Thursday’s soccer news starts with another weather delay disrupting a Gold Cup group. The second game in group A started later than planned, but El Salvador had also taken enough of a lead to carry it into the final matchday. They beat Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 at Toyota Stadium to put six points at the top of the group. Jairo Henriquez scored in the 30th minute with Walmer Martinez doubling the lead in the 90th. El Salvador goalkeeper Mario Antonio Martinez kept the clean sheet with two saves.
Mexico shutout Guatemala 3-0 at the Cotton Bowl. Rogelio Funes Mori opened the scoring in the 29th, making it 2-0 in the 55th. Orbelin Pineda finished off the El Tri goals in the 79th minute. Group A finishes in the late slot on Sunday with Mexico playing El Salvador and Guatemala vs Trinidad & Tobago. El Salvador has six points to Mexico’s four and will advance regardless of results. Trinidad & Tobago has a point in 3rd-place while Guatemala is officially eliminated with no points after two games.
The USMNT plays Martinique on Thursday night (10pm ET – FS1) in the second matchday for group B. Canada has Haiti in the early game. Canada tops the table on goal difference over the United States +3 to +1 with both teams on three points. The USMNT will be without Reggie Cannon and Paul Arriola due to injury.
Martinique briefly held the lead against Canada before losing 4-1 in its opener. With the USMNT beating Haiti 1-0 on an early goal, it’s up to the United States to show that its offense can find a rhythm that leads to goals. Both teams will already know what happened in the early game, with Martinique potentially playing to stay alive in the group.
Also in the soccer news, another USMNT player makes the move from MLS to Europe with Tanner Tessman leaving FC Dallas for Venezia FC in Italy’s Serie A. Venezia won promotion through the playoffs after finishing 5th in Serie B last season.
“Ever since I came to the academy at 14 years old, FC Dallas was developing me, honing my skills and making me a better young man,” Tessman said in a press statement. “I knew an opportunity like this would be possible and it was always in the back of my mind, only because FC Dallas was there,” said Tessmann. “I’m excited for this new experience. It’s going to be a good journey. This is not a goodbye. It’s an ‘I’ll see you soon’.”
MLS confirmed that Toronto FC and Montreal will play their next home games in Canada when the league resumes following the Gold Cup break. What isn’t certain is whether or not this is a permanent return. The league specified that it’s both teams’ games on July 17 and Toronto’s home game on July 21. Vancouver will remain in Utah.
“The importance of this return home for our team can’t be overstated,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said. “It has been a long, hard time on the road due to pandemic protocols and we have greatly missed the energy and support of our fans at BMO Field. Our return to Canada gave the team an incredible boost this week and we look forward to an emotional night at BMO Field with our fans on Saturday.”
SI’s Brian Straus asks about the future of the Gold Cup. The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal, Jeff Rueter, and Paul Tenorio report that USMNT player Sam Vines is strongly linked with a transfer from Colorado to Royal Antwerp. BBC Sport’s Guillem Balague with what it took for Lionel Messi to stay with Barcelona. Football Italia’s Lorenzo Bettoni has stadium capacities to start the season in Serie A.
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