Considering rookies, and a pair of impressive ones in New England Revolution camp

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Every year at this time, across many MLS preseason camps, some coach or staff member is raving about this rookie or that rookie.

This kid is absolutely killing it!

I say, I’ll get excited about it when the games are real, when it’s time to really put money on the table. Because the ability to impress in preseason training frequently fails to translate into regular season success.

In fairness, it’s easy to fall into this trap. I watched New England rookie Andrew Farrell (pictured) last week in Arizona. The guy does have a presence and maturity about him (which I suppose we should be saying about the league’s No. 1 overall selection.)

Revolution coach Jay Heaps has also been impressed with midfielder Scott Caldwell. So I watched the homegrown signing closely and must say, the kid barely had a bad touch all practice. He’s a two-way midfielder who can track and tackle, but the guy can sure finish, too!

See how that happens? How you can talk yourself this thing?

Still, the bottom line in this business is getting it done on match day.

Heaps said both players are adapting quicker than he expected to professional pace. “They didn’t lose anything even though they’ve jumped up to another level. That comes from the great coaching they’ve had in college, but it also comes from their mental approach, learning quickly when they come in here how we want to play, and translating that to the games and the [practice] sessions.”

I asked Heaps if he was any close than a month ago to determining Farrell’s position this year? Heaps remains reluctant to “commit” any one spot in the field just yet.

“I see him and say, he could be  a center back easily in this league, he could be a defensive midfielder easily in this  league, or he could be a right back.”

As Heaps and I spoke, we were on the exact same field where Sporting Kansas City staff had raved one year ago about rookie striker Dom Dwyer. They really thought the kid might make a big imprint in 2012.

He played just four minutes in league matches all year.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.

WATCH: Snazzy Sargent goal leads U.S. U-17s past Mexico

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Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.

Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.

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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.

The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.

Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.

Heads of South American soccer sent $128M in bank transfers

AP Photo/Esteban Felix
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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.

The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”

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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”

Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.

The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.

“I’m here, I’m the manager” – Moyes will not quit Sunderland

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This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.

The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.

But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.

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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.

Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.

Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:

“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.

“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”