USMNT lineups announced as Costa Rican police assure timely arrival

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There was much talk of the Costa Rican taxi force collaborating to clog up the roads in an effort to make the US National Team’s travel to Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica a living hell.

That never materialized, at least not according to the USMNT, who took to twitter to thank the Costa Rican police for ensuring their arrival at the venue without hitch.

The police, according to Doug McIntyre of ESPN, lined the enterance to the stadium to make sure nobody could toss projectiles in the direction of the team.

As for the lineup, Jozy Altidore is only fit enough to make the bench as Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen to stick Clint Dempsey up front in the striker role with Landon Donovan slotted in behind him in a 4-2-3-1 lineup. Here it is:

Lineups:

United States – Howard; Orozco, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley; Bradley, Jones; Zusi, Donovan, F. Johnson; Dempsey.
Bench – Altidore, Beckerman, Bedoya, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Diskerud, Guzan, Jóhannsson, E. Johnson, Parkhurst, Rimando.

UPDATE: Michael Bradley sprained his left ankle during warmups, and is being replaced by Geoff Cameron in the starting lineup. A massive blow to the USMNT midfield. Hopefully it’s not a long-term issue and he can return against Mexico.

Costa Rica – Navas; G. Gonzalez, J. Acosta, Umana; Gamboa, Oviedo, Borges, Tejada, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz.

Couple of things to note. First, wow, Michael Orozco (officially his last name, no longer Orozco-Fiscal, per his passport) at right-back, beating out Michael Parkhurst and Geoff Cameron. Also, it’s officially Clint Dempsey’s 100th cap for the United States, so congratulations to him!

In terms of the Costa Rican lineup, it’s interesting to see Bryan Ruiz up front as a striker. He’s not naturally a striker, much like Clint. So there’s no true striker on the pitch for either side! This also means that Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío is pushed back to the bench.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.