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How will the USMNT lineup versus Trinidad and Tobago?

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Bruce Arena’s men didn’t look so hot on Saturday, a 1-1 home draw against a Venezuela side that won’t be terrifying too many hosts in the near future (granted their U-20 side looks quite good).

But the players’ rationale for the tough night made enough sense; Arena has them training and playing at altitude in preparation for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago in Colorado, and Sunday night’s test at Azteca against Mexico.

Plus, the Yanks were experimenting. Forget for a moment that the previous administration would be torn to bits for “experimenting on the eve of important games.” That’s for another post. But the Americans simply have to win their home qualifiers, especially have thrown one away already.

The good news is that the Yanks are fairly healthy. John Brooks could be a big loss if he cannot play, but the rest came through the friendly relatively unscathed.

Tim Howard was exceptional on Saturday, and the backs should remain unchanged outside of Brooks’ fitness test. Geoff Cameron only went 45 minutes versus Venezuela, and both Jorge Villafana and DeAndre Yedlin played well on the outside.

Michael Bradley struggled again, and at best was unspectacular. But Arena is not going to go away from his captain, and Christian Pulisic is an absolute certainty, too. Jozy Altidore is back with the team following a family obligation, and both Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood seem certain to feature.

It remains to be seen whether Arena though Darlington Nagbe did enough to insure he stays in the mix, and Clint Dempsey‘s very off night could cost him playing time with Altidore’s health. Could it be as simple as this?

Howard

Yedlin – Cameron – Hedges – Villafana

Bradley

Nagbe – Pulisic – Johnson

Altidore – Wood

That means there could only be one change, Altidore for Dempsey, should Brooks return to health by Thursday.

Arena may choose Omar Gonzalez over Hedges given their long history with the LA Galaxy.

The manager could also move Alejandro Bedoya or Kellyn Acosta for Nagbe, or even use Dempsey there. It does seem like the 34-year-old Dempsey won’t go 90 in three-straight matches, and Arena may prefer to save him for Azteca.

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.

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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.