Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. World Cup roster facts; Red Bulls win at home; Celtic’s great eight

Getting things rolling on a Monday!

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis last week named the 23 players who will represent the United States in France this summer. Here are some roster facts courtesy of US Soccer.


  • Of the 23 players named to the roster, Carli Lloyd has the most experience in the Women’s World Cup, having played 18 matches while scoring seven goals, six at the 2015 tournament. Lloyd is the oldest player on the roster at 36. Five players own double-figure World Cup cap numbers in Ali Krieger (13 World Cup caps), Alex Morgan (12), Megan Rapinoe (12) and Tobin Heath (10).
  • Crystal Dunn, Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis were part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, while Alyssa Naeher and Morgan were part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Harris was part of the team that won the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
  • Sixteen players on the roster have represented the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the U-17 level, U-20 level or both.
  • Davidson is the youngest player on the roster at age 20. Pugh turned 21 on April 29. Brian was the youngest player on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team at age 22. Just under half the roster (11 players) are in their 30s and 12 are in their 20s.
  • Two players make their first World Cup roster at age 31 in Long, who was a member of the 2016 Olympic Team, and McDonald, who is the top American scorer in the history of the NWSL. McDonald is also the only mother on the World Cup Team. She has a seven-year-old son. The average age of the U.S. roster is 28 years old, the same as the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team.
  • Six players have previously scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament, totaling 16 goals.
  • All 23 players on the roster play domestically in the National Women’s Soccer League. Eight of the nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster with the Portland Thorns FC, reigning champion North Carolina Courage and the Chicago Red Stars having four players each. The Utah Royals and Orlando Pride have three players each while Reign FC and the Washington Spirit have two each. Sky Blue FC has one.

What are the strengths of this U.S. roster?

Red Bulls finally score a home victory – top Galaxy

The Red Bulls came into this weekend’s game with the visiting LA Galaxy looking to avoid the franchise’s first three-game home losing streak. In fact, New York has never lost at home more than three times in a league season since Red Bull Arena opened.

Derrick Etienne Jr. scored his first goal of the season to put the New York Red Bulls ahead to stay in a 3-2 win. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his ninth goal of the season and also had an assist for the Galaxy. Los Angeles turned an early deficit into a 2-1 lead during a 4-minute stretch late in the first half. Uriel Antuna also scored his second goal in as many games for the visitors.

The Man of the Match, according to MLS writer Ian Quillen, was Daniel Royer. “While the Austrian had a goal disallowed for a very close offside call — which was upheld after VAR Silviu Petrescu consulted with referee Nima Saghafi — he provided much of the attacking impetus the Red Bulls needed while striker Bradley Wright-Phillips sat out injured. His run and service created Etienne’s winner.” – Quillen

Read the full report 

Both teams are struggling to find consistency – why?

The Greatness of Celtic – club wins eighth straight Scottish league title

Celtic extended one of the longest periods of domination in the history of Scottish soccer by winning the league title for the eighth straight year on Saturday, completing the second leg of its bid for another domestic treble. With a 3-0 win at Aberdeen, Celtic moved into an unassailable 12-point lead in the Scottish Premiership to clinch a 50th top-flight title with two games to spare. Only fierce Glasgow rival Rangers — with 54 — has more. Having already collected the Scottish League Cup in December, Celtic will wrap up the treble if it wins the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on May 25.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho reportedly has an offer from Celtic to become their next permanent manager. Brendan Rodgers left to take the Leicester City job and spurned the chance to win a famous triple treble. Neil Lennon has been in temporary charge of the club and led them to the Scottish Premiership title.

Sky Sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that Celtic have made an offer to Mourinho. The Special One has been out of work since he was sacked by Manchester United in December.
Celtic would provide an opportunity to win trophies for the 56-year-old and the offer is understood to have been put to his agent Jorge Mendes.

Is Mourinho the right manager for Celtic? 

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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