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Nowhere Man: the tao of Mark Geiger

ESPN FC & Howler
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

After World Cup failure, what now for Italy, U.S., Chile and Netherlands?

Brad Guzan joins Taylor Twellman in the ESPN FC Heineken Boot Room bus to talk all angles of the USMNT's World Cup qualifying debacle.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

Several powerhouses won't be present when the World Cup begins. How are Italy, the U.S., Chile and Netherlands dealing with their failure to qualify and what happens next?

What is the biggest issue facing the national team?


The choice of manager to replace Giampiero Ventura. Unable to elect a new president, the FIGC is under the emergency supervision of CONI, Italy's Olympic Committee. Alessandro Costacurta has the job of picking the new coach -- and setting the agenda of reform --...

 By Andy Mitten

Manchester United's Anthony Martial and France's thriving football factory

With Jose Mourinho planning a summer overhaul at Old Trafford, Craig Burley examines the futures of 10 Manchester United players.

PARIS -- Four grey Renault 13-seater vans stand parked outside the tiny main stand at Les Ulis, a semi-professional team with a thriving youth set-up 24km southwest of Paris.

"Thank Manchester United for them," Tshimen Buhanga, Patrice Evra's best friend and the coach of Les Ulis' under-13 teams, told me.

"Anthony Martial started here and we received some money when Anthony moved from Monaco to Manchester."

So that's where some of the £50 million went -- it certainly wasn't down the drain,...

Germany and Spain move away from false nines as World Cup draws near

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.
The FC crew debate the necessity of the March international break, weighing the positives for national team coaches ahead of the World Cup against the risks it poses for club teams.

Germany and Spain meet on Friday in a friendly. Ahead of the game, we asked Raphael Honigstein and Sid Lowe to discuss the state of the two teams, with fewer than three months until the World Cup kicks off.

Raf gets the debate going:

Mein lieber Sid,

You'll be pleased to find that Bundestrainer Joachim Low has shown himself a huge Radiohead fan: There are No Surprises in the 26-strong squad he has picked for the Spain and Brazil friendlies. The underlying message of this conservative approach...

Legends games increasingly key for Europe's elite to keep fans on board

Man United vs. Real Madrid legends 2013
Man United vs. Real Madrid will always attract attention, no matter who is playing.

Anfield will be full on Saturday, even though virtually every member of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool squad will be away, somewhere in the world, on international duty.

As most supporters will attest, the international break is no substitute for club football, especially when only friendlies are being staged ahead of the World Cup.

But the game's elite clubs have now found a way to ease their fans' withdrawal symptoms, at the same time as raising funds for charity and, more strategically, keeping their...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Barcelona back on top; Liverpool, Madrid also climb

Shaka Hislop defends his updated power rankings, which see Barcelona ascend to the top after Bayern Munich's loss to Leipzig.
With Cristiano Ronaldo scoring at a blistering pace since the middle of January, the FC crew discuss the emerging race between him and Messi to be La Liga's top scorer.
Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes take a look at the European Golden Shoe race and debate whether Mo Salah will win it over Leo Messi.
Goals from Paco Alcácer and Lionel Messi in the first half were enough to take down Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou.

The Spanish leaders edged closer to yet another Liga title and, thanks to Bayern's surprise defeat, are also back on top of Shaka's Top 10!

Dropping out: None.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Salah leads trio of four-goal phenoms to top Player Power Rankings

ESPN FC's Craig Burley examines this week's Player Power Rankings, which see Mohamed Salah top the list following his stellar showing against Watford.
Ronaldo, Salah and Icardi score four, Messi scores his 25th in La Liga, Ajax have some fun and more feature in this week's In Case You Missed It.

ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. Mohamed Salah leads a trio of four-goal heroes in this week's top 10.

1. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool

Why he's here: Salah was one of three four-goal performers from the weekend, his heroics in Liverpool's 5-0 win over Watford on Saturday taking the Egypt international four goals clear atop the Premier League scoring charts.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid

Why he's here: The second of the weekend's four-goal phenomenons,...