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Bocanegra, Hucles to chair USSF technical development group

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CHICAGO (AP) Former U.S. men’s captain Carlos Bocanegra and retired women’s midfielder Angela Hucles will chair a new technical development committee established by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The organization also appointed eight chief officers who will report to chief executive officer Dan Flynn, but the final two direct reports remain to be hired: general managers for the men’s and women’s national teams.

Bocanegra currently works as the vice president and technical director for Atlanta United while Hucles is a former CEO and has spoken at sports leadership summits. Both Bocanegra and Hucles are members of the U.S. Soccer board. Bocanegra in particular has been floated for the position of U.S. Men’s National Team general manager, and this appointment could be the first step. And with more than 100 caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team and time spent as an executive, Hucles could also be angling for the USWNT general manager position.

The USSF said its board also established a new commercial committee, raising the board’s committee total to six under new president Carlos Cordeiro, who succeeded Sunil Gulati in February.

Nico Romeijn was promoted to chief sport development officer from head of coaching education, Ryan Mooney to chief soccer officer from director of sport development and Brian Remedi to chief stakeholders officer from chief administrative officer. Tonya Wallach was appointed chief talent and inclusion officer

Department heads continuing senior roles who are direct reports to Flynn include Jay Berhalter (chief commercial and strategy officer), Neil Buethe (chief communications officer), Eric Gleason (chief financial officer) and Lydia Wahlke (chief legal counsel).

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, 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 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.

England confirm friendly against USA

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England will host the U.S. men’s national team at Wembley Stadium in November.

The Three Lions confirmed the friendly on Wednesday, with the game to take place on Thursday, November 15 at the home of world soccer.

England and the USMNT haven’t played since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when they drew 1-1 in the group stage, while the last time they met on English soil was in 2008 when John Terry and Steven Gerrard scored in a 2-0 friendly win at Wembley.

The Italian national team announced a friendly with the USMNT at a neutral venue for Nov. 20, but U.S. Soccer have yet to confirm they will play in either game.

Under interim head coach Dave Sarachan they are unbeaten in three friendlies with draws against Portugal and Bosnia and a narrow win against Paraguay in March.

The USMNT face Bolivia in Chester, Penn. on May 28, before heading to Europe to play the Republic of Ireland on June 2 and France on June 9 in friendlies before the 2018 World Cup starts.

That tournament in Russia is, of course, the first World Cup since 1986 that the USMNT won’t be at.

Sarachan is expected to stay in charge for the USMNT games through June and then U.S. Soccer will appoint a new head coach after the 2018 World Cup when plenty of candidates could become available.

USA second in 2018 World Cup ticket sales

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Since 2018 World Cup tickets were available to buy in September 2017 the USA have been in the top 10 of nations purchasing tickets.

Imagine if the USMNT had actually qualified for the World Cup in Russia…

According to the latest statistics released by FIFA on Tuesday, only tickets requests from hosts Russia exceed tickets sales to applicants living in the USA.

Why is this?

It is highly likely that fans of the Mexican national team living in the USA have bumped up the number, while soccer fans in the U.S. who have links to other countries actually competing in the tournament are also likely to be buying plenty of tickets.

Here’s the top 10 list (aside from Russia) of ticket-buying nations, with South America set to be well supported and look at England all the way down in 11th with just over 30,000 tickets bought via official channels.

Russia 796,875
USA 80,161
Brazil 65,863
Colombia 60,199
Germany 55,136
Mexico 51,736
Argentina 44,882
Peru 38,544
China 36,841
Australia 34,628
England 30,711

USMNT scheduled to play November friendly in England

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The United States men’s national team is going to have an interesting Fall 2018.

Already reportedly ready to tangle with fellow World Cup absentees Italy at a neutral European venue on Nov. 20, the USMNT will meet England somewhere in the United Kingdom.

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That’s complicated by England’s UEFA Nations League match scheduled for Nov. 18, which leaves little room for a date. The international break runs Nov. 12-20.

It’s exciting for U.S. supporters not simply for the caliber of competition, but because European-based dates during the MLS Playoffs generally represent a chance to see European-based players.

That means players like Keaton Parks (Benfica), Tim Weah (PSG), and Luca de la Torre (Fulham) could get looks alongside Christian Pulisic, John Brooks, and Weston McKennie.