CONCACAF aims for 50-50 crowd split for USA vs. Mexico clash at Rose Bowl


It’s a huge game between two huge rivals and CONCACAF is hoping to have an even 50-50 split of fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the USMNT’s crunch Confederations Cup playoff game against Mexico on Oct. 10.

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The winners of the 2013 Gold Cup (U.S.) and the 2015 Gold Cup (Mexico) will square off in a one-off game to decide which nation will represent the region at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. With FIFA dates already set, a one-off game was the only option rather and a home-and-home setup.

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CONCACAF selected the Rose Bowl as a neutral venue due to its capacity of close to 92,542 and even though it’s on U.S. soil, it’s clear to many in the Los Angeles area that the crowd could be extremely pro-Mexico on Oct. 10.

Tickets will be distributed in the following manner: 30 percent of the capacity to each the U.S. and Mexican federations which must be purchased by Sept. 18, with a further 30 percent distributed via a lottery system and 10 percent going to sponsors and local clubs. Tickets will be distributed to supporters groups such as the American Outlaws and the game will undoubtedly be a sell out.

The last time these two teams squared off at the Rose Bowl, Mexico won the 2011 Gold Cup final 4-2 after the U.S. led 2-0 early on. On that day reports emerged of issues regarding fan segregation and the lack of policing from security inside the stadium. With clear segregation between U.S. and Mexico fans this time around, this game will be one of the biggest in CONCACAF’s history.

Despite their poor form at the 2015 Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side may be the favorites after Miguel Herrera was fired as Mexico’s boss after an altercation with a journalist after he delivered the 2015 Gold Cup. Just six weeks before this huge game, El Tri does not have a head coach.

One thing they will have in six weeks time is plenty of fans at the Rose Bowl. Fans of the U.S. national team, how do you feel about the game being played in California compared to say, New York City, Atlanta or should I even say Columbus…?

Let us know in the comments section below.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.


Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.

Benfica: Atletico Madrid make $143 million bid for Felix

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The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.

The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.

[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]

Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.

If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.

AFCON: Nigeria 1st team through to round of 16 at African Cup, joined by host Egypt

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CAIRO (AP) Former champion Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the African Cup of Nations after defender Kenneth Omeruo‘s second-half goal delivered a 1-0 win over Guinea on Wednesday.

The Nigerians were unimpressive in the first half in Alexandria but lifted their game in the second. Alex Iwobi‘s rasping shot was pushed away by Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Ahmed Musa almost set up Odion Ighalo on a counterattack.

The former Chelsea defender Omeruo did what the forwards had not been able to do when he beat Kone with a glancing header at the near post off Moses Simon’s corner in the 73rd minute.

Nigeria, which won the title in 2013, has two wins from two games in Group B. It beat Burundi 1-0 in its first match and now needs a draw from its last fixture against Madagascar to finish top and stay in Alexandria for the last 16.

There was more good news for Nigeria when Samuel Kalu came on as a substitute near the end. The midfield player collapsed at a training session the day before the first game, suffering from dehydration, and was hospitalized.

Coach Gernot Rohr rested captain John Obi Mikel against Guinea.

Elsewhere, Egypt also confirmed a place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmad Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah each scored in the first half to lead the Pharoahs to victory, the hosts second-straight win in the competition.

In the other match of the day, Uganda tied Zimbabwe, 1-1.