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.

The U.S. Women's National Team look to defend their FIFA Women's World Cup title and become back-to-back champs.

The Summer of Soccer is underway with the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, UEFA Nations League and international friendlies all part of the schedule this past weekend. The action is about to kick into another gear with the start of the Concacaf Gold Cup and South America's Copa America this week. Here is the week in soccer:

FIFA Women's World Cup

The premier women's international soccer competition kicked off in France with a 4-0 win by the hosts last Friday to open the competition. France is one of the favorites, and pressured to win, due to their role as the home team. The French women are also looking to match their male counterparts that became World Cup champions last summer at Russia 2018.

Germany, another of the favorites, opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over China while 2011 Champions and 2015 Runners-up Japan were held to a scoreless draw against what could be a Cinderella team in Argentina. England and Scotland faced off for the first time at the World Cup, men or women's, with the Lionesses winning 2-1 while potential dark horse Canada picked up a 1-0 win over Cameroon.

The defending champion United States joins the fray on Tuesday (2:00 p.m. CT, FOX) in what will likely be a multiple goal clinic against Thailand. For all the basics on the Women's World Cup, check out this article.

UEFA Nations League

The first ever Nations League, an attempt to get rid of "meaningless" international friendlies, looks to have been a rousing success and it could not have finished in a better way in terms of garnering media attention. European football's golden boy Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal, the current European champions, to a second European title in three years with a 1-0 win over the Netherlands.

Concacaf Gold Cup

The biannual tournament to determine the champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean - the region governed by Concacaf - kicks off on Saturday. The United States enter as the defending champions but it is Mexico, the nation with the most titles in the competition, who enter as the favorites to win it all.

Mexico fared well with a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela in Atlanta on Wednesday followed by a 3-2 win over Ecuador on Sunday up in Arlington, TX. The United States enter with doubts after a 0-1 loss to Jamaica in Washington D.C. and a 0-3 loss to Venezuela in Cincinnati.

CONMEBOL Copa America

South America also has a tournament kicking off this weekend in the revered Copa America. Hosts Brazil are always in the spotlight because of their star-studded squad and will be expected to win despite losing Neymar to injury this past week. Of course, as it has been for several editions now, the main storyline will be if Lionel Messi can finally lift a trophy with Argentina. With what many consider as the best in the world (and best all-time by others) in his prime, the time seems now or never for Messi to conquer the quadrennial tournament as well of the hearts of his country - and what a story it would be to do it on rival turf.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome