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Backheel Breakfast: Michael Bradley is Captain America

If you want to be Captain America, don't mess with refs.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

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Michael Bradley has worn the captain's armband for the United States on many occasions, but normally when the regular captain was injured or suspended. Now, he's the permanent captain. Jurgen Klinsmann announced on Thursday that Bradley would take the armband for the Gold Cup, with Clint Dempsey giving it up.

Klinsmann offered some comments on Dempsey when the news came out.

"It's important to have Clint be in his best condition for us. Clint is exceptional, an absolutely exceptional player. He's proven that year in and year out. He's proving that now in MLS, like Jozy [Altidore] does as well. We need him. We need him on board. We need him in a good mood. We need him to be enthusiastic about the next couple of weeks. And we need him to score."

But Klinsmann had to make a change after Dempsey ripped up a ref's notebook, resulting in a two-year ban from U.S. Open Cup. There were calls to get him suspended for the Gold Cup, which ultimately didn't happen, but he didn't escape without punishment from the national team.

In the news

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Falcao on loan. (Chelsea FC)

Inter have signed Colombian defender Jeison Murillo. (Inter Milan)

Yevhen Konoplyanka has signed with Sevilla on a free. (BBC)

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United will be the EPL's only Friday night match, thanks to an EDL march. (Guardian)

You should be reading

Daniel Squizzato asks what the legacy of the Women's World Cup will be in Canada. (Paste)

Gabriel Marcotti on how the Copa America final is a defining moment for Lionel Messi. (ESPN FC)

D.J. Gallo on the USWNT saving America from a bad sports year. (Guardian)

Fun with transfer rumors

The section in which nothing should be taken seriously. It's rumor season, so this section will be expanded, and as the summer rolls on, it will probably be bigger than the actual news section.

If Madrid want Fernando Llorente, then Juventus want Isco. (AS)

Juve rejected Barcelona's offer for Paul Pogba, but it's not over. (Football Italia)

Wolfsburg look set to sign Antonio Rudiger. (Kicker via Standard)

Man United will offer Jonny Evans as part of a deal to get Seamus Coleman. (Star)

And Spurs will offer up some players to get James McCarthy. (Mail)

What to watch this weekend

Friendly: USMNT vs. Guatemala (Friday, 7 p.m.) - A warm-up for Gold Cup.

MLS: Sounders vs. DC United (Friday, 11 p.m.) - Stay up late to watch the best teams in MLS.

Copa America: Chile vs. Argentina (Saturday, 4 p.m.) - This final should be the best game of the tournament.

WWC: USWNT vs. Japan (Sunday, 7 p.m.) - Nervous yet?


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