Darlington Nagbe looking for a spot within the USMNT?
This is all speculation, but who wouldn't want to see Nagbe put on the Red, White and Blue?
Nagbe, who is originally from Monrovia, Liberia, is rumored to finally be getting his U.S. citizenship confirmed in the near future. According to Steven Goff from the Washington Post, Nagbe is in the final stages and that might be great news for Jurgen Klinsmann and his crew.
This is all rumored but if Nagbe, who currently plays for the Portland Timbers, were to be eligible for U.S., it would be a huge boost to the USMNT. With a true attacking midfielder in the mold of a No. 10 -- and only Mix Diskerud seemingly standing in his way -- this could be a real game-changer for the Americans.
Darren Mattocks is now public enemy No. 1 to the USMNT
It's a good thing the former Zip plies his trade up north for the Vancouver Whitecaps because his face will not be very welcome when he returns to the MLS.
After awarding Mattocks my previous Hustler of the week, I warned that the Jamaicans could prove to be a very formidable team if they were to meet the U.S. in the semifinals. It appears I was right.
And it was Mattocks who scored the opening goal for the Reggae Boyz, with his looping header beating Brad Guzan and making the USMNT defense look virtually nonexistent.
Michael Bradley would go on to spare the Americans blushes but a 2-1 loss to the No. 73 team in the world was the last thing the U.S. needed. Actually it appears that a penalty kick loss to Panama was just as bad.
The loss was, numerically anyway, the worst loss in U.S. soccer history. Many are calling for Jurgen Klinsmann to leave his post as manager, but that would be a bad overreaction to a tournament with virtually no meaning.
Mexico will still have to play the Americans for a spot in 2017's Confederations Cup, and you can be sure that Klinsmann will put forth his best team for that one.
Wil Trapp is finally making his way back to full fitness
I actually meant to publish this last week but alas it still rings true: Trapp may finally be back.
It all started with a two-minute outing against the New York Red Bulls on July 4th.
Even though it was for the shortest of times, I couldn't help but feel happy that Trapp had returned to the pitch after his long layoff with injury.
It's been a long road to recovery for Trapp, who has only played in seven of Crew SC's 21 games this season. But now that he's back, Columbus is on a winning streak, albeit a two-game winning streak, but a streak nonetheless.
Trapp may not get all the plaudits he deserves -- defensive/central midfielders rarely receive any attention unless they're doing something terrific or something terrifying -- but he certainly deserves some. His form from last season even saw him called up to the national team earlier in the year, with his first senior cap coming against Chile on Jan. 28.
While he looked a bit off the speed of the game, it takes time to adjust to the senior level when you've been playing in the youth ranks for awhile.
He has no such limitations at the club level though, and that should help Crew SC, who had a very poor month of June, improve for the rest of the season.
Columbus now sits in second place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Red Bulls -- while having played three more games -- and seven behind conference-leaders D.C. United, who it trails by a game.
If Crew SC are to rise from the obscurity that has plagued them in the past, Trapp may have to play a huge part. And if his back-to-back 90 minute showings against the Chicago Fire say anything, it seems he's up for the task.
DeAndre Yedlin is coming through in a big way
Ignoring Yedlin's contribution on the international scene is getting harder by the game.
He may not be getting any time with Tottenham Hotspur and news of his potential loan seems to be imminent but Yedlin is proving his worth to the national team.
After giving a crucial assist to Clint Dempsey -- aka Deuce, aka Captain America, aka the USMNT's best player this tournament -- he earned some respect and Dempsey immediately called him over while repeatedly yelling: "that's my boy right there."
When Yedlin was included as a midfielder on the Gold Cup roster, but with Timmy Chandler looking increasingly uneasy at right back and Fabian Johnson filling the void left by DeMarcus Beasley on the left, it looks like Yedlin's spot for the taking.
And if he keeps putting in performances like this, he could develop into the USMNT's right back of the future.