Very few things in soccer happen in a vacuum, and UEFA is planning for the future by focusing on youth soccer. The UEFA Youth League concluded and it probably won't shock anybody to learn that a super club won. That would be FC Barcelona beating Benfica in Nyon. Our losing semifinalists? Real Madrid and Schalke 04.
Also in Wednesday's soccer news roundup, plenty of speculation over the immediate future of MLS expansion and how Financial Fair Play could impact benefactor clubs in Europe.
"The competition so far has produced high-quality, competitive football, so there are no concerns there. But these new format proposals would foresee the inclusion of more youth champions from more national associations, in order to have a wider representation in the UEFA Youth League. We have now set a high standard for the competition, and we want to see it get even better." UEFA Club competitions Committee chairman Michael van Praag.
- Atlanta announces MLS plans.
- ESPN takes a chance by moving the Barcelona - Real Madrid Copa del Rey final to its main network.
- Midweek MLS.
- Midweek EPL.
- Is there anybody excited about NYC FC playing at Yankee Stadium for three seasons?
Ties are giving the Union fits in the early going - from The Philadelphia Daily News' Don Smallwood: Union matches are starting to look like the movie "Groundhog Day," and manager John Hackworth is sounding like a broken record.
Clint Dempsey’s goals result of teamwork - from The News Tribune's Don Ruiz: “That’s how you want to play the game,” Dempsey said.
Bobby Boswell, unplugged - from The Washington Post's Steven Goff: "It seems like every Tuesday there is a new weather pattern."
Danger Ahead: Charging Goalkeepers - from Soccer America's Paul Gardner: but how can a violent battering-ram attack on an opponent be ruled a legal challenge?
The man who forgot the value of Atlante - from ESPN FC's Vito Garcia: Wrong decisions, poor performance of his signings and no support from his home crowd eventually buried Atlante.
Manchester City await fate as Uefa's financial rules kick in - from BBC Sport's Richard Conway: Well, they posted combined losses of £149m for the last two seasons - £97m in 2012 and £51.6m in 2013.
Liverpool's Premier League title bid is all about romance not numbers - from The Guardian's Paul Wilson: Having said all that, the way some people have been carrying on you would think Liverpool were at an unfair advantage.
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