The Soccer Week Ahead: FIFA Women’s World Cup, Copa America, MLS, Galaxy, Steven Gerrard, USMNT

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Weekly Soccer Column: Bad boys Neymar, Clint Dempsey and Arturo Vidal bid to upstage Hope Solo in worst way

NemarcopaWho Me: Neymar protests his innocence at this year’s Copa America (Associated Press Photo).

Like it or not, athletes are role models. It’s why they get the big bucks on the field and often big bucks off it, as sponsors seek famous pitchmen to hawk their products.

But when sports stars go off the rails — the substance abuse issues of George Best and Paul Gascoigne come to mind — the results can be tragic if no one is willing to tell prodigiously talented stars with egos to match to straighten up fast for the good of their careers and lives.

This week one notable sports site suggested that the recent actions of Neymar, for example, at Copa America were merely about boys being boys.

That’s a dumb, small-minded attitude that portends trouble ahead.

Accountability has sadly been missing of late in the corrupt world of soccer off and on the field.

For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

Updated

By coincidence, U.S. Soccer issued a ruling on the Dempsey red card this morning:

The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel has suspended Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey a total of six U.S. Open Cup matches or the next two years of U.S. Open Cup competition, whichever is greater. The suspension is due to his actions during the U.S. Open Cup match between Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers on June 16, 2015.

In addition, Dempsey has been fined an undisclosed amount.

The panel convened Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to review the evidence gathered in regards to the incident. Mr. Dempsey waived his right to an appeal.

Due to the suspension, Dempsey cannot play in any U.S. Open Cup matches in 2016 or 2017, and possibly longer depending on the number of tournament games in which Dempsey’s team participates in those years.

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LA Galaxy duo Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez named to U.S. Gold Cup squad

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Galaxy Striker Gyasi Zardes, just named MLS Player of the Week, and defender Omar Gonzalez will report next Monday to the U.S. camp in Nashville ahead of the Gold Cup that begins July 3 with a game against Guatemala in Tennessee before a crowd opf more than 25,000. The pair will leave after Sunday’s game in San Jose against the Earthquakes.

Said coach Jurgen Klinsmann:

“Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition,” he said. “Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial. That’s why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the senior National Team program.”

The roster includes 17 players from last year’s World Cup squad.

The complete roster:

Goalkeepers — Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders — Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC/), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Midfielders — Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards — Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

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Preliminary Gold Cup rosters released: here are the squads for Mexico and the U.S.

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The 35-player provisional squads for the 12 participating nations will be whittled to 23 players on June 23.

The tournament begins July 7.

Mexico:

GK (4) – Luis Michel (Chivas de Guadalajara/Mexico); Moises Muñoz (Club America/Mexico); Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga/Spain); Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey/Mexico)

DF (10) – Paul Aguilar (Club America/Mexico); Oswaldo Alanis (Santos/Mexico); Yasser Corona (Queretaro/Mexico); Miguel Herrera (Pachuca/Mexico); Miguel Layun (Watford/England); Hiram Mier (Monterrey/Mexico); Hector Moreno (Espanyol/Spain); Fernando Navarro (Leon/Mexico); Diego Reyes (Porto/Portugal); Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Cruz Azul/Mexico)

MF (13) – Nestor Calderon (Santos/Mexico); Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain); Jesús Dueñas (Tigres/Mexico); Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands); Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca/Mexico); Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal); Hirving Lozano (Pachuca/Mexico); Jesus Molina (Santos/Mexico); Orbelin Pineda (Queretaro/Mexico); Miguel Ponce (Chivas de Guadalajara/MEX); Antonio Rios (Toluca/Mexico); Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres/Mexico); Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon/Mexico)

FW (8) – Jesus Corona (FC Twente/Netherlands); Aldo De Nigris (Chivas de Guadalajara/Mexico); Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain); Carlos Esquivel (Toluca/Mexico); Javier Hernandez (Real Madrid/Spain); Javier Orozco (Santos/Mexico); Oribe Peralta (Club America/Mexico); Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/Spain)

USA

GK (4) – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England); Bill Hamid (D.C. United/USA); Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/USA); William Yarbrough (Leon/Mexico)

DF (12) – Ventura Alvarado (Club America/Mexico); DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo/USA); Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City/USA); John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany); Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany); Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders/USA); Greg Garza (Club Tijuana/Mexico); Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy/USA); Michael Orozco (Puebla/Mexico); Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers/England); Brek Shea (Orlando City SC/USA); DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur/England)

MF (12) – Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake/USA); Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France); Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/Canada); Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico); Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo/USA); Mix Diskerud (New York City FC/USA); Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany); Perry Kitchen (D.C. United/USA); Alfredo Morales (Inglostadt 04/Germany); Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution/USA); Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy/USA); Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City/USA)

FW (7) – Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution/USA); Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/Canada); Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders/USA); Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy/USA); Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands); Jordan Morris (Stanford University/USA); Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes/USA)

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Video highlights and Twitter reaction to last-gasp USMNT win over top-ranked Germany

Germany's Shkodran Mustafi, right, looks on while United States' Bobby Wood, center, runs to score his side's 2nd goal during the soccer friendly match between Germany and the United States in Cologne, western Germany, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany’s Shkodran Mustafi, right, looks on while United States’ Bobby Wood, center, runs to score his side’s 2nd goal during the soccer friendly match between Germany and the United States in Cologne, western Germany, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Game story

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Video: LA Galaxy star Gyasi Zardes of Hawthorne scores first international goal as U.S. comes from two goals down in stoppage time to beat the Netherlands 4-3

USA’s Gyasi Zardes, right, scores the 1-1 goal past Netherlands’ Daryl Janmaat during an international soccer match between Netherlands and the US at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

USA’s Gyasi Zardes, right, scores the 1-1 goal past Netherlands’ Daryl Janmaat during an international soccer match between Netherlands and the US at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

The real excitement came at the end of the game as the U.S. came from behind with two goals in as many minutes to overhaul a classy opponent, but Gyasi Zardes will be well pleased with scoring the (first) equalizer with about 30 minutes gone.

Zardes’ first U.S. goal came in his seventh international appearance.

Twitter Reaction:

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MLS Monday Video Rewind: Makeshift LA Galaxy extend road winless streak in soggy New England

Missing plenty of first-choice players as has become the norm this season, the LA Galaxy (5-4-6) squandered a lead in difficult windy and wet conditions on the fake turf so many players hate (Robbie Keane, who despises artificial turf sat this one out) in New England Sunday to draw 2-2 with the New England Revolution in a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup.

The result saw the Galaxy extend their road winless streak to 14 games in what was their record seventh MLS game in a month.

The highlight of the game was a cheeky back heel from the steadily improving Jose Villarreal in the 27th minute to set up the second Galaxy goal for Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes, who retained his place on the USMNT roster for the upcoming games against the Netherlands Friday and Germany on June 10 in Europe.

Game story

Quotable:

“Jose is a phenomenal player,” Zardes said. “He’s so classy and cheeky. Just to play a through ball like that is nice.”

Notable:

The Galaxy have not started the same XI in consecutive weeks this season and on Sunday were without Robbie Rogers, Todd Dunivant, Robbie Keane, A.J. DeLaGarza and Brian Perk due to injury.

Next for the Galaxy: Against the Vancouver Whitecaps 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Carson.

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