The soccer news starts with a new coach for FC Cincinnati. Philadelphia Union assistant Pat Noonan takes the job with the club looking to rebuild after another last-place finish. He had been with Philadelphia since the 2018 season and previously worked as an assistant with Bruce Arena at the LA Galaxy and USMNT.
“We are proud to introduce Pat as the new head coach of FC Cincinnati,” Cincinnati GM Chris Albright said in a press statement. “He has demonstrated a track record of coaching success and we are excited to bring his leadership to FC Cincinnati.”
Albright and Noonan’s connection as former Philadelphia technical staff members is easy to highlight, but it might not say as much about what will happen at Cincinnati. The Philadelphia model builds on a residential academy system in a major market with easy reach to other East Coast metro areas. Cincinnati is different in scope, needing to once again readjust to what works in MLS.
“The search for the next head coach focused on candidates who had domestic coaching experience, had thrived in winning environments, and would be aligned in our vision for FC Cincinnati,” the club’s CEO Carl H. Lindner III said. “I believe we have found the best candidate for the job.”
For its part, the Union’s approach to the offseason adjusts around their revamped technical staff. Philadelphia’s playoff exit to the eventual champions NYCFC doesn’t say as much about the state of the East and MLS overall due to how it happened. It’s hard to downplay the COVID absences for the Union in the Eastern Conference final. A team that feels they didn’t get the chance to show what they could do can certainly use that as motivation. Cincinnati’s recent hires complement what Philadelphia is doing.
“Pat has been integral to helping the players execute the club’s philosophy on the field and has brought his exceptional attacking acumen as a player to a young group that has improved each season he has been with the club,” Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said. “He is more than deserving of this chance and ready to be a head coach. While we’ll greatly miss him here, I know he’ll be successful going forward as he starts this new challenge and wish him all the best.”
Moving to the soccer scores, Sergino Dest subbed out in the 61st minute of Barcelona’s penalty loss to Boca Juniors at the Maradona Cup at King Saud University Stadium in Saudi Arabia. The game finished 1-1 in regulation with Boca Juniors winning 4-2 on penalties. Ferran Blanc scored for Barcelona in the 50th and Boca Juniors equalized in the 77th. Barcelona failed to convert in the third and fourth rounds of penalties while Boca Juniors scored with all four attempts.
Zack Steffen was on the bench for Manchester City’s 7-0 home win over Leeds United in the Premier League. Phil Foden opened the scoring in the 8th, Jack Grealish doubled the lead in the 13th, and Kevin De Bruyne made it 3-0 in the 32nd. Manchester City added second-half goals from Rihad Mahrez (49th), De Bruyne (62nd), John Stones (74th), and Nathan Ake (78th). City finished with 15 shots on goal to Leeds’ three.
John Brooks didn’t play in Wolfsburg’s 3-2 home loss to Cologne in the Bundesliga. Lukas Nmecha scored for Wolfsburg in the 8th with Cologne equalizing in the 34th. Wout Weghorst returned the Wolfsburg lead in the 51st. Cologne equalized in the 73rd and went ahead for good in the 89th minute.
MLSsoccer’s Ari Liljenwall talks to Albright and Noonan about improving the situation at FC Cincinnati. Soccer America’s Arlo Moore-Bloom interviews to former USMNT player Benny Feilhaber about coaching youth soccer at Sporting Kansas City. Football Italia’s Lorenzo Bettoni explains the issues with quickly finding an owner for Serie A club Salernitana.
THURSDAY’S SOCCER TV
Premier League on NBCSN: Chelsea vs Everton at 2:45pm. Coupe de France on beIN Sport: Valenciennes vs Strasbourg at 3pm ET.
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