By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Mar 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - Most years, CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is anything but routine for Mexico. More often than not, Mexico has struggled during the qualification phase, struggles that often necessitate a coaching change and roster overhaul.
This is not one of those years.
The biggest takeaway from the USMNT's 1-1 draw at Panama is nothing new to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Win at home, get whatever you can on the road. The USMNT did that job plus a little more. In a testy game with a referee happy to let both teams play on, Christian Pulisic's weave through the Panama box made the difference.
Following their 2-0 home win on Friday against Costa Rica, Mexico remained unbeaten in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying thanks to a 1-0 road win at Trinidad & Tobagoon Tuesday.
Juan Carlos Osorio's side got a 58th-minute game-winner from midfielder Diego Reyes to earn all three points at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
With the top three teams set to take on the bottom three in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Tuesday's games could go a long way towards determining who makes it out of the Hex and into Russia.
While the U.S. Men's National Team battles it out with Panama in a third versus fourth clash, the top two teams go on the road to take on the bottom two as Mexico visits Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica visits Honduras.
It's gameday for the USMNT in Panama City (10pm ET - beIN Sport). We're going to go ahead and assume that nobody needs a reminder that the USMNT would like three more World Cup qualifying points. It's a simple scenario for all the teams in CONCACAF's Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying. Winning means control.
The USMNT is back in action on Tuesday, trying for three more points in Panama. Coming off of their major statement against Honduras, the USMNT takes their newfound confidence on the road in Panama City. Also on the soccer TV schedule, Europe switches to friendlies while World Cup qualifying continues in CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.
Monday's soccer news starts with newly won confidence for the USMNT following a 6-0 shutout of Honduras. The rest of CONCACAF got a lesson in how not to play the USMNT in this cycle. How Panama responds on Tuesday (10pm ET - beIN Sport) will be on the minds of the rest of the region.
Panama has issues of their own, trying to turnaround a road loss to Trinidad & Tobago.
The U.S. Men's National Team may have garnered all the headlines on Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, but it was their biggest rival who rose to the top of the table by Friday's end.
Mexicomoved up to top spot in the Hex after a 2-0 victory at Estadio Azteca against Costa Rica.
The soccer news starts with the USMNT in action tonight against Honduras in San Jose (10:30pm ET - FS1). Is there going to be a pregame that pushes that start time closer to 11pm on the East Coast? Of course there is.
After months of concern, we're all well aware of what's at stake for the USMNT.
The games return in force on Friday's soccer TV schedule. World Cup qualifying resumes in CONCACAF with the USMNT in action against Honduras on Fox Sports 1. That follows Mexico playing Costa Rica. There are also qualifiers from UEFA.
USMNT vs Honduras at 10:30pm on Fox Sports 1. We all know the stakes for the USMNT.
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - Experience, aggression and commitment are the tools of choice for the USMNT as they wade into a pressure-packed World Cup qualifying encounter with Honduras at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on Friday (10:30pm ET - FS1).
With domestic action taking a break, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers resume on Friday with three matches taking place in the United States, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago.
All of a sudden there is a sense of urgency across the region, especially with the teams in the bottom of the table after slow starts in November.
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Mar 20, 2017) US Soccer Players – The USMNT is no stranger when it comes to playing in must-win games. From the first round of the World Cup to the Gold Cup knockout stages and Hexagonal tournaments in between, the USMNT has found ways to win. It will need to channel some of those past victories when it plays Honduras on Friday evening at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 16, 2017) US Soccer Players - The final countdown to this month's massive World Cup qualifying matches began in earnest on Wednesday. Bruce Arena unveiled his 24-man USMNT roster for the games against Honduras On March 24 and Panama on the 28.
The soccer news starts with an MLS result in the Champions League. FC Dallas came back to take the first-leg of their semifinal series with Pachuca 2-1 at Toyota Stadium. With Omar Gonzalez in Pachuca's starting eleven, Franco Jara put them up in the 3rd minute. Maxi Urruti equalized for Dallas in the 44th with Kellyn Acosta scoring from a free kick in the 58th.
The soccer news starts with Bruce Arena talking about World Cup qualifying at the Gold Cup announcement. He talked about the Gold Cup too, with the USMNT finding out the rest of Group B.
"The year is so important for the US team," Arena said. "We're not going to be allowed to have peaks and valleys during the year.
The 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship went to penalties with the game finishing scoreless in regulation. The USMNT converted on all five of their attempts with Honduras missing in the fourth round. There was a moment of confusion following the final USMNT penalty with the referee approaching the celebrating players before confirming it counted.
The USMNT won Group D in the second stage of the CONCACAF U-20 Championships, advancing to the U-20 World Cup. The USMNT beat El Salvador 2-1 on Friday in San Jose, Costa Rica. Emmanuel Sabbi scored in the 18th minute. Eryk Williamson assisted on the Sabbi goal and scored in the 25th. El Salvador pulled a goal back in the 35th.
If my eyes do not deceive me, we get Ream in for Brooks (as some of you guessed), Zusi in for Cameron (oi vey) and Jones in for Lletget. So is this the same set as Friday, or does Jones slide Pulisic wide, giving us a 4-2-3-1 or an empty bucket? We shall see. Three points is nice, but how about we #Get3More?
With all the missing regulars, am I being greedy to want a win in Panama? Four more players, including starting left center back John Anthony Brooks, have been released to their clubs. Only Paul Arriola has been added to the mix, so the USMNT now has 23 guys available for selection on Tuesday. You may know them as.
With one exception, the USMNT eleven I prescribed are starting tonight's key World Cup qualifier. Of course, we'll need to wait to identify the shape and where Lletget/Nagbe are fielded... Meanwhile, stars from all across the sports spectrum are showing mad love and support for the team tonight. Sending my best to @ussoccer as they face Honduras tonight.
Bruce Arena has called up 24 players for this month's key World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama. As is often the case with USMNT selections, there are both relief sighs and worry wrinkles.Of course, my prayer to see Villafaña's name on the list was answered. On the other hand, I'm disappointed not to see Yedlin (or at least Lichaj) - seeing as how FabJO is listed in attack, I suppose
Honduras has called in several familiar faces for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against the U.S. Men's National Team.
Former MLS star Andy Najar is joined by Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza and Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Ellis to headline Honduras' 26-man squad for World Cup qualifying.
Though it's easy to think that this already happened, CONCACAF's lengthy route to naming the 2017 Gold Cup field finally concluded on Tuesday. At a media event at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, CONCACAF officially set the groups for this summer's competition. The USMNT is the seeded team in Group B and will play Panama, Martinique, and either Haiti or Nicaragua depending on a final qualifier.
It's seemingly a must win for Bruce Arena and the USMNT, but can a depleted squad pull out three points against Honduras?
The United States has zero points and sit in last place in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Jurgen Klinsmann is out, Bruce Arena is in and the monumental task facing the USMNT now is Honduras.
A controversy-free week during CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers doesn't seem right. Good thing the Honduran federation stepped in to provide some drama leading up to Friday's match with the United States at Avaya Stadium.
Jorge Salomon, the president of the Honduran federation, toldDiezin Honduras that the Catrachoswere training across the country in Fort Myers, Florida because U.
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Mar 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's not often that soccer serves up a historic, life-altering, history-making and possibly changing matchup. While soccer still has not served that one up quite yet in CONCACAF Champions League play, there may be just such a matchup waiting around the corner.
The 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League semifinal didn't go Vancouver's way. The Whitecaps lost 2-0 at Tigres to open the series. Tigres benefited from a 66th-minute own goal. Eduardo Vargas doubled the lead in the 87th. Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman didn't have to make a save to keep the clean sheet.
Another afternoon of Champions League round of 16 second-legs on the soccer TV schedule. Fox Sports 1 has Monaco hosting Manchester City and Atletico Madrid plays Bayer Leverkusen on Fox Sports 2. There's also the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Univision with FC Dallas in action against Pachuca.
It's the Vancouver Whitecaps' turn to see if they can get past a Liga MX team in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Two weeks into the MLS season, Vancouver will once again switch focus to the regional tournament, at Tigres tonight (10pm ET - Facebook Live). Not losing in Mexico is another old and not exactly flattering story for MLS.
The soccer news starts in the Europa League. Fabian Johnson and Gladbach drew 1-1 at Schalke. Jonas Hofmann put Gladbach up in the 15th minute with Schalke equalizing in the 25th. Johnson subbed out in the 65th minute. The second-leg of the Round of 16 series is on March 16.
"We had too many lapses in concentration today," Gladbach's Jonas Hofmann said.
USMNT players did well in the Copa MX on Wednesday, with Tijuana shutting out Club America 1-0 at home on a Paul Arriola goal. Michael Orozco and Joe Corona also started for Tijuana. Arriola's goal came in the 29th minute. Orozco saw yellow in the third minute of stoppage time.
It's MLS playing Liga MX in both CONCACAF Champions League semifinals and plenty of MLS season previews in the soccer news.
DeAndre Yedlin and Newcastle United picked up another three points to retake the top of the Championship table in the soccer news.
Regardless of how CONCACAF fills in the rest of the Gold Cup schedule, we already know one thing. The Confederation doesn't seem to have a lot of interest in altering the tournament. Even after the success of the Copa Centenario and rumors about joint qualifying, a World Cup bid for the region, and changes to international soccer CONCACAF chooses to press on.
The biggest takeaway from the USMNT winning the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships was job done. Rough starts happen. So do recoveries, with teams figuring things out while playing against time. Losing is acceptable as long as a team moves on. That's what the USMNT did, turning their issues into that classic coaching cliche "the teachable moment".
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Mar 22, 2017) US Soccer Players - For all the pressure and fear associated with World Cup qualifying, there is a rather simple formula for CONCACAF teams seeking entry to the world's biggest sporting spectacle. Take care of business at home.
It's a tried-and-true formula, really.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino hasn't outright stated the Trump administration's travel ban on Muslim countries would stop the U.S. from winning a 2026 World Cup bid, but the implication of his statements are fairly heavy.
Speaking in London on Thursday, Infantino made clear that a country wishing to host the World Cup must be accessible for all participating nations.
Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
The Copa America Centenario was a financial success, and it appears CONCACAF and CONMEBOL could be on their way to another tournament.
CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani says talks for another joint Copa America are "beyond preliminary" with the earliest potential joint tournament coming in 2020.
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Mar 8, 2017) US Soccer Players - The year before a World Cup is The year before a World Cup is typically an important year for CONCACAF teams. High on the list of priorities is qualifying for the World Cup. Somewhere down below for one CONCACAF nation is the Confederations Cup, which gives that team the chance to play in the same venues and in the same country as next summer's World Cup.