Heath Pearce-Red Bulls

Available United States left back options for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier?


Heath Pearce and Zach Loyd have both started matches at left back for the United States in 2012, so they are the most likely, 11th-hour call-ups who could provide additional cover at left back should U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann go that direction.

(MORE: Fabian Johnson out for Tuesday’s contest)

Pearce (pictured), a longtime outside back who plays centrally for the Red Bulls, manned the left side as the United States opened its first full year under Klinsmann with a 1-0 win over Venezuela at the Home Depot Center earlier this year.

He graded out an “just OK” by most accounts, but his 72nd-minute replacement was afforded better marks for adding some peppiness to the attack along the American left side. FC Dallas’ Zach Loyd apparently impressed Klinsmann enough, too.

Loyd started the subsequent contest a few nights later down in Panama, but an injury late in the first half of the 1-0 win removed the FC Dallas man from that one.

Either man is presumably available.

More likely is that Klinsmann just picks from the players who flew into Kansas City from Antigua on Saturday. (They have one practice today, a public workout that went on Sunday morning.)

Given that the United States needs only a draw, Klinsmann might be inclined to go slightly more defensive anyway. That means Carlos Bocanegra, the captain and central defensive veteran who doesn’t offer much push up the left side, but does bring that veteran wisdom, calm and reassuring experience.

(MORE: What must happen on Tuesday; the World Cup qualifying scenarios)

Of course, if Klinsmann wants to add pressure into higher areas – and that is, after all, among the primary tenets of the style he is attempting to implement – he needs more speed and attacking ability. That could mean a make-shift left back gambit, something like what we saw in June when Jose Torres surprisingly manned the position in a home contest against Antigua.

Sacha Kljestan, maybe? Danny Williams, anyone?

Given Klinsmann and his propensity for the unexpected, would anything really surprise any of us?

(UPDATE, 6:45 p.m. ET Sunday: Michael Parkhurst apparently worked out at left back Sunday, so he could be an option, too.)

Jurgen Klopp coy over links with Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Borussia Dortmund speaks during a Borussia Dortmund press conference, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group D match against Arsenal, at Emirates Stadium on November 25, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Based on all the reports, it seems like a matter of when, not if, Jurgen Klopp will be named the next manager at Liverpool.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss had been heavily linked with the Liverpool job even before Brendan Rodgers was fired, and now that Rodgers is out, Klopp’s name is once again grabbing all the headlines.

While some reports state he could be appointed manager by the end of the week, nothing is official yet as Klopp is still in Germany, unemployed as of today.

[ REPORTS: Nigel Pearson approached by Sunderland ]

Klopp was approached by a reporter from German news outlet Bild in Leverkusen, and was asked about the vacant Liverpool job. While he did not confirm he was in talks with the club, he didn’t deny the links either.

There’s nothing to say. Neither a definite yes nor a definite no. I’m going home now.

It is believed that a deal between the club and the manager is in the works, with a few details still needed to be worked out before anything is made official.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League Playback: Rodgers gone, but not forgotten ]

One of the biggest roadblocks in the deal is Liverpool’s use of a transfer committee when buying new players, while Klopp is supposedly keen on having full control over the team’s signings. The club has said no moves are made without the manager’s approval, although it is reported that Rodgers was limited on what players he could bring in, having multiple moves shot down by the committee.

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is still in the running for the vacant position, but at this time, Klopp is the out-and-out favorite to take over.

Reports: Sunderland reaches out to Nigel Pearson

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 11:  Nigel Pearson, manager of Leicester City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on April 11, 2015 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Sunderland is without a win and without a manager, as the Black Cats are in desperate need of some help.

After manager Dick Advocaat resigned following Sunderland’s 2-2 draw against West Ham, the club has been searching for a replacement to help lead the club off the bottom of the table.

Reports out of England state the North East club has approached former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson, who has been out of work after being fired over the summer.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Pearson knows what it takes to win with a team in a relegation battle, as he led Leicester to a 14th place finish last season after sitting bottom of the table at Christmas. Still in last place in March, the Foxes won seven of their final nine matches to stay up in the Premier League.

However, Pearson was sacked over the summer after having a fall-out with the Leicester board, and it was well-documented that he had a tumultuous relationship with the club’s owners.

It is being reported that Sunderland’s technical director Lee Congerton approached Pearson about the job, but that club owner Ellis Short would rather bring former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on board.

[ REPORTS: Liverpool could appoint Jurgen Klopp manager by end of the week ]

When you look at Nigel Pearson, he is a polar opposite of Dick Advocaat. Advocaat came to Sunderland towards the end of his managerial career, with experience winning titles with major clubs throughout Europe. However, he had never managed in the Premier League, and had no experience with a club fighting for survival.

Pearson, on the other hand, is fresh off a relegation battle and his fiery attitude may be what’s needed to turn Sunderland around. While Pearson may not always see eye-to-eye with the media or the board, he is fiercely loyal to his players and is a no-nonsense type-manager.

With the Premier League on an international break, Sunderland has a bit of time to figure things out, but expect Pearson’s name to continue to be linked with the job.