International Soccer

The 5 Biggest Surprises On The 40-Man United States Gold Cup Roster

On Saturday, during halftime of the USMNT’s 1-1 draw with Venezuela, the preliminary 40-man roster for the 2017 Gold Cup was revealed. Manager Bruce Arena now has about three weeks to narrow that list down to the final cut of 23 players. The United States will open the tournament on July 8 against Panama. 

This 40-player pool came with several surprises. MLS dominates the list with 32 of the selections being domestically-based. Here are a few of the more interesting decisions from Arena for the 2017 Gold Cup. 

Irish Left With Nothing To Do But Praise A Rampant Mexico

As far as friendlies go, this was about as productive as they come for both Mexico and the Republic of Ireland. El Tri will now return to Mexico City for two key World Cup qualifiers (against Honduras and the United States) at the Azteca brimming with confidence after thrashing Ireland 3-1.

For Ireland, manager Martin O’Neill got a good hard look at his fringe players before a crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin — not many of them would’ve passed this difficult litmus test. 

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez Becomes Mexico’s All-Time Leading Goal Scorer

Over 62,000 Mexico supporters bore witness to a bit of El Tri history on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez moved clear of Jared Borgetti as the national team’s all-time leading goal scorer with 47.

Remarkably, Chicharito and Borgetti share the same strike rate for Mexico. The Santos Laguna legend scored 46 in 89 matches, and the Bayer Leverkusen striker has scored 47 in 91 — both make for an average of 0.52 goals per game.

The Goalkeepers With The Most Career Clean Sheets In Soccer History

Goalkeepers, to paraphrase a popular saying, are insane. It’s the forwards that get the glory, and it’s more often than not the goalkeepers that have to shoulder the blame. It’s a thankless, lonely task that hardly ever favors the man or woman between the sticks. However, these individuals have dazzled with their ability to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. These are the goalkeepers with the most clean sheets in different respective competitions.

The Imminent Arrival Of Jorge Sampaoli Signals A New Dawn For Argentina

Losing a World Cup final in extra time is brutal and tough to come back from. Losing a Copa America final on penalties the subsequent year is a kick to the teeth. Losing yet another Copa America final the following year, to the same team and in the same manner, is practically a kill shot to any footballer’s professional hopes and dreams.

Messi's 4-Match Suspension From World Cup Qualifying Has Been Lifted

Lionel Messi's four-match ban for allegedly insulting a referee has been overturned by FIFA. Messi sat out one match, a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in La Paz, before the FIFA appeals committee made its ruling.

This is good news for Argentina, for whom qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is still up in the air. La Albiceleste sitting fifth, in the play-off spot, one point behind Chile and Uruguay and two points ahead of Ecuador. They cannot afford any slip-ups, which are much more plentiful when Lionel Messi is not in the lineup.

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