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 . . .
We start the soccer news with the end of the November international window and the return to the club schedule. For the USMNT, the losses to England and Italy is the latest prelude to an announcement of the new coach. For the players, it's once again assuming that club performance will predict national team opportunity. In Europe, that puts the pressure on players who aren't getting time with . . .
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 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 . . .
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 . . .
ESPN is all in on UEFA's competitions, announcing a rights deal for Euro 2020, the qualifiers for that tournament and the 2022 World Cup, and everything else involving European national teams from 2018-2022. That includes the new Nations League. From the press release: "The rights also include two editions of the newly created UEFA Nations League where European National teams will be divided into . . .