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Blog - ESPN FC United

Thiago Alcantara's return could be key for the rest of Bayern Munich's season

Thiago is finally on the verge of full fitness, and his creativity and vision will be a big boost for Bayern in midfield.

International breaks create a peculiar scene at the training grounds of the world's biggest clubs. As Diego Torres underlined in his book "The Special One: The Dark Side of Jose Mourinho," Mourinho used the exodus as reasoning that he would be able to balance the Real Madrid job and coaching Portugal through the Euro 2012 qualifiers. It was a view that his president, Florentino Perez, ultimately didn't agree with.

"If I go with Portugal, I'll be going with three Madrid players," Mourinho said....

 By Rory Smith

Championship chase for the Premier League features contrasting styles

Alex Neil's Norwich currently lie fourth in the Championship.

Ask anyone who has encountered Alex Neil to describe him and chances are one word will spring to their lips: swagger. Those who know the manager of Championship club Norwich all seem to have gleaned the same first impression, that he is a man clad with an iron self-belief, exuding a conviction and confidence that you would not necessarily expect from a 33-year-old just a few weeks into his first, full-time managerial posting.

It is a trait all managers need, of course, but it brings with it an inherent...

Jozy Altidore's red card hampers an otherwise solid U.S. effort

A spectacular free kick by Brek Shea in the first half was offset by a Jozy Altidore red card and a Valentin Stocker equalizer in the second as Switzerland came back to draw against the United States.
One United States supporter was in awe of Brek Shea's free-kick goal in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
ESPN FC's Taylor Twellman breaks down the United States' 1-1 draw against Switzerland, and believes they are making defensive improvements despite conceding late goals.
The ESPN FC crew break down the United States' 1-1 draw with Switzerland, focusing on Jozy Altidore's red card.
The ESPN FC crew break down the United States' 1-1 draw with Switzerland, focusing on Jozy Altidore's red card.

ZURICH -- For 80 minutes against Switzerland, it was arguably the most impressive performance the U.S. national team had produced since the World Cup.

Then forward Jozy Altidore was issued a game-changing -- and completely avoidable -- red card for a profanity-filled tirade on referee Luca Banti, forcing his teammates to play the final 22 minutes of the match down a man.

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Once again, and for the eighth time in eight games since Brazil, the Americans conceded a goal after the 80th minute and had...

Netherlands win easily as Spain still struggling with post-World Cup rebuild

Davy Klaassen scored the second Dutch goal as the hosts enjoyed a comfortable win over struggling Spain.

Two goals in three minutes put Netherlands on course for an easy 2-0 win over Spain. Here are three points on Tuesday's friendly in Amsterdam.

1. Spain stung by speedy Dutch start

Goals in the opening 16 minutes from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen were easily enough for the Netherlands to defeat a still out-of-sorts Spain side. Neither team impressed over much after that; the Dutch were happy enough to hold onto their deserved early lead while the visitors huffed, puffed and made the odd...

Brazil not ready for Copa America yet but impress with win over Chile

Our football experts discuss Brazil's eight-game winning streak since the 2014 World Cup with Dunga at the helm.

LONDON -- Unless you were vacationing at the International Space Station last summer, you will remember just how Jorge Sampaoli's Chile was one of the sensations of the 2014 World Cup. They acquired that status by running rings around Spain in Rio and pretty much confirming the end of La Furia Roja's dominance.

Yet Alexis Sanchez and co almost caused a much bigger upset when only the crossbar in the dying minutes of extra time prevented them from dumping hosts Brazil on a dramatic afternoon...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

England vs. Italy may be a friendly but it remains crucial for Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson says in-form forward Danny Welbeck is among a host of names who will be unavailable for Tuesday's friendly with Italy due to injury.

Perspiration dripped from Roy Hodgson's forehead as he delivered his verdict on England's 2-1 loss to Italy in Manaus, their opening match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But he was not sweating on suffering a defeat.

The Amazonian heat was oppressive for fans and journalists. His players' drop in energy levels in the second half was wholly understandable considering the 84.2 degree Fahrenheit temperature and 88 percent humidity, but the English had taken heart from a spirited performance. There...