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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: USWNT, a Penalty Kick, and Something Bad

This week the USWNT dominates, OCSC doesn’t, and the penalty kick is reinvented.

Orlando City SC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Welcome back, Mane Landers! Assuming you’re reading this when it drops, it’s Thursday. I’m actually writing this on Tuesday night, because Hurricane Michael is bearing down on Tallahassee, and I’m not sure that I’ll have power on Wednesday to write the article. As such, if any of it feels not quite up to date, you’ll know why.

The Good

The USWNT steamrolled their way through the group stage of World Cup qualifying. First the Yanks decimated Mexico, 6-0. It was a very convincing win, though surprisingly not as convincing as the 5-0 win over Panama. That match should have be closer to 15-0 if not for the performance from 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey. Bailey stood on her head, did cartwheels, and seemed to produce a kitchen sink to block a goal. Despite giving up five goals, Bailey was in excellent form. Regardless, the two wins put the U.S. at 2-0-0 with an +11 goal differential going into last night’s contest against Trinidad and Tobago. Not even the USMNT could fail to qualify given those circumstances, and let’s be clear, the USWNT is not the USMNT. [Editor’s note: the USWNT completed the sweep and was even more dominating in a 7-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago. Hopefully Dave got to see it.]

The Bad

Orlando City scored two goals against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 1. That was the last time the team scored a goal. I’d repeat that, but I’m certain you’re painfully aware, as am I. In the last four games, the Lions have been outscored 7-0. That’s bad. Orlando City has looked lost when Yoshimar Yotún was out, and Dom Dwyer hasn’t had any service to allow him to do wnat he does best. Even when he has gotten the ball, he’s failed to score on 1-v-1 situations. Other players like Sacha Kjlestan and Chris Mueller haven’t really been able to pick up the slack, and Stefano Pinho doesn’t seem to be the answer either (and now he’s injured). I don’t know that there will be an answer this season. I certainly hope so, but at the same time I’m not hopeful. That might sound weird, but I think you know what I mean.

The Ugly

To be fair, the only ugly thing here is how badly the goalkeeper is stunned on this penalty kick.

The goal was scored by Norik Avdalyan, who plays for Rubin Kazan in the Russian National Student League. Now watch it again, and realize he completes the back flip, and scores the goal. We’ve seen front flip throw-ins, and “fake out” penalty kicks, but this is next level.

That’s going to do it for today. I’m guessing that the USWNT beat Trinidad and Tobago, probably by more than one goal. [Editor’s note: (Narrator voice) It did.] I’m also not sure that I’ll have power once this article drops, but feel free to comment anyway, and I’ll respond once I can.