A Day to Remember for American Soccer

As a diehard sports fan, few things are better than waking up to American Soccer. There is something about patriotism in the AM that makes getting out of bed and cracking open something domestic that much easier. First of two US National Team games on the docket was the Women’s World Cup Final against the Netherlands.

The WWC Final started out pretty slow. And by slow, especially by USWNT standards, I mean they didn’t score in the first 12′ like every other game in the competition. As poised as ever, the Americans never faltered. They picked their chances on offense and never got frustrated. They were so concise on defense. I have never seen a back line play so consistently and converge as a unit on every ball played in the box.

In the second half the floodgates opened. A high boot to the shoulder of Alex Morgan gave the US a penalty kick and a Megan Rapinoe goal in the 61′. Moments later, Rose Lavelle ran past a Dutch defense that looked like it had no interest in defending her as she netted a bottom corner beauty. Don’t let the 2-0 score fool you though. After wearing down the Dutch, the US squandered about a dozen more chances. Should have been 6-0 US easily. Either way, our women proved once again that they are the best in the world. And deservedly celebrated as such.

Not only is the USWNT winning on the pitch, they are winning off of it too. They bring home just about every trophy every season, but also are starting a discussion. Equal pay, LGBTQ rights and overall equality for all. They are an amazing positive in the United States and gives young girls the hero they never knew they needed. Pure class as always.

Several hours later, American Soccer headed back stateside. More specifically, Soldier Field and the Gold Cup Final with another installment of the US v. Mexico rivalry. Everything was going the Americans way to start the game. Opportunity after opportunity all culminating in a disappointing 0-0 tie at the end of the first half.

The second half went almost entire Mexico’s way. There just wasn’t the same spark as in the first half. Less runs to the box were made, possession was spotty, touches were less clever and Christian Pulisic had far less of an impact. For the US to have success, Pulisic needs to be involved in the build up of every chance and that did not happen until after the game’s only goal by Mexico in the 73′. Yet another Gold Cup silver medal.

If the USMNT played the second half the same way they played the first, this game could have been an easy victory for the Americans. It is hard to consider a second place finish a success even though it did show promise. The Americans that went abroad to continue their professional careers had a great tournament. McKinnie, Pulisic and Miazga in particular had impressive showings. Hopefully this encourages other players like Morris and Cannon to take the leap and play in better leagues. Also, the Americans refused to be pushed around by Mexico. The Mexicans have reigned supreme in CONCACAF for too long and we finally showed that we aren’t going to take it anymore. The chippiness in the first half of the final better stick around for more than just rivalry games.

Congratulations to the USWNT on their fourth World Cup Championship. The most important day of American Soccer in a very long time did not disappoint.

Forget the War on Football, Soccer Fight Leaves 3 Injured

Do me a favor and figure out how many professional football players got injured yesterday. Now, tell me how many soccer players got injured in just 16 seconds in this clip. WARNING: this video may be disturbing to some viewers.

Three players writhing in pain, because of how dangerous of a sport soccer is. Soccer is supposed to be a non contact sport; where is the outrage, America?

We put so much stock in how football causes concussions and career ending injuries that we are blinded by vicious attacks that happen in other sports. CTE is a very real thing, but it is not unique to football especially when soccer players are getting clocked roughly every 5 seconds according to that video. And we are letting out kids play this?

To the Europeans who call American football “barbaric”, where is your god now? While we are on the subject of sports that are more dangerous than football, professional basketball players are now being attacked by actual demons who are on the court with them.

It’s beginning to look like football is one of the safest sports that your child can play. It may officially be time for the #WarOnFutbol.

Saturday Morning Sports Trivia

We are going to try something different this weekend. I know the hungover Soft 7’s of the world are just scrolling through Twitter in agony this morning, but it gets better. I love all of you for your brains, so let’s put them to good use. Questions will range from easy to hard based solely on if you know sports or not.

  1. Four NBA players with at least 800 games have averaged 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 49% FG, 30% 3PFG. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Lebron James and who?
  2. Who has the most technical fouls this NBA season?
  3. Where did Paul George play his college basketball?
  4. Before Russell Wilson, what quarterback secured the largest contract (per year basis) in NFL history last offseason?
  5. Who was the last team to win the AFC Championship that is not the New England Patriots?
  6. What team offered Manny Machado a 7-year, $175 million contract this offseason?
  7. What two American Soccer players are currently being loaned out by Chelsea F.C.? *hint* they play for Borussia Dortmund and Nantes
  8. Who is the only quarterback to block a punt this NFL season?
  9. What Kentucky player was drafted first overall in the 1984 NBA Draft ahead of Michael Jordan?
  10. What retired NBA player is known as “The Truth”?

Match the NFL Player to his respective college:

JuJu Smith-Schuster———- Kentucky
Wesley Woodyard———- Buffalo
Ben Roethlisberger———- USC
Khalil Mack———- California-Berkeley
Aaron Rodgers———- Miami (OH)

Answers:

  1. Thaddeus Young
  2. Three way tie: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green
  3. Fresno State
  4. Jimmy Garoppolo
  5. Denver Broncos
  6. Chicago White Sox
  7. Christian Pulisic and Matt Miazga
  8. Taysom Hill
  9. Sam Bowie
  10. Paul Pierce

Matching Answers:

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster- USC
  2. Wesley Woodyard- Kentucky
  3. Ben Roethlisberger- Miami (OH)
  4. Khalil Mack- Buffalo
  5. Aaron Rodgers- California Berkeley

Let us know how you did and be sure to like, repost, and subscribe. Follow us on Twitter @soft7sports.

EPL Kick Fix: Matchday 12

First, I would like to apologize for the one week hiatus, but like my Spurs, I am back.

Tottenham v. Crystal Palace- 1:0

Wow. No surprise here. Tottenham is back to doing the absolute bare minimum to win against a team fighting against relegation. I shouldn’t be upset about 3 points, and I’m not, but we should really be scoring more goals. These kind of games should be confidence boosters for our biggest players. Kane and Alli should have had 2 goals a piece and another one should have been tacked on by Son or Erikson. The best part of this game was the goal by Juan Foyth, who is a normal sub. Doing his best impression of Anthony Martial, he executed on an opportunity that fell right into his lap… or head, if you will. It’s just a little frustrating when you let terrible teams hang around for no reason. I’d be more upset, but when you know you are going to win the championship, you tend to let things go. #SpursYear.

Manchester City v. Manchester United- 3:1

Time to take out the trash in Manchester. Man U did not win and that really buttered my biscuit (that’s a British thing, right?). I really don’t like cheering for teams higher on the table than my Spurs, but I will rock some baby blue if it means Man U is moved further and further away from even Europa League contention (currently 8th). It’s really evident that Man United trying the Real Madrid strategy of buying the best team means nothing when your coach is garbage. Game time. Man City jumped out to a 2-0 advantage with goals by David Silva and Sergio Aguero. I think Kün’s got his swagger back. These 2 goals were followed by a goal by Anthony Martial. Of course, he did no work whatsoever and the ball magically appeared in front of goal with just the keeper to beat. Yeah, it was a penalty, but shut up it fits my narrative. I will fight everyone if he wins the Golden Boot for tap-ins. That’s Harry Kane’s thing; get your own, Anthony.  Gündogan finally puts the hopes and dreams of United fans to rest with his goal in the 86th minute and I could not have been happier.

Liverpool v. Fulham- 2:0

Again, when the hell did Andre Schurrle get to the EPL? Please comment below. Liverpool is playing how Tottenham should be. Racking up goals on bottom table teams that have no purpose being in any kind of competition. There is not a whole lot to talk about in this match. Just Liverpool handling business. Salah put away a goal in the first half and Shaqiri put away a sweet volley in the second. Really an incredible display of skill and another reason to miss him being away from Bayern. Liverpool had 73% of possession and 21 shots. Just so much control of the game.

ARSEnal v. Wolves- 1:1

Man U and ARSEnal both lost. These blokes are about to throw themselves so far away from Champions League contention that it won’t even be fun for me to see how disappointed their fans are. With no prior knowledge of Wolves, it was pretty weird to see them start the game in a 3-4-2-1- formation. ARSEnal has so many strikers it just seems odd to not have at least 4 guys back. But who am I to judge? Wolves dominated this game for almost the entire match. A quick goal in the 12′ led to them controlling the lead for 74 minutes. In true mediocre gunner fashion, ARSEnal equalized in the final minutes to steal a point.

Chelsea v. Everton- 0:0

Not sure how in the world Chelsea did not win this match 6-0. Oh wait, yes I do. Sarri decided not to play Ross Barkley. He has been electric recently and I think it is wildly bananas not to play him against another top 10 team. He waited until the 82′ to sub him in. Disrespectful. This was a real Mauricio Pochettino move. Chelsea still had full control of the game and had the vast majority of shots (15-6). Really should have won with or without Barkley. Oh well, less points that Spurs have to make up.

Weekly Awards:

Brilliant Lad: Sergio Aguero (MNC)- scoring the second goal of the game against Manchester United puts him in sole possession of most goals and looks like it could be a Golden Boot season for the Argentine.

Absolute Firecracker: Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV)- his volley in the second half against Fulham was one of the best so far this season. Reminded me of Arjen Robben back in the day.

Bloke of the Week: Roberto Pereyra (WAT)- I usually stick to just the Big 6 every week, but this one was bad. After a corner kick, the ball landed at Pereyra’s feet and he tripped or forgot how to play soccer or something and gave away the ball in the box which led directly to a Southampton goal. Way to go, ya bloke.