DaMarcus Beasley to join 100 cap club, who else is in it?

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Tomorrow night in Cleveland, Ohio, the USMNT will play Belgium in a friendly.

We all know that.

But some of you may have forgotten that it will be a hugely significant night for one US player in particular. DaMarcus Beasley is in line to make his 100th appearance for the USA.

Take a bow sir. You’re about to enter US soccer history.

Throughout plenty of trials and tribulations in recent season, Beasley’s importance to the USMNT hasn’t wavered and his versatility in recent months has seen him take on plenty of new roles for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. With an appearance against Belgium tomorrow, Beasley will reach the incredible landmark of 100 games for his national team.

The former PSV Eindhoven, Glasgow Rangers and Chicago Fire star is currently without a club. But with some good showings for the US over the next few weeks, surely “Beez” will figure all that out.

Anyway, we thought it would be nice to take a quick look at the illustrious company Beasley will now be in, as he becomes just the 13th player to reach a century of appearances for the Nats.

Cobi Jones (164 appearances)

The all-time leader in appearances, Jones epitomized the US national team for 12 years. A member of the national soccer hall of fame, Jones is weaven into the fabric of US soccer.

Landon Donovan (144 appearances)

Most USMNT fans are hoping Donovan racks up even more appearances than this. The 31-year-old LA forward is already the nation’s leading goalscorer with 49 goals. Will he ever get the chance to reach 50?

Jeff Agoos (134 appearances)

For over 15 years Agoos was a mainstay in central defense for the US, with his tough tackling and steely determination helping forge the USA’s identity as a soccer nation.

Marcelo Balboa (128 appearances)

Around almost as long as Agoos, Balboa anchored the US defense at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and along with pretty much all of these guys, was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Claudio Reyna (112 appearances)

The new Director of Football for New York City FC, Reyna was an international figurehead of the US side in his playing days.

Carlos Bocanegra (110 appearances)

Still hoping to add to this tally but not included in recent squads, Bocanegra has struggled this season in Europe after Rangers’ relegation meant he went out on loan to struggling Racing Santander in Spain. Surely this isn’t how Boca’s US career will end?

Paul Caliguiri (110 appearances)

A wily player who scored perhaps the most famous goal in US soccer history. “The shot heard around the world” sealed the USA’s qualification to the 1990 World Cup. Caliguiri is written into US soccer folklore.

Eric Wynalda (106 appearances)

Lethal striker who sits second all-time with 34 goals, Wynalda was renowned for his hard play and clinical finishing. Punditry and coaching have followed his playing career.

Kasey Keller (102 appearances)

Evergreen Keller bowed out of MLS in Seattle at the age of 41, and his status as the USA’s top ‘keeper remained for many seasons. Keller is now involved with TV broadcasts and is coaching with the US U-20 side.

Earnie Stewart (101 appearances)

The Dutch-American midfielder played all but one season of his career in Holland, as he flourished as a goalscoring midfielder. Stewart spent one year with D.C. United in MLS. Now he is the Director of Football at AZ Alkmaar.

Tony Meola (100 appearances)

The second goalkeeper to make this list, Meola shone in several MLS seasons. His most successful spell came with the Kansas City Wizards where he won MVP honors and an MLS Cup.

Joe-Max Moore (100 appearances)

One of the great USMNT midfielders, who shone overseas at Everton. Moore could have won many more caps but his career was ended early through injury. Great talent.

Texas-born Dempsey at home 1 goal from record, 1 win from Final

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Clint Dempsey is back in his home state of Texas, one goal away from a national scoring record for the United States team that is one win from playing in another CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

The Americans play a semifinal game Saturday night against Costa Rica in a stadium synonymous with American football – the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the Cotton Bowl and where the first College Football Playoff championship game was played three seasons ago.

That is only about 180 miles from Dempsey’s hometown of Nacogdoches.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

“It’s always great to be home and play in front of family and friends, especially for a big game,” Dempsey said Friday. “I have a lot of great memories of playing in Dallas as a kid, and I’m proud to represent Nacogdoches. Being from there made me who I am today.”

Dempsey, one goal from matching Landon Donovan’s American record of 57 national team goals, wasn’t part of soccer’s only Gold Cup games at the $1.2 billion AT&T Stadium.

In a 2013 semifinal game there when the Americans were on the way to their fifth Gold Cup championship, they beat Honduras 3-1. Donovan scored twice in that game – his 55th and 56th goals for the national team – and assisted on the other goal. About two months later, Donovan scored his final goal in a World Cup qualifier win over Mexico.

Within a week after Costa Rica beat the U.S. team 4-0 in World Cup qualifying last November, Jurgen Klinsmann was out as the U.S. coach and Bruce Arena was rehired to the position he had been fired from a decade earlier.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s super goal vs. Leicester ]

Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said Friday that Arena has seemingly had a positive impact on the U.S. team.

“They look more relaxed in terms of what they’re doing on the field,” Ramirez said through an interpreter.

This U.S. roster for the Gold Cup knockout rounds also is much different than the one that played in Costa Rica eight months ago – not just the change at coach. Only five players from that game that are set for this semifinal game – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi.

“That’s in the past,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think about that game. … This is just another game. It’s another opportunity for us to see what we’re made out of.”

Altidore, Dempsey, Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, and goalkeeper Tim Howard were all added to the lineup before a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the quarterfinal on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Dempsey set up Eric Lichaj‘s goal in extra time before halftime to make it 2-0 against El Salvador. Dempsey also fed Gyasi Zardes for a breakaway, though that apparent goal didn’t count after he was ruled offside.

That game was Dempsey’s 135th appearance for the national team, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157) on the U.S. list.

[ MORE: Why PSG’s Alexis-Neymar pursuit makes (relative) sense ]

Dempsey isn’t the only player with Texas ties with the U.S. team. Three players from FC Dallas, the MLS team that plays its home games about 40 miles away from the big stadium in Frisco, are on the roster: Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges and Jesse Gonzalez.

Acosta, the homegrown midfielder who turns 22 next week, was recently named to the MLS All-Star team. He was born in nearby Plano, Texas, and signed by FC Dallas five years ago.

“It’s definitely a proud moment, to get to represent my community, play before my friends and family,” Acosta said. “To be back in my hometown, I’m definitely excited about it.”

Notes: Costa Rica is trying to get to its first Gold Cup final since 2002, when it lost 2-0 to the Americans. “Obviously, we want to look for that reward, that happiness, and go after that,” Ramirez said. “We have a difficult team in front of us.” … The United States’ nine goals are the most in this Gold Cup, while Costa Rica has allowed only one in its four games.

Why PSG’s Alexis, Neymar pursuit fits in a (relatively) smart space

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Paris Saint-Germain’s run of four Ligue 1 titles ended last season, a campaign which also saw exciting league-winners Monaco go two rounds further into the UEFA Champions League.

Monaco looks set for a step back this season, with Bernardo Silva off to Man City and Tiemoue Bakayoko signing for Chelsea. Kylian Mbappe could join Monaco’s list of departures, and reports say Man City had a bid accepted for Benjamin Mendy.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

While Monaco is loading up on young talent again, PSG clearly sees its chance to surge back into the title seat and Les Parisiens may just make themselves European favorites as well if they can pry Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and Neymar from Barcelona.

That would be a South American trident nearly as potent as the one Neymar current shares with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi at Barcelona, and the Brazilian would not be second or third fiddle.

PSG has so far been relatively quiet this summer, with the addition of Dani Alves the lone new buy. Aside from money, how was Alves lured to Paris over Man City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola? The idea of a reunion with Neymar and several Brazilian mates — Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura — may’ve been enough and surely that conversation would’ve happened between the two Barca stars.

The French side has to make a big chance at some point soon, unless they’ve been able to unload their money bags and actually buy a fountain of youth. Thiago Motta is 34, Blaise Matuidi 30, Silva 32, and Edinson Cavani 30.

It’s calculated aggression from PSG to splash cash in hopes of rivaling Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barca in pursuit of the UCL title. The Neymar move weakens one of those rivals. If Marco Verratti isn’t part of a swap deal, the signings of Sanchez and Neymar would meet the Italian star’s ambitions well up the road.

De Boer: West Brom was out to injure Palace star Zaha

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No shrinking violet, new Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer was left fuming at West Bromwich Albion players following the PL Asia Trophy third place match on Saturday in Hong Kong.

While the focus could’ve been on Luka Milivojevic‘s gorgeous free kick (watch here), De Boer couldn’t get past the hard fouls aimed at his key attacker.

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West Brom gave away the free kick that led to the aforementioned goal by chopping down Zaha, and the foul was not an isolated incident.

From the BBC:

“They were looking for him, to injure him,” said De Boer.

“He’s one of the exciting players in the league. I don’t want to think he’d be out for two weeks or months.”

De Boer is no stranger to rough play, so this is not coming from a soft place. We doubt it’s going to change anything from Tony Pulis‘ men, though.

Chelsea hammers Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing (video)

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Chelsea struck twice early and Michy Batshuayi put the cherry on top as the Premier League champions cruised past Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing on Saturday.

The Blues started a lineup they’d use on any occasion in the PL, while Arsenal had unproven prospects Cohen Bramall and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the XI.

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Willian‘s quick goal put the Blues up 1-0 at the Bird’s Nest, and Batshuayi scored the second and third. Both were pretty classy, especially the second.

Marcos Alonso did the lion’s share of the work to produce the second chance for Batshuayi, who is threatening to carry over his fine late season form to this campaign. What a smash.