Weekend Recap: USWNT win, a new USL youth development trend, and MLS’s MVP race

Quick Hits
  • USWNT: There’s plenty to learn from the U.S.’s action-filled win over Nigeria
  • MLS: Hany Mukhtar is a star tailor-made for MLS
  • USL: Are we witnessing a new MLS to USL youth development trend?

We’re back with another edition of the Weekend Recap. Every Monday, we make it easier for you to keep up with the most interesting and important things in American soccer.

Today, we’re taking you through some of the past weekend’s key storylines, including the USWNT’s win, a youth development trend, and a shining star in MLS.

USWNT

Cascone: There’s plenty to learn from the U.S.’s win over Nigeria

The United States women’s national team put together a cohesive performance over the weekend, beating Nigeria 4-0 in their first of two friendlies this month. 

Lindsey Horan’s first international goal of the year really captured the game’s pulse. Horan received a ball from Sophia Smith with her right foot, cut it across her body, and put a Nigerian defender on skates before rifling a left-footed shot into the far corner of the goal. 

The goal doubled the USWNT’s lead and seemingly put the game out of reach for Nigeria in only the 25th minute. Despite the lopsided scoreline, there’s plenty we can take away from this match...[Subscribe]

MLS

Calabrese: Hany Mukhtar is a star tailor-made for MLS

As the final seconds ticked away in stoppage time at GEODIS Park on Saturday, Nashville SC hunted, looking for their third goal. Shaq Moore slid the ball across the box to Hany Mukhtar, who slotted his shot past Brad Stuver and Austin FC. 

For Mukhtar, it was his second goal of the game…and his 12th goal contribution in his six matches. He’s making things look easy week in and week out in Major League Soccer and is leading the charge for Nashville as they march towards the postseason...[Subscribe]

USL

Morrissey: Are we witnessing a new MLS to USL youth development trend?

On Friday, the Charleston Battery announced the signing of 16-year-old Fidel Barajas, a winger with appearances for Mexico and the United States’ youth national teams in 2022. His multi-year contract in the USL Championship meant a move away from the San Jose Earthquakes and their academy system. 

Barajas’ move also symbolizes a trend of high-profile youth products opting for the second division.

Kobi Henry is the most obvious example of young stars leaving MLS’s youth pipeline. Recently sold by Orange County SC for $700,000, Henry spent two years between Orlando City and Inter Miami’s academies before signing a professional deal in the USL...[Subscribe]

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