Soccer

United faces Toronto FC as they go for their third straight win

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United faces Toronto FC as they go for their third straight win

Past the halfway point of the MLS season, DC United remains securely at the top of the Eastern Conference table. United is secure in its position, but with full knowledge there are quality challengers including Saturday’s opponent on the road Toronto FC (5 p.m. on CSN).

The team sheets continue to change for DC United, but the approach remains the same. Despite fielding 18 different starting lineups in 19 matches United is the first team in MLS to win ten games. On Wednesday, United with Conor Doyle providing a spectacular goal won its second game in four days with a 1-0 win in Chicago.

For United Saturday’s game in Toronto will be the second of four road games, including one U.S. Open Cup match, in ten days. Toronto FC is also dealing with an equally busy schedule and will play its third game in seven days after an impressive 3-1 win over Montreal on Wednesday.

The challenge:

  1. Changing elevens. DC United head coach Ben Olsen will likely use a 19th different starting eleven on Saturday. On Wednesday DC United’s lineup included seven players who have started less than half of the team’s regular season games in 2015: Conor Doyle (seven starts), Fabián Espíndola (6), Markus Halsti (4), Miguel Aguilar (4), Luis Silva (2), Luke Mishu (2), and Facundo Coria (1). The players in the game Wednesday might have been limited on playing time and playing together, but they were organized.  For the first time this season United used a diamond in the midfield with Luis Silva and Facundo Coria in front of Markus Halsti and were creative while frustrating the Fire. Silva, Coria, and Halsti make up a trio that could be a starting midfield in MLS. Against Toronto expect Davy Arnaud, back from yellow card suspension, to be back in the center of the midfield along with Perry Kitchen who only played 11 minutes against the Fire. Fabian Espindola was used as a second half substitute Wednesday and he likely will return to the first eleven along with Chris Rolfe, who received the night off.
  2. Intriguing matchups. The defensive organization that helped United snare three points on Wednesday will have to be a hallmark of United’s approach against Toronto.  United’s central defenders will have to keep Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore in front of them. In the last meeting between the teams at RFK, Giovinco was able to slip into dangerous positions and provided both goals in a 2-1 win. Kitchen and Arnaud will have to work to limit Michael Bradley. United’s right back, Steve Birnbaum played there against the Fire and Chris Korb is also an option,  will have to deal with the surging runs of Toronto left back Ashtone Morgan.

 

 

 

Spirit's first ever Pride Night ends in a draw

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Washington Spirit's Twitter

Spirit's first ever Pride Night ends in a draw

In the first ever Pride Night at the Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday, the Washington Spirit and Houston Dash battled each other to a 0-0 draw. 

With Tegan McGrady and Paige Nielsen out, McKenzie Berryhill and Bayley Feist made their first starts of the season. Dorian Bailey moved from the midfield to left back, and Fiest manned left mid-field. 

Ashley Hatch had a chance to take the lead for the Spirits to begin the second half when she made her way across the top box, but sent her shot right over the crossbar. 

Although no points were put on the board, the highlight of the night came when Spirit midfielder, Joanna Lohman had her no. 15 jersey retired.

The Spirit will be back in action next Saturday, June 29, as they take on the North Carolina Courage at 7:00 p.m. 

Women's World Cup 2019: Round of 16 bracket is set as USA soccer readies for knockout round

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USATSI

Women's World Cup 2019: Round of 16 bracket is set as USA soccer readies for knockout round

LE HAVRE, France (AP) -- The defending champion U.S. national team faced its toughest test of the Women's World Cup and remained dominant Thursday night, beating Sweden 2-0 to serve up a measure of revenge against the team that stunned the confident Americans in the last Olympics.

Lindsey Horan scored within the first three minutes, the fastest goal of this tournament. The United States went up 2-0 on an own goal by Jonna Andersson in the 50th minute that gave the Americans a tournament-record 18 goals in the group stage. The U.S. did not concede a goal in its first three matches.

Already assured a spot in the round of 16 before the game, the United States finished atop of group F and will head to Reims to face Spain on Monday, June 24th. Sweden will play Group E runners-up Canada in Paris. The U.S. currently has 9 points 

The meeting was the first tournament game between the two teams since the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics. The Swedes bunkered in on defense and advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw, handing the United States its earliest-ever exit from the Olympic tournament. Former U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedes "cowards" for the defensive stand.

Round-of-16 Schedule

Saturday, June 22

Germany vs. Nigeria, 11:30 a.m. ET

Norway vs. Australia, 3:00 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 23

England vs. Cameroon, 11:30 a.m. ET

France vs. Brazil, 3:00 p.m. ET

Monday, June 24

Spain vs. United States, Noon ET

Sweden vs. Canada, 3:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 25

Italy vs. China, Noon ET

Netherlands vs Japan, 3:00 p.m. ET

Quarterfinals 

Thursday, June 27 

TBD vs, TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Friday, June 28

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 29

TBD vs TBD, 9:00 a.m. ET

TBD vs TBD, 12:30 p.m. ET

Semifinals 

Tuesday, July 2

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET 

Wednesday, July 3

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Third-place game

Saturday, July 6 

TBD vs TBD, 11:00 a.m. ET

Final 

Sunday, July 7

TBD vs TBD, 11:00 a.m. ET