; and Germany’s Bayern Munich.Under the plans outlined in the documents, those clubs would register a company to organize the “European Super League,” of which they would be members for 20 years, ineligible for relegation. To begin, the founders then would be joined by five other guest clubs — Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Marseille and Roma.It also mentions a second league of teams that could face those initial guests for a chance of promotion to the Super League.The plan outlined in the documents reportedly makes no mention of UEFA, European football’s governing body, which organises the Champions League. While such a Super League likely would replace the Champions League, it is not known how it would affect clubs’ domestic leagues.Der Spiegel reported that Real Madrid and Key Capital Partners declined to comment. But the magazine also quoted Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke as saying the documents prove it is “clear” that discussions are ongoing.”I also believe that a few of Europe’s large clubs are clearly working on it,” Watzke said, though he noted that the plans are “not very concrete.”Watzke also said Dortmund under no circumstances would leave the German Bundesliga, but beyond that, the club would “keep all its options open.”

 

It’s time to fix the Champions League or start a European mega-league

Oct 2, 2018  Brian Phillips, Special to ESPN FC

There’s a strange kind of conceptual bloat that tends to infect international soccer competitions, which is fascinating because it so often works against the nature of the competitions themselves.You start with a simple idea — say, let’s figure out the best club team in Europe. Only then you try to draw up the tournament, and there’s a lot of arguing; before you know it, you’re trying to remember whether the sixth-rated confederation per UEFA coefficient receives one or two automatic byes to the subgroup qualifying pre-phase, or whether the losing team with the highest goal differential parachutes directly into the Europa League’s third knockout round-robin or has to play Borussia Monchengladbach first and it all seems a little too abstract. And somehow, just while you were trying to Google this, you’ve accidentally watched three Heineken commercials and you wonder whether it wouldn’t be a good idea to turn off the soccer and do something comparatively easy, like learn advanced number theory.I’m thinking about number theory, and also Heineken, because the Champions League roars expensively back to life this week, with Matchday 2 of the group stage. The Champions League is not, obviously, the worst exemplar of the kind of bloat I’m talking about. Format-wise, it’s positively straightforward compared to the Europa League, a tournament of such ghastly intricacy that future generations will use it to predict the end of the world. (“When Feyenoord enters the sixth house…”)But the Champions League, in its own, peculiarly vexed relationship to the fun it is nominally offering its audience, makes for a revealing case study in the way money, politics and media — and the competing interests surrounding each — can warp the essentials of the modern soccer competition.The form of the tournament itself means we’re forever watching matches whose stakes aren’t as high as they could be. The group stage, as it plods on, guarantees that the smaller clubs get a lot of TV time but the bigger clubs always have the best chance to advance. The two-legged knockout rounds work to preserve stability, and its accompanying ad revenue, over surprise. There’s nothing wrong with this, exactly. But it does sometimes make the Champions League look like a kind of drab hybrid, poised between the true free-for-all of a single-elimination knockout tournament and the shameless maximalism of a corporate super league.Is the Champions League fun? Obviously, in one sense, it must be. It’s the one venue where big European clubs from different countries play one another for stakes anyone cares about, and that inevitably comes with a lot of excitement, a lot of atmospheric drama (something the tournament duly exploits via its faux-operatic anthem, which sounds like a song a feather boa wrote about itself), and a lot of intriguing games.And sometimes these games are amazing. Liverpool vs. PSG, during matchday one, was a happy riot from start to finish, even if it symbolically seemed to pit two of the most corrupting influences in contemporary soccer (“the inertial power of established clubs” on the one hand versus “new money” on the other) against each other. There’s something weird, though, about the way the Champions League seems to regard its own capacity for delightfulness — the way it seems to see fun as a resource to be carefully amortized for the audience over a long period of time, as if it were managing a trust fund for an impetuous teenager. “No, Eric,” the Champions League always seems to be saying, “you can’t have a jet-ski until you get into Dartmouth.” The thrill of Liverpool vs. PSG was always moderated by your awareness of the context of the group stage, where matches are important but not tooimportant, and by your corresponding sense of the long, slow road ahead, where any number of shortcomings and reversals could be met and overcome on the way to the final.Think about this for a second. What’s the most exciting kind of game in sports? A final, right? And after that, a single-elimination knockout match, like the ones in the later rounds of the World Cup. That’s where the stakes are highest: The winner advances, the loser goes home.I don’t know about you, but as a sports fan, I am way more into excitement than patience or careful math. But in the Champions League, as in most big soccer tournaments, the function of the format’s complexities is almost always to diminish, rather than intensify, the tension of the individual match because the format is almost always working to lower the stakes. Instead of being sent home, the loser of a group-stage match is only somewhat disadvantaged in a multiphase round-robin mini-tournament that nearly always includes some relative minnows against whom the big clubs can sort out their problems. And even later, in the knockout rounds, the format gives teams two games rather than one to determine which side advances.If the single-elimination format makes for the most exciting sports tournament, why doesn’t the Champions League simply switch to life-or-death knockout games? That may seem like a naive question, but really, you’d think an athletic competition that needs a hundred sopranos to announce its advent would try to be as thrilling as possible.But here’s where things get interesting, because, of course, the Champions League has many reasons not to want to be thrilling, and nearly all them speak to the importance to the tournament of considerations other than fun. Week to week, in other words, the Champions League has strong incentives not to care very much whether you enjoy it.The first of those incentives is also the most defensible: fairness. Actually, maybe a better word would be “accuracy.” One of the reasons a single-elimination tournament is so deliriously entertaining is that it maximizes the chances for upsets — think of the early rounds of the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.Generally speaking, the longer two teams spend playing each other and the more times they play, the greater the odds that the more skilled team will win. Upsets are fun for fans, but if you’re constructing a tournament with the goal of actually identifying the best team, they’re a design flaw. Let the teams play more games, and even if each game feels less urgent, as it inevitably will, you will increase the chances that Real Madrid end up as champions a hundred consecutive times and drive everyone crazy — and that you will therefore, somehow, because the world is mysterious, have achieved the scientifically correct result.Of course, there are other reasons why the Champions League might want to minimize the possibility of upsets. Keeping the fan bases of big clubs interested for as long as possible doesn’t hurt TV ratings. High TV ratings don’t hurt MasterCard commercials.Perhaps most significantly, the Champions League is a desperate ongoing compromise between the most popular and powerful European associations (your Spains and Englands) and the smaller ones. The biggest clubs are forever threatening to trigger UEFA’s doomsday scenario by forming a breakaway European Super League, a threat that helped trigger the most recent round of format changes. Beginning this year, all four of the top clubs from all four of the top associations have guaranteed spots in the group stage, whereas previously, only some of them had guaranteed spots, and the others had to qualify via a system of what I visualize as scholastic debates in Latin.The smaller clubs are forever threatening UEFA, too — I don’t know to do what, exactly, but they complain a lot in the press.This four-dimensional diplomatic compromise that UEFA has cobbled together to keep all of its constituencies happy has meant tilting the competition massively in favor of the clubs that already have the most advantages while still giving the smaller clubs lots of games to play. Everybody gets something. The corporate behemoths get to take turns lifting the trophy, while the also-rans get to lose extensively, and profitably, on TV.There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this arrangement; it’s hard to see how else you could satisfy all the clubs once you accept that satisfying all the clubs is something you need to do. But it does sit a little oddly under the glossy skin of epic warfare that has been the Champions League’s brand. UEFA is deploying a lot of trumpets for what’s essentially a gradualist exercise in predictability and continuity. The opening credits may be lasers and glitzy chaos, but the tournament itself values stability over everything else; it turns even most of its legitimately thrilling matches into cautious data points. It’s a gladiatorial contest devised by an accounting consultancy.I sometimes think the problem with 21st-century soccer isn’t that money has transformed everything but that money has transformed things only halfway. You could say, I guess, that there are two kinds of fun in soccer. There’s the old kind, where the game is rooted in the community, the clubs are authentic expressions of supporter culture and something is meant to be at stake other than advertising revenue, and then there’s the new kind, where everything is mediated and packaged for TV and what’s enjoyable is the shiny commercial spectacle.he Champions League wants to be both things at once, which is why it pretends to care about small clubs while ultimately catering exclusively to rich ones. But the result is that little shiver of alienation you feel during the group stage, when you know you’re being asked to invest your feelings in something that’s been very exactly calibrated to be slightly less than honest. If I ran soccer, the European club championship would be open to a thousand teams every year. Each round would be a one-game knockout, and every so often we would get to watch the beautiful and hilarious spectacle of a Belgian Third Division B team knocking off Manchester United, though admittedly it’s no longer clear that this would qualify as an upset.Short of that, though? I think the Champions League might be more fun if it more flly embraced its evil nature. We’re here to buy shirts, watch Playstation commercials and see Chelsea play Juventus — and unless you happen to be a Club Brugge fan, it’s not clear where or how Club Brugge factors into any of those priorities.For that matter, why not have a breakaway European Super League? Everyone would be furious about it, and then it would be spectacularly popular. Could we devise a whole season in which Manchester City only played Barcelona? Can you fit a trumpet inside another trumpet? Could Manchester City somehow play itself?Tournament designers have to balance a lot of factors. But human nature is the loudest soprano of all.

Tottenham’s season is like House of Cards – Mauricio Pochettino

9:39 AM ETBen PearceTottenham correspondentEmail

Tottenham Mauricio Pochettino has said football is becoming as political as a series of House of Cards.Pochettino is having to cope with a lengthy injury list, a lack of summer signings and delays to the club’s stadium construction project.”It’s a weird season but I look so happy now because the new season of House of Cards has started,” Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League showdown with PSV Eindhoven. “Yesterday I watched three episodes. “I learn a lot from this series. I recommend it. I think it represents very well sometimes how we are. Sometimes football is so political, and it’s going in this direction.”Which character am I? I don’t know, it’s difficult to say. It’s dangerous to say this or this one. It’s fiction but it can translate to many businesses.”Pochettino is missing eight players against PSV, with Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama all injured, while Hugo Lloris is suspended and Juan Foyth and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou are both ineligible in the Champions League.Dembele limped off with an ankle problem in the opening minutes of Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Wolves, but Pochettino played down the injury.”The most important thing is he didn’t suffer an injury to his bone, and that is good,” Pochettino said. “Maybe his ligament is damaged but after the scan today we will know better.”Dembele has become the third central midfielder to suffer an injury in the last week, leaving Pochettino short of options at a busy time, but Dele Alli is available after being rested against Wolves and Victor Wanyama’s knee injury is not serious.”He [Wanyama] got a knock against West Ham,” Pochettino said. “Today he was training and close to being available. Maybe for Saturday he will be available [against Crystal Palace].”Could Dele play 90 minutes? It’s possible. He needs to work a lot to get in his best condition to build his fitness. We’re helping him.”Tottenham face an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, having only picked up one point from their opening three Group B fixtures. But Pochettino says Spurs’ situation will have little effect on his team selection.”I don’t have too many players to select or not select!” he said. “Now we’re only 18 or 19. There’s a small chance to go to the next stage — that’s the reality. We know very well we need to win tomorrow.”With Lloris suspended, Pochettino added: “There are three different options — Michel Vorm, Paulo Gazzaniga and Alfie Whiteman. I still haven’t decided who is going to play. But sure it will be one of the three names. Each has a 33 percent possibility.”For me it’s not that they own the No. 1, the No. 2, the No. 3 [shirts]. Football is dynamic and we change a lot the things. Our decision is always to be fair for everyone.”The Wembley pitch was in a poor condition when Spurs hosted Manchester City last Monday, following three successive weekends of NFL action.A UEFA pitch inspection is likely to take place on Monday afternoon, but Pochettino said: “I think it’ll improve a little bit — they’re working so hard to improve it.”I saw pictures; I think it’s better. The condition will be the same for both sides. There’s nothing to complain about.”

Barcelona are Champions League favourites but Juventus can win it – Allegri

Nov 2, 2018Ben GladwellItaly correspondent

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has said Barcelona, not his team, are favourites to win the Champions League.The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and three successive victories in the tournament this season have seen Juve tipped as winners after two final defeats in the last four years.The first came against Barcelona in Berlin in 2015, and Allegri believes the La Liga champions will again be the team to beat.”Barcelona are No. 1 candidates — just look at the way they play,” he told a news conference on Friday.I feel I am coach of a side who can win it, but you can’t take it for granted that we will. We are among the top four candidates, but we need to keep calm.”Earlier this week, Allegri said winning the Champions League was his priority and “the only thing that can improve us” after seven straight Serie A titles.”In March a different Champions League starts, and that is when you need a bit of luck because the Champions League is a competition that gets decided by minor incidents,” he said.’m sure we’ll see Barca going all the way to the end.”Juve host Manchester United on Wednesday, when a win would book their place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.However, Allegri said he was more concerned about their forthcoming league game against Cagliari on Saturday.”All I am asking my team is to win it,” he said. “We saw against Empoli that no game is easy, while for everybody who faces us, the Juve game is always a big one.”We need to win and not drop any points because Napoli and Inter are there. Cagliari are tough opponents and we need to win it and prepare well for Wednesday.”Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi are out of Saturday’s Allianz Stadium clash, but Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic are both in the squad.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba excited by Juventus return: ‘Turin is my home’

Nov 1, 2018ESPN

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has told RMC he regards Turin as “home” as he prepares to return to Juventus in the Champions League next week.Pogba, who rejoined United from Juve in what was then a world record deal, played for the Serie A club between 2012 and 2016, winning four Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias.The France international said he had predicted that United would be drawn in the same Champions League group as Juve, who beat them 1-0 at Old Traffordlast month. “I expected it, it was mad,” he said. “I’d spoken about it with my brother last summer. I said to him: ‘Imagine we’re in the same group as Juve.'”For me, it’s a pleasure. Turin is my home — that’s where I scored my first professional goal.”Pogba said he remained in touch with some of his former Juventus teammates and had learned from legendary players including Andrea Pirlo.”[Juan] Cuadrado, [Paolo] Dybala, [Leonardo] Bonucci … I hear from them, we speak from time to time. We were a family, so of course we stay in contact,” he said.”When you’re alongside players like Pirlo, Gigi [Buffon] or [Giorgio] Chiellini, you can only learn.”Every day, in training, you try to observe them. Even as an established player, you can always learn from those sorts of men.”Pogba said he was targeting victory in the Champions League, calling it “a trophy I think about, I always have it in mind.”

Biggest Takeaways From the MLS Conference Semifinal First Legs

  • Columbus continued neutralizing its chief threats, Portland came back on an injury-riddled Seattle, Atlanta received contributions from an unlikely scorer and Sporting KC received an instant impact from an opportunistic substitute to open the MLS conference semifinals.

By AVI CREDITOR November 04, 2018

MLS’s hectic midweek knockout drama gave way to more measured and tempered first legs of the conference semifinals on Sunday, when all eight teams remaining were in action, looking to take steps forward on the road to MLS Cup. The drop in gripping action is normal when shifting from single-elimination knockout matches to two-legged series, with the combination of tired legs (from the teams not fortunate to have first-round byes) and the teams’ lack of willingness to gamble and leave themselves susceptible to series-killing mistakes typically resulting in lower scoring, more cagey theater in playoff series openers.Half of the midweek winners capitalized on their recent momentum in hosting those opening legs, with the Columbus Crew toppling the Supporters’ Shield-holding New York Red Bulls, 1-0, and the Portland Timbers coming from behind to beat the Seattle Sounders, 2-1. Both the Red Bulls and Sounders entered the postseason on five-match winning streaks, while the Red Bulls had lost twice since July 14 and the Sounders had lost twice since July 4. So needless to say, these were not the results the higher seeds desired or expected.

On the flip side, Atlanta United and Sporting Kansas City handled business on the road and will go home for the second legs with the odds in their favor, with the former conquering NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, 1-0, and the latter drawing Real Salt Lake 1-1, taking the away-goal edge into its home game.Here are the major takeaways from the opening legs to the four series:

IDEAL RESULT FOR BERHALTER’S CREW

If Gregg Berhalter is indeed going to be the next U.S. men’s national team manager, as has been speculated by plenty for some time, he’s doing a nice job going in with a head of steam. After devising a tactical game plan to largely remove D.C. United’s star tandem Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the knockout round, Berhalter pushed the right buttons again on Sunday.

He took the calculated risk of keeping 34-year-old Federico Higuain on the bench to start the match, which came three days after a grueling 120 minutes in the nation’s capital. After his side saw out a scoreless first half, he turned to his veteran playmaker to make a difference. That he did, turning a slick back-heel pass into Gyasi Zardes’s path inside the Red Bulls box. Zardes scored, and that was that.he match–not to mention the series–was nearly changed on a pair of late saves. Losing 1-0 on the road isn’t the end of the world for the Red Bulls, but it was very nearly 2-0, when Pedro Santos found space to rip from the edge of the box, forcing Luis Robles into a diving save that preserved the scoreline.

On the other end, the one time Kaku and Bradley Wright-Phillips were able to link up in a dangerous area resulted in a glanced header by the latter, who looked likely to even the score at the death. That is, until goalkeeping hero Zack Steffen made an instinctive, diving save to his left, pawing the ball to safety.To concede an away goal and settle for a draw at that juncture could have been a dagger for the Crew. To keep the Red Bulls scoreless and turn up the pressure on the MLS Cup-hungry side heading into the second leg, on the other hand, is the ideal outcome for Berhalter’s well-drilled side.

SEATTLE’S DREAM START TURNS INTO AN INJURY-LADEN NIGHTMARE

After 10 minutes in Portland, Raul Ruidiaz had scored, and the Sounders were enjoying a perfect start: the lead plus an away goal and carrying full momentum on a team that just endured through a hard-fought win in Dallas a few days prior. But then Cristian Roldan, the influential midfielder, went out with a groin injury. And with about 10 minutes to go in the first half, center back rock Chad Marshall, the heartbeat of MLS’s second-best defensive unit, injured his right knee making a seemingly innocuous pass out of the back. Factor in that Portland scored twice directly off giveaways, through Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco, all while this was happening, and Seattle’s brilliant start turned south real quickly.To Seattle’s credit, it weathered the storm. The 2-1 loss, given everything that transpired after the opener, was not a worst-case scenario, and Portland will surely rue not going for the jugular against an opponent that was ripe for the picking. The problem for the Sounders, though, is that unlike the three other conference semifinal series, there’s less rest in this one. Seattle will host the second leg Thursday night, not next Sunday, and if Roldan and Marshall can’t go, it’ll require a major turnaround against a team–and more specifically a dominant midfield–that holds the early advantage.

ATLANTA’S NEUTRALIZER FOR NYCFC’S SMALL FIELD: SET PIECES

Atlanta United is a team that thrives off space and dynamic combinations, and with that not entirely feasible during a physical and choppy match on NYCFC’s narrow, slippery set-up in the Yankee Stadium outfield, Tata Martino’s side needed a Plan B. That turned out to be excelling on set pieces.

Atlanta had one apparent goal off a set piece taken off the board via VAR and another would-be goal off a set play shanked by Leandro Gonzalez Pirez before finally breaking through off another corner. Josef Martinez’s initial volley off the corner was saved, but the rebound fell nicely on the doorstep for Eric Remedi, who touched home the first goal of his professional career for the opener and crucial away strike. If NYCFC wanted to win this series, it really needed to hold serve at home and use its confines to its advantage. The task will be immense to top Atlanta at what will surely be a rocking Mercedes Benz Stadium next Sunday.

INSTANT IMPACT CHANGES SKC’S OUTLOOK

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes was hoping for an impact out of second-half substitute Diego Rubio, but he couldn’t have possibly anticipated it coming so soon.Less than a minute after the Chilean stepped onto the field, with his side trailing 1-0 at No. 6 Real Salt Lake, he was on the scoresheet, pouncing on a blocked Nick Rimando clearance and firing home with his first touch of the game. While he’ll garner all the praise for the crucial away goal, which totally changes Sporting KC’s series outlook, it’s his countryman, Felipe Gutierrez, who deserves ample credit as well. It was his hustle and block that altered Rimando’s clearance, and his sly seal off of Kyle Beckerman that created Rubio’s unimpeded shooting lane. The draw gives SKC the slight edge going home, thanks to the away goal, and it’ll have the benefit of knowing one of RSL’s chief attacking threats won’t be available to play in the return leg. Albert Rusnak was one of five RSL players carrying yellow cards into the conference semifinals, after Thursday’s action-packed win over LAFC. So his needless tackle on Graham Zusi less than half an hour into Sunday’s bout ruled him out for the second leg, due to card accumulation. One look at what he was able to do in opening the scoring in the first leg, and you can see what RSL will be missing.The draw is clearly not the worst-case circumstance for RSL, but knowing that Rusnak won’t be playing in the second leg all while conceding the road goal on an entirely unnecessary sequence has it feeling like more of a loss than a tie for the lowest seed remaining in either conference.

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11/1/18 Carmel High Girls win 12th State Title, MLS Playoffs Begin, Champs League Tues/Wed, Big 10 Tourney at Grand Park, CFC Training at Murray

Huge Congrats to the Carmel High School Girls Soccer team for winning Coach Frank Dixon’s 14th State Title this past Saturday night with a 2-1 overtime win over #7 Homestead at IUPUI Stadium in downtown Indy!  Lots of former Carmel FC girls on that team and in the program including former Carmel FC coach Carla Baker.

CHSGirlsStateChamps

Carmel Girls Win State Title – Indy Star Rich Torres

Carmel Girls State Finals vs Homestead Replay

 MLS

So its playoff time in MLS which means knockout rounds start this week.  Disappointed that Zlattan and the LA Galaxy did not win the last game they needed to get them in the playoffs.  Hopefully Zlattan will be back for 1 more season.  Also sad that Atlanta United didn’t win their last game to take home the supporters Shield to the team with the best overall regular season record – but I think that might be the kick they need to win it all this season.  I am picking an all Expansion Team final with Atlanta United vs Bob Bradley’s LAFC.  The Playoff Winner Take All Knockout Games are Wed with NYCFC hosting Philly at 7 pm on Fox Sports 1, and 9:30 pm Dallas and former CHS star and US National Team defender Matt Hedges will host Portland at 9:30 pm on Univision.  Thurs at 8 pm DC United and player of the year candidate Wayne Rooney face the Columbus Crew while LAFC will host Real Salt Lake at 10:30 pm on ESPN2.

Great to see Pulisic back in the starting line-up for Dortmund after battling injuries for a few weeks – he started twice last week including a securing a goal, an assist and drawing a penalty to have a hand in all 3 goals Wed vs Union Berlin in a German Cup game.  Dortmund and US Star Pulisic return for Champions League action this Tues 3 pm on TNT at Atletico Madrid right after Liverpool travels to Crevena at 12:55 pm on TNT.

Of course Dortmund will be on to the round of 16 if they win as group winners, while Atletico is thru with a win and Monaco and Brugge tie.  Liverpool is thru as the # 1 team with a win as they travel to Crevena on TNT at 1 pm Tues.  While the winner of PSG and Napoli will determine who goes thru in Group C at 3 pm Tues.  Wed Juventus and Ronaldo return to Man United for the 3 pm game on TNT – Juve will be thru as the top team with a win.  In the other TNT game Wed CSKA Moskva will travel to Roma who stands tied with Real Madrid for top slot.

This weekend we get Arsenal vs Liverpool on Saturday at 1:30 pm on NBC, after Pulisic and Dortmund host Wolfsburg on Fox Soccer at 10:30 am.  Sunday we get the first legs of Playoff Soccer in MLS with 3:30 (NY Red Bulls), 5:30 (Sporting KC), 7:30 (Atlanta United) and 10 pm (Seattle) games.

CARMEL FC PLAYERS

We have access to Murray Stadium the next two weeks and we will be offering free outdoor training sessions for Carmel FC travel players and our Select Players.

Here are the dates:

  • Monday (11/5),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Wednesday (11/7),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday (11/8),  5:45pm – 6:45pm  *Goal Keeping Training Only
  • Monday (11/12),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Wednesday (11/14),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday (11/15),  5:45pm – 6:45pm  *Goal Keeping Training Only

Here is the schedule for the training sessions:

  • Academy Sessions (8U-10U boys and girls) – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • 11U/12U Boys & Girls – 6:40pm to 7:40pm
  • 13U/14U/15U Boys & Girls – 7:50pm to 8:50pm
  • Goal Keeping training will be on Thursdays only
  • 5:45pm – 6:45pm (U11-U15, Boys & Girls only)

Big 10 Women’s Tourney at Grand Park This Friday/Sunday 11/2-11/4 

 Fri 11/1  (tix avail on site)

11 am #1 Penn State vs #5 Illinois

1:30 pm  #6 Nebraska vs #7 Minn

Sun 11/4           Championship Noon also on BTN

 QUARTERFINAL RECAP: All four Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament quarterfinals were decided in the 88th minute or later, with two games going to penalty kicks and three of the top four seeds (and quarterfinal hosts) ultimately falling. Top-seeded Penn State escaped the upset bug with a 1-0 win over No. 8 seed Michigan, thanks to Marissa Sheva’s goal with 1:52 left in regulation. Second-seeded Rutgers wasn’t as fortunate, with No. 7 seed Minnesota claiming a similar 1-0 win on a goal by Big Ten Forward of the Year April Bockin with 2:43 remaining in regulation.

The other two quarterfinals ended in draws and were decided on penalties. No. 3 Ohio State and No. 6 Nebraska played to a scoreless double-overtime draw before the Huskers upended the Buckeyes, 3-2 on PKs to book Nebraska’s first semifinal berth since 2013. Fourth-seeded Wisconsin and fifth-seeded Illinois finished 2-2 after two overtimes, with the Fighting Illini prevailing 3-0 on penalties to return to the semifinals for the first time in six years.

MLS

Atlanta United Throws Away Supporters Shield with loss to Toronto

Etiene goal gives Red Bulls 1-0 Win and Supporters Shield Triumph

MLS Bracket Challenge

Analyzing the 8 Knockout Round Team in MLS Playoffs

Why Your Team will Win the MLS Cup

France’s and Atleticos Greizman wants to End Career in MLS

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

UCL Who Needs What this Week to Go Thru ?

Real Madrid New Coach Santiago Solari

Last Matchday in 90 Seconds

Awesome Crowd was Key to Huge Dortmund win over Atletico says Pulisic

Schalke  Disappointed with Draw – Goal scored by American

Who Can Rescue Man United or Real Madrid’s Seasons?

WORLD

US Pulisic Scores 1 and has Assist in German Cup Game

US Josh Sergeant Closer to Starting for Breman

Tragedy Strikes Leicester City Owner in Helicopter Crash

Man City Strikes Early in 1-0 win over Spurs

Player Ratings Man City vs Tottenham

New Arsenal Mgr Unai Emery’s Touchline Passion in contrast to Wenger

Arsenal’s 11 game Winning Steak ends with 2-2 Draw with Palace

Anthony Martial Saves Man United in 2-1 win over Everton

Suarez Scores Hat as Barca humiliates Real Madrid 5-1 in Classico

Ronaldo blames Real Prez for move to Juve

PSGs Tuchel stands up to Player Power Play in win

Mbappe doesn’t start for PSG but saves them in end

Top 5 Saves on Matchday 11 France

GAMES ON TV

Wed,  Oct Sat 31 (MLS Playoffs)

7pm FS1                            New York City FV vs Phily Union

9:30 pm univision      Dallas (CHS Matt Hedges) vs Portland Timbers

Thurs, Nov 1 (MLS Playoffs)

3:45 pm ESPN+            Man City vs Fulham –League Cup

8 pm FS1 DC United (Rooney) vs Columbus Crew

10:30 pm ESPN2         LAFC vs Real Salt Lake

Fri, Nov 2

4 pm beIN Sport        PSG vs Lille

7:30 pm ESPN+             Louisville vs NYRB II  USL Playoffs

Sat, Nov 3   

8 am beIN Sport           Leganes vs Atletico Madrid

10:30 am Fox Soccer      Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Wolfsburg

10:30 am FS2                    Bayern Munich vs Freiberg

11 am NBCSN               Liester City vs Cardiff City

11:15 am beiN sport     Real Madrid vs Real Valladodid

12 noon ESPN+             Empoli vs Juventus

1:30 pm NBC            Arsenal vs Liverpool

1:30 pm FS 2                 Hertha vs RB Leipzig

3:30 pm beIN sport Rayo vs Barcelona

3:45 pm CNBC              Tottenham vs Wolverhampton

10 pm ESPN+                 Orange County vs Phoenix City USL Playoffs

Sun, Nov 4  

10 am NBCSN           Man City vs Southampton

11 am NBCSN         Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

12 noon FS 2            Werder Bremen (Sargent) vs Mainz

3:30 pm ESPN             NY Red Bulls vs TBD?   (MLS Playoffs)

5:30 pm ESPN?             Sporting KC vs TBD?

7:30 pm ESPN?             Atlanta United vs TBD?

10 pm ESPN?                 Seattle Sounders vs TBD?

Mon, Nov 5

3 pm NBCSN                   Huddersfield (Williams) vs Fulham (Tim Ream)

Tues  Nov 6   Champs League

1 pm TNT                   Crevena vs Liverpool

3 pm ??                             Atletico Madrid vs Dortmund (Pulisic)

3pm                                     tottenham vs PSV

3 pm                                    Napoli vs PSG

3 pm                                    Schalke vs Galastary

Weds  Nov 7   Champs League

1 pm TNT                     CSKA vs Roma

3 pm TNT                                                  Juve vs Manchester United  

3pm                                     Man City vs Shaktar  

3 pm                                    Viktoria vs Real Madrid

3 pm                                    Bayern vs Athens AEK  

3 pm                                    Benefica vs Ajax  

Thrs  Nov 8   MLS Playoffs

5:30 pm FSI                     Seattle Sounders vs TBD (Leg 2)

 Sat, Nov 10   

9:30 am Fox Soccer      Werder Bremen (Seargent) vs Mgladbach (Johnson)

12:30 pm NBC            Crystal Palace vs Tottehham

12:30 pm FS 2              Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Bayern Munich  

12:30 bein Sport        Atletico vs Athletic Club

Sun, Nov 11  

7:30 am NBCSN            Liverpool vs Fulham (Ream)

9;30 am FS1                    RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen

9:15 am NBCSN             Chelsea vs Everton  

11:30 am NBCSN         Man City vs Man United

2:30 pm ESPN+            Milan vs Juventus

3:30 pm ESPN             NY Red Bulls vs TBD?   (MLS Playoffs)

3:30 pm FS1                   TBD vs Atlanta United vs TBD? (leg 2)  

5:30 pm ESPN?             TBD vs Sporting KC vs TBD? (leg 2)

 

3A girls soccer state final: Carmel gets the job done

Rich Torres, Special for IndyStarPublished 10:29 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2018 | Updated 10:36 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2018

Carmel girls soccer wins state title

(Photo: Leah Klafczynski, Leah Klafczynski for IndyStar)

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INDIANAPOLIS – After 80 minutes of regulation on Saturday night, Carmel girls soccer coach Frank Dixon delivered a message to junior forward Kelsie James and her teammates on the Greyhounds’ sideline.”He came over to us and said, ‘end it in the first overtime,'” James said. “It got me focused and settled in.”The team captain didn’t let her hall of fame coach down. James scored the fourth-ranked Greyhounds’ first goal on a penalty kick in the 51st minute and book ended the Class 3A state championship at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium with the go-ahead goal in the 85th minute.James’ game-winner in the first overtime put Carmel up 2-1 over No. 7 Homestead in the first seven-minute overtime period, and the defense held strong in the required second to secure the Greyhounds’ 10th state championship and first since 2011 in 2A.”I knew it was going to be a battle in overtime, but I told myself I wasn’t going to let us go into PKs,” James said. “It was not going to happen. And so, finished business.”With the mantra, “unfinished business” this season, Carmel completed it mission by making good on late opportunities in the clutch.In the first half, the Greyhounds went on the attack, racking up 11 shots and five on goal, but nothing fell in for them despite consistently peppering Spartans’ goalkeeper Samantha Castaneda.The Carmel defense, which hadn’t allowed a goal since Sept. 20 against Brebeuf Jesuit, minimized UAB recruit Morgan Halliwill, who entered with 24 goals on the year.After 40 minutes, the match stood in a scoreless tie.”I always say I’m going to write a book, and it’s going to be, ‘you only get so many chances,'” Dixon said. “When we wasted those four or five chances in the first five minutes of the first half, I thought, we’re in a for a long night if we can’t put a ball in the net.”James put everyone’s minds at ease in the second half after Homestead’s Sophia White drew a yellow card. Facing backup goalkeeper Sarah Warren with Castaneda out following an ankle injury she endured less than 20 seconds earlier, James fired her goal into the upper left corner of the net.The Greyhounds held a 1-0 lead until the 61st minute when Halliwill returned the favor. Hit while in the box, Halliwill earned a penalty kick and converted to tie the match 1-1.”I switched formations to get a little bit more defensive, and then we gave away the PK in the box and that went out the window and we had to go back to what we were doing,” Dixon said.The routine was pressure — both on offense and defense — and it led to a pair of yellow cards for Halliwill, who was issued a red card in the 79th minute, ending her night.James nearly won the match in regulation with an indirect kick that hit the corner post with 1 minute remaining and another shot on goal with 18.3 seconds that Castaneda smothered for one of her nine saves.”During tournament time, I just go for it,” said James, who registered eight of Carmel’s 25 shots and five of its 11 shots on goal. “I play my hardest the whole game and don’t want to let down for the team.”With Homestead a player down and Castaneda slowed after returning midway through the second half, James found her moment.Ashley Witucki set the table with a cross pass, which James punched past Castaneda, who dove to tip the ball, causing it to drop in front of her.”We tried to take advantage of that. We knew she couldn’t move that quickly, so we tried to make her come off the line and go get balls,”Dixon said. “She did a really good job doing it, and I think we only caught her that one time.”James didn’t miss as the Valparaiso recruit was at the right place at the right time.”I knew it was going to go in. I knew the goalie was going to drop it,” James said. “She was unfortunately injured. She’s a good goalie, but she couldn’t move very well, and I felt like I was going to beat her fairly well.”The defense clamped down in the second overtime with Carmel outscoring opponents 15-1 through seven postseason match ups.  Homestead had won 11 straight going into the title game. Carmel won 11 straight to win state.  Carmel finished 20-1-2 to Homestead’s 18-4. The victory pushed Dixon’s career win total to 519, and ended the program’s drought. Carmel last reached the state finals in 2014, finishing runner-up. This time, the team took care of business.”You get less and less time to get them, so they’re even more special as you go along because you know sooner or later, you’re not going to get a chance,” said Dixon, who leads the state with 10 girls soccer state titles. “It’s hard to get back. It took us four years to get back here. There’s no guarantee I’ll get here again. I told (my athletic director) I want to catch Bud Wright. I guess we’ll start working on 11 now.”Find a photo gallery of Carmel vs. Homestead at IndyStar.com

 

Christian Pulisic has goal and assist in Dortmund win against Union Berlin

4:36 PM ET

Borussia Dortmund needed a Marco Reus penalty late in extra time to beat second division Union Berlin 3-2 on Wednesday and book their spot in the DFB Pokal third round.The Berliners had twice come back from a goal down but Christian Pulisic, who scored the first goal and set up the second, earned a last-gasp penalty for Reus to convert and protect Dortmund’s unbeaten run in all competitions.The Bundesliga leaders were made to work hard against the gutsy Berliners, third in the second division, and had the 20-year-old American Pulisic to thank for the lead.Dortmund, whose defender Abdou Diallo left the pitch injured after 13 minutes, never really found their footing until late in the first half.Pulisic stabbed in on the rebound after Shinji Kagawa’s header was saved by Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz in the 40th minute.Union hit the crossbar two minutes later with a superb effort by Kenny Prince Redondo and got a deserved equaliser through substitute Sebastian Polter who scored with his first touch.Their joy lasted only 10 minutes, however, when Pulisic sent Maximilian Philipp through with a superb pass and the forward drilled in an equally stunning finish.But Union refused to give up and were rewarded with another goal in the 88th as Polter’s header wrong-footed keeper Marwin Hitz.They hung on and soaked up the pressure in extra time before Pulisic was brought down for the penalty.

U.S.’s Josh Sargent moving closer to Werder Bremen start –

5:47 AM ETStephan UersfeldGermany correspondent

United States international Josh Sargent is moving closer to a senior debut for Werder Bremen, with coach Florian Kohfeldt confirming that the 18-year-old is “competing for a squad place.”Sargent, who joined Bremen earlier this year, has been playing for the under-23s since the summer, scoring six goals in 10 appearances.The 18-year-old forward, who has played for the first XI in friendlies, last week linked up with a senior squad flying high in the Bundesliga after taking 17 points from nine matches.”We’ll see about that,” Kohfeldt told reporters when asked whether Sargent could make the squad for the DFB Pokal match at Weiche Flensburg on Wednesday. “Josh is now someone who is competing for a squad place.”We wanted him to find his rhythm [in the U23s], and you can see that he has his qualities.”Kohfeldt warned that Sargent faced “prominent competition” from players including Max Kruse and Claudio Pizarro for a place in attack.”If Josh does not win minutes with us in the next two, three weeks, he will play for the U23s again,” he added.

Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge: Who brackets pick to win Cup

October 30, 20187:07PM EDTMLSsoccer staff

They may be the second best team in the MLS regular season after being nipped by the New York Red Bulls for the Supporters’ Shield on Decision Day, but MLS fans still think Atlanta United have the best chance of winning MLS Cup 2018.A total of 27 percent of bracket entries in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge have the Five Stripes winning it all, compared to the 19 percent crowning the New York Red Bulls.The Eastern Conference powerhouses are the clear favorites, but the top candidate to win MLS Cup from the Western Conference is also a No. 2 seed, according to the fans: They give the Seattle Sounders (16 percent) a better shot at winning the league title than the West’s top seed Sporting Kansas City (13 percent).

  • Atlanta United: 27%
  • New York Red Bulls: 19%
  • Seattle Sounders: 16%
  • Sporting Kansas City: 13%
  • C. United: 8%
  • Los Angeles Football Club: 6%
  • New York City FC: 3%
  • Portland Timbers: 3%
  • Columbus Crew SC: 2%
  • Real Salt Lake: 2%
  • FC Dallas: 1%
  • Philadelphia Union: 1%

Who do you think will win MLS Cup? Be sure to fill out your bracket before the deadline at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, October 31. Prizes include season tickets to your favorite club or a VIP Audi driving experience on a Formula One track.

 

‘We threw it away’ – With playoffs looming, Atlanta United squanders first crack at MLS history

Goal.com Sun, Oct 28 11:34 PM EDT

A win Sunday would have been enough for the second-year club to lock up a trophy, but an uncharacteristic dud against Toronto FC served as a humbling

It was all there for the taking for Atlanta United. Sunday was a chance at a record, it was a chance at a trophy, and it was a chance to solidify a special end to a special regular season.

The 2018 campaign may still be special, trophies will someday come and records have fallen, and probably will fall, at Atlanta’s hands. But Sunday night proved little more than a wasted chance for a team that has wasted so few since joining MLS.With the Supporters’ Shield and a potential league record for points in a season on the line, Atlanta United fell completely flat on Sunday. The result was a 4-1 loss to a Toronto FC team that, for the first time all season, played like a group that wasn’t yet ready to concede the title of best ever.The loss was enough to end Atlanta’s Supporters’ Shield hopes and bump the second-year club behind the New York Red Bulls heading into what in all likelihood will be a postseason collision of two of the most thoroughly-dominant teams in the league’s recent history.But on Sunday, history was in their grasp and, for the first time in what felt like forever, Atlanta slipped up.“This was the most important game of the year and we didn’t play well enough,” said Tata Martino, who is entering his final days as Atlanta United manager following a recent announcement that he’ll be leaving the club at the end of the season, to MLSsoccer.. “We let all the hard work that we had done until that point go to waste.”We betrayed ourselves, threw away everything we had worked for this season,” he added. “It’s always a possibility that you can lose away at Toronto, the important thing is the way that we lost it today.”That “betrayal” started early. Just nine minutes into the match, Atlanta was already up against it as Lucas Janson scored to give TFC the lead. With the Red Bulls lurking just one point behind and facing lowly Orlando City, Atlanta knew a win would likely be the only path to a Supporters’ Shield.

The response wasn’t there.  Marky Delgado scored in the 21st to double Toronto’s lead and all but bury Atlanta’s hopes while late goals from Janson and Sebastian Giovinco were just an exclamation point on what ended up feeling like an Atlanta United collapse. “We knew what this game meant for us, in terms of winning the shield and everything that came with it,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “We just didn’t show up.”“It’s rough at the minute,” he added. “We didn’t expect this from ourselves. There will be some conversations, tough [ones]. We need to make sure we put things right and put this behind us.”The club can take some solace in the fact that, by and large, the loss shouldn’t impact too much when it comes to the MLS Cup playoffs. Atlanta will still have home-field advantage if the club reaches the MLS Cup final and will still have a coveted first round bye. Aside from a flip-flopped home game in a two-legged clash with the Red Bulls should both sides reach the conference finals, Atlanta’s path to a trophy remains largely the same.

There’s also the record set by the club’s striker, although that loses a bit of its luster given the result. Josef Martinez’s second half penalty kick goal was the striker’s 31st of the season, further adding to the record haul for the Venezuelan while sealing a nine-goal gap between Martinez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Golden Boot. Martinez broke the single-season mark in August with his 28th, but has scored just three in the eight matches since.

Etienne goal gives Red Bulls 1-0 win, Supporter’s Shield

The Associated Press Sun, Oct 28 6:01 PM CDT

New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne (7) drives with the ball before scoring a goal on Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono during the second half of a soccer game, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Harrison, N.J. The Red Bulls won 2-0. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Derrick Etienne scored a slick goal in the 53rd minute to give the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 victory over Orlando City and the Supporter’s Shield for the best record as the Major League Soccer regular-season ended Sunday.Driving left in the box, Etienne atoned for a missed penalty kick in the first half by drawing the ball back to his right, leaving him room to go far corner for his fifth goal of the season.

The Red Bulls (22-7-5) won their fifth straight to reach 71 points, the first team to ever crack 70 points in the regular season. Atlanta entered Decision Day with 69 points, tied with last year’s Toronto team for the most in the regular season, but lost at Toronto 4-1.The Red Bulls, who earned the Supporter’s Shield for the third time in six seasons, are the sixth team in league history to average at least two points a game.Luis Robles only had to make one save to give him his league-leading 14th shutout.Orlando City (8-22-4), which beat the Red Bulls 4-3 in their first meeting, lost their 14th straight on the road, tying the 2005 DC United for the second-longest streak of futility away from home.

Wiebe: Why your (playoff) team will lift the 2018 MLS Cup

October 31, 20182:34PM EDTAndrew WiebeSenior Host & Producer

Can your team win MLS Cup? Sure, why not? It could happn. It probably won’t, though – better to get that out of the way now.

That’s how I started this column back in March, in which I did my best to make a case for all 23 teams to win MLS Cup. Let’s just say there were some serious logical fallacies in there. Looking at you Colorado RapidsSan Jose EarthquakesOrlando City and eight other clubs for whom the dream is dead. Better luck next year.For the 12 who qualified for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs – in my book, the bare minimum it takes to call the league season a success – there’s another case to be made for lifting the Phillip F. Anschutz trophy on December 8. There’s also a chorus of haters waiting to bring everyone down.Here we go, from No. 12 to No. 1 in the Supporters’ Shield standings, all in 280 characters or less because we’re all addicted to Twitter and nobody’s got time for 5,000 words on a Wednesday gameday. Don’t forget to get your Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge set and join the ExtraTime Radio league.

Real Salt Lake

They’ll Win Because they’ve done it before. Remember ’09? RSL eked into the final playoff spot and won it all. Rusnak = Javi, Savarino = Espindola, Beckerman/Rimando = Beckerman/Rimando and … there is no Saborio equivalent. If they can get past the KO Round and get a home game, they’ve got a shot.

Haters Will Say Those “1 in a million” odds aren’t going to go their way twice, and LAFC already dropped five on them earlier this season at the RioT, and won 2-0 in Los Angeles. No playoff team has taken more road Ls (11) than RSL. Rested or not, Knockout Round is the logical end of the road.

Philadelphia Union

They’ll Win Because Corey Burke and Fafa Picault get stupid hot, and whoever pairs in central defense (pick from Auston TrustyMark McKenzieJack Elliott) goes full Maldini. The Union can draw on their USOC run. That will give them the drive (and necessary pragmatism) to grind out an MLS Cup shocker.

Haters Will Say it’s a step too far. If Philly couldn’t finish the Open Cup job in Houston after a raft of home games, what makes anyone think they can get past NYCFC at Yankee Stadium then the Shield-winning Red Bulls then likely ATLUTD or D.C. United and finally MLS Cup on the road? Dream on.

Columbus Crew SC

They’ll Win Because It’s fate. After the toughest year in club history off the field, Gregg Berhalter and the boys cook up the perfect reward for Crew SC supporters. Justin MeramPipa Higuain and Pedro Santos turn the clock back to 2017, and 3G cooks up the perfect tactical plan round after round.

Haters Will Say no team scored fewer road goals this season than Columbus (11), and you think they’re going to Audi Field and knocking LuchoRoo and D.C. United off their perch as league darlings? Please. Ain’t gonna happen. Their season ends on Thursday night.

D.C. United

They’ll Win Because The Law Firm of Rooney, Acosta, Canouse & Hamid has quality, momentum and home-field advantage on their side. Check out the matchups. Semifinals against Red Bulls? You can’t hold them back, c’mon. Next up Atlanta? Benny vs. Tata = W. Bring the raccoons to the parade. They’ve earned it.

Haters Will Say They’ve won just once away all year. Red Bull Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium don’t have the same juju as Audi Field. Rooney’s magic has to fade at some point, right? You can get to Lucho Acosta by kicking him, which will happen a lot in the playoffs. Their luck will run out.

Portland Timbers

They’ll Win Because Diego Valeri is healthy this year, Sebastian Blanco can win a game singlehandedly and Diego Chara lives to smother your happiness, assuming you aren’t a Timbers fan. Gio’s got titles. He knows there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Solid defensive block and counter … all the way to MLS Cup.

Haters Will Say You can’t play Real Salt Lake every game. Since winning 3-2 at Seattle back on June 30, the Timbers’ only wins against playoff teams are the Union and Crew SC at home and the recent double vs. RSL. That’s two No. 6 seeds and a No. 5. Same period, other playoff teams: 0-3-2.

New York City FC

hey’ll Win Because They’re finally healthy (ish). Did you read what David Villa said about Yangel Herrera? You should. NYCFC were already nails at Yankee Stadium. Now they’ve got their most influential player back in the nick of time. Jesus Medina is back, too. And everyone is doubting them. Good mix and a good read on it to boot.

HATERS WILL SAY Dome hasn’t found the answers, Villa isn’t the Villa of old and 2 wins in 10 (against Chicago and Philly … at home) aren’t indicative of postseason success. It’s too much to ask of Herrera to dominate games. Medina will be rusty. Same old, same old for the blue side of New York, which is to say … playoff flame out.

FC Dallas

They’ll Win Because They’re consistent, if unspectacular. The backline isn’t gonna make boneheaded errors, and Maxi Urruti and Michael Barrios go HAM. Dated reference? Fair, but you could say the same about Urruti the goalscorer. May is a long time ago. Basically, Dallas find a way to score, and that sluggish second half doesn’t matter.

Haters Will Say Dallas can’t score and that sluggish second half matters. Forget MLS Cup, the Timbers are going to win in the Knockout Round because they have better attacking players and won’t give Dallas space to break into on the counter. Even if Dallas win, they’re not on the same level as Sporting, Seattle or LAFC.

LAFC

They’ll Win Because That’s what Bob Bradley does in expansion seasons. Coaching matters, and Bradley’s gonna gameplan like there is no tomorrow. Also, they’ve got the best collection of top-end attacking talent in the Western Conference. Vela, Rossi, Diomande and a couple former MVP candidates in the midfield.

Haters Will Say The backline can be shaky, and they can’t hold leads. And when you can’t hold leads, particularly at home, you lose in the playoffs. That could apply to the Knockout Round, but it most definitely applies to home-and-home series in which road goals matter a whole hell of a lot.

Seattle Sounders

They’ll Win Because they’ve had the best half-season in MLS history, they know exactly what it takes to get to MLS Cup and they have Stefan FreiChad MarshallOzzie AlonsoCristian RoldanNico Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz up the gut. That’s a #squad. Roll the balls out, let these guys do their thing and have a parade at the end.

Haters Will Say What are they even good at? Do they have an identity? Whoops, that was Bobby Warshaw circa four months ago. Don’t worry, he’s come around.

They’ll be eliminated because they come up against a team as good or better (Sporting? LAFC? East top two?) and just can’t get it done on the day. The Sounders have weaknesses – every single team in MLS does – but I find it near impossible to pick against them in the playoffs.

Sporting KC

They’ll Win Because They’re balanced. No more defense and timely goals win championships … or perhaps more accurately, get you eliminated in the Knockout Round. Bad jokes aside, this version of Sporting can shut you out and blow you out. They’ve got loads more attacking quality and they’re deeper than ever before, plus the back six and Tim Melia are rock solid.

Haters Will Say Seth Sinovic is the key to everything and he’s missing the first leg of the conference semis. I’m only partially kidding. Dude only scores in the playoffs. Look it up. Haters will say that they still don’t have a primary goalscorer. It’s true. They’ve got a whole bunch of sporadic scorers, and that’s been more than enough. But in the playoffs when there’s no room for a dry spell?

Atlanta United

They’ll Win Because they’re the most talented team in MLS, and they keep things tight in the first leg of the Conference Semifinals to buy time for Miguel Almiron. He helps finish off either NYCFC or D.C. United, then Atlanta get two weeks to rest up and recover for the Red Bulls, who bottle it like usual. MLS Cup at MBS? That’s a win.

Haters Will Say “Hahahahahahaha [deep breath] Hahahahahahaha”

That’s literally what they’ll say on Reddit and Twitter. They’ll say it because Miguel Almiron wasn’t ready to be Miguel Almiron again, Josef Martinez’s historic season sputtered at exactly the wrong time and Tata said adios before the job was done. Don’t worry Five Stripes faithful, you’ll be fine.

New York Red Bulls

They’ll Win Because they’re MLS’s best team. Most points ever, and nobody understands their collective ethos/identity better than these Red Bulls. That goes a long way in the playoffs, when the games get more physical and the margins narrow. Then there’s the legacy aspect. This club isn’t lacking for motivation or pressure.

Haters Will Say “That’s so Metro.”

Need I say more?

 

Champions League permutations: Who needs what to go through?

Friday 26 October 2018

  • Dortmund, Atlético, Barcelona, Inter, Ajax, Bayern, Manchester City and Juventus can all go through next time: here’s how.

 

Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Internazionale Milano, Ajax, Bayern München, Manchester City and Juventus could all book their UEFA Champions League round of 16 places with two games to spare on matchday four while ten other clubs are fighting to keep their hopes alive. UEFA.com explains the permutations.

All information in this article is subject to final confirmation from UEFA. These examples may not cover all potential situations.

TUESDAY 6 NOVEMBER

Group A: Monaco (1 point) v Club Brugge (1) [18:55CET], Atlético Madrid (6) v Borussia Dortmund (9)

  • Dortmundwill be through as group winners with victory.
  • Atléticowill be through with a win if the other game is drawn.
  • Monacowill be unable to finish in the top two if they fail to win and Atlético gain victory.
  • Club Brugge will be unable to finish in the top two if they fail to win and Atlético gain victory.

Group B: Internazionale Milano (6) v Barcelona (9), Tottenham Hotspur (1) v PSV Eindhoven (1)

  • Barcelona will be through as group winners with victory.
  • Inter will be through with a win if the other game is drawn.
  • Spurs will be unable to finish in the top two if they fail to win and Inter gain victory.
  • PSV will be unable to finish in the top two if they fail to win and Inter gain victory.

 

Group C: Crvena zvezda (1) v Liverpool (6) [18:55CET], Napoli (5) v Paris Saint-Germain (4)

  • Crvena zvezda will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and Napoli win.

Group D: Schalke (5) v Galatasaray (4), Porto (7) v Lokomotiv Moskva (0)

  • Lokomotiv will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and there is a winner in the other game. Lokomotiv will also be unable to finish in the top two if they draw and Schalke win.

WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER

Group E: Benfica (3) v Ajax (7), Bayern München (7) v AEK Athens (0)

  • Ajax will be through if they win.
  • Bayern will be through with a win if Benfica lose.
  • Benfica will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and Bayern win.
  • AEK will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose, or if they draw and Ajax avoid defeat. Group F: Manchester City (6) v Shakhtar Donetsk (2), Lyon (5) v Hoffenheim (2)
  • Manchester City will be through if they win and Hoffenheim lose.
  • Hoffenheim will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and City win.

Group G: CSKA Moskva (4) v Roma (6) [18:55CET], Viktoria Plzeň (1) v Real Madrid (6)

  • Plzeň will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose and Roma win.

Group H: Valencia (2) v Young Boys (1) [18:55CET], Juventus (9) v Manchester United (4)

  • Juventus will be through if they avoid defeat, and confirmed in first place if they win.

Standings are provisional until all matches have been played.

Luis Suarez scores hat-trick as Barcelona humiliate Real Madrid in El Clasico

Daniel Zeqiri,The Telegraph Sun, Oct 28 1:35 PM EDT

Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 1

Luis Suarez stepped up in the absence of Lionel Messi to score a hat-trick in a humiliating El Clasico for Real Madrid and their beleaguered head coach Julen Lopetegui. Barcelona controlled the first period with ease, building a two-goal lead by the break through Philippe Coutinho and a Suarez penalty awarded by a Video Assistant Referee review. Marcelo’s goal during a flurry of Madrid pressure at the start of the second period briefly raised hopes of a comeback before a Suarez double and Arturo Vidal header sealed the game as the visitors fell apart. The result leaves Lopetegui in a seemingly untenable situation after Madrid’s heaviest Clasico defeat in three years and Barcelona building a seven-point lead over their old rivals in the league. Madrid midfielder Casemiro told Spanish television after the match: “This 5-1 sums up our season so far. We have played well in some spells, But that is this season – we are a disaster, all playing very bad, all of us.”

Lopetegui’s side started the match in startlingly naive and passive fashion, with Jordi Alba raiding their right-flank where utility defender Nacho was playing at full-back. Alba provided the opening goal when he cut-back to Coutinho from the bar-line, and the former Liverpool man swept past Thibaut Courtois.  Saurez won the penalty he converted, darting across Rapheal Varane with a near-post run. Despite obvious contact from the defender, referee José María Sánchez Martínez waved away appeals for a penalty before changing his decision after consulting VAR.Lopetegui switched to a back three at half-time with Casemiro moving back into defence, and Lucas Vazquez replacing Varane. The alteration paid dividends when Marcelo got on the end of Isco’s cross from his new, advanced wing-back position and turned home at the second attempt. Karim Benzema headed over unopposed from six yards, and Real rued not capitalising on that short period of dominance as Barcelona slowly re-established their superiority. The game was effectively over when Suarez showed magnificent reflexes and striker’s instincts to turn home Sergi Roberto’s cross with a stunning header from fully 14 yards. A sumptuous dinked finish over Courtois secured the hat-trick, before fine work from substitute Ousmane Dembele assisted Vidal’s headed goal to complete the rout.

 Unai Emery’s touchline passion encapsulates how far Arsenal have shifted since Arsene Wenger

Sam Dean,The Telegraph Mon, Oct 29 5:57 AM EDT

On the touchline, Unai Emery is so fun to watch that, in the spring of 2015, Sevilla’s media team fired up their cameras and decided to do nothing else. For their entire game against Barcelona, a single lense was fixed on Emery, the then Sevilla manager. Looking at it now, it feels similar to when broadcast companies track a player, except this time the subject of the footage is wearing a suit and is confined to a dugout. Coach-cam, rather than player-cam.The resulting video is still available online. It’s worth a watch, not least because of the remarkable array of contorted body positions and poses that an impassioned Emery manages to display throughout a match fraught with tension. Sevilla concede two early goals (to Lionel Messi and Neymar, no less) but fight back to claim a draw.Much like his team, Emery starts off slowly. His game begins with nothing more dramatic than a waving of the arms, his finger extended in a point. But he soon gets into his rhythm, dropping into a squat and beating his knees with his fists. Next he alternates his fist pumps, throwing one into the air after another like an overeager dad at a school disco. A pirouettefollows, and so does an exaggerated folding of the arms when an appeal goes against his side.When the late equaliser arrives, Emery launches himself into the arms of his assistants, roaring and skipping in delight. These are the delirious actions of a man totally plugged into the game, a coach completely wired on the excitement and passion of football.Emery has yet to reach a state as frenzied as this at Arsenal, but he is getting closer by the week. In Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, a game high on stress and low on composure, he was as animated as he has been at any stage in his short Arsenal career. He ordered every movement, berated every player and reacted to every twist with such energy that you wondered how his body coped with the strain.Earlier in the season, Match of the Day drew up a ‘heatmap’ for Emery in his technical area. Against Palace, it might have burned through the screen. Ask Alexandre Lacazette, who felt the full force of Emery’s emotion deep in the second half after a poor pass had led to the home side’s equaliser. The Arsenal head coach clapped his hands to Lacazette’s face, screamed some choice words of encouragement and then slapped the striker on the cheek.The first reaction upon watching this was to marvel at Emery’s intensity. The second was to think back to how Arsene Wenger would carry himself on the touchline and realise how quickly times have changed at Arsenal. The Frenchman enjoyed the occasional outraged stretch of the arms, but he preferred to sit back and let his players perform, his face often as long as his coat. Emery, by contrast, demands more in every moment.The Arsenal hierarchy knew about the Spaniard’s touchline demeanour when they were considering Wenger’s replacement this summer. The process to appoint the new head coach was painstaking and detailed, and one of the qualities the club was looking for was “winning spirit”. Emery wears that spirit louder and prouder than most.It is easy to see the arguments in favour of appointing someone of Emery’s obvious energy. Few observers of Arsenal in recent years would disagree that some of the players would benefit from a more intensive and demanding style of management. There will be mistakes under Emery — from the players and from him, of course — but there will not be any coasting in these first few months. Emery’s ruthlessness with his substitutions, particularly with his willingness to hook Mesut Ozil if things are not going his way, is indicative of that.

There is, however, an obvious question that needs asking. How much do the players actually listen? Are they fully aware of what Emery is bellowing from his technical area? They certainly cannot be seeing each hand movement or hearing each command. How much is it all for show?Perhaps the answer is another question. Does it matter? Does it matter if the players do not take on every message, or do not listen to every positional demand? They will certainly hear some of it, even if it takes Emery grabbing them by the sides of their face, as he did with Lacazette. And we know they are listening occasionally at least, because Granit Xhaka made a point of celebrating with Emery after scoring his rasping free kick at Selhurst Park.“I chose to shoot because the coach asked me why I didn’t take the corners or the free kicks in the first half,” Xhaka said, while Emery added: “At half-time we spoke about this situation. He has good quality from free kicks and also to try to make more crosses. I tried to push him to do that.”The nature of the draw with Palace brought all this into sharper focus. It was chaotic, tempestuous and far too open for Emery’s liking. But it also gave him a greater taste of the turbulent world of Premier League football ahead of this weekend’s potentially nerve-shredding encounter with Liverpool. Last season, this fixture ended in a breathless 3-3 draw. If the same happens again, Emery will be hard to miss.

 

10/26/18 Carmel High Girls in State Final Sat 6 pm Carroll Stadium, El Classico Sat,

CHSGirlsSectionals

The Carmel Ladies Soccer team is headed to the State Finals this Saturday at the old Indy 11 Stadium on IUPUI Campus on Saturday night at 6 pm. Lots of former Carmel FC girls on this roster!!  Head on down and cheer on our Lady Greyhounds as they look for their and coach Frank Dixon’s 10th State Championship!

They had a pair of 2-0 wins over Lawrence North then Avon 2 weekends ago to win the Regional Title then 3-0 over Center Grove last weekend in Semi-states their 10th.  Congrats ladies and good luck this weekend!

GAMES ON TV

Fri, Oct Sat 26

2:30 pm FS2                   Freiburg vs Borussia MGladbach (Johnson)

Sat, Oct 27   

9:30 am Fox Soccer      Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Hertha

9:30 am FS2                    Mainz vs Bayern Munich

10 am NBCSN               Liverpool vs Cardiff City

12 noon ESPN+             Empoli vs Juventus

12:30 pm NBC?            Leicester City vs West Ham United

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2  Hoffenheim vs Stutgart

Sun, Oct 28     

9:30 am NBCSN           Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

10:30 am FS2                RB Leipzig vs Schalke (McKinney)

11:15 am beIN Sport   Barcelona vs Real Madrid (EL CLASSICO)

12 noon NBCSN         Man U vs Everton

1 pm ESPN                  AC Milan vs Sampdoria

1 pm FS 1                     Werder Bremen (Sargent) vs Bayern Leverkusen

3:30 pm ESPN             LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo (MLS FINAL DAY)

3:30 pm ESPN+            All other MLS Games–Chicago vs DC United, Colo vs Dallas, Seattle vs SJ, Toronto vs Atlanta & others on ESPN+

Mon, Oct Sat 29

4 pm NBCSN                   Tottenham vs Man City  

 

10/18 Carmel FC Day at City BarBQ Fri 10/19, Indy 11 @ Louisville playoff preview, Carmel Girls on to State, Full TV Schedule

CARMEL FC NIGHT is This Friday 11-10 pm – Oct 19 at City Bar BQ in Carmel on Range Line Road.  25% of Purchase if you mention Carmel FC will go to our Club!

Location: City BBQ on Rangeline Road

Date: Friday, October 19th

Time: 10:30am-10pm

No time to dine in, you can Pig UP N’Go! both dine in and take out sales apply. You can browse the menu here: https://www.citybbq.com/menu  City BBQ also has Party Packs available that you can order for a tasty fall TEAM dinner, or a family pack option if it is just two adults and 2 kids.  Here you can see the options avaialble https://www.citybbq.com/menu/#party-packs

CHSGirlsSectionals

The Carmel Ladies Soccer team is headed to semi-state this weekend to face Center Grove at 3 pm on Sat. in Seymore. they had a pair of 2-0 wins over Lawrence North then Avon last weekend to win the Regional Title.  Win and they head to the Mike at IUPUI for the State title next Sat.  Congrats ladies and good luck this weekend!

Indy 11

Playoffs Time at Louisville Preview

Indy 11 face Louisville in Playoffs – Kevin Johnston Indy Star

Louisville Starts Title Defense vs Indy 11 – Courier Journal

USA

US Ladies Win Concacaf Championship Beat Canada 2-0

US has hope win Sargent, Weah and Amon  but they Need Time – Jeff Carlisle EPSNFC

In the big Picture this Draw with Peru was A win – Jeff C  ESPNFC

Player Ratings vs Peru Jason Davis ESPNFC

Can Novakovich Solve USMNT Problems Scoring?

US Learned Lesson in Colombia Loss

EPL

Liverpool needs Shaqiri to Step Up

 Paul Scholes Takes Aim at Mourino, Pogba in Man U’s Season

Man United Back in Spotlight to Face Chelsea, Juve UCL Tests

Hazard can show Man U what they Missed out on First Hand

– Everton check on Liverpool’s Origi

– Loftus-Cheek won’t be sold

– Ramsey open to top six move

– PSG want Wenger on transfers

– Real Madrid monitoring Sterling

GAMES ON TV

Sat, Oct 20    

7:30 am NBCSN            Chelsea vs Man United

9:30 am FS 2                  Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Ausburg

10 am NBCSN                Man City vs Burnley 

12:30 beIN Sport        Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid

12:30 pm NBC?      Hudersfield Town vs Liverpool

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2  Schalke (McKinney) vs Werder Bremen (Seargant)

2;45 pm beIN sport   Barcelona vs Sevilla

7:30 pm ESPN+            LAFC vs Colorado

7;30 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 @ Louisville (PLAYOFFS)

Sun, Oct 21     

9:30 am FS 1                  Hertha vs Frieberg

11 am NBCSN         Everton vs Crystal Palace

3 pm ESPN                       Atlanta vs Chicago Fire

3 pm bein Sport          Nice vs Marseille

5 pm FS1                         Minn vs LA Galaxy (Zlatan)

Tues, Oct 23   Champions League   

12 noon TNT                  Champs League Game Day kicks off

12:55 pm TNT                Athens vs Bayern Munich

3 pm TNT                     Man United vs Juventus

3 pm univ desp             Real Madrid vs Vitoria Plzen

Weds, Oct 24 Champions League   

12 noon TNT                Champs League Game Day kicks off

12:55 pm TNT                PSV vs Tottenham

3 pm TNT                          Barcelona vs Inter Milan

3 pm BR Live/UDesp      Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Atletico Madrid

3 pm BR Live/UDesp      PSG vs Napoli

3 pm BR Live/UDesp       Liverpool  vs Crvena Zvezda

Fri, Oct Sat 26

2:30 pm FS2                   Freiburg vs Borussia MGladbach (Johnson)

Sat, Oct 27   

9:30 am Fox Soccer      Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Hertha

9:30 am FS2                    Mainz vs Bayern Munich

10 am NBCSN               Liverpool vs Cardiff City

12 noon ESPN+             Empoli vs Juventus

12:30 pm NBC?            Leicester City vs West Ham United

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2  Hoffenheim vs Stutgart

Sun, Oct 28     

9:30 am NBCSN           Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

10:30 am FS2                RB Leipzig vs Schalke (McKinney)

11:15 am beIN Sport   Barcelona vs Real Madrid (EL CLASSICO)

12 noon NBCSN         Man U vs Everton

1 pm ESPN                  AC Milan vs Sampdoria

1 pm FS 1                     Werder Bremen (Sargent) vs Bayern Leverkusen

3:30 pm ESPN             LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo (MLS FINAL DAY)

3:30 pm ESPN+            All other MLS Games–Chicago vs DC United, Colo vs Dallas, Seattle vs SJ, Toronto vs Atlanta & others on ESPN+

Mon, Oct Sat 29

4 pm NBCSN                   Tottenham vs Man City  

PREVIEW | #LOUVIND – USL PLAYOFFS EDITION

By James Higdon, 10/18/18, 12:45PM EDT

“Boys in Blue” head back down to Louisville for first-round playoff fixture

PREVIEW:

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven at Louisville City FC – #LOUvIND | #LIPAFC
Saturday, October 20, 2018 – 7:30 P.M. EST

Louisville Slugger Stadium – Louisville, Kentucky    
Watch/Listen Live:

  • Local/National TV: MyWNDY-23 Streaming Video:  ESPN+

Indy Eleven face Louisville City FC in the first round of the USL Playoffs on October 20 at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville.The knockout fixture will be the fourth meeting between the rivals in 2018. Each team finished with a 1W-1L-1D record after the conclusion of the three-game Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest series on October 13, which finished with a 1-0 Louisville City victory in the 2018 USL regular season finale. Indy’s loss sees the “Boys in Blue” finish seventh in the Eastern Conference. The defeat also resulted in the repeat fixture between Louisville and Indianapolis in the playoffs. Louisville now enters the playoffs on a six game win streak after defeating “Indiana’s Team”.Penalties have been the deciding factor in the first three meetings. Indy won the first match, 1-0, on an Ayoze penalty. The second fixture, each side miss a penalty kick opportunity as the match finished a 2-2 draw. The third and most recent fixture was a 1-0 victory for Louisville because of a converted penalty kick by Louisville City Forward Cameron Lancaster. Had each side converted their penalty chances in the second fixture, four of the eight possible goals in the series would’ve been from the spot.

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | GK Owain Fon Williams

In three meetings with Louisville City FC in 2018, Indy Eleven Goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams has recorded 13 saves and one clean sheet, one of which was a penalty save that came in the 2-2 draw on August 5.In his most recent 90 minutes against the Kentucky side, he managed eight saves in a fixture that saw him face nine shots on target. The eight-save performance brings his saves per game average against Louisville to 4.3 saves per game.

Louisville City FC Player to Watch | FW Ilija Ilic

When 2018 Golden Boot winner Cameron Lancaster struggles to find the back of the net, striking partner Ilija Ilic has picked up some of the slack. Ilic is the second highest goal scorer on Louisville City’s roster. He’s found the back of the net 11 times during the 2018 campaign.The 27-year-old is also the joint assist leader for Louisville City. He’s tied with Midfielder Oscar Jimenez at 10 assists each. The Serbian’s ability to not only score, but to create goals for his teammates makes him a dangerous matchup in the first-round playoff matchup. It will be up to Indy’s backline to slow down the creative forward.

Matchup to Mark | Indy Eleven Offense vs. Louisville City Defense

The phrase “defense wins championships” reverberates through locker rooms after leaving the mouth of a coach during the pre-game pep talk. Louisville City will need its defense to remain sturdy if they are to lift the championship come the end of the playoffs. The Kentucky based side went undefeated in their last six fixtures, allowing three goals and kept three clean sheets on their way to claiming the last 18 points of the season. They enter the first round of the playoffs coming off one of those shut out performances, which came against Indy Eleven.The “Boys in Blue” enter the first round having scored five goals in their last five matches. Despite the one goal-per-game average, “Indiana’s Team” was shut out in two of those matches and won only one. Indy will need forwards Jack McInerney and Eugene Starikov to perform well during the playoffs, as they did during 2018. The striking pair combined for 16 of Indy’s 45 goals during the 2018 regular season.Additionally, keep an eye out for Forward Soony Saad and Midfielder Dylan Mares, who both scored multiple goals at the start of their respective 2018 seasons with Indy.

Don’t miss out on your chance to see the “Boys in Blue” on the road. Click here to purchase tickets to this weekend’s match in Louisville. Can’t make the match? No problem. Watch the match from home on ESPN+ or on MyWNDY-23.

USL playoffs take Indy Eleven-Louisville City FC rivalry to new level

Kevin Johnston, Special for IndyStarPublished 7:20 p.m. ET Oct. 17, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – For all the sarcastic hyperbole thrown around on social media by the supporters’ groups of both the Indy Eleven and Louisville City FC, the budding I-65 rivalry is legitimately developing into a Midwest gem.Is it Yankees-Red Sox or IU-Purdue? No. But there’s no denying the passion of the two clubs supporters’ groups, the Brickyard Battalion and Louisville Coopers.“Obviously, we joke about it, but the proximity between the two teams is what can help make this rivalry what it should be — lighthearted but competitive,” said Louisville City FC director of public relations and broadcasting Scott Stewart. “The USL has given us an opportunity to develop something that fans can latch onto and really flourish in, which helps both clubs.”The teams are set to meet again Saturday in the first round of United Soccer League playoffs at Louisville Slugger Field, where LouCity just beat Indy 1-0 last week. The result left the Eleven playing the waiting game to determine its first-round matchup, which appeared most likely to be at Charleston or Pittsburgh.

Instead, home victories by New York Red Bulls II and Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday meant Indy finished as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, earning an immediate return south to face No. 2 seed Louisville City.In just its first season in the USL, the Eleven earned a playoff berth after finishing with 49 points (13 wins, 10 draws, 11 losses). Welcome results for a team that’s future was up in the air last winter, and roster and coaching staff experienced a massive overhaul.“It’s a great reward being we didn’t know if we would have a club a year ago,” explained Eleven vice president of sales and marketing Josh Mason. “This is a love letter to the fans, as we inside the organization and outside completely understand just how important this is. And that we build on this for 2019 is paramount. Count on that.”At 66 points, defending USL champ Louisville City represents one of the toughest outs in the league, especially at home on a surface that’s built a reputation for being difficult to play on. Louisville Slugger Field is also the home to the Louisville Bats, and the much of the sod-covered infield and pitcher’s mound rest in prime real estate near the goal and 18-yard box. It doesn’t make for the easiest footing and can be especially frustrating for visiting teams to cope with.As for the burgeoning rivalry, one person with a unique perspective on it is Stewart. His ties run deep in both cities. In 2017, Stewart was the Indy Eleven’s public relations and communications manager before landing his new gig across the Ohio River.“From a personal standpoint, it’s been a little odd having to take shots at my hometown and my first club,” he said. “But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve enjoyed everything up to this point. Saturday has real potential to deal a final blow either way and I’m excited to see how things play out.”Indy and Louisville will kick off 7:30 p.m., Saturday with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinalsIn the spirit of keeping the trash talk alive, the Eleven are even plotting a special troll job for the occasion, one that’s perfectly in line with the good-natured banter between the cities.“We love (the back and forth), and if you read it, it’s all great content,” Mason added. “The fight as to who Abraham Lincoln would have been a bigger fan of? The false narratives created by fans to build a rivalry where there isn’t one, while understanding the need for one. It’s absolutely beautiful and perfect for our sport and our clubs.”

U.S. finally has hope in Sargent, Weah and Amon, but youngsters need time

 USMNT are too reliant on defending and set pieces, wishing they would take it to their opponents by throwing numbers forward. (2:16)

Oct 17, 2018Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Building for the future often means navigating through the ups and downs of the present. Such was the case for the U.S. attack in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Peru.Caretaker manager Dave Sarachan opted to start three teenagers in offensive positions — Jonathan Amon, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah — and each of them showed flashes of the kind of ability that has the U.S. fan base, still emotionally scarred from last year’s World Cup qualifying failure, clamoring for more.Amon, who was making his U.S. debut, showed off his quickness and directness when causing problems for the opposition defense. Sargent scored the only U.S. goal off a set piece but also revealed an eye for the killer pass, while Weah has shown a bit more polish with each outing in a U.S. shirt.Yet there were also areas that need more refinement. Weah would like to have another crack at a second-half chance that he fired wide of goal; Sargent, for whatever reason, kept dropping deep to help out defensively, especially in the first half, thus robbing his teammates of an outlet when the ball was won; Amon needs to sharpen his decision-making interms of when to release the ball and when to have a go at goal himself.

Sarachan summarized the night when he said about Amon: “He showed some moments that give you hope and showed you moments that make you realize he’s [19].”Hope, of course, can be a dangerous thing given its capacity to obscure reality, but it’s something the U.S. program is in dire need of at the moment. It’s now been over a year since the U.S. had a full-time head coach, though Sarachan has struck the right tone in using his grandfatherly approach with such a young squad. All that’s left is to look for any hint of progress, and there were a few thanks to the club environments that the three players find themselves in.”Being in a professional environment … your mind has to be a lot quicker and my movements need to be a lot more active,” said Sargent, who has been getting steady minutes with Werder Bremen’s reserve team. “I can’t just stand still.”Sargent showed he’s been a quick study in that regard, using some clever touches and fast movements to set up Weah for his aforementioned look at goal. That the two nearly connected isn’t a surprise given that they played together last year at the FIFA U-17 World Cup; Weah also has a connection with Amon, having played with him at U-14 level.But acclimatizing to the international game is an ongoing process, no matter how well you know your teammates.”It was pretty fast-paced,” said the soft-spoken Amon about his debut. “You’ve just got to get used to it. I’ve got a taste of it now. Now I know what to expect.””I think in the first half, our structure hurt us in a lot of ways because we were winning it deep and now we don’t have a lot of outlets to play,” said midfielder Wil Trapp. “When we did win the ball higher up the field, now we can get at them.”The U.S. looked better after it switched to a 4-4-2 after halftime, but Peru gradually re-established its dominance and that played a significant role in the result, as La Blanquirroja finally managed to break through for an equalizer through Edison Flores with four minutes to play. In the build-up, the U.S. had a chance to break pressure only for Peru to immediately win the ball back.”It’s small things,” Trapp said of the U.S. team’s inability to keep the ball. “It’s being in the right spaces in a lot of ways. The times we did that, it was effective. The times we didn’t do that, we lost the ball. Being calm and being on the same page, that’s something we certainly have to work on, but the spaces, turning, playing forward, that’s important.”

The tests won’t get any easier for this group. In fact, a pair of year-end exams loom in November, when the U.S. will face England and Italy on European soil. That squad figures to be heavily skewed toward European-based players, meaning the likes of Amon, Weah and Sargent may get additional opportunities to show off their skills and progress.”We’re still young,” said Weah. “A lot of us don’t have a lot of professional experience. We’re just getting the hang of it. We’re just going to get better and better.”Of course, there will be some ups and downs along the way.

Disappointing Peru draw a ‘big picture’ win for the United States – Dave Sarachan forward. (2:16)

Oct 17, 2018Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — United States caretaker manager Dave Sarachan expressed disappointment over this team’s 1-1 draw with Peru, but also acknowledged that his youthful side competed well against La Blanquirroja.Chances were scarce for both sides in the first half, though it was Peru that had the vast majority of possession. But a sharper U.S. team emerged after half-time, and Josh Sargent put the home side ahead in the 49th minute when his deflected effort from Kellyn Acosta’s free kick snuck past Jose Carvallo in the Peru goal.Peru piled on the pressure, and after Andy Polo hit the bar in the 75th minute, Edison Flores latched on to Andy Polo’s low centering feed in the 86th minute to blast home at the far post.”We feel disappointed that it ended in a tie,” Sarachan said post-match. “We realize they have chances but when you’re 1-0 up that late in the game, you want to close it out. We allowed a player to get on the back post, didn’t do great there, they tied it.”But in the big picture of things we had three players who earned their first caps tonight. We had a lot of young guys, some new guys. You’ve always got to keep in mind that we played a team that’s been together a long time in Peru and we’ve been together for four or five days here.”So I thought the response from the guys, competing wise, was excellent. Coming away with a draw from a very strong Peru team is nothing to sink your heads down for. Keep your heads high is what we told them; a good night for this young group.”Sarachan could feel good about an improved defensive performance from a backline that included two debutantes in Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long, as well as Ben Sweat making his first start. Cameron Carter-Vickers, 20, counted as the old head in the group with five caps. But overall the group stood strong, and for much of the night made the plays it had to make.”It’s always a question mark when you have some inexperienced players working together for the first time but you hope that when the curtain raises, they get tuned in and don’t get too nervous on the occasion,” Sarachan said.”I thought there were some moments of indecision and some nerves but I think as the game went on, it got better. As I keep repeating, this is a group that hasn’t played together for a long time. I thought throughout the rest of the game, that was good.”But this was also a night where the U.S. struggled to keep the ball, managing just 31.7 percent possession according to ESPN Stats & Information. It ended up costing the U.S. in the end as Peru launched wave after wave of attacks.”The ability to start to string a few passes together just to give yourself a breather and to keep possession and build with numbers, I didn’t think the balance of that was great in the first half,” he said.”It was better in the second, we talked about it during half-time.”When you’re protecting a lead and the other team’s bringing numbers and you’re backed up and you’re clearing a ball, it’s difficult to keep hold of it. I think in the last play that led to the Peru goal, we had an opportunity to keep the ball out of pressure but we lost it. Give credit to Peru, they turned up the volume on us and did what good teams do.”Sarachan admitted the night was a mixed bag for young attackers like Jonathan Amon.”[Amon] showed some moments that give you hope and showed you moments that make you realize he’s [19],” he said.”The speed of play got him on a few occasions but the moments that came where he had to take off and be creative, that was impressive and I think I’d love for this young kid to take away a lot in that regard.”The night proved more productive for Sargent, who in addition to getting his goal helped set up a couple of other opportunities for the U.S.”The kid’s moving in a good direction,” said Sarachan about Sargent. “As a lone striker in the first half, he didn’t have a lot of the play but the moments that came to him, I thought he did pretty well.”He did some clever movements in terms of keeping possession. He’s a strong kid. I thought on the night he had a good night. Getting the goal was the cherry on the sundae.”Tim Weah, who earned his seventh cap on the night, also earned positive reviews from Sarachan.”I think [Weah] is growing,” he said. “He’s got a lot to learn still but he’s getting used to the speed of play at this level and that’s been a real plus.”

 

USMNT’s Josh Sargent 8/10, shows promise in partnership with Tim Weah

Oct 16, 2018Jason DavisU.S. soccer writer

A young U.S. men’s national team nearly managed a victory against a talented Peru team in East Hartford, Connecticut, only to see a late goal from the South Americans ruin the party and push the game to a 1-1 draw.

Positives

Despite their youth, the Americans seemed intent on engaging the Peruvians whenever possible. The defending from the backline was solid, with good communication between goalkeeper Brad Guzan and center backs Aaron Long and Cameron Carter-Vickers. The attacking duo of Josh Sargent and Tim Weah worked well together, which is a good sign for the future.

Negatives

The Americans were simply unable to hold much possession over the course of 90 minutes. Without a strong ball-winner in midfield and featuring green players still trying to learn how to play together, the USMNT was forced to defend for most of the night. Pressure on the ball was lacking or applied ineffectively. Because of that, Peru regularly found space between the American lines.

Manager rating

6 — Dave Sarachan’s mandate for another friendly against a talented South American side was to give young players a chance. He did that at almost every position. The tactical plan was adequate and allowed Peru’s superior understanding and ability to hold the ball. His substitutions made sense considering the circumstances of the game.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Brad Guzan, 6 — Made a clear difference for the American defense with organization. Hung out to dry to on the Peru goal. Made a late punch on a free kick that helped the U.S. hold onto the tie.

DF Ben Sweat, 3 — Poor defensively, especially in the first half. Showed plenty of desire to make up for mistakes but simply made too many of them.

DF Cameron Carter-Vickers, 6 — Solid most of the night. Made no obvious errors aside from a bit of sloppiness on aerial balls. Stayed at home and defended well.

DF Aaron Long, 6 — Equal to, if not slightly better than, his center back partner. Guilty of a few more rushed long balls than is usually acceptable, even considering the pressure the USMNT was under most of the night.

DF Reggie Cannon, 5 — Not much of a threat going forward but did not look out of place, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Benefited from Peru’s repeated forays up the U.S. left flank.

MF Wil Trapp, 4 — Not involved enough from a deep-lying position. Played as a shield for the backline but was bypassed too easily by Peru’s passing. Had nine defensive interventions, a decent number made poor by the amount of Peru possession.

MF Tim Weah, 5 — Strong in the first half but faded dramatically in the second half. The brightest player in the U.S. attack in the first 45 and provided the pass that led to their best chance ahead of halftime.

MF Kellyn Acosta, 5 — Set up the U.S. goal with a clever free kick that found Sargent’s run. Inconsistent with his touch, did not provide enough bite in midfield to limit Peru’s possession. Middling as a passer.

Josh Sargent earned top marks for the U.S. vs. Peru, scoring the goal and impressing with his hold-up play. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

MF Marky Delgado, 5 — Involved, maybe more than any American midfielder. Passed well at times. Gave the ball away cheaply a handful of times in the first half as well.

MF Jonathan Amon, 5 — Mixed bag for the young winger. First-half slackness on defense helped Peru dominate the U.S. left side. Missed chance to spring Weah on goal with a break in the first half after running onto a flick from Sargent and cutting back into space well. Drew the foul ahead of the corner that led to the U.S. goal.

FW Josh Sargent, 8 — Showed excellent hold-up play and instincts with the ball at his feet, in addition to the goal. Tracked back effectively to provide the first line of American defense. Guilty of one egregious turnover that led to a Peru chance.

Substitutes

MF Julian Green, 5 — Helped grab some possession after his entry with half an hour to go. Showed good bite with a pair of recoveries. Played a poor ball with the Americans breaking in the 68th minute.

FW Bobby Wood, N/R — Touch not good enough on holdup opportunities. Created a good chance with a run in the right channel and a cutback pass.

MF Michael Bradley, N/R — Sloppy with the ball deep in the U.S. half with Peru pressing for goals in the last 15 minutes. Made two clearances from the American penalty area.

DF DeAndre Yedlin, N/R — Appeared complicit on Peru’s goal in combination with Delgado.

DF Antonee Robinson, N/R — Mad

Dave Sarachan hopes U.S. learned lesson in Colombia loss: ‘That’s why you play these games’

Oct 12, 2018Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

TAMPA, Fla. — United States caretaker manager Dave Sarachan said his side learned some hard lessons in its 4-2 defeat to Colombia on Thursday.

The U.S. trailed 1-0 at half-time due to James Rodriguez’s 36th minute opener, but then stormed back early in the second half as goals three minutes apart from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood staked the U.S. to a 2-1 lead.The advantage lasted just three minutes, however. Carlos Bacca equalized in the 56th minute and as the game became more stretched Colombia took advantage on goals from Radamel Falcao in the 74th minute and substitute Miguel Borja five minutes later.It proved a difficult night overall, especially on the defensive side of the ball.”You can scout teams, you can watch teams, you can talk about moments that might come in the game, but now you’re stepping on the field [against Colombia] and having to make decisions, and to do things quickly,” said Sarachan.”And so speed of play, technical speed, the moments they play a ball and take off, all of these moments for young players I hope add up in terms of their experience, and that’s so important for these guys. That’s why you play these games.”The night was especially difficult for the left side of the U.S. defense, with left-back Antonee Robinson and left-midfielder Kenny Saief struggling to stop a Colombia team intent on attacking that side. Saief eventually switched wings with Tim Weah, but that didn’t stop Colombia from targeting that side.”We did not do good job in terms of passing guys along and staying in what I would say is a better zone position,” said Sarachan. “So Antonee got pulled in at times, which allowed the right back [Santiago] Arias to get forward.”I didn’t think the coordination was very good, they had a pretty easy time of switching play to get it to that side, so we obviously we would have liked a little more pressure on the ball. We addressed it in the second half, still spotty at times, and they took advantage of that.”But Sarachan stressed that the defensive difficulties were team-wide.”[In] moments we could have made better decisions,” he said. “Whether it was Bacca or Falcao when they withdrew [into midfield] we could have stepped and been a bit tighter on players, I think even just simple plays of winning tackles could have been better on the defensive side in terms of our backs.”Obviously the vulnerability we showed at times when the ball was swung from one side to the other, the movement and the sliding was a little bit off at times. At the same time it’s not an easy night when they’re cutting through you like that. It was a hot night, they put in a workload.”The match marked Michael Bradley’s first match with the U.S. in over a year. While Bradley was clean on the ball, he along with the rest of the midfield had difficulty keeping up with Colombia’s attack. That said, Sarachan said he was pleased with Bradley’s contribution.”Michael is still a guy that has played in big games,” said Sarachan. “Nothing phases him, he’s still a presence and an organizer. On the whole, he had a very solid night.”He’s trying to carry himself and do his job along with making sure he’s helping the guys alongside him. He does what he always does, tries to make sure as a collective in terms of our shape and everything. He’s the catalyst to make sure that goes pretty well. When they start throwing numbers, it’s not just on Michael, he needed some help, left and right, but a solid night.”Sarachan also gave full credit to a veteran Colombia team for showing off the effectiveness of its attack.”You saw the quality and when you allow them time and space, they can punish you,” he said. “Some pretty clever, pretty good goals tonight. Some were the benefit of some mistakes on our end, and some were great individual efforts.”Let’s keep in mind one thing tonight — and I said this after the Brazil game — we were playing against a team that’s been together a long time and they’ve come from a World Cup. There weren’t a lot of young faces and they know each other’s movements pretty well.”

 

Mourinho, Man United back in spotlight to face Chelsea, Juventus tests

2:57 PM ETAndy MittenManchester United writer

After the turmoil that dominated the days leading up to the international break, attempts have been made to clear the air at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground. There has been serious discussion among chief figures, in hopes of resetting the season and removing the cloud that has enveloped the club.From club officials to the manager, players and beyond, reputations have been battered due to the team’s poor form, which has seen them lose three of their opening eight Premier League games and suffer elimination at the hands of Championship side Derby in the Carabao Cup.If things do not improve then Jose Mourinho will lose his job, but he is not giving up — he has even been seen cracking a smile at times — and he does not want his players t, either. Moreover, he has support from fans at matches; he will need it in the weeks ahead.Mourinho’s old club Chelsea await on Saturday — United have an appalling recent record at Stamford Bridge of one draw and seven defeats in their last eight visits — before Juventus visit Old Trafford in the Champions League three days later.The games are undoubtedly the most difficult fixtures of the season so far and further tough games will follow on their heels. Any fragile confidence that came from the comeback win over Newcastle could be shattered, but that result could also prove to be a turning point and lead to a fresh start, especially given expectations are low.Mourinho is under serious pressure and has been unhappy for some time, but he is also capable of incredible gestures. In August, when contacted by the family of a seriously ill Swiss fan, he realised that he would soon be in Switzerland for a UEFA coaches conference and promised to personally visit. Sadly, the patient passed away before it happened, but Mourinho still insisted on meeting his family.He is not as miserable as is sometimes portrayed, but nor is he consistent with players. He feels they could and should be playing better, while they are of the opinion that he does not need to battle with them so often, something he has done since taking the job in 2016, complaining privately from day one that things are not as good as they should be.

Mourinho wants people with him 100 percent and do things his way. If they do, he thinks he will lead them to glory. Sir Alex Ferguson had a similar “all or nothing” mindset, but that usually came from a position of strength, not when the team were in mid-table.It is fine to create an “us against the world” mentality if there is unity among “us,” but if the boss is at loggerheads with too many, he is going to struggle. Players have more power and money than ever before and, if push comes to shove, it is easier to get rid of a manager.Mourinho might be irritated by comments from former players, but most do not want him to be sacked. Paul Scholes, for example, wants the manager to turn things around because he is a United fan.”I hope the situation is retrievable,” Scholes told ESPN. “I’d like Jose to show people why he’s such a great coach, because this is his biggest test in football. Is it possible? I don’t know.”Most fans are doubtful. When United went from so bad to so good under Ferguson in the late 1980s, it took three years. Mourinho finished second last season, which was a fine achievement, but to finish lower or to do worse than reach the Round of 16 in Europe this term will be seen as a step back.United do not want to be seen as a sacking club; it is expensive for the cost-conscious Glazer family, for one thing. Mourinho’s predecessors Louis van Gaal and David Moyes were not fired as kneejerk reactions to individual results, but only when it was impossible to qualify for the Champions League and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward had established that players felt things were not working.Having been outplayed by the likes of Derby, Wolves and West Ham, it looked like the wheels were coming off when Newcastle took a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes on Oct. 6, but then came a response that resulted in victory. United need to show more of that spirit and it is not like the squad lacks talent.Fewer than six months ago, a similar comeback sealed a win that ensured Manchester City had to cancel their title-winning party, but United are too inconsistent, not only from game to game but within matches. The league table does not lie and, while the season is only eight games young, the rest of the big six are at least five points better off.Thursday’s announcement that Luke Shaw has signed a new contract is another positive, as is news he is back in training after missing England duty with an ankle injury. The same goes for out-of-form Nemanja Matic, who had a similar problem, while Marouane Fellaini is also expected to be fit. None of United’s other expected starters are unavailable.After a two-week hiatus that came at the right time, Mourinho and Co. return to the spotlight and the glare will be as strong as ever. Starting on Saturday at an unhappy hunting ground, positive results are needed to ensure tension does not return.

Liverpool’s lack of X-factor exposed by injuries – with no Coutinho or Fekir, Shaqiri must step up

5:18 AM ETDavid UsherLiverpool blogger\

The international break has not been kind to Liverpool as several key players reported back with injuries varying in severity.

The biggest concern surrounds Naby Keita, who will undergo a scan on his hamstring after limping out of Guinea’s midweek international with Rwanda.

Keita had also been forced off early in Liverpool’s recent defeat at Napoli after suffering a back spasm. The Merseysiders can only hope the two issues are not linked as they can ill afford to lose him right now given the lack of goals and creativity provided by their midfield so far this season.

For the first time since they sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last January, Liverpool are missing the Brazilian. It’s to the great credit of Jurgen Klopp and his squad that his absence was barely noticed as the Reds rampaged their way through Europe before finally coming up short against Real Madrid in the final.No-one was thinking about Coutinho in the opening weeks of this season either as Liverpool reeled off seven straight wins to kick off the new campaign.Recently though, the lack of a creative spark in midfield and — more surprisingly — in attack, has been glaring. Liverpool’s strong defensive set up has compensated to some extent for the lack production further forward, but the Reds have now failed to win any of their last four games and back up striker Daniel Sturridge is the only player to find the net in that time.It is now clear why Klopp had been so keen to add Lyon skipper Nabil Fekir to his squad last summer. The Frenchman is exactly what Liverpool are missing right now and he would have been the ideal replacement for Coutinho.The move for Fekir fell through on medical grounds and Klopp brought in Xherdan Shaqiri instead, but the maverick Swiss attacker is not as accustomed to playing in the attacking midfield role that Coutinho and Fekir regularly excel in.Liverpool’s midfielders are all fine players with admirable qualities. The problem is most of those qualities are the same: Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum are hard-working, disciplined, talented footballers but they are predictable and too similar in style. There is no X-factor in Liverpool’s midfield.The proposed move for Fekir was seen by many at the time as something of a luxury signing as the Reds already had a number of midfield players competing for just three spots. However, this was before we knew that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury was far worse than had been disclosed and that the former Arsenal man would likely play no part in this season.Liverpool could really do with a Coutinho or a Fekir right now, but in the absence of that type of player they’ll need to find another solution. f Keita can rid himself of these types of little injuries then he’s the man most likely to provide that thrust and goal threat from midfield, although it must be said that he is yet to show anything other than brief flashes of the explosiveness that persuaded Liverpool to spend €52m to acquire him from RB Leipzig.He’s been underwhelming to this point but Klopp’s system isn’t the easiest to adapt to and it can take time. It wasn’t until the second half of last season that we saw the best of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andrew Robertson and it might be a similar story with Keita and fellow new boy Fabinho.Shaqiri is in the same boat, although it largely depends on where he is deployed. He should not have too much difficulty adapting his game to fit into Liverpool’s forward line but if Klopp wishes to use him in midfield he will almost certainly need to alter his system to accommodate him.Klopp did just that in a 3-0 home win over Southampton last month but he wasn’t exactly happy with what he saw. Shaqiri was Liverpool’s best player in the first half against the Saints yet still found himself replaced at half-time as Klopp was concerned by how open his side looked when not in possession.Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner are playing very well this season but they struggle to unlock a defence, rarely make runs ahead of the forwards and do not score enough goals. Having two of them in there is fine, but when all three play it can be problematic when the front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah aren’t producing.

That’s the key to it all really. When those front three are playing as they were last season it makes everyone else look better. Nobody was complaining about Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum when Liverpool were destroying Roma at Anfield last season for example. This season the forwards aren’t scoring at the same rate and it is exposing some flaws in other areas — specifically the middle of the park.In the long term, Keita should provide the solution, but if he is ruled out for the next few weeks then that leaves Adam Lallana and Shaqiri as the two most attacking options available to Klopp.A fully fit Lallana would make Liverpool a much more potent threat, but he’s been out for so long with various ailments that it’s impossible to count on him anymore. Sadly, if he were to start the next few games there’s as much chance of him breaking down injured as there is of him scoring or creating a goal.So perhaps it’s time to have a look at Shaqiri in the deeper role that Coutinho often excelled in?The quality of opposition meant that wasn’t a realistic option for Klopp in Liverpool’s most recent games, but Huddersfield, Red Star Belgrade and Cardiff are up next and none are likely to show too much ambition.Liverpool need a spark and this could be the perfect time to give Shaqiri an extended run in the side to see if he can provide the ammunition to get the forwards firing again.

 

Paul Scholes takes aim at Mourinho, Pogba and Man United’s season of discontent

central role. (2:56)

Oct 16, 2018Andy MittenManchester United writer

“I say what I believe,” explains Paul Scholes over a morning coffee in Manchester a few days after some of his honest and forthright Manchester United comments on television have made headlines. “I don’t make anything up and I’m not very good at hiding how I feel.”If people ask me something I’ll give my view, whether it’s right or wrong. I’m just a frustrated United fan, a father of a son who goes home and away watching the team. My lad is a proper United fan, a lunatic who wants to go everywhere to follow his team on a bus. I try to talk to him about some of the games but he can’t remember all of them — which at this point is probably not a bad thing. They make me laugh, the lads he goes with. When the cup draws are made, they want the furthest away game possible so that their day out lasts longer. As a player, you think the opposite.”As a fan and a local lad, I was always around the culture of fans going to games. Going to Old Trafford felt like a big mission but we went to the odd games. One of my first games was with my dad and we went to a game against Chelsea and it kicked off between rival fans outside the ground. I s— myself and my dad grabbed hold of me and we sprinted off. I lost my shoe.”

Do you still see any of those lads you went to games with?

Not really, I had to get out of that environment. I found myself drinking Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday sometimes. I’d drink the night before a game. I was in a culture where you’d also go to games and drink on the bus on the way there and then the way back. It was a working-class culture of watching football. I know that still happens because I have mates who go to games. I’d love to go with them, to be a normal fan, but I don’t think it would be easy.But it’s not the environment you want to be in as a footballer. I was picked for an England squad and remember thinking ‘I’ve got to get out of this environment.’ I was drinking, I was overweight. I needed to get fitter, I needed to get out of the area and my mates were fine about it.

And you were becoming close with lads you played with, lads you are still best friends with now.

Gary [Neville], Phil [Neville], [David] Beckham, Nicky [Butt]. We were all close. The dressing room was a good place to be as a young professional. You had lads like Ben Thornley, a great player who was good in the dressing room. His autobiography has just been published. It’ll be a great read.Ben was quick, dedicated, fit as you could be and could beat men. My best memory of Ben is him beating five men and smashing the ball in the net during a Milk Cup youth tournament in Northern Ireland against Hearts. He was a top player.It was a shame he suffered a cruciate injury. You never know how good any young player will be, but you knew he was going to be a top player from a young age. Ben was liable to put a bit of weight on. He was small and chunky like me. Unlike me he was quick. He had two good feet, too.Ben still had a good career but it would have been better without that injury. He was unlucky and it could have been any of us. We were always told to enjoy our football because we could be injured at any time. Luck plays a massive part in football.I was a later developer than anyone else. Ben made the successful youth team in 1992 — he only had [Ryan] Giggs to compete with for a place! But they both played. I was a later developer, skinny and not quick. I was playing as a centre forward. I sat back and watched the other lads break into the first team. At 18 or 19 I was in the reserves and not playing very well, but you need a bit of luck, an opportunity. Then some came my way, but Ben got injured.Ben’s cruciate injury was treatable when he had it but not to the level we have now. You’d be out for six or seven months now. The rehabilitation would be intense. At United in the 1990s, if you were injured you sat on a treatment table. There wasn’t a pool to help with the recuperation. The gym was tiny. That’s all changed now.

And United has been through big changes since you stopped playing. How do you feel about the present United team?

I hate going back and saying ‘when we played, we did this and we did that’ but I look at the current squad of players and I don’t think there’s a lack of quality there. I do think they miss a couple of real class players that other top teams seem to have.

Which positions?

A link player between the midfield and the forwards.

A player like Luka Modric?

Yes, a link player and also a controlling midfield player. They’re different. The link player must have the quality to pass and create.

Like you did?

I did it a bit. I’m thinking more of a [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Eden] Hazard or David Silva. We have Jesse [Lingard] who, on his day, can be that type of player, but you never really know what his best position is. Juan Mata has those type of qualities but the manager plays him wide on the right-hand side and he’s never going to have the legs to play that position. I’ve been there, being put out wide, and you hate it. You want to get into the middle of the pitch where things are happening and pace isn’t as vital.The rest of the United team is ok. [Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford, two really talented players, they need to develop their confidence and then… it scares me that these really talented players will be sold and be brilliant for another club. I could see that happening with Martial.

What do you think is Martial’s best position?

On the left, but it’s difficult for him and Rashford to find some confidence because they come in for a game, they might not have the best game and then they’re out for three or four matches. If the team don’t play well then they’re brought back in for an hour, then left out. You never get consistency or a run of performances. That’s frustrating.

What about Alexis Sanchez?

I know he has qualities and has been a good player but I never saw him as a United player. I saw him as a bit selfish, someone who played for himself sometimes. I didn’t think he was a player that we needed, especially for that type of money. How would we be able to get rid of him now when he earns those wages? The signing felt like it happened just to stop Man City signing him.It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles. I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team.

What have you made of Manchester United’s recruitment?

I didn’t like the manager praising West Ham’s chief scout after the defeat there and congratulating him on finding [Issa] Diop. It was a massive dig at his own scouts. If you’re a scout at Man United, how can you know what type of player to look for when the manager is changing his team every week and his formation all the time? Where’s the blueprint for the player you want? It must be an impossible job.

Jose Mourinho has been a great manager.

He still is. Well, I think he still is, but you wonder why his side keep getting outplayed. People talk about the first 10 games of this season but last year it was the same. The reason we finished second last year was because of the goalkeeper. Good goalkeepers are not easy to find. [David] De Gea’s not been quite as good this season, not saving them all like did all last year.

You say it’s hard for Rashford or Martial when they come in and out. Is that the same for the defenders?

Yes. The back four changes every week and it’s half understandable because when they do come in and play they make mistakes. I think Chris [Smalling] is the best defender (at the club), the most difficult to get past, though he could be better on the ball.Eric Bailly? We just don’t know because he’s been injured, he’s been in and out. You need a settled back four. Think of the best United teams. We had [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidic, [Jaap] Stam and [Ronny] Johnsen, [Steve] Bruce and [Gary] Pallister. They played all the time, they were settled. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen with this team. class=”imageLoaded lazyloaded” data-image-container=.inline-photo v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″>Said Scholes of Mourinho, “I think he still is a good manager, but you wonder why his side keep getting outplayed.”

Luke Shaw has been one of the few bright spots from this season…

He has… after getting stick for a couple of years. I’ve always liked him, always felt he could be one of the best left-backs. I don’t know the lad but it looks like the penny has dropped about his attitude and he’s now playing every week. He’s been all right this season. He’s not been amazing, but then I don’t think any players have been amazing this season.

Are United’s issues compounded because Liverpool and Man City are so good?

It shouldn’t make any difference but it does. United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did.

United were champions of England, Europe and the world a decade ago.

And we were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right. It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago. But if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right. They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.Everything becomes easy for them. It becomes easy for the scout who knows that they play 4-3-3 and knows the positions of players and what they’re looking to sign. It’s virtually impossible for a chief scout at Man United to do the same.Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.

Is the situation recoverable for Mourinho? Are the players playing for him?

It’s hard for me to say because I was never in a team, be it Man United or England, where I went out with the intention of getting a manager sacked. I never went out and thought ‘I’ll not try.’ I’m not saying that any Man United player has ever done that but you hear so much stuff now that you think it could be possible. I’d hate that if it’s true, if any player set out t play badly on purpose. I’ve had loads of bad games, but never on purpose.The big thing with United is the effort and the attitude. When you looked at the West Ham game last week, it looked like the biggest sign of players not wanting to play for Jose, but I would not sack him. I hope the situation is retrievable. I’d like Jose to show people why he’s such a great coach because this is his biggest test in football.

It’d be great if he could.

It’d be amazing. Is it possible? I don’t know.

Do you know Jose Mourinho?

Not really, only from when I’ve played against him. I loved watching his interviews, his cockiness. I thought he was brilliant, but that Jose has gone. Now it’s just a moaning Jose, which frustrates you. He’s moaning at his players and what he hasn’t got. But look what he does have. He tells people he’s the best coach, so he should now prove that.It’s not like he’s been given nothing [at Man United]. He’s been given fortunes to spend and he’s bought a lot of these players. He’s bought the two centre-halfs who don’t look good enough. If he doesn’t think they’re good enough, then coach them and make them better.

It’s not a club on its uppers, it’s a money-making machine that is doing well financially.

It is, but it feels like they’ve lost sight of the most important thing at a football club, which is what happens on the pitch. The club are great at making money but how long can that last when the team are playing so badly?

A lot of that money was spent on Paul Pogba. Has he done enough for United?

How old is he, 25? He does some of the best things in games, a great pass or dribble, a great touch or dribble. Then, five minutes later, he’ll do one of the worst things like his brain has switched off, like it’s all about him because he’s just shown everyone how good he is. That becomes easy to play against because you know that cockiness will come. Against Wolves, he showed a great touch to Fred but then the next minute he’d given the ball away in midfield, which led to a goal. That sums him up.We never saw that at Juventus, but [Pogba] was a smaller fish there. Look around that team, with [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Andrea] Pirlo, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Claudio] Marchisio: great experienced players. I loved that team, especially Pirlo and the way he was so relaxed as he controlled the game. Pogba was part of a great team but he’s come to United where he’s got nobody to control him like he had at Juventus.

What about Romelu Lukaku?

I’m just not sure you are ever going to win the league with a goal scorer like him. I don’t think his play outside of the box is good enough. I’m not sure if he works hard enough but he’s still a young man who has done well and scored a lot of goals. He’s quick and strong, but Lukaku is one of many United players who look like they’re short of confidence. I don’t think he realises how good he can be, but he needs help because who else can play centre-forward at United now?

Martial, Rashford…

Maybe, but they look like wingers. And they’re getting slagged off by the manager. We had four centre-forwards — [Andy] Cole, Teddy [Sheringham], Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and [Dwight] Yorke — and when they through bad spells, which every footballer does, someone else was waiting to come in. That helped their performances because they knew that if they didn’t perform then they would be taken off. Maybe Lukaku needs that, too.

When were you short of confidence?

Loads of times. Sometimes it would last for months. You’d be fit but you’d drive home from training thinking you were not fit. I never doubted that the manager didn’t rate me because even when I played badly, he’d play me. You feel really bad when you’re not playing well. You worry about where your next goal is coming from, your next good pass. It really got to me.

And you’re getting criticism at the same time…

Social media wasn’t really around when I played but you know when you’re not playing well. You feel it in the groans in the crowds. You’d hear comments like ‘Scholesy was rubbish today.’ When you live in and among and fans you hear it all the time. Or when the manager comes up to you, puts his arms around you and says ‘Can we see the real Paul Scholes today?’

You’re not stupid. You know when you’re having a bad time… and yet it can change in pass or a scruffy goal off your knee. Everything goes from being so difficult to so easy and you have no idea why. A lot of it is mental and I’d love to see the players who are struggling at United see their fortunes change.

Would you like to coach players, to help get the best out of them?

I enjoy it when I’m doing it with kids or when I did it with the [Man United] team. It’s not something I’d go searching for, but if someone asked me or invited me to go and do something, I would.

Would you consider management?

Why not? A manager is a coach these days. Sir Alex [Ferguson] was a manager rather than a coach. Nowadays they’re coaches. I know I’d enjoy it….

Even the pressure and dealing with the media.

You don’t know until you do it. I wouldn’t say that I don’t care what the media say, but it doesn’t matter as long as you and your players know what is going on.

Who do you enjoy watching?

Real Madrid, Barcelona, City, Liverpool. I rather be saying United than any of those.

Which players do you enjoy watching?

Modric, [Toni] Kroos, Messi. Watching Messi against Tottenham at Wembley made me think about the Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo debate again.

What do you think about it? Who is the best?

Messi. But Ronaldo is brilliant.

Ronaldo is sensational at what he does, with pace and power. He scores, he takes free-kicks. But as an all-round footballer, Messi — wow, his passing — has absolutely everything.

 

10/10/18 USA Ladies Tonight, Men vs Colombia Thurs 7:30 FS1, US Men vs Peru Tue 7:30 pm ESPN2, Indy 11 @ Louisville Sat 7 pm, Carmel Girls to Regionals, International Break TV Games

CARMEL FC NIGHT is This Friday 11-10 pm – Oct 19 at City Bar BQ in Carmel on Range Line Road.  25% of Purchase if you mention Carmel FC will go to our Club!

Location: City BBQ on Rangeline Road

Date: Friday, October 19th

Time: 10:30am-10pm

No time to dine in, you can Pig UP N’Go! both dine in and take out sales apply. You can browse the menu here: https://www.citybbq.com/menu  City BBQ also has Party Packs available that you can order for a tasty fall TEAM dinner, or a family pack option if it is just two adults and 2 kids.  Here you can see the options avaialble https://www.citybbq.com/menu/#party-packs

 

The International Break is upon us which means the US men will be playing this Thursday night against Colombia at 7:30 pm on Fox Sports 1.  I am interested to see how oldtimers Mike Bradley and Brad Guzan mix back into the team for the first time since the US didn’t qualify for the World Cup.  Sad to see Pulisic (hurt quad),  and Weston McKinney (injured) are going to miss the next 2 games.  But we should get a chance to see if the back 4 solidifies before the huge friendlies in November.

Other big games around the world include Nations League games featuring 2nd Place World Cup finishers Croatia hosting England Fri on ESPN2, Russia hosting Sweden Thurs at 2:45 pm on ESPNNews and Sunday’s barnburners: Russia vs Turkey 12 noon on ESPNNews and Poland hosting Italy at 2:45 pm on ESPN.  Monday you need to dial up the ESPN+ as Spain will host England at 2:45 pm there while Iceland will clap Switzerland on ESPN 2 at the same time.  Tues is the same as ESPN+ has France vs Germany while Ukraine vs Czech Republic will be on the ESPNnews.  Of course the biggest game is Brazil hosting Argentina in a friendly at 1:45 pm beIN Sport – while the US will host Peru at 7:30 pm on ESPN2 and Mexico will host Chile at 9:30 on unimas.  Of course the US Ladies continue World Cup Qualifications Wed night at 7:30 pm on Fox Sports 2 vs T&T Tonight.  INDY 11

Our Boys In Blue will head to Louisville Saturday night 7 pm on My Indy TV looking to hold on to 5th place in the League as their inclusion in the USL Eastern Division Playoffs has been assured.  Now where they will play depends on this weekend’s results.  If our 11 can win or tie at 2nd place Louisville they have a chance of facing Charleston next weekend.

WORLD

What’s Happening in Spain’s La Liga?  Yes that’s Sevilla winner of 4 straight at the top of the League in front of Barcelona – who has 1 win in 5 games, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid just 1 win in 5 games?  Of course Sevilla will have to travel to Barcelona next Sat at 2:45 pm on beIN Sports – while Atletico will travel to Villarreal at 12:30 on beIN Sport.  A bit of the same in Germany as Werder Bremen, MGladbach, Hertha and of course 1st place Dortmund (Pulisic) and RB Leipzig all stand in front of traditional powerhouse Bayern Munich.

CHS GIRLS

Congrats to the CHS Girls team for Capturing the 2018 Sectional Championship this past weekend at Guerin High. (Lots of former Carmel FC girls on the roster!) Its on to Brebeuf this weekend where they will face Lawrence North Sat at 12 noon in Regionals.  Win and they play the championship at 7 pm that evening.

USA

Sarachan US Moving Forward Since T & T loss – Jeff Carlisle ESPNFC

Does it Matter the US Hasn’t had a Permanent Manager for 1 year>?

McKennie out TFC Delgado added to US Roster – MLS.com Charles Boehm

US in 2019 Gold Cup Venues

Group D — United States

  • June 18: Allianz Field, Minnesota, MN
  • June 22: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
  • June 26: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS
  • Finals in Chicago July 7: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

WORLD

Top Friendlies to Watch This Weekend

W2W4 this Weekend

La Liga Standings

Sevilla Stands on Top of La Liga

Bale to Blame for Zidane’s Leaving Real Madrid

Goalkeeping

Iker Casillas still playing great

Alisson saves Liverpool vs Chelsea

Perfect Breakaway Placement vs Bale

Courtois Saves Real vs Atletico

Legannes Ivan Cuellar denying Barcelona

Italy’s Future GK Gigi Donnarumma

USL Save of the Month

 

Indy 11

Indy Star Tie Bethlehem in Home Finale – Kevin Johnston

Indy 11 tie Bethlehem Steel Late 1-1 to hold onto 5th place

Indy 11 tie Bethlehem – Meet Me in the Middle – Zander Faidley

Indy 11 Midfielder Nathan Lewis becomes 2nd player called up for International Duty

USL Unveils New Structure of 3 Leagues

USL League Standings

Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan

www.uslsoccer.com

 

GAMES ON TV

Wed, Oct 10

7:30 pm Fox Sport2  Trinidad and Tobago vs USA Ladies

Thurs, Oct 11

2:45 pm ESPNNews   Russia vs Sweden (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm FSI                USA Men vs Colombia (Tampa)

9 pm FS1                    Costa Rica vs Canada Ladies WCQ

Fri, Oct 12

1:45 pm beIN Sport?    Saudi Arabia vs Brazil?

2:45 pm ESPN2            Croatia vs England (UEFA NL)

Sat, Oct 13

9 am EPSN news          Slovakia vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+            Netherlands vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN 3           Ireland vs Denmark (UEFA NL)

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 @ Louisville

Sun, Oct 14

9 am EPSN3                     Romania vs Serbia  (UEFA NL)

12 noon ESPNews      Russia vs Turkey (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN                Poland vs Italy (UEFA NL)

Mon, Oct 15

2:45 pm ESPN2             Iceland vs Switzerland (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                     Spain vs England  (UEFA NL)

Tues, Oct 16

1:45 pm ??                      Brazil vs Argentina (friendly)

2:45 pm EPSNews       Ukraine vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+        France vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                   Ireland vs Wales  (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm  ESPN2        USA Men vs Peru

Thurs, Nov 15

3 pm ESPN2                    England vs USA (Wembley)

Sat, Nov 20

3 pm ESPN2                    Italy vs USMNT

Indy 11 Game Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

EPL Schedule

 

Dave Sarachan: U.S. squad moving in ‘good direction’ since Trinidad loss

eturn to the USMNT fold, but it’s the young prospects we’ve seen in 2018 which hope to excite for years to come. (0:45)

1:37 PM ETJeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

TAMPA, Fla. — One year after the U.S. men’s national team was eliminated from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan said he’s been pleased with the progress made in rebuilding the side.

The U.S. will face Colombia in a friendly at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, followed by Peru at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut five days later. They will be the ninth and 10th matches the U.S. has played under Sarachan since the U.S. was eliminated from World Cup qualifying thanks to a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago.

“We’ve gotten a number of games under our belt with a lot of fresh faces, new faces, young guys that we feel have a real future in this program,” Sarachan said at Tuesday’s news conference. “I’m pretty proud of this group that, the way they’ve handled things. It’s business as usual; they come in and want to stake a claim.

“We’ve established a bit of an identity with this particular group. We’ve been building each and every friendly that we’ve brought them in. Our starting points have been just a little bit further along each time. That’s what teams begin to do. I think looking back on all of these friendlies since Trinidad until now, there’s been a progression. It’s by no means a finished progression, but it’s moving along in a good direction.”

In terms of what exactly that identity is, Sarachan feels this group has shown the organization and competitiveness for which the team has long been known.

“The messaging that I and our staff have continually tried to harp on with this young group is to check all those same boxes,” he said. “Each and every time, it’s still about the honor of wearing this crest, it’s still about competing, It’s still about trying to win games, it’s still about being yourself and showing your personality.”

The U.S. will be missing a few of the players that have formed the backbone of the side during Sarachan’s tenure. Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie is suffering from a right adductor strain, while back spasms have ruled out New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams. Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic will miss out due to a calf injury.

“Now what I say is the next man up. We would love to have had those guys, but they’re not here,” said Sarachan. “Now we’ve got a group of 23 competing to have an opportunity. That’s what you do when someone’s not here, now it’s an opportunity for other players. We’ve got a few good young candidates that are excited to be here and get the opportunity to get on field and show what they are about.”

Colombia figures to offer a difficult test for the U.S., despite the fact that it is also operating under the guidance of an interim manager, in this case Arturo Reyes. But Reyes still has plenty of firepower at his disposal, a group that includes Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado, Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, and Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez.

“Obviously they were coming from a World Cup in a very tough part of the world to qualify,” said Sarachan about Colombia. “They have a tremendous amount of talent, and their attacking talent is outstanding, and they brought a number of those guys here. I expect [Columbia players are] going to play similar to us in they way that they want prove to their manager that they belong. They’ll punish you if you make mistakes, and we have to be really sharp on a day when you’re playing a team like Colombia. It’s a great test for us.”

It’s been nearly one year since the U.S. had a permanent manager. Does it matter?

Kasey Keller and Herculez Gomez go through the pedigree of Gregg Berhalter as rumors continue to swirl about his candidacy for the USMNT head coaching position. (1:35)

1:54 PM ETJeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

When the U.S. men’s national team plays Colombia in Tampa on Thursday, it will coincide with the most painful of anniversaries. It will be one day and one year since the Americans’ bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was extinguished on a steamy night in Couva, Trinidad.Three days after that debacle, Bruce Arena stepped down as manager. And as of today, with a friendly against Colombia on Thursday in Tampa, they’ve yet to officially replace him. Interim coach Dave Sarachan has been keeping things ticking along through seven rounds of training camps and friendlies, and confusion reigns supreme around the process. Who’s been interviewed? How much consideration is given to playing style or personality? What kind of manager are they even looking for?The thinking one year ago was that once a new U.S. Soccer Federation president was elected in February, the search for a new coach would kick into overdrive, though perhaps the USSF would wait until after the World Cup to try and find their next leader.Instead, the process has dragged on and on and on. The election of Carlos Cordeiro as USSF president soon gave way to the search for the first GM of the U.S. men’s national team. Earnie Stewart’s hiring last June resulted in a start date in August. Two months on from that, there is still no manager in place.Stewart spent the first few months of his tenure consulting various stakeholders in the sport in a bid to develop a profile of his ideal candidate. Besides a vague declaration that he wanted a coach who plays an “in-your-face” style as well as fluency in English, what is contained in that profile is unknown. All along he has insisted that he wants to take the time to be thorough. That said, a U.S. Soccer spokesperson confirmed that interviews have begun and thaStewart has targeted Nov. 1 to have his preferred candidate on board.The U.S. have had Dave Sarachan, center, in charge since October 2017 but there is concern that the long-term wait to name a permanent coach is distracting. Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images

In the interim, eight friendlies have been played and some promising players have made their international debuts. A core group that includes Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Matt Miazga and John Brooks has emerged, though injuries will sideline the first three names on that list during this international window. But as each game slides by, the sense of impatience with the process grows.”It’s time lost,” said former U.S. international and ESPN analyst Herculez Gomez. “There could be a player out there who we’ve not seen yet, who under a different coach could be getting valuable time. The group that will be going forward together would get valuable time.

“It’s a national team setting. You have very few opportunities to work with players, so when you do, you have to capitalize; you have to make the most of it. If I am a current player, I don’t know where I stand. I don’t know who I am showcasing myself for other than the general public. I don’t know what the coach who will be in charge is looking for, so when I showcase myself, how do I showcase myself? All these things come into play, they come into question.”

Not everyone is of the opinion that the men’s program is being damaged — or at least stunted — by the lengthy search. It’s worth remembering that the bulk of a player’s development takes place at the club level. It was there that many a budding international career faded from view during the last cycle. That will need to be avoided this time around, and while the likes of McKennie and Miazga appear to be taking the next steps in their careers, the new season — and the process of putting a team together — is still very young.”Do you really think a couple of friendlies is going to make the difference in anything? Your development comes in 40, 50 or 100 games with your club side,” said ESPN television analyst Kasey Keller. “Not having a coach in place against Brazil when you’re not going to touch the ball means absolutely nothing. What it does do is it tells the coach, ‘This guy’s not good enough,’ and I’m guessing he’s going to figure that out on his own.”Ideally? Yes, it would be good to have a manager. Big picture-wise? Not that big a deal.”A few veterans return to the USMNT fold, but it’s the young prospects we’ve seen in 2018 which hope to excite for years to come.There is also the fact that friendlies are one thing while competitive matches are quite another, carrying significantly more pressure than what the player pool is experiencing now. That won’t begin until the 2019 Gold Cup and will be followed by matches in the nascent CONCACAF Nations League later that year. The Gold Cup in particular will draw plenty of eyes to see just how far along this team is, and how effective the new manager has been in implementing his system.As for the players currently in the team, there has been a general keep-your-head-down, put-the-work-in mentality. The hiring process and timeline is ultimately beyond their collective control. And while the permanent manager will have his own preferences for what he wants from the player pool, playing well now at least figures to get a player’s foot in the door for future call-ups. That means showing the best you can in front of caretaker manager Dave Sarachan.”Any of the noise from an off-the-field perspective or a future perspective has been minimized [and] muted with this group,” said midfielder Wil Trapp, who made his U.S. debut in 2015 but was recalled to the side in January, 2018 under Sarachan. “I think we’ve done a really good job of taking each camp as an opportunity to play for the national team of the U.S, which is a huge honor, but also to build relationships.”I think [Sarachan’s] approach to each camp has been incredible. I think with that uncertainty, the way’s he’s addressed the group, the way he’s pushed us along and made it really special for everyone in terms of the opponents we’re playing and how he’s set us up, is amazing.”

Yet there is a desire from some players for the hiring process to reach its conclusion. Each friendly provides another layer of accumulated experience, but the benefit of playing matches without a permanent coach in place appears to be reaching its limit.

“You want to get things rolling because with a new coach there’s certain tactics, a system of play and all that,” said midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who has earned 19 caps since his USMNT debut in 2016. “Obviously, you want to be in the good graces of the new coach, you want to impress early. It’s a long cycle but you want to get a head start and get to know the guy and get acclimated to what he brings in.”There is also an emotional component to all of this. Until a permanent manager is hired, it will be difficult to shed what remains of the psychological baggage of the World Cup qualifying failure. The new manager will put their own stamp on things while also representing a complete break from the past. That will make it easier to look forward.”We feel like we have a point to prove to our country, that we have youth coming forward that’s very talented, and we have a lot to play for and a lot to be proud of,” said defender Aaron Long, who received his first U.S. call-up in September. “Going forward, yeah, I think it’s a little bit emotional. We know that we’ve got a lot to prove as a unit.”That can only happen with a permanent manager on board.

International W2W4: England, Italy face relegation; Brazil, Argentina meet again

Ross Dyer and Paul Mariner face-off ahead of the latest round of UEFA Nations League qualifiers. (2:20)

3:22 AM ETNick AmesESPN.com writer

Club football takes another break as the eyes of the world turn to the international game. Among the highlights are a pair of tough away tests for England and the renewal of a fierce rivalry in an unlikely venue. Watch the UEFA Nations League in the U.S. on ESPN+.

England need points from road tests

Friday’s clash between Croatia and England is not simply about settling scores from July’s World Cup semifinal, which the Croats won 2-1 after extra-time. There are UEFA Nations League points to be won, and after the hosts’ 6-0 capitulation in Spain last month, optimism is rife that they can get their campaign up and running without opening old wounds.Gareth Southgate’s men had reasons to be cheerful, despite their own narrow defeat to likely group winners Spain, but meetings with Croatia this month and next — with a trip to Seville in between — resemble playoffs against relegation for England. In order to keep their sense of breezy momentum alive, it is important that they begin picking up positive results in competitive games.The lack of home support in Rijeka — UEFA sanctions mean the game will be played behind closed doors — could play into England’s hands and will certainly make for an eerie feel. However, even if the atmosphere is not white-hot, it will be a baptism of fire for the likes of Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and James Maddison.Their inclusion marks the next phase in the evolution of Southgate’s squad and suggest creativity and expression are high on his list of improvement points. There is particular attention on what 18-year-old Sancho, who has eight assists to his name for Borussia Dortmund this season, might add to the speed and flair at his country’s disposal.

Rapid rematch for France, Germany; Dutch doubts

Last month’s goalless draw between world champions past and present in Munich was not exactly a thriller, though it did at least stop the rot for ailing Germany. On Saturday, Joachim Low & Co. have a chance to feel even better about themselves at struggling Netherlands, beaten 2-1 in France last time out, but Paris three days later will pose the definitive test for Die Mannschaft.Low admitted recently that his side were “missing the passion” in Russia, and there were positive signs in September, when they would have beaten France had Aphonse Areola not been on top form. However, relegation to League B would not be a good look for Germany, and at least one win is required from these two games to reduce that possibility.The same goes for Ronald Koeman’s Dutch side, who seem lower on quality and depth than at any time in recent memory. The Netherlands manager believes his players, who were frustrated by a late defeat in Paris, are “on the right track,” but it seems a stretch to believe this group can challenge to lead the group. Staying in it would represent a considerable achievement.

Argentina, Brazil do battle in Saudi Arabia

By staging a four-team tournament featuring international football’s most famous rivalry, Saudi Arabia has shown that it means business with regard to its desire for increased influence in the football world. However, though Argentina and Brazil will meet in Jeddah next Tuesday — having played Iraq and their hosts respectively before the end of this week — it might be a watered-down affair.Argentina, in a transitional phase under the temporary care of Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar, will not unleash the likes of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria. Instead, they have selected a squad of which only three players have won more than 20 caps. It means the likes of Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala should get more chances to impress and offer more international experience to younger players such as Giovanni Simeone and Lautaro Martinez.Brazil, meanwhile, look more self-assured. Their squad is close to full-strength, and Richarlison, the Everton forward, will hope to build on the two goals he scored vs. El Salvador last month. Arthur, who was so impressive in Barcelona’s Champions League win over Tottenham, will also be involved.It is a chance for both countries to show that they are recovering and regenerating after falling short at the World Cup. But if it does develop into a full-blooded thriller, the real winners might be the aspirational Saudis.

Can Jorginho and Verratti turn the tide for Italy?

Defeat for Italy in Poland would all but confirm what has seemed true for some time: The Azzurri no longer belong among Europe’s top national teams.They will be relegated from League A of the Nations League if their form does not turn around dramatically, and nobody would hold out too much hope of that; since last October, Italy have played nine times and won just once — narrowly at that — against a poor Saudi Arabia side.It has certainly not been a glowing honeymoon period for Roberto Mancini, and he has dropped out-of-form Mario Balotelli from these October assignments, which begin with a Wednesday friendly against Ukraine ahead of Sunday’s match in Chorzow.

Italy need big performances from Jorginho, who has begun the season wonderfully at Chelsea, and Marco Verratti, who is in a Mancini squad for the first time after recovering from injury. On paper, this should be one of the best midfield partnerships on the planet. If Mancini can get them up to full speed, Italy could yet find a way out of their current mess.– UEFA Nations League standings
– Schedule: Oct. 11 | Oct. 12 | Oct. 13 | Oct. 14 | Oct. 15 | Oct. 16

The race for an unlikely Euro 2020 place

Georgia, Luxembourg, Kosovo, Macedonia: If the UEFA Nations League came to a halt now, one of those four countries would be guaranteed a place at the European Championship through the playoff system for group winners of League D. The thought seems improbable, but it is exciting and means the two October matchdays are stacked with significance.On current form, Georgia and Macedonia seem the strongest in their quartets, but the real fascination will come if Luxembourg or Kosovo stay the course. The latter nation has only been recognised by FIFA since two-and-a-half years ago, but it always looked likely to be one of Europe’s most rapid improvers, given the pool of talent at its disposal. They will be confident when hosting Malta and visiting the Faroe Islands.Luxembourg, meanwhile, played wonderful football in thrashing Moldova last month. They are two points clear of Belarus and face them in Minsk, where they drew in the last set of World Cup qualifiers before a relatively easy assignment against San Marino. Four points from two games will leave Luc Holtz’s side tantalisingly close to taking the top spot.

Even if you are not entirely comfortable with this new format, there is no denying that it has imbued some little-heralded names with unprecedented competitive intrigue.

Mauritania lead African minnows seeking history

If the gates have been thrown open to Europe’s minnows ahead of the continent’s next tournament, something similar can be said in Africa. The Cup of Nations has been expanded to 24 teams and, with the qualifying process for the 2019 tournament passing the halfway mark over the next week, several unfamiliar names are well placed to make it through.Perhaps the most eye-catching is Mauritania, who top Group I. Organisational, financial and political issues have hampered the Saharan country down the years, but a 2-0 home win over Burkina Faso last month suggested that the current team — managed by ex-France international Corentin Martins and boasting a number of Europe-based players — might have what it takes. If they come out of a double-header with Angola in credit, they could have at least one foot in the finals.

Burundi, who can call upon Stoke forward Saido Berahino, are another smaller country to have started well, though imminent back-to-back meetings with Mali might prove decisive for their hopes. Among the more established teams in a spot of trouble are Nigeria, who surely need maximum points from two games with Libya.

INDY ELEVEN FIGHT FOR SHARED POINTS AGAINST BETHLEHEM STEEL FC, 1-1

By IndyEleven.com, 10/07/18, 12:15AM EDT”Boys In Blue” equalizer saves crucial point in front of sellout crowd

Indy Eleven played its final regular season home match of 2018 to a 1-1 draw against Eastern Conference contenders Bethlehem Steel FC. Indy Eleven forward Eugene Starikov scored the equalizer in the 61st minute to save a point in front of a crowd of 14,894.Steel FC controlled the tempo in the first half and kept the “Boys in Blue” pinned in their defensive half. Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams recorded a key save in the 16th minute, as he deflected Steel FC forward Faris Moumbagna’s shot from near the penalty spot.A turnover in the midfield resulted in a quick Bethlehem counter in the final moments of first-half play. Steel FC midfielder Brenden Aaronson played a pass down Indy’s left flank that free Moumbagna. Indy defender Carlyle Mitchell was in pursuit of the streaking forward, but Moumbagna broke away from the Trinidadian to net the first goal of the match. Fon Williams was nearly able to save the attempt, but was unable to as Steel FC took a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.The second half script flipped for the home side. “Indiana’s Team” played much of the second half in the Steel FC side of the pitch. As a result, “Indiana’s Team” created 10 shots compared to Bethlehem’s two in the final 45 minutes.Indy’s persistence paid off when forward Eugene Starikov leveled the game in the 60th minute. Eleven defender Ayoze played a nearly 60-yard through ball that created the shot for Starikov. The 29-year-old forward chipped the ball off the bounce over the head of Steel FC goalkeeper Tomas Romero from the right side of the 18-yard box. The high, arching shot brings Starikov’s goal total to six in his first season with “Indiana’s Team”.Fon Williams recorded another crucial save in the 83rd minute of the match. Bethlehem substitute Chris Nanco tore down the right flank and into Indy’s 18-yard box before unleashing a powerful, one-verse-one shot that Fon Williams parried wide for a corner. At full-time, the Welshman finished his shift with three saves total.Late heroics from Indy forward Jack McInerney and midfielder Dylan Mares nearly won the “Boys in Blue” the match in the 86th minute. A throw-in from defender Reiner Ferreira found McInerney on the inside Bethlehem’s 18-yard box. McInerney attempted to bicycle kick Ferreira’s throw, but the shot was deflected to Mares at the edge of the box. Mares continued the acrobatics with a scissor kick attempt that flew inches over the bar as the score stayed level at one for the remainder of the evening.Point accumulation was crucial as Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie’s side continues to fight for a playoff position.“That’s a really good point against a team that played very well tonight. Very dynamic, very hungry, they pressed very well,” Rennie said. “Obviously, you always want to win the game and this is one that would’ve guaranteed us into the playoffs with a win. With the results, the other results going the way they are, were very close at this point. I’m sure we’ll get in there.”“Indiana’s Team” continues its “Fight to the Finish” to secure a playoff spot on the road against Louisville City FC on Saturday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m. Catch the final match of the 2018 regular season on MyWNDY 23 or on ESPN+. New users can sign up for a seven-day free trial at plus.espn.com.

USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 1:1 FC Bethlehem Steel FC
Saturday, October 6, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN 

Scoring Summary:
BST – Faris Moumbagna (Brenden Aaronson) 39’
IND – Eugene Starikov (Ayoze) 61’

Disciplinary Summary:
IND – Seth Moses (Yellow Card) 58’
BST – Anothony Fontana (Yellow Card) 74’
BST – James Chambers (Yellow Card) 87’

Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L–>R): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Reiner Ferreira, Ayoze, Carlyle Mitchell (Brad Rusin 41’), Karl Ouimette; Dylan Mares, Nico Matern, Matt Watson (C); Eugene Starikov (Ben Speas 70’), Seth Moses (Jack McInerney 62’), Elliot CollierIndy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Brad Ring, Brad Rusin, Ben Speas, Juan Guerra, Soony Saad, Jack McInerney
Bethlehem Steel FC lineup (4-2-3-1, L–>R): Tomas Romero (GK); Matt Real, Josh Yaro, Ben Ofeimu, Matt Mahoney; James Chambers (C), Anthony Fontana, Brenden Aaronson (Drew Skundrich 67’), Michee Ngalina (Omar Holness 90’), Santi Moar; Faris Moumbagna (Chris Nanco 75’)  Bethlehem Steel FC bench: Kris Shakes (GK); Omar Holness, Chris Nanco, Drew Skundrich, Aidan Apodaca, Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey

Indy Eleven on cusp of playoff berth after draw with Bethlehem

Kevin Johnston, Special for IndyStarPublished 10:53 p.m. ET Oct. 6, 2018

 

(Photo: Robert Mehling/SocTakes)

CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

INDIANAPOLIS – In their first season in the United Soccer League, the Indy Eleven are on the brink of heading to the playoffs. They’re just not there yet.A win Saturday night against Bethlehem Steel FC at Lucas Oil Stadium would’ve done the trick, but the Eleven had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw.“People seem so deflated, but that was a really important point tonight,” said Eleven coach Martin Rennie. “That could easily be the point that takes us into the playoffs. Obviously, we wanted to win and that was our intention.”A loss in front of the announced crowd of 14,894 would’ve put Indy in an even more precarious position, and for a while it looked like that might’ve been the outcome. Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams was a huge reason it didn’t.Fon Williams wasn’t tested too often but stood on his head a few times when called upon. In the first half, he denied consecutive Bethlehem efforts, first when Steel FC forward Faris got in on goal alone, then on the subsequent rebound while still on the ground from the first save. The Welsh backstop later produced another fine save, finishing with four.“Being a goalkeeper in that situation, you’ve got to put yourself as much in the attacker’s mind as possible,” Fon Williams explained. “You’ve got to fill that goal as much as you can.”But Faris made his presence felt again soon after. Indy defender Carlyle Mitchell fell to the turf with a hamstring injury while trying to tackle Faris in the 39th minute, which allowed the latter a clean look at goal with just Fon Williams to beat. Faris finished at the near post to put the visitors up 1-0.Indy strung together more possession early on, but only generated a single shot in the first half compared to Bethlehem’s five. Several Indy buildups ended due to a lack of sharpness in the final third of the pitch, however, things improved for Indy after the break.“We had to get higher up the field,” Rennie said of his halftime adjustments. “We had to play balls a little bit more quickly forward because they were pressing really well around the 30-, 40-yard mark from goal. And we were losing a lot of balls there, so we had to miss that pressure.”Some magic off the boot of Eleven striker Eugene Starikov leveled matters in the 61st. He took a long ball from Ayoze on the bounce and softly volleyed it over leaping Steel FC goalkeeper Tomas Romero, who had snuck off his line. It was perhaps Indy’s most important goal of the season given its magnitude.Indy will finish out its inaugural USL regular-season campaign at Louisville City FC next Saturday, then it’s — very likely — onto the playoffs. It will take a lot for Indy to miss the postseason, but long-shot scenarios exist preventing Indy from having mathematically clinched already.

McKennie out with injury, TFC’s Delgado added to US national team roster

October 7, 20184:35PM EDTCharles BoehmContributor

Weston McKennie has been forced off the U.S. national team’s latest roster due to an adductor injury, U.S. Soccer announced on Sunday, with Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado called up as his replacement.It’s an unfortunate development at the conclusion of an otherwise great week for the FC Dallasacademy product, who scored his first goals in both UEFA Champions League and German Bundesliga for his club, Schalke 04. It also marks the third prominent injury-prompted withdrawal from this month’s camp, following the loss of Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic.McKennie’s injury opens up opportunities for others in coach Dave Sarachan’s squad, with McKennie having been expected to continue in a starting central-midfield role for the USMNT in this month’s friendlies vs. Colombia and Peru.Delgado was on last month’s U.S. roster and appeared in their 1-0 win over Mexico in Nashville on Sept. 11. The California native and Chivas USA Homegrown product made his national-team debut in March vs. Paraguay.The USMNT are gathering in Tampa, Florida starting Sunday ahead of their friendly vs. Colombia at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday (7:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN), a game for which the federation said that more than 27,000 tickets have already been sold. The U.S. then move on to East Hartford, Connecticut to meet Peru at Pratt & Whitney Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 16 (7:30 pm ET | ESPN 2, UniMás, UDN).

Updated USMNT Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 58/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 5/0)

DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 34/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 0/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 9/1), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 4/0), Ben Sweat (New York City FC; 0/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 54/0)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 19/1), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjælland/DEN; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 140/17), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 3/0), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 12/4), Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union; 1/0), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 5/1)

FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 3/1), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 41/12)

 

10/1/18 Champions League Breakdown Tues/Wed, US Ladies Thurs night

here are the 2 games online for Champions League this afternoon other than the Tottenham vs Barca Game which is on TV TNT.
Dang No Pulisic starting today???

Good luck watching them online today !  

Matchday 2 kicks off this Tuesday and Wednesday in Champions League play with some must see games on tap.  Man U vs Valencia stands out Tues at 3 pm – actually on TNT so we can see it – as Man U is reeling after their weekend loss to West Ham.  While Valencia is can’t win a game this fall – they have 5 draws a win and a loss so far.  It will be interesting to see how the home crowd at Old Trafford responds especially if Man U gets down early.  The other good games are Wednesday as Barcelona travels to Tottenham at 3 pm on TNT, while Liverpool travels to Napoli and Dortmund and a hot Christian Pulisic hosts French team Monaco each at 3 pm on BR live ($2.99 per game) maybe check and see if http://www.univision.com has it online in Spanish.  Man this TNT/Bleacher Report thing Stinx!   (See the full schedule below)

The US Ladies will begin World Cup Qualifying with a 3 game series over the next 10 days starting with a match vs Mexico on Thursday night on Fox Sports 1 at 7:30 pm, Sun Oct 7 vs Panama at 5:30 pm on FS2, and vs T&T Wed, Oct 10 at 7:30 pm on FS2.

Indy 11

Again I am going to say this folks – if you haven’t been to an Indy 11 game in Lucas Oil Stadium – you need to make plans to go THIS Saturday night.  The stadium is fantastic – hands down the best stadium that any USL team plays in.  With the open roof, fast and easy concessions, clean and plenty of bathrooms, easy parking for just $15 right next to the South Gate – honestly folks it’s a GREAT NIGHT OUT!!   The 11 are right in the race for playoff position as they stand In 5th place overall (the top 8 qualify – the top 4 host games).  It won’t be easy as our boys in blue will face the top 3 teams in the league down the stretch 2 of them on the road.  Fans are encouraged to travel to Louisville where the team will play its final regular-season game on Oct. 13. The Brickyard Battalion is organizing carpools for both here:   The final home game of the season is this Saturday, October 6th and of course discount tickets below $15 are available Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code.

Carmel High School

The 4th ranked Carmel High Girls finished the regular season with 3 straight wins to finish 13-1-2 overall and will play on Tuesday vs  Brebuaf in the toughest sectional in the nation at Guerin High School starting Tuesday night at 7 pm, win and they come back Thurs then Sat.

Champions League

How was First Round on B/R Live?  –

UCL Standings

Bayern Doesn’t believe its Crisis time

– Shaw: Mourinho should be sacked by Man United

Man U Jose Mourinho – Some Care More than Others

Timeline of Pogbas and Jose’s Fallout at Man U

Matic – Well See Who Man Us leaders are vs Valencia

Bale will miss Moscow Match for Real

Renaldo to miss 1 game not Man U game for Juve

Tues, Oct 2   Champions League   

12 noon TNT                   Champs League Game Day kicks off

12:55 pm TNT                Hoffenhiem vs Man City

1 pm                                    Juve vs  Young Boys

3 pm TNT                         Man United vs Valencia  

3 pm                                    CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid

3 pm univ desp            Bayern vs Ajax

Weds, Oct 3 Champions League   

12:55 pm TNT                PSG vs Crvena Zvezda

1 pm                                    Moskva vs Schalke 04 (McKinney)

1 pm                                    Man City vs Olympique Lyonnais  

3 pm TNT                          Tottenham vs Barcelona

3 pm BR Live                  Napoli vs Liverpool  

3 pm BR Live                  Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Monaco

3 pm                                    Atletico vs Club Brugge

8 pm ESPN+                    DC United vs Min United

GAMES ON TV

Tues, Oct 2   Champions League   

12 noon TNT                   Champs League Game Day kicks off

12:55 pm TNT                Hoffenhiem vs Man City

1 pm                                    Juve vs  Young Boys

3 pm TNT                         Man United vs Valencia  

3 pm                                    CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid

3 pm univ desp            Bayern vs Ajax

Weds, Oct 3 Champions League   

12:55 pm TNT                PSG vs Crvena Zvezda

1 pm                                    Moskva vs Schalke 04 (McKinney)

1 pm                                    Man City vs Olympique Lyonnais  

3 pm TNT                          Tottenham vs Barcelona

3 pm BR Live                  Napoli vs Liverpool  

3 pm BR Live                  Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Monaco

3 pm                                    Atletico vs Club Brugge

8 pm ESPN+                    DC United vs Min United

Thurs, Oct 4

7:30 pm FS 2                 USA Ladies vs Mexico

Fri, Oct 5

3 pm NBCSN                   Brighton vs West Ham United

Sat, Oct 6     

9:30 am FS 2                  Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Ausburg

10 am NBCSN                Liecester City vs Everton 

12:30 beIN Sport        Aleves vs Real Madrid

12 pm ESPN+                 Juventus vs Udenes

12:30 pm NBC?      Man United vs New Castle (Yedlin)  

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2  Bayern Munich vs Borussia Mgladbach

7:30 pm ESPN+            LAFC vs Colorado

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 vs Bethlehem Steel (last home game )

9:30 pn ESPN+              Real Salt Lake vs NY Red Bulls

Sun, Oct 7     

7 am NBCSN                   Fulham vs Arsenal  

9:30 am FS 1                  Hofenheim vs Frankfurt 

9:15 am NBCSN            Southampton vs Chelsea

12 noon FS2                   RB Leipzig vs Nurnberg

11:30 am NBCSN         Liverpool vs Man City

1 pm ESPN                       DC United vs Chicago Fire

3 pm bein Sport          PSG vs Olympique Lyonnais

5 pm FS1                           Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake

7:30 pm FS1                   Panama vs USA Ladies

Wed, Oct 10

7:30 pm Fox Sport2  Trinidad and Tobago vs USA Ladies

Thurs, Oct 11

2:45 pm ESPNNews   Russia vs Sweden (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm FSI                     USA Men vs Colombia (Tampa)

9 pm FS1                          Costa Rica vs Canada Ladies

Fri, Oct 12

1:45 pm beIN Sport?    Saudi Arabia vs Brazil?

2:45 pm ESPN2            Croatia vs England (UEFA NL)

Sat, Oct 13

9 am EPSN news          Slovakia vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+            Netherlands vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN 3           Ireland vs Denmark (UEFA NL)

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 @ Louisville

Sun, Oct 14

9 am EPSN3                     Romania vs Serbia  (UEFA NL)

12 noon ESPNews      Russia vs Turkey (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN                Poland vs Italy (UEFA NL)

Mon, Oct 15

2:45 pm ESPN2             Iceland vs Switzerland (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                     Spain vs England  (UEFA NL)

Tues, Oct 16

1:45 pm ??                      Brazil vs Argentina (friendly)

2:45 pm EPSNews       Ukraine vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+             France vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                     Ireland vs Wales  (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm                            USA Men vs Peru

Thurs, Nov 15

3 pm ESPN2                    England vs USA (Wembley)

Sat, Nov 20

3 pm ESPN2                    Italy vs USMNT

Indy 11 Game Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

EPL Schedule

9/28 Indy 11 Win Head to Cincy Sat 7 pm My Indy TV, Champions League Tues/Wed, Modric wins Player of Year, Huge Games on TV – Liverpool-Chelsea Sat 12:30 NBC, Madrid Darby Sat 2:45 pm beIn Sport, NY vs Atl Sun 1 pm ESPN, Full TV Schedule

Indy 11

The Eleven will be on the road Saturday at 1st place Cincinnati at 7 pm on MyIndy TV and ESPN+.  I was at the huge game Wednesday night as our 11 beat Tampa Bay 2-0.  Again I am going to say this folks – if you haven’t been to an Indy 11 game in Lucas Oil Stadium – you need to make plans to go next Saturday night.  The stadium is fantastic – hands down the best stadium that any USL team plays in.  With the open roof on Wednesday night, fast and easy concessions, clean and plenty of bathrooms, easy parking for just $15 right next to the South Gate – honestly folks it’s a GREAT NIGHT OUT!!   The 11 are right in the race for playoff position as they stand In 5th place overall (the top 8 qualify – the top 4 host games).  It won’t be easy as our boys in blue will face the top 3 teams in the league down the stretch 2 of them on the road.  Fans are encouraged to travel to Cincinnati (ticket info) this Saturday night 7 pm and to Louisville where the team will play its final regular-season game on Oct. 13. The Brickyard Battalion is organizing carpools for both here:   The final home game of the season is next Saturday, October 6th and of course discount tickets below $15 are available Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code.

World Leagues

So a handful of huge games overseas this weekend as Liverpool will travel to Chelsea with first in the EPL on the line at 12:30 on Saturday on NBC.  Juventus is hosting Napoli for top slot in Italy on Sat at 12 on ESPN+, but in my mind the  biggest game oversea’s this weekend is the Madrid Derby as Real Madrid will host Atletico Madrid on Saturday at 2:45 pm on beIN Sports.  The Madrid teams have taken unexpected losses on the young season in La Liga so the game is huge for both teams.

MLS

The top 2 teams in MLS Atlanta United and the NY Red Bulls will face off Sunday afternoon 1 pm on ESPN as the Supporters Shield, presented to the team with the most overall points in MLS, will be up for grabs.  Just 5 games last in the regular season as teams are battling for playoff position down the stretch.   The US Open Cup was played Wed night on ESPN as Houston defeated Philly 3-0, I sure would love to see this played on a weekend some day.  I don’t ever expect the US Open Cup to be England’s version of the CUP???  But it would be really cool if at least ESPN+ would pick up the early round games when the D2 & D3 teams battle MLS squads to get some of the excitement of the underdogs.  Heck just last season USL leader Cincinnati made the Final 4 of the Open Cup.  Looking ahead to this weekend we get the battle for first on Sunday at 1 pm on ESPN followed by 2nd place Sporting KC and 5th place Real Salt Lake battling for Western Conference playoff position on FS1 at 5 pm.

Carmel High School

The 4th ranked Carmel High Girls finished the regular season with 3 straight wins to finish 13-1-2 overall and will play on Tuesday in the toughest sectional in the nation at Guerin starting Tuesday night.

Indy 11

Indy 11 Preview @ Cincy Game Sat

Indy 11 defeat Tampa Bay Rowdys 2-0

Indy 11 Beats TB – Bloody Shambles

USL Unveils New Structure of 3 Leagues

Indy 11 lose to Pittsburg on Road 2-3

Indy 11 Discount Tickets for 10/06 Game!   (Code 2018Indy)

Indy 11 Game Schedule

USL League Standings

Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan

Parking passes at Gate10  Events is $11 with advance purchase. $15 day of.  Save $$$ by buying early.

World

Modric Wins FIFA Best Award

What to Watch For EPL this Weekend – ESPNFC

Making sense of Barca and Real Madrid’s shocking midweek defeats in La Liga

MLS

MLS Power Rankings

Houston Wins US Open Cup 3-0 over Philly

What Open Cup glory means to the Dynamo

NY Red Bulls vs Atlanta United Preview

Warshaw: Tale of the Tape for Red Bulls-Atlanta

Sporting, RSL renew rivalry in critical West clash

Goalkeepers

Brad Guzan’s Spectacular Save

Nick Rimando’s Great Save vs Atlanta

Save of the Week – National Womens SL –

Saves of the Week – USL

GAMES ON TV

Sat, Sept 29    

7:30 am NBCSN            West Ham vs Man United  

9:30 am FS 2                  Schalke (McKinney) vs Mainz

10 am NBCSN                Man City vs Brighton  

10 am CNBC                   Huddersfield (Williams) vs Tottenham

10:15 am beIN Sport                        Barcelona vs Athletic Club

12 pm ESPN+                 Juventus vs Napoli

12:30 pm NBC         Brighton vs Tottenham

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2 Bayern Leverkusen vs  Dortmund (Pulisic)

2:45 pm beIN Sport  Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid  (Madrid Derby)

7:30 pm ESPN+            Columbus Crew vs Colorado

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+     Cincy vs Indy 11

Sun, Sept 30     

8:30 am NBCSN            West Ham vs Chelsea  

9:30 am FS 1                  Frankfort vs Hannover 96 

11 am NBCSN                 Cardiff City vs Burnley

12 noon FS2                   Ausburg vs Freiburg

1 pm ESPN                       NY Red Bulls vs Atlanta United 

3 pm bein Sport          Lille vs Olympicque Marselle

5 pm FS1                           Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake

Tues, Oct 2   Champions League   

12 noon TNT                   Champs League Game Day kicks off

12:55 pm TNT                Hoffenhiem vs Man City

1 pm                                    Juve vs  Young Boys

3 pm TNT                                                  Man United vs Valencia  

3 pm                                    CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid

Weds, Oct 3 Champions League   

12:55 pm TNT                PSG vs Crvena Zvezda

1 pm                                    Man City vs Olympique Lyonnais  

3 pm TNT                          Tottenham vs Barcelona

3 pm                                    Napoli vs Liverpool  

3 pm                                    Atletico vs Club Brugge

7 pm myIndytv             Louisville vs Indy 11

8 pm ESPN+                    DC United vs Min United

Thurs, Oct 4

7:30 pm FS 2                 USA Ladies vs Mexico

Fri, Oct 5

3 pm NBCSN                   Brighton vs West Ham United

Sat, Oct 6     

9:30 am FS 2                  Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Ausburg

10 am NBCSN                Liecester City vs Everton 

12:30 beIN Sport        Aleves vs Real Madrid

12 pm ESPN+                 Juventus vs Udenes

12:30 pm NBC?      Man United vs New Castle (Yedlin)  

12:30 pm Fox Sport 2  Bayern Munich vs Borussia Mgladbach

7:30 pm ESPN+            LAFC vs Colorado

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 vs Bethlehem Steel (last home game )

9:30 pn ESPN+              Real Salt Lake vs NY Red Bulls

Sun, Oct 7     

7 am NBCSN                   Fulham vs Arsenal  

9:30 am FS 1                  Hofenheim vs Frankfurt 

9:15 am NBCSN            Southampton vs Chelsea

12 noon FS2                   RB Leipzig vs Nurnberg

11:30 am NBCSN         Liverpool vs Man City

1 pm ESPN                       DC United vs Chicago Fire

3 pm bein Sport          PSG vs Olympique Lyonnais

5 pm FS1                           Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake

7:30 pm FS1                   Panama vs USA Ladies

Wed, Oct 10

7:30 pm Fox Sport2  Trinidad and Tobago vs USA Ladies

Thurs, Oct 11

2:45 pm ESPNNews   Russia vs Sweden (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm FSI                     USA Men vs Colombia (Tampa)

9 pm FS1                          Costa Rica vs Canada Ladies

Fri, Oct 12

1:45 pm beIN Sport?                        Saudi Arabia vs Brazil?

2:45 pm ESPN2            Croatia vs England (UEFA NL)

Sat, Oct 13

9 am EPSN news          Slovakia vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+            Netherlands vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN 3           Ireland vs Denmark (UEFA NL)

7 pm My Indy TV/ESPN+ Indy 11 @ Louisville

Sun, Oct 14

9 am EPSN3                     Romania vs Serbia  (UEFA NL)

12 noon ESPNews      Russia vs Turkey (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN                Poland vs Italy (UEFA NL)

Mon, Oct 15

2:45 pm ESPN2             Iceland vs Switzerland (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                     Spain vs England  (UEFA NL)

Tues, Oct 16

1:45 pm ??                      Brazil vs Argentina (friendly)

2:45 pm EPSNews       Ukraine vs Czech Republic  (UEFA NL)

2:45 pm ESPN+             France vs Germany (UEFA NL)

2:45 ESPN+                     Ireland vs Wales  (UEFA NL)

7:30 pm                            USA Men vs Peru

Thurs, Nov 15

3 pm ESPN2                    England vs USA (Wembley)

Sat, Nov 20

3 pm ESPN2                    Italy vs USMNT

Indy 11 Game Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

EPL Schedule

PREVIEW | #CINVIND

By IndyEleven.com, 09/27/18, 7:45PM EDT  “Boys in Blue” to face FC Cincinnati for the third, and final time, in the 2018 USL regular season

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview   Indy Eleven at FC Cincinnati  – #CINvIND
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 7:30 P.M. EST   Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
Watch/Listen Live: Local/National TV: MyWNDY-23 Streaming Video:  ESPN+ ($)

WEEK 29 | PART TWO – CINCINNATI

Indy Eleven face FC Cincinnati for the third, and final time, in the 2018 USL regular season. The previous two meetings between the sides resulted in “Boys in Blue” defeats, as they aim to claim one final victory against their neighboring state rivals in the three-game regular season series.Indy Eleven (13W-9L-9D) rose to fifth in the Eastern Conference table, with 48 points, after defeating Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-0, Wednesday night. Defender Karl Ouimette scored the game’s opening goal, and his third of the season, off a corner kick played in by Ayoze, who recorded his seventh assist of the season. Forward Elliot Collier scored the game’s second goal and the Chicago Fire loanee’s first as a “Boy in Blue”.  Goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams recorded his 11th clean sheet in the contest and his second in the last five matches. The victory is the first for the “Boys in Blue” after falling in their previous two USL games. FC Cincinnati (22W-3L-6D) remain at the top of the table after handling Richmond Kickers in a 4-1 victory, making the MLS bound team the 2018 USL regular season champions. Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma scored a brace that brought him to third in the Eastern Conference scoring chart with 16 goals this season. Cincinnati’s second leading goal scorer, midfielder Nazmi Albadawi, found the back of the net as well, bringing his total to 10 goals in 2018. Goalkeeper Evan Newton conceded his 16th goal of the season, keeping him short of recording his ninth clean sheet. The win improves Cincinnati’s win streak to nine games.Indy head coach Martin Rennie will need a strong showing from his defense, as his side goes up against the league leading goal scoring team in FC Cincinnati, who have netted a total of 66 times in the 2018 campaign.

INDY ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH | MF MATT WATSON

FC Cincinnati’s success has relied heavily on its midfielders. The team’s two highest goal scorers are both midfielders, and much of the team’s success comes through the midfield. It will be the responsibility of Indy Eleven midfielder, and captain, Matt Watson to disrupt Cincinnati’s midfield in order for the “Boys in Blue” to claim points.Watson’s main strength is reading plays before they happen and making crucial interceptions in the midfield springing counter attacking opportunities that lead to goals. Only one other player on Indy Eleven, defender Karl Ouimette, outnumbers Watson’s 45 interceptions, most of which come in the midfield as opposed to Ouimette’s which come in the back third. In order to stop Cincinnati’s potent midfield maestros, Watson will ned to play a major factor in the middle third.

FC CINCINNATI PLAYER TO WATCH | MF EMMANUEL LEDESMA

Arguably the Eastern Conference, and USL, MVP, FC Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma is having the season of a lifetime. The midfielder leads the USL in assists with 15, and is third in the Eastern Conference and tied for fourth in USL in goals scored with 16. Ledesma’s dual threat of being able to score and set up a teammate on any given day makes him arguably the most dangerous midfielder in the game.Even more impressive is the wicked strikes that come off the midfielder’s left foot. When given time and space, the 26-year-old Argentinian can unleash absolute stunners just as he did in the team’s previous matchup against Richmond Kickers. Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams will need to be on his toes for every second that Ledesma is on the pitch.

MATCHUP TO MARK | INDY DEFENSE VS CINCINNATI OFFENSE

The previous two fixtures in 2018 between Indy Eleven and FC Cincinnati were both tightly contested, dramatic affairs. The first meeting resulted in a 1-0 Cincinnati win, and the second a 3-2 Cincinnati victory. With the playoff race in the East as tight as it’s been all season, the “Boys in Blue”, who are five points off third place, need three points against Cincinnati now more than ever.In order to claim three points, “Indiana’s Team” will need to halt a FC Cincinnati offense that is currently blazing. Cincinnati has scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference and USL, finding the back of the net 66 times. Three players on their squad, midfielders Ledesma and Albadawi and forward Danni Konig are in double digits in goals scored in 2018, with 16, 10 and 10 respectively. Midfielder Corben Bone trails the trio by one with nine goals this season. Even more remarkable for the Cincinnati offense is the fact midfielder’s goal scoring tallies drastically outweigh that of the side’s forwards. Cincinnati has been potent in front of net in their last five matches, scoring 12 goals.Rennie will need his backline and midfield to be ready. In the first two meetings, Cincinnati racked up 24 shots combined, but were only able to put seven on target and force Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams into three saves. The “Boys in Blue” have kept 11 clean sheets in 2018, and conceded 37 times. Two of which have come in the last five matches for “Indiana’s Team”, along with allowing five goals in the five game stretch. That goal-per-game average nearly matches the total number of goals conceded by Indy on the road, allowing 17 goals in 15 road games.

Luka Modric wins FIFA The Best award, ends Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi duopoly

Sep 24, 2018ESPN

Real Madrid’s Luka Modric claimed FIFA’s The Best award for 2018 to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long hold on world football’s top player prize.The Croatia midfielder won with 29 percent of the votes, coming in ahead of Ronaldo (19 percent), Mohamed Salah (11.2 percent), Kylian Mbappe (10 percent) and Messi (9 percent), who along with Ronaldo skipped the ceremony.Modric was presented with the award following a ceremony in London on Monday night.”This award is not just mine. It is my teammates’ from Real Madrid and Croatia. Without my coaches, I would not have won this and without my family I would not be the player I am today,” said 33-year-old Modric.Ronaldo and Messi had won every FIFA World Player of the Year award, which was renamed the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010 and The Best in 2016, since 2007 when Kaka was victorious.Modric becomes the first Croatian player to win the award after an outstanding year for club and country.He was instrumental in winning Real Madrid’s third Champions League title in as many seasons, while he captained Croatia to their first World Cup final, winning the Golden Ball at the tournament.Modric ousted former teammate Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Salah on the final three-man shortlist to win, after beating the same pair to win UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year award for the 2017-18 season.Ronaldo scored 44 goals

In addition to the top player award, Salah’s curling, left-footed strike in an Oct. 12, 2017 match against Everton won the Puskas Award for the best goal.

France boss Didier Deschamps took home the prize for best manager after leading Les Bleus to their second World Cup title with a 4-2 triumph over Croatia in the July final.

Deschamps’ victory was the second straight year a French coach has won the award. Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was honored in 2017.

Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois was voted the best goalkeeper. The former Chelsea man helped Belgium to the semifinals of the World Cup before losing to eventual champs France.

Lyon’s Reynald Pedros won women’s coach of the year, Peru fans won the FIFA fan award, the FIFA Fair Play honor was given to former VVV-Venlo striker Lennart Thy, and Brazil’s Marta was named the female player of the year for the sixth time.

David De Gea, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Luka Modric, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo were named to the FIFPro World XI.

Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois knows better than most what the derbi means to Atletico

4:05 AM ETSid LoweSpain writer

eal Madrid’s goalkeeper leaps through the most significant moment in the club’s history. Take any photo, watch any video, and there he is, right in the middle of the most viewed and perhaps the most iconic image in their 116-year existence, the climax on a night of drama, suspense, nerves and then explosion, joy unbound. The long wait over, an obsession for more than a decade, there was glory at last.For them.For him, it was bloody awful — and they’re not slow to remind him of that. Sergio Ramos defeated him that day. Now Thibaut Courtois has to see him every day when he turns up at work. “They still joke about it,” he says.On the night that Real Madrid won their 10th European Cup, Courtois was the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, defeated as they took the decima. Of the Madrid team that night, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Raphael Varane, Isco and Dani Carvajal are still around, but it’s Ramos you have to look out for. Ramos you have to embrace too when you’re new at Valdebebas.Not that they always beat him, and he could remind them of that. That season, he was a league champion — he has won the title as many times as any Real Madrid players have in the past five years — and the year before he won the Copa del Rey. Against Real Madrid. At the Santiago Bernabeu. It was one of the greatest moments in Atletico’s history: the first time they had beaten Real in 25 games and in the 21st century.At the celebrations, Courtois stood on a balcony, thousands of supporters spread out below him, took the microphone and sang a rude song about what Real Madrid fans might do as their rivals celebrated.”I was young and I got carried away with the moment,” he said when he joined Real Madrid this summer for €35 million. “I said sorry then and I say the same again; it’s not like me to do that.”Courtois had long wanted a return to Madrid; his desire to move away from Chelsea and back to the Spanish capital had become an open secret. No one bothered to try to hide it anymore. “Everyone knew but we just couldn’t say so in the media,” he said. In fact, he had pretty well said so in the media too.There were personal reasons — his kids and his former partner lived in the city — and professional ones too. Despite his past at Atletico, on the day of his presentation, he kissed the Real Madrid badge. “This is where I always wanted to be,” he said. He remembered having an Iker Casillas shirt when he was little; he had probably acquired it after Madrid had played at Anderlecht, if memory serves, he said. His time at Atletico had been good. He had been there on loan for three years — and he was the one who made it that long, twice insisting on staying in Spain when Chelsea wanted him to return to England — but he was here now.That past was swiftly left behind. Outside, at least. It could have been difficult to turn up with Keylor Navas around too. For three years, Madrid had tried to replace the Costa Rican; for three years, he had resisted, winning the Champions League. Zinedine Zidane had defended him, but Zidane was now gone. The dressing room admired him still, although the club had assumed that, signing made, he would be likely to depart. “I have the same desire to die as I do to leave the Bernabeu,” Navas said. So he stayed.Madrid had two goalkeepers, both of whom wanted to start; they would compete. At every news conference, Julen Lopetegui was asked. The questions got reframed and asked over again — with the wording changing, but not the answer: “This is more normal inside than you seem to want to see it from the outside; things are simpler at professional level than is often sold.” Far from a problem, he kept saying, what he has is “two magnificent solutions.”Madrid had rotated their goalkeepers before — Casillas played in that Lisbon final, while Diego Lopez was the goalkeeper in the league, for example — but Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper who knows what it is like to spend a very, very long time sitting on the bench, not playing, would not say what his policy was. Even when Navas was chosen for the Champions League game against Roma, he didn’t reveal his cards, nor confirm that there was a competition for each man. “It’s simple: We choose and we have good options,” he said.In an interview this week, Courtois said: “It’s the coach’s decision, but nothing has been agreed. There’s nothing fixed in terms of a rotation or anything like that.”For the first three games of the season, Navas started. As Courtois had returned late from the World Cup, that made sense: Navas started the UEFA Super Cup and against Getafe and Girona. During the international break, which followed the trip to Girona, Navas stayed behind rather than join up with the Costa Rica national team. That was seen as a way of keeping a hold on his place, or at least not offering the manager an excuse to leave him out of the next game, but Courtois started against Leganes and Athletic Bilbao. Against Roma, it was Navas. Then Courtois started in Seville. And now, on Saturday night, it is Atletico. Navas or Courtois? A Madrid derby is big anyway; Courtois knows better than anyone in the Madrid dressing room what it means to Atletico. He has beaten Madrid, and lost to them too; that night is the most painful they have suffered. He has played derbies with Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Koke and Diego Costa, and has worked under Diego Simeone — the manager who has now gone five consecutive league visits to the Bernabeu without loss. There is a plaque with his name on it outside the Wanda Metropolitano. Scuffed and spat at now, but it’s there.This derby has become bigger than it looked like being. This time last week, Atletico were seven points off the top. In the summer, everyone agreed that they were candidates — maybe even more so than the season they actually won the league. They had kept Antoine Griezmann, kept Jan Oblak, and signed well. They had spent more money than Real Madrid — a fact not lost on Madridistas, seeking to undermine the underdog discourse from across the city — and had arguably the best squad they have ever had.And yet they seemed to be going through a familiar start, a familiar process, struggling with the same doubts about their identity apparent in the past three years; the evolution into something slightly new looking set to give way, for another season, to a return to what they know, as if they weren’t entirely convinced by the new direction they were taking, the path to follow. Defeated by Celta Vigo, they scored a very late equaliser against Eibar that did not hide the disappointment. Nor did it change the table.The derby appeared set to be the game that might — silly though it sounds so early — almost end Atletico’s league campaign. Lose, and they would be 10 points off, all over so soon? But then Barcelona dropped five points from six and Madrid were hammered in Seville on Wednesday, the big two defeated for the first time. With Atletico easing past Huesca, resting players in the second half, this looks very different now. Win and they’d be level with Madrid. And they know Madrid well. They know Madrid’s goalkeeper even better.

Lack of depth draining Barca’s titulares

“This might sound opportunistic, but is there a problem with Barcelona’s strength in depth? Can you rotate as you would like? Only, every time you do, it seems that it doesn’t work,” Ernesto Valverde was asked after FC Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat at Leganes on Wednesday. “You’re right,” he replied, “it isopportunistic.”It might well be, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it is right. That night, he had left out Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba, only to be forced to play them as the game slipped away from Barcelona in the second half, turning to his titulares to try to get his team out of trouble, and getting back to his proper players is a pattern that is repeating itself this season. Take Real Sociedad, for example. Or the introduction of Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho against Girona.Everyone wants to rotate, and after last season, especially. Suarez admitted that he “regrets” playing against Leganes just days before Barcelona went to Rome in the Champions League, but Valverde does not appear entirely convinced. And maybe that is not surprising; maybe he has a reason to be distrustful. Before Leganes, seven players had played at least 80 percent of the minutes, while Alba and Suarez were among four players who had played every moment. That night, he left them out of the starting 11, seeking rest and recovery, only to have to get them back on again.So far, it simply isn’t working, and the new signings have yet to make any real impact, while there is little real contribution from the squad players who are not natural starters. Sergio Busquets also seemed to hint at his concerns after Leganes when he replied “next question” to enquiry about rotation. But then, it’s not just about them. After all, it’s not like all the titulares are very much better. Lionel Messi also has played every minute, while the other player is Gerard Pique — and he it was who gave away the second goal against Leganes and was at fault for two the week before.

Madrid derby a chance for Antoine Griezmann to let his play do the talking

3:51 PM ETJoseph WalkerAtletico Madrid blogger

Last week Antoine Griezmann caused quite a stir when, in an interview, he claimed he was now “sitting at the same table as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”

Frankly, it could not have been worse timed, with Atletico in something of a rut, having just scraped a last minute 1-1 draw at home to Eibar after a chastening away to Celta Vigo before the international break. Griezmann had just one La Liga goal to his name and was not exactly setting the world on fire, either. Not to mention FIFA’s “The Best” awards were about to take place and the Frenchman was absent from the top three shortlist — headed up by Ronaldo.There is no doubting that over the past couple of years Griezmann has shot to global superstardom. His own toe-curling “La Decision” documentary when he announced he would be staying at Atleti was evidence of that, while nobody can doubt the starring roles he has played in France’s last two major tournaments, culminating in this summer’s World Cup success.But to liken himself to Messi and Ronaldo? Two players widely acknowledged to be the best to have ever played the game. That is not the kind of thing that Los Rojiblancos fans wanted to be reading after an underwhelming start to a season in which big things were expected of Diego Simeone’s new-look side.Like La Decision, it was perhaps an example of those around the player not giving him the best advice, or perhaps suggesting better timing for the interview.They also drew a stinging rebuke from Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who said “Ignorance can be brash. When I hear this guy speak, it reminds me of players such as [Francesco] Totti, Raul, [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Iker] Casillas, [Paolo] Maldini, Xavi or [Andres] Iniesta, players who have won many awards and titles but never a Ballon d’Or.”While the most-red carded player in La Liga history is not exactly the most moral of arbiters around, given some of his past actions and comments, his point was valid.However, a week or so can be a long time in football, and since making those comments fortunes have indeed picked up both for Griezmann and Atletico Madrid.A commanding Champions League victory over Monaco, in which Griezmann teed up the opener and was the best player on the pitch, was backed up by another standout display away at Getafe, where he played a major part in Thomas Lemar’s goals.He returned to the scoresheet against Huesca on Tuesday night and — with results going their way — Los Colchoneros remarkably find themselves only two points off top spot despite their initial teething problems.This weekend will see Griezmann meet Ramos in the season’s first Derbi Madrileno as Atleti visit a Real Madrid side coming off of a 3-0 thrashing by Sevilla in midweek.After appearing way off the pace and a little bit directionless not so long ago, Los Rojiblancos can actually leapfrog their great city rivals with a win.You can bet that Griezmann will be that little extra motivated following the Real skipper’s public dressing down and will be out to prove a point in that sense. There is also the small matter of fact that this is a fixture that Ronaldo used to love playing — and scoring — in.After comprehensively beating the Bernabeu outfit in the European Super Cup in August, Atleti will fancy their chances again this weekend in a fixture that has seen both club and No. 7s alike excel in recent seasons.Simeone has not lost in his last five La Liga visits to the Bernabeu — winning three and drawing two — and is 90 minutes away from equalling the longest ever run of away sides securing at least a point across the Spanish capital.To put that into context, the current record was set between 1942 and 1948 by Valencia. This, the same Atleti that Madrid fans once taunted by holding up a banner that said “Wanted: a real rival for a proper derby” when they went 14 years without a win in the fixture. How times have changed.Griezmann himself has good memories too, scoring in his last three league appearances at the Bernabeu and first really announcing himself as an Atletico player back in 2015 when they hammered Carlo Ancelotti’s side 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon.If he is to back his words up with actions — and make Ramos eat his at the same time — then perhaps we can just start to think that his claims about being at the very top of the game were not so fanciful after all.

Premier League W2W4: Liverpool face stern Chelsea test; Man United need to end disruptive week

3:28 AM ETNick MillerESPN.com writerAhead of each round of fixtures in the Premier League, W2W4 looks at the main storylines to keep an eye on.

Liverpool’s defence faces its biggest test

What can we glean from Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game between Chelsea and Liverpool that has relevance to their Premier League match on Saturday evening? Given the players involved, not much. Maybe five or six of the 22 that started at Anfield will line up at Stamford Bridge.

One thing does stand out though is just how quickly a player like Eden Hazard can change a game. Chelsea’s Belgian genius came off the bench to score an astonishing goal to secure their victory, and while we don’t really need more evidence that Hazard is pretty useful, he keeps providing it anyway.Jurgen Klopp was philosophical after the game, bowing to Hazard’s quality.”Eden Hazard at full speed in the box is not easy to stop,” the Liverpool boss said, and he could console himself with the knowledge that it was his second-string back four that was trying the other night. On Saturday, the A-team will return.But will they fare any better? The back five of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson have proved very effective so far this season, conceding just two goals in the league, but they haven’t come up against anyone this good yet. Liverpool’s defence is an area of strength where previously it was one of weakness, but facing Hazard represents the biggest test yet of that new-found fortitude.

Can Manchester United react positively to a damaging week?

Apparently Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are friends now, with explanations offered and accepted for that training ground argument the morning after their Carabao Cup defeat to Derby County. But more than complaining about an Instagram post, Mourinho’s most damaging public utterance might have occurred the previous evening, when in his postmatch interview he said he thought United were “in trouble” when Phil Jones and Eric Bailly stepped up in the penalty shoot-out.

Why would you say that, other than to try shifting the blame to someone else? Why undermine the confidence of two first-team players? It’s not the first time that Mourinho has done this, shamefully throwing Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial under the bus at the end of last season. If it hasn’t happened already, Mourinho will lose the trust of his players, something he used to so obviously have in his early days of management.After such a disruptive week, United need a win against an improving West Ham on Saturday, but in publicly embarrassing his players, Mourinho hasn’t done their chances any favours.

Might Phil Foden get a league start for Manchester City?

Your heart doesn’t exactly bleed for Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City manager has been without Kevin De Bruyne since August, but happens to manage probably the only team in the Premier League who could lose their most influential player, and carry on without blinking. With David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan, Guardiola has some pretty solid senior options to fill-in for De Bruyne — but you can certainly add Phil Foden to that list now.Of course, it was only against Oxford United, but Foden’s performance in midweek earned further comparisons to Andres Iniesta, comparisons Guardiola was quick to avoid. Foden is clearly ready, even at 18, for the highest level, and it’s only a matter of time before he starts a game in the Premier League. Could it be this weekend against Brighton?

Will Wes Morgan return for Leicester?

Wes Morgan is available again for Leicester, following a one-game suspension for his red card against Bournemouth. He played in their Carabao Cup game against Wolves in mid-week alongside Jonny Evans, but Harry Maguire, fresh from signing a new contract, will surely return to the team for this weekend’s trip to Newcastle.The question for Claude Puel is, who will Maguire replace? Hopefully, almost for the sake of his dignity as anything else, it won’t be Morgan, and Evans and Maguire become their first-choice pairing. The central defender’s race looks run, his peak years well behind him and it would probably be best for everyone if he was gently phased out of the team.

Huddersfield can’t write-off another game against a big boy

After Huddersfield’s first game of the season, a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea, David Wagner was asked about his side’s tough start to the campaign. They faced Manchester City after that, and Wagner commented that they would “just have to win the games in between” those against the Premier League’s best. Alas, they didn’t: they’ve played four times since, against Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Everton and Leicester, gaining two points and scoring two goals in the process.Wagner’s attitude smacked of defeatism, of writing off games against the best and concentrating on more “winnable” fixtures: that his side failed to win them indicates he may have been unwise to do so. This weekend it’s another big team, with Tottenham paying a visit to John Smith’s Stadium.Wagner and Huddersfield can’t afford to shrug and think “what can you do?”, because after six games without a win, a relegation scrap is looming.

Mourinho’s battle with Pogba shows the Special One is not so special anymore

3:00 PM ETGabriele MarcottiSenior Writer, ESPN FC

Jose Mourinho once told me that if you are unhappy with a player, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you have to know their personality and know what buttons to push.”If it’s John Terry, then I might get in his face, shout at him and tell him he’s a [expletive],” he said to me and Gianluca Vialli when we were writing “The Italian Job.” “But if it’s William Gallas, I can’t do that. I will lose him if I do that. I might need to put my arm around him, be supportive, reach him in a different way.”You wonder what then Mourinho would make of himself today if he could time travel and meet his future self, 13 years into the future.(Or if somehow, to go all Charles Dickens for a minute, the ghost of his long-time assistant Rui Faria were to materialize one night in Mourinho’s suite at The Lowry Hotel and take him to meet the Ghosts of Jose Past, Jose Present and Jose Yet to Come.)My guess is that his younger self would wonder what the heck the older version is doing.Of course, it is not as if 2005 Mourinho was a saint. He could be as Machiavellian as anyone.In that sense, he might even have approved of the execution of the latest Paul Pogba bust-up and the way it was orchestrated. Because let’s be clear, however you feel about Pogba, this was stage-managed.Start with the fact that there is no such thing as the “vice captaincy” or “second captaincy” at Manchester United. The club captain is Antonio Valencia, and in his absence, Pogba has worn the armband on several occasions. But so too have other players; in fact, Mourinho said in the summer that a whole range of guys — from Chris Smalling to Juan Mata to Ashley Young — would be captain when Valencia was not around.

Mourinho rightly knows the armband is just a piece of cloth: If you are not a leader, it will not turn you into one. Equally, though, by announcing Pogba does not have the traits of a captain, the United manager is not only humiliating him but going further by taking away a second captaincy that doesn’t actually exist. The only purpose served was to make the point that Pogba is unfit to lead.The 2005 Mourinho would have been on board with that and might have said exactly the same thing. Except, you would imagine, he would have done it in private and to Pogba’s face because, unless the player had some unusual inclination toward public humiliation, that is not the way to motivate performance.And what happened on Tuesday was a public humiliation. While it might have taken place within the Carrington training ground, it was in front of Pogba’s peers and teammates; when something like that happens in front of so many people, it is pretty much guaranteed to leak out.Mourinho has been around long enough to know that, and what is more is the quote that “players were happy with the decision” offers a clear clue that the leak did not come from Pogba’s end. It was designed to get out and have maximum resonance.And just in case anyone missed the point, the following day only reinforced things when video emerged of a tense exchange between Mourinho and Pogba. Rights holders are allowed to film training once a month and they only get 15 minutes. Club press officers babysit the camera operators, so the coaching staff are fully aware when they turn up and when they leave.You can even throw in the story, which by sheer coincidence appeared on Thursday, that Pogba marched into executive vice chairman Ed Woodward’s office just before the club’s opening game of the season and told him he had agreed personal terms with Barcelona and wanted to leave.(What’s more, it does not ring true. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is paid when deals are done and demanding a move hours before the Premier League transfer window closes is not the way to do that. From the United perspective, there would be no time to find a replacement, and they are under no financial pressure to sell. Barcelona, meanwhile, had spent $70 million to add Arthur and Arturo Vidal to add numbers to an already deep pool of central midfielders.)Once again, the 2005 Mourinho might have approved of all this. However, he would have been befuddled by the end game. After all, old school Mourinho knew not to pick fights he was unlikely to win, just as Machiavelli instructs.Indeed, it is difficult to even define victory in this case.To some, who believe Pogba is the root of all the club’s problems, it is getting him out of the team so that United will flourish and win silverware this season.To others, who think this is actually a complex psychological ploy, wherein Mourinho drags someone through the mud and then builds him up again, thereby winning his loyalty forever, it’s another Luke Shaw situation; Pogba’s teammate went from this to this.To others still — most ominously of all — it is the manager’s attempt to get himself sacked. It might not be ideal, but a payoff of nearly $45m, plus two trophies to show for two full seasons despite a raft of spinnable excuses, from Pogba’s presence to Woodward’s transfer meddling and the dumpster fire of a squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal — heck, that’s not so bad.All three “victory” scenarios are somewhat far-fetched and you wonder if they are worth the negatives, the main one being the depreciation of Pogba’s transfer value, which is exactly what happens when you call your club’s priciest saleable asset unfit to be captain. That depreciation would only be compounded if Pogba turns into a bit player.Moreover, it would also boomerang back on Mourinho, because as we have seen with Woodward’s attitude toward Anthony Martial, he does not like offloading talent at a reduced price simply because the manager does not particularly rate the player. It is hard to see who would pay in for Pogba if Mourinho tries to force a sale.

Perhaps this was a message to the entire squad — many of whom like Pogba — that they too can be thrown under the bus whenever the manager feels like it. We have seen glimpses of it with Shaw and Martial and, after Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Derby, the name-checking of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones and their supposed inability to convert penalties. Indeed, since Tuesday’s training ground incident, sources have told ESPN that several senior players are “angry and frustrated” with their manager.

It might also signal to future employers that Mourinho will give them the Woodward treatment, by speaking out in public if they don’t deliver on his transfer shopping list and flexing his muscle to force a decision between two of their biggest financial commitments.

Old Trafford was a place to restore his reputation after the acrimony that followed his exits from Real Madrid and Chelsea. That is why Woodward hired him and why many, including yours truly, thought he was the right appointment. It was the perfect match of two fallen giants with plenty still to give, something the 2005 Mourinho would have understood.This Mourinho seems to swerve and claw and zigzag, like a desperately tired fox chased by hounds. Unsure of where he’s going and having forgotten where he’s been.

Juventus wants to be great in Europe but must conquer Napoli first

Sep 27, 2018Wright ThompsonSenior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

TORINO — On a chilly night in the shadow of the Alps, Juventus easily dispatched Bologna, 2-0, and finally Serie A could focus on the biggest match of this young season: Napoli’s return to Juventus on Saturday. Down beneath the stadium, with midnight approaching, Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri took his seat for post-game questions. Somehow, two reporters managed to not ask about Allegri’s next opponent but the third got straight to the point: Napoli was seeking its second straight win at Allianz Stadium.”The head-to-head matches are always complicated,” Allegri said. “Napoli is the antagonist of Juventus right now.”The teams are once again ranked one and two, where they’ve been for much of the past two years. At the end of last season, Napoli came to Torino and beat Juventus. That night felt like the end of one era and the beginning of another — which it turned out to be, although not in the way anyone expected. I was in town for the match and when the final whistle blew, the Juve crowd filtered bitterly and silently into the parking lots. The great Gigi Buffon, in his last regular season appearance at home, stopped shot after shot but even he couldn’t beat Napoli alone.That night didn’t mark the end of a dynasty at all.Napoli didn’t turn its victory into a championship. Juventus hung on for a seventh straight scudetto and then rearranged Italian football by signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Now Buffon is wearing a PSG kit, a deeply strange thing to behold, like Frank Sinatra in bell-bottoms or something, and Ronaldo is preening in black and white.On Wednesday night with Ronaldo leading the attack against Bologna, the game was over in the first 16 minutes. Watching him play in person remains a joy: he’s constantly pressing, making beautiful passes to teammates, trying to get clear for a shot. He creates space and chaos and both of Wednesday’s goals resulted from his aggression, even if he didn’t actually put either in back of the net himself.It’s also clear that some of his teammates haven’t yet gotten accustomed to playing with him. Early in the match, open on the right side of the goal, Ronaldo called for the ball, but Rodrigo Bentancur didn’t see him. Ronaldo waved his arms in frustration. He plays a game invisible to many of the players around him, exposing the line between great and very good. Until the end — fino alla fine — Ronaldo never stopped attacking. The last thing that happened before the whistle was him firing a shot on Bologna’s goal. He’s relentless.The scene at Allianz Stadium Wednesday night was familiar: the stadium DJ’s love of Steppenwolf and AC/DC, the roaring and constant songs and chants from the ultras in the Curva Sud. One of the great pleasures of Torino is that it never seems to change. The slow pace of lunch at Da Angelino, where regulars eat ravioli and wild game roasted in Barolo, and the lingering, vermouth-laced cocktail hour in the main square mark time as something to be ignored not feared, as does Juventus holding its place at the top of Serie A.And yet things feel different this year.Just six weeks into the season, the rest of Italian football is working to make sense of the Ronaldo signing. It’s never been more clear that Juventus will spend whatever it takes to compete with the biggest clubs in the world (they agreed on a transfer fee of €100 million for Ronaldo alone). It’s funny. The owners of sports teams work so hard to be private and inscrutable, and they don’t seem to realize how their deepest insecurities are on public display.The Agnelli family, owners Juventus and founders of Fiat, have suffered indignities as the Italian automotive industry has struggled. Juventus has won seven straight league titles but only two European Cups (their last one coming in 1996) while also losing seven finals, the most recent in 2017. It seems obvious that the family’s worst fear — being provincial — is Juventus’ fabulous success in Italy but its continued frustration in Europe. Watching the Agnelli family run the team is like reading a diary. The striving and longing is palpable and when they finally win the Champions League again, it will almost certainly bring more relief than joy.Juventus seems desperate for others to see them as big as they see themselves.The European final remains many months away.The Serie A campaign is the most current and pressing fight.The morning after the Bologna match, the Juve vs. Napoli battle dominated the front page of the salmon-colored La Gazzetta dello Sport, the headline announcing that early in the season, the championship match had already arrived. Allegri was thinking of what lineup he’d deploy, waiting until Friday’s training to make a decision. The first six weeks have been a prelude for this showdown between the top two teams in Serie A.There’s pathos to go around.Juventus needs to prove that it belongs with the biggest clubs in Europe. Napoli longs to defeat the northern clubs, who have some fans who look down on the poorer southern Italians. This approaching match appears to be part of the global business of sport, but all that is merely a façade for the old and powerful forces on display.

In the Italian capital, Roma and Lazio are defined solely by the derby

4:55 PM ETJames HorncastleESPN.com writer

The Rome derby never ends,” the legendary former Lazio striker Giorgio Chinaglia mused. “It’s infinite. You start talking about it a month beforehand and continue thinking about it for weeks afterwards.”The Eternal City sees and hears nothing else. Switch on the radio and tens of different stations are babbling about it 24/7. Go down to the local bar for some refreshment and you can bet the derby is the cause of animated conversation over coffee. Hail a cab and the taxi driver wants to know who you’re rooting for and why this or that player isn’t starting.Escaping it isn’t easy. Giorgio Morini, a midfielder who played for Roma in the 1970s, tells a story about taking his wife out to the zoo with the intention of getting away from it all for an afternoon. “It sounds incredible,” Morini said, “but even in a place usually visited by kids all you heard was people talking about the derby.” He left thinking the animals would be too if only they had the power of speech.It has a pressure-cooker effect. The tension builds and builds until the steam bursts out with an ear-piercing whistle.”Thank goodness there are only two derbies a season,” Lazio’s talismanic former centre-half Alessandro Nesta consoled himself. “I think I’d die if there were 10. Nothing is more stressful than the derby.”Spare a thought for the players’ families at times like this. “I wish this blessed derby would never come because my husband is obviously more agitated than usual,” complained Simonetta Cordova, the wife of ex-Roma captain Franco Cordova. “When I pop into the butchers or go shopping I always get given the same advice to pass on: ‘Signora, tell your husband on Sunday we have to win.'”At times it can feel like nothing else matters. On the eve of a derby in 1999, Sven-Goran Eriksson, the last Lazio coach to deliver the Scudetto, was asked for his impressions of the rivalry. “Today I bumped into a fan who said to me: ‘Mister, I couldn’t give a toss about the title, we have got to win the derby and that’s it.’ Naturally I am of a different opinion, but this gives an idea of how this game is felt in the city.”Ever since the derby appeared on the fixture list in December 1929, it has invariably been the measure of whether a season When Capello led Roma to glory in 2001, the team was motivated in no small measure by the desire to get even with Eriksson’s Lazio and put an end to how unbearable it was to have their “cousins” lording being champions of Italy over the city’s Romanisti all year. The sooner they did it, the better, and the satisfaction of winning the league was made double simply on account of them replacing Lazio as the No. 1 club in the country. The same can be said of the one and only Coppa Italia final to feature a Rome derby back in 2013. Lazio’s victory tasted all the sweeter, come as it did at Roma’s expense.To some, this is indicative of a small-town, provincial mentality that has held Rome’s clubs back. The idea of Roma Caput Mundi — Rome the capital of the world — has perhaps contributed to a mindset believing that anything outside the Aurelian walls is irrelevant.Italy coach Roberto Mancini, who played in Lazio’s Scudetto-winning side at the turn of the millennium, understood where fans were coming from but couldn’t help thinking that considering it the be-all and end-all only narrowed their focus. “I’d like to remind everyone we won the Scudetto at Samp in the year we lost the derby. If you want to win something that really matters, you need to get away from looking at things this way.”Some managers have set out to achieve that by treating the derby as if it were just another game. Your standard Sunday fare. “It’s no different from all the other games,” claimed Zdenek Zeman, a member of an exclusive club of managers who have stood on both sides of the divide. That was a big mistake. One that Simone Inzaghi and Eusebio di Francesco would never make. Having played in it themselves, Lazio and Roma’s current coaches know what this rivalry is all about. It’s an advantage principally because it allows them to relate to their players and what they are going through at the moment.The derby is always a chance for someone to become a hero, and boy have there been some unlikely ones over the years. Paolo Franzoni was a no-name player who had just joined Lazio from second-division side Brindisi in 1973. “I’d only just set foot in Rome.” The next thing he knew, he was coming on for an injured teammate and within 55 seconds he’d scored. “My head was spinning.” Needless to say, goals in this game have a higher currency than others. Just as a Scudetto in Rome is worth 10 in Milan or Turin, “two goals in the derby are better than eight in the league,” former Roma midfielder Massimiliano Cappioli used to say.But there’s always a flip side, namely that mistakes on which derby games turn are impossible to live down. They stay with you for years. “I didn’t sleep a wink, I was up all night, tossing and turning, trying to find a reason why. I was in pieces,” a distraught Marco Lanna recalled after giving away a last-minute penalty in 1996 for handball. Sure enough, Beppe Signori stepped up to the spot and in trademark no-run-up style, buried it to seal a 1-0 win for Lazio.These are the emotions the Rome derby provokes. It has led Lazio managers to dive into fountains, Francesco Totti to take a selfie under the Curva — not to mention dedicate his spare time to thinking about what taunt he’d like to print on a t-shirt that he’d reveal in the event he scored. It has produced some of the best fan choreographies in world football. The film Gladiator frankly has nothing on it.”Initially when I walked out on the pitch, my legs would be trembling,” the former Roma striker Andrea Carnevale reminisced, “then once the smoke from the flares evaporated, that’s when I went on the assault.”So as Senad Lulic and Daniele De Rossi lead their teams out on Saturday, one in the midst of a four-game winning streak, the other sincerely hoping a 4-0 win against Frosinone kick-starts their season, remember they are walking into a maelstrom of emotion that neither you nor I can comprehend, where the distance between euphoria and despair is as thin as the line they are about to cross. This is the Rome derby.

INDY ELEVEN DEFEAT TAMPA BAY ROWDIES, 2-0

By James Higdon, 09/27/18, 12:30AM EDT

The “Boys in Blue” continue to fight to secure playoff spot after a 2-0 clean sheet against the Rowdies

Indy Eleven wheel away victorious after shutting out long-time East coast rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-0. The three points nudge the “Boys in Blue” back into fifth place after suffering back-to-back losses in the previous two matches.“I was really pleased,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “I think in our last two home games, we’ve had two of our best performances. I think other than a couple little let downs in the Pittsburgh game, we’ve been on a run. So, it’s a ood time to be playing well.”Both sides displayed high energy in the opening moments as players made aggressive moves on either side of the pitch. An on-frame header by Eleven forward Jack McInerney in the 21st minute, which was deflected by Rowdies midfielder Afrim Taku, gave “Indiana’s Team” the first look at goal. Tampa Bay responded six minutes later when Eleven goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams brilliantly forced Rowdies forward Sebastian Guenzatti’s one-touch shot from the top of the 18-yard box, ricocheting off the right post.The stalemate didn’t last as the “Boys in Blue” found the opening goal in the 37th minute. Defender and assist leader Ayoze played an in-swinging ball from the corner to the center of the six-yard box where defensive partner Karl Ouimette headed the shot into the lower left corner of the net. The goal was Ouimette’s third and Ayoze’s seventh assist of the season. Additionally, all three of Ouimette’s goals have been assisted by Ayoze from corner kicks.Tampa Bay tried to find the equalizer in the last moments of the first half. Rowdies midfielder Junior Flemmings beamed his shot towards goal from outside Indy’s box, but Fon Williams read the play well and knocked the attempt out of play. The Welshman recorded his 11th clean sheet of the year after a four-save performance.Indy Eleven sealed their victory in the 75th minute when forward Elliot Collier capitalized on a loose deflection inside Tampa Bay’s box. The shot, which was initially played into forward Jack McInerney, created the opportunity for the Chicago Fire loanee’s first goal for Indy.  The win inches the “Boys in Blue” closer to securing a playoff spot. For Rennie, the key to doing so will be retaining his side’s momentum in the final three matches of the season.“It’s really about continuing the momentum and when you have a good win you have to continue on for the next one,” Rennie said. “So, that’s what we’re looking for. It’s improvement. It’s confidence. It’s believing that they can do it.”The Circle City side will travel to the Buckeye State this Saturday to take on the newly crowned 2018 Eastern Conference Regular Season Champions, FC Cincinnati. Then, “Indiana’s Team” will return home one more time in the 2018 regular season to host Bethlehem Steel FC on Saturday, October 6. Fans can get tickets to the last home game of the year for as low as $15 at IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.

USL Regular Season    Indy Eleven 2:0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.  Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN 
Scoring Sumary:

IND – Karl Ouimette (Ayoze) 37’
IND – Elliot Collier 75’

Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2, L–>R): Owain Fon Williams (GK); Reiner Ferreira, Ayoze (C), Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette; Dylan Mares (Matt Watson 68’), Nico Matern, Seth Moses, Kevin Venegas; Elliot Collier (Soony Saad 84’), Jack McInerneyIndy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Brad Ring, Brad Rusin, Matt Watson, Juan Guerra, Ben Speas, Soony SaadTampa Bay Rowdies lineup (4-5-1, L–>R): Daniel Vega (GK); Papé Diakité, Zac Portillos, Tarek Morad, Hunter Gorskie; Junior Flemmings, Lance Rozeboom (Joe Cole 78’), Afrim Taku (Alex Morrell 72’), Dominic Oduro, Kwadwo Poku (Jaime Chavez 65’); Sebastian Guenzatti   Tampa Bay Rowdies bench: Akira Fitzgerald (GK); Kyle Porter, Alex Morrell, Leo Fernandes, Martin Vingaard, Joe Cole, Jaime Chavez

USL UNVEILS NEW STRUCTURE: ONE CENTRAL BRAND, THREE LEAGUES, EVOLVING FOR THE FUTURE

By IndyEleven.com, 09/25/18, 1:15PM EDTShare

USL Championship, USL League One and USL League Two will debut in 2019 season

TAMPA, Fla. – On a historic day for the evolution of soccer in North America, the United Soccer League has unveiled a new structure and brand identity for each of its top three leagues ahead of the 2019 season. “Today’s announcement comes at the dawn of an exciting new era for our sport,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “The USL has spent the past eight years transforming our league to meet the evolving needs of our team owners, players, coaches, fans and partners. We have established our place in the U.S. soccer landscape while blazing the trail for professional soccer’s future by introducing a new third division, completing the nation’s professional soccer structure. “We are bringing three leagues under one central brand that will uniquely represent the USL’s vision for the future and give rise to local passion in new cities currently without professional soccer. The new brand and logos are inspiring and convey a new direction. They are innovative and modern and tell a story but more importantly, refuse to let others define us. The USL will now be modeled after a tried and respected international structure. One central brand, three leagues: USL Championship – the pinnacle of competition; USL League One – the foundation of professional soccer; and, USL League Two – the Path to Pro.“We are repositioning the competition under MLS with a new strategy, new names and logos,” concluded Papadakis. “As we look to the future, the USL is ready to put its fingerprints on U.S. Soccer’s drive toward becoming the best in the world, and its pursuit of winning a FIFA Men’s World Cup.” The new structure and branding will go into effect in advance of the 2019 season, at which point the USL will also unveil a modernized league website in order to showcase new, engaging digital content and help to better tell the organization’s story as it continues to push the limits of what is possible for professional soccer in North America.
United Soccer League

The USL’s new corporate logo symbolizes the growth of professional soccer in North America, incorporating 13 stripes to represent the U.S. flag. The blue letters pay homage to the league’s past while the new, modern logo and the white sphere represents a soccer ball in motion – propelling our sport forward into the future.
USL Championship

The pinnacle of competition – the USL Championship features a new gold design and represents the ultimate goal for players, coaches, fans and communities, all of whom aspire for excellence both on and off the field.The USL Championship is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million across more than 35 markets in 2019, and fueling the growth of the game across North America. At its core, the Championship is community. It’s the commitment of passionate and financially secure owners and talented players to embrace their hometowns, to create opportunity and to grow together through the beautiful game.
USL League One

The foundation of professional soccer – USL League One makes its mark with a vibrant, colorful identity, as it gears up for its debut in the 2019 season with league leadership and ownership that will forge a unique identity – driven by determination, unity and inspiration.League One brings discovery – delivering professional soccer to communities without a team, offering the first chance for new fans to dance and sing for 90 minutes, to fall more in love with the game every single week. League One also provides the opportunity and the first step in the professional ranks for players and coaches yearning to climb and pursue their dreams.
USL League Two

The #Path2Pro – the PDL will become USL League Two – the elite pre-professional tier in North American soccer and the established developmental platform for U-23 and collegiate players, fans and communities.Maintaining its heritage with a bold, red logo, League Two will continue to forge the game’s future, delivering the first taste of premier competition in an authentic national soccer environment with a hyper-local focus. It is the gateway to stardom for those who prove they belong and have the desire to advance into the professional ranks, providing more than 70 percent of players selected in the MLS SuperDraft over the

Hump Day Happiness In The Circle City

By REBECCA TOWNSEND (aka The Pitch Bitch)  http://bshambles.blogspot.com

Looking for redemption for the 3-1 loss suffered during their July 21 visit to Tampa Bay, Indy Eleven met the Rowdies at Lucas Oil Stadium Wednesday night with a lineup designed for defensive impenetrability while maximizing the host’s capacity to spread the field and counterattack.Focus and intensity ensured Indy Eleven eluded some of the gremlins that have cost the team victories in games past. The Boys in Blue made it through the opening minutes of the game — and the opening minutes of the second half — without being scored on. And those successes stuck, allowing the Eleven to claim victory — and for keeper Owain Fôn Williams to record his 11th clean sheet of the season. (Head coach Martin Rennie believes Fôn Williams either tied or set the club clean sheet record with the evening’s result.)
Fôn Williams is tied for seventh in the entire USL for number of saved goals at 77 (including two blocked penalty kicks). (The Tulsa Roughnecks FC’s Fabián Cerda leads with 104.)

Indy’s defense was entirely no-nonsense straight from the start. Reiner Ferreira sent Junior Flemmings crumbling to the carpet on a couple occasions in the game’s opening minutes. Captain Ayoze showed commanding control of his flank and the rest of the back line, in lock-step and interchangeable flow with the midfield and even the forwards, all followed suit by putting immediate and effective pressure on Tampa’s possession, absorbing everything they could bring and then redistributing for the counterattack from all directions of the field.”Patient passing; low, accurate switching of fields…still more, patiently unzipping their backline,” Pitch Bitch game notes read. “Maybe now test with some shots.”That may be the Bitch’s greatest input at this point: Let’s be even more confident in the attacking third. Let’s test the hell out of our opposing keepers and D with some wicked hard shots from all around the 18 perimeters! And then crash the box! Keep their defense frantic! The clinical un-stitching with close-range destruction is also beautiful to behold. Have fun finding balance. Keep bringing your highly fit relentless intensity.  Carlyle Mitchell gets credit for so much, but to choose a highlight: Picture him in the first half, flying backward through the air for a floating heading clearance of a ball that was going to drop over every other defender and land about 10 yards out from Indy’s goal with a swarm of Rowdies rushing in to finish? Nice.

Midfielders Nico Matern, Seth Moses and Dylan Mares all came out hard, defending like animals and then building consistent and effective counterattacks. Matern, in particular, was called out by coach Rennie after the game for having one of his best-ever matches.Matern’s play “was a key factor in us improving our possession and keeping the ball going,” Rennie said.Tampa Bay’s play of the game came in the 26th minute when Rowdies forward Sebastian Guenzatti took a wicked one-touch volley from the top of the box, forcing lightening fast reflexes from Fôn Williams, who just managed to the tip the ball off the post and out of harm’s way.”Great shot! Great save!” says commentator Brad Hauter, also the coach of DePauw Men’s Soccer.Ten minutes later Indy defender Kevin Venegas cracks a shot of his own, forcing Tampa keeper Daniel Vega into a diving save to tip the ball over the crossbar. The defense continued its offensive onslaught of first-half fury when Karl Ouimette bagged his third goal of the season, which also happened to be his third header into goal from an Ayoze corner kick.How did it feel?”Amazing!” Ouimette said following the game, calling Indy Eleven’s 2-0 victory over the Rowdies “a big step up from past games.”The game’s positive results were clear, he said, especially from the perspective of a defender whose first objective is to win and second is to record a shutout. “We scored a goal and we didn’t sit back too much,” he said, “We defended wellthroughout the game. We were able to dominate and put up pressure and impose our style of play. That was a big plus for us today. And, obviously, scoring on a personal side is always good!”The team has “amazing players..such nice guys and we have each others’ backs,” he added. “Lots of teams have internal negativity. Not here. We want to help each other succeed.”Ouimette attended a post-game press conference with one of the team’s most recent signings, Elliott Collier, who came to the Circle City on loan from Chicago Fire. Collier scored the night’s second goal after beautiful teamwork set up Jack McInerney to tangle Tampa’s defenders and leave a deflected ball rolling straight into Collier’s path at which point the New Zealand native buried left-footed, one-touch shot.Tense moments about 10 minutes into the second half when an errant call from officials left Tampa Bay setting up for an undeserved penalty kick, which if netted would have tied the score. The center official intervened, however, and reset the play where with a drop ball instead. Thereby a riot was prevented. Thank you refs!

Perspective on Potential Post-season Action
The team’s playoff dreams are still in play. They currently sit at 5th place in the USL’s Eastern Conference. The top eight teams from each conference will square off to see who will face the best of the Western Conference and claim the USL’s 2018 Championship.Three games remain, including two road games against teams that sit at the first and third spots on the table. This upcoming Saturday’s (Sept. 29) road trip to FC Cincinnati presents a huge challenge and opportunity. Cincy has invested in a roster that will help them make the transition into the MLS next season. As a result, they’ve remained the Eastern Conference leader all season long — and they’ve beat Indy twice; a 0-1 defeat for Indy’s first-ever home game played at Lucas Oil Stadium, followed by a 2-3 result in Indy one month later.

The challenge lies in beating a team that has consistently dominated all competition. The opportunity lies in knowing that Indy improved its form from the first game to the second against Cincy. Plus, Indy Eleven has been improving as a unit all season and FC Cincinnati hasn’t contended with them since early May. The prospect of tearing down the top dog is too tasty, especially on its home field. Huge egos are designed by God to rupture. The Eleven just may end up doing the Lord’s work by checking their neighbor to the southeast with a healthy dose of revenge. How fun would it be to send those guys packing to the MLS with a 2-2 record against Indy? A regular season victory this weekend would give Indy one and then they can follow with an even sweeter playoff victory! A prescient piece of Scripture comes to mind: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” (Matthew 19:26)So when haters try to talk “odds” or “reason” or “logic” or “MLS caliber” … just remember Jesus — and the Blues Brothers. (“We’re on a mission from God.”) And keep playing your flippin’ hearts out! We take no result as a fore-drawn conclusion.Jimmy Cliff also comes to mind: “The harder they come, the harder they fall.”
Humbling the haughty and earning some payback for letting those jokers come over here and steal Indy’s first home game victory — all while building confidence as the team prepares for winning playoff form? Sounds like solid motivation for Saturday’s match.”I feel we’ll reward the fans with the way we play,” Collier said. “You get the fans behind you, you can shake the other team, as well. So come on out and we’ll have a good time
Cincinnati and Louisville will be a preview of the playoffs, Collier said. “Everyone is going to go at it,” he said. “Those environments can be tough but we’re going to go out and do what we can (in terms of perfecting the Indy system)… As good as the players are here, I think they’re even better people. Bring a bunch of really good soccer players and really good people together, you’ll have a good environment to build off.”

Words of wisdom from Coach Rennie

Here are some tasty nuggets gleaned from Rennie’s post-game comments.”Good performance. We possessed the ball well and created some good chances.e managed to win the ball higher up pressure on the ball reduce the chances the opponent had to attack us.””In the last two home games, two of our best performances.””We’ve been on a good run. It’s a good time to be playing well, it’s a good time to be gaining confidence and that puts us in a good position.”(Heading into Cincinnati:) “We have high-quality players who can get the job done for us. We have a short turnaround but ultimately it will be an exciting weekend for us.”
“It’s really about continuing the momentum … we’re looking for improved confidence.””The game will take care of itself … a lot on the line … good players with good experience…I’m sure they’ll relish the opportunity and make the most of it.”
Moving forward

Supporters are encouraged to travel to Cincinnati (ticket info) this weekend and to Louisville where the team will play its final regular-season game on Oct. 13. The Brickyard Battalion is organizing carpools for Cincy here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdsh6da2VlW67jjKj2KpeM0GsHPOqk9zZZfaBNOqgrn2vIQJQ/viewform.The final regular-season home game is set for Sat., Oct. 6 against Bethlehem Steel FC. (The game will be broadcast on MyIndy 23 TV. Tell your local bartender to tune in!) Kickoff  is 7 p.m.Fee-free tickets are available for purchase through the Brickyard Battalion supporters club at BYBtix.com. The team has plenty of good deals, as well, at IndyEleven.com.

 

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