Monday’s soccer news starts with the Major League Soccer Players Association and MLS announcing a tentative deal before the league’s 24-hour extension on Thursday’s deadline expired. The new collective bargaining agreement requires ratifying by the players as well as signing off by the league. The deal should mean that the 2021 season starts on time.
Also in the soccer news, Tigres advanced to the 2020 Club World Cup final with a 1-0 shutout of Palmeiras in Qatar. Andre-Pierre Gignac converted a 54th minute penalty for the game’s only goal. This is the first time a Concacaf club has made the final.
“Here we are, with the stars in the sky shining down on us,” Tigres forward Carlos Gonzalez said. “We’re very proud of what we’ve done, and I imagine there are a few tears among our fans. This triumph is for them.”
After years of Liga MX clubs dominating Concacaf but unable to turn that into a run to the Club World Cup final, it’s also a major step. Until this tournament, Concacaf and Oceania were the only confederations not to appear in a final. Regardless of how anybody rates the Club World Cup, it’s a step Concacaf needed to take.
Previous entrants have put their focus on the tournament only to come up short. It’s no understatement that lack of success was an issue, especially in years when teams from CAF or the AFC made it to the final. As with those confederations, what happens in the final is almost a separate issue. Proving a region can produce a club that can get there is enough, especially with the tournament eventually adding more European clubs.
Moving to the Premier League, Zack Steffen’s Manchester City extended its lead at the top of the table to five points over Manchester United. City beat Liverpool 4-1 at Anfield while 2nd-place Manchester United drew 3-3 at home with Aston Villa. City has a game in hand on the rest of the top six, showing how quickly things can change.
“What was important was the three points,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. “Of course, I’m so proud of the guys who have broken a record that has stood for a long time, that shows how difficult it is and hopefully next time we can do a similar performance with people here. Anfield without people is completely different because I could imagine being at 1-1 and how different the influence would be on their players. But we reacted so well, nobody stepped back, everyone stepped forward with a huge personality.”
The NY Times’ Rory Smith looks at what happened at the top of the Premier League. ESPN’s Mark Ogden asks the obvious question about Manchester City’s current form. The Athletic’s Sam Stjeskal on European interest in MLS players. MLSsoccer’s Dylan Butler has USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s comments on how the player pool’s club success is shifting expectations.
All links are provided as a courtesy. US Soccer Players nor its authors are responsible for the content of third-party links or sites. For comments, questions, and concerns please contact us at email@example.com
Logo courtesy of MLSPA