Five things to watch in this afternoon’s friendly between Denmark and the U.S.

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Ready for the United States men’s national team match against Denmark at 3 p.m. ET? Us, too, and here are five things we’ll be monitoring during the contest.

1) Who’s in net? Most would assume Nick Rimando is the most likely to start between the sticks as the bid to fill Tim Howard’s shoes as No. 1 goalkeeper continues, but William Yarbrough (Club Leon) has impressed both Mexican and U.S. officials with his play in Liga MX. Could he get a start or two to open his eyes to the red, white and blue? Southampton’s Cody Cropper nabbing a start would be a big surprise, but Jurgen Klinsmann has done whackier things.

[ MORE: Full USMNT-Denmark preview ]

2) How will Michael Bradley be used? Deep-lying, playmaking or a nice mix? Those are several options as to how the United States’ most effective engine room man can be used, and the absence of Mix Diskerud, Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey makes Klinsmann’s decision all the more interesting. How might the USMNT line up? Well, there’s the 3-5-2 Klinsmann has rolled out in recent matches and could be effective against Denmark, and the U.S. head coach has proven he’ll use multiple formations over the course of a half or game.

3) Who will run off Jozy? Critical of his club play or not, Jozy Altidore produces goals up top for the United States. Now with Clint Dempsey hurt, who is going to step up to the plate alongside the Toronto FC man? Aron Johannsson and Rubio Rubin are prime contenders in a 2-man strike force, but a 4-3-3 with Gyasi Zardes and Julian Green flanking Altidore could mimic some of Klinsmann’s summer movements.

4) Better late? The States have struggled in the waning moments of matches since the World Cup. Much of that can be pegged to the large number of substitutes employed as Klinsmann tries to find his best mix for important summer competition, but the opposition subs a lot, too. Can the U.S. build a lead and shut up shop on the road?

5) Better in the back? With Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez home, John Anthony Brooks will be counted on to bring his Hertha Berlin form to the main stage with the Stars and Stripes. Is Tim Ream going to be alongside him? What about dual-national Ventura Alvarado?

Charlton wins promotion to Championship in stoppage time

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Charlton Athletic struck a wildly late blow to clinch the final place in the 2019-20 Football League Championship, defeating Sunderland 2-1 in Sunday’s promotion playoff at Wembley Stadium.

A stoppage time free kick in a cagey affair led to a scrum in the box, with Patrick Bauer sliding to strike a shot off a Sunderland defender and into the goal.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The goal came at the 3:55 mark of four minutes stoppage time, and was the 26-year-old defender’s first goal of the season.

Ben Purrington had leveled the score line for Charlton after Sunderland went ahead via an early own goal. The Addicks were relegated from the Championship after the 2015-16 season, while Sunderland went down last year.

It had to feel extra special to manager Lee Bowyer, who played with Sunderland local rivals Newcastle United from 2003-06.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.


“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).