Cut USMNT players: Did Klinsmann already know final 23 before camp?

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If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you will love these quotes emanating from two of the U.S. national team players who were cut at the final hurdle.

Both Michael Parkhurst and Brad Evans were back in action for their respective Major League Soccer sides on Saturday, just hours after missing out on a trip to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

As you would expect, both players were asked a multitude of questions about their time in California at camp and their responses were particularly frank and very intriguing.

Asked whether the USMNT head coach already had his mind made up about his final roster before camp even started, Columbus Crew defender Parkhust had the following to say to The Post-Dispatch after the Crew beat Chicago 2-0.

“I just think that his mind was set up even before the camp was started.” Parkhurst said. “That makes it a little easier to swallow knowing I don’t think I could have done anything else.”

While Evans had a lengthy chat with the Seattle Times after playing for Seattle in their 2-2 draw with Vancouver on Saturday, he also wonders if Klinsmann’s mind was already made up before the 10 day training camp began.

source: AP
Evans celebrates his crucial goal against Jamaica in World Cup qualifying.

“I don’t know. Part of me says yes. Part of me says no. I don’t know,” Evans said. “It’s something I haven’t even thought about. It’s tough to think about that (stuff). It can drive you nuts. I had no idea [the cut was happening]. We were walking into the locker room, got pulled aside and that was it. Chop, chop and you’re out of there. [Klinsmann] just said, ‘I have to make a roster decision today and you’re not a part of it.’ So that’s where we left it. I got up and said goodbye to the players and that was it.”

Both Evans and Parkhurst have plenty of reasons to be feeling pretty miffed about being left off the final World Cup roster. Despite his versatility Evans was ousted in favor of his Seattle teammate DeAndre Yedlin. The 20-year-old talent has only got two caps for the USMNT, while Evans has stepped in admirably on several occasions and bagged a crucial winning goal against Jamaica during qualifying for the 2014 tournament.

Parkhurst switched Europe for MLS over the offseason and has been solid and dependable for Columbus throughout the 2014 MLS season so far. He can operate at both right back and center back and would also give Klinsmann a versatile option in the backline, an area where the U.S. aren’t looking particularly strong. Instead Klinsmann selected 21-year-old John Brooks in defense, even though the Hertha Berlin youngster has looked shaky at times and has just three caps to his name compared to Parkhurst’s 25.

Parkhust and Evans have legit reasons to be peeved… but I’m not sure whether Klinsmann’s mind was made up before a 10-day camp where ever player, in theory, should have started on a clean slate, regardless of what they did in previous outings for the USA.

As we saw with Klinsmann’s decision to cut Landon Donovan, relying on past glories is not something the USMNT head coach is big on. Evans and Parkhurst were victims of that.

MLS Week 22: Schmid, LA Galaxy host Seattle, Chicago visits Sporting KC and more

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The annual LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders matchups are always filled with drama, but Thursday’s moves took the drama and interest in the match up a notch.

Sigi Schmid’s first game back in charge of the LA Galaxy will be against his former club, which fired him midway through the 2016 season. Schmid will also have a brand new signing to debut in Jonathan Dos Santos, the midfield brother of star forward Giovani Dos Santos.

Meanwhile, the second-place Chicago Fire from the Eastern Conference travel to face second-place Sporting Kansas City from the Western Conference, with both teams back to full strength with the Gold Cup completed.

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Here’s a look at this weekend’s full slate of matches around MLS.

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Chelsea loans Miazga back to Vitesse for second-straight season

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Matt Miazga is back again in the Netherlands.

Chelsea announced Friday that it had loaned the American international to Vitesse for the second-consecutive year on a season-long loan. Miazga made 19 starts last season in all competitions and another 10 appearances for Vitesse off the bench, with one goal scored in the run to the KNVB Cup title, the club’s first in its history,

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Despite his rise through the U.S. youth ranks and success with the New York Red Bulls in 2015 before moving to Chelsea, Miazga only made his first U.S. Men’s National Team start at the 2017 Gold Cup, playing the full 90 in the USA’s 3-0 win over Nicaragua.

Miazga went straight from the Gold Cup back to Vitesse to join up for preseason training.

“I look back with pleasure on my first year at Vitesse,” the 22-year-old Miazga told Vitesse’s website. “I felt very welcome and we have all made historic success. That success will be expanded this coming season and I will continue to develop myself. That’s why I returned as soon as possible after winning the Gold Cup. We are going to compete for the second prize in the club’s history. ”

While it’s disappointing that Miazga won’t be able to challenge for a place at Chelsea next season, he could do worse than facing the challenge of the Eredivisie’s huge array of talented attackers, and after another year of seasoning, he could be ready to play in England, with or without Chelsea.

More importantly for him, with the World Cup coming up, even though he’s on the fringe of the World Cup roster right now, getting regular matches in the Eredivisie will help his cause more than playing for Chelsea’s reserves.

Pulisic: Dortmund can win the league

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Christian Pulisic isn’t short on confidence these days.

The rising star for the U.S. Men’s National Team is currently in preseason training with Borussia Dortmund, and he believes his side can push Bayern Munich for the title. Bayern has won five-straight league titles, but the last team other than Munich to win was Dortmund itself in 2012.

“We’ve got a big chance to win the league this coming season,” Pulisic said, via German publication Kicker.

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Pulisic has been firing on all cylinders so far in preseason. During Dortmund’s tour of China, Pulisic had three assists in a 3-1 win over AC Milan, and he also started and went the full 90 against Bochum on July 22 back in Germany.

The 18-year-old is coming off a breakout season for the Black and Yellows, scoring five goals with 13 assists over 43 games between the Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Champions League.

“Last season was a good step in my development,” Pulisic said, noting he wants to be “more dangerous” in the attack. “I want to build on that.”

Of course, Pulisic followed the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Gold Cup, taking the title for the sixth time. In less than a year’s time, Pulisic will likely be on the field, starting for the U.S. at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the hopes and dreams of many Americans on his shoulders.

“(It was) a good victory,” Pulisic said of the final.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Bale’s agent laughs off speculation

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It appears Gareth Bale has no plans of following Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez out of Real Madrid this summer.

“It’s a ridiculous, stupid story,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told the BBC, following reports that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wouldn’t promise Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that they’d staying with the club this summer.

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Of course, these prompted counter reports that Manchester United could take advantage of possible instability at the Santiago Bernabeu and swoop in for Bale, but it seems that Bale is not for sale.

Bale played just 27 times for Real Madrid last season in all competitions, scoring nine goals with three assists while dealing with multiple injuries. His entire career at Real Madrid in fact has been plagued by injury, but ahead of a World Cup year with Wales still in contention for a spot in Russia, Bale will be extra motivated to stay fit this season.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the world:

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