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United States announces six-game series of friendlies for later this year

The FC crew respond to ex-USMNT coach Bruce Arena coming out of the woodwork with grievances about Panama's penalties vs. England, and how they would've gone uncalled in CONCACAF.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced a six-game series of friendlies for the national team that will take place later this year.

The "Kickoff Series" will begin on Sept. 7 with a match against five-time World Cup champion Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. That will be followed by a game four days later against long-time rivals Mexico, which will take place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.

The series will resume in October with two home matches against opponents...

 By Reuters

China ban Wang Shenchao for year for wearing a necklace

China defender Wang Shenchao will miss the Asian Cup next January after being handed a 12-month ban by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) for wearing a necklace during a national team game.

Wang, who plays for Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG, was shown on video pulling a necklace out of his socks and wearing it after coming on as a second-half substitute in China's 1-0 friendly win over Myanmar on May 26.

SIPG, who are currently atop the Chinese top-flight standings, have handed the...

 By Reuters

Japan collect first win of 2018 in final World Cup friendly vs. Paraguay

JapanJapan
ParaguayParaguay
4
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Japan claimed their first victory of the year on Tuesday, coming from behind to beat Paraguay 4-2 and boost sagging morale a week before their opening World Cup Group H match against Colombia.

It was The Blue Samurai's first win under coach Akira Nishino, who had lost friendlies against Ghana and Switzerland since taking over in April.

Japan, one of the most successful Asian teams, having qualified for the World Cup for a sixth consecutive time, scored four times despite managing only three shots...

 By Reuters

Robert Lewandowski scores two as Poland cruise in final World Cup warmup

PolandPoland
LithuaniaLithuania
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WARSAW -- Two strikes from captain Robert Lewandowski followed by goals from Dawid Kownacki and Jakub Blaszczykowski gave Poland a 4-0 victory over Lithuania in their final pre-World Cup friendly in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Poland took the lead after 19 minutes when Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, preparing for his first appearance at a World Cup, finished a team move with a precise strike.

The 29-year-old doubled his tally after the half-hour mark from a free kick, following a foul on teammate Arkadiusz...

 By Reuters

Eden Hazard limps off as Belgium beat Costa Rica ahead of World Cup

BelgiumBelgium
Costa RicaCosta Rica
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Fresh off Belgium's 4-1 win over Costa Rica, the FC crew highlight their concerns about Roberto Martinez's side and assess how far they can go.
Romelu Lukaku scored twice and added an assist to help Belgium overcome an early deficit in a rout of Costa Rica ahead of the World Cup.

BRUSSELS -- Belgium's easy 4-1 win over Costa Rica in their final World Cup warm-up took a scary turn when Eden Hazard limped off in the 70th minute after an awkward collision.

However, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez played down the injury when speaking with reporters, insisting the Chelsea playmaker's World Cup was not in doubt.

Striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice while Hazard was in blistering form. Also on target were Dries Mertens and Michy Batshuayi after the visitors had taken a surprise 1-0...