The United States is still alive for World Cup Russia despite a 2-0 loss against a talented Costa Rica last night (9-1-17) in New Jersey. Only a few more games left. The excitement is stronger by the minute as coach Arena looks to make history next summer.
EUROPE & SOUTH AMERICA
Sweden and Bulgaria are in the hunt for a place in World Cup 2018 and the drama in South America is getting interesting as Uruguay, Chile and Argentina jostle to avoid a continental playoff match.
Egypt, Uganda, Burkina Faso and South Africa have big games on 9-5-17, which are crucial for their chances at getting to World Cup 2018.
Syria and Uzbekistan are currently tied with 12 points, each hoping to get out of their Group A for a chance to travel to Russia.
World Cup 2018 Featured Team
An excerpt and brief look into the World Cup excitement just around the corner.
Where the Team is Today (Tactics and Strategies)
Chile is fielding, arguably, the best team in their country's history. As far as World Cups go, maybe they haven’t had the most lucrative past, but the recent Copa America champs are a lethal force to reckon with.
Defensively, they’re a forest of quickness; they swarm their opponents. With Vidal’s leadership in the middle and a strong backline, they’re a tough team to break down.
They exude offensive flair and creative ingenuity like any other great team in the past. Their passes flow from skillful interplay and quick, tenacious attacking players, with an eye for goal. While they’ll probably be in a 4-4-2, they seem to do everything right, and they’re expecting big things going into Russia 2018.
Brief Coaching Portrait (CV and Philosophy)
Juan Antonio Pizzi is a former forward who played professionally from 1987-2002 with a variety of teams, including Barcelona and River Platte. He was born in Argentina, but played with the Spanish national team in the 1990s.
He took over the Chilean team in 2016. In doing so, Chile has adopted a fluent style, relying on smaller players that exude quickness and craft on the ball. The current team – led by the veterans Sanchez and Vidal – resembles a mix between Spain and Argentina, at their very best; which includes the structured passing of Spain and the exuberant talent on the ball of Argentina. Considering his background, this might just be the perfect generation of Chilean players to compliment the vision of coach Pizzi.
Key Players and Their Characteristics
(Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas)
Alexis Sanchez is a very talented forward, with experience in the past at Barcelona. He helped lead Chile to the impressive 2016 Copa America championship. He’s very crafty on the ball in tight situations around the box (some of this skill was fine-tuned at Barcelona), with good quickness and a knack for finding teammates with great passes.
Arturo Vidal is the extraordinary center midfielder that keeps everything in check – with defensive responsibilities – for Chile. As far as finding the right rhythm for each given moment, be it a pass or dribble,Vidal is one of a kind. His passes constantly showcase smart distribution of the ball and high-quality touch. He’s one of the premier center midfielders in the game today.
Eduardo Vargas is a great forward with quickness and speed that orbits around his teammate Alexis Sanchez, combining with creative passes that have direction, that constantly press an opposing team. He helps lead a very potent attack, one of Chile’s best teams in their history.
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Cardinal Publishers Group