WHO’S WHO: Breaking down US forwards on the 30-man World Cup roster

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Six forwards made the list of 30 players on the United States provisional roster for the 2014 World Cup, and now we finally have an answer as to whether Jurgen Klinsmann considers Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey among that group, or as midfielders.

There are loads of question marks on the list, not for their inclusion but for what their presence will give the States. Jozy Altidore has struggled mightily in the Premier League, drawing some praise for his physical play but scoring just one goal for the Black Cats. To be frank, he’s looked out of place, uncomfortable and ineffective just one year after lighting the Eredivisie on fire with goals upon goals.

Two months ago, a USMNT supporter would’ve laughed at someone who thinks Clint Dempsey may be the most surefire thing in this bunch. The Seattle Sounders man had just completed a lackluster loan spell at Fulham after a tough readjustment to Major League Soccer after transferring from Tottenham last year. But he’s back, looking closer to the tenacious world-beating leader we saw at Fulham than anything since.

Landon Donovan is a wild card, still waiting for his record-breaking MLS goal with the Galaxy but also still a question thanks to his soccer sabbatical. It seems foolish to ever doubt the relentless and respected Donovan, but at 32-years-old there will always be whispers of whether age has had its way with the man.

Playing in Austria isn’t exactly the recipe for high praise, but Terrence Boyd has scored 20 goals for Rapid Wien and five of those goals came in Europa League. He’s been quick, physical, deft and clinical for the Vienna club.

And speaking of “lesser” leagues, we’re back in the Eredivisie with Aron Johannsson. He started red-hot for AZ Alkmaar before petering out a bit down the stretch. The Icelandic-Alabaman is a threat and a bit of an unknown for Klinsmann. If he has his form in camp, starting is not out of the question.

Finally, the feel good story of the roster in Chris Wondolowski. All the man does is score goals and is set to compete for that spot in Brazil despite not making his USMNT debut until late in his 20s. He has scored two goals for the States in 2014, and if we’ve learned anything it’s not to count out a man with “Wondolowski” or “Wondowlowski” on the back of his US shirt.

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

How could Klinsmann deploy this unit? Obviously the answer is any way he wants, but Altidore and Wondolowski are more than capable of holding the ball up-top, and there’s no shortage of men who can run off them. The other European players on the list are capable of playing a strong post-up as well. We have plenty of time to break down the “how,” but this is our take on the “why.” What say you?

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

FIFA force pace on $25B Club World Cup, global league plan

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GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.

FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Walcott strike ]

The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.

UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.

FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”

Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.

Video: De Rossi, Roma make classy visit to Hillsborough memorial

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On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.

Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.

After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.

De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”

Liverpool, Roma ride major emotions into the UCL semifinals

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Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.

Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]

Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.

The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.

Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.

For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.

Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.

Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.

Keeper Ederson hopeful he can score this season for Man City

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The prospects for a goalkeeper scoring during a match are usually uncommon, but that hasn’t halted Manchester City’s number one choice from aiming to break the trend this season.

Ederson — who has moved into the starting role at the Etihad Stadium with relative ease in 2017/18 — has dreamt of scoring a goal of his own for the Premier League champions in waiting.

“I heard the fans chanting my name, asking me to take the penalty but Gabriel went there,” Ederson said. “Unfortunately he missed it and Bernardo happily scored. But if the manager have asked me to go there, definitely I’d score.

“I’m not sure if I would be able to do set-pieces, but I’m good at penalties, either using power or technique on shooting it. But City have [their] regular penalty-takers and we are well-served.

Citizen supporters chanted for the goalkeeper to take a penalty kick over the weekend in the team’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

However, Gabriel Jesus was the man selected for the opportunity, but had his attempt saved by Lukasz Fabianski before Bernardo Silva was in the right spot to score the game’s fifth goal.

“If Pep asks me to take it, I’m there,” Ederson said of the penalty kick. “Hopefully it will happen [before the end of the season], I’d like to score.”

This isn’t the first time Ederson has discussed exploring opportunities outside of the net, though.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has long been a fan of former Brazil international goalkeeper Rogero Ceni — who scored 65 goals for club side Sao Paolo.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old joked around with the media, saying that he’d be more than happy to fill a role in the midfield when City was experiencing some injury issues within the squad.