What the Premier League finale means for USMNT players at Fulham, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Leeds United
by Jason Davis
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 26, 2023) US Soccer Players – The final day of the 2022-23 Premier League season won’t have a say in which club wins the title. Manchester City already lifted that piece of silverware with a game left on the schedule. Nor is there any intrigue over the clubs that will follow City into the Champions League next season. Arsenal will finish second, with Manchester United and Newcastle taking the remaining spots in the group stage.
It’s Manchester United hosting Fulham on the final day, with the Cottagers closing out a successful season that will end with Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, and company in 10th-place. Meanwhile, Newcastle is at Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea on the final day of the season. Chelsea is in 12th, a point behind 11th-place Crystal Palace.
Further down the table, two of the three relegation spots are still in contention with 18th-place Leicester City and 19th-place Leeds United tied on 31 points and two points from safety. For the USMNT players at Leeds, Weston McKennie and Brenden Aaronson with Tyler Adams unavailable due to injury, this becomes a single game scenario. One of those two clubs will drop to the Championship, with 17th-place Everton the other team in danger of relegation.
If Everton wins at home versus Bournemouth, nothing that Leeds (at home against Tottenham) or Leicester (at home against West Ham) does will matter. The Toffees have a two-point advantage going into the final match and will finish in 17th with a victory. But if Everton fails to earn three points, there’s a chance that either Leeds or Leicester could avoid relegation.
Both winning would lift them above Everton in the table, sending the Toffees down and pushing the question of who achieves safety to the goal difference tiebreaker. Going into Sunday, Leicester is ahead of Leeds by nine goals in that category, giving the Foxes a distinct edge.
An Everton draw combined with a win by either or both Leeds and Leicester would also bring in the tiebreaker. Everton’s goal difference is just three goals better than United’s, meaning Leeds could conceivably make up that difference and avoid the drop, provided Leicester doesn’t win.
Everton, Leeds, and Leicester were the three clubs unable to lift themselves out of the relegation fight over the last few weeks. Several clubs will take the field on the final day of the season knowing that they’ll play in the topflight again in 2023-24 thanks to season-saving results in recent weeks.
Nottingham Forest will face Chris Richards’s Crystal Palace away at Selhurst Park on Sunday with only a chance of finishing a place better on the line. That’s because Forest secured its Premier League future last week via a surprise 1-0 win over Arsenal, a game that also confirmed Manchester City’s fifth title in six years.
On Sunday, the Premier League finishes out its league schedule with relegation at issue. The day before, the Championship will play one more game to decide the third club that will move into the top division next season.
USMNT goalkeeper Ethan Horvath joined Luton Town on loan from Nottingham Forest ahead of the season. While Horvath’s parent club was confirming its place in next year’s Premier League campaign with the win over Arsenal, Horvath was preparing for a promotion playoff final. Luton and Coventry City will face off at Wembley in a one-off clash to claim the Championship’s final promotion spot.
Less than a decade ago, Luton climbed back into the Football League when it finished first in the Conference Premier League and earned promotion to League Two. The club spent ten years playing in the old First Division from 1982 to 1992 but dropped to the second division the season before the launch of the Premier League.
Luton Town will know its fate when the final round of Premier League games kicks off on Sunday. Win, and they’ll be watching with the rest of the world to see which clubs will complete their schedule for the 2023-24 Premier League season.
Jason Davis is the host of The United States of Soccer on SiriusXM.
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Photo by Mark Cosgrove – News Images via ZUMA Press Wire – ISIPhotos.com