Category Archives: CONCACAF

LAFC Weekly Roundup: bye week, National Team call ups, two players loaned to Phoenix Rising FC and links of the week

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

This past weekend was a bye week for the black-and-gold, so let’s take a look back at Los Angeles Football Club‘s victorious win in Toronto:

Over Labor Day weekend, LAFC traveled north and defeated reigning MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC in an incredible 4-2 victory. The win also marks the club’s sixth road win, a first in any club’s inaugural season. In addition to enjoying the best start for an MLS expansion team since 1998.

An early lead, a comeback, this match had it all. The contest in Toronto also saw the family reunion of Coach Bradley with his son, Michael Bradley.

  • Check out the full recap here

The black-and-gold will play again on Sept. 15, when they host New England Revolution. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm PDT.

National Team Call up(s)

André Horta and Shaft Brewer Jr. received call ups to their youth national teams, respectively.

Horta has been called up to Portugal’s U-21 squad for two 2019 Euro U-21 qualifiers, against Romania on Sept. 7 and Wales on Sept. 11.

Portugal is currently in third place in Group H, after falling to Romania on Sept. 7 in a 2-1 loss – two points behind leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania. Portugal looks to bounce back when they face Wales – who is currently below them in the standings. Horta has played three games for the Portuguese U-21s to date.

Meanwhile, Brewer Jr. has been called up to the U.S. Men’s U-20 National Team for the 2018 U-20 Men’s Invitational, a new tournament U.S. Soccer is hosting that will include the USMNT U-20s, the USMNT U-19s, the Venezuela U-20s, and Jamaica U-20s.

The tournament kicked off on Friday, Sept. 7 in Bradenton, Fla. and will conclude on Sept. 11. The U-20s are currently in third place with the U-19s leading the group.

Brewer has been getting fairly regular U-20 USMNT calls this year, and the CONCACAF U-20 Championship (which also doubles as U-20 World Cup qualification) is coming up in November, so it’s a chance for him to stay in the mix for those big games.

With the benefit of a bye this past weekend, neither player should miss any games for their club. And should return to LA in good health to play on Sept. 15.

Blackmon and Pérez joins Blackmon at Phoenix Rising FC

LAFC has loaned Tristan Blackmon and Josh Pérez to Phoenix Rising FC for the remainder of the 2018 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Blackmon returns to Phoenix after a previous loan spell last month, where he played two games for the USL outfit, both big wins. The 21-year-old rookie was recalled by LAFC ahead of the team’s road match against Toronto FC, in which he played the last three minutes of the 4-2 victory.

Pérez joins Phoenix for the first time, having signed with LAFC during the summer transfer window from Serie A outfit Fiorentina. The Southern California native has yet to play for LAFC, but the 20-year-old is likely one for the future with the black-and-gold.

Per the Right of Recall, LAFC has the right to recall both players at any time. Blackmon and Pérez are eligible to play for Phoenix in their next game, on Wednesday in USL regular season play against Rio Grande Valley FC in Arizona.

Rescheduled Match

The club’s home match against the Houston Dynamo, originally scheduled for Thursday, October 18 has been moved up to Friday, October 12.

Kickoff will remain at 7:00pm PDT.

Links of the Week:

Featured image: @lafc Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

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Let’s Get CONCACAF’ed!

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

CONCACAF Champions League
1st leg: Feb 20-22 (away)
2nd leg: Feb 27- Mar 1 (home)

Pop quiz: when I say “Champions League” you say…?

Real Madrid?
Juventus?
Barcelona?
Bayern Munich?

Not surprising. UEFA Champions League is huge, with some of the most famous clubs in the world and tons of television coverage. But in this hemisphere, we have our own Champions League competition.

You didn’t know? Be honest with you, until last year, neither did I.

By virtue of being the top MLS Eastern Conference team to not win the Supporter’s Shield in 2016 (just go with me on this), the New York Red Bulls were placed in Pot 1 for the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League draw on December 18th. Other MLS teams participating in the tournament are Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, and Toronto FC.

The draw could be seen live on Univision Deportes as well as on YouTube. I watched on YouTube as Eddie Johnson and Carlos Pavon rolled the fishbowls of balls and drew them carefully before handing them to Philippe Moggio, Secretary General of the Confederation.

First, the teams in Pot 1 were matched at random to a spot in the bracket for the Round of 16. Then the teams in Pot 2 were matched the same way to get paired up with the Pot 1 teams.

Still with me? Good.

The only sticking point for the draw was that no two teams from the same country could face each other in this opening round.

First, RBNY was placed in bracket spot A3. Then the team to be placed in B3 was named: Club Deportivo Olimpia, un club Hondureño con una historia muy grande en Los Campeones de CONCACAF.*
….
….
Sorry. Soccer Spanish is all I’ve got.

If the Wikipedia page I dashed to for my crack research is to be believed, Olimpia has won this tournament twice, 1972 and 1988. They are based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and enjoy a wide fan base, beyond the town they call home.

RBNY, on the other hand, have only qualified 3 of the last 4 years and before that… nothing, really. In fact, since the creation of MLS, only 2 American teams have won the Champions League (DC United in 1998 and LA Galaxy in 2000). This tournament has belonged by and large to Mexican teams, such as current back-to-back winners Pachuca.

So, now that I’ve dropped a little learning on you, and while you may enjoy the many…many… m a n y competitions available, perhaps you’ll check out the tournament, starting in mid-February. As I like to say, soccer never sleeps.

Featured image courtesy: @CONCACAF

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