There’s no sight in football quite like that of a marauding center half. These moments invariably begin with the blundering oaf picking his head up and trying to spot a midfielder or defensive partner to lay the ball off to. Seeing all these options closed down, he’ll realize that he’s got about 15 yards of open real estate in front of him and those gangly legs will start churning.
Eighteen-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie continued his meteoric rise through the ranks at Schalke 04 by making his first competitive start in the 2017-18 DFB-Pokal on Monday. The USMNT U-20 prospect joined the German club in August of 2016, and he made a substitute appearance last May in the Bundesliga as a reward for his performances with the academy team.
McKennie has since gone on to impress over the course of the preseason, and injuries to first team regulars resulted in his first-ever competitive start for the club against BFC Dynamo in the DFB-Pokal.
Let's get the expected out of the way. Yes, Neymar made his Paris Saint-Germain debut. Yes, he scored the final goal in PSG's 3-0 win over Guingamp. Yes, he made a delicious assist to Edinson Cavani.
But how about that own goal? What in the heck?
In 24 minutes of Spanish Super Cup action on Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo accomplished what many could never achieve over the course of their entire careers. The mercurial forward has always shown an appetite for amassing marks of renown, but Sunday’s first leg at the Camp Nou had something for everyone in the spectrum of The Cristiano Ronaldo Experience.
What a goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed off his gorgeous summer tan then got a red card to match his new skin tone. Gerard Piqué showed off some center forward's skills then scored for the wrong team. In a wild first leg of an El Clasico verison of the Spanish Super Copa, Real Madrid exploited Pique's defensive abilities for a 3-1 victory at the Camp Nou. But Los Blancos will have to play the second leg (and perhaps longer) without Ronaldo, who shoved the referee after being shown a second yellow card.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez walked away from his West Ham regular season debut goalless, creating a few scattered opportunities but, on the whole, looking isolated up front as Andre Ayew and Marko Arnautović dropped into deep positions early.
Slaven Bilic acknowledged as much in post-match commentary, conceding that West Ham's initial 4-3-3 formation left Chicharito on his own.
In the Premier League boneheaded move of the day, Jonjo Shelvey received straight red for stomping on the ankle of Dele Alli in plain sight of the referee.
And when we say "in plain sight of the referee," we mean that the referee could not have been any closer, or paying closer attention. See Exhibit A:
Gary Cahill, everybody!
Just 14 minutes into his first Premier League match as Chelsea's club captain, Gary Cahill paid a touching tribute to predecessor John Terry by being a dick and getting himself sent off.
Following Cahill's exit, Chelsea's defense bungled its way to a 3-0 halftime deficit to, uh, Burnley.