We start with Brad Guzan officially joining Middlesbrough. The USMNT goalkeeper completed his long rumored deal on Friday. The move keeps Guzan in the Premier League rather than spending the season in the Championship with Aston Villa. What do you need to know about Boro? Glad you asked.
What should Guzan expect in Middlesbrough?
They’re the third part of the Northeast club triumvirate along with Newcastle United and Sunderland. It’s cold and winter is long in the north of England, or so they’d have us believe. There’s a lot rolled into the support for these three clubs, going back to the eras of ship building and coal mining. They take their (even we can’t call it soccer) football seriously here. Think Pittsburgh and Cleveland with the gridiron game. Boro just got back to the Premier League, waving fondly at their regional rivals Newcastle as they swap leagues. As for Guzan, reports have him as the backup at Boro. We’ve seen that scenario before. Kasey Keller joined Spurs in 2001 as a backup and took the starting job.
And the club?
Boro has had its issues. The local area isn’t huge, always worth remembering when talking about English clubs outside of the major population centers. Nobody is confusing Middlesbrough with a major population center. Leicester is a bigger city. Middlesbrough is the size of Chattanooga. That said, a small city with a hyper focus on its club creates its own issues and pressure. As far as adding to a trophy cabinet, Boro has never won the league, though they’ve been second division title winners four times. They finished 2nd in the Championship last season. They’ve also only won a domestic cup once, the League Cup in 2003-04. In 2005-06, they made the final of the old UEFA Cup, losing to Sevilla. That’s not bad for a club that was out of business during the summer of 1986, barely getting their financial issues in order to keep their league place.
What about the stadium?
The Riverside. It seats just over 33k and replaced their much lamented Ayresome Park in 1995. Like those old CBS specials that would give you advice for further reading, Harry Pearson’s The Far Corner (now over 20 years old) and Michael Walker’s Up There (came out two years ago) tell the story of soccer in England’s Northeast.
Moving to the soccer news, SI.com’s Avi Creditor looks at what several young USMNT players and potential USMNT players face this season with their clubs. American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta talks to USMNT and Utrecht player Rubio Rubin. ESPN FC’s Tom Marshall talks to Omar Gonzalez about his successful move from MLS to Liga MX. Boston.com’s Adan Vaccaro updates the situation with a soccer-specific stadium for the New England Revolution. The Dallas Morning News’ Peter Welpton wonders why people seem to be ignoring that Fabian Castillo no longer plays for FC Dallas.
Pep Guardiola has banned Man City players eating pizza because “eating pizza won’t win you the league”… pic.twitter.com/xwzgJBNldF
— GeniusFootball (@GeniusFootball) July 29, 2016
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