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 . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 6, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's hard to get worked up about the latest potential for the elite European clubs breaking away and forming their own super league. The super league story has been dragging along for so many years now it borders on cliche. There could be a super league. It might even make more sense for there to be a super league. There probably won't be, at least . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 30, 2018) US Soccer Players - Julen Lopetegui out as Real Madrid coach after ten games is now the super club story. Following their 5-1 loss at Barcelona on Sunday, Real Madrid is 9th in La Liga and in 1st-place in Champions League Group G on a tiebreaker. That mixes the results, but La Liga struggles and a demoralizing loss to Barcelona drew a line that means a new coach in . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 23, 2018) US Soccer Players - Say what you want to about the MLS playoff system, it does draw a line between winners and losers in a way that people running clubs tend to agree on. In, and things are at least alright. Out, and it's a problem. Even a knockout exit provides some cover in a league where there's no such thing as mid-table obscurity. There's also no such thing as . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 9, 2018) US Soccer Players - Call it the panic of the super clubs, with the 2018-19 season already turning into something few expected. Check the league standings in Spain and England and that tells the story. Sevilla is top of the table in La Liga, with the usual suspects slotting in at 2nd through 4th. It's Real Madrid in 4th-place, losing for the second time over the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 2, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's not much of a criticism to say that MLS got a little creative in addressing the length of its season. Trying to answer the complaint that they didn't occupy enough of the calendar compared to Europe, the league simply stretched that calendar from March through December. As solutions go, it's not the best one. That's the polite way of looking . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 25, 2018) US Soccer Players - The day before the US Open Cup concludes, the Dutch Cup begins. The KNVB Beker if we're being specific, it's a tournament that can only salvage a season for a club not in title contention. It's not a substitute trophy, or even much of a consideration for the teams trying to win the league title and do something in Europe. Still, at 101 years old . . .
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 . . .