How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you’re all having a nice start to your Friday as we get ready for the weekend. I’m loving this fall weather and recently bought some rocking chairs to relax on the porch each morning. It’s definitely been nice, although this cool weather won’t be around much longer. For now, let’s enjoy these links from around the soccer world.
Pedro Gallese Wins Save of the Year
Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese won MLS Save of the Year for his full extension to deny former Lion Dom Dwyer in a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United on July 17. El Pulpo did well to position himself and then leapt to swat away a shot that was destined for the top corner to his right. It was one of many great saves from Gallese this year, and he finished the year with a career-high nine clean sheets across all competitions. This was the second time a Lion has won Save of the Year, with Joe Bendik claiming the honor back in 2016.
LAFC and the Philadelphia Union Advance in MLS Playoffs
El Trafico in the MLS playoffs was hyped up since last weekend and it absolutely delivered as LAFC beat the LA Galaxy 3-2. Denis Bouanga had a brace for LAFC, but the Galaxy came up with two equalizers. It looked like the game was headed for extra time, but Cristian Arango pounced on a rebound in the box following a corner kick and gave LAFC a memorable winner. After eliminating its rival in thrilling fashion, LAFC will face the winner between Austin FC and FC Dallas in the next round.
In the Eastern Conference, 21-year-old midfielder Leon Flach scored his first goal of the year to lift the Union to a 1-0 win against FC Cincinnati. It was the first time Cincy’s offense has been shut out since July, with Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake coming up with five saves in the match. The Union will host the winner of Sunday’s match between New York City FC and CF Montreal.
U.S. Faces Nigeria in U-17 Women’s World Cup
After winning its group, the United States U-17 Women’s National Team is playing Nigeria this morning in the U-17 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. The match started at 7 a.m. and is the first meeting between the two nations at a U-17 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. was undefeated in the group stage, only conceding once in a 1-1 draw with Brazil. Meanwhile, Nigeria bounced back after a 2-1 loss to Germany by beating New Zealand and Chile to reach the quarterfinals. The winner of today’s game will take on the winner of tomorrow’s match between Colombia and Tanzania. That semifinal will take place next Wednesday, with the final set for Oct. 30.
Steven Gerrard Fired After Aston Villa Loss
American defenders Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream played every minute of Fulham’s 3-0 home win over Aston Villa. The loss was Villa’s sixth of the season and the club sacked manager Steven Gerrard as a result. Gerrard joined Villa in November of last year and leaves the club in 17th in the English Premier League after 11 games. Reports are already surfacing on which manager will replace Gerrard, with Mauricio Pochettino and Brentford’s Thomas Frank as possible options.
- Orlando Pride defender Courtney Petersen talked about how this season was a step in the right direction for the club.
- Atlanta’s Josef Martinez won MLS Goal of the Year for his bicycle kick against the New England Revolution late in the season. Only time will tell if it was his final goal for the Five Stripes.
- Matt Turner had another clean sheet for Arsenal in a 1-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League. It was Turner’s third shutout of the tournament, although he only had to come up with one save in this one.
- Leicester City came up with a big 2-0 win against Leeds United. Americans Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams created chances for Leeds, but Jesse Marsch’s team was shut out for the third time in four games.
- Chelsea FC, Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, and AS Roma all came up with shutout wins as the Women’s Champions League continued.
- Manchester United made a statement that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be part of the squad on Saturday when it takes on Chelsea. This news comes after Ronaldo left early during United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham.
- Robert Lewandowski scored twice in the first half as FC Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win over Villarreal.
- Canada’s men’s team will play Bahrain in a friendly on Nov. 11 in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar next month.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!