Tuesday’s soccer news starts with midweek games on the schedule for Major League Soccer. While MLS normally prides itself in its unique brand of parity, what’s happening in the Western Conference is odd even by that standard. All of a sudden, the front runners are vulnerable. The table may look the same with Seattle in 1st-place and Sporting KC in 2nd, but both are now in reach.
Seattle has lost three out of their last four games, losing to Minnesota, Sporting KC, and San Jose. United ended Seattle’s undefeated run, but San Jose may be the biggest surprise. Home or away, a club like the Sounders in any situation shouldn’t be dropping points to the Earthquakes. Now, they face a tougher than expected situation at home to FC Dallas on Wednesday.
This version of the Sounders is stronger than they were, welcoming back Christian Roldan from international duty. It’s FC Dallas’s sudden form that’s now the issue. Dallas shutout the LA Galaxy 4-0 at home and then beat Sporting KC 2-1 on the road. While every game during the Gold Cup carried caveats, Dallas is a team turning things around. What that means against a struggling Seattle will resonate down the table.
Meanwhile, Sporting KC’s big win at Seattle crashed into FC Dallas at home. Sporting is now two points behind Seattle and two points ahead of the 3rd-place LA Galaxy. Colorado is a point behind in 4th, with the top of the table suddenly tight.
Sporting is at the other LA team, with LAFC spending most of this season trying to figure out how to live up to expectations. They’ve spent the last few days moving players and attempting a reset. A loss at Portland and home draws with Vancouver and Minnesota has LAFC in 5th-place, tied on points with 6th-place Minnesota.
That’s what makes the Wednesday schedule interesting. In a league that likes to point to any matchday as crucial, this one may turn out to fit that category. Seattle in need of points to hold onto 1st-place is as surprising as their dip in form. So are the LA teams potentially moving up the table. Having to account for teams most considered all but out of the running further complicates the conference. While MLS always has the potential for the fluke win, we’re seeing teams turning things around and causing problems for who we thought were the clear contenders in the West.
Moving to USMNT players in Europe, Romain Gall wasn’t in the squad for Orebro’s 2-1 win at Sirius in the Allsvenskan. David Seger scored for Orebro in the 45th minute with Sirius equalizing in the 66th. Nahir Besara scored Orebro’s winner in the 85th minute. Jonathan Amon wasn’t in the squad for Nordsjaelland’s 2-0 loss at Sonderjyske in the Superliga. Oliver Villadsen scored in the 45th with Simon Adringa doubling the lead in the 85th. Nordsjaelland’s Abu Francis saw red six minutes into stoppage time. Kenny Saief wasn’t in the squad for Lechia Gdansk’s 1-0 home win over Wisla Plock. An own goal made the difference in the 63rd minute.
The Ringer’s Leander Schaerlaeckens takes a broad look at the USMNT under Gregg Berhalter. Soccer America’s Andrea Canales on the Gold Cup final from a Mexico fan perspective. The LA Times’ Kevin Baxter reports that Landon Donovan is getting a statue at the LA Galaxy’s stadium.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney explains the situation with Harry Kane and Spurs. The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare and Sam Lee also look at what’s going between Kane and Spurs. FourFourTwo’s Richard Jolly reminds English soccer about the importance of fans. Football Italia explains what’s happening with Roma’s squad.
Dream big, they might just come true
— Miles Robinson (@_milesrobinson_) August 2, 2021
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