The summer of soccer carries on across the world, and a quartet of Major League Soccer players are ready to compete in the African Cup of Nations.
The 2019 tournament, which begins Friday when hosts Egypt face Zimbabwe, is currently being defended by Cameroon. The top two teams from all six groups will advance to the knockout round, while the top four third-place finishers do as well.
Drawn into Group B are Vancouver Whitecaps winger Lass Bangoura and Guinea, which means navigating past Nigeria, three-time continental champions. Guinea notably features Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita and Borussia Monchengladbach forward Ibrahima Traore. Bangoura, on loan from on loan from Rayo Vallecano, has 34 caps and four goals for Guinea.
Up next is Ghanaian center back Jonathan Mensah, who’s in his third season with Columbus Crew SC. They’re drawn into Group F alongside the defending champions, though the Black Stars are familiar to American fans, having knocked the US men’s national team from the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Mensah has 61 caps for Ghana.
As part of Uganda, Montreal Impact midfielder Micheal Azira will also compete in Group A alongside hosts Egypt. Uganda enter as underdogs, though could fight for a second- or third-place spot alongside Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Azira enters with five caps for Uganda.
Lastly, Minnesota United right back Romain Metanire will represent Madagascar in Group B, meaning he’ll clash with Bangoura. This is Madagascar’s first AFCON appearance, though Metanire was originally born in France. He holds three caps so far.
This summer’s AFCON games will be broadcast on beIN SPORTS, plus can be streamed on fuboTV and Sling TV.