Who’s most likely to rep the US in Brazil? Ranking the provisional 1-30

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This isn’t about who’s most important, or best-qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. No, this is simply taking the 30 names Jurgen Klinsmann released today and evaluating which players, top to bottom, would be the most surprising omissions from the final 23.

For example, the three goalkeepers will be pretty high up on the list, as the Yanks will march into Brazil with three netminders.

Again, this isn’t a list of who I’d take, but who I feel is most likely to get the call. I’m not sure any player making the team would shock me, but cuts are another story. It’s an exciting time to support US Soccer and the next few weeks will be thrilling as Klinsmann culls his roster to 23 by June 2.

Without further ado, the most surprising cuts from US camp would be…

1. Michael Bradley — A two-way menace and the closest thing the States have to a world-class midfielder.

2. Tim Howard — 
Fifteen clean sheets at Everton and the most dependable player in his unit.

3. Jermaine Jones — At this point, if Klinsmann returned home to find his house on fire and Jones laughing while spraying a flamethrower all over his garden gnomes, I’d expect Klinsmann to say, “Hey, it happens,” crack open a beer and pat Jones on the back.

4. Geoff Cameron
5. Fabian Johnson — three players with versatility to burn/reliability to their games
6. Graham Zusi

7. Clint Dempsey — remains the face of the national team, has earned benefit of the doubt.

8. DaMarcus Beasley — still pacey after all these years, calm veteran influence.

9. Jozy Altidore — because “What if he puts it altogether?” isn’t limited to fans, but coaches.

10. Matt Besler
11. Omar Gonzalez — because you need to call your center back pairing well in advance.

12. Brad Guzan — because this is how it works.

13. Landon Donovan — many would put him further down the list, but cutting Landon Donovan would still be cutting Landon Donovan, right?

14. Kyle Beckerman — because center of the pitch depth is important, and Klinsmann has relied on him more often than not.

15. Nick Rimando — again, because this is how it works (though Southampton’s Cody Cropper sure wishes he could have a say here).

16. Michael Parkhurst — because form and experience matter, and he has both.

17. Aron Johannsson
18. Terrence Boyd — because it’s super hard to score 17 and 20 goals, respectively.

19. Julian Green — because Klinsmann sold him on this chance, and he’d have to clearly fail this chance.

20. Ale Bedoya — his form at Nantes dipped for a while, but he was still playing regularly in Ligue 1.

21. Brad Davis — again, this ranking is by surprise. He deserves to make this team and he will if healthy.

22. Chris Wondolowski — because of all the forwards, he’s the “easiest” one to dismiss (which is a shame)

23. Clarence Goodson
24. Brad Evans — because Evans either of these players being 23 on your 23 works just fine, but one gives you center back depth and more experience on the stage.

25. Maurice Edu
— just don’t see him making this much of a jump back into the side this late in a cycle.

26. Timmy Chandler — when healthy, so intriguing and so good, but coming off a torn meniscus and no matches at the end of the Bundesliga season?

27. Joe Corona a big unknown and X-factor in this group at age 23.
28. Mix Diskerud — at 23, may not be his time yet.
29. DeAndre Yedlin — youth is served… but just for camp.
30. John Anthony Brooks
— has looked out of place, but gets his camp invite.

Report: Toronto to send Giovinco to Tigres for Valencia, cash

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An Mexican site reports that Tigres UANL is ready to send Enner Valencia and cash to Toronto FC to land Sebastian Giovinco.

Normally that’s seem a bit wild for TFC to send their perennial MLS MVP candidate packing, but the club has been hesitant to meet Giovinco’s terms on a new contract.

[ MORE: PL Manager Power Rankings ]

And Valencia is nearly three years younger and a bit bigger than Giovinco.

Valencia scored in bunches for Tigres after arriving from West Ham, scoring nine goals with an assist in 16 Apertura matches including three multi-goal games. He then saw his numbers dip to two goals and three assists in 11 Clausura appearances.

Giovinco, meanwhile, has six goals and six assists in 15 matches between MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League.

It would be a significant risk for TFC, though the idea of pairing up Enner Valencia and Jozy Altidore is a physical nightmare for MLS defenses.

Whoops! Unai Emery puts up Arsenal message on web site

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Arsenal’s next manager is very close to being officially Unai Emery.

That is unless, the Gunners’ brass has its mind changed by his sloppy web savvy.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Emery — or his people, or hackers — mistakenly put up a graphic featuring the Spanish coach, the Arsenal logo, and the phrase “Proud to be a part of the Arsenal family” before taking it down in short order.

Emery is expected to take over for Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium this summer. Something tells us we’ll have an announcement on Wednesday or even later tonight…

State TV: Ghana president orders arrest of FIFA executive

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ACCRA, Ghana (AP) Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday ordered police to arrest football federation head Kwesi Nyantakyi, a member of the powerful FIFA Council, over allegations of fraud.

Akufo-Addo’s order was announced by the state-run Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Abu Jinapor, deputy chief of staff at the president’s office, said the order for Nyantakyi to be arrested and investigated related to an undercover documentary that purports to show the football official asking businessmen for money in return for access to the president and other senior government officials.

“It was a clear case of defrauding by false pretense,” Jinapor said, adding that Akufo-Addo’s order came after he watched excerpts from the documentary, which has not yet been broadcast.

Nyantakyi is president of the Ghana Football Association, a vice president of the Confederation of African Football, and has been a member of the ruling FIFA Council since 2016. He was the FIFA official chosen to oversee the football competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ghanaian media reported that Nyantakyi was not in Ghana at the time of the president’s order but was returning home.

Nyantakyi has been accused of improper behavior before when a British media investigation just before the 2014 World Cup claimed he had been willing to allow the Ghana national team to play in games that could be fixed by others. He denied the allegation.

Premier League managerial power rankings

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There’s a new sheriff at West Ham United, and it’s no small-time boss.

Former Premier League champion manager Manuel Pellegrini is taking over the London side, which had us wondering how high he’d move up the acclaim ladder upon hiring (as of post time).

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

With the 20th spot still open — will it be Fulham or Aston Villa — the Arsenal and Everton jobs vacant for now, and both Neil Warnock and Nuno Espirito Santo yet to manage their clubs in the top flight, we rank the power status of the 15 other active Premier League bosses.

15. Javi Gracia, Watford — Manager don’t usually last long at Vicarage Road, and Gracia doesn’t have a record for sticking around clubs for too long himself.

14. Mark Hughes, Southampton — Saints stayed in the Premier League, and Hughes deserves credit for pushing the buttons on a talented squad.

13. Claude Puel, Leicester City — A disappointing finish to his season keeps Leicester outside the Europa League, and so he has a bit more to prove after an impressive reclamation job at the King Power Stadium.

12. David Wagner, Huddersfield Town — Keeping Town in the Premier League was impressive, but we’re not sure how much we learned about the long-term prognosis of Jurgen Klopp‘s best pal.

11. Chris Hughton, Brighton and Hove Albion — He’d led several clubs to Premier League promotion, and coaxed fine seasons out of what appeared to be a subpar defense at season’s open.

10. Eddie Howe, Bournemouth — One of the brightest young managerial minds, can he take the next step on the South Coast?

9. Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace — What he did upon inheriting and then overseeing one of the worst starts in Premier League history was nothing short of brilliant. Clearly he hasn’t stopped learning unlike many other PL “retreads.”

8. Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham — What will a few years outside the Premier League, if anything, have done to the one-time Man City leader. Don’t forget: The season City won the PL season, he coaxed 20-plus goal campaigns in all competitions from Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, and Yaya Toure.

7. Antonio Conte, Chelsea — Tactically and experience-wise, he’s so much higher on the list. Regardless of the mess at Chelsea, better was needed this season.

6. Sean Dyche, Burnley — Guiding tiny Burnley to the Europa League is as impressive a feat as any outside of what Guardiola did this year and Claudio Ranieri did at Leicester City.

— BONUS — 6b. Unai Emery, if hired at Arsenal —

5. Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United — Considering his resume, it shouldn’t be as surprising that he kept United up despite his owner refusing to green-light a real answer at center forward. Worked career years out of Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey.

4. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool — The Champions League final says something, especially in a year he sold Philippe Coutinho, but his team still lacks the consistency of the three men in front of him.

3. Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur — Spurs have smartly spent and kept their stars around, but their financial outlay arguably should not have them consistently finishing ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.

2. Jose Mourinho, Manchester United — Still a defensive marvel, still a genius, still somewhat hilarious… but we all know who No. 1 is…

  1. Pep Guardiola, Manchester City