Editor’s Note: Before we jump in with our customary soccer links, we at Angels on Parade wish to express our horror and concern for those affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas late Sunday. We wish to see a world in which tragedies like this no longer take place, and we understand soccer feels very unimportant in times like this, as well it should.
Manchester City sent a message to the rest of their challengers with a 1-0 win away to Chelsea. Going into the match, the conditions were all favoring Chelsea. Chelsea were at home, they were coming off an impressive win midweek at Atletico Madrid, and after a shocking first day their league form has been pretty good. Meanwhile Manchester City were dealing with Sergio Aguero’s injury that he suffered in a car crash on Thursday. However the match itself was all City, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva dominated the middle of the pitch and City controlled the ball, while on the other end Chelsea were sloppy with the ball, which is a fatal flaw against a Pep Guardiola team. Chelsea lost their star striker Alvaro Morata to an injury early in the first half, and without him their attack was toothless, they were unable to get the ball to Eden Hazard in space, and none of their other attackers did much on the day. On the day at least, one team was able to overcome the loss of their main man up top and still perform, and the other team was not.
Sunday was the day of the referendum vote for Catalan independence from Spain, and it was a day fraught with violence, as Spanish riot police attacked Catalans, trying to prevent them from voting on the motion. The Spanish courts have declared the referendum vote illegal, but it happened anyway, and so Spanish police and other officials attempted to halt the voting process by attacking voters and the voting areas. FC Barcelona are the main sporting representative of Catalonia, and they had La Liga match home to Las Palmas on Sunday. Because of the violence, and the security threat it caused, Barcelona asked La Liga to postpone the game, but were rejected and told they would suffer a six-point penalty if they refused to play. So, Barcelona played the match, but did so behind closed doors because of the security concerns. Barcelona won the game 3-0, but several of the players were distressed about the whole experience, particularly the ones with Catalan roots. The doors of the Camp Nou will open again for games soon, but the people of Catalonia will be dealing with this day and its aftermath for a long time to come.
Sam Kerr scored her 17th goal of the NWSL season, breaking the single-season goal scoring record. She also holds NWSL’s all-time goal scoring record, at 43 goals and counting. She helped Sky Blue FC beat the Boston Breakers 4-3, a comeback victory after Boston initially went up 2-0 in the game. Unfortunately Sky Blue FC were not one of the 4 teams to make the playoffs, so we wont see anymore of Kerr this season, but this was a great send off, scoring the record setting goal and helping her team win. The 4 teams that did make the NWSL playoffs are the North Carolina Courage, The Portland Thorns, The Orlando Pride, and the Chicago Red Stars. The NWSL playoffs start on October 7th.
Toronto FC has had a history of futility in MLS, spending years as a team in the league that didn’t accomplish anything, and made the playoffs for the first time just a couple years ago. They have built something special the last couple of years though, with USMNT stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, and Sebastian Giovinco, arguably the best player in the league. This combined with the depth and overall strength of the team have some thinking this is the best MLS team of all time. Having captured the Supporters’ Shield, Toronto FC now look for another chance to win MLS cup, which they lost in agonizing fashion at home last year in a shootout to the Seattle Sounders.
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