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Gold Cup Forecaster: Group, title projections

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Debating U.S. Gold Cup bubble players

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U.S. prospects blog: Young backline will play big role at Gold Cup

John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado figure to start in central defense against Honduras at the Gold Cup.
John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado figure to start in central defense against Honduras at the Gold Cup.

FRISCO, Texas -- If there is one particular area of concern on the eve of the U.S. men's 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup opener here on Tuesday against Honduras, the backline -- or rather, the age of the backline -- is it.

Generally speaking, opportunities for promising young players in international tournaments usually come up front, where fearlessness and youthful enthusiasm are most valuable. Close to the opposing goal, in the final third of the field, not knowing your limitations can be an advantage. It can make attackers more dangerous. It makes them less predictable.

The farther back you go, though, from midfield to defense to goalkeeper, experience begins to matter more. In terms of defense, risk taking is, well, riskier.

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U.S.'s Bobby Wood joins Union Berlin from 1860 Munich

USMNT striker Bobby Wood and midfielder Michael Bradley talk after their 2-1 victory over the World Champions Germany in Cologne.
The ESPN FC experts evaluate the United States Men's National team's performance as they defeated the World Champions Germany 2-1.
The United States grabbed yet another huge international victory, this time over Germany via a late Bobby Wood strike.
USMNT midfielder Bobby Wood spoke after his side's historic win over the Netherlands and said Jurgen Klinsmann has supported him a lot.

BERLIN -- American forward Bobby Wood joined Union Berlin from German second division rival 1860 Munich on Monday.

The 22-year-old agreed to a deal through June 2018, Union said on their website.

"I'm happy the transfer worked out, and all sides all clear. I had very good discussions with...

CONCACAF outlines reform after FIFA corruption scandal

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer questions the impact CONCACAF's new reform will have.
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner has denied he will make a plea deal with the FBI over Sepp Blatter's involvements in FIFA corruption.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop details former FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF president Jack Warner's indictment in the FIFA corruption probe.
U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie expands on CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb's involvement in soliciting and collecting bribes from sports marketing executives.
CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb discusses his belief that CONCACAF should have additional spots in the World Cup, explaining Europe should lose spots.
CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb discusses the state of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, citing there is far more parity with the emergence from the likes of Costa Rica and Panama, rather than the traditional United States and Mexico rivalry.
CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb discusses the improvements FIFA has made under Sepp Blatter, FIFA's contribution to CONCACAF and believes FIFA would benefit from being more transparent.
ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti addresses the latest news coming out of FIFA, with the 2026 World Cup bid process being postponed.

With its reputation in tatters following a corruption scandal, CONCACAF announced on Monday a reform framework that has been approved by the organization's Executive Committee.

The proposals for North and Central American and Caribbean's governing body contained in the framework were put forward by a three-man special committee consisting of U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani, and Mexico Football Federation president Justino Compean...

Clint Dempsey says Michael Bradley deserves U.S. captaincy

United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann explains the reasons why he took the captaincy away from Clint Dempsey and gave it to Michael Bradley.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Clint Dempsey wants to look ahead to helping the U.S. defend its CONCACAF Gold Cup title and not back to his confrontation with a referee that caused American coach Jurgen Klinsmann to replace the fiery forward as captain for the tournament.

Dempsey converted a penalty kick in his return from a suspension, Timmy Chandler scored his first international goal and the United States routed Guatemala 4-0 Friday night despite some sloppy play in an exhibition ahead of the Gold Cup.

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GuatemalaGuatemala
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Dempsey...