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By J Hutcherson (Feb 26, 2019) US Soccer Players - It’s supposedly a truism that any team can win the title in MLS. Maybe. The league has changed enough in recent years to create a clear us and them hierarchy. The elite teams are the elite for the same reason as the likely winners of UEFA’s Champions League. They spend more. We’re well into the era of designated players, allocation money, and . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 12, 2019) US Soccer Players - Soccer makes it easy to go overboard. There are so many leagues with so many games. A still surprising number of them are available in the United States via cable or streaming platforms. That's not news, with the bigger complaint this season more about what isn't easily available. That would be the UEFA Champions League, with one game a day from . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 29, 2019) US Soccer Players - In 2017, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho decided to prioritize the Europa League. With his club battling for a Champions League spot in the Premier League, Mourinho decided he had a better option. Win the Europa League and take the Champions League spot that came with the title. With UEFA adding that particular incentive, it made sense. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 22, 2019) US Soccer Players - At some point, it's a safe assumption that European soccer will raise its head just enough to draw the full attention of the major North American pro sports leagues. It hasn't happened yet, regardless of the boosters who want to plug the Champions League, Premier League, or the Bundesliga into the conversation. The ratings aren't there, even if . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 15, 2019) US Soccer Players - David Wagner's time as manager of Huddersfield Town ended on Tuesday and with it the American coach working at the highest level of the club game. Wagner isn't a product of the American soccer coaching model, far from it. He put his time in as a player and coach in Germany, part of the successful Borussia Dortmund system under now-Liverpool . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's a common occurrence this time of year. The Concacaf Champions League winners travel a long way to disappoint in the FIFA Club World Cup. This time, it was Chivas heading to the Emirates and losing their second round game 3-2 to Japan's Kashima Antlers. That meant 5th-place against Esperance de Tunis. It took penalties, but Chivas lost . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - We’re well into the era of Atlanta United making anything they touch look like it belongs to a different league. Their fans going with an MLS 3.0 tifo shortly before the start of the game was equal parts mission statement as creativity. Atlanta lifted the 2018 MLS Cup after beating Portland 2-0 on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Josef . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 4, 2018) US Soccer Players - When Atlanta United hosts the Portland Timbers on Saturday (8pm ET - Fox) there's more at play than just the 2018 MLS Cup. That game should help set the tone for the offseason all over the league, with clubs looking at what worked for the two finalists and what they can take and adapt for their teams. In a league still under single-entity, . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 27, 2018) US Soccer Players - This has turned into a tough week for soccer in two continents. CONMEBOL's Copa Libertadores is still without a champion as the confederation reportedly considers moving the postponed second-leg of the Boca Juniors vs River Plate series out of South America. That's the result of a weekend's worth of violence trying to get the game in at River . . .