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Vickery: The Baldivieso drama

Bolivia
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Canales: Shades of 2013 for Mexico

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Marshall: Mexico flop in opener

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Young U.S. side dominates from start to finish in friendly win vs. Bolivia

Walker Zimmerman, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah all scored their first international goals as a youthful USMNT squad routed Bolivia in Pennsylvania.
Alexis Nunes and Alejandro Moreno examine the future of the United States after a 3-0 win over Bolivia with a youthful squad.

CHESTER, Pa. -- The U.S. men's national team manhandled Bolivia 3-0 in an international friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on Monday. Walker Zimmerman, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah all scored their first international goals. Another debutante, goalkeeper Alex Bono, recorded his first shutout, although he was rarely troubled on the night.

Here are three thoughts on the U.S. performance:

1. U.S. dominates from start to finish

The lineups of both teams were short on experience. Four U.S. starters...

 By Tim Vickery

CONMEBOL qualifying table in limbo awaiting verdict on Bolivia CAS appeal

For all of the Argentina national team's current problems it is highly likely that, come the end of South American World Cup qualifiers, the recent 1-0 win over Chile will be seen as the decisive result that got the team over the line and on the plane to Russia. True, it was a dreadful performance and an undeserved win, as well as being the match in which Lionel Messi picked up a four-game ban.

But imagine if Chile had won the game. They would be second in the table, rather than their current position...

 By Tim Vickery

The state of play in South America's World Cup qualifiers

There are no real prizes for coming first. Or second for that matter. World Cup qualification in South America is all about crossing the line and making it through to Russia.

The first four teams qualify automatically for next year's tournament, with the side finishing fifth having to play off against opponents from Oceania. And as the competition moves into the final third, only Brazil are really sitting pretty.

Those six consecutive wins under new coach Tite have carried Brazil to 27 points. In...

 By Tim Vickery

48-team World Cup could negatively affect South American qualifying

Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.

On the website of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, there is an article entitled: "From 13 teams in Uruguay 1930 to 48 in the 2026 World Cup."

It is a neat way of reminding everyone of one of the great trump cards of the South American game: its fabulous tradition. This is the continent where the World Cup began and which has won nine versions of the tournament, divided between Brazil (five wins) and Uruguay and Argentina (two apiece).

The big three has provided Barcelona with the "MSN"...

 By Tim Vickery

Argentina suffers as FIFA sends CONMEBOL qualifiers into chaos

Lionel Messi did not suffer an injury in Barcelona's Champions league defeat to Manchester City. Even so, Tuesday was a bad day for the Argentine national team.

They began the day fifth in South America's World Cup table. With 10 of the 18 games already played, the Albiceleste were in the playoff position. If they were still there come the end of the competition, then this time next year Edgardo Bauza's men would be facing opponents from Oceania over two legs for the right to claim one of the final...

 By Tim Vickery

Bolivia and Peru go head-to-head with eyes on 2022 Qatar World Cup

Bolivia coach Angel Guillermo Hoyos
Angel Guillermo Hoyos' plan for Bolivia centres around giving youth the chance to shine.

With Lionel Messi quickly going back on his decision to retire from international football, and both Argentina and Brazil under new coaches, there is much to dwell on in the seventh round of South America's World Cup qualification campaign. Which makes it easy to understand why a clash such as Bolivia versus Peru on Thursday can fly under the radar.

It is true that this game likely won't have too much bearing on the next World Cup, in Russia in 2018. After the first six rounds of qualifiers, Peru...