Fuel Soccer Talk: Rooney’s Magical Mystery Tour; What exactly is the Concacaf Nations League?; U.S. player to watch

America loves Wayne Rooney – yeah, yeah, yeah!

After the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964 they famously boarded a train for Washington D.C. for a concert in the nation’s capitol. It was probably – we can safely assume – a bigger moment in history than when a former Manchester United football star showed up in D.C. to play in the MLS. But Wayne Rooney would like to change the “probably” to at least “equally.”

Rooney hopes to give the American professional soccer league a “ticket to ride” to greater popularity here in the states and more respect across the pond. Rooney recently revealed that he wants to make as big an impact in America as The Beatles did. They do have one thing in common – they all come from Liverpool.

As reported by The Sun, former Manchester United star Rooney said: “I remember the Beatles coming over in the 60s to the States and hopefully I can leave an impact like they did.” (Not sure how he remembers the Beatles coming over when he wasn’t around in 1964)

Rooney signed for DC United in July 2018. The 33-year-old has 19 goals and nine assists in 34 appearances and was on the pitch for his team’s 2-1 defeat by Houston Dynamo on Saturday. DC United is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, level on points with leaders Philadelphia but having played a game less.

He has lived up to rock star status off the pitch. In December 2018 he was arrested for being drunk and triggering a security alert at Washington Dulles airport. In February, he partied with barmaid Vicki Rosiek during a pre-season training camp in Florida. Maybe he should throw a few TVs out of hotel windows (although that was The Who, not The Beatles).

It’s all a “Day in the Life” of Wayne Rooney.

Which Beatle does Wayne Rooney remind you of? 

A guide to the 2019 Concacaf Nations League

Later this year, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take part in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League. Here are five things to know about the new competition:

What Is It?

Similar to the recently launched UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version was created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of the confederation’s 41 Member Associations.

How Teams Qualified

A four-game qualifying tournament for the Concacaf Nations League began last September and just concluded during the March FIFA international window.

While all 41 Member Associations are part of the competition, the qualifying tournament was used to help place teams in their respective leagues for the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League: League A, League B and League C.

The Leagues

League A
Number of Teams: 12 teams
Group Format: Four groups of three teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the six teams that took part in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup AND the top six finishers in Nations League Qualifying.
Teams: USA, Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago

League B
Number of Teams: 16 teams
Group Format: Four groups of four teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the teams which finished 7-22 in Nations League qualifying
Teams: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname

League C
Number of Teams: 
13 teams
Group Format: Three groups of three teams AND one group of four teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the teams which finished 23-34 in Nations League qualifying and Guatemala, who was suspended at the beginning of the competition.
Teams: Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos and U.S. Virgin Islands


What would equal a successful tournament for the US side?

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: 10 Players to Watch

Ashlyn Harris
Goalkeeper (Palm Bay Rangers, South Brevard United)

Alyssa Naeher is the starter but it’s nice to have a reliable backup waiting in the wings. Harris was first Hope Solo’s backup and now stands behind Naeher. A very creative and artistic person, Harris can draw clean sheets with the best keepers in the world. Harris (Orlando Pride) has 19 CAPS which is a great amount of experience to have in a backup role. She was one of the best young goalkeepers in the world while playing every minute for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cups. She has overcome several major injuries during her college career and didn’t get her first call-up to the WNT until her final season at North Carolina in 2009. She played club soccer with boys until the age of 14. First teams were the Palm Bay Rangers and South Brevard United.


LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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