***With the Dos a Cero showdown in Columbus 10 days away, U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad will begin to gather in central Ohio this weekend. The identity of the players will probably go public Sunday, but Monday is also possible.
Because the U.S. squad is playing two World Cup qualifiers — Mexico on Nov. 11 at Mapfre Stadium and Costa Rica on Nov. 15 in San Jose, C.R. — Klinsmann is expected to invite more than the standard 23 players. Although the list is probably set, he’ll continue monitoring players for injury setbacks with their clubs before the FIFA break. Last-minute internal changes are not uncommon.
While a full slate of European and Mexican league matches involving U.S. players lie ahead this weekend, MLS candidates from active playoff teams — such as Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard and Sacha Kljestan — are in action Sunday.
Geoff Cameron, slated to partner with John Brooks in the heart of the U.S. backline, missed Stoke City’s Premier League match against Swansea City on Monday with a hyper-extended knee. The club hopes to have him back Saturday at West Ham. Cameron has helped fuel Stoke’s turnaround — 3-0-2 after four consecutive league defeats — in a defensive midfield role.
***Stoke’s victory came at Bob Bradley’s expense as the American manager fell to two defeats and one draw at the Swansea City helm. The Swans are in an 0-7-2 dive across all competitions and sit next to last with five points heading into Sunday’s home date with Manchester United.
“When a team has gone through a bad stretch, there’s no magic way of getting some confidence back,” Bradley said. “It’s a test of everybody’s character and determination every single day. Let’s face it: That’s where we are. We know that. It’s a huge job we have. I knew that from the start.”
***Americans in UEFA Champions League:
Fabian Johnson and Moenchengladbach vs. Celtic, 3:45 p.m. ET (ESPN3.com, WatchESPN)
Julian Green and Bayern Munich at PSV Eindhoven, 3:45 (Fox Sports Net regional outlets, ESPN3.com, WatchESPN)
Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund vs. Sporting Lisbon, 3:45 (FS2, Fox Sports Go, foxsoccer2go.com)
***Former Seattle Sounders star Obafemi Martins has agreed to a one-year contract extension with Shanghai Shenhua that will net him around $9 million. In his first season in the Chinese Super League, the 32-year-old Nigerian forward posted nine goals in 26 matches (13 starts). His last MLS contract, in 2015, paid him $3 million.
***MLS announced that six players have graduated from the Generation Adidas program, meaning they are no longer exempt from the salary cap and expansion draft. (Their club would have to protect them in order to avoid possibly losing them to Atlanta or Minnesota on Dec. 13.) They are Seattle’s Cristian Roldan and Damion Lowe, Philadelphia’s Andre Blake, Colorado’s Marlon Hairston, Vancouver’s Christian Dean and Montreal’s Romario Williams.
Those retaining GA status are D.C. United’s Julian Buescher, Philadelphia’s Josh Yaro and Fabian Herbers, New York City’s Jack Harrison, Real Salt Lake’s Omar Holness, San Jose’s Andrew Tarbell, Toronto’s Alex Bono, and Orlando’s Conor Donovan and Richie Laryea.
***The third-seeded Georgetown University women’s team (14-2-2) will open the Big East tournament Tuesday with a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Butler (11-6-2) at Shaw Field. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
***The Virginia men’s team, which finished the regular season on a nine-game unbeaten streak, is the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament, which will begin Wednesday. The Cavaliers (9-2-5) will host 11th-seeded North Carolina State at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville. The winner will visit third-seeded Louisville in Sunday’s quarterfinals.
Guatemalan midfielder Pablo Aguilar capped Virginia’s regular season last Friday with an 87th-minute golazo against Duke for a 1-0 victory. The goal comes at the 1:45 mark of the following video: