We have made it to the weekend, Mane Landers! I hope you are having a great start to your weekend and enjoyed some World Cup qualifying matches last night with some more action to look forward to throughout this weekend. In the meantime, let’s get you caught up with the news of the day.
Orlando City Players Finish Among MLS Leaders
With the MLS season wrapping up last week and the MLS Cup playoffs on the horizon, a few Orlando City players have appeared on some season statistical rankings. Junior Urso made the MLS top 30 for winning the most duels in the 2021 regular season. The Bear has certainly had his fair share of 50-50 battles while manning the defensive midfield for Orlando during this season, so it’s no surprise he would show up somewhere on this list. Antonio Carlos cracked the top 10 for balls won in the air. The Brazilian was a fixture for Orlando City in setting up in the middle for defensive and offensive set pieces, especially when it came to corner kicks, including both of his goals this season coming from headers. It sure is nice to see Carlos’ efforts land him among the the top in MLS. Finally, Orlando City has another top 10 season leader, with Nani making the list as one of the best dribblers in MLS. It is no surprise that Nani makes this list as the captain is known to control the ball with finesse as he gets around would-be defenders to create space for himself and set up his teammates for chances.
For the third time in a calendar year, the USMNT-Mexico rivalry has the same winner — something that hasn’t happened since 1937 — with Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. side beating Mexico 2-0 in Cincinnati on Friday night. After a nervy and scoreless first half, Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score the go-ahead goal in the second half. Weston McKennie added the dagger later in the half and the Yanks held on for the win. Unfortunately, the U.S. will be without McKennie (yellow card accumulation) and Miles Robinson (two yellows for a sending off vs. Mexico) at Jamaica.
MLS Players on the Radar of Top European Clubs
ESPN writer Bill Connelly updated which MLS players could make the move in a transfer to a European side. Connelly could see New York City FC’s Golden Boot winner, Valentin Castellanos, taking advantage of his award by moving to Manchester City and thinks Tottenham Hotspur could use the services of John Tolkin from fellow New York side, New York Red Bulls. Other names appearing include USMNT standout Ricardo Pepi going to Serie A and teammate Justin Che being drawing interest from a Bundesliga powerhouse. There is also Julian Araujo being linked to another Serie A club.
Other Results Around World Cup Qualifying
There were World Cup qualifying matches being played throughout Europe and beyond that deserve attention. England put five past Albania with Harry Kane making a splash on the score sheet for the Three Lions. It looks like Italy will have to wait a little longer to secure its spot in the World Cup as the Azzurri drew 1-1 with Switzerland. Scotland is making its bid to join its United Kingdom neighbors in the World Cup for the first time since 1998, with a 2-0 win in Moldova in the European playoffs.
CONMEBOL had one match Friday as Argentina claimed a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Montevideo. Angel Di Maria scored the lone goal early on to give Argentina the win. Another big name coming up huge for his national squad was Mohamed Salah, as he helped set up both goals for Egypt to come back and earn a draw against Angola. A draw was all Egypt needed to advance into the playoff round.
During the USMNT vs. Mexico match, there were some other matches going on in CONCACAF qualifying. Panama surged late to turn a 2-0 deficit against Honduras into a 3-2 win. Canada earned a 1-0 result versus Costa Rica, and Jamaica and El Salvador both scored late as their contest finished as a 1-1 draw.
- Former Pride head coach Marc Skinner will have his new club, Manchester United, set for a historic match at Old Trafford.
- In a move that many did not see coming, Dani Alves will be rejoining his former teammate, Xavi back in Barcelona, this time as a coach and player relationship. It was thought that Xavi wanted to go with a youth movement for his club but it seems he wants to add some veteran experience to the club.
- Top clubs, including Chelsea, Madrid, and Barcelona are looking to add talented young playmaker Florian Wirtz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
That will do it for today. Everyone have a great Saturday and enjoy everything the sports world has to offer this weekend.