Galaxy beaten in MLS opener

Landon Donovan: Disappointing defeat for LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan: Disappointing defeat for LA Galaxy

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Landon Donovan could not encourage the Los Angeles Galaxy as his facet opened the new MLS season with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.

Donovan wants only one purpose to grow to be Major League Soccer’s all-time main scorer.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was in inspired form to frustrate the Galaxy, who were eventually undone by Joao Plata’s 80th minute aim.

The Seattle Sounders left it even later to score the winner in their 1-zero victory over Sporting Kansas Metropolis, with substitute Chad Barrett scoring in stoppage time.

Federico Higuain netted twice in a 3-zero win for the Columbus Crew over DC United.

Jairo Arrieta opened the scoring earlier than Higuain obtained a second from the penalty spot in the twenty seventh minute before sealing it with a stoppage-time strike.

The Houston Dynamo received their campaign beneath approach with a convincing four-zero victory over the New England Revolution.

Will Bruin scored twice in the opening thirteen minutes before Boniek Garcia made it three-0 with 23 minutes gone. Omar Cummings added the gloss late on.

There was additionally an enormous win for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they beat the New York Red Bulls 4-1.

Kenny Miller opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 34 minutes. Sebastian Fernandez then doubled the lead four minutes into the second half before Miller’s second with 13 minutes left.

Pedro Morales added a fourth late on earlier than Bradley Wright-Phillips got New York on the board at the loss of life.

FC Dallas came from behind to beat the Montreal Affect three-2.

The Canadian aspect led by means of Sanna Nyassi after 10 minutes, however Fabian Castillo cancelled that out six minutes later and Blas Perez had the Texans in entrance with a penalty in the twenty fourth minute.

Mauro Diaz added a 3rd at first of the second half, and Andrew Wenger’s sixty fifth minute strike was not sufficient for Montreal.

Gaston Fernandez scored in the ninetieth minute to salvage a 1-1 draw for the Portland Timbers towards the Philadelphia Union, who had led via Jack McInerney’s 64th minute opener.

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Galaxy beaten in MLS opener

Landon Donovan: Disappointing defeat for LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan: Disappointing defeat for LA Galaxy

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Landon Donovan could not encourage the Los Angeles Galaxy as his facet opened the new MLS season with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.

Donovan wants only one purpose to grow to be Major League Soccer’s all-time main scorer.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was in inspired form to frustrate the Galaxy, who were eventually undone by Joao Plata’s 80th minute aim.

The Seattle Sounders left it even later to score the winner in their 1-zero victory over Sporting Kansas Metropolis, with substitute Chad Barrett scoring in stoppage time.

Federico Higuain netted twice in a 3-zero win for the Columbus Crew over DC United.

Jairo Arrieta opened the scoring earlier than Higuain obtained a second from the penalty spot in the twenty seventh minute before sealing it with a stoppage-time strike.

The Houston Dynamo received their campaign beneath approach with a convincing four-zero victory over the New England Revolution.

Will Bruin scored twice in the opening thirteen minutes before Boniek Garcia made it three-0 with 23 minutes gone. Omar Cummings added the gloss late on.

There was additionally an enormous win for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they beat the New York Red Bulls 4-1.

Kenny Miller opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 34 minutes. Sebastian Fernandez then doubled the lead four minutes into the second half before Miller’s second with 13 minutes left.

Pedro Morales added a fourth late on earlier than Bradley Wright-Phillips got New York on the board at the loss of life.

FC Dallas came from behind to beat the Montreal Affect three-2.

The Canadian aspect led by means of Sanna Nyassi after 10 minutes, however Fabian Castillo cancelled that out six minutes later and Blas Perez had the Texans in entrance with a penalty in the twenty fourth minute.

Mauro Diaz added a 3rd at first of the second half, and Andrew Wenger’s sixty fifth minute strike was not sufficient for Montreal.

Gaston Fernandez scored in the ninetieth minute to salvage a 1-1 draw for the Portland Timbers towards the Philadelphia Union, who had led via Jack McInerney’s 64th minute opener.

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No Keane and Donovan loans

Landon Donovan: Won't be returning to Everton on loan

Landon Donovan: Won’t be returning to Everton on loan

 

LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has ruled out the potential for Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan returning to the Premier League on mortgage.

The pair have each had mortgage spells in England in recent times with Keane spending two months at Aston Villa initially of 2012, while Donovan joined Everton on loan in 2010 and 2012.

The Toffees have once more been linked with the United States international but Arena is adamant Donovan and Keane – together with defender Omar Gonzalez – are going nowhere through the MLS off-season.

Arena informed Galaxy’s All-Entry podcast on LAGalaxy.com: “Our gamers aren’t going anyplace.

“Although we argue that the [offseason] layoff goes to be too long, he (Gonzalez) can go in camp with the US national team in January, together with Landon Donovan.

“Our gamers have had a extremely tough run this year, in particular Robbie [Keane] and Omar with all their requirements with national groups.

“They’ve had a full eleven months of play and they need some time off after which they need to get back here in LA and be ready for a difficult marketing campaign that features in the beginning not solely the league but the [CONCACAF] Champions League.”

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2014 World Cup Draw: There Won’t Be Any Cakewalks for the U.S. National Team

omar-gonzalez-chugging-a-beer

The sector of 32 is nearly set. Unless Jordan somehow miraculously overturns a 5-zero deficit in the present day in opposition to Uruguay, we will pencil within the area for next summer season’s World Cup in Brazil. Let’s all let out a big sigh of reduction.

Achieved? Good. It’s now time to start out stressing out and concerning the all-essential draw, which takes place on Dec. 6 in Salvador, Brazil.

Since this can focus mostly on the U.S. Nationwide Workforce, right here’s a fast spoiler alert: there isn’t going to be a straightforward draw for Jurgen Klinsmann’s group. As a fan of the USMNT, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope when the FIFA dignitaries wearing expensive suits are accomplished pulling the balls out of the pots, the Americans have landed in a simply plain troublesome group, rather than an insanely tough group.

Extremely Zone has a nice, easy simulator of the draw, with the teams draw into the following four pots:

  • Pot 1 (Seeds): Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay*, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland.
  • Pot 2: Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Costa Rica, USA, Honduras, Mexico.
  • Pot three: Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, France.
  • Pot 4: Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia, England, Portugal, Russia, Greece, Croatia.

I’ve spent the final couple days with the simulator open in Chrome, working about two dozen simulated attracts and few of the potential outcomes for the U.S. get you dreaming of a simple path to the knockout stages. There are definitely tough, “Group of Death”-caliber attracts, primarily because traditional European powers Italy and the Netherlands weren’t seeded and are as a substitute sitting there like live grenades in Pot 4. (England is in that group, too, however at this point the Three Lions are more on par with one of those large World Warfare II-period deactivated sea mines.)

Red Carpet Event Prior To The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw

Anyhow, the best and most direct cause why it’s unlikely the U.S. will land a gentle draw is as a result of its grouped with (on-paper) most of the supposed weaker nations, similar to Australia and Iran. The U.S. is likely the strongest staff, at the moment, in Pot 2. There’s nothing that can be accomplished about this — bar a Jordan miracle tonight which juggles the seeding — and is likely extra of a difficulty for the three other teams paired with the U.S., who’d probably slightly face Costa Rica or Honduras from CONCACAF.

Once you first have a look at the Pots, the pure inclination is to suppose whichever Group lands Switzerland as its seeded workforce is in for a cakewalk. True, the Swiss aren’t what we think of as a world energy, nor does it have a single participant that can win a match by himself. Even so, Switzerland is coached by two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. It hasn’t misplaced a competitive match since 2011. More than that, the Swiss are a younger, talented workforce consisting of many youngsters from folks dispersed throughout Europe following Yugoslavia’s breakup in the early 1990s akin to Fulham’s talented 21-yr-old Pajtim Kasami. Overlook the Swiss — which admittedly benefit from the Byzantine FIFA Rankings — at your personal peril.

[Related: Sure for Brazil: Projecting the U.S. Roster for the World Cup]

By the identical token Belgium, which hasn’t been to a major event since 2002, or Colombia, which last performed in a World Cup in 1998, don’t seem to be conventional No. 1 seeds. But if you’ve been taking note of world soccer you’re well conscious these two countries have a number of the high stars sprinkled throughout the globe for the time being. Belgium smoked the U.S. 4-2 back in Could. There’s always the speculation a group like Belgium will arrive in Brazil with sky-high expectations, only to crash-and-burn at the first signal of adversity. Belgium misplaced to Colombia and Japan this week in friendlies, so maybe its bandwagon thins out a bit of by June. Either that or anticipate the ‘I used to be into Belgium earlier than it was cool‘ crowd to murmur a little bit louder.

Netherlands v Colombia - International Friendly

Belgium and Colombia’s place as seeded teams for the draw once more level out the fallacy of the FIFA rankings. It doesn’t appear all that logical two sides which haven’t been to a World Cup in over a decade would land along the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Spain. Nonetheless, does anyone wish to draw Colombia and have to deal with Falcao and the rising stars in assist of him like James Rodriguez, Luis Muriel and Jackson Martinez — on South American soil, no much less?

One other large issue from the last 24 hours? On account of France turning around a 2-zero deficit in the first leg of its playoff with Ukraine on Tuesday, practically each traditional energy booked a place in Brazil. Teams that didn’t qualify are the likes of Serbia, Sweden, Denmark and Paraguay — mid-tier sides that often take part within the World Cup, however hardly candidates to win the tournament. Realistically the only presence missing from the party is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who advised the Swedish press after Tuesday’s loss to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, “One factor is for sure. A World Cup with out me just isn’t price watching.”

I’ll disagree with you there, Zlatan. On paper that is shaping as much as be a fantastic subject of 32, which is why it’s a disgrace FIFA reportedly needs to expand the event to forty groups. The joint blow-outs by Mexico and Uruguay of New Zealand and Jordan, respectively, should serve as an excellent reminder why watering down the World Cup area isn’t a fantastic concept. This match might even lastly allow us to retire the drained “Group of Demise” phrase all collectively since all eight teams have the potential to be supremely troublesome.

There will little question be tons and tons written by the American soccer media in the next three weeks about the draw. Some would possibly make it out because the be-all, finish-all. If we’ve discovered anything about the U.S. National Team within the final couple years below both Jurgen Klinsmann and Bob Bradley its that the workforce can principally beat anyone on any given day or lose to them — the recent zero-0 draw with Scotland and 1-zero loss to Austria show this. In a number of ways the U.S. is sort of a fundamental, properly-rounded online game character in a fighting recreation, average in all classes within the little pentagram formed attribute graphic at the choice display screen. (Okay, in fairness the U.S. defense can be one certain weak spot in the star-shaped figure.)

If we want to use historical past as an example in 2010 the U.S. got a manageable draw with England, Slovenia and Algeria and wanted Landon Donovan’s now-famous objective in stoppage time vs. the Desert Foxes within the final group sport to advance. In 2006 the FIFA ping pong balls produced a tough Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana group. Regardless of a loss and draw in the first two matches, the U.S. still managed its personal destiny within the final group stage sport vs. the Black Stars. Going back three World Cups, the U.S. has notched results towards the supposed strongest workforce in its group: Portugal, Italy and England.

One of many weird quirks is that the U.S. tends to play to the level of its opponent. Pitted in a group with Argentina and Italy would fill a number of folks with dread, however it could also current a huge opportunity for the People. Positive it’s a nominally harder recreation, however wouldn’t you relatively see the U.S. tackle Italy than Croatia?

The World Cup is not supposed to be simple and the way in which this one is shaping up, it’s not going to be for the U.S. or any of the opposite 31 nations taking part in the finals. If the U.S. desires to perform its acknowledged purpose of reaching the knockout rounds it’s going to need to work pretty damn onerous to take action.

Greatest Case State of affairs: Switzerland, Algeria, England

West Case State of affairs: Brazil, Ghana (as a result of), Netherlands

Related: Zahir Belounis: French Soccer Player Trapped in Qatar Appeals to Zinedine Zidane For Assist

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Ives Galarcep: Lichaj back in with a chance to earn World Cup spot

galarcep,lichaj,chance,world

It took more than two years, practically 29 months to be actual, for Eric Lichaj to have an opportunity to put on the U.S. nationwide team uniform once more. That likelihood has finally come, and it comes at a time when the right back place stays a question mark for Jurgen Klinsmann lower than seven months earlier than the World Cup.

Lichaj’s last appearance for the USA got here in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup last, an infamous end result that saw Lichaj shifted from left back to proper back for an injured Steve Cherundolo, and noticed Lichaj and Jonathan Bornstein wrestle as Mexico rattled off 4 unanswered objectives on the best way to a 4-2 victory.

Before that match, Lichaj had been a revelation on the Gold Cup, starting the ultimate 4 matches of the tournament at left again. A 22-12 months-old able to playing each full back positions, and at the time a participant for Aston Villa, Lichaj regarded very very similar to a nationwide team defender for the long run.

Then came the loss to Mexico and Bob Bradley’s subsequent firing as U.S. head coach. In came Jurgen Klinsmann, who had other concepts for the full back positions in the following years. Even when Lichaj was capable of earn a beginning function for Aston Villa, as he did at the shut of the 2012 English Premier League season, he couldn’t handle a single name-up.

Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson had been preferred full back choices early on earlier than Klinsmann converted DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Evans into full backs to provide the national staff pool some depth and beginning options at two traditionally weak positions.

 

Lichaj left Aston Villa over the summer time and the transfer is probably the very best factor he might have done. He joined Nottingham Forest and has change into a fixture for the membership at proper again. He has earned plaudits for steady play on the position and principally removed any attainable excuses Klinsmann may nonetheless have for not giving him a look (though Klinsmann has by no means stopped considering Lichaj).

Contemplate the call-up a primary step for the now 24-12 months-old. Evans has established himself as a steady starting right again option, though he can hardly be known as an irreplaceable a part of the U.S. protection. Lichaj will have his alternative to stack up against the Seattle Sounders utility man, and should have a chance to see the sphere in one or each of the upcoming U.S. friendlies towards Scotland and Austria.

Ought to we anticipate Lichaj to snatch the beginning job away from Evans? Perhaps not right away, however there’s little denying his pure talent on the right back position. When given the chance to play there at Aston Villa, he had some truly impressive performances, including a memorable conflict with Gareth Bale and Tottenham that saw Lichaj get the higher of the current Real Madrid participant.

Lichaj is also auditioning for a while at left back. Beasley isn’t getting any youthful and Fabian Johnson is a more attractive choice as a left midfielder. That actually only leaves Edgar Castillo as a left again choice within the present pool, and his defensive weaknesses are properly-documented. That isn’t to say Lichaj is pretty much as good a left back as right again, however he simply might have the ability to play himself right into a beginning position there simply as he did on the U.S. crew back in 2011.

Lichaj has the defensive chops to hold down proper again, the versatility to offer Klinsmann depth at left back and the attacking qualities Klinsmann likes to see from his full backs. Now, with regular playing time helping to boost his confidence, Lichaj might want to impress. This is the opportunity he has spent greater than two years waiting for, his first actual probability to switch the fading recollections of that forgettable Gold Cup ultimate with new recollections of a revived position on the national workforce.

EXTRA THOUGHTS ON THE USA ROSTER

Brek Shea hasn’t seen a minute of enjoying time for Stoke City in the Premier League this season, but that didn’t cease Klinsmann from bringing the winger in for a better look. The U.S. coach’s affection for Shea is properly-documented, however the newest name-up exhibits simply how much Klinsmann is hoping Shea’s state of affairs can be sorted out so he is usually a viable choice in the national group pool again.

Shea’s inclusion was a bit of a surprise, but not when you think about the actual fact Johnson is barely simply coming back from injury, Landon Donovan is resting an ankle injury of his personal and Graham Zusi and Davis are still competing within the MLS playoffs.

Once you include those names you realize just how far off the pace Shea really is in the grand scheme of issues with the national staff, and that received’t change unless he begins earning some regular enjoying time.

The remainder of the roster was pretty predictable, with Chris Wondolowski being solely a little bit of a surprise contemplating the news that he performed a big part of the year with a broken bone on his foot that he has yet to have surgery on.

PROJECTED LINEUP IN OPPOSITION TO SCOTLAND:

Tim Howard; Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, DaMarcus Beasley; Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud; Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson.

Klinsmann might deploy a four-4-2 with Altidore and Johannsson or he may go with a four-3-3 that deploys these two along with Bedoya within the entrance three. That would depart a diamond midfield of Diskerud, Bradley and Jones.

 

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Donovan left off US roster for next two friendlies

 

Landon Donovan will not play in the USMNT's next two friendlies.

Landon Donovan won’t play in the USMNT’s next two friendlies. (Getty Photographs)

 

The United States Men’s Nationwide Workforce announced its roster for 2 upcoming friendlies, and it will be devoid of some acquainted faces.

Most notably, LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan won’t suit as much as face Scotland Friday or Austria subsequent week. Donovan has been nursing an ankle injury.

The crew will see the return of Michael Bradley, who has been left off the roster since suffering an ankle sprain previous to the workforce’s qualifying match Sept. 6 in Costa Rica.

“We’re excited about the group we have coming in and the massive alternative to finish the year on a high observe,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “We need to use these video games to show a degree and see that our players are persevering with to enhance as we construct towards the World Cup.

“The ends in MLS wound up fitting in with our roster plans,so we did not need to name in any guys who’re still within the playoffs. There are some accidents points that now give other gamers the chance to step up.”

Aside from Donovan, goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defenders Edgar Castillo and Clarence Goodson were not accessible for choice because of accidents.

The team is predicted to satisfy Monday in Glasgow. They’ll face Scotland Nov. 15 and Austria Nov. 19.

Complete roster (Skilled club affiliation)

Goalkeepers (3): Invoice Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Defenders (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

Midfielders (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Combine Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke Metropolis)

Forwards (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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U.S. seals place atop World Cup qualification group with perfect home record

USA Fans

With a visit to Brazil already booked, the U.S. ensured a finish atop the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group by beating Jamaica 2-zero in Kansas Metropolis. A colorless first half made it appear to be the crew had slipped into relaxation mode since their mission was already achieved by beating Mexico in September, but supervisor Jurgen Klinsmann’s second-half substitutions once once more had a major impression and immediately influenced both goals. This might show as soon as and for all that he’s, in fact, a wizard.

Proactive in his efforts to repair an ineffective beginning XI that was lacking the likes of Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley attributable to accidents, Klinsmann confirmed his fearlessness in replacing unproductive star Landon Donovan with local hero Graham Zusi at halftime. He then put defender Edgar Castillo on in the 66th minute and at last added midfielder Sacha Kljestan for promising first-time starter Aron Johansson, who simply could not fairly discover the net in his 72 minutes. Simply five minutes after that last substitution was made, Sporting Kansas City’s Zusi scored in his dwelling stadium to place the U.S. up 1-zero.

4 minutes after that, Jozy Altidore prolonged his crew report by scoring in his sixth consecutive begin. His objective was arrange by Castillo and made it 2-0, which ended up being the final score.

The U.S. received all five of their home matches in the last stage of qualification and didn’t even allow a single purpose. It might probably’t get anymore excellent than that except each aim they scored somehow cured a disease and solved world hunger all on the same time. However as great as that achievement is, it will not assist a lot in a World Cup being held in Brazil.

One match stays within the hexagonal stage and the U.S will visit Panama with the target of proving that they can build on their wonderful dwelling type by successful persistently in hostile territory. It’s going to additionally provide an opportunity to additional prove the depth this staff has, notably within the midfield. And it’ll give Klinsmann a brand new venue to work his sorcery.

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Friendlies to test Brazil 2014 hopefuls

It has been a protracted marketing campaign, but two vital events still stay on the soccer calendar: the final round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying matches of the season on 7 June and the FIFA Confederations Cup, which runs from 15 to 30 June, additionally staged in Brazil.

So as to prepare for these challenges and to run the rule over their squads, the coaches involved will embark on plenty of pleasant matches between 28 Might and 9 June. ed-article-images-2133692e-aab4-4c95-b50e-1d814e47b417_jpgFIFA.com takes a more in-depth look at these international duels.

The big match 
Brazil-England, 2 June, Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Luiz Felipe Scolari is fast operating out of time in his mission to reinvigorate the Brazilian national crew. Practically four months after his first match in charge, a 2-1 defeat by England at Wembley, he’s doubtless to use the ‘return’ match at the Maracana with a view to acquire some revenge, present the Verde e Amarelo with a confidence increase, make an initial assessment of the progress so far and try to get an thought of his starting XI for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

There are eleven players in Scolari’s squad who ply their commerce within the Brazilian League, including four – all in their early 20s – who have not yet worn the colours of a foreign membership: Bernard (Atletico Mineiro), Fernando (Gremio), Leandro Damiao (Internacional) and Neymar (Santos), Barcelona’s latest recruit.

The opposite video games 
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will take all of the gamers chosen for the FIFA Confederations Cup to Miami. During La Roja’s penultimate warm-up match against Haiti, he intends to rotate his squad in order to offer a break to sure Actual Madrid and Barcelona stars, who normally make up three quarters of the crew.

Didier Deschamps, in the meantime, whose France aspect will serve as a sparring accomplice for Uruguay and Brazil, is constant his quest to reduce the common age of his side. Consequently, he has handed first-time call-ups to a few 22-year-olds, namely Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, Josuha Guilavogui, who is coming off the again of a superb season with Saint-Etienne, and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette, a former youth worldwide.

Lastly, Belgium have travelled to the United States, to the sports activities centre at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, to arrange for his or her FIFA World Cup qualifying match towards Serbia on 7 June. After every week of training, Les Diables Rouges will test themselves towards the United States, for whom iconic attacker Landon Donovan – left out by Jurgen Klinsmann with Brazil 2014 qualifiers versus Jamaica, Panama and Honduras in mind – is not going to feature.

The stat
1 – Since taking over at the helm of Brazil on 29 November, every week after they suffered a 2-1 reverse in Argentina, Luiz Scolari’s record makes for disappointing reading: one victory, three attracts and one loss.

What they stated
“In my opinion, a multi-ethnic Italy is the long run. These players convey us something further, they enhance our stage they usually enable us to see issues from a unique approach,” Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, referring to Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

Have your say
Ideally, who should begin up front for Brazil?

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The terrifying Mexican football legend of Columbus, Ohio

(Getty)

Mexico have performed the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio four occasions now and each time they have lost 2-zero. Given this stage of virtually supernatural consistency (Clint Dempsey even missed a late penalty in the newest version to maintain the 2-0 scoreline in tact), Columbus, Ohio has become a nightmarishly mythical place that’s solely spoken about in hushed tones inside Mexico. A legend has developed — instructed to young kids as a warning of what lurks on the horizon for his or her beleaguered national crew. This is that legend…

When the United States turned consumed with jealousy over Mexico’s lengthy, peaceable reign of dominance over them in football, They summoned dark forces to alter it. For many years, They pretended to not care about Mexico always profitable and even the game itself. They made jokes and paid consideration to way more boring issues like baseball and films about affluent youngsters who suppose their lives are tough. But in secret They conspired to finish Mexico’s wonderful success by inventing a town referred to as Columbus, Ohio out of nothingness in 1990s.

They strategically placed Columbus, Ohio in a territory so nightmarishly bland that even They call it “flyover country.” It’s a territory that only exists to make life miserable for Mexican footballers. And it’s there that They built their first “soccer particular stadium” — a time period that loosely interprets to “tiny demon fortress.” A David-like hovel that can only fit lower than 25,000 individuals in a land of Goliath sporting cathedrals. Few Mexicans have been inside the Columbus Demon Fortress, however those that have say that it’s a horrible place where the chants of “USA! USA!” penetrate the skull with their thunderous volume and maddening repetition. It accommodates rows of steel benches that supply horrible lumbar help and the scoreboard spews flames and black smoke when it has been too lengthy for the reason that final non-believer has been provided as a sacrifice.

In Costa Rica, they tell stories of the USA forcing snow from the skies above Colorado, but in Columbus, They have chosen to use the bitter chilly as a weapon towards Mexico. They did this in February 2001. The first time a brave Mexican group was subjected to this despicable place.

The frozen gamers had been left helpless as the USA unleashed a wolf — a Josh Wolff — to strike the cruel blows that might result in the primary dos a cero outcome in their favor. The frigidity of Columbus, Ohio penetrated El Tri so deep that the phantom chill followed the crew to the World Cup on the opposite facet of the earth and produced another 2-0 loss to the USA in the first knockout spherical. Rafa Marquez has worn mittens and a knit cap ever since. Even when he goes to the beach.

It was not until 2005, three years later, that a Mexico crew can be sucked again into Columbus, Ohio for a World Cup qualifier. Some say that the town simply did not exist in the time between those matches and an enormous apparition of the golfer Jack Nicklaus loomed instead. But in September of that 12 months, the apparition was gone and the vicious realm of Columbus, Ohio was back, fueling the USA players to develop larger and stronger than ever before. They paralyzed the talented and brave Mexican gamers with their harshly judgement stares, causing infinite self-doubt that no amount of psychiatry might ever cure. And once more, They gained 2-0.

Four years passed. Their shrunken hearts hardened by a poor showing on the 2006 World Cup, the USA doubled their efforts to make Columbus, Ohio much more horrific than before. Again they summoned frostbitten temperatures for Mexico’s reluctant go to in February 2009. They known as their goalkeeper Tim Howard, however this was not a man. He stopped all of Mexico’s valiant and impressive shots the way in which the much more reasonable Robocop stops crime and the coach’s son mocked Mexico’s non-coach’s sons by scoring two goals to make 2-0 yet once more.

Another 4 years passed and Mexico’s footballing struggles worsened. The curse of Columbus, Ohio adopted El Tri again to the infinitely better Estadio Azteca, which became website of the Nice Goal Drought of 2012/13. Three scoreless attracts — including one towards the USA — tortured the as soon as proud group and when their thirst for a goal was finally quenched at the Azteca, Honduras scored yet one more to inflict a uncommon home defeat and immediate the firing of the supervisor. Three days after this, the Mexican workforce needed to return to Columbus, Ohio. A place where nobody dances.

The now perpetual consequence inevitably continued its repetition. Even with a new supervisor and a desperate attack, there was no match for Tim Howard’s pirate beard, Landon Donovan’s infected eye of doom and unnervingly completely happy German who leads them. And simply to make it that much more spirit-crushing, the dark forces ensured that the USA captain missed a penalty in added time to maintain the 2-zero score tattooed on the minds of their mistreated visitors. The loss put Mexico at risk of what was once unthinkable — not qualifying for the World Cup.

While the USA players celebrated their very own qualification with their most putrid of domestic beers, the Mexican gamers have been left to ponder what they need to do to finish Columbus, Ohio’s reign of terror. However it will not be glad till Mexico’s national crew is reduced to the lowest depths of non-existent irrelevance that the USA’s crew once occupied. A place where the only sound that can be heard is the faint whisper of “Columbus, Ohio…”

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U.S. beat Mexico 2-0 in Columbus for the fourth time in a row, seal World Cup qualification

(ESPN/@ewrobinson1)

They did it again. For the fourth time in four matches relationship back to 2001, the United States beat Mexico 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. And in doing so, they helped seal their 2014 World Cup qualification with two matches left to play. It took a missed penalty from Clint Dempsey during damage time to keep the eerily constant scoreline, but that did not do something to bitter a jubilant night time in entrance of 24,584 fans in Columbus.

The “dos a cero” scoreline grew to become a well-known refrain for U.S. fans after beating Mexico 2-zero within the spherical of 16 on the 2002 World Cup, however in Columbus it is the solely refrain. Eddie Johnson began the path to the newest 2-zero with his header off a nook kick in the forty ninth minute.

Landon Donovan and his infected eye then completed the job by putting away a superb setup from Combine Diskerud, who entered the match two minutes earlier.

Coming off a 3-1 loss in Costa Rica that ended their 12-match successful streak and playing with out the injured Michael Bradley or suspended Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler, the consequence was particularly empowering for the U.S. Mexico were coming off a uncommon dwelling loss themselves and so they even modified managers over the weekend. With the U.S. back atop the group desk and positively on their method to their seventh straight World Cup, Mexico remain in a precarious place. A playoff against New Zealand appears more and more seemingly, though falling short of that is also possible.

The only excellent news for Mexico is that they do not must play in Columbus for some time.

(nickrimando/Instagram)

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Clint Dempsey follows Donovan’s lead, puts happiness ahead of strangers’ expectations

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As Landon Donovan confirmed the benefits of putting his personal bodily and mental well being forward of the threat of harsh phrases from faceless critics with a Golden Boot successful performance on the Gold Cup, it turned out Clint Dempsey was additionally reassessing what’s most necessary to him. Lower than a month later, MLS as a whole and Seattle Sounders followers particularly received the lottery with a ticket they did not know they purchased when Dempsey was introduced as the club’s newest and biggest signing.

While still convulsing from the shock of the transfer, MLS supporters and scoffers trampled over one another to shout their disparate judgements from the tops of mountains (and through various social media accounts). This was each an undeniable show of the league’s pulsating strength and the loss of life knell of Clint Dempsey’s respectable profession. It was the United States reclaiming their greatest player from the clutches of those dastardly Europeans with their superior competitions and it was Clint Dempsey giving up. As antithetical and extreme as all of the snap conclusions had been, they had been all solely centered on Clint Dempsey the participant. Clint Dempsey the employee. Clint Dempsey the commodity.

But underneath all the handwringing and back patting and head shaking and excessive fiving of others, it was only a particular person, like most every different individual, who wanted himself and his household to be as happy as humanly attainable. And to achieve this, he felt it was mandatory to go back to residing in his native country.

The mixture of wealth and idolization and expectation of awe-inspiring ability fosters a weird form of resentment that causes too many fans and journalists to overlook that professional athletes are usually not simply chaste recreation items always on the service of the devoted. Their humanity is a constant nuisance to this ideally suited, but the expectation of selflessness and undying loyalty to the workforce, the fans, the sport and always needing to be more stays the norm. We do not root for individuals, we root for performers.

When Landon Donovan determined to depart Bayer Leverkusen and play in MLS early in his career because he was homesick, he was mocked and branded as weak. Homesick? An expert athlete homesick?! They are only allowed to feel sadness when they fail and happiness after they help their group. No different feelings, no different causes.

“People simply miss the purpose,” a 24-yr-previous Donovan informed ESPN before the 2006 World Cup. “I just wish to be joyful. If I’m comfortable, I can play with anybody on the earth. I could possibly be over there [Europe] and I may very well be profitable, but I’d by no means come near being as blissful as I am right here. Irrespective of how a lot better it might make me, it could never be worth it… Soccer is vital to me. It’s not every little thing to me.”

Despite the sensibility of those words, success in their work is still thought of the only acceptable source of an athlete’s happiness. And so when Clint Dempsey confronted the press for the first time as member of the Seattle Sounders, he first tried to explain himself in terms of work and loyalty and success.

“A few weeks in the past, the chance got here up where my agent requested me if [the transfer] have been something I would be inquisitive about,” Dempsey explained, losing his voice from the uncharacteristic amount of speaking he is had to do of late. “And I stated ‘for sure.’ I’ve all the time followed the league — it’s the league that gave me my chance to become professional and I wanted to have the ability to come again when I am in my prime and not when I’m past it to assist continue the growth of this league and of this membership.”

The need to return to MLS “in his prime” to help the league that gave him his begin is a stunning sentiment and it is probably an honest one. It is also a comparatively new one.

Before Dempsey spoke, Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer began the press conference by telling his facet of the story: “Starting about two years [ago], I’d name the league or keep up a correspondence with Lyle Yorks, Clint’s agent, and inquire about Clint. And the answer was all the time ‘No likelihood. No likelihood, no likelihood, no likelihood.’ So each few months I’d name and get the identical reply. So about five weeks or so ago, there began to be some rumors from England that possibly Clint may very well be offered by Tottenham. We did not know if they had been rumors or if there was any validity to it, but it was an opportunity to select up the phone once more. I called Lyle once more and the reply was still ‘No likelihood.’ So we type of went on our means, assuming that that will continue to be the case. And then I’d say about two and half weeks ago, I acquired a name from Todd Durbin within the MLS workplace. Concurrently the commissioner was reaching out to [Sounders proprietor] Joe Roth and the message was ‘there might be an opportunity.’ ”

Going from a chorus of “no probability” to signing with Seattle in a matter of days is a drastic change that probably wasn’t prompted by a sudden want to HELP MLS PROPER NOW! He nonetheless had two years left on a take care of Spurs that he simply signed final summer season. After first attempting to power a move from Fulham to Liverpool earlier than selecting Tottenham. He went from being a star at a smaller club to a supporting part at a much bigger one and still he was just barely missing out on the Champions League soccer he tried to engineer his 2012 switch to succeed in. At 30-years-previous — two years youthful than a “past-it” David Beckham was when he joined MLS — it had grow to be clear within the last 12 months that he in all probability reached as excessive as he may climb in the hierarchy of European football. And, along the way, he proved himself to be one of the best American outfield player ever in the Premier League.

But Dempsey needed to scratch some bellies earlier than he could get to the primary reasons. The personal causes. The issues that guide everyone’s major life choices that athletes must fake they depart for last. If he started by saying that, as Sports activities Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported, he was getting an MLS file base salary of $6.86 million a yr (David Beckham got $6.5 million plus a share of ticket and jersey gross sales), he would be labeled a greedy, soulless mercenary. If he started by saying he missed home, he would’ve gotten a taste of the Landon Donovan therapy, albeit tempered by his accomplishments.

So with the sincere niceties and selflessness groundwork laid down, Dempsey slipped in his deeper thoughts before tempering it with extra work speak.

“I had two extra years on my contract. I was already beginning to get the itch, to be honest with you. I wanted to come back back to the States. I simply missed being in America. That’s the place I used to be born. And uh, you know, I needed to assist continue the expansion of the game.”

Landon Donovan took four months off from the sport final winter for bodily and mental exhaustion. He thought-about retirement. He needed a break. He was called disloyal. He was called egocentric. He was once more referred to as weak.

No one who stated this stuff knew or notably cared about Landon Donovan the person, simply Landon Donovan the participant. Landon Donovan the commodity. When he was confirmed proper to step away by coming again and taking part in extremely properly, leading the U.S. to their first Gold Cup title since 2007, he was only doing what was anticipated of him. Although many people failed to acknowledge that Donovan was right to do what he knew was best for him despite widespread perceptions, Clint Dempsey appears to have taken it as inspiration.

“I feel everybody has the suitable to their opinion and what they assume is finest for the longer term,” he said. “Whether or not that’s with the nationwide team, whether or not that’s to your profession and also you additionally should do the same for your self. All people is their very own man. And it’s not something I made a rapid determination on. I really thought of it and I actually had numerous conversations with my mother and my dad. My brothers and my spouse. I simply really feel that it was the best time.”

“I had two extra years there, but I have been in Europe for six and a half years and I simply…I wanted to return dwelling. I was beginning to get that itch. Every year was harder to go back and I believe every thing simply has to do with timing.”

“[Seattle is] the perfect place to be to do the things you want to do on and off the field. I stay up for elevating my household here. That was an enormous thing. Having the ability to have my youngsters raised here within the States and have some of the same experiences that I had. Like tee-ball and all that kind of stuff. So I simply stay up for that and look forward to getting started. Getting on the sector.”

But the sphere comes second. It’s essential, but it surely’s not the whole lot.

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U.S. beats Panama to win Gold Cup title even without manager Jurgen Klinsmann

The United States beat Panama 1-0 to win their fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title, giving them their first trophy underneath manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Regardless that he was pressured to look at from the manager suite as he served a touchline ban in the course of the closing. With regular rivals Mexico getting knocked out within the semifinals, the USA rolled via the tournament with out much trouble — extending a staff record eleven-match profitable streak within the course of.

As perfunctory as it might have seemed for the USA, it looks like the start of a constructive new period for the workforce. Since they last won the Gold Cup in 2007, they suffered excruciating losses in three straight cup finals: succumbing to Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup last after taking a two-objective lead, then shedding the 2009 Gold Cup last 5-0 to Mexico and the 2011 Gold Cup final once more to Mexico, that by a slightly higher rating of 4-2.

Though Mexico’s inner turmoil saved them from giving the U.S. an opportunity at one other rematch, Panama proved to be a worthy adversary. They kept the match scoreless till Brek Shea tapped in his second profession international aim (and second of the tournament) in the 68th minute and that proved to be the difference as the house side failed to complete any of their other possibilities.

As joyous as overcoming their cup last demons in spite of CONCACAF’s controversial resolution to ban Klinsmann was for the USA, the day was not with no sad word. Within the twenty third minute, eminently likable midfielder and wellspring of positivity Stu Holden, who simply returned to the workforce before the tournament after three knee surgeries that have eaten up the vast majority of the last two years of his burgeoning career, sprained his different knee and needed to be subbed out. When he sat on the bench earlier than heading again to the dressing room to get examined, his show of crushing disappointment was instantly shared by the entire workforce’s followers.

One of the most encouraging aspects of this event for the U.S. has been the depth they’ve displayed, though. Even on a roster without most of the team’s prime players, the perimeter guys and younger prospects proved they will come by means of when known as upon. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando had an excellent event, Eddie Johnson and Chris Wondolowski scored objectives (which, not too long ago, was a rarity for any of the workforce’s strikers), Alejandro Bedoya and Holden’s replacement, Mix Diskerud played properly within the midfield. And, of course, Landon Donovan tied all of it together by coming off of his sabbatical from the sport and playing perhaps better than ever before in his profession.

Yes, it is solely the Gold Cup — CONCACAF’s off-model equivalent to UEFA’s European Championship and CONMEBOL’s Copa America — and there is nonetheless a 12 months’s worth of labor to be done, crammed with ever changing, overscrutinized peaks and valleys in type, earlier than the World Cup. However for once it is laborious to complain in regards to the state of the U.S. national workforce. And that’s just concerning the highest praise a fan of any crew can supply.

Now if Jurgen Klinsmann can just magically heal Stu Holden’s knee, he would possibly truly be a wizard.

Team U.S. celebrates their win over Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer ultimate in Chicago, Illinois, July 28, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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Jurgen Klinsmann sent off as U.S. rolls to Gold Cup final

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Extending their winning streak to a team record 10 matches by beating Honduras 3-1 in the Gold Cup semifinals, life has gotten rather comfortable for the United States. Landon Donovan is in peak form, the strikers are actually scoring goals and they’ve outscored their opponents 19-4 over their five Gold Cup matches. In short, the U.S. team is celebrating their federation’s 100th anniversary by doing something they’ve rarely done in that span: what they’re supposed to.

As magnificent and encouraging as that achievement is, it’s also the kind of thing that can lead to complacency if you’re not careful. So just as the U.S. was preparing to close out the win against Honduras, manager Jurgen Klinsmann showed his unrelenting fire and infectious passion by loudly protesting the increasingly rough and dangerous play of his discouraged opponents. And in the 87th minute, the referee sent him off when he punctuated his protests by throwing a ball at the ground in frustration. As a result, the CONCACAF disciplinary committee will now decide whether Klinsmann will serve a touchline ban during the final. That keeps everyone on their toes, eh?

It was a punishment that seemed to come as a surprise even to Klinsmann himself. The kind of thing that sparks conspiracy theories like how the referee, who was Costa Rican, might’ve been out for revenge after Costa Rica protested their loss to the USA in a World Cup Qualifier during a Colorado blizzard earlier this year.

Regardless of the motives, it’s hard to see the referee’s overzealous punishment being extended under the scrutiny of the disciplinary committee. But, then again, it is CONCACAF. Klinsmann apologized for his part when he spoke to the press after the match. From Newsday:

“It was just a reaction out of frustration,” Klinsmann said, “because the fouls added up. It just kind of boiled over I apologize for the reaction. It was not meant for the referee.”

So Klinsmann continues to win over his doubters with decisive results while galvanizing his team with his impassioned defense of their well-being. Together, with a newfound consistency against inferior regional competition, they can now complete a tournament to remember with their first Gold Cup win since 2007. At least until something bigger comes along.

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El Salvador fans throw sunglasses at Landon Donovan, so he tries them on

The large El Salvador contingent in attendance at their Gold Cup quarterfinal against the United States in Baltimore made their presence known throughout the match, making noise and throwing whatever they could onto the pitch when an opposing player would attempt to take a corner kick. Landon Donovan experienced this with the U.S. up 5-1 in the 87th minute. And he responded with an impromptu homage to CSI: Miami’s David Caruso.

As he prepared to take a corner kick in front of the opposing supporters, plastic cups and other items rained down (along with the actual rain, which was happening at the time) on the edge of the pitch. Among the foreign objects at his feet, Donovan found a pair of sunglasses, which he attempted to give to the official behind him. The handoff failed though, so Donovan decided to put the glasses on before the ref grabbed them off his face.

Donovan scored a goal and set up three others in the USA’s 5-1 win. He now has three goals and six assists in the tournament, thus proving the restorative powers of taking a sabbatical in Cambodia. Here’s video of his goal, complete with his celebratory attempt to hug the sky…

(Getty)

 

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Belize players claim they declined bribe to lose to the USA

Belize’s starting XI for the match. (Getty)

Following their 6-1 loss to the United States in their first Gold Cup group-stage match, several members of first-time qualifiers Belize claimed they were repeatedly approached prior to the match by a match fixer. Belize, which is still in the process of raising the last $25,000 necessary to fund their trip across the USA for the tournament, scored in the 40th minute of their Portland opener after Chris Wondolowski scored the host nation’s first two goals in the 12th and 37th minutes. Wondolowski then completed a hat trick before halftime and his teammates added three more goals in the second half, ending with Landon Donovan’s penalty in the 76th minute.

The Belize players say they turned down the bribe attempts — which ESPN reports were for €10,000 ($13,074) — in the name of national pride. From the Edmonton Sun:

“(The briber) started (saying) we don’t really stand a chance to beat the U.S so he wanted us to promise him that we would lose the game and that he would give us a large amount of money to change our lives in Belize and to help our families,” Belizean defender Ian Gaynair told 7 News Belize.

The players claim they were first approached while at a Guatemalan airport before meeting the man at a Portland mall.

“I made him understand that we’re not into taking money from him or anything like that, and we’re here for our country,” Belizean goalkeeper Woodrow West said.

It seems silly that a match fixer would feel the need to pay Belize to lose since that was naturally a very, very likely result anyway. Perhaps he wanted them to lose 79-0 like in the Nigerian fourth division.

This isn’t the first time match fixing claims have hit the Gold Cup. CONCACAF investigated reports of match fixing in multiple games during the 2011 Gold Cup, but nothing came of it.