Category Archives: Football

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EFL Cup headlines This Weeks Soccer on TV

Category : Football

With the Premier League title looking ever more likely to end up on Merseyside, the EFL Cup remains an option for four teams this season.

Defending EFL Cup winners Manchester City will look for another finals appearance with rivals Manchester United standing in their way.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are down 3-1 on aggregate after getting outdone in the competition’s first leg at Old Trafford. Over the weekend, the Red Devils notched a 6-0 victory in FA Cup action over Tranmere and there could be a real threat to Manchester City’s hardware hopes if its rival brings in the goal-happy momentum.

Aston Villa and Leicester City also will duke it out in Birmingham with the aggregate sitting at 1-1.

Cup season is in full swing across the rest globe too, with teams of all sizes vying for hardware.

Both Inter and AC Milan will be occupied with Coppa Italia Quarterfinal play, while Coupe de France and Copa MX play out the Round of 16 stages. In Argentina, the first round of Copa Libertadores concludes, providing plenty of soccer to enjoy on TV and major streaming services this week.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for ESPN+ and fuboTV for all your soccer streaming needs.

Monday

3 p.m. –ESPN+– AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal

4 p.m. –fuboTV– Sporting CP vs Marítimo

Tuesday

2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Aston Villa vs Leicester City

3:15 p.m. –fuboTV – Porto vs Gil Vicente

2:55 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Monaco vs Saint-Étienne

2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Torino vs Milan

1 p.m. –ESPN+– Tenerife vs Athletic Club

7:30 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Universitario vs Carabobo

8 p.m. -ESPN2 Norte, TUDN – Toluca vs Atlas
10:10 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes+, TUDN USA- Dorados vs Guadalajara
10:10 p.m. –fuboTV, FOX Deportes – Tijuana vs Atlético San Luis

Wednesday

2:45 p.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– West Ham United vs Liverpool

2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Manchester City vs Manchester United

12:30 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Pau vs PSG
3:05 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Olympique Marseille vs Strasbourg

2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Inter vs Fiorentina

1 p.m. –ESPN+– Cultural Leonesa vs Valencia
1 p.m. –ESPN+– Rayo Vallecano vs Villarreal
3 p.m. –ESPN+– Real Zaragoza vs Real Madrid
3 p.m. –ESPN+– CD Badajoz vs Granada

5:15 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Guaraní vs San José
7:30 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Barcelona vs Progreso

8 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes+ – Morelia vs Cafetaleros de Tapachula
8 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, fuboTV– Pumas UNAM vs Santos Laguna
10:10 p.m. –fuboTV, FOX Deportes – Monterrey vs Celaya
10:10 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, fuboTV– Juárez vs Querétaro

9 a.m. –ESPN+– Odisha vs Goa

Thursday

3:55 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV– Nice vs Olympique Lyonnais

1 p.m. –ESPN+– Barcelona vs Leganés
3 p.m. –ESPN+– Mirandés vs Sevilla
3 p.m. –ESPN+– Real Sociedad vs Osasuna

9 a.m. –ESPN+– Bengaluru vs Hyderabad


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The American Soccer Kickoff: Olympic qualifying, Adams on the wing, and more

Category : Football

A U.S. Men’s National Team squad that was already very young to start with was made even younger and the team’s first match of 2020 has become a clear step toward Olympic qualifying.

Gregg Berhalter’s roster for the February 1 match against Costa Rica won’t have Jordan Morris or Cristian Roldan, who were released back to the Seattle Sounders ahead of Seattle’s Concacaf Champions League preparations, and while that much was clearly something planned in advance, the squad it leaves to face Costa Rica is one that will now look that much more like the group that will try to end the USMNT program’s Olympic drought.

In other news from the weekend, Tyler Adams worked on the right wing in RB Leipzig’s starting lineup, with its 2-0 loss to Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt causing the Bundesliga leaders lead atop the standings to be chopped by three points. Adams’ deployment on the right side of Leipzig’s midfield, in a hybrid right back/right wing role is something that definitely bears watching.

The weekend also saw Weston McKennie return to action, Josh Sargent make his way into Werder Bremen’s starting lineup, and Sebastian Saucedo earn his third straight Liga MX start for surprising league leader Pumas.

Here is a closer look at some of the weekend’s key storylines across American soccer:

Berhalter’s Olympic focus

If you weren’t quite sure before this past week just how seriously Berhalter was planning to take the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament, his words and actions this week provided a good glimpse into what he has in store.

In a recent interview with SiriusXM, Berhalter revealed his intention to have USMNT regulars Reggie Cannon and Jackson Yueill take part in the Olympic qualifying tournament rather than the March USMNT friendlies in Europe, and his move to release Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan ahead of the February 1 friendly against Costa Rica was another nod to emphasizing Olympic qualifying preparations.

Morris and Roldan would have been expected to start against Costa Rica as two of Berhalter’s preferred options among the January camp personnel, but with both leaving camp, it should create opportunities for some more U-23 prospects to impress both Berhalter and Under-23 coach Jason Kreis.

“I would expect there to be young players in the lineup (against Costa Rica), and that’s perfectly okay,” Berhalter said in a conference call on Monday. “They’ve worked hard all month so far and it’ll be nice to give them an opportunity to perform in front of a crowd in a real international game.

“This also gives us the opportunity to evaluate some players for the Olympic pool and see if they can make it for qualifying,” Berhalter said. “The theme for the whole camp was guys staking their claim and looking to improve their situation and get a firm grasp of where they fit in the player pool so I think the game is going to give us an opportunity to evaluate that.”

The match should provide an opportunity for the 14 players on the 22-man roster for the Costa Rica match who are also eligible for Olympic qualifying. That includes Ulysses Llanez, Julian Araujo, Brendan Aaronson, Mark McKenzie and Justen Glad to name a few.

For USMNT regulars Reggie Cannon and Jackson Yueill, the Costa Rica friendly should provide an opportunity for them to take on leadership roles, which they should take on as part of Jason Kreis’ Under-23 national team when it plays in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament in March.

Berhalter could, in theory, deploy a starting lineup with 10 Olympic-eligible players —none of the group’s current goalkeepers are Olympic-eligible — but with veterans such as Aaron Long, Gyasi Zardes and Sebastian Lletget still in the squad, Berhalter should deploy a starting lineup against Costa Rica that has a good mix of veterans and U-23 options.

Adams working on the wing again

Tyler Adams worked on the right side of RB Leipzig’s midfield in its recent loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, and spent his time almost exclusively working in a wide role. The deployment may have seemed surprising considering there was a belief that the recent departure of Diego Demme would mean more central midfield time for Adams.

Seeing Adams working on the right side of the field brought to mind his deployment as a right back by Gregg Berhalter in the only match Adams has played with the USMNT under Berhalter, and may have led to more concerns about Berhalter continuing with that experiment when Adams returns to the national team fold in March.

Asked by SBI on Monday where he sees Adams fitting positionally with the USMNT, Berhalter made it clear Adams’ future is in the middle of the field.

“We’ve played him at right back before. I think he’s a good fit there because of his speed, his dynamic, his ability to process the ball and move forward with the ball and attack with speed,” Berhalter said. “We see him primarily as a central midfielder. We always have seen him as a central midfielder, but we know that when we need to be flexible he can play that position as well. We think right now the right back position is filled with depth and he’ll be most suited in our system in central midfield.”

Adams has long been considered a future starter in the USMNT defensive midfield role, and the March friendlies should provide him an opportunity to start there. With Michael Bradley sidelined by ankle surgery, and Jackson Yueill expected to feature in Olympic qualifying, Berhalter’s defensive midfield options are limited, though it could also be an opportunity to see someone like Cristian Roldan or Weston McKennie in a deeper-lying role.

Sargent starting, but Bremen keeps struggling

Gregg Berhalter has a camp full of players to work with this month, but that isn’t stopping him from continuing to communicate with other players in the USMNT player pool, and he revealed on Monday that he spoke at length with Josh Sargent this weekend.

Sargent earned a starter for Werder Bremen over the weekend, but the club’s 3-0 loss to Hoffenheim dropped Bremen into the Bundesliga relegation zone. The match marked Sargent’s second straight start since the club returned from the winter break, but he is still searching for his first Bundesliga goal since October 19.

“We reviewed his game on the weekend and the team is going through a dip in form,” Berhalter said. “They’re in the relegation zone right now. This is what happens in pro sports, this is what happens at a high level.

“With Josh in particular, I see it as some of the team function, and how they’re creating chances, and how they’re looking to make the most of their players I think has been difficult at times. They haven’t been creating a lot of chances, and that’s difficult for a striker at times.

“For him it’s hanging in there, continuing to do the things that got him to that level,” Berhalter said. “Continuing to think about his movement off the ball, how he’s moving in the penalty box, and when he gets opportunities making the most of them.”

The good news for Sargent is that he has returned from his December injury in good enough form to grab a starting role for Werder Bremen in recent weeks. It will be up to the young American forward to snap his own goal drought if he is going to keep hold of that starting role, and boost his chances of becoming Berhalter’s preferred starting striker when the full USMNT plays Netherlands and Wales in March.

McKennie returns for Schalke

One of the biggest bright spots of the weekend for American soccer fans was the return of Weston McKennie from the scary shoulder injury that threatened to keep him out for an extended period of time.

McKennie had little to do in his 10-minute cameo in Schalke’s 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich, but simply returning to action was  big step for the USMNT star, who had missed a total of three Bundesliga matches after injuring his shoulder in a large fall in a December match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

McKennie shifted to right back in his cameo, and it remains to be seen where he will fit in once he is fully match fit. McKennie was seeing time in central defense when he went down with his injury, but the recent return from injury of veteran Matija Nastasic along with the recent acquisition of French defender Jean-Clair Todibo should allow McKennie to see more time in central midfield.


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Berhalter: People overlooking Zardes strengths, focusing too much on his negatives

Category : Football

Gyasi Zardes might be far from the most technical player on the U.S. Men’s National Team, but there are other qualities that head coach Gregg Berhalter values that have made the veteran striker a regular contributor for the squad.

The USMNT is set to punctuate its annual winter camp by facing off against Costa Rica in a friendly on Saturday, and Zardes is the odds-on favorite to start up top for the Americans. The 28-year-old forward is not only the most capped player on the current USMNT roster — he has 55 international appearances to date — but he is also the only one at his position from this group to have even debuted at this level.

That experience combined with his effort, selflessness, and finishing abilities will likely lead to another start this weekend, and is part of the reason why Berhalter has turned to Zardes so often throughout his time as manager of both the Columbus Crew and USMNT.

“When you look at Gyasi over the last couple years, he’s probably the leading American goal-scorer in Major League Soccer,” said Berhalter during a conference call on Monday. “He gives you 100% work rate in every single game he’s in, and there’s something to be said for that. That reliability, the fact that he does work for the team, he’s a very unselfish player, and he can score goals, so those things make it valuable.

“We don’t have a lot of depth in that position right now. It is a position of need and he’s a guy with his experience and his work rate and the way he fits into the team culture, makes him easy to select each camp.”

Having tallied 12 times to date with the USMNT, Zardes’ career rate for finding the back of the net at the international level is not overly impressive. His current scoring average stands at 0.21, which equates to about one goal per five matches. Zardes’ technical deficiencies and repeated struggles with his first touch have at times also limited his impact in games and seen the USMNT lose the ball rather easily.

That might be counterproductive for what Berhalter wants out of his possession-based system, but Zardes has other qualities that have made him a go-to option for the American coach.

“I think what I see is that people can be overlooking his strengths and focusing too much on his negatives,” said Berhalter. “We’ve never done that with Gyasi. When we first brought him to Columbus, all we did was focus on his strengths and try to put him in position where he could take advantage of that and he did that.

“In the national team, it’s very similar.”

Berhalter’s strategy for Zardes, whom he worked with for one season in Columbus, might just be working. The attacker netted six of his dozen USMNT career goals during Berhalter’s first year in charge of the program in 2019, scoring once against Ecuador and Guyana each and twice versus Trinidad & Tobago and Canada each.

In total, Zardes finished last year with six goals in 15 USMNT appearances. His scoring clip for 2019 was more productive at 0.40, or one goal per just over every two matches, than in any other year that he has played internationally.

Whether that trend carries over into this year remains to be seen, but right now Berhalter is overall pleased with what Zardes has given and delivered to the USMNT cause.

“We want to take advantage of what he brings to the team,” said Berhalter. “We want him to be able to help the team, and when he gets his opportunities to score to take advantage of that as well.

“By and large, he’s done that. I think he had five or six goals last year with the national team, and he’s been a great guy to have in the squad.”


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Redmond: We won't get carried away

Category : Football

Nathan Redmond insists Southampton’s players won’t get carried away after moving into the top half of the Premier League table.

Saints chalked up a fifth win in their last seven top-flight matches with a comfortable 2-0 success at Crystal Palace, in which Redmond himself broke the deadlock in some style.

Now just three points behind Manchester United in fifth, Saints are one of the form teams in the country, but the winger is not taking too much notice of the league table.

“We’re not focused on that,” he said. “I know it’s the old cliché, that it’s always the next game, but we just want to see how much we can improve game on game – where we’re going wrong, where we’re going right, what we need to do more of and what we need to improve.

“I think we’re massively proud, but at the same time we’re looking at games in the early part of the season, where we’re kicking ourselves because we should’ve picked up points.

“That’s the beauty of football – you always want to learn, and with the group of players we’ve got at the moment, it’s a really good environment to be in.

“I think we’re having fun because we’re seeing the hard work we’re doing come off – not just with the ball, but without the ball.

“When Ingsy is chasing down goalkeepers in the last minute, Jannik is winning headers and people are taking knocks here and there, the fans are right behind us, and that’s vitally important.

“There’s a lot of games still to play. The next game is against Tottenham in the cup, so that’s the most important one.”

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Gallery: Palace 0-2 Saints


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Claim your free Women's FA Cup tickets

Category : Football

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Sievwright: We're really excited

Category : Football

Southampton FC Women’s captain Shannon Sievwright has said her side are really excited, ahead of their St Mary’s debut in the FA Cup against Coventry United on Sunday.

St Mary’s is gearing up for an FA Cup double-header this weekend, as Southampton FC Women play host to Coventry United Ladies on Sunday (kick-off 1pm GMT).

Following the men’s clash with Tottenham on Saturday, Sievwright and her side have their own fourth-round tie against Championship opponents two leagues above them in the women’s football pyramid.

Admission for the match is FREE to all supporters, but fans are advised to secure their seats early.


CLAIM FREE TICKETS TO SEE SOUTHAMPTON FC WOMEN

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Women’s team to make St Mary’s debut


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Press conference (part one): Hasenhüttl's pre-Spurs address

Category : Football

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Women's Preview: Saints vs Coventry Utd

Category : Football

Southampton FC Women are set to make their St Mary’s debut on Sunday, hosting Coventry United in the Women’s FA Cup fourth round (1pm GMT).

Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side drew FA Women’s Championship side Coventry following wins over Yeovil Town and Cardiff City, both from the division above, in the previous two rounds.

Yeovil took Saints all the way to penalties in round two, with Spacey-Cale’s side progressing as narrow spot-kick winners.

That set up a meeting with Cardiff, where goals from Ella Pusey and Kirsty Whitton overturned an opener from the Welsh outfit, to emerge deserved 2-1 victors.

Head Coach Spacey-Cale, a previous winner of this competition, has said that a match against a Championship side offers her team the opportunity to benchmark their own development.

“I think the FA Cup is a way of finding out where we’re at,” she commented. “Playing a team from the Championship; that’s our aspiration at the minute.

“We want to get to that league and beyond. For us to come up against this kind of team, it’s a great chance for us to see where we are at in our development.”

It’s an opinion also shared by captain Shannon Sievwright, who is clear about the size of the task ahead.

“They’ll have experienced players, they’ll play with a high tempo,” she said. “They’ll have good game management and knowledge, so we have to focus on us on what we can do to maximise our strengths.

“Sunday will be another challenge for us and another great experience to see where we’re at. So hopefully we can continue to grow.
“Playing at St Mary’s is going to be an amazing opportunity for all the girls. We’ve got to do the club proud!”
Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game and are FREE for all supporters.


CLAIM FREE TICKETS TO SEE SOUTHAMPTON FC WOMEN

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Hasenhüttl: We're motivated to progress

Category : Football

Ralph Hasenhüttl believes Southampton were unlucky not to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup following an entertaining 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s, forcing a replay.

Sofiane Boufal cancelled out Son Heung-min’s opener late in the second period, but the hosts had chances to clinch it, with Danny Ings going closest to a winner.

The draw means Saints’ winter break will be cut short in two weeks time, when Hasenhüttl’s side will travel to north London to contest for a place in the last 32 of the competition.

“It was a good game,” the manager asserted. “A lot of chances for us and for them. I think in the end we came close to winning.

“Ingsy was a little bit unlucky today but was always dangerous in the box. He’s fantastic. Also the subs did a good job today, all three that came on.


we had a lot of chances in the end, the only pity is that we have a replay.


ralph hasenhüttl

“That’s the reason why we need every player. We changed the shape also. In the cup it’s all or nothing.

“We had a lot of chances in the end, the only pity is that we have to have a replay. I would have liked to have a decision today, either winning or losing.

“There are so many games in England, I don’t understand. But this is the rule and we have to accept that.

“For the players this isn’t easy, because they don’t get much time off. It’s frustrating, but we are motivated to go to the next round.”

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Saints leave it late to earn dramatic cup replay


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Saints bow out of the Women's FA Cup

Category : Football

Sun 26 Jan 1PM

Womens FA Cup

Southampton

1

Coventry United

4

Rachel Panting [90+3′]

Shannon O’Brien [55′]
Fiona Worts [59′] [65′] [90+1′]

Referee: Tom Ellsmere
|
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium
|
Attendance: 4,510

Southampton FC Women were defeated 4-1 by Coventry United in their St Mary’s debut, meaning an end was bought to their FA Cup run.

A dominant spell midway through the second half saw Coventry gain a healthy lead; Shannon O’Brien with the first before a double from FIona Worts.

The visitors added a fourth in stoppage time as Worts claimed her hat-trick, before Rachel Panting gained the loudest cheer of the afternoon with her consolation for Saints; a thunderous effort which left the keeper with no chance.

Coventry United had the first chance of the game; Hayley Crackle heading towards goal following a free kick which Rendell held onto comfortably after just six minutes.

Ella Morris gave the Saints faithful something to cheer in the opening stages with a trademark, pacy run down the left wing; her eventual cross narrowly missing Panting’s darting run into the box.

Ella Pusey sizes up a first-half chance (Photo: Isabelle Field)

Coventry soon had another glimpse at the Saints goal; Shannon O’Brien rising highest from a corner but missing the target.

It was a very end-to-end opening 15 minutes, Pusey seemingly put clean through but her shot was drilled narrowly wide.

Pusey had another glorious chance to put Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side ahead just shy of the 20-minute mark, played in by Ware and skipping past the keeper but denied by a last-ditch challenge.

Rendell was then called into action, glancing a header from Amber Hughes over the crossbar following a Coventry breakaway.

Rachel Woods in possession. (Photo: Isabelle Field)

The game turned into more of a midfield battle as the half wore on, with both sides evenly matched in terms of physicality and skill.

Saints further tested the Coventry defence in the 33rd minute; Caitlin Morris heading goal wards, but ultimately just over, following a Sievwright corner.

With five minutes to go before the break Pusey was involved again for Saints, latching onto a deep cross from Ware but her eventual shot eventually being blocked.

Seconds later, another chance for Saints’ number nine who, with the keeper rushing towards her, opted for the lob which went just over.

Ella Morris bursts away from her opponent. (Photo: Tom Mulholland)

The second half started just as the first ended, another opportunity for Pusey after being brilliantly played through by Ella Morris.

Pusey was in one-on-one, but under pressure from the onrushing keeper had the ball nicked away from her feet at the vital moment.

Panting then had an effort from just outside the penalty area; firing a fierce effort towards goal which keeper Sue Wood fumbled but then collected. 

Then, against the run of play, Coventry took the lead with a sublime strike into the far corner courtesy of O’Brien, leaving Rendell with no chance.

Pusey beats the ground in frustration following an early second half chance. (Photo: Isabelle Field)

Saints had a chance to respond through Pharoah, but her effort was drilled just wide of the near post.

It would prove to be costly for Saints, who soon went 2-0 behind; Worts finding space in the box and doubling Coventry’s lead just shy of the hour mark.

In a spell of dominance Coventry added a third, Worts with her second of the game hitting an effort across goal in the 65th minute.

With the visitors in control, the chances dried up for both sides as the rain continued to fall heavily over St Mary’s.

Saints never game up though; substitute Woods firing in a cross which came inches away from meeting the head of Panting in the middle with five to play.

With the game drawing to a close, Worts completed her hattrick to make it 4-0, hitting an effort across the face of the goal with seconds remaining.

But there was still time for a special moment; Panting picked up the ball and let fly, beating a helpless keeper and giving St Mary’s its loudest cheer of the game.

Related

Video: Le Tissier surprises Saints stars

Southampton

1

Kayla Rendell (GK)

2

Ella Morris

4

Kirsty Whitton

Rosanna Parnell (83′)


8

Phoebe Williams

Shannon Albuery (69′)


9

Ella Pusey

10

Shannon Sievwright (C)

12

Sophia Pharoah

16

Caitlin Morris

17

Alisha Ware

Rachel Woods (80′)


19

Rachel Panting

22

Charley Evans

5

Rosanna Parnell

6

Kelly Fripp

13

Sara Luce

21

Rachel Woods

24

Shannon Albuery

Coventry United

1

Sue Wood (GK) (C)

3

Sian Johnson

4

Nicci Miles

6

Marie Gauntlett

Kate Evans (80′)


7

Simran Jhamat

Becky Anderson (69′)


9

Shannon O’Brien

11

Amber Hughes

12

Hayley Crackle

Fion Morgan (83′)


15

Helen Dermody

18

Bethan Merrick

19

Fiona Worts

17

Kate Evans

21

Katy Morris

25

Fion Morgan

27

Becky Anderson

43

Lucy Gardner


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