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 . . .
By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 25, 2015) US Soccer Players - This week, UEFA held its annual congress where, among other things, they reelected president Michel Platini. There was no suspense. Platini ran unopposed. Soccer's tendency for single-candidate presidential elections is troubling to say the least. It suggests at least two broad issues. One, no opposition candidate believes . . .
By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 28, 2014) US Soccer Players – In the spring of 2014, not much. Right now, UEFA's latest grand experiment is a target for late 2018. They've got to arrange the pieces for the new Nations League, take it to committee, and likely rip up most of the details and start again. That's what happens in soccer bureaucracies after all. Oh, and attach a few sponsors. This . . .