By J Hutcherson (Jul 23, 2019) US Soccer Players - There's an old truism about the Champions League. For most teams, it only really counts if you make the group stage. For the elite, it's making the knockout round. Whenever a team tries to stretch that to the Europa League, it falls flat. UEFA downgraded their secondary competition too many times. The only thing that counts at that level is . . .
The soccer news starts with the club game in Europe, easy enough to overlook right now with the Women's World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America, and Cup of Nations taking the spotlight. As brief as the offseason is on the other side of the Atlantic, there's no end to the issues across multiple leagues. The latest worth noticing is AC Milan going ahead and sitting out the Europa League. Last week, the . . .
The soccer news starts with the latest version of what most would see as an old situation. FIFA's mandate to grow the game however their membership sees fit pushing up against what the fans of the game might want. The conclusion of UEFA's Nations League suggested that this is a tournament some fans might want. At least fans of the teams that advanced to the semifinals. What that isn't is a broader . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 28, 2019) US Soccer Players - It's hard to get a realistic feel for the Europa League these days. By design, UEFA's secondary tournament crowns a non-champion each May a few days ahead of the Champions League final. Attempts to make the Europa League matter crashes into that basic problem. Giving a Champions League group stage spot to the winner makes it as important as . . .
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With UEFA now standing in the way of FIFA's plans for a revamped Club World Cup and new global Nations League, the future of the schedule is once again at issue. FIFA may or may not be planning a vote next month in Miami on their new $25b deal with an outside promoter for those two tournaments. Regardless, one thing is already clear. The future of the Confederations Cup is unlikely. US Soccer . . .
The soccer news starts with more from UEFA, this time announcing a memorandum of understanding with the European Club Association. The biggest point for those of us outside Europe is a focus on the international calendar after 2024. The current version of the international calendar that removed single match windows was in large part due to pressure from Europe. The double matchday calendar isn't . . .
The soccer news starts with more from the DFB Pokal. Tyler Adams's RB Leipzig shutout John Brooks's Wolfsburg 1-0 at home. Matheus Cunha scored the game's only goal in the 9th minute with Peter Gulacsi keeping the clean sheet with one save. "Our off-the-ball play was really good again today," RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick said. "We only let Wolfsburg have one clear chance, which Peter Gulacsi . . .
We start the soccer news with an open question. Is FIFA president Gianni Infantino the most powerful person in world soccer, or is it UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin? As Reuters' Brian Homewood reports, Ceferin will win reelection for a second term as UEFA president since he's the only candidate on the ballot at Thursday's congress in Rome. Ceferin's rise in global soccer politics was quick, . . .
The soccer news starts with what everybody wants to talk about on a Tuesday, bureaucracy in soccer. With FIFA president Gianni Infantino seemingly keen on pushing through an agenda for revamped and new tournaments to unlock outside money, the pushback is the issue. Europe isn't happy, interesting considering Infantino is the former secretary general of UEFA. Reporting for the NY Times, Tariq . . .