The soccer news starts with an interesting problem for Champions League contenders, their place in the domestic table. Though Liverpool could still win the Premier League should Manchester City drop points, Spurs can't. Barcelona is well ahead in La Liga and could seal the title at home on Saturday. Then there's Ajax.
Manchester City vs Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table might be getting the attention, but The Independent's Miguel Delaney stresses a simple point Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's logic that the the entire Team of the Year should be Liverpool players. Regardless, it's not the same as what's playing out in the Netherlands.
With 32 games played, Ajax leads PSV +!0 on goal difference with the two teams tied on 80 points. It's PSV that slipped, drawing 3-3 at Vitesse on April 7. Ajax is on a six-game winning streak. With the Eredivisie giving the entire league time off so Ajax can prepare for their Champions League semifinal series with Spurs, they finish the Eredivisie season home to Utrecht on May 12 and away to De Graafschap on the 15. PSV is at AZ on the 12th and hosts Heracles to close out the season.
Ajax has the easier schedule to an extent. Utrecht is in 5th-place, five points behind AZ. De Graafschap is in a relegation battle in 16th-place while Heracles is in 6th ahead of Vitesse. The problem for all of the Eredivisie is what compacting the schedule means. The Sunday to Wednesday scenario is not the norm in a league where midweek games are a rarity. Add on the pressure of the title race and the season ending on a Wednesday night.
By making sure Ajax didn't have to play a Sunday game in the Eredivisie and a Tuesday game in the Champions League, the Eredivisie may have inadvertently created the best title race in European soccer. Now imagine if Ajax is still alive in the Champions League when they have to shift focus to Utrecht and De Graafschap.
Moving to the soccer news, The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas talks to Atlanta United personnel about the team's struggles this season. MLSsoccer's Tom Bogert explains Kenny Saief's move to FC Cincinnati. Pro Soccer USA's Phil West looks at the proposed stadium for Austin's MLS team. Yahoo Finance's Daniel Roberts talks to Kyle Martino about the access issue in soccer development.
The Guardian's Sid Lowe interviews Barcelona's Luis Suarez.
Very sad news to report: Jimmy Banks, a Wisconsin soccer legend who played in the 1990 World Cup, is in "the final days of his battle with cancer," his son Dee wrote on Facebook. #wisoccer— Wisconsin Soccer Central (@WisconsinSoccer) April 26, 2019
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