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Brotherly Game Daily Links: USA Mexico renew their long rivalry

Mbaizo and Monteiro focused on World Cup goals, USA hosts Mexico and more in today’s links

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Soccer: FIFA World Cup Qualifier-Costa Rica at USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

The Union’s African stars are chasing World Cup dreams amid the team’s MLS playoff run
Olivier Mbaizo’s Cameroon and Jamiro Monteiro’s Cape Verde are battling to reach the final playoff round of qualifying. The players can’t help dreaming of playing on the world’s biggest stage.

‘He’s ruthless, man’: How Brenden Aaronson’s career started flying with Union, Salzburg and USMNT
Not even one full year after his MLS play resulted in a $6 million move to Red Bull Salzburg, he’s already one of the leading figures for the team, which currently sits atop its group in the UEFA Champions League. Aaronson has also developed into a force for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying.

MLS News

Every Western Conference playoff team’s strength and weakness
Earlier this week, we looked at the seven Eastern Conference playoff teams and identified one strength and one weakness for each of them. Today, we’re going to do the same thing with the Western Conference using Second Spectrum’s data.

What to know about the big MLS names out of contract this offseason
The league and MLSPA agreed to a new CBA last year and one key change was loosening the free agency requirements. Now, players at least 24 years old and with 5 years of service in the league are eligible for free agency.

RSL close to purchase by Blitzer Group
RSL is nearing purchase by a group led by David Blitzer, a senior executive at the controversial Blackstone Group, and a parter owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. Blitzer’s interest, the article states, is separate from his involvement in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which is where his involvement with the 76ers and the Devils is located.

U.S. Soccer News

USMNT News: Pulisic won’t start against Mexico, Steffen gets the nod in goal
Christian Pulisic’s return from injury came just in time for him to be part of the U.S. men’s national team’s November roster, but his full recovery hasn’t happen quickly enough for him to start against Mexico in Friday’s high-profile rivalry clash in Cincinnati.

2022 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: Scouting Mexico
El Tri is undefeated in qualifying with a 4-0-2 record, topping the group. The last international window opened with a 1-1 draw with Canada, followed by wins over Honduras and El Salvador, 3-0 and 2-0, respectively.