What will USMNT learn from potential Guatemala friendly?

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Okay, so apparently Jurgen Klinsmann has lined up another friendly this summer.

Reports from San Diego have the USMNT squaring off with CONCACAF foes Guatemala in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium on July 5.

The friendly international would act as a warm-up for the Gold Cup tournament, with Klinsmann already stating many new faces will be used late this summer as the main USMNT faces are used solely in the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

However, just what will the US learn from having a friendly wedged into an already hectic summer?

The US already have 12 games to play between May 29 and October 12. That is a pretty hefty schedule. Plus more games could follow, depending on how far they advance in the Gold Cup.

That being said, almost two different squads will be used by Klinsmann. This week the German coach said he will call up between 23-25 guys for the upcoming camp but he mentioned that at the moment his staff are following the progress of almost 50 players.

So, would Guatemala be a good idea given the huge number of players Klinsmann has to sift through? Absolutely.

(More: Late arrivals to USMNT camp, but they aren’t all the same)

He has already stated his intent to call on USMNT players based in MLS and Scandinavia for the Gold Cup, so having an extra friendly before that to help team cohesion and work with them up close isn’t a bad thing. Plus, the Nats will face Belize in the Gold Cup opener at JELD-WEN Field just four days later on July 9.

Guatemala and Belize will be a similar style of opponents, so I can see what Klinsi is thinking.

However, call me old fashioned, but I just don’t see the point of cramming in so many friendlies. Klinsmann will know his best XI, Gold Cup XI, Reserve XI and all the rest of that already. And if he didn’t he could find that out during camps and training sessions.

When all is said and done, the friendly hasn’t been confirmed yet. But it does seem pretty likely. So it will be an extra chance to see the USMNT in action, allow fringe players to prove their worth and provide a break from the rigors of a pre-Gold Cup camp.

Okay, maybe it is worthwhile after all. What do you guys think?

Podolski after golazo finale: “This is like a great movie”

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Lukas Podolski has won a EURO, a World Cup, and the Bundesliga with two different sides.

Only Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose have been capped more than Germany’s Polish born Podolski, and he received a hero’s send-off from the home crowd at Germany’s 1-0 win over England on Wednesday.

And of course he sent himself off in style with a gorgeous goal.

[ MORE: Guardiola close to adding $43m GK? ]

Podolski said there were more than 30,000 people from Cologne at the match, where he won one of his two Bundesliga titles.

“That’s when you know where you home is, and that you’ve done a lot of good, also off the pitch,” Podolski said. “That makes me very proud.”

It was a perfect night to say goodbye, and the goal made it almost surreal (Thomas Muller called it “cheesy”).

From Goal.com:

“This is like a great movie,” he told ARD. “We win 1-0 and I score the goal.

“I know I have a left foot that was probably gifted to me by God, or someone up there, and I can always rely on it. I am proud of these last 13 years.”

Feel good hit of the Spring.

Report: Guardiola close to adding $43m Benfica goalkeeper

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Year Two of the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City could feature another big goalkeeper purchase.

Claudio Bravo hasn’t panned out in sky blue, and Joe Hart doesn’t look likely to be coming back. Wily Caballero is getting the lion’s share of the minutes right now, playing every minute aside from a trio of FA Cup matches since February.

[ MORE: Podolski scores screamer in German finale ]

$43 million is the fee noted by Abola when it comes to the latest target for Guardiola, a neck-tattooed Brazilian by the name of Ederson.

The Benfica backstop, 23, has 20 clean sheets in 32 appearances this season. He signed a new six-year deal in late January, but money may talk here.

Podolski goes out with super goal; Germany tops England

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The highlight of Wednesday’s international friendly docket was Lukas Podolski‘s final match for Germany, and the former Arsenal man did not disappoint his crowd.

But first, Canada plays its first match since unveiling new coach Octavio Zambrano.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

Scotland 1-1 Canada

Zambrano saw plenty to like from his new side, as Canada went ahead early with a goal from former Scottish youth Fraser Aird. Toronto-born, the ex-Rangers and current Falkirk man got his first Canadian goal against the team he represented at U-17 and U-19 levels.

Norwich City’s Steven Naismith redirected Tom Cairney‘s shot to make it 1-1 before the break, but Scotland never found its way back into Canada’s net.

Germany 1-0 England

Lukas Podolski scored his 49th international goal in his final cap for Germany, and it was spectacular.

Joe Hart didn’t stand a chance.

The match saw big stops from both ‘keepers, as Hart thwarted Leroy Sane on a second half break after Marc-Andre Ter Stegen defied Dele Alli in the opening 45.

Podolski subbed off in the 84th minute to wild applause, but it must sting slightly to know you finished an illustrious career one goal short of a nice, round 50. We guess he’ll have to rest on his millions and millions of earnings and loads of on-field honors.

Elsewhere
Vietnam 1-1 Chinese Taipei
Philippines 0-0 Malaysia
Cyprus 3-1 Kazakhstan
Yemen 0-1 Palestine
Cambodia 2-3 India

McClean to wear No. 5 in honor of deceased ex-teammate

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James McClean is a colorful personality who doesn’t shy away from strong opinions — he once called Jurgen Klopp “a bit of an idiot” — and the West Brom man is using the big stage of World Cup qualifying to proudly honor a deceased ex-teammate.

McClean has long before friends with Derry City captain Ryan McBride, who shockingly died hours after leading his side to a league win this weekend. Given his age (27), few saw it coming even after McBride admitted to feeling ill after the match.

[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]

McBride and McClean played together at Derry, and the latter was excused from Republic of Ireland training to attend funeral services this week.

He’s still expected to play a role in Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday, and McClean will don the No. 5 of McBride. Irish defender Richard Keogh usually wears the number and agreed to the change.