Talk

Fuel Soccer Talk: Can England make history?; U.S. players to watch – Alyssa Naeher; Presidents Cup video

Heading into the weekend – Don’t forget Premiere League on Sunday (Let’s Go City!!!)

Fab Four – England kicking on the door of history!

Two great comebacks has England on the brink of history. England could become the first country EVER to have all four European finalists. Tottenham and Liverpool staged incredible comebacks this week to reach the final of the Champions League. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Arsenal are both on track to reach the Europa League final.

Liverpool secured their place in the Champions League final with an incredible comeback against Barcelona, and the Reds will take on Tottenham, who progressed past Ajax in remarkable fashion.

In the Europa League semifinals, Chelsea hosts Eintracht Frankfurt, with the sides level at 1-1 from the first leg, while Arsenal take a 3-1 lead to Valencia.

There have been several occasions when three of the four finalists in the two main European competitions have been from the same country. In 1980, German sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach faced each other in the UEFA Cup final, while Hamburg took on Nottingham Forest in the European Cup final. In 1990, Juventus faced Fiorentina in an all-Italian UEFA Cup final, with AC Milan reaching the Champions League final. Eight years later Juventus were in the Champions League final, with two other Serie A sides, Inter Milan and Lazio, competing in the UEFA Cup final.

Can Chelsea hold up its end of the bargain – yeah, I have my doubts, too!

U.S. Women’s World Cup – players to watch wearing the red, white and blue

Alyssa Naeher, Goalkeeper (Yankee United/South Central)

While at Penn State, Alyssa Naeher studied kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movements. Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) must have been an excellent student because she has become quite proficient with body movements – she can stretch out, jump, grab, kick and move with the best of them. She will need all those traits and more this summer when she stands in goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team in France. Naeher, a veteran of the USA’s youth national teams, was the starting goalkeeper for the team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and is expected to be the starting keeper in France. This is what Coach Jill Ellis said of Naeher last summer: “She’s a keeper that we’ve really invested [in], in terms of getting experience. I think her distribution with her hands is phenomenal. I think her feet have gotten much, much better. Her choices, her selection, her confidence on the ball – I think all those things have improved.” Naeher played youth club soccer with Yankee United (Conn.) from U-12 through U-15, then switched to South Central for U-16 to U-19 where she won a state title. Was a Parade All-American and two-time NSCAA Youth All-American. She was a three-time NSCAA All-American at Penn State.

SEE THE TOP PLAYERS TO WATCH

Who (and why) is your player to watch in France?

US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup – check out the 2019 promo video

The US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup is designed for those teams seeking additional challenges to play against teams of similar abilities for a national title. US Youth Soccer Regional Presidents Cup events will determine the regional qualifiers that will compete in the US Youth National Presidents Cup. Regional winners in the 13U through 18U groups, both boys and girls, will vie for the national title.

What does playing in the Presidents Cup mean for a young player?

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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Main photo courtesy of www.itv.com