Three United States men’s national team members were named to a Gold Cup’s Best XI littered with players from champions Mexico.
At least one of the honored Yanks will surprise you.
Christian Pulisic was probably penciled onto a number of ballots before the tournament, and he delivered in a big way for Gregg Berhalter.
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Aaron Long was also a regular for the coach, though he had his share of fits and starts, and Michael Bradley played some exceptional passes and showed his typical calm… even the giveaways came too easy for 150-times capped American.
Canadian forward Jonathan David was the only other player not to wear El Tri colors, and he won the Golden Boot with six goals.
As for Mexico, Raul Jimenez leads the line and goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo’ Ochoa is between the sticks.
The other five are defenders Luis Rodriguez, Carlos Salcedo, and Jesus Gallardo, as well as midfielders Jonathan dos Santos and Andres Guardado.
A number of big goal scorers including Uriel Antuna of Mexico and Lucas Cavallini of Mexico, did not make the cut, nor did Haiti’s energetic Duckens Nason.
With the World Cup still half a year away, there’s plenty of time to heal from injuries and get the body right after tweaking things during the club season.
And yet, there will still be some concern among Mexico fans.
Team captain Andres Guardado suffered a hamstring tear, his club Real Betis confirmed on Monday, and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. That’s nothing to write home about when it comes to preparing for the big tournament, but with Guardado 31 years old and struggling with injuries in recent years, Mexico fans will be keenly aware that hamstring injuries can return with a vengeance if not given the right time to heal.
Guardado has shown his age in recent times, not necessarily with his play on the field, which has been critical to his country, but with his fitness. Guardado has just four full 90 minute performances for Mexico dating back to October of 2016, missing time with ankle, leg, and now hamstring injuries in that span.
The 31-year-old has had a fine season so far for Real Betis, scoring one goal and assisting six while appearing in all 15 La Liga matches for the club thus far. The club sits 12th in the La Liga table with 18 points.
Guardado will be fine with plenty of time to spare, but if not fully healed properly, there’s always the risk that muscle injuries can flare back up, and Mexico fans will hope that their captain’s club gives him plenty of rest to recover.
One of the best players in Mexican history is headed back to La Liga.
Andres Guardado, 30, has been linked with moves to MLS and Liga MX for some time, but instead is swapping PSV Eindhoven for Real Betis on a reported three-year deal.
His new club finished 15th in La Liga this past season, moving Guardado from the UEFA Champions League to aiming to surprise in Spain.
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Guardado played as a deep-lying midfielder in the Netherlands, but spent previous season as a primarily left-sided player from back up to wing.
He’s made 149 appearances in La Liga during his career, scoring 13 goals to go with 21 assists. He’s been capped 139 times by Mexico.
An opponent from Serie A has emerged as a potential blip in the plans of Los Angeles FC.
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According to Sky Sports Italia, Sampdoria is looking to sign LA FC target and Dutch international Wesley Sneijder as the 33-year-old contemplates the next stage of his career.
Reports earlier in the week declared that LA FC had tabled an offer of $3.5 million per season for Sneijder as the 2018 expansion side looks to establish some momentum heading into its inaugural season.
The veteran Dutchman currently plays for Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray — where he’s played since joining the club in 2013 from Inter Milan.
LA FC is seeking its first Designated Player signing and major move to welcome the club to MLS next season. Reports surfaced earlier in June suggesting the Los Angeles side was closing in on a move for Mexican international Andres Guardado, however, no deal has been struck to this point.
Los Angeles FC is ready to join Major League Soccer next season, and the soon-to-be newest Western Conference side is preparing to make a splash in California.
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ESPN is reporting that LA FC has signed Mexican international and PSV Eindhoven midfielder Andres Guardado to a four-year contract.
The club has not confirmed the move yet, however, Guardado would become LA FC’s third player to join the roster ahead of their expansion move.
Guardado has had a successful career for both club and country, spending the last 10 seasons in Europe with various clubs. The 30-year-old Mexico native first moved to Europe in 2007 after joining La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna from childhood Liga MX club Atlas.
In 133 career appearances for El Tri, Guardado has tallied 24 international goals for his country and has appeared at three separate FIFA World Cups to date.