Monday’s soccer news starts with Christian Pulisic setting a new high mark for USMNT players to follow. Pulisic subbed on in the 66th minute and had one of the better chances in Chelsea’s 1-0 shutout of Manchester City to win the 2020-21 Champions League title. Kai Havetz scored the game’s only goal in the 42nd minute. Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made one save to keep the clean sheet. Pulisic came close to doubling the lead in the 73rd minute but couldn’t keep his chip inside the far post. Zack Steffen was on the bench for Manchester City.
“We needed a top-level performance and we needed a strong bond just to have a chance to win this match,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. “This is what we did and I am very happy to share this moment with this team and with all the staff, with all the guys who support on an everyday basis at Cobham. The team fights for them. The effort was huge. We overcome some difficult moments and some very dangerous moments with fantastic attitude to defending.”
Erik Palmer-Brown’s Austria Vienna won 2-1 at Wolfsburg to take their Europa Conference League playoff final series 5-1 on aggregate. Marco Djuricin put Austria Vienna up from the penalty spot in the 24th with Wolfsberg scoring a minute later. Up a man from the 35th, Christoph Monschein scored for Austria Vienna in the 68th minute. Palmer-Brown spent the season on loan from Manchester City.
Moving to Major League Soccer, who levied sanctions against Inter Miami that also impacted Atlanta United. MLS found that Inter Miami misclassified Blaise Matuidi and Andres Reyes who should have joined the league as designated players. Inter also didn’t report the full compensation for Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Nicolas Figal, and Julian Carranza. That is costing the club $2m in a fine and a separate a further $250k fine to investor/operator Jorge Mas. It also means losting the very precise amount of $2,271,250 in allocation dollars in 2022 and 2023.
Paul McDonough was Inter Miami’s sporting director when the violations occured. He had since moved to Atlanta United. The league suspended him the rest of this season and all of 2022, leading to his resignation as Atlanta’s VP of soccer operations.
“The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct, and it is a fundamental principle of our league that our clubs are responsible for adhering to all league regulations,” MLS Commissioner Don Garbersaid. “Our rules will not be compromised. These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami’s violations, should encourage complete cooperation by all parties in future investigations, and will serve as a deterrent for clubs from violating roster rules.”
Inter Miami’s Mas released his own statement acknowledging “that the Club violated Major League Soccer’s roster rules in our first season.” He pointed to the restructuring the club did for their second season as evidence of building “a sustainable, long-term competition strategy.”
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney takes issue with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s tactics. The NY Times’ Rory Smith on what worked for Chelsea. The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson uses coaching changes in Europe to make a bigger point. Marca’s Billy Munday looks at Zinedine Zidane’s multiple exits from Real Madrid.
MLSsoccer’s Matthew Doyle with what we learned from the USMNT at Switzerland. Yahoo Sports Andy Edwards also has a list from Sunday’s friendly. SI’s Brian Straus with what that could mean for the USMNT this week in the Nations League.
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Photo by David Klein – CSM via ZUMA Wire – ISIPhotos.com