Amanda da Costa: Liverpool Ladies fighting back; Soccer in US booming; Lucy's mix-up with Tyson Fury
Just hours before their crucial victory over Chelsea, Liverpool Ladies midfielder Amanda Costa delivered her latest column, covering the season so far, soccer's booming popularity in the US and teammate Lucy Bronze's Twitter blow-up with heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury!
This season has proven to be a difficult test for us so far. We have had some great success, and at times have been defeated; it seems as though the target is on our backs this year after previously winning the league title.
The talent in this year's league is undeniably greater than previous seasons, and the title could belong to anybody at this point.
After getting a few wins underneath us as we returned from a lengthy mid-season break, our squad was in seemingly good form and feeling the same confidence that we had about us last season. We were able to put ourselves into a good position at the top of the table before entering a tough match against Manchester City.
An unfortunate 1-0 defeat on the day knocked us back a few points, and the loss was a clear disappointment to the squad. Setting our sights on Chelsea this weekend, the stakes have never been greater. Chelsea has proven to be one of the most difficult teams to beat this season and is currently second on the table behind Birmingham.
Both Chelsea and Birmingham have been difficult to surpass this season. Their consistent performances week in and week out makes it harder for us every time we drop points. We were in a similar position at the midpoint of the season as we are now, and the most important things for us to remember is that we really can only control our own performances.
It has been pleasing to see the way the team has bounced back after our loss against Man City, and training has been top quality leading into the weekend. We have done our best to prepare for Chelsea, and are in need of a good performance. I have every confidence in this group that we will return to the pitch in top form this weekend, and the match promises to be a thriller.
The break in games due to the Under 20 World Cup has meant a great deal of training and double sessions...and thinking of creative ways to keep things interesting.
Have you heard of Tyson Fury?! Well we certainly have now that he has called out Lucy Bronze to a boxing duel.
Of course he misused twitter and instead tagged our right back in a tweet! It was all a misunderstanding however, and Lucy will not be amping up her training with some extra boxing sessions.
As LFC just spent some time during preseason in America, I have had the opportunity to reflect upon what an impact the World Cup has had on the growth of football in the United States.
The success and integrity that the US Men's National Team demonstrated throughout the World Cup this year, truly inspired the country. The MLS has already been having one of its most successful seasons to date, and the league is certainly riding the "high" on the World Cup buzz that still seems to exist.
In perfect timing, some of England's most talented teams travelled to the US for an American tour, just upping the love for the game even more.
While football still isn't the most popular sport in the States, it certainly has made some very big strides recently and I am hoping that by adding even more international talent to the MLS, the game will only continue to grow.
Follow Amanda: @ADacosta13.