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How do Europe’s top teams look halfway through the UWCL group stage? – Equalizer Soccer

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UEFA Women’s Champions League nights are special. Top European teams face each other in epic battles for supremacy. This season’s edition is arguably going to be one of the best given the high level obtained by many of the teams. 

We’ve already seen Lyon vs. Arsenal, Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain, and Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich in the group stage — games that have attracted crowds and include the creme de la creme of English, Spanish, German, and French women’s football going head-to-head.

Matchday three of the UEFA Women’s Champions League has come and gone with the groups now taking shape in terms of qualification for the knockout stage. Although there are three more games to play, the implications on qualification for most teams are already on the line.

Each team’s win or loss has its own consequences but what does it mean for the top teams going forward, and how have they fared so far? Let’s take a look.

Paris Saint-Germain (Group A)

Paris Saint-Germain is in a precarious situation within their group. They’re level on points with Real Madrid (4) with a record of 1-1-1. It makes their clash with Real Madrid on matchday five all the more important. 

We can expect Real and PSG to beat Vllaznia so their head-to-head matchup makes this a winner-take-all scenario (also considering Chelsea beat Real Madrid on matchday four and PSG on matchday six). Without their star striker, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, they’ve fared okay experimenting with Jackie Groenen and Kadidiatou Diani as center forwards, however, they’ll need more reliable firepower if they want to progress confidently.

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First, a scarf. Then? A league rebrand. Meet the NWSL’s first creative director – Equalizer Soccer

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© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — If you’re a sports fan of any kind, there is no doubt you have seen Maureen Madison Raisch’s work. 

The National Women’s Soccer League’s new creative director has been the driving force behind such artwork as the 2006 World Series logo and the special, one-off crests worn by the NHL teams participating in the Winter Classic. A year ago, Raisch’s work was part of the centerpiece of the sports world. The team she led at the NFL designed the artwork for Super Bowl LVI.

So, why did Raisch, who was not yet 25 when she designed her first World Series logo, make the jump from the NFL to the still fledgling NWSL?

“This is going to sound cliché, but making a substantial impact,” Raisch told The Equalizer in an interview at the Notary Hotel ahead of the league’s draft earlier this month. “It’s a smaller thing that’s being built from the ground up. As everyone keeps talking [about] it’s ready to take off. And I think the prize is sweeter for me. I’ve been able to contribute to really big, cool events, which are incredible and have [a] massive presence in sports culture. But this is just personally special to me.”

Maureen Raisch (Photo provided)

A longtime fan of the beautiful game, Raisch attended the 2022 NWSL Championship in Washington D.C. as a prospective employee. Two months later, she joined the ever-expanding league office. 

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Gotham FC and Kelley O’Hara finalize two-year deal – Equalizer Soccer

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It’s official: Kelley O’Hara has returned to NJ/NY. On Tuesday, Gotham FC announced that the two-time FIFA World Cup champion signed a two-year contract with the club through the 2024 season of the National Women’s Soccer League. 

“I’m beyond excited to enter the next chapter of my playing career with Gotham FC,” O’Hara said. “The team culture, the city, the people — there’s so much to look forward to with a team like this. I can’t wait to get started. I’m so excited to be back in NYC/NJ!”

O’Hara previously played for the club then known as Sky Blue FC from 2013 to 2017. During that time, the defender scored 15 goals in 75 matches.

The contract details come after the free agent previously announced her intent to join Gotham FC at a Men in Blazers event in New York City on Nov. 15, 2022. Six days later, the NWSL issued Gotham a fine for an undisclosed amount for “announcing the signing of a player prior to the full execution of the player’s agreement, violating section 3.3.1.1 of the League Communications Manual, and for ignoring a league directive regarding the announcement.”

O’Hara has had a prolific career spanning 13 seasons across league and international play. In addition to winning an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and bronze in 2021. In 2019, she was named to the FIFPro World Best XI, and in her 156 appearances with the U.S. women’s national team, O’Hara has scored three goals and provided 21 assists.

In the NWSL, O’Hara won the 2021 Championship with the Washington Spirit scoring the game-winning goal in the 97th minute to defeat the Chicago Red Stars. Prior to the Spirit, O’Hara played for the Utah Royals.

The finalization of O’Hara’s contract details is just one more feather in the cap of Gotham’s busy off-season which included the acquisition of U.S. star Lynn Williams during the NWSL Draft.

“Kelley is a world-class player and champion with an unmatched competitive spirit who will help drive our culture forward,” Yael Averbuch West, the General Manager and Head of Soccer Operations of Gotham FC, said. “Welcoming a player of Kelley’s caliber and stature via free agency makes this a very exciting day for Gotham FC and our fans.”


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Burkenroad jumps in Golden Boot race – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo: C.F. Monterrey.

Christina Burkenroad and Mia Fishel were in a back-and-forth race last season, vying for the Golden Boot trophy in Liga MX Femenil. This season, Burkenroad has started off slow, but earned a major boost with a hat-trick on against Mazatlán.

C.F. Monterrey blew the doors off Mazatlán, 9-0, on Monday night.

One goal was scored in the first half from Karol Bernal in the 30th minute. The other eight goals were scored in the second half. Fatima Servin, Daniela Solís (x2) and Mónica Flores also tallied goals for Rayadas. Melissa Sosa scored an own goal for Mazatlán, too.

Burkenroad’s first goal came in the 63rd minute. Her initial shot was deflected by Mazatlán goalkeeper Jennifer Amaro and then Burkenroad picked up her own rebound, with no pressure on her in the box, and fired the into the goal. On her second tally, Burkenroad, four minutes later, took a low shot toward the right side of the goal. Burkenroad was wide open in the box on her third and final goal, with Flores spotting her and feeding her the ball.

Alicia Cervantes of Chivas de Guadalajara leads the pack with six goals, while Kiana Palacios of Club América and Charlyn Corral of Pachuca sit behind with five goals. Burkenroad and Uchenna Kanu of Tigres are tied with four goals apiece.

Monterrey, with their whopping nine goals against a struggling Mazatlán side, have jumped up to first place, thanks to a hefty advantage on goal differential.

See what else happened in Liga MX Femenil.

Highlight: Club América 5, Club Tijuana 0

Kiana Palacios scored two goals to help lift Club América over Club Tijuana. The two sides have met up previously, and met up during last year’s Apertura Liguilla in the first round. Club América earned the edge, narrowly, by one goal. This time, the result was much more lopsided.

Scarlett Camberos didn’t waste any time, intercepting the ball in the Tijuana half and scoring past goalkeeper Alejandra Gutiérrez. Adyson Willett, much to the dismay of Tijuana fans, added an own goal to put Tijuana down by two. Aurelie Kaci, a French international in her first full season with Club América, scored in first-half stoppage time, scoring a chip from outside the penalty area over Gutiérrez.

Palacios scored both of her goals in the second half, with the first on a wide open cross. The play was a beautiful build up on a counter attack. See the clip below on the passing out wide, followed by a calm finish by Palacios. Her second goal, in the 64th minute, was scored from almost the same spot.

Club América will go on to face Necaxa on Jan. 30, facing a team that hasn’t won a match in the first three competitions. Meanwhile, Tijuana will try to shrug off their brutal loss and will face 17th-place Puebla on Jan. 29.

Highlight: FC Juárez 2, Pachuca 0

FC Juárez is the real deal. Through the team’s first three matches, Juárez has not just won matches, but has won them convincingly. Against a top-team like Pachuca, FC Juárez picked up another three valuable points — against a team that just put up 10 goals against Toluca in Week 2.

In the 34th minute, Jasmine Casarez chipped Pachuca goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras on a header at a difficult angle. On the second goal, Miah Zuazua, sandwiched in between two defenders, scored on a header inside the box. Both goals were scored in the first half, and Juárez was able to stave off any Pachuca advances to keep a clean sheet.

FC Juárez looks out of place on the table after the last few seasons way below the line. This year, Juárez is on the upswing. Can they keep up their momentum? Their biggest test of the season will come against Chivas de Guadalajara on Jan. 30.

Meanwhile, Pachuca is having a rollercoaster season already. Tuzos will face UNAM Pumas on Jan. 28.

Other Clausura Week 3 Scores

  • Atlas 4-1 Necaxa
  • Cruz Azul 3-0 Atlético San Luis
  • Toluca 0-1 Querétaro
  • Club León 0-3 UNAM Pumas
  • Santos Laguna 1-2 Chivas de Guadalajara
  • Puebla 0-2 UANL Tigres

Mexican WNT to feature in The Revelations Cup

The Mexican women’s national team may not be going to Australia and New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Mexico is still getting quality matches. Announced on Wednesday, Mexico will join Colombia, Costa Rica and Nigeria — with the three sides all qualifying for this summer’s tournament — for The Revelations Cup. The tournament will be held in León, Mexico, from February 15-21.

Mexico will face off first with Nigeria on Feb. 15, followed by matches against Costa Rica on Feb. 18 and Colombia on Feb. 21.

Liga MX Femenil Clausura 2023 Table | Week 3

NOTE: The top eight teams in Liga MX Femenil will qualify for the Liguilla, which are the playoffs.

Team W D L GA GD PTS
C.F. Monterrey 3 0 0 1 12 9
Tigres 3 0 0 1 10 9
FC Juárez 3 0 0 0 10 9
Chivas de Guadalajara 3 0 0 3 8 9
Club América 2 1 0 1 12 7
Pachuca 2 0 1 4 7 6
Atlas 2 0 1 7 -1 6
Cruz Azul 1 2 0 2 3 5
Club Tijuana 1 1 1 6 -4 4
Santos Laguna 1 0 2 4 0 3
Querétaro 1 0 2 2 -1 3
UNAM Pumas 1 0 2 8 -3 3
Atlético San Luis 1 0 2 6 -3 3
Club León 1 0 2 6 -3 3
Necaxa 0 0 3 10 -8 0
Toluca 0 0 3 12 -10 0
Puebla 0 0 3 11 -11 0
Mazatlán 0 0 3 18 -18 0

Looking Ahead: Clausura 2023 | Week 4

*All Times in Eastern Time. All matches on ViX streaming for free.

Friday, Jan. 27: Querétaro vs. Santos Laguna at 8:05 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 28: UNAM Pumas vs. Pachuca at 1 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 28: Club León vs. C.F. Monterrey at 6:05 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 29: Atlético San Luis vs. Atlas at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 29: Club Tijuana vs. Puebla at 10:10 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 30: Necaxa vs. Club América at 6 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 30: UANL Tigres vs. Toluca at 8 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 30: Mazatlán vs. Cruz Azul at 10 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 30: Chivas de Guadalajara vs. FC Juárez at 10:05 p.m.







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