World Cup

5 USMNT Gold Cup Players Desperate To Make An Impact Before The World Cup

Bruce Arena has finalized his 23-man roster for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and it’s an interesting mix of veteran players that are desperate to impress and make one final World Cup squad while the next generation of talent aims to prove that their time has arrived.

While every player on the roster stands to either gain or lose a lot with regards to the ultimate goal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, here are five players that could use this tournament as a springboard to more important roles next summer.

Americans Plot Sabotage On Torsten Frings Exactly 15 Years Later

Torsten Frings is finally getting his comeuppance, 15 years and 24 hours to the day. 

The former German international became head coach of SV Darmstadt in January, around the time American Terrence Boyd joined the team.

Darmstadt was promptly relegated to 2. Bundesliga.

On Thursday, 19-year-old Texan McKinze Gaines signed with the club. One can only assume he’s planning to help finish the job Boyd started.

Why might these young Yanks be plotting revenge on a new coach of high regard who spent a couple years in MLS before retiring?

The Best (And Worst) Soccer Fans

With the Russia World Cup less than a year away, we here at The18 asked ourselves who are the best (and worst) fans in the world.

We’ve compiled a list below of superlatives to break down what makes each country’s fans unique, for better or worse.

Note: We limited results to nations that are or have been regular World Cup qualifiers. Scroll to the bottom for the best and worst fans.

How Far Will $2.8 Million Get You At Next Summer's World Cup In Russia?

With the FIFA Confederations Cup in full swing, the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia is officially less than a year away. 

For fans who are planning on making the trip to cheer on their country, they can expect to spend about $2,500 on travel, lodging, tickets, food and other miscellaneous expenses for a week-long trip. Although only three teams have officially qualified for Russia 2018 (Brazil, Iran and Russia), it'd be a smart move to start saving up now for fans of nations positioned well in qualifying.

Brazil’s 2011 U-20 Team Had An Extremely Unfair Advantage

Golden generation. What does it mean? On the one hand, it can mean that you’ve got the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand all getting in each other's way while Steve McClaren holds an umbrella. 

On the other, you’ve got Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Ze Roberto, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and Kaka providing jobs for millions of Nike employees around the world and teaching us all that ginga isn’t a tower game for gingers. 

Can Cameroon Build on AFCON Success?

History and Background

Cameroon may be the giants of Africa, with up to five African Cup of Nations titles — the second most successful nation in the tournament — and seven appearances in the World Cup — the most from an African team. However, they have failed to replicate that success on the world stage. 

Their second ever appearance at the World Cup was a magical one, as they narrowly fell to England in the quarterfinals of the 1990 edition. But apart from that, they have failed to even get out of the group stage in their other six appearances. 

How Nations Qualify For The World Cup

We’re less than a year away from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but only eight teams have assured themselves of a spot in the 32-team tournament, one of them being the host nation.

Qualifying began back in March 2015 and will continue through this November, when the final berths will be booked. 

How does each confederation decide which nations will attend the World Cup? Read on. 

Africa (CAF)

Nations: 53

Spots: 5

Rounds: 3

Australia Wants To Host The 2023 Women's World Cup

In a joint announcement between the Australian government and the football association, the country formally declared their interest to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. And their odds of landing it are high. The national side is currently ranked eighth in the world and has consistently performed on the global stage, making it to the quarterfinals in each of the last three World Cups. 

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