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Mexico 3-2 aet USMNT: Pure El Tri dominance at the Rose Bowl

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The good guys were in white, the bad guys in black, and the Rose Bowl was the scene for an old-fashioned Western between the United States and Mexico.

For 100 minutes, the white might as well’ve stood for surrender. Then, in a twist, the good guys appeared to dodge every unlikely bullet.

But only for a short time, as Paul Aguilar gave Mexico the win it deserved with a 118th minute goal.

[ MORE: Player ratings for an awful loss at the Rose Bowl ]

The 3-2 in extra time score line defied pure Mexican dominance in California, as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Oribe Peralta also scored in a thrilling CONCACAF Cup final.

Geoff Cameron and substitute Bobby Wood scored for the U.S., and Cameron was one of few players who had a game worthy of any merit.

Jurgen Klinsmann had no answers for a Mexico team playing with a caretaker boss.

There was a frenetic unease to the start, with emotions getting the best of the players in a noisy Rose Bowl.

[ WATCH: Chicharito, Cameron trade first-half goals ]

And then an early mistake from the entire left side of the U.S. defense. Matt Besler dove into the midfield, and Mexico burst through to spring a chance through the 18. Oribe Peralta fed Javier Hernandez, and Chicharito darted past an indecisive Fabian Johnson to make it 1-0.

Then the States won a free kick on the left, and Michael Bradley sent in a gorgeous ball for Cameron to head home. The Stoke man made no doubt about it with his second U.S. goal.

Playing in his advanced role, Bradley dribbled across the 18 and tried to wrong foot Moises Munoz with a left-footed shot that dragged wide of the right post.

Things got nutty in the 34th minute, when an offside Peralta slid into a prone Guzan (who had the ball). Peralta saw yellow, after a baseball-style “all talk” skirmish in the U.S. six.

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 10: Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States moves the ball past Diego Reyes #5 of Mexico during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Qualifier at Rose Bowl on October 10, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

Beasley’s overlapping run found a Bradley through ball, but the Houston Dynamo defender’s cross was too shallow and scooped by Munoz.

Altidore missed a golden chance to put the U.S. up as the clock struck 40, as he booted an in-tight and contested chance wide and high of the bar.

The Toronto FC forward then won a dangerous free kick and a yellow card for Hector Moreno with a spin move outside the 18 in the 44th minute. Bradley whipped in a scything kick on goal, but Munoz dove to rescue it, parrying the ball wide.

A Columbus Crew man wanted a halftime change…

The second half saw Mexico nearly score within two minutes, as Guzan made a huge safe after Mexico danced through the U.S. back line yet again.

El Tri expressed themselves in the first 15 minutes of the frame, really, with Cameron, Besler and Guzan doing yeomen’s work keep the score line level.

The Yanks should’ve been down 2-1 after Chicharito butchered a chance by trying to use his back leg instead of his left. He had left Besler in the dust, but the U.S. escaped.

The U.S. got its first corner in the 67th minute, and Bradley tried to catch Munoz napping only to see the keeper slap the ball to the other side of the pitch.

The second half saw the States looking wounded at worst and winded at best. Altidore labored, as did Jones. Dempsey was a shell of himself excepting an ambitious dribble or two.

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 10: Hector Herrera #16 of Mexico protects the ball against Michael Bradley #4 of the United States during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Qualifier at Rose Bowl on October 10, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

Heart-stopping stuff as the U.S. had a muddled spell of possession with about 15 minutes to play in the first 90 minutes. The Americans avoided calamity when Besler went unwhistled on a handball in the box just into stoppage time.

So we went to extra time. More of the same, and the Yanks looked beat when it came time to counter… except for Yedlin, who earned a free kick that Bradley lofted far post and right to Munoz.

Then, Peralta. The Mexican talisman did it again in the clutch, Johnny-on-the-spot to bury a chance over a beleaguered and sliding Cameron, and past Guzan.

But who the heck is Bobby Wood and what did he do with our narrative? The only-clutch U.S. striker subbed on to tie the game off a silky feed from DeAndre Yedlin, and somehow the Americans were level… and on the front foot?

Nope. Aguilar volleyed a bullet past a too-shallow Guzan, and Mexican had their trip to Russia.

LINEUPS

Mexico: Munoz; Aguilar, Reyes, Moreno, Layun; Marquez (Rivas, 76′), Guardado (Lopez, 80′), Herrera; Peralta, Jimenez, Hernandez (Corona, 97′).

Goals: Hernandez (10′), Peralta (96′), Aguilar (118′)

United States: Guzan; Beasley, Cameron, Besler, Johnson (Evans, 111′); Beckerman, Jones, Bradley, Zardes (Yedlin, 78′); Dempsey, Altidore (Wood, 98′)

Goals: Cameron (15′), Wood (108′)

NYCFC grabs five away goals in CONCACAF Champions League debut

CONCACAF Champions League
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New York City FC took a 5-3 advantage over San Carlos in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Costa Rica.

Heber converted a second-half penalty to complete a hat trick for Ronny Deila’s side — that’s gonna take some getting used to — with Alexander Callens and Alexandru Mitrita scoring NYCFC’s fourth and fifth goals.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Jorman Aguilar, Marcos Mena,and Omar Browne scored for the Costa Rican hosts with two assists arriving via Randy Chirino.

San Carlos visits Red Bull Arena for the second leg on Wednesday.

The hosts pulled within a goal with 11 minutes to play, but Mitrita buried a rebound of a saved Maxi Moralez penalty kick.

The 28-year-old Heber scored 15 goals and three assists in just 22 appearances last season after arriving from HNK Rijeka in Croatia’s top tier.

2020 National Soccer Hall of Fame candidates announced

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Candidates for the 2020 National Soccer Hall of Fame have been announced and we’ll certainly tell you about all of the new batch of possible members, we’re also going to ask a huge question of the voters.

How is Steve Cherundolo not already in this thing?

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Last year’s class included a mere two people  — Abby Wambach and Sunil Gulati — and there hasn’t been a class of more than four since 2011.

Cherundolo made 423 career appearances for German side Hannover 96, even captaining the side for four seasons. He earned 86 caps with the United States men’s national team and was a member of three World Cup squads.

He simply has to be in the next group, as few others on the list have more deserving shouts over him (Perhaps Carlos Bocanegra and Jeff Cunningham).

Only one first-time finalist, Hope Solo, could rival Cherundolo’s record, and we wonder if the voters will look past her tumultuous off-field life and outspoken stance against the federation. Robbie Rogers will also certainly collect votes for an outstanding career which saw him become the first openly gay player in MLS.

First-time finalists (Full list of candidates)

Brad Davis
Whitney Engen
Herculez Gomez
Clarence Goodson
Hope Solo
Mike Magee
Carlos Ruiz
Nat Borchers
Conor Casey
Justin Mapp
Jamison Olave
Robbie Rogers
Jen Buczkowski
Kelly Smith

The 2 Robbies podcast: Liverpool, Spurs in UCL; Man City’s response

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle recap the crucial Champions League results this week focusing on Liverpool’s 1-0 loss at Atletico Madrid (0:50), Tottenham falling 1-0 at home to RB Leipzig (11:45) and another impressive performance by Erling Haaland in Dortmund’s win over PSG (24:55).

The chaps also discuss Manchester City’s 2-0 victory against West Ham and share their thoughts on Pep Guardiola‘s first comments about City’s UEFA ban (27:55). The gents wrap up the pod review the Europa League results for Manchester United (42:50), Arsenal (48:00), and Wolves (51:55).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 26

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We’re nearing the time of the Premier League season where the club power rankings reach a sense of finality, with little movement as relegated sides and contenders latch onto their table footing.

It makes sense, of course, as many sides have now met each other twice, the litmus tests less important than the proof in the pudding.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]


20. Norwich City — The moral victories aren’t very rewarding anymore, the little errors causing more significant pain. Credit to Alisson for scooping up a weak pass, but this week’s pain was self-inflicted despite a very decent performance.
Last week: 20
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 1-0 v. Liverpool
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Wolves

19. West Ham United — David Moyes‘ men are now winless in eight since clobbering Bournemouth, and a trip to Anfield is next. And the Irons don’t even get the bonus of being rested while Liverpool played at midweek.
Last week: 19
Season high: 5
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-0 at Man City
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday at Liverpool

18. Watford — Suddenly winless in five with Manchester United and Liverpool next.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Brighton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Manchester United

17. Brighton and Hove Albion — Three draws and one loss in a four-match run that demanded at least two wins.
Last week: 18
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Watford
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Sheffield United

16. Crystal Palace — The Eagles have one goal through three matches since the 2-2 draw with Man City and will be hoping to break their skid versus plucky Newcastle.
Last week: 14
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United

15. Bournemouth — A trip to Burnley demands a result given Chelsea and Liverpool follow.
Last week: 15
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

14. Aston Villa — A tricky trip to St. Mary’s before the League Cup Final; What are the chances Villa clinches Europa League but heads down to the Championship?
Last week: 17
Season high: 6
Season low: 19
Last match: Lost 3-2 v. Spurs
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Saints

13. Newcastle United — The Magpies were very good in the first 45 minutes at Arsenal but fell apart in the second frame. They need to start stacking a couple of wins for comfort, as Steve Bruce‘s men finish with three of five against Spurs, Man City, and Liverpool (two of whom will be looking for revenge).
Last week: 12
Season high: 11
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 4-0 at Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Crystal Palace

12. Southampton — What the heck happened against Burnley?
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Burnley
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Aston Villa

11. Burnley — The Clarets have taken 10 of 12 points, the only setback a draw with Arsenal, and are firmly in the Europa League discussion despite approaching historically bad numbers in passing.
Last week: 12
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 at Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth

10. Manchester United — For one Monday, Harry Maguire was an incredibly lucky man on an incredibly fortunate team. At least Bruno Fernandes looks dynamite.
Last week: 11
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 2-0 at Chelsea
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Watford

9. Wolves — Still wouldn’t want to see them on the schedule, but Wolves hopes for the Champions League are based in the UEL.
Last week: 6
Season high: 3
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Leicester City
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Norwich City

8. Arsenal — The defense appears solid under Mikel Arteta, though his old pals Everton will present the stiffest test in some time.
Last week: 9
Season high: 4
Season low: 13
Last match: Won 4-0 v. Newcastle
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Everton

7. Chelsea — Holds a 1-2-2 record in league play since Christian Pulisic was injured.
Last week: 7
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Manchester United
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Spurs

6. Sheffield United — The Premier League’s Papillon.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Bournemouth
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Brighton

5. Everton — Carlo Ancelotti has the Toffees humming toward Europa League… and possibly better.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 19
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea

4. Leicester City — Still on track for the top four, but haven’t looked UCL caliber in weeks.
Last week: 4
Season high: 2
Season low: 10
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Wolves
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Man City

3. Spurs — Losing Kane and Son will probably cost them in their chase to rejoin the UCL, but we wouldn’t rule out Jose Mourinho. Still: Chelsea, Wolves, and Manchester United are three of the next four PL opponents.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 3-2 at Aston Villa
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea

2. Manchester City — Ban or not, they are finishing second… unless Leicester finds its very best against a UCL-obsessed City on Saturday.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 6
Last match: Won 2-0 v. West Ham
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Leicester City

1. Liverpool — Poor, poor West Ham.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 1-0 at Norwich City
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday v. West Ham