Herculez Gomez and Shaka Hislop weigh the pros and cons of CONCACAF’s qualifying format for the 2022 World Cup, which emphasizes the FIFA rankings.
U.S. youth international and Hannover 96 forward Sebastian Soto has been contacted by Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda, with an eye towards the striker playing for La Roja, according to a source with knowledge of the approach.
Soto, 19, is eligible to represent three countries — Chile through his father, Mexico through his mother, and the U.S. because it’s the country of his birth. He has represented the U.S. at U19 and U20 level, and scored four goals for the Americans at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup…

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It took Victor Osimhen all of 19 minutes to not only announce his arrival to Ligue 1, but to throw down the gauntlet to any and all competitors for the Nigeria number 9 jersey.
And what a way to make that announcement for the new Lille man, who bagged a brace against FC Nantes in their season opener on the weekend. Nicolas Pepe… who?
For the first goal, Jose Fonte’s hoofed clearance all the way from the back looked anything but dangerous, especially as Osimhen was sandwiched between two defenders….

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Peter Crouch addresses the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool in the English Premier League title race.
The column took a hit in midweek as Liverpool failed to beat Chelsea in 90 minutes in the UEFA Super Cup. The Premier League’s second weekend of the season brings a second top-six clash as Manchester City’s clash with Tottenham.
Running total: +£1.25
The Banker
Manchester City have barely put a foot wrong domestically over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back Premier League titles and accumulating 198 points in the process. During that period they’ve also beaten Spurs four times in the…

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Peter Crouch addresses the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool in the English Premier League title race.
The Premier League season is just 90 minutes old for each of the top flight’s 20 clubs. Hopes and dreams remain alive for all of them, regardless of any defeats on the opening weekend, but the cold, harsh reality is that Matchday 2 could turn out to be a defining moment of the campaign.
Quite simply, if Manchester City beat Tottenham at the Etihad on Saturday evening, the challenge facing the chasing pack in terms of catching Pep Guardiola’s champions will only become much more difficult.
— Transfers:…

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to help snap the LA Galaxy’s three-game losing streak with a win against FC Dallas. To watch more MLS, sign up for ESPN+.

In the Gold Cup final against Mexico last month, United States right-back Reggie Cannon put in a standout performance. In a family that includes two Ivy League graduates and an acclaimed climatologist, however, it takes a lot to stand out.

Getting to that final at Soldier Field in Chicago was not a path his family was initially on board with, especially as it involved him leaving UCLA after his freshman year. It helped his case, though, that Cannon’s grandfather was supportive of the player skipping…

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The end of the summer doldrums — and the closing of the secondary transfer window for international players — is upon us, and with it, the start of the MLS stretch run can commence. Per usual, no team is really out of the playoff hunt until the math says so, and with seven teams from each conference making the postseason — c’mon MLS, that’s too many! — the math is even more forgiving than usual.
Home-field advantage is a different story, as it actually means something this time around given…

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Lionel Messi ensures Barcelona fans the club will fight for every trophy in 2019-20 after only winning La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in 2018-19.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi will not be risked for the Spanish champions’ La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday.
Messi injured his calf in training last week and missed Barca’s tour of the United States. He has not featured in any of the club’s five preseason friendlies and hasn’t played competitively since the Copa America.
The Argentine forward is doing recovery work but has not yet trained with his teammates and will not be unnecessarily rushed back at San Mames.
“We…

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CARY, N.C. — They know a thing or two about soccer teams that are larger than life here. They knew long before the North Carolina Courage and Lyon won Thursday’s semifinals in the Women’s International Champions Cup.
People in this area lived it when Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and company ran the rest of college soccer off the field playing for Anson Dorrance at the University of North Carolina.
They experienced it when the U.S. women’s national team, far from distracted by its off-field fights for…

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