Hello! Between the Concacaf W Gold Cup and another batch of Champions League fixtures, we have a busy week ahead of us. I'm Pardeep Cattry with the latest from around the soccer world to start your week off.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, March 4
🇮🇹 Serie A: Inter vs. Genoa, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network, Paramount+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Sheffield vs. Arsenal, 3 p.m. ➡️ USA Network

Tuesday, March 5
🇪🇺 UCL: Real Sociedad vs. PSG, 3 p.m. ➡️ CBS, Paramount+
🇪🇺 UCL: Bayern vs. Lazio, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🌍 Concacaf Champions Cup: Orlando vs. Tigres, 8 p.m. ➡️ FS2

⚽ The Forward Line

🇺🇸 Youth and experience combine for USWNT win


The U.S. women's national team advanced to the Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinals with a statement-making 3-0 win over Colombia, rebounding strongly from last week's 2-0 loss to Mexico.

After relying on veterans against Mexico, interim head coach Twila Kilgore started the least experienced USWNT team in a competitive tournament since the 1991 Women's World Cup final and reaped the rewards. The U.S. showcased both intensity and urgency in the first half, when Lindsey Horan, Jenna Nighswonger and Jaedyn Shaw scored to knock the wind out of Colombia's sails before a milder second half. Nighswonger now joins Shaw as one of the relative newcomers enjoying a breakout tournament at the Gold Cup, potentially setting up a fierce battle for an Olympics roster spot with her club and country teammate Crystal Dunn, who was an unused sub against Colombia.

Despite the relative inexperience of Sunday's lineup, though, Kilgore still called upon a handful of veterans who met the moment. Chief among them was Alex Morgan, who had her best performance for the national team in recent months in a new, more supporting role. She still lined up as a center forward but acted more as a provider to the players around her, and in the process won a penalty and played a crucial role for Nighswonger's goal. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher also had a strong outing and made two incredible saves during the first half to ensure she would keep a clean sheet in her 100th cap.

Post-match, Jordan Angeli noted that the USWNT still has room for improvement but are finding ways to respond to imperfect situations and still win. It marked a far cry from the team's inability to adjust to Mexico's game plan, and so the performance against Colombia might be the first example of an adaptable USWNT that could become one of the team's trademarks under the tactically agnostic Emma Hayes.

  • Angeli: "I like that it wasn't pretty. … Think of the Shaw goal. It was three giveaways in the middle of the field. Terrible football, honestly, and Fox steps up, wins the ball, pushes into the midfield gap and plays a perfect ball to Trinity exactly where she wants it. It's two passes and it's in the back of the net."

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🇪🇺 Bayern eye rebound in Champions League

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The UEFA Champions League begins to wrap up the round of 16 on Tuesday, when second leg ties begin. Bayern Munich's match against Lazio serves as the headlining act of Tuesday's action after the German champions lost the first leg 1-0, and amidst a somewhat turbulent time for the team.

The first leg defeat was sandwiched by losses to Bayer Leverkusen and Bochum in the Bundesliga, all of which led Thomas Tuchel to announce his end-of-season departure. The objective for Bayern is to avoid turning the next few months into a lame duck session, but they might have incentive to do so considering the crisis they find themselves in. Bayern face the prospect of not winning a trophy this season for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, and considering the 10 point gap atop the Bundesliga table and their early elimination from the DFB Pokal, the Champions League might be their best shot at lifting silverware.

Bayern are the favorites tomorrow despite the deficit and will be helped by the fact that Harry Kane has returned to scoring after a stretch in which he failed to register a shot on goal in three out of five games. They will be without Dayot Upamecano, though, who picked up a red card in the first leg, highlighting the team's continuing defensive struggles. Bayern have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last seven games, conceding 13 times along the way.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Kylian Mbappe's farewell tour continues as Paris Saint-Germain face Real Sociedad. The French champions carry a 2-0 lead into the second leg, but may be eager to put together a showy performance since they are currently on a two-game winless run.

🔗  Top Stories

🩵 Manchester is blue: Manchester City picked up another commanding win over Manchester United yesterday in another match that raises questions about Erik ten Hag's vision for the Red Devils.

🇫🇷 Mbappe switched off: Kylian Mbappe was pulled at halftime of PSG's 0-0 draw with Monaco in a decision that came from manager Luis Enrique, showing his last few months at the French club are not exactly going according to plan.

🏆 New Open Cup format: Only eight MLS teams will compete in the U.S. Open Cup this season amid tensions between the league and the U.S. Soccer Federation, which organizes the century-old cup competition.

🇺🇸 Macario's comeback: Catarina Macario played her first game in nearly two years yesterday, and marked her return in style by scoring in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Leicester.

🇪🇸 Drama at the whistle: Real Madrid criticized the officiating during their 2-2 draw against Valencia, when the referee blew the final whistle during a play that resulted in a Jude Bellingham goal that was subsequently disallowed.

🇮🇹 Italian check-in: Inter remain atop Serie A's power rankings, while Napoli are finding form under interim manager Francesco Calzona and Lazio picked up three red cards against AC Milan over the weekend.

🔴 Rashford addresses critics: Marcus Rashford wrote to his critics in an open letter published by the Players' Tribune with a simple ask: "to have a bit more humanity" when discussing his mistakes during an up-and-down season at manchester United.

🦩 The Messi and Suarez show: Lione Messi and Luiz Suarez each scored a brace in Inter Miami's 5-0 win over Orlando, a match in which the replacement ref was replaced after a picture of him in a Miami kit surfaced online.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Serie A: Inter vs. Genoa, Monday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Inter to win 3-0 (+600)
    -- Inter are on an 11-match winning streak in all competitions and show no signs of slowing down, so expect their strong run of form to continue against 12th place Genoa. Considering the fact that Inter have scored 17 goals in their last five games, the score could be lopsided by the final whistle.
  • Premier League: Sheffield United vs. Arsenal, 3 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Kai Havertz to score (+135) -- Arsenal have not lost in league play since before New Year's Eve and will likely keep that streak going as they take on the Premier League's last place team. While a handful of attackers have been influential during that stretch, chiefly Bukayo Saka, don't sleep on Kai Havertz -- he's scored in the team's last two games and could add another today.

📺 What's on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network's flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you'll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening): The leading women's soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. Just because the NWSL season is over doesn't mean that our coverage of the women's game is going anywhere. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT. NWSL offseason and European domestic season all winter long.

👟 Kickin' It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network's unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can't-miss goals from the day's action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.