After the U.S. missed the World Cup, U.S. fans spent weeks in mourning and also trying to examine every level of soccer in this country and whether it needs to be changed. Before we knew it, the U.S. had another game, and this team looked a lot different compared to the last U.S. team we saw take the field. The only regulars who started were DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, and there were a host of new faces like Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Cameron Carter-Vickers. In Tuesday’s friendly in Leiria, Portugal, the U.S. took the lead on a great goal by McKennie, and a nice run to set up the goal by CJ Sapong. A Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal equalized through a really unfortunate own goal by USMNT goalie Ethan Horvath. This U.S. team looked young, energetic, and unafraid. This was just a friendly, true, but it was a nice performance to mark the start of a new era in U.S. Soccer.
Christian Eriksen has turned into a star in his time at Tottenham, and that was on full display on Tuesday, as Eriksen helped propel Denmark onto the World Cup with a 5-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland. Ireland actually scored first, but it was all Denmark after that. Eriksen’s first goal was particularly sweet, a thumping strike off the underside of the crossbar. Denmark missed the last two editions of the World Cup but will be feeling good after the way they qualified. Meanwhile, Ireland have not been to the World Cup since 2002, facing playoff heartbreak again like they did in 2009.
A report from Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated says that the next two MLS expansion slots will come down to three cities, Sacramento, Nashville and Cincinnati. Nashville seems to be in good shape, especially with the vote by their city council to approve a stadium if Nashville gets an MLS slot. Sacramento Republic has been a successful USL mainstay, and they have a strong campaign, but they could be hurt by the fact that California already has two MLS teams, with LAFC set to join the fray next year. FC Cincinnati has been a revelation since joining USL, and though they seemed like a long shot because of stadium concerns, they appear closer to finding a solution for that. Each one of these teams are deserving for a bid, and unfortunately for one fanbase, there’s only room for two at the moment.
He’s still got it! Ronaldinho scored a tremendous goal in charity match, playing for the Stars of America against the Stars of Europe in Mexico. Ronaldinho’s goal equalized for the Stars of America, but as with all matches like this, it wasn’t about the result but about the performance. Despite not being what he once was, Ronaldinho still has his flair and his love for the game.
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