As was the case in 2011, when La Blanquirroja finished third, Paolo Guerrero continues to lead the way for Peru (five goals in 2011), as the new Flamengo man hit his second international hat trick (2011 third-place game vs. Venezuela) to move into a tie with Chile’s Arturo Vidal as the tournament’s top scorers.
Guerrero bagged his first of the game in the 20th minute with a powerful from the top of the six-yard box. Juan Vargas sent the cross in from the left wing, and Guerrero took care of it from there, beating his marker to the ball and headed home.
The score went from 1-0 to 2-0 barely two minutes later, when Guerrero got behind the Bolivian defense, latched onto the bouncing through ball from Christian Cueva, and fired his second of the game past Romel Quinonez. To ensure he would be taking the match ball home following the final whistle, Guerrero took matters into his own hands when he jumped a lazy pass across the backline, raced in one on one with Quinonez and slotted a well-placed shot inside the far post and completed his hat trick. With 74 minutes on the clock, the score was 3-0.
The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.
My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.
2018 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)
Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.
Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:
“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”
Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.
Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.