Hirving Lozano will miss the final two matches of PSV Eindhoven’s domestic campaign thanks to a knee injury, leaving his status for the Gold Cup in serious doubt.
The electric Mexican playmaker, who carried the national team through the 2018 World Cup, left the field on a stretcher in the 83rd minute of PSV’s 3-0 win over Willem on Thursday in visible pain. While there were initial fears that Lozano had suffered damage to his ACL, the club confirmed that was not the case.
“I am relieved that there is no damage to my cruciate ligament,” Lozano said in a statement released by the club on Monday, “but it is of course very disappointing that I will no longer be on the pitch in the decisive phase of the competition. My rehabilitation has started. I am going to do everything to be in top condition as soon as possible.”
Lozano’s injury is a massive loss for PSV as the club is level on points with Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie table, in second only on goal differential thanks to Ajax’s otherworldly goalscoring this season, having netted a stunning 111 times in league play to PSV’s 95. The 23-year-old Mexican has scored 17 goals and assisted 11 others this season in league play.
“Chucky” has emerged as a key figure in the Mexican national team as well, and anything keeping him off the field would represent a significant blow to their Gold Cup prospects. Of Mexico’s three goals scored in the World Cup last summer, Lozano scored one – the winner against Germany – and assisted another. He has been in and out of the rotation since, but like the United States’ Christian Pulisic, he has only been absent to get rest between competitive events and allow the national team to experiment with other fringe options. He scored Mexico’s third and final goal in a 3-1 win over Chile in his last appearance for the national team in late March.
While there is no word on the severity of Lozano’s knee injury, it is possible that – like Manchester United announced for Eric Bailly earlier in the day – he may have suffered MCL damage, which typically requires around six weeks recovery. That would leave Lozano fit to return around mid-June. The Gold Cup begins on June 15, with Mexico opening against Cuba in group stage play.
It is also possible that Lozano has played his last game for PSV, with rumors abound that he will be heavily sought after in this summer’s transfer market.
The USMNT’s CONCACAF Nations League hopes are on the line when it meets Canada in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.
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The Yanks seek to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Canucks in Toronto last month, one that heaped pressure on coach Gregg Berhalter.
If the USMNT fails to win on Friday, a match Canada also needs for its World Cup qualifying hopes, it will bow out of the tournament before the semifinal round.
There’s no place for DeAndre Yedlin in the back line, as Tim Ream‘s been chosen to play right back with a center back pairing of John Brooks and Aaron Long. Sergino Dest starts on the right.
The midfield will have Jackson Yueill lying deep, with Weston McKennie and Sebastian Lletget also getting the call.
Gyasi Zardes starts at center forward with Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola on the wings.
Finland and Sweden have qualified for EURO 2020 after posting big wins on Friday, the former doing it at home to relative minnows Liechtenstein while the latter scored an impressive win away to Romania.
[ WATCH: G. Jesus’ comical penalty miss ]
Romania 0-2 Sweden
Marcus Berg and Robin Quaison scored first half goals as Sweden qualified for its sixth-straight EURO. Both are having decent starts to the club season. The veteran Berg has scored five times for Krasnodar, while the 26-year-old Quaison has scored four times for Mainz this season.
Spain 7-0 Malta
The Spanish had seven different goal scorers beginning with Alvaro Morata and Santi Cazorla providing a 2-0 halftime lead. Spain out shot Malta 25-1, with Pau Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo, and Gerard Moreno also scoring for an experimental squad.
And what if we told you Jesus Navas scored? Cause he did.
Denmark 6-0 Gibraltar
Christian Eriksen scored twice in the final five minutes after Robert Skov’s brace came sandwiched around Christian Gytkjaer and Martin Braithwaite goals. The Danes climbed to the top of Group D, one point better than the Swiss and three better than Republic of Ireland (who it meets on the last match day).
Switzerland 1-0 Georgia
Granit Xhaka went 90 minutes and Cedric Itten scored the game’s lone goal as the Swiss joined the Danes in climbing above Republic of Ireland.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-3 Italy
The Azzurri were clinical on Friday, with Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne, and Andrea Belotti bagging
Norway 4-0 Faroe Islands
Finland 3-0 Liechtenstein — RECAP
Armenia 0-1 Greece
As long as Lionel Messi is on the field, Argentina and Brazil is going to be must-watch no matter the location.
Messi converted a rebound of his own won and saved penalty to score his 69th international goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win in a Saudi Arabia-hosted friendly on Friday.
[ MORE: Finland makes history ]
It was Messi’s first match with Argentina since the summer, when he was banned three months for claiming the 2019 Copa America tournament was fixed for hosts Brazil.
Let’s be real, though: You should be here for this terrible penalty miss from Gabriel Jesus.
The Brazilian also won his penalty, but his miss was a dreadful dribble wide of the frame. It clicked three boxes of terrible: no direction, no conviction, no technique.
This summer, there was plenty of talk that Barcelona’s players wanted Neymar in town and quite the opposite regarding Antoine Griezmann.
The Atletico Madrid star was the player purchased by Barcelona.
[ MORE: Finland makes history ]
Griezmann, 28, has four goals and three assists in 15 matches, but the bulk of that outlay came in two matches and he’s without a goal or assist in the UEFA Champions League.
A bit different from his 21 goals and 10 assists in 48 matches last season, at least on the goals end, but the Frenchman is settling into a new club and city.
While it’s not like his new teammates think he’s garbage, they aren’t sugarcoating their opinion of his transition nor downplaying their lofty opinion of Barca.
Here’s Gerard Pique, via AS.com:
“Real Sociedad and Atlético were teams who played for Griezmann. That’s not the case at Barca, because the level is higher and he has to find his place in the side. Little by little he’s finding it. He’s got the quality and talent for it.”
Pique also blew off Barca’s extra rest before the new El Clasico date, and talked about Leo Messi’scontract talks as well as his relationship with Sergio Ramos. It’s all here.