Beckham makes the 30, eyeing the 23 – England/France

England Provisional Squad vs. France (30) 

Goalkeepers (3): David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (Aston Villa), Chris Kirkland (Wigan).

Defenders (10): Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Man Utd), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Jonathan Woodgate (Spurs).

Midfielders (11): Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Jermaine Jenas (Spurs), Owen Hargreaves (Man Utd), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), David Bentley (Blackburn).

Strikers (6): Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth).

That’s 30 people for an eventual 23-player contingent taking on a pretty powerful French squad consisting of a young core that hasn’t been one to balk at experienced, veteran players like Beckham, Owen, or Terry. Saturday is the day Beckham will find out whether or not he’s part of Capello’s 23 heading to Paris next Wednesday. Beckham is searching for his 100th cap, while of the 30, Gabriel Agbonlahor and David Wheater are the only ones searching for their first. For France, you will get a glimpse of the highly coveted ‘next generation’ Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Karim Benzema as well as the usuals – Thierry Henry, Franck Ribery, Lillian Thuram, and Patrick Vieira. Domenech has chosen 9 Lyon players and 10 from the EPL (39 overall). That will be shaved down by the weekend as well, so expect some changes. I’ll have a more detailed breakdown as Wednesday draws near.

And yes, it’s true a May 8th match-up of USA and England is confirmed. At new Wembley no less!

England win, EPL goes even more foreign?

ENG vs. SWI: England got by a mediocre Switzerland side led by teenager (and now cap-tied, thankfully) Eron Derdiyok. The Three Lions’ 2-1 win over the Swiss featured old David James and a “there’s only one David Beckham” chant, the return of Jermaine Jenas and Matthew Upson, and a final reflection of Capello amounting to “we need lots of work”. Only several on the field showed any sort of urgency – the two Coles (Joe and Ashley), Steven Gerrard fought to get things moving in the midfield, and Shaun Wright-Phillips came on and ultimately provided the winner. Wayne Rooney was shut-down by Senderos until he found enough time to provide Gerrard with space to hit SW-P for the winner. There was little flash and pizazz showcased by the English and if any were expecting that, they clearly forget that Fabio Capello is at the helm now. This is the same guy that was axed from Real Madrid after not playing Madrid’s fluid, attacking style (still winning La Liga no less, and clearly there were more factors than just tactics). Either way, England is going to have a whole spring and summer to improve as they make their charge towards World Cup 2010 without a European Championship to play for.

FOREIGN GAMES?: The 2011-2012 EPL season looks to be one to remember if the Premier League goes through with an outlined plan they have set up a press conference to announce today. There is expected to be an addition of 1 extra game for each of the 20 squads, in a foreign destination. This is to take advantage of the growing worldwide interest of the EPL. Ultimately, on and even under the surface, this just looks like another way for EPL to make more cash…and I don’t think they’ll even deny that. The EPL has a home and away structure right now – why add an odd game in there against an opponent picked out of a hat, in a location they could play a friendly at and STILL make the same amount of money (apparently, the ‘Big Four’ would be kept from playing each other. That’s acknowledging the fact that it’s only a four horse race all year and the parity in the EPL is for shit). The report referenced a successful NFL match-up between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins held at Wembley Stadium – but what they didn’t mention was the fact that it was WORKED into the existing schedule structure. The NFL didn’t add a game to make things work. Listen, would it be cool to see Manchester United take on Reading in New York City? Sure…hell, it would be heaven for some. But to add another game to do it? Let me know what you think…

Here are the pros.