Thursday, December 7, 2023

USMNT leave it late against Trinidad and Tobago in Concacaf Nations League; What’s at stake in Euro qualifying

Friday is here so the weekend is almost upon us! Jonathan Johnson here to gear you up for some international soccer goodness with a number of things to keep an eye on between Friday and Monday away from club action.

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📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Friday, Nov. 17
🇨🇦 CONCACAF Nations League: Jamaica vs. Canada, 7 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇲🇽 CONCACAF Nations League: Honduras vs. Mexico, 9 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇪🇺 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers: England vs. Malta, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ FS1

Saturday, Nov. 18
🇪🇺 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers: Netherlands vs. Republic of Ireland, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ FOX Sports Plus
🇧🇷 Brasileirao: Fortaleza vs. Cruzeiro, 4:30 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

Sunday, Nov. 19
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 WSL: Brighton vs. Arsenal, 9 a.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇪🇺 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers: Scotland vs. Norway, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ FS1

⚽ The Forward Line

😰 USMNT’s attack leaves it late to fire


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The USMNT will take a seemingly comfortable 3-0 CONCACAF Nations League lead into next week’s second leg with Trinidad and Tobago but the reality is that Gregg Berhalter’s side left it late to beat their 10-man opponents. The Soca Warriors had Noah Powder sent off before half time yet it took until the 82nd minute for the Stars and Stripes to score the first of their three goals in Texas. Substitute Ricardo Pepi, Antonee Robinson and Gio Reyna all scored in the space of seven minutes to probably put the tie beyond Trinidad and Tobago, but of greater concern was the struggle for the USMNT to get there — as Chuck Booth explained.

  • Booth: “Pepi has scored five goals from the bench this year for the USMNT as he has become a sparkplug for the USMNT when they need to get into a match. Manager Gregg Berhalter called out the missing precision early on, as the USMNT once again failed to create enough good looks for striker Folarin Balogun during the first half of play, but those adjustments were seen in the second half when Balogun and Pepi played together, not only leading to the opening goal but a flood of scoring after that.

    “‘It was a really difficult game, really difficult team to break down, very physical team and our guys didn’t panic. They just kept going. We didn’t lose structure,’ Berhalter said after the match. “We didn’t lose determination to try and get the goals and when they did you see we were able to get going and get three goals which puts us in a very good position to advance.”

    “Berhalter hit the nail on the head. It wasn’t pretty, but without Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Tim Weah due to injury, a youthful USMNT got the job done. Sometimes that’s something that can be taken for granted, but it goes a long way to improving depth for knockout tournaments as everyone learned something in this one while qualification to the Copa America and a spot in the Nations League final inches closer.”

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🇪🇺 Euro 2024 qualifiers seek Pot 1 status


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It promises to be another absorbing weekend in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers with eight countries currently battling it out to be part of Pot 1, which will be the top seeds for next summer’s tournament in December’s draw. Pot 1 will house host nation Germany and the five best group winners with Portugal already confirmed as one which leaves four more spots open. France, England, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Scotland, Turkey and Hungary are all in contention ahead of the final rounds of qualifying fixtures in Europe this international break.

Les Bleus are favorites to join the Portuguese given their impressive 100% winning record and excellent defensive performance while England are also only able to fall as low as Pot 2 for the draw. Belgium, Spain and Austria can all still end up in Pot 3 with Scotland, Turkey and Hungary the trio who could yet land in any of the four pots. Given that Pot 4 will be incomplete with the playoffs still to come next year, none of the teams will 100% know the makeup of the pots ahead of December’s draw although the teams in the playoffs will know who they can land in Germany should they win their games in March.

🔗  Top Stories

🙈 Everton hit with 10-point deduction: It’s the biggest penalty ever in the history of the Premier League, and the Toffees got it for violating financial fair play rules. The club has said they plan to appeal.

🏆 NJ/NY Gotham FC’s NWSL progress: NJ/NY Gotham FC’s NWSL Championship victory shows how far the league and team have come as Gotham went from last place to champions over the course of the last year.

🇩🇪 Granit Xhaka explains Arsenal exit: Granit Xhaka explains his ‘step forward’ leaving Arsenal for Bayer Leverkusen: ‘I needed a new challenge’ said the long-time Gunner who left London last summer.

💵 Utah Royals acquire first player: NWSL expansion side Utah Royals have landed their first player Mikalya Cluff in a trade with Orlando Pride worth $90,000 in allocation money and expansion draft protection.

😱 Major CONMEBOL upsets: Argentina and Brazil both lost as World Cup qualifying in South America was upended in a dramatic and emotional night, including a brace for Colombia’s Luis Diaz.

🔓 Bay FC announce first-ever player: NWSL expansion side Bay FC announced Alex Loera as its first-ever player after a trade with Kansas City Current ahead of inaugural 2024 season.

💰 The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Euro 2024: Netherlands vs. Ireland, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Netherlands to win and both teams to score (+240)
     — The Netherlands and Greece are neck and neck heading into the final Euro 2024 qualifiers in Group B with the Dutch facing a tricky visit from Republic of Ireland. Do not be surprised if Oranje make hard work of things and edge a result with the Irish scoring to keep things interesting.
  • Euro 2024: Spain vs. Georgia, Sunday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Draw (+700)
     — Spain are still fighting for Pot 1 status but Georgia are not easy opponents and are already guaranteed a playoff berth regardless of their group result due to their UEFA Nations League form. With the pressure off, the Georgians could hurt Spanish chances with an unexpected draw which could open up a late chance for Scotland to finish top.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. Just because the NWSL season is over doesn’t mean that our coverage of the women’s game is going anywhere. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT. NWSL offseason and European domestic season all winter long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesday, 7 p.m.): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s new unfiltered interview show returns Tuesday Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

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