United States v Canada

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.

Ancelotti rules himself out of Liverpool job

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid CF
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Carlo Ancelotti will not be the next manager of Liverpool, if you’re not so cynical that you don’t believe Mr. Ancelotti himself, that is.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Ancelotti, who this summer was fired one season after winning the UEFA Champions League at Real Madrid, has been widely reported a top-two candidate for the Premier League club’s vacant managerial position ever since Brendan Rodgers was fired on Sunday.

While he may very well have been one of Liverpool’s top choices, to hear Ancelotti tell it, he’s not interested in taking the job, nor any other job anywhere in the world this year.

[ MORE: “Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings ]

Ancelotti, speaking at the National History Museum in London on Tuesday — quotes from the Guardian:

“I enjoy my time now but, of course, I want to come back to manage – to work – because it is my passion. I want to take my time to rest, but next season I am ready.”

“Why not [return to Paris Saint-Germain]? I have very good memories of Paris, PSG, I have good relations with everyone, with Nasser [al-Khelaifi, the PSG president].

“But I’m thinking about other things and PSG has a very good coach in Laurent Blanc. I hope he will continue and shine in the Champions League.”

Of course, with Jurgen Klopp reportedly all but officially announced as Liverpool’s new manager, Ancelotti is probably doing two things by ruling himself out until next season: 1) saving a bit of face, given that he was pretty clearly not Liverpool’s first-choice candidate; 2) letting every Ancelotti-sized club know that he’ll be available come this spring and summer, just in case they’re considering firing their current manager and need a bit of assurance an elite candidate will be available.

[ MORE: Klopp expected to be named new Liverpool manager this week ]

For instance, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Juventus immediately come to mind. A manager of Ancelotti’s quality will always have options and offers, and that’s something he clearly understands. Ancelotti has earned the right to enjoy a year-long sabbatical and to be picky when choosing his next job.

Report: FIFA provisionally suspends Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

Sepp Blatter could, finally, be frozen out by FIFA.

The 17-year leader of world soccer’s governing body has reportedly been suspended for 90 days after FIFA’s ethics committee met on Wednesday to discuss allegations against both Blatter and his close ally Michel Platini.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter ]

Reports suggest that the decision to suspend the Swiss official still needs to be formally ratified by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, but it is highly likely that Blatter will be suspended until January 2016.

Blatter, 79, has been at FIFA for over 40 years but under his stewardship the organization has been riddled with allegations of corruption as current investigations from both the U.S. and Swiss authorities continue. The longtime FIFA official is suspected of “criminal mismanagement or misappropriation” by the Swiss authorities after a payment of over $1.9 million is linked to Blatter and the current president of UEFA, and FIFA presidential candidate, Platini.

[ MORE: How will USA line up vs. Mexico? ]

Klaus Stoehlker, who formerly advised Blatter, has told Sky News that the ethics committee “made the ruling pending further investigations by the Swiss attorney general” and the verdict was “pending”  but that “no negative finding had been made against the head of world football’s governing body.” It is believed that the 90-day suspension is the maximum amount of time the ethics committee can suspend any individuals while an investigation is ongoing.

It has been reported that the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Judge Hans Joachim-Eckert, has told Blatter of his suspension.

The leader of FIFA, who will stand down following the next presidential elections on Feb. 26, 2016, has been defiant in recent weeks despite growing pressure from corporate sponsors of FIFA for him to resign.

On Wednesday he spoke out and denied he will quit, while at the Leaders’ in Sport Summit in London another presidential candidate ,Chung Mong-joon, declared that he will sue Blatter for “at least $100 million” and believes the FIFA president and his “cronies” are deliberately sabotaging his own presidential campaign.