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World Champions are on a Roll

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For their first kick-off of a well-deserved tour, the World Cup Champions, USA, faced Ireland at Rose Bowl.

Counting as the first of five games, Pasadena saw a few reasons—live—how the world champions claimed their fame.

Although Ireland is preparing for the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro in September, it seems they’ll need a bit more training after losing 3-0.

The floodgate opened up from the 16th minute, with a header from Heath.

Throughout the game, Ireland did have their chances. After getting scored on three times in the first half, they switched to a solid defensive game, holding onto the score the entire second half.

Despite their hard-working efforts, Ireland still remains 0-13 in their record against the US.

Ireland interim manager Tom O'Connor expressed his feelings with Ireland’s team after the match:

"It's 3-0 and no one likes to lose, but I think you have to put it in context. We're playing against the world champions in their home match, on their victory tour. Overall, I'm very, very pleased with the performance and the way the girls played tonight.

Portugal is next in line for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions’ Victory Tour. The match will take place on Thursday, Aug. 29, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The MLS Heating Up in Miami

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The MLS Heating Up in Miami

 

It’s no secret that England superstar David Beckham has retired in a city where the weather reminds him nothing of home: Miami, Florida.

 

However, this retirement isn’t like most ex-pros, with their days in the sun, laying by the beach. Instead, Beckham has opted to create and run a brand new franchise that will help him keep his passion alive: Inter Miami CF.

 

Set to debut in the MLS season of 2020, Beckham’s got a lot of work ahead of him, with only a few months left to go.

 

With the clock ticking, Inter Miami have signed their first two players—two young talents from Argentina, Matias Pellegrini, (former club Estudiantes) and Julian Carranza, (former club Banfield), both 19 and ready for the city where the heat is on.

 

The new team in South Florida promised through their sporting director Paul McDonough that they would have eight players on the roster by September, their self-made timeline is closing in.  Recruiting throughout Central and Latin America seems to be the hotspot—quite literally—since the appeal of Florida’s dual-speaking city is going to play host for the new season.

 

As for where the players will be debuting under the stadium lights? The club is vying for Miami Freedom Park—with a deadline approval looming around September 15th.

 

A Controversial Tech Update: A Closer Look At the VAR Process

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From Women’s World Cup games to more recent men and women’s league matches, you’ve probably witnessed a game-deciding call being made on the VAR process.

Although still relatively new, the help of a VAR not only can make the call of a penalty for a goal-scoring opportunity, but it can be the change that some fans or players are not yet ready for.

 

Criticized for turning the beautiful game into a highly-regulated match of American football, the VAR process has made its way to the US—and we’ve got the scoop of how the referee review cycle works in the MLS.

 

From large monitors displayed with fourteen different angles, the game can be regulated much clearer and “more correct.”

With the possibility to enlarge images to peek into what’s really going on in a tackle or on an offsides call, the VAR process gives an opportunity to check a call or a play. This new world of VAR gives questionable calls more backup references and gives on-the-field referees the luxury of a whole team behind them—as well as giving them a closer view than even those watching back home.

MLS has taken its role seriously as one of the leaders when it comes to introducing innovation. From running experiments in three different venues across the country, MLS actually was the first league in the world to put VAR in every game in late 2017.

Although labeled still as a work in progress, it has been seen to slowly being implemented all over the world.

RUSSIA’S KRASNODAR RECEIVES FINE BECAUSE OF MUSAYEV

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The European soccer governing body fined the Russian club FC Krasnodar 50,000 euros concerning the status of the club’s head coach, Murad Musayev, who worked over the last year without the right license.

Success to Downfall?

Staying out of the spotlight might have been a better idea—but Musayev decided to try and hide in plain sight—leading the team to Champions League for the first time.

Musayev was ordered by UEFA to stay away from coaching positions at any UEFA sponsored matches or competitions.

The Details of the Suspension

Musayev must now wait an entire calendar year before he takes the UEFA Pro license course, making him then eligible to coach (for real, this time).

UEFA said the fine imposed to FC Krasnodar was due to violation of the general codes of conduct. UEFA also banned him from his trench.

In April 2018, Musayev took over as head coach, however, going about it without his UEFA Pro license meant that on paper, he was only the senior coach with other staff, regardless of being widely found and assumed to be the one in charge in the course of games.

During the last season, Krasnodar came third and it started its Champions League campaign in August during the Third qualifying round in the Russian League. Murad Musayev team qualified to Europa League round of 16 knocking out Bayer Leverkusen, losing to Valencia over a 3-2 final score.

 

Senegal and Algeria push Through to African Cup Final 2019

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Senegal and Algeria push Through to African Cup Final 2019

Through Riyad Mahrez‘s free-kick score during the injury time, Algeria clinch their win against Nigeria and qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations finals against Senegal.

Last-minute Goal To Clinch the Win

Although Algeria led with an own goal by William Troost-Ekong it was equalized shortly by a penalty won by Nigeria in regular time.

However, Riyad Mahrez goal at the very end—a true nail-biter—helped Algeria reach its first final since 1990.

Senegal’s Journey

In the 100th minute, Senegal won with an own goal when the free-kick by Tunisia’s goalkeeper bounced back into Tunisian goal, heading to the final with a 1-0 win.

Both teams—within a few minutes from one another—missed penalties in regulation time.

From Tunisia’s missed PK by Sassi and save by Senegal’s Alfred Gomis to Senegal’s Henri Savet’s penalty being denied by Hassen, it was an exciting match to watch!

Senegal has reached just one African Cup final in 2002, however, Senegal will pursue its first African Cup title, playing Algeria on Friday.

US Soccer Stars Return to Their Day Jobs After World Cup Success

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As celebrations from yet another success of the US Women’s Soccer team draw to a close, thoughts now turn to taking that momentum and continuing the growth and development of the women’s game in the US.

 

Taking Success Back Home

While there was an evident wave of momentum of their success in the 2015 World Cup, which saw large increases in average attendances, last season there was a noticeable dip.

 

For example, in the stadiums of Reign FC, the team of US Captain and starlet Megan Rapinoe, an average crowd of fewer than 4000 spectators per game were attracted—which pales in comparison to the average attendance of the last World Cup.

 

There is a feeling that to attract crowds, the general public needs a constant reminder of the quality of the women’s game, with the World Cup having been the ideal opportunity to showcase the best talent.

 

However, the challenge is about sustaining the momentum across the world: the better the standard and interest of a national league, the better the national side becomes.

 

Key to Boosting Standards and Interest is in Finance

Leading European nations such as Germany, England, France, and Sweden have been the best at securing corporate sponsors in recent years and return some of the leading women’s teams.

 

A great example of recent development is the Italian Women's League and the national team.

 

Since the 2015 World Cup, significant investments in the league and in teams such as Juventus, have seen a marked improvement in the quality of the women's game in the country, which can be seen in their World Cup run this year.

 

The European leagues seem to have leapfrogged the US in attracting major corporate sponsors in the last few years, but with the signature of Budweiser as the NWSL's core beer sponsor and a broadcast deal, there is optimism that the NWSL can have a better chance of sustaining the momentum from the success of the national side—while also increasing the prestige of winning the NWSL championship.

 

So, what’s waiting back home for the World Cup Stars? Yet another battle to fight.

The Ultimate Soccer Checklist: Are You Ready To Play Soccer?

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The Ultimate Soccer Checklist: Are You Ready To Play Soccer?

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