The soccer news starts with the Chinese Super League. Not so long ago, they were the major threat to the status quo in world soccer, offering players salaries that even the biggest European clubs weren't interested in matching. That changed quickly, with Chinese authorities moving against the kind of spending that brought players like Oscar and Hulk to China's Super League. Both of those deals are . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's a common occurrence this time of year. The Concacaf Champions League winners travel a long way to disappoint in the FIFA Club World Cup. This time, it was Chivas heading to the Emirates and losing their second round game 3-2 to Japan's Kashima Antlers. That meant 5th-place against Esperance de Tunis. It took penalties, but Chivas lost . . .
Whether or not FIFA goes ahead with an expanded World Cup in 2022, we already know it will happen for 2026. 48 teams, resetting what we know about the tournament. For Concacaf, the early issue is number of qualifying spots and how World Cup qualifying will work in the era of expansion. It's worth the reminder that Concacaf would've already changed World Cup qualifying had they gotten four . . .
The soccer news starts with the MLS champions Atlanta United and runners-up Portland Timbers. For the technical staffs on both teams, there wasn't a lot of time for either of them to celebrate or wonder what they might've done differently. By Sunday, they were announcing the players they're keeping for the 2019 MLS season. The league moves on, with Sunday a half-day trade window where moves . . .
Over the weekend, reports linked CONMEBOL with the latest proposal for FIFA holding the World Cup every other year. How seriously FIFA decides to take that proposal is an open question, but it does raise a simple issue. If FIFA wants a global Nations League in the even years between World Cups, how is that different from a World Cup? It's CONMEBOL asking. “The proposal we have made to FIFA is to . . .
The soccer news starts with what we already know. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will have 48 teams. That's approved and set as the Confederations work through what happens with qualifying. What isn't so sure is whether or not the 2022 World Cup goes ahead at 32 or 48 teams. FIFA president Gianni Infantino highlighted that uncertainty in comments to the Asian Football Confederation. "Will it happen in . . .
At a meeting of the FIFA Council in Rwanda on Friday, world soccer's governing body advised against La Liga playing a game that counts in Miami. The proposed game in January between Girona and Barcelona requires the consent of multiple parties in world soccer's governance including FIFA's. "Consistent here with the opinion already expressed by football stakeholders committee, the council . . .
The soccer news starts with the latest on the potential for FIFA and UEFA squaring off over the plans for the revamped Club World Cup and global Nations League. FIFA wants both tournaments as a package they'll sell in part to outside promoters for $25b. UEFA would prefer that doesn't happen. In the NY Times, Tariq Panja has this moving forward with FIFA insisting on their plan even with UEFA's . . .
Tuesday's soccer news starts with the latest in Spain's La Liga attempting to play a game that counts in the United States as soon as this January. La Liga has a deal in place, but received pushback from the Spanish federation, the Spanish players' union, and now FIFA itself. ESPN's Adriana Garcia has a statement from FIFA president Gianni Infantino. He isn't exactly thrilled with the idea of . . .
Friday's soccer news starts with a suggestion. If you really want to understand how contemporary soccer operates, you should spend some time with two books. Neither of them has anything to do with the game on the field. No histories of tactics or attempts to quantify what might happen over the next 90 minutes through the creative application of statistical modeling. Red Card by Ken Bensinger is . . .