Fuel Soccer Talk: Richest Game in football is set; US women play tonight; US Youth Soccer announces ODP coaches

Let’s kick things off on the wild side – with Derby County-Leeds

Derby County shocks Leeds to advance to Sky Bet Championship Final

Derby County are heading to the Sky Bet Championship Final at Wembley to face Aston Villa after defeating Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road to win the Semi-Final 4-3 on aggregate. It was a crazy, intense, stressful (especially for the longtime fans of both sides) football match between two evenly sided clubs with so much on the line. I have watched quite a few Premier League games this season but this match was brilliant – I was glued to my I-pad the entire time.

After losing to Leeds United three times this season, Derby County appeared to be in big trouble when the home team scored to make it 1-0 and 2-0 in aggregate. Derby got three goals in a wild 14-minute stretch. Jack Marriott came on as a substitute and scored two goals for Derby — the first with his very first touch of the game and his second the clinching goal in the 85th minute. Derby had bounced back to take a 3-1 lead in the second leg, but Leeds managed to tie it up through Stuart Davis’ second goal before Marriott’s winner.

In a physical game that featured almost as many cards as goals, both teams finished the game with 10 men. Derby, coached by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, is now one win from promotion. Knocking out Leeds only sweetens the taste for the Rams.

Derby hasn’t been in the Premier League in over 10 years, spending just one season in the top flight since 2002. Derby finished the Championship season in sixth place to qualify for the playoff.

Derby played Villa twice this season losing 3-0 and 4-0. The final is Monday at Wembley in what is considered the Richest Game in football – the difference between the Championship League and the Premier League is staggering – in the millions!

Who do you like in Monday’s final – I will go with the underdog Derby County?

Preview: WNT faces New Zealand tonight (May 16) on ESPN2

With the 23-player Women’s World Cup squad named on May 2 , the U.S. Women’s National Team is in its final phase of preparation before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA is coming off a 3-0 victory against South Africa on May 12 in the first match of the three-game Send-Off Series Presented by Volpi Foods. The Americans will now play the middle game of the Send-Off Series, taking on New Zealand on May 16 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (7 p.m. CT) in front of a crowd that will be over 34,000 and the largest for a domestic friendly since Sept. of 2017 when just over 30,000 saw the USA beat New Zealand, 5-0 in Cincinnati. The USA has posted a 5-1-2 record so far in 2019 with all but one of those games coming against World Cup-bound teams.

2019 Game Lineups || 2019 Statistics

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), 18- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 21/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher(Chicago Red Stars; 44/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 38/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 20/1); 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 83/24), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 99/1), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 115/2); 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 156/0), 14- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 32/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 82/6), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 80/18), 9- Lindsey Horan(Portland Thorns FC; 66/8), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 25/6), 20- Allie Long (Reign FC; 43/6), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 48/11),
FORWARDS (7): 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 148/28); 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 272/108), 22- Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 7/2), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 161/101), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 114/47), 2- Mallory Pugh(Washington Spirit; 51/15), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 151/44)

What do you hope to see out of the American side tonight? 

US Youth Soccer announces ODP West Region Coaching Staff

The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) is pleased to announce the West Region coaching assignments for the 2019-20 season.

This June and July in McMinnville, Oregon, the 2002-07 Boys and Girls age groups will convene for a five-day ID camp. From here, the West Region coaching staff will select players to compete in the ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional in Boca Raton, Florida, and ODP Boys Interregional in Bradenton, Florida.

ODP Girls ID Camp

June 28 – July 2, 2019 | 2007, 2006, 2005
July 3 – July 7, 2019 | 2004, 2003, 2002

ODP Boys ID Camp

July 8 – July 12, 2019 | 2004, 2003, 2002
July 13 – July 17, 2019 | 2007, 2006, 2005


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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