A few days ago, Stevie D wondered if the Seattle Sounders and CenturyLink Field were getting closer to hosting a United States national team game. He has his reasons: some convoluted but positive words from general manager Adrian Hanauer; the sense that (sorry Portland!) Seattle is the best soccer city in the country; the general sentiment that CenturyLink deserves a game.
It seems that others agree. Seattle is “in the mix” for one of the five World Cup qualification matches during the upcoming Hexagonal.
Except that I’m not sure it is. “In the mix,” perhaps, but put it on the “doubtful” list. There are simply too many negatives: the distance, the turf, the weather, etc. Too many variables for a too important game.
Steve suggests that a Gold Cup game will find its way to Seattle, and I’m inclined to agree. But I think it will be more than that. I think it’s the Gold Cup semifinals. (They were both played in Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2011.)
A couple months ago I attended a media summit in Portland featuring Hanauer and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. The prospect of having the USMNT play in Seattle came up, and the Sounders GM addressed the problem. The gist of his remarks were something along the lines of “It’s really a pain to put in turf. We aren’t against hosting the team, but it’s not our highest priority and we’ll only do so if it makes financial sense.”
Hosting an early round game doesn’t make financial sense. Furthermore, playing an opening round game against an inferior opponent isn’t the best idea in a huge stadium, even one which boasts such an impressive and passionate fanbase. (See: 25,000 in Ford Field for U.S.-Canada in 2011.) The Gold Cup final will almost certainly be in the Rose Bowl, but it would be great to reward the people of the Pacific Northwest with the semifinals.
Bonus: it’s not that far a flight to Los Angeles for the last match.
That logic is infallible, right?
Not a bad way to start the Premier League weekend…
12 minutes into the first game of Matchweek 9, Chelsea’s Pedro curled home a stunning effort into the far corner and off the far post after a corner was played short to him.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
A simply stunning goal from the Spaniard which you can watch in the video above.
Chelsea host Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as fifth and fourth clash.
WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE
Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea are without a win in three games in all competitions and some pressure is starting to build on the Blues as they’ve fallen further behind the two Manchester clubs atop the PL table.
As for Watford, Marco Silva‘s men are in fourth place and aiming to keep up their impressive away form in the PL this season with three of their four wins coming on the road.
In team news Chelsea’s injuries are piling up with Victor Moses and N'Golo Kante missing but Alvaro Morata does start after recovering from his hamstring injury, while Watford start Troy Deeney up top after his impressive cameo against Arsenal last week.
Chelsea: Courtois; Rudiger, David Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi
Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison. Subs:
CHICAGO (AP) Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player for this season.
Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals and became the league’s fifth Golden Boot winner to also be named MVP.
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She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.
Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.
Full back Benjamin Mendy cost Pep Guardiola and Manchester City $68 million, but perhaps he’ll be just as valuable as a very expensive sports psychologist.
The “Shark Team” member was amusing on social media even before his ACL injury sent him to the sidelines until at least April, but he’s become a must-follow Twitter fixture with his in-game messages (See some of his work below).
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City faces Burnley at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).
It’s fairly clear his act has translated in private, too, as apparently Mendy is just as good in group messages (Let us in, Pep. We won’t tell anyone). From ManCity.com:
“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad. They sometimes train apart and feel isolated.
“Mendy decided to be present. He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”
It’s not surprising for anyone who’s been following the former Le Havre, Marseille and Monaco man.
Keep in mind, these Tweets below are from the last few days alone!