What will USMNT learn from potential Guatemala friendly?

2 Comments

Okay, so apparently Jurgen Klinsmann has lined up another friendly this summer.

Reports from San Diego have the USMNT squaring off with CONCACAF foes Guatemala in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium on July 5.

The friendly international would act as a warm-up for the Gold Cup tournament, with Klinsmann already stating many new faces will be used late this summer as the main USMNT faces are used solely in the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

However, just what will the US learn from having a friendly wedged into an already hectic summer?

The US already have 12 games to play between May 29 and October 12. That is a pretty hefty schedule. Plus more games could follow, depending on how far they advance in the Gold Cup.

That being said, almost two different squads will be used by Klinsmann. This week the German coach said he will call up between 23-25 guys for the upcoming camp but he mentioned that at the moment his staff are following the progress of almost 50 players.

So, would Guatemala be a good idea given the huge number of players Klinsmann has to sift through? Absolutely.

(More: Late arrivals to USMNT camp, but they aren’t all the same)

He has already stated his intent to call on USMNT players based in MLS and Scandinavia for the Gold Cup, so having an extra friendly before that to help team cohesion and work with them up close isn’t a bad thing. Plus, the Nats will face Belize in the Gold Cup opener at JELD-WEN Field just four days later on July 9.

Guatemala and Belize will be a similar style of opponents, so I can see what Klinsi is thinking.

However, call me old fashioned, but I just don’t see the point of cramming in so many friendlies. Klinsmann will know his best XI, Gold Cup XI, Reserve XI and all the rest of that already. And if he didn’t he could find that out during camps and training sessions.

When all is said and done, the friendly hasn’t been confirmed yet. But it does seem pretty likely. So it will be an extra chance to see the USMNT in action, allow fringe players to prove their worth and provide a break from the rigors of a pre-Gold Cup camp.

Okay, maybe it is worthwhile after all. What do you guys think?

Moore takes hold of West Brom’s promotion bid

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Darren Moore‘s spell as West Brom caretaker manager couldn’t quite pull off a miraculous run to Premier League safety, but the promise it contained has helped him to the first chance at earning promotion back to the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion announced Moore as its new manager on Monday, with the boss promising his Baggies would play attractive football while also being a side “that’s willing to fight and scrap for every ball.”

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Moore is also happy to carry a flame for minority coaches — called BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) — in England.

“If it does inspire others, I would be extremely proud,” he said. “I don’t just speak on behalf of BAME coaches but the young, aspiring British coaches across the board.”

Moore, 44, only lost one of his six PL matches as WBA boss, winning three times and inspiring many to wonder what would’ve happened had the Baggies’ pulled the plug on Alan Pardew — and Tony Pulis before him — earlier.

A center back in his playing career, Moore spent 18 seasons between a number of clubs including West Brom, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers. He won promotion as a player twice with West Brom, and again with Derby.

Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BRUSSELS (AP) Belgium left midfielder Radja Nainggolan out of its World Cup squad despite a standout season with Champions League semifinalist Roma.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has long had a difficult relationship with the stormy midfielder. But after being called up for a warm-up game in March against Saudi Arabia, expectations had been that he would be on the 28-man roster announced Monday.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

On top of the troubled relationship, Nainggolan was also the victim of the unparalleled wealth of talent the small nation has produced over the past few years.

Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were all named in the squad, which will be cut to 23 before the World Cup.

Nashville MLS expansion club snares ex-Liverpool CEO Ayre

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre is moving from Merseyside to the Music City.

The Tennesseean’s Joe Rexrode says Ayre is set to take the reins of Nashville SC as the first CEO in club history when it makes its debut in the 2020 MLS season.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Liverpool hired ex-EA Sports executive Peter Moore to replace Ayre in 2017 after the latter, 54, spent six years with the club as managing director and then CEO.

From the Tennessean:

“The MLS has huge ambitions to be one of the biggest and leading leagues in the world, and is on that trajectory,” Ayre said. “Both as a soccer fan and an executive in the industry, it’s something I’ve had my eye on because it’s important. … You talk about MLS and its growth, I think it’s becoming easier and will become easier to attract the right talent to something that’s exciting and developing. And if you have a reputation of being involved in a club like Liverpool, you hope that stands for something when you start to try and attract talent.”

The timing of Ayre’s addition hearkens back to that of former Tottenham executive Darren Eales at Atlanta United. If it has the same success, Nashville will be proud.

Report: Lampard interviews twice with Championship club

Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Steven Gerrard‘s longtime England midfield mate Frank Lampard could soon be joining him in a management.

While Gerrard is tasked with rebuilding Rangers’ Scottish title push, Lampard’s reported new gig would entail leading Ipswich Town back to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Sky Sports says Lampard has already interviewed twice with Ipswich Town ownership in a bid to earn his first senior management gig.

Lampard, 39, played for Chelsea, Man City, New York City FC, West Ham United, and Swansea in a sparkling 20-year playing career.

Town finished 12th in the Championship, 15 points back of a playoff spot and 19 clear of relegation.