We start the soccer news with FIFA president Gianni Infantino stumping for World Cup expansion. Like an good politician, Infantino is making sure he has the support for a 48-team World Cup in time for the FIFA Congress in Paris on June 5. That means finding at least one other country willing to host games in 2022. So far, that hasn't been easy. AP's Rob Harris reports that Infantino is working to . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 12, 2019) US Soccer Players - A bigger, more ambitious tournament, at least one new opponent, and a bevy of highly familiar ones await the USMNT this summer as they defend their Gold Cup title. This year’s remodeled event is 33% larger and takes place across three countries instead of just one. Costa Rica and Jamaica will each host a group-stage . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 20, 2019) US Soccer Players - The World Cup is the most important tournament in soccer. It is the pinnacle of the international game. It stands above all of the other tournaments on the soccer calendar. That doesn't downplay the importance of those other tournaments. They're important and necessary in the build-up to and preparation for the World Cup. Well, until . . .
The soccer news starts with the USMNT in action on Saturday against Costa Rica (3:30pm ET - Fox). With a 3-0 shutout of Panama in Arizona last Sunday, the USMNT looks to close out January camp with another strong performance. As Charles Boehm relayed in his latest column for USSoccerPlayers, this version of the USMNT is about installing new tactics and teachable moments for coach Gregg Berhalter. . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 31, 2018) US Soccer Players – The past year will stand out for years to come for the type of soccer it produced. That is almost always the case in a year with a World Cup. The USMNT continued to rebuild and got a new coach, while MLS gave us a new champion in Atlanta United FC that helped to showcase the passion for the game in this country. Indeed, Atlanta’s . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 19, 2018) US Soccer Players - Chivas Guadalajara claimed the Concacaf Champions League with a thrilling victory over Toronto FC in April, a fitting triumph given the club’s recent successes. Chivas had won Copa MX and Liga MX titles in 2017 and was passing through a period of stability. The club was not exactly a model franchise, but it was close. Chivas . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's a common occurrence this time of year. The Concacaf Champions League winners travel a long way to disappoint in the FIFA Club World Cup. This time, it was Chivas heading to the Emirates and losing their second round game 3-2 to Japan's Kashima Antlers. That meant 5th-place against Esperance de Tunis. It took penalties, but Chivas lost . . .
Whether or not FIFA goes ahead with an expanded World Cup in 2022, we already know it will happen for 2026. 48 teams, resetting what we know about the tournament. For Concacaf, the early issue is number of qualifying spots and how World Cup qualifying will work in the era of expansion. It's worth the reminder that Concacaf would've already changed World Cup qualifying had they gotten four . . .
The soccer news starts with Concacaf announcing the schedule for the 2019 Champions League. With clubs from the region's bigger leagues no longer having to play through a group stage, the tournament starts at the round of 16 for MLS and Liga MX. The home and away knockout rounds begin on February 19 and conclude May 2. Because the Canadian champion and the US Open Cup winner are MLS clubs, Major . . .
Over the weekend, reports linked CONMEBOL with the latest proposal for FIFA holding the World Cup every other year. How seriously FIFA decides to take that proposal is an open question, but it does raise a simple issue. If FIFA wants a global Nations League in the even years between World Cups, how is that different from a World Cup? It's CONMEBOL asking. “The proposal we have made to FIFA is to . . .