Americans Abroad preview: Domestic, Champions leagues resume

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After two victories to close out World Cup qualifying for the United States, its players dispersed back to their club teams again, ready for action again this weekend.

Those who did not have their names called by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will also be prepared, with a full week of training and no transatlantic flights from which to recover. Crunch time starts now, with just eight months to impress and earn a World Cup roster spot.

Only 23 players will wear the red, white and blue in Brazil, so there is little time to waste.

(MORE: Americans Abroad full archive)

If you’re looking for American soccer players on TV this upcoming week, here’s where you’ll find them:

ENGLAND

Jozy Altidore returns to his club after another successful outing with the national team when Sunderland takes on Swansea City (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Live Extra). He scored an insurance goal for the U.S. in its 2-0 win over Jamaica on Oct. 11, which was his first tally since a League Cup match on Aug. 27.

Geoff Cameron and Stoke City return to action against West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Live Extra). The question moving forward for Cameron will be whether he can work his way into a starting center back spot, as Klinsmann said he wants.

• Aston Villa hosts Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, 10:30 a.m., NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), and Brad Guzan will once again have to be in top form for his team to have a chance at three points. He made a rare start for the U.S. in Tuesday’s crazy 3-2 win in Panama.

ITALY

Michael Bradley is close to making his return from an ankle injury he suffered on national team duty. When AS Roma hosts Napoli on Friday (2:30 p.m., beIN Sport Español, replay at 4:30 p.m. on beIN Sport), he could be on the bench.

MEXICO

• Puebla’s American duo of DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco play Club Atlas on Saturday (12:50 noon, ESPN Deportes).

Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Hérculez Gómez and Paul Arriola will all be available for Club Tijuana on Sunday against Toluca (12:50 noon, Univision).

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Jermaine Jones’ Schalke faces a stern test in Group E, hosting Chelsea (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer2Go). The Germans won their first two group games, while Chelsea has endured more of an up-and-down season in both league and continental play, losing to Basel before beating Steaua Bucharest.

• Anderlecht and Sacha Klještan host Paris Saint-Germain (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m., ROOT Sports and FoxSoccer2Go). Klještan started for the U.S. against Panama after coming off the bench against Jamaica, but that’s a far cry from facing Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Serie A: Atalanta, Inter snatch UCL places on wild final day

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s final-day action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Chelsea, Real Madrid remain $38 million apart on Eden Hazard deal ]

Sampdoria (9th) 2-0 Juventus (1st)

With their eighth straight scudetto long since clinched, Juve slumped their way to the season’s finish line without a win in their final five games (three draws), including Sunday’s 2-0 loss away to Sampdoria. It was 0-0 for 83 minute, until Gregoire Defrel (84th) and Gianluca Caprari (91st) bagged late goals for the victory.

Atalanta (3rd) 3-1 Sassuolo (11th)

Atalanta completed their fairytale season and finished third in a hugely dramatic, chaotic way befitting their rapid rise to Champions League relevance. They finished 17th and avoided relegation by three points in 2015.

First, they fell behind when Domenico Berardi scored in the 19th minute. They were level by the 35 minute, thanks to Duvan Zapata’s equalizer. Then, things got weird.

Berardi was sent off during a massive skirmish between the two sides while leaving the field for halftime. With the score 1-1, and both Inter Milan and AC Milan ahead after 51 minutes, Atalanta were headed for a fifth-place finish.

Alejandro Gomez put Atalanta ahead three minutes later, though, and Mario Pasalic doubled the advantage in the 65th.

Inter Milan (4th) 2-1 Empoli (18th – relegated)

At that 51-minute mark, Keita Balde’s opening goal put Inter ahead of Empoli, but the visitors equalized in the 76th, briefly dropping them to fifth.

That lasted all of five minutes, as Radja Nainggolan put Luciano Spaletti’s side back in front, where they would finish the season. The top-four finished the day exactly as it began — Atalanta in 3rd and Inter Milan in 4th, each on 69 points.

SPAL (13th) 2-3 AC Milan (5th)

For those five glorious minutes, AC Milan were headed back to the Champions League for the first time since 2014, and were set to do so at the expense of their local rivals.

Finishing fourth, but behind Inter, would have been fine, but finishing fourth and ahead of Inter would have been a dreamland outcome. Alas, it’s a fifth-place finish on 68 points and another season in the Europa League for the Rossoneri.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Bologna (10th) 3-2 Napoli (2nd – Saturday)
Frosinone (19th – relegated) 0-0 Chievo (20th – relegated – Saturday)
Roma (6th) 2-1 Parma (14th)
Torino (7th) 3-1 Lazio (8th)
Cagliari (15th) 1-2 Udinese (12th)
Fiorentina (16th) 0-0 Genoa (17th)

Chelsea’s Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury

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N'Golo Kante is set to miss Chelsea’s Europa League final showdown with Arsenal on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury during a training session this weekend.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Real Madrid remain $38 million apart on Eden Hazard deal ]

Kante missed Chelsea’s two most recent fixtures — their Premier League finale and the second leg of the UEL semifinals — due to a hamstring injury suffered on May 5, but was on course to be fit and available from the start when the London giants meet in Baku, Azerbaijan. Now, though, the Frenchman’s latest injury has all but ruled him out with one final piece of silverware on the line.

According to a report from the Guardian, the injury occurred when the 2018 World Cup winner made a challenge to win the ball during Saturday’s training session. He left the field in “clear discomfort” and will undergo the requisite examinations to determine the severity of the injury.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

In the unfortunate event that Kante’s injury turns out to be serious and keeps him out of action into the start of next season, the Blues would find themselves in a world of trouble. The club’s season-long transfer ban would prevent them from signing even a single replacement for one of the Premier League’s most influential figures.

Antonio Rudiger (knee), Callum Hudson-Odoi (achilles) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (achilles) will also miss out on Wednesday’s final due to long-term injuries.

Transfer rumor roundup: Chukwuese to Liverpool, Gomes to West Ham

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As fallout begins from Barcelona’s losses in the UEFA Champions League semifinals and Copa del Rey Final, players are being linked with moves away from the Camp Nou.

Andre Gomes, 25, already spent a year away from Barca, playing around 2000 minutes on loan to Everton this season.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final World Cup tune-up ]

The Times says that Everton would like to keep the player, but West Ham has made a $22 million bid for the EURO 2016 winner.

Meanwhile, Metro says that Xherdan Shaqiri could be one-and-done at Liverpool, making room for another Reds’ buy.

Samuel Chukwuese is the name, and the 20-year-old Nigerian plies his trade at Villarreal.

The Yellow Submarine flirted with relegation this season, taxed by the Europa League, and Chukwuese was a bright spot. He scored seven goals and added three assists in 38 matches across all competitions.

USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video)

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Tobin Heath, Mallory Pugh, and Christen Press all scored and then United States women’s national team was rarely threatened in a 3-0 win that stands as the final tune-up for the World Cup in France.

The U.S. will meet Thailand, Nigeria, and Chile in Group F play beginning on June 11.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The match was barely 10 minutes old when Heath took advantage of terrible miscommunication between Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and Rebeca Bernal.

There was still work to do when Heath got the ball, finding the angle to make it 1-0.

Carli Lloyd nearly slid a ball home after dribbling Santiago in the 48th minute, but was defied by a goal line clearance.

The second goal came when Lloyd dribbled toward the near post from a tight angle, sliding a pass to Pugh for a 2-0 lead.

Press completed the scoring with a classy finish in the final minutes.