ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

U.S. international Edgar Castillo, notable because he played three times for Mexico before then playing for the United States, turns 26 today.

And since I am a huge fan of the Bourne series, Matt Damon turns 42.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

The United States roster comes out for its latest pair of qualifiers, Friday in Antigua and then next week here against Guatemala. We already know one surprise, Eddie Johnson’s apparent inclusion. But there may be more surprises ahead; Jurgen Klinsmann has certainly demonstrated a lack of predictability where his selections are concerned.

The subplot here, one that related directly to Klinsmann’s latest call-ups, is Landon Donovan’s status. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena likes to make a big mystery of injuries, always playing fast and loose with the facts in these matters. But we’ll know a little more, at very least, on Monday. If Donovan is on the roster when U.S. Soccer releases it at 3 p.m. ET, then he’s OK. If he’s not named to the U.S. squad – well, we still don’t know much about the left knee injury, but we know a little more.

(MORE: Landon Donovan’s injury, with enough concern to go around)

(MORE: With little margin for error, Klinsmann wants greater focus)

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day):  Alecko Eskandarian

*Ahead on the blog today: Plenty. Thoughts on the U.S. roster, and something on Klinsmann news conference (at 3:30 p.m. ET) to discuss it.

Some thoughts on a U.S. Soccer decision that chaps my hiney.

We’ll talk a little more about the sensational scene last night in Seattle (pictured), where the Sounders fans went “all in.”

And the Monday usual, MLS Team of the Week, MLS Player of the Week and the Monday “Meh” list.

Twitter daps:

source:

If the MLS playoffs started today (following 28 rounds):

Eastern Conference

(Wildcard round)

  • Houston at New York

(Second round)

  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
  • Chicago vs. D.C. United

Western Conference:

(Wildcard round)

  • Vancouver Whitecaps at L.A. Galaxy

(Second Round)

  • San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
  • Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle

PST background noise while blogging today:  Sports talk. What a fantastic time of year.

We’ll leave you with this: How referee Mark Geiger could allow Kansas City’s Kei Kamara (or any player, for that matter) to get in his face and scream at him underscores how the league absolutely must empower – let’s make that require – match officials to demand players comport themselves more appropriately. This is what we want kids to see? This is the example everyone wants to set? That’s pitiful.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is…

Geiger, Marrufo, Villarreal picked as Gold Cup referees

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.

Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).

Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.

Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).

Watch Live: Germany, Chile in Confederations Cup showdown

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Alexis Sanchez is back in the Chilean starting lineup for the Confederations Cup’s marquee match-up on Thursday at 2 p.m.ET live on Telemundo Deportes.

Chile faces Germany for the Group B driver’s seat, holding a one goal advantage in goal differential.

[ WATCH LIVE: Cameroon vs. Chile on Telemundo Deportes ]

Germany starts Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Liverpool’s Emre Can in a young lineup with Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Report: Manchester United outbidding giants for PSG’s Marquinhos

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Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte says Manchester United has made the best offer to Paris Saint-Germain in a three-team giant battle for Marquinhos.

According to the report, the transfer fight is between United, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, though only the first three sides have lodged bids.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Barca’s offer is said to be the lowest, around $50 million, while United is said to be willing to pay a staggering $78 million for the 23-year-old Brazilian.

Marquinhos has made 155 appearances for PSG since joining from Roma in 2013. He’s reliably made 40-plus appearances over the past three seasons, and has 17 caps for Brazil.

A terrific defender who excels in keeping possession, Marquinhos has also played some right back for PSG.

VAR steps in to help Australia draw Cameroon 1-1

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Twenty-one year-old Cameroon midfielder Zambo Anguissa scored a deft late first half goal, but Video Assistant Referee helped Australia to a match-tying penalty kick as both sides stayed alive in the Confederations Cup after a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Australia captain Mark Milligan scored for Australia in the second group stage match for both teams at the Confederations Cup in Russia on Thursday.

Both teams lost opening matches, and victorious Chile and Germany square off at 2 p.m. ET

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Australia struggled to put any semblance of threat together, and wasted its prime chance just after halftime when Mathew Leckie cued up Tomi Juric only to see the Luzern striker waffle before mailing a harmless chance wide and high.

The Socceroos came close again in the 55th minute, as a Leckie shot was blocked wide of goal. Their forward-thinking allowed some chances for Cameroon, too, as Aboubakar missed wide himself in the 58th minute.

Referee Milorad Mazic used Video Assistant Referee to change a corner kick to a penalty kick in the 60th minute, and Australia captain Milligan buried the spot kick to make it 1-1.Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka chopped down Alex Gersbach in the box.

Aboubakar had a near post offering blocked wide by Milos Degenek, and the corner came to nothing. Australia had survived.