BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston is getting a lot of love right now.
Ribbon cutting ceremonies, important men and women in business suits showing up, splashy tours, fancy cameras taking artsy-fartsy pictures, pomp, circumstance, pageantry. You know, the whole nine yards – all pointing to Saturday’s grand opening.
It’s easy to forget that Houston’s new downtown grounds isn’t the only fresh MLS facility where the shelves are being stocked, new grass is being put down and men in hard hats are working overtime to prep for professional soccer.
Stade Saputo in Montreal is just a month from its re-christening. The facility opened in 2008, seating 13,000-plus. When it debuts anew June 16, the updated Stade Saputo will seat just over 20,000, making it Canada’s second largest stadium built expressly for soccer.
Just to keep relations with our northern neighbors on good terms, it seemed like a nice thing to remind everyone that Major League Soccer did, indeed, have two grounds going on-line. Courtesy of the Montreal Impact, here’s a video peak at how things are going.
Heung-min Son and Co. were very solid against Uruguay in their opener but only created a couple of big chances in the 0-0 draw. This is when Son really needs to step up and be the difference as they play Portugal in their final group stage game and will want to have four points on the board by then.
How to watch South Korea vs Ghana live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 8am ET – Monday, November 28 Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan TV channels en Español: Telemundo Streaming en Español:Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
Obviously Heung-min Son is the main man for South Korea and at the other end of the pitch they need Kim Min-jae to hold things together defensively. It will be intriguing to see if South Korea starts a few more of their playmakers in this clash as they look to take the game to Ghana. Against Uruguay they very much played for the draw to set themselves up for this game.
For Ghana, it will be a very similar approach to how they played against Portugal but they will look to be less open on the counter defensively. They will sit back and counter and the key is getting Mohammed Kudus further forward. Both Ghana and South Korea will see this as a game they have to win to have a chance of reaching the last 16 but Ghana can get a draw and then set up potentially a winner takes all game against Uruguay in their Group H finale.
South Korea quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 28
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Paulo Bento
Key players: Heung-min Son, Young-gwon Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-yeong Jeong
Ghana quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 61
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 4
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF via playoffs
Coach: Otto Addo
Key players: Daniel Amartey, Andre Ayew, Thomas Partey
As for Serbia, they were beaten by Brazil and although they hung in there until 30 minutes from time, they never had control of the game. That’s okay. Brazil are one of the favorites to win it all. Let’s now see if this golden generation of Serbian stars can get a big win to set up a showdown with Switzerland in their final group game.
Cameroon will be dangerous on the counter and their gameplan was pretty spot on against Switzerland and it will be the same against Serbia. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bryan Mbuemo will cause all kinds of problems on the break and Andre Onana is going to have to excel in goal if the Indomitable Lions are going to get a huge win.
Serbia won’t be too disheartened to lose to Brazil in their World Cup opener but they now know this is basically must-win after Switzerland beat Cameroon in their opening game. Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hold the key for Serbia who will have to be patient as they will see plenty of the ball.
Current FIFA world ranking: 43
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from CAF playoffs
Coach: Rigobert Song
Key players: Andre Onana, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Serbia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 21
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Dragan Stojkovic
Key players: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic
The 2022 World Cup is underway from the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and as the group stage continues, we’ve seen unexpected upsets and some new contenders emerge – but there’s still a long way to go until the tournament champions are crowned in late December.
Along the way, spectators have already seen most matches impacted in at least some capacity by VAR technology when it comes to determining penalties, possession and, frequently, offsides decisions. After introducing semi-automated offside technology at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA announced this summer that the tool would return for this year’s tournament. Read on to learn how offsides works and how VAR technology is utilized to make decisions at the 2022 World Cup.
A player is in an offsides position when they are in the opponent’s half of the field and any part of their head, body or feet is “nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.” Simply put, a player needs to be entirely in front of the last defender when their teammate passes them the ball. The offsides rule exists to keep players from lingering near their opponent’s goal to try and scoop up scoring opportunities.
The offsides rule does not apply when the player receives the ball directly from a corner kick, throw in or goal kick.
By now a familiar acronym to any fans of year-round leagues like the Premier League, VAR stands for “Video Assistant Referee.” It refers to officials off the pitch who are watching the match with access to multiple cameras, angles and data points, as well as slow-motion replay, who can weigh in on decisions including goals and penalties, with the objective of making officiating more accurate.
How does technology impact offsides calls at 2022 World Cup?
In Qatar, FIFA is using multiple forms of VAR technology to support officials in determining offsides. This includes 12 tracking cameras constantly collecting data on the limb position of each player, as well as “connected ball technology,” a sensor within the official match ball sending kick-point detection data to the video operations room. Per FIFA, “by combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to the video match officials inside the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by a teammate.”
After the video referee and the officials on the pitch have confirmed a decision, a 3D visualization of the offsides penalty is available to clearly communicate the infraction.
World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live
When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock