Carlos Vela

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Watch Live: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final

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The 2019 U-17 World Cup final takes place in Bezerrão Stadium on Saturday as favorites Brazil host an inspired Mexico.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

With four goals and one assist, Kaio Jorge has been Brazil’s most productive attacking player this tournament, while Mexico’s and Los Angeles Galaxy’s Efrain Alvarez is hoping to end an incredible tournament in triumphant fashion.

History between both national teams in a U-17 World Cup final dates back to 2005, when LAFC’s Carlos Vela and Mexico routed Marcelo and Brazil 3-0 in Lima, Peru.

Click on the link above to watch the game live.


U-17 World Cup final
Brazil v. Mexico – 5 p.m. ET

Preview: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final

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There will be plenty of 2005 U-17 World Cup final shades at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

On that clear night in Lima, Peru, the likes of Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos wrote history for Mexico, as they powered El Tri to its first-ever World Cup title over a favorite Brazilian side, who was composed of Marcelo, Renato Augusto, and Anderson, in a 3-0 win.

14 years and some change later, both youth powerhouses meet again in the same tournament, for the same silverware, and with the same pressure looming over them from entire nations who expect nothing but excellence from their respective teams.

But of course, to the Brazilians, there is a sense of added pressure given the fact that they’re on home soil.

“We’re familiar with Mexico’s quality,” Brazilian forward, Veron, said ahead of the final. We know they are a great team. But we’re Brazil, and we have five stars on our chest. We intend to play our best match and get the result that makes history.”

As it stands, Mexico is the clear-cut underdog, having barely crept into the knockout stages and being composed of players with far less notoriety to its Brazilian counterpart, who boast three players with three goals or more in the tournament.

That said, Mexico pose as a balanced, reliable, and pragmatic team under coach Marco “Chima” Ruiz. Throughout the six games this tournament, El Tri have found the back of the net 14 times and have conceded a mere three goals (two of which came against Italy). With four goals and two assists in only 344 minutes, Los Angeles Galaxy’s Efrain Alvarez has proven to be the team’s most productive player going forward.

Asked who he would rather take between France or Brazil in the final, the Mexican American answered with the same confidence that has made him one of the most exciting players in the tournament.

“It doesn’t matter which of the two it is, we’ll beat them,” he said.

It’s 90 minutes for either team to make history, again. A win for Brazil will raise the number of U-17 stars to four, while Mexico can claim its third with another historic performance. Will Brazil’s high-flying attack crack Mexico’s solid defense? If Alvarez starts, will he rise to the occasion and guide Mexico to another U-17 title?

That has yet to be seen; the second final between two, routine winners awaits the first whistle.

Carlos Vela voted 2019 MLS MVP

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Major League Soccer has tabbed LAFC striker Carlos Vela as 2019 Landon Donovan MVP after his record-setting season led Bob Bradley‘s side to the Supporters’ Shield and the Western Conference finals.

Vela won the award in a landslide vote, earning 69.6% of the overall vote, including 80.3% of the player vote and 63.9% from the media. He becomes the first Mexican to win the award.

In a prophetic message just a week into the season, after scoring his first goal of the season in a 4-1 win over Portland, Vela said, “I’m working to be the MVP of the league. If I want to do that, I have to show every game how good I am.”

That goal would be the first of a record 34 scores in MLS play across the campaign, topping Josef Martinez’s 31-goal haul the previous season. Vela led LAFC to an MLS record 72-point total across the season, leading the Western Conference and winning the Supporters’ Shield with an eight-point differential over Eastern Conference winners NYCFC. The team also set MLS records for goal differential (+48), and goals scored (85).

LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was second in the voting with 14.1% of the vote, while Josef Martinez finished third and Maxi Morales finished fourth.

MLS Best XI includes three LAFC stars, Zlatan

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EDIT: The first edition of this post incorrectly listed Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro as a member of the Best XI. Carles Gil of New England claimed the spot.

Minnesota United’s remarkable turnaround landed two players on the MLS Best XI, one of three clubs to place multiple players in the Best XI.

LAFC led the way with three, while Atlanta United also posted two names on the board.

[ MORE: Dest a win for Berhalter ]

Toronto FC, New England, the LA Galaxy, and New York City FC were also represented

We tried our luck at it last month, and failed pretty miserably in landing six of the eleven.

But we got to speak to the Goalkeeper of the Year, so we’ll accept the silver lining.

2019 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper
Vito Mannone, Minnesota United

Defenders
Ike Opara, Minnesota United
Walker Zimmerman, LAFC
Miles Robinson, Atlanta United

Midfielders
Carles Gil, New England Revolution
Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC
Maxi Moralez, NYCFC
Eduard Atuesta, LAFC

Forwards
Carlos Vela, LAFC
Josef Martinez, Atlanta United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, LA Galaxy

Three things we learned from LAFC-LA Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): If at first (and second and third and fourth and fifth) you don’t succeed, try try again. Los Angeles FC, on their sixth time of asking, have finally beaten the LA Galaxy and did so in the highest-stakes meeting of the LA rivals — Thursday’s Western Conference semifinal at Banc of California Stadium, by the final score of 5-3. The game, as it tends to do when these sides meet, swung wildly in all directions. LAFC went 2-0 up through Carlos Vela, but it was 2-1 less than 60 seconds later. Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up the Galaxy’s first goal and scored their second just before the hour mark. Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande hit back in quick succession in the 66th and 68th minutes. Rolf Feltscher drew the Galaxy back to within a goal in the 77th, but Diomande put the game to bed three minutes later. Built up as the most hyped game in recent, if not all of, MLS history, LAFC versus LA Galaxy lived up to and surpassed the hype once again.

[ MORE: Frank Lampard praises Christian Pulisic ]

Three things we learned

  • Big game, big stars: Vela showed up early and often, while Ibrahimovic arrived fashionably late and with a bit of assistance up the stairs to the main level of the party. Vela was sensational and highly influential once everyone in Black and Gold found their footing after a rocky opening 10 minutes.

There was also this stunning through ball from Ibrahimovic to set up Cristian Pavon for the Galaxy’s first goal. That was just about it from the big Swede, though, as he was forced deeper and deeper into midfield to get on the ball. Vela and Rossi were involved in absolutely everything, from winning the ball back on the press, to springing the counter-attacks, to setting up goals and finishing them off. At the end of the day, the youth and mobility of LAFC’s stars won out against the mega-stardom of the Galaxy’s main man.

  • VAR (What is it good for): It sure looks like Brian Rodriguez is narrowly offside as Latif Blessing, who impacted this game in a dozen different ways, plays the through ball prior to Rodriguez setting up the easiest goal of Vela’s season. It’s close, no doubt about it, but what better time than a decisive moment in a pivotal playoff game to make sure the call is correct with 100 percent certainty?

It should be noted that it’s always possible the camera angle paints a somewhat murky picture, but if video review is a tool made available so referees can get potentially missed calls correct, why not use it when you’ve got a potentially missed call that doesn’t require any interpretation of the rule?

  • Defense optional: If you expected anything different from these teams, given their previous five meetings which averaged — averaged — 4.8 goals per game, that is entirely your own fault. Defending has been the Galaxy’s achilles heel for going on five seasons now, so much so that the jokes almost aren’t even worth making anymore. They were always going to lose to LAFC at some point — it couldn’t go on forever — and it was almost certainly going to be largely down to their own incompetent defending, coupled with LAFC’s obvious brilliance, that did them in. LAFC were a far better defensive side in the regular season — much of that was always down to the amount of possession they held and their suffocating press, so it stands to reason they’ll be fine in the back half as these playoffs wear on. If, however, some of the goals LAFC conceded weren’t just a one-off, the final three games are suddenly far from the foregone conclusion they were 48 hours ago.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Carlos Vela

Goalscorers: Vela (16′, 40′), Pavon (41′), Ibrahimovic (55′), Rossi (66′), Diomande (68′, 80′), Feltscher (78′)