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 . . .
We start the soccer news with a simple point. It's easy to judge the 2018 summer transfer market by its biggest deal. Cristiano Ronaldo moves to Juventus from defending Champions League winners Real Madrid and resets the competitive balance in European soccer. Last season, it was Neymar moving from Barcelona to PSG but that wasn't the key player from the club dominating the Champions League. It's . . .
The soccer news starts with an example of why the revamped UEFA Champions League might not appeal to some parts of Europe. First a reminder. Starting this season, the top four leagues in Europe put four teams each directly into the group stage. The 5th highest ranked league gets three places in the group stage, with the 6th getting two. A quick look at the coefficient table has Spain's La Liga . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 5, 2018) US Soccer Players - The biggest question in world soccer right now isn't who will host the 2026 World Cup. It's not if the World Cup will expand to 48 teams a cycle early in Qatar. It's not even what might happen in Russia. It's whether or not FIFA is overreaching. It's hard to downplay FIFA's recent moves. They've pushed through a World Cup expansion that may start . . .
Saturday's Champions League final (2:45pm ET - FOX) marks the end of the 2017-18 European soccer season, a finale that might end up looking like last season and the season before that. Real Madrid is playing for a three-peat, something that hasn't happened since the first-half of the 1970s when the tournament was the European Cup and required winning four home-and-away series and the final. Real . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - On Saturday, Real Madrid plays Liverpool (2:45pm ET - FOX) in the biggest game on the European soccer schedule. The Champions League final is the de facto club world championship, something made clear by how many people watch it versus the actual Club World Cup. For Real Madrid, it's an attempt at a three-peat, the most dominant performance we've . . .
The soccer news starts with a problem for how the sport is covered on both sides of the Atlantic. The daily churn of what passes for news can downplay major issues for the sport. Right now, that issue is the countdown not for the decision on who will host the 2026 World Cup or even the start of this summer's World Cup itself. Instead, it's FIFA trying to push through plans to revamp the Club World . . .
The soccer news starts with the USMNT in action against Paraguay tonight in Cary, NC (7:30pm ET - FS1). The USMNT continues to bring in new faces as the program considers options. This is a path expected to lead to the hiring of a general manager and a coach, with the club moving forward under interim coach Dave Sarachan. The current setup has made it clear that young players are the focus, . . .
UEFA held the draw for the 2017-18 Champions League quarterfinals, giving us a rematch of last season's final. That Juventus vs Real Madrid meeting is by far the highlight of the round, with the bouncing balls keeping the other contenders apart. The all-Premier League meeting of Liverpool and Manchester City might be high profile with Liverpool in 3rd and City top of the table, but there's an . . .
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 . . .