The World Cup field is now set, with Peru securing the last spot in the tournament on Wednesday. Peru beat New Zealand at home 2-0, after the first leg in New Zealand finished 0-0. Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring in the 28th minute, and Christian Ramos scored the second goal to secure the victory in the second half. This will be Peru’s first time at the World Cup since 1982. In the other playoff, Australia downed Honduras 3-1 powered by a hat trick from Mile Jedinak.
Toronto FC appealed Jozy Altidore’s suspension for the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final, but on Wednesday that appeal was denied by the Independent Review Panel. This goes back to the red card that Jozy Altidore received after that confrontation between the Red Bulls and Toronto FC, specifically Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestian. Toronto FC officials had been confident that they had video evidence that would exonerate Altidore, but apparently that was not enough to sway the Review Panel. Now Toronto FC faces the prospect of a game in front of a raucous Columbus Crew SC crowd, and against the Crew without their two best players, Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco (who is on a yellow-card suspension).
After a lot of confusion and rumors about the future of the team, FC Kansas City will reportedly be leaving KC and heading to Salt Lake City, and will enjoy new life in NWSL as a team affiliated with Real Salt Lake. This came as a surprise, as a lot of people thought that FC Kansas City would be bought by the owners of Sporting Kansas City and stay in Kansas City, but with concerns over the future of Sporting KC’s USL team are floating there, a clear path for them to acquire FC Kansas City never really came together. This will be a sad moment for FC Kansas City fans, but with a richer ownership group in Salt Lake City, maybe a better move for the league overall.
After defeating Italy in their two-leg playoff, Sweden will be going to their first World Cup since 2006. This has prompted calls that former Sweden captain and legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic should come out of retirement for the World Cup run. Because of their failures to qualify for 2010 and 2014, we have not seen Zlatan at a World Cup while in his prime. As for me this answer is a yes all the way. More Zlatan will only make things better. The World Cup needs stars, and no one’s star shines brighter than Zlatan.
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