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Projecting the USMNT call-up list for Portugal

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The 60-player pool for interim boss Dave Sarachan’s first match in charge of the United States men’s national team is slowly being whittled down by health and the Major League Soccer playoffs.

The reported youth-heavy squad will face Portugal on Nov. 14, and Sarachan will give the U.S. its first look at the USMNT since the World Cup qualifying calamity last month.

Since then, the player pool has seen center back John Brooks return to health at Wolfsburg, and MLS sides Atlanta United, San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire, and Sporting KC have been eliminated from the playoffs.

That last name may give us a hint as to which older players may be called to help the inexperienced get a feel for the international game.

It could change a bit by Sunday, when the MLS conference semifinal second legs are complete Sunday. Columbus and Toronto FC look to have their feet in the conference finals, meaning old faces Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore join hopefuls Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Mark Delgado, and Alex Bono will in waiting until at least January.

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The first round didn’t open up a ton of options for the field, though Graham Zusi and Matt Besler join goalkeeper Brad Guzan as veterans to lead the way, though Geoff Cameron, Tim Howard, and Alejandro Bedoya could also serve that purpose.

Chicago’s elimination puts full backs Matt Polster and Brandon Vincent back in the fray. San Jose right back Nick Lima, 22, could also see a call-up though there is a glut of right backs available.

Without further adieu, and without knowing whether any of the vets have placed a “No thanks” sign out for November, here’s a predicted roster:

Goalkeepers (3) : Bill Hamid, Brad Guzan, Ethan Horvath

Idea: Guzan gets the call over Howard this time, though the Colorado Rapids backstop will certainly get a Stars and Stripes send-off at some point.

Defenders (8): Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Matt Miazga, DeAndre Yedlin, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Matt Besler, Brandon Vincent, Matt Polster.

Idea: Cameron is essentially a ninth midfielder and eighth center back, and Sarachan may well use him alongside McKennie at center mid. Look for Lima, 22, as a possible surprise inclusion despite limited time in the second half with San Jose. Advanced metrics say he was one of the best of the Quakes this season.

Midfielders (8): Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Danny Williams, Lynden Gooch, Kelyn Rowe, Alejandro Bedoya.

Idea: Jonathan Gonzalez fails to get a call with McKennie, Acosta, Gooch, and Pulisic already keeping the midfield quite young. Williams and Bedoya are asked to shoulder the experience burden, and Tim Chandler could move Bedoya or Gooch out of the picture.

Forwards (4): Bobby Wood, Josh Sargent, Aron Johannsson, CJ Sapong

Idea: Wild cards! Wood is under fire at Hamburg, while Johannsson isn’t getting much playing time and Sargent is a look at the future. Sapong’s had a wealth of supporters amongst the MLS crowd, and gets a chance.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.