ESPN

Prospects Cup features 16 boys' u-12 teams from nine countries including the U.S.

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:44:00 PST

Youth football kicks into high gear next week. Sixteen boys' under-12 teams from nine countries will compete at the Prospects Cup, which runs from Dec. 18-22 in Kissimee, Fla. Representing the United States are FC Dallas (Frisco, TX), Global Premier Soccer (Boston, MA), LA Galaxy (Los Angeles, CA), Orlando City SC (Orlando, FL), Real Jersey FC (Medford, NJ), Sockers FC (Chicago, IL), Tuzos Soccer Club (Phoenix, AZ) and Weston Soccer Club (Miami, FL). Meanwhile, competing international teams are AS...

Power Rankings: Man City stay top, Man United drop, Real Madrid return

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:10:00 PST

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop presents his latest power rankings, as Man City remain top and Real Madrid crack the top 10. The FC panel discuss the positive impact Pep Guardiola has had on English football and whether or not his City side can finish the season unbeaten. ESPN FC's Mark Ogden and Man City correspondent Jonathan Smith assess City's chances of finishing the Premier League season unbeaten. Janusz Michallik and Mark Donaldson delve into the finer points of Man City's derby win and its impact on the title race. Is there any stopping the top team in England? They stay at No. 1, while below them, their local rivals slip and two Portuguese sides are on the up. Dropping out: Chelsea, Liverpool. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV! Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

Introducing football's next generation -- Star Wars: The Last Jedi-style

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:09:00 PST

We all know who dominates the football galaxy right now: the likes of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba. But who's leading the next generation? Drawing inspiration from the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," we used the Force to select the best young players primed to rule the sport in a few years' time, if not sooner. We give you: the ESPN FC / Star Wars under-21 starting XI.  Gabriel Jesus (striker), 20, Man City At 20, you'd expect Gabriel Jesus to be a lightweight...

Scouting Spotlight: Houssem Aouar, Cenk Tosun, Donny van de Beek

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 02:03:00 PST

Houssem Aouar has been attracting plenty of attention. Scouting Spotlight takes a look at the new star at Lyon, the man who has Besiktas firing on all cylinders, and a gem from Ajax. Houssem Aouar - Lyon Another shining example of the abundance of talent in Lyon's academy, Aouar joined the club as an 11-year-old after starting out at Nabil Fekir's former youth team, AC Villeurbanne. He made his first-team debut last season and has continued to impress in the current campaign. Playing style A versatile midfielder with excellent technique,...

Are Manchester City the best team ever in the Premier League?

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:57:00 PST

The FC panel discuss the positive impact Pep Guardiola has had on English football and whether or not his City side can finish the season unbeaten. With the first Manchester derby of the season set in the books, Stewart Robson reviews the match and the exact moment Manchester City took the win. Pep Guardiola says he encouraged his players to celebrate their Manchester derby win, but insists they did it in the changing rooms. Manchester City are a fine team. They deserve their double-digit lead at the top of the Premier League. As the halfway mark of the campaign approaches, Pep Guardiola's team remain unbeaten. Just how good are they? The most obvious point of comparison in the Premier League era is Arsenal's Invincibles, the side that were unbeaten in the 2003-04 season. Arsene Wenger's team share many similarities with City. Arsenal had guile and pace up front and could attack at a speed that blew their rivals...

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates fifth Ballon d'Or by topping Power Rankings

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:39:00 PST

After scooping up his fifth Ballon d'Or award, Cristiano Ronaldo capped off his week with a brace to top our Player Power Rankings. Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals led the way for Real Madrid in their 5-0 win over Sevilla. ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh off another Ballon d'Or triumph, tops our list. 1. Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid Why he's here: Ronaldo celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or by netting a brace in Real Madrid's 5-0 walloping of Sevilla on Saturday. 2. Lionel Messi | Barcelona Why he's here: Messi scored once as Barcelona beat Villarreal 2-0 on Sunday. It was the Argentine's 525th goal for the club, tying Gerd Muller for most goals...

Who makes the FC 100 Best XI? Ronaldo, Messi, Kane and more

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:20:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 revealed the best players by position, but who would make the best team if you put them together? We select our XI from the list. GK: Manuel Neuer There's a sentimental temptation to call Gianluigi Buffon the best goalkeeper in the world, and certainly a strong case to be made for David De Gea. But once more Neuer was our choice, despite injuries that have kept him out of the Bayern side for a good portion of this season. The frequent line about Neuer is that he has "redefined" the role...

What makes a good derby? Anatomy of the Merseyside, Manchester rivalries

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:17:00 PST

Alison Bender previews the Manchester derby as Manchester United prepare to host Manchester City at Old Trafford. Don Hutchison and Alison Bender discuss Everton's chances of a first win at Anfield since 1999. The sheer paranoia, fuss and aggressive energy that goes into them is quite something. And that's just in the days leading up to a domestic derby. In the space of a few hours Sunday, Merseyside and Manchester will host their own hyperlocal square-ups at Anfield and Old Trafford, feeding the obsession with a fixture that offers as many points as any other. But what makes a classically great derby game? Globally local These double-derby days are a convenient quirk of the mythical "fixture...

Power Rankings: Man City claim top spot, Bayern make a move, PSG tumble

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 04:14:00 PST

Stewart Robson offers a solution for Manchester City to be more dominant against teams that want to play deep in their own half. Craig Burley shares his thoughts on whether or not Pep Guardiola is playing mind games with Jose Mourinho on David Silva's fitness. All change! The longtime leaders pay the price for a bad week, while English clubs benefit from their inspired Champions League form. Dropping out: Napoli, Valencia. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV! Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

Neuer, Lewandowski talk to ESPN FC about being No. 1 in FC 100

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 09:52:00 PST

The ESPN FC crew make a case that David De Gea, not Manuel Neuer, should be the top goalkeeper on the ESPN FC 100. Stewart Robson discusses the particular assets Robert Lewandowski brings to Bayern Munich. Stewart Robson discusses the particular assets Robert Lewandowski brings to Bayern Munich. The 2017 ESPN FC 100 was released on Monday and the reactions have been strong around the football world. Wednesday saw Man City and Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne discussing his ranking as the top attacking midfielder in the world. On Thursday, Bayern Munich stars Manuel Neuer (No. 1 goalkeeper) and Robert Lewandowski (No. 1 striker) talk to ESPN FC about their progress. Manuel Neuer ESPN FC: It's been a difficult year for you, one beset with injuries. Are you pleased that you've been rated...

FC 100 trio Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godin talk to ESPN

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 09:41:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The ESPN FC crew all have varying opinions as to who claims top spot in the ESPN FC 100 list of centre-backs. The 2017 ESPN FC 100 was released on Monday and the reactions have been strong around the football world. Wednesday saw Man City and Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne discussing his ranking as the top attacking midfielder in the world. On Thursday, Bayern Munich stars Manuel Neuer (No. 1 goalkeeper) and Robert Lewandowski (No. 1 striker) shared their thoughts with ESPN FC. So too did three of the most prominent South American stars in the list, Luis Suarez (No. 2 striker), Diego Godin (No. 4 centre-back)...

FC 100: Beyond the names, a deeper look at the players included

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 01:10:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. In the ongoing debate about the best players in the world, our FC 100 breaks down the game's stars by position. Beyond the lists of names, we dug into the data to look at the age and value of those included, as well as where they play and where they are from.  So there you have it; further information about the men who make up our final lists. Agree? Disagree? Let us know by leaving a comment! 

Meet David Olaoye, the first English professional to play in Argentina

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 12:55:00 PST

David Olaoye poses for a photo in front of the El Porvenir club badge. BUENOS AIRES -- David Olaoye had a dream. "I wanted to play in Argentina," explains the 21-year-old Englishman. "I told my mother and she didn't like the idea. She asked me why I wanted to play so far away. But I love Argentinian football, the passion of the fans, [Lionel] Messi, the Boca-River rivalry, the strong type of the football. I've watched it on television and thought 'I want to be there.'" Playing in a foreign country is nothing new -- the best Argentinian footballers move to Europe, for...

Scouting Spotlight: Serge Gnabry, Odsonne Edouard and Ollie Watkins

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 07:26:35 PST

Serge Gnabry struck twice over the weekend in Hoffenheim's 4-0 win against RB Leipzig. Scouting Spotlight takes a look at loanees from Bayern and PSG who are flying in their respective new homes and a Championship newcomer making his mark. Serge Gnabry -- Hoffenheim (on loan from Bayern Munich) After missing much of the season through injury, Gnabry returned to the Hoffenheim lineup in late November and demonstrated his quality at the weekend with a brace in a pulsating 4-0 win over RB Leipzig. Playing style A powerful and pacy dribbler, Gnabry can play across the front line...

FC 100 ranking tries to put the team ahead of the individuals

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 09:58:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. ESPN's Gab Marcotti delves into the managers that cracked the ESPN FC 100 Top 10. ESPN's Shaka Hislop talks about the goalkeepers on the ESPN FC 100 list and also gives us his top 10. The genesis of the ESPN FC 100 lies in recognizing specialists and trying to compare apples and apples in a way others do not. The fact of the matter is football skews towards those who attack, who score and who exist in the final third. Football awards and rankings follow suit. We can't help ourselves. We are obsessed with the guys who score the goals and the guys who make the passes that lead to goals. It's some primal thing and we live in a world of highlights geared towards that end. A center-back's...

Besiktas eyeing place in Europe's elite after group success in UCL

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 05:02:00 PST

Senol Gunes has been a key part of the club's success. ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Turkish football has a new standard-bearer in European competition: Besiktas have broken record after record in the Champions League this season as they became the first Super Lig side to book a place in the knockout phase as group leaders -- something they achieved before Wednesday's final group game with RB Leipzig has even been played. Besiktas have emerged from the shadows of their noisy neighbours Galatasaray and Fenerbahce to take Istanbul's footballing throne. With back-to-back...

Hat-trick hero Perisic tops Power Rankings ahead of Brignoli, De Gea

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 10:47:00 PST

Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes react to this week's Player Power Rankings, which feature two goalkeepers in the top three. Relive all of David De Gea's saves from his brilliant performance in Man United's win over Arsenal. ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top performers from the weekend's action.  1. Ivan Perisic | Inter Why he's here: A hat trick vs. Chievo took his season tally to seven and was the star turn in a 5-0 victory that sent Inter to the top of Serie A. 2. Alberto Brignoli | Benevento Why he's here: The goalkeeper headed a 95th-minute equaliser to give Benevento their first point of the season after 14 straight defeats.  3. David De Gea | Manchester United Why he's here: 

FC 100: The most overvalued and undervalued players in our countdown

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 07:02:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. All markets are prone to bubbles and the transfer market for footballers, where individuals are treated like commodities and valued by pundits and fans alike, is no different. This means that several players are significantly undervalued and, at the other end, overvalued. Football Whispers' unique Player Value algorithm estimates a footballer's market value based on their current and future performance. To do so, we take into account market inflation, the player's age, the competitions in which...

FC 100: Explaining Player Value, new metric with Football Whispers

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 06:54:00 PST

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. What is Lionel Messi worth to Barcelona? What would he be worth to Manchester City? How much would it cost to bring him to Manchester? These questions may initially seem almost identical but in reality they are anything but. The concept of the "value" of football players dominates coverage and debate, but it is very difficult to nail down conceptually. Is a player's value what a club should pay, or what they would have to? In an article for the New York Times, Rory Smith describes how an expert...

World Cup Draw: Russia 2018 teams learn their fate for next summer

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 09:59:00 PST

The ESPN FC panel give their thoughts on the 2018 World Cup draw. The World Cup draw is set, and all 32 teams now know who they will face in Russia next summer.  Click on the groups below to get the full lowdown ahead of the big kickoff. Each group has the top line view, predicted finish, must see match and a chance to pick your winner. Group A ESPN FC's Craig Burley does not feel Russia will emerge from Group A that also contains Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Uruguay. Hosts Russia face Mohamed Salah's Egypt and Luis Suarez's Uruguay, kicking off the tournament with a clash against Saudi Arabia on June 14. The FC team debate whether the hosts will be happy with their...


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