Tagged in: Mexico

USA basketball draws Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico for World Cup qualifying

Team USA will face Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

The Americans, who acquired a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo but concluded only seventh at the most recent Basketball World Cup two years ago, found out their qualifying opponents Tuesday when the draw was held at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland.

It will also be the first major tournament for USA Basketball with Grant Hill as managing director. Hill is succeeding Jerry Colangelo in that role; Colangelo oversaw each of the last four Olympics for the U.S., helping assemble teams that collected gold medals each time.

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The U.S. has won the World Cup five times, most recently in 2014.

There are 80 teams in the qualifying rounds. It starts with a double round-robin; all teams in the various groups for the first round will play the other three teams in their group twice. First-round games will be played during three different windows — Nov. 20-30, Feb. 21-March 1 and June 27-July 5.

Second-round games start in August 2022 and run through February 2023. The next World Cup — to be hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia — takes place from Aug. 25 through Sept. 10, 2023.

Defending World Cup champion Spain, trying to become one of the 12 European qualifiers for the tournament, opens with games versus Ukraine, Georgia and North Macedonia in the opening round.

As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are already in the 32-team World Cup field. The other 30 spots will be decided through qualifying. Indonesia does not get an automatic spot as a host country.

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. misses weight by 2 pounds, forfeits $100K to Anderson Silva

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has missed weight once again.

The son of the legendary Mexican boxer weighed in at 184 pounds Friday, two pounds over the contracted weight for his arranged fight with UFC all-time great Anderson Silva, promotion officials confirmed with ESPN.

The fight will go on Saturday in Guadalajara, Mexico, as part of an event called Tribute to the Kings. But Chavez Jr. will have to forfeit $100,000 of his purse to Silva, per officials. Silva weighed in right on the contracted mark of 182 pounds.

Chavez Jr. has had several struggles on the scales in his career. Most famously, he had to forfeit $1 million — a third of his purse — to Daniel Jacobs before a December 2019 bout.

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Chavez Jr. has missed weight at least twice more in his career, with other additional fights having to be changed late to catchweights.

This 182-pound bout is heavier than Chavez Jr. typically fights at. Most recently, Chavez Jr. has been competing at 175 pounds. And he fought Jacobs and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the contracted weight of 168 pounds.

Tribute to the Kings also will feature Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., 58, returning to the ring in an exhibition to face Hector Camacho Jr., the 42-year-old son of his fiercest rival.

Chavez Jr. (52-5-1, 1 NC) has dropped three of his past five fights, but is coming off a fourth-round TKO over Jeyson Minda last November. The 35-year-old Mexico native is the former WBC middleweight champion.

Silva is 1-1 as a pro boxer and has not fought in the boxing ring since 2005. But “The Spider” is one of the most decorated champions in UFC history, holding the middleweight title for seven years — the longest reign ever in the UFC. Silva, 46, also has the longest winning streak in UFC history (16).

The Brazil native asked for his release from the UFC last year and it was granted. Silva has just one victory in MMA since 2012 and has stated he is likely done with mixed martial arts, though he might continue to pursue interesting fights in other combat sports like boxing.

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez out of Sevilla, signs with L.A Galaxy

The Los Angeles Galaxy have signed Javier “Chicharito” Hernández from Sevilla, according to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.

According to Wahl, the Galaxy will make Hernández the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer. That distinction is currently held by Toronto FC and USMNT star Michael Bradley, who makes a reported $6 million a year.

The previous highest-paid player in MLS was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who left the Galaxy in November and re-joined AC Milan. Hernández, whose “Chicharito” nickname was given to him by his father and means “Little Pea”, will be counted on to substitute Ibrahimovic’s star power goal-scoring output.

Hernández has spent nearly a decade playing in Europe since joining Manchester United from Guadalajara in 2010.

He scored 59 goals for United and won two Premier League titles before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, and he also played for Real Madrid (on loan) and West Ham United before joining Sevilla last summer.

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But he reportedly was told he doesn’t factor into Sevilla’s future plans, and he didn’t train Thursday and was held out of manager Julen Lopetegui’s squad to face Real Madrid this weekend.

The 31-year-old Hernández is the latest international star to sign with the Galaxy, who have counted Ibrahimovic, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Ashley Cole among their ranks.

Hernández is also Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals in 109 appearances.

The Galaxy had been in negotiations with Hernandez for some time and met with him earlier this week to close the deal. The meeting went well, according to ESPN Mexico and the LA Times, but it took three more days to iron out details.

A report from Spanish newspaper Marca put the transfer fee being negotiated for Chicharito at around $10 million.

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Brazil vs Mexico are set for U17 World Cup Final

The final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 will pit ex-champions versus one another. Thursday’s semi-final results in Brasilia have produced a weighty showpiece set to feature three-time winners Brazil and North American juggernauts Mexico, who hold two titles of their own.

The early encounter at Estadio Bezerrao saw El Tri go toe-to-toe with European holders the Netherlands. The match concluded 1-1 in regulation time, with the Dutch pulling ahead in the 74th minute before Efrain Alvarez’s curling free-kick emphatically brought Mexico level five minutes later.

Alvarez nearly went from hero to zero when he missed the first spot-kick of the shootout.

Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen converted his penalty to give the Dutch the lead. Mexico scored their next three kicks, while Netherlands missed twice, but Joel Gomez so his effort stopped denying Mexico a win in the normal shootout. The match went to sudden death and Victor Guzman gave Mexico the lead. Goalscorer Yuri Regeer missed his penalty to confirm Netherlands’ elimination.

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Goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia’s three stops in the penalty shoot-out cemented his side’s fourth appearance in the final.

Hosts Brazil were forced to play catch-up versus France when Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga and Nathanael Mbuku each scored inside the opening quarter-hour.

Bolstered by a buzzing crowd, A Seleção grew into the game and equalised through Veron in the 76th minute. Then substitute Lazaro blasted the hosts ahead in the 89th minute, ensuring they earn the opportunity to contest a World Cup final on home soil.

Brazil and Mexico will now face each other at the Estadio Bezerrao in Gama on November 18, where the winner of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup will be crowned.

Brazil is seeking its fourth crown in the tournament, and first since 2003. It also won in 1997 and 1999. Mexico is trying for its third U17 crown after wins in 2005 and 2011.

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