By Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

MLS is off and running, Three Tier USL gaining momentum, Gold Cup Groups Announced

Seattle Sounders and LAFC unbeaten, Charlotte Independence seeking first win, El Tri coming to the Queen City.

Seven weeks into the current Major League Soccer season and only two teams remain unbeaten: Los Angeles Football Club and my Seattle Sounders.  LAFC currently sit atop the Western Conference, and MLS for that matter, with 19 points out of seven matches.  Carlos Vela is leading the Black & Gold with eight goals and 619 minutes played.  The schedule will get hard for them in the coming weeks as they will face my beloved Sounders on April 21 and 28.  Speaking of my Sounders, they are off to their best start in club history.

Currently sitting in the number two spot in the West, they were triumphant in what many would call a “nervy” match this past Saturday in a 3-2 win over Toronto FC.  The two former MLS CUP combatants traded goals at CenturyLink Field before the Rave Green pulled out to a 3-1 lead thanks to a Will Bruin brace and a Cristian Roldan strike from just outside the box.

Jozy Altidore would pull one back for TFC minutes later, but that was the last time the 2017 MLS Cup Champs would find the back of the net.

The 2019 United Soccer League season is also heating up. The same can’t be said about Charlotte Independence.  The Jacks are still searching for their first win under new Head Coach Jim McGuinness. As a season ticket holder, it’s never fun to see your team struggle to get their first win.  They have been very close though: shots off the crossbar, early goals conceded, and a back line that has yet to gel together like past teams. They were moments away from their first win after coming back to take a 3-2 lead against Atlanta United 2.

But just before the final whistle ATL 2 would run down the fields and equalize to make it a 3-3 draw.  That remains the one point that the Independence have earned this season.  USL League One and League Two games have been a pleasure to watch.  It really is wonderful watching the local fan bases get out and support their local teams as the league and the passion for the Beautiful Game grow in the USA.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup groups have been announced and the Queen City will host two games in this year's tournament.  Bank of America Stadium will welcome the National teams of Canada, Cuba, Martinique, and Mexico for a doubleheader on June 23.  Those teams represent Group A.  The United States are in Group D and will have to contend with Guyana, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.  You know the US will have revenge on their mind as Trinidad & Tobago were the ones that beat the Yanks, by a score of 2-1, to eliminate them from being participants in the 2018 World Cup.  It’s shaping up to be a wonderful summer of soccer here in Charlotte.  With the International Champions Cup and the Gold Cup coming to town, it is sure to fulfill any soccer fans need for live, big game football.  I know it will fill my need for the Beautiful Game.

Written by Guest Blogger David Hodges