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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.

[ MORE: Mourinho rips forwards ]

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.”

Five things learned from internationals

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With a plethora of international friendlies taking place across globe on Friday, we learned plenty about where the teams heading to the 2018 World Cup are it in their preparation for the big dance in Russia this summer.

[ MORE: International wrap

In case you weren’t scouring the globe at obscene hours to stay in touch with all the action, we were.

Here’s what we learned.


South American teams in fine fettle

CONMEBOL went five for five on Friday with wins for Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia. There is no doubt that South America will once again dominate at the World Cup this summer. Brazil dealt easily with Russia without Neymar as Miranda, Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho scored in the second half as they continue their fine run. Argentina didn’t start Lionel Messi or Sergio Aguero against Italy at the Etihad Stadium but ran out 2-0 winners with goals from Maneul Lanzini (his first for his nation) and Ever Banega getting the job done. Plenty of starters were rested at the 2014 runners up look incredibly strong. Plus, they don’t have to worry about losing out to Chile like they have in the last two Copa America tournaments.

Uruguay’s stars shone against the Czech Republic with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani on target in China, while Colombia’s fine comeback in France stole the show. Trailing 2-0 with 26 minutes gone, Colombia scored two late goals via Radamel Falcao and Juan Quintero to grab the victory in Paris. A fit Falcao will make a huge difference to Los Cafeteros’ chances of getting past the last eight this time out. Peru, who will be at their first World Cup since 1982 this summer, completed a fine showing for the five CONMEBOL teams who qualified the World Cup this summer as they beat Croatia 2-0. For those who are still shocked that Chile won’t be going to the World Cup this summer, these results prove just how strong South America has become.


England mature in 3-4-3 formation

Okay, the 1-0 win in Amsterdam was against a very poor Netherlands outfit who are in transition, haven’t qualified for the last two major tournaments and Ronald Koeman has a massive rebuilding job on his hands. But still, England were extremely impressive. The way Gareth Southgate‘s men moved the ball around in a 3-4-3 formation proved they are developing well and Kyle Walker as a right-sided center back was a revelation. Without the injured Harry Kane, the Three Lions did lack a bit of cutting edge up front but Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford were so dangerous on the break and the main takeaway was the balance of this team and the composure on the ball of the defenders. Jesse Lingard (who scored his first international goal), John Stones, Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford all staked their claims for a starting spot this summer as England are unbeaten in seven games and haven’t conceded in their last five, including the last three against Germany, Brazil and Holland. Whisper it: England could be the darkhorses this summer.


Germany, Spain the real deals

The class of these two teams suggests that they will go far this summer. The reigning World Cup champs equalized through Thomas Muller’s stunning goal after Rodrigo popped up (after Andres Iniesta’s perfect pass) to put Spain ahead early on in a high tempo, high quality encounter. This is just the kind of tune-up both teams needed as Joachim Low and Julen Lopetegui have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal. Both teams were close to full strength and this underlined their status as favorites to win the World Cup this summer. Germany haven’t lost in their last 22 games, while Spain hasn’t lost in 17 as the past two World Cup champs have not only got veterans in fine form but are also bringing through the next wave of talent. Also, Germany have Manuel Neuer to return from injury, while Spain will rely on Diego Costa getting back to his best to spearhead their attack this summer. Still, this was a hugely impressive display from both teams as Spain host Argentina in Madrid next week and Germany play Brazil in Berlin. Those four teams are surely the current favorites to win it all.


Ronaldo remains red-hot as Egypt impress

23 goals in his last 12 games for club and country. 23. Cristiano Ronaldo is in fine form after a slow start to the season where many questioned if he had turned the corner and had entered the final stretch of his legendary career. Not so fast. Portugal’s man main throughout his career, Ronaldo, now 33, popped up twice in stoppage time in Zurich, Switzerland to seal a comeback 2-1 win against an impressive Egypt side. Mohamed Salah (of course) got Egypt’s goal as the Pharaohs look forward to their first World Cup since 1990 and are set to be the darlings of the tournament this summer. Yet Ronaldo spoiled their party on Friday as he scored two bullet headers for the reigning European champs, with the winner looked at by VAR but correctly allowed. Will Ronaldo retire after the World Cup this summer? Portugal will hope he can go on for at least another four years and at this rate he will continue to deliver up until, and during, the 2022 World Cup.


Mexico ticking over nicely

El Tri beat Iceland 3-0 on Friday as an experimental side proved just how strong they are with Juan Carlos Osorio making plenty of changes as Mexico strolled to victory in front of 68,917 fans in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Marco Fabian struck a beautiful free kick in the first half and Miguel Layun added two goals after the break to beat Iceland, with The Vikings heading to its first-ever World Cup this summer as the smallest nation to ever quality. For Mexico, they will be hoping to continue their development under Osorio as the oft-maligned coach has won 30 of his 45 games in charge since taking over in 2015. Not bad, Juan Carlos. El Tri had Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano, Hector Herrera and Carlos Vela all on the bench as they will all likely play against Croatia on Tuesday in Texas. For Mexico, their World Cup opener against Germany is their toughest game of the group stage but Osorio must be pleased with the options at his disposal and the performance of goalkeeper Jesus Corona to keep out Iceland, who did create chances with direct play, was impressive. Mexico is humming along nicely as it heads to the World Cup aiming to make the knockout rounds once again.