Clarence Goodson not available; who plays Tuesday?

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Jurgen Klinsmann’s choices along the back line Friday, by pretty much every assessment out there, were the only ones that fell in a favorable way.

So, just the doggone luck …

Today we discover that Clarence Goodson (pictured) will be ineligible due to yellow card accumulation. So the back line will change Tuesday at Crew Stadium – presumably along with changes in a midfield that flopped and an attacking arrangement that kicked butt for just under 40 seconds, but wasn’t much from there.

(I should clarify, the back line was going to change regardless, assuming Steve Cherundolo could return healthy.)

The big change Tuesday in Ohio will be at center back, where Goodson is not available to partner with Geoff Cameron. So let’s study the options:

Cameron will almost certainly hold his spot in the rear guard. He’s the rising man back there anyway, and the Stoke City newbie did his new team proud with that steady performance in Kingston. (Again, we must always tip to Klinsmann’s unpredictable ways. So, you never know …)

Carlos Bocanegra is the most obvious choice to station next to Cameron. But Jamaica’s attackers are fast and the longtime U.S. captain isn’t. Plus, Klinsmann clearly had concerns, otherwise Bocanegra would have started in Kingston. It was probably some combination of Jamaica’s speed and Bocanegra’s lack of quality competition lately that had Klinsmann leaning another direction.

Michael Orozco Fiscal has been a Klinsmann favorite from the start. No one knows exactly why, although the Californian did slip forward to record perhaps the most important goal during Klinsi’s time in charge, that little tuck-away in the 1-0 smash-and-grab last month at Azteca.

Maurice Edu partnered with Cameron in the win over Mexico, so that’s clearly an option. Even if the stakes are elevated, a contest against Jamaica on American soil is a far lesser test than facing down El Tri in Mexico City. That is to say, Klinsmann clearly trusts this combo.

Michael Parkhurst played at right back last week, and does so at times for his Danish club, quite a bit recently. But Cherundolo’s return along the right would hand Klinsmann this option, too.

Jonathan Spector’s versatility has probably dented his career; having never established himself at one spot, the Birmingham City defender was never able to find a polished groove, not at international level, anyway. Then again, that same versatility makes him valuable in these situations. Klinsmann could do a lot worse than putting Spector alongside Cameron.

Sweden not keen on Zlatan’s World Cup return

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With Zlatan Ibrahimovic already making his mark in Major League Soccer with three goals in his first three games for the LA Galaxy, the veteran Swedish forward is eyeing a return to international duty for the 2018 World Cup this summer.

“A World Cup without me wouldn’t be a World Cup” said Ibrahimovic, 36, recently as he also confirmed during an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show that he will be going to Russia but didn’t give specific details if it was as a spectator or a player.

Well, perhaps we won’t be having a World Cup because it appears not all of his former teammates would be on board if Zlatan took a U-turn on his decision to retire from the Swedish national team after EURO 2016.

Back-up goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson had the following to say to outlet Main Oppose.

“We managed to qualify and go through to the World Cup without him, and I think we can manage to play well at the World Cup without him,” Johnsson said. “But it’s up to the coach to see if he wants to bring him – and I am sure if he does join, he will play well. As a team, we play as a collective, all the players together. With Zlatan, as a person, as a player he’s an individualist, and the play goes around him. Instead, now, we play more the team all together.”

Boom.

Zlatan has said multiple times that he is thinking about a return to the Swedish national team squad and with World Cup squads set to be announced in around about one month from now, surely Sweden’s head coach Janne Andersson must now if he will call up Zlatan.

The positives for Sweden are obvious. The can bring in their all-time leading goalscorer to jump off the bench late in tight games to try and get them out of Group F where they face Germany, Mexico and South Korea.

The negatives are centered around what Johnsson said, with Sweden looking like a tighter unit and all pulling together to get to the World Cup after missing out on qualifying for the last two in 2010 and 2014.

Zlatan has actually only played in two World Cups, in 2002 and 2006, scoring just once, and if he does go to the World Cup he will be taking the spot of one of Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen and Issac Thelin in the squad. Berg scored eight in qualifying, while Emil Forsberg scored four and the Swedish attacking unit seems to flow a lot better from Zlatan.

Look, Zlatan will probably go to the World Cup. But it appears not everyone will be happy with this decision.

PHOTOS: Tottenham’s stunning new stadium

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Tottenham Hotspur’s new $1 billion stadium is taking shape and it is looking magnificent.

The plan is for Spurs’ new home at White Hart Lane to be ready for the 2018/19 season, with reports stating that Mauricio Pochettino‘s men will play their first couple of games away from home next season in order to squeeze in a few more weeks for construction.

Spurs’ new  home will seat 62,062 fans and will be the second-largest stadium in the Premier League behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

Take a look at the photos below in the spring sunshine in London, with the largest single-tier stand in Europe looking sublime as the roof panels are going on and the stadium is really starting to come to life.


Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso handed three-game ban

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After being named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year on Wednesday, it has been a mixed few days for Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso as he has received a three-game ban with immediate effect after being found guilty of violent conduct.

Alsono, 27, stamped on Shane Long‘s calf in Chelsea’s 3-2 comeback win at Southampton last time out but referee Mike Dean missed the incident completely.

Since then Alonso has received a retrospective charge from the English FA and although the Spanish left back appealed the decision and the length of the ban, it was upheld and he will now miss Chelsea’s next three games.

Alonso will miss the clash at Burnley on Thursday, the FA Cup semifinal against Southampton on Sunday and the trip to Swansea City on Apr. 28.

Who will come in for Alonso?

Antonio Conte has already stated that Emerson Palmeri, a January arrival from AS Roma, will start at Burnley on Thursday and if the Brazilian full back impresses then it is highly likely he will stand in for Alonso in the big FA Cup semifinal on Sunday against Saints. Other options would be Davide Zappacosta playing as the left wing-back or even Cesar Azpilicueta out there.

As for Saints, they feel hard done by after Dean didn’t spot Alonso’s foul even though he was standing yards away from the incident and looking straight at it. At the time of the incident they led 1-0 going into half time and their manager Mark Hughes believes it would have made a big difference as Alonso’s cross set up Olivier Giroud to make it 2-1 and the Spaniard made a big difference from left back in the incredible 3-2 comeback victory. Still, at least Saints won’t have to play against Alonso on Sunday with revenge in the air…

PHOTOS: Liverpool unveil new 2018/19 kit

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Liverpool have gone for a “pepper red” kit for the 2017/18 season.

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On Thursday the Anfield club released their new jersey for next season with New Balance once again their kit suppliers.

The key features of this new kit is a small collar, with a fresh white and red look throughout.

Check out the images and video below.