The18's Complete 2021 Soccer Calendar

No one can argue that 2020 has been an awful year that we all want to put behind us. But before we look ahead 2021, we have to take a minute to appreciate how sports have provided something resembling normality in recent months.

Considering the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been incredibly lucky to have soccer leagues playing regularly since June.

Álvaro Morata Recreates Mario Balotelli’s Infamous Miss

Weston McKennie’s incredible form for Juventus — two goals and an assist in his last three games — should’ve continued (statistically speaking) on Wednesday in the 11th minute of his club’s Serie A encounter with Atalanta.

The 22-year-old American won the ball in midfield and carried it at the heart of the defense before playing through Álvaro Morata. Before watching the video, know that the Spanish striker was onside.

Alvaro Morata backheel miss

Two Americans Feature In Wolves’ Stunning Victory Against Chelsea

Wolverhampton handed Chelsea a second defeat in the span of three days with a dramatic 2-1 victory on Tuesday.

The two clubs left all of the drama and action for the second half. In the opening 45 minutes, the best opportunity fell Chelsea’s way on the stroke of halftime when Kurt Zouma's header rattled off the crossbar.

Best Year Ever: USMNT, USWNT Finish 2020 Undefeated

I think we can all agree 2020 has been a really great year, right?

Sure, there was a global shutdown because of a horrible pandemic that has killed more than 1.5 million worldwide. And yes, there was a nasty U.S. presidential election in which a record number of people voted for the candidate you didn’t like. Oh and let’s not forget about climate change creating increasingly deadly and costly weather-related destruction.

But you know what? The USMNT and USWNT finished undefeated in 2020. So, overall, pretty good year.

Ranking Weston McKennie's Wonderstrike Among The Best Goals Scored By Americans In Europe

On Tuesday, USMNT fans found themselves drooling over yet another young American prospect realizing his potential at the highest level in Europe.

Weston McKennie went horizontal for flying volley against Barcelona, capturing the imagination of a generation of American soccer fans in the process.

Weston McKennie Hammers Barcelona With A Flying Side-Volley Golazo

With the entire globe tuning in to watch Lionel Messi play Cristiano Ronaldo for perhaps the final time, who could’ve predicted that the first half between Barcelona and Juventus would be dominated by dueling Americans Sergiño Dest and Weston McKennie?

Juve controlled possession at the Camp Nou in the opening 45 minutes, so it was Dest who featured most heavily for Barcelona on both defense and with the ball — only Miralem Pjanić had more touches for Barça.

Gio Reyna Doesn’t Always Score, But When He Does They’re Thunderbastards Like This

One could argue Gio Reyna’s shooting isn’t one of his primary attributes. Or you could argue he only pulls out his shooting ability everyone once in a while when he really wants to impress. Either way, the Gio Reyna goal vs Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday was a piledriver of a strike to earn Borussia Dortmund a 1-1 draw.

BVB fell behind early Saturday to a Daichi Kamada goal in the ninth minute. With Erling Haaland still out and midfielder Julian Brandt enlisted as striker, Dortmund couldn’t find an equalizer until the 56th minute. 

Four Fabulous Giroud Goals Secure Top Spot In Group E For Chelsea

Chelsea flexed its superiority with a comfortable 4-0 victory against Sevilla on Wednesday in the Champions League to claim Group E’s top spot. Four top-class Olivier Giroud goals vs Sevilla got the job done for the Blues.

The London club came into the fixture on a 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions and immediately put the pressure on Sevilla after the first whistle. In the eighth minute Kai Havertz found open space to dribble before laying the ball off to Giroud, who finished the chance beautifully.