WHO’S WHO: Breaking down US defenders, GKs on 30-man World Cup roster

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For years US Soccer supporters have been debating how the Yanks defense will line up and if it will shape up in time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and Monday afternoon’s announcement of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 30-man provisional roster showed fans the 14 ingredients with which he’ll cook up a defense for Portugal, Germany and Ghana.

MORE: All the latest news on World Cup rosters

We’ll start with the simple: a large dose of Tim Howard. The recently-extended Everton man is coming off a career-best 15 clean sheets in the Premier League, and he’ll have to be strong if the States are to have any success in South America. Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan is finally free from the firing range that is standing between the sticks at Villa Park, while Nick Rimando will bring his MLS-tested stardom to camp.

Onto the men playing in front of them: Most are expecting Los Angeles center back Omar Gonzalez to be paired up with Sporting KC’s Matt Besler as the USMNT moves forward from its pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit. If Twitter tells me anything, it’s that US fans are more comfortable with the former than the latter.

Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron is the leader in the clubhouse to get a starting nod somewhere along the back line after he was a massive reason the Potters climbed to 9th in the Premier League table, playing nearly every minute at Britannia Stadium and away. Fabian Johnson has the versatility to play outside back and midfield, and there are legions of fans who likely wish he had the cloning ability to man both posts after another strong season with Hoffenheim.

John Anthony Brooks found his post-massive back tattoo form for Hertha Berlin and will look to impress more in camp than he has on the pitch for the States, where the youngster has looked confused and sometimes overmatched. DeAndre Yedlin is another youthful face on the backline, but has looked much better than Brooks all things equal.

Seeing the name of Michael Parkhurst won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s followed his success with Columbus this season. DaMarcus Beasley had a rough go as an employee of Puebla this year, but not on-the-field. Whether or not he was receiving paychecks or winning games, Beasley was an integral part of the Liga MX side whenever they had even a modicum of success. His national team renaissance is remarkable.

There are plenty of question marks in the unit, too. How will Timmy Chandler rebound from his torn meniscus, an injury that cost him the end of his Bundesliga season? Can Clarence Goodson replicate his success from the 2013 Gold Cup winning side? Where does Brad Evans fit into the picture?

For takes on the forwards who didn’t make the cut, read our “Who got snubbed?” post here

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.