When the USMNT lost Jonathan Gonzalez to Mexico, it highlighted a disconnect between U.S. Soccer and the Latino community. It’s an issue that desperately needs to be fixed. But while the U.S. focuses on keeping Mexican dual nationals stateside, they can’t forget about the European-based dual nationals who are eligible to represent multiple countries at the senior level. In particular, five young Americans abroad need to be locked down to ensure they play for the USMNT.
According to FIFA, 8.4 million requests have been made for seats at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after two sales phases. The second phase saw a total of 4,905,169 tickets requested, with the majority of those applications coming from Russia. While the top five for requests is rounded out by Germany, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, the percentage of Icelandic people requesting tickets is absurd.
U.S. Soccer is going through a bit of turmoil right now. Presidential elections are about a week away, the contracts of the USMNT coaching staff are about to expire and one of the country’s young rising stars switched nationalities to Mexico. Perhaps most alarming right now: There are no March friendlies currently slated on the USMNT schedule.
As if the Jonathan Gonzalez Mexico debut wasn’t bad enough for U.S. fans, the California native completed his switch to El Tri on U.S. soil. Gonzalez came on as a 57th-minute substitute for Elias Hernandez and didn’t look out of place as Mexico played Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
You’d think it would be obvious by now, but apparently not. FIFA still has to tell its member federations that accepting bribes in exchange for votes on 2026 World Cup hosting rights is wrong.
The U.S. Men’s National Team opened the 2018 season with a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, a pair of teams who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The USMNT vs Bosnia match itself was a relatively drab 0-0 draw, but with about 15 minutes left U.S. forward Jordan Morris had his shirt ripped, by far the highlight of the match.
Morris, the Seattle Sounders product, was involved in a tussle on the left sideline when his shirt tore just enough to bare his smooth abdomen, which the cameras didn’t shy away from showing.
The U.S. women keep accomplishing what the U.S. men cannot. On Friday in Ato Bodon Stadium, the exact same location of the USMNT’s capitulation to Trinidad and Tobago to miss out on the 2018 World Cup three months ago, the U-20 USWNT booked its trip to the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup with a win over Haiti.
The South American Under-20 Women’s Football Championship (which serves as CONMEBOL’s qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup) is underway in Ecuador with Brazil looking to secure their eighth-straight championship in the tournament’s eighth edition.
The junior Seleção are exceedingly dominant in this competition, and the 2018 staging of the contest has been carried out in much the same vein. Brazil topped Group B play with four wins from four matches, scoring 13 goals while conceding zero.
The UEFA Nations League is objectively a cool idea — turn meaningless friendlies into interesting competitions, replace boring lopsided matches with enticingly even matchups, create another tournament for players and fans to enjoy. But Wednesday’s draw didn’t exactly get the pulses racing for next fall’s Nations League schedule outside of a handful of UEFA’s 55 countries.
League A, Group 1 is awesome: Germany, France and the Netherlands. Group A4 is pretty good too: Spain, England and Croatia. But the other 14 groups fail to really move the needle.
There are two rules for hiring someone for a position as a public figure that everyone should follow in 2018. Rule No. 1: make sure that person is qualified for the position. Rule No. 2: read their dang tweets.
The England FA evidently did not follow either of these rules before they announced Phil Neville as the new manager of the England Women's National Team.