The soccer news starts with the UEFA Nations League. The Netherlands knocked out England 3-1 in extra time. The Dutch advance to play Portugal in Sunday's final while England meets Switzerland in the 3rd-place game.
England took the lead through a Marcus Rashford penalty in the 32nd minute with Matthijs de Ligt equalizing in the 73rd. That 1-1 score held through regulation. A 97th minute own-goal put the Dutch up for good with Quincy Promes scoring in the 114th.
With UEFA's push for replacing friendlies with games that count, it's worth considering how much this game counted for England. A team that used last summer's World Cup to reestablish itself as a force and turned the Nations League into an opportunity now has a familiar set of questions.
"The next few days will be painful," England manager Gareth Southgate said. "Because to get this far and lose with so many supporters is disappointing but we have to dig in and we'll be stronger for the experience. When we look to next summer [EURO 2020] and the top teams we’ll have to beat, these are the games we have to go through and learn from. As a manager, you've got to lead the players through these periods, dust them down and make sure we give a good account of ourselves on Sunday."
What UEFA and the other confederations that follow their lead is doing is raising the stakes across the board for international soccer. Any critics who expected non representative lineups and general disinterest didn't find that in the first edition of the Nations League. At least in the top division, once teams decided there was something to play for, that's what they did. While England continued their revival, the Dutch put missing Euro 2016 and the World Cup firmly behind them by winning soccer games that counted.
That's the point of the Nations League as a concept, and something Concacaf will look to emulate this fall. Whether or not it works is the same scenario UEFA faced last fall. It's a risk, but the reward is opportunity to maintain momentum, turn things around, or get a harsh reminder of how much work needs doing.
Also in the soccer news, NYCFC beat FC Cincinnati 5-2 at Yankee Stadium. Alexandru Mitrita put New York up in the 11th minute with Heber doubling the lead in the 17th. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored for NYCFC in the 29th. An own-goal made it 3-1 in the 37th. Heber scored again in the 49th minute with another own-goal making it 4-2 in the 76th. Maxi Moralez finished off the scoring in the 90th minute.
The Guardian's Barney Ronay reports on the Netherlands win over England. AP on FIFA upholding the transfer ban UEFA imposed on Chelsea over youth transfers. Keir Radnedge with the latest on revamping the Champions League group stage from the European Club Association meetings in Malta.
ESPN's Jeff Carlisle looks at Gregg Berhalter's decision to leave Josh Sargent off of the Gold Cup roster. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta with the pressure on Berhalter navigating his first tournament as USMNT coach. SBI Soccer's Franco Panizo on Joe Gyau's club future.
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