By J Hutcherson (Jun 14, 2022) US Soccer Players - On Monday, the International Football Association Board officially made five substitutes an option for any "top level competition," along with increasing the bench from 12 to 15 players. Neither of these moves were exactly surprising, but they underline issues for the contemporary game. In an era where players, officials, pundits, and fans are . . .
FIFA and the potential economics of the biennial World Cup
FIFA held its Global Summit yesterday, announcing the results of two new studies focusing on the economic impact of the biennial World Cup proposal. FIFA has yet to bring that proposal to a vote, alongside revamping the international calendar starting in 2025. As understatements go, it's fair to say that both of those agenda items would potentially rework international soccer as we know it. As for . . .
Juventus vs Chelsea in group H, UEFA and The Super League
Tuesday's soccer news starts with matchday 2 in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed earlier today that Christian Pulisic will miss tomorrow's game at Juventus in group H. Pulisic continues to recover from the injury he picked up during the USMNT's game at Honduras on September 8. "You never know with players that are missing," Tuchel said about making . . .
The changing scope of leagues, competitions, and calendars
By J Hutcherson (Aug 24, 2021) US Soccer Players - We're already well into an era of change across world soccer. From the Nations League concept started in Europe and embraced by Concacaf to World Cup expansion to FIFA's delayed Club World Cup revamp. UEFA alone has now added a third European club competition with yet another Champions League revamp looming. Last month, CAF made a new African . . .
Barcelona’s president puts a number on the club’s debt
Tuesday's soccer news starts with Barcelona trying to figure out a workable budget. The club's president Joan Laporta told media members that the debt is at $1.6 billion and that they're spending 106% of income on salaries. Considering how much money is required to operate successfully in the transfer market, it's easy to see why Barcelona is in so much financial trouble. What may not be as . . .
The Cup Winners’ Cup still resonates in Europe
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Aug 2, 2021) US Soccer Players – The architects of Italy's recent European Championship title were manager Roberto Mancini and the team's delegation chief Gianluca Vialli. The duo, famous for scoring goals at Serie A side Sampdoria in the 1980s and early '90s, famously won the now-defunct Cup Winners' Cup in 1990. That title proved a springboard for their conquest . . .
UEFA opts against away goals
Friday's soccer news starts with UEFA deciding that the away goals tiebreaker is no longer necessary. Or, to put it in their words, "abolition of the away goals rule in all UEFA club competitions." Most importantly, that means an end to the Champions League knockout round series decided by away goals. Pour one out for the memory of the Bayern Munich vs PSG quarterfinal in 2020-21. That's now . . .
Denmark’s Kasper Hjulmand: “You don’t necessarily find good leadership in the protocols”
By J Hutcherson (Jun 15, 2021) US Soccer Players - On Saturday, UEFA needed to address the immediate aftermath of a medical emergency. Denmark's Christian Erikson had collapsed on the field with a teammate immediately seeing the severity of the situation. What followed was a life-saving intervention that involved players, medical staff, and the fans with the presence of mind to throw their flags . . .
Group F at Euro 2020
Wednesday's soccer news starts with group F at Euro 2020. Joachim Low's last tournament as Germany coach means navigating one of the toughest groups possible in world soccer right now. There, he'll get an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that his ideas still resonate at the highest level. Germany is as close to an all-star team as exists in Europe right now, starting in goal with Manuel . . .
The Super League still at issue in Europe
Thursday's soccer news starts with the rebellious three from The Super League continuing in their refusal to give UEFA what it wants. That would seem to be apologizing like the other nine members of the breakaway. Instead, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus released a joint statement calling out UEFA's intention to sanction them while the three clubs move forward with their court . . .