Thursday’s soccer news starts with the draw for the 2021 Concacaf Champions League, specifically the MLS match-ups. All four USA spots and Canada’s place in the tournament were in pot 1 with three Liga MX clubs. Only one club from the North American zone was in pot 2. Canada’s participant was the unlucky winner in the draw, with either Toronto or Forge FC playing Leon in the round of 16 that begins on April 6. The Canadian Championship final isn’t officially on the schedule, though obviously there’s the constraint of having it happen prior to the start of the Champions League.
As for Major League Soccer, Columbus drew Nicaragua’s Real Esteli Philadelphia plays Costa Rica’s Saprissa, Atlanta got Costa Rica’s Alajuelense, and Portland plays Honduran club Marathon. As we already know, there’s no taking any game involving an MLS team as a given. Enough teams have crashed out at the earliest opportunity over the years to suggest a trend. Add to that Concacaf attempting to play home and away during a pandemic.
In another twist to the schedule, MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that the 2021 season will now begin on April 17. MLS is reportedly negotiating with the MLSPA about when camps will open. In a normal year, teams in the Concacaf Champions League get a longer preseason. The second-legs of the round of 16 are on the schedule for April 13-15 with all four of the MLS teams on the road.
Moving to the soccer scores, Andrew Wooten scored twice in Admira Wacker’s 3-1 home win over Altach in the Austrian Bundesliga. Wooten opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with David Atanga doubling the lead in the 67th. Altach pulled a goal back in the 76th, going a man down in the 81st. Wooten scored again a minute into stoppage time.
Brenden Aaronson scored in Red Bull Salzburg’s 3-1 home win over Erik Palmer-Brown’s Austria Vienna. Trailing from a 59th minute Gerog Teigl goal, Sehou Kata equalized for Salzburg in the 65th. Aaronson scored in the 72nd with Lika Sucic adding a goal three minutes into stoppage time. Aaronson subbed out in the 84th minute.
“It was fantastic to be there for the team,” Aaronson said “Austria really tested us, and it was therefore a really important win. Our mentality was the key to our success today. The confidence we gained in recent weeks carried us through when we went behind.”
Jordan Morris subbed out and Paul Arriola subbed on in the 65th minute of Swansea City’s 3-1 home loss to Zack Steffen’s Manchester City in the FA Cup. Kyle Walker scored for City in the 30th minute with Raheem Sterling doubling the lead in the 47th. Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 in the 50th. Swansea’s Morgan Whittaker pulled a goal back in the 77th minute.
Tim Weah subbed out in the 83rd minute of Lille’s 1-0 win at Dijon in the Coupe de France round of 64. Aguibou Camera scored in the 16th minute. Nicholas Gioacchino subbed out in the 61st minute of Caen’s 1-0 home loss to PSG to a 49th minute goal.
DeAndre Yedlin’s Galatasaray lost 3-2 at home to Alanyaspor in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals. Alanyaspor went ahead 3-0 from goals in the 30th, 41st, and converting a 48th minute penalty. Mostafa Mohamed scored for Galatasaray in the 83rd with Gedson Fernandes cutting the lead to one in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Haji Wright subbed out in the 81st minute of Sonderjyske’s 2-1 win at Fremad Amager in the Danish Cup. Bard Finne scored for Sonderjyske in the 37th with Fremad Amager equalizing in the 65th. Victor Sylvestre Mpindi Ekani put Sonderjyske up for good in the 84th minute. Mark McKenzie’s Genk shutout St Truiden 1-0 in the Belgian Cup round of 16. Paul Onuachu scored in the 87th minute.
Sergino Dest picked up a minor injury before the game and Konrad De La Fuente was on the bench for Barcelona’s 2-0 loss at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semifinals. The goals came in the 25th and 85th minutes.
SI’s Brian Straus with takeaways from MLS commissioner Don Garber’s media call. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff profiles Schalke player Matthew Hoppe. ESPN’s Derek Rae on the emergence of RB Leipzig as a Bundesliga contender.
All links are provided as a courtesy. US Soccer Players nor its authors are responsible for the content of third-party links or sites. For comments, questions, and concerns please contact us at email@example.com
Graphic courtesy of Concacaf