Thursday kickoff

Presidential race set, Americans abroad recap, & Gonzalez vs. Gonzalez

The race to be the next president of U.S. Soccer is set while several Americans, includeing Pulisic and Parks were in action on Wednesday. Also, the Copa America final takes place tonight with two Americans expected to take part
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
December 21, 2017
6:00 AM
It is now official, U.S. Soccer has announced the eight candidates that are running to be the federation’s president following the decision of Sunil Gulati not to seek reelection. Meanwhile, a few Americans were in action in Europe ahead of a winter break.

U.S. Soccer announced that it had completed the background checks of those that completed the necessary paperwork to run. As expected, the eight candidates listed alphabetically are Paul Caligiuri, Kathy Carter, Carlos Cordeiro, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd, Eric Wynalda.

It is tough to handicap the race at this point. Cordeiro and Carter represent the establishment and Carter has an edge at this point. Kyle Martino is running an optimistic campaign to unify the amateur and youth levels. Eric Wynalda is steadfast behind promotion/relegation and more pay for the U.S. women’s national team. The rest of the candidates are the field.

At this point, SUM president Carter is probably the favorite with her connections throughout the industry. At times combative, Wynalda has strong appeal among some of the federation’s member associations but it will be interesting to see if he can grow that support. Meanwhile, Martino is charismatic and has a chance even without as specific a platform as Wynalda.

Americans abroad in action

On Tuesday, several Americans saw the field in cup matches and none got the result they wanted.

Keaton Parks came on in the 62nd minute for Benfica which played to a 2-2 draw against Portimonese. Unfortunately with that draw, Benfica could be eliminated from the Taca de Portugal should Vitória Setúbal win on Friday.

In Germany, Christian Pulisic started for Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich. Pulisic went 90 but Dortmund were eliminated from the German Cup in a 2-1 loss. Pulisic played well and appears to be firmly in new manager Peter Stoger’s plans but the gap between Bayern and Dortmund is huge.

Caleb Stanko went a full 90 in the backline for Freiburg but fell to Werder Bremen 3-2

German-American midfielder Kevin Lankford went 103 minutes for Heidenheim which lost 2-1 in extra time to Eintracht Frankfurt. Lankford, 19, has spent time with the U.S. U-19’s and occasionally gets minutes for Heidenheim which is in a relegation battle in the 2.Bundeslita.

Gonzalez vs. Gonzalez

Tonight will be the Copa MX final as Monterrey hosts Pachuca. The final is later this year as Pachuca recently competed at the FIFA Club World Cup where it finished in third place. Meanwhile, Monterrey lost the Liga MX Apertura final to Tigres earlier this month.

The game will likely feature two Americans as Jonathan Gonzalez, 18, is expected to start for Monterrey and Omar Gonzalez will likely start for Pachuca.

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