Soccer

Espindola likely to return for United against Whitecaps

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Espindola likely to return for United against Whitecaps

Through the rain and snow the grit and determination of Fabian Espindola was clear as he combined with Jairo Arrieta to provide a menacing attack for United against Alajuelense in CONCACAF Champions League play. That was on March 4th and that was the last time Espindola suited up for DC United.

Despite the 2-1 win over Alajuelense on that stormy night, United’s run in the CCL came to an abrupt end and because of a six-game suspension from an incident in last fall’s playoffs so did Espindola’s competitive activity. The six-game suspension has been served and Espindola is likely to return to the field when United plays Saturday in Vancouver.

Before the season there was concern about how United would fare without Espindola, but Saturday’s game between United and Whitecaps FC is a matchup between two of the early season leaders in MLS. Indeed United more than survived Espindola’s absence and has put together a more than acceptable 3-1-2 record.

The challenge

  1. Integrating Espindola. Working Espindola back into United’s attacking rotation is a nice problem to have for head coach Ben Olsen.  Eventually Espindola and Luis Silva are likely to continue their strike partnership that delivered 22 of United’s 52 goals last season. For Saturday it would seem more likely that Espindola would be used as a substitute against the Whitecaps. United needs the skill and guile of Espindola to add bite to its attack. United has only six goals in six matches and ranks 14th in MLS in shots. Perry Kitchen is United’s leading scorer with two goals, and while that is a credit to him, it is not his role to be the leading scorer.
  2. Dealing with the Whitecaps attack. The Whitecaps lead MLS with 10 goals from eight matches and also lead the league in shots and shot on goal. United will have to especially be on guard for the Whitecaps counterattack. Octavio Rivero blazed out to a hot start with five goals in his first six games, but has been held scoreless in the last two games. Rivero will be motivated and it is possible he could link up with Darren Mattocks who delivered the match winner last week against Real Salt Lake. In short the Whitecaps have speed, skill, and options and their first place standing in the Western Conference is justified.

RELATED: [United will be even more dangerous with return of Espindola]

 

 

 

 

Premier League Roundup 6/17: Paul Pogba wants out of Man U.

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Premier League Roundup 6/17: Paul Pogba wants out of Man U.

It has been a busy week in soccer with the FIFA Women's World Cup going on in France as well as everything happening in the Premier League.

Here's the latest news about the Premier League:

Player Notes

Manchested United: According to reports, Paul Pogba is prepared to submit a transfer request to force his way to Real Madrid. Pogba would be the second major acquisition for Real as they have just recently announced the signing of Eden Hazard. The Belgian star made the jump to Real from Chelsea.

West Ham: Jack Wilshire admitted that he almost quit playing soccer in 2015 after a rash of injuries combined with a difficult situation at home with his young son. Wilshire returned to play back in May for West Ham.

Source: Rotoworld

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Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

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Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

Carli Lloyd scored a pair of goals for the United States in a somewhat subdued 3-0 victory over Chile that advanced the defending Women's World Cup champions to the round of 16.

The United States was criticized after its record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand when players celebrated goals even after the victory was well in hand. The Americans were more muted in this one, and all three goals were in the first half.

Sweden also advanced out of Group F with a victory 5-1 victory over Thailand earlier Sunday in Nice. Japan, playing in Group D with England, also went through to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won.

Lloyd earned the start after coming in off the bench in the opener, and in the 11th minute became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches.

She added another on a header off a corner in the 35th minute for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the all-time U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12).

Four years ago at the World Cup in Canada, Lloyd scored three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the finale to lead the United States to a 5-2 victory over Japan for the team's third overall title.

She nearly got another hat trick -- which would have made her the first player with two World Cups -- but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left.

The Americans were blasted after their tournament-opening victory for the lopsided score, and overenthusiastic celebration, and the controversy clouded the run-up to Sunday's game.

Several of the U.S. players reached out to their Thai counterparts following the match. Lloyd exchanged encouraging words and tweets with goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, and FIFA posted an interview with Thailand's coach thanking the U.S. players for being professional and playing well.

The United States set records for goals and margin of victory against Thailand. Alex Morgan tied the World Cup record for most individual goals with five, and she was among a record seven different scorers in a single game.

After such a rout, Jill Ellis made sweeping changes to the starting lineup against Chile with a new front line: Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory. Morgan was moved to the bench along with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

Becky Sauerbrunn, who sat out of the match against Thailand because of a minor quad injury, returned and anchored a backline that included 20-year-old Tierna Davidson, who was making her World Cup debut. Davidson is the youngest player to start for the United States in the World Cup since Tiffany Roberts against Norway in 1995.

Chile made just one lineup change, starting midfielder Claudia Soto in place of Yanara Aedo.

Chile lost its opener to Sweden 2-0 but goalkeeper Christiane Endler kept the Swedes out of the goal until the 83rd minute. The second goal got past her in stoppage time. The 6-footer who plays for Paris Saint-Germain was solid again against the United States, especially in the second half when the United States peppered her with shots.

Julie Ertz scored in the 26th minute with a header off a corner kick from Davidson that Endler got her hands on but couldn't stop. It was her first World Cup goal and came with her husband Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, looking on.

Ender was able to prevent Lloyd from another attempt at a hat trick when she tipped the U.S. captain's shot over the net in the 72nd minute.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was among the U.S. team's well-wishers before the sold-out game at Parc des Princes stadium. Biden, who is running for President in 2020, referenced the team's lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and seeking equitable pay.

"As we cheer them on in the World Cup, we must support their fight off the field for equal pay. In 2019, it's past time we close the pay gap and ensure women get paid as much as men," Biden posted on Twitter.

U.S. soccer maintains that the two teams have different pay structures because of separate collective bargaining agreements.

The United States plays Sweden in Le Havre on Thursday to wrap up the group stage. It is the first meeting between the two teams since Sweden ousted the American from the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics.

Chile wraps up the group with a match against Thailand on Thursday in Rennes.

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