Happy Cinco de Mayo Thursday, Mane Landers! After a spectacular day of soccer on Wednesday, I look forward to catching some of the second legs in the UEFA Europa and Conference League semifinals today. Let’s first check out today’s links before we tune into those.
Lions Bring Solid Away Form to Montreal
Orlando City is one of only two undefeated MLS clubs on the road this season and they hope to continue that run when they begin a three-game road trip this Saturday at CF Montréal. Since CF Montréal was eliminated from the Concacaf Champions League on March 16 by Cruz Azul, the Canadian side has scored 14 times in six undefeated matches — the second-most goals in the league in that span. Orlando City broadcaster Evan Weston explored these stats and more in advance of Saturday’s match.
Sounders First MLS Team to Win Concacaf Champions League
It’s finally happened. A Major League Soccer team finally won the Concacaf Champions League title. The Seattle Sounders defeated Pumas of Liga MX 3-0 at Lumen Field late Wednesday night to capture the tournament 5-2 on aggregate. Seattle’s biggest stars shone brightest as Raul Ruidiaz scored twice and Nicolas Lodeiro added a goal to lift the Sounders to the trophy and a berth in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Wright and Carter-Vickers Will Get USMNT Call
U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said Wednesday he will invite forward Haji Wright and center back Cameron Carter-Vickers to the next USMNT camp in June. Both players are 24 and have been away from the national squad since 2019. No striker has staked a claim on the starting spot for the World Cup and Wright has 12 goals in 29 matches this season with Turkish Süper Lig club Antalyaspor, including seven in his last seven games. Carter-Vickers was recently named to the PFA Scotland Team of the Year as his solid campaign with Scottish powerhouse Celtic — while on loan from Tottenham — nears an end.
Real Madrid Shocks Manchester CIty in CL Semifinal
The Mane Land’s Slack channel erupted late Wednesday afternoon with messages of “Holy crap,” “DEAR JESUS,” and “OMG!!” Why? Down 1-0 (and 5-3 on aggregate) to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg, Real Madrid sub Rodrygo scored in the 90th and 91st minutes to send the affair to added extra time. Karim Benzema then slotted home a penalty in the 95th minute — his 15th goal of this Champions League campaign and his 10th in the competition’s win-or-go-home rounds — to seal a stunning 6-5 comeback win on aggregate for the ages. In a rematch of the 2018 final that the Spanish club won, Real Madrid and Liverpool will face off in Paris on May 28.
Spirit, Courage to Meet for Challenge Cup
The finalists for the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup were set on Wednesday night with the North Carolina Courage and Washington Spirit advancing to the final. That final will take place May 7 at WakeMed Soccer Park, home of the Courage. North Carolina defeated the Kansas City Current 2-1 in one semifinal, while the Spirit and OL Reign went to penalties after a scoreless draw. Washington won the epic shootout, 9-8. Former Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury converted her spot kick in the 10-round shootout and also stopped Reign star Jess Fishlock.
- FC Cincinnati shut out Toronto FC, 2-0, in Wednesday’s lone MLS match-up.
- MLS named Austin FC forward Sebastián Driussi its Player of the Month for April.
- The Vancouver Whitecaps signed left back Luís Martins to a one-year deal with two one-year club options and Real Salt Lake signed Swiss defender Chris Kablan on loan from Waasland-Beveren in Belgium’s second division.
- NBA star Kevin Durant joined the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC as a minority owner.
- The U.S. U-17 Women’s Youth National Team blanked Jamaica, 4-0, yesterday to advance to the semifinals of the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
- Tuttosport reported Italian Serie A club Juventus has its eye on Chelsea and USMNT winger Christian Pulisic and one other player as potential replacements for forward Paulo Dybala.
- Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” shirt from the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England sold for $9.28 million, setting the record for the most expensive item of sports memorabilia ever sold.
- The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio expects the Chicago Fire to officially announce former Lion Chris Mueller’s arrival in the Windy City this morning.
This deal is finalized at every level now. Mueller officially a Chicago Fire player. Expect an announcement tomorrow morning and Mueller will be at his first training tomorrow, as well. #cf97 https://t.co/IGjO1APXYl— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) May 4, 2022
Okay Mane Landers, who is your early prediction to win the Champions League final on May 28? I’m all in for Real Madrid. Let us know your pick in the comments. Vamos Orlando!