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. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 12, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's going to be quite the week for FIFA. On Wednesday, world soccer's governing body votes on a World Cup host for 2026. On Thursday, the 2018 World Cup begins at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. It's FIFA's version of the prom where they've already named themselves king, queen, court, emcee, and DJ. This is their show, pushing past their crises, . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 5, 2018) US Soccer Players - The biggest question in world soccer right now isn't who will host the 2026 World Cup. It's not if the World Cup will expand to 48 teams a cycle early in Qatar. It's not even what might happen in Russia. It's whether or not FIFA is overreaching. It's hard to downplay FIFA's recent moves. They've pushed through a World Cup expansion that may start . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 31, 2018) US Soccer Players - From my perspective Chicago was booming in the late 90s. Tech companies with plenty of jobs, people opening things like hipster newsstands to go along with the new restaurants and Japanese stationary stores. Lots of people around my age happy to be there. The dotcom crash wiped most of that out. I don't mean in theory. I mean whole sections of my . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - On Saturday, Real Madrid plays Liverpool (2:45pm ET - FOX) in the biggest game on the European soccer schedule. The Champions League final is the de facto club world championship, something made clear by how many people watch it versus the actual Club World Cup. For Real Madrid, it's an attempt at a three-peat, the most dominant performance we've . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - MLS has had the expansion game mostly to itself since their decision to revamp the league by doubling the number of teams. The expansion era is happening in isolation, save for the NHL adding Las Vegas this season. It's been a long time since the other North American pro sports teams decided expansion was nice to talk about in theory, but not their . . .
By J Hutcherson (Apr 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's an off week for the Champions League and Europa League while we wait for the semifinals in both of Europe's club tournaments. With eight clubs still in position to lift a trophy, it's worth remembering what happened last season. Though Real Madrid kept their Champions League streak alive at the expense of Juventus, it was the Europa League . . .