7/31/20 –  Indy 11 home Sat 7 pm, FA Cup Featuring Pulisic’s Chelsea vs Arsenal 1 pm Sat on ESPN+, Champions League next Fri/Sat 

Indy 11

Our Indy 11 returned home and absolutely dominated Hartford Athletic – Wednesday night with an impressive 4-1 victory.  The result extends Indy Eleven’s (5W-1L-0D, 15 pts., most in USL Championship) daunting home unbeaten streak in regular season play to 28 matches (21W-0L-7D), now tied for the second longest such run in USL Championship history. Embedded in that stretch is a 12-game home winning streak in regular season play dating back to last July 20 that is also second longest in Championship annals – but could reach the apex with another three points the next time out this weekend. The 11 Return home at the Luke with a 7 pm game on Saturday, Aug 1 vs Sporting KC II.  Tickets are available for the7:00 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium by visiting indyeleven.com/tickets or calling 317-685-1100.

Pulisic Helps Chelsea Win again – next Up FA Cup Final Saturday 1 pm ESPN+

While US starlet Pulisic didn’t have one of his best games Sunday his breakaway up the middle and release to Mount just before being taken down around midfield led to a fantastic Giroud goal that sealed Chelsea’s fate with a huge 2-0 win vs Wolverhampton.  Pulisic was hacked and fouled all day as he tried in vain at times to run at the Wolves defense.  He had a couple of looks at goal but overall he was held at bay by the Wolves defense.  Pulisic  will now look now to a Saturday visit to Wembley where I assume he’ll start vs Arsenal in the FA Cup final at 12 pm on ESPN+  The FA Cup Preview show will be on ESPN2 at 11:30 am.  Not sure why this game is not flowing over to a network ESPN station but currently its set for ESPN+ Saturday.

EPL Finishes Season with Excitement

The English Premier League showed why it’s the Best/most followed league in the world as everything came down to the last half on the final day of the season.  The finale certainly had plenty of excitement as Top 4 Champions League/Top 6 Europa League and of course Bottom 4 Relegation Battles were all still in play with 45 minutes to play in the last round of games on closing day.  I had 3 TVs going as I attempted to watch as much as I could.  In the end of course Chelsea and Man United secured top 4 slots for Champions League Qualification.  Man U had to win the final and the 2-0 win at Leicester did that for them.  It wasn’t easy and had Leicester not hit the post twice – who knows.  But a controversial awarded PK lead to Man U’s advancement.  Good to see the Red Devils back in Champions League along with Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea.  As for Europa League top 6 spots – somehow Tottenham is in as their rather lame tie at home – just edged Wolverhampton who loss to Chelsea on the road.  Wolverhampton can still qualify if Chelsea, who knocked them out Sunday, can beat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final on Saturday.   As for Relegation play – Aston Villa did just enough as their win kept them in the EPL for another season. Bournemouth and slide down.  Of course the return of Leeds United from the Championship for the first time since 1993-94 headlines the teams moving up, along with West Brom and one other. The Championship playoff is still on for one of my favorites Fulham with US defender Tim Ream they will play Brentford at Wembley on Tuesday to see who goes up.

World – Champs & Europa Leagues are Back

Juventus secured their 9th straight Serie A Title with their win on Sunday as Christiano Renaldo scored his 50th goal in his 3rd league played in, he becomes the first player to score 50 goals in the EPL, La Liga, and Italy.  The Serie A season wraps up this weekend on ESPN+.  As league play wraps up we turn our eyes towards Champions League next Friday and Saturday, Aug 7 + 8.  Two Games on CBS Sports Network with the others on FUBO TV, TDUN, (streamed on CBS all-access).  I know they will be on fuboTV as Man City hosts Real Madrid up 2-1 on CBSSN along with Juve hosting Lyon tied at 1 on Friday at 3 pm, while Chelsea will travel to Bayern Munich down 3-0, and Barcelona hosts Napoli tied at 1-1 on Sat at 3 pm on CBSSN to wrap up Round of 16 play.  Sure would be nice if they spread those games out.  The Round 0f 8 – will be held in Lisbon, Portugal with single elimination Playoff games played over the following 20 days starting Aug 12-15.

NWSL Finals

The NWSL wrapped up their tourney on Saturday with solid #s on CBS – over 650K people watched the final on Sunday, the best ever rating for a NWSL Game. They actually outdrew the Sunday morning EPL and many baseball games over the weekend.  Great news for the ladies still I am frustrated the final couldn’t draw 1 million viewers to the Champ game?  The Houston Dash edged Chicago Red Stars 1-0. The Dash with literally zero US National team players was lead by England’s forward Rachel Daly who ended up winning the golden boot.    Check some of these Saves from the Tourney.


Sat,  Aug 1

11:30 am ESPN2                ESPNFC FA Cup Preview show

12:10 ESPN+                       Chelsea (Pulisic) vs Arsenal FA Cup Final 

2:30 pm ESPN+                                 Juve vs AS Roma

2:45pm ESPN+                                  AC Milan vs Caglaiari

2:30 pm ESPN+                                 Napoli vs Lazio

7 pm ESPN+Wish                 INDY 11 vs Sporting KC – Lucas Oil

8 pm ESPN                                         MLS Playoff  QF3

10 pm FS1                                         MLS Playoff  QF4

Wed,  Aug 5

3 pm CBS All Access                     Man United vs LASK Europa League

3 pm CBS All Access                     Inter vs Getafe Europa League 

8 pm ESPN2                                    MLS Semi-Final

Thurs,  Aug 6

1 pm CBS All Access                     Leverkusen vs Rangers Europa League

3 pm CBS All Access                     Wolverhampton vs Olympiakos

8 pm ESPN2                                    MLS Semi-Final

10 pm FS1                                        Tijuana vs Tigres Liga MX

Fri  Aug 7

3 pm FuboTV, CBSSN                  Man City vs Real Madrid (Champs League)

3 pm Fubo TV                                Juve vs Lyon (Champs League)

Sat Aug 8

3 pm Fubo TV                                Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (Pulisic)  (Champs League)

3 pm Fubo TV, CBSSN                 Barcelona vs Napoli (Champs League)

7 pm ESPN+MyindyTV              INDY 11 @ Louisville FC

Tues,  Aug 11

8 pm ESPN                          MLS is Back Tourney Final

Wed,  Aug 12

3 pm FuboTV,                                Atalanta vs PSG  (Champs League)

Thur,  Aug 13

3 pm FuboTV,                                RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid (Champs League)

Fri, Aug 14

3 pm FuboTV,                                Napoli vs Barcelona (Champs League)

Sat, Aug 15

3 pm FuboTV,                                Real Madrid vs Man City (Champs League)

Tues,  Aug 18

3 pm FuboTV,                                Champs League Semis

Weds,  Aug 19

3 pm FuboTV,                                Champs League Semis

Sun, Aug 23

3 pm FuboTV, CBSSN                  Champions League Finals

 INDY 11

Indy 11 Lose 1st game at St. Louis

Indy 11 Win on Last Second Stunner

The Morning Tea – USL News

Indy 11 Ranked #1 in USL PowerRankings

Buy Tickets


Indy Eleven Trio Named to USL Championship Team of the Week for Week 3

Indy 11 Sponsor – Grab a bite at these local spots – https://www.thedistricttap.com/ & https://www.rosatispizza.com/location/carmel-in/


A look at previous Arsenal v Chelsea FA Cup finals

FA Final Preview

FA Cup Preview 2
Klopp named LMA Manager of the Year

‘Manchester United must be ruthless with Lindelof and De Gea’ – Neville wants centre-half and keeper clarity

Premier League stat leaders: Golden Boot, Golden Glove, Assists  NBC Sports

Lampard not Rushing Kepa Decision at Keeper

‘Martinez is better than Kepa, Chelsea could get him’ – Wright fears goalkeeper raid on Arsenal

Who is Chelsea Targeting as a New Goalkeeper?

Liverpool targeting ‘multiple trophies’ after winning Premier League title, says Oxlade-Chamberlain
– Ogden: Grading all 20 Premier League teams for 2019-20

U.S. star could help Fulham return to EPL

Fulham and USMNT defender Tim Ream have a chance to qualify for the Premier League if the team can Brentford on Tuesday.Club has history with U.S. players »


Pulisic is Fit for Sat FA Cup

 Pulisic Helps with Set up of Goal Sun

Rating Pulisic’s first Premier League season

Manchester United passed up chance to sign Pulisic, reveals ex-Red Devils scout
Changes to CONCACAF WC Qualifying Revealed for US  

USMNT prospect Soto signs with relegated Norwich City

USWNT star, Reign legend Megan Rapinoe to host new HBO series


NWSL Crowns New Champion – Graham Hayes ESPNFC

NWSL shows other leagues how to have a season-Caitlin Murray »

Steve Clark shakes off mistake, becomes the hero for the Portland Timbers

Portland overcomes miscues, gets past Cincinnati in shootout

Rossi scores pair, LAFC gets revenge in win over Seattle

NYCFC upsets Toronto FC 3-1, advances to MLS quarterfinals

Life as a Pool Goalkeeper in the MLS Bubble

Champions League

Champions League, Europa League fixtures schedule

Champions League Predictions

CBS All Access + CBS Sports Network to show Champions + Europa League Matches

Aguero will miss Man City’s Champions League clash with Madrid, Guardiola confirms
Mbappe Injury puts PSG Champs League Hopes in Jeopardy

Valverde, De Jong and Llorente could be the difference for Spain’s giants in UCL

Barca Faces More Problems Ahead of UCL Tie

Lampard: UCL berth will get Chelsea better squad


Ronaldo scores again as Juventus seals 9th straight title

Inter stay second ahead of Atalanta in Serie A final push

Ronaldo unveils new Juve kit: the stripes are back!


MLS GK Miked Up

MLS Best Saves for Round of 16

Life as a Pool Goalkeeper in the MLS Bubble

NWSL Kailen Sheridan of Sky Blue Wins Golden Glove

Save of the NWSL Tourney

Save of the Week – USL

Best GK Saves Week 4 July

BK Saves Europe Week 3 July

GK Gone Wrong – 2020

Heroic Saves Oblak, Cortouis & more

Chelsea’s Pulisic declares himself ‘100% fit’ for FA Cup final

10:12 AM ETJames OlleySenior Writer, ESPN FC

Christian Pulisic has told ESPN that he is “100% fit” for Saturday’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard had said the 21-year-old was struggling with a minor unspecified problem in recent weeks, leading to his omission from the semifinal win over Manchester United.

Pulisic only featured as a substitute against Liverpool last week, and although he started Chelsea’s final Premier League game against Wolves on Sunday, which ended in a 2-0 win, the winger was replaced 12 minutes from time as a precaution.

However, in an exclusive interview with ESPN, Pulisic said, “I never had a real issue. I’m 100% fit.”The news will come as a boost to Lampard and Chelsea, who are seeking their ninth FA Cup success and second big final victory over Arsenal in a year after beating them 4-1 in Baku to lift last season’s Europa League trophy.Pulisic had not yet signed for the Blues at that stage, but he said he had exchanged messages with former Borussia Dortmund teammate and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, telling him “You can score one goal but you can’t win!”The pair remain close, with Aubameyang advising him on life in London prior to leaving Dortmund. But there has been no contact this time, as Pulisic singled out the Gabon international as a major threat after he amassed 27 goals in all competitions for the Gunners this term.”I know him quite well,” Pulisic added. “He is incredible, the way he gets in good areas. He’s always dangerous, so we are definitely going to have to be cautious of that, and they have some other good players. But he is definitely one guy that you have to look out for.”We’ll always be good friends. I played together with him for a long time. Right now, we are definitely focused and want to win. It is going to be a good battle; and not so much on the pitch, but we will always be friends off the pitch.”The final comes down to us against them, who is more ready to play on the day. Obviously, it gives us confidence that we’ve been in good form, we’ve been playing well, and we’re going to try and bring that into the game. In the end, it is one game, and in a final, anything can happen.”

Rating Pulisic’s first Premier League season

Joe Prince-Wright

July 28, 2020, 10:08 AM

Now seems like a good time for a rating on Christian Pulisic based on his first Premier League season as the USMNT star is well and truly in the news for his displays.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch – Analysis ]

With his debut PL campaign for Chelsea in the books and an FA Cup final and UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg left for the USMNT star in the 2019-20 season, it’s safe to say Pulisic’s first season in England has been a rollercoaster.

From a decent start to being left out, then a hot streak in the fall followed by an injury and an even hotter streak to finish the season, Pulisic, 21, has pretty much experienced all of the highs and lows the Premier League has to offer and has consistently been in the news.


All season long we’ve followed the journey the USMNT star has been on during our weekly ‘Pulisic Watch’ analysis which looks at how he’s fared in each game and the latest injury news and updates, plus comments from Lampard and his teammates.

He’s an overall look at how he performed in the Premier League and a Pulisic rating out of 10.

High points

  • Hat trick at Burnley– The moment the world stood up and took notice of Pulisic as he was truly big news to the rest of the planet. Up until that point he hadn’t scored in the PL, or for Chelsea, but his treble at Turf Moor ignited a purple patch which saw him put in fine displays and score against Palace and Watford soon after.
  • Goal v. Man City– After the restart he was majestic and this goal underlined his incredible form. Picking the ball up on the halfway line after a Man City mix up, he ran at goal with his searing pace, dropped his shoulder and finished across goal. This was pure Pulisic.
  • Sub performance v. Liverpool– With Chelsea losing 4-1 at Anfield, he jumped off the bench and had an amazing assist, missed a big chance and scored a beauty. All in the space of a few minutes. Jurgen Klopp, the man who bought him to Borussia Dortmund, had to stand there and laugh as Pulisic ran the show. Against Liverpool. At Anfield. On the night that hoisted the PL trophy.
  • General restart displays– His form since the June restart has been wonderful. Four goals, two assists, two penalty kicks won and ripping apart defenses time and time again. Lampard worked with him on his midfield runs during the break and he is popping up in more dangerous positions, plus looks fitter and stronger. Finally having a break did him the world of good. Lampard said he can reach the levels of Mane, Salah and Sterling. Woah.

Low points

  • Being benched for 5 out of 6 games straight in the fall– This was pretty much as low as it has been for Pulisic in recent years. I spoke with him in September after he was an unused sub for five games in a row following the home win v. Brighton. He said it was ‘very frustrating’ and that Lampard hadn’t really given him any feedback, as Pulisic was upset but determined to prove the doubters wrong. A few weeks later he was assisting off the bench and building his way back into the team.

“I knew it was going to be tough coming here. It is never going to be easy. I’ve got to grind it out,” Pulisic said. “I want to be back and be a part of the team and help the team win games. I want to play as many minutes as I can, that is really my goal, I want to be on the field… It is tough for me right now. I just have to continue to learn. Like I said, I want to be on the field really bad, I have to continue to work and prove myself to be there.”

  • Injury in January– Just when Pulisic was firing on all cylinders he suffered a nasty adductor injury in January which was then aggravated as Chelsea tried to rush him back. The injury kept Pulisic out from January 1 to March and then the pandemic arrived to shut down the league. In hindsight it forced Pulisic to have a long break as he’d been playing year-round for many years due to his USMNT commitments. The injury was very frustrating for Pulisic, and Chelsea, as their form dipped with him out of the team. Lampard and Chelsea’s players admitted they missed his creativity.
  • Champions League campaign– Not directly linked to his Premier League displays, but missing a big chunk of the Champions League games due to not being in the team in the fall, then injured for the first leg Round of 16 clash agains Bayern Munich was a bummer for Pulisic. He started three of Chelsea’s seven UCL games this season, so far.

Overall thoughts

Generally, this has been a very good first Premier League season for Pulisic who scored nine goals and added four assists in 19 Premier League starts. His form since the restart has left Chelsea fans salivating at what he can go on to achieve and he truly seems like he can have a similar impact to Eden Hazard, not just with his style of play but with the goals and assists.

Rating out of 10

I’m going to give Pulisic a 7.5 out of 10. If we base this rating purely on his form since the restart it would be 9.5 out of 10 but we have to take all of the ups and downs into account and there’s no doubt it took Pulisic a while, as expected, to adapt to the Premier League. Now that he’s physically at the top of his game we are seeing his skill and talent shine through. The USMNT star has a huge future ahead of him at Chelsea and although many believed Frank Lampard wouldn’t get the best out of him, the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history is certainly teaching the American sensation how to time his runs into the box to perfection and helping him with his finishing.

Where does he already rank in USMNT stars in the Premier League

There’s a lot of talk in the news about Pulisic already being the best-ever American player in Premier League history. I hear you, I really do, but he’s played one season. He has a little way to overtake Clint Dempsey but he’s on the way and he’s having a huge impact at a huge club. Pulisic’s potential is greater than any other American goalkeeper or outfield player who has graced the Premier League before.

Here is where I would currently rank Pulisic in terms of the greatest USMNT players in Premier League history:

1.Clint Dempsey
2. Tim Howard
3. Brad Friedel
4. Christian Pulisic
5. Brian McBride

Christian Pulisic exclusive: U.S. star ready to help lead Chelsea to FA Cup glory, excited for next season

11:05 AM ETJames Olley   Senior Writer, ESPN FC

There is an image that Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic recalls when he wants to escape the pressure and scrutiny that comes with being an American soccer player in the Premier League.”Back home, especially, when I’m back on the farm with my sister, I watch her ride horses, kind of live a really simple life,” the Chelsea winger tells ESPN. “That’s just what I love to do.”Football is always around me, but there are times when you can’t let it stress you out too much.”Appropriately enough, Pulisic’s sister Devyn — or Dee Dee, to her friends — owns and runs a 13-acre farm called Tranquility Stables in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a short 30-minute drive from the family’s hometown of Hershey. It is perhaps a result of growing up surrounded by this serenity that Pulisic is able to navigate the highs and lows of a tumultuous debut season in west London with such equanimity.Pulisic bought the property for his sister, 17 months his senior, in a reciprocal show of support that emanates from his father, Mark and mother, Kelley. Both parents played football at George Mason University, enabling them to some extent to prepare their son for a journey that took him to Borussia Dortmund at age 15, continued with a £57.6 million move to Chelsea last summer and now, this Saturday, puts him on the brink of marking his first season in England with a major trophy as the Blues face Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. (Stream LIVE/U.S. only: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

Life for Pulisic in England began with daunting comparisons to Eden Hazard before Pulisic was even able to kick a ball for the club. Hazard departed for Real Madrid after seven years as the club’s talisman, dragging his team almost single-handedly to Europa League glory in his final match. Chelsea were unable to sign any other players, aside from making Mateo Kovacic‘s loan deal from Real Madrid permanent, due to a FIFA transfer ban and so the pressure on Pulisic to perform was immediate.”It was definitely just noise,” he said of the Hazard link. “People love to make comparisons, they do it in all sports I think and that’s just how it is. I understand that, but never was I looking to compare myself to him or trying to bring what he had. I never really looked at it like that. I always just focused on myself, wanting to do my best because that’s what I’m here to do.”I’ve definitely learned a lot — coming to a new league, a brand new team, a lot of things changed for me. I think I had a lot of stuff to overcome as well with an injury in the middle of it. Obviously COVID-19 changed a lot of things as well. To be here in this position after my first season, I think I can say I’m happy. I think I’ve come a long way.”Although he made a promising full debut in August’s UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool in Istanbul, Pulisic only started three of their opening nine Premier League games, as Lampard harboured concerns about the 21-year-old’s fitness levels despite joining up with the club earlier than expected last July, a week after the U.S. lost the Gold Cup final to Mexico. Pulisic seized his opportunity, however, in October, with a hat-trick against Burnley that triggered a run of 12 consecutive starts across all competitions. By the turn of the year, a groin problem halted his season and when he was close to a full recovery in March, the coronavirus pandemic reached England and shut the sport down.”Having a big injury was definitely tough for me,” he said. “I thought I was playing well and in good form. Obviously, that put a big stop on things at the time. When lockdown started, it gave me that extra time to really make sure I’m 100 percent fit, ready to go, and it put me on a level playing field when everyone was back because everyone hadn’t played for a while. It gave me a quick refresh and a chance to go again.”Pulisic worked closely with Chelsea’s strength and conditioning coach Adam Burrows to improve his physicality for English football, while Lampard has spent time working with him on an individual basis, pinpointing specific runs from deep that would make him more effective. The impact of that work behind the scenes has been clear.

Since the restart, Pulisic has started eight of Chelsea’s 10 games — only missing the FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United and a starting role at Liverpool due to a minor injury — and played a pivotal role in the Blues securing Champions League qualification by finishing fourth in the Premier League. Preparations for next season have already begun, with Chelsea attempting to sign German playmaker Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen in addition to new arrivals Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, who are already training with the first-team group.

All three can operate in a variety of attacking positions. With Tammy AbrahamCallum Hudson-Odoi, and Olivier Giroud among those vying for first-team minutes, it appeared at one stage that Pulisic faced a fight to form a key part of Lampard’s vision for the future, especially given Lampard regularly castigated his forwards for a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

“There have been a lot of occasions this year when we want to finish off games and that’s really important,” said Pulisic. “We’ve done a pretty good job of that lately and we want to keep that up. Bringing in guys with a lot of attacking ability is only going to help us.”It is really exciting. I’m getting to train with those guys now, getting to know them. They are big players, they’ve proved that at their old clubs. It is going to be a really exciting year moving forward. Obviously we have a lot of options and a really strong team. We are looking forward to seeing what we can do next season.”Any real attacking position, we are all used to. We have played in different spots. It is really important and it gives us different looks at times. Playing in different positions at times, I think that could be really effectiveBefore that, however, there’s a Wembley date against Arsenal to consider. The Blues have won the world’s oldest club knockout competition eight times and this is their third final in four years, having beaten Manchester United in 2018 but lost to the Gunners a year earlier. Although fans are prevented from attending due to COVID-19, the showpiece occasion will pull in a worldwide television audience in the hundreds of millions, including a growing following in America on ESPN+, hoping to celebrate the USMNT star lifting silverware. Typically, however, that level of hysteria washes over Pulisic.”When I’m over here [in England], I don’t really feel like [a vanguard] at all,” he said. “Obviously I’m in a team with incredible players and in a league with huge names, huge players, so I don’t really think of that too much. I understand the standing I have in the U.S. and with the national team. That’s a different story, but it isn’t something I think about too much.”I’m sure its grown a bit. The Premier League is the biggest league in the world. A lot of Americans follow it much more, so you could say that. When I’m in America, I kind of go off the grid and be with my family and friends.”In normal times, Pulisic’s family would be among the 90,000 spectators at Wembley.”I’m sure my family will be watching back home,” he added. “It is tough times, obviously. You’d love to have them there and fill out Wembley, but we’re going to do the best we can under the circumstances and they’ll definitely be watching and supporting.”That’s the thing my family is the best at, never letting me get too low, never getting too high either. They are always there to talk to me and discuss things that aren’t about football as well. They are always there. They have been the best support system for me, coming up from when I first started in Dortmund and then being here so I am really thankful to have them.”Wembley is a beautiful stadium. We’ve just played there and obviously without fans, it is going to be a little different but the feeling will be the same if we can get that trophy.”We want to go out on a high.”

FA Cup Final preview: Arsenal – Chelsea

Nicholas Mendola  NBC SportsJul 30, 2020, 4:17 PM

Arsenal-Chelsea: Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to bring silverware into the new season, having already clinched a place in the Champions League.

Mikel Arteta needs that silverware just to keep his project in the Europa League.

[ MORE: Sancho to Man Utd latest ]

Yeah, the stakes are high for Saturday’s FA Cup Final, where the tournament’s winningest side meets its blue London rivals at 12:30 pm ET.


FA Cup history

Arsenal has won the FA Cup a record 13 times, one more than Manchester United and five more times than its Saturday opponents. Chelsea last won in 2018 while Arsenal won the previous season.

Last chance for silverware

While Chelsea is still technically alive in Europe, down 3-0 to Bayern Munich and the home leg of a Champions League Round of 16 tie, the FA Cup Final is far and away both clubs’ best chance at silverware in their new managers’ first seasons in charge.

Team news

Arsenal is without Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Shkrodan Mustafi, and Gabriel Martinelli. It looks like Hector Bellerin will be a game time decision.

Billy Gilmour is out for Chelsea, who is waiting on the fitness of stars N’Golo Kante and Willian.

Pulisic news

American star Christian Pulisic is not facing any injury problems and said he “never had a real issue” over the last few weeks of the season despite coming off the bench against Liverpool.

Pulisic also spoke about the final and challenging old pal and mentor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for hardware. From ESPN:

“The final comes down to us against them, who is more ready to play on the day. Obviously, it gives us confidence that we’ve been in good form, we’ve been playing well, and we’re going to try and bring that into the game. In the end, it is one game, and in a final, anything can happen.”

Odds and ends

Arsenal is +235 to win while Chelsea comes in at +114 according to DraftKings with a +250 chance of it going to penalty kicks.

The Blues took four of six points off Arsenal in Premier League play this season, winning 2-1 at the Emirates on Dec. 29 and drawing 2-2 at Stamford Bridge three-and-a-half weeks later.


It could go in any direction, as Chelsea’s shown itself to be a chance producer but also a chance waster and capable of defensive errors. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, and Bukayo Saka are electric talents who can punish the Blues. Pulisic has a huge chance to make another great moment in his young career. Let’s call this one as a going to kicks.


NWSL’s unlikely Houston Dash give sport its first coronavirus-era champion

The Houston Dash are the first professional American sports team to celebrate a championship amid the coronavirus pandemic. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Jul 26, 2020Graham HaysESPN.comEmail

The first professional sports league in the U.S. to resume competition amidst a pandemic, the National Women’s Soccer League proved that there was a way for the games to go on.In winning the monthlong NWSL Challenge Cup after never so much as reaching the playoffs in their first six seasons in the league, the Houston Dash showed those games could still matter.Why else would Houston midfielder Kristie Mewis struggle to contain the tears after a hamstring injury forced her out of the final in the first half? Why would defender Megan Oyster throw her head at a cross in the closing minutes, knowing she left her injured ribs open to the collision that inevitably knocked her to the ground when a similarly desperate opponent lunged at the ball?

Houston Dash beat Chicago Red Stars to capture NWSL Challenge Cup

Why would league MVP Rachel Daly, exhaustion showing in second-half stoppage time, find just enough energy to flick a pass to midfielder Shea Groom, who somehow still had the legs to run around Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and score the goal that sealed a 2-0 win?Why would forward Nichelle Prince even want to be in Utah, let alone creating chance after chance and chasing back on defense, barely a month after her father passed away — and mere weeks after she waited out quarantine alone in a Utah hotel room after returning to the bubble from her home in Canada?Why would anyone do any of that if their paycheck was guaranteed even if they opted out?In a year in which control over our world has never felt more fleeting, the ability to accomplish something is a powerful motivator. Even if only for 90 minutes on a field marked out in chalk.”We’re just winners today,” Daly said afterward. “And I think that’s what we want to be known as.”For the briefest of moments Sunday, it looked as if Houston would play the role often ascribed to championship newbies — the role that Chicago coach Rory Dames admitted his team filled a season ago in its first championship game when it came out flat against North Carolina in the opening minutes. On this occasion, with Houston at first hesitant at kickoff, Chicago’s Savannah McCaskill got loose down the flank in the opening minute and crossed the ball into dangerous space. The Dash eventually cleared the ball, but warning lights flashed brightly.Except Houston, which spent essentially the entire month in Utah ceding possession to its opponents and creating its own chances in short bursts with the ball or on the counter attack, continued to do just that. Mewis raced down the left side in the fourth minute, played in by Daly despite getting knocked to the ground in the process, and dribbled past defender Kayla Sharples, who tugged Mewis from behind for an obvious penalty.Daly, who said she was still reeling from the collision at midfield, ceded the penalty kick to midfielder Sophie Schmidt. The veteran Canadian international calmly converted the chance.”I don’t think it changes the game plan a bit because you’re in the fifth or sixth minute, so there’s a lot of game left,” Dames said. “But the worst thing to do, even if you’re in the regular season in a three-game week, the worst thing to do in that third game is to go down a goal early because now you’ve got to muster up energy to chase and be able to play higher and press.”The moment encapsulated much about the entire tournament. A promising but inexperienced second-year player, Sharples was in the starting lineup for the final because Casey Short, one of the best defenders in the league and a regular part of Vlatko Andonovski’s national team rosters, was out with a head injury. The Red Stars also played most of the tournament without standouts Tierna Davidson, Morgan Gautrat and Yuki Nagasoto because of injuries.Whether players were injured during the tournament or opted out of participating beforehand, there was a significant list of stars absent for some or all of the tournament. No team was going to win with its first-choice lineup. Everyone had to adjust — and that after a limited preseason.The only team without any members of the U.S. team that won the World Cup last summer, Houston wasn’t immune to the churn. Not long after she drew the penalty and appeared to grab her left hamstring in some discomfort — but long enough that she made at least one more all-out sprint down the left side — Mewis admitted to Dash coach James Clarkson the preexisting hamstring injury wouldn’t allow her to continue.Enter CeCe Kizer, who played just 32 minutes in her first five appearances in the tournament. The Dash barely missed a beat.”I think it’s really important to credit CeCe,” Daly said. “She’s been an integral part of our team. She stepped up today, she played phenomenal. And to fill somebody like Kristie’s boots is very difficult. For me, as a natural center forward with her behind me, I get communication, I get the ball fed to me. It’s difficult to lose a player like that, but credit where credit is due.”

And in stoppage time, it was up to Daly to offer one last example. So apparently exhausted on another blisteringly hot day at the end of a brutally long month that you could see her hands slip to her knees as the ball bounced around the midfield, Daly gathered herself long to pay Groom in for the final goal. The goal that guaranteed the Dash will never again be afterthoughts in the NWSL story.”I probably was running on E at that point, my tank is a little bit empty,” Daly acknowledged. “I just saw Shea go and I knew she was going to score. In the past, I might have tried to do that myself and try and dribble the whole field. But I think as a leader on this team, I’ve had to step up and be more for other people this year. Shea’s come in and done phenomenal. I mean, I just keep assisting her, but she doesn’t assist me.”She was, to be clear, just kidding about the last part — and according to Clarkson, the assist that earned Daly the Golden Boot via tiebreaker was even worth an extra $10,000.If the Dash played fewer games to earn their trophy than any other NWSL champion, they and the rest of the tournament field also passed a test unlike any sports has seen in our lifetimes.”This was a unique tournament for us,” Red Stars star Julie Ertz said afterward with a wry and weary chuckle. “But one of a lot of growth — a lot of growth on the field, a lot of growth off the field. For me, a lot of growth as a leader. This is definitely a tournament I’ll never forget, obviously playing soccer games and being able to come back and be with my team and grind every day. I think we’ve learned a lot about mental health for sure. Which is obviously important going through.”The first league to return, the NWSL now becomes the first to figure out what comes next. NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird this past week indicated, while stopping short of confirming or offering a timetable, that the league will explore ways to play more games this year.But pulling off the past month, which featured more than 2,000 minutes of soccer and, according to the league, more than 2,000 coronavirus tests without a positive result (excluding the positive tests that forced Orlando to withdraw before it traveled to the Utah bubble), was its own feat for all involved.”It’s interesting because each tournament or any team I’ve been a part of, it’s all about the journey to get somewhere,” Ertz said. “For us, this was really special for a lot of reasons that really only us 28 that are here plus the coaches really will ever understand.”The mood was slightly different for the Dash, Daly happily sipping a celebratory beer from a league sponsor as she answered questions. But that particular sentiment was shared.”We’ve faced so much adversity,” Daly said. “More than anybody in the world could understand — and they’ll probably never know.”The NWSL was the first league to get back on the field. The Dash were the first team to remind us how much that can mean.

Champions League draw: Ronaldo, Juve unlikely to win; how far can Man City go?

Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC

The Champions League is back, but not as we know it. With 12 teams, 11 games and a World Cup-style last eight, it will take seven straight knock-out ties in the space of 12 days at two venues in Lisbon, Portugal, to decide who will be crowned European champions.With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the 2019-20 Champions League to be suspended in March with half of the Round of 16 still to be completed, UEFA has condensed the competition into a new format in order to play this season’s tournament to a conclusion. And following Friday’s draw, we now have a route map to the final, at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz on Aug. 23.


The quarterfinals, semifinals and the final will be played as a final eight straight knock-out tournament at the homes of Benfica and Sporting CP.

Round of 16 Aug. 7, 8
Quarterfinals Aug. 12, 13, 14, 15
Semifinals Aug. 18, 19
Final Aug. 23


Gian Piero Gasperini’s team are a dangerous outsider in their first-ever Champions League campaign, and although they will go into their quarterfinal clash against Paris Saint-Germain as underdogs, the form book suggests they should actually be fancied to progress to the semis.Atalanta are on a six-game winning streak in Serie A and have already booked their place in next season’s Champions League. They have also shown incredible fighting spirit to make it this far, having lost their first three games in Group C — conceding 10 goals in the process. But with PSG out of action since March due to the cancellation of Ligue 1, Atalanta should have a major advantage in terms of match fitness. They can definitely eliminate the French champions and make it to the semifinals.



Is this finally the year that Atletico Madrid end their agonising wait for Champions League glory? Diego Simeone’s team certainly have a golden chance to make it to the final, having been paired with RB Leipzig in the quarters before a match-up with Atalanta or PSG in the semis.Having eliminated holders Liverpool in the Round of 16, Atletico will go into the mini-tournament as favourites to reach the final having embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run in La Liga since the restart last month. Atleti possess the experience and quality to make it past Leipzig and whomever they face in the semis, but with an array of heavyweights lining up in the other half of the draw, they could be facing another heartbreak in the final, six years after losing to Real Madrid in Lisbon in the 2014 final.



Barcelona must negotiate the second leg of their last-16 tie against Napoli before booking their trip to Lisbon, but with Quique Setien’s side earning a 1-1 draw in Italy in the first-leg, they will be favourites to make it to the last eight. They face a tough route to the final, though, with Bayern Munich — leading Chelsea 3-0 from their R16 first-leg tie — likely to be Barca’s opponents in Lisbon.Barcelona should be able to count on superior match fitness, having been in action throughout July, unlike Bayern, but while Lionel Messi will always be able to win any game on his own, it is doubtful that Barca will be able to keep it tight enough at the back to see off the German champions.

HOW FAR WILL THEY GET? Quarterfinals


Bayern’s last-16, second-leg tie against Chelsea at the Allianz Arena will serve as a much-needed competitive work-out for Hansi Flick’s team, whose 3-0 first-leg win at Stamford Bridge makes the return game a formality.But once they get to Portugal, will Bayern be sharp enough to go all the way? Their last competitive game was against Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal final on July 4, but their rivals in England, Spain and Italy have continued to play and will arguably have greater match fitness in mid-August.Robert Lewandowski, the leading scorer in this season’s competition, is the ace in the pack for Bayern, but they can also rely on the attacking quality of Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies. Bayern will travel to Lisbon as favourites to win the tournament.



The best that manager Frank Lampard can expect from the last-16, second-leg against Bayern Munich is a game that provides his young team with invaluable experience for the future.Chelsea were well beaten by Bayern at Stamford Bridge, suffering a 3-0 defeat that could have been much heavier. But with Lampard’s team on course to return to the Champions League next season, the trip to the Allianz Arena is the perfect opportunity to expose his emerging stars to playing against Europe’s elite.



Maurizio Sarri’s team must still overcome Lyon in the second-leg of their last-16 tie, but with the game being played in Turin, the Serie A leaders will expect to progress, especially against a side that has played just once since March. Once in Lisbon, though, Juventus will face a daunting route to the final, with Manchester City or Real Madrid waiting in the quarters before a potential clash with Bayern Munich in the semis.In a one-off game with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team — and don’t underestimate how much he will want to win the Champions League in Lisbon again — Juventus are a genuine contender, but it’s difficult to see them resisting City’s firepower if they face Pep Guardiola’s team in the last eight.

HOW FAR WILL THEY GET? Quarterfinals


Rudi Garcia’s team emerged from Group G with just two victories in six games, but they remain alive in their last-16 tie with Juventus having earned a 1-0 win in the first-leg in France. They are capable of producing an upset if Juventus have an off-day in Turin next month, but Lyon realistically appear to have run their race in this season’s Champions League.

Lyon have already exceeded expectations this season, so the campaign has been a success, whatever happens against Juve.



Manchester City will probably never have a better chance of winning the Champions League … if they can finish the job against Real Madrid in the last-16 after winning 2-1 in the first-leg in Spain. City simply don’t lose one-off cup ties — their last defeat in any one-leg cup game was against Wigan in the FA Cup in February of 2018 — so the format in Lisbon will suit them and they will also be primed to peak just in time for the tournament by Pep Guardiola.From an attacking perspective, City will strike fear into every opponent, but their defensive weaknesses could be their downfall against teams as organised as Bayern or Juventus. Expect City to overcome Juve in the quarters, but if they meet Bayern in the semis, it could be the end of the road.



Napoli must get a result against Barcelona in the Nou Camp next month to progress to the quarterfinals, but Gennaro Gattuso’s have been inconsistent since the restart. They have won the Coppa Italia, but are out of the running for Champions League qualification, so they will travel to Barcelona needing to find their best form to pull off an upset.An empty Nou Camp may help them, but they still remain heavy underdogs against Lionel Messi & Co. over 90 minutes.



The decision by the French football authorities to cancel the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season in the wake of the coronavirus crisis has left Paris Saint-Germain with a mountain to climb if they are to end their desperate pursuit of Champions League glory.Thomas Tuchel’s team were impressive when eliminating Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16, but without competitive football since, they will prepare for Lisbon with friendly games against Le Havre, Shamrock Rovers and Celtic before domestic cup games against Saint-Etienne and Lyon. With all their opponents playing competitively since June, PSG must play catch-up — and fast.Atalanta may be the best draw they could have hoped for, but fitness may be PSG’s downfall.

HOW FAR WILL THEY GET? Quarterfinals


The loss of Timo Werner, who will not play in the remainder of Leipzig’s Champions League games following confirmation of his move to Chelsea, has left the German side without their most potent attacking weapon. And with a quarterfinal tie against Atletico Madrid awaiting them in Lisbon, the absence of their top scorer will leave Leipzig as big outsiders to make it to the semis.They will be organised and still carry a threat, but Atletico will have too much quality and nous for Julien Nagelsmann’s team.

HOW FAR WILL THEY GET? Quarterfinals


Real are on course for the La Liga title in Spain, meaning they will travel to the Etihad for their last-16, second-leg with the confidence to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit. But with captain Sergio Ramos suspended following a red card in the first game, Real will have to nullify City’s multi-pronged attack without their best defender.It’s dangerous to write off Real Madrid in any situation, especially a one-off game in which they need to fight back from 2-1 down, but City should be too strong for them on this occasion.




– Man City vs. Bayern Munich
– Atalanta vs. Atletico Madrid


Bayern vs. Atletico


Bayern Munich

Tyler Pasher scores. Indy Eleven win. Put it on repeat.

Kevin Johnston  Special for IndyStar

INDIANAPOLIS – After dropping their first result of the season Sunday, the Indy Eleven responded with a 4-1 victory over Hartford Athletion Wednesday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium, their fifth win in six matches.

What’s been the common denominator in all the wins? Tyler Pasher, Indy’s leading scorer and most dynamic offensive threat, was among the team’s starters. The Eleven are 5-0-0 this season when Pasher starts; they lost their only match when he didn’t.

Pasher came off the bench Sunday at Saint Louis FC as coach Martin Rennie rotated his squad to cope with a congested schedule. Pasher entered late, but only logged about 20 minutes and couldn’t find an equalizer as Indy fell 1-0.

“The Saint Louis game was tough,” said Indy forward Nick Moon. “It was like 90 degrees on turf, a match with a three-day recovery.”

Then again, Pasher hasn’t always needed ample time to make an impact. On the final possession of the match in stoppage time July 22 at Pittsburgh, Pasher chested the ball down on the other side of the hallway line before slaloming through the defense and hammering a shot from distance into the top shelf for a last-gasp 1-0 win.

And Pasher’s latest feat? He moved into second on the club’s all-time scoring list with another tally Wednesday, his 20th for the team, passed Justin Braun (19). He now trails only Eamon Zayed (27).

“Well, in the first part of the first half, I kind of was dropping in a little bit too much,” Pasher said. “I know that’s not what I’m meant to be doing in my space. So, what I had to do was kind of push forward a little bit more and kind of threaten the backline.”

The Eleven jumped out early on a link up between Macauley King and Moon in the fourth minute. King bended a ball toward the far post and Moon headed it by Hartford goalkeeper Parfait Mandanda. Pasher set King up with a square ball out wide to begin the sequence.

Hartford responded just after halftime, however, as Alex Dixon’s effort deflected through Indy defender Mitch Osmond’s legs and by goalkeeper Evan Newton.

But no Eleven match this season would be complete without a Pasher go-ahead goal. Once again, he obliged.

Ilija Ilic settled the ball on a broken play and tapped it to an accelerating Pasher, who found himself in on goal. His left-footed blast beat Mandanda to put Indy up 2-1.

Midfielders Drew Conner and Matt Watson ruined any hope Hartford had of a comeback by adding two more in the 81st and 87th minute, respectively. Karl Ouimette assisted on both strikes.

Conner put in a superb shift for Indy on both sides of the ball. Several timely slide tackles thwarted Hartford attacks, and he also started a few counters the other way with balls into space for Pasher and others.

“We know each other well,” Pasher said of the team’s success this season on passes in behind the defense. “We know what each player likes, and what each player dislikes. So, we can see the tendencies and what guys are doing. And that bond between all of us is getting stronger and stronger with every game.”

With the win, Indy has now defeated the current top-two teams in Group F, the other coming via the dramatic win over Pittsburgh.

The Eleven face another quick turnaround with Sporting KC II coming to town Saturday for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil.


By Indy Eleven Communications, 07/29/20, 11:00PM EDT

Four Different Players Tally in 12th Straight Home Win at Lucas Oil Stadium; 28-game Regular Season Home Unbeaten Streak Now Tied for Second Longest Run in USL Championship History

#INDvHFD Post-Game Quote Sheet

#INDvHFD Stats via USLChampionship.com Match Center

Indy Eleven scored four goals in a match for only the fifth time in club history – but for the second time already in 2020 – using tallies by four different players to soundly defeat the previously undefeated Hartford Athletic 4-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium.The result extends Indy Eleven’s (5W-1L-0D, 15 pts., most in USL Championship) daunting home unbeaten streak in regular season play to 28 matches (21W-0L-7D), now tied for the second longest such run in USL Championship history. Embedded in that stretch is a 12-game home winning streak in regular season play dating back to last July 20 that is also second longest in Championship annals – but could reach the apex with another three points the next time out this weekend at the corner of Capitol & South.After a back-and-forth first few minutes, it was Indy who broke the deadlock early and in style, a bullet header from Nick Moon counting for his first Eleven goal. Indiana’s Team broke forward exquisitely through Ilija Ilic, who held off a defender before spraying wide to Tyler Pasher, who played even wider to Macauley King on the right-hand side. It was King’s first-time cross that Moon met in the air, a beautiful lofted ball to the back post moving the scoreboard early.The Hartford Athletic press forced a few early mix-ups at the back for Indy Eleven, but none that proved too harmful. Around the quarter-hour play was stopped after a collision between two Hartford defenders, with both Sam Strong and Alex Davey coming up quite bloodied from the knock of heads. After several minutes on the pitch, Strong would walk off but be removed from the match, while Davey had his head wrapped and bandaged and eventually made his way back into the match.Hartford had the first true look at goal after the restart in play, a looping ball over the top that almost found Ever Guzman behind the Indy backline. However, the ball took a hometown bounce and saved Eleven ‘keeper Evan Newton from a difficult decision to exit his penalty area. The visitors followed that up with two more quick shots, both blocked in front of the goal by Karl Ouimette. Hartford midfielder Arthur Rogers forced a fine stop out of Newton in the 34th minute, a stinging effort from a yard inside the box. Newton could only parry it out however, and it fell to Tyreke Johnson who sailed the rebound effort wide.

Pasher won Indy a dangerous free kick toward the end of the half that he tried to curl in, but sent over the crossbar. The USL Championship’s leading scorer found his effectiveness limited during the opening stanza by the man-marking of Matheus Silva, but he grew into the match during first-half stoppage time and had a good shot saved by Hartford goalkeeper Parfait Mandanda. Pasher again created a great opportunity late into seven minutes of stoppage time, but was scythed down harshly by Davey, who received a booking. The ensuing freekick was built up into a shot from Conner Antley that Mandanda could only parry wide.Hartford equalized almost immediately into the second half, as Alex Dixon’s shot deflected off Mitch Osmond and fooled Newton, who couldn’t see it coming toward his net and was wrong-footed by a slight deflection. Harry Swartz had plenty of space down the left and played the ball in, which the Indy defense failed to deal with.The 1-1 deadlock would not last long, however, as Indy’s in-form talisman Pasher buried a shot past a helpless Mandanda after a great through ball from Ilic, making his first start of 2020 just days after the birth of his daughter. It was Pasher’s 20th goal for the club and sixth goal in six matches so far in the 2020 USL Championship, continuing a torrid pace that has him three goals clear of his closest competitors in the Golden Boot chase. The goal also marked his eighth goal in seven starts, a record dating back to the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal at Nashville SC on November 2.Indiana’s Team about grabbed their third through Ilic, who was looking to get on the scoresheet himself after assisting the go-ahead goal. Once again, King whipped in excellent service, but the Serbian forward couldn’t quite direct his flick on target. King created another fantastic chance in the 56th minute, finding Pasher over-the-top, but again Indy were denied their third goal of the match as Pasher’s chip landed nervously wide, having beaten Mandanda. Pasher then blazed over the bar three minutes later, agonizingly close to his second of the match that would have been set up by Antley’s square ball towards the penalty spot.Indy finally grabbed their long-awaited third goal in the 81st minute. Midfielder Drew Conner burst forward and latched on to a beautiful pass from the midfield stripe by Ouimette before tucking the ball coolly beyond Mandanda for 3-1.It was 4-1 six minutes later thanks to a copy-cat goal of Conner’s, this time slotted in by captain Matt Watson, who bolstered his squad with his insertion in to the match the 71st minute. Using every bit of pace, Watson outraced a Hartford defender to another Ouimette service before chipping the ‘keeper.Indy Eleven will end its busy stretch of five games in 15 days this Saturday, August 1, the same way it began – with a home contest against Sporting Kansas City II. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium are available starting at $15 at indyeleven.com/tickets. Fans unable to attend the match on Saturday evening can follow the action live on WISH-TV, ESPN+, Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/exitos943.com (Spanish), and the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.

USL Championship Regular Season – #INDvHFD
Indy Eleven 4:1 Hartford Athletic

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 – 7:00 p.m. ET

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Ind.

Attendance: 4,775

2020 USL Championship records

Indy Eleven (5W-1L-0D, 12 pts., 1st place in Group E)

Hartford Athletic FC (3W-1L-0D, 9 pts., 1st place in Group F)


Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

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7/24/20 – Undefeated Indy 11 on ESPN Desportes Sunday 5 pm, NWSL Final Sunday CBS 12:30, EPL Final Day Sun 11 am- Pulisic sparkles, MLS Playoffs begin   

Indy 11

So our Indy 11 remain undefeated to start with the best record in our history as USL leading scorer Tyler Pasher scored a stunner in the last seconds of a 1-0 win at top of the table foe Pittsburgh Wed night as a national TV audience saw on ESPN2.  A fairly even game was played throughout with some fine saves by Eleven GK Evan Newton.  But it was the stunner from Pasher as time expired that won the game to take the 11 to a league best 4-0 mark for the first time in club history.  The Indy 11 travel to St. Louis this Sunday for a 5 pm game showing on ESPN+ and ESPN Desportes.  The 11 Return Wednesday for 7 pm game vs Hartford at the Luke.  Buy Tickets online.

 Pulisic Dominates in 30 minutes in EPL

So Pulisic gave Chelsea manager Frank Lampard the ultimate screw you as he finally entered the game in the 58th minute –dribbled 4 Liverpool defenders then nutmegged Van Dyke as he sets up a tap in goal.  The United States international then grabbed one of his own 12 minutes later, bringing the ball down on his chest with his back to goal before turning and thumping it home.  Love Klopp’s reaction!  For 30 minutes Pulisic was the best player on the field – including the Champions Liverpool players.  For 30 minutes Pulisic was the best player in the EPL – you could argue since the break his 4 goals, 4 assists, and 3 penalty draws leading to goals has been the most impactful in the EPL since the return from break.  This despite the fact he missed 1 the FA Cup Semi and over half of 2 other games with a slight injury.  Obviously Pulisic WAS NOT TOO INJURED to play this game.  Who knows what happens if Lampard is smart enough to start him.  Assuming he will be starting Sunday as the Blues must Win or Tie Wolverhampton at home to Finish in the top 4 Champions League slot.  If Chelsea lose and Man United beats Leicester City at Leicester– the Blue will also advance.  If Chelsea lose and Man United and Leicester City tie – then those 2 teams advance and Chelsea pushes down to a Europa League spot.

EPL Final Day Sunday 11 am on NBC Networks

The final day of the EPL has plenty of excitement as Top 4 Champions League/Top 6 Europa League and of course Bottom 4 Relegation Battles will be decided on the final day of play across 5 NBC channels and Peacock free streaming.  Of course the games of the day are Chelsea and Wolverhampton on USA Network at 11 am – as Chelsea needs a win or draw to stay top 4.  Wolverhampton needs to outdo Tottenham so win or tie and have the Spurs lose or tie.  NBC will host the battle for 4th – Man United travels to Leicester City needing a tie or win make it.  Leicester needs a tie or win.

As for the Relegation battles – and honestly these games become almost life and death for a club.  Staying in the EPL means over $150 million dollars difference for the club.  When Dempsey scored for Fulham to help them stay in the EPL a few years back – it saved probably 50 jobs at the club – from the cooks, to the bottle washers, to the parking lot attendants to the ticket people, the boot washers, the assistant coaches and the players – many who would be forced to move for cuts in wages- the impact of staying in the EPL vs falling to the Championship is unbelievable.  Unlike anything in US Sports – so its these games that honestly might give us more entertainment.  Here’s the breakdown

Relegation – How teams can stay up

    • Aston Villa: Better Watford’s result OR draw and Watford draw
    • Watford: Better Aston Villa’s result
    • Bournemouth: Win and both Aston Villa and Watford lose


The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Challenge Cup final kicks off on Sunday at 12:30 pm on CBS between the upstart Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars a month after the league returned from the COVID-19 hiatus.  The games on CBS All Access and replayed on CBS Sports Network have been a success but having powerhouses Portland and Sky Blue knocked off in the semi-finals was interesting – Chicago was in the finals last year.  It will be interesting to see how many fans tune in – for this CBS televised game.  I don’t hear much talk about the game by the mainstream sports media since baseball has returned and the NBA is soon.  Non the less – flipping over from the excitement of the EPLs final games at 11 am on Sunday to a Women’s Final on CBS at 12:30 should not be difficult for the true soccer fans.  Ladies be sure to tune in – higher numbers will hopefully mean more CBS network time for women’s and eventually Champions League men’s soccer on CBS.

MLS is Back

I have to admit the MLS is Back Tourney has been mighty high scoring with lots of goals scored in extra time.  The Columbus Crew or Orlando look like the teams to beat out of the East – and surprisingly Cincy made the tourney while Atlanta is heading home. The Round of 16 Kicksoff is this weekend here’s with games at 8 or 9 and 10 or 11 on either ESPN or Fox Sports 1.  Here’s a Quick Preview

Carmel High Soccer

Good luck to those girls playing this weekend in the CHS Girl Tourney Saturday at River Roads Fields and good luck with tryouts the first week of August.  Same for the Boys on Tryouts in August.

Carmel High School Boys Soccer Tactical Camp

July 27 – 30 – River Road Soccer Complex. Camp offered for boys and girls ages 8 – 14. 9:00 – 11:00 am. $95


Sat,  July 25

1:30 pm ESPN+                  Genoa vs Inter

8 pm ESPN2                       MLS Playoff Orlando FC vs Montreal  

10:30 pm ESPN2                 Philly Union vs New England Revs  MLS Playoff

Sun  July 26  – EPL Final Day/NWSL Finals

11 am USA Network       Wolverhampton vs Chelsea (Pulisic)  (Top 4 on line)

11 am  NBC                       Leicester City vs Man United (Top 4 on line)

11 am CNBC                      Everton vs Bournemouth (Relegation)

11 am NBCSN                    West Ham United vs Aston Villa (Relegation)

11 am Peacock free           Crystal Palace vs Tottenham

11 an Golf Channel           Arsenal vs Watford (Relegation)

12:30 pm CBS                   NWSL Finals – Chicago Red Stars vs Houston Dash

5 pm ESPN+/Desp            INDY 11 @ St Louis

8 pm FS1                               Toronto FC vs NYCFC  

11 pm FS1                                Sporting KC vs  Vancouver Whitecaps

Mon,  July 27

9 pm FS1                                           San Jose vs Real Salt Lake –MLS Playoffs

 11 pm FS1                                       Seattle Sounders vs LAFC

Tues,  July 28

8 pm ESPN                                     Columbus Crew vs MinN United -MLS Playoff

10 pm ESPN                                     Cincy vs Portland Timbers –  MLS Playoff 

Wed,  July 29

7 pm ESPN+myindytv    INDY 11 vs Hartford Lucas Oil

Thus  July 30

8 pm ESPN                         QF1 Lake -MLS Playoff

Fri, July 31

8 pm ESPN                          QF2 -MLS Playoff

Sat,  Aug 1

1 pm ESPN??                       Chelsea (Pulisic) vs Arsenal FA Cup Final 

7 pm ESPN+myindytv        INDY 11 vs Sporting KC – Lucas Oil

8 pm ESPN                                   MLS Playoff  QF3

10 pm FS1                                        MLS Playoff  QF4

Sun,  Aug 2 – Italy last Day 

???  pm ESPN+                                Atalanta vs Inter

???  pm ESPN+                                Juve vs Roma

Wed,  Aug 5

3 pm CBS All Access           Man United vs LASK Europa League

3 pm CBS All Access           Inter vs Getafe Europa League

8 pm ESPN2                         MLS Semi-Final

Thurs,  Aug 6

1 pm CBS All Access           Leverkusen vs Rangers Europa League

3 pm CBS All Access           Wolverhampton vs Olympiakos

8 pm ESPN2                         MLS Semi-Final

10 pm FS1                            Tijuana vs Tigres Liga MX

Fri  Aug 7

3 pm FuboTV                       Man City vs Real Madrid (Champs League)

3 pm Fubo TV                      Juve vs Lyon (Champs League)

Sat Aug 8

3 pm Fubo TV                      Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (Pulisic)  (Champs League)

3 pm Fubo TV                      Barcelona vs Napoli (Champs League)

Tues,  Aug 11

8 pm ESPN                         MLS is Back Tourney Final

 INDY 11

Indy 11 Win on Last Second Stunner

The Morning Tea – USL News

Indy 11 Ranked #1 in USL PowerRankings

Indy 11 Wins Again

RECAP | Captain Paddy Barrett’s Second Half Stunner Sees Indy Eleven to 2-1 Win over Sporting Kansas City II

Buy Tickets


Indy Eleven Trio Named to USL Championship Team of the Week for Week 3

Indy 11 Sponsor – Grab a bite at these local spots – https://www.thedistricttap.com/ & https://www.rosatispizza.com/location/carmel-in/


What’s at Stake Sunday in EPL Finals – Avi Creditor – SI

What’s at Stake on the Final Day of EPL Sunday

Leicester City vs Man U Preview

Predictions for Final Day
Premier League stat leaders: Golden Boot, Golden Glove, Assists

‘The others won’t sleep’: Klopp wants even more from Liverpool

Liverpool sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

Klopp, Salah reflect on title-winning season

Liverpool lift first Premier League trophy

Pulisic reacts to his stunning display v. Liverpool

Pulisic can’t dampen celebrations, but Liverpool have work to do


Is Pulisic Already the Best US Player Ever? – Doug McIntyre Yahoo Soccer

Pulisic Sparkles in 30 Minutes for Chelsea – s&S

Pulisic was Incredible vs Liverpool – Avi Creditor SI

Lampard Praises Pulisic

Pulisic Watch

Barca’s American 19 yr old Konrad De La Fuente nets 2

US Expects WCQ to start in Nov – no fans

Dash take on Red Stars as NWSL caps first tournament back

Red Stars beat Sky Blue in thrilling NWSL semifinal

Houston beats Portland to reach NWSL Cup final

(NWSL) Challenge Cup final kicks off

Discussing the Finals

NWSL Stays Covid Free for Tourney

All Women’s Ownership Group with former US Players, Actresses & more lands LA NWSL Franchise –

Natie Portman led Group Wins LA Expansion Team

Cool Video on LA Team


Sweet 16 Previews
Beckham’s Inter Miami eliminated from MLS tournament

FC Cincinnati moves on, beats Red Bulls 2-0 in MLS tourney

Nagbe Shows Why He’s so Alluring to US Men’s Coach

5,000+ Meals a Day inside the MLS Bubble


Real Madrid Win First La Liga Title since 2017 Renaldo last season

Renaldo hits 50 goals in Juve win. 1st to Score 50 in La Liga, EPL, Serie A

‘Ibrahimovic is a beast, a phenomenon’ – Donnarumma hails Milan striker and hints at San Siro stay


USL Save of the Week

MLS Best Saves of Round 2

MLS Best Saves Round 1

Great Saves in NWSL Tourney

Dash take on Red Stars as NWSL caps first tournament back Sunday at 12:30 CBS

Amy Tennery

(Reuters) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Challenge Cup final kicks off on Sunday between the upstart Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars a month after the league returned from the COVID-19 hiatus, the first in North America to do so.A year since the U.S. national team won a fourth World Cup, Commissioner Lisa Baird said the goal was simple — to build on the momentum for the women’s sport on a tight timeline and show live sport can happen in the novel coronavirus era.”It was really hard to have this tournament be short,” Baird told reporters. “Four weeks is not a lot of time to win over not only avid soccer fans but casual fans. I think we accomplished that. We’re getting to that second level of casual fan — that’s what we need to do to be successful.”The announcement this week of a Los Angeles expansion team with owners including Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman, tennis champion Serena Williams and her husband, venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, added to the lustre.Putting on a month-long tournament during a pandemic, however, was anything but glamorous, with players living inside a quarantined bubble, playing on a single-site without fans in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah.”No one had done this, going into this, not us, the NBA, the NHL and the MLS,” said Baird, who added that if the league has the chance to get players back on the field once the tournament is over “we will be doing so.”That is not to say everyone was intimidated. Dash midfielder Shea Groom, who has scored two goals in the tournament, told Reuters she quickly hit her stride in the “bubble” environment.”For me this year — whether it was going to be a regular league season or the Challenge Cup — (the key) was consistency,” said Groom.”I’m not sure exactly what changed – maybe it’s the environment and just being surrounded by different players — but there’s definitely been a freedom for me, feeling like myself again.”After powering past the Portland Thorns in the semi-finals, the underdog Dash are ready to face the Red Stars, who are out for redemption after a demoralising 4-0 thrashing in last year’s NWSL championship final to North Carolina Courage.The Chicago team comes equipped with top talent including U.S. national team goal keeper Alyssa Naeher, who has made 18 saves during the tournament, and 2019 U.S. Soccer female player of the year Julie Ertz.The Dash take on the Red Stars in the NWSL Challenge Cup final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET (1630 GMT).

Pulisic reacts to his stunning display v. Liverpool

Joe Prince-WrightNBC Sports•July 22, 2020

The reaction from Christian Pulisic said it all. Chelsea came so close to grabbing the point they needed to secure Champions League action as they lost 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Top 4 scenarios ]

They need a point on the final day of the season at home against Wolves to seal a Champions League spot.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch – News, analysis ]

With Chelsea trailing 4-1 with 30 minutes to go, Pulisic jumped off the bench and had an amazing assist to set up fellow sub Tammy Abraham to make it 4-2, then missed a great chance as he dragged a shot wide and then scored a superb goal to make it 4-3.The USMNT star has been suffering with a small injury in recent days so was left out of the starting lineup but boy, did he have an impact when he came on.Here is what Pulisic had to say to our partners in the UK, Sky Sports.“We were very close, we got it within one goal and the momentum was really changing,” Pulisic said. “I thought we had them but obviously it is just that one counter attack and it changed real quick. We weren’t quite there. In the second half the subs coming in and making a difference and getting a quick goal, that changes things. You could see thy were on the back foot for a while but they withstood our pressure. We were very close. We needed the result today, unfortunately we couldn’t get it, but luckily it is still in our hands and we have one more game to go. We go next game and we win and we qualify for Champions League and that’s the goal.”The latest news on Pulisic is that he was simply sensational when he came on at Anfield and swung the game in Chelsea’s favor.This cameo underline how importance Pulisic is to Chelsea and heading into next season he may be one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League.

Chelsea praise ‘big player’ Christian Pulisic

By Joe Prince-WrightJul 23, 2020, 9:15 AM EDT

Frank Lampard is starting to run out of superlatives for Christian Pulisic is the Pulisic news today.The Chelsea boss sent on Pulisic for the final 35 minutes with his side trailing 4-1, as Pulisic jumped off the bench and had an amazing assist to set up fellow sub Tammy Abraham to make it 4-2, then missed a great chance as he dragged a shot wide, then scored a superb goal to make it 4-3.That wonderful cameo helped Chelsea come incredibly close to grabbing the point they needed to secure Champions League action as they lost 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday. They now need a draw on the final day of the season at home against Wolves to seal a Champions League spot.The USMNT star has been suffering with a small injury in recent days so he didn’t feature in their FA Cup semifinal at the weekend, and was left out of their starting lineup at Liverpool but boy, did he have an impact when he came on.After the game Lampard was asked how important Pulisic will be to his plans for next season.“Hugely important. He has had that impact. I was here for Eden’s first year and it is not easy coming to the Premier League, and for Eden in that first year it was adapting to the Premier League,” Lampard said. “Christian has had his moments of that but mid-season he had a really good patch and then since restart he has been in incredible form. Only the injury he picked up in the Norwich game has kept him out of the semifinal when he’s flying.“Against Liverpool he came on and played 40 minutes which is great for feeling confident about the injury and the qualities he has been showing. He is so young and he has such natural talent and he creates goals and scores goals. He is a big player for us so I’m delighted to see him come through fit. Clearly he will be a big player in these next few games for us and going forward as well.”Pulisic, 21, has now scored 10 goals and added five assists in his debut season at Chelsea and will start in the final game against Wolves, the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Aug. 1 and will do his very best to help Chelsea overcome a 3-0 deficit from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against Bayern Munich.Along with N’Golo Kante, the USMNT player is the first name on the teamsheet for Chelsea.

Christian Pulisic Scores, Assists Off the Bench for Chelsea vs. Liverpool


Christian Pulisic didn’t start in Chelsea’s vital match vs. Liverpool on Wednesday, but he certainly made an impact when given the chance.The U.S. international came off the bench and moments later delivered a highlight-reel assist to Tammy Abraham before scoring a sensational goal of his own, cutting into Chelsea’s deficit against the new Premier League champions in what was ultimately a 5-3 defeat.Chelsea trailed 4-1 before Pulisic came on, with Liverpool in fine form on the day it was due to receive the Premier League trophy. Pulisic, who used to play for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp when both were at Dortmund, entered as part of a triple substitution in the 59th minute, and two minutes later, the deficit was two.Pulisic weaved through Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold, nutmegged Joe Gomez to breeze by him and then curled his cross by Virgil van Dijk, finding Abraham for the simple close-range finish to make it 4-2.Pulisic missed a golden chance to make it 4-3 soon after, as he ran onto a long Reece James pass before scuffing his shot and pulling it wide, but he made good on his next chance. Receiving the ball in the box off his chest, Pulisic took three touches, setting up his shot, turning and firing by Alisson to bring Chelsea within one. With a win or a draw, Chelsea would have secured a place in the Champions League next season with a game to spare, but that wasn’t to be, as Liverpool scored on a clinical counterattack in the 84th minute through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to restore the two-goal edge.”I thought the momentum was really changing. I thought we had them,” Pulisic, who missed Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal win over Manchester United on Sunday with an apparent minor injury, told Sky Sports after the match.Instead, Chelsea enters Sunday’s season finale vs. Wolves in fourth place, tied on points with third-place Manchester United (significantly behind on goal differential) and a point ahead of fifth-place Leicester.For Pulisic, he now has four goals and four assists since the Premier League restart, proving himself to be one of Chelsea’s–and the league’s–top players over the last month. On the season, Pulisic has nine league goals.

Pulisic now has nine goals and four assists in under 1650 minutes of Premier League action.  4 Since the Restart with 3 Assists and 3 Penalties Drawn for PKs.

Christian Pulisic stats versus Liverpool (SofaScore)

31 minutes
Goal, assist
23 touches
6/6 passes w/ 1 key pass
3 shots, 1 on target
3/4 dribbles
4/10 duels won
2 fouls, 1 foul drawn
1 interception

Christian Pulisic is already the best male soccer player the USA has ever produced, and it’s OK to be excited about it

Doug McIntyre

July 23, 2020, 12:05 PM

It stands to reason that when Christian Pulisic burst onto the international scene, an attacking phenom good enough to start games for Bundesliga titan Borussia Dortmund at 17, soccer types back in Pulisic’s native United States — and even a few fans — preached caution.“Look, nobody is more excited about this kid than I am,” Michael Bradley, then the captain of the U.S. men’s national team, pulled me aside to say in the spring of 2016 after I’d written that Pulisic should challenge for serious minutes during that summer’s Copa America Centenario. “But how many games has he played? Let’s not get carried away just yet.”A little more than four years later, it’s time to say with certainty and conviction what has become increasingly obvious, as Pulisic’s spectacular first season with English Premier League power Chelsea draws to a close: Pulisic, at the ripe old age of 21, is already the best American male to ever play the world’s most popular sport.This is where you point out that Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan were still producing for their country and clubs into their 30s. That both men retired with 57 international goals and well over 100 caps for the USMNT. That both scored in multiple World Cups. It’s a fair and valid argument.It’s also true that it will be years before Pulisic gets the opportunity to equal those accomplishments. And of course, there’s no guarantee he ever does. Every athlete in every sport is one unlucky injury away from the end. Pulisic’s slight (but quickly filling out) frame and desire to torch foes off the dribble makes him a magnet for rough play. And if there’s been any knock on Pulisic during his young career so far, it’s his tendency to miss matches because of muscle ailments.

Longevity and consistency do matter when crowning the king. By those measures, one could make a case for American goalkeepers Brad Friedel or Tim Howard, in addition to Dempsey and Donovan, as the best U.S. male player ever. Both enjoyed long spells as starters in the Prem. Both spent time wearing the No. 1 shirt with brand-name clubs.Still, the hardest thing to do in soccer is to score and create goals. And the way Pulisic has utterly dominated the world’s best league since it returned from its three-month coronavirus hiatus in June with his blistering pace, balance, control in tight spaces and all-important end-product is flat-out unprecedented among his countrymen.Pulisic has four goals and five assists in eight Premier League games since June 21. He’s scored or created a goal every 63 minutes he’s been on the field since Project Restart began. Add in his production from earlier in the season, when he was in and out of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s lineup as he adjusted to a new country, new team, and a new bruising style of play, and it’s 103 minutes per goal or assist. That’s a better rate of production than Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, Southampton’s Danny Ings or Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — the three leading scorers in the Prem — have managed during the 2019-20 campaign.It’s not just one good season, either. When Pulisic arrived in London last summer at 20 on a whopping $73 million transfer fee, almost four times the next-highest price paid for an American, he was a proven commodity. He’d put up 13 goals and 18 assists in 90 Bundesliga games.He has three goals — including a knockout-stage game-winner — and five assists in 26 career Champions League matches. His 14 goals in 34 games at the international level gives him a better strike ratio for the U.S. than Dempsey, Donovan or Jozy Altidore.

Should Pulisic’s age and lack of World Cup experience be held against him in the GOAT conversation? (The latter is no fault of his own; as a teenager, he was easily the USMNT’s best player during the failed 2018 qualifying cycle.) Does the lack of fans in the stadiums over the last five weeks take away from performances that seem to be getting better with each passing game? Should we wait a few more years before anointing him the best?

Maybe. This is subjective exercise, after all. And given the way American soccer history is littered with cautionary tales of prospects destroyed by premature and/or unrealistic hype (Freddy Adu), or who saw their once-ascendent careers at the top level derailed when their bodies failed them (Stuart Holden, John O’Brien), the desire for patience and perspective is understandable.“We have the tendency, and myself as well, to get ahead of ourselves,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter admitted on a conference all with reporters Tuesday, a day before Pulisic became the first U.S. player to score against Liverpool at Anfield. (He also collected an assist in the Blues’ 5-3 loss to the champions.) “If we would’ve made final judgment on Christian in the fall, we would’ve said, ‘Well, he’s not performing well.’ And now, all of a sudden, seven months later, we’re saying it’s the best signing ever.”Berhalter’s point is well taken, as Bradley’s was all those years ago. But it’s becoming impossible to ignore the fact that Pulisic is blossoming into a bona fide superstar before our very eyes. No American attacker before him has established himself as a key cog with one of the world’s truly elite teams, let alone its most dangerous player. On those cutthroat European proving grounds is where global reputations are forged.Christian Pulisic is next level already, and he’s only going to get better from here. It’s OK to be excited about it. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Premier League scenarios: Relegation, Top 4, Europa League, tiebreaker rules

By Joe Prince-WrightJul 23, 2020, 10:20 AM EDT

relegation, top 4 and Europa League scenarios and remind ourselves of the Premier League tiebreaker rules as the business end of the season is here.

[ MORE: Final day PL TV schedule ]

Strap in, folks, and get your calculators out and keep this page open as it will come in very handy in the final week of the season with things about to get wild.

Below we take a look at the latest scenarios for relegation, Europa League and the top 4, as there are many permutations which could play out during the final 90 minutes of the season.

Plenty could still be decided on the final day of the season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Here’s a look at what needs to happen for relegation, Europa League and top four spots to be confirmed, while a look at the tiebreaker rules already has us imagining the madness of Watford, Bournemouth and Aston Villa all being tied on points, goal difference and goals scored when the final whistle arrives.



  • Chelsea would clinch top-4 with:
    • Win/draw v. Wolves


    • Loss v. Wolves AND Manchester United win at Leicester

Manchester United

  • Manchester United would clinch top-4 with:
    • Win/draw at Leicester


    • Chelsea loss v. Wolves*

*Scenario assumes MU maintain GD advantage over Chelsea (MU: +28 / CHE: +13)

Leicester City

  • Leicester would clinch top-4 with:
    • Win v. Manchester United


    • Draw v. Manchester United AND Chelsea loss v. Wolves



  • Wolves would clinch top-6 finish if:
    • They better or equal Tottenham’s result

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Tottenham would clinch top-6 finish if:
    • They better Wolves’ results

And 7th would qualify for Europa League if Chelsea win the FA Cup.


In terms of tiebreakers, here is the order and format in which league position will be sorted by if teams finish level on points:

  • Goal difference
  • Goals scored
  • Points won in head-to-head meetings
  • Away goals in head-to-head meetings

If the teams still can’t be separated after the above tiebreakers, a playoff will be arranged (at a neutral ground with the format, timing and venue determined by the Premier League Board).


Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 West Ham United 37 10 8 19 48 61 -13 6-3-9 4-5-10 38
 Aston Villa 37 9 7 21 40 66 -26 7-3-9 2-4-12 34
 Watford 37 8 10 19 34 61 -27 6-6-7 2-4-12 34
 Bournemouth 37 8 7 22 37 64 -27 5-6-8 3-1-14 31
 Norwich City 37 5 6 26 26 70 -44 4-3-12 1-3-14 21

Relegation – How teams can stay up

    • Aston Villa: Better Watford’s result OR draw and Watford draw
    • Watford: Better Aston Villa’s result
    • Bournemouth: Win and both Aston Villa and Watford lose

Aston Villa

last match: 11 am ET Sunday at West Ham

Villa needs a little bit more than a win or hoping Watford falls at Arsenal.

How could Villa go down with a win? If Watford beats Arsenal by at least two more goals than Villa defeats West Ham, it will climb over the Villans.

Similarly, if Bournemouth draws or loses, and both Villa and Watford lose, Villa could go down if it loses to West Ham by at least two more goals than Watford loses to Arsenal.

If both Villa and Watford draw, Villa stays up.

If Villa draws and Watford loses, Villa stays up regardless of what Bournemouth does at Everton.


last match: 11 am ET Sunday at Arsenal

A win over the Gunners would be enough if Villa loses.

A draw would be enough if West Ham beats Aston Villa.

Watford could even stay up with a loss if Bournemouth draws or loses and Villa loses to West Ham by two more goals than the Hornets loses to Arsenal.


last match: 11 am ET Sunday at Everton

The Cherries need to win at Everton. Anything less and they’re down.

If Eddie Howe’s men take down the Toffees, they also need Watford and Villa to lose.


By Indy Eleven Communications, 07/22/20, 9:45PM EDT

Tyler Pasher’s Last Gasp Strike Keeps Eleven Perfect via 1-0 Win at Pittsburgh

Red-hot Striker Tallies in Sixth Straight Game, Pushing Indy to Spotless 4-0-0 Record to Start 2020 Season

PITTSBURGH (Wednesday, July 22, 2020) – It appeared that Indy Eleven would settle for a share of points from its highly-anticipated contest at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – until striker Tyler Pasher rewrote the script with a dramatic strike from distance at the death that gave Indiana’s Team a 1-0 triumph at Highmark Stadium.With the win, Indy Eleven (4W-0L-0D. 12 pts.), not only maintained its spotless record to start the 2020 USL Championship campaign, it snapped Pittsburgh’s (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts.) 25-game home undefeated streak in regular season play, the fourth-longest stretch in league history (behind Indy’s current 27-game streak that is third in USLC annals).

“I think it was a great performance for us tonight. Again, you got to see our fitness and resiliency, and I thought we controlled large parts of the game, especially considering we were away from home against a team that had not lost a game at home in at least two years,” said Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “It was a difficult game in the sense of it’s quite a tight field, there’s lots of contact and not a lot of opportunity just to relax and play. So given what we were faced with I thought our players executed perfectly.”

Post-game Quote Sheet | Head Coach Martin Rennie | PIT 1:0 IND

Pasher’s fifth goal of 2020 extended his lead atop the 35-team USL Championship’s Golden Boot scoring chart and improved his scoring streak to six consecutive games when accounting for Indy Eleven’s run in the 2019 postseason. With the tally, Pasher also became the first player in Eleven history to score in four straight regular season contests.“Those are the moments that are just really, really fun to be a part of,” Rennie continued. “When you are on a team or part of a staff and you see a goal that, in that minute, against obviously a very good team, it’s probably a highlight moment for Indy Eleven as a franchise. Tyler’s got the ability to do that, so it’s great to see him come through.”In what could be classified as a tight contest throughout, the first danger presented itself after 10 minutes when Pittsburgh forward Ropapa Mensah saw two crosses from the right flank go wanting, the first a foot too heavy for Kenardo Forbes’ far-post run and the second forcing a lunging stab by Ryan James that missed left of frame.

On the 15th minute, Pittsburgh defender Skylar Thomas continued the home team’s offensive flurry, his header from 10 yards out off a corner flashing just wide left as well. Looking to stem the tide, Indy center back Paddy Barrett tried to carry over his attacking flair from recent games with an audacious look from the opposite side of the midfield stripe, the attempt to catch Riverhounds goalkeeper Tomas Gomez off his line drifting just high.The 27th minute saw plenty of drama inside the Indy penalty area, starting when Eleven ‘keeper Evan Newton went low to come up big on Robbie Mertz’s blast set up by a give-and-go with Mark Forrest. Controversy reigned on the ensuing corner kick, which saw Kenardo Forbes’ redirect from the corner of the six ring off the underside of the crossbar, off the goaline and again off the crossbar before landing in the grateful arms of Newton. Despite pleas for a goal, center referee Eric Tattersall listened to his assistant who vigorously waved off any confirmation of a score, the two sides playing on from their scoreless stalemate as the half hour approached.The meaningful chances dried up as the half waned until deep into six minutes of stoppage time, when Indy Eleven defender Karl Ouimette had an open header at the six off of Tyler Pasher’s set piece service, only to see the chance sent right to Gomez on his line.The second half was a largely disjointed affair, spent mostly in the middle third and in search of a badly needed spark outside of five yellow cards – and even those were devoid of much venom, apart from Mensah’s unneeded challenge against Newton on an aerial ball in the 82nd minute.Neither team had a moment of true attacking danger in the half until the allotted six minutes of stoppage had expired. Indy’s last-gasp counter started with Neveal Hackshaw’s clearance from the Eleven penalty spot and continued when Drew Conner played a ball into midfield towards substitute striker Jeremy Rafanello, whose challenge led to Pasher collecting the ball. A 50-yard run, one cut centrally from the right flank and three dusted defenders later, Pasher set himself up on his preferred left foot for a 25-yard lash into the upper left corner that beat Gomez’s full extension, making Indy the first team to reach double-digit points in the 2020 USL Championship season.Indy Eleven will stay on the road for its next match this Sunday, July 26, when Indiana’s Team heads to the Gateway of the West to meet fellow Group E foe Saint Louis FC (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts.). Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. for the contest that will air locally on MyINDY-TV 23 and nationally on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.Indy Eleven’s next two home contests come back to back next Wednesday, July 29, and Saturday, August 1, versus Hartford Athletic and Sporting Kansas City II, respectively. Tickets are available for both 7:00 p.m. kickoffs at Lucas Oil Stadium by visiting indyeleven.com/tickets or calling 317-685-1100.

USL Championship Regular Season – #PITvIND    Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC  0 : 1  Indy Eleven
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – 6:00 p.m. ET      Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, Pa.   Attendance: N/A
2020 USL Championship records
Indy Eleven (4W-0L-0D, 12 pts., 1st in Group E)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts., 1st in Group F)



Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

7/21/20 – Undefeated Indy 11 on ESPN2 Wed 6 pm, NWSL Semi’s Wed, Final Sunday CBS 12:30, Chelsea vs Liverpool Wed 3 pm, Liverpool Trophy presentation at 5 pm

Indy 11

So our Indy 11 remain undefeated to start with the best record in our history as we knocked off Sporting KC 2-1 in front of close to 5K in the stands at the Luke. Indy 11 will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds on ESPN 2 – at 6 pm on Wednesday night!   Four match-ups with Louisville FC headline the schedule along with 4 games vs St. Louis –these 3 teams should battle it out to make the expanded playoffs.


So the semi-finals are on TV Wednesday at 12 midnight Portland Thorns vs Houston Dash and Thursday at 10 am Sky Blue vs Chicago Red Stars on NBC Sportsnetwork with the Final Sunday on NBC (finally) the Semi’s are on streaming Wed 10 am and 10 pm.  The games have been good –the ones I watch on replay on CBS Sports Network – I wish all the games were here – but we do get the big game on Sunday at 12:30 pm on NBC the finals!!

Pulisic Continues to Shine in EPL

So hopefully they were holding Pulisic back for the huge league games this weekend as he didn’t even see the field in the Semi-Final 3-0 win over Man United this weekend.  I was ticked off to say the least as I settled into watch on Sunday (he was injured)– Chelsea face Liverpool on Wed at 3 pm on NBCSN – hopefully he’ll be on the field in this hugely critical game as they need a win and a tie in the last 2 games at least to secure a top 4 Champions League finish.  Of course Liverpool will be presented the EPL Title Trophy after the game at Anfield around 5 pm after the game.   hopefully it will be after a tie as Chelsea need the points.  Its a 3 way battle between Chelsea 63pts/Man United 62/Liecester City 62 pts. for the 3rd and 4th spots.

MLS Is Back

I have to admit the MLS is Back Tourney has been pretty darn good – some really high scoring games as teams battle to win their group and advance on to the playoffs that start this weekend.  Great to see games featured on weekday mornings 9 am on ESPN and evening games a lot of nights at 8 and 10 on ESPN and Fox Sports.  The games have been really exciting and hopefully will give MLS a little bump in the US national Sports Scope before other sports start up later this month.

Carmel High School Boys Soccer Tactical Camp

July 27 – 30 – River Road Soccer Complex. Camp offered for boys and girls ages 8 – 14. 9:00 – 11:00 am. $95


Tues,  July 21

9 am EPSN                                         Toronto vs NE Revs

12:30 pm  NBCSN                             Watford at Man City

2:45 pm NBCSN                                Aston Villa  vs Arsenal  

8 pm ESPN2                                      Atlanta vs Columbus  

10:30 pm ESPN2                               Montreal vs DC United  

Wed,  July 22

9 am ESPN                                         Real Salt Lake vs Sporting KC

1 pm  NBCSN                                    West Ham at Man Unted

3 pm NBCSN                                      Liverpool vs Chelsea (Pulisic)  

6 pm ESPN2                                       INDY 11 @ Pittsburgh

8 pm ESPN                                        Cincy vs NR Red Bulls

10:30 pm ESPN                                 Colorado vs Min United

Thurs,  July 23

9 am ESPN                                         Chicago vs Vancouver  

1 pm  NBCSN                                    West Ham at Man Unted

1:30 pm ESPN+                              Udineese vs Juventus  

8 pm FS1                                            LA vs Houston

10:30 pm ESPN2                             LAFC vs Portland  

Sat,  July 25

1:30 pm ESPN+                              Genoa vs Inter

8 pm ESPN2                                      MLS Playoff Orlando FC vs ?   

10:30 pm ESPN2                              Philly Union vs New England Revs  MLS Playoff

Sun  July 26  – EPL Final Day/NWSL Finals

11 am USA Network                Wolverhampton vs Chelsea (Pulisic)  (Top 4 on line)

11 am CNBC                                   Crystal Palace vs Tottenham

11 am  NBCSN??                         Leicester City vs Man United (Top 4 on line)

12:30 pm CBS                               NWSL Finals – from Utah

5 pm ESPN+/Desp                           INDY 11 @ St Louis

8 pm FS1                                            Toronto FC vs 3rd Group A  

11 pm FS1                                          ??  MLS Playoff  

Mon,  July 27

9 pm FS1                                            MLS Playoff

11 pm FS1                                          MLS Playoff  

Tues,  July 28

8 pm ESPN                                        MLS Playoff

10 pm ESPN                                      MLS Playoff  

Wed,  July 29

7 pm ESPN+myindytv        INDY 11 vs Hartford Lucas Oil

INDY 11 

Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds on ESPN 2 – at 6 pm on Wednesday


Indy 11 Wins Again


NWSL Semi-Finals – Who’s Going to Win – ESPNFC

All Women’s Ownership Group with former US Players, Actresses & more lands LA NWSL Franchise –

Natie Portman led Group Wins LA Expansion Team
Beckham’s Inter Miami eliminated from MLS tournament

EPL & World

Renaldo hits 50 goals in Juve win. 1st to Score 50 in La Liga, EPL, Serie A

‘Ibrahimovic is a beast, a phenomenon’ – Donnarumma hails Milan striker and hints at San Siro stay


Pulisic’s 1st season Stats compare to Mane or Sterling – eSPNFC
Farke: Pulisic will be ‘world-class’; Lampard praises USMNT star

WATCH: Pulisic cross finds Giroud to give Chelsea lead

Lampard – Pulisics Game at Another Level

Lampard Thrilled with Pulisic – but don’t compare him to Hazard yet – GOAL.com

Pulisic Scores and has 8/10 Score in Win for Chelsea

How American Coach – became a coaching Star in Europe – ESPNFC
American coach Marsch named Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year

U.S. great Reyna: Son Gio enjoying Dortmund

Dest: I want to play with Ronaldo, Messi
Weston McKennie entertains offers

Ranking the eight USWNT Women’s World Cup teams
Op-Ed: If the goal is equity, the U.S. women and men should team up to bargain with U.S. Soccer
  -Grant Wahl


Indy Eleven at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – 6:00 P.M. ET        Highmark Stadium | Pittsburgh, Pa.

Local/National TV: ESPN2


Indy Eleven: 3W-0L-0D, 9 pts., 1st in Group E

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: 2W-0L-0D, 6 pts., 1st in Group F

It’s an early-season showdown deserving of a national audience – and that’s just what Indy Eleven and Pittsburgh Riverhounds will have, courtesy of ESPN2, when they meet Wednesday evening near the confluence of the Steel City’s famed three rivers.

The contest features two of the three highest scoring offenses in the 35-team USL Championship through four weeks of action, Pittsburgh’s nine goals placing second, followed by Indy with eight. Eleven forward Tyler Pasher paces the league with four goals, while Riverhounds SC attacker Kenardo Forbes paces the USLC in assists with four helpers of his own.

“Pivotal” might be too heightened a term this early in a season for a game featuring two teams sitting atop their respective groups with spotless records. However, their form out of the gates have Indy and Pittsburgh as the East’s teams to beat in 2020 (don’t take our word … USLChampionship.com’s Nicholas Murray have Indy #1 and PIT #3 in the latest Power Rankings), which makes their first of two meetings during the shortened 16-game campaign one likely to be circled for end-of-the-season reviews come October.

Of the 17 Championship squads with at least three games under their belts, Indy Eleven is the only one to start off with three victories. A win Wednesday would not only make Indiana’s Team the first in the USLC to reach double-digit points, but it would also end Pittsburgh’s 25-game home undefeated streak in regular season play – a figure Indy might be in awe of were it not for the fact it’s similar run does the Riverhounds two better at 27.


Indy Eleven will look to even its all-time regular season series with Riverhounds SC, its record currently standing at 1W-2L-2D (6 GF/9 GA) after meetings across the 2018 & ’19 USL Championship campaigns.

Pittsburgh also had the leg up in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup meeting last season, a Third Round affair the Riverhounds took via a 1-0 score at Highmark Stadium on May 29. Indy Eleven exacted a bit of revenge just three days later with a dramatic 2-1 win at Lucas Oil Stadium, while Pittsburgh took the return leg in regular season play via a 3-0 scoreline back in the Steel City in September.  Despite not being grouped together, the close proximity of the two growing rivals has them playing twice during the shortened 2020 season, with Indy Eleven set to host Riverhounds SC in the Circle City on August 15.


We’ve noted the voracity of the Riverhounds attack, which means the Eleven back three – anchored by the Irish captain Paddy Barrett in the middle – will likely be under sustained pressure. Expect Barrett and the Indy defense to be up for the challenge, as the squad has conceded just once in the last 254 minutes of play after a two-goal hiccup in the first 16 minutes of the season opener at Memphis 901 FC. Pittsburgh will also have to account for Barrett in the opposite final third as well, as his deft finish in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City II was preceded by eye-opening long-distance efforts in each of the last two outings.


The 2019 USL Championship MVP finalist and All-League First Team performer was a thorn in the side of Indy last year, as he notched a late game-winner in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fixture in May and tallied twice in a 3-0 win late in the regular season. The veteran Jamaican playmaker is continuing his assault on opposing goals in 2020, already notching four assists – including a trio in last Saturday’s 6-0 drubbing of Philadelphia Union II. With five chances created and three successful crosses in just two matches, Forbes has entered the restart in midseason form and will once again need to be the focal point for Indiana’s Team all over the field.

Unlikely NWSL season will have an unlikely Challenge Cup champion

12:43 PM ETGraham HaysESPN.com

The Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC will breathe easier these days. Not because players are more accustomed to the altitude in the Salt Lake City area. Not because they will play all remaining games in the NWSL Challenge Cup on the Rio Tinto Stadium grass after five games on artificial turf. And not because the forecast offers any relief from the heat (it doesn’t).It’s mostly because that in proving themselves one of the best teams in the history of the sport, the North Carolina Courage suck the oxygen out of any room, or stadium, they occupy.But after Portland eliminated the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Courage in a quarterfinal, the NWSL will, for the first time since 2015, settle a championship without the team that won three championships and three NWSL Shields beginning in 2016, including its time in Western New York.A league now in the midst of the unlikeliest of seasons will have an unlikely champion.

That’s a good story especially in the cases of Houston and Sky Blue, franchises that began this year with no playoff appearances and 56 more losses than wins between them since Houston entered the league in 2014. It’s also an important story. A league in which bad franchises stay bad is a league that stagnates. A league in which they aspire to championships, even if only in a monthlong tournament necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, is a league that can thrive.

Houston has no playoff appearances in its history but has more often been mediocre than disastrous. Sky Blue, on the other hand, is only a couple of years removed from exploring the full depths of disaster. Amid a one-win season in 2018 came reports detailing inadequate facilities, poor housing and general dysfunction. The team at least adjacent to the biggest market in the league ranked last in attendance. Sky Blue had the second and sixth picks in the 2019 draft. Both players opted to sign instead in Europe, the only first-rounders to do so.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that people close to Alyse LaHue tried to talk her out of taking the job she now holds as the team’s general manager. Many people. But she did all the same, first on an interim basis early last season and then permanently last fall. Play improved throughout last season — not by miraculous degrees but steadily as a coaching carousel finally settled on Freya Coombe by the end of the campaign. With LaHue willing to listen to all complaints, at a full variety of volumes, from fans whose allegiance dated back to WPS a decade ago, the team’s image improved. A pair of games at Red Bull Arena late in the year drew big crowds — more than half as many in those games alone as the team drew the entire 2018 season.

Then came the offseason announcement that the team was finally trading its outdated and difficult-to-reach home at Rutgers for Red Bull Arena on a full-time basis. Suddenly, Sky Blue, which also traded for World Cup winner Mallory Pugh during the offseason, had a world-class facility far more easily accessible by public transportation.”It opens up for us a lot of new business opportunities as well,” LaHue said. “Really, Red Bull Arena was the next step for us in our growth as a professional club.”Except that is on hold after the sports world shut down before Sky Blue could make their full-time debut at Red Bull Arena.”You basically have a new job now,” LaHue recalled of the message to staff as the NWSL put its season on hold just as preseason training was commencing. “Whatever you did before, if you can figure out how to do it completely digital, that’s what you’re going to do now.”It says something about the shift from organizational dysfunction to, well, function that while there was plenty of outside debate about whether the NWSL could even survive a shutdown. Sky Blue spent more time on innovation than existential fretting. For starters, in addition to offering refunds to season-ticket holders who needed or wanted them, the team developed a digital season ticket service that offers fans regular online contact with players and staff. Those have continued through the tournament in Utah, connecting team and fans in a way likely to outlast the necessities of remote connectivity during a pandemic.But any turnaround is ultimately only as successful as what the players make it on the field.In a normal season and with a full roster that included additions Pugh, Midge Purce and McCall Zerboni, Sky Blue would have been a popular sleeper pick. LaHue even acknowledged the playoffs were the target. But with little in the way of a preseason to further adapt to Coombe’s system — and without franchise cornerstone Carli Lloyd and Pugh because of injuries — the NWSL Challenge Cup was, in the general manager’s words, aptly named.”I think you would have been able to see a much better-put-together picture that we are attempting to build right now,” forward Ifeoma Onumonu said of a longer season. “I think we’ve got a lot of good things going for us with the short amount of time we’ve had already.”And here they are in the semifinals, seven years after the team’s first and only playoff appearance.Sky Blue haven’t been a revelation in Utah, but it’s amazing how many breaks talented and well-run teams tend to catch. Start with some brilliant goalkeeping from Kailen Sheridan. Add steady veteran play from Gina Lewandowski, Nahomi Kawasumi, Estelle Johnson, Sarah Woldmoe and Zerboni, and suddenly surprises like Ghanaian midfielder Jennifer Cudjoe emerge from the positive environments in which they’re immersed.

“I’ve been blown away by what the technical staff and the players have pulled off,” LaHue said. “Obviously going into the semifinals of this tournament is just pure joy.”I don’t even have another word for it. It’s just pure joy.”North Carolina will be back, but it’s good to see what the rest of the league can do with a little room to breathe.So how do the semifinals set up?

Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash (12:30 p.m. ET)

Portland is no stranger to semifinals, having reached at least that stage in six of the league’s first seven seasons. But even if its current No. 8 seed is a bit harsh for a team that lost just once in the preliminary round, and that in stoppage time, these aren’t the normal Thorns.

Tobin Heath opted out of the event. Adrianna Franch and Becky Sauerbrunn are out with injuries. Even Lindsey Horan had come off injured by the time Morgan Weaver scored the winner from a Rocky Rodriguez assist against North Carolina. Horan is listed as questionable for the semifinal with a left hip injury. But if she plays, Portland still has a special midfield with Angela Salem playing behind the developing chemistry of Horan and Rodriguez. Not to mention that it seems far more likely that Christine Sinclair still has a goal in her than that the Canadian legend will go without all month.

Houston scored five goals in its first two games, so in a tournament largely starved for it, there is clearly offensive potential. And yet the Dash have also gone more than 300 minutes since they last scored, the longest active streak among the semifinalists. So we’re not exactly working with convincing sample sizes either way.

There is so much to like about adding Shea Groom as a creative presence alongside Rachel Daly or watching Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster develop chemistry as center-backs in their first season together. But Houston has also ceded the edge in possession in every game and been less accurate in their passing than their opponents in the past four games. Playing on the counter and looking for the quick strike makes for a test of nerves in the team’s first semifinal.

Sky Blue FC vs. Chicago Red Stars (10 p.m. ET)

If the Red Stars win a title without scoring a goal, would we stop talking about Sam Kerr? It makes for an interesting thought experiment. At some point Kerr’s name will stop appearing (multiple times) in conversation about the team, but the Red Stars are still going to have to first prove they can score consistently without the former MVP. But with the team last among the eight participants with just 10 shots on goal, and the only goals scored by defender Casey Short and since-injured midfielder Morgan Brian, it’s a fair, if also repetitive, narrative.

It would have helped if the Red Stars had either Brian or Yuki Nagasato available for the semifinal. Both remain out with injuries after also missing the quarterfinal. Chicago has options, especially with Savannah McCaskill’s ability to play in a variety of attacking roles. But it’s worth noting that Chicago was the last team other than North Carolina to score multiple goals against Sky Blue, winning 3-0 in New Jersey last September against a defense that will probably look largely familiar Wednesday. Brian and Nagasato each scored a goal in that win. The other goal? Kerr, of course.

Natalie Portman part of L.A. ownership group for NWSL expansion team in 2022

Kevin BaxterLA Times•July 21, 2020

After a 12-year break women’s professional soccer is coming back to Southern California, with a star-studded ownership group led by actress Natalie Portman announcing Tuesday it has secured the rights to bring an NWSL team to the market for the 2022 season.“L.A. is a city that has a fanatical sports fan base. And obviously, we’ve shown that we have the ability to support multiple teams and multiple different leagues,” said media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, another of the principle partners in one of the few majority-women ownership groups in professional sports.“By bringing together this unique group of people, we actually have this ability to engage and promote and not only support the best players, but also grow the league by putting a spotlight on it and hopefully igniting a fire here that will touch other places,” Uhrman said.Others in that 30-member group include World Cup and Olympic champions Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Rachel Buehler, Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Abby Wambach; actresses Eva Longoria, Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain, venture capitalist Kara Nortman and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.“We wanted to make sure that we brought in incredible partners who were from the soccer world, who are leaders in sport, in tech and business and entertainment because that’s really so much what our city is about. Each of us has our special ability to bring to the team,” said Portman, who began work on the Angel City project after the U.S. victory in last summer’s World Cup.“It just seems like it was ideal to bring [women’s] soccer to L.A. because we have such passionate fans here, such robust youth soccer,” she added. “It’s just an incredible kind of culture shift if we can bring more attention and light and celebration of these incredible athletes.”The franchise, which is using Angel City as its tentative nickname, is in discussions with several potential venue partners and hopes to announce both a venue partner and a permanent name by the end of the year. The Galaxy confirmed they are in conversations with Uhrman. The MLS team shared an owner and a stadium with the Sol, the last first-division women’s team to play in Southern California, before that team disbanded after one season in 2010. Women’s Professional Soccer, the league the Sol played in, folded two years later.LAFC, Southern California’s other MLS team, also said it was supportive of the effort to bring an NWSL team to the area.Last October the nine-team NWSL, the first professional sports league in U.S. to resume play during the COVID-19 pandemic, awarded an expansion franchise to Louisville, Ky. That team will begin play next spring. Angel City will have nearly two years to prepare for its launch, scheduled to take place the year between the two biggest events in women’s soccer — the Olympic Games and the World Cup.“There’s many steps that need to be taken along the way, so I think it gives us a good runway,” Portman said. “And with [COVID-19], it seems reasonable too.”

Natalie Portman-Led Group Wins Women’s Soccer Expansion Team in Los Angeles

Emily Caron and Scott SoshnickVariety•July 21, 2020

Academy Award–winning actor Natalie Portman and a group of predominantly female founders were awarded the rights to bring a National Women’s Soccer League team to Los Angeles in 2022, Variety’s sister site Sportico reports.

Portman and tech venture capitalist Kara Nortman, media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, who led the investment with his fund, Initialized Capital, are sidelining the traditional ownership model. Founding the NWSL’s 11th team through an expansive investor ownership group that includes a number of Hollywood, tech, venture, media and sports stars, the startup-like setup is itself as notable as the names behind it.Twelve former U.S. Women’s National Team players, including FIFA World Cup champions Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach were also announced as part of the founding investor group, as are actors Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera and Lilly Singh, as well as author Glennon Doyle.A handful of other entrepreneurs, as well as executives from Netflix and Baby2Baby, round out the 32-member initial ownership group, which has also received local support. Well before the announcement, residents formed a grassroots local supporters group to help an L.A.-based NWSL team gain traction.“Normally in startups we think about finding product-market fit, and this is one of those [situations] where the market is very much asking for the product already. L.A. is ready,” Ohanian told Sportico. The Reddit co-founder also made a personal investment into the team on behalf of his wife, tennis star Serena Williams, and their daughter, Olympia — now likely the youngest owner in sports at two months shy of three years old.“I’m looking at this as a business decision. Yes, I believe there are a lot of good social reasons for this to be a successful enterprise, but this is first and foremost a capitalist one,” Ohanian added. “This is where esports was five years ago, except these teams are far more marketable; the athletes are far more popular and have already transcended the sport and culture. And while I am all for [what] this represents—a generation of athletes who should get paid what they’re worth, who should get treated fairly and equally—I also know this is tracking in the right direction. The free market is actually going to show that this has been undervalued for way too long by far too many people.”Without a team name or venue partner announced yet, the group — which established WFC LA, Inc. as a limited liability company in June with Uhrman listed as CEO and president — is calling itself “Angel City” as a nod to its future home. Angel City will join the Portland Thorns and OL Reign, located in Tacoma, Wash., as the league’s third West Coast team, and it will follow Racing Louisville FC, set to debut in 2021, as the NWSL’s next expansion franchise.“After spending time with the USWNT players, their union rep, and getting to know some of the owners of the NWSL and the league’s supporters, it became clear having a team in L.A. could not only elevate the league and players’ exposure, but also bring these incredibly talented women to the city of L.A. — my city,” Portman told Sportico. “We have the ability to engage, promote and support the best players in the world in the most popular sport in the world on a yearly basis, not just every four years.”

The expansion announcement comes on the heels of the USWNT’s 2019 FIFA World Cup win — where a record 1.12 billion viewers tuned into official broadcast coverage of the tournament — growth that continued with the NWSL’s own audience domestically and internationally. The league’s 2019 average attendance was up 21.8% over 2018 and 71.8% over its inaugural 2013 season. The ongoing Challenge Cup tournament in Utah drew a record-setting audience of 572,000 viewers for its opening match, marking a 201% increase over the NWSL’s previous high of 190,000.Los Angeles is already home to nine other professional sports teams, including two Major League Soccer teams, but has not had a professional women’s team since 2010, when the Los Angeles Sol of the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer League dissolved.“It’s clear that Los Angeles in particular is a huge soccer market. Every time the USWNT comes to play, they’re selling out Dignity Health Sports Park,” Urhman said of the home of the Galaxy, one of the city’s MLS teams, which seats 27,000 fans. “We felt like that was the recipe for success: having this incredible ownership group that believes in our mission and our purpose and having a fan base that already exists, that is really willing this to happen.”In addition to the rights to the newest NWSL expansion team, the group announced a community partnership with the LA84 Foundation. Now a formal supporter of the Play Equity Fund, which works to increase youth access to sport within underserved communities in Los Angeles, Angel City is focused on sport as a vehicle for social justice and gender equity as much as it is concerned with its on-field product.“Our story from the beginning was different — from starting with three founding women to building a movement before even having the money, stadium, rights or fans [to now] being able to grow our list of founding investors,” Portman said. “We believe in setting higher expectations on and off the field, for our team, players and fans. Success to us isn’t only on the field, but our impact in our community, payback to our players and entertainment of the world. We are not a legacy team but a team of activists, athletes and entrepreneurs who are used to challenging the status quo and reshaping expectations.”

Red Stars Win 4-3 on Penalties After 0-0 Draw With Reign Advance to Semi’s


HERRIMAN, Utah  — The Chicago Red Stars advanced to the semifinals of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup tournament, prevailing 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with OL Reign on Saturday night.Lauren Barnes’ attempt for the Reign hit the post to seal it for Chicago, which will play Sky Blue on Wednesday night with a chance to play for the title.Three of the four quarterfinal matches went to penalties. Under tournament rules, tie games after regulation go straight to a shootout rather than to extra periods.Sky Blue advanced 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with the Washington Spirit earlier Saturday. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan secured the victory when she stopped Bayley Feist’s attempt.The eighth-seeded Portland Thorns, 1-0 winners over two-time defending champion North Carolina on Friday, will play the Dash in the first semifinal on Wednesday morning. The Dash also advanced on penalties after a scoreless draw Friday night against the Utah Royals.The Reign’s Jessica Fishlock got her first start since tearing her ACL in a game last July. She had one of the best attempts in the first half, but was thwarted by Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was solid throughout the game.Naeher, who was in goal last summer for the U.S. team that won the World Cup, punched away a header from a wide open Sofia Huerta in the 59th minute. Later in the half, she tipped Kristen McNabb’s shot from some 30 yards out.Kealia Watt had a good chance for Chicago out in front of the goal in the 67th minute but it went just wide.Goalkeeping has been highlighted in the quarterfinals, with just one goal scored — by Portland’s Morgan Weaver — in the three other games.The Reign were playing without U.S. national team star Megan Rapinoe, who opted out of the tournament.Group results determined seeding for the eight teams in the Challenge Cup. The league’s ninth team, the Orlando Pride, withdrew before the tournament because of positive coronavirus tests.



Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools



7/17/20 – Indy 11 wins – home again Sat 7/18, NWSL Final Sunday CBS, FA Cup Semi’s Sat/Sun  

Indy 11

So our Indy 11 became one of the first US Sports back with fans – -as we knocked off St. Louis 2-0 in front of limited fans in the stands.   The 11 will host Sporting KC  in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium with limited fans in attendance again this Saturday at 7 pm .(click here for tickets)   Four match-ups with Louisville FC headline the schedule along with 4 games vs St. Louis –these 3 teams should battle it out to make the expanded playoffs.


So the semi-finals are Friday 10 pm and on Saturday at 8 and 10 pm on CBS allacess.  The games have been good –the ones I watch on replay on CBS Sports Network (I refuse to sign for another soccer firewall) – I wish all the games were here on TV – but we do get the big game next Sunday 12:30 pm on NBC the finals!!  NWSL standouts move on to quarterfinals.

Pulisic Continues to Shine in EPL

I can’t tell you how exciting it has been for me to watch a healthy Christian Pulisic back on the pitch for Chelsea and playing well.  This weekend we get FA Cup action on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm with Chelsea vs Man United in FA Cup Semi’s on ESPN+.  Pulisic scored a goal and had an assist this week for a Chelsea side battling for a top 4 slot in the EPL and Champions League play next season.  FA Cup Semi-Finals are Sat/Sun this weekend as Arsenal faces Man City on Sat at 2:45 pm on ESPN+, while the Spurs and Leicester Sun at 11 am before Chelsea Man U at 1 all on ESPN+.  Man sure would be cool if ESPN picked up the Chelsea vs Man U game on ESPN 1 or 2 – could do a huge audience for that with a Sunday 1 pm kickoff.  God forbid we have a big game featuring our best American player playing for a top 4 club like Chelsea battling mega team Man United?  Anyway off my soapbox!

Carmel High School Boys Soccer Tactical Camp

July 27 – 30 – River Road Soccer Complex. Camp offered for boys and girls ages 8 – 14. 9:00 – 11:00 am. $95


Sat,  July 11

12:30 pm  NBC                                    Norwich vs Burnley

2:45 pm ESPN+                                   Arsenal vs Man City  FA Cup

7 pm ESPN+ TV4                                INDY 11 Host Sporting KC 2

8 pm ESPN                                          Portland vs Houston  

10:30 pm ESPN                                   LA Galaxy vs LAFC  

Sun, July 12  

7:30  am NBCSN                                 Burnley vs Sheffield United

11 am bIN Sport/FuboTV                Alaves vs Barcelona

11 am NBCSN                                     Tottenham vs Leceister City FA Cup Semis

1 pm ESPN+                                        Man United vs Chelsea  FA Cup

3 pm beIJN Sport                                Leganes vs Real Madrid

3:$5 pm ESPN+                                   Roma vs Inter

8 pm FS1                                             Chicago vs San Jose  

10:30 pm FS1                                      Seattle vs Vancouver  


Pulisic’s 1st season Stats compare to Mane or Sterling – eSPNFC
Farke: Pulisic will be ‘world-class’; Lampard praises USMNT star

WATCH: Pulisic cross finds Giroud to give Chelsea lead

Lampard – Pulisics Game at Another Level

Lampard Thrilled with Pulisic – but don’t compare him to Hazard yet – GOAL.com

Pulisic Scores and has 8/10 Score in Win for Chelsea

How American Coach – became a coaching Star in Europe – ESPNFC
American coach Marsch named Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year

U.S. great Reyna: Son Gio enjoying Dortmund

Dest: I want to play with Ronaldo, Messi
Weston McKennie entertains offers

Ranking the eight USWNT Women’s World Cup teams
Op-Ed: If the goal is equity, the U.S. women and men should team up to bargain with U.S. Soccer
  -Grant Wahl

EPL & World
Lampard admits it is ‘going to be tough’ as Chelsea push for Champions League

Manchester United vs Chelsea, FA Cup semi-final: What time is kick-off on Sunday, what TV channel is it on and what’s our prediction?

• Buffon, 42, signs one-year deal at Juve


Armchair Analyst Breakdown on MLS Tourney – Matt Doyle


NWSL standouts move on to quarterfinals– 4hGraham Hays

Thorns FC’s Lindsey Horan provides a glimpse inside NWSL bubble
Thorns FC goalkeeper Bella Bixby gives us some perspective on playing with no fans

Crystal Dunn and Brianna Pinto talk about being Black soccer players

‘Pulisic can’t be compared to Hazard – he carried Chelsea!’ – USMNT forward still learning, says Burley

Goal.comJul 9, 2020, 5:44 AM

Christian Pulisic may be enjoying a stunning run of form at Chelsea but he cannot be compared to Blues legend Eden Hazard because the Belgian “carried one of the biggest teams in the Premier League for a few seasons”, says Craig Burley.Inevitable links are being made between two star turns to have filled a left-sided attacking berth at Stamford Bridge.When the decision was reluctantly taken to offload Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, suitable cover was required to fill sizeable boots in west London.Chelsea always hoped that Pulisic would be the man to step up, with the United States international having been lured away from Borussia Dortmund at just 21 years of age.Time is very much on the American’s side when it comes to following in Hazard’s footsteps, with a flurry of goals since the Premier League restart suggesting that he is ready to become a talisman.

Frank Lampard has, however, been reluctant to start comparing Pulisic and Hazard, with piling such pressure on a player who still has much to learn considered to be both premature and unnecessary.Burley is another of that mindset, with the former Chelsea midfielder eager to point out that there is a long way to go before a star of the present can claim to have emulated one of the recent past.He told ESPN FC of the Pulisic praise: “They should take their heads out of the sand.”Eden Hazard carried Chelsea for a long time, and got his move to Real Madrid.”He’s a multiple league winner, and a hugely talented Belgian international. In the end, he was coveted by arguably the biggest club in the world – Real Madrid.”It’s typical of the rationale – trying to compare people too early. Christian Pulisic is a huge talent, but he’s a young man.”There’s no guarantee that come next season with all the new players coming in that he’ll get all the game time he needs.”All he needs is two or three quiet games, and any manager worth his salt will have [Callum] Hudson-Odoi in, or he’ll have [Timo] Werner on the left, or Mason Mount.”I think we need to go slowly with Christian Pulisic, it’s a learning curve for him, he’s doing great at the moment, but you can’t compare him to a player who literally carried one of the biggest teams in the Premier League for a few seasons.”Hazard took in 352 appearances for Chelsea over the course of a seven-year stay, with 110 goals and 92 assists recorded while helping the Blues to two Premier League titles and a couple of Europa League crowns.Pulisic has nine goals and eight assists to his name this season, with it still possible for him to end his debut campaign in England with an FA Cup winners’ medal.


USMNT’s Sergino Dest: I want to play with Ronaldo, Messi


Fox Sports’ Milan van Dongen breaks down the link between Bayern and Sergino Dest. (1:22)

  • ESPN

Ajax and U.S. men’s national team (USMNT) defender Sergino Dest has said he wants to be the most expensive full-back in the world and play with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Dest has been linked with a big-money move away from Ajax this summer with several top European clubs, including Bayern MunichBarcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, said to be interested in him.

“I want to be the most expensive full-back ever because when you reach that it shows that you are one of the best full-back of the world,” Dest told NOS Jeugdjournaal.”I want to go over €50 million. No defender went above €100m”I want to play with [Kylian] Mbappe, Ronaldo, Messi or Neymar. Time will tell if it will come true. But it is possible.”Bayern Munich are reportedly leading the charge to sign the 19-year-old but Dest has yet to commit to leaving Ajax.However, the young defender is a self-confessed Barcelona fan and many believe should the Catalonian club make an offer Dest would be swayed there over the Bundesliga giants.”There are a lot of rumours. No, it has not been decided that I go to Bayern Munich and I haven’t really said anything yet. There is interest from clubs but I don’t know if I leave Ajax,” he said.Dest, who was born in the Netherlands, pledged his allegiance to the USMNT at the end of 2019 after securing his first senior caps in September of that year.”I chose the U.S. because I’ve played there in the youth teams,” Dest said of his decision. “It is my choice, everybody can have his opinion but [this] is my decision. I am the one who is in trouble when it doesn’t work out.”


United States’ Weston McKennie open to Schalke exit – sources

Stephan UersfeldGermany correspondent

United States international Weston McKennie is open to leaving Bundesliga side Schalke 04, sources told ESPN.

McKennie, 21, was one of the few Schalke players to not see his stock drop following a run of 16 Bundesliga games without a win this season.No longer 100% happy at Schalke, the versatile McKennie — who is one of the club’s biggest assets — would be in favour of leaving if the Royal Blues wish to sell him and his new club proves a good fit, sources say.A report by German outlet Sport1 has already linked McKennie, who could command a fee between €20-€25 million, with Hertha Berlin and fellow Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg also a possible option.”A departure can not be ruled out,” Schalke sporting executive Jochen Schneider said on Wednesday. “I can’t say it 100% right now. It’s a fact that Weston prolonged his contract through to 2024 last year.”This season, McKennie has been asked to play in several different positions — central attacking midfielder, holding midfielder and centre-back.The change of positions has been a common theme throughout his first few years as a professional. In 91 competitive appearances since his May 2017 debut, McKennie has played in eight different spots on the pitch. A pressing force and strong in the air, McKennie’s build-up play, however, proved to be one of his weakness when dropping deep behind the central defence. He now fancies himself as a No. 8 on the pitch going forward.Schalke on Wednesday announced they must reduce costs amid financial difficulties which were worsened by two factors in recent months. The club missed out on European football for the third time in four years this campaign and they were also hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the club announced they ran up almost €200m in debt and the pandemic left them battling to remaining existence in April.Current Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia was reportedly interested in signing McKennie when he was in charge of Wolfsburg. And Hertha this week received another €150m cash injection from investor Lars Windhorst, who wants to turn the mid-table side into a permanent participant in the Champions League. And the club have an opening in midfield after Marko Grujic returned to Liverpool following his two-year loan at Hertha.

How Jesse Marsch became the most successful American coach in Europe

Jul 9, 2020Tom HamiltonSenior Writer

The young Jesse Marsch never dreamed of coaching a team in the Champions League. It was an outlandish, unrealistic thought. But now that he is a little older, Google “FC Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch,” and it comes with various qualifiers. Depending on what you read, he’s the “first American to coach a team in the Champions League” or, perhaps, “the first American manager to win a European trophy,” as he just did in Austria: His Salzburg side clinched their seventh straight Austrian Bundesliga title on June 28, a title to add to the Austrian Cup they won May 20 with a 5-0 thumping of SC Austria Lustenau. (He was named the league’s Manager of the Year after the season ended last weekend.)

It’s like a boxer. You can imagine hearing the big, booming introduction over the stadium speakers. All the way from Wisconsin, your double-winning champion manager of Salzburg … Jesse Marsch!Tell the young Marsch this, and he would’ve laughed at you. An American coach in Europe? Never. “They don’t take us seriously,” he grew up thinking.Back then, his dreams stopped at one day being able to live in Europe and watch the Champions League at night, as was intended. That was enough. Now, as a highly regarded manager in Europe with Austrian champions FC Salzburg, Marsch remembers those teenage hopes. Aged 15, he was on tour with an American regional side at a youth tournament in the U.K., and they were taken to Anfield to watch Liverpool. After watching John Barnes and Peter Beardsley, he went down to the pitch, and scooped up some of the Anfield turf as a keepsake, just in case he never got the opportunity to go there again.Late one evening in October at Anfield, 31 years on, Marsch was trying to inspire a Salzburg comeback, with his club 3-1 down to Liverpool at half-time in their Champions League group stage match. There were cameras in the changing room for a documentary the club is working on. The clip, which went viral when shared on social media, had us all watching as Marsch addressed his players passionately in a goulash of German, English, expletives and footballing terminology.”You can’t get emotional all the time … but you can be real,” Marsch told ESPN, remembering that team talk. “That’s a big part of leadership is inspiration but also understanding solutions and how to drive communication home.” Salzburg went on to level the match 3-3 and eventually lost 4-3, earning praise for the manner in which they went down swinging. (One of Marsch’s players that night, Takumi Minamino, ended up joining Liverpool when the January transfer window opened.)Marsch, 46, is tired of talking about that glimpse now. After all, he’s far more than a flash in the pan. That two-minute video embodied everything Marsch is about: He’s compelling, he shows vulnerability of his interspersing language, he is packed with passion, and he has unwavering trust in the system to be fearless and attack. That’s the philosophy he lives by, and it has seen him guide Salzburg, whom he joined ahead of the 2019-20 season, to even more domestic success. Job done.He is accustomed to proving doubters wrong, feeling that there’s a “stigma” around American football coaches, but as a trailblazer, he’s changing that to the extent that no one does a double take when they hear about the former midfielder from Racine, Wisconsin, who won a pair of USMNT caps against Trinidad and Tobago and China, being linked with the best jobs in European football.

Marsch won the Austrian league and cup double in his first season coaching FC Salzburg. David Geieregger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images

After starting his managerial career at Montreal Impact and then, after a brief hiatus, as a college coach at Princeton, Marsch took charge of the New York Red Bulls in 2015. He was highly regarded and improved the franchise immeasurably. But halfway through the 2018 season, with New York in a title chase and with the best win ratio in the team’s history, he left to take a role as Ralf Rangnick’s assistant at Leipzig.Rangnick, an extremely highly regarded German coach, has had a huge influence on Marsch’s life. The current head of sport and development at Red Bull GmbH has been heavily linked with a role at AC Milan, but he started the trend of gegenpressing in German football. Other Rangnick disciples include Julian Nagelsmann at Leipzig, Adi Hütter at Frankfurt, Marsch’s predecessor, Marco Rose, who is now at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Oliver Glasner at Wolfsburg.

When Marsch first spoke to Rangnick, it was like a fire had been lit inside him.”In terms of my tactical philosophies, I’ve gathered so much from Ralf,” Marsch said. “When we first met when I was at New York, when he started talking about football ideas, concepts and details he has, it really sparked my imagination. I like to play fast football but I learned so much more from him on how to prepare your team on how you can achieve that tempo at every moment in the game.”After a season at Leipzig, Marsch was appointed Salzburg manager last summer. Although Salzburg are now split from the Red Bull footballing arm because of UEFA rules, Marsch has that Rangnick/Red Bull DNA synthesis running through his veins. They play, in Marsch’s words, “a very strong version of Red Bull football” — attacking, high press, gegenpressing, challenging the opponent every second — and while he’s an unapologetic champion for this style, it comes with self-awareness.

“I don’t want to come across like I have it all figured out, though … [or like] that offense is the only way to do it,” he said. “That’s [the] way I like to do it. It’s the way I’ve found can breed success.”This goes back to that half-time team talk at Anfield, as he reminded his players of the Salzburg way. But systems are all well and good; you still need to add meat to the bones.Although Marsch was attuned to Rangnick’s footballing philosophy, he sees the game as 25% tactical and 75% mental, with good communication essential. Former USMNT coach Bob Bradley has long been one of Marsch’s mentors, but as Marsch embarked on his own trip to Europe at Leipzig, he remembered how Bradley struggled for acceptance at Swansea City.”Bob inspired me. I think one of the big reasons I even thought about the possibility of moving to Europe was because Bob tried it. I have the utmost respect for him,” Marsch said. “But I watched the way the media treated him [at Swansea], and I felt in some ways, it’s easier to go to somewhere that speaks a different language because they’re almost more forgiving when you make mistakes.”I understand the stigma involved with being an American coach in England, right? Like, they don’t take [it] seriously. That’s OK. We have to earn the right. My approach has always been holistic: to try to adapt [to a new club] but also be myself and make sure the team is a representation of things I believe in.

“Speaking German is a big part of that. I tell them [the players] I don’t speak German with them because I think I’m good at it. … I make mistakes in every sentence. German’s a brutal language, too. It’s brutal. But I’ve gotten much better. It’s really helped me understand the people within the communities I’ve worked on in both Germany and Austria. I’ll say that it’s been really anstrengend — the word for difficult, time-consuming, stressful — but it’s also been incredibly rewarding.”Marsch is fascinated by character and motivation, as well as the role language plays in coaching. In his office, he has a folder filled with a number of phrases and examples of motivational techniques taken from history, sport and literature. He also showed his players the documentary “The Last Dance,” and though they were too young to remember Michael Jordan in his prime, he wanted them to learn from his relentless push for success.The folder came out when Marsch sat with his captain, Andy Ulmer. He has 17 major titles to his name. Where do you go after you win your eighth title on the bounce at Salzburg? Well, for Ulmer, Marsch developed a narrative around his captain that he wanted him to feel like Austria’s version of Muhammad Ali.”At [New York Red Bulls], I used to talk about Ali. He used to talk a lot in the media, and he later said he did that because he was trying to convince himself he was a champion,” Marsch said. “So I used Ali and Ulmer. I even asked him about [how] he keeps himself successful. He spoke about his preparation and drive, and we created terminology around Andy being the greatest Austrian player to ever play. It’s about trying to uncover little clues to understand how and why players play.”His own player-facing growth narrative is about stretching his limitations. “Going out of your comfort zone and being vulnerable: Those are the only ways to grow,” Marsch said. “It’s the only way to get better: making mistakes, learning from mistakes. If I’m going to talk about that, then I certainly have to be the best example of it.”

His method works. Tyler Adams, the USMNT and Leipzig midfielder, worked under Marsch at New York. He is the archetypal Marsch player: Adams can play almost anywhere on the field, understands the philosophy from all sides and has a thirst for learning. When asked by ESPN how influential Marsch had been for him, Adams was effusive.

“Unbelievably… developing me as a player is one thing, but as a person, a lot of the quality traits I hold and how I felt I could develop as quickly as I could, a lot of it is down to how I could mature under Jesse,” Adams said. “He had these leadership qualities, could pull people aside and communicate. I want to be the best leader I can be — a lot of that came from Jesse. It doesn’t matter who you are. He treats you the same.”For Marsch, life experiences have helped mould his coaching philosophy and range of influences. He looks back to the time when he left his first managerial post at Montreal Impact in 2012. Instead of immediately hopping into another job, he took his family travelling. He, his wife and their three children (then aged 5, 9 and 11) went to 32 countries in six months and stayed in hostels, motels and on floors, rather than hopping from hotel to hotel. He met different people and embraced local culture, and it ignited a curiosity inside him.”It was about understanding humanity … that’s football as well. If you don’t understand multiculturalism or what it’s like for people to grow up in parts of Africa or South America or wherever, then how can you effectively lead a group and understand how to make them better?”This spell formed part of his itch to see what lay beyond the familiar four walls of MLS, and his career has shown that, as he has gone from New York to Leipzig to Salzburg.But what doesn’t help your push for relentless success or your reputation for growing talent is when you lose your best players every year. It is an annual challenge for Salzburg.

FC Salzburg’s alumni roster reads like a list of footballing who’s-who. Premier League-winning Liverpool duo Sadio Mane (2012-14) and Naby Keita (2014-16) played there. Minamino, who played in that 4-3 defeat at Anfield, joined them at Liverpool in January. Then there’s Erling Haaland, the prolific Norwegian striker who is scoring for fun in the Bundesliga for Borussia DortmundKevin Kampl, Peter Gulasci and Dayot Upamecano all went from Salzburg to Leipzig, too. It’s a well-trodden path; though the clubs are officially separate, they have an unofficial sister club relationship where Leipzig are traditionally the bigger side and scoop up some of the Austrian team’s best players.

Losing that number of brilliant players might seem careless, but it’s inevitable for a club such as Salzburg. Although they’re dominant in their own division, the money generated from the Austrian Bundesliga and stature of the competition isn’t in the same league as that of the German Bundesliga, Premier League, Serie A or La Liga. To survive and thrive, both domestically and on the balance sheet, Salzburg have to develop from within.The thing Marsch has always enjoyed most is coaching younger, promising players, and that marries with Salzburg’s philosophy.”We have a clear identity. It’s about the academy and finding those young, 15- or 16-year-olds and helping them understand the way we play. It’s a specific style, and they then grow as they adjust to the speed and the intensity.”Salzburg suffered a midseason slump when they lost Haaland and Minamino, going on a five-game winless run. But they found a way to readjust, and since the Bundesliga restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic, they have won seven and drawn two in the league, securing the title with two games to spare.”You have to be excited for those players when they get opportunities and move on, even though it means sometimes, in the short-term period, you suffer,” Marsch said. “But we used it [Haaland and Minamino leaving] to get better, to get stronger and to develop more, and by doing that, I think we set ourselves up for the success we have now. The goal here is always to try to find the right next young players to invest in our project and help them take their next steps.”Supporters don’t like it when they leave, but at the same time, we’ve had a great run in the Champions League, won eight titles in a row, so the success of the club’s not suffering. It’s thriving. The challenge here is making sure we aren’t not champions.”Not long after we talked, one of the club’s latest prospects, 24-year-old South Korean forward Hwang Hee-Chan, was being linked with a move to RB Leipzig. Salzburg are also braced for interest in others, such as young Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai (AC Milan and Arsenal were said to be leading the race for his signature) and the Zambian duo of striker Patson Daka and midfielder Enock Mwepu, both of whom have been linked with moves to the Premier League.”I had this feeling with Haaland that we had the real chance to do something special with him. I have that with Dominik and the other guys. They’re not finished products, but they have the building blocks, and you can start to picture their development path, what they can look like in a month, six months, in one year or two years. It’s clear there are plenty of suitors for them.”On one level, you can always make an argument it’s better for them to [have] a little bit more time in a safe environment, but on another level, if the right opportunity comes, the last thing you want to do is deprive them of going somewhere that could be life-changing. We’ll see how things progress.”It comes back to that old maxim of controlling the controllables, and for Marsch, success is judged not only by silverware but also by whether he gets to the stage in managing his team where he has made himself redundant.”That’s a core principle of my philosophy,” Marsch told ESPN. It is anchored on players and staff taking ownership of their respective roles, leaving him to serve as the conductor. “I tell them what we’re doing in training, I set up the fields, and then before the game, I give them the tactical plan.”But then I want to be able to sit on the bench and just watch them play.”Marsch has come a long way from those days in Wisconsin daydreaming of watching the Champions League. He’s now coaching Europe’s best talent and against football’s brightest minds. He’s aware that other budding American managers will look to him as the example, and he might have the answers as to how they can succeed as pioneers in European football, but he’s wary of rushing.”People may now perceive me a little differently, and maybe the things I say matter a little more than they used to, but I like to think I’m the same when it comes to what I believe in,” Marsch said. “I’ve grown as a person and as a coach, but at the core, I’m still the same person, you know, as I was growing up in Wisconsin, just trying to do the best job I can do.”Sometimes when I talk to young coaches, and they ask me, you know, what’s the key to being a good manager, and for me, it’s don’t become a coach because you think you love the game and you want to tactically try to implement a plan. Be a coach if you want to be a leader. The football part is sort of the side effect or the first step. But then all the other things what matter are how you talk to and challenge a group, how you communicate with each other, how you treat each other, how you believe in each other, what kind of relationships you have. Those are the things that really, I think, define what a team is.”Marsch is happy at Salzburg and hopes for a long stay, but he is aware of his name being bounced around when other vacancies arise. He has been linked with Borussia Dortmund this season, with the Bundesliga giants still looking for a way to overhaul Bayern Munich, but gives these rumours short shrift.”I believe my secret to life is focusing on the moment,” he said.When asked if this is standard managerial speak, he added: “Look, it’s not B.S. I love being the manager of this club. It’s amazing — the people, the country, everything. I realise I won’t be here forever — good or bad! But the more I can focus on the moment, the better.”This season has brought the Austrian double, and the expectation will be to repeat next season and upset Europe’s established order in next year’s Champions League. (Salzburg will begin in the Champions Path of the playoff round, with a two-legged fixture between them and the group stage.) Marsch can’t wait to get going, seeing what young talent comes through the ranks and who will emerge from Haaland and Minamino’s shadow.One day, when he has finished his European adventure, he’ll return home to Wisconsin. There, alongside his medals, will lie a small part of Anfield’s turf. “I remember I put it in my pocket and have that in a plastic bag back home,” he said. “At the core, I’m still a football fan, you know? I’m living the dream.”Marsch’s journey into Europe and his success have now enabled others to stretch the limits of their hopes and expectations.

NWSL Challenge Cup standouts move on to quarterfinals

9:22 AM ETGraham HaysESPN.com

  • FacebookThe NWSL Challenge Cup offers the best women’s soccer being played anywhere in the world at the moment. And the competition, played behind closed doors in the Salt Lake City area as the coronavirus pandemicmade it impossible to play the eighth season as scheduled, is about to get even better as it moves to the knockout rounds.Granted, the preliminary round admittedly lacked drama. All eight teams were assured of quarterfinal progress and the games didn’t even do a particularly good job of settling seeding — the round concluding with a four-way tie for fourth place. All we really know as the quarterfinals begin Friday in the bubble at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, is that after winning all four of its games and allowing one goal, two-time defending champion North Carolina Courage remains the heavy favorite. We knew that going in.

But that same parity among the teams chasing North Carolina means there are no unappealing quarterfinals. And with four games to warm up, the quality of play should be compelling.To set up the games ahead of this weekend, let’s look at one player from each team — some familiar and some new — who used the preliminary round to make a favorable impression.

No. 1 North Carolina (4-0-0) vs. No. 8 Portland (0-1-3), Friday, 12:30 ET

Addisyn Merrick, North Carolina: The champions looked the part during a preliminary round. Coach Paul Riley leaned heavily on his most trusted names. With Merritt Mathias still coming back from a torn ACL and Heather O’Reilly retired, there was no familiar name available at right back. Enter Merrick, a fourth-round pick who Riley, the famously diehard Liverpool fan, is hoping will be his version of Andy Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold. The former Big 12 Defender of the Year has license to push forward just like Liverpool’s outside backs whose development from raw prospects into global stars was widely acclaimed as instrumental in making that team champions of England and Europe in a modern game that prizes fullbacks able to contribute offensively. While more passes and crosses still come from Jaelene Daniels on the left side, Merrick hasn’t been shy in either regard through her first three starts for a team that is constantly attacking.

Bella Bixby, Portland: The keeper made her first career start in the opener against mighty North Carolina. She lost perhaps the best security blanket in the world when a hip injury sidelined Becky Sauerbrunn after that game. She hasn’t had Tobin Heath to help score some goals at the other end (or injured No. 1 overall pick Sophia Smith, for that matter). But for all of that, Bixby and the Thorns allowed just three goals in the preliminary round. The goalkeeper who sat and watched the past two seasons was more about solid saves than flustered moments. She’s tied for third in the tournament with 11 saves, but her presence is as impressive as the numbers. No one is dislodging Adrianna Franch when the No. 1 keeper is healthy, but whether an insurance policy in Portland or perhaps an opening with expansion Louisville, Bixby is earning her place.

No. 2 Washington Spirit (2-1-1) vs. No. 7 Sky Blue FC (1-2-1), Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Ashley Sanchez, Washington: The last time someone from UCLA was the fourth overall pick in the NWSL draft, it worked out pretty well for Sam Mewis and the franchise that is now the North Carolina Courage. For that matter, the fourth pick worked out for Washington a year ago when it turned into Samantha Staab. But after watching Sanchez dazzle for the Bruins, it was still surprising to see her last even that long in this year’s draft. It is even more surprising after her first four pro appearances. Sure, she’s not a finished product. Some of the attempted moves didn’t come off. There aren’t a lot of numbers to point to through an initial 277-minute sample — she has one assist among Washington’s four goals (memorable as it was) and modest 58 percent passing accuracy — but the confidence to take risks, skill and creativity that made her a star at UCLA and earned her looks from the senior national team weren’t dulled a bit by the jump to the pros.

Sabrina Flores, Sky Blue: Without Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh because of injury, Sky Blue began the tournament as a case study in what was missing. But it would be difficult to single out a player who better illustrates the opportunity afforded than Flores. A short-term fill-in for Sky Blue last summer and her season with Sevilla in Spain then cut short by the coronavirus, Flores signed again with Sky Blue barely a week before the start of the tournament. She started the opener, played 273 minutes for the second stingiest defense in the preliminary round and earned player of the match honors against the Courage by putting a second-half shot just over the crossbar and helping keep all of North Carolina’s attacking options in check in a game in which Sky Blue finished with 58 percent of possession. They were the only team to have an edge on Courage in the round. That’s a dramatically different story than would have been written about the outside back without any kind of season this summer.

No. 3 OL Reign (1-1-2) vs. No. 6 Chicago Red Stars (1-2-1), Saturday, 10 p.m. ET

OL Reign defender Alana Cook, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, is making her case for USWNT consideration. Rob Gray/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Alana Cook, OL Reign: Put in a bad spot when Utah’s Amy Rodriguez punished a too-casual pass toward Cook around midfield, the OL Reign defender chased down one of the league’s all-time best finishers, timed her tackle perfectly and defused the problem early in her team’s eventual 1-0 win in the preliminary round in Herriman on July 8. And while it isn’t as if too many people doubted Cook’s ability to make such plays, it was still nice to see it unfold on this side of the Atlantic. A former Stanford standout who is making her NWSL debut on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, Cook only started two of Reign’s first four games. She’s far from alone in putting in quality minutes on a back line that has allowed just two goals, but every chance she gets in front of U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski, in attendance in Utah, should help her future.

Casey Short, Chicago: She scored the goal in the first-stage finale that kept Chicago from facing top-seeded North Carolina in a quarterfinal, which almost by definition makes it the most valuable goal of the preliminary round. But between that well-executed header late in the finale against Utah and the emotional scenes of Short in tears during the national anthem prior to the team’s opener, Short was a joy to watch. She’s almost always a joy to watch because of her ability to lock down her side of the field defensively while destabilizing an opposing defense with her own runs forward. It was no coincidence that when she struggled early in the opener after the emotional scenes beforehand, the Red Stars struggled right along with her. And in a tournament that was missing most of the defenders from the U.S. entry in Olympic qualifying earlier this year either through injury or virus-related withdrawal, Short keeps making a case to be a part of 2021.

No. 4 Houston Dash (1-2-1) vs. No. 5 Utah Royals (1-2-1), Friday, 10 p.m. ET

Royals FC defender Elizabeth Ball played every minute in Utah’s first three games and came on as an injury replacement in the first half of their regular-season finale. Rob Gray/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Elizabeth Ball, Utah: The defender logged the most minutes of anyone who didn’t start all four games in the preliminary round, playing every minute in Utah’s first three games and coming on as an injury replacement in the first half of the finale. The less heralded side of the offseason swap that sent Sauerbrunn to Portland, Ball was likely going to play a lot no matter what form this season took. So maybe she isn’t the quintessential Challenge Cup revelation. Still, in not only replacing Sauerbrunn (as best anyone can possibly do that) but adapting to first-year coach Craig Harrington’s three-back system, she has proved a rousing success.

Shea Groom, Houston: There might not have been a more entertaining player in the preliminary round, certainly through her team’s first two games. The midfielder scored a long-range wallop against Utah, then added an audacious assist and soaring header in a win against OL Reign. She pressured goalkeepers and jawed with Shirley Cruz. She was fun. Acquired from OL Reign, along with Megan Oyster, Groom meshed well with Rachel Daly, Kristie Mewis and a Dash team that finally earned a top-four finish. All right, it was only over four games and only thanks to the tiebreaker that sorted out the four teams with four points. But success starts somewhere.



7/3/20,  MLS Starts July 8 on ESPN, Indy 11 restart 7/11 with Fans @ Home Sat 7 pm

Indy 11 Back with Home Games Sat July 11 & 18 with Fans !!

Thank goodness we have a big stadium right?  Indy 11 will be back with limited fans in the stands starting July 11 vs St Louis at 7 pm on Saturday night on ESPN+ and maybe other channels.  Fans can visit indyeleven.com/safety-plan for details of the plan.  The 11 will host 10 of their 15 games in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium with fans in attendance.  Four match-ups with Louisville FC headline the schedule along with 4 games vs St. Louis –these 3 teams should battle it out to make the expanded playoffs.

 MLS Returns with robust schedule on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox and Fox Sports – July 8

MLS is still on track to return with some solid ESPN coverage when its season kicksoff July 8th from Orlando.  Morning 9:30 am games will be on ESPN, with late night evening and weekend games split between Fox, Fox Sports 1 and ESPN.  Hopefully this will help MLS get a better foothold in the US Sport pecking order if they do this right.  And hopefully the recent rash of positive tests won’t derail this thing.


So the women’s league has started back up and unfortunately all anyone is talking about is kneeling during the national anthem.  I agree with MLS as there are no fans in the stands why do the national anthem at all –that way the controversy stays away.  The games have been pretty good – the largest ever crowd to see a NWSL game tuned in Sat on CBS with over ½ million watching – much better than Andy Griffin reruns – but not the kind of #s I was hoping for.  Seriously we can’t get 1 million people nationwide to tune if the start of the NWSL on CBS when nothing else is on?   Maybe there are not enough soccer fans of the women’s game to support a league?   Sad ? Anyway I have seen a few replay games on CBS Sports Network?  Sure would love to see more on CBS – but honestly if parents of girls who play soccer aren’t going to tune in – then you can scrap that far-fetched idea of having your daughter play in the pros someday.  Its honestly up to the soccer moms of this world ? Tune in and support the league – or let women’s pro sports die in the background.  Its up to us.

Pulisic Continues to Shine in EPL

I can’t tell you how exciting it has been for me to watch a healthy Christian Pulisic back on the pitch for Chelsea and playing well.  Man I almost feel like the days when I would scramble to watch Fulham games to see how Dempsey would score that game.  Pulisic has been electric at times and darn near the best player for a Chelsea side battling for a top 4 slot in the EPL and Champions League play next season.  He makes things happen – is always looking for a sneaky shot – and managed to draw both fouls that lead to goals in the last game.  If he keeps playing like this and can stay healthy – he can hopefully top the 10 goal mark – he has 7 along with 5 assists and 3 draws of PKs.

Stewart’ Bremen must Win to Stay in Bundesliga 

Josh Stewart’s Werder Bremen has one last chance to stay afloat in the top flight of German football when they play the last leg of the relegation playoff with Heidenheim Tues at 2:30 pm on FS2.  They tied the first round 0-0 in a game Stewart didn’t come into the last 10 minutes.  He almost scored on his only shot – hopefully he’ll be back to the starting line-up where he has been for this little 4 game unbeaten streak for Bremen.


GAMES ON TV                              

Sat,  July 4

7:30 am NBCSN                                 Norwich vs Brighton

10 am NBCSN                                     Man United vs Bournemouth

11:!5 am ESPN+                                  Juve vs Torino                                    

12:30 pm NBCSN                              Wolverhampton vs Arsenal 

2 pm ESPN2                         Levekusen vs Bayern Munich                 

Sun, July 5  

7:30  am NBCSN                                Burnley vs Sheffield United

8 am bIN Sport/FuboTV                   Athletic Club vs Real Madrid

9:15 am NBCSN                               Newcastle United (Yedlin) vs West Ham

11:30 am NBCSN                                Liverpool vs Aston Villa

2 pm NBC                                          Southhampton vs Man City

4 pm beIN Sport                                 Barcelona vs Athletico Madrid 

Mon,  July 6

3:15 pm NBCSN                                Tottenham vs Everton

2:30 pm Fox Sport 2                         Heidenheim 0 vs Werder Breman  0 (Stewart) Relegation Playoff++

Tues,  July 7

1 pm NBCSN                                    Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (Pulisic) 

3 pm NBCSN                                     Arsenal vs Leicester City 

Wed, July 8                                    MLS Returns

1 pm NBCSN                                    Man city vs New Castle United (Yedlin)

3 pm NSNBC                                    Brighton vs Liverpool

8 pm ESPN                                         Orlando City vs Inter Miami

10:30 pm ESPN                                 Nashville SC vs Chicago Fire

 Thurs, July 9                                     MLS Returns

9 am ESPN                                       NYCFC vs Philly Union

1 pm NBCSN                                    Bournmouth vs Tottenham 

3 pm NSNBC                                    Aston Villa vs Man U 

8 pm ESPN                                        Montreal vs New England 

Fri, July 10                                         MLS Returns

8 pm ESPN                                        Toronto FC vs DC United

10:30 pm ESPN                                 Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes 

Sat July 11                                        

8 pm FOX                                        Atlanta United vs NY Red Bulls

7 pm ESPN+ TV4                            INDY 11 Host St. Louis 

10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN             Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC,

Sunday, July 12
5 p.m. ET (ESPN2 / ESPN Dep)     Louisville City FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC,

Monday, July 13
7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)                          Energy FC vs. FC Tulsa)
10 p.m. ET (ESPN Deportes)         Sacramento Republic FC vs. Tacoma Defiance,

 INDY 11 2020 Revised Schedule- all games on ESPN+ plus other possible channels 

Saturday   March 7 at Memphis 901 FC 4-2 W  
Saturday   July 11 Saint Louis FC 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   July 18 Sporting Kansas City II 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   July 22 at Pitts Riverhounds 7:00 pm ESPN2/ESPN+
Sunday   July 26 at Saint Louis FC TBA TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   July 29 Hartford Athletic 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   August 1 Sporting KCity II 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   August 8 at Louisville City FC TBA TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   August 15 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   August 26 at Louisville City FC TBA TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   September 5 Louisville City FC 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   September 9 Sporting K City II 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   September 16 Louisville City FC 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   September 23 Saint Louis FC 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Wednesday   September 30 Sporting K City II 7:00 pm TBA/ESPN+
Saturday   October 3 at Saint Louis FC TBA TBA/ESPN+

NWSL Challenge Cup schedule

NC Courage vs Utah Royals FC | July 12 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup quarter finals | July 17-18 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup semi finals | July 22 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup final | July 26 | CBS

MLS Cup Schedule

Wednesday, July 8
Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 9
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Friday, July 10
Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

INDY 11 Returns Sat July 11 7 pm vs St. Louis with fans

July 11 vs St Louis at 7 pm on Saturday night

The 11 will host 10 of their 15 games


Indy 11 Reveals Group

Click here for Group E team-by-team analysis on USLChampionship.com

Louisville Opens New Stadium on ESPN2 Sun July 12

Return to Play Groups in USL

USL Unviels 2020 Season Format

USL to allow 5 sub rule

Indy 11 Racing Indiana Jersey Released


Tim Howard 6 Yr Anniversary of Most Saves ever in World Cup was this week

Pulisic shines again, but Chelsea fall to derby rivals West Ham

Lampard: Pulisic can reach Sterling, Salah, Mane level

American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo helps Stuttgart win promotion to Bundesliga

US coach Jesse Marsch’s Salzburg secures domestic double in Austria

Marsch leads Salzburg to league title (and the double)

MLS –returns July 8

MLS Is Back Preview –

Sources: 4 more FC Dallas members test positive

Inside the MLS bubble: What players, teams can expect in Orlando

Ex-MLS boss Marsch leads club to Austrian title

MLS Tourney Schedule Revealed

Groups Announced for MLS Tourney – LA Teams in Same Group

MLS Tourney Details on Groups Stages

Power Rankings: The favorites ahead of eMLS Cup


Barcelona Falling Apart Down the Stretch
Buffon and Chiellini extend Juve deals until 2021

Brilliant Benzema helps Madrid go 2 points clear of Barca

Bremen snatch play-off survival chance, champions Bayern rout Wolfsburg

Predicting the Premier Leagues Finish for Champions League and Europa Spots – Mark Odgen ESPNFC


Lavelle, Hatch score and Spirit down Red Stars 2-1

Dunn: Kneeling is about what you truly believe

Crystal Dunn: The uncomfortable things can have the biggest impact

NWSL: Players can be on field or in locker room during anthem


By Indy Eleven Communications, 07/02/20, 11:00AM EDT

Indy Eleven to Restart 2020 Season at Home Next Saturday, July 11

First of Four Meetings with Saint Louis FC Set for 7:00 p.m. Kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium, Presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers;

Group E Clash Part of USL Championship’s Nine-game “Reopening” Slate from July 11-13

TAMPA/INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, July 2, 2020) – The USL Championship announced today the opening weekend of games that will kick off the league’s resumption of the 2020 season – a nine-game slate that includes Indy Eleven’s return to Lucas Oil Stadium next Saturday, July 11, against Saint Louis FC, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.The first of four 2020 regular season meetings between the Group E foes is set for a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff that can be seen live on ESPN+.Indy Eleven has coordinated with Lucas Oil Stadium, the Capital Improvement Board (CIB), and numerous public health organizations to create a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan that will allow a limited number of fans to enjoy games in a safe and responsible fashion next Saturday and throughout the 2020 season. Fans can visit indyeleven.com/safety-plan for details of the plan.“Every member of the Indy Eleven organization is excited to get back to action and working tirelessly to ensure games at Lucas Oil Stadium starting next weekend go above and beyond when it comes to providing a safe environment,” said Indy Eleven Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “Indianapolis is world-renowned for our ability to host sporting events, and we look forward to helping our city establish the benchmark for how to host games safely and responsibly in home markets during these challenging times.”As Indy Eleven continues to prepare for the restart of its now 16-game regular season, the club will announce additional details regarding scheduling, ticketing, broadcasts and more – all with strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines in mind – as they are finalized in the coming days.Five of the USL Championship’s opening nine games between July 11-13 will be aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, with the remaining games available on ESPN+. The complete schedule for the remainder of the 2020 USL Championship season will be released soon.For more updates on the 2020 season as they are made available, please continue to visit indyeleven.com and uslchampionship.com.

USL Championship 2020 Opening Weekend

Saturday, July 11
Real Monarchs SLC vs. San Diego Loyal SC, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN Deportes)
Indy Eleven vs. Saint Louis FC, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Atlanta United 2, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. New Mexico United, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
El Paso Locomotive FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Phoenix Rising FC vs. LA Galaxy II, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN Deportes)

Sunday, July 12
Louisville City FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes)

Monday, July 13
OKC Energy FC vs. FC Tulsa, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Tacoma Defiance, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN Deportes)


By Indy Eleven Communications, 07/02/20, 4:15PM EDT

Indiana’s Team to Host Ten of 15 Remaining USL Championship Games at Lucas Oil Stadium

TAMPA/INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, July 2, 2020) – The United Soccer League announced today the revised schedule for the 2020 USL Championship season. The league’s 35 clubs are set to play 263 games over 13 weeks to decide which 16 teams will advance to the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs, which will open in the second weekend of October.

Courtesy of the unbalanced schedule option unique to the 2020 season, Indy Eleven will host ten of its remaining 15 games at Lucas Oil Stadium, starting with next Saturday’s home opener against Saint Louis FC (7:00 p.m., live on ESPN+).

“This is the day we’ve been waiting for and working towards for more than three months,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “To have the schedule in hand is a wonderful payoff for the patience of our players and fans alike, and to have two additional home games is really the cherry on top. All that’s left now is to get to the games, and I know the squad is ready to deliver starting next weekend against Saint Louis.”Indy Eleven will implement a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan that will allow a limited number of fans to enjoy games in a safe and responsible fashion next Saturday and throughout the 2020 season. Fans can visit indyeleven.com/safety-plan for details of the plan.“Indy Eleven would like to thank Lucas Oil Stadium, the Capital Improvement Board, the City of Indianapolis, and the Marion County Health Authority – just to name a few organizations – for their pivotal help in formulating a health and safety plan that will allow our fans to enjoy games during the 2020 season,” said Greg Stremlaw, Indy Eleven Chief Operating Officer. “Our combined efforts have resulted in a thorough plan that should serve as a best practice for venues across the country and keep spectators, players, coaches and staff safe for every moment of their gameday experience.”As Indy Eleven continues to march towards next Saturday’s “re-opener,” the club will announce additional details regarding ticketing, broadcasts and more as they are finalized in the coming days.As announced last week, Indy Eleven’s schedule across the three months of regular season play will include four games against Group E foes Saint Louis FC, Louisville FC, and Sporting Kansas City II – the latter of which will come to Lucas Oil Stadium for all four 2020 matchups.The squad’s remaining non-group games will consist of meetings with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC both home (August 15) and away (July 22, live on ESPN2), and a home contest against Hartford Athletic (July 29). Indy Eleven’s 4-2 season opening win at Memphis 901 FC back on March 7 stands as the fourth out-of-group result in the Eleven’s 16-game regular season calendar.Indy Eleven’s heated rivalry with Louisville City FC could reach new peaks in 2020, as the border combatants will face off four times in a five-week span, starting with Indy’s first trip to the new Lynn Family Stadium on August 8. The Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) participants meet once again in Kentucky on August 26 before coming to the right side of the Ohio River for pivotal late-season showdowns at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 5 & 16. Those two LIPAFC games are part of a rare five-game homestand spanning the month of September, leading into the season finale on October 3 at Saint Louis FC.Every game of the 2020 USL Championship season will air on the ESPN family of networks, with broadcasts on ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ bringing all the excitement of the first league in the United States to return to play in home markets directly to homes across the United States.

MLS is Back groups

Group A (Eastern Conference)
1. Orlando City SC
2. Inter Miami CF
3. New York City FC
4. Philadelphia Union
5. Chicago Fire FC
6. Nashville SC

Group B (Western Conference)
1. Seattle Sounders FC
2. FC Dallas
3. Vancouver Whitecaps
4. San Jose Earthquakes

Group C (Eastern Conference)
1. Toronto FC
2. New England Revolution
3. Montreal Impact
4. D.C. United

Group D (Western Conference)
1. Real Salt Lake
2. Sporting Kansas City
3. Colorado Rapids
4. Minnesota United FC

Group E (Eastern Conference)
1. Atlanta United FC
2. FC Cincinnati
3. New York Red Bulls
4. Columbus Crew SC

Group F (Western Conference)
2. LA Galaxy
3. Houston Dynamo
4. Portland Timbers

MLS is Back schedule and tune-in info

Wednesday, July 8
Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 9
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Friday, July 10
Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Saturday, July 11
Atlanta United FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, Fox/TUDN
FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Sunday, July 12
Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Monday, July 13
LAFC vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Tuesday, July 14
Inter Miami CF vs. Chicago Fire FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Philadelphia Union vs. Nashville SC, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Wednesday, July 15
Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Thursday, July 16
Atlanta United FC vs. FC Cincinnati, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
D.C. United vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Friday, July 17
Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Saturday, July 18
Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
LAFC vs. LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Sunday, July 19
New York City FC v. Chicago Fire FC, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
Philadelphia Union vs. Inter Miami CF, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Monday, July 20
Orlando City SC vs. Nashville SC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Tuesday, July 21
Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Atlanta United FC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Wednesday, July 22
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
FC Cincinnati vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 23
LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
LAFC vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

Saturday, July 25
TBD round of 16 match, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
TBD round of 16 match, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

Sunday, July 26
TBD round of 16 match, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1
TBD round of 16 match, 11 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Monday, July 27
TBD round of 16 match, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1
TBD round of 16 match, 11 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Tuesday, July 28
TBD round of 16 match, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
TBD round of 16 match, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 30
TBD quarterfinal, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Friday, July 31
TBD quarterfinal, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Saturday, Aug. 1
TBD quarterfinal, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
TBD quarterfinal, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Wednesday, Aug. 5
TBD semifinal, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Thursday, Aug. 6
TBD semifinal, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

Tuesday, Aug. 11
TBD final, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes


By Indy Eleven Communications07/02/20, 4:15PM EDT

Indiana’s Team to Host Ten of 15 Remaining USL Championship Games at Lucas Oil Stadium

TAMPA/INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, June 26, 2020) – The USL Championship announced on Friday the four groups made up of 17 Eastern Conference clubs that will battle for a place in the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs when the league returns to play on Saturday, July 11.

Group E: Indy Eleven, Louisville City FC, Saint Louis FC, Sporting Kansas City II
Group F: Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United FC, New York Red Bulls II, Philadelphia Union II, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Group G: Birmingham Legion FC, Charlotte Independence, Memphis 901 FC, North Carolina FC
Group H: Atlanta United 2, Charleston Battery, Miami FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies

“The squad is obviously buzzing to get back to playing games, and the focus on regional rivalries in this revamped regular season only heightens that anticipation,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “The high level of competition is certainly one we look forward to tackling as we build on the victory we achieved in the first game of our season.”

As detailed in the Championship’s announcement of the updated season structure, each team in Group E, Group G and Group H will play its fellow group members four times during the regular season. Meanwhile, each team in Group F will play its fellow group members three times.

Clubs in Groups E-H will play their remaining regular season games against other Eastern Conference teams outside of their respective group, with geographic proximity a key priority in scheduling. With Indy Eleven’s 4-2 win at Memphis 901 FC back on March 7 counting on the regular season ledger, Indy Eleven will play three “out-of-group” matches.

As Indy Eleven continues to prepare for the restart of its now 16-game regular season, the club will announce details regarding scheduling, ticketing, broadcasts and more – all with strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines in mind – as they are finalized in the coming days. For more updates on the 2020 season as they are made available, please continue to visit indyeleven.com and uslchampionship.com.

USLChampionship.com Preview – Group E

The Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (aka LIPAFC) and Kings’ Cup come to the fore with Louisville City FC set to take on its two biggest rivals in Indy Eleven and Saint Louis FC in what should be a fierce fight for the two playoff places. But don’t overlook Sporting Kansas City II, which has a strong collection of young talent that could make things interesting as it looks to make its fourth trip to the postseason in five years after missing out last campaign.


Championship Return to Play Preview – Group E

By NICHOLAS MURRAY – nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 06/26/20, 12:05PM EDT


The group assignments for Groups E through H ahead of the USL Championship’s resumption of the 2020 season are being made on Friday, giving us a chance to take a first look at each of the teams as they get ready to return to action.

First today, we look at Group E, which features last year’s Eastern Conference Finalists – and noted rivals – Indy Eleven and Louisville City FC, a Saint Louis FC side that will be aiming to break through after a resounding opening performance, and a Sporting Kansas City II side that has the talent to cause the others problems.

Indy Eleven

Record: 1-0-0, 3pts | W @MEM 2-4 [3/7]

Head Coach: Martin Rennie

2019 Season: 19-9-6, 63pts; Eliminated Eastern Conference Final


The Eleven overcame an early scare to pick up victory on the road in Memphis back in March, and once again it was Tyler Pasher that shone the brightest in a 4-2 victory. The squad still looks deep front to back, which is going to be crucial against two sides that look to be built the same way in LouCity and STLFC, but Indy’s defensive strength should make it difficult to break down. If that’s the case, then a trip to the postseason beckons.

Player to Watch

Tyler Pasher
Pasher has been outstanding in his newly-found attacking role since the start of 2019, with Indy’s counterattacking ability a perfect fit for his speed of foot and speed of thought. That was on display in Memphis, and makes him one of the trickier players to defend in space in the Championship.


Louisville City FC

Record: 1-0-0, 3pts | W @NC 0-1 [3/7]

Head Coach: John Hackworth

2019 Season: 17-8-9, 60pts; Defeated in USL Championship Final


LouCity picked up a good road win to open things up against North Carolina FC as Cameron Lancaster fit right back into the lineup where he’d become the Championship’s single-season goalscoring record-holder in 2018. The notable thing about Louisville over their run of three consecutive trips to the USL Championship Final, though, has been the side’s ability to close a season strongly. Over the past three years, LouCity has gone 22W-9L-11D between the dates of July 11 and October 4, and if it achieves something similar here – say a record of 8-3-5 – that’s probably going to leave everyone else fighting for second place.

Player to Watch

Cameron Lancaster
There’s no-one that’s produced the strike rate that Lancaster has over the past three seasons in terms of goals-per-minute, and even with an abbreviated season the English forward has a great chance to reach 50 regular-season Championship goals by the end of the year – he resumes on 42 after his tally against North Carolina. If Lancaster is on form, the strength in depth behind him should allow Louisville to make another run at becoming the first team with three league titles to its name.


Saint Louis FC

Record: 1-0-0, 3pts | W vMIA 4-1 [3/7]

Head Coach: Steve Trittschuh

2019 Season: 11-14-9, 42pts


Saint Louis’ victory in its season-opener against Miami FC might have been the most eye-opening result of the weekend, with the hosts looking sharp from the off before pulling away for the victory. If that was a good early litmus test, though, the battles to come against Indy Eleven and Louisville City FC are going to put STLFC up against arguably the best the East has to offer. If Head Coach Steve Trittschuh’s side earns a place in the top two, and a second trip to the playoffs in club history, it’s really going to have earned it.

Player to Watch

Russell Cicerone
You might recall we put Cicerone in the collection of Forwards to Watch back in March. Two goals in STLFC’s opening game against Miami was a great start, but the defenses that Indy and LouCity bring are going to likely prove tougher to break down. If Cicerone can weave more magic over the next three months, though, Saint Louis’ chances are going to go up exponentially. .


Sporting Kansas City II

Record: 0-1-0, 0pts | L vCLT 1-2 [3/8]

Head Coach: Paulo Nagamura

2019 Season: 12-13-9, 45pts


There were silver linings to Sporting Kansas City II’s opening game of the season against the Charlotte Independence, especially in watching how the side controlled the tempo of the game and outshot its opponents 20-9, with 10 shots on goal. But, a loss is still a loss, and as talented as SKC II’s youngsters are they won’t be able to get away with many mistakes against three strong opponents in this group. If the resumption of play sees the side make a slow start, it’s going to be hard to find a way back into the mix.

Player to Watch

Wilson Harris
Harris was the highest-scoring teenager in America in 2019 across all professional levels, with his outstanding run of 10 goals in the club’s final 11 games showing the ability he brings every time he steps on the field. Given the opposition, it’s going to be difficult to produce something similar over the next three months, but if he can it would be a serious boost to SKC II’s chances of upsetting the odds, and also provide a launching pad for Harris’ own trajectory.


Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools