ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings

6 Comments

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings countdown usually falls in three parts – but we usually don’t all have the European Championship to live and to love. So let’s call these the “little rankings.”

19. Toronto FC – Still losing, never mind a new manager at the helm. And to remind everyone that things can always get a little worse, now they’re brawlin’ with the cops.

18. Philadelphia Union – Another team with a new boss, and another one that’s still losing. In this case, the Union looked OK in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United. There was reason for optimism, at least.

17. FC Dallas – Still missing about half the team, Dallas fell in Houston. Meanwhile, if the club keeps playing Jair Benitez, they get what they deserve. The guy simply cannot control himself.

16. Portland Timbers – Kris Boyd has four goals in 13 starts. Let’s just say it nice and simple like: it’s not all his fault, but that concerning rate must change for the Timbers to make the playoffs.

15. Los Angeles Galaxy – The club’s first win since April has people wondering if L.A. can turn things around and make a dash for the playoffs? Three months ago, the chatter was about repeating as champs – now it’s about runs at the playoffs. Josh Saunders’ return is certainly a boost.

14. Chivas USA – At least all those early losses at home were by 1-0 scores. Getting hammered 3-0 at home, even by a good side like Real Salt Lake, is a recipe for lost job if it happens with any regularity.

13. Montréal Impact – Stade Saputo looks marvelous, and so did the team in a 4-1 win over Seattle as the expansion club’s facility debuted in refurbished form.

12. New England Revolution – Home games against mid-pack, fellow Eastern Conference side are a must-have if the Revs are to make the playoffs in Jay Heaps’ first year in charge. So, Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Columbus: not quite good enough.

11. Colorado Rapids – Oscar Pareja’s side may have been on the road, but getting beat on a late goal while a man up is not acceptable. (The Rapids fell 1-0 in Vancouver.)

10. Chicago Fire – They should have been awarded a goal on a controversial close play between the sticks, but no matter. Frank Klopas’ men took care of business against the visiting Red Bulls, 3-1.

9. Columbus Crew – Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was outstanding once again, and the defending from two lines of four was strong, too, in a scoreless draw at New England.

8. Seattle Sounders – No one was happy about a 4-1 loss at Montreal, and no one should be. But complaints about referee Mark Geiger having something against the Sounders are pretty unbecoming, guys. Meanwhile, critical man Osvaldo Alonso is back after serving his brief suspension.

7. Vancouver Whitecaps – Barry Robson was introduced on Monday, two days after Sebastien Le Toux’s late goal (on a wonderful ball from Davide Chiumiento) lifted the 10-man Whitecaps over Colorado. That’s a pretty swell three days around BC Place, where confidence is understandably high.

6. San Jose Earthquakes – A 19-team league means one club must remain idle each weekend. So, which was the lucky club that got to follow a two-week break with an idle weekend? Yep. San Jose last played a league match on May 27. That’s just goofy.

5. New York Red Bulls – Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez won’t play in the club’s mid-week match at Vancouver but should be available for this weekend’s biggie against D.C. United.

4. Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo are undefeated so far at recently opened BBVA Compass Stadium (3-0-1); the latest success was a 2-1 win over rival FC Dallas, which means El Capitan the cannon will remain in South Texas for the next year.

3. Sporting Kansas City – A win over visiting Toronto showed things are moving in the right direction once again for Peter Vermes’ team. On the other hand, it was just Toronto; a mid-week match at Seattle will tell us more. Much, much more.

2. D.C. United – This is what good teams do: they win a match here and there when clearly not at tip-top best. Chris Pontius (pictured) concocted a way to score as Ben Olsen’s Eastern Conference leaders escaped Philadelphia with a 1-0 win.

1. Real Salt Lake – Rare are the 3-0 road wins, so Saturday’s blitz of Chivas USA in Southern California reminded everyone who’s still in charge around MLS. Oh, and what striker Fabian Espindola did to Chivas USA defender Rauwshan McKenzie on the second goal, that really should be illegal.

World Cup 2022 Group A: Qatar, Senegal, Netherlands, Ecuador, final table, fixtures, rankings

0 Comments

Group A in the 2022 World Cup was intriguing, as hosts Qatar were dumped out, while Ecuador started well but faded as African champs Senegal finished second in the group and the Netherlands finished top.

[ MORE: Full schedule for 2022 World Cup ]

Even thought Senegal were missing main man Sadio Mane through injury, they rallied to win their final two group games including an intense finale against Ecuador.

The Netherlands were unbeaten throughout the group stage and took care of business with minimum fuss.

[ MORE: Ranking every World Cup team, 32-1 ]

Below is everything you need for 2022 World Cup Group A.


Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands  – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

How To Watch Group A matches live

  • When: November 20-29, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A table

1. Netherlands — 7 points (+9)
2. Senegal — 6 points (+1)
3. Ecuador — 4 points (+1)
4. Qatar — 0 (-4) – ELIMINATED


Qatar

Current FIFA world ranking: 49
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 0
How they qualified: As hosts
Coach: Felix Sanchez
Key players: Abdelkarim Hassan, Almoez Ali, Hassan Al-Haydos

Senegal

Current FIFA world ranking: 18
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Beat Egypt in CAF playoff
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Key players: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly

Netherlands

Current FIFA world ranking: 8
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group G)
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Key players: Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong

Ecuador

Current FIFA world ranking: 44
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 3
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (4th place)
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Key players: Enner Valencia, Moises Caicedo, Pervis Estupinan


Senegal edges epic battle with Ecuador to clinch last 16 spot

0 Comments

Senegal beat Ecuador to reach the last 16 of the World Cup, as the Lions of Terranga rallied to knock out the South Americans.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Ismaila Sarr put Senegal ahead from the penalty spot but Moises Caicedo equalized in the second half and a draw would have been enough to send Ecuador through at Senegal’s expense.

[ MORE: Group A – Table, rankings, results, schedule ]

Cometh the hour, cometh the man as Senegal’s captain Kalidou Koulibaly scored the winner to send his country through to the knockout rounds for just the second time in their history.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub


Stars of the show

Kalidou Koulibaly: Scored the famous goal to send Senegal through and was dominant at the back. Led by example.

Ismaila Sarr: Another of one Senegal’s stars stood tall as he scored the opener and gave them an outlet. Sadio Mane would be proud of this display.


How to watch Ecuador vs Senegal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET – Tuesday, November 29
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

GOAL! Moments later Koulibaly puts Senegal back in front. What drama. Now Senegal are going through instead of Ecuador.

GOAL! Ecuador equalize. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo slots home after a flick on. As it stands, Ecuador going through ahead of Senegal.

GOAL! Hincapie clatters into Ismaila Sarr and he slots home the resulting spot kick. Senegal lead.

What a start from Senegal! Idrissa Gana Gueye slams a shot wide and Ismaila Sarr sees a deflected effort fly just wide. Ecuador have yet to get going.


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Enner Valencia has obviously been the main man for Ecuador with his three goals so far but Gonzalo Plata and Michael Estrada have been excellent alongside him in attack. Brighton duo Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan have been superb too, while Angelo Preciado has been electric down the right flank.

Senegal’s defense has looked a bit shaky, even with Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly back there. In midfield Idrissa Gana Gueye was much better against Qatar and Ismaila Sarr continues to do his best to fill the huge void left by Sadio Mane.


Ecuador quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 44
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 3
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (4th place)
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Key players: Enner Valencia, Moises Caicedo, Pervis Estupinan

Senegal quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 18
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Beat Egypt in CAF playoff
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Key players: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly


Iran vs USA: How to watch live, USMNT stream link, team news

0 Comments

The USA seeks a return to the knockout rounds and that’ll only come with a win over Iran at 2pm ET Tuesday inside Al Thumama Stadium in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE IRAN v USA

It doesn’t matter what Wales does vs England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan because England already has four points and a draw would give Iran four as well.

The Yanks’ two draws mandate a win-or-go-home mentality on Saturday and there are multiple generations worth of redemption up for grabs after the USMNT was felled by Iran at the 1998 World Cup and failed to qualify for the 2018 tourney in Russia.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

How can Gregg Berhalter unlock the USMNT attack to get the goal or goals he’ll need to reach a date with Group B’s winner or runner-up?

Here is everything you need for Iran vs USA.


How to watch Iran vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday Nov. 29
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

For Iran, it’s about riding the momentum of a huge win after finding inspiration in a huge loss. There’s an ocean’s worth of difference in emotion between the 6-2 tournament-opening loss to England in Al Rayyan and the 2-0 triumph over Wales In the same city. Can Mehdi Taremi or Sardar Azmoun succeed where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling could not and break down the USMNT defense for a goal?

Meanwhile, the Yanks may still be lamenting a 1-1 draw with Wales as much as they are celebrating a strong performance that kept them unbeaten against England at the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Gareth Southgate’s men In Al Khor. Gregg Berhalter has to find a way to unlock the USMNT’s final-third woes when they hit Al Khor on Tuesday.

There has also been some off-field tension brewing between the U.S. and Iran surrounding this game, as Gregg Berhalter and captain Tyler Adams responded to in a tense press conference amid questions from the Iranian press.


Iran quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams

USMNT scenarios to advance: How can USA qualify for the World Cup last 16?’

0 Comments

Everyone wants to figure out the USMNT scenarios to reach the knockout rounds.

“How can the USMNT qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup and make it out of the group stage?”

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock

That is the question you will hear time and time again ahead of their Group B finale against Iran on Tuesday, November 29 at 2pm ET.

This is intense.

[ MORE: Group B schedule, rankings, table ]

As the information below tells you, the USMNT scenarios is now very simple for Gregg Berhalter’s young side.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub

After their draws against Wales and England to kick off Group B play, it all goes down to the final 90 minutes against Iran to see whether or not they can reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar.


Group B table heading into final group stage game

1. England – 4 points (+4 GD)
2. Iran – 3 points (-2)
3. USA – 2 points (0 GD)
4. Wales – 1 point (-2 GD)


Group B remaining schedule

Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


How the USA can qualify for the last 16

  • Win against Iran

How the USA will not qualify for the last 16

  • Draw against Iran
  • Lose against Iran