Short takes


• I’d like to say that the U.S. women’s national team’s 1-0 shutout of Germany proves that the United States is establishing a new defensive dominance, but the match was played in 37-degree weather with the wind howling and snow falling. It’s tough to learn much about either team’s performance on a night when everyone involved was frozen.

• Three MLS teams — Toronto, Seattle, and New York — made it into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, which kick off next week. All three will play Liga MX sides, with the matchup between tournament favorites Toronto and Tigres the marquee game. The only MLS team to embarrass itself, so far, was FC Dallas, which lost its matchup against Tauro FC, an eighth-place club in the Panamanian league.

• Upon further review, I’m overruling myself on expanding instant replay in soccer. Here’s why: Using the Video Assistant Referee drains much of the excitement and emotion out of the game. Sitting and waiting for an unseen referee to verify the crucial decisions — goals, penalties, and so on — cuts into much of the fun of watching soccer.