• The United States’ 4-1 loss to Brazil on Tuesday represented another low point for the men’s national team, and more questions are being asked about Jurgen Klinsmann. The head coach started winger Alejandro Bedoya as a defensive midfielder, a position he’d never played as a pro, and it went badly enough that Klinsmann felt forced to substitute him off during the first half. The team’s back line was torn apart by the Brazilians, as Klinsmann started yet another new, shaky center back partnership, with Michael Orozco alongside Ventura Alvarado — while two experienced center backs, Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream, played at fullback. All eyes are now on the team’s Oct. 10 matchup with Mexico, with the winner advancing to the Confederations Cup. A U.S. victory would make the team’s ugly summer a little prettier. A loss would leave many questioning Klinsmann’s tenure, heading into the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.

 

• MLS Commissioner Don Garber suggested this week that his league’s winner and the U.S. Open Cup winner could participate in a tournament with the Premier League champion and the winner of the FA Cup. A hundred details would have to be worked out for this to happen yearly, or even every four years, but if Garber can land the tournament, it’d be a major boon for his league — and for American fans.

 

• The NWSL playoffs begin Sunday on Fox Sports 1, with Kansas City visiting Chicago at 12:30 p.m. and Washington playing at Seattle at 8:30 p.m. The Seattle Reign, which beat Washington 2-1 last Saturday, will be heavily favored to again reach the championship game. Chicago, led by Christen Press’ 10 goals in just 11 games, will also be favored, but less so. With the USA’s upcoming games against Australia canceled because of a players’ strike in Australia, Saturday might be among the most interesting days for women’s soccer fans for the remainder of 2015.

 

• Minnesota native Kassey Kallman was one of just nine players to play every minute of the NWSL season. She started the entire year at center back for the Boston Breakers. Her team, though, finished in last place with just one win over the season’s final three months.