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Around the Leagues: European Soccer Kicks Off

By Emile Guzman, 08/17/21, 4:00PM PDT

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English Top Flight Gets Underway as USL, MLS, NWSL Action Rolls On

Exciting scenes were aplenty across the beautiful game this past weekend, as European competition ramped up while top leagues in the United States continued on. Underdogs came through both domestically and abroad, while division leaders remained ahead of the pack in their respective playoff races. 

USL Championship

It was an eventful week of USL action aside from Republic FC’s win over Las Vegas on Saturday. 

Oakland Roots took three points for the first time since May, putting down LA Galaxy II for the second time this season. The victory will give Oakland some much needed confidence as they go into a tough stretch of four matches in 11 days, beginning with August 18 at New Mexico United.

El Paso Locomotive claimed points in their ninth straight contest, playing to a 1-1 draw with New Mexico United. While the result ends their four-match win streak, the Texas club still holds a commanding lead in the Mountain Division, sitting 10 points ahead of Colorado Springs and staying put as the only USL Club with one loss this season. 

With Louisville City FC’s 2-1 win over FC Tulsa, the Kentucky side takes over as league points leader from El Paso. Behind a brace from Cameron Lancaster, who finished the week second in goals scored this season, the club secured their fourth straight win and will look to make it five when they take on OKC Energy on Sunday. 

English Premier League

The 2021-22 edition of the top flight of English football kicked off this weekend with a full slate of games. In the opening match on Friday, Brentford took down Arsenal at home in a 2-0 result. The contest was Brentford’s first ever in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, and first match in the top flight of English football since 1947. While Arsenal would outshoot Brentford 22-8, scores from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard would accompany strong defensive play for the Bees. 

Manchester United handily took down Leeds United on Saturday, scoring five times to become the first club in Premier League history to take three points in their season opener 20 times. Three of the Red Devils’ scores would come from the foot of Bruno Fernandes, and four of the five would be assisted by Paul Pogba.  

Major League Soccer

Sporting KC took a 2-0 result from FC Dallas over the weekend, keeping them ahead of Seattle for the top spot in the west. Hungarian striker Daniel Salloi bagged his 11th goal of the season for the Midwest club, moving him into fourth in league scoring this season and just two behind current golden boot leader Raul Ruidiaz.

Colorado Rapids came away victorious in a Saturday meeting with Houston Dynamo. With the win, Colorado claimed points in their third straight match and kept pace with LA Galaxy as the Rapids look to improve their position in the standings. 

National Women's Soccer League

Orlando Pride ended Portland Thorns’ four-match win streak on Saturday, securing a point in a 1-1 draw with the Oregon club despite being outshot 17-8. Portland still sits in first place and five points ahead of North Carolina Courage for the best record in the league.

Houston and Washington played to a 2-2 draw on Friday. The result keeps Washington in possession of the final playoff spot Houston picks up points but could have raised into a playoff spot with a victory.

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