The soccer news starts with the League Cup final and a substitution issue for Chelsea. With the clock heading to the end of extra time, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri tried to sub his goalkeepers. The reason was an apparent injury to Kepa Arrizabalaga, except Kepa didn't seem to agree with Sarri's decision. Instead of coming off, he gestured at the bench and refused to leave the field.
Sarri's response was made for replays and ESPN+ showed plenty of them. Sarri was livid, to use the easiest way to describe a man looking for an outlet for obvious rage. Arrizabalaga stayed on for the penalty stage, where Chelsea lost to Manchester City 4-3 on penalties after finishing 0-0.
"I know if you see it from outside, I don’t know how it went out, it is not the best image," Sarri said. "I have spoken with the boss. I think it was misunderstood. I understand that on television, on social media, they’re talking about this but I am here to explain it, to say that it wasn’t my intention to go against the manager. We have spoken now, and I was only trying to say I’m fine. He thought I wasn’t fine. I don’t think it has to be the major act of this final. I understand we played a good level against one of the best teams in the world. We were close to winning, obviously we’re sad that we didn’t."
For his part, Sarri agreed. Given the time between the Kepa scenario, losing on penalties, and addressing the media it's a safe assumption that Chelsea's manager gave his comments some thought.
"Kepa was right, even if the way he conducted himself was wrong," Sarri said. "Mentally he was right, he was able to go to penalties, but I only realized everything when the doctor was able to come to the bench, not before. I was really angry."
Was he ever. Those multiple replays showed Sarri yelling at his bench and confusing the staff when he looked like he was heading for the locker room before making a 180 and returning to the bench. Then he had players separating him from his goalkeeper between the end of extra time and the start of penalties. Kepa's performance during those penalties was strong. He had a hand on one and made a solid save for Chelsea. That it wasn't enough ends up being more about Manchester City.
"The important thing with penalties is personality, and they did it," Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. "In penalties, everything can happen. We are happy to win back-to-back (cups) for the first time in our history."
Also in the soccer news, the USMNT U-20s know their opponents for the 2019 World Cup that starts on May 23 in Poland. The USMNT is part of Group D opening against Ukraine on May 24 and playing Nigeria on the 27 in Bielsko-Biala. They close out the group schedule against Qatar on May 30 in Tychy. Mexico is in Group B with Italy, Japan and Ecuador. Honduras faces New Zealand, Uruguay, and Norway in Group C. The USMNT advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2015 and 2017 U-20 World Cups.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta previews the USMNT in Group D at the U-20 World Cup. World Soccer's Nick Bedwell's look at Christian Pulisic. The NY Times' Steve Brenner updates the situation with Inter Miami. SB Nation's Thad Bell reports on a railing collapse at Sporting KC's stadium that injured Toluca player Felipe Pardo. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr reports that Will Farrell will play Chuck Blazer in the movie version of American Huckster.
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