Soccer

Washington Spirit's head coach Richie Burke excited to take team to new heights

Washington Spirit's head coach Richie Burke excited to take team to new heights

First-year Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke is passionate about bringing the team to new heights. But, earlier this month, he took NBC Sports Washington to watch another team he's passionate about: Liverpool.

The Liverpool native was named the Spirit's head coach earlier this year, after working in the DC United's system and a number of youth programs in the area.

“I actually love my team, I love the group, I love being at the training ground,” Burke said. 

“You show up on a daily basis with a smile on your face because you like the people that you’re working with and the steps you’ve made so far.”   

Burke brings years of experience to the Washington Spirit. In addition to playing for American University, the Washington Diplomats and Washington Stars in the American Soccer League and the Washington Warthogs in the Continental Indoor Soccer League Burke also played professional soccer in England and Australia. 

At the Utah Royals’ home opener last Saturday Washington fell short 1-0, making their overall record 1-1. Utah Royals FC midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta scored the first goal of the season for Utah. In her NWSL debut, Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle missed her free kick in the 76th minute. 

The Spirit are returning home to the Maryland SoccerPlex to host the Seattle Reign on Saturday 7:00 p.m. 

With just a one point difference separating the teams, Washington and Seattle are both looking to secure three points. The Spirit are currently in 6th place on the NWSL ladder and the Reign is in 7th. Seattle’s record is 0-2-1 after losing to the Chicago Red Stars. 

Saturdays game will be action-packed as the Spirit will be celebrating the club’s Star Wars Night! Fans who dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters will be entered into a contest to win a special prize from the Spirit. 

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Christian Pulisic continues to shine for Chelsea early in FA Cup Final, leaves match with injury

Christian Pulisic continues to shine for Chelsea early in FA Cup Final, leaves match with injury

Since the resumption of soccer in England, USNMT star and Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic has been among the best in the sport. He continued that on Saturday, wasting no time giving his team the lead in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal.

Pulisic netted a goal just five minutes into the match.

The FA Cup is a knockout-style tournament that pits the best British soccer teams against one another. Pulisic's goal not only gave Chelsea an early advantage, but put him in the history books as he became the first U.S International player to score in the final.

Pulisic's brilliance on Saturday is just the latest impressive performance by the 21-year old. His effort since the Premier League returned helped Chelsea finish in the top four of the league.

Unfortunately for Pulisic and Chelsea, he did not get the opportunity to further leave his mark on the FA Cup Final and he exited in the 48th minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Though he had to leave the contest early, Pulisic once again proved that he is an emerging star both nationally and internationally.

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USMNT star Christian Pulisic dazzles once again, but Chelsea falls to Liverpool

USMNT star Christian Pulisic dazzles once again, but Chelsea falls to Liverpool

Since the Premier League resumed its season last month, few players have been better than Chelsea winger and United States Men's National Team star Christian Pulisic.

On Wednesday, Pulisic put his fine form on display once again, immediately wreaking havoc when he came on for the Blues in the 59th minute.

With Chelsea trailing 4-1 to Premier League Champion Liverpool, Pulisic immediately impacted the scoreline two minutes after his entrance on the pitch. The 21-year-old took a pass on the left-wing, then proceeded to dribble past four Liverpool defenders before assisting Tammy Abraham for Chelsea's second goal.

Just over 10 minutes later, Pulisic found himself with another scoring chance opportunity. After two Liverpool defenders collided with one another, Chelsea found themselves on the attack with a man advantage.

The American took a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi, perfectly played it to his right foot and fired a strike past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to trim the lead to 4-3 in the 73rd minute.

However, any chance Chelsea had of evening the scoreline and earn the point they needed to clinch a Champions League spot vanished when Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in the 87th minute to seal Liverpool's victory.

After the match, Pulisic said that he felt the momentum was on Chelsea's side late in the second half before Liverpool netted the game-sealing goal late.

“We were very close, we got it within one goal and the momentum was really changing,” Pulisic said, to Sky Sports, via NBC Sports' Pro Soccer Talk. “I thought we had them but obviously it is just that one counter-attack and it changed real quick. We weren’t quite there."

With one game remaining, Chelsea can clinch a top-four Premier League finish and a spot in next season's Champions League on Sunday with a victory over Wolves.

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