WATCH LIVE: Women’s World Cup round of 16 — USA vs. Colombia

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The time for all the trash talking, all the bulletin board material and all the reliving meetings past is over. It’s time for the US women’s national team to take on Colombia with a place in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup on the line.

It’s do-or-die time for both of these sides, because when 90 (or 120) minutes are up, someone’s going home.

WATCH LIVE — USA vs. Colombia, 8 pm ET

The USWNT’s starting lineup is unchanged from their final group game against Nigeria. Alex Morgan starts her second straight game up top alongside Abby Wambach, while Christen Press remains on the bench for a second straight game after starting each of the first two group stage games.

When: Monday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
TV: NBC Universo, NBCDeportes.com
Team Records: USA 2-0-1 (1st, Group D), Colombia 1-1-1 (3rd, Group F)

LINEUPS

USA: Solo, Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Krieger, Rapinoe, Lloyd, Holiday, Heath, Morgan, Wambach

Colombia: Perez, Velasquez, Clavijo, N. Arias, C. Arias, Montoya, Gaitan, Andrade, Rincon, Ospina, Vidal


 

EDMONTON, Alberta – For a team that has spent the past week discussing its desire to loosen up in the attack, getting a random dose of trash-talking from an underdog opponent might be just what the doctor ordered.

The United States enters Monday’s round-of-16 match Women’s World Cup match against Colombia feeling slightly confused by claims Colombia players make regarding the U.S. disrespecting them. Colombia forward Lady Andrade – best known for sucker-punching Abby Wambach at the 2012 Olympics – said the Americans “belittle” her team. Yoreli Rincon said the Colombians have more heart than United States players.

The Americans don’t know what to make of any of this.

“I’m a person that doesn’t focus on things that happened four years ago, three years ago,” Wambach said on Sunday. “If you’re still living in those moments, I think that that’s not the way I would want to live a life. I’ve moved past it, our team’s moved past it and we’re focused on getting a win [Monday] night.”

[KASSOUF: US women perplexed by Colombia’s trash-talking claims]

Wambach & Co. are expected by outsiders to win this game, which is maybe the source of Colombia’s misdirected feelings. Despite being ranked No. 28 in the world, Colombia is better than ever. Las Cafeteras didn’t just beat world No. 3 France by sitting in a scared, defensive shell and scoring a fluke goal; Colombia won that game 2-0 with a poised, controlled counter-attacking strategy that frustrated the French.

“They’re a good transition team,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “Slightly different in terms of how they transition, because it’s a ball in, it’s back and they are trying to pull your back line this way. The other teams are trying to get in as fast as they can.”

Ten of Colombia’s 23 players took part in the 2011 World Cup, Colombia’s first World Cup, and 12 of them took part in the 2012 London Olympics. They represent the core group that has come up through the Colombia youth system, playing in youth World Cups.

“The players are growing up not just in age, but in international experience and in tournaments,” Colombia coach Fabian Taborda said.

[KASSOUF: Colombia sees World Cup success as agent for change in country]

U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe recognizes the increased maturity level of Colombia’s play from their previous meetings.

“I think I see just a more complete team and a little bit more mature [team], in terms of a full 90 minutes of how to break teams down and how to keep teams out of the net,” she said.

Andrade was the protagonist in Colombia’s group-stage upset of France, progressing within the match from confident to even borderline arrogance on the ball. It’s an unpredictable style of play that the United States will have to deal with, not totally unlike the Americans’ last match against Nigeria.

“I think that they are a much more organized team, not only do their individual players, like Lady Andrade, play with the sole of their feet – very craft,” Wambach said. “It’s hard to defend against teams that sometimes, in my opinion, don’t even know what they are doing. They are kind of street ball soccer in certain ways. They have an organized chaos-ness to it that makes it really difficult to defend against.”

Ellis expects Colombia to sit in to some extent, while Rapinoe notes that her opponents like to defend in numbers.

“If you give them time and you get numbers around the ball, then eventually they are going to give it to us,” U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg. “Because if they’re going to dance, then we are going to get as many numbers around the ball and make it so difficult for them to get out of those tight spaces.”

Leicester City’s Rodgers: Gruesome Ndidi injury could cost him 12 weeks

Ndidi injury
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For every team, there’s an indispensible player and it’s difficult to argue against Leicester City’s player being Wilfred Ndidi.

The groin injury that kept the Nigerian out of Leicester’s 2-0 home loss to Arsenal in the League Cup could require surgery, said Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers after the game.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

One of the game’s top destroyers, Ndidi had played two matches at center back as Leicester opened the season 2-0.

Rodgers could hardly have made the injury sound more painful.

From The Leicester Mercury:

“We’re just waiting to hear more on that but it could be anything between six and 12 weeks,” Rodgers said. “It’s a groin abductor which may have come off the bone, which is quite a nasty one. We’re waiting to see if he needs an operation or not. If he does, it will be at least 12 weeks.”

Leicester missed Ndidi for five-of-six games in early 2020 and went 2D-3L, starting a skid that ended up costing them Champions League football.

The 23-year-old already has 34 caps for Nigeria.

The Foxes have Nampalys Mendy, Hamza Choudhury, and Daniel Amartey amongst their defensive midfield options.

They next face Man City, West Ham, Aston Villa, and Arsenal in Premier League play. Leicester will learn its Europa League group on Oct. 2 before beginning its UEL run the week of Oct. 22.

Champions League: Six-goal thriller in Norway; Marsch’s Salzburg lead

Champions League qualifying
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The UEFA Champions League qualifying playoff round is delivering entertainment, with six first legs dotting the European landscape over the past 27 hours.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

American coach Jesse Marsch saw his Red Bull Salzburg take a first leg advantage home from Israel, while U.S. right back Henry Wingo and Molde played the game of the round so far against Hungary’s Ferencvaros.


Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg

The Austrian visitors were heavy favorites, especially with the hosts dealing with positive COVID-19 tests, but Maccabi took a ninth-minute lead through Dan Biton.

But young Dominik Szoboszlai’s Man of the Match showing began with a goal in the 49th minute and Masaya Okugawan gave Salzburg the lead eight minutes later ahead of next week’s second leg in Austria.

Molde 3-3 Ferencvaros

A thriller in Norway saw the hosts erase a 2-0 deficit only to hand a big away goals advantage to the Hungarian visitors with minutes to play.

Ferencvaros scored early in each half through Franck Boli and Myrto Uzuni. Both goals were set up by Endre Botka and Ferencvaros looked set to cruise through the first leg.

Molde snapped awake through former Manchester United, Cardiff City, and Seattle Sounders man Magnus Wolff Eikrem, who set up Leke James in the 55th minute before scoring a classy goal that was started on the right flank by fellow ex-Sounder and American export Henry Wingo.

Martin Ellingsen gave Molde its first lead in the 83rd, but Ihor Kharatin made it 3-3 four minutes later to send Ferencvaros back to Hungary with three away goals. A draw any less insane would be enough for them to head to the group stage.

Elsewhere

Gent 1-2 Dynamo Kiev
Olympiakos 2-0 Omonia Nicosia
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland

Second legs

Sept. 29
Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos

Sept. 30 
Midtjylland v Slavia Prague
PAOK v Krasnodar
Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Tel-Aviv

League Cup: Havertz hat trick as Chelsea scores 6, Newcastle hits 7

League Cup scores
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There were few surprises to be found in the League Cup, one day after several eyebrow-raising results in the tournament’s third round.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]


Morecambe 0-7 Newcastle United

The League Two side was absolutely hammered by a Newcastle team who must’ve been read the riot act after a sleepy home loss to Brighton in weekend Premier League action.

It was already 4-0 when Morecambe’s Toumani Diagouraga was sent off. Joelinton scored twice and three players had a goal and an assist (Jamaal Lascelles, Jacob Murphy, and Miguel Almiron).

USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin started at left back and set up an Isaac Hayden goal, with Matt Ritchie picking up an assist on Newcastle’s sixth of the game. An own goal rounded out the scoring.

A visit to League Two’s Newport County is next, and Steve Bruce’s men would be expected to win and find a spot in December’s quarterfinals. Halcyon days, or something.

Leicester City 0-2 Arsenal

A Christian Fuchs own goal finally helped Arsenal onto the scoreboard, though the Gunners were good money for the win.

The Foxes had an excellent goal mouth clearance from Wes Morgan with about 20 minutes to play, but could not find the equalizer.

Eddie Nketiah grimaced that he didn’t get to tap in the pass that Fuchs directed into his own goal, but got his marker in the 90th.

If Liverpool handles its business against Lincoln City this weekend, the Reds and Gunners will square off twice in four days (or less)

Chelsea 6-0 Barnsley

Kai Havertz scored his first Chelsea goal and hat trick, all assisted by Tammy Abraham, as the Blues made short work of their Championship visitors.

Havertz’s first Chelsea goal was one of two first-half markers and his second iced the contest.

Abraham scored in the 19th minute. Eight minutes later, he let Mount’s pass set Havertz up for a classy snap finish.

Ross Barkley scored in the 49th and Abraham got his second assist of Havertz six minutes later. His third came in the 65th minute and was followed by Havertz leaving the pitch to hand Ben Chilwell a Blues debut.

Chilwell didn’t disappoint, setting up Olivier Giroud for the match’s final goal.

Preston North End 0-2 Brighton

Graham Potter’s rotation allowed some talented players to showcase themselves away to a Championship side.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Alexis Mac Allister were the goal scorers as the Seagulls outshot PNE 11-4 to set up a match next week with Manchester United, who they meet this weekend in the PL.

Millwall 0-2 Burnley

As cagey as you’d expect from these two, with the Premier League visitors’ class a bit too much for the Championship’s Lions.

Josh Brownhill and Matej Vydra scored for Sean Dyche’s men with Matthew Lowton and Chris Wood collecting assists.

Burnley will face Man City or Bournemouth in the fourth round.

Fulham 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

It was as tight as you’d expect from two sides who shared Championship scraps last season.

Aboubakar Kamara and Bobby Reid scored in the first 32 minutes to supply the Cottagers a fourth-round date at West London rivals Brentford in a rematch of the promotion playoff final.

Americans Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson both went the distance in the win.

Stoke City 1-0 Gillingham

The Championship side had all of the ball and the only goal, as Tyrese Campbell’s 37th-minute marker was enough to clinch a visit to either Bristol City or Aston Villa.

Fleetwood Town 2-5 Everton

Carlo Ancelotti’s dominant Toffees suffered a brief scare after building a 2-0 lead through a Richalrison double.

Mark Duffy scored in the 48th before Alex Iwobi restored the two-goal lead.

That’s when Jordan Pickford, well, he messed up.

Fortunately for the Toffees, who out-attempted Joey Barton’s Fisherman by a healthy margin, Bernard scored with 17 minutes left to ease any frayed nerves. Moise Kean finished the scoring off a Niels Nkounkou feed.

Everton faces West Ham at Goodison Park in the fourth round.


Next League Cup third round fixtures

All times ET

Thursday
Bristol City v Aston Villa — 2 pm
Lincoln City v Liverpool — 2:45 pm
Manchester City v Bournemouth — 2:45 pm


Previous third round results

Luton Town 0-3 Manchester United
West Ham United 5-1 Hull City
Newport County 3-1 Watford
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 (4-5 pens) Brentford
Leyton Orient v Tottenham Hotspur — postponed


League Cup fourth round draw

Lincoln City/Liverpool v Arsenal
Burnley v Manchester City/Bournemouth
Brentford v Fulham
EvertonWest Ham United
Bristol City/Aston Villa v Stoke City
Leyton Orient/Tottenham v Chelsea
Newport County v Newcastle United
Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United

VIDEO: ProSoccerTalk team unfiltered – Review, preview, Power Rankings and more

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ProSoccerTalk is now on video as well as in written format. Unleash the beast, as they say.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

Each week ProSoccerTalk writers Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards will tell us what they learned from the Premier League action, rank their top five PL players based on current form, preview the upcoming weekend and handle any other news from around the soccer world.

Expect opinions, analysis and insight, as well as plenty of friendly banter along the way and maybe a beer or two…

Basically, they have these chats on their own anyway so we thought we would record them and let them loose on the Premier League, USMNT and everything in-between. This is going to be a lot of fun and a lighthearted look at all of the action from across the soccer world each week.

With JPW is based in England and heading to Premier League games and traveling to stadiums/ training grounds, plus Andy and Nick based Stateside, we will be checking in with them regularly to get their views on just about anything when it comes to Pro Soccer. Because, well, ProSoccerTalk.

Follow the ProSoccerTalk lads on Twitter below, and click play on the video above to watch ProSocccerTalk this week in full.