International Soccer

Brazil Punch Their Ticket To Russia With A Style That Can Only Be Described As Brazilian

After three straight World Cups of the “Brazilian way” appearing to be nothing more than a fabricated lie engineered by Nike to sell more shoes or a conveniently easy Brazil pregame special for Fox Sports’ Rob Stone, the Brazilian creed of joga bonito is suddenly back in its full glory.

Brazil have become the second side to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, alongside hosts Russia. A team in the CONMEBOL region punching their ticket with over a year to go before the finals, and with four matches still remaining in qualifying, is heinous.

Christian Pulisic, The Wunderkind, Feeds Clint Dempsey, The Godfather, Again

It’s difficult to quantify what exactly has gone down here in Panama City. For one, some sensational work from 18-year-old Christian Pulisic gave the United States a 1-0 advantage. However, Panama went straight back at the other end to equalize, making the scores level at 1-1 after 45.

Here’s what we do know: Clint Dempsey is now one goal shy of Landon Donovan’s all-time mark for the United States. Christian Pulisic is the best 18-year-old in the history of the CONCACAF region. We’ve got a feisty one in Panama City. The second half promises to be a classic.

Oman This 14-0 Scoreline Is Brutal

Oman and Bhutan played an Asian Cup qualifier Tuesday, with Oman winning 14-0. This is about as bad a beatdown as you can get in soccer, and we spent some time thinking about what went through the minds of the losing team.

The 14 Stages Of Losing 14-0

1. Oh no! The other team has scored! We must try to score also and tie the game!

2. Ah well, 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer. We can do this boys!

3. We can still come back. Stranger things have happened.

The Usual Suspects Take Control Of World Cup Qualifying In Asia

Matchday seven has passed in Asian 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, and the usual suspects have emerged as favorites to gain passage to Russia. Iran and South Korea control their own destinies in securing Group A’s automatic qualification spots, while Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia are vying for the top two positions in Group B.

The only real surprise is Uzbekistan’s standing of third in Group A, meaning that a country that’s never been to a World Cup before is on course for the playoff against Group B’s third place side.

How The 48-Team World Cup Would Work

If everything continues the way it is, the 2018 World Cup will be a 48-team tournament instead of the 32-team format we have now.

Now, how exactly will this expanded world cup tournament work?

Obviously the addition of all of these teams will have to result in reformatting the World Cup process, so the group stage will have 16 groups of three teams each, with the top team moving on from each group. From there on out, the knockout stage will be the same.

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