FUEL Soccer Talk: Youth teams hit Vegas; SheBelieves Cup breakdown; Rough 48 hours for MLS

So much soccer, so little time!!

US Youth Soccer Boys teams ready to light up Vegas

The US Youth Soccer National League Boys teams will compete in their second event of the 2018-19 season March 8-10 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex and James Regional Sports Park in Las Vegas, Nev., as 104 teams — representing 32 state associations and 68 clubs — play their final games to solidify the division standings.
Entering the weekend of play in Las Vegas:
22 berths to the US Youth Soccer National Championships are still to be decided.
22 National League division titles are up for grabs
86 of the 104 teams playing in Las Vegas are still in contention for a berth to Nationals.
The division winners in the 14U-18U age groups earn a place in the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, while the top two finishers in each of the 19U divisions also advance. The 2019 National Championships will take place July 22-28 in Overland Park, Kan.
Following the first two National League weekends, just two teams — 19U Lehigh Valley United 2000 Black (PA-E) and 19U LMSC Rats (PA-E) — have booked tickets to the National Championships. With so many berths to Overland Park still on the line, there will be plenty to play for when the teams meet in Las Vegas.
For a complete preview:

Yes, we will have all the kicks and passes from the girls side tomorrow!!

Breakdown: More from the SheBelieves Cup!

There were plenty of positives to take from the USWNT’s showing in the recently completed SheBelieves Cup. But there were a few things to be concerned about as well.
Heading into the game with Brazil, the U.S. side had allowed seven goals in four games in 2019. But against Brazil, possession was basically even and the U.S. out-shot Brazil 18-11. Ashlyn Harris, the U.S. keeper, and the defense posted the clean sheet.
But the U.S. didn’t win a tournament they hosted and played on their home turf – there is nothing positive about that. Coach Jill Ellis doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on what she wants to do or who she wants on the pitch at the moment. After August’s Tournament of Nations, Ellis said it was time to take what they had learned from an ever-changing roster and start preparing for the World Cup.
There is still time…but the clock is ticking.
The U.S. played without standout midfielder Lindsey Horan – a true game-changer. That’s certainly worth noting.
Sam Mewis had a huge game against Brazil. Tobin Heath was the USWNT’s best all-around player during the SheBelieves Cup. And the U.S. flashed their typical outstanding individual skills at times but they need to put the finishing touches on this team if they are to paint a masterpiece in the upcoming World Cup.
The USA opened the 2019 SheBelieves Cup with a 2-2 draw with Japan on Feb. 27 in Chester, Pa. followed by a 2-2 draw with England on March 2 in Nashville, Tenn., before defeating Brazil 1-0 on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Here is a good breakdown on what it all means from Fox’s Aly Wagner:

What do the Americans need to do to get ready for a run at the World Cup? 

Rough showing for MLS in CONCACAF Champions League

Photo courtesy MLS

It was not a good 48 hours for the MLS in the CONCACAF Champions League in the quarterfinals. MLS teams were outscored by a combined 9-1 in the four games. Santos Laguna defeated NY Red Bulls 2-0 and Tigres UANL defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Independiente defeated visiting Sporting KC 2-1 while Atlanta United gave up a pair of late goals in a 3-0 loss at Monterrey.
Sporting KC is in decent shape scoring an important goal on the road. The two teams will meet in Kansas City on Thursday, March 14.
Atlanta, who plays expansion Cincinnati on Sunday in an MLS game, will have a lot of work to do next week when the teams meet in Atlanta on Wednesday.
The defending MLS Cup champions beat CS Herediano 5-3 in aggregate in the opening matchup. Atlanta fell 3-1 on the road, but was able to comeback at home and advance with a 4-0 win. They will need a similar comback against Monterrey.
The Red Bulls will face Santos Laguna on Tuesday and Houston will play Tigres UANL on Wednesday.
You’ve heard it more than once but it’s worth repeating – they need to schedule these games at a later time in the season. MLS teams are just getting up and running and they are not at top form. Mexico and Central American teams are in mid-season giving them a distinctive advantage. Not an excuse. A fact.

Should they move the CONCACAF Champions League to a different time of the year?

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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