Uruguay

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Torreira to miss Arsenal’s next three Premier League matches

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The red card handed to Lucas Torreira in the North London Derby will stand, his suspension set for three matches.

Torreira, 23, was shown a straight red in stoppage time of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw after sliding studs up into Danny Rose of Tottenham.

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The Uruguayan midfielder has played more than 2,000 minutes across 29 Premier League matches for the Gunners since arriving in August, scoring twice with two assists.

He’ll miss matches against Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Everton.

While that will hurt the Gunners chances of cementing a Top Four spot, it will allow Unai Emery to deploy the diminutive star without reservation in the Europa League.

2030 World Cup bidding heats up with joint bids

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A World Cup across the southern half of South America is very much in the cards, according to multiple reports.

Chile has joined Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina in the bid to host the 2030 tournament.

[ MORE: McKennie, Adams star in Germany ]

Once 2030 hits, the World Cup will not have been hosted in South America since 2014 (three World Cups) and Europe since 2018 (two).

Here’s what Chilean president Sebastian Pinera said in a Friday Tweet.

“A few months ago I proposed to the presidents of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to incorporate Chile, and jointly, to apply for 2030. They agreed to present their joint candidacy to organise the 2030 World Cup.”

Joint bids look to be the way of the future, with Canada, Mexico, and the United States hosting in 2026 and partners potentially joining Qatar in 2022. South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia are considering a combined bid for the 2030 tournament, with England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland also in play.

An expanded field would mean given each of the hosts a place in the tournament wouldn’t be as detrimental to qualifying (though it would make for a bizarre CONMEBOL qualifying field should all three South American teams host).

LA Galaxy sign Uruguay’s Diego Polenta to bolster back line

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CARSON, Calif. (AP) Uruguayan defender Diego Polenta has signed with the LA Galaxy.

The Galaxy announced the acquisition Thursday.

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks ]

Polenta, who turned 27 years old on Wednesday, is a left-footed center back who has spent the past four seasons with Nacional in Uruguay’s top division, appearing in 136 matches.

Polenta could be an important addition to the Galaxy’s back line, which struggled mightily last season and appeared to lack quality depth heading into this season. The Galaxy acquired Polenta with targeted allocation money (TAM).

The five-time MLS champion Galaxy’s first preseason match is Feb. 9 against Toronto.

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

Suarez brace to beat Mexico includes handsome free kick

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If you were disappointed by the Christian Pulisic-less USMNT falling 2-0 to Brazil on Saturday, take solace that you’re not a Mexican fan.

Mexico fell 4-1 to Uruguay in their first match of the post-Juan Carlos Osorio era, a 1-1 draw degrading into a blowout via a pair of Luis Suarez goals.

[ MORE: Man Utd scouting El Tri mid ]

He’s known for power — and there’s a fair bit of that — but this one was art. The eventual game-winner was a swooping free kick around the wall that ducked inside the near post.

You can see Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa wanting to trust his wall but knowing where Suarez was headed with his effort. That and three dollars will get you a few lottery tickets.

Five friendlies to watch closely over the next week

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The UEFA Nations League is taking center stage in this international break, but there are several other interesting matches on the docket outside of the new, formal UEFA competition.

[ MORE: Girona-Barcelona in Miami ]

A pair of them involve the United States.

In some circles, you could call that bias (and we certainly care more about U.S. matches than the rest of the world). But there’s hardly such a thing as a friendly against El Tri, and people will have one eye tuned-in any time Neymar hits the pitch.

Here are five top matches to scout this week.

Mexico vs. Uruguay — Friday (Houston)

These two sides boast an even rivalry, though plenty of eyes will be on Mexico without manager Juan Carlos Osorio (he’s off to Paraguay). El Tri‘s hot start to the World Cup cooled with a blowout loss to Sweden and 2-0 defeat by Brazil, and interim boss Ricardo Ferretti will bring a lot of youth to Texas; Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera, and Hector Moreno are among the big names left home.

Uruguay’s World Cup quarterfinal run ended with a loss to champions France, and that was the CONMEBOL side’s lone loss of 2018. Fabian Colto is the caretaker boss as legendary manager Oscar Tabarez’s future is mulled, and Uruguay will have most of its big names: Suarez, Cavani, Godin.

Portugal vs. Croatia — Thursday

We’ll get some tantalizing intra-Europe matches with the top groups of the UEFA Nations League featuring just three teams. This one sees Portugal without Cristiano Ronaldo and with plenty of interesting pieces; Ruben Neves, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, and Renato Sanches all bear close watching against a Croatian squad bringing its whole crew.

Colombia vs. Argentina — Sept. 4

While the reception Argentina receives at home to Guatemala earlier in the window will be fascinating, how Lionel Messi-less Argentina reacts to a match-up with Colombia will tell us more much more about the Albiceleste.

This is Paulo Dybala’s chance to shine bright, with no Messi, Sergio Aguero, nor Gonzalo Higuain in sight. Argentina will also hope to see plenty from its inexperienced but tantalizing offensive talent: Giovanni Simeone and Lautaro Martinez are among those hoping to join Dybala in restoring hope to Argentina.

Colombia? James Rodriguez is not coming, but Carlos Bacca, Luis Muriel, and Juan Cuadrado are in the fold, and Los Cafeteros have a lot of young bucks, too; Pay mind to Rangers star Alfredo Morelos and Spurs center back Davinson Sanchez.

USMNT vs. Brazil — Friday (NJ)
USMNT vs. Mexico — Sept. 4 (Nashville)

We’ll dive deeper into these two over the next few days, but the American side’s visits from Brazil and Mexico give us these three fun plot lines.

A) Was the stingy 1-1 draw against France pre-World Cup a fine indicator of progress?

2) How will the Yanks fare in both matches without Christian Pulisic, who’s injured?

D) Who’s deeper: next generation USMNT, or next generation Mexico (the latter featuring relatively-ignored-by-the-Yanks dual citizen Jonathan Gonzalez)?