• The U.S. men’s national team will meet Mexico on Oct. 9 to decide which of the two will claim CONCACAF’s berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup. Winning is a big deal for the U.S., as the tournament is a chance to get some meaningful games in Russia — which will host the following year’s World Cup — and against top contenders, such as World Cup champions Germany, Copa America champions Chile, and whichever team comes out on top next year in the European Championships.

 

• The Rose Bowl will host the United States-Mexico match, and should be packed; while it’s technically in the United States, the stadium has historically been Estadio Azteca Norte for Mexican fans, who usually dominate the crowd. The U.S. has won only one of the four previous meetings between the two countries at the Rose Bowl. However, since Mexico won the 2011 Gold Cup final there, the Mexicans have drawn three and lost three overall against their North American rivals.

 

• You might want to learn Cyle Larin’s name now, if you haven’t already. The No. 1 pick in last year’s MLS draft has nine goals in 15 games for Orlando City, including a hat trick in Yankee Stadium last week against New York City. Larin might have been the best attacker on the field, even ahead of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo for NYC. The 20-year-old has scored more goals per 90 minutes than any other regular player in MLS; he needs only two more goals in the 13 games left on Orlando’s schedule to equal the MLS rookie record.

 

• The controversy caused by Don Garber’s decision to name both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to the MLS All-Star team — despite the pair having played zero games in MLS between them — was rendered moot after both players withdrew from the game because of injury. The withdrawals meant that deserving players, such as Columbus’s Ethan Finlay and Los Angeles’s Gyasi Zardes, were part of the team that beat Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday. Next year, if MLS feels the need to put us through the farce of awarding All-Star berths to players who’ve never played in the league, they should just save some face ahead of time and cancel the game.