Futbol

Mexico takes on Uruguay this Friday at NRG

NRG will be bumping on Friday. NRG Park/Facebook

Mexico (16th) is set to play Uruguay (5th) at NRG Stadium on Sept. 7, giving soccer fans an opportunity to watch two world-class teams square off. Uruguay is coming from their first match since their 2-0 loss in the World Cup quarterfinal against none other than the world champion, France. Uruguay’s most notable victories during the World Cup were 3-0 vs the host nation Russia, and 2-1 vs Crisitano Ronaldo’s (Juventus) Portugal in the round of 16. Elite players like Claudio Suarez (F.C. Barcelona), Diego Godin (Atletico de Madrid), and Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray) are on the active roster for their match vs. Mexico.

Mexico, on the other hand, is coming from what many fans consider a disappointing World Cup. El Tri seemed to regress as the tournament went on after their “golden generation” failed to pull through to the coveted fifth match that they’ve never reached. Their victories against Germany and South Korea were followed by two devastating defeats against Sweden, and the round of 16 elimination game vs Neymar’s (Paris Saint Germain) Brazil.

But regardless of the past, Mexico turns the page and they do so by facing a strong Uruguay. Mexico’s previous coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, denied a contract extension offered by the Mexican Soccer Federation and recently took the head coaching job for Paraguay. Mexico’s Interim coach, Ricardo “El Tuca” Ferreti , decided to devise a roster of fearless young players to face Uruguay in Houston, and the United States in Nashville just four days later. Even though Mexico’s roster may be full of youngsters, players like Hirving “El Chucky” Lozano (PSV Eindhoven), 18-year-old Diego Lainez (Club America), and Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul) are displaying quality in their clubs, giving Mexican fans hope for a possible World Cup appearance in Qatar 2022.

Houston is set to bid to be a host city for the North American World Cup in 2026, where each host city will host at least six matches. Mexico vs. Uruguay will offer Houstonians an early taste of what a World Cup atmosphere is like.

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Houston's winning streak moves to six

Eighth-inning rally powers Astros to series sweep over Rangers

Yuli Gurriel brought in the go-ahead run late in Sunday's game. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Winners in the first three games of this series and their last five games overall, the Astros continued their climb towards the A's for first place in the AL West. They completed the four-game sweep, ending a successful homestand on a positive note before heading on the road.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 24-17, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brooks Raley (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez (1-2)

Astros strike first, McCullers Jr. goes six scoreless

After the Rangers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Houston grabbed an early lead off the bat of Alex Bregman. He provided the third single of the inning, a one-out RBI to put the Astros in front 1-0, a score which would hold steady for a while. Another run didn't come across until the bottom of the fifth when Houston would load the bases with one out when Carlos Correa would get an RBI groundball to double the lead to 2-0.

Lance McCullers Jr. did well with the small lead, backing up his recent eight-inning gem with a quality start against Texas. He allowed a couple of hits each in the third and fourth but would erase the runners with no damage allowed. The Rangers threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double before the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, putting him in a great position with no outs. McCullers Jr. would come away unscathed, finishing the inning and his day by retiring the next three batters. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95 P.

Rangers tie it against Scrubb

First out of Houston's bullpen was Andre Scrubb, and he would not fare as well as the Astros starter. A leadoff single turned into a two-run game-tying homer, making it 2-2 before Scrubb would sit down the next three in order. Still tied in the top of the eighth, Brooks Raley had a terrific inning, striking out the three batters he faced.

Houston rallies ahead in the eighth for the four-game sweep

The top of Houston's order mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to try and regain the lead. Yuli Gurriel would come through with the go-ahead at-bat, getting a sac fly to put the Astros back in front 3-2. A two-out walk loaded the bases again, setting up Chas McCormick to provide two insurance runs on a two-RBI single.

Myles Straw added one more on an RBI single, making it a four-run game at 6-2 heading to the ninth. Enoli Paredes made his long-awaited return from the IL, appearing for the first time since April 8th to try and close things out in the ninth. He tossed a scoreless inning, finishing off the four-game sweep, extending Houston's winning streak to six games, and keeping them in step with Oakland for the AL West lead.

Up Next: After a day off on Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They'll kick off a three-game set in Oakland against the A's at 8:40 PM, an exciting matchup to determine who will head into the weekend atop the division. While Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.08 ERA) is the expected starter for Houston, Oakland has not yet determined their rotation for the series.

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