It's been quite the week for Premier League clubs in European competitions. English clubs now have both finalist spots in the Champions League and Europa League, something few if anybody predicted at the start of the season. That was bad news for Timmy Chandler's Eintracht, exiting on penalties to Chelsea in the Europa League semifinals.
With Chandler on the bench at Stamford Bridge and the series tied 1-1 from the opening leg, Luka Jovic scored for Eintracht in the 23rd minute. Pedro equalized for Chelsea in the 45th with the 2-2 aggregate score holding through regulation and extra time. With the series going to penalties, Chelsea failed to convert in the second round. Eintracht failed to convert their fourth and fifth attempts with Chelsea advancing to play Arsenal in the 2018-19 Europa League final.
“The dream of going to Baku is over," Eintracht coach Adi Hutter said. "We deserved to be in the final, but I’m incredibly proud of my team. Despite everything, the overwhelming feeling is one of pride. There were tears in the dressing room. The fans’ reaction is a massive help. The team has forged an incredible bond with the fans."
England's lock on Europe comes at a time when the future of the Champions League as we know it is in question. AP's Graham Dunbar reports that the attempt by Europe's super clubs to push UEFA to create promotion and relegation for the Champions League is moving forward. The NY Times' Tariq Panja also works through the proposed changes. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw relays the comments from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. UEFA could announce fundamental changes as early as next season coming into play for 2024-25.
Moving to the Concacaf U-17 Championship, the USMNT had no issues advancing past Guadeloupe 8-0 in a game that had a delayed start due to weather. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez opened the scoring in the 4th minute with Griffin Yow doubling the lead in the 11th. Giovanni Reyna scored in the 20th with Gianluca Busio adding a goal in the 25th. It was Reyna again in the 29th, finishing off his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 42nd. Ocampo-Chavez scored in the 68th with Guadeloupe giving up an own-goal in the 70th minute. The USMNT plays Panama in the quarterfinals on May 12.
Also in the soccer news, Schalke announced that David Wagner will coach the club next season. Wagner was last with Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, joining the Bundesliga club on a three-year deal. The former USMNTer played for Schalke in the mid-90s.
“I know from personal experience just how strong Schalke 04 can be when the team, club, and the fans are all working together," Wagner said in a press statement. “Being able to immerse myself in this environment once more and being able to help turn the situation around were big factors in my decision to return to the Bundesliga."
Former USMNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel is no longer the coach of the New England Revolution. The Revs became the third MLS team to make a coaching change this season, parting ways with Friedel who joined the club in November, 2017. New England lost 5-0 at Chicago on Wednesday and are in last place in the Eastern Conference tied on points with FC Cincinnati who also made a coaching change. Former USMNT player Mike Lapper is the interim coach in New England.
ESPN's Tom Marshall reports on Mexico coach Tata Martino's issues putting together a Gold Cup squad. The Athletic's Andy Edwards talks to Benny Feilhaber about his return to Sporting KC. Goal's Jon Arnold talks to USMNT and Necaxa defender Ventura Alvarado.
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