ATLUTD 2 tonight, history, Leagues Cup madness: The Starting Lineup, August 9
1- Atlanta United 2 will be live on the SDH Network tonight at 7:15pm as they host Crown Legacy FC in a vital Eastern Conference matchup. Atlanta is six points out of a playoff spot with seven matches to play, and they face two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference back-to-back starting tonight followed by a trip to Foxboro to face New England on Sunday.
I spoke with players Jackson Conway, Shawn Lanza, and Adyn Torres along with manager Steve Cooke on the latest edition of the B-Sides on 92.9 The Game's Off The Woodwork.
2- It was on this day in 1966 that it was announced that professional soccer was coming to Atlanta in 1967. The National Professional Soccer League was announced and Atlanta was a founding member as the Braves were getting into the soccer business. The team would fill dates at Atlanta Stadium and there was quite a push to launch a nationwide soccer league, so strong in fact that two leagues ended up launching in 1967 before merging in 1968 to form the North American Soccer League.
3- A different kind of history was made in the Leagues Cup last night as Nashville scored a late equalizer in stoppage time via new signing Sam Sturridge, sending their match with Club America to penalties. After what looked like a game-winning save from Luis Malagón, and multiple groups of fans running out onto the field to celebrate with Las Aguilas, the referee ruled via the assistance of VAR that Malagón came off his line too early (which he did). Jack Maher had another opportunity to convert and he did. After a Jonathan Dos Santos shot off the crossbar, Daniel Lovitz won it for Nashville.
4- Penalties were also needed to separate Minnesota and Toluca. The Loons jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Red Devils stormed back, Minnesota's Hassani Dotson was sent off, and the match finished 2-2. Somehow, the Loons were able to gather themselves and advance via the shootout. They will travel to Nashville for their quarterfinal match.
5- More Leagues Cup penalties were needed in Chester, PA as the Union and NY Red Bulls finished 1-1 and Andre Blake's heroics were needed in the post-match shootout. As he is becoming known for doing, Jim Curtin was outspoken after the match about the actions of his opponent:
6- In the late games in the Leagues Cup, a 97th minute penalty from Sergio Canales was enough for Monterrey to defeat Tigres in Houston and LAFC throttled RSL 4-0 with all of the goals coming in the second half. Denis Bouanga had the first two to start the rout. These two winners will face off on Friday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in one of the Leagues Cup quarterfinals.
7- On this day in music history, Queen played their last show in 1986 at Knebworth Park to over 120,000 fans.
8- Sacramento Republic announced the signing yesterday of Da’vian Kimbrough, a member of the club’s youth academy, to his first professional contract. Kimbrough is the youngest professional athlete in American team sports history (13 years, 5 months, 13 days). (USL Championship)
9- Julen Lopetegui has left Wolves after nine months in charge following differences of opinion, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday. The timing is obviously not idea, the new season starts this weekend. Neither side gave detailed reasons for the Spaniard's departure but there were rumors that the 56-year-old former Real Madrid and Sevilla coach was unhappy with the lack of investment in the squad. (ESPN)
10- The Women's World Cup resumes Thursday night as the Netherlands faces Spain at 10pm Atlanta time. With only one former champion in the final eight (Japan), there is a huge chance we see a first-time World Cup winner (and we'd have to go back to Japan winning in 2011 for the last time that happened in a men's or women's World Cup). The changing of the guard in women's soccer continues. (Reuters)
11- Reports emerging that Jaime Lozano will be named the full-time manager of the Mexican national team through the 2026 World Cup. (AS)