As the beautiful game continues to grow in the United States, we see more and more videos of big, passionate crowds.
We just don’t expect them to be this large when it comes to college soccer, and this one would’ve been the high season attendance for all but three USL teams and every team in the NASL.
[ MORE: Burnley 1-0 Newcastle ]
In what’s become an annually well-attended derby, the Blue Green Rivalry between UCSB and Cal Poly saw the largest crowd in NCAA Soccer this season, as 11,075 fans crammed into Spanos Stadium on Saturday. Cal Poly won 4-1.
The show is nothing new, but always impressive. Just listen to the roar when coach Steve Sampson’s — yes, that Steve Sampson — Mustangs equalized through sophomore midfielder Kenneth Higgins en route to a 4-1 win (about 40 seconds into the above video).
According to the Cal Poly site:
The best-attended sporting event annually in San Luis Obispo County, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn 20 of the top 53 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history with all matches occurring during the previous 11 seasons.
Not bad, and the match finished with Cal Poly fans flooding the field in what will be an enduring memory for the Mustangs (and surely the visiting Gauchos as well. The sides drew 0-0 at UCSB on Oct. 14).
Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.
[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]
And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.
Ecuador 1-1 Japan
There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.
Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.
Chile 0-1 Uruguay
Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.
Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.
Knockout round schedule
Brazil v. Paraguay
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile
Uruguay v. Peru
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru
Third place playoff
Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.
Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.
[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]
Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.
Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.
Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:
“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.
“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”
Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.
Prolific forward Janine Beckie didn’t dodge cameras after her missed penalty helped seal Canada’s fate at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and she also explained why legendary striker Christine Sinclair wasn’t at the spot.
Beckie, 24, scored two goals in Canada’s run to the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and the Houston Dash forward and Texas Tech product has 25 goals in 57 caps.
[ MORE: Sweden tops Canada ]
The American-born Beckie was called upon to try to level the score against Sweden on Monday in the Round of 16, and took a solid effort which was parried by Hedvig Lindahl in an outstanding bit of goalkeeping.
“I’m confident in my penalty,” Beckie said. “I thought I hit it really well. I thought she made a really good save. It’s the big moments. It’s the moments that you live for. You get all the glory if it goes in, and you take the blame it feels like if you miss. That’ll stay with me for a long time.”
So why was she at the spot? Here’s Beckie on TSN, and Sinclair’s confirmation of the tale. As we expected, Lindahl’s success against Sinclair at the Algarve Cup played a role.
“Christine actually asked me if I wanted to take it. That’s a big moment for me and it’s gonna be hard for a while.”
Full marks for stepping up to both places: The penalty spot and the post-match interview.
We’ll know the full knockout round bracket following the conclusion of Group C play at the 2019 Copa America on Monday.
[ WATCH LIVE: Copa America play on Telemundo ]
If Chile draws or defeats Uruguay, it will meet Peru in the quarterfinals, sending Uruguay into a date with perfect Colombia.
Meanwhile Japan and Ecuador meet knowing a win is necessary to hope for any further dates in Brazil.
As it stands, Peru is one of the third-place teams to qualify for the next stage, while Paraguay needs Japan and Ecuador to draw in order to hold onto its spot.
You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.
2019 Copa America schedule
Group C: Chile v. Uruguay – 7 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group C: Japan v. Ecuador – 7 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Check back later for recaps and highlights.