Head coach of the U.S. national soccer team Jurgen Klinsmann of Germany speaks to his players before a practice session at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City

What will USMNT learn from potential Guatemala friendly?


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?

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
Liverpool Football Club/Getty Images
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.