Remember Fafa Picault? The FC St. Pauli striker became a surprise name in USMNT circles when former coach Jurgen Klinsmann shouted him out on Twitter, later calling him into U.S. camp. Picault, 25, is a center forward who has battled back trouble at times this season, limiting him to six appearances for the 2.Bundesliga side. He broke out last season, scoring four goals and adding two assists in 16 appearances last season. The former NASL player was capped by Klinsmann in May, going 19 minutes in a 3-1 win over Puerto Rico. Philadelphia is the top spot for Picault, according to Bild and translated by VAVEL reporter Jonny Walsh. It’s just agent talk, but we’d like to get a closer look at the American
Diego Costa has returned from his short absence as the Brazilian starts in front of the home fans at Stamford Bridge live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com. Costa had missed the 3-0 win over Leicester City with what was officially tabbed as a back injury, but with reports swirling that the striker had been unsettled by a big offer from China and a bust-up with management. Now, he’s back after missing just a single match. John Terry does not make the Chelsea squad despite returning from suspension, with Kurt Zouma on the bench in relief Antonio Conte‘s preferred back three. Hull City is without leading scorer Robert Snodgrass, a big loss for a player who has struggled with
Less than a week from Bruce Arena’s second debut as USMNT boss, we know three players who won’t be in the Starting XI. Injuries have felled FC Dallas duo Kellyn Acosta and Matt Hedges, while Vancouver attacker Kekuta Manneh is leaving the squad to join his ‘Caps teammates for preseason in Wales. Acosta has a mild left ankle sprain and Hedges has a mild right knee sprain. While Manneh may have been a long shot to see significant playing time on Sunday against Serbia or Feb. 4 versus Jamaica, Hedges had a chance to start at center back and Acosta has been capped before as well.