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Mexico, US fight for Jesse Gonzalez’s committment

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When US Soccer released its 2017 Gold Cup preliminary roster at halftime of the friendly against Venezuela on Saturday night, perhaps the most surprising name on the 40-man list was FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez.

The 22-year-old MLS starter has been playing in the Mexico international youth setup for years, selected for the 2016 Olympics but failing to make an appearance behind team captain Alfredo Talavera.

Fox Soccer analyst Stuart Holden tweeted on Saturday evening that he had talked to Gonzalez’s agent, who confirmed that if Gonzalez makes the final 25-man roster, he is ready to play for the United States. If Gonzalez does indeed see time in the Gold Cup, he would become cap-tied to the United States.

But then, a twist from Holden in the early hours of Sunday morning:

So, it seems Mexico has issued an ultimatum to the United States. Should they call Gonzalez up for the Gold Cup, he’s theirs. However, if they leave him off, Mexico would likely call him up soon, leaving the goalkeeper with a decision to make.

The United States is not hurting for goalkeepers, even with Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, and Nick Rimando all reaching the latter stages of their careers. Ethan Horvath is thought of as one for the future, but was left off the Gold Cup roster, likely to take time to earn a place at Club Brugge. D.C. United’s Bill Hamid has been on the fringes of the senior team for years, but is having a down season in MLS comparatively. Cody Cropper spent time at Premier League club Southampton before coming to the New England Revolution. Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono has been to USMNT camp before, but has not made an appearance. Still just 20 years old, Jonathan Klinsmann performed well at the 2017 U-20 World Cup. Still, to have Gonzalez – born in Edenton, North Carolina – would be a big plus for the United States, both to add him to the pool and keep him away from Mexico.

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ] 

http://www.nbcsports.com/video/everton-unseen-part-2-everton-host-mfk-ruzomberok-europa-league

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:

(more…)

Liverpool bombard Hoffenheim with three-goal first half

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Liverpool got off to a flying start in the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Hoffenheim.

With the loyal Anfield crowd behind the team, the Reds scored three goals in the first 21 minutes, two of them from Emre Can to put Liverpool well in control of the tie.

Can’s opener was followed by a goal from Mo Salah before the German international scored a wide-open goal at the back post to make it 3-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. Sadio Mane played a big role in both of Can’s goals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann went to the bench right after the third goal and brought on Mark Uth, who promptly scored to bright a little hope back to the German club.

Here’s a look at the flying first half of goals for Liverpool.

Emre Can 10′

Mohamed Salah 18′

Emre Can 21′

Mark Uth 28′