I unloaded with both barrels on the goal from the first game – Andrea Pirlo’s Pirloean strike that opened the scoring at the Confederations Cup between Italy and Mexico. That wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t included this line:
And [he does] something almost nobody else could do.
Sorry, Past Richard, but Luis Suárez topped it. Given the final score, this 88th minute goal goal didn’t matter, but when you consider distance and placement, the Uruguayan’s strike is the better of the two.
Suárez’s try was still around 26 yards from the byline, but it was noticeably wider of the keeper’s near post. And although Pirlo’s ball snuck in just under the crossbar, Suárez’s end up in the left side netting.
Which placement is better? I don’t know, but give me enough time, and I can put one under the bar. I’m not sure I can ever curl a ball like that into the side netting.
And given the time Iker Casillas had to react, Suárez’s may have been the only shot that would have scored from that spot. We probably couldn’t say the same for Pirlo, who did have a some space between the left post and where he placed the ball.
At some point, though, this is all angels and pinheads. Both strikes are worthy of the players’ highlight reels. Still, if Suárez’s had happened before Pirlo’s, would there be much of a debate?
Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley
to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.
Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.
[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]
Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:
Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.
Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.
[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]
Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?
- Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
- FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
- LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack. Upset chance: Long shot.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.
Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.
Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.
Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.
Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.
Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.
Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.
Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.
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