• It’s been a confusing start to the season for Chelsea, the defending Premier League champions. Manager Jose Mourinho confidently announced in the summer that his team didn’t need to make big signings to defend its title. Apparently that has changed just two weeks into the season, though, after Chelsea played to a 2-2 draw with Swansea and lost 3-0 to Manchester City. Mourinho removed stalwart center back John Terry at halftime of the second game, a move widely interpreted as a plea to his owner to help him sign more defensive depth. Then in midweek, the team signed Pedro — a winger, not a defender — for $34 million. There’s very little doubt that the team will make more signings, perhaps Everton center back John Stones, who they have been rumored to be on the verge of buying all summer. Either way, Mourinho’s summer of no-signings-needed confidence is definitively over.

 

• The U.S. women’s national team began its so-called “victory tour” this week by crushing Costa Rica twice, 8-0 and 7-2. While this was supposed to be the team’s best preparation for next year’s Olympics qualifying, coach Jill Ellis offered no sign that this was anything but a celebration. That might be fine, but the games took players away from their NWSL teams, which are starting the stretch run. As former USA midfielder Aly Wagner tweeted, as part of a much longer rant, “Ultimately, players can’t only hope for a financially lucrative career by being one of the 18 or 23 who make a world event team.” The NWSL needs to be a priority, not a celebratory beatdown of the region’s third-best team.

 

• When Minnesota United sold standout Miguel Ibarra to Club Leon in Mexico, there were more than a few that worried that the American would get lost in the shuffle at his new club. Ibarra has yet to start a Liga MX game, but he has scored in both of Leon’s cup matches this year and earned a couple of substitute appearances in the league as well. It all points to more improvement from Ibarra, more Liga MX minutes and perhaps a return to the U.S. men’s national team, shouldn’t be that far behind.