A lot of things happened this week in soccer, so this should give you a pretty good idea of what has been going on in the soccer world…
Women’s World Cup Quarter-finals
After Lucy Bronze’s England team beat Norway 3-0 and Megan Rapinoe scored another brace that gave USA a 2-1 win over France, the first Semi-final was determined. England will play USA for a chance to go to the finals. Early on Saturday morning, the Netherlands ended Italy’s season, and a few hours later, Sweden came back from behind and pulled off probably the biggest upset this World Cup, beating Germany 2-1. So England will play USA, and Netherlands will play Sweden. Is this setting up for another Sweden vs USA game?
Not only did Curacao place in second in the Group Stage, but they now pose a serious threat to USA for their quarter-final duel. Meanwhile, Haiti beat Canada in a sort-of-upset in the quarter-finals, and Guillermo Ochoa & co. beat Costa Rica in penalty kicks, with Mexico winning 5-4. Jamaica vs Panama is today in Philadelphia at 5:30 PM Eastern Time, and Curacao vs USA is today, also in Philadelphia, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. The first semi-final is determined and will be Haiti vs Mexico.
Neymar returning back home?
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar was bought from Barcelona in 2017 for a record 222 million euro deal, which is 253 million US dollars. The club bought Neymar hoping he would take the club to new levels. Instead, he has been a disaster. He has had constant fights with his teammate, Edinson Cavani, has gotten in trouble with the law on many occasions, facilitated an early Champions League exit, and is now being overshadowed by Kylian Mbappe. This has caused many to believe that PSG no longer wants Neymar, and that Barcelona believe he could reach star caliber back in Camp Nou, Barcelona’s stadium. Barcelona allegedly proposed a swap of Phillipe Coutinho, Barca’s very own underperforming, expensive winger, for Neymar. PSG responded by releasing a statement that “Neymar is not for sale at any price” but the rumors have not slowed down.
Ozan Kabak’s club battle
Despite Stuttgart, Ozan Kabak’s team, getting relegated, Kabak still won Rookie of the Year in the Bundesliga and was attracting a lot of interest. It was supposed to be a race between Bayern Munich, AC Milan, and West Ham to sign him, but he signed for Schalke 04, a team that was not expected to sign him. It was an odd choice, but Schalke 04 can expect similar levels of success with him as he had in Stuttgart.
(Not sure what relegation means? Keep watching for an explanation in a future post.)
Lionel Messi turned 32
The Barcelona legend and arguably the greatest player of all time has turned 32 and is still going strong. He scored 36 goals in LaLiga last season and 12 Champions League goals. The Argentine international has likely played his last World Cup, but will always be considered one of the greats.
The African Cup of Nations Group Stage finishing up
Today, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, both the final games of Group B are being played, and at 3:00 PM Eastern Time Group A both the final games are also being played. Two Groups finish on July 1, and two more on July 2. Make sure you watch these games, for a lot hangs on the line. For a quick summary on what you are missing, check out this prior article.
Thank you for reading this article! I should have a CONCACAF article out tomorrow, and, as always, keep watching soccer.