Daily Archives

October 26, 2019

Christian Pulisic Scores First Premier League Hat Trick

Tyler Everett October 26, 2019

Christian Pulisic made the most of his first start in an Premier League match since Aug. 31 as his team beat Burnley 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.

The American scored his first career EPL goal in the 21st minute, then added another just before halftime.

He made it a hat trick on a ridiculous header in the 56th minute. After a poor clearance of a corner by Burnley gave Mason Mount another chance, Mount’s perfect cross into the box found Pulisic, who used the back (!) of his head to beat Burnley keeper Nick Pope.

It was hard to say which of Pulisic’s goals was most impressive. On the first one, he took on multiple Burnley defenders, then managed to slide a low left-footed shot past all three of them, plus Pope, to make it 1-0. The opportunity was created by Pulisic, and he finished it himself. I give that goal a slight edge over his header.

The second goal Pulisic scored came with his right foot, again after an impressive display of dribbling. This time, though, he was the beneficiary of his shot’s fortunate deflection off a defender.

A career week

Pulisic’s heroics came three days after he came on late as a sub vs. Ajax on the road in the Champions League. All he did in that one was create the chance that became the game-winner with a strong move and a perfect pass into Michy Batshuayi.

Let’s just say that Pulisic has probably earned a spot in the Chelsea XI for at least the next few games. Frank Lampard certainly has his options up top, but he had to be thrilled with his results from the 4-2-3-1 he employed against Burnley, with Tammy Abraham as a striker and a five-man midfield. From left to right, Pulisic, Mount and Willian filled the attacking midfield positions.

Chelsea led 4-0 after 58 minutes on a strike from Willian before Burnley scored twice in garbage time to account for the final score.

MLS Conference Finals Match Lines

High Press 10 October 26, 2019

Atlanta United hosts Toronto FC. LAFC hosts Seattle. A LAFC vs ATLUTD feels like the MLS Cup final we all deserve, right?

Will it happen? Oddsmakers favor it.

MLS Conference Finals match lines

LAFC -225Draw +380Seattle +500
Atlanta United -143Draw +330Toronto +310

Where to bet MLS in the US

In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For New Jersey, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook NJ or FanDuel Sportsbook.

Who Will Win the 2019 MLS Cup? Reviewing the Playoffs on the High Press Soccer Podcast

Chops October 26, 2019

We recorded a MLS focused High Press Soccer Podcast this week.

Harrison Hamm joins to discuss:

  • Atlanta United’s win over Philadelphia and their MLS Cup repeat chances
  • The wild El Trafico showdown between LAFC and Galaxy
  • Zlatan’s comments about MLS and the importance of high-profile European stars playing in the league
  • Who will win MLS Cup

Stream the episode in this post or subscribe and download from Apple’s Podcast Center.

Listen to “High Press Soccer Podcast Episode 36: MLS Playoffs” on Spreaker.

Who Will Sign Christian Eriksen in January?

Avatar October 26, 2019

With Tottenham’s trip to Liverpool this weekend, it’s worth asking: is this Christian Eriksen’s last journey to Anfield?

The clock appears to be running down on Christian Eriksen’s time at Tottenham. Major clubs across Europe are expected to be scrambling for his signature when the January transfer window opens.

Eriksen would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with any club from January 1st next year, which would result in him leaving on a free transfer next summer.

Tottenham could decide to let him go in January for a cut price fee. However, that could prove difficult, as the Danish international is now cup tied for the Champions League, having appeared twice in the competition this season.

Therefore the free transfer outcome is undoubtedly going to be the preferred option–and with a club currently playing in the Champions League.

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Eriksen a Bargain For His Next Club

At the age of 27, in the middle of his peak football years, Eriksen would be an outstanding acquisition. This despite the increase in wage bill for his next employers if he leaves White Hart Lane for nothing.

Any team in need of creativity with vital through balls and key passes would benefit from his arrival.

Eriksen is also an a constant danger through set pieces and free kicks. He’s also earned reputation of being able to put in a shift, with a high work rate without the ball at his feet.

The attacking midfielder scored eight goals and contributed with 12 assists in the EPL, according to data from Transfermarkt.co.uk.

In Tottenham’s run to the club’s first ever European Cup or Champions League final, he scored twice. Just as importantly, he created more chances with four assists.

Eriksen hit the net eight times in the Premier League last season, and assisted 12 further goals in a successful season from a personal point of view.

He has never scored more that ten goals in a season, which came in the 2017/18 and 2014/15 seasons. That’s a total that Eriksen matched during his last season at Ajax, who he joined as a 16 year-old from Odense.

The Dane has a more impressive assist total, which peaked at 19 in the Eredivise in 2011/12.

In England he has also been prolific in his role as a creator, reaching 15 assists in the two seasons between 2015 and 2017.

Since his arrival in England, his appearance record has also been good, where he has played between 35 and 38 games per season.

Only his first year in North London did he miss a number of games, making a relatively small total of 25 appearances.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Dane has been substituted in a considerable amount of matches. He has been taken off between nine and 11 times per season between 2013 and 2017, yet this only happened three times last season.

Eriksen has been named Danish footballer of the year for a record equaling fourth time.

The last of these accolades was won last year, which matched Brian Laudrup’s total, and eclipsed Danish football legends such as Morten Olsen and Peter Schmeichel, who have won it three times each.

However if there is one aspect of his career that may raise doubts, it is his performances in the bigger games.

It’s a criticism in some quarters that he needs take them by the scruff of the neck more.

In the Champions League final he was often on the periphery of the game, and failed to ignite the pattern of the game. However, he was hardly on his own in a lacklustre Tottenham display.

Who will sign Christian Eriksen in January?

Eriksen has been clear that he wishes to move elsewhere, telling Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet in June, “I feel that I am at a stage where I would like to try something new.”

Inevitably the eyes of some of the biggest names in European football have been monitoring the Eriksen situation.

Manchester United appeared to make a genuine attempt to recruit him last summer. They certainly could use his creative spark this season. Most observers feel though the Dane wanted a move to Spain.

There has been plenty of speculation that an in transition Real Madrid would be interested.

Yet reports have suggested that some of Madrid’s fringe players would have to be sold first to trim the wage bill. Or that the emergence of Federico Valverde after his loan spell at Deportivo La Coruna has resulted in there being no need to sign Erisken.

Paris St Germain are also rumoured to be interested, to link the attacking midfielder with Di Maria and Icardi.

Eriksen’s future will become clearer in the next few months, in what is likely to be a new beginning away from England.

NWSL Championship Preview: North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars

Peter Nolan October 26, 2019

Who: North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars
When: Sunday, October 27th, 3:30pm ET
Line: North Carolina Courage -200 | Draw +320 | Chicago Red Stars +400

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Sunday’s NWSL Championship match between the Chicago Red Stars and defending league champions North Carolina Courage at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina is a star-studded affair. The game is a fitting capper to a year that saw many of Sunday’s participants thrive at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Two star-studded rosters

Reading the North Carolina roster is liable to produce double takes with a who’s who of the women’s international game leaping off the page, starting with Canada’s number one Stephanie Labbe in goal for the Courage.

From there each line of the Courage team features a 2019 World Cup winner, from Abby Dahlkemper at center-back to Sam Mewis and Crystal Dunn in the midfield, and onto striker Jessica Mc Donald.

McDonald is partnered at the top of the North Carolina formation by former and perhaps future USWNT attacker Lynn Williams. The pair is ably backed up by North Carolina’s leading goal scorer and 2nd team NWSL Best 11, Kristen Hamilton. Hamilton finished tied for second in the league with nine goals, trailing only Chicago ace Sam Kerr, who notched a single season league record with 18.

North Carolina coach Paul Reilly also has legendary USWNT winger Heather O’Reilly playing at fullback. She is opposite former U.S. international Jalene Hinkle, Brazil’s Debinha, and Irish international Denise O’Sullivan.

So, a star studded crew.

Not that a Chicago side led by Kerr and USWNT firebrand Julie Ertz will be backing down. In fact, the Red Stars starting lineup features five USWNT World Cup winners, one more than the Courage. Alyssa Naeher backstopped the U.S. to the World Cup title. She is joined by rising star Tierna Davidson, fullback Casey Short, and midfielder Morgan Brian.

Chicago depends on Japan’s Yuri Nagasto to make the attack go. Nagasto is a 2011 World Cup winner, when Japan defeated the U.S.. She led the league in assists this season with eight. Coach Rory Dames can also count on top flight professionals like Savannah McKaskill (6 USWNT caps) and Denise Colaprico (2 USWNT caps).

Fans who decry playoffs for the reason that a lesser team can make a playoff run to the title will be happy to see a Championship match that features the two best performers, over a 24 game season in the league, battle for the NWSL hardware.

North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars match preview

The statistics say that the Courage should win. North Carolina topped the table with 49 points, five more than the Red Stars amassed. NC set a league record for goals scored in a single season with 54. They did so while only surrendering 23, the fewest in the league.

Chicago was the second most lethal side in the nine team league, although well behind with 41 goals. The Red Stars finished in fourth place in goals against, conceding 28. However, with Naeher and Ertz back from representing the U.S. in France, the Chicago defense figures to be a tougher nut to crack.

Chicago can take comfort in a solid away record of 7 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. That peace is likely to be destroyed when North Carolina’s home mark of 8 wins, 0 defeats, ad 4 ties is factored in.

This matchup should only help the league build on the “World Cup” bounce that saw attendance and attention rise as fans tuned in to see their World Cup heroes in club action.

The game comes at the end of a busy week for the league and the women’s game in the United States. News spread that Louisville will be coming on board in 2021 expansion and it has been reported that one team is likely to be added for next season. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported that either or Sacramento or Atlanta are the most likely new entrants for 2020.

Where to bet NWSL in the US

In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For New Jersey, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook NJ or FanDuel Sportsbook.

NWSL Championship: NC Courage vs Chicago Red Stars Odds, Time, Where to Watch

High Press 10 October 26, 2019

The NWSL Championship match takes place this Sunday, October 27th at 3:30pm ET.

The game features defending champs North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars. It’s a star-studded affair with two rosters littered with 2019 Women’s World Cup talent, including:

  • Samantha Mewis (NC Courage / USWNT)
  • Debinha (NC Courage / Brazil)
  • Crystal Dunn (NC Courage / USWNT)
  • Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage / USWNT)
  • Jessica McDonald (NC Courage / USWNT)
  • Stephanie Labbé (NC Courage / USWNT)
  • Alyssa Naeher (Red Stars / USWNT)
  • Julie Ertz (Red Stars / USWNT)
  • Morgan Brian (Red Stars / USWNT)
  • Tierna Davidson (Red Stars / USWNT)
  • Sam Kerr (Red Stars / Australia)
  • Yūki Nagasato (Red Stars / Japan)

Also read: North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars preview

NWSL where to watch

The NWSL Championship takes place at 3:30pm ET on Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

NWSL Championship Odds

Defending champs Courage are odds-on favorites to repeat.


NC Courage -200 Draw +320 +400

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Where to bet NWSL in the US

In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For New Jersey, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook NJ or FanDuel Sportsbook.

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