MLS notebook: USMNT faces Jamaica in Concacaf Gold Cup, league represented at Tokyo Olympics


It took a grind-it-out 1-0 win over Canada to do so, but the U.S. men's national team won Group B and will face Jamaica in the quarterfinals on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (9:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

The USMNT defeated Jamaica in the final of the 2017 Gold Cup at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Shaq Moore - who plays professionally for CD Tenerife in Spain and the team's lone starter vs. Canada who wasn't from MLS - scored the fastest goal in USMNT history (records go back to 1990), putting his team on the board just 20 seconds into the game (besting Clint Dempsey's goal 30 seconds into the USMNT's 2014 World Cup opener against Ghana).

With the win vs. Canada, the USMNT improved to 23-6-1 in games under coach Gregg Berhalter.
USMNT forward Daryl Dike (11) heads the ball during Sunday's win over Canada. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports

What is the Concacaf Gold Cup knockout schedule?

(Odds according to BetMGM .)


Saturday, July 24

Qatar vs. El Salvador at State Farm Stadium, 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX, Univision/TUDN)

Mexico vs. Honduras at State Farm Stadium, 10 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)

Sunday, July 25

Costa Rica vs. Canada at AT&T Stadium, 7 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)

United States vs. Jamaica at AT&T Stadium, 9:30 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)


Thursday, July 29

Qatar/El Salvador winner vs. United States/Jamaica winner at Q2 Stadium, 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)

Mexico/Honduras winner vs. Costa Rica/Canada winner at NRG Stadium, 10 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)


Sunday, Aug. 1

Semifinal winners at Allegiant Stadium, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision/TUDN)
USMNT defender Shaq Moore (20) controls the ball as Canada's Tajon Buchanan defends during Concacaf Gold Cup Soccer group play at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports

Here is what you need to know for the weekend in MLS:

MLS game of the week

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+): These two squads have been at the top of the Western Conference standings for much of the season. While the injury-riddled Sounders recently had their record-setting 13-game unbeaten streak to start a season snapped, SKC will see an opportunity to further strengthen their presence in the Supporters' Shield and conference races.

MLS player to watch

Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC: The former USMNT star was back in the fold for Toronto following the removal of coach Chris Armas, and Altidore responded by scoring his first goal in two months in a 1-1 tie against Orlando City at BMO Field. On Saturday, Altidore goes up against a Chicago Fire FC team that has one of the league's worst goal differentials.
Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore celebrates after scoring a goal against Orlando City. John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports

MLS news and notes

Atlanta United searching for a new coach ... again: For the second time in 12 months, Atlanta United has fired a coach. On Sunday, Gabriel Heinze lost his job after a dismal 2-4-7 start to the season. This development comes less than a year after the club parted ways with Frank de Boer after a brutal performance at the MLS is Back Tournament . Team president Darren Eales said that he will look for "a leader who is not only committed to a high competitive standard but embodies also a cultural fit and who we are as a club."

Rob Valentino is serving as the interim coach, and was at the helm when Atlanta earned a 1-1 road draw vs. FC Cincinnati .

Nashville's hat trick hero: It took Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar all of six minutes to score three goals and extinguish Chicago Fire FC's hopes of victory in the opening 16 minutes on Saturday. The six-minute span for a hat trick is the second-fastest in MLS history, because a five-minute hat trick scored by Harut Karapetyan of the Los Angeles Galaxy on June 4, 1998 . With four goals in his last two games, Mukhtar - the MLS Player of the Week - has vaulted into a tie for fourth place in the race for the league's Golden Boot .
July 17: Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar (10) attempts a free kick during the first half against the Chicago Fire at Nissan Stadium. Mukhtar scored three goals in Nashville's 5-1 win. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports

Liga MX announces its all-star team: Between the Balón de Oro awards and coach Juan Reynoso's selections, all but one of the 26 players to represent Liga MX against MLS all-stars has been revealed. Reynoso, who's the coach of Cruz Azul, selected 11 players upon being chosen the league's best head coach, and 14 other selections were based on Balón de Oro winners and nominees.

Among the notable players are goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (Club América) - a veteran of four World Cups for El Tri - and forward André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres UANL) - who scored the winning goal against Los Angeles FC in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final . Liga MX president Mikel Arriola will choose the final player for the team's roster for the Aug. 25 game at Los Angeles' Banc of California Stadium.

By the numbers

3: The men's soccer competition at the Olympics kicked off Thursday, and - despite the United States men not qualifying - the country's domestic league will be represented by three players in Tokyo. Argentina features two of those players in Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco and Portland Timbers defender Claudio Bravo. For the 22-year-old Barco, he'll try to add an Olympic gold medal to an already impressive collection of titles, which includes the 2018 MLS Cup , 2019 U.S. Open Cup and 2019 Campeones Cup . The third MLS player in the Olympics competition is Real Salt Lake forward Douglas Martínez, who is part of Honduras' squad.

TOKYO OLYMPICS: Men's soccer teams, groups, schedule, players to watch
Diego Lainez controls the ball during Mexico's 4-1 win against France in both teams' Olympics opener in Tokyo. Shuji Kajiyama, AP

MLS rankings: Top 10 power poll

1. Seattle Sounders: With their record-setting season-opening unbeaten streak snapped at 13 games, the injury-depleted Sounders now must fend off their Western Conference challengers.

2. New England Revolution: A recent run of goal-scoring has put Gustavo Bou into the thick of the MLS Golden Boot race.

3. Sporting Kansas City: Despite Seattle's fast start to the season, SKC has managed to keep pace in the standings and has a real chance to pick up ground when the two teams square off Sunday.

4. Orlando City SC: Forever linked by their joint 2015 expansion seasons, OCSC and New York City FC meet again Sunday. Four of the last five meetings between the two have resulted in ties, but sandwiched between those stalemates was an epic 2020 Round 1 playoff win for Orlando City .

5. Philadelphia Union: On Sunday, the Union meet Inter Miami for the second time this season. Philly will have retribution on their minds this time, as the previous meeting resulted in a rare win for Inter Miami.

6. Nashville SC: After playing to a scoreless draw vs. Columbus on Wednesday, Nashville completes the week's series against Ohio-based teams against FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

7. Los Angeles FC: Wednesday night's late loss to Portland notwithstanding, this team is starting to look like the LAFC of yore, which should be a scary prospect for fellow Western Conference contenders.

8. Los Angeles Galaxy: The Galaxy get a road test Saturday against FC Dallas, against whom they haven't experienced much success in Frisco, Texas, where the Galaxy have lost three straight.

9. Colorado Rapids: On Saturday, Colorado faces RSL in Utah, a place that has been a real bugaboo for the Rapids, who with a late-season win in 2020 ended a 17-game home undefeated streak in the series for RSL that dated back to 2007 when Rice-Eccles Stadium was Real's home park.

10. CF Montreal: Is this team for real? A totally unexpected Eastern Conference contender gets a real measuring stick showcase Sunday against the New England Revolution.

Others receiving votes: New York City FC, Columbus Crew

USA TODAY Sports Network MLS top 10 power poll voters: Pat Brennan, Cincinnati Enquirer; Mike Craven, Austin American-Statesman; Drake Hills, The Tennessean; Jacob Myers, The Columbus Dispatch; Jim Reineking, USA TODAY.

MLS schedule: What are this weekend's games?

(ABC/ESPN games available to be streamed on Watch ESPN ; FOX games on FOX Sports Live . Games also available on fuboTV . Odds according to BetMGM )


Orlando City SC vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Austin FC vs. Seattle Sounders, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

Chicago Fire FC vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Minnesota United vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Nashville SC vs. FC Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Los Angeles FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)


New England Revolution vs. CF Montreal, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Inter Miami CF vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLS notebook: USMNT faces Jamaica in Concacaf Gold Cup, league represented at Tokyo Olympics

Comments / 0

Comments / 0