It's cut day for the US national team.
But just who did Jurgen Klinsmann keep and who did he send packing? Find out which players are still around and which ones are gone ahead of the team's upcoming five-game stretch. Klinsmann will discuss his selections in a teleconference at 2 pm ET.
The “five-match tournament,” as the federation is calling it, begins with a friendly against Scotland on Saturday in Jacksonville. Most likely, Jose Francisco Torres will get the starting nod in midfield. The Pachuca star told recently ExtraTime Radio podcast that Klinsmann hopes “every pass goes through me.”
Clint Dempsey will be among the 23, but he won’t be in the lineup against Scotland, due to a groin strain. But the Fulham goal machine is still talking about his hopes for a move to a Champions League club. Speaking from USMNT camp, he revealed some of the global icons he measures himself against.
One reported suitor for Dempsey is Roma, which means he should talk to Chievo midfielder Michael Bradley. “General Bradley,” as the Italian press calls him, says all his US teammates are curious about his experience in Serie A. “They want to know about the quality of the league, the lifestyle and what’s like to live in Italy.”
Jozy Altidore isn’t looking to move anywhere. The striker just had the best year of his career in his first season at AZ Alkmaar. “I’d never really had the chance to express myself [at other clubs], but here I’ve got that and it changes everything,” he said.
A change is just what Maurice Edu needed. With his club, Rangers, in turmoil over financial problems, the holding midfielder says being with the USMNT is “kind of like a little escape from the situation right now.”
The Dynamo’s Andre Hainault will join Canada after Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy (2:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). But there were some issues he had to clear up with Canadian manager Stephen Hart before he got the call.
If there were any issues with the signing of the Montreal Impact’s first Designated Player, they were figured out as the club put pen to paper with Italian striker Marco Di Vaio. Then, on Thursday, the club hinted they might not be done signing DPs just yet.
Di Vaio’s signing, in some ways, marks the official beginning of the silly season, when transfer rumors and new acquisitions will start coming fast and furious. The latest one is a report of vague Euro interest in Houston’s Geoff Cameron.
On the incoming side, there is chatter in England that Tottenham defender Ryan Nelsen is on his way back to MLS. He spent four years with D.C. United, where he won the 2004 MLS Cup.
The long-rumored move for Honduran international Oscar Boniek Garcia to MLS looks like it’s getting closer to reality. In any case, he could be coming to America with his club, recently crowned champions Olimpia, who are planning a centennial-celebration match in the US. (SPANISH)
Boniek could be the first of several Catrachos coming north. Reports out of Honduras claim that Catania striker David Suazo could be headed to MLS, as well as two Real Espana players, Edder Delgado and Ever Alvarado. (SPANISH)
Could any of them be joining Chivas USA? If they do, they would encounter a friendly atmosphere, according to recently acquired Goat Danny Califf, who reached back to the ’80s to describe his Southern California arrival. “It’s like Cheers, where you walk in and everyone knows your name,” he said.
Califf’s former club, the Philadelphia Union, are struggling for results this year and looking forward to facing winless Toronto FC on Saturday (4:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). But the Union’s lack of results doesn’t actually seem to bother manager Peter Nowak. "How we play, the way we play, is more important than anything," Nowak said.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is worred about how his club is playing. The midweek loss to Columbus has his questioning his current starting goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, who let up a soft goal to Emilio Renteria. “You can’t get caught off your line,” Schmid said.
Meredith has been starting in place of regular number one Michael Gspurning, but Schmid is reportedly thinking about making a switch for Saturday match at Chivas USA (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
FC Dallas are also struggling right now, having gone eight games in a row without a win. The chances of their making the playoffs have shrunk to 6.6%, according to this commentator’s calculations.
What are the chances MLS hands out a suspension to LA Galaxy star David Beckham for his recent comments about a referee? That’s the question NBCSports.com’s Steve Davis is asking, citing previous suspensions for similar comments to RSL manager Jason Kreis and Portland coach John Spencer.
Speaking of referees, one of the world’s best officials is concerned about the consequences if players “cry wolf” too much.
The game’s ultimate referee, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, also has a concern: the penalty kick shootout. He is interested in finding an alternative.
There aren’t too many alternatives available to new CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, who comes into office faced with broad allegations of corruption and tax errors within the governing body. According to legal counsel John Collins, the IRS is investigating CONCACAF because no tax filings have ever been made in the US.
Someone should do an investigation into how Orlando City Lions are doing so well on and off the field — and replicate it. After thumping KC Athletics to reach the round of 16 in the US Open Cup, the Lions have announced friendlies with English clubs Stoke City and Nottingham Forest.
Orlando City is one of the top soccer cities without an MLS club. But they have company. Ottawa is quickly becoming a mecca for the beautiful game. W-League side, the Fury, will host the league’s championship match in July. The city just received the rights to a NASL expansion side, and Women's World Cup will be there in 2015. Is an MLS team next? “Whether a city of Ottawa's size can support an MLS team, we'll find out,” says Fury owner John Pugh.
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