Shouldn’t Peter Vermes be in the future U.S. national team coaching discussions?

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Coaching openings in Major League Soccer will soon be filled at Chivas USA, Vancouver, Dallas and (after last night’s big news) Real Salt Lake. We assume they will be, at least. I mean, tick-tock…tick-tock, guys! What are you waiting for?

But where domestic soccer coaching is concerned, let’s introduce one more element into the ongoing conversation:

Shouldn’t Peter Vermes name be mentioned when we start talking about successor to U.S. national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann?

(No, Klinsmann isn’t going anywhere for now. But history reminds us that so many international coaches last just one World Cup cycle, even if U.S. coaching longevity has owned a little more staying power. Either way, talking about the “next” U.S. manager, regardless of standing for the current top man, has always been a wonderful U.S. Soccer supporter pastime.)

For a few years now, two names have come up repeatedly, and deservedly so. If we assumed the next guy is will be as “born in the U.S.A.” as Bruce Springsteen – not saying he will be, but let’s assume for this particular exercise – then Jason Kreis and Dominc Kinnear are the always warming up in the bullpen of discussion.

Kinnear has always managed to get the most from the least in Houston. Not saying the Dynamo doesn’t have any talent; but this is a small budget operation, one that refuses to rely on pricey stars, so Kinnear gets it done through chemistry, drive, accountability and old-fashioned, common horse sense.

Kreis’ recent results speak for themselves; that’s why he’s the hand-picked choice of the league’s new glamour club, the Manchester City-owned New York City FC club.

But now we add Vermes’ name. Or we should.

Sporting KC’s record over the past three seasons: 48-26-28, a sterling mark considering the parity that generally rules MLS. Sporting’s placing in the Eastern Conference race over those seasons: 1st, 1st and 2nd.

Now he has an MLS Cup trophy to place as a cherry on that yummy sundae of a resume.

Vermes is a taskmaster and perfectionist, a hard worker, a demanding boss who is not afraid to put a star on the bench who isn’t pulling his weight (Benny Feilhaber and Claudio Bieler, most recently). Sounds like a solid platform for building a national team manager, eh?

Not saying he should be the choice … but he should definitely be in the conversation.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE