USWNT World Cup: Rapinoe’s Aussie Brace Sets the US World Cup Pace

(via New York Times)

Megan Rapinoe enraptures with a Game 1 Brace. (via New York Times)

Correspondent Alex Unzueta recaps the U.S. Women’s National Team’s uninspired, but effective win over the The Matildas from Down Unda.

The U.S. Women’s National Team opened up their World Cup play with a win against Australia on Monday evening. After a shaky start, the U.S. dialed in with some help from Megan Rapinoe, who scored twice and Chicago Red Star’s striker, Christen Press who added a goal as well. With a surprisingly tough 3-1 win, the U.S. sits first in their group.

The United States is a favorite to win the tournament. After falling short in a penalty shootout to Japan back in 2011, the only expectation this year is lifting the cup on July 5th…

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Fire Give Gift of 3 Points to MLS Newcomers

(vis MLS)

(vis MLS)

It’s always a neighborly thing to do to greet your newest neighbors with a plate of baked goods or to offer a cold beverage on a hot day. Last Saturday, the Fire went beyond the call of duty of being good neighbors when they tossed away three points to expansionist Orlando City. Fire centerback Adailton was credited with two own goals, and this proved decisive in a 3:2 Orlando win. A Fire victory would have catapulted them to as high as fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they sit in ninth place and have to wonder what they must change to put away a beaten opponent.

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OTF’s Wide World of Soccer – Week 23

Welcome to the latest attempt at a regular column here at OTF Soccer.  This one is called the OTF’s Wide World of Soccer, which aims to capture the three of the principles of OTF Soccer in one column:  Analysis, Insight, and Fluff.

The not so beautiful part of the

The not so beautiful part of the “Beautiful Game”

So, what exactly is “OTF’s Wide World of Soccer”?  It is my armchair analysis of all of the soccer games I watch in a given week; usually that is quite a few games.

With as much complaining about the business of soccer on social media these days, I wanted to get back to the basics of watching soccer and celebrating the beautiful game, even when it is not so beautiful…

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Fire Put Crushing Blow on Montreal Impact

(via MLS)

(via MLS)

The Chicago Fire put on a display of powerful attacking capability en route to a 3:0 demolition of the Montreal Impact on Saturday. The soggy, miserable conditions at Toyota Park seemed to have a bigger effect on Montreal than on the home side. The Impact looked ready to pack it in by halftime.
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SEPP

FIFA’s SEPP BLATTER RESIGNS AMID THE “DIASPORA LEGACY PROGRAMME”

Ah, SCHADENFREUDE! Sepp Blatter has just announced his resignation!

Between coaching two AYSO teams, playing weekday and Sunday League soccer, being devoted to following the Chicago Fire, and watching the occasional EPL or friendly match, there’s not a lot of free time. Each time that I found time to start to draft a summary of the eventual downfall of FIFA as we know it, something new emerged as “breaking news.” Today was no different. As I started to type this story, a live press conference was scheduled to take place at FIFA headquarters in no-longer-neutral Switzerland.
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Hard-Working Fire Earn Their Point Against Rival Columbus

Clear the way, here comes a striker. (Via Chicago-Fire.com)

Get out of the way, here comes a striker. (Via Chicago-Fire.com)

In a reversal of the endgame of their last match, the Chicago Fire pulled out an equalizer deep into stoppage time and grabbed a vital point at Columbus. Substitute Jason Johnson headed home Eric Gehrig’s cross with almost the last touch of the match and the Fire nabbed a 2:2 draw. Columbus had taken a commanding 2:0 lead, thanks to a pair of goals from ace sniper Kei Kamara. The Crew failed to put this one to bed, unsuccessfully bunkering their team for the final quarter hour.
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Monday Musings on a Friday

Friendly Banter Friday

Let me start out by thanking the MLS scheduling “computer” for assigning such wonderful start times for our regional rivalry with the Columbus Crew!  A 7pm start on a Friday on Memorial Weekend is sure to fill the Crew’s stadium.  The Crew returns on a Wednesday night in mid-July and the Fire returns to Columbus on the following Sunday evening.  Such wonderful start times for traveling fans of both clubs.

Recent “Derby” talk in the lead up to the NY Red Bulls and NYC FC game got me wondering about the match up between the Fire and the Crew.  Columbus is our closest rival, but it seems like MLS HQ does not think it’s worthy of publicizing.  Then again, there’s a positive out of that, MLS won’t latch on to our fans and reimage them into fans of a team which only exists on paper:

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