Klinsmann

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.

West Ham extend Payet’s contract in “enormous show of faith”

West Ham’s Dimitri Payet celebrates after scoring while soap bubbles are blown during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Newcastle at Boleyn Ground in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.

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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.

“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”

Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.

VIDEO: Dele Alli’s magnificent juggling goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon

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Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?

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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.

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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.

Watch Live: Guatemala vs. T&T; Canada vs. Guyana in Olympic qualifying

Canadian players wave to fans after a 2-1 loss to England in a quarterfinal of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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Group B is set to kick off Thursday night at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, as Canada, third-place finishers at the 2012 Olympics, begin their quest to qualify for this summer’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

Guyana versus Trinidad and Tobago is up first (6 p.m. ET) from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex, followed by the Canadians, who will take on Guyana (8:30 p.m. ET) in the nightcap.

[ WATCH LIVE: Guatemala vs. T&T live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

[ WATCH LIVE: Canada vs. Guyana live on line on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The U.S. women’s national began its Olympic qualifying campaign in impressive fashion on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica, while Mexico jumped to the top of Group A with a 6-0 victory over Puerto Rico.

Sunderland terminate Adam Johnson’s contract after guilty pleas in sex case

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson arrives at Bradford Crown Court, England, Wednesday Feb. 10, 2016. Johnson has pleaded guilty in court to one count of sexual activity with a child and another of grooming. The 28-year-old Johnson, who has made 12 appearances for England, denies two charges of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE
Peter Byrne/PA via AP
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SUNDERLAND, England (AP) Sunderland has fired winger Adam Johnson after he pleaded guilty to grooming and sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl at the start of his trial.

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Johnson, who has played 12 times for England, continues to deny two further counts of sexual activity with a child.

Sunderland dismissed Johnson ahead of his trial resuming on Friday at Bradford Crown Court.

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In a statement, Sunderland announced Thursday that “in light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect.”

The former Manchester City player joined Sunderland in 2012 for 10 million pounds (now about $14.5 million).