Prices for Belgium-United States eclipse $1,000 per ticket on the secondary market

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Our friends at Soccerly hit this earlier today, but since the United States’ World Cup knockout round opponents became known (after Belgium beat South Korea), the price of the tickets to the teams’ Round of 16 game have jumped. Whereas the secondary market originally had tickets going for an average of $850.98 earlier today, the price on Tiqiq.com is up to $1031, though tickets can had for as little as $400 each.

Those numbers include prices from all vendors in Tiqiq’s market, with seats covering a range of options at Salvador’s Fonte Nova Arena. For $400, you can sit in the corner of one of the arena’s upper levels, with tickets close to the field stretching as high as $1614.

In isolation, it’s difficult to see the scope of those numbers, but compared to the markets for the rest of the tournament’s second round matches, tickets for Belgium’s meeting with the U.S. are proving a low-to-mid-range value.

Here are all the Round of 16 average ticket prices, according to Tiqiq.com:

  • $2146 – Argentina vs. Switzerland (São Paulo)
  • $1731 – Colombia vs. Uruguay (Rio de Janeiro)
  • $1554 – Brazil vs. Chile (Belo Horizonte)
  • $1296 – Germany vs. Algeria (Porto Alegre)
  • $1121 – Netherlands vs. Mexico (Fortaleza)
  • $1031 – Belgium vs. United States (Salvador)
  • $797 – France vs. Nigeria (Brasilía)
  • $713 – Costa Rica vs. Greece (Recife)

(Mean: $1298.63; Median: $1208.50)

As much as the teams may be driving these prices, look at the cities at the top of the list. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, two of the largest cities in the world, are created a huge demand. Cities farther north (Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza) don’t have the same population bases, while the capital of Brasilía may be suffering from the same problem.

But we’ve heard about the huge presence the U.S. fans have had in Brazil. Same with Mexico. Those fan bases may be driving demand for games that might otherwise sit closer to France-Nigeria.

Tickets for the games in the two big cities? Of course, those are going to be expensive. If Brazil happened to be playing in one of those venues, who knows how high those prices would go.

Elsewhere, other factors need to generate the demand. When none of those factors exist? Costa Rica-Greece.

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)

Report: Man City adding Mendy to continue backline restoration

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Fresh off of completing a record deal to help bolster the club’s back line this summer, Manchester City is back at it with the Premier League season looming.

[ MORE: Alvaro Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

The Citizens are reportedly on the brink of signing Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy to yet another world-record fee — which will total over $67 million.

Confirmation of the deal has yet to be announced by either team, but L’Equipe is reporting that the Citizens are hot on the 23-year-old’s trail in adding to their pricy back four.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Man City have not been shy readjusting their defensive unit over the past year, adding expensive first-team choices John Stones and Kyle Walker.