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USMNT-Mexico World Cup qualifier preview

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Once every four years for more several decades, we’ve been guaranteed a pair of meaningful matches between the United States and Mexico.

There have been glorious wins, including a World Cup victory and four-straight Dos a Cero score lines at home WC qualifiers.

There have been miserable losses, like the esteem sucking CONCACAF Cup loss in 2015 or the Gold Cup walloping that cost Bob Bradley his job in 2011.

[ MORE: PST’s USMNT-Mexico roundtable ]

Most of all, though, there’s a shared bond, as Mexico and the USMNT share a healthy respect and vivid dislike for the opposition.

It’s an exciting time for the rivalry, with both teams boasting national legends in their prime (Michael Bradley, Hector Herrera), nearing the end (Tim Howard, Rafa Marquez), and just finding their footing (Christian Pulisic, Diego Reyes).

Frankly, Mexico has a lot of firepower and has to love its chances of getting at least a point in Columbus on Friday. El Tri boasts PSV star Andres Guaradio, the Galaxy’s Giovani Dos Santos, and in-form Eintracht Frankfurt mid Marco Fabian amongst others (including dangerous striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez).

The Yanks are no slouches either, with both Bradley and Jozy Altidore humming and cohesive from their time with Toronto FC. John Brooks, and Timmy Chandler are counted on for 90 minutes a night at top-half Bundesliga sides, while Fabian Johnson is a known entity for struggling Borussia Monchengladbach.

In other words, yeah, we can hardly wait for Friday.

Recent results

Mexico’s 3-2 win in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup Final gave El Tri its first win in the rivalry since the final match of a three-game win streak on Aug. 10, 2011.

Since that streak ended, the Yanks are 3W-3D-1L against Mexico. Going back to the turn of the century, the U.S. leads the series 12W-5D-6L.

Notable omissions/absences

Out for the U.S.: Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes, Kyle Beckerman

Out for Mexico: Paul Aguilar, Javier Aquino, Elias Hernandez, Alan Pulido, Carlos Esquivel, Moises Munoz

What they’re saying

Jermaine Jones on Mexico’s Chicharito: “Everybody who knows Chicharito knows he’s played always on the line. I’m not saying a dirty player but he’s always on that edge.”

Mexico’s Rafa Marquez on troubles in Columbus“This is a different time, with different players that will leave the past behind.”

More reading

— Do U.S. fans outright expect a win?

Mexico out to end Columbus curse

How Christian Pulisic developed into a star

How will the USMNT lineup?

Prediction

MAPFRE Stadium will be rocking, and we suspect both attacks with find desperation working in their favor. Mexico and the U.S. each find the back of the net in a 2-2 draw to start the final round of World Cup qualifying.

UEL, LIVE — Arsenal meets Eintracht before Man Utd, Wolves play

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The Europa League group stage begins play on Thursday, with Arsenal in Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Bundesliga side is missing a lot of familiar faces after a tumultuous summer saw Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller, and Ante Rebic.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

Arsenal will follow suit with some youth, as Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Joe Willock drawing starts.

Kickoff is at 12:55 p.m. ET, with Manchester United and Wolves set to kick-off their respective matches against Astana and Braga at 3 p.m. ET.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow

Report: Man City’s David Silva in “likely” Inter Miami move

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Arguably the greatest player in Manchester City history could become the first star player of Inter Miami.

That’s the story coming out of England, where The Independent reports that David Silva will “likely” join Inter Miami CF for its inaugural MLS run in 2020.

It’s well-known that Silva is leaving Man City this summer after one last-go at his first UEFA Champions League title.

[ MORE: Man City bests Shakhtar ]

David Beckham has been recruiting some of the top names in the game, and has been linked with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Silva, 33, checks all the boxes. The Spanish star won two EUROs and a World Cup, and is still playing at a very high level. He has five assists in six matches for City this season.

If healthy, it would be foolish to expect anything but dominance out of Silva, though beware the think pieces out there about how he “might find it tougher than he thinks.” We’re talking about a world beater who posted 10 goals and 14 assists for City last season.

Even at his age, he’d carry one of the top resumes of any player to join Major League Soccer (Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would like a word).

He has 71 goals and 134 assists in 402 matches for City, and would eventually line up against fellow City Football Group club NYCFC.

NBC Sports’ Premier League Fan Fest heading to Austin

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Everything is bigger in Texas. And this will be no different.

NBC Sports and the Premier League have announced details for the first Premier League Mornings Live Fan Fest event of the season, and we are heading to Austin, Texas in October.

Just like the events in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston last season, fans will be able to watch all of the PL action together with the live studio show taking place in front of them.

This time it takes place at Scholz Garten in downtown Austin.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

The two-day celebration of Premier League fandom will take place on Saturday Oct. 26 and Sunday Oct. 27. The Scholz Garten venue is inclusive of a full street closure, courtyard space, and indoor bar.

All sections of the venue will be packed with fun activities and of course plenty of viewing areas for fans to watch all of the action.

The event will feature the NBC Sports studio broadcast live onsite with special appearances throughout the day. We’ll also have free merchandise and giveaways throughout the day, plus food, drink and plenty more.

Premier League Interim Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “After a successful season of Premier League Mornings Live, we are delighted to be visiting Austin, Texas, for the first event of 2019-20. Last year we saw how passionate our American fans are, as we brought the Premier League experience to Washington D.C., New York and Boston.

”This season we are once again working with NBC Sports and bringing many of our clubs, partners and some famous faces to unique locations in different cities. Those attending in Austin can expect some great activations and I am sure there will be plenty of entertaining football for them to enjoy as we have some exciting fixtures taking place over the weekend.”

Report: Newcastle United tracking Atlanta United’s Martinez

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A report out of Newcastle says the Magpies may be returning to Atlanta United’s ranks for a January transfer swoop.

MLS record goal scorer Josef Martinez is the name mentioned as among Newcastle’s targets, though journalist Lee Ryder says there may be trepidation given Miguel Almiron’s failure to find goals at St. James’ Park.

[ MORE: Hex watch sees Canada move closer ]

Martinez, 26, scored twice more Wednesday evening for the Five Stripes, including a sensational solo goal. He has scored in 15-straight league matches and is five goals away from matching his MLS single season record set last season.

Atlanta signed Martinez through the 2023 season. Transfermarkt puts his market value around $11 million, comparing him with players like Jurgen Locadia, Yoshinori Muto, and Manolo Gabbiadini.

Newcastle broke its transfer record to land Almiron last season, then smashed it sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim in August. The Magpies have also splashed cash on Allan Saint-Maximin and there’s a clear focus on upgrading the attack.

Maybe the Magpies would view the move as a bargain which could help Almiron get back to his form of last season, but it seems there would be numerous hurdles to clear before a firm bid would be made for Martinez. If Saint-Maximin or Almiron finds form, would there be room for Martinez running underneath Joelinton? Or maybe we’re wrong and Mike Ashley is ready to spend to provide adequate depth?

Lots of questions here.