Friday’s soccer news starts with the Bureau of the FIFA Council officially allowing for three extra players on rosters for the 2022 World Cup. The wording here is important, with FIFA specifying that, “The number of players to be included on the final list has been increased to at least 23 and a maximum of 26.” Naming the three additional players is not a requirement. The long-rumored tweak to roster sizes comes after the International Football Association Board formalized the five-substitutes option that is also in use at the upcoming World Cup. That included allowing for 15 available substitutes.
Part of the appeal of soccer may be its relative simplicity from a rules perspective. That also creates the potential for any rule change or tweak to do more than initially expected. Super subs may carry greater resonance with more available substitutions and more players to choose from.
Five substitutes already changed the scope of the 2022 World Cup, but it was an expected move. So was increasing roster sizes. If there’s such a thing as too much choice for coaches and technical staffs, we may be about to see it at the highest level. How this may or may not play out in Qatar now becomes a technical and tactical question.
Moving to Major League Soccer, this weekend has two games available on ABC. Any opportunity for MLS on network television is a big one, and it starts on Saturday with Seattle hosting Sporting Kansas City (3pm ET). Seattle drew 1-1 at home with LAFC in last week’s ABC game, currently in 7th-place in the Western Conference on 20 points from 14 games played. The rapidly improving Sporting Kansas City is up to 12th-place, four points behind Seattle but on 17 games played.
Sunday also has an ABC game, with LAFC hosting the Red Bulls (3pm). LAFC has a two-point lead over Real Salt Lake at the top of the Western Conference with a game in hand. The Red Bulls knocked NYCFC out of the US Open Cup midweek and are within a point of them at the top of the Eastern Conference. Once again, there’s a games played issue. NYCFC is on 14 with 27 points. The 2nd-place Red Bulls have 26 points from 16 games played, tied on points with 3rd-place Philadelphia who have a game in hand.
Staying in MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes announced that this Saturday’s originally scheduled San Jose vs LAFC game at Standford Stadium is now postponed to September 24 due to a power outage. “We were informed by Stanford University that the issues they are experiencing on campus this week are going to prevent the California Clasico from taking place Saturday,” Earthquakes president Jared Shawlee said in a press statement. “We appreciate Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy for swiftly coming to an agreement on a rescheduled date that would allow us to keep this match and all its pageantry at Stanford Stadium. We are looking forward to putting on a spectacular event for our community in September.”
WEEKEND SOCCER TV
Saturday has the USL Championship on ESPN: Hartford vs Louisville at 1pm. MLS on ABC: Seattle vs Sporting Kansas City at 3pm. ESPN has DC United vs Nashville at 5pm. On UniMas: Houston vs Chicago at 8pm. USWNT vs Colombia at 7:30pm on FS1. Fox Deportes has the Monterrey vs America de Cali friendly at 8pm.
Sunday has MLS on ABC: LAFC vs Red Bulls at 3pm. FS1 has Philadelphia vs NYCFC at 6pm. Campeon de Campeones on Univision: Atlas vs Cruz Azul at 8:30pm.
No games on Monday’s schedule. All Times Eastern
All links are provided as a courtesy. US Soccer Players nor its authors are responsible for the content of third-party links or sites. For comments, questions, and concerns please contact us at email@example.com