World Cup Qualifying- CONMEBOL
Bolivia 1-0 Paraguay
(Gomez OG 78')
Ecuador 3-0 Venezuela
(Mina Meza 51', Bolaños 83', Valencia 86')
Argentina 3-0 Colombia
(Messi 10', Pratto 23', Di Maria 84')
Chile 3-1 Uruguay
(Vargas 45+2', Sanchez 60', 76')-(Cavani 17')
Peru 0-2 Brazil
(Jesus 58', Augusto 78')
Argentina emphatically puts themselves back into a playoff qualifying position with their win over Colombia. They are a point ahead of them for fifth place. Colombia, meanwhile, drop from third place all the way out of qualification in sixth. Brazil's win over Peru extends their lead to four points at the top thanks to their win and Uruguay's defeat against Chile, who are now up from sixth into fourth position. Ecuador are also on their way up after a sound win at lowly Venezuela.
World Cup Qualifying- CONCACAF
Honduras 3-1 Trinidad and Tobago
(Quioto 16', Izaguirre 19', Hernandez 81')-(Mitchell 51')
Panama 0-0 Mexico
Costa Rica 4-0 United States
(Venegas 44', Bolaños 68', Campbell 74', 78')
What a nightmare for the USMNT. Lazy defending, poor midfield play, and a general apathy about the team in the second half led to the USA suffering their largest World Cup Qualifying defeat in nearly 50 years. It puts them in the back of the Hex with zero points and a -5 goal differential through two matches and behind Trinidad and Tobago. Costa Rica, meanwhile, is atop the group as the only side to win both their openers. Mexico and Panama are in second and third after their draw.
Much will be written and said about Jurgen Klinsmann's job status over the next couple days. Despite the vote of confidence from U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, a smart fan would have to think that his employment is in serious doubt after this poorest of poor performances.
World Cup Qualifying- AFC
South Korea 2-1 Uzbekistan
(Nam 67', Koo 85')-(Bikmoev 25')
China 0-0 Qatar
Syria 0-0 Iran
Japan 2-1 Saudi Arabia
(Kiyotake PK 45', Haraguchi 80')-(Othman 90')
Thailand 2-2 Australia
(Dangda 20', PK 57')-(Jedinak PK 9', PK 65')
United Arab Emirates 2-0 Iraq
(Khalil 26', Matar 90+3')
In this, the final round of Asian qualification, we are through five matches in a double hex format. The top two in each group make it to Russia, while the third place sides play a playoff to earn the right to play a CONCACAF team in another playoff. In Group A, Iran is unbeaten and in first place with 11 points after this scoreless draw with Syria, who are four back of third. SOuth Korea is right on their tails though, with ten points after a win over third place Uzbekistan.
Over in Group B, Japan lifted themselves into a first place tie with Saudi Arabia after this victory. Australia and the United Arab Emirates are level on nine points for third. It's been a disappointing round for perennial World Cup participants Australia. The Socceroos have three draws in five matches, thus finding themselves fighting for a playoff spot at this point.
Steven Gerrard has confirmed that he is departing LA Galaxy over the winter. He hinted at it with a post in his Instagram account the other day and has now declared he will move on to the next stage in his career. He seems to intend on playing somewhere. He has not announced a retirement and has interest in several British clubs.
Atlanta United released their kits for their inaugural MLS season. The shirt features vertical red and black stripes with gold bars on the shoulders and a gold sponsor logo. The Atlanta United crest is in the upper left corner. It's a classic design that calls back to many clubs, both foreign and domestic, which seems to be Atlanta's design plan throughout.
50,000 Words of Soccer Update
My prediction for the USA-Costa Rica match and the recap of the subsequent disaster bring the word count up to 24,879.