The soccer news starts with a simple issue for European soccer's governing body. Short of real ramifications, why would any of their clubs stress over Financial Fair Play? UEFA sent a message about that on Friday. AP reported that UEFA fined AC Milan over $13m dollars for violating Financial Fair Play. Even in the heady world of top-tier European club soccer, that's a noticeable amount of money. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 27, 2018) US Soccer Players - This has turned into a tough week for soccer in two continents. CONMEBOL's Copa Libertadores is still without a champion as the confederation reportedly considers moving the postponed second-leg of the Boca Juniors vs River Plate series out of South America. That's the result of a weekend's worth of violence trying to get the game in at River . . .
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 . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 6, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's hard to get worked up about the latest potential for the elite European clubs breaking away and forming their own super league. The super league story has been dragging along for so many years now it borders on cliche. There could be a super league. It might even make more sense for there to be a super league. There probably won't be, at least . . .
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 . . .
The soccer news starts with an obvious point about the Nations League. It's going to take more than UEFA adding it to the schedule to make the games count. Everybody involved has to buy in. That's the challenge for any new competition, something that the Nations League is already struggling with at some levels. For all the upside when two big teams meet in League A, there's leagues B through D to . . .
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 . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 11, 2018) US Soccer Players - For anybody with an ESPN+ subscription, the wonders of the UEFA Nations League awaited during the September friendly window. The idea that hardly any soccer fans would've come up with on their own sprang to life with varying returns. Big games designed to count did what big games designed to count tend to do. Down the divisions, the enthusiasm . . .
Thursday's soccer news starts with the beginning of the Nations League era in Europe. UEFA's attempt to make more games count begins today and with it pressure to change the friendly system all over the world. It's no small project, with the league system a new idea in soccer. ESPN's Simon Kuper explains the importance of a global Nations League. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy explains the money . . .
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 . . .