Alexia Putellas & Barcelona Teammates Break Attendance Record in Women’s Football

Alexia Putellas and her Barca teammates are celebrating an impressive record.

Barcelona broke the attendance record in women’s football for the second time in a month as 91,648 supporters watched them beat Wolfsburg 5-1 at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Alexia Putellas & BarcelonaThe previous record crowd for a women’s game had only been set by Barca in March, when 91,553 people attended their quarterfinal against Real Madrid — 95 fewer than attended Friday’s game.

Prior to that, the women’s record had stood since 1999, when 90,185 fans watched the World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

“It was spectacular, both today and a month ago against Madrid,” midfielder Patri Guijarro said in a news conference after the game. “We’re speechless, really. I’m sure as the days and years pass, we will become a bit more of what we have achieved. We’re still not completely aware of the magnitude of [the attendances].”

However, some estimates suggest 110,000 people attended Denmark’s win over Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in the 1971 World Cup final, a tournament that was not officially sanctioned.

Barca usually play their home games at the 6,000-seater Estadi Johan Cruyff at the club’s training ground, but their Champions League knockout games have been moved to Camp Nou to accommodate the bigger demand for tickets.

This was just their third competitive game at the 99,000-seater stadium. They played against Espanyol behind closed doors last season due to the pandemic, and then for the first time with fans against Madrid last month.

On the pitch, they were too good for Wolfsburg, blowing them away with four first-half goals from Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jenni Hermoso and Alexia Putellas.

Jill Roord pulled one back for the German side after the break, but Ballon d’Or winner Putellas added her second from the penalty spot to seal Barca’s 45th successive win in all competitions, a run dating back to last June.

The teams will meet again in the second leg at the Volkswagen Arena next Saturday, with the winners facing Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the final in Turin on May 21.

Wolfsburg coach Tommy Stroot was pessimistic about his team’s chances of turning things around in the second leg.

“Barca fans can book their tickets for the final,” he said. “They were favourites before the tie and now they’re even bigger favourites.

“Our challenge is to try and win next week without losing touch with reality. Wanting to win 5-1 is difficult, but winning is possible, although we have to change certain things.”

D.C. United’s Kevin Paredes Signs with Bundesliga Club Wolfsburg

Kevin Paredes is heading to Germany…

Wolfsburg has signed the 18-year-old Dominican American professional soccer player from D.C. United for what the Major League Soccer team said was a $7.35 million transfer fee.

Kevin Paredes

The German club said Paredes signed a contract until the end of the 2025-26 season.

D.C. said the transfer fee is its record high for a sale. The deal includes additional money contingent on performance and a percentage of any future transfer fees.

“Despite his age he’s already gained some experience at first-team level, and as well as the left wing he can also play in the center,” Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schafer said. “In addition, he brings pace and dynamism, he’s very agile and nimble on the ball, covers a lot of ground on the pitch and has a really good mentality.”

Paredes came through the D.C. youth academy before making his professional debut as a 16-year-old for Loudoun United, the Washington-based club’s reserve team, in 2019.

The Virginia-born player returned to D.C. in 2020 and went on to make 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals and setting up two more.

“Kevin’s rapid rise from our academy to a first-team starter is a testament to his desire, talent, and commitment,” D.C. president of soccer operations Dave Kasper said in a statement.

 

Paredes has two goals in five appearances for the United States under-16 team. He attended senior national team camp last month but injured his left ankle and left before the exhibition against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

https://twitter.com/VfLWolfsburg_EN/status/1487117451871596549

FC Dallas Reportedly Transferring Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg for Club-Record Fee

Ricardo Pepi is thisclose to a lucrative deal to play in Germany…

The 18-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, an FC Dallas and United States international forward, is close to finalizing a deal with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Pepi

The sources said that if the deal is completed, the transfer fee would be in the neighborhood of $20 million plus add-ons, with a 10% sell-on percentage going to Dallas in any future moves.

The base transfer fee would be the highest for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer history.

Alphonso Davies‘ move from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich was in excess of that number, but that included incentives.

Pepi’s arrival in Augsburg would see him bolster an attack in desperate need of goals. Augsburg is in 15th place, just above the relegation zone. Its haul of 17 goals in 17 games is tied for the fourth-worst mark in the Bundesliga as it headed into the winter break.

Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg were thought to be the frontrunners to land Pepi, but now it appears that Augsburg have won the race to sign the American.

Pepi has seen his reputation and form skyrocket in the last 12 months. He scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances this season for Dallas. That resulted in a call-up to the U.S. men’s team where he scored three goals — all in World Cup qualifiers — in seven appearances.

All told, Pepi has scored 16 goals in 57 league and playoff appearances for Dallas.