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USMNT-El Salvador preview: Come together, right now

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The United States men’s national team is now reinforced with plenty of CONCACAF experience, and should find itself in the knockout rounds come 11 p.m. ET Wednesday.

That’s two hours after kick-off against El Salvador, and the plucky Cuscatlecos are back in the quarterfinals for the third time in four tournaments.

This is a match that will be more about Michael Bradley and his fellow U.S. call-ups gelling with the gents who led the Group B triumph over the past 10 days.

It also gives Clint Dempsey a good chance to draw level and perhaps pass Landon Donovan for most goals in USMNT history. Dempsey’s 56 are one shy of Donovan’s 57 (in 23 less matches).

[ USMNT: Ranking quarterfinalists | Stock up/down ]

El Salvador got here by beating Curacao and drawing Jamaica after a 3-1 loss to Mexico, who was also carrying a B Team, so this is a significant step up in class for El Salvador.

The visitors bring four U.S. based players in San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Ceren, Reno 1868 midfielder Junior Burgos, and New York Cosmos pair Richard Menjivar and captain Andres Flores.

Especially dangerous on the counter, something Arena doesn’t quite expect on Wednesday, forwards Nelson Bonilla and Rodolfo Zelaya have 33 goals in 83 caps.

Experience won’t be a problem for the United States, who added 486 caps to the lineup with the additions of Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley (Uncapped Jesse Gonzalez and 17-times capped Darlington Nagbe also joined the fray).

If Arena opts for the lineup suggested by our own Joe Prince-Wright, we’d expect a three or four goal win for the Yanks. If he continues to use Graham Zusi at right back, it could be a little closer as the Sporting KC man has left a lot of space for attackers in this year’s tournament (again, not his fault).

The sides last met in the 2013 Gold Cup, when the Yanks posted a 5-1 win behind a goal and three assists from Donovan (Mix Diskerud, Clarence Goodson, Joe Corona, and Eddie Johnson also scored).

While that score line is unusually disparate, the Yanks have never lost to El Salvador. There’s almost zero chance that happens on Wednesday.

Juventus suffers blow with apparent Higuain injury

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The back-and-forth battle at the top of Serie A continued on Sunday as Juventus topped Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, however, the visitors suffered a big injury scare in the process.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup ]

Alex Sandro‘s winner came in the 33rd minute, but the focus of the match will leave all eyes on Gonzalo Higuain — who exited after just a quarter of an hour.

The Argentine international was looking to latch onto a through ball from Miralem Pjanic in the fifth minute, before jumping over an oncoming Salvatore Sirigu — goalkeeper for Torino.

Higuain appeared to land awkwardly on his ankle, though, and while he attempted to continue on in the match he was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes later.

The extent of Higuain’s injury is unknown to this point, however, it comes at a very bad time for Juventus.

The Italian giants are heavily involved in the Serie A title race, holding a two-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.

Additionally, Juve has important fixtures coming up in both the Coppa Italia and Champions League against Atalanta and Tottenham, respectively. Higuain and Co. are level at 2-2 with Spurs heading into their UCL second leg in early March, and Juve will surely need the striker’s presence to have a shot at advancing to the quarterfinals.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.