Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. edges Spain on Rapinoe’s winner; Reaction from the U.S. side; Men prepare for Panama

Whew, that was close!

Women’s World Cup: USA advances with 2-1 victory over Spain

The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Spain 2-1 in front of 19,633 fans at Stade Auguste-Delaune to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In humid, 85-degree heat, the USA battled a physical Spain side that conceded two penalty kicks, both of which U.S. captain Megan Rapinoe swept home to earn the Americans the deserved win.

The U.S. moves on to a highly-anticipated showdown with World Cup host France in the tournament quarterfinals on Friday. Kickoff at Parc des Princes in Paris is set for 3 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on FOX and Telemundo.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made one change to the starting lineup that defeated Sweden 2-0 in the USA’s previous game with Julie Ertz returning to her defensive midfield position. Her installation played a big role in the match as she claimed 21 of the USA’s 79 total duels won in what at times was a bruising game that saw Spain commit 18 fouls to the USA’s four.

Next on the Schedule: The USA faces tournament host France in the Quarterfinals on Friday, June 28 at 3 p.m. ET at Parc des Princes in Paris.
Broadcast information: FOX, Telemundo
Social: Twitter, Instagram (@ussoccer_wnt) and Facebook

Have you seen any weaknesses in the U.S. game that needs to be addressed?

Women’s World Cup: Breaking down the goals & Reaction

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick), 7th minute: Tobin Heath got on the end of a long Abby Dahlkemper pass over Spain’s backline on the right flank and raced past one defender before being brought down by Mapi León in the penalty area. On the ensuing spot kick, Rapinoe sent Spain goalkeeper Sandra Paños diving the wrong way while coolly placing her shot in the lower left corner for her second goal of the tournament. USA 1, ESP 0 [WATCH]

ESP – Jenni Hermoso (Lucía García), 9th minute: Garcia poked the ball away from Becky Sauerbrunn after an ill-advised outlet pass and the ball landed at the feet of Hermoso just outside the penalty arc. She took a few touches to set up her shot and then lifted the ball over a stranded Alyssa Naeher into the top right corner. USA 1, ESP 1 [WATCH]

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick), 76th minute: Rose Lavelle was fouled in the box while chasing down a bouncing ball. After the VAR confirmed the call, Rapinoe again stepped to the spot and sent a low drive past the outstretched hand of Sandra Paños into the lower left corner. USA 2, ESP 1 [WATCH] FINAL


Gold Cup: U.S. Men’s National Team face Panama on Wednesday

CHICAGO – Following a dominant 6-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago to clinch a place in the quarterfinals, the U.S. Men’s National Team now sets its sights on Wednesday’s match against Panama, with a win or draw securing the top spot in Concacaf Gold Cup Group D. Coverage of USA-Panama begins at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas, UDN and the Futbol de Primera Radio Networks. Fans can follow all the matches on the official U.S. Soccer app, as well as Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.

With the USA’s 6-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and Panama’s 4-2 victory against Guyana on Saturday, both sides clinched berths to the Knockout Round, meaning Wednesday’s match in Kansas City will decide who finishes top of the group. With a superior goal differential, the USA needs just a draw to clinch first in the group for the 14th time in 15 Gold Cups, while Panama’s only route would be to defeat the United States.

Every time the USMNT has won a Concacaf Gold Cup, it’s leaned on contributions throughout the team, and so far this year’s edition is no different. Through two matches, 17 players have seen the field, with nine contributing to the USA’s 10 goals thus far. On the defensive end, the team has achieved two straight clean sheets, marking the first time since 2009 that the USA has begun the Gold Cup with two shutouts.

What can the American side improve on in the game against Panama?

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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