Robbie Rogers unsure where he stands with USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann after coming out two years ago

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LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers would, perhaps one day, like to play for the US national team again. For that to happen, though, as Rogers puts it, he’ll first need to have a serious “life conversation” with USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Klinsmann, who was something of a mentor to a young Rogers while growing up in Southern California, has yet to reach out or respond to Rogers’s repeated attempts to make contact since revealing he was gay nearly two years ago, Rogers revealed during MLS’s media day in Manhattan Beach, California, on Tuesday.

From MLSsoccer.com:

“When I was coming out, I came out to a very small group of people: my family and then some of my [former] teammates. Jurgen was one of the guys I tried to get in contact with – email, messages, stuff like that – and I haven’t heard from him.

“I don’t know how he feels about me as a soccer player. I don’t know how he feels about the whole situation, but I’m sure down the road I’ll speak with him.”

“I’ve known him since I was 12, 13 years old. So I think him and I need to have that conversation – a life conversation, if he’s interested. I think that’s more important to me than playing with the national team.

“My coming out was very personal, and I was in a really dark place in my life where I was really struggling. You know, Jurgen wrote my letter to Leeds [United in 2012], for me to get my work permit. He was one of the guys who spoke to my mom about whether I should go to [US Under-17] residency or not. He used to drive me to Galaxy training when I was younger, so he’s great, helped me throughout my career. So I think I need to have that conversation.”

Rogers last appeared for the USMNT in November 2011 — Klinsmann’s third full month in the USMNT job — as a 94th-minute substitute in a friendly against Slovenia. Since his early days as a quick, attacking winger, Rogers has seen a positional shift transform his club career with the Galaxy and make the Rogers-for-USMNT conversation we’re currently having worthwhile once again.

Now the starting left back for the 2014 MLS Cup winning Galaxy, the 27-year-old is starring for MLS’s preeminent team at a position where the USMNT player pool is currently quite thin. Fabian Johnson looks to have made the full-time move from left back to right back, DaMarcus Beasley retired from international soccer in December, and 23-year-old Greg Garza is still rough around the edges, though extremely promising.

Said Rogers on Tuesday:

“I’ve proven to myself, I think, I can really contribute to our national team and the way that we play. I watched the World Cup. I saw the way Jurgen wants his outside backs to play, so I think that actually suits me pretty well.”

As for the highly controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to very un-gay-friendly Russia and Qatar, Rogers says he’s actually not in favor of any kind of boycott.

“If you read [FIFA’s] mission statement on their website, it talks about using football to promote education and human rights and a ton of different things. So then to have the World Cups in countries that don’t support human rights and, especially, the LGBT community, of course that crosses my mind.

“My thought is, and people ask me about the [2014 Sochi] Olympics in Russia, I don’t think boycotting something is the way to go. I’ve learned from my experience that being present and being in the locker room is what really teaches people and creates an environment that is sensitive and aware of what’s really going on.”

Having finished reading Rogers’s book, “Coming Out to Play,” in the 48 hours, it’s not at all surprising to hear Rogers speak in favor of further reform within the game, rather than boycotting the worldwide spectacle altogether.

How long of a break will Premier League clubs get?

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How long of a break will Premier League clubs get? That is the big question during the significantly shortened offseason between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season.

In short: not long.

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When Premier League clubs all agreed that the 2020-21 season would kick off on September 12, there was an understanding that clubs in European action will be handed extra time off and could start the season late.

Manchester City and Chelsea are in Champions League action and if they reach the quarterfinal stage (Man City are looking a lot more likely to do that than Chelsea) it is expected they will start next season one week late and if they reach the semifinals and final they will start two weeks late.

The same rule is in place for Manchester United and Wolves who are in Europa League and are both in Round of 16 action this week.

If Chelsea lose to Bayern Munich on Saturday, their season will be over and they will have a 35-day break before the 2020-21 season. That is longer than the 30-day limit but Frank Lampard wants longer.

As for the other 16 Premier League teams for the 2020-21 season, the clubs who finished on the final day of the  2019-20 Premier League season on July 26 will have had 47 days off until the new season begins.

So, there you have it.

A staggered start to the 2020-21 season seems likely as the domestic campaign begins in a few weeks with the Community Shield final at Wembley between Liverpool and Arsenal on Aug. 29.

Premier League teams will have shorter, more intense preseason campaigns and are unlikely to travel for friendly games, so it will be interesting to see how much rest players actually get over the summer and if teams who get a 2-3 week longer break benefit compared to those clubs in European action.

Christian Pulisic issues injury update

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‘Pulisic injury news’ is probably trending worldwide at this point, and Chelsea and USMNT star Christian Pulisic has an injury update after he damaged his right hamstring in the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Pulisic, 21, scored a superb goal early on and was arguably the man of the match even though he pulled up abruptly in the 46th minute when sprinting free (once again) of the Arsenal attack and then hitting a shot wide.

After being helped off the pitch while clearly in pain, Pulisic was seen hanging around the tunnel area after the FA Cup final and was at least walking on his own.

Posting a message on Instagram following the final, here’s what Pulisic had to say:

“Gave it everything we had. Wasn’t our day. Thank you guys for your support I’ll be back in no time,” Pulisic said.

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The fact Pulisic went off injured early in the second half of the FA Cup final severely hampered Chelsea and gave Arsenal the impetus to go on and win the final at Wembley. He has become that important to Chelsea.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard previously confirmed that Pulisic would not be fit enough to play at Bayern Munich on Saturday in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg (Chelsea trail 3-0 from the first leg) and would have a scan to assess the damage.

Pulisic’s 2019-20 season is now done and both Chelsea and USMNT fans will be waiting with bated breath for the next injury update as hamstring injuries can be a nasty thing and reoccur easily.

The USMNT star had a few of them at Borussia Dortmund and given his incredible pace it is clear he will be more susceptible to hamstring and upper leg injuries.

Previously Lampard revealed that Pulisic had been working hard with Chelsea’s strength and conditioning coaches in recent months to build up his strength in order to adapt to the Premier League. We’ve certainly seen the results of that work in recent week as he took the Premier League by storm during the restart.

This latest update from Pulisic seems to be very good news as many had feared a lengthy injury layoff for the USMNT star but it seems like he may be ready for the start of the 2020-21 season for Chelsea.

Willian, Chelsea fail to agree new contract terms; Arsenal in talks

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Willian and Chelsea have failed to agree to terms on a new contract and the Brazilian winger is now in talks with Arsenal over a free transfer.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Willian has rejected a two-year contract offer from Chelsea as he wants a longer deal, as Sky Sports in Italy have more details on the developing situation.

Sky Sport contributor Fabrizio Romano states that Willian’s representatives are now in talks with Arsenal over a contract, while there hasn’t been any contact from Barcelona so far.

Willian, 31, has been a regular for Chelsea this season and Frank Lampard is keen to keep the Brazilian star as his experience will help the younger players develop at Chelsea.

After suffering a small injury, Willian didn’t feature in Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal over the weekend and Lampard had the following to say about his future.

“It’s his decision so I haven’t got that answer,” Lampard said. “He’s been a great servant for Chelsea and he’s been brilliant for me this season with his input and work ethic but if he decides to move on then we obviously will move on as well. I know the situation from the club’s end so it’s his choice and I respect that.”

It appears that Willian will move on this summer as winger Pedro is also moving on a free transfer to AS Roma, although he did look to severely injure his shoulder in his last-ever appearance for Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

With Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount around, Chelsea have plenty of options out wide and Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham give them plenty of options centrally with Kai Havertz also potentially arriving this summer.

As for a potential move to Arsenal, this makes perfect sense.

The Gunners have a small transfer budget this summer and Willian gets to stay in London as well as add extra quality to the Arsenal attack. His arrival may mean one of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave, though, as his wages will not be cheap. That said, if Willian is available on a free, plenty of clubs would love to have him. He is consistent, professional and delivers a steady stream of goals, assist and direct wing play.

Report: Man United, Dortmund in talks over $140 million Sancho transfer

Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
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Jadon Sancho to Manchester United is moving on as the Red Devils are said to be in talks with Borussia Dortmund over the talented winger.

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According to numerous reports Dortmund still want $140 million for Sancho, 20, but are now willing to accept a smaller initial payment and larger instalments for the England international and want a deal done before Aug. 10.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have some more details on the developing situation:

“Discussions between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United are ongoing over the structure of the transfer fee for Jadon Sancho as the Bundesliga club appear open to accepting less money up front as part of the deal. Dortmund have not moved from their €120m (£108m) valuation of the England international, but seem to be open to accepting less money up front.

“Ideally, the Bundesliga side would want an initial €100m (£90m) to fund a replacement for the 20-year-old – though it is very unlikely they would spend that amount of money on a new signing, hence the softening of the stance on Sancho’s initial fee.”

The report from Sky goes on to state that Dortmund could sign Kingsley Coman on loan from Bayern Munich in order to replace Sancho. That would be a pretty good deal, all things considered, for Dortmund.

They have Gio Reyna, Erling Haaland, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard in attacking areas and have talented young midfielder Jude Bellingham in midfield. As good as Sancho is — and he was brilliant for Dortmund in 2019-20 with 17 goals and 17 assists on 32 Bundesliga games — selling him for close to $140 million in the current market is good business.

Manchester United now know they will be in the Champions League next season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be rewarded for a third-place finish by being handed one of the top attacking players in the world. Sancho will be a menace out wide with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as United’s other forward options and Paul Pogba and the brilliant Bruno Fernandes creating just behind them.

After months of speculation, Jadon Sancho to Manchester United looks like it will actually happen.