Newsy Shorts, January 2022
The USNMT loses 0-2 to Canada
In a match the USA controlled from beginning to end, it was Canada who kept the full complement of points at home scoring on two counterattacks at opposite ends of the game. Cyle Larin at the 7th and Sam Adekugbe at the 95th sealed what was as lackluster a USA showing as we have seen in quite some time. The defeat was not catastrophic in that the national team is still among the top three teams in the competition, but another couple of showings of this caliber should finally lay bare the obvious—that with the best generation of home-grown talent in decades our coach, Greg Belhalter, is simply not up to the task of melding them into a team. What a shame it would be to take this crew to Qatar and not make it out of the Group Stage.
CONMEBOL absent from the USA airwaves
In a nod to the usual naysayers, the South American Football Confederation has been able to keep their World Cup qualification tourney mostly invisible to USA viewers. Sky Sports carries the games live in Fiji, for instance, but anyone in the USA wanting to watch was stuck with Fubo TV’s streaming service from the famed Fubo Sports Network. Not even enough coverage to fit into our newsy shorts.
Anyone wanting to watch soccer this winter would be hard put to do better—thanks CONMEBOL—than to watch the Africa Cup of Nations. The tournament has been exciting, full of beautiful goals and upsets galore. In the end, it was some of the usual suspects getting through and set to meet in the semifinals—tomorrow, surprise team Burkina Faso will be playing perennial favorite Senegal, while on Thursday, hosts Cameroon will be playing Egypt in a meeting of powerhouses.
Pochettino’s PSG shuffle
With an offense that boasts Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kilyan Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, and Mauro Icardi, PSG only managed a 0-0 draw against Nice and then lost on penalties, crashing out of the 2021-22 Coupe de France when the likes of renown penalty takers Leandro Paredes and Xavi Simons missed theirs. Ok, Ney might be injured, but still.
Asian Football Confederation 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
We are down to the last handful of matches left to see who from AFC qualifies directly to Qatar and which team joins the intercontinental playoffs. As of this writing, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia seem in the drivers’ seats for direct qualification while Australia and the United Arab Emirates look set to compete for that playoff chance.
Stay tuned for our regular Newsy Shorts throughout the year.