By J Hutcherson (Mar 28, 2019) US Soccer Players - Its 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 . . .
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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 . . .