Liverpool’s quest to win a trophy this season took a blow as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup, losing 2-0 to Leicester City on Tuesday. After crushing Arsenal a couple weeks ago, Liverpool are now winless in four games. They were again undone by their defense, failing to clear a ball in the penalty area before it was smacked in by Shinji Okazaki, and giving way too much space to Islam Slimani for Leicester’s second goal. Liverpool have undoubtedly improved since Jurgen Klopp got there, but if they want to take home some silverware, they have to get better in defense.
The New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC’s history in the U.S. Open Cup couldn’t be more different. Sporting KC are trying to win their 3rd Open Cup title in five years, while the Red Bulls are in the final for just the 3rd time in their 22-year history. Both teams are highly motivated, with KC looking to take home the title in front of their home fans, and the Red Bulls seeking to end their struggles in knockout competitions the last few years. Both teams will be hoping to take home the first American silverware of the MLS season.
The USWNT played New Zealand last weekend, and even though they won 3-1, they made hard work of it, especially in the second half. That was not the case in the rematch on Tuesday night, as the U.S. dominated the match and won 5-0. Lindsey Horan scored on a looping header in the 35th minute, a few minutes later Mallory Pugh scored to make it 2-0, and the US never looked back. Julie Ertz dominated the middle of the field for the U.S., Alex Morgan got a brace in the second half, and generally the U.S. just played New Zealand off the field. The USWNT is off again now for a bit, and hopefully the next time they play they put in a similar performance.
On Tuesday the NASL announced that they had filed an anti-trust lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, two weeks after U.S. Soccer denied NASL’s application for Division II status for 2018. U.S. Soccer’s set-up can be confusing, MLS is pretty straightforward, but plenty of people confuse NASL and USL, and the lack of promotion and relegation seperates the American pyramid from European soccer leagues, along with other factors. U.S. Soccer claims they denied NASL because they failed to reach the set standards for operating as a league, while the NASL claims these standards are completely aribtrary, and designed to benefit MLS only and enhance the partnership between MLS and U.S. Soccer. It’s unclear if NASL can prove US Soccer broke anti-trust laws, but regardless this thing is going to get ugly before all is said and done.
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