Home Guard: MLS Playoffs Run into USMNT October Qualifiers (Updated)

In the very first edition of the Home Guard your intrepid USMNT analyst predicted that the October World Cup qualifiers would inevitably raise the ugly specter of the nefarious club versus country tug-of-war.  

The first tugs on the rope are pulling the principles into the mud. The only questions remaining are whether the war will go hot or stay cold, and which players could benefit from the battle.


A Dilemma Wrapped Inside a Paradox

According to FIFA (emphasis added):

a) Qualifying matches for an international competition played on fixed/set dates

These matches take priority over matches in a national championship. In other words, matches in the national championship or cup competition should not be arranged on one of the fixed/set dates.

A club holding the registration of a player called up to play in the national team must release him to the national association o...

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