We start the soccer news with FIFA conducting the draw for the U-17 World Cup in Brazil in October and November. The USMNT is in Group D along with Senegal, Japan, and the Netherlands.
The USMNT finished 2nd at the Concacaf U-17 Championship, losing 2-1 to Mexico on May 16 in Bradenton. Senegal initially finished 3rd in Group B at the 2019 U-17 Cup of Nations in April. They exited the tournament at the group stage with 2nd-place Guinea advancing to the semifinals and then the final where they lost on penalties to Cameroon. Guinea was later disqualified for inaccuracies in player information, with Senegal taking their place at the U-17 World Cup. Japan won the AFC U-16 Championship that qualifies for the U-17 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Tajikistan last October. The Netherlands won the 2019 UEFA U-17 Championship, beating Italy 4-2 in May.
Group D play begins for the USMNT against Senegal on October 27 in Cariacia. They play Japan on October 30 in Cariacia before concluding the group stage against the Netherlands in Goiania on November 2.
Mexico is in Group F with Italy, Paraguay, and the Solomon Islands. Canada is in Group A with Brazil, New Zealand, and Angola. Haiti finishes off the Concacaf participants in Group C with South Korea, France, and Chile.
While it's easy to point at the AFC and UEFA champions in the USMNT's group and label it the toughest, this is still a youth World Cup and surprises are the norm. Though England beat Spain in 2017 with Brazil beating Mali for 3rd-place, Mali was the only one of those teams to finish in the top four in 2015. They lost to Nigeria in the 2015 championship game with Nigeria successfully defending their 2013 title.
Mexico won in 2011, finished 2nd in 2013, and fourth in 2015. They finished 3rd in a group with eventual champions England in 2017, the last team to qualify for the knockout rounds where they lost to Iran. The USMNT exited to England 4-1 in the quarterfinals. England did not qualify for the 2019 U-17 World Cup.
Also in the soccer news, MLS and Liga MX named Las Vegas as the host for the Leagues Cup final on Wednesday, September 18. The new tournament is the latest attempt for games that count between MLS and Liga MX clubs. It's a single-elimination tournament with all games played in the United States. The opening quarterfinal round has Chicago vs Cruz Azul, LA Galaxy vs Tijuana, Houston vs Club America, and Real Salt Lake vs Tigres. MLS and Liga MX picked their representatives.
"Las Vegas is an exciting market that has become a destination for professional teams and marquee sports events, and we’re proud to bring the inaugural Leagues Cup final to the city," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a press statement. "An intense rivalry is developing between Major League Soccer and Liga MX clubs, and Leagues Cup will provide thrilling competition while further elevating the profile of the game in North America. We have no doubt that the support for the historic, first-ever Leagues Cup final from the passionate soccer fans of Las Vegas and surrounding region will be tremendous, and the atmosphere at Sam Boyd Stadium will be electric."
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald profiles new Philadelphia Union and USMNT player Andrew Wooten. The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Ben Gotz has MLS commissioner Don Garber talking about expansion to the city.
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