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Former USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones announces retirement – football news

Former U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones has announced his retirement. 

The 36-year-old, who most recently played for the LA Galaxy in MLS last season, confirmed his retirement with a post on Instagram. 

Jones emerged as a midfield force early in his career, spending several seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt and then Schalke in the Bundesliga. 

The Frankfurt-born player earned three caps for Germany early in his career, but was able to switch to the United States due to his father’s American citizenship. 

Jones would go on to become an integral part of the U.S. national team, earning 69 caps between 2010 and 2017.

He scored four goals for the U.S., most memorably a long-range strike against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup.  

Following the 2014 World Cup Jones moved to Major League Soccer, where he would play for the New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids in addition to the Galaxy.

“After 18 years I say good bye,” Jones said on Instagram.

“I have a clear vision, after I had a couple of months to concentrate on what comes next!!! THANKS to all my teammates, coaches and clubs who stuck with me & believed in me through all of the years.

“And a special thanks to all the fans who supported me all the way. See you all soon.”

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After 18 years I say good bye. I have a clear vision, after I had a couple of months to concentrate on what comes next!!! THANKS to all my teammates, coaches and clubs who stuck with me & believed in me through all of the years. And a special thanks to all the fans who supported me all the way. See you all soon ✌🏽🙏🏽!!! Good luck for the game today. #🇺🇸vs🇧🇷

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Jones’ retirement marks the second former U.S. national team star to call it quits in as many weeks, after Clint Dempsey hung up his boots last week. 

The 36-year-old has been taking coaching certification classes, signaling his intent to go into management following his playing career. 

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England-born Robinson is fully committed to USMNT, and looks like left back of the future – football news

Antonee Robinson sat on a plane heading to the United States three years ago, doing his best to learn the words to a song he probably hadn’t spent much time thinking about before that trip.

Born and raised in England, Robinson was heading to U.S. Under-18 national team camp, his first call-up for a country he was eligible to play for, but had never lived in. As soon as the surprise call-up came, Robinson’s father let him know what he needed to do.

“My dad was the first one who said, ‘you’ll have to learn it,'” Robinson told Goal. “It was one of the first things he said. When I got called up he said, ‘you’ll need to learn the national anthem.’”

Robinson learned the words on that trip, and still knows them by heart. But after that one U-18 camp he hadn’t had a reason to use them, until a March call-up to the U.S. national team that he didn’t see coming.

It was an opportunity he has now capitalized on fully.

The 21-year-old defender has emerged as the leading candidate to fill the left back position for the United States in the next World Cup qualifying cycle. He has just two caps under his belt, but the early impression he has made has catapulted him from being relative unknown in U.S. Soccer circles, to a player seen as one of the team’s fastest-rising prospects.

How did Robinson come to be eligible for the United States? His England-born father Marlon moved to the United States during his childhood, living there nine years and going on to play college soccer at Duke University.

He secured his U.S. citizenship during that time, and several years later he took the proactive step to secure U.S. citizenship for his young son and daughter. As far as Antonee knew, the new passport his father got for him was going to help him have an easier time traveling stateside for family vacations.

Little did he know that passport would also clear a path for him to play international soccer.

The USMNT program came calling in March, around the same time that England’s Under-21 team reached out to him to attend a camp. It was the first time Robinson had ever been contacted by an England team on any level. 

“It just wasn’t even a decision,” Robinson said. “I was just like, ‘it’s clear to me which country showed more faith in me.’ Not only picking me at the youth level, but picking me for the first team, so I had to show that commitment right back.”

Robinson made his USMNT debut against Bolivia in May, earning a start despite admitting to letting nerves get the better of him in that training camp. The U.S. coaches saw through the nerves and still gave him his opportunity, and he responded with a strong performance in a 3-0 USA victory.

“When I found out I was starting the game it was pretty surreal,” Robinson said. “I remember at the start of camp I was quite nervous. I wasn’t performing as well as I wanted to be in training. Then the manager called in players into individual meetings and they called me in and they told me, ‘look, we’ve seen you’re quite nervous but you’re starting this game. We want you to be confident. You’re here for a reason so seize it.’”

Robinson did that with an outstanding performance that earned him another start against mighty France.

Antonee Robinson Antoin Griezmann 06082018

“It was like a movie,” Robinson said of the France friendly. “It was like being stood in the tunnel of a FIFA game and looking at every single star about to come out. It was surreal.”

Robinson didn’t let a sold-out crowd in Lyon, or France’s star-studded lineup overwhelm him as he held his own in another good showing that reinforced the growing sentiment that he was the future of the U.S. left back position.

A product of the Everton youth academy, Robinson has spent nine years at the Liverpool-based club, making the move up from the academy to the first team. He has yet to break into Everton’s first team, but a successful loan stint at Bolton last season was enough to convince the Toffees to sign him to a new deal as a potential future long-term replacement for Leighton Baines. Robinson could have made the decision to play out his contract and become a free agent next summer, but decided staying with his childhood club was the best move.

“It just showed to me that they give me a lot of faith with a three-year deal,” Robinson said. “They clearly have it in their mind that I should be starting or at least competing to be their left back. When a team shows you that sort of faith that’s a team you want to stay with.”

Everton sent him out on loan again this summer, to a Wigan club that is off to a flying start in the Championship. Robinson has played a key part in that early success, and is looking very much like a prospect moving closer to being ready to start for Everton.

“As long as I keep consistently getting better, not only for my club but for the U.S. as well, I’ll be in a good position,” Robinson said. “if I can keep showing that I can play well and keep developing areas of my game, who knows, then next year that could be the next step for me.”

“Fortunately I’ve gone to a club that plays really good football,” Robinson said of Wigan. “They’ve just come up and they’re really ambitious so we’ve gotten off to a great start at the minute.”

Antonee Robinson Wigan 08252018

Robinson will be hoping to carry that good club form into the USA’s upcoming friendlies against Brazil on Friday, and Mexico on Tuesday. As the latest dual-national to don the U.S. colors, Robinson acknowledges that there may be some doubts among fans about how committed he is, and just what playing for the United States means to him. 

He plans to keep letting his play show how committed he is.

“Every time I step onto the field for the U.S. it means something to me,” Robinson said. “I’m representing what I say is my country now. The fans have been really great towards me. I can understand where they come from in terms of some players wanting to choose which country they want to play for.”

Robinson also admitted that he’s looking forward to the USMNT’s upcoming friendly in November against England. He isn’t taking for granted that he will be called in but knows that if he is, there will be dozens of friends and family members ready to make the trip to London to watch him.

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And what will he do when the national anthems play that day? Robinson definitely won’t be singing “God Save the Queen.”

“No chance,” Robinson said. “I’ll watch respectfully, but I won’t sing it.”

Robinson is only singing one national anthem these days, and he knows the words by heart.

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Brazil star Arthur humbled by Messi praise – football news

Arthur has thanked his new Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi for his praise of the new Brazil midfielder.

Former Gremio man Arthur joined Barca in June and this week is hoping to make his international debut as the Selecao face USA and El Salvador on the Brasil Global Tour.

And on Wednesday Arthur expressed his pride after Messi compared him to former Barca great Xavi.

“I’m very happy to receive that praise from Messi, particularly as it’s him, an exceptional guy. There are no words to express how much he means to football,” Arthur told the press in New Jersey.

“It is a great responsibility to defend Barcelona and Brazil. I have been welcomed by both and the adaptation has gone well with both so far.”

Arthur looks set to miss out on a starting role against USA on Friday, with Fred slotting into midfield alongside Casemiro and Philippe Coutinho, but is expected to play some part in the game and will be targeting a full international bow on Tuesday against El Salvador.

“I am not in direct competition with Fred, we can play together, but it’s a fair and healthy battle anyway,” he said. 

“Those of us who are coming in must get used to the process here, there is a lot to learn. We have been called up to fit the system. The players coming into the side now have to observe everything and learn the lessons.”

Brazil El Salvador BGT

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Training Day: Neymar and Filipe improvise footgolf as Brazil take to the field in USA – football news

Brazil took to the training field for the first time since World Cup 2018 when they headed to the Red Bull Arena on Monday.

The Selecao meet USA in New Jersey on Friday as the Brasil Global Tour returns to North America.

In their first meeting since a quarter-final defeat to Belgium in Russia, coach Tite insisted everyone available made it out onto the field, including the technical staff as a number of new players were given a formal introduction to the group.

Only three were missing from Tite’s 23-man squad. Defender Dede and late addition Eder Militao were yet to arrive while Porto’s Felipe sat out after only joining his new team-mates on Monday afternoon.

Tite divided the players into two groups, while some stretched, others played small-sided games in tight spaces. The two sides appeared to hint at Tite’s starting XI to face USA, with Neymar, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Everton, Casemiro, Filipe Luis, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Paqueta, Alex Sandro, Roberto Firmino and Willian all together.

Monday’s session was light and with a relaxed atmosphere, during which Filipe Luis and Neymar stole the show with their impromptu game of footgolf, using the lines on the pitch to practice their “putting”.

Brazil return to Red Bull Arena on Tuesday with Tite set to have his full complement of players together for the first time this week. 

The five-time world champions meet USA on Friday at MetLife Stadium.

Follow a new era for Brazilian football by joining us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Weah hits USMNT camp sporting new look and boosted confidence – football news

Tim Weah arrived at U.S. national team camp in New Jersey sporting a new look this week. Gone were the braids he wore the last time he was with the team, and that he’d had as recently as his last appearance for Paris Saint-Germain. Instead, he wore a very short haircut that made him look so different that one reporter on Monday began asking him questions about what it was like to be in camp with Tim Weah.

The precocious young forward began to answer the question before stopping and saying, “I am Tim Weah.” 

“I was just sitting in the [barber’s] chair one day and I was like, ‘wow, I need a change,’ so I just cut it off,” Weah said. “And it’s getting hot.”

Weah’s haircut isn’t the only thing different as he prepares for the USMNT’s upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Mexico. He has also arrived with an added level of confidence built through the playing time he has earned with PSG in the early part of the season.

Even just a couple months ago, few would have envisioned Weah earning the minutes he has in the season’s early going. 

“As you saw against Bolivia (in May), coming in as a young 18-year-old playing against professionals and playing with professionals that I used to watch,” Weah said. “I came in with a little bit less confidence, and a little bit less swagger because I was kind of holding back. I wanted to play simple.

“I’m more confident now,” Weah said. “I’m training every day with the best players so in this camp I really want to show the world and show our supporters what I can really do on the ball. Build plays, spark plays, create plays, score goals. That’s my main goal, racking up on stats. Once I get that no matter what age, 18, 19, 20, I’ll always have that confidence.”

Weah is off to an encouraging start to the season at PSG, staying with the French champions despite rumors of potential loan moves. He revealed on Monday that a loan away from PSG was an option, but the 18-year-old made a tough decision that he stands behind.

“I was supposed to go on loan earlier this season and I chose not to go,” Weah said. “I chose to stay and work on my game because I feel like under [PSG manager Thomas] Tuchel and the players that we have it’s going to be great for me. My game is going to develop so much and I’m going to mature and I feel like that was the best decision for me.

“I don’t want to rush anything,” Weah said. “I’m only 18. But in the future we’ll see. Maybe a loan takes me. Maybe after this year I’ll be a little more comfortable playing professional soccer.”


Excited and honored to be called up to represent my country again ……Can’t wait to get started …..🇺🇸❤️

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Weah also stayed to continue working with Tuchel, who has taken over at PSG and has already shown the same affinity for giving young players opportunities that he showed while at Borussia Dortmund.

“Amazing. One of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with,” Weah said of Tuchel. “Tactically he’s amazing, technically he’s an amazing coach. Without his coaching staff I feel like he wouldn’t be the coach he is. He’s a great person. I love him so much. With the young guys he really shows us that he cares about us. With all the guys he shows us he’s a team guy and he loves his players like they’re his children.

“He’s really there for us, and he pushes us to be the best we can be,” Weah said. “He gets angry at us sometimes but we all know it’s for the better. I can’t wait to get more games under Tuchel, and hopefully next season I’ll have a great spot and I’ll be in a good position to eventually take a path like Cavani.”

Speaking of PSG, Weah will be standing across the field from one of his club teammates on Friday in Brazilian star Neymar, who will guide a strong Brazil team into Friday’s friendly.

“He’s super talented. A great guy. Super confident when he’s on the pitch,” Weah said of Neymar. “You’ve just got to keep your eyes on him and just watch everything that he does because he’s one of the best players in the world and it’s super hard to play against him.

“I feel like with the group of guys we have here, with Tyler Adams helping in with the defense from the midfield, and John Brooks, Matt Miazga, [Cameron Carter-Vickers] I feel like, as young guys we can really get the job done.”

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While some might question the value of friendlies, especially at a time when the team has yet to hire its full-time head coach, Weah makes it clear that the chance to play against high-profile opponents is invaluable for a young group of players who have already put together some encouraging results in 2018, including the 1-1 draw with France in June.

“These games, they build confidence,” Weah said. “Playing against World Cup winners, we didn’t know they were going to win the World Cup, but we played our buts off like it was a final for us and we tied France 1-1. These games are completely important to this group because it’s something to build on, and it’s growth, and that’s what we need. We need to really jell together because we do have new guys coming in each camp. The squad is getting younger each camp.

“Games like this, playing against Brazil, if we do get a result — and I really feel that we will — it’s going to be a huge confidence builder and it’s going to be great going to Nashville to play Mexico.”

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Should USMNT start to worry about Christian Pulisic’s absences? – football news

When Christian Pulisic walked off the field in the 77th minute of Borussia Dortmund’s season-opening win against RB Leipzig on August 26, he looked healthy after playing his part in the victory. The U.S. national team star got his new club season off to a promising start, which wasn’t a real surprise given how good he looked in preseason. For any USMNT fans watching, the prospect of seeing him play against Brazil and Mexico a few weeks later had to be exciting, especially after having been limited to seeing him in a U.S. uniform just once in 2018, in a lethargic performance against Bolivia.

Back then, the narrative being pushed was that Pulisic was tired from a long grind of a season, which meant that rather than playing in all three of the USMNT’s friendlies after the European campaign finished, he would only play against Bolivia and skip matches against Ireland and France to enjoy a much-needed vacation. It was easy to believe after watching Pulisic’s sluggish, and at times disinterested, 89-minute effort. The U.S. went to Europe and lost to Ireland before an encouraging 1-1 draw against eventual World Cup winners France, a result that made it easy to dismiss any questions about why Pulisic wasn’t there.

Pulisic is set to miss another set of friendlies now, after it was revealed that he suffered a minor muscle injury at some point either during or after that season-opening match against RB Leipzig. He missed Dortmund’s 0-0 draw against Hannover on Friday with the injury, and has now been left off the U.S. squad set to face Brazil and Mexico. According to U.S. Soccer, Pulisic’s injury was not significant, and one source told Goal that under different circumstances, such as World Cup qualifying, Pulisic would have been brought into camp to see if the national team could get him ready to play.

Injuries happen, so you are rarely going to see a star like Pulisic criticized for missing some friendlies because of an injury. But the context of Pulisic’s participation with the USMNT over the past 10 months casts his latest absence in a questionable light, even though, as sources have confirmed to Goal , Pulisic’s current injury is real, if not serious.

Counting the Brazil and Mexico friendlies, Pulisic will now have missed seven of eight national team matches, with none of the other absences being injury-related. One of those seven came in January, when Dortmund didn’t have to release him and he was never expected to play. The rest, however, were matches he could have been called in for. It began with a friendly against Portugal last November. It was easy to see why Pulisic might want to focus on his club team only a month after the emotional devastation of missing the World Cup. By March, Pulisic was once again allowed to stay in Germany rather than participate in a friendly against Paraguay. There was no injury at the time, and Dortmund was two weeks removed from being eliminated from the last of its cup competition requirements, but Pulisic was still allowed to stay in Germany.

What went unsaid at the time was that there was a sense throughout U.S. Soccer that Pulisic was being pushed by his camp (some combination of Borussia Dortmund, his agent and his father) to skip all three friendlies. A compromise was reached, which was having Pulisic play against Bolivia — in his home state in a match that desperately needed his presence to help sell tickets — and let him skip the other matches, even if there was clearly concern within U.S. Soccer about him missing the friendlies in Europe.

It became clear shortly before that compromise was reached that some in Pulisic’s camp weren’t happy with how things were being handled.

The tweet from Pulisic’s father went largely overlooked, but it gave the clear impression that, in Pulisic’s circle, the USMNT friendlies were a low priority, and protecting the prodigious talent mattered most. Of course, that same desire to protect Pulisic didn’t keep Dortmund from flying him from Germany to California to play in an awkwardly timed friendly in Los Angeles just five days before the USMNT friendly against Bolivia, putting him through the promotional ringer in the club’s desperate desire to cultivate roots in the United States.

By the time Pulisic arrived in the Philadelphia area for the Bolivia friendly, he appeared detached and disinterested, oftentimes looking like a kid being made to do his homework rather than a kid relishing the national team experience. He wore poorly forced smiles when he had too off the field, and slow-walked his way around the PPL Park pitch during the friendly.

Nothing was said at the time because this is, after all, Christian Pulisic, the future of the national team program, and arguably the most talented player the U.S. program has ever produced. He had just come off having played the most minutes of his young career, so being burned out made sense. That said, a year earlier Pulisic had also played a heavy load of minutes for someone his age, having been part of Dortmund’s Champions League and DFB-Pokal runs along with World Cup qualifying. Despite that workload, Pulisic was still able to shine in a June qualifying win against Trinidad and Tobago, while also playing 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw at Estadio Azteca against Mexico.

Christian Pulisic United States Bolivia

Current caretaker USMNT coach Dave Sarachan remained diplomatic after the Bolivia friendly, but recently expressed his own concerns about Pulisic.

“What I want to see from [Pulisic] is a desire, a passion, energy, excitement and a great effort,” Sarachan told Sports Illustrated  on Friday. “That should be each and every player that we bring in, and Christian is no different. … Look at the Bolivia game. It was an outlier from that standpoint. Yes, he was tired. He was coming off a long season—whatever the reasons. But when you come in with the national team, those boxes have to be checked.”

“We needed a little bit more, and I think [Pulisic] knows that,” Sarachan added, referring the Bolivia friendly. “He’s got the potential to be a major player for the senior national team. Will he maybe be a captain one day? He’s got the ability. We all know. So when he comes in, I’m hoping that he can be influential and bring the group together in an infectious way, and make sure he’s all in, because we need him. He’s that good.”

The reality is the USMNT has never had a player like Pulisic, who is already a European-based star as a teenager. Pulisic owes a great deal of his success to how Dortmund has handled him and his career, so you can understand why he might want to defer to Dortmund’s wishes at times. He is also still just 19, which might make him a player who leans on the counsel of those closest to him more than an older, more experienced player.

Given the state of the national team program — which missed the World Cup and still hasn’t hired a new full-time coach — you could see why a young star like Pulisic might see the USMNT as something to put on the back burner right now as he focuses on continuing his rise in Europe. After all, the United States doesn’t play a competitive match until the 2019 Gold Cup next summer. It is clear that Pulisic is being counselled to focus on his club career over his national team career at the moment.

Pulisic can do what he wants, but the fact is the USMNT program is also integrating a new generation, a group that Pulisic is supposed to be one of the leaders of, but instead of leading the group, he has missed match after match.

That isn’t exactly setting a good example, or a good precedent, for the next generation. Will the next breakout American teenager look at Pulisic’s actions and assume that is okay? Will current youngsters, like Tim Weah, start to de-prioritize call-ups because Pulisic is doing it? Should U.S. fans just accept that dealing with an entitled young superstar is the cost of having one represent your country?

Christian Pulisic USA Panama

Which brings us to the present, and Pulisic’s unfortunately timed injury. Dortmund is his employer, and has every right to want to be cautious and careful with an important player, and the USMNT isn’t exactly a priority for Dortmund.

But it is also Dortmund that started Pulisic in all but one of its six preseason matches, and played him at least 45 minutes in every single match it had played — friendly, DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga opener — since the team reconvened from summer break. One might look at that workload and wonder if it was Dortmund’s plan all along to get Pulisic some rest during the September international break. Perhaps that’s a bit too much of a conspiracy theory, but it is fact that Dortmund in no way appeared to manage Pulisic’s minutes with a pair of high-level international friendlies in mind.

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You can argue that the upcoming USMNT matches are just friendlies, but matches against a full-strength Brazil team are special opportunities for a national team to test itself as a group and gain invaluable experience. As for the Mexico match, El Tri is the USMNT’s biggest rival, so no friendly is truly “just a friendly” when the rivalry is involved. So you would imagine that it would take something serious to keep a top player away from those matches, at least that would be the hope.

So if Pulisic manages to recover from his injury in time to play in Dortmund’s September 14 match against Eintracht Frankfurt — just three days after the Mexico friendly — it is going to lead to some justifiable criticism of him, and lead to questions about just how committed he really is to the national team. Of course, if Pulisic misses the match, it will ease some of the pressure, though not completely erase the questions about where the national team lies on his list of priorities.

It might seem harsh to criticize Pulisic considering how young he is, but he’s not a kid anymore. He’s into his third full professional season in one of the world’s best leagues, and he turns 20 later this month, so pretty soon he’ll also lose the teenager label as well. American soccer fans see him as the savior of a program that is in badly in need of saving, but with that status comes serious responsibilities. Chief among them is showing USMNT fans that the national team is a high priority, and playing for the national team matters to him at all times, and not just when the World Cup is on the line.

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