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USMNT 1-1 Venezuela: Pulisic saves face for Yanks

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  • Yanks go behind
  • Pulisic levels it up
  • Brooks injured
  • U.S. faces T&T in World Cup qualifier on Thurs.

Christian Pulisic has the ability to gloss over plenty of team bad with one sterling individual moment.

The 18-year-old Pulisic’s second half goal  after José Manuel Velázquez gave Venezuela an early lead led the USMNT to a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto in Sandy, Utah.

The Yanks have five days before Thursday’s World Cup qualifier at home versus Trinidad and Tobago, and eight before a visit to Azteca to face Mexico.

[ MORE: Player ratings | 3 thingsPulisic’s equalizer ]

An early foul had Clint Dempsey teeing up a free kick from 30 yards away, but his shot carried over the bar.

Dempsey had penalty shouts denied when Fabian Johnson deferred on a 14th minute chance and contact had him on the turf.

Darwin Machís of Leganes was an early menace for Venezuela, though he was missing the final ball.

Christian Pulisic tried to sneak a half-volley into the upper 90 in the 19th minute, but missed the mark.

Yet Venezuela hit the scoreboard first, with Velázquez rising to nod home after a corner kick ping-ponged in the 18 to help him lose Fabian Johnson.

Howard made an outstanding save to keep it 1-0, and then another on the corner as he pushed a ball off the post. Set pieces are a major concern heading into next week’s qualifiers.

Venezuela was lively to start the second half, and the Yanks had a new center back pairing within 10 minutes. Omar Gonzalez came on for Geoff Cameron at the break, and Brooks hit the deck with what turned out to be a cramp in the 52nd minute. Brooks returned for a few minutes before Matt Hedges replaced him.

Johnson whiffed on a solid chance in the 57th minute, and a Michael Bradley turnover nearly sprung Venezuela the other way.

Pulisic leveled it up after Nagbe, Villafana, and Johnson teamed up to work on the left. Pulisic worked a pair of defenders before hitting a low shot across the keeper and home.

Subs invigorated the Americans, and Kellyn Acosta’s sweeping free kick was missed by Bobby Wood near the penalty spot and Tim Ream off the back post.

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

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Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal

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Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]

And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.

In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.

Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.

Wolfsburg keeps Bundesliga spot with playoff win

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Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.

Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.

U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.