2/28/2020   MLS Season Kicks off-Nashville vs Atl Sat 8 pm Fox, Indy 11 & USL Start next weekend, US Ladies Cup starts Thurs, El Classico Sun  

So I have to start with Champions League play and just how good it was over the past 2 weeks – and not just UCL from CCL – Concacaf Champions League featuring 5 MLS squads and 4 Mexican squads and others.  The games especially last night’s LAFC vs Cruz Azul and Seattle hosting Olimpia were fantastic.  LAFC overcame a 2 goal deficit after round 1 to win 3-0 at home on 2 goals from MLS MVP Carlos Vela.  In Seattle – the MLS Cup Champs gave up an 86th minute goal to draw at 2-2, (4-4 on aggregate) then lost in a shootout 5-3.  Still 4 MLS teams advanced to the round of 8  – which is quite impressive – had me watching 2 TVs at 11:30 pm last night on FS1 and FS2.

Of course – the Champions League UCL had a few surprises – as Man City marched into Real Madrid and stole a 2-1 win on a last minute PK.  Questionable Red Card on Ramos for me.  Also Juve laid an egg in a 0-1 loss at Napoli   and of course Liverpool was held scoreless by Atletico Madrid in a 0-1 loss in Spain.  The 2nd legs next month will be exciting !

MLS

MLS kicks off their 25th season this weekend as the league welcomes new clubs Nashville and Inter Miami.  Nashville kicks off their in-augural season by hosting Atlanta United in the Titans football stadium Saturday night at 8 pm on FOX.  Yes network TV !  Also Saturday a whole host of games on ESPN+ – (as almost every MLS game is available on the Plus all season long – see full schedule below.  Sunday gives us Defending Champs Seattle hosting newly revamped Chicago at Fire at 3 pm on ESPN, followed by LAFC hosting Inter Miami Sunday at 5:30 pm as David Beckham returns to LA where he played for so many years.   Fox Sports 1 takes over with the 7:30 pm game featuring Portland and Minn United.

USA

The US ladies have announced the roster for the She Believes Cup matching the top 4 of the top teams in the World in a round robin in the US starting next Thurs as the US opens with England at 8 pm on ESPN2.  On the men’s side Dortmund 17 year-old American Gio Reyna fresh off his assist on the winning goal for Dortmund 2 minutes after he came on last week vs PSG has been announced to the roster for the US Men next month when they play in Europe.

2020 SHEBELIEVES CUP, PRESENTED BY VISA, SCHEDULE

  • Date Matches Stadium City Kickoff (TV)
  • Thurs Mar. 5 USA vs. England Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, TUDN.
  • Sun Mar. 8 USA vs. Spain Red Bull Arena Harrison, N.J. 5 p.m. ET on ESPN, TUDN.
  • Weds Mar. 11 USA vs. Japan Toyota Stadium Frisco, Texas 7 p.m. CT on ESPNews, TUDN.

Full U.S. roster:

Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride)

Midfielders (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)

EL CLASSICO

El Classico the battle between Real Madrid and Barcelona takes place this weekend on Sunday at 3 pm on beIN Sport and FUBO TV – see all the stories on the OBC..  Barcelona has a 2 point lead on the home standing Madradistas as both teams battle for La Liga supremacy as the next team is 10 points back.  Still both squads have already suffered more losses than last year in the much more competitive league.  For Real – the chance to bounce back after the stunning loss to Man City at home is huge.

Indy 11-april_4_home_opener

https://www.ticketmaster.com/indy-eleven-tickets/artist/1976823

GAMES ON TV 

Sat, Feb 29  MLS Season Opens

7:30 a.m. ET: NBCSN         Brighton vs CP

9:30 am Fox Sport2           Frieburg vs Dortmund (Gio Reyna)

9:30 am FS1                       Hoffenhiem vs Bayern Munich

10 am NBCSN                     Bournemouth vs Chelsea

11:30 am beIN Sport         PSG vs Dijon

12:30 p.m. ET: NBC           Watford vs Liverpool

3:30 pm Univision             Houston vs LA Galaxy (Chichirito)

6 pm ESPN+                        Dallas vs Philly Union  

5:30 pm ESPN+                  San Jose vs Toronto FC

6 pm ESPN+                        Dallas (CHS Matt Hedges) vs Philly Union

8 pm FOX                            Nashville vs Atlanta (Nashville 1st game)

Sun, 3/1 

9 a.m. ET: NBCSN              Everton vs Man United

9am NBCSN                       Tottenham vs Wolverhampton

11:30 am ESPN+                Aston Villa vs Man City – (LEAGUE CUP)

1 pm ESPN+                        NY Red Bulls vs Cincy

3 pm beIN sport/Fubo     Real Madrid vs Barcelona  (El CLassico)

3 pm ESPN                          Seattle vs Chicago Fire

5:30 pm ESPN                    LAFC vs Inter Miami

7:30 pm FS1                       Portland Timbers vs Minnesota United

Thur 3/5

2:45 pm ESPN+                  Napoli vs Inter  Copa Italia

2:45 pm ESPN+                  Derby Co vs Man United (FA Cup)

7 pm ESPN2                USA Ladies vs England (She Believes Cup)

Sat, 3/7 

730 a.m.  NBCSN               Liverpool vs Bournmouth  

9:30 am Fox Sport2           Wolfsburg (Brooks) vs RB Liepzig (Adams)

10 am NBCSN                     Arsenal vs West Ham

12:30 NBCSN                      Burnley bs Tottenham

1:30 pm ESPN+                  NE Revs vs Chicago Fire

3:30pm ESPN+, Uni           DC united vs Inter Miami 

5 pm ESPN+                        Toronto vs NYCFC 

7 pm ESPN+                        Atlanta United vs Cincy 

7 pm ESPN+       Memphis vs Indy 11

10 pm ESPN News             San Diego Loyals (Donovan) vs Las Vegas Lights  USL

MLS


CCL Wrap: LAFC makes history, Sounders eliminated

Your 2020 MLS Season Preview is here!

MLS Power Rankings – Jason Davis – ESPN

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/02/13/armchair-analyst-nine-key-mls-position-battles-watch-2020

Cincinnati Season Preview: Will FCC’s attacking makeover pay off?

Columbus Season Preview: Watch out for the Crew in 2020

Chicago Season Preview: New-look Fire will need time

Nashville Season Preview: Strategy is clear for 2020 expansion season

Atlanta Season Preview: 2020 could prove an even bigger challenge for De Boer

FC Dallas Season Preview: Luchi’s men no longer underdogs in 2020

Portland Season Preview: Timbers reload with new strikeforce

Seattle Season Preview: Can Sounders survive CCL and contend again?

MLS’s most interesting team? What to make of Chicago Fire in 2020

Beckham: Inter Miami have great opportunity to sign Messi and Ronaldo

‘It’s the hardest thing I’ve done’ – Beckham reveals Inter Miami struggles ahead of MLS debut  Goal.com

Beckham’s Miami MLS team to kick off after 7 years of twist

WORLD,

Juve fans are fed up with Sarri. Can he rally before it’s too late?

How coronavirus is affecting soccer in Italy2dGabriele Marcotti

Connelly: Barca are having a much better year than you think
– Hunter: Real overtake Barca as “academy kings”
– Toe Poke: Ramos’ red card total not even close to a record
What’s it like being the referee for Real Madrid vs. Barcelona?

Soccer’s best duos: Which pairs of the modern era work best together?

Pep masterminds biggest Champions League win in Man City history

Champions League
Europa League last 16 draw: Man United, Wolves face tricky tests

Pep masterminds biggest Champions League win in Man City history

Chelsea’s flaws laid bare by rampant Bayern

Madrid stunned as KDB inspires City fightback

Werner pen earns Leipzig crucial win at Spurs

Atalanta fairytale continues as Italians thrash Valencia

Zen-sational stats! Dortmund striker Haaland has more UCL goals than Barca

Sources: Atletico fuming at Klopp accusations

Atletico make Liverpool’s Supermen look like Clark Kents

Atletico stifle Liverpool with defensive effort

Record-setting Haaland leads Dortmund past PSG

Lacazette 3/10 as Arsenal crash out of Europa League

USA

U.S.’s Reyna, 17, emotional after UCL record

Gio Reyna to receive first USMNT call-up in March

Americans at home: Yanks to watch in MLS, 2020 edition – Part I ~ guys we know

Lucy Bronze out for England

Pugh returns to U.S. roster for SheBelieves Cup

U.S. Soccer accused of telling ‘false’ story on pay

U.S. Soccer, players file opposing motions in suit

U.S. Soccer, players file opposing motions in suit

2020 SHEBELIEVES CUP, PRESENTED BY VISA, SCHEDULE

  • Date Matches Stadium City Kickoff (TV)
  • 5 USA vs. England Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, TUDN.
  • 8 USA vs. Spain Red Bull Arena Harrison, N.J. 5 p.m. ET on ESPN, TUDN.
  • 11 USA vs. Japan Toyota Stadium Frisco, Texas 7 p.m. CT on ESPNews, TUDN.

Indy 11

Indy 11 Schedule Released

Season and Half Season Plans on Sale

RECAP | INDY ELEVEN KNOCKS OFF DETROIT CITY FC 2-1 IN PRESEASON FRIENDLY

LINDLEY BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA

FORWARDS CONTRERAS, RAFANELLO JOIN INDIANA’S TEAM

SOLID FOUNDATION

ELEVEN ADDS U.S. YOUTH INTERNATIONAL FORWARD ANDREW CARLETON

Arrival of the MLS season means an even deeper slate of games to follow

By jcksnftsn  Feb 28, 2020, 7:40am PST

The kickoff of MLS this weekend, including four games on the major networks, has significantly increased the pool of games available to follow this weekend and along with a solid slate of Bundesliga action there are quite a few games that we can track through the weekend. So here we go:

Friday

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hertha Berlin – 2:30p on FS2

The weekend kicks off with a Bundesliga match that should see Alfredo Morales take the field with Fortuna Dusseldorf when the team faces Hertha Berlin on Friday afternoon. Morales came off the bench last weekend which snapped a streak of seven straight starts for the American. Dusseldorf won the game thanks to two goals before Morales came on and the win snapped a five game winless streak so perhaps that doesn’t speak well to the role Morales has been playing with the team. The victory was a crucial one for the team though as they need every point they can get to avoid relegation. With the win they remained in 16th place and the relegation playoff spot but drew within two points of Mainz for 15th place.

This weekend Dusseldorf will be playing 15th place Hertha Berlin who are coming off a humiliating 5-0 loss to FC Koln despite out possessing them nearly 2-1. Another victory for Dusseldorf this weekend could very well raise them out of the relegation zone and set them on a trajectory for safety this season.

Saturday

Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg – 9:30a on FS2

Giovanni Reyna still awaits his first Bundesliga start but continues to get significant minutes off the bench for Borussia Dortmund and has looked the part every time he has seen the field for the team. BVB currently sit in third place, four points back of league leading Bayern Munich and are coming off a 2-0 win over toothless Werder Bremen. Dortmund may be looking ahead to the second leg of their Champions League match-up with PSG which could lead them to rest some of their normal starters and could provide additional minutes for Reyna though it did not seem to impact his usage when they had a short turn around after the first leg.

Dortmund will take on a Freiburg side who are coming off a 2-0 loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf and who have three losses and just one win in their last five games, a stretch which has included losses to 13th place Koln and last place Paderborn. The team is clearly struggling at this point and BVB would be wise to take advantage if they want to retain any hopes of a Bundesliga title this season.

Other Notes:

  • Nashville SC get their MLS debut and their national TV debut simultaneously on Saturday at 8p on Fox. Walker Zimmerman will be lending a sense of MLS experience for Nashville but it could be a rough debut for the new MLS club as they face what looks to be another tough Atlanta United side who have lost a couple key players including Darlington Nagbe but Emerson Hyndman and Brooks Lennon both look to see a good number of minutes this season and Brad Guzan continues to mind the net. Miles Robinson missed the Concacaf Champions League games for Atlanta and his time frame for return is unknown.
  • Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa have lost three straight and fallen all the way down to 11th place in Liga MX. They’ll have their work cut out for them this weekend when they take on league leading America at 8p on ESPN Deportes.
  • Sebastian Saucedo and third place Pumas UNAM face Tigres UANL at 10p on TUDN. Saucedo has been a consistent performer for his team as they continue to push for the top of the table.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Monchengladbach side play Augsburg at 9:30a on Fox Soccer Plus. Unfortunately Johnson has barely sniffed the field this season and was not even included in the squad for last weekends 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim.
  • Weston McKennie started but played just 54’ in Schalke’s 5-0 loss to RB Leipzig last weekend. If you’re looking for a silver lining it’s probably that 4 of the 5 goals were scored after McKennie left the field. The team will look to bounce back this weekend with a more favorable match-up against Koln at 11:30a on Fox Soccer Plus.

Sunday

Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt – Noon on FS2

Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt will look to take advantage a favorable match-up against a struggling Werder Bremen side to snap a two game losing streak on Sunday afternoon. Chandler has produced instant results in his new role on the right wing for Frankfurt but a bad loss to BVB followed by a second to 12th place Union Berlin has dampened things a bit.

Things could turn around quickly for Frankfurt however as they face a Werder Bremen side that has lost five straight and nine of their past ten with just three goals scored over that time. Clearly it’s been a rough stretch for Werder Bremen and things haven’t looked good for Josh Sargent either who has seen time of the bench but has been unable to provide any significant impact. The team sits squarely in the relegation zone and it’s hard to see that changing without a drastic turn around.

Other Notes:

  • John Brooks has started the past two league games for Wolfsburg after being benched for the previous three. Wolfsburg has won both matches so perhaps Brooks can work himself out of the doghouse. The team plays Union Berlin at 7:30a on FS1 Sunday morning.
  • RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen meet Sunday at 9:30a on FS1 in a top five match-up. No word at this point on Tyler Adams return from his most recent injury.
  • Jordan MorrisCristian Roldan and the Seattle Sounders will face the Chicago Fire at 3p on ESPN as they kick off their respective seasons.
  • The Los Angeles Football Club will welcome David Beckham and Inter Miami to the MLS Sunday evening when the teams play at 5:30p on ESPN. The over / under on cutaways to David Beckham in the stands has tentatively been set at seventy bazillion.
  • The Portland Timbers and Minnesota United finish up the weekend when they meet at 7:30p on FS1.

Pugh, Davidson return to USWNT roster for SheBelieves Cup

Feb 26, 2020

Graham HaysESPN.com

Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson have returned to the United States Women’s National Team roster for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, U.S. Soccer has announced.

The United States will face England in the opening game of the competition with a new coach but 20 of the 23 players who were on the roster when the same teams met in a Women’s World Cup semifinal last summer.

Pugh left off USWNT’s Olympic qualifying roster

U.S. Soccer accused of telling ‘false’ story on pay

U.S. Soccer, players file opposing motions in suit

As was the case in Olympic qualifying earlier this year, U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski’s roster for the SheBelieves Cup relies on the core of players who helped produce a fourth World Cup title last summer. But unlike Olympic qualifying, World Cup winners Pugh and Davidson are restored to the roster for the upcoming games against England, Spain and Japan.

Davidson was left off the smaller qualifying roster, limited to 20 players, as she continued to recover from an injury sustained at the end of the 2019 NWSL season. Pugh was omitted for performance reasons, although Andonovski invited the 21-year-old former NWSL No. 1 pick to continue training with the team during qualifying and said she remained an important part of the team’s plans.

Pugh was traded from the NWSL’s Washington Spirit to Sky Blue FC in January.

Julie Foudy breaks down the USWNT’s first tournament under Vlatko Andonovski and his experimentation with different lineups.

The only 2019 World Cup winners not on the SheBelieves roster are midfielders Morgan Brian and Allie Long and forward Alex Morgan. The World Cup Silver Boot winner as the tournament’s second-leading scorer, Morgan continues to await the birth of her first child.

Taking their places are defenders Casey Short, midfielder Andi Sullivan and forward Lynn Williams, none of whom was part of the World Cup team. Sullivan and Williams were part of the team that completed Olympic qualifying undefeated to reach Tokyo 2020.

The SheBelieves roster also includes veteran midfielder Julie Ertz, whose next appearance will be her 100th for the national team. She will join eight players on the current roster who have reached the century mark in appearances (as has Morgan).

The U.S. will play England in Orlando on March 5, before playing Spain in Harrison, N.J., on March 8 and Japan in Frisco, Texas, on March 11.

TOP FOOTBALL NEWS

England and Japan are among the teams that have already qualified for the Olympics.

England’s roster includes 15 of 23 players who were included in manager Phil Neville’s World Cup squad, including eight of 11 players who started the semifinal.

World Cup semifinal starters Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead are injured.

Among the new faces are three players with recent U.S. college connections. North Carolina forward Alessia Russo has a year of eligibility remaining, while defender Grace Fisk (South Carolina) and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver (Clemson) concluded their eligibility last fall.

Full U.S. roster:

Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride)

Midfielders (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)

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