Azerbaijan v United States

US national team, World Cup player profile: Jozy Altidore


Jozy Altidore is one the USA’s brightest talents and will play a leading role in Brazil this summer. It is hard to believe he is still under the age of 25 as Altidore has racked up almost 70 caps for the USMNT. His hold up play has improved this season in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League with Sunderland but the goals have dried up dramatically. Bearing in mind he is the USA’s main goal threat in Brazil, Altidore needs to arrive in South America all guns blazing.

MORE: USMNT player profiles

Full name: Josmer Volmy Altidore

Age: 24

Hometown: Livingston, New Jersey

Position: Striker

Caps/goals: 68 caps, 21 goals

Club: Sunderland

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Scoring a hat trick against Bosnia away in a friendly in the USA’s 4-3 comeback win. Altidore scored a stunning free kick in the treble and also stretched his scoring streak to five consecutive games. That set a record for any USMNT player in history.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? For the past two seasons this hasn’t even been a question, as Altidore (even when going through a long drought in front of goal) is the USA’s main man up top. Yet after another extremely barren season in the PL — Altidore has scored just once in 31 PL games since signing for Sunderland last summer — Jurgen Klinsmann has a big decision to make. Does he stick with the man who got him through qualifying or give in-form strikers Chris Wondolowski or Aron Johannsson the chance to lead the line? Altidore should be a lock, but he needs to start scoring. Soon.

Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.