TOP News

Sports: Sounders top NYCFC 3-1 in 1st leg of Champions League semis

Artturi Lehkonen's Avalanche debut delayed by immigration paperwork

  Artturi Lehkonen's Avalanche debut delayed by immigration paperwork The delay is hurting Colorado's hopes of having Lehkonen fully integrated by the time the playoffs start.Avalanche GM Joe Sakic made the deal with the idea that Lehkonen would be able to help the team prepare for the playoffs and find chemistry on his new team as the Avalanche play to secure their playoff spot. Despite those hopes, it is unclear when Lehkonen, who is healthy, will be making his debut with the Avalanche.

SEATTLE (AP) — Albert Rusnák and Jordan Morris scored in the first half, Nicolás Lodeiro converted a penalty kick midway through the second half, and the Seattle Sounders beat New York City FC 3-1 on Wednesday night in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.

  Sounders top NYCFC 3-1 in 1st leg of Champions League semis © Provided by The Canadian Press

The two-game, aggregate-goal series saw the Sounders take a comfortable advantage, but Seattle also allowed a key road goal to NYCFC’s Thiago Andrade in the first half that could serve as a tiebreaker in next week’s second leg played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

“I think there wasn’t a player that didn’t have a great performance. And that’s what it takes in these kinds of games," Rusnák said. “We played against a good team and we managed to win by two goals. So we’re halfway there.”

USMNT's workmanlike reaction to win is understandable after 2018 World Cup disappointment | Opinion

  USMNT's workmanlike reaction to win is understandable after 2018 World Cup disappointment | Opinion The USMNT will get one of Concacaf's three guaranteed World Cup spots so long as Costa Rica doesn't win Wednesday's game by six or more goals.The U.S. men's national soccer team was far more subdued, the extent of their celebrations the high fives and hugs they exchange after every win. The fans aren’t the only ones who’ve been carrying the scars of missing the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Rusnák’s goal came in the 16th minute and was his first since signing with Seattle in the offseason. Morris made it 2-1 later in the first half and Lodeiro’s penalty kick in the 68th minute came after a video review that showed Raúl Ruidíaz being fouled in the penalty area by Thiago Martins.

“They are deadly when they get opportunities like that,” NYCFC coach Ronny Delia said. “But we got our away goal and that was important.”

The matchup between Seattle and NYCFC, the reigning MLS Cup champions, is the first time two MLS teams have faced off in the semifinals of the Champions League. The winner will meet either Pumas or Cruz Azul from LigaMX in the two-game, home-and-home final. Pumas holds a 2-1 lead after the first leg played Tuesday night in Mexico City.

Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon out indefinitely with upper-body injury

  Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon out indefinitely with upper-body injury MacKinnon has already missed a good chunk of the season but has 70 points in 51 games and continues to be one of the most dynamic, valuable players in the entire league. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.

Four MLS teams have previously reached the Champions League final since the current format was adopted in 2008 — Real Salt Lake (2011), CF Montreal (2015), Toronto FC (2018) and LAFC (2020) — but none have come away with the title. Seattle will have the advantage at joining that foursome of MLS teams headed into next week’s second-leg.

“They got an away goal, so that helps them a little bit in the chess match,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “But we’re not going to be afraid to go back to Red Bull Arena and try and win.”

The Sounders have vocalized for years their desire to be the first MLS team to win the Champions League and their impressive performances in the knockout stage this season have reinforced that belief. Seattle has outscored its opponents 12-2 through five CCL games this season.

Rusnák’s first goal for Seattle was set up by the combo of Cristian Roldan and Morris. Roldan also assisted on Morris’ goal in the 35th minute, drawing the pass from the end line back to the penalty spot where Morris finished into the upper corner past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Despite Seattle’s convincing victory, Andrade’s goal was important for NYCFC as a 2-0 win in the second-leg would send the MLS champs through due to the road goals tiebreaker. It was NYCFC’s first semifinal match in the Champions League having never advanced past the quarterfinals previously.

NYCFC also played without standout midfielder Maxi Moralez due to a rib injury.

“We’re coming home. We need to win 2-0. We’ve done that many times before,” Delia said.

___

More AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Booth, The Associated Press

Canucks' Nils Hoglander, Tucker Poolman could be out for season .
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke to reporters Tuesday, saying that he believes forward Nils Hoglander and defenseman Tucker Poolman could be done for the 2021-22 season.Hoglander, 21, last played on March 15 against the New Jersey Devils. He was listed as day-to-day with a groin injury two days later, and his status was downgraded to week-to-week on March 30.

See also