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March 6, 2021

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The Gundogan Awards: Recognising Europe’s unlikely MVPs

ESPN
For most professional sports these days, we end up spending a lot of time marveling at two different groups of athletes: the players who should be past their respective primes but keep playing at a particularly elite level, and those who are coming for the throne. The Patrick Mahomeses vs.......

USWNT’s win less about perfection and more about passing crucial tests

ESPN
Watching the United States women’s national team is an exercise akin to finding flaws in the Sistine Chapel. On most days, there is nary an imperfection to be found. But on the rare occasions when a defect is located in the Americans’ play, there’s a discussion to be had about......

Julian Green’s USMNT plan: ‘Keep kicking butt’ until he gets another call

ESPN
Green’s reemergence in the German second division has prompted him and U.S. soccer fans to wonder: when will he rep the USMNT again? TF-Images/Getty Images Julian Green‘s career began almost perfectly. Just weeks after his 19th birthday, he checked two huge items off of his career bucket list: (1) sign with......

Premier League midseason awards: Best XI, worst signings, best young players and more

ESPN
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, Liverpool’s Diogo Jota and the Spurs duo of Son-Heung Min and Harry Kane all stand out in different midseason rankings. ESPN Illustration The end of Tuesday’s Chelsea–Leicester City match on Tuesday marked the rough midway point of the 2020-21 Premier League season. With the coronavirus still looming......

Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Tale of the tape, tactical battle, predictions

ESPN
Jan 15, 2021 Tom Hamilton Close Senior Writer • Joined ESPN in 2011• Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours• Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018 Rob Dawson The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United has been quiet in recent years......

USMNT 2021 to-do list: Find a striker, build depth behind stars

ESPN
In a year that was interrupted around the world by the coronavirus pandemic, the United States men’s national team played just four matches in 2020. With so few opportunities for manager Gregg Berhalter to get his team together, it amounts to a lost year in the program’s evolution as U.S.......

Premier League transfers on a budget: Affordable options for Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and more

ESPN
It’s not completely impossible to acquire a game-changer in the January transfer window; Manchester United did just last year in acquiring Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, after all. Still, it’s pretty rare. January is often a time for fringe moves and stopgaps, with teams preparing to spend much larger sums......

Clock ticking for Euro 2020: Can the tournament go ahead?

ESPN
There are just over 150 days until the start of the delayed Euro 2020. With Europe still battling to control the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of Italy meeting Turkey in the tournament’s curtain-raiser in Rome on June 11 seems so far beyond a distant horizon that it hardly seems credible......

Liverpool truly collapsing, Man City set to take over? Introducing the Panic Index

ESPN
On Nov. 1, Manchester United sat in 15th place in the Premier League, having lost three of their first six matches. At the same time, they were sitting as pretty as possible in Champions League play, having already beaten PSG and RB Leipzig. According to FiveThirtyEight, their odds of winning......

Premier League and COVID-19: Anxiety over schedule, burnout and ‘Long COVID’ for players, clubs

ESPN
COVID-19 is threatening to wreck the Premier League schedule. There were three matches postponed in the English top flight in December and one in January, the first since “Project Restart” saw football return in June, with further matches threatened due to a spike in positive cases and number of stars......

Weekend’s must-see matches: Man United are surprise contenders

ESPN
With the Bundesliga and Serie A returning after short winter breaks (stream games LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.), New Year’s weekend is a good time to soak in a bunch of story lines. So let’s set the table for the days ahead, with a look at several intriguing matchups,......

Solskjaer knows at Man United only titles will suffice

ESPN
12:58 PM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a fan of statistics and he can tell you that his Manchester United players are running further, creating more and giving up fewer chances than at any point during his two years in charge at Old Trafford. But really there are......

Man United, Spurs, Milan in trouble? How big five leagues are managing minutes amid hectic season

ESPN
Over the past six months, Manchester United‘s Harry Maguire has played 38 matches in all competitions, logging a total of 3,421 minutes. In the six months before the coronavirus stoppage — so, mid-September 2019 to mid-March 2020 — he put in 40 matches for 3,552 total minutes. Teammate Bruno Fernandes......

Solskjaer exclusive: Man United manager on their trophy chase, Pogba’s future, more

ESPN
5:00 AM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sat down for the traditional Manchester United Christmas lunch in the Carrington canteen on Tuesday and has every reason to be filled with festive cheer this year. His team are third in the Premier League, five points behind leaders Liverpool with a......

Leicester City are Premier League’s ‘best of the rest’ outside big six. How good can they be?

ESPN
Leicester City aren’t too far removed from their incredible Premier League title, but it’s a brand-new team in 2020. How good are they? Laurence Griffiths/PA Images via Getty Images Let’s attempt a small exercise. For each of the last five full Premier League seasons, and for each club that isn’t among......

How Prem bosses coached their teams through the silence

ESPN
Jurgen Klopp’s staff and players will surely never forget it. Back on Sept. 20 when Liverpool went to Chelsea in the Premier League and walked away 2-0 winners, the absence of fans at Stamford Bridge, like in pretty much every stadium around the world, gave us a great insight of......

Solskjaer finished at Man United? Woodward thinks he can deliver Premier League title

ESPN
3:30 AM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent Ed Woodward doesn’t like the phrase “on the brink.” It’s too simple, according to Manchester United‘s executive vice-chairman, because it implies the next result can determine whether he will back or sack a manager. He has dismissed three since getting the top job at Old......

USMNT golden generation? Why Pulisic, Reyna & Co. are on course to make a run at 2022 World Cup

ESPN
This past summer, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the USWNT’s 2019 World Cup title, I took a look back at each of the country’s Women’s World Cup squads and ranked them. It was a fun exercise, and it reinforced a pretty simple idea: age balance matters. A country will......

Man United, Real Madrid could bow out of UCL in pivotal week

ESPN
The Champions League group stage has reached its climax, with seven places in the round of 16 still up for grabs. – How teams can qualify for round of 16– When is the UCL draw? The crucial action comes in Group H as Man United, PSG and RB Leipzig fight......

Pirlo’s vision for Juventus: Bad news for Ronaldo, midfielders vital

ESPN
Andrea Pirlo, center, is trying to revamp Juventus and extend their Serie A dynasty. How is he doing? Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images Few things in life make me happier than a well-crafted (American) football playbook. It lays out a coach’s foundational principles and underlying philosophy. It defines how they......

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