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US Soccer announces March USMNT friendly vs. Paraguay

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The USMNT will return to North Carolina for the first time since 2006 as they take on Paraguay in a friendly on March 27th at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

U.S. Soccer announced the friendly to beef up the 2018 slate as the team looks to cope with missing out on the 2018 World Cup. The game against Paraguay will add to the pair of European friendlies scheduled for June as the USMNT meets France and Ireland, games which had already been announced by the European countries but not yet confirmed by the United States.

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Paraguay provides an intriguing matchup for the United States, as both countries painfully just barely missed out on 2018 World Cup qualification, with both falling out of a qualifying position on the final match day. Paraguay missed out after losing at home to Venezuela 1-0, with Argentina, Colombia, and Peru all grabbing points to jump ahead.

Cary, NC has been a popular place for the US national team to train, but they have not played a game there since drawing Jamaica 1-1 back in April of 2006, a game which served as Tony Meola’s 100th USMNT cap.

The game against Paraguay will be the United States’ only match during the March window, despite reports that they attempted to schedule two games during that time, but had limited options due to the failure to qualify for the World Cup. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, the United States attempted to match up against Switzerland for that window, but the European team decided to schedule Panama instead.

Then, as previously announced, the US will head to Europe in early June to meet Ireland in Dublin on June 2nd, followed by a visit to Lyon, France to take on Les Blues a week later.

FIFA to reveal all 2026 World Cup votes, aims for clean bids

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has pledged to publish all votes by soccer officials in the 2026 World Cup bidding race after corruption claims tainted the 2018 and 2022 contests.

Publishing documents Tuesday to guide the process, FIFA explained how bidders must detail a strategy to respect human rights and labor standards in all construction projects linked to the expanded 48-team tournament.

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The North American bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico is strongly favored to be picked on June 13 in Moscow. The other bidder is Morocco.

The 2026 contest is currently barred to European and Asian countries because Russia and Qatar will host the next two tournaments. Both won despite being the highest risk options.

FIFA’s documents outline exactly how to evaluate the 2026 bids.

U-17 World Cup wrap: United States, Paraguay shine (video)

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The United States and Paraguay clinched knockout round places by moving to 2-0, while hosts India temporarily lifted their crowd with an 82nd minute equalizer before losing its second match of the competition.

[ MORE: USMNT scenarios for final day of WCQ ]

All that and more in the wrap.

Group A

Ghana 0-1 United StatesRECAP

The U.S. is on the fast track to win Group A after weathering an early second half storm from the young Black Stars. Toronto FC prospect Ayo Akinola scored the winner after great work from Man of the Match midfielder (center back here) Chris Durkin of DC United.

India 1-2 Colombia

Estudiantil’s Juan Peñaloza ensured that the U.S. will be playing for Group A when the group stage comes to a close on Thursday. Peñaloza gave Colombia a lead and then answered Jeakson’s 82nd minute goal one minute later to restore the advantage.

Group B

Turkey 0-3 Mali

Rebounding form a thriller of an opening day loss to Paraguay, with goals from Djemoussa Traore, Fode Konate, and Lassana Ndiaye leading the way. Turkey falls to 0-1-1.

Paraguay 4-2 New Zealand

Someone buy Paraguay captain Alexis Duarte his dinner and keep him upright, or perhaps Duarte should turn to Anibal Vega. Not one but two own goals from the Cerro Porteno defender dropped Paraguay’s into a 2-1 hole, but Vega scored twice in four second half minutes to keep the South American side atop the group.

List of potential North American World Cup sites narrowed

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CHICAGO (AP) Forty-one cities in the United States, Mexico and Canada have submitted preliminary bids to host 2026 World Cup matches.

The North American bid committee said Thursday its proposal will be sent to FIFA in March. The bid is expected to include up to 25 cities. At least 12 cities would ultimately be selected if the FIFA Congress picks the joint bid when it votes in June 2018.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-nation field. Morocco said it also intends to bid.

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Three sites were dropped from the preliminary list announced last month: Calgary, Alberta; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and San Diego.

Just three stadiums that bid hosted games during the 1994 World Cup: Chicago’s Soldier Field, Dallas’ Cotton Bowl and Orlando, Florida’s Camping World Stadium, formerly known as the Citrus Bowl. Soldier Field underwent a gut renovation in 2002-03.

Two of the sites on the list hosted matches at the 1994 at stadiums that have been replaced with new venues on adjacent land: East Rutherford, New Jersey; and Foxborough; Massachusetts.

Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats for group-stage matches and at least 80,000 for the opening game and final.

Thirty-two areas and 35 stadiums are on the list for the U.S. Canada has six cities and Mexico three. Three stadiums were submitted from the Los Angeles area and two from the Dallas area.

The U.S. would host 60 of 80 games, including all from the quarterfinals on.

The bidding stadiums:


Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium; Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium; Birmingham, Alabama, Legion Field; Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America Stadium; Chicago, Soldier Field; Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium; Cleveland, FirstEnergy Stadium; Dallas, Cotton Bowl; Denver, Sports Authority Field; Detroit, Ford Field; East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Glendale, Arizona, University of Phoenix Stadium; Houston, NRG Stadium; Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium; Inglewood, California, LA Stadium at Hollywood Park; Jacksonville, Florida, EverBank Field; Kansas City, Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium; Landover, Maryland, FedEx Field; Las Vegas, Raiders stadium under construction; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Miami, Hard Rock Stadium; Minneapolis, U.S. Bank Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee, Nissan Stadium; New Orleans, Superdome; Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium; Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl; Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field; Pittsburgh, Heinz Field; Salt Lake City, Rice-Eccles Stadium; San Antonio, Alamodome; Santa Clara, California, Levi’s Stadium; Seattle, CenturyLink Field; Tampa, Florida, Raymond James Stadium


Edmonton, Alberta, Commonwealth Stadium; Montreal, Olympic Stadium; Ottawa, Ontario, TD Place; Regina, Saskatchewan, Mosaic Stadium; Toronto, BMO Field; Vancouver, British Columbia, BC Place


Guadalajara, Estadio Chivas; Mexico City, Estadio Azteca; Monterrey, Estadio Rayados.

Closer look at Gold Cup standings

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Through two matches at the Gold Cup, results have mostly gone as expected, with the United States and Mexico at the top of their groups along with Costa Rica in a tie with Canada for first place.

All four nations have a win and a draw to their names through the first two games, with plenty on the line in the final matches of the group stage.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Gold Cup coverage ]

In Group A, Honduras, participants of the last two World Cups, sit only one point behind the leaders and could force its way into the knockout round with a win over Canada in its next match.

It’s a similar situation in groups B and C.

In Group B, Martinique lost by a goal to the U.S. but can advance to the next round with a win over Panama in it’s last game. And in Group C, El Salvador, which lost to Mexico but beat Curacao, can advance with a win over Jamaica.

There’s plenty of more drama to unfold as the group stage reaches its conclusion in the 2017 Gold Cup. Here’s a look at the current standings below and the final matches of the group stage.