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Colombia coach Pekerman exits after 6 years and 2 World Cups

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) Colombia coach Jose Pekerman let his contract run out after six years and two World Cups with the team.

Pekerman’s deal ended last Friday, and the Argentine’s decision not to extend the contract was confirmed by Colombia Football Federation president Ramon Jesurun on Tuesday.

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Arturo Reyes was appointed as interim coach for friendlies on Friday against Venezuela then on Tuesday against Argentina. Both games are in the United States.

Pekerman led Colombia to its first World Cup in 16 years, in 2014 in Brazil, and the team reached the quarterfinals.

He qualified Colombia again for the World Cup in Russia, where they were knocked out in the round of 16 by England in a penalty shootout.

Jesurun said last week he hoped the 69-year-old Pekerman would lead the team’s effort to qualify for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

“My Colombian daughter must be sad, but I leave with happiness for having people’s support,” Pekerman said after meeting with the federation.

“There has been a lot of damage to Colombia with all these rumors and conjectures. I said it when I arrived, we need to work together, support the national team to achieve great things. There is a hard path that has been walked and we need to keep up the great work.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Minnesota United chasing Ecuadorian national teamer

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Minnesota United may be hoping another Ibarra can cure what ails its attack.

Romario Ibarra, 23, is on the Loons’ radar according to The Athletic‘s Kristian Dyer and Jeff Rueter, who say Minnesota would like to land the Ecuadorian when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

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Ibarra was limited to eight matches for Universidad Católica this season as he battled through a lingering metatarsal fracture. But he’s scored against Argentina and Chile in each of his appearances for the national team, both World Cup qualifiers.

From The Athletic:

Sources say that Ibarra’s contract is unlikely to make him a designated player, leaving Quintero as the club’s sole DP. (It could depend, in part, on the size of the transfer fee.) Based on league standards, his salary will likely be drawn from Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) contract seems likely.

Ibarra’s older brother Renato plays for Club America, and has 36 caps.

Minnesota is six points outside the West’s final playoff spot, and has scored just 17 goals in 14 matches.

2018 World Cup team preview: Peru

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Getting to know Peru: Ranked higher than England, Italy, Mexico, and Croatia, the world’s No. 11 ranked team via FIFA’s metric has had a wild ride to Russia even after qualifying through CONMEBOL, as due to the saga of its captain — more on that later — Peru’s stayed in the news.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

This is Peru’s first World Cup since 1982, and just its fifth time in the tournament. Peru has finished third in two of the last three Copa America tournaments.

For more history on Peru, click here.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 


What group are they in? C


Game schedule – Group C – Full 2018 World Cup schedule, here

Saturday, June 16: Peru v Denmark,  Saransk Noon ET
Thursday, June 21: France v Peru, Ekaterinburg 11 a.m. ET
Tuesday, June 26: Australia v Peru, Sochi 10 a.m. ET


Projected lineup (4-2-3-1) – Check out the 23-man squad list in full

—– Gallese —–

— Advincula — Santamaria — Ramos — Trauco

—- Tapio —- Yotun —-

—- Carrillo —- Cueva —- Flores —-

—- Guerrero —-


Star player: Paolo Guerrero – There was no international rust for the captain after his suspension for doping was put on hold, as Guerrero scored a pair of goals against Saudi Arabia. Guerrero tested positive for cocaine, something he claimed came from tainted tea, and even saw his suspension protested by captains of the other nations in his World Cup group. The 34-year-old former Bayern Munich and Hamburg striker plays in Brazil, and has 34 goals in his 14-year international career (87 caps).


Manager: Ricardo Gareca – The well-traveled 60-year-old is in his first international club, but far from his first steps as a manager. He’s had the most success with Velez Sarsfield in his native Argentina.


Secret weapon: Christian Cueva — The attacking midfielder for Sao Paolo scored four times in qualifying, including an equalizer agains Argentina.


Prediction: Anything could happen in this group, but we think Peru sneaks out with a win over Australia and a draw with Denmark.

No Mexico, USMNT at next Copa America; Japan, Qatar invited

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The USMNT and its next full-time coach will only have to worry about the Gold Cup in the summer of 2019.

That’s because CONMEBOL decided against inviting CONCACAF teams for next summer’s tournament in Brazil, opting to include Qatar and Japan.

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The USMNT hosted and reached the semifinal round of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, but will not get the chance to repeat its strong showing.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela will complete the field.

The United States won the 2016 Gold Cup and will clinch a berth in the 2021 Confederations Cup if it wins the 2019 edition. Should the USMNT lose, it would face the 2019 Gold Cup winner in the second CONCACAF Cup for the right to go to Qatar one summer before the 2022 World Cup.

Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay agree on 2030 World Cup bid

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have agreed on 12 cities where they want to host the centenary World Cup in 2030.

The Argentine Football Association said on Monday the plan would grant eight cities to Argentina and two each for Paraguay and Uruguay. The names of the cities were not disclosed.

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Bidding is not due to open for another four years but leaders of all three national bodies say they want to make a joint bid.

The South American nations are expected to face tough competition for the hosting rights of a tournament that will likely feature 48 teams.

Uruguay staged the first World Cup in 1930 and has long been expected to seek hosting rights with Argentina. Paraguay later joined the initiative.

Argentine soccer officials said they met with national captain Lionel Messi during a recent trip to Spain.

“At all times we found (Messi) willing to help us spread the word about the possibility that the three countries organize the World Cup,” Argentina’s Sport Secretary Carlos Mac Allister said. “It’s very important for us to feel that we have the support of players and that it is completely unattached from any political connotation.”

Messi and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez have already publicly backed the plan. During a recent Argentina-Spain friendly, Messi was expected to wear a bracelet that read “2030 together,” but he was sidelined due to an injury. The bracelet was worn instead by Javier Mascherano.

So far, the co-organizers have not said how much the tournament would cost if they were to win the bid.

“Today, we can’t say what the final costs will be to each of our countries, but it cannot be measured only in the building of infrastructure,” Uruguay Sports Secretary Fernando Caceres said.

“There’s an intangible measure, which is how much a country earns in coexistence, in integration, identity, and the construction of citizenship by hosting an event of this magnitude.”