Much like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning - two of the all-time greats in the NFL, for as long as Lionel Messi (22 goals, 10 assists) and Cristiano Ronaldo (30 goals, 11 assists) are both alive, they will always be compared and contrasted online, in living rooms, workplaces and bars around the world. After Barcelona’s surprising 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday, Messi has now gone four matches without a goal (his longest stretch since May 2011) while Ronaldo scored a goal in Real Madrid’s 4-0 win vs. SD Eibar. The Portuguese star became the first player ever to score 30-plus goals in six straight La Liga seasons which is a pretty remarkable feat. 

USWNT Takes a Stand

The U.S. women’s national team is making plenty of news both on and off the field these days as five of their players recently filed a wage-discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission late last month. The disparity in pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s team (which is much more successful) is striking in 2016 when you could easily argue (with plenty of numbers to back it up) that the women’s team is both more popular and profitable than their male counterparts. Co-captain and defender Becky Sauerbrunn even suggested on Monday that her team could boycott the upcoming Rio Olympics this summer if their salary demands aren’t met by then.

 

The Beat Goes on for the UConn Women’s Basketball of Soccer

While it hasn’t quite reached the absurd level of the Huskies’ dominance in college basketball, the U.S. women have re-emerged as a superpower in world soccer with few peers that can come close to their peak level. They beat Colombia 7-0 last Wednesday in Hartford and 3-0 on Sunday in Philly. In 2016, Jill Ellis’ club is 11-0-0 and they’ve outscored opponents 42-1. Their next match - June 2 vs. Japan in Colorado - should provide much more of a test for the best women’s team in the world. 

 

Checking In With Some Talented American Players In Europe

 If you are a fan of the U.S. men’s team, two names that you should know are defender Matt Miazga (Chelsea) and midfielder Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund). You read that correctly, two young Americans are currently playing for two of the top clubs in Europe and really challenging themselves to get better (what a concept!) instead of choosing to dominate inferior players in MLS. The 20-year-old Miazga started for Chelsea in their 1-0 loss to Swansea City on Saturday while 17-year-old Pulisic started up front in Dortmund’s 2-2 draw with Schalke on Sunday. Keep it up guys.  

 Follow Metro soccer writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate