Sports Burst - Neymar v The Newbies

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US face Brazil with energy over experience

 

Well, that's just not fair. 

US fans gathered at the MetLife Stadium on Friday night to watch the USMNT take on Brazil aren't going to have anyone to boo and jeer, a year on from the country's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Instead, it's very much an interim (and unfamiliar) look to the group with a temporary coach, Dave Sarachan, in charge for the flagship clash against Brazil. Indeed, he could be there for a while longer with general manager, Ernie Stewart, saying that no candidates have been interviewed for a position that has stood vacant for a year. 

 

The vibe of the roster was very different too with little sign of the old guard. The likes of Timothy Weah, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are taking on the more illustrious names of Neymar (Weah's PSG teammate) and Philippe Coutinho. 

That may sound daunting, but the same group and coach held the mighty France to a draw ahead of the World Cup. The US seems to have more than one precocious Wesley Crusher in this particular New Generation. 

 

 

Italy's to begin new regime of 1-0 wins 

 

The UEFA Nations League continues after the fiendishly complex tournament got off to a thrilling start on Thursday with the headline match ending up as a goalless draw between Germany and France. 

Friday's action sees seven games spread across four different tiers running from the less fanciful Faroe Islands against Malta at the bottom, to Italy facing Poland at the top. 

 

For the Italians though, the clash in Bologna is the first step on the road to retribution under new coach Roberto Mancini. "I don't think the tactical system is an important as the attitude held by the team," said the former Manchester City manager who is looking to lead Italy into a brave new world of narrow 1-0 wins. 

Catch the best of the day's action on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.  

 

 

Diego Maradona has new gig as manager in Mexico

 

Well, Diego Maradona is going to be a busy bee for the next few months as the Argentinean icon has taken on a third job. 

The first, of course, is Sporting Director of Dynamo Brest - currently seventh in the Belarus league, so some room for improvement there. 

The second is being a human internet meme, looking to build on his impressive performances as a spectator in the World Cup in Russia watching Argentina.  

 

The third is the new manager of Mexican second division team, Dorados de Sinoloa. That's according to the club itself, anyway, who posted the exciting news through the medium of Twitter. Friday should be fairly interesting then. 

Speaking of all things Argentina, the Albiceleste are in action on Friday night in Los Angeles taking on Guatemala in a clash that is live on beIN SPORTS from 10:30PM ET / 7:30AM PT. 

And who knows, maybe Diego will drop by on his way to his new job?

 

 

Eagles swoop and sensational Serena 

 

Storm clouds gathered above the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday night on for the return of the NFL. 

 

No, not being overly dramatic here about all the various issues the league has..there were literally storm clouds gathered causing a delayed start to the clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. The reigning (and raining) Superbowl champions eventually won through 18-12. 

A storm of a very different kind blew through New York with Serena Williams powering her way through to her ninth US Open final where she will meet Naomi Osaka.

Friday's action from Flushing Meadows sees the men's semifinals with Rafa Nadal taking on Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic against Kei Nishikori.