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From worst to (almost) first and (almost) back in Kansas City – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo Copyright Jay Biggerstaff for USA TODAY Sports

The meme of the weekend in another chaotic round of National Women’s Soccer League fixtures was Kansas City Current midfielder Debinha shouting, “f*ck off” at the referee in second-half stoppage time.

Such is life in Kansas City right now.

The Kansas City Current, who made it to the NWSL Championship last year after finishing in last place the prior season, are back near the basement of the NWSL over one-third of the way through the 2023 season. Only the hapless Chicago Red Stars have fewer points (4, to Kansas City’s 6) and have conceded more goals this regular season.

Last week, Kansas City lost to Racing Louisville FC twice in 72 hours, once in the Challenge Cup and once in regular-season play. The Current have lost four straight games in all competitions. All this for the team that made the splashiest offseason acquisition in the league and won a global bidding war to land midfielder Debinha, then reinforced that with several important midfield signings via the league’s first free-agency window.

Salvaging this season will require a stark turnaround.

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Moultrie leads USWNT with a brace, Argentina tie Mexico – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo Copyright Kiyoshi Mio for USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup solidly underway, the United States women’s national team has already taken center stage. Despite losing forward Mia Fishel to an ACL tear the day before matches began, the USWNT would go on to defeat the Dominican Republic, 5–0.

United States 5, Dominican Republic 0

The U.S. women’s national team got off to a quick start thanks to 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who scored in the eighth minute off an assist from Sophia Smith. It was Moultrie’s first start and first goal for the U.S. In the 30th minute, Midge Purce found Lynn Williams in the box to double the lead.

Purce connected with Moultrie in the 58th and the U.S. added a pair of penalty kicks in the final minutes of the game to extend the lead to 5-0. Jenna Nighswonder scored her first goal and Alex Morgan, who was called up after Fishel’s injury, scored her 122nd career goal. The U.S. dominated offensively with 31 shots and 10 on goal while holding the Dominican Republic to just one shot in the match.

Argentina 0, Mexico 0

An early foul and a missed penalty kick within the opening 10 minutes would come to define the rest of the match, as both teams struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Mexico finished with 16 shot attempts to Argentina’s 3, the former going on the offensive as the second half began.

Despite their efforts, however, a combination of shots off-goal and clean saves by Argentina’s goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros maintained the scoreless draw until the end. The two teams will play again on Friday, with Argentina will taking on the United States, and Mexico facing the Dominican Republic.





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Moultrie leads USWNT with a brace, Argentina tie Mexico – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo Copyright Kiyoshi Mio for USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup solidly underway, the United States women’s national team has already taken center stage. Despite losing forward Mia Fishel to an ACL tear the day before matches began, the USWNT would go on to defeat the Dominican Republic, 5–0.

United States 5, Dominican Republic 0

The U.S. women’s national team got off to a quick start thanks to 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who scored in the eighth minute off an assist from Sophia Smith. It was Moultrie’s first start and first goal for the U.S. In the 30th minute, Midge Purce found Lynn Williams in the box to double the lead.

Purce connected with Moultrie in the 58th and the U.S. added a pair of penalty kicks in the final minutes of the game to extend the lead to 5-0. Jenna Nighswonder scored her first goal and Alex Morgan, who was called up after Fishel’s injury, scored her 122nd career goal. The U.S. dominated offensively with 31 shots and 10 on goal while holding the Dominican Republic to just one shot in the match.

Argentina 0, Mexico 0

An early foul and a missed penalty kick within the opening 10 minutes would come to define the rest of the match, as both teams struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Mexico finished with 16 shot attempts to Argentina’s 3, the former going on the offensive as the second half began.

Despite their efforts, however, a combination of shots off-goal and clean saves by Argentina’s goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros maintained the scoreless draw until the end. The two teams will play again on Friday, with Argentina will taking on the United States, and Mexico facing the Dominican Republic.





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FC Cincinnati, Columbus Crew — American Soccer Analysis

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Barreal was widely expected to depart during the January transfer window. And when he was still nominally a member of the Orange and Blue in February, it was a short-term solution, until summer, at best. So Barreal’s departure on the eve of the season hurts but Chris Albright looks close to finalizing Barreal’s successor at left wingback in the acquisition of Luca Orellano on an initial loan with an option to buy from Vasco da Gama.  

Like Barreal, Orellano previously played at Vélez Sarsfield as a winger and has little to no experience as a wingback. Given the offensive freedom Barreal enjoyed, the transition shouldn’t be too much, especially with the security blanket provided by FCC’s three centerback system plus Obi Nwobodo’s ball-winning prowess in midfield. MLS watchers will know the winger-to-wingback transition more from SuperDraft picks, not potential multi-million dollar transfers. But Albright’s confidence that Orellano can slot into Barreal’s role will be a must-watch storyline in 2024. 

Centerbacks Anchoring Everything

The fact that we’ve gotten this far into the preview without mentioning the biggest free agent signing isn’t too surprising given the fireworks that the Orange and Blue could provide going forward. But the addition of Miles Robinson will provide additional quality to FCC’s three centerback setup. Robinson replaces loanee Yerson Mosquera but should offer a bit more quality on the ball, potentially helping FCC build out of the back. Robinson, playing alongside Matt Miazga and Ian Murphy, should provide one of best centerback groups in the league. 

Expect to see FCC press aggressively and rely on its centerbacks to snuff out danger high up the field. The Orange and Blue will certainly concede chances when opponents are able to navigate through pressure but FCC should find enough transition opportunities to score a lot of goals, too. FC Cincinnati games should be high on neutral’s League Pass rankings given the defense of the Shield but the soccer should feature lots of scoring. And that should make for an entertaining season.

By Eliot McKinley

2023 was supposed to be a transitional year for the Crew with Wilfried Nancy implementing a new system with largely the same players as the year before and a playoff berth was the mark of a successful season. However, it turned out that impossible is an opinion and the Crew went out and won the whole thing. The Crew started the year with injuries across the backline and found themselves 10th in the East at the end of May. After a midseason re-tooling which included the departure of Lucas Zelarayan and Milos Degenek and the arrival of Julian Gressel, Diego Rossi, Rudy Camacho, and Malte Amundsen, the Crew turned things around and had the second best record in the league after June 1 on their way to the Cup. 

Offseason Changes

As you might expect following a championship season, the Crew didn’t change too much from the 2023 squad. Columbus are returning 86% of minutes, 85% of their g+ contributions, and all eleven starters from MLS Cup. The only key departure was Julian Gressel to Miami as a free agent. The biggest incoming transfer is U-22 Initiative Marino Hinestroza from Pachuca who projects as a dribbly boi wingback/winger. The Crew added depth at midfield by signing free agent Derrick Jones, with the hope that Nancy can develop his obvious but so far largely untapped talent.  To cushion the blow of Patrick Schulte’s likely absence for Olympic duty, the Crew signed Guatemalan international goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen. But the most exciting long term signing may be homegrown Taha Habroune. The 18 year old midfielder starred for the United States at the U-17 World Cup and projects to be the next Crew center midfielder to transition from the academy to the first team following in the footsteps of Wil Trapp and Aidan Morris. While he hasn’t played a lot yet, his performance for the Crew 2 Capybaras is very promising and has already gotten a taste of MLS Cup glory.





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