2015 MLS predictions: Cup winners? MVP? Lampard or Gerrard? Kaka or Giovinco?

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It’s prediction time! With the 2015 Major League Soccer season kicking off this week, we’ll tell you who wins every major trophy, award and how many goals some of the league’s biggest newcomers will score.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s 2015 MLS preview series ]

U.S. Open Cup winners

Joe Prince-Wright: Seattle Sounders. They love an Open Cup, don’t they?
Andy Edwards: FC Dallas. Semifinalists in 2014, it’s Oscar Pareja’s easiest route to a trophy in an unbelievably tough Western Conference.
Nicholas Mendola: New England Revolution.
Kyle Lynch: Seattle Sounders have dominated the Open Cup as of late, and they can do it again.
Duncan Day: Portland Timbers. They’ve made a few promising international acquisitions to put them in better playoff position, and I think Caleb Porter will see ideal result outside of league play.
Kyle Bonn: LA Galaxy.

Supporters’ Shield winners

JPW: LA Galaxy. Arena’s boys will kick on after Gerrard’s arrival.
Edwards: Seattle Sounders. Full season No. 2 for Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey will (somehow) be better than the first.
Mendola: New England Revolution, though look out for Toronto if they get steady play between the sticks.
Lynch: LA Galaxy. They won the league last season and aren’t looking back.
Day: NYCFC. Once Lampard comes to town I expect a surge from these guys. They have the capability to strengthen their squad before the window closes if the need dictates.
Bonn: Seattle Sounders are the favorite here, and with each team owning up to a heavy weakness, they’re the good pick.

MLS Cup matchup and winners

JPW: LA Galaxy vs. Toronto. Toronto to win. Bold statement, I know, but I’m feeling it.
Edwards: Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew SC. Gregg Berhalter’s side is the most complete team in the Eastern Conference, capable of winning home-field advantage in the playoffs, and they’ll have learned from last year’s disappointment.
Mendola: Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy, because the fix is in!
Lynch: LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution. The Cup goes back to Hollywood.
Day: LA Galaxy 2-3 Orlando City SC: Orlando makes its way into the East finals against Toronto and manages a slim-margined win. Kaka really proves his worth in the playoffs.
Bonn: Toronto may not win the Supporters’ Shield, and they may not even get a #1 seed, but come playoff time they’ll have had a full season to play together, and will likely be a team geared for a playoff setting. It’s why I picked them in the Open Cup, and why I’ll pick them to get here. Toronto and Seattle, and the Sounders win it.

source: Getty Images
Sebastian Giovinco, Juventus (and now, Toronto FC)

MVP

JPW: Sebastian Giovinco. How they managed to get the “Atomic Ant” I don’t know, but I’m glad they did. Wonderful talent.
Edwards: Obafemi Martins. Dempsey will miss a month for the Gold Cup, and Martins showed last year he can carry the team when he’s not around.
Mendola: Michael Bradley. The new TFC captain has a wealth of talent in front of him and a better defense than you think.
Lynch: David Villa. The Spanish legend leads New York City to the playoffs.
Day: Sebastian Giovinco. I believe he has the opportunity to be the most dangerous player in MLS due to his combination of pace and skill. He will produce a fair amount of both goals and assists, and that’s where he will set himself apart in the MVP race.
Bonn: Giovinco. What a signing.

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Newcomer of the Year (including returning MLSers)

JPW: Jozy Altidore. Expect the big man to find the back of the net regularly. Man, I’m bullish on Toronto this year, huh?
Edwards: Jozy Altidore. Once we put our USMNTers-should-be-in-Europe biases aside, we all agree he’s going to score a hundred goals this season, right?
Mendola: David Villa. It almost feels like cheating to write this, as he’ll be going well with Mix Diskerud and company before he even gets the aid of Frank Lampard.
Lynch: David Villa. Even though he’s 33, the MLS rookie will light it up.
Day: Octavio Rivero of Vancouver Whitecaps. Goal leader of the Chilean Primera Division last year, he has buried 20 goals in his past 33 appearances. With Kenny Miller gone for good, Rivero looks to be the new target man for the Caps, whose midfield should mesh well with the Uruguayan.
Bonn: Frank Lampard is going to be monstrous for NYCFC, because he clearly has a ton left in the tank, but he’s only got a half year to make an impact. If Giovinco’s the MVP, he’d obviously qualify here as well.

source:
David Villa has been the leading man for NYCFC so far.

Golden Boot winner

JPW: David Villa. I think the Spanish veteran will rip MLS defenses apart. Clinical and from the Robbie Keane school of finishing.
Edwards: Obafemi Martins.
Mendola: Josmer Volmy Altidore.
Lynch: Villa, Villa, Villa. As you can see, I think David Villa is going to be good. Really good.
Day: David Villa. The best forward talent in MLS, Villa scored a solid amount of goals last year (15 in all competitions) with Atletico Madrid as the No.2 man to Diego Costa, so a big goal tally in MLS should naturally suit the Spaniard.
Bonn: Dom Dwyer.

Who’s the Lee Nguyen-esque (veteran) Breakout Player of the year?

JPW: Nat Borchers leading Portland’s defense. I expect the Timbers to have an impressive season.
Edwards: Bernardo Anor. Quick — tell me what team Anor plays for. If you don’t know now, you will be April or May. Can’t believe Berhalter let him go.
Mendola: Sam Cronin, Colorado Rapids.
Day: Benny Feilhaber. Sporting KC have a good squad as usual, and Dom Dwyer will likely serve as the team’s main impact player still, while Feilhaber will build off one of his best seasons in MLS on a similar but smaller scale than Nguyen did.
Bonn: I’m not so sure this is a breakout, but I love Jamison Olave back at RSL. Their new-look defense is well put together.

Who’s the Gyasi Zardes-esque (young) Breakout Player of the year?

JPW: Umm…Tony Taylor for NYCFC?
Edwards: Luis Gil. We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Gil to have the breakout year. This is finally it.
Mendola: Thomas McNamara of New York City FC. He showed plenty of promise for Chivas USA last season before a crushing injury. If he can get get on and stay on the field in NYC, he will shine.
Lynch: Erik Palmer-Brown. The 17 year old is one of America’s brightest prospects, and this could be the year he becomes a household name in MLS.
Day: Patrick Mullins, NYCFC. The former New England Revolution players showed great flashes of skills for the Revs. Mullins could provide an immediate impact, especially with the service of Mix and Lampard.
Bonn: Love me some Khiry Shelton.

Cascadia Cup winners

JPW: Seattle Sounders will just edge out Portland and Vancouver. Expect it to be a tight race up in the Pacific Northwest.
Edwards: Vancouver Whitecaps.
Mendola: Vancouver Whitecaps. Carl Robinson is doing things, man.
Lynch: It’s a toss-up, but I’m taking the Portland Timbers.
Day: The Whitecaps are set to extend their recent streak and success against Seattle and Portland, but may not enjoy a better league finish than both the Timbers and Sounders.
Bonn: This is going to be FUN this year…but when isn’t it? I’m going with the boring pick of Seattle simply because of my pick to get them the Shield, but it will be close. The other two teams are very much improved.

source: Getty Images
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard

Better first six months in MLS — Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard?

JPW: Steven Gerrard. He can slot into LA seamlessly, while NYCFC will hit plenty of speed bumps along the way during their inaugural season as a club.
Edwards: Lampard. His team will need him to do more from day one, and I still don’t know how Gerrard is going to fit into that Galaxy team.
Mendola: Lampard. Honestly, it feels like Lampard has more left in the tank, or at least in his legs. Maybe it all comes down to who finishes more, Nemec and Villa or Keane and Zardes, but I think Lampard is better at this stage in his career.
Lynch: Lampard’s great form for Manchester City carries over to New York City.
Day: Both will be coming off Premier League seasons, so I wouldn’t expect very quick impacts, but over the course of the year, I see David Villa and Lampard combining to create the best attacking combo in MLS, with the Chelsea great enjoying top-notch performances.
Bonn: Gerrard is beyond his best and Lampard is looking sluggish down the stretch after a full year in the Premier League. Father Time has stricken both, but Lampard still has more left in the tank. I like him more once he returns from England.

Greater points tally — New York City FC or Orlando City SC?

JPW: New York City FC. Having the likes of David Villa, Frank Lampard and Mix around will win you plenty of points. I’m pretty confident Jason Kreis’ boys will make the playoffs.
Edwards: New York City FC. The trust I have in Jason Kreis outweighs the questions that come with the Frank Lampard saga, but only by a little.
Mendola: New York City FC. And they’ll make the playoffs.
Lynch: New York City FC. I fully expect to see a playoff game at Yankee Stadium this season.
Day: New York City FC has the greater point tally. I don’t think Orlando will have that flashy of a regular season, but in the playoffs, their Designated Players will start to flourish in critical situations.
Bonn: Liking NYCFC. They may be somewhat even through the first half, but Lampard will make a significant difference.

[ WATCH: Diskerud hits a screamer from 20 yards ]

Will Toronto FC (finally) make the playoffs?

JPW: Yes. 100 percent. Gulp… I hope I’m right but with players like they have, it’s difficult to see them not making it and going deep.
Edwards: No. 3 seed behind the Crew and Revolution.
Mendola: Yes.
Lynch: This is the year, Toronto. Jozy Altidore scores some big goals and Toronto FC find themselves in the postseason.
Day: Toronto is poised to be a big contender in the East because I think the additions of Jozy and Giovinco will also help spur Bradley’s play, making for an especially dynamic group.
Bonn: Absolutely. They’re much better put together this time around. They might sputter early, but they’ll get it together.

[ REPORT: Orlando City using Kaka to lure Mario Balotelli to MLS ]

source:
Joze Altidore, Toronto FC

Jozy Altidore — over/under Jermain Defoe’s 2014 goal tally (11 in 19 games)?

JPW: Over. Jozy will rip it up.
Edwards: Over, by nearly 10.
Mendola: Over, if only because Giovinco and Bradley will be in Toronto all year, and Defoe had to deal with the World Cup absence of Bradley.
Lynch: Jozy Altidore finds the form that made him one of America’s most feared strikers, and scores at least 15 times for Toronto.
Day: Very close if you’re looking at the number goals per game. But Jozy will probably play a few more games, and I expect his tally to be around 20.
Bonn: Over. In the first half of the season.

[ WATCH: Bradley, Giovinco combine for Altidore’s first TFC goal ]

More goals/assists combined — Kaka or Sebastian Giovinco?

JPW: Giovinco. I still think he’s an incredible addition and will become a star of MLS for many years to come.
Edwards: Kaka. Caveat: If healthy, Kaka is the 2015 MVP. Let’s not forget this is the 2007 World Player of the Year, arguably the best player in the world for a time.
Mendola: Giovinco. Sorry, Kaka fans, but as bizarre as this sounds he has far more to prove this season.
Lynch: Giovinco is teaming up with Michael Bradley in the midfield and Jozy Altidore up top, while Kaka is walking into a brand new club. I’ll take the Italian, and look for Giovinco’s name to be near the top of the MVP discussion  as well.
Day: Giovinco. The ex-Juve man will work well with Jozy and Bradley, while Kaka will tend to be more of a one-man show.
Bonn: Giovinco. Kaka is nice but, at his age, nowhere near a Sebastian Giovinco in his prime.

Who misses the playoffs in the West?

JPW: Colorado, Vancouver, FC Dallas and San Jose.
Edwards: Colorado, San Jose, Houston and Real Salt Lake.
Mendola: San Jose, Colorado, Portland and Houston.
Lynch: San Jose, Colorado, Real Salt Lake and Vancouver.
Day: San Jose, Houston, FC Dallas and Colorado.
Bonn: San Jose, Vancouver, Colorado, Portland. Tough pick here. Will be very, very tight.

First head coach fired

JPW: Tough to say. I’m thinking Colorado continue to struggle and Pablo Mastreoni will be out. Legend of MLS, but not sure the Rapids will flourish once again this season.
Edwards: Frank Klopas in Montreal. Joey Saputo has the track record for having a quick trigger finger, and if Klopas don’t make the playoffs in the East, he’s out.
Mendola: Caleb Porter. I’m kidding, because I don’t think Portland will pull the trigger during another disappointing year. i think there’s something to be said for no one being fired this season. Lot of new faces, lot of established ones. Jesse Marsch?
Lynch: Ben Olsen’s entire playing and coaching career has been in the nation’s capital, but if DC United start slow, he could be the first to go.
Day: We’ll see if any team sinks way below expectations that warrants a quickly-decided firing, but by the end of the season, it may be Fire coach Frank Yallop under scrutiny.
Bonn: Frank Klopas is going to struggle at Montreal, and I think he’s the first to go.

Brazil turns on samba style, dances into World Cup quarterfinals

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Five-time world champions Brazil turned in a five-star performance as they dismantled South Korea 4-1 in the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup on Monday.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

Up next for Brazil is a quarterfinal clash with Croatia, who survived 120 minutes and penalty kicks to beat Japan earlier on Monday.

The goals came early, they came often, and they came in style.

Vinicius Junior opened the scoring in the 7th, with an exquisite, composed finish through a sea of bodies and Neymar, who returned from the ankle injury he suffered 11 days earlier, made it 2-0 from the penalty spot just six minutes later. That’s when the samba style came out, with the game effectively already in hand and 77 minutes of must-watch television entertainment left to deliver.

Richarlison, who already scored the probable goal of the tournament in Brazil’s opener, perhaps one-upped himself with a sensational piece of flair and skill (and a decent bit of passing from some equally brilliant teammates), making it 3-0 just before the half-hour mark and reminding the rest of the world that Brazil were pre-World Cup favorites for a reason.

Lucas Paqueta got goal no. 4 after another sensational, liquid counter-attack of yellow shirts washing forward in numbers. Vinicius lifted the final ball over a crowd and picked out the West Ham midfielder, who applied the perfect finish with the inside of his right foot.

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

Paik Seung-Ho scored a fantastic consolation goal with 15 minutes left in the second half, but that was the extent of South Korea’s joy, as they come up short of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since co-hosting the World Cup in 2002, when they went to the semifinals.

Brazil vs South Korea
Photo: FotMob.com

[ MORE: World Cup schedule | World Cup odds ]


How to watch Brazil vs South Korea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Dec. 5
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Well, first off: Neymar. One of Brazil’s all-time heroes is missing a World Cup from his resume and rightly or wrongly, that’s a marker as to whether the player will be considered one of the best Brazilians to ever do it. When healthy he’s among the five best attackers in the world. But how healthy is he? And how much can Richarlison, Vinicius Jr. and company take pressure off the oft-fouled Neymar?

South Korea will have hope that Heung-min Son’s slow tournament is on the upswing after the Tottenham star played well late in delivering the win over Portugal to seal a group stage place. Look out for 26-year-old Napoli center back Min-jae Kim, whose name is dancing through the Premier League transfer rumor mill with renewed vigor following strong performances in Qatar.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

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

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Croatia eliminates Japan in 2022 World Cup’s first penalty shootout

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Croatia is through to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup after defeating Japan in the tournament’s first penalty shootout (1-1 AET, 3-1 PKs) on Monday.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

After reaching the knockout rounds just once in their first five World Cup cycles as a nation, Croatia is through to the quarterfinals for the second straight tournament. Japan, meanwhile, will look to 2026 to achieve their first-ever knockout-round victory.

Scoring chances were at a premium in the first half, as each side managed just three shots, but the quality of chances was very high, evidenced by the xG numbers (0.74 for Japan and 0.61 for Croatia, again, on just three shots each). All three of Japan’s shots came from within seven yards of goal, as did two of Croatia’s three.

The breakthrough came, as so many goals have done at this World Cup, in the final moments just before the end of the first half. Japan won a free kick down the right side and though Croatia defended the initial ball in well enough, they didn’t manage to clear it and it fell to Maeda seven yards out.

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

Perisic made it 1-1 with a sensational, long-ranger header in the 55th minute. Dejan Lovren played a dipping cross from deep and it found Perisic near the penalty spot, leaving the Tottenham utilityman with so much still to do. The ball bounced once, just in front of the goalkeeper, beating with him both power and precision to the bottom corner.

Dominik Livakovic began the penalty shootout with two straight saves, first denying Takumi Minamino, and then Kaoru Mitoma. 2-0 to Japan after two rounds. Marko Livaja put Croatia’s third attempt off the post, but Livakovic followed that up with save no. 3 against Maya Yoshida. Mario Pasalic converted to make it 3-1 to Croatia after four rounds.

Runners-up in 2018, Croatia into the round of 8 in 2022.

Japan vs Croatia
Photo: FotMob.com

[ MORE: World Cup schedule | World Cup odds ]

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How to watch Japan vs Croatia live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET – Monday, December 5
Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Japan’s comeback wins against Germany and Spain have been a joy to watch and anybody who watched them before this tournament will not be that surprised. Moriyasu has created a squad which has a total ‘team first’ mentality and so many players are stepping up to deliver in midfield and attack. From Maya Yoshida captaining the side and dominating at center back to Mitoma, Doan, Endo and Tanaka dazzling in midfield and attack whenever they feature, this is a joy to watch. The energy Japan plays with is dizzying and they will create plenty of chances against Croatia. The big question: can they be more clinical?

As for Croatia, the likes of Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic have been here before. They exude confidence and Josko Gvardiol is a fine young center back and the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic add extra class. This is a side which always seems to overdeliver and they will be thinking another deep run at the World Cup is on the cards. Surely they can’t get to the final again, right?


Japan quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ritsu Doan
At the 2022 World Cup – Won Group E with 6 points (+1 GD)

Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic
At the 2022 World Cup – Finished second in Group F with 5 points (+3 GD)


World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, last 16, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

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The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and this tournament in Qatar has been sensational as the knockout rounds will capture the imagination of the globe.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Japan, Australia and Morocco made the last 16 with so many huge shocks during the tournament, while Germany, Denmark and Belgium all crashed out in the group stage.

From the USMNT and England getting out of their group to Lionel Messi dragging Argentina through and Mexico just missing out on getting out of the group stages and amid upsets galore, there are plenty of intriguing games in the latter stages.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

We now have the small matter of the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to. Bring. It. On.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Knockout round kick-off times: 10am, 2pm (both 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 | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H | Full tables


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Netherlands 3-1 USA – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3: Argentina 2-1 Australia – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: France 3-1 Poland – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: England 3-0 Senegal – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Match 53 – Monday, December 5: Japan 1-1 (AET, 1-3 PKs) – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Match 54 – Monday, December 5: Brazil 4-1 South Korea – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – Tuesday, December 6: Morocco vs Spain (preview) – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – Tuesday, December 6: Portugal vs Switzerland (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – Friday, December 9: Netherlands vs Argentina – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 51 vs France – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – Tuesday, December 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – Wednesday, December 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – Saturday, December 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – Sunday, December 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am


Group stage results

Group A

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

Group B

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-3 England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Iran 0-1 USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor

Group C

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Poland 0-2 Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail

Group D

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: France 2-1 Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 1-0 France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Australia 1-0 Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Group E

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Spain 1-1 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Japan 2-1 Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Costa Rica 2-4 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Group F

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
Recap/highlights: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Croatia 4-1 Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Croatia 0-0 Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights Canada 1-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor

Group G

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 1-0 Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Serbia 2-3 Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha

Group H

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-1 Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Ghana 0-2 Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah


2026 World Cup venues selected: Which cities will host in USA, Canada, Mexico?

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On Thursday, nearly four years to the day after it was announced that the men’s FIFA World Cup would be returning to the United States and Mexico (and coming to Canada for the first time) in 2026, 16 host cities were announced as venues for the first-ever 48-team tournament.

[ MORE: Ranking which U.S. cities should host 2026 World Cup games ]

11 American venues were selected, with five located in the eastern third (despite FIFA’s interpretation of Atlanta), three in the central part of the country and three more out west. Two Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) will host World Cup games for the first time. A pair of Mexican cities (Mexico City and Guadalajara) are set to host the World Cup for the third time (1970 and 1986) while Monterrey was chosen for the second time.

[ MORE: 2022 World Cup schedule, how to watch, start time, dates ]

Below is the full list of cities selected as host venues for the 2026 World Cup in the Unites States, Canada and Mexico…


Which 16 venues were selected as host cities for the 2026 World Cup?

USA (11)

Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Boston – Gillette Stadium
Dallas – AT&T Stadium
Houston – NRG Stadium
Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium
Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium
Miami – Hard Rock Stadium
New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
San Francisco – Levi’s Stadium
Seattle – Lumen Field

Canada (2)

Toronto – BMO Field
Vancouver – BC Place

Mexico (3)

Guadalajara – Estadio Akron
Mexico City – Estadio Azteca
Monterrey – Estadio BBVA

With 23 venues vying for 16 spots, a number of notable cities (and venues) were snubbed. Washington D.C., the nation’s capital (in a joint-bid with Baltimore, where games would have been played), was not chosen.

The Rose Bowl, where the 1994 World Cup final was played, was also not selected with Los Angeles presenting two stadiums as options; SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers, was selected. Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville and Orlando were the other American cities to miss out as 2026 World Cup venues, alongside Canada’s Edmonton.


2026 World Cup format and qualification

Now that we know the host cities, stadiums and venues for the 2026 World Cup, let’s talk about the tournament itself…

First and foremost, as host nations, it is believed (but not confirmed) that the USA, Canada and Mexico will all automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 odds: Favorites, underdogs, group stage winners ]

The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament featuring 48 teams split in 16 groups of three. Each team will play two group stage games (down one from three), with the 1st- and 2nd-place finishers advancing to the round of 32. It will also be the first World Cup played across three different host nations.

The idea behind adding 16 teams is that one round of group stage games is eliminated and replaced by an additional round of win-or-go-home games in the knockout rounds.

Given that the final round of group games can carry very little, or even no, weight pending earlier results, the new format will guarantee that nearly every game at the 2026 World Cup is hugely consequential.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites? ]

Yes, FIFA will make a lot more money by changing the format, but fans will also be treated to a better quality product, from beginning to end, with even more global superstars from “lesser” national teams than ever before.

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