Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend. I’m sure it feels much better after a Lions win against the LA Galaxy. There is plenty to cover today so let’s get to the links.
Lions get first win in California
The Lions held on for a 1-0 shutout against the LA Galaxy to achieve a historic first win in the state of California. We also got to see a pair of firsts as Facundo Torres scored his first MLS goal for the club while Ercan Kara got his first MLS assist. The Lions were getting dominated by the LA Galaxy on possession, corners, and shots but the hosts failed to convert on their scoring chances. Antonio Carlos had a solid performance on the defensive end by clearing the ball from danger on multiple occasions and frustrating the LA Galaxy attackers. Pedro Gallese also had a big day, making three saves and keeping his third clean sheet of the season. The Lions will be going back out west again later this week as they face the Portland Timbers. Later today you can check our five takeaways, player grades, and our Man of the Match.
Pride Draw Spirit in NWSL Challenge Cup Opener
The Orlando Pride began their 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup with a 0-0 draw against the defending NWSL champion Washington Spirit at Exploria Stadium. It was an entertaining match despite both teams sharing the points and we saw 25 total shots in this match. Kelley O’Hara had a great chance early in the second half with a long-range shot but Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod was able to tip the shot wide of the net to keep the match scoreless. In stoppage time, Meggie Dougherty-Howard had a free-kick opportunity to launch the ball towards the box. The ball found its way towards Marta and she volleyed the shot but it sailed over the crossbar. The Pride’s next match will be this Saturday as they hit the road to take on the North Carolina Courage.
Saturday’s MLS Results
FC Cincinnati got its second straight win, defeating Inter Miami, 3-1. Brandon Vazquez scored twice and added an assist as the Orange & Blue got their first win at home in five months. Bob Bradley got his first win as head coach of Toronto FC as the Reds came back from a goal down to win 2-1 over D.C. United. Jonathan Osorio scored the game-winner and his 50th career goal. The Philadelphia Union avenged their Eastern Conference final defeat last season as they shut out New York City FC 2-0 on the road, with goals from Daniel Gazdag and Alejandro Bedoya. CF Montreal blew a two-goal advantage on the road despite former Lion Dom Dwyer getting a red card for Atlanta United in the second half. Thiago Almada and Brooks Lennon scored late in the second half to end the match in a 3-3 draw. The Chicago Fire dominated Sporting Kansas City with a 3-1 victory with goals from Kacper Przybylko and Xherdan Shaqiri. Charlotte FC got its first MLS win at home, beating the New England Revolution 3-1. Minnesota United defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 at home thanks to Luis Amarilla first-half strike. Jesus Ferreira scored a first-half hat trick as FC Dallas cruised past the Portland Timbers 4-1. The Colorado Rapids and the Houston Dynamo ended in a 1-1 draw. Real Salt Lake defeated Nashville SC 2-1.
Chelsea Advances to FA Cup Semifinals
Chelsea defeated Championship side Middlesbrough 2-0 to advance to the semifinal round in the English FA Cup. Christian Pulisic played 68 minutes in the match but it was Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech who scored to push the Blues on and end Middlesbrough’s fantastic run in the competition after defeating Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur along the way. Today, we’ll have three matches to watch beginning at 8:30 a.m. when Crystal Palace hosts Everton. In the later match-ups, Southampton will take on Manchester City at 11 a.m. and Nottingham Forest faces Liverpool at 2 p.m.
- Chants of “gay, gay, gay” were heard during the Orlando Pride match to support the Black Swans Supporters group in response to their banner being taken down. Last week, the Pride made a video with players all saying the word after the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill was passed in Florida. One wonders why its OK for the club to speak out but not the fans.
- PRO put out a statement about the controversial handball called against Orlando City that wiped out a Junior Urso goal when the Lions played the Chicago Fire on March 5.
Missed this last week, but in doing homework for today's game I caught that PRO had this to say about the Júnior Urso non-goal from the Chicago game a couple weeks ago. The review was clocked at 3:40, the longest of the 15 video reviews in MLS so far this year. #OrlandoCity pic.twitter.com/PxhM81vVXR— Evan Weston (@EvanLWeston) March 19, 2022
- El Classico will be on later today between Barcelona and Real Madrid but Karim Benzema will be out of today’s match due to a calf injury.
- Barcelona head coach Xavi has left the door open for Lionel Messi to possibly return to the club down the road. Messi has only scored two league goals for Paris Saint-Germain since he join the club last summer.
- Arminia Bielefeld left back George Bello has been called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team to replace Sergiño Dest as the Yanks prepare for their final three World Cup qualifying matches.
That will do it for me, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Sunday and I’ll see you next time.