By J Hutcherson (Mar 30, 2021) US Soccer Players - It's probably easier to look at what might not be changing in the way European club soccer runs. We already knew about the various ideas for revamping the Champions League, the threat of a super league, and FIFA's push for a bigger Club World Cup. Now, there are reports that UEFA is considering doing away with Financial Fair Play. That comes at a . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 23, 2021) US Soccer Players - The response to Juventus losing 1-0 at home to Benevento was about what you'd expect from one of soccer's "passionate" fan bases. You can pile whatever you want into "passionate" since it normally applies to supporters of clubs large and small. What it normally means in an elite European club context is extremely unhappy with the spreadsheet to . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 16, 2021) US Soccer Players - Since what sounds like fairy tales should start with "once upon a time," why not? Once upon a time, the Belgian and Dutch leagues produced some of the most competitive teams in Europe. That time all but ended when Ajax lost to Juventus as defending champions in the 1996 Champions League final. Belgium didn't get that far, with Royal Antwerp's loss . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 9, 2021) US Soccer Players - The Deutsche Fussball Liga released its 2021 financial report highlighting exactly what you, me, and pretty much anybody paying attention would expect. The pandemic has had a sizable influence on Bundesliga money and empty stadiums drag finances down. That's the new truism across sports and countries. The only question is how much of an impact it's . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 2, 2021) US Soccer Players - It's easy enough to start with the Barcelona situation, but it already runs deeper than that. Barca has become the calling card for European super clubs in trouble at a time when multiple parties seem to want significant changes to the game at the highest level. This may not be hitting the reset button that a breakaway European super league . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 23, 2021) US Soccer Players - For a league like MLS so dedicated to a specific idea of parity, it's interesting how often the conferences refuse to cooperate. It's close to an annual tradition that one conference outdoes the other. Back in 2017, the best team in the Western Conference would've finished in 6th-place in the East. Though four Western Conference teams would've . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 16, 2021) US Soccer Players - The 2020-21 Premier League season is asking a lot of questions without a lot of answers. Whether or not the newly discovered parity in England's topflight is something that will last once things return to normal is probably at the top of that list. The Manchester clubs at the top of the table are part of that story, but it's more about Leicester . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 9, 2021) US Soccer Players - Let's go ahead and insert all of the appropriate caveats. The 2020 Club World Cup is happening a month late and in a different year. Oceania's representative opted out due to pandemic restrictions. South America didn't get its champion until January 30. After lifting the Copa Libertadores, Palmeiras played a league game on February 2 before going . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 2, 2021) US Soccer Players - Let's all feign surprise that reports of FC Barcelona facing significant financial issues ended up with reports of how much they're paying Lionel Messi. It's an easy way to understand what's fueling the latest round of super league speculation. It cost a significant amount of money to have a chance of maintaining elite status in European soccer, . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 26, 2021) US Soccer Players - Frank Lampard is no longer the manager of 9th-place Chelsea, with their position in the league table all the justification needed for the move. There's an agreed-upon elite in the Premier League, and Chelsea is part of it. As fun as it is to watch English pundits load up a hypothetical super league with multiple Premier League clubs, Chelsea's . . .