Between November 9 and November 14, the complete European field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be decided over the course of eight gut-wrenching playoff ties. The two-legged affairs will mark the final cuts in a qualifying marathon that began with 54 hopefuls back on September 4, 2016, and will end with 14 European nations vying for glory next summer.
FIFA Men's World Cup
Mexico are certainly not taking it easy with regards to November’s international window. Friendlies against Belgium and Poland in Brussels and Gdansk represent World Cup warmups against the nations currently ranked fifth and sixth in the world, and their UEFA qualifying campaigns certainly give credence to those high-water marks.
Monday night’s playoff encounter between the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC saw the continuation of a narrative that’ll likely follow TFC for years to come: wherever the club goes, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are not going to be given a warm reception. It began on October 22 with Toronto’s visit to Atlanta, TFC’s first road match since that unspeakable encounter between the United States and Trinidad & Tobago. It continued on Monday night at Red Bull Arena.
England completed a rare double on Saturday, rallying to defeat Spain 5-2 and claim the U-17 World Cup after winning the U-20 World Cup earlier this year. The Three Lions also finished second in the U-17 Euros and reached the semifinals of the U-21 Euros. Is England on the verge of a new golden age of football?
The World Cup prize money for 2018 will increase from 2014, but only for countries that win a few matches first. The total purse for the 2018 World Cup will be $400 million, a $42 million increase from the 2014 World Cup, FIFA announced following a meeting of the FIFA Council on Friday.
Doing soccer in Russia is expensive. With the 2018 World Cup less than a year away, it just got even more expensive. The costs for next year’s World Cup rose by $600 million more than previously planned, Russian authorities disclosed on Tuesday.
Make it back-to-back hat-tricks for 17-year-old Liverpool talent Rhian Brewster at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. After hitting the United States for three in England’s 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals, the London-born striker again found the back of the net thrice, this time in the Three Lions’ 3-1 victory over Brazil in the semifinals.
Brewster, who scored on his Liverpool U-23 debut back in January, now leads the tournament’s Golden Boot race with seven goals. He also bravely struck the first penalty in England’s Round of 16 shootout triumph over Japan.
It’s been 35 years since Peru’s last appearance at a FIFA World Cup finals, a streak of hurt dating back to the 1982 tournament in Spain. By improbably finishing fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying, ahead of back-to-back Copa America champions Chile and 2014 finalists Ecuador, a home-and-away playoff against Oceania representative New Zealand is the only thing standing in the way of Peru punching their ticket to Russia.
A wonderful 4-0 victory over Panama back on October 6 sees the United States Men’s National Team climb to 27 in the latest FIFA World Rankings, leaving Ukraine, Turkey and Iran in their torrential wake. The U.S. could’ve made further strides with a win against Trinidad and Tobago, but the Soca Warriors used the shock 2-1 victory to their own advantage, climbing up 16 places to 83.
Taylor Twellman was back at it again Wednesday morning. After his epic rant went viral on Tuesday night after the Americans’ shocking elimination from the 2018 World Cup, Twellman returned to the ESPN airwaves to rant some more on the morning SportsCenter.