Sports Burst - Pulisic Plays!

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by Tim Stannard

 

USMNT faces Cuba and Mexico faces crisis 

 

A bold new era begins for the USMNT with the country’s first foray into the CONCACAF Nations League. 

Sport Burst is going to bypass its traditional, shrugging ‘who cares’ attitude and jump straight into the mild interest phase, based on the experience on the inaugural running of Europe’s Nations League tournament which turned out to be quite good fun.

 

The format? Lots of tiers, groups, chance to qualify for the Gold Cup directly or something like that, but basically, it’s a whole new way for Mexico and the US to meet each other in the final. 

It's also a way for plucky Christian Pulisic to get out there and play some soccer for once, having been forced to flit between bench-warmer and bench-watcher for Chelsea after failing to catch the eye of Frank Lampard. 

 

The US are in League A, Group A with Cuba and Canada and play the former in Audi Field, Washington DC on Friday night before taking on Canada on Tuesday. Cuba have already played two matches in the group – two defeats to Canada – so the US should not have too many problems. ‘Should’ being the operative word. A defeat and it’s call Jose Mourinho on the emergency phone to take over.

Mexico are in deep crisis in League A, Group B sitting rock bottom below Panama and Bermuda with no points. 

 

To be fair, El Tri have not actually played yet, but that will be rectified with a tie in Hamilton, Bermuda on Friday. While the stadium itself may not be state of the art, the team might not be easy pickings with many of the squad playing in the English leagues.

Sports Burst is plumping for the 1-1 draw on this one. See what the Sports Burst live show makes of it at 12PM ET on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page

beIN SPORTS is getting in on the international action with a South American double-header on Sunday morning. Catch Brazil v Nigeria and Argentina v Ecuador live, live, live at 8AM ET / 5AM ET. 

 

 

Patriots prevail as Astros set up series with the Yankees 

 

 

Thursday Night Football saw the Patriots doing what the Patriots do and defeating the New York Giants with a 35-14 win. 

However, the game was a lot tighter than the scoreline suggests with the fun-loving Patriots defence leading the way to see the franchise 6-0 for the season so far. 

The Houston Astros punched a ticket to the ALCS final with a 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night to win the series 3-2. 

 

The Astros will now face the Yankees. Meanwhile, the NLCS final gets underway Friday with the Washington Nationals taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1. 

The Nationals might be inspired by a victory by the Washington Mystics who won the franchise's first WNBA title by clinching a 3-2 series win over the Connecticut Sun on Thursday night. Or they might not. Could go either way. 

As for the NBA? The China road trip just gets more fun by the day. 

The organization has cancelled all remaining media events in China ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets game on Saturday. 

Thursday's clash between the pair in Shanghai was only able to take place - a 114-111 win for the Nets - after the Chinese government stipulated post-match media availability be shut down and a pre-match press conference from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, be cancelled. 

 

 

Typhoon v Sport. Typhoon wins 

 

A typhoon in Japan is causing havoc with a couple of major sporting events. 

 

Typhoon Hagibis is due to hit the country on Saturday and last through Sunday to see Formula 1 organizers planning to have both the qualifying session and race in Suzuka on the same day on Sunday. However, the results of Friday's practice might also be used to set grid positions for the race. 

Meanwhile the Rugby World Cup - running since the 20th September and still not through the group stages, by the way - has had to cancel games scheduled for Saturday and set the official results as 0-0. 

The same decision could take place for matches on Sunday, an action that would see Scotland, for one, eliminated without being able to pick up a win against Japan that would put the team in the quarterfinals. It would also put the host nation, Japan, in the knockout phases.