Stock dropping: the United States men whose standing seems in decline

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Carlos Bocanegra:

Whereas Steve Cherundolo is hiding his age with aplomb, the same can’t be said for Bocanegra, whose performance may be suffering from his club choice, Racing Santander in Spain’s second division.

That early goal against Guatemala wasn’t all his fault – plenty of blame to go around on that disconcerting bit schoolboy business – but it’s on the wise old hand to set the line and keep the organization tidy in the rear.

Mostly, however, it’s the speed issue that will be an ongoing concern. Quickness was never Bocanegra’s forte, anyway. So any loss of pace (which is inevitable, of course) will be costly in the final round of qualifying. It certainly was in Tuesday’s opening minutes as Bocanegra futilely chased Carlos Ruiz from behind. As I said in another post, Ruiz is a lot of things, but “fast over distance” isn’t one of them.

We all knew that a World Cup at age 35 might be a stretch for the U.S. captain. So it’s fair to begin asking whether it’s time for Jurgen Klinsmann to begin making the center back transition now, to blood Omar Gonzalez or get more international experience for Tim Ream during the coming pressure cookers of final round qualifying?

Jermaine Jones:

His yellow card against Antigua was needless and potentially costly. How could a veteran with his level of experience possibly adjudge that blatantly swatting a ball out the air, in a spot where there was little impending danger, was a good idea? Can Jurgen Klinsmann really trust this guy in the coming final-round matches, where the margin for error will shrink significantly?

We’ll keep saying it: What Jones adds to the team, only Jurgen Klinsmann could say. (More on that one in this post from earlier in the week)

Tim Howard:

This is relative, of course; there is no real threat to the longtime No. 1 in U.S. goal. But if we’re honest, Howard wasn’t at his best Tuesday. His starting position on the early Guatemalan goal was surprisingly poor, and the hesitation in coming out to challenge Ruiz earlier was distinctly un-Howard-like. But clearly the man has earned plenty of benefit of the doubt. So, let’s call this one “stock falling, but with an asterisk.”

(MORE: The U.S. men whose stock is on the rise)

(MORE: The U.S. men who stock is strong and steadfast)

Report: Crystal Palace to build new stadium

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Crystal Palace may have a new home in the next few years.

That’s according to reports out of English, which state that Crystal Palace owner Steve Parish is set to make a major stadium announcement before Christmas.

Crystal Palace’s home stadium, Selhurst Park, is nearly 100 years old, and the club has looked over the last few years at either new locations for a stadium in South London or ways to renovate the current ground.

“When I came into this thing, the aim was to bring something for all of us to be proud of on the pitch and very importantly off the pitch,” Parish told the Croydon Advertiser. “We want to give everybody in Croydon a south London stadium that we can all be proud of and not lose our atmosphere and uniqueness.

“That’s a dream for me, a lifelong dream and one that hopefully everybody will share when they see what we’ve put together. It’s fantastically exciting times for us to look forward to.”

Unlike in America, where many sports owners demand a new stadium every 20-25 years or so, in England, there are many stadiums still in use across the Football League and Premier League that were initially built in the 1800s.

It’s unclear who would pay for a new Crystal Palace stadium, what it would look like and how many seats it would hold, but perhaps a new stadium and facility could help

FOLLOW LIVE – MLS Conference Finals, Leg 1

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There’s never been more on the line in the latest Trilliam Cup matchup.

For the first time, Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew will meet in the MLS Cup playoffs, kicking off at 8:00 p.m., with both teams taking different paths to the Eastern Conference finals.

Toronto FC battled the New York Red Bulls to win on away goals, after a 2-1 win in Red Bull Arena in the first leg, but tempers flared and the Supporters Shield winners will be without both Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore on Tuesday night. The Crew meanwhile survived an incredible 120 minutes at Atlanta United to win in a shootout, and then carried that momentum into a 4-3 aggregate victory over New York City FC.

[FOLLOW: MLS Conference Finals Play-by-Play]

Now, with the Crew’s status in Columbus still up in the air, Crew fans have one chance to pack MAPFRE Stadium to support their team and prove to the league they can support an MLS franchise.

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the upstart Houston Dynamo host a sold-out crowd as the defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders visit, with kickoff set for 9:30 p.m.

The Dynamo stunned the injury-riddled Portland Timbers in the last round and the Dynamo has lost just once at home in MLS action this calendar year. On the other side, the Sounders are getting a major boost, with Osvaldo Alonso and Jordan Morris close to returning, either in this game or next week, and Clint Dempsey remains fit and raring to go back in his home state.

Follow all the action from tonight’s MLS Cup playoff matchups.

LAFC, Bradley add Egyptian international

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On it’s face, Los Angeles FC signing an Egyptian international may be strange.

But when you think about who’s calling the shots, it makes all the sense in the world.

LAFC coach Bob Bradley brought in a former player of his from his time with the Pharoahs, as Omar Gaber became the latest player to join the new MLS club. Gaber comes from FC Basel on a season-long loan. The 25-year-old right back has played just once for Basel in the 2017-2018 season in the league, finding himself on the outside looking in and looking for a new place to prove his fitness ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

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“I loved working with all the Egyptian players, and had a great opportunity to get to know Omar during that time,” Bradley said in a statement. “He’s always been admired by teammates and fans for his all-around contributions and willingness to give everything on the field. I am proud to welcome Omar Gaber to LAFC.”

Gaber is the fifth signing this offseason for LAFC.

 

 

Report: Lukaku avoids jail time for Beverly Hills complaint

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Romelu Lukaku doesn’t have to worry about having to serve time in a Beverly Hills, Calif. jail cell.

After being issued a citation this past July for multiple noise complaints at a residence, on Tuesday a Los Angeles court ordered that Lukaku pay $450 to the Beverly Hills Police Department to reimburse them for multiple responses to the residence. The decision by the court reduces the Manchester United striker’s offense from a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of six months in jail, to a charge of disturbing the peace.

“They are reaching a disposition in this case that the first thing that must happen is the defendant must pay Beverly Hills Police Department $450 for multiple response calls.,” Jane Godfrey, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner said.

Of course, it was unlikely that Lukaku would ever face jail time for his offenses, but perhaps now with this out of the way, he can get back to doing what he does best; scoring goals.