By J Hutcherson (Sep 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - The 2018-19 Champions League group stage began on Tuesday with the competition once again trying to figure out its future. This is the first season of additional automatic group stage spots for the top domestic leagues and the introduction of two time slots for each match day. In other words, once again UEFA is changing things. We already know . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 11, 2018) US Soccer Players - For anybody with an ESPN+ subscription, the wonders of the UEFA Nations League awaited during the September friendly window. The idea that hardly any soccer fans would've come up with on their own sprang to life with varying returns. Big games designed to count did what big games designed to count tend to do. Down the divisions, the enthusiasm . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 28, 2018) US Soccer Players - With all of the European big leagues now playing games that count and the group stage of the Champions League closing in, it's worth asking a simple question. What's worth our time this season across European soccer? Since it's almost impossible to correctly predict a Leicester City scenario, let's set aside the shocking surprises. Instead, I'm . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 14, 2018) US Soccer Players - Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup doesn't officially start anything. It's not the kickoff for either of Europe's club tournaments, both well into qualifying at this point. UEFA's Champions League couldn't even get out of the way for the World Cup, playing games while that tournament was still underway in Russia. The domestic leagues in Europe stagger . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - Credit Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho for getting out in front of potential issues. With his team on tour in the United States and eventually welcoming back World Cup winner and star player Paul Pogba, the expectations for this season are high. That hasn't meant good news for United in years, with the club struggling in a way that . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - When Juventus arrives in the United States later this month, they're not going to be the team anybody expected. That includes their fellow European teams on their International Champions Cup schedule as well as the MLS All-Stars they'll play in Atlanta on August 1. Nobody saw Juventus deciding to reinstate their super club status by successfully . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 10, 2018) US Soccer Players - The champions of Scotland began their 2018-19 season on Tuesday, with Celtic on the road in Armenia in the Champions League qualifiers. Yes, the same day two UEFA national teams meet in the World Cup semifinals in a European country, Europe's governing body needed to get on with their club competition. That the initial stage involves the winners . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 3, 2018) US Soccer Players - Just before Belgium decided to respond to Japan's two-goal lead in their round of 16 game, it looked like yet another World Cup upset in the making. Russia leads that list after knocking out mighty Spain. That unleashed a barrage of criticism the likes of which we hadn't seen since Germany crashed out of the group stage less than a week . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 26, 2018) US Soccer Players - The Premier League has decided it's time that their big clubs get a greater share of the money. Specifically, the overseas TV rights. The 2019-20 season will mark the start of a kicker for those overseas rights, similar to what the league already does with the domestic rights. On the surface, the scenario is simple, finish higher in the table, . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 19, 2018) US Soccer Players - Once again, instant replay is an issue. Added late to the World Cup, what FIFA wants the world to refer to as Video Assistant Referee, or VAR, is already inviting fans to come up with alternative colorful acronyms. For fans of soccer leagues using instant replay, this isn't surprising. There's an old software concept that goes like this. . . .