Geoff Cameron assists on huge Stoke City goal, continues to make his case for U.S. right back

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For whatever reason, Jurgen Klinsmann seems resistant to the thought of Geoff Cameron as a right back.

Klinsmann certainly likes Cameron, who seems like a shoe-in for one of those golden 23 roster spots. But the U.S. manager apparently prefers the rangy right-footer as a utilty knife-type, a guy who can ably man the middle of the defense, who can back up at right back and even play holding midfield in a pinch. (And since Jermaine Jones is almost sure to get into yellow card or even red card peril this summer in Brazil, a “pinch” at the spot cannot be so very far away.)

For whatever reason, Klinsmann has others ahead of Cameron at the right back spot – which will be Steve Cherundolo’s if the longtime U.S. right back can get back to full health and fitness.

But we also know this about Klinsmann: the guy has an open mind. And perhaps Cameron can change that open mind.

Cameron delivered the telling, late assist on Peter Crouch’s goal in the Potters’ important 2-1 Premier League victory today over Aston Villa. (Too bad, by the way, that the game-winner had to be delivered against fellow U.S. international Brad Guzan. All we giddy riders of the Yanks-Abroad Express cannot have it all, I suppose.)

(MORE: Potters get all three points against Brad Guzan and Villa)

Cameron had a big day down the Stoke City flank, nearly scoring early, getting in on the first goal and then supplying the cross for his team’s winner.

Here’s the deal: playing right back this year for Mark Hughes is apples and oranges compared to playing as an outside back last year under defensive specialist Tony Pulis. Hughes told Cameron he would enjoy playing right back – and the big U.S. international certainly seems to be doing so, stretching those long legs regularly along the right flank.

If he keeps delivering, and continues to improve on his positioning and instincts on when to get forward and when to stay at home, he’ll make Klinsmann’s choice increasingly difficult. Even if Cherundolo gets healthy and fit.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.