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. . . .
Monday's soccer news starts with a safe assumption. Most of us at some point have looked at a schedule and tried to eke out a path to success. Whether it was turning a lousy grade into a better one or convincing ourselves there's enough time left on a project, the calendar becomes our friend. Well, until it turns on us and we recognize that it's counting down to an inevitable outcome. That's an . . .
There's a way of looking at what's happening with Real Madrid as the eventual pause button on any serious consideration of a European Super League. Everybody in that league can't win, creating a problem for clubs where winning is crucial to their identity. Like say, the 5th-place team in La Liga. Real Madrid is 10 points out of 1st-place, a spot held by their old friends Barcelona. Their city . . .
The soccer news starts with Manchester United losing 3-1 at Liverpool on Sunday. The latest setback for Jose Mourinho's team quickly became the major talking point. The focus stays on Mourinho, the January transfer window, and the knockout round of the 2018-19 Champions League. United's loss at Anfield showed more of the problems with this team. As always when talking about a super club, . . .
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 . . .