Watch Live: Fulham vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Discuss)

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Saturday brings not one but two relegation six-pointers, one of which takes place at Craven Cottage, where Fulham play host to bottom-placed Sunderland (10 am ET; watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra). And this time, they’ll do it with the returning Clint Dempsey.

Fulham have actually pulled themselves out of the drop zone, but as they’re hovering just two points above the dreaded bottom three, they’ll be anxious to record a home victory. Since Rene Meulensteen took sole control of the managerial position on December 1, Fulham’s fortunes have fluctuated, with their lowest low being the 6-0 loss to Hull on December 28. But they bounced back to beat fellow relegation fighters West Ham last time out, so it’s quite possible they’ll record two in a row today.

But it might be hard to take down Sunderland, with the Black Cats flying high after progressing in the FA Cup, then beating Manchester United in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals. It’s worth remembering that Sunderland only have one loss in their last five games, although it’s also necessary to note that they’ve only won once in that stretch. Will Gus Poyet approach this match with caution?

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The big news for Fulham is, of course, the return of Dempsey, who goes straight into the starting lineup. He replaces Kieran Richardson, who drops to the bench, but other than that the Fulham lineup is unchanged from their win against West Ham last time out.

Poyet, meanwhile, has made shifts from the lineup that lost to Aston Villa on New Years’ Day, while he’s also made some changes to the side that beat United in the Cup. Emanuele Giaccherini and Sebastian Larsson both drop to the bench, joining Jozy Altidore, while Adam Johnson starts up top.

LINEUPS

Fulham: Stockdale; Riether, Senderos, Amorebieta, Riise; Duff, Parker, Sidwell, Dempsey; Taarabt; Berbatov

Subs: Kasami, Kačaniklić, Richardson, Hughes, Dejagah, Etheridge, Bent

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O’Shea, Cattermole, Colback, Ki, Johnson, Borini, Fletcher

Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Celustka, Altidore, Giaccherini, Ji, Pickford

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.

WATCH: Snazzy Sargent goal leads U.S. U-17s past Mexico

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Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.

Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.

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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.

The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.

Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.

Heads of South American soccer sent $128M in bank transfers

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.

The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”

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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”

Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.

The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.

“I’m here, I’m the manager” – Moyes will not quit Sunderland

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This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.

The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.

But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.

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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.

Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.

Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:

“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.

“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”