Mexico names 18-player squad for match against the U.S.

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Just as the United States was hamstrung in its options for next week’s out-of-window friendly, so were Miguel Herrera and the Mexican federation when naming their 18-player squad for the upcoming game in Glendale, Ariz. Outside of a FIFA mandated release date, neither team’s Europe-based talents where available to its coaches, while midweek CONCACAF Champions League commitments mean a select group of North American-based players will also stay with their clubs.

For Herrera, that means Cruz Azul’s Jesus Corona is not an option in goal. Nor is Guillermo Ochoa, who will stay with his club in France (Ajaccio). With América’s Moises Munoz having steered the team through its World Cup qualifying players, Herrera’s squad still has a capable number one when it takes the field on Wednesday.

Another notable omission is Oribe Peralta – the Santos Laguna striker who is the most consistent goal-scoring threat in the pool. That consistency has often been undermined by injury, however, and according to Tom Marshall at Goal.com, Peralta has requested to sit this friendly out in light of a heavy 2014 work load (Santos is in Copa Libertadores). Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez will get a slight reprieve, though the acrobatics of Raúl Jímenez should still test the U.S. duo.

Here’s the full team that will face the U.S. next week at University of Phoenix Stadium:

Goalkeepers: Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Moises Munoz (America)

Defenders: Rafa Marquez (Leon), Francisco Rodriguez (America), Enrique Perez (Atlas) ,Juan Carlos Valenzuela (America), Miguel Ponce (Toluca), Miguel Layun (America), Paul Aguilar (America), Rogelio Chavez (Cruz Azul)

Midfielders: Juan Carlos Medina (America), Jesus Zavala (Monterrey), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Carlos Pena (Leon), Luis Montes (Leon)

Forwards: Alan Pulido (Tigres), Raul Jimenez (America)

More on the U.S.’s squad:

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Arfield, Adekugbe on Canada’s Gold Cup roster

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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and on-loan Brighton defender Samuel Adekugbe are among the players who will represent Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Arfield, 28, was born in Scotland and earned the first of seven Canada caps in 2016, and Adekugbe returns to Vancouver from a year-long loan to Brighton and Hove Albion on June 30.

The pair join nine MLS players, two NASL player, and a USL player, with the rest of the group based outside North America.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Notably, Orlando City players Will Johnson and Cyle Larin were not called up by coach Octavio Zambrano.

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Montreal), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton and Hove Albion), Fraser Aird, Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Scott Arfield (Burnley), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra), Russell Teibert (Vancouver)

Forwards: Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto)