World Cup qualifying


Qatar sacks manager ahead of AFC World Cup qualifying

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With two World Cup qualifiers coming up next and no points to show thus far, Qatar has fired manager Jose Daniel Carreno.

[ MORE: Argentina apologizes for Bauza’s comments regarding Messi ]

The decision came down Friday as Qatar prepares to take on South Korea and Syria in preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Qataris have failed to take points out of their first two WCQ matches in 2016, falling on the road against Iran and 1-0 to Uzbekistan in Doha. Qatar currently sits last in Group A through two rounds in the third round of Asian qualifying.

Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, who currently manages Qatar Stars League side Al-Rayyan, is expected to take over Qatar’s managerial position, however, no official decision has been made yet.

U.S. Soccer officially announces Columbus as USMNT-Mexico destination

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 10:  Fans unfurl a large U.S. flag after the U.S. Men's National Team scored their second goal against Mexico in the second half at Columbus Crew Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. The United States defeated Mexico 2-0.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The United States’ Hex home date with Mexico will officially kick off the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Nov. 11, and it’ll go down at the home of the Crew.

MAPFRE Stadium will against host the match-up between the U.S. and Mexico, as the USMNT hopes to avenge its CONCACAF Cup loss in October. That defeat was the first U.S. loss to Mexico since June 25, 2011.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

The Yanks have played four-straight Hex home games against Mexico in Columbus, winning all by the celebrated score line “Dos a Cero”.

“It means a lot to us to play Mexico in Columbus,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Columbus is for us what Azteca Stadium is for them. It’s a game where emotions will go through the roof, and we need to have our crowd behind us bringing their voice against our biggest rival. We know they will. Columbus will rock.”

Those seeking tickets can head here. Good luck. I’ve been to a USMNT-Mexico match in Columbus amongst the fans, and it was one of the most memorable sporting events of my life.

Messi, Aguero headline Argentina squad ahead of CONMEBOL qualifying

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 21:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on a free kick in the first half against the United States during a 2016 Copa America Centenario Semifinal match at NRG Stadium on June 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
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Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero have been named to Argentina’s latest roster ahead of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying next month.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi remains firmly the key figure in Edgardo Bauza’s squad. The Barcelona attacker netted a goal for Argentina in the last round of qualifiers against Uruguay.

The Premier League features seven selections, including three players from Manchester City (Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolas Otamendi).

The Albiceleste will travel to take on Peru on Oct. 6, before facing off against Paraguay Oct. 11 in Argentina.

Argentina squad in full

GoalkeepersSergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres).

Defenders: Facundo Roncaglia (Celta), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis (Espanyol), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Matias Kranevitter (Atletico Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Augusto Fernandez (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Inter),  Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Nicolás Gaitan (Atletico Madrid), Angel Di Maria (PSG).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Pratto (Atletico Mineiro), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus).

Honduras draws Mexico to make Hex despite Canada’s win vs El Salvador

Canada's Adam Straith, top center, is sent flying after colliding with El Salvador's Roberto Dominguez during the first half of a CONCACAF World Cup soccer qualifying match Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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Canada got the win, but it wasn’t enough to book a slot in the Hex.

The Canadians topped El Salvador 3-1 in Vancouver, but Honduras played five at the back and drew Mexico 0-0 at Estadio Azteca to snare the sixth slot in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

[ USMNT: Hex schedule ]

Mexico misfired all night at home in a bid to go a perfect six-for-six in the semifinal round of qualifying, and Honduras fought tooth and nail to keep El Tri at bay.

Hirving Lozano missed a sitter, and Miguel Layun swept several shots over or around the frame at the Azteca. Hector Moreno flashed an in-close header wide in stoppage time.

[ USMNT-T&T: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]

Meanwhile in Canada, the Canucks did most of their job. Cyle Larin scored early and Nikolas Ledgerwood added a 53rd minute goal before El Salvador’s Darwin Ceren took his second yellow card of the night to give Canada an even better chance to pile up goals.

Instead, it allowed a goal to El Salvador forward Nelson Bonilla with 12 minutes to play. David Edgar scored in stoppage time to restore the two goal advantage.

Here’s the final round schedule for the USMNT in 2018 World Cup qualifying

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The United States men’s national team knows, more or less, the road to Russia.

Tuesday’s win over Trinidad and Tobago means the Yanks will open the final round of 2018 World Cup qualifying, also called ‘The Hex’, with a November home match against Mexico.

[ USMNT-T&T: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]

The top three teams in the Hex qualify directly for Russia, while the fourth place team will earn a playoff date against the fifth place team from Asia.

USMNT Hex schedule

November 11 — HOME vs. Mexico

November 15 — AWAY at Costa Rica

March 24, 2017 — HOME vs Honduras

March 28, 2017 — AWAY vs. Panama

June 9, 2017 — HOME vs. Trinidad and Tobago

June 13, 2017 — AWAY vs. Mexico

Sept. 1, 2017 — HOME vs. Costa Rica

Sept. 5, 2017 — AWAY vs. Honduras

Oct. 6, 2017 — HOME vs. Panama

Oct. 10, 2017 – AWAY vs. Trinidad and Tobago