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Most important USMNT players for '15

Next year will be key for Jozy Altidore and John Brooks in terms of their USMNT outlook.
Next year will be key for Jozy Altidore and John Brooks in terms of their USMNT outlook.

The new World Cup cycle poses numerous questions about the United States' lineup, not just in terms of depth and quality at certain positions but also in terms of overall talent that can significantly influence games against the world's best teams.

As U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann builds toward his 2018 World Cup roster, he will use the 2015 calendar year as an opportunity to establish a core group that he can trust in critical situations. And while his most meaningful evaluation will come in the summer's Gold Cup, the manager will also be keeping a close eye on which players are built to thrive in the 2016 Copa America and Olympics, as those players will also be essential to the team's qualification and success in the next World Cup.

Which USMNT players should we keep a close eye on next year? Here's a look at nine players who need a strong 2015 in order to stabilize the core of the U.S. team. These are players who either need to bounce  back and return to previous form, continue to show potential or make a positive step forward in order to provide the U.S. with a strong foundation as the team moves further into the 2018 World Cup cycle.


 By PA Sport
1 day ago

Jerome Champagne demands FIFA transparency over World Cups bids

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke insists talk of boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia is nonsense.

The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups must be looked at again if even one vote was improperly influenced, FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne has told the Mail On Sunday.

FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said on Tuesday that a criminal complaint had been lodged with the Swiss attorney general over the possible misconduct of individuals in connection to the awarding of the hosting rights for those finals.

However, FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted that despite...

By ESPN Staff
2 days ago

Valcke: World Cup boycott 'nonsense'

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke insists talk of boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia is nonsense.


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2 days ago

FIFA panel member charged with fraud in Cayman

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- A member of FIFA's financial monitoring panel has been charged with fraud in a criminal investigation in his Cayman Islands homeland.

A Cayman anti-corruption unit has charged Canover Watson with money laundering, fraud and breach of trust amid a probe into a 2010 contract to supply local hospitals with a swipe-card billing system.

The 43-year-old Watson is the former chair of a health authority board in the British Caribbean territory.

He issued a statement denying...

2 days ago

FIFA's Jerome Valcke says 2018 boycott talk is 'nonsense'

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says there is doubt about the validity of the Russian and Qatar World Cup bids following Judge Eckert's report.

SOCHI, Russia -- FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says a boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia would be "nonsense."

Some European politicians have suggested that European countries could boycott the World Cup over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which many Western governments accuse Russia of provoking.

Valcke says talk of a boycott is an attempt to "provoke" discord rather than "to be realistic on what the world is today."

He says the World Cup "is a sporting event" and has "nothing to...