COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Landon Donovan #10 of the United States Men's National Team in action against Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

USMNT could open with Mexico in World Cup qualifying hex round

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MIAMI (AP) The United States could open the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup against Mexico.

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The Americans currently are second behind Trinidad and Tobago in Group C semifinals with two matches remaining. The top two teams advance to the six-nation finals, from which three teams automatically make the field for the World Cup in Russia.

Mexico is the only CONCACAF country to have clinched a spot in the regional finals. If the Americans win Group C, they will host their archrival to begin the final round.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Hyndman “honored” to sign for Bournemouth ]

Should the United States finish second in Group C, it would take on the winner of Group B, also in a home match, to start the finals.

The U.S. has semifinal matches remaining at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, then against Trinidad and Tobago at Jacksonville, Florida on Sept. 6.

Report: Mexico’s Hirving Lozano set to join Manchester United

SANDY UT- OCTOBER 13: Hirving Lozano #17 of Mexico controls the ball between Bryan Acosta #6 and Allans Vargas #5 both of Honduras, in the second half of the final CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying match at Rio Tinto Stadium on October 13, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. Mexico beat Honduras 2-0. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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A Mexican wunderkind is set to join Manchester United.

Reports out of Mexico state that winger Hirving Lozano, 20, could seal a transfer to the Red Devils from Liga MX side Pachuca after he is expected to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

[ MORE: PL preseason schedule ]

Lozano played in all four of Mexico’s games at Copa America Centenario this summer and he’s considered a future star for El Tri.

The report from Futbol Entre Lineas claims that Lozano’s father-in-law has confirmed the deal will take place.

Pachuca’s vice-president Andre Fassi has previously told ESPN that they’ve been in talks with United after their chief scout Jim Lawlor has been in Mexico watching Lozano and his teammates Erick Gutierrez and Rodolfo Pizarro closely.

Jose Mourinho has already made two signings with Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arriving, plus Borussia Dortmund have confirmed there’s an agreement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join United.

Nicknamed “Chucky” in Mexico, Lozano has burst onto the scene over the past 12 months as he now has seven caps and one goal to his name with the Mexican national team. With Pachuca he scored 12 times in 40 Liga MX appearances in 2016 and he can operate on the left, cutting in on his favored right foot.

He possesses wing-wizadry and an incredible ability to ghost past defenders with the ball at his feet, while the strikes below aren’t bad either…

Sounds like Lozano will follow in the footsteps of El Tri teammate Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in switching Liga MX for Old Trafford.

Adios, Mexico! El Tri bomb out of Copa America, fall 7-0 to Chile

SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 18:  Edson Puch #22 of Chile (on the bottom) is piled on by teammates after he scored a goal against Mexico during the 2016 Copa America Centenario Quarterfinals match play between Mexico and Chile at Levi's Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Juan Carlos Osorio enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon period after taking over as manager of the Mexican national team last October — the 55-year-old Colombian went unbeaten (9 wins, 1 draw) in his first nine months in charge.

[ MORE: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | Copa America 2016 ]

Even with that, Osorio’s probably won’t have a job when the sun comes up on Sunday after Mexico were beaten, dismantled and embarrassed by Chile, to the tune of 7-0, Saturday night in the fourth and final quarterfinal of the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

Chile jumped all over Mexico from the opening whistle, pressing high up the field and launching quick counter-attacks with little resistance. The early onslaught paid off in the 16th minute, when Marcelo Diaz fired a shot from outside of the box, saved by Guillermo Ochoa, but spilled into the path of Edson Puch, who calmly slotted home the rebound for a 1-0 Chile lead.

It went from bad to worse for Mexico with the halftime reprieve within reach. Eduardo Vargas had already been denied a goal by the offside rule nine minutes earlier, but the Hoffenheim striker was far more fortunate the second time around. Alexis Sanchez worked a half-yard of space down the left flank and picked out Vargas at the penalty spot, where his first touch put him all alone in the six-yard box for an easy finish.

The bad news for Chile in the first half: Arturo Vidal was shown his second yellow card of the tournament (cautions reset after the quarterfinals), which means he’ll miss La Roja‘s semifinal clash with Colombia.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from USA 2-1 Ecuador | Player ratings ]

The second half began just like the first half ended: badly for Mexico, and with Chile scoring. Alexis Sanchez finished for 3-0 after Arturo Vidal won the ball deep in Mexico’s defensive third and played the Arsenal attacked into all kinds of space near the penalty spot. Then, Chile scored a fourth, somehow easier than the goal that came four minutes before it.

[ MORE: Argentina advances to Copa semis, will face USA ]

Chile scored again, this time taking five minutes between goals. Vargas bagged his third of the game, the first hat trick and the 28th, 29th and 30th goals of his international career.

Vargas had never scored an international hat trick before Saturday night, meaning he’d never scored four goals in an international game before. Check it off the list. Chile continued to chase the game, and Puch bagged his second of the night in the 88th minute, completing an exhausting night of scoring.

Chile will face Colombia in the second semifinal Wednesday night (8 p.m.) in Chicago, Ill.

EURO 2016, Copa America Today: Group favorites in trouble; Semifinalists to be determined

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 13:  Jesus Manuel Corona #10 of Mexico celebrates a second half goal with his teammates during the 2016 Copa America Centenario Group match between Mexico and Venezuela at NRG Stadium on June 13, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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There are some big names on the mat at EURO 2016, and three of them see big chances to redeem opening day mistakes on Saturday

[ LIVE: Follow EURO 2016 ]

Portugal, Austria and Belgium are all winless after one round of matches, and face the prospect of possible elimination at the group stage.

Later, we’ll learn the opponents for the United States and Colombia in the Copa America Centenario semifinals, as Mexico locks horns with Chile and Argentina hopes to roll past Venezuela.


[ LIVE: Follow Copa America 2016 ]

Essential reading: What will Jurgen Klinsmann do with Alejandro Bedoya, Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood suspended for the Copa America Centenario semifinal? … Here’s AP background on the problems plaguing Croatian soccer.

ICYMI: Flares and fan held up Friday’s match between Croatia and the Czech Republic. … Spain breezed past Turkey. … Colombia was clinical in penalties to move past Peru and into the Copa America semis.

EURO 2016, Game 22: Belgium vs. Ireland

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. ET

Where: Allianz Riviera in Nice

Live updates:

Here we go! Belgium’s opener was a struggle for the favored Red Devils, who were slugged in the stomach by Italy. Now they face a stubborn Republic of Ireland side still ornery from a conceding an own goal in a 1-1 draw with Sweden.

EURO 2016, Game 23: Iceland vs. Hungary

When: Saturday, Noon ET

Where: Stade Velodrome in Marseille

Live updates:

These two nascent sides, relatively speaking, will have been buoyed by opening day surprises. Hungary beat group favorites Austria, while Iceland managed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo off the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw with Portugal. A win would do a lot for either side, though Hungary might just settle for a draw.

EURO 2016, Game 24: Portugal vs. Austria

When: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Where: Parc des Prince in Paris

Live updates:

Two sides shook by opening day know a bounce back has to come in Paris, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal look to shrug off that shook feeling and scoop up three points against Austria, a side shocked by Hungary on opening day after cruising through qualifying.

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 14:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina dribbles against Bolivia during the 2016 Copa America Centenario Group D match at CenturyLink Field on June 14, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Copa America, Game 27: Argentina vs. Venezuela

When: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough

Live updates:

Ten goals from eight scorers is a pretty good record. When Lionel Messi is one of those scorers, life is extra good. That’s what Argentina brings to the field in the quarters, and La Albiceleste will be heavy favorites against a Venezuela side which has managed two goals just twice dating back to last summer’s Copa America.

Copa America, Game 28: Chile vs. Mexico

When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET

Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara

Live updates:

Mexico’s reward for more or less cruising to the Group C title? A match-up with the reigning champions in the quarterfinal. After a slow start, Chile looked clinical in attack during a 4-2 win over Panama which includes braces for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas of 1899 Hoffenheim. Will CONCACAF only have one semifinalist?

Copa America knockout round bracket set after Argentina beats Bolivia

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 14:  Erik Lamela #18 (center facing camera) of Argentina celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Bolivia during the 2016 Copa America Centenario Group D match at CenturyLink Field on June 14, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Ezequiel Lavezzi, Erik Lamela, and Victor Cuesta scored first-half goals as Argentina cruised to a 3-0, Group D clinching win over Bolivia in Seattle on Tuesday.

[ WATCH: Alexis buries venomous volley ]

The win sets the bracket for the knockout rounds of the Copa America Centenario as follows:

Thursday — USA vs. Ecuador in Seattle
Friday — Peru vs. Colombia in East Rutherfod
Saturday — Argentina vs. Venezuela in Foxborough
Saturday — Mexico vs. Chile in Santa Clara

June 21 — USA/Ecuador winner vs. Argentina/Venezuela winner in Houston
June 22 — Peru/Colombia winner vs. Mexico/Chile winner in Chicago

Third place game
June 25 — Glendale, Arizona

June 26 — East Rutherford, New Jersey