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Canada held to 2-2 draw in pre-World Cup friendly with Bahrain; roster announcement Sunday

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The Canadian Men’s National Team were held to a 2-2 draw against Bahrain on Friday in their final match before announcing the roster for the 2022 World Cup.

John Herdman is set to name the group that will head to Qatar on Sunday, meaning a number of MLS-based players were under the microscope on Friday at Khalifa Sports City Stadium – Canada’s European contingent is yet to join up with the squad.

Canada made an excellent start to the match with CF Montreal talent Ismael Kone breaking from midfield to meet a Kamal Miller pass, beat the Bahrain defense and put the ball beyond Ibraheem Latf Allah to score his first senior international goal.

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Les Rouges had the ball in the net again three minutes later, but Lucas Cavallini’s effort was rightly ruled out for offside.

Some slack passing and shoddy defending from Canada allowed Mahdi Al-Humaidan to level the scores on 14 minutes, while Bahrain took the lead from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, with Abdulla Yusuf Helal beating Dayne St. Clair.

Canada pushed hard for the equalizer but found it in slightly fortunate circumstances, with Zachary Brault-Guillard’s cross hitting Cavallini and finding the back of the net in the 81st minute.

“A very good test and the sort of test we needed”

– CanMNT head coach John Herdman

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“A very good test and the sort of test we needed,” Herdman said after the match. “We knew Bahrain were going to treat this like a big match and they brought a real intensity.

“It’s what we needed to just shake off some of the rust and for me to be able to assess some players at this level. I think what we learned is there were some good moments but there’s still some work to be done. We’ve got to get the team into some cohesion and get them back into that match rhythm.”

Herdman will now nervously watch on as the likes of Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, and Tajon Buchanan complete their club commitments this weekend before joining up with the rest of the squad.

Canada begin their Group F campaign against Belgium on Wednesday, November 23, before fixtures against Croatia (November 27), and Morocco (December 1).

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Monterrey signs midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Puebla

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Rayados de Monterrey have signed midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Club Puebla, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He joins the Guadalajara team on a four-season contract, according to Diego Armando Medina of TUDN.

“I have been delighted since the opportunity to come here was given, I always knew that I had to make a leap to these big leagues with one of the biggest clubs in Mexico,” Cortizo said of his transfer. 

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Cortizo kicked off his professional career with Queretaro in 2017, recording four goals in 76 appearances over the course of three years before seeing stints with Tijuana and Puebla. He managed well in Liga MX, but it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout. 

The offensive midfielder recorded five goals in 20 overall matches to inspire Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, Cortizo has 12 goals in 149 Liga MX appearances. 

“They are going to see a player who always tries, that will never fail, who will go for the ball, will try to play, propose offensive play, go forward and who will always give himself up for the club. It is my dream to be champion of the Liga MX, there is no better option today than to be sitting here and with this squad to achieve it,” he said.

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Cortizo stands as the first signing under new Monterrey president Jose Antonio Noriega, who replaced Duilio Davino  following the team’s elimination from the 2022 Apertura. Upon his arrival, Noriega insisted he needed to evaluate the team’s needs before making drastic changes. 

But the arrival of Jordi Cortizo will now set off the several moves already planned. 

The 2023 Liga MX Clausura kicks off on January 6.



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Club America sign defender Israel Reyes from Puebla

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Club America has finally signed defender Israel Reyes from Club Puebla.

He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura, joining on a four-year contract.  The Mexico City team reportedly paid $4.5M for Reyes, after he established himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Mexican league.

Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline. 

But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.

Internationally, the player holds one cap with the Mexican national team. He made his debut on December 8, 2021, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of a friendly against Chile.

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

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