Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are doing well down in Florida. I’m staying busy up here in Chicago as we get closer to the holidays. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.
USMNT Will Announce World Cup Roster Today
The United States Men’s National Team will announce its roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup later today at 5 p.m. Our friends over at Stars and Stripes FC gave their predictions on which players will be playing in Qatar later this month. While Zack Steffen and Matt Turner are likely locked in (update: rumors on the internet suggest Steffen may not be a lock), there were some differing opinions on who will serve as the team’s third goalkeeper. Center back Chris Richards will officially miss the tournament due to a hamstring injury and Fulham defender Tim Ream could replace him. Djordje Mihailovic and Malik Tillman are creative midfielders who could find themselves on the roster as well. At forward, Ricardo Pepi, Jordan Pefok, and Josh Sargent are all vying for a ticket to Qatar.
USWNT Prepares for Friendlies With Germany
The United States Women’s National Team will play tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale for the first of two friendlies against Germany. After losing to England and Spain in Europe, the USWNT will aim to finish the year on a positive note against a Germany team that’s ranked third in the world. Of the 26 players on Germany’s roster for these friendlies, 17 of them were with Germany during its deep tournament run in the Euros this past summer. These will be the first meetings between the two nations since 2018 and should prepare both sides for the World Cup next summer. After tomorrow’s match, the USWNT will host Germany again at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.
Houston Dynamo Name Ben Olsen as Head Coach
The Houston Dynamo hired former D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen as their new head coach. Olsen led D.C. to 113 wins in league play during his time with the Black and Red and reached the playoffs six times. He also helped D.C. win the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. and was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2014. After leaving D.C. United in 2020, Olsen went on to become president of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. The Dynamo parted ways with former head coach Paulo Nagamura in September and finished 13th in the Western Conference this season with 36 points.
Americans Playing Abroad This Week
There are many Americans in action across Europe this week. In England for the Carabao Cup, Matt Turner could start in goal when Arsenal takes on Brighton. Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson could both play in Leeds United’s match-up on the road against Wolves. The marquee match-up in the Carabao Cup is Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea side taking on Manchester City. In Scotland, Cameron Carter-Vickers’ Celtic side battles Motherwell, while Tillman and James Sands could play when Rangers take on Hearts. Tomorrow's match-ups may feature Weston Mckennie when Juventus visits Verona for a Serie A battle. In Spain, Yunus Musah’s Valencia side will host Real Betis.
- Ecuador will keep its World Cup spot after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Byron Castillo was eligible to play for Ecuador. However, Ecuador will receive a three-point deduction towards qualification for the World Cup in 2026 and pay a fine for using a document with fake information.
- Argentina banned 6,000 fans from attending stadiums at the World Cup. This ruling will include violent offenders, fans involved in illegal activity, and those in debt for food dues.
- Sepp Blatter, who was the president of FIFA when Qatar was chosen to host the World Cup in 2010, has said that awarding it to Qatar was a mistake.
- St. Louis City SC signed Swedish winger Rasmus Alm on a free transfer.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.