Thursday’s soccer news starts with Manchester City exiting the 2021-22 Champions League at the semifinal stage. Zack Steffen was on the bench for City’s 3-1 loss at Real Madrid after extra time, losing 6-5 on aggregate. Up 4-3 from the first-leg, City’s Riyad Mahrez extended the lead in the 73rd minute. Real Madrid responded with goals from Rorygo in the 90th and a minute into stoppage time. With the game in extra time, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema converted a 95th minute penalty. Real Madrid advances to play Liverpool in the final at the Stade de France on May 28.
“Before the first goal (for Madrid) we had two chances, especially one so clear with Jack (Grealish),” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. “In that moment we didn’t have the feeling we were in trouble for the way they attack. It didn’t happen. They score a goal at the end. They have done it many times in their history. They put a lot of players in the box. Four strikers plus Militao and they find the goals.”
The Seattle Sounders broke Liga MX’s winning streak in the Concacaf Champions League final with a 3-0 home win over UNAM Pumas to take the series 5-2 on aggregate. After needing to make two injury substitutions in the first-half, Raul Ruidiaz put Seattle up in the 45th. He doubled the lead in the 80th minute with Nicolas Lodeiro scoring in the 88th. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei made one save to keep the clean sheet.
In league play, FC Cincinnati shutout Toronto 2-0 at home. Cincinnati took the lead from a Calvin Harris goal in the 2nd, playing a man up from the 6th when Toronto’s Ralph Priso-Mbongue saw red. Luciano Acosta converted a 57th minute Cincinnati penalty.
“I thought the start to the game was very promising getting the goal early,” Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan said. “You go up a man a few minutes later, and I think the remainder of the half was subpar. I think we stopped playing, we stopped pressing. The remainder of the half was just average in terms of us being confident in playing and moving off the ball and still putting them under pressure. I was pleased with the second-half in finding the second goal despite it coming from a PK. We could have done a better job certainly to score a few more goals, but I was pleased with how we settled into that second-half in ways where we played with some more confidence with the ball on the ground.”
The Chicago Fire announced the signing of USMNT player Chirs Mueller on a free transfer from Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership. Mueller left Orlando City for Hibs in January, with City still holding his MLS rights. That meant Chicago putting together a deal with Orlando for $500k in general allocation money and a draft pick to sign Mueller.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Chris back to his hometown,” Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a press statement. “Chris is a player who we are very familiar with and his addition, along with the recent arrival of Jairo Torres, will immediately provide more quality and attacking options to the squad.”
The Guardian’s Sid Lowe on Manchester City’s loss at Real Madrid. SI’s Brian Straus with Seattle finally becoming the MLS team to win the Champions League. MLSsoccer’s Jonathan Sigal looks forward to an MLS team at the Club World Cup. ESPN’s James Olley explains Chelsea’s situation movign forward.
FRIDAY’S SOCCER TV
Super Lig on beIN Sport: Gaziantepspor vs Kayserispor at 1pm. Ligue 1 on beIn Sport: Lille vs Monaco at 3pm. Primeira Liga on GolTV: Boavista vs Vitoria Guimaraes at 3:15pm ET.
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