The soccer news starts with the Champions Leagues in UEFA and CONCACAF. The European version has what might have been the biggest matchup in the round of 16. Instead, Real Madrid vs PSG now looks like a foregone conclusion. Real Madrid is 3-1 up with Neymar out for PSG. The other game in Europe is even easier to predict. Liverpool is 5-0 up over Porto. Taking away the intrigue in the second-legs . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 18, 2017) US Soccer Players – The phenomenon of the player/coach in soccer may not be something currently in vogue, but some of the world’s best players have held that dual role. Legendary players such as Gordon Strachan, Kenny Dalglish, Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli, and Graeme Souness have all done so. Other sports have also used player-coaches. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 16, 2017) US Soccer Players - Peru finally gave the World Cup playoffs what it needed, a game worth watching. With all due respect to Australia's win over Honduras much earlier in the day on Wednesday, that game quickly became an obvious conclusion. Though Peru was the stronger team by any metric, New Zealand gave them a game. Peru's goals and both teams' near misses were . . .
We start the soccer news with Reuters' Simon Evans reporting that CONCACAF is planning for their version of a Nations League potentially starting in the September international window. The Nations League is a UEFA concept, put in place to replace friendlies with games that count. It's a multiple league structure for national teams with promotion and relegation and playoffs for a champion. UEFA's . . .
UEFA announced the makeup of their four leagues that will compete in the new Nations League. Europe is dropping most of their friendly dates in favor of a promotions and relegation format that features a playoff for the title. The new Nations League begins on September 6, 2018. Why Now? Club vs country in Europe is an ongoing negotiation. UEFA runs the most lucrative club competition in world . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - UEFA is pushing ahead with the Nations League, officially announcing the competition. It's a concept to make friendlies count... or something. It's tough to judge what UEFA really wants from their new competition, except maybe a good enough reason to keep scheduling international games during the club season. Since MLS normally just shrugs and . . .
A big game at the top of their group in UEFA World Cup qualifying. Spain hosts Italy with NYCFC player David Villa back in Spain's squad for the first time since the 2014 World Cup. Also on the schedule, MLS plays through the international window with Saturday's Dallas vs Red Bulls game available nationally. Spain vs Italy at 2:45pm on Saturday on FS2 from the Bernabeu in Madrid. It might be . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - The FIFA Club World Cup final isn't fooling anybody. The game that determines the best team in world soccer for a given season is the Champions League final. UEFA reigns supreme in world club soccer for a reason. They pay more and they do a better job of exploiting that commodity. That's the polite way of looking at rosters by domestic origin and . . .
MLS added to a familiar story on Tuesday night. FC Dallas started the second-leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Pachuca 2-1 up and ended it knocked out of the tournament. Pachuca advanced 3-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. With USMNT player Omar Gonzalez getting the start for Pachuca, a Franco Jara goal put them up in the 38th minute. Hirving Lozano doubled the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Apr 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - Last week, the European Club Association (ECA) telling everybody willing to listen that they're thrilled with the job UEFA is doing. Namely, the latest tweaks to the Champions League that will guarantee more places for the elite leagues and their biggest clubs. The ECA is calling this "sporting value", and it doesn't take much to parse that. The . . .