Kylian Mbappe's nose takes center stage at Euros and Lionel Messi prepares to chase another Copa America

                        Kylian Mbappe's nose takes center stage at Euros and Lionel Messi prepares to chase another Copa America
By: CBS Sports Posted On: June 19, 2024 View: 28

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Happy Juneteenth! It's almost time to be permanently glued to your screens. The Copa America kicks off on Thursday with reigning champions Argentina taking on Canada, delivering a double dose of soccer to go with the Euros. I'm Pardeep Cattry with a midweek check-in as the summer of soccer kicks into high gear.

???? Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Wednesday, June 19
???? Euros: Germany vs. Hungary, 12 p.m. ➡️ FS1
???? Euros: Scotland vs. Switzerland, 3 p.m. ➡️ Fox
???????? MLS: FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:45 p.m. ➡️ FS1
???????? NWSL: Angel City vs. Racing Louisville, 10 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Network

Thursday, June 20
???? Euros: Slovenia vs. Serbia, 9 a.m. ➡️ FS1
???? Euros: Denmark vs. England, 12 p.m. ➡️ FS1
???? Euros: Spain vs. Italy, 3 p.m. ➡️ Fox
???? Copa America: Argentina vs. Canada, 8 p.m. ➡️ FS1

Friday, June 21
???? Euros: Slovakia vs. Ukraine, 9 a.m. ➡️ Vix, Fubo Sports

⚽ The Forward Line

???????? Goals galore and a broken nose at the Euros

Mbappe set to mask up

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Two days after France's 1-0 win over Austria on Monday in their opening match of the Euros, Kylian Mbappe's broken nose remains the main topic of conversation as Les Bleus sweat over his availability for the rest of the group stage.

France's medical team and manager Didier Deschamps have spent much of the last couple of days offering updates on Mbappe's condition, and another is expected sometime on Wednesday. So far, the news is mixed -- he has not been ruled out of the whole tournament and does not immediately need surgery, but his availability for France's high-stakes Group D match against the Netherlands on Friday "remains uncertain." Here's more from the medical team's initial statement on the World Cup winner's condition.

  • France's medical team: "Kylian Mbappe has suffered a broken nose. He is back in camp with the rest of the squad and will undergo treatment in the coming days without undergoing immediate surgery. A mask will be constructed in order to enable the French team's No. 10 to consider resuming competition after a period of treatment."

Playing without Mbappe in arguably their most competitive group stage match is far from ideal for France, especially since he created the chance that led to Maximilian Wober's own goal in the opening match. Deschamps is not without options, though. Olivier Giroud seems like his most obvious replacement even at the age of 37, but is still in strong form after a 17 goal, nine assist season for AC Milan. Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, who both started on Monday, can also be counted on for goals -- Griezmann scored 24 goals for Atletico Madrid last season, while Dembele had 12 assists for Paris Saint-Germain.

End-to-end action

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France's victory is in trend with the other favorites to win the tournament, most of whom won their opening matches. That includes Portugal, who began their Euros campaign with a come-from-behind win over Czechia courtesy of a stoppage time game-winner from Francisco Conceicao. Not all of the top-ranked teams fared well, though -- Belgium lost 1-0 to Slovakia despite taking 16 shots, marking the most lopsided victory in the competition's history based on FIFA rankings.

It was not the only historic moment in Germany this week, either. Romania collected their first win at the Euros in 24 years when they beat Ukraine 3-0 on Monday, while Turkey spoiled Georgia's major tournament debut with a 3-1 win that might go down as one of the most entertaining matches of the competition. Earlier on Wednesday, Albania dramatically drew 2-2 with Croatia as both teams earned their first points of the competition.

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????  Midfield Link Play

???????? Argentina begin Copa America title defense

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The Copa America begins on Thursday with all eyes on -- who else? -- Argentina, who might be at a major tournament with Lionel Messi for the last time.

Expectations are high for Argentina, three years after winning the Copa America and a year and a half removed from winning the World Cup. They did not earn top spot in Chuck Booth's power rankings solely on their recent history, though -- Argentina have found a way to blend experience with promising youngsters in recent years, demonstrating that they are far more than just a one-man team.

Messi, who turns 37 next week, is unlikely to shed his status as Argentina's focal point as long as he is on the national team but manager LIonel Scaloni has been able to bridge the age gap that exists in his multigenerational squad. Their Copa America roster includes promising young attackers like 19-year-olds Alejandro Garnacho, who registered 10 goals and five assists for Manchester United last season, and Valentin Carboni, who spent last season at Monza on loan from Inter and has two caps for the national team. Messi himself has praised Carboni's talent following their 4-1 win over Guatemala last week, and CBS Sports Golazo Network contributor Felipe Cardenas teases that he might play a sizable role at this summer's competition.

  • Cardenas: "Messi was coaching him throughout that first half. They were on the same side together and every once in a while, Messi would just give him a hand gesture, tell him to go out a bit wider, tell him to tuck in a little bit. … Messi really does value his talent. He came out after the game and said, 'This is a player we need to take care of, we need to take advantage of.' He's been watching him since his U-20 days."

Argentina will open up their title defense against Canada in Atlanta, the first match in a favorable group that includes Chile and Peru. A path to the final seems probable for the reigning champions, too -- other favorites to win the competition like Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia are all on the other side of the bracket. The aim for Argentina, then, will be to build a long-awaited era of dominance in the international game, especially if it's Messi's competitive sendoff.

????  Top Stories

????️ Anti-discrimination in MLS: Black Players for Change executive director Allen Hopkins Jr. stops by Morning Footy to describe the new anti-discrimination policy in MLS and room for improvement in hiring Black coaches and executives around the league.

???? Euro check-in: Here's the latest batch of Euro power rankings, as well as a discussion on the incredibly competitive nature of the competition so far. Plus, here's a look at favorites England and France and Belgium post-defeat.

???? Copa preview: Here are predictions for every game at the Copa America, a look at the can't miss games during the group stage and a list of the 20 players from the Golazo 100 who will take center stage in the U.S. this summer.

???????? NWSL solo efforts: Last weekend's NWSL action was all about standout players with Gotham's superteam era finally underway and rookie Ally Sentnor standing out for the Utah Royals.

???? Transfer talk: England's Kiera Walsh is nearing a move to Arsenal, who are in discussions with Barcelona over a transfer, while Giorgos Giakoumakis makes the move to Cruz Azul from Atlanta United.

???? McBride on Kickin' It: USMNT legend Brian McBride was the latest guest on Kickin' It and discussed his memories from the 2002 World Cup, his first impressions of Clint Dempsey, his all-time best XI and the expectations for the 2026 World Cup.

????  The Back Line

???? Best bets

  • Euro 2024: Spain vs. Italy, Thursday, 3 p.m.
    ???? THE PICK: Alvaro Morata to score (+195) -- At 31 years old, Alvaro Morata has finally become a reliable goalscorer. He comes to the Euros off the back of a 21 goal season for Atletico Madrid and scored in Spain's 3-0 win over Croatia on Saturday, making him an ideal choice to score in a high-stakes matchup against reigning champions Italy.
  • Copa America: Argentina vs. Canada, Thursday, 8 p.m.
  • ???? THE PICK: Argentina to win 2-0 (+500) -- The Copa America opener is poised to be a lopsided affair between the reigning champions and an up-and-coming Canada. Expect Argentina to get the job done with little fuss with attackers like Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez able to ensure they open the competition on a strong note.

???? What's on CBS Sports Golazo Network

CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network's flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you'll never have to miss an episode.

???? Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women's soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women's game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

???? Kickin' It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network's unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Charlie Davies and friends cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

???? Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can't-miss goals from the day's action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

???? How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

????Shop Now: Elevate your game-day style, shop curated collections inspired by Golazo Network. Paramount will receive a portion of sales.   

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