Short takes

• There were no big surprises in the squad announced for the U.S. men's national team World Cup qualifiers next weekend, but most troubling is the lack of fullbacks on the American roster. Coach Bruce Arena seems set to play aging DaMarcus Beasley at left back and an out-of-position center back at right back — not a recipe for success.

• If you tried to tune into a Liga MX game last weekend, you would have noticed that the whole league had gone missing. The reason was an impromptu referee strike after two players made contact with referees in midweek Copa MX matches. The refs, unhappy that the players had not been suspended for the maximum one year, walked out until the league extended the suspensions.

• The U.S. women's national team doesn't have either the Olympics or World Cup this summer, but reportedly the program is doing its best to create a summer tournament. Reports from Brazil have indicated the Americans will host a tournament with Brazil, Australia, and Japan — three of the best teams not committed to this summer's European Championships — in late July and early August.