Stoke City v Everton - Premier League

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


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.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?