The U.S. Women’s Team leave behind incredible legacy with World Cup victory

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The U.S. Women’s National Team are now back-to-back World Cup champions. Photo from ABC30 Fresno, creator – Alessandra Tarantino, Associated Press.

Icons, champions, and now legends. 

The United States Women’s National Team have won back-to-back World Cup titles, elevating themselves as one of the top dynasties in not only soccer, but in all sports. These American ladies had a dominating performance all of the World Cup, inspiring the nation with the birth of a dynasty. 

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Alex Morgan sips her birthday tea after her game winner against England

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Alex Morgan celebrates her birthday with royalty after scoring game winning goal against England. Photo from Getty Images, creator – Maja Hitij

What’s better on your birthday than a goal?

Happy Birthday to Alex Morgan, for the star USWNT forward, scores the game winning goal against England Tuesday night. Alex Morgan makes a royal celebration, sipping her tea, as she should on her special day.

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Rapinoe saves the day for USA, yet again

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Megan Rapinoe really is the lord of women’s soccer right now, with five goals this World Cup.

Alex Morgan set up a great opportunity for Megan Rapinoe to finish, and the veteran stepped up with yet, another fantastic set piece against France on Friday. Megan Rapinoe continues to step up big for the USWNT, leading the team to victory, once again, 2-0.

Rapinoe is helping carry momentum further and further for team USA into the World Cup. USA is banking on their set pieces, as they nearly had a second goal just off deflections, they are keeping the attack aggressive early in the second half.

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Rapinoe helps USWNT survive physical game vs. Spain

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The first time this 2019 FIFA World Cup, the United States Women’s National Team headed to halftime without a lead, entertaining a 1-1 draw with Spain.

It was the first time the USWNT conceded a goal in 647 minutes, dating back to an April friendly vs Australia. Spain showed the US early that, they weren’t just another team.

Looks like we have ourselves a match.

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My first LAFC game will be one to remember 

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It was an incredible ambiance at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night, thousands wearing the black and gold, LAFC really felt like the heart of Los Angeles.

I was blessed to see a great game by the LAFC, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-0. The home team dominated the game, controlling possession all game long and creating the most chances on goal.

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How the Galaxy-LAFC rivalry is booming the MLS 

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Different cultures, different identities, just one city…

MLS soccer is reborn in Los Angeles with the emergence of “El Trafico”, a birth of the new rivalry in Southern California, Galaxy vs LAFC.

The atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium Thursday night was euphoric; a sea of black surrounding the stadium – filled with tons of LAFC fans representing the team’s colors with jerseys, flags, and even smoke. Fans have been counting down 115 days’ since the first meeting between LAFC and the LA Galaxy, expressing their anticipation and love for the El Trafico.

Following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s epic MLS debut on March 1st, the beginning of a new rivalry in LA quickly became about with LAFC’s illustrious play. LAFC has only been a MLS squad for seven months, but has established themselves to be one of the talented teams in the league.

For LAFC to lead most of the game against the Galaxy was surprising for most fans, and kept surprising everyone with their early success. Including World Cup pedigree on their side, Carlos Vela was a star on the Mexican National team, and now is for LAFC.

Vela is one of the central stars in the league, scoring his eighth goal of the season last night to give his team an early 1-0 lead within the seventh minute. He has been named the MLS All-Star captain on Thursday, giving even more recognition to his stardom.

This is huge for a team like LAFC, because sometimes it is difficult to attract household names to a brand new franchise. With talented attackers like Adama Diomande, Latif Blessing, and of course Vela, this is a special
offense.

With a balanced defense and midfield, led by Lee Nguyen and now André Horta, LAFC can be a very interesting team to say the least.

The anticipated Galaxy-LAFC rematch lived up to the hype, ending in a 2-2 draw. There was dominance, excitement, and drama last night as the LAFC once again dominated most of the game, but let The Galaxy come back in the final moments.

Taylor Twellman, ESPN and MLS broadcaster, stated that the rematch was like déjà vu, but still thought it was a better game. Prior to the second half of the game, Twellman spoke on the MLS-record deal with Vancouver Whitecaps star Alfonso Davies to Bayern Munich, and how this could change the league in a big way.

Pretty soon clubs all around the world are going to introduce players from the MLS, and this will help mature the growing process of the sport in the US. This is not only huge for the MLS, but soccer in general for this country.

Photo by andywitchger (Dos Santos – MLS – LA Galaxy – Soccer) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Watching the World Cup: A sideline perspective 

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The World Cup is here at last, but for some, 2018 is completely a new experience. The USMT and their personnel, will have to watch from home for the first time since 1986.

FIFA has a different look and feel to it; top tier Italy, USA failing to qualify for the first time in years, and new faces like Peru, Tunisia surprising the rest of the world with their arrival.

Peru has been one of the most exciting headlines in 2018, qualifying for the first time in decades. They have been playing well against tough teams like Denmark, France, and now they have played one of their better games in a 2-0 shutout against Australia.

Tunisia has been another interesting World Cup story, but not as fulfilling as others, for they are on the brink of elimination after their last two losses. They however began with the hysteria of qualifying and the notion that they belong, with close matchups against some of the best in the world.

Let’s see if Tunisia can bounce back against Panama on Thursday.

The Round of 16 certainly features tons of parody; there is also countries like Morocco, Iran that are leveling with heavy-weights like Spain, Portugal. The possibility of more stunning upsets make this year an exciting
one, and especially with the likelihood for fan favorite teams to advance, like Mexico or Argentina.

If you are a faithful USMT soccer fan, but want a team to root for, who would it be? Not Mexico right…just kidding. 

My team I’m rooting for right now is Argentina, for a few reasons, mainly to see one of the greatest players in the world have a chance to win the World Cup. It is always a spectacle to see the great Lionel Messi play, as well as his respectable personal.

No matter where you are, and whoever you root for, always is what makes this ceremony so unique. Go root for your country, or your other your favorite team.

(IRN-MAR) Photo by Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0],via Wikimedia Commons

(Peru) Photo by Антон Зайцев (soccer.ru) [CC BY-SA 3.0GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

New York City FC: How the European stars are saving the MLS 

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New York City FC’s illustrious play in their 3-1 win vs. the Montreal Impact Sunday afternoon, reflected the growth of the MLS – progressively, the league is attracting top-level Premier League players that are making the game more intriguing.

The star-studded lineup that FC had displayed in yesterday’s win: David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Jack Harrison, Andoni Iraola, and other superstar caliber players, reflects the aspect of attitude and pride the team has being in the New York spotlight.

In New York, you can’t just have a line-up or roster with “no-names”, or simply just draft picks. You need stars, famous actors and athletes that can get people’s attention, especially in a city filled with tons of distractions.

Despite being a historical football and baseball town for decades, FC has successfully found a way to create an appreciation of soccer culture in New York City.

FC’s success reflects the reputation of sports culture in New York, adding big-names to reiterate themselves as a celebrity town. Their dominating performance against Montreal Impact was not only great for New York City fans, but for MLS fans in general.

The reward of success that New York City FC had established, mainly accredited to it’s glamorous lineup, also have replicated in other teams in the league. Teams like Toronto FC, Orlando City SC, New York Red Bulls, etc., started seeking big-name Premier League players to add to their roster.

Based on their success, the overseas recruitment resulted in complete dividends – the success from teams has establishing a soccer culture in their respected cities, furthermore the MLS has benefited greatly from this. According to the guardian.com, per Tim Hill, 67% of players say an MLS team would survive the Premier League.

Whether or not this would result to be true, it shows a growing confidence in the MLS, and that the ceiling is going to be much higher than expected; I guess we can say the MLS is not such a joke after all.

Photo by Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA (NYCFC vs. Houston Dynamo: 5/30/2015) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

United We Stand: USA shows new comradery in win vs. Ecuador

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The U.S. men’s national soccer team showed a tremendous sense of synergy in there 2-1 win over Ecuador Thursday Night, helping them advance to the Copa America Semifinals for the first time since 1995.

Clint Dempsey sparked USA with an incredible header to in just the 2nnd minute, setting the tone for the entire first half. USA had controlled the ball, played great technical soccer, and the unity overall as team was some of the best played in coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s five-year tenure.

While the lead was just 1-0 at the halftime break, the way the USMT brilliantly played against Ecuador, suggested even a bigger lead. Watching the first half reflected just great soccer play; while USA had showed the other sense of there identity with determination and spirit, it didn’t take much time for USA to expand on there lead with another game changing play by Dempsey, playing a beautiful ball to Gyasi Zardes for a tap-in goal.

Led by there Captain Michael Bradley, All-Star forward Clint Dempsey, and there Defensive-shield John Brooks, USMT look to make a statement next matchup against Venezuela or Argentina on Tuesday. It appears Klinsmann and his team has established their identity, for USA is hitting on all cylinders and looks to be a dangerous opponent these Copa America Semifinals.

Recovering from a post-Word Cup hang over, the team has been steadily searching for the right team play and after last night’s win it seems they have found it. The last three wins looks to be the blueprint for what is next for the USMT’s national team, and are growing steady with great confidence as they should be.

These Copa America Semifinals will certainly be a great test for matching up against a very talented Argentina/Venezuela opponent, for the
team is poised to stun the soccer world with the opportunity to beat all odds on Tuesday with another tournament win.

By Erik Drost (Flickr: Clint Dempsey and Eddie Jones) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons