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 . . .
The soccer news starts with strong performances for USMNT players in the Champions League group stage. Christian Pulisic scored the game's only goal in Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 win at Club Brugge in Group A. Pulisic's goal came in the 85th minute, deflecting the ball off of his shin and over goalkeeper Karlo Letica. Ethan Horvath was on the bench for Club Brugge. ''It's really good that we won," . . .
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 . . .
The September international window ended with games that count in Europe and a lot of friendlies everywhere else. It's probably worth the reminder that there used to be a single-game international window in August before FIFA redid the schedule a few years ago. A late starting league like the Bundesliga got in all of two league games before the September break. The Premier League has played four. . . .
The soccer news starts with the 2018-19 Champions League draw and trouble in Group B. Barcelona and Spurs might be the obvious favorites, but a revived Inter Milan and Dutch champions PSV should cause problems. It's probably not a group of death for either of the favorites, but it's also not Group A, C, or G where picking the 3rd-place team is probably more difficult than who advances. UEFA's new . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 28, 2018) US Soccer Players - With all of the European big leagues now playing games that count and the group stage of the Champions League closing in, it's worth asking a simple question. What's worth our time this season across European soccer? Since it's almost impossible to correctly predict a Leicester City scenario, let's set aside the shocking surprises. Instead, I'm . . .
The soccer news starts with the other elite European leagues trying to compete with the Premier League. Though few would claim parity in the Premier League, they do have more super clubs that could potentially win the title than anywhere else in European soccer. That's a clear advantage in an era where three of the top five leagues have one dominant club. UEFA's coefficient now rules the . . .
La Liga begins their 2018-19 season later today and Serie A starts on Saturday, with two more of Europe's big leagues debuting. In La Liga, it's a similar story with the big three. Barcelona is defending champions with last year's 2nd-place finisher Atletico and 3rd-place Real Madrid trying to change that. As many have pointed out since Wednesday, Atletico's Super Cup win over Real Madrid seems . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 14, 2018) US Soccer Players - Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup doesn't officially start anything. It's not the kickoff for either of Europe's club tournaments, both well into qualifying at this point. UEFA's Champions League couldn't even get out of the way for the World Cup, playing games while that tournament was still underway in Russia. The domestic leagues in Europe stagger . . .
The 2018-19 Scottish Premier League season starts this weekend, a league that is now only occasionally identified with USMNT players. Perry Kitchen's time at Hearts was the latest example, but it's a list that includes the Alejandro Bedoya - Carlos Bocanegra - Maurice Edu era at Rangers and prior to that DaMarcus Beasley and Claudio Reyna spending time with the club. The collapse of Rangers' . . .