Our Indy 11 travel to undefeated eastern foe Pittsburg tonight for a FRIDAY Night affair at 8 pm on ESPN+ and Youtube I think. I know the BYB is hosting a watch party at Union Jacks in Broadripple – so if you want to be sure to see the game – head on down to Broadripple for that! Of course our Elevem return to Lucas Oil next Saturday night for an 8 pm showdown with the Belthehem Steel. Its student night so all students with ID get discounted tickets also discounted tix are available by clicking here and entering the code 2018Indy.
As I watched El Classico – Real Madrid vs Barcelona (delayed on Mon AM) not only was it a Classic as always – even though Barca has already wrapped up the title – I was reminded about the viewship of soccer worldwide – the Superbowl just had around 150 million watching worldwide – El Classico was seen by more than 500 million world wide this weekend. Interesting. Back to the game – it was a good one -with lots of interesting calls/no calls a sending off and of course Renaldo and Messi both scoring – as the final was 2-2 which means Barca are all but guaranteed of being the first Spanish Team team since 1931 to go thru the league season unbeaten. Congrats to Barca for that – of course Real Madrid has a chance to take home all the marbles May 26th vs Liverpool in the Champions League Final on Fox.
The mid-week EPL games dripped with Drama as teams played for their League lives – sorry West Brom – you join my Stoke City and American defender Geoff Cameron as Relegated – meanwhile Swansea didn’t help their chances – but man Huddersfield Town hung on for dear life at Chelsea to eek out a 1-1 win that keeps them and American Danny Williams and former US National Team player David Wenger (their Manager) alive in the Premier League for next season. The loss puts a damper on Chelsea’s desperate come from behind attempt to make the Top 4 Champions League spot and takes a little excitement out of this weekend’s matches. It’s the final day of play Sunday in the EPL as the 10 matches will all be on live on all the NBC Networks – (see below TV Schedule) Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen – I am not even sure what channels they are – but hey they will all be on TV at the same time so enjoy this final day as the battle for Top 4 Champions League spots and the fight to not be relegated down is hot and heavy as Liverpool needs to win or draw at home to stay in the top 4, but if they lose Chelsea can past them for 4th with a win. Speaking of Relegation – moving up – Cardiff City Advances to the EPL along with Wolverhampton on the final day of the English Championship ahead of my Fulham and Aston Villa. Fulham (who used to be Fulham America – with the most US Players on 1 team back 6 to 8 years ago and Aston Villa of US GK Brad Guzan fame – will be in the playoffs to possibly move up by the end of next week.
Turning to the MLS Sunday gives us a triple header of national games as the Cascadia Cup battle features Portland and Seattle playing for at Providence Park in Portland at 4 pm on ESPN – if you have not seen a Portland Game you must tune in to see one of America’s top soccer locals as they host Seattle for the 100th time in America’s most heated soccer rivalry. Next up is Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United hosting Orlando City who is shooting for their 7th win in a row at 6 pm on FS1. Finally top East contenders NYCFC travel across the country to face LAFC at 8:30 pm on FS1. Sat we get the LA Galaxy trying to break a 3 game losing streak at surprising FC Dallas and former Carmel Dad’s Club and Carmel High star Matt Hedges at 3 pm on Univision. Of course all the talk is about Wayne Rooney possibly leaving Everton and coming to DC United – I still think Rooney is a quality player if they don’t overpay for him – it will certainly make waves off the field even if its not the best fit on the field. I think we proved with Gerald and Pirlo that these old retirement guys can’t necessarily handle the travel and hot days that MLS provides compared to European leagues but we’ll see. Heck much like Zlatan Ibra – I wpuld pay to see him play at Columbus or Chicago.
Finally Congrats to 2 of our Carmel FC 04 Gold and 05 Blue teams for moving forward in Challenge Cup and some CFC are still playing in State and President’s Cup competition – but please take heed to our Indiana Director of Education Steve Franklin’s Message – about proper coaching techniques and teaching our kids how to play (click to visit the link)
GAMES ON TV
Fri, May 11
2:45 pm NBCSN Swansea vs Southampton (Relegation battle)
8 pm youtube Pittsburg Riverhounds vs Indy 11
Sat, May 12
9:30am Fox Sports 1? Bayern Munich vs Stuggart (Final Day of German Bundesliga)
9:30 am Fox Hoffenheim vs Dortmund (Pulisic)
9:30 am Fs2 all games on Whip- Around FS2
12:15 pm ESPN+ Middlesborough vs Aston Villa – Semi-Final – Championship Playoff will face Fulham vs Derby Winner
12:30 pm beInsport Getafe vs Atletico Madrid
2:45 pm beIN Sport Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo
Sun, May 13
10 am NBC Liverpool vs Brighton (Final day of the EPL)
10 am NBCSN Newcastle United vs Chelsea
10 am Oxygen Crystal Palace vs West Brom
10 am OC Burnley vs Bourmouth
10 am Bravo Tottenham vs Leicester City
10 am MSNBC Huddersfield vs Arsenal
10 am USA Man United vs Watford
10 am SyFy Southampton vs Man City
10 am CNBC Swansea vs Stoke City
10 am E West Ham vs Everton (Rooney last game?)
2:30 pm NBCSN Premier League Match-Day in Review
2:45 pm beIN Sport Roma vs Juventus
4 pm ESPN Portland vs Seattle FC
6 pm FS1 Orlando vs Atlanta
6 pm ESPN+/Utube Nashville vs Louisville FC USL
8:30 pm FS1 LAFC vs NYCFC
Wed, May 16
2:30 pm FS1 Atletico Madrid vs – Europa League Final – Lyon, France
Sat, May 19
12:30 pm FOX Chelsea vs Man United FA CUP FINAL
8 pm Myindy23 Indy 11 vs Bethlehem Steel FC (Lucas Oil) (College student tix just $7)
Sat, May 26th
2:45 pm FOX 59 Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Champions League Final
Thur, June 14 World Cup on Fox
MLS TV Schedule
Indy 11 vs Pittsburg Riverhounds Preview
Keys to the Game – last 3 matches – Indy 11
Ayoze Named to USL team of the Week
Indy 11 hand Louisville FC first Loss 1-0 Indy 11
Indy 11 Defeats Favorite on Derby Day – www.Bloodyshambles.com
Photos from Indy 11 win over Louisville compliments of permanentrelegation.com
Indy 11 Discount Tickets for Saturday’s Game! (Code 2018Indy)
Flex Packs: Discount Indy 11 Flex Pack Tickets
Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan
Watch the Away Games for the Indy 11 and All USL Games on YouTube
Wayne Rooney Signs with DC United? ESPNFC
What to Watch 4 – MLS Weekend Ahead
Wayne Rooney to MLS – good or Bad? – Andrew Wiebe- MLS.com
Iniesta to MLS yes – best place to land? Greg Seltzer MLS.com
Longtime MLS Keeper and Former Indy 11 GK Jon Busch Hangs Up the Gloves
El Classico – Barca Rides Luck to Fiery, Controversial draw with Real Madrid – yahoo
Barca vs Real Still Delivered Drama, While Liverpool vs Chelsea Underealms – Gab Marcotti – ESPNFC
Atletico Furious over Barca pursuit of striker Griezmann – we will not sell says Simeon
What to Watch 4 – Liverpool/Chelsea battle for UCL, Swansea seek a miracle
Huddersfield Town with US Ties Stays Alive after 1-1 tie @ Chelsea
Liverpool Klopp still proud dispite loss to Chelsea
Arsenal Bids Farewell to Arsene Wenger with 5-0 win
Championship Playoff Preview –
Bruce Arena Writes Book Talks about Why we Failed
Pulisic has transcended his Nationality – Video – Alexi Lalas
Huddersfield GK makes $150 million dollar Save
Best Saves 2018 1st Week of May
50 Players to Watch in WC – Thibaut Courtois
Longtime MLS Keeper and Former Indy 11 GK Jon Busch Hangs Up the Gloves
CHAMPIONS & Europa League Finals
Expect Real Madrid vs Liverpool to be a Goal Filled Final
Why Liverpool is the Perfect Challenger to Real Madrid’s Champ League Throne
Liverpool roar into Champions League final
5 things we learned as Liverpool reached the final
Liverpool celebrate making the final in pictures
All you Need to Know About the Europa League Final tween Atletico Madrid and Marseille in Lyon
Guide to Lyon, France Site of the Europa League Final
International Champions Cup
Tix in the US go on sales May 1st to the General Public but I have a special Link to allow you in the PRE-SALE. Just click here and use code ICCVIP.
Man City vs Borussia Dortmund – Fri July 20 9 pm Chicago Soldier Field
Man United vs Liverpool – Sat July 28 5 pm Michigan Stadium (tix on sale now)
“Boys in Blue” to take on last undefeated team in the East in Week 9Indy vs Pittsburgh
Indy Eleven @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – #PGHvIND Friday, May 11, 2018 – 7 P.M. EST Highmark Stadium—Pittsburgh, PA
Watch/Listen Live:Local/National TV: N/A Streaming Video: ESPN+ ($)
Week 9: Chasing the Top Five
Indy Eleven continue an action packed month of May this Friday as the “Boys in Blue” seek out three more points on the road against the last undefeated team in the East, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.The “Boys in Blue” sit at sixth in the table after playing three games in a seven day span, earning 4 out of a possible 9 points. The most recent match for the Eleven was a victory against former Eastern Conference table leaders Louisville City FC. The 1-0 victory against the “Boys in Purple” came from a penalty converted in the 78th minute by Indy Eleven defender Ayoze. The win was crucial for “Indiana’s Team” after a scoreless draw against Charlotte Independence in Week Seven and falling to FC Cincinnati, 2-3, at home in the first fixture of Week Eight. Pittsburgh Riverhounds enter Week Nine sitting at third in the Eastern Conference table with 15 points. The Riverhounds are the last undefeated team in the East after Louisville’s loss to Indy in Week Eight. Pittsburgh defeated Toronto FC II in their Week Eight game, 2-1, with goals from forward Neco Brett and Captain Kevin Kerr. Brett was named Man of the Match after he scored the first goal and assisted the second.Indy Eleven’s form on the road remains an integral part of their success this season. “Indiana’s Team” has accrued 7 out of 9 points on the road in their inaugural USL campaign. The “Boys in Blue’s” stiff defense has been the key to their road success, keeping three clean sheets in three road games.
Indy Eleven Player to Watch: MF Nico Matern
Nico Matern has been a consistent presence in Indy Eleven’s midfield through the opening weeks of the season. He has appeared in six of seven games for the “Boys in Blue” in 2018, all of which have been in the starting XI. . The FC St. Pauli youth product has completed nearly four-fifths of the almost 270 passes played. The “New in Blue” midfielder also has the ability to read passes before they are played with 15 interceptions in the midfield.The Buxtehude, Germany native spent last season with Indiana Wesleyan University, where he earned NCCAA All-Team honors. Before moving to the States to play soccer, Matern spent most of his youth career with several German fourth and fifth division sides.”A guy like Nico (Matern) does an amazing job,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “As a coach, you really, really, really appreciate that. He’s filling gaps; he’s taking the ball under pressure all the time, playing it out of pressure. He’s got a strong body, strong physical presence. He organizes and keeps people close to him.”
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Player to Watch: MF Kevin Kerr
Midfielder Kevin Kerr has found himself in the starting eleven for Pittsburgh quite often, starting six of seven games he’s played in so far in 2018. Kerr has had a stellar year with the Riverhounds accumulating two assists and holding 86 percent passing accuracy inside his half.Last time out, the midfielder completed just over 90 percent of the passes he played, along with an impressive 83 percent in the attacking half against Toronto FC II. On top of moving the ball with ease, Kerr assisted teammate Neco Brett in finding the back of the net in the 12th minute. Brett returned the favor 24 minutes later, setting up Kerr for a strike that would find the bottom left corner of the net.This is Kerr’s sixth year with the Riverhounds. He is fourth in games played for the Pennsylvania team and first in minutes played.
Matchup to Mark: DF Carlyle Mitchell vs. FW Neco Brett
Indy Eleven defender Carlyle Mitchell will be tasked with slowing down Riverhounds forward Nico Brett in Saturday’s matchup at Pittsburgh. Mitchell has been an integral piece of the backline for the “Boys in Blue”, earning him a starting position every game so far in 2018. The Trinidad & Tobago International has boasts a nearly 90 percent tackle rate, missing only one so far this season. Additionally, Mitchell has won two-thirds of his aerial duels thus far, keeping opposition forwards from getting on the ends of crosses.Mitchell returns to a Coach Rennie’s squad after previously lining up under the Scotsman during stints with Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps and Korean second division side Seoul E-Land. He’s also made 35 appearances for Trinidad & Tobago, scoring three goals.Brett will be attempting to break through Indy Eleven’s backline on Saturday, as he did last week where he scored and assisted in the game against Toronto FC II. Brett has found the back of the net an impressive five times in seven games, making him the leading goal scorer in the Eastern Conference. Furthermore, the Jamaican has also collected two assists, tying him for the most assists on his team so far this year.Mitchell will have to deny passing lanes into the box to slow down Brett, who has scored all of his goals from inside the 18-yard box. On top of being a presence in the box, Brett possesses the ability to hold up play and create chances for his teammates making oncoming runs.All the action takes place on the road this Friday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m. Fans can watch the match LIVE on ESPN+! New users can sign up for a free 7-day trial at plus.espn.com.
GET READY TO TAILGATE WITH THE BYB –Indy 11 Soccer Fan Club
Park and Tailgate for indy 11 Games with the BYB – Parking in the Gate 10 BYB Section is $4 cheaper per game than the stadium’s South Lot- and OBVIOUSLY more fun! Located at 343 W McCarty Street, Gate 10 is just across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Gate 10—the 2018 official home of the BYB–is convenient and affordable. Parking is $11 per car for single games, $150 for the season! Click HERE to purchase your pass today. You Won’t want to watch the game in any other section after standing, screaming, singing, dancing, and partying with the BEST SUPPORTERS SECTION in the US – the BYB.
Everton’s Wayne Rooney agrees to deal in principle to join D.C. United – reports
May 10, 2018ESPN staff
Everton’s Wayne Rooney will join D.C. United for £12 million after agreeing to a deal in principle with the Major League Soccer side, according to multiple reports.The BBC claims Rooney’s representatives have been in the United States to discuss the finer details of a move away from the Premier League. Sky Sports adds that this move has been in the works for as long as seven weeks. Sources have told ESPN FC that Rooney, who joined Everton on a two-year deal last summer, has the option of a third year on that contract, and a move away from Goodison Park is yet to be confirmed.Everton manager Sam Allardyce has said he wants Rooney to stay and dismissed suggestions England’s record goal scorer will leave, but added that the attention on the former Manchester United player makes his situation different than others.It was reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post that Rooney “is in serious talks” about a summer move to D.C. United, adding that he “has grown frustrated” at Goodison Park.The 32-year-old was injured for Saturday’s last-gasp draw at home to Southampton. He has occasionally shown signs of annoyance, most notably when he was substituted during a goalless draw with Liverpool a month ago.
Outsider Defeats Favorite On Derby Day – Indy Eleven V Louisville City FC REVIEW www.bloodyshambles.com
|Many bumps and bruises in this game, but only one winner – Indy Eleven|
It wasn’t silky, it wasn’t pretty, but when you have a chance to knock off an undefeated current league champion you take it. These are the results that make a difference later in the year.Indy Eleven entered the game coming off the back of a 3-2 home defeat to FC Cincinnati and faced a team that had yet to be beaten with five wins and one draw in six matches. The league table and league position matter not at this stage of the season, when you start the game on 10pts and your opponent has 16 and you close that gap by 3, that matters.Ayoze Garcia was the difference maker on Saturday, not only by scoring the only goal but he along with the rest of his team made sure Louisville could not find the net. Clean sheets are not easy to come by and for sure Ayoze and Mitchell can take a lot of credit for the three points won on Saturday.Ayoze Garcia has pretty much staked his claim as penalty taker extraordinaire for Indy Eleven. He almost closed the game with a 2-0 result in the 86th minute with a 30yd rocket if it were not for the quick reaction of Louisville City keeper Greg Ranjitsingh. The first 45 minutes were cagey and very evenly matched. As much as each team gave no ground, neither could find any real spark in the final third. Soony Saad probably had the best chance of the first period with a great look and a header over the goal in the 34th.It looked like one of those days where 0-0 was written all over the low clouds visible through the open roof of Lucas Oil Stadium but the tempo and eagerness did pick up in the second 45 minutes. Substitutions Ownby and Spencer for Louisville definitely gave them more threat, ironically both of those players would miss clear chances in front of goal in injury time to level the game.stin Braun made his way on to the field offering a new dynamic in Indy Eleven’s attack and the field started to open up for Indy. A deft pass from Watson down the line to Nathan Lewis saw the winger’s cross connect with the hand of Paco Craig. As already mentioned Ayoze Garcia almost split the corner seam of the net slamming home Indy’s goal into the top left.Indy Eleven again were able to call on their roster depth to add defensive steel late in the game and we saw for the first time another great talent in Seth Moses who replaced Nathan Lewis in 83rd minute. Indy battened down the hatches to seal the three points in the closing minutes Brad Rusin was supposed to enter the game but after a necessary exit for Kevin Venegas, Brad Ring entered the field of play for his 100th competitive appearance for Indy Eleven. A high boot and unintentional contact with the face of Carlyle Mitchell from Ownby in the 92nd minute meant Indy Eleven finished the remaining five minutes of added time with only 10 men. Mitchell can take applause for his part in this game, solid throughout the 90 in the 88th minute Owain Fôn Williams was beaten by a Spencer header but denied a goal after composed defending by Carlye in the middle of the goal mouth. The Welsh keep might owe the big fella a beer.Indy Eleven took a lot of knocks, it was a very aggressive game through tough football and no ill intent, two teams determined to win. The lads will look forward to this recovery day more than any other this year, and they deserve it.
Match reaction from James Cormack…
As far as the negatives go I can hark back to my reaction to the Charlotte game. We have not found our feet yet or a good combination as an attacking force, the skill is there we know the players can produce it, but time after time we let ourselves down in the final third. We have to work on this.
Not only delivery from open play, whether from the width or from the center of the park is rushed and not really thought out. Free Kicks and corners, although we had some good ones, the majority are poor, this is the hardest part to swallow, in open play there is an intensity but from dead balls, you have time to think and we know the players are better than this.Keep the ball on the ground please, again too many times we saw long balls played from deep in our own half and hopeful ships in the final third, if a player is pressured I can understand clearances but these were hopeful balls that at the end of the day are a waste of time. There needs to be a significant decrease in the number of times we present 50/50 situations, we lose possession. Take your time, make good decisions if you don’t have a good pass forward, turn around and play it back, start again and try a different angle of attack.That being said, we defeated the reigning champions who came into the game as league leaders, they should be saying the same things about themselves, but never let that be an excuse to not seek improvement. I always remind myself we almost completely overhauled our squad, we are still finding ourselves and we played against a team that has changed very little after winning the USL Championship in 2017. Also, Tyler Pasher was nowhere to be seen.These problems in attack will sort themselves out, and imagine what we will be like when they do! Our defensive abilities in every single inch of the field from Jack Mac back to Owain continually amazes me. Carlyle was phenomenal yesterday as was Ouimette and they get stronger together each match. Ayoze was probably man of the match even if it ended 0-0 and Venegas coming back in never missed a beat. Matern and Watson looked like they breathed defensive mindedness as soon as they woke up in the morning. This back four is probably the one we will see most, and look at who we have to come in Rusin, Ferriera, Ring, Moses… excuse me for salivating. After yesterday I am giving Jack McInerney the nickname of Geronimo, brave, fearless, tireless, afraid of nothing. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he certainly is mine. Each to their own but I like a tough player with an attitude, and especially one who works as hard as him. That’s also why I like Brad Ring, I am so proud he got his 100th game and I hope also Jack reaches that milestone in a blue shirt as well.
Match reaction from Caleb Ramp…
It feels wrong to disparage three points against the reigning champions and a team which – up to yesterday – had been undefeated in 2018. The importance of the squad’s impressive defensive performance should also not be overlooked. Three days removed from conceding three, Rennie’s men buckled down and secured their first clean sheet at Lucas Oil Stadium – doing so against the highest scoring team in the USL. It may have been a fortunate victory, but a victory it was nonetheless. A win against the league leaders coming into the game is certainly something the Indy Eleven can be proud of, but there is undoubtedly room for improvement – especially in the final third. The 2018 version of the Indy Eleven is more reliant on isolating a defender and attacking them in a 1v1 off the dribble than any version of the team we’ve ever seen. There seems to be very few one or two-touch passes with penetrating off-ball movement. When we are unable to get around a defender, our next move is to almost always look for a foul. While there’s something to be said for wanting to set up a Soony Saad free kick, this style of play is neither sustainable nor entertaining. Statistically, Indy is 27th in the USL in total number of passes, and 25th in passing accuracy. That’s not nearly good enough.That isn’t to say there aren’t flashes of attacking brilliance, nor should Indy fans be concerned with their spot in the league table. I would, however, like to see a focus on more ball movement, more off-ball movement, and significantly more Justin Braun.
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Liverpool, Chelsea battle for Champions League; Swansea seek a miracle; Wenger’s goodbye
5:53 AM ETMatthew Stanger
It’s the final day of the Premier League season, with Champions League qualification, a relegation miracle and some notable goodbyes to watch for.
Will there be nerves at Anfield?
Chelsea’s unexpected slip at home to Huddersfield has eased the tension at Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s side must still avoid defeat to Brighton to be certain of a place in the Champions League next season. That seems a straightforward task, given that only Manchester City have lost fewer matches than the Reds, but the final day has a habit of producing strange results. Klopp will want to ensure his side stick to the script after seeing their 10-point lead over the Blues evaporate in the last few weeks.
To do that, Liverpool must put the Champions League final to the back of their minds. They have looked distracted in recent performances, failing to win any of their previous three Premier League matches around the two-legged semifinal against Roma.It is hardly ideal preparation for facing Real Madrid, and a late tumble outside the top four could be disastrous for the team’s confidence.It is an unlikely scenario, of course, but Brighton proved they are a threat in their 1-0 win over Manchester United last week. The Seagulls also stand a chance of a top-half finish with a victory; it’s something worth fighting for at the end of their debut Premier League campaign.After dropping points against West Brom and Stoke in April, Liverpool know what they have to do. A couple of early goals, and the pressure will be off. But if Brighton score first, it could be a long afternoon against the eighth-best defence in the division.
Chelsea’s slim hopes
All Chelsea can do is keep to their side of the bargain.After four successive victories, including a crucial 1-0 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, Wednesday’s draw with Huddersfield was a sucker punch.Despite commanding 78 percent of possession, and having 22 attempts compared to just three for the Terriers, the Blues couldn’t find the winning goal they so desperately needed. There is no guarantee they will recover to win at Newcastle.This is surely the last time Antonio Conte will lead Chelsea in the Premier League, and the manager seemed resigned to his and the club’s fates following the Huddersfield game.After a season fraught with conflict behind the scenes, it would be almost bizarre for the Blues to sneak fourth place on the final day. But while the possibility still exists, you can be certain the players will continue to fight.
Swansea’s search for goals
After scoring only twice in their last nine matches, the Premier League’s lowest scorers, Swansea, go into Sunday in search of a 10-goal swing. If Chelsea’s Champions League hopes appear slim, then this is mission impossible.Still, a 5-0 win over Stoke and a 5-0 defeat for Southampton at home to Manchester City would do the trick. It couldn’t happen … could it?
City target 100 points
Pep Guardiola was proud of the champions’ record-breaking achievement on Wednesday as victory against Brighton ensured they smashed Chelsea’s highest points total set in 2004-05.In that first season with Jose Mourinho at the helm, it looked as though the Blues would go on to build a dynasty under the manager. That they didn’t, despite winning another title and finishing second in the next two seasons, signalled a changing era in the game. Top coaches are now very much guns for hire, with the reigns of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger unlikely to ever be seen again.City should enjoy Guardiola’s tenure while it lasts, then, and reaching 100 points would highlight the remarkable impact he has made since arriving in England. The champions have raised the bar with the scintillating football they have played this season; Guardiola might not stay for long, but his legacy could be lasting.
Time to say goodbye
The final day of the season is always an opportunity to bid farewell to departing players and staff, but this year will be more significant than most. Among other exits, it will be the end of Wenger’s 22-year reign at Arsenal and Wayne Rooney’s last match in the Premier League before a reported switch to MLS side D.C. United.It will be strange to begin next season without two of the league’s most influential figures over the past two decades, and Sunday affords the chance to reflect on their achievements. Wenger and Rooney have brought so many iconic moments to the English game and, despite waning success in recent years, they will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.Michael Carrick is also hanging up his boots and will say goodbye to Old Trafford as player this Sunday. Mark Ogden sat down with the Manchester United stalwart ahead of his farewell.
Barca vs. Real still delivered drama, Chelsea vs. Liverpool underwhelms
11:48 AM ETGabriele Marcotti ESPNFC
Next season, La Liga will adopt VAR and while it may still divide opinion, Sunday’s Clasico was a strong argument in favor of the move.Referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez made a string of poor decisions in the 2-2 draw between Barcelona and Real Madrid but what we can be most grateful for is that, in the grand scheme of things, it mattered little. Other than Barca’s pursuit of an undefeated league season — it’s nice but when you step away and realize they lost in other competitions, it pales a tiny bit — the only things that mattered here were pride, tradition and rivalry.The game itself is still hugely important, of course, but it’s also the sort of thing that, when there aren’t leagues or cups at stake, you can move on from relatively quickly. Barca have a Liga title to celebrate, Real Madrid a Champions League final to prepare for. Plus neither Zinedine Zidane nor Ernesto Valverde are the types to complain and dredge up the past.As for the officiating, it was uneven throughout. The most egregious errors? Luis Suarez clearly fouled Raphael Varane en route to setting up Lionel Messi’s goal, Real Madrid should have had a penalty when Jordi Alba upended Marcelo in the box and Gareth Bale’s assault on Samuel Umtiti merited a straight red or a yellow at the very least (he got neither). There were other incidents too, as what many had predicted would be a “decaffeinated Clasico” proved to be anything but.It’s always special when you see “skill” players turning up the intensity in physical terms and this game certainly delivered that, which made it harder to officiate albeit more entertaining for the neutral. But it’s obvious the referee will look back on this match as a bad day at the office and it’s equally obvious that VAR would have made his job easier.On the bright side, we saw some real moments of sublime skill as you’d expect. Messi did his thing, Cristiano Ronaldo too, until he was hit hard in scoring his goal (a nasty whack to the ankle from Gerard Pique… we’ll know more about his condition this week but knock on wood, he’ll be ready in Kiev). Both Sergi Roberto’s goal and Suarez’s goal were picture perfect, as was Bale’s finish for the equalizer.You just wonder whether we couldn’t have the same sort of rip-roaring game — with the snarling intensity and tough tackles — albeit with fewer craven errors. Maybe next season…
Chelsea vs. Liverpool a damp squib
Chelsea hosted Liverpool on Sunday and, in many ways, it was the polar opposite of the Clasico. There was something at stake — Jurgen Klopp’s crew could lock up a Champions League spot with a draw, Chelsea needed a win to hang on to their hopes of a top-four finish — but the game was a flat affair.Blame the heat, blame a Liverpool side that were emotionally drained and physically decimated from the midweek Champions League efforts and blame a Chelsea side that focused solely on the result (as they should). Olivier Giroud’s header was the difference between the two sides as Liverpool couldn’t find a way past Chelsea’s low defensive block. (Mohamed Salah was booked for diving along the way, one of the few blots on his stellar season.) Chelsea’s chances of making it remain wafer-thin, and maybe they’ll reflect on the fact that if they come up short, they can blame the home defeat to Tottenham on April Fool’s Day. They need to run the table and hope that Spurs and/or Liverpool drop points. But at least it’s not ending with a whimper. As for Liverpool, they have bigger fish to fry…
Juve’s toughest title win ever?
Juventus took another giant step towards the Serie A title, coming from behind to beat Bologna 3-1. It’s easy to be snide and take things for granted but Juve went a goal down to the sort of penalty that, supposedly, never gets called against them. And the equalizer came only via a screwy own goal by Sebastian de Maio. All this, by the way, against a Bologna team with zero to play for, which most expected to mean “on the beach.”Max Allegri says this title, if it comes, will be the toughest he’s won. He’s right. Juventus were pushed hard by Napoli, they had to hit the highest points total of the Allegri Era to win it and they did it while undergoing a transition in key areas.All they need is a point away to Roma (who also need a point to be sure of a top four finish) to win it next week. And if that doesn’t happen, they can get the point the next week at home against Verona. Or maybe, even if they don’t win out, Napoli will drop points.It’s just about in the bag.
The Emirates says goodbye to Wenger
The Exploding Heads take you through wild relegation permutations, Claudio Bravo dropping the trophy and a naked Arsene Wenger.
Arsene Wenger said goodbye to the Emirates crowd in an emotional and touching 11-minute speech on Sunday, as Arsenal walloped Burnley 5-0. Given the circumstances of his departure, he showed dignity and class.The odd thing is that this wasn’t his last game. Arsenal have two more matches left, away to Leicester and Huddersfield. They’re bound to feel more than a little flat, particularly since Arsenal have absolutely nothing to play for — they will finish sixth regardless — and really, neither do Leicester, while Huddersfield may well be safe by the time Arsenal play them.In some ways, it would probably be more fitting if Sunday had been his final match. Leave the last two to Steve Bould or whomever and get on with the next chapter, for Wenger and for Arsenal.
Tedesco works his magic at Schalke
Schalke locked up second place in the Bundesliga this weekend, their highest league position since 2010. That they’ve delivered it with a 32-year-old manager who, at that point, had all of 11 professional matches under his belt is all the more remarkable.We’re used to German clubs doing things their own way, chucking extremely young managers into the fray and often turning to people who never played professionally. Still, what Domenico Tedesco has achieved at one of Germany’s three biggest clubs in his very first top-flight season is nothing short of remarkable. And he did it while losing his record signing, Nabil Bentaleb, for three months and having his best player, Leon Goretzka, announce in mid-season that he was leaving on a free transfer to join Bayern.Kudos to him: The challenge now is coming up with an encore.
Napoli’s season is fizzling out
Napoli’s 2-2 home draw with Torino was their likely farewell to the title. But more than the game — twice ahead, twice pegged back — it was interesting to note the fans’ reaction to manager Maurizio Sarri and the club owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis.The latter had appeared critical of Sarri in interviews that appeared the previous day, noting that the team were tired because he didn’t rotate them as much as he should have and lamenting the time he did rotate, against Leipzig in the Europa League. He also implied there was a “chicken-and-egg” thing going on: He couldn’t provide him with a deeper squad because players didn’t want to come if they knew Sarri wasn’t going to play them.It was a bit of a jibe and the backstory is that Sarri has a €8 million ($9m) release clause in his contract, and as you’d expect he has plenty of suitors. De Laurentiis went on to say he’d be happy if he stayed but equally, if he wanted to leave, he’d let him go — as long as someone ponied up the money.The San Paolo crowd left no doubt as to where they stood. Sarri was greeted with an ovation while there were murmurs against De Laurentiis. Given what the club have achieved this season, it only makes sense.
Mourinho goes in hard on his squad again
Jose Mourinho could have taken Friday night’s Brighton defeat on the chin, pointed to the league table (with Manchester United in second place) and the FA Cup final in two weeks’ time and simply told his critics that results proved him right. But instead, he went further.”Media in general [should be disappointed] because for many months you are always asking me why this player doesn’t play, why that player doesn’t play, why this player is on the bench, why always Lukaku?” he said. “Probably I know my players best than you and probably you don’t know them so well to be always with these questions.”Mourinho knew exactly how that answer would be read: an indictment of Marucs Rashford and Antony Martial. All season long, some have questioned why they didn’t get more playing time. Against Brighton, both played and both were poor.We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: Things rarely happen by accident with Mourinho, and if he’s going to throw one of his guys under the bus, he has to be confident he’ll get the right reaction from him. Evidently he must think this is the best way to get a reaction out of Rashford — and, to a lesser degree, Martial — though at this stage you wouldn’t be surprised if he had written him off completely.Time will tell whether he got it right. Either way, it’s jarring to hear.
A moment of praise for a “football God”
Alexander Meier is the epitome of the provincial cult hero, evidence that great men, great footballers and great stories exist away from the uber-hyped big clubs.The man they call “Fussball Gott” (“football God”) is in his 14th and likely final year at Eintracht Franfkurt, for whom he has scored 118 goals. That’s not a bad total for a 6-foot-5 attacking midfielder who was the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer three years ago.Successive foot injuries and a bout of Lyme disease meant he hadn’t played since the German Cup final last May. He made his return on Saturday when Eintracht hosted Hamburg, coming on with four minutes to go and scoring to make it 3-0. His deal is up at the end of the season and it’s not clear whether we’ll see him again.But many of us will remember him as a wonderfully unorthodox and inspirational player who did things men of his size don’t generally do. And we’ll be left to wonder: what cruel national team boss (yes, I’m looking at you, Jogi Loew) can’t even find a single cap for a legitimate “God?”
Spurs stumble yet again
Tottenham don’t like it when people joke about being “Spursy” as a euphemism for collapsing under pressure or make reference to Saint Totteringham’s Day — which, to be fair, Arsenal fans haven’t been able to celebrate in several years — but this is turning into a veritable late-season free fall.The dramatic 1-0 defeat to West Brom means they’ve taken just four of a possible 12 points in their last four games. The gap over Chelsea, which stood as high as 11 points a month ago (albeit with an extra game played), is now down to just two points.Harry Kane doesn’t look fully fit but more than that, they’re simply not playing well. Whether it’s exhaustion or rumors surrounding Mauricio Pochettino’s future (ones he fuels when he talks about somebody else being in charge of the “project” one day), it’s turning the end of Tottenham’s campaign into something far nervier than it ought to be.
VAR mess hampers A-League’s Grand Final
It’s no secret that of all the leagues that have adopted VAR, Australia’s A-League has had by far the worst experience. From what I can tell, a lot of it has to do with poor application (and poor referees) that only makes the natural price we pay for VAR — delays, loss of spontaneous celebrations, etc. — that much stiffer. But this past weekend, the A-League managed to stray into new VAR territory, and in the Grand Final no less: They somehow lost pictures, which meant they couldn’t go back to review Melbourne Victory’s opening goal. As it happened, the goal was offside.
I think VAR is worth pursuing and that a technological blunder — the first one that I’m aware of in more than a thousand VAR games, anyway — shouldn’t change that. Still, it’s hugely disappointing that there was no contingency to deal with this. And it’s not something you can simply argue away by saying that without VAR, the goal would still have stood and we would have accepted the error. That’s because assistant referees are instructed to give the benefit of the doubt on close offside in these situations since an incorrect offside call can’t be called back, but a goal scored in an offside position can’t be disallowed.
Real Madrid is singlehandedly drowning other European superclubs in disappointment
Henry BushnellFC YahooMay 1, 2018, 7:30 PM
There is no precedent. No historical equivalent for Real Madrid’s reign. The most successful club in European soccer history held off Bayern Munich on Tuesday to advance to its third consecutive Champions League final, and its fourth in five years. It has won 17 of 18 knockout round matchups in that time, and could soon win a fourth title. Never before has Europe’s top club competition, in its current form, seen this level of unrelenting dominance.And as a result, never before has European success been this elusive for others. Never before have failure and disappointment been this widespread.Nor has the Champions League ever been as highly regarded or valued as it is today. Madrid has supplemented its continental crowns with just one domestic league title, meaning there are still trophies to win. And the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG and Juventus have won plenty of them.But the widening gap between superclubs and muggles has placed increased import on intra-elite battles. Outside of England, it has devalued domestic success. It has heaped esteem into the continental competition, onto one prize – a prize that only one team can claim. And a prize that only two clubs have claimed over the past half-decade.That’s why thoroughly impressive season seasons get deemed failures. Titles aren’t sufficient. Bayern Munich and PSG could win a combined seven trophies this year. And yet a few days after Bayern lifts the last of the seven, in the DFB Pokal final, both fan bases will look back on the past nine months with dissatisfaction.And the culprit, as it so often has been over the past five years, will be Real Madrid.Madrid has been the source of a sensational amount of Champions League heartbreak, and by extension an extraordinary amount of disappointment. It has on three occasions left Bayern bereft, and once left PSG peeved. It has taken out four Italian teams in three years, and could yet topple a fifth.It is the primary reason Bayern will soon move on to its fourth manager in four seasons, and PSG its third. It has exacerbated PSG’s flirtations with Financial Fair Play. It has twice killed off Gianluigi Buffon’s Champions League dreams, and almost singlehandedly kept Serie A as a second-rate league. It has ended Manchester City’s deepest European run, and watched as other English clubs around it self-destruct.Real’s unabating success on the continent has even wreaked havoc at Barcelona, despite the Catalans’ superiority in head-to-head matchups between the two. Barca’s 2017-18 season, by almost any objective measure, has been excellent. It has won its third La Liga title in four years. It lifted the Copa Del Rey. It could become the first team in Spanish history to complete an entire 38-game league season unbeaten.It has achieved all of this, however, in the shadow of Madrid’s European dominance.So despite it, first-year manager Ernesto Valverde is under pressure. The double is insufficient, just like PSG’s soon-to-be 18 French trophies over the past five years, or Bayern’s 10 (and counting) in Germany, or, to a lesser degree, Juventus’ nine (and counting) in Italy.On one hand, the concentration of European success at one central location in the Spanish capital has exposed the absurdity of expectations elsewhere. When a single trophy, and oftentimes a single game, defines success or failure, virulent frustration and displeasure are inevitable. Such is the nature of zero-sum games, though those experiencing the displeasure refuse to admit it.But when zero-sum games are repeatedly won by the same contestant, expectations don’t change; the frustration simply intensifies. Pressure heightens. Failure, because of its recurrent nature, becomes all the more crushing. And Real Madrid, by monopolizing success in a competition previously impervious to this type of exclusivity, continues to flatten the souls of its superclub brethren around Europe
Why Liverpool is the perfect challenger for Real Madrid’s Champions League throne
Henry Bushnell,FC Yahoo Wed, May 2 5:14 PM EDT
The day after it advanced to a fourth Champions League final in five years is no time to belittle Real Madrid. It is no time to suggest that the most prosperous team in the history of the competition, in the midst of that competition’s most dominant run, is anything less than spectacular. It is no time for defamation or aspersions, nor suggestions that Madrid doesn’t deserve its success.But after Liverpool dispatched Roma to lock in a date with Real in Kiev, it is time to talk about vulnerability.It is time to talk about vulnerability, because when Madrid goes for a third Champions League title in a row, and a fourth in five years, on May 26 at Ukraine’s Olympic Stadium, it will have to overcome an opponent that might as well be engineered to end its run.Liverpool is the Kryptonite. It is the nemesis. Its style is Real Madrid’s Achilles Heel. Frame the final however you want, with whatever metaphor or cliché. Just don’t scoff at the notion. Don’t assume that Real Madrid’s past triumphs ensure one more.Liverpool has a real chance to prevent the three-peat, because its up-tempo, “heavy-metal football” is the exact type to which Real has become susceptible. Against worthy opponents this year, Madrid has staggered like a king fighting with waning might to maintain control of his kingdom. It has survived, but shown more signs of weakness than ever.A once-great midfield has become a liability. Its beautiful lack of structure has become a problem as players like Luka Modric have lost an ounce or two of physical ability. Never before in the Modric-Toni Kroos era has Madrid’s midfield line been so easy to break, and never before has it so often failed to seize control of games.Los Blancos struggle, in particular, in transition. Kroos and Modric require freedom and options ahead of them. But their use of that freedom is problematic when they lose the ball. And those are precisely the times when Liverpool excels. Its high press forces turnovers. Its front three explode forward with menace. Wherever Madrid loses the ball, whether in the middle of the park or in the attacking third, it will have trouble cutting off supply to Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. It will therefore have trouble stemming Liverpool’s counterattack.There are possible alterations, available countermeasures for Real manager Zinedine Zidane to employ. He could play Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez as defensive wingers in a classic 4-4-2, with either Isco or Karim Benzema partnering Cristiano Ronaldo up top. But in that case, central channels would still be wide open.He could go even more conservative, to a 4-5-1 with the two defensive wingers, Casemiro behind Modric and Kroos, and Ronaldo up top alone. But in that case, Real Madrid wouldn’t be Real Madrid. In theory, Madrid might prefer a slow, defensive slog. But such a game is so out of the ordinary for a club accustomed to superiority and attacking flair that it might not be feasible.Zidane has sought this balance – between solidity and proactivity – throughout the European season, but hasn’t really been able to find it. Score lines have been deceiving. Real was on the back foot for at least half of its ties against PSG and Juventus, and all of its semifinal matchup with Bayern Munich.The defending champs have won Champions League games at either end of the field. They have scored more ridiculous individual goals than anybody else, punished mistakes with more ruthlessness than anybody else, and saved themselves with more last-ditch defensive interventions. Ronaldo has been Ronaldo. Sergio Ramos, when not suspended, has been Sergio Ramos. Keylor Navas has been Good Keylor Navas.Some would call Madrid’s success lucky. And they wouldn’t be wrong. It’s been a combination of luck and skill, just as almost all success is. Madrid has made use of opponent mistakes whereas others haven’t. And we should keep in mind that Liverpool has been prone to the very defensive slip-ups off of which Real has profited.But Liverpool can also force errors at the other end as well as anybody in the world. The Reds have done it against Man City, soccer’s most domineering attacking unit. If they have their way – and there is little to suggest they won’t – they will turn the Champions League final into chaos. And they are far more equipped to win a chaotic, helter-skelter game than Real Madrid.
Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp warns Real Madrid: ‘We will be on fire in final’
Andy Hunter at Stadio OlimpicoThe Guardian3 May 2018, 02:05
A beaming Jürgen Klopp told his Liverpool side they must go and finish the job in Kiev by winning the Champions League after surviving their Roma scare. Liverpool were beaten 4-2 at Stadio Olimpico, their first defeat in Rome, but advanced 7-6 on aggregate to the final where they will face Real Madrid.
And the Liverpool manager warned the holders that his team will be “on fire” in Ukraine having weathered another Roma recovery in the second leg of the semi-final. Klopp, who re-emerged from the tunnel to celebrate with the 5,000 delirious away fans half an hour after the final whistle, admitted his team had suffered and under-performed in the Italian capital. Not that he cared. Having guided Liverpool from the Champions League qualifiers to their eighth European Cup final appearance Klopp insisted his only focus was on ending a run of near-misses in finals and Real’s hold on the trophy on 26 May.“We were in a League Cup final and didn’t win it,” the Liverpool manager said. “People don’t tell me in the street since then: ‘Thank you for bringing us to the final.’ We were in the Europa League final too. Nobody tells me thank you. I see no trophies after these games. They don’t hang silver medals at Melwood. That’s a pity, but that’s the game. There’s still a job to do. “Going to a final is really nice but winning is even nicer. We will be ready but it is Real Madrid. You cannot be more experienced in this competition than Real Madrid. I think 80% of their team played all these finals. They are four times in the last five years and still together. They are experienced, we are not, but we will be really on fire.”Klopp joined his players in prolonged celebrations with the Liverpool supporters at the Stadio Olimpico. He later came back out to continue the revelry alone. He explained: “Seeing all these happy faces is the best thing that football can do. These people followed us all over Europe, come to Anfield, create an exceptional atmosphere, and we all know how big the desire is to come back on the winning track. They had such a big part in the season so far so if they want to see me, they can see me, no problem.”The Liverpool manager said his team were made to suffer by Roma because they did not capitalise on several counterattacks. “A big compliment for Roma,” added Klopp. “What a performance, what a comeback, what a great football game. In the high-intense moments we had brilliant counterattacks but not enough to finish them. There was a few penalty situations but I didn’t see them back so far. It was first time we were not as good as we can be.“We needed luck, that’s what we had, and over the whole campaign it’s deserved. It would have been deserved for Roma too. For both teams it would have been crazy to play extra time. So it was 7-6 on aggregate, which sounds crazy because it is crazy.“We came as a qualifier and are now in a final. I’m really happy for the boys, the club, the fans. It’s been a fantastic ride so far; now we go to Kiev, which sounds crazy but it’s the truth. We will go to Kiev.”The Roma president, James Pallotta, was livid with the Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, insisting his refusal to award a penalty for handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold or dismiss Loris Karius for a foul on Edin Dzeko made the introduction of VAR an imperative in the Champions League. Pallotta said: “It is very clear VAR is needed in the Champions League because you just can’t let stuff like this happen. El Shaarawy potentially [in]the 49th minute wasn’t offside and he [Dzeko] gets taken down by the goalie, the 63rd minute was a handball that was obvious to everyone probably in the world except people on the pitch, the 67th minute [Patrik] Schick gets taken down in the box.“I know it is difficult to ref but it is really embarrassing that we lose on aggregate like that. By the way, it should have been a red card which would have been 10 men in the 63rd minute. Liverpool are a great team, congratulations going forward, but if they don’t get VAR in the Champions League, stuff like this is an absolute joke,” Pallotta said.
Kick Off: OCSC-ATLUTD and Cascadia derby highlight Week 11 weekend slate
May 11, 201811:04AM EDTGreg SeltzerContributor
Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:
Ready for Week 11? You can be, with the all-new MLS App
With a full weekend slate opening Friday, make sure you’re set for the soccer onslaught with the the all-new official MLS app, available on iOS or Android . Set your favorites and follows to stay notified, and even if you can’t catch the action live, we’ve got you covered with exclusive access to condensed matches after every MLS regular-season game. iOS APP STORE | GOOGLE PLAY
‘Caps welcome favorite guests Houston
Vancouver will kick off the weekend menu of matches by hosting Houston under Friday night lights(10:30 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). The Caps, who are holding on to third in the West despite dropping four of five, have never lost to Houston at BC Place (6-0-1). PREVIEW
Derby doubleheader set for Sunday
Sunday out Cascadia way, Portland and Seattle will meet for the 100th time across their shared history at Providence Park (4 pm ET | ESPN – Full TV & streaming info). The Timbers, who enter on a three-game win streak, will hope Fernando Adi can extend his home derby scoring run; the striker has seven tallies in the last five. WATCH VIDEO | PREVIEW
That’s followed by the fourth southern rivalry duel between an Orlando City crew shooting for their seventh win in a row and visiting conference leaders Atlanta United (6 pm ET | FS1 – Full TV & streaming info). Both of these teams are among the top five most improved clubs this season, and one of them tops the list. READ MORE | PREVIEW
LAFC braces for NYCFC visit
It will be an interesting matchup when East beasts New York City FC make their first visit to LAFC (8:30 pm ET | FS1 – full TV & streaming info). Bob Bradley’s expansion outfit has opened their Banc of California Stadium tenure by allowing just one goal in a 2-0-1 start. PREVIEW
Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy will try to break the trends and a three-game losing skid in Saturday’s away match against FC Dallas (3:30 pm ET | Univision – full TV & streaming info). Not only are the Galaxy currently in a 1-3-9 road swoon (dating back to last season), but they’ve also gone winless in their last four clashes with FC Dallas. PREVIEW
Weekend travels for TFC, Red Bulls
What promises to be an ornery Toronto FC side will strive to get back to usual business when they invade New England for a Saturday tilt (7:30 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). The Revs are 4-0-2 in their last six home games against the reigning but wounded champs. PREVIEW
Colorado will try to snap a three-game slide when they host a guest they’ve beaten three straight times at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the New York Red Bulls (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). It may seem like a longshot and they don’t actually appear to need him, but we still made the Red Bulls one of two sensible landing spots if impending Barcelona freebie Andres Iniesta opts for an MLS switch this summer. READ MORE | PREVIEW
Crew SC, Impact host Eastern duels
Columbus will try to get revenge for last month’s defeat in Chicago when these old rivals lock horns at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Both teams are coming off slim midweek wins, with the Fire’s keyed by a man-marking master class from rookie Mo Adams. READ MORE | PREVIEW
In advance of Saturday’s home contest with East rivals Philadelphia (3 pm ET | CTV, TVAS – Full TV & streaming info), Montreal boss Remi Garde has taken the time to pour ice cold water on a transfer rumor. The Impact tactician has implored reporters to abandon all thoughts of a swoop for Atletico Madrid star Fernando Torres. READ MORE | PREVIEW
RSL, Loons aim to extend home runs
Real Salt Lake will wager a three-game Rio Tinto winning run when a D.C. United outfit with four straight road losses comes to town on Saturday (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Of course, the big news swirling around the capital these days regards their reported pursuit of Wayne Rooney, which the guys at ExtraTime Radio happily kicked around on Thursday. LISTEN TO ETR | PREVIEW
MInnesota United will try to log their first ever three-game home win streak when San Jose drops by for Saturday’s contest (2 pm ET | TV & streaming info). To do so, they will need to turn the tide on a Quakes side that has taken all four meetings (three in league play, one in the Open Cup) between the two to date. PREVIEW
RECAP | INDY ELEVEN DOWN LOUISVILLE CITY FC, 1-0
By IndyEleven.com, 05/05/18, 4:45PM EDT
The “Boys in Blue” end the “Boys in Purple” undefeated steak
Indy Eleven secure three points in a 1-0 win against Louisville City FC at Lucas Oil Stadium, handing the 2017 USL Champions their first loss of 2018.The action in the first 45 minutes of play was primarily contained in the midfield as both sides fought for scoring opportunities. Louisville had the first run at goal in the 14th minute when midfielder George Davis IV fired a shot high over Indy’s goal from the right edge of the field. Indy Eleven midfielder Nathan Lewis retuned the favor six minutes later with his run into LCFC’s 18-yard box. Louisville defender Paco Craig did well to clear seconds before the Trinidadian international was able to get a solid shot off. “Indiana’s Team” had another close look at goal in the 34th minute when midfielder Zach Steinberger lifted a cross into the center of LCFC’s box to forward Soony Saad’s head before his attempt ended up over the cross bar.The match continued on to the next 45 minutes. Indy would come close to scoring once more six minutes into the start of the second half. Saad sent the ball to the top of LCFC’s box from the corner to meet the head of striking partner Jack McInerney. The former LA Galaxy frontman nodded the ball towards goal, only for it to fly just over the frame. The “Boys in Purple” retaliated in the 58th minute when midfielder Brian Ownby hammered a ball from the upper left of Indy’s 18-yard box on target. Thankfully, “Boys in Blue” goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams stopped the shot as he dove to the ground, quickly collecting and restarting play seconds later.The dicey play continued on until the 78th minute when LCFC’s Craig was given a yellow card for a handball within their own box, awarding Indy Eleven a penalty kick for the offense. Eleven defender Ayoze Garcia stepped to the spot and buried the game-winning goal into the upper left corner of the net. Indy would retain this lead for the remainder of the match.Although Indy would walk away victorious, Louisville would have two more close chances at goal in a seven minute window. In the 80th minute, LCFC’s Sean Totsch nearly nodded in a header from the center of Indy’s box after receiving a cross from teammate Paolo DelPiccolo, but the ball was tipped over the bar by Fon Williams. Seven minutes later, LCFC’s Ownby took his chance with another close-range header that was eventually cleared out of danger by Indy defender Carlyle Mitchel, midfielder Matt Watson and Ayoze.The match carried on through eight minutes of stoppage time, but that wouldn’t be enough for the I-65 visitors to find the equalizing goal. Indy Eleven tallied three points on the afternoon, securing four-of-nine points from the three games in the last seven days. The “Boys in Blue” move into third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings, but much remains to be seen as the remaining Week 8 fixtures wait to be played out.Indy Eleven will return to action on the road Saturday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. “Indiana’s Team” will return to Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. to take on Bethlehem Steel FC. You can get tickets for as low as $15 at www.IndyElevenTickets.com or by calling (317)685-1100.
SL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 1:0 Louisville City FC
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
IND – Ayoze – 78′
Indy Eleven lineup (4-2-3-1, L–>R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Ayoze Garcia, Carlyle Mitchell, Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas (Brad Ring 90+1′); Nico Matern, Matt Watson, Zach Steinberger, Nathan Lewis (Seth Moses 83′); Soony Saad, Jack McInerney (Justin Braun 73′) Indy Eleven bench: Jordan Farr (GK); Brad Ring, Brad Rusin; Juan Guerra, Seth Moses; Justin Braun, Ben Speas
Louisville City FC lineup (4-4-2, L–>R): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Kyle Smith, Paco Craig, Sean Totsch, Oscar Jimenez; Paolo DelPiccolo, Devon Williams, George Davis IV, Magnus Rasmussen (Brian Ownby 45′); Cameron Lancaster, Ilija Ilic (Luke Spencer 66′)Louisville City FC bench: Tim Dobrowolski (GK), Chris Hubbard (GK); Alexis Souahy; Brian Ownby, Niall McCabe; Luke Spencer
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