By J Hutcherson (Aug 13, 2019) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer's other attempt for games that count between MLS and Liga MX will play out on Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It's the second edition of the Campeones Cup, a sort of super cup between MLS champions Atlanta United and Liga MX Campeon de Campeones winners Club America. Unlike the Leagues Cup, this is a single game to at . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 6, 2019) US Soccer Players - With the return to club soccer in Europe, there are always the old reliables. Will it be Barcelona or Real Madrid in La Liga? Will Juventus in Spain and PSG in France once again run away at the top of their leagues? Will the Premier League be competitive or will it only seem that way as the favorite claims the trophy? These are the cliches of . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 23, 2019) US Soccer Players - There's an old truism about the Champions League. For most teams, it only really counts if you make the group stage. For the elite, it's making the knockout round. Whenever a team tries to stretch that to the Europa League, it falls flat. UEFA downgraded their secondary competition too many times. The only thing that counts at that level is . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 16, 2019) US Soccer Players - Judging good and bad in MLS has long been an issue. The playoffs haven't always helped. From 2002-04, only two teams missed out. It took multiple rounds of expansion to make the playoffs count. In 2010, half the league qualified. The league added two teams and two playoff spots the following season. MLS also couldn't help but tinker. In a nod to . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 9, 2019) US Soccer Players - The final of the 2019 Gold Cup highlighted exactly what the organizers seem to want by design. Mexico vs the USMNT in a packed NFL stadium that ended with both teams looking like they could've taken the trophy. That it was the first time since 2011 that the bracket worked to advance the two biggest teams in the region is a success. So are all the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 28, 2019) US Soccer Players - It's hard to get a realistic feel for the Europa League these days. By design, UEFA's secondary tournament crowns a non-champion each May a few days ahead of the Champions League final. Attempts to make the Europa League matter crashes into that basic problem. Giving a Champions League group stage spot to the winner makes it as important as . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 14, 2019) US Soccer Players - Three MLS clubs decided to “part ways” with their coaches over the last few weeks, a euphemism for firing them. In most cases, that ends up with two resets for the club involved. From the coach that started the season, to the interim, and then to whoever takes over. Considering the situations that normally lead to that “parting of the ways” it’s . . .
By J Hutcherson (Apr 23, 2019) US Soccer Players - The Premier League has another game that may or may not decide the title. That adds even more to Wednesday's Manchester derby, with the running joke that United's support would be happy to see City win since it would hurt Liverpool's title chances. That's how you pick your real biggest rival, an object lesson of sorts for anybody who thinks things . . .
By J Hutcherson (Apr 9, 2019) US Soccer Players - Manchester City lost 1-0 at Sours to open their Champions League quarterfinal series. The result itself might not be much of a shock. Hosting the second-leg is an advantage, after all. Still, Manchester City is one of the favorites in the Champions League long with every other competition. This is an elite club playing at a level that leads to . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 26, 2019) US Soccer Players - In a meeting earlier today in Amsterdam, the European Club Association confirmed what we already know. They have issues with FIFA revamping the Club World Cup. Earlier this month in a FIFA Council meeting in Miami, world soccer's governing body expanded the Club World Cup, moved it from December to the summer, and set it for every four years . . .