MLS at World Cup: Xerdan Shaqiri shines for Switzerland; Thiago Almada debuts for Argentina

The 31-year-old Swiss playmaker Xerdan Shaqiri, who joined the Chicago Fire for the 2022 season, helped set up two goals and scored in the 3-2 win over Serbia that advanced Switzerland (along with Brazil) from Group G.

With his opening goal against the Serbs, Shaqiri joins Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as scorers in each of the last three World Cups.

In the third round of group games, Shaqiri was one of 18 of 35 MLS players on World Cup rosters to see action (51%). Eight of those 18 subbed on (44%).

Thirteen MLS players on five different national teams are onto the knockout rounds of the tournament. Nine of those play for USA, which faces off against the Netherlands on Saturday.

Besides the USA, the round of 16 teams with an MLS player on it are Australia (Columbus' Milos Degenek), Argentina (Atlanta United's Thiago Almada), Poland (Charlotte FC's Karol Swiderski) and Switzerland (Shaqiri).

After making his World Cup debut as an 83rd minute sub in La Albiceleste's 2-0 win over Poland, the 21-year-old Almada said, "I'm the happiest kid in the world."

Swiderski also made his World Cup debut in the third round of group games.

In the USA's 1-0 win over Iran, Kellyn Acosta, Shaq Moore and Walker Zimmerman came off the bench after Coach Gregg Berhalter started an all-European-based XI.

The trio is among the five U.S. players who have seen action so, along with DeAndre Yedlin and Jordan Morris. (Four of the U.S. players who saw action played in MLS before going to Europe.)

 ARGENTINA (2-0 vs. Poland)
Thiago Almada (M, Atlanta United), sub-6 minutes.

AUSTRALIA (1-0 vs. Denmark)
Milos Degenek (D, Columbus Crew), 90 minutes. 

CAMEROON (1-0 vs. Brazil)
Nouhou Tolo (D, Seattle Sounders), 90 minutes.
DNP: Olivier Mbaizo (D, Philadelphia Union) 

CANADA (1-2 vs. Morocco)
Alistair Johnston (D, CF Montreal), 90 minutes.
Mark-Anthony Kaye (M, Toronto FC), 60 minutes.
Ismaël Koné (M, CF Montréal), sub-29 minutes.
Richie Laryea (D, Toronto FC), sub-25 minutes.
Kamal Miller (D, CF Montréal), 90 minutes.
Jonathan Osorio (M, Canada), 65 minutes.
DNP: Lucas Cavallini (F, Vancouver Whitecaps), , James Pantemis (GK, CF Montreal), Samuel Piette (M, CF Montreal), Dayne St. Clair (GK, Minnesota United), Joel Waterman (D, CF Montreal)

COSTA RICA (2-4 vs. Germany)
Ronald Matarrita (D, FC Cincinnati), sub-14 minutes. 
Bryan Oviedo (D, Real Salt Lake), 89 minutes.

ECUADOR (1-2 vs. Qatar)
Jose Cifuentes (M, LAFC), sub-45 minutes.
DNP: Xavier Arreaga (D, Seattle Sounders), Diego Palacios (D, LAFC)
Suspended: Jhegson Méndez (M, LAFC)

MEXICO (2-1 vs. Saudi Arabia)
DNP: Hector Herrera (M, Houston Dynamo) 

 POLAND  (0-2 vs. Argentina)
Karol Swiderski (F, Charlotte FC), 45 minutes.

 SWITZERLAND (3-2 vs. Serbia)
Xherdan Shaqiri (F, Chicago Fire), 69 minutes, 1 goal

URUGUAY (2-0 vs. Ghana)
DNP: Martin Cáceres (D, LA Galaxy), Facundo Torres (F, Orlando City)

USA (1-0 vs. Iran)
Kellyn Acosta (M, LAFC), sub-25 minutes.
Shaq Moore (D, Nashville) sub-8 minutes.
Walker Zimmerman (D, Nashville), sub-8 minutes. 
DNP: Jesus Ferreira (F, FC Dallas), Sean Johnson (GK, NYCFC), Jordan Morris (F, Seattle Sounders), Aaron Long (D, New York Red Bulls), Cristian Roldan (M, Seattle Sounders), DeAndre Yedlin (D, Inter Miami).

WALES (0-3 vs. England)
Gareth Bale (F, LAFC), 45 minutes.

Note: Daniel Chacon of MLS Next Pro's Colorado Rapids 2 is on Costa Rica's roster. He did not play in its 4-2 loss to Germany.

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