Friday’s soccer news starts with Major League Soccer’s participants taking full advantage in the opening round of the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. Columbus became the fourth MLS team to advance to the quarterfinals, shutting out Real Esteli 1-0 at home on the night to take the series 5-0 on aggregate. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the 86th minute with Eloy Room making two saves to keep the clean sheet.
2021 Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 (all times Eastern)
8pm Atlanta United FC (USA) vs Philadelphia Union (USA)
10pm Toronto FC (CAN) vs Cruz Azul (MEX)
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
8:30pm Columbus Crew SC (USA) vs CF Monterrey (MEX)
10:30pm Portland Timbers (USA) vs Club America (MEX)
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
8pm Philadelphia Union (USA) vs Atlanta United FC (USA)
10:15pm Cruz Azul (MEX) vs Toronto FC (CAN)
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
8pm CF Monterrey (MEX) vs Columbus Crew SC (USA)
10:15pm Club America (MEX) vs Portland Timbers (USA)
Bryan Reynolds wasn’t in the squad for Roma’s 1-1 home draw with Ajax to advance 3-2 on aggregate to the Europa League semifinals. Trailing on the night from the 49th minute, Edin Dzeko equalized in the 72nd. Roma advances to play Manchester United. That series begins at Old Trafford on April 29.
Matthew Olosunde subbed out in the 60th minute of Rotherham United’s 1-0 home loss to Coventry City in the Championship. The goal came in the 70th minute. Rotherham is 22nd in the table with 39 points from 39 games, two games less than any of the teams around them.
“I’m not going to sugar-coat it, I thought we were poor,” Rotheram United manager Paul Warne said. “We lost a lot of battles. I think we were beaten up and that’s not being disrespectful to Coventry. They caused us all sorts of problems. If it wasn’t for my goalkeeper, we could have been two or three down at half time. We might have defended a little bit better in the second half but we didn’t have the cutting edge going forward. We just didn’t create enough goal-scoring opportunities to get anything from the game.
Also in the soccer news, Concacaf announced that Denver’s Empower Field is the site for the Nations League semifinals on June 3 and 3rd-place game and final on June 6. “The Concacaf Nations League includes all 41 of our Member Associations, making it a true celebration of our football, our region and our unity as One Concacaf,” Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said in a press statement. “The 2019 group stage was a huge success in delivering more competitive football for all men’s national teams across Concacaf.”
NISA is adding Bay Cities FC as an expansion team in 2022 based in Redwood, California. “We are excited to bring a new professional team to downtown Redwood City and the soccer-crazed San Francisco Peninsula,” Bay Cities president Anders Perez said. “Our goal is to deliver an exciting soccer experience to our new fanbase while building a grassroots organization that affects positive change for our youth and greater community.”
The Athletic’s 2021 MLS season preview. The NY Times’ Victor Mather also previews the Major League Soccer season. USA Today’s Jim Reineking highlights the newest team in MLS. Pro Soccer Talk’s Andy Edwards lists the MLS players likely to make a European move. AP reports on Hertha BSC going into quarantine and the impact that will have on the Bundesliga schedule.
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Logo courtesy of the Columbus Crew