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World Champs: Shades of Blue Soccer Show

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S2:E16 - The US Women get their 4th star, the USMNT are making progress, and Sporting KC begin their climb.

Soccer: Womens World Cup-USA vs Netherlands Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Riddled with injuries and inter-state duty, the podcast roster was down to Cody and Thad this week. But the summer of soccer has given us a lot to discuss as of late. The United States Women’s National Team are FIFA World Cup Champions for the fourth time and the celebrations have been so much fun to watch! The USMNT were able to make the Gold Cup final against Mexico, but still came up a bit short falling 1-0. And SKC get a much needed win that hopefully marks the beginning of their climb through the ranks of the West.

With Megan Rapinoe & Rose Lavelle netting the goals, the US took down the Netherlands to become World Champs yet again. The country, especially Kansas City, were all the way behind them and the party has yet to stop. The girls are enjoying the wave, but how long will this last? Can the NWSL parlay this hype into something more for the sport? The scenes from PnL (somehow) had some wondering if fans were to blame for the demise of FCKC. Thad is a HUGE fan of the women’s game and we discuss the failures of their ownership as well as problems with fans.

We also spent some time on the USMNT’s Gold Cup performance. While the end result may not have been what everyone wanted, there was progress made. We are witnessing a changing of the guard as Weston McKennie, Aaron Long, and Christian Pulisic take charge of the team. But there is still clearly a long way to go - on the field and off. Can Omar Gonzalez really be a part of the team going forward? The same could be asked of Michael Bradley as well.

Yohan Croizet has scored in back-to-back matches and Sporting Kansas City moved out of last place in the Western Conference. The Transfer Window has opened and Peter Vermes claims to be looking at 30 players, but Cody & Thad think the most useful reinforcements will come by way of players returning from injury. Aside from Jaylin Lindsey and Rodney Wallace, everyone is training again. Roger Espinoza is on the road back for a huge boost in the midfield, and Erik Hurtado is nearing a return as well. Hurtado should light a fire under the struggling Krisztian Nemeth.

There will be some choices to make for the lineup against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. We come up with a game-plan for the lineup and substitutions to get a win. The fans are leaning towards Graham Zusi over Nico Hasler, but perhaps more surprising is Croizet leading the way over Nemeth at striker.

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