Tuesday's soccer news starts with a not so new question about England's Football League Cup that continues later today. It's the second round, when the 13 Premier League clubs not playing in Europe join the fray. The remaining seven teams start in the third round, a nod to the congested schedule already at work a little over a month into the season. Or, more to the point, seasons.
Domestic league, Champions League, Europa League, and in England two domestic cups instead of one. It's those dueling cup competitions that highlight an obvious problem. When the league cup started 57 seasons ago, there were less teams playing less games in Europe. Now, even the Europa League is taking precedence over a League Cup run. Sorry, the EFL Cup to give it it's new name for this season. That's the acronym for the English Football League, not a new title sponsor.
Winning the EFL Cup gives the champion entry into the third qualifying round of the Europa League, something not necessary for defending champions Manchester City. They're a Champions League team. So was the previous champion Chelsea. And the previous champions Manchester City. Chelsea in 2014-15 and City in 2013-14 also won the Premier League title. You could argue that speaks well of the EFL Cup since it's part of a domestic double for two teams in recent seasons. You could also see it as the best club finally paying attention in the later rounds.
If that sounds familiar to MLS fans, there's a good reason. Like the US Open Cup, there's not a lot of pressure for the top clubs to take it seriously early on. It's up to the clubs to decide when their games really count, and "not at all" is a reasonable answer. That's always going to be the EFL Cup problem. Short of offering direct entry into the Champions League or a big pile of money to the winner, there's not enough on offer. Considering the amount of money that is on offer elsewhere, how is the EFL Cup supposed to compete?
Fox Soccer's Ryan Rosenblatt isn't surprised that USMNT assistant Andreas Herzog is interested in the Werder Bremen coaching job. Soccer America's Paul Gardner uses Nigel de Jong's brief time in MLS to talk about the role of the holding midfielder. Goal.com's Jon Arnold looks at round 9 in Liga MX. ESPN FC's Tim Vickery on how well Colombian clubs are doing in the Copa Sudamericana.
Vice.com's Leander Schaerlaeckens explains what Manchester United faces with Wayne Rooney looking out of form. The Guardian's Sid Lowe on Valencia's struggles at the bottom of La Liga. World Soccer's Nick Bidwell reports on Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge predicting a super league breakaway if European clubs can't compete financially with teams in the Premier League.
Reuters' Karolos Grohmann has the conclusion of a legal case in Germany over FIFA's attempt to enforce clubs paying developmental compensation. Keir Radnedge updates the situation with indicted soccer officials plea bargaining with the US judicial system. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw relays the Nov 6, 2017 date those trials are set to start.
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