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Philadelphia: They don’t like us, we don’t care

May 06, 2021
Source: Penn State WSOC/Twitter.com
Source: Penn State WSOC/Twitter.com

⚽️Union: The Union and Atlanta United drew 1–1 in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday. Thankfully, the Union’s 3–0 victory in the first leg secured their semifinals spot. But Tuesday’s match didn’t come without some tension (this time, between coaches). Spicy.

  • The semifinals won’t take place until mid-August at the earliest, so for now, we’re just going to keep gloating, er, celebrating

🎓⚽️🏐Nittany Lions: In yesterday’s Round of Sixteen, the Penn State women’s soccer team took an early lead over the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles when Lions midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri scored off Sam Coffey’s beautiful assist. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long, and the Seminoles powered back to win 3–1. So much heart from these Lions.

  • In usual dominant fashion, PSU is one of only five schools to have both women’s and men’s teams in soccer’s Sweet 16 this year. The men’s team takes the pitch against the Georgetown Hoyas today at noon ET. We Are!
  • On the court, the blue and white men’s volleyball team fell 3–0 to the Lewis Flyers in the Elite 8 on Tuesday; the Lions’ struggling offense couldn’t keep up with the Flyers’ attacks. Sigh. 
🏀

Chicago: The more ya know

May 06, 2021
Source: Aaron Doster/AP Photo
Source: Aaron Doster/AP Photo

⚾️Cubs: The Cubs completed their series sweep of the LA Dodgers, winning 6–5 in extra innings last night. The Cubbies’ offense performed well consistently throughout the series, something the North Siders have struggled to do thus far. Fly that W!

White Sox: With two outs at the bottom of the 10th inning, the White Sox had an opportunity to tie the game against the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. Instead, manager Tony LaRussa directed center fielder Leury García to steal second. He was swiftly tagged out, and the South Siders lost 1–0. Y tho?

  • What makes this puzzling decision even worse? Pitcher Liam Hendriks — who’s only been on base twice (!!!) in his career — was on third and could have scored. 
  • Even if LaRussa didn’t trust his pitcher to make it home (because, fair), he could have subbed first baseman Jose Abreu for Hendriks, thanks to the new extra-innings rules which began in 2020. Too bad LaRussa didn't know about that one. Buh-bye, Tony

🏀Bulls: After missing 11 games due to COVID-19, shooting guard Zach LaVine is finally returning to the court tonight against the Charlotte Hornets at 7 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT. The Bulls have suffered a four-game skid, so hopefully the stud’s return will spark a change.

🏒🏀

Dallas: Wild, wild West

May 06, 2021
Source: The Canadian Press
Source: The Canadian Press

🏀Mavericks: Thanks to a double-double from Luka Doncic, the Mavs picked up a big 127–113 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday, helping them hold on to fifth place in the Western Conference. But the LA Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers are hot on their tails with under two weeks remaining in the regular season. Talk about the wild, wild West.

  • Dallas will face a true playoff test tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT, taking on Kevin Durant and the East’s second place team, the Brooklyn Nets. No pressure, no diamonds.

🏒Stars: Center Tyler Seguin gave us something to cheer about, returning to the ice on Monday and scoring in his first game back from a hip injury. But the fun stopped there as the Stars fell 5–4 to the Florida Panthers in overtime. And there’s more bad news where that came from: they dropped yesterday’s tilt with the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6–2. Ugh.

Despite the losses, the Stars do still have an (extremely small) shot at the playoffs, but they’ll need to win their last three games to have a chance. Let’s go streaking!

Thorns Host Gotham FC in NWSL Challenge Cup Final

May 06, 2021
Source: Portland Thorns FC
Source: Portland Thorns FC

The game: It all comes down to this. After four weeks of play, the Portland Thorns will host NJ/NY Gotham FC on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET in the second iteration of the Cup. And thanks to loosening COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon, the stadium will host around 3,800 fans, giving the Thorns an extra home-field advantage boost.

  • And for the non-live fans (present!), CBS will air the match in the U.S. and Twitch will stream it live internationally. 

The teams: Both enter the Cup final undefeated, but the Thorns are the stronger squad. In the group qualifying stage, they notched three wins and a draw (aka tie) to win the West division. On the other hand, Gotham FC won two and drew two on their way to the top of the East and haven’t scored since their second match.

  • Portland has the upper hand, especially with legendary players like Lindsey Horan and Christine Sinclair on the roster. But if Gotham striker Midge Purce, who’s already scored twice, can find the net again, they’ll have a good chance to stun the favorites. 

The off-field dynamics: In other NWSL news, 15-year-old Olivia Moultrie filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league to let her sign a contract. Moultrie, who turned pro at 13, trains with the Thorns, but NWSL rules state players cannot sign contracts until they’re 18 (a rule that doesn’t exist in MLS, BTW). Any chance they can get this sorted by game time Saturday?

🏈🏆

NFL Draft finished on Saturday

May 03, 2021
Source: Tony Dejak/AP
Source: Tony Dejak/AP

🏈NFL: The NFL Draft finished on Saturday after seven rounds, 259 picks, and setting some cool new records: Eight quarterbacks were selected in the first three rounds for the first time ever; Alabama tied a record with six first-round picks; and a record seven offensive players were selected consecutively to start the draft. Check out the full draft list to see how your team did.

MLB: One of our favorite parts of the baseball season, besides jaw-dropping home runs, is hearing about the ridiculous ways players injure themselves off the field. Enter Oakland A’s Jesus Luzardo. The left-handed pitcher broke his left pinkie this weekend playing video games. Can we get a facepalm emoji?

🤨WTF: Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor of California her mouth. When asked about recent state legislation banning transgender kids from playing on sports teams that match their gender identities, the one-time track & field star, who is trans, said that she supports the bills, because “we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” 

We don’t have to tell you how disgusted and disappointed we are with that statement, but we do want to give more context about these awful new bills popping up across North America, in this week’s episode of The GIST of It, coming at you Wednesday.