The soccer world’s quest to reach Russia is in its final phase.

Nine spots at the 2018 FIFA World Cup remain up for grabs in the coming week, with teams from across the globe seeking to clinch one of the nine remaining spots at next summer’s tournament. UEFA (Europe) is staging playoff games for its last four spots, while CAF (Africa) will crown three group winners, who’ll clinch their places in Russia. Finally, two intercontinental playoff series also will take place between New Zealand and Peru and Australia and Honduras to finish off the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle.

Soccer in the U.S. remains in the news, too, as the New England Revolution hired former U.S. international and Premier League great Brad Friedel as head coach. Meanwhile, MLS veteran Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay male athlete in a major U.S. sports league, announced his retirement.’s Marc DiBenedetto and Marcus Kwesi O’Mard discuss the end of World Cup qualifying, Friedel’s arrival in New England, Rogers’ retirement and more on this week’s episode of the “NESN Soccer Show,” which you can watch in the above video.

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