Hey there, Mane Landers, happy Sunday! It’s been a jam-packed weekend of quality soccer (aside from Loris Karius’ play) and I (almost) couldn’t be happier. Meanwhile, my Sunday will be consumed by MegaCon! I’ll be cosplaying for the first time as Pokémon's OG hero Ash Ketchum while you read this.
That said, here are your Sunday Links. Gotta catch ‘em all!
Chicago Fire’s Alan Gordon Strikes Late to Down Orlando City SC
Cristian Higuita got on the scoresheet in a second consecutive losing effort as the Lions fell at home to the visiting Chicago Fire, 2-1. Godon’s late strike was enough to seal the deal despite the Fire seeing a man sent off late while under an attacking flurry from the Lions. But alas, the Fire held out and will be taking home the full three points this weekend in a well-fought match. The officially announced match attendance was at 25,288.
- Michael Citro has your match recap.
- Ethan Smith doled out player grades and chose a Man of the Match.
- The view from the other side comes to us from Hot Time In Old Town.
Stay tuned to The Mane Land for Guilherme Torres’ five takeaways from the match and we should also have a photo gallery from new TML photographer Dan MacDonald.
The Pride Win Big Against the Chicago Red Stars
In a match that saw a flurry of goals from the women in purple, including the quickest in club history in the second minute from Rachel Hill, Sydney Leroux arguably stole the show as her two goals off the bench pushed her side through a deadlock and on to an exciting victory, which took place in front of 5,047 fans at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The strong performance was reminiscent of some of last season’s best performances.
Rachel Hill and Alex Morgan also got on the score sheet, while Dani Weatherholt’s first of the season pushed the Pride to their most lopsided win of the year. Michael Citro pulled double duty and has your match recap.
Real Madrid Win Third Consecutive Champions League Final
In the annual footballing event that never disappoints, Real Madrid retained their crown of dominance over the European footballing elite, downing Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final, 3-1. The major talking points, without a doubt, will be the awful decisions of Liverpool’s keeper Karius, whose play lost this match for Liverpool (Note: I’m never the one to blame the goalkeeper, and if anything am an apologist). Mo Salah’s exit in the first half will also be heavily discussed, especially with this Summer’s World Cup rapidly approaching. Finally, Gareth Bale’s legendary bicycle kick after coming on as a substitute, as well as his Karius-gifted insurance goal, will be remembered for decades, along with his La Decima-winning header in Lisbon. The performance put on by Bale, should he make a move away from Madrid this Summer, likely inflated his buying price significantly.
El Tri Keeping Close Tabs on Galaxy’s Dos Santos Twins
With this Summer’s World Cup quickly sneaking up on us all, El Tri Head Coach Juan Carlos Osario has been spotted at an LA Galaxy match in the press box to take in the action and gauge his interest in naming the superstar brothers in his preliminary 27-man World Cup squad. Seeing the pair named in the squad would serve as a stark reminder to MLS critics out there that the league can still develop and maintain national talents. The two are both hopeful to make the squad, despite Gio’s recent injury woes. Jonathan talked about it.
“We are hoping to be able to secure our ticket to Russia,” he said. “We have been dreaming about this for a very long time. The most important thing if to stay healthy. Giovani finally had some minutes, and I am also regaining my level of play. We are 20 days from the World Cup, and I think that we will both be 100 percent.”
- Justin Meram made his 200th MLS career appearance yesterday during the Lions’ 2-1 loss to Chicago.
- Professional football in England now has its very first “safe standing” supporters section, which has been added to Shrewsbury’s New Meadow.
- Congratulations are in order to Portland Thorns FC’s Mark Parsons, who has now notched 50 NWSL career wins.
- Former Red Bulls defender Tim Ream’s team, Fulham, has officially won promotion back into the Premier League.
- The Revs brought along a few of their youth teams with them on their recent road trip to Vancouver. A cool gesture and a nod to the importance of developing the youth talent in MLS.
- Egypt is remaining optimistic that their star man Mo Salah, recently injured in the UCL Final, will be healthy and ready to go come the World Cup.
- Neymar recently went on record saying that he’s always wanted to work with Pep Guardiola. I’m sure Manchester City fans are salivating at that one.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today, Mane Landers. Have an excellent week and I’ll see you next time.