Category: SOCCER JERSYES

What will Gerardo Martino’s first full Mexico squad look like?

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Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s first real Mexico national team squad will be out this week. Naturally, there will be a heavy emphasis put on the return of the Europe-based group, which the Argentine coach has already said will make up the bulk of the squad.

However, the most intriguing aspect will not be the return of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Andres Guardado, but which Liga MX players Martino includes in his first squad to face Chile (on March 22) and Paraguay (on March 26).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

There were clues to Martino’s direction in the February camp. Martino opted not to bring in experienced goalkeepers such as Jesus Corona and Alfredo Talavera, instead picking only two players over 30, 14 in the 20-25 age group and eight in the 25-30 range. The average age was 24.9 years.10

If a gradual generational change Martino has hinted at is to be seen ahead of the Gold Cup, it will have to come from within Liga MX; there is a relative absence of young Mexican players under the age of 25 in Europe: Only Hirving Lozano, Erick Gutierrez, Omar Govea and Diego Lainez are playing with any regularity in respectable leagues.

Let’s do the math. With Hector Herrera out due to issues arranging his Portuguese passport, there’s likely to be 11 Europe-based players making the trip over. Erick Gutierrez should make the squad, even if minutes have been hard to come by at PSV Eindhoven, while Oswaldo Alanis (Real Oviedo), Antonio Briseno (Feirense) and Govea (Royal Antwerp) probably haven’t done enough.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

In MLS, Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy) and Carlos Vela (LAFC) are set to make the cut, although Marco Fabian (Philadelphia Union) may be on the outside this time, given his lack of minutes since the World Cup.

That leaves only 12 places left in a 25-player squad, although we shouldn’t rule out Martino calling in more names.

Mexico-based players such as Carlos Salcedo (Tigres), Alvarez, Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Miguel Layun (Monterrey) and Victor Guzman (Pachuca) appear locked in. Then the goalkeeping pool will see Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna), Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa), Raul Gudino (Chivas) and Gibran Lajud (Club Tijuana) all in the mix to back-up Guillermo Ochoa.

For Barca and Brazil, Coutinho finds himself falling down the pecking order

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Ousmane Dembele is an injury doubt for Barcelona against Lyon in the return leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday. Neymar and Vinicius Junior are definitely out of Brazil’s friendlies later this month against Panama and the Czech Republic. It all means that, for both club and country, opportunity is knocking for Philippe Coutinho, but it knocks on both side of the door — the way in and the way out. Coutinho stands as the crossroads, and these next few days will surely shed some light on which way he is heading.

There are two problem areas for Coutinho: position and personality.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

There is nothing barnstorming or ostentatious about the 26-year-old. He comes across as an introverted figure; not the type, perhaps, to walk into a new environment, impose himself and bend it to his will. In truth, his is a career in which the step up has seldom been easy. With Brazil, for example, he was a flop at Under-17 level, and one of the supporting cast in the team that won the Under-20 World Cup. It took him years to become an important part of the senior side, not making his presence felt until the second half of the 2018 qualifiers.9

And in club football, there is a reason that Liverpool were able to make such a huge profit on him. They picked him up for a song from Inter Milan. The Italian giants had a long-term relationship with Coutinho, but appear to have given up on him, and let him leave for a token fee. Liverpool, though, made him feel important — as had Mauricio Pochettino in a previous loan spell at Espanyol.

Barcelona, however, is an altogether more challenging environment. From a psychological point of view, the club were not going to come to him. He had to go to them, fit into a structure built around Lionel Messi and still justify his massive transfer fee. So far, he has not been able to do that. The fans are losing patience — he was booed when he left the field towards the end of Saturday’s game against Rayo Vallecano. There is the danger of this treatment giving force to a spiral of lost self-esteem, in which a player low on confidence produces worse displays, thus leading to more criticism from the terraces.

The process could, of course, be reversed by an outstanding performance against Lyon, but this opens up the second problem area: Where should Coutinho play?cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale Is he the most attacking member of the midfield three, or a member of the attacking trio?

Barcelona appeared to acquire him in the belief that he could be the former, the replacement for their little maestro Andres Iniesta. But after a lengthy trial, coach Ernesto Valverde seems to have come to the conclusion that this is not Coutinho’s best role, that he is not a genuine midfielder and that using him there leaves the team too exposed from a defensive point of view. Valverde now sees Coutinho as a contender in his original position, as a wide member of the front three.

Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi should not be held back by age – Loftus-Cheek

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Hudson-Odoi came off the bench to cap a lively 12-minute cameo with Chelsea’s third goal in a 3-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League round-of-16 first leg on Thursday. And after the match, Loftus-Cheek said talent should be the only consideration when deciding his teammate’s minutes on the pitch.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“If he’s good enough, he’s good enough,” Loftus-Cheek said of Hudson-Odoi. “I think the manager knows him well.

“He sees him in training every day and he will make the decision. But Callum is doing well at the minute and that’s all you can do. I think he is doing so well now; he just wants to play. He is young, fresh, has that momentum. He is scoring so when he doesn’t start and feels he should, it’s part of the game.10

“I’ve told him: ‘You’re at a big club, you’re young, just keep your head focused and keep doing what you’re doing’ — like he did against Dynamo. He came on and did well.”

Hudson-Odoi submitted a formal transfer request in January after Bayern Munich bid £35 million to sign him, and fears remain that the 18-year-old will simply force his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer by threatening to run down his contract, which expires in June 2020.

Loftus-Cheek, who spent years on the fringes of Chelsea’s first-team squad before joining Crystal Palace on loan in 2017, said he sympathises with his teammate.

“I know what he is going through, having been at that age in the first team as well,” Loftus-Cheek said. “If I can help him do well, I’d love to do that.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“He is such a good kid and seeing him do so well I’m really happy for him — to give him that assist felt good.”

Loftus-Cheek’s own attempts to break into Chelsea’s starting XI under Sarri this season have been undermined by persistent back injuries, but the midfielder said he is cautiously optimistic that the worst of his fitness nightmare is behind him.

Liga MX W2W4: Monterrey and Tigres clash in Clasico Regio, La Volpe returns to Toluca

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It doesn’t get much bigger than this. A crosstown rivalry clash between the two title favorites will be one of the defining moments of the Clausura.

Sitting in the top two spots of the Liga MX table, Tigres and Monterrey have so far been the most impressive teams in 2019. Thanks to a reliable backline and a six-game winning streak, Tigres are currently sitting in first place on 22 points. Although Monterrey are one point behind their local rivals, Los Rayados’ attack remains the most dominant in the league.

At the risk of overlooking some of the X’s and O’s of the Clasico, there is very little between the two rivals who both boast an embarrassment of riches on the pitch. Even if Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac isn’t 100 percent fit and available this week, the upcoming match will still be a star-studded affair that will feature many of the league’s top talents.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale9

With some help from a restored attack, Tijuana has surpassed all expectations. A current position of fourth in the league table and a place in the quarterfinals of the Copa MX has caught even the most optimistic of Tijuana fans off guard. Benefitting from Pareja’s leadership on the sidelines, Xolos are also on an eight-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Will Pareja extend that streak to nine this Saturday against Pachuca?cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Even though they’ve have had some serious defensive issues this season, Los Tuzos have remained quite strong at home. In the last 11 league games at the Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca have collected eight victories and three draws. When looking at their previous Copa MX and Liga MX matches, Xolos have also never gained an away win over Pachuca.

After his early success with Tijuana, will Pareja be the first Xolos manager to steal three points at the Hidalgo?

Essam El-Hadary is about to break a World Cup record … just don’t ask him about his hands

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Essam El-Hadary’s face is broad and unlined. He has a majestic head of midnight-black hair. His eyes are clear, his smile is full, and his frame — 30 pounds lighter than it has been — is lean and unbent. He does not look 45 years old, like he’s about to become the oldest man to play in a World Cup. Sitting in a hotel lobby in Zurich, he looks more like a man at ease, like a titan of industry, content in his skin and the surrounding luxury. Only his hands betray the truth of his life and trade. He has the hands of a working man twice his age.

He holds them up for examination with equal parts pride and reticence. Seeing El-Hadary’s hands without gloves is a little jarring, like seeing a lion shaved of its mane. “Egyptian hands,” he calls them. They are huge and incalculably damaged. Several of his fingers look as though they’ve been smashed with hammers. He has knuckles where the human hand is not meant to have them.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Has he broken all of his fingers? “Almost,” he says, before tucking his hands back out of sight.10

He has been a professional goalkeeper since 1993, earning 156 caps for Egypt. Saves made, not goals allowed, have left the plainer scars. “Life has sometimes been difficult,” he says through a translator. “Football has made me. But I always feel like I’m at the beginning. I always feel like I’m starting over.”

El-Hadary seems destined to answer the call for Egypt once again in Russia. (His principal domestic rival, 26-year-old Ahmed El-Shenawy, injured his knee in April and will not be fit for the tournament.) El-Hadary has mixed feelings about the record he is poised to break, the way he feels conflicted when he’s asked to show his hands. He says he’s been beset by media requests. He has turned most of them down.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Goalkeepers have long been football’s most probable ancients. It’s the position for which wisdom can most compensate for physical decline. The World Cup’s longevity record is held, at least for the moment, by Faryd Mondragon, who was 43 when he played goal for Colombia in 2014. Dino Zoff remains the oldest winner of a World Cup; he was 40 when he captained Italy to victory in 1982. Peter Shilton of England and Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland also played into their 40s.

El-Hadary looks to outstrip them not by weeks or months but by years. In Africa, he is already regarded as an all-time great — Didier Drogba called him his “best opponent” — but he knows that breaking Mondragon’s mark, possibly during Egypt’s opener against Uruguay on June 15, will subject him to the most intense global attention of his storied career. He also knows too well every question that will follow.

The unbearable hope — and inevitable pain — of supporting England at a World Cup

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“You’ve got to face the fact there may now be a meltdown. OK?,” said a senior member of the squad this week. “I don’t want anybody to panic during the meltdown. No panic. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic. It’s going to be all right in the end.”

Yes, it’s time for another England World Cup campaign, and it doesn’t matter that the senior member of the squad is Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, or that he happened to be talking about the Brexit negotiations, now into what seems like their ninetieth year, and with no end in sight.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

An English World Cup campaign will almost certainly include a meltdown, and there will be panic, and introspection, and calls for something, anything, to be done to — or by, or for — somebody. But it’s going to be all right in the end. It’s just that as with Brexit, nobody knows when the end will be or whether any of you old enough to be reading this will live long enough to see it.9

England’s two friendly victories this past week, against a poor Nigeria team and a workmanlike Costa Rica, allowed the nation (or the nation’s football commentators, at least) to accentuate the positive. The thumping header with which Gary Cahill opened the scoring against Nigeria got them excited about set pieces; more ominously, it earned Cahill the man-of-the-match award. The willing, likeable but tortoise-paced centre-back is not the recipient one might have been hoping for in a home game against Nigeria, with Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling all up the other end.

In the game against Costa Rica, TV pundit and former England manager Glenn Hoddle enthused about the left-footed full-back Danny Rose putting a left-footed cross into the penalty area from the left side of the pitch. “Lovely to see,” said Hoddle. “Natural.“cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Nothing came from the cross and if you have a season ticket at Rochdale, you’ve probably seen something similar in every home game this season but keep it to yourself. England need to keep morale high and if that means praising an international footballer for kicking the ball with his stronger foot, then so be it. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic.

Arsenal ease past Bournemouth to keep hold of top four place

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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil marked his first Premier League start of 2019 with a goal and an assist as his side hammered Bournemouth 5-1 in their Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The German attacking midfielder had not started a game for Arsenal since their 1-1 draw away to Brighton & Hove Albion on December 26 due to a knee problem, but showed no ring rust as he rattled home the first goal in the fourth minute.

He then turned provider for the home side in the 27th minute, drawing out Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc before playing a simple pass to allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to fire into an empty net.10

Midfielder Matteo Guendouzi threw Bournemouth a lifeline shortly afterwards as he lost the ball on the edge of his own box to Dan Gosling, who squared it to Lys Moussett for a simple finish to make it 2-1.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

However, the revival was short-lived as Laurent Koscielny put Arsenal 3-1 up just after the break and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it four just before the hour mark, finishing a counter-attack by rounding Boruc and slotting the ball home.

Substitute Alexandre Lacazette completed the rout by scoring from a free kick 12 minutes from the end to hand Bournemouth their fourth defeat in their last five league games.

Chelsea bounce back to beat Tottenham with Kepa on bench

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Chelsea put their tumultuous League Cup final defeat behind them to revive their top-four hopes with a 2-0 victory over stuttering Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Under-pressure manager Maurizio Sarri made the bold decision to drop goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in favour of Willy Caballero after the Spaniard’s antics against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday when he refused to be substituted.

But Chelsea showed they are still behind the Italian with a deserved victory over their London rivals thanks to Pedro’s opener midway through the second half and a comical Kieran Trippier own goal late on.9

Chelsea remained in sixth spot, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game less.

Third-placed Tottenham’s slim title hopes now look extinguished after a second successive league defeat and they could have few complaints after a disappointing derby display.

Gonzalo Higuain was denied by the post early on for Chelsea while Spurs midfielder Harry Winks rattled the crossbar just before halftime.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Pedro fired Chelsea in front in the 57th minute, turning inside Toby Alderweireld before beating Hugo Lloris from a tight angle.

Tottenham huffed and puffed but shot themselves in the foot in the 84th minute when Trippier and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris got in a tangle and the full-back’s attempted back pass rolled in.

Tottenham are four points above Arsenal, who they host on Saturday, and five points above Manchester United.

Solskjaer’s arrival at Man United has led to more goals by in-form forwards

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Manchester United are not just winning games, they are doing so by scoring freely; the team that netted just 11 times in seven games before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager has scored 17 goals in the six played since then.

But while once shot-shy forwards have been praised — most often by their new boss — issues remain. Poor form saw Romelu Lukaku lose his place in the team; injuries mean Alexis Sanchez has played only 27 minutes of the five league games on Solskjaer’s watch; Jesse Lingard, who hit two in the Norwegian’s managerial debut at Cardiff, has not scored since.

Therefore, this is not a finely tuned machine, but rather one that is gradually cranking back into action, with some parts performing better than others. Across the board, though, confidence is up.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Marcus Rashford has become the main striker, vindicating Solskjaer’s faith by scoring in four of five league games having managed three in 14 and becoming deeply unhappy under Mourinho, when he wasn’t used in his favoured central role.10

Anthony Martial, meanwhile, has also started regularly and his mood is better than at the start of the season when he wanted to leave. His fellow Parisian Paul Pogba has scored four, set up four and been United’s best player since Solskjaer took charge, which bodes well for the upcoming Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

Andy Cole, who spent six years at the club and was a teammate of Solskjaer, still lives in Manchester, watches every game and considers himself a United fan. As a scorer of 121 goals while at Old Trafford, he is well qualified to evaluate the current crop of strikers.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“Romelu has got to find his mojo again,” Cole says of Lukaku. “He has come off the bench and scored two in two, but that mojo comes from confidence. I watched him this season under Jose and I could tell, as a former centre-forward myself, that he was low on confidence. The first thing which starts to go is your movement. Romelu wasn’t moving.

“You stop making the runs because you stop believing in yourself. I’ve been in that position and I’d watch him making hand gestures about where he wanted the ball to go, but psychologically you don’t really want the ball. It’s all about confidence and when his returns he’ll start scoring.”

Liverpool again show they will sacrifice style in favour of results on the road to the Premier League title

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In any title-winning season there are games that end up being almost forgotten: staging posts along the road that offer essential nourishment but nothing in the way of vivid scenery.

Should Liverpool see the job through in May, this laborious win over an excellently drilled Brighton side will only merit a few seconds of the highlight reel. It will not matter one bit, because these may prove to be their most important three points of the entire campaign.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Make no mistake, there were question marks over Jurgen Klopp’s side before this one; the smallest of signs that their narrow defeat at Manchester City had opened up wider wounds would have been seized upon. If that sounds harsh, it is just the way things work these days when you are in the throes of a title race with a margin for error that appears smaller than ever.

“From a maturity point of view, I would say it was the most mature of the season,” Klopp said of a slow-burning affair that was decided three minutes after half-time by a Mohamed Salah penalty. At full-time Klopp allowed himself an understated fist pump, and it was a reaction in character with the previous 90 minutes. There was not a lot to warm the blood — not even when Brighton, who had fulfilled one of Chris Hughton’s primary objectives by still being in the game with 10 minutes to go, sent the cavalry up at the end. But there was a coolness, a shared purpose, a diligence to Liverpool that has been the hallmark of their current campaign as much as the full-throttle approach that characterised the previous two.9

“We are not the Harlem Globetrotters,” Klopp said. “We have to deliver a result, and that’s difficult.” It was a revealing statement, because it reiterated that Liverpool are absolutely content to be mean and grim-faced when it suits them. Last season they won this fixture 5-1, blowing Brighton away either side of half-time. That never looked on the cards this time but nor, really, did any kind of mishap once they were ahead. With six minutes to play Roberto Firmino could be seen tracking back 30 yards to dispossess Anthony Knockaert, thwarting a promising counter for the hosts. in the time that remained there were big defensive interventions from Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk, and those were the moments that satisfied Klopp as much as any.c

“It was obviously a big challenge for everyone to stay calm and concentrated because each little situation can be a massive threat on the counter or whatever,” he continued. “And not to make any fouls because Brighton are unbelievably strong on set pieces. That level of concentration is difficult to keep, but they did it.“nike cheap nfl jerseys

It was a particular relief that Fabinho, whose increasing prominence in midfield had been a big factor in Liverpool’s recent form, stayed firm at the back. He faced a gnarled, wily customer in Glenn Murray, and when he let the striker go in the 15th minute, watching in relief as the resulting header looped over, their shortage of centre-back bodies seemed at risk of being laid bare. Fabinho took an arm in the face from Murray shortly afterwards but would respond later with one of his own; after that rocky start he looked well attuned to the physical battle and excelled just before the hour, too, with a vital block from Pascal Gross’s goal-bound shot.