Soccer

49ers tight end would be ideal NFL spot, Arsenal's Rob Holding says

49ers tight end would be ideal NFL spot, Arsenal's Rob Holding says

When hearing that a soccer player wants to try his hand at American football, they often are designated as punters or kickers, with the occasional wide receiver or defensive back thrown into the mix.

One position that you don’t usually hear them try is tight end, a role that generally requires one to be both tall and strong enough to handle the dueling pass-catching and inside run blocking requirements of the position.

But when Arsenal center back Rob Holding was asked what NFL team and position he’d want to play, he chose to go after George Kittle’s spot as the Niners’ tight end.

“For the team, I’d probably choose [the] San Francisco 49ers,” Holding said. “I think they have one of the nicest kits, with the gold and the white and the red, and it’s in California where the sun is so, why not.”

[RELATED: Kittle admits he'll never get over 49ers' Super Bowl loss]

Holding certainly has the height, coming in at 6-foot-2. But his 178-pound frame doesn’t match up well with Kittle’s sturdy 249 pounds, although the tight end did notice that Holding might be gunning for his job.

All kidding aside, it’s hard to disagree with Holding about those red and gold uniforms the 49ers take the field in each week.

Sheffield United shocks Chelsea with unlikely David McGoldrick goals

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Sheffield United shocks Chelsea with unlikely David McGoldrick goals

The Premier League hasn't had many surprises since Leicester City lifted the trophy in 2016, let alone compelling ones.

Sheffield United and David McGoldrick are making up for lost time.

They jumped up to sixth place Saturday, thanks to a 3-0 win over third-place Chelsea at Bramall Lane. McGoldrick scored not once, but twice, ending a 27-game league scoring drought.

The Irish striker opened the scoring in the 18th minute, slotting a rebound past Kepa moments after the Chelsea sprawled to save a deflected shot. McGoldrick sealed Sheffield United's victory in the 77th, giving the Blades a 3-0 advantage after pouncing on the Blues' failed clearance.

Should Sheffield United maintain their place after Wolves' match against Everton on Sunday, the Blades will have the inside track to a UEFA Europa League place and an outside shot at one in the Champions League.

Not bad for a club playing in England's third division just over three years ago.

Sheffield United hadn't been in the Premier League since being relegated in 2007, earning promotion to England's top flight after finishing second in the Championship last year. The Blades have been on an upward trajectory since hiring Chris Wilder in 2016, winning a trophy, earning promotion or both in two of the last three seasons.

Promoted Premier League sides as recently as least season, when Wolves made it to the Europa League. Sheffield United, however, spent far less than Wolves and the rest of their top-flight counterparts. Only Southampton recently relegated Norwich City have a lower net-spend than Sheffield United over the last five seasons, according to Transfermarkt.

Wilder's innovative 3-5-2 system has done wonders for Sheffield United, and the Blades have done very well against some of the Premier League's best sides. They've now beaten or drawn with each of the league's "Big Six" sides, aside from the last two champions: Liverpool and Manchester City.

With 54 points, Sheffield United already have ensured their best-ever point total in the Premier League. Adding their first-ever appearance in European competition would be quite a way for the Blades to commemorate their return to the English top flight, and McGoldrick is one of many unlikely heroes who could become club legends.

Chelsea lineup: Christian Pulisic starts on wing vs. Sheffield United

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Chelsea lineup: Christian Pulisic starts on wing vs. Sheffield United

American star Christian Pulisic is becoming a fixture in Chelsea manager Frank Lampard's starting XI.

Pulisic once again will start against Sheffield United on Saturday, earning his fifth consecutive start of the resumed Premier League season.

Even as the Blues have signed or been linked to some of Europe's most promising attackers, Pulisic has been an undeniable presence for Chelsea. The 21-year-old has scored or assisted in every single match since the Premier League season restarted last month, and his eight goals in the league this season are double his previous career high.

Pulisic and Chelsea will have their hands full Saturday at Bramall Lane, as Sheffield United have beaten two rivals for European places -- Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves -- in each of their last two matches. Nine points separate the Blues (60 points) and the Blades (51), but the latter will move to sixth in the table with a victory Saturday.

Here's how Sheffield United will line up.

The match kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT on NBCSN.