With injuries and suspensions impacting Luis Felipe Scolari’s lineup decisions ahead of Brazil’s World Cup semifinal clash with Germany, the Brazilian head coach certainly has a selection headache.
Neymar is out injured for the rest of the tournament, plus captain Thiago Silva to miss out through suspension. Two of Scolari’s key players are missing for Brazil’s toughest test yet.
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As for Germany, they are fully fit as Joachim Low’s men continue to grind out wins and get past teams with solid, yet unspectacular performances.
Let’s take a look at how both teams could line up on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte.
BRAZIL’s STARTING XI
If you look at this starting XI below, the two missing players are mammoth. However, with Willian coming in for Neymar out wide and Dante replacing Thiago Silva in defense, it certainly isn’t a disaster. Other areas which could change are Dani Alves coming back in to replace Maicon at right back, Paulinho starting ahead of Luis Gustavo and the potential for Hulk to play up top on his own with Oscar supporting him. Ramires could then come in out wide, as Fred and Jo just haven’t performed in the central strikers role throughout the entire tournament. In the formation below it is likely that Oscar and Hulk will interchange to try and cause Germany’s defense plenty of issues. Balls in-behind Germany’s defense to use the pace of Willian and Hulk in the channels will be Brazil’s key threat going forward. As you can gather, there are plenty of moving pieces here for Scolari to tinker with. He has options, but will his attacking players finally step up when it matters in Neymar’s absence?
— Julio Cesar —
GERMANY’s STARTING XI
Low’s decisions are more straight-forward, as Germany looked solid and steady in dispatching a very talented French team at the quarterfinal stage. They may well remain the same. One of the big issues in the last few games has been at the back. Although they have only conceded three goals in five games during the entire tournament, the German defense keeps getting turned and put on the back foot way to easily. Against the likes of Willian and Hulk the towering German defense could face some issues with pace. Going forward, Low may decide that Andre Schurrle is a better option than Mesut Ozil in this match. Arsenal’s playmaker has struggled to get going in this World Cup and every time Schurrle has come off the bench he has looked incredibly dangerous. Schurrle’s pace out wide would also counteract Brazil’s full backs pushing up and allow Germany to quell the speed of Brazil’s wingers. Another option to bring back in could be Mario Gotze, as Bastian Schweinsteiger or Sami Khedira could be replaced due to Gotze’s natural creative flair.
— Neuer —
John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.
That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.
Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.
The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.
Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.
Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.
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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.
The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.
Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.
According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.
The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”
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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”
Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.
The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.
This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.
The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.
But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.
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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.
Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.
Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:
“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.
“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”