Soccer

Washington Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke reminisces on childhood as Liverpool FC fan and love for soccer

Washington Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke reminisces on childhood as Liverpool FC fan and love for soccer

In part two of an interview with NBC Sports Washington, the Washington Spirit’s head coach Richie Burke reminisced about his childhood growing up in Liverpool as a passionate Liverpool FC super fan. 

Burke explained how attending each game as a child with his father developed his love for Liverpool FC and for soccer. 

“I used to know the names of the team. I used to name them right off the top of my tongue, I knew the starting eleven, I used to watch it and loved it,” Burke expressed. 

He also shared the impact that the atmosphere had on him, especially when the Liverpool fans would sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 

“For me as a kid, you could imagine I’m just looking and there are 26,000 people and all of these scarves up in the air. It was really impactful.” 

At the age of 15, Burke signed with Liverpool FC to play for their boys academy team. He said that after being a professional player his goal was always to pursue a coaching career. 

The Washington Spirit will hit the road to face off against Sky Blue FC for their fourth match of the season. This will be the second time that Washington is competing against Sky Blue this season. In the previous match, the Spirit defeated Sky Blue 2-0. Washington Spirit defenders Sam Staab and Megan Crosson were key contributors to the Spirit’s success, scoring goals in 59th and 90+2 minutes.

Washington is looking to secure another three points against Sky Blue on Saturday in hopes to rise up to 3rd place on the table. Sky Blue is also looking to collect three points in addition to their first win of the season. 

Last Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex, the Washington Spirit and Reign FC played to a scoreless draw. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe dominated collecting six saves going into halftime. In the second half, she picked up three, finishing with a total of nine saves. 

Following her strong performance, Bledsoe was named the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 4 by the NWSL Media Association.

This weekends match will take place at the Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted live on NBC Sports Washington. 

Washington DC launches bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

Washington DC launches bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

It’s still six years out, but Washington, D.C. is making a push to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the nation’s capital.

With North America selected as the location of choice for the 2026 World Cup rather than one country in particular, D.C. officials announced Tuesday their intention to make Washington one of the 16 host cities for the 80-match tournament.

“Right now, as countries around the world continue to respond to this pandemic, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is something we can all look forward to,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “And when the tournament comes to North America, it only makes sense for DC — the Sports Capital and District of Champions — to host. We are already a city united by the game, and in 2026, we look forward to uniting the world.”

According to The Washington Post, 10 cities from the U.S. are expected to land matches for the tournament with Canada and Mexico splitting the other six. It will be the first time in World Cup history that the tournament will be shared by more than two countries.

The District established a group called DC2026, which announced a 40-member advisory board that includes D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, three-time MLS champion Eddie Pope, Washington Spirit stars Joanna Lohman and Andi Sullivan, two-time gold medalist Brianna Scurry, EventsDC chairman Max Brown, chef José Andrés and D.C. United general partner Gregory O’Dell.

“As a native Washingtonian, I am proud to be a Co-Chair of DC’s official bid committee to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Hamid said in a statement. “I could not think of a more vibrant, inclusive or passionate soccer city to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026. With our deep soccer roots and diversity, the culture of our city gives us our foundation to successfully highlight the matches and leave a lasting impact on the future of the game.”

DC2026 plans to tout D.C.’s “unparalleled roots to the sport of soccer and world-class hosting capabilities” as part of its pitch. In a three-page press release, the group laid out advantages such as the metro system and three local airports that would allow it to host the increased number of tourists.

The city last hosted the World Cup in 1994, when it made RFK Stadium one of nine U.S. venues for the tournament. It’s also held Olympic soccer games (1996) as well as the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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WATCH: American Christian Pulisic nets second goal for Chelsea in as many games

WATCH: American Christian Pulisic nets second goal for Chelsea in as many games

The Premier League restart has gone as good as possible for Christian Pulisic.

The United States National Team star netted his second goal in as many games for Chelsea on Thursday, giving the Blues a 1-0 lead over Manchester City shortly before halftime.

Pulisic gained possession of the ball off of a poor City turnover, and suddenly, he was one-on-one with defender Benjamin Mendy. The American winger used a brilliant hesitation move to dribble past Mendy before curling his shot past keeper Ederson for the goal.

Pulisic's goal comes on the heels of his solid outing on Sunday, where he scored Chelsea's first goal in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. Thursday's finish was Pulisic's eighth goal in 25 appearances since arriving at Chelsea from German side Borussia Dortmund this past summer.

Pulisic had previously been sidelined since January 1 with an adductor injury but was close to returning before the season was paused in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League's resumption gives the American star a chance to rewrite the narrative on an otherwise incomplete first season with the Blues.

Besides Chelsea supporters, no one is happier about Pulisic's goal than Liverpool fans. Should Chelsea win or draw, Liverpool will clinch their first-ever Premier League title (and first league title in 30 years).

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