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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “US soccer”

Liverpool may just be able to pull off the title quest

liverpool title hopesThings could not have gone better last week for Liverpool, who now sit alone atop the Premier League table for the first time since Christmas Day.

After a week that saw the Reds take nine points from three matches, while Chelsea lost to Crystal Palace and Manchester City drew with Arsenal, the league title is waiting to come home to Anfield for the first time in 24 years.

All Liverpool has to do is reach out and take it  – which is easier said than done.

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Liverpool need to take three points off Spurs on Sunday

brendan-rodgers_2333533bThe heat is on Liverpool on Sunday when they take the pitch at White Heart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur.

Thanks to Manchester City’s win against Arsenal on Saturday, Liverpool has a chance to cut the Gunners lead to just two points. But with Chelsea and Everton also winning on Saturday, the Reds need to come home with three points against Spurs or run the risk of falling out of the top four.

That may be easier said than done for a squad that has taken just nine points in seven away matches this season. And Liverpool has lost six consecutive matches at White Hart Lane. However, Spurs have won just one of their last five league matches at home and have scored just seven goals in their past seven home games.

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World Cup draw may not be so bad for USMNT after all

world cup drawIt was a rough day for the U.S. Men’s National Team when the groups were drawn on Friday for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The U.S. landed in Group G with Germany (ranked No. 2 in the world) Portugal (No. 5) and Ghana (No. 24).

It’s not going to be easy, but after thinking about it over the weekend, it may not be as bad for the U.S. as we first feared.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann took the approach that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.

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USMNT looks to punch World Cup ticket tonight vs. Mexico

usa soccer mexico previewThe U.S. men’s national team will take the pitch tonight in Columbus, Ohio, with a chance to make it a very special night.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s team is currently in second place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, one point back of Costa Rica. The Ticos defeated the Americans on Friday night to break their 12-match winning streak. A win by the U.S. tonight at Columbus Crew Stadium, combined with a Honduras win or tie against visiting Panama, means the Americans can punch their ticket to next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, there is one thing standing in the way of the celebration – arch-rival Mexico.

Our preview of the match starts now at World Soccer Talk.

USMNT earns Gold Cup championship

damarcus-beasley-goldcup-single-image-cutExcellent job by the U.S. Men’s National Team in winning Sunday’s Gold Cup final, 1-0, over Panama.

Brek Shea’s goal in the 68th minute game the U.S. team its first trophy under coach Jürgen Klinsmann, even though Klinsmann was forced to watch the game from a luxury box after being suspended for the match because CONCACAF is a joke.

This is the fifth time the U.S. has won the Gold Cup, but the first since 2007.They also did it with a roster filled with several younger players seeing playing time and gaining valuable experience on the international level.

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Will Jurgen Klinsmann be on the bench for Gold Cup final?

Soccer: Gold Cup-USA vs HondurasThe U.S. Men’s National Team will be in Chicago on Sunday for the final of the 2013 Gold Cup, having earned a spot Wednesday night by beating Honduras.

What’s not clear is whether or not coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be joining him as he faces a suspension after being ejected near the end of Wednesday’s semifinal for arguing a call.

We have the details in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo by USA Today)

From the editor’s notebook …

Michael Brantley, Nick SwisherA look at a few items that warrant attention but not necessarily a full post …

The Indians still have some fight in them

They made it a lot harder than it had to be, but the Cleveland Indians finally hit back against Detroit on Sunday.

After losing the opening two games of the series in rather unpleasant fashion, the Tribe bounced back on Sunday to beat the Tigers, 9-6, thanks to Michael Brantley’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brantley had two home runs and five RBI on the day, the fifth anniversary of the C.C. Sabathia trade that brought Brantley to Cleveland.

The win was just the Tribe’s sixth against Detroit in their last 20 games dating back to last season and it was made harder by the Tribe’s increasingly ineffective bullpen.

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Liverpool’s new kits? Thumbs down! USMNT? Thumbs up!

liverpool new kitsWhile we tend to be a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms, we admit to having a certain affinity for the off-beat.

The Oakland A’s uniforms of the early 1970s and the Houston Astros’ tequila sunrise uniforms of the 1980s, while garish to some, are ones that we particularly like. We wouldn’t even mind it if the Cleveland Browns experimented with wearing a chrome helmet from time to time, as long as it was orange.

But we just can’t get behind two of the kits that Liverpool will wear for the 2013-14 Premier League season.

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That’s why they call it a home-field advantage

usp-soccer_-world-cup-qualifier-costa-rica-at-usa-4_3_rx513_c680x510Costa Rica has filed a protest with FIFA – the governing body of world soccer – over the wintery conditions during Friday night’s game with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

According to the Costa Rican Football Federation, the “physical integrity” of the players and officials was comprised by the snow, ball movement was “impossible” and the players could not see the lines on the field.

“We have already handed a formal report and complaint within 24 hours post-match, according to regulations,” Eduardo Li, the federation’s president, told a Costa Rican television station. “It was terrible. While the match was being played, at the same time, machines and people came onto the field to clean the lines. These are embarrassing situations we should not accept.”

Not surprisingly, seeing as how the U.S. won the game and three important points in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica would like to replay the game under “more favorable conditions.”

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Time is now for the USMNT to pull it together

AP728010436248_crop_exactThe U.S. Men’s National Team, already facing the prospect of playing without starting goalie Tim Howard for the next few weeks, could be facing bigger issues as they face two important World Cup qualifying games.

While the squad should be focusing on Friday night’s game against Costa Rica and next week’s game on the road against Mexico, they are instead reportedly losing faith in coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s lineup choices.

Last month against Honduras, Klinsmann benched captain Carlos Bocanegra on the day of the game, a move that backfired as the inexperienced back four of Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson and Timmy Chandler had a rough day in the 2-1 loss in the opening game of their Hexagonal qualifying group.

“They never played together in any game, let alone a Hex,” Howard said after the loss. “The back four is all about jelling. It’s a frying pan. We don’t have time to learn.”

Klinsmann, who has fielded 24 different lineups in the 24 games he has been the coach, claims that disgruntled players are just par for the course.

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