Miami vs Houston for Open Cup trophy tonight, Osimhen vs Napoli, and more: Starting Lineup, Sept 27
by Jason Longshore
1- Wild match last night between Georgia State and Lipscomb at the GSU Soccer Complex. I don't know what it is about me calling these crazy back and forth matches, but it feels like this year has been full of them. Simon Carlson opened the scoring for the Panthers, then Lipscomb reeled off three goals, but Georgia State came back to draw 3-3. Mario Arrocha's volleyed equalizer was one of the goals of the season so far.
Big game coming up on Saturday afternoon as #4 West Virginia comes to visit The Cage for a 2pm kickoff. I'll be on the call on ESPN+.
2- The situation between Victor Osimhen and Napoli has turned bizarre even by Serie A standards. Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, has threatened legal action after a post by the club on their official social media channel appeared to mock their striker after missing a penalty on Sunday. Osimhen has removed all photos involving Napoli from his Instagram account. Napoli has declined to comment thus far.
3- The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final is tonight in Ft. Lauderdale as Inter Miami hosts the Houston Dynamo. Lionel Messi is a game-time decision for the Herons. Tata Martino said that if it was a regular season game, Messi would not play. According to Martino, it's doubtful that Jordi Alba will be able to play. Sergio Busquets did not play Sunday against Orlando, but did the pregame press conference yesterday so he's expected to be in the lineup tonight. Even with the lineup possibilities for Miami, they are the favorite in tonight's match as the Dynamo are not getting much respect from the media. Ben Olsen's Houston team is 4-1-2 in MLS play since the Leagues Cup, and won an Open Cup semifinal in addition. Hector Herrera is having a Best XI-caliber season and is the catalyst for the Dynamo. Messi or no Messi, I think this match is far more of a toss up than it's getting credit for, respect the Dynamo.
4- Reggie Cannon has officially signed as a free agent with Queen's Park Rangers after getting his contract canceled at Boavista. There have been reports of Boavista failing to pay him properly and even failing to pay the transfer fee to FC Dallas to acquire him in the first place. After missing the entire summer, preseason, and early portion of the season we'll see how long it takes him to push for minutes at QPR and potentially play his way back into the USMNT mix.
5- Cloe Lacasse and Jordyn Huitema scored for Canada as they defeated Jamaica 2-1 on Tuesday night in the second leg of the teams’ Olympic qualifier to secure a berth at next summer’s Paris Games. Drew Spence opened the scoring for the visitors on an outstanding free kick, putting a scare into the defending gold medal winners. However, Canada answered back quickly to regain control of the match.
6- The Netherlands defeated England in a UEFA Women's Nations League match 2-1, Renate Jensen's 90th minute winner separating the teams. However, TV replays appeared to indicate the the opening goal from the Dutch was offside. Normally, VAR would intervene in these situations but it was not available for this match. England captain Millie Bright said, "I think we push the level of the game to be so high and professional, yet we sometimes have VAR, sometimes (we) don't. This is international football and we do not have VAR in a competitive international game, which is mind-blowing." Completely agree, it's embarrassing for UEFA to not have VAR at all of their matches.
7- Chivas has started to slump in Liga MX and the critics are out in full force for Veljko Paunovic. It's been five straight without a win after Tuesday night's home loss to Mazatlán. The fans at the Estadio Akron were vocally dismissive of Chivas, Mexican international Alexis Vega, and their recent performances. The side heads to Toluca this weekend before the Guadalajara derby with Atlas.
8- Mexican international Santiago Giménez became the first Feyenoord player to record a hat trick on the road at Ajax today as the match that was abandoned over the weekend was completed this morning. The visitors took the win 4-0 behind closed doors. Flares were repeatedly thrown onto the field in Sunday's match which resulted in the match first being stopped then postponed.
9- Two matches in MLS tonight, and Atlanta United fans will be keeping an eye on Philadelphia as they host Dallas. The Union can jump into 2nd place with a win, or 3rd place by themselves with a draw. Colorado also hosts Vancouver.
10- Speaking of Atlanta and Philadelphia, it was on this day in 2017 that they had their first meeting at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and it did not go so well for the visitors. The 3-0 win clinched Atlanta's playoff spot in their inaugural season.
11- For your Song of the Day, we'll go to a singer who is celebrating his birthday. Born on this day in 1966, Stephan Jenkins went on to form Third Eye Blind. Say what you want about some of their big hits, they were everywhere for a period of time in the late 90's/early 2000's. I even saw them play in the pregame festivities before MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle. Here's my favorite of their hits: