Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: 17-year-old Pulisic makes Dortmund Debut

Yesterday's Scores
FA Cup- Fourth Round
Colchester United 4-1 Tottenham
(Chadli 27', 78', Dier 68', Carroll 82')-(Davies OG 80')

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
(Chambers 19', Sanchez 53')-(Vokes 30')

Aston Villa 0-4 Manchester City
(Iheanacho 4', 24', 74', Sterling 76')

Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Leeds United
(Pratley 80')-(Doukara 8', Diagouraga 39')

Bury 1-3 Hull City
(Jones 86')-(Akpom 14', 57', 69')

Crystal Palace 1-0 Stoke City
(Zaha 17')

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Watford
(Ighalo 89')

Oxford United 0-3 Blackburn Rovers
(Marshall 36', 76', Watt 45+2')

Portsmouth 1-2 AFC Bournemouth
(Roberts 43')-(King 71', Pugh 83')

Reading 4-0 Walsall
(Robson-Kanu 37', Vydra 40', 89', Williams 75')

Shrewsbury Town 3-2 Sheffield United
(Akpa Akpro 56', Whalley 87')-(McGuan 19', 76', Grimmer 90+7')

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Peterborough United
(Berahino 14', 84')-(Coulthirst 79', Taylor 86')

Liverpool 0-0 West Ham

Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Hannover 98
(Kiessling 44', Chicharito 63', 87')

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Ingolstadt 04
(Aubameyang 77', 86')

FC Augsburg 0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

SV Darmstadt 98 0-2 Schalke 04
(Meyer 43', Sane 53')

Werder Bremen 3-3 Hertha Berlin
(Darida 29', Plattenhardt 41, 'Kalou 71,)-(Bartels 67', Pizarro 75', Garcia 77')

VfB Stuttgart 2-1 Hamburg SV
(Didavi 66', Kravets 88')-(Rudnevs 75')

La Liga
Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid
(Messi 30', Suarez 38')-(Koke 10')

Eibar 1-2 Malaga
(Borja 90+4')-(Juanpi 45', Santa Cruz 90+1')

Getafe 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
(Williams 24')

Villarreal 1-0 Grenada
(Bruno 55')

Real Sociedad 2-1 Real Betis
(Prieto 18', Martinez 33')-(Castro 51')

Serie A
Carpi 1-1 Palermo
(Mancosu 74')-(Gilardino 24')

Atalanta 1-1 Sassuolo
(denis 32')-(Barardi 32')

AS Roma 3-1 Frosinone
(Nainggolan 18', El Shaarawy 48', Pjanic 84')-(Ciofani 24')

Ligue 1
Angers 3-0 AS Monaco
(Ndoye 19', 43', Yattara 55')

Bastia 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais
(Brandao 69')

GFC Ajaccio 0-4 Montpellier
(Yatabare 14', Martin 41', Dabo 52', 57')

Lorient 2-0 Stade de Reims
(Toure 15', 51')

Toulouse 1-2 Guingamp
(Ben Yedder 64')-(Sankhare 12', Briand 72')

Troyes 0-1 Nantes
(Gillet 41')

Liga MX
Cruz Azul 2-1 Jaguares Chiapas
(Benitez 52', Ramirez 78')-(Romero PK 42')

Morelia 2-0 Guadalajara
(Velazquez 38', Rodriguez 50')

UANL 3-1 Leon
(Gignac 12', 29', 45+1')-(Novaretti 19')

Pachuca 3-1 Monterrey
(Jara PK 57', Botta 67', Pizarro 69')-(Funes Mori 86')

Atlas 1-1 Pumas UNAM
(Salinas 13')-(Martinez 90+3')

Dorados de Sinaloa 0-3 Club America
(Aguilar 26', Martinez 40', Peralta 87')

Headlines
Here's a real shocker. Speaking ahead of today's friendly with Iceland, Jurgen Klinsmann said he was "thrilled' that Matt Miazga was on his way to Chelsea. He used this same word when talking about Jordan Morris staying home to play with the Sounders. Back then, I wondered what he would have said if Morris chose Germany instead, but I guess he would have been "thrilled' either way.

Another thing that would thrill Klinsmann was the debut of American teenager Christian Pulisic for Borussia Dortmund. The 17-year-old from Pennsylvania came on as a sub in the 68th minute. He didn't do anything of note, but the fact that an American who isn't even out of high school just got his debut at one of the largest clubs in one of the largest leagues in the world is something to be celebrated.

Also from the Jurgen Klinsmann thriller department, John Anthony Brooks is extending his deal with Hertha Berlin, the only club he has known. The deal will keep him in the German capital until 2019. He is enjoying a breakout year with a goal in nine starts for the Champions League challenging Hertha this season.

After spending all of six months and making five league starts with Firoentina in Serie A, Mario Suarez is reuniting with his former Atletico Madrid boss Quique Sanchez-Flores at Watford. He heads to Watford thanks to an undisclosed transfer fee and is signed through 2020.

Here's a fun little story out of League Two. Wycombe Wanderers had just sold their starting keeper to QPR, so their backup, Alex Lynch, had to start yesterday. With no other keeper on the roster, goalkeeping coach Barry Richardson, who had not played since 2005, suited up on the bench. Well, Lynch got hurt a quarter of an hour into the match and Richardson was forced to step it with Wycombe leading 1-0 over Plymouth Argyle. He kept a clean sheet in his first action in nearly 11 years and his squad won 1-0.

Today's Matches
FA Cup- Fourth Round
Carlisle United v. Everton- 8:30am- FS2
MK Dons v. Chelsea- 11am- FS1

Bundesliga
VfL Wolfsburg v. FC Koln- 9:30am
Bayern Munich v. TSG Hoffenheim- 11:30am

La Liga
Sevilla v. Levante- 6am
Valencia v. Sporting Gijon- 10am- beIN
Las Palmas v. Celta Vigo- 12:15pm
Real Madrid v. Espanyol- 2:30pm- beIN

Serie A
Chievo v. Juventus- 6:30am- beIN
Bologna v. Sampdoria- 9am
Genoa v. Fiorentina- 9am
Napoli v. Empoli- 9am- beIN
Torino v. Hellas Verona- 9am
Udinese v. Lazio- 9am
AC Milan v. Inter Milan- 2:45pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Caen v. Nice- 8am
Bordeaux v. Stade Rennes- 11am
St. Etienne v. Paris-St. Germain- 3pm

Liga MX
Toluca v. Puebla- 1pm

International Friendly
United States v. Iceland- 3:45pm- ESPN2

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Van Gaal still in charge at United

Louis Van Gall will live to manage another day at Manchester United thanks to a well deserved FA Cup win in the fourth round. That goes along with the retirement of a former Manchester United legend and some minor transfer action, including several MLS players leaving the league.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: van Gaal worried for his job, again

Manchester City experiences a big injury as title contenders Arsenal are getting healthy. Louis van Gaal's managerial seat is already pretty hot, will a loss to Derby make it hotter?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Matt Miazga is headed to Chelsea

Yesterday's Scores
Capital One Cup- Semifinal Second Leg
Manchester City 3-1 Everton (4-3 on aggregate)
(Fernandinho 24', De Bruyne 70', Aguero 76')-(Barkley 18')

Copa del Rey- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Atletico Madrid 2-3 Celta Vigo (2-3 on aggregate)
(Griezmann 29', Correa 81')-(Hernandez 22', 64', Guidetti 56')

Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao (5-2 on aggregate)
(Suarez 53', Pique 81', Neymar 90+1')-(Williams 12')

Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
Juventus 3-0 Inter Milan
(Morata PK 36', 63', Dybala 83')

Headlines
Recent USMNT debutante and New York Red Bulls stand out defender Matt Miazga is leaving MLS. The Red Bulls have agreed to sell the player to Chelsea for somewhere around $5 million. The move is made easier than most Americans heading to England, as Miazga has a Polish passport,, meaning he doesn't have to obtain a UK work permit in order to complete the deal. He has left the USMNT's January camp in order to join his new club. It's likely Miazga won't see time with the first team any time soon. He figures to be sent out on loan to a lower Premier League side or a Championship club in order to gain some playing time. He join DeAndre Yedlin, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, and Geoff Cameron (among others) as Americans in the Premier League.

Jurgen Klinsmann has taken heat for advising his top national team players to keep playing overseas, and now Mexican boss Juan Carlos Osorio is doing the same for El Tri. He criticised the likes of Giovani dos Santos for taking an easy paycheck and low pressure competition in America's top tier league. He says the league is better suited for players at the end of their careers, when they don't have a lot to offer European clubs. I can't exactly argue with him. I have long been in favor of Americans going overseas, which is why Matt Miazga to Chelsea is so intriguing.

LA Galaxy have now officially gotten older and more European. The Ashley Cole deal has been made official by the club. The English defender is 35 years old and recently had his contract with Roma terminated. Cple is a strong replacement for the departed Omar Gonzalez, even if it goes against everything Bruce Arena spoke about last week.

The bottom feeders of the Premier League have been the most active in this January transfer window. That includes Sunderland, who have signed Lamini Kone from Lorient. He is the third player signed by the Black Cats this month. The Ivory Coast defender will serve as depth in competition for the Sunderland back line, which has conceded 46 times, more than any other club.

Today's Matches
Copa del Rey- Quarterfinals
Mirandes v. Sevilla- 2pm
Las Palmas v. Valencia- 3pm

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Galaxy add another old European

Today's Matches
Capital One Cup- Semifinal Second Leg
Liverpool 0-1 Stoke City (1-1 on aggregate, Liverpool wins 6-5 on penalties)
(Arnautovic 45+1')

Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
Alessandria 0-1 AC Milan
(Balotelli 43')

Headlines
FIFA has finalized it's list of five candidates for their presidential election, which takes place in one month's time. Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne will be FIFA President at the end of February.
Champagne spoke out about the 2022 World Cup and the investigation into the likely corrupt methods Qatar used to earn hosting privileges for the event. He says that if the Arab nation is proven to be guilty and removed as hosts, the United States, as second place finishers in the vote, should be where the tournament is played. There are plenty of non-FIFA related issues that very well should lead to Qatar not being allowed to host, so hopefully the new regime gets their acts together and takes it away from them, whether the USA is plan B or not.

Fox Sports has been awarded the television rights for the much anticipated Copa America tournament to be held in the United States this summer. It was long speculated that this would be the case, but it's now finally official. The prices was delayed, ave even has to start over, thanks to the FIFA arrests and subsequent investigation that almost led to the event being moved from the USA.

Chelsea and West Brom had a little bit of argy bargy in their 2-2 draw back on January 13 (so surprise Diego Costa was at the center of it). As a result, both clubs have been fined for their actions. Chelsea is out  £65,000 while West Brom was docked only £35,000. Nobody was sent off back on matchday, and no players have been directly punished either.

After Bruce Arena ranted last week about MLS not focussing enough on American players, another aging European has joined LA Galaxy. This time it's 32-year old Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme coming over from Standard Liege. The left back scored 22 times in more than 200 appearances for Standard, and hopes to help fill in the void left by the departed Omar Gonzalez.

Crystal Palace have made a move for a free agent. Former Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor will join the South London club for the remainder of the season. He is there to provide depth in attack for a Palace team that is chasing a spot in the Europe League for next year.

Finally, USWNT star forward Sydney Leroux will not be playing in this summer's Olympic Games, nor for the qualifying tournament next month. However, it is for an entirely positive reason as she and her husband, Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, have announced they are expecting their first child. Congratulations to the happy couple and I wish them all the best going forward. And I look forward to the kid becoming as US National Team prospect in 18 years or so.

Today's Matches
Capital One Cup- Semifinal Second Leg
Manchester City v. Everton- 2:45pm

Copa del Rey- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Atletico Madrid v. Celta Vigo- 2:30pm
Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao- 3:30pm

Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
Juventus v. Inter Milan


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: No Howard bid by Rapids, Buffon to retire after 2018 World Cup

There was only a single match on Monday, so the news had to so something to keep up. The Premier League was busy with transfers, suspensions, and injuries. An Italian great is calling it quite, in two and a half years. We also have an update on Colorado's alleged pursuit of Tim Howard.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Drogba staying in Montreal

Premier League
Everton 0-0 Swansea City
(Cork OG 26')-(Sigurdsson PK 17', Ayew 34')

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
(Costa 23')

Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 VfL Wolfsburg
(Meier 66', 73', 90+3')-(Dante 25', Schurrle 79')

Schalke 04 1-3 Werder Bremen
(Matip 4')-(Fritz 43', Pizarro 53', Ujah 89')

La Liga
Athletic Bilbao 5-2 Eibar
(Aduriz 12', 52', Merino 27', Laporte 40', Alonso OG 80')-(Borja 4', PK 50')

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Sevilla

Deportivo la Coruna 1-1 Valencia
(Lucas 27')-(Negredo 90+3')

Real Betis 1-1 Real Madrid
(Cejudo 7')-(Benzema 71')

Serie A
Fiorentina 2-0 Torino
(Rodriguez 83', Ilicic 24')

Hellas Verona 1-1 Genoa
(Pazzini 39')-(Coppola OG 19')

Inter Milan 1-1 Carpi
(Palacio 39')-(Lasagna 90+2')

Lazio 4-1 Chievo Verona
Candreva PK 66', 81', Cataldi 72', Balde Diao 90+6')-(Cesar 5')

Palermo 4-1 Udinese
(Qualson 35', Hiljemark 56', Lazaar 77', Trajkovski 87')-(Thereau 69')

Sampdoria 2-4 Napoli
(Correa 45', Eder 73)-(Higuain 9', Insigne PK 18', Hamsik 60', Mertens 79')

Sassuolo 0-2 Bologna
(Giaccherini 68', Floccari 90+3')

Juventus 1-0 AS Roma
(Dybala 77')

Ligue 1
AS Monaco 4-0 Toulouse
(Silva 28', Coentrao 36', Carrillo 70', Costa 90+3')

Stade de Reims 1-1 St. Etienne
(Mandi 89')-(Bahebeck 60')

Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Olympique Marseille
(Tolisso 78')-(Cabella 64')

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM 0-1 Puebla
(Alustiza 29')

Guadalajara 2-2 UANL
(Pineda 27', Cisneros 73')-(Fernandez 56', Sobis 58')

Headlines
The major story today was the hint that Didier Drogba is staying in Canada to play for Montreal Impact. It's nothing official, but Drogba tweeted that he is heading to Qatar to get ready for preseason with Montreal. With all the speculation that he would assume a coaching position with Chelsea, this is certainly a step in the right direction for Montreal supporters, and really for fans all over MLS, Drogba was so good when he played with the Impact, it would be a shame if he didn't give us a full season's worth of entertainment. For what it's worth, Guus Hiddink has ruled out the possibility of Drogba coming to Chelsea in the near future.

Today's Matches
La Liga
Levante v. Las Palmas- 2:30pm 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Premier League: Sloppy Arsenal fall to Chelsea

Everton 1-2 Swansea City
A rough first half was enough to doom Everton into a rather ugly loss. Tim Howard conceded a penalty in the 16th minute to set the tone early. Gylfi Sigurdsson converted from the spot to make it official. The Toffees did equalize through an own goal off of Jack Cork, but they were unable to enjoy the even keel for long. Andre Ayew got the Swans back on top on the 34th minute and they would hold that lead for the duration dealt increased pressure by the home team. Of Everton's 18 shots, only two made it on target and none found the goal. The win moves Swansea four points clear of safety while Everton is stuck in 12th with no real prospects for anything this season.

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
We finish with what was supposed to be the crown jewel of the weekend. It was ruined by a nit picky red card in the 18th minute against Per Mertesacker. His slide challenge may have clipped Diego Costa, who was the last man through on goal, but the contact was minimal at best. Costa sold it by flopping to the turf as he usually does. In response, Arsene Wenger brought on Gabriel, the defender who deserved a red card inn the last Arsenal-Chelsea showdown, for Olivier Giroud, essentially ending any chance Arsenal has of mounting a sustained attack. Not that they were able to produce one anyway. The opening 20 minutes featured done of the sloppiest play we have seen from the Gunners all year long. To add further insult, Costa flicked home Chelsea's opening goal five minutes later.

Chelsea backed off on the attack in the second half and decided to defend against Arsenal's lifeless attack. In order to spark something up front, Arsenal brought on Alexis Sanchez, who has been out with injury since before the new year. It didn't help. Chelsea's defense shell ave Arsenal's manpower disadvantage were simply too much for the home team to overcome.

Arsenal got what they deserved. They were sloppy with their passes. They were sloppy on defending and it led to a red card (one that probably could have only been a yellow without any complaints). By the time they gained some composure, it was too late. Leicester are on top. Arsenal drop to third behind Manchester City on goal difference. And Chelsea are a little bit further away from relegation, but not significantly closer to Europe.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Mourinho deperate for Man United after van Gaal booed oout of Old Trafford

Barclay's Premier League
Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool
(Mbokani 29', Naismith 41', Hoolahan 54', Bassong 90+2')-(Firmino 18', 63', Henderson 55', Milner 75', Lallana 90+5')

Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham
(Vertonghen OG 30')-(Kane 63', Alli 84', Chadli 90+5')

Leicester City 3-0 Stoke City
(Drinkwater 42, Vardy 66', Ulloa 87')

Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
(Austin 87')

Sunderland 1-1 Bournemouth
(Van Aanholt 45+1')-(Afobe 13')

Watford 2-1 Newcastle
(Ighalo 46', Cathcart 58')-(Lascelles 71')

West Browmwich Albion 0-0 Aston Villa

West Ham United 0-0 Manchester City
(Valencia 1', 56')-(Aguero PK 9', 81')

Bundesliga
FC Koln 1-3 VfB Stuttgart
(Modeste 19')-(Didavi 36', Werner 51', Gentner 83')

FC Ingolstadt 04 1-0 Mainz
(Hartmann PK 41')

Hannover 96 1-2 SC Darmstadt 98
(Almeida 10')-(Wagner 31', 47')

Hertha Berlin 0-0 FC Augsburg

TSG Hoffenheim 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
(Hamad 40')-(Toprak 75')

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
(Raffael 58')-(Reus 41', Mkhitaryan 50')

La Liga
Malaga 1-2 Barcelona
(Juanpi 32')-(El Haddadi- 2', Messi 51')

Espanyol 2-2 Villarreal
(Caicedo 4', Moreno 40')-(Trigueros 24', Musacchio 88')

Granada 3-2 Getafe
(Rico 27', El Arabi 36', Rochina 77')-(Scepovic 71', Gomez 74')

Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Celta Vigo
(Miku 21', TIto 26', Jozabed 36')

Serie A
Frosinone 0-0 Atalanta

Empoli 2-2 AC Milan
(Zielinski 32', Maccarone 61')-(Bacca 8', Bonaventura 48')

Ligue 1
Paris-St. Germain 5-1 Angers
(Ibrahimovic 32', Moura 40', Van Der Weil 54', Di Maria 62', 66')-(Capelle 59')

Guingamp 1-0 Bastia
(Giresse 90+4')

Lille 1-3 Troyes
(Boufal 25')-(Cabot 77', 80', Pi 86')

Montpellier 1-2 Caen
(Bensebaini 23')-(Ronny 40', Delort 52')

Nantes 2-2 Bordeaux
(Sigthorsson 1', Bedoya 30')-(Diabate 84', Cana OG 90+1')

Nice 2-1 Lorient
(Ben Afra 35', Koziello 44')-(Jouffre 23')

Liga MX
Club America 1-4 Pachuca
(Sambueza 71')-(Alvarado OG 19', Jara 28', Lozano 87', Guzman 90+3')

Monterrey 1-0 Atlas
(Sanchez 22')

Leon 3-2 Cruz Azul
(Navarro Moran 63', 67', Cano 73')-(Santos 16'', Rojas 68')

Morelia 1-1 Toluca
(Galindo OG 67')-(Triveria 8')

Chiapas 1-1 Veracruz
(Armenteros 32')-(Cervantes 39')

Headlines
Jose Mourinho is desperate for Manchester United. So much so that he wrote them a six page letter explaining why he should be the one to take over the club when Louis van Gaal inevitably gets fired. Mourinho has some folks withing United's brass that are against his hiring, so the missive speaks of a long term plan for the club to go along with his willingness to conform to club standards. I am on the record saying that Jose Mourinho is a good thing for the Premier League. So hopefully this attempt persuades the United board to enlist him over the summer, if not sooner.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Everton v. Swansea City- 8:30am- NBCSN
Arsenal v. Chelsea- 11am- NBCSN

Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt v. VfL Wolfsburg- 9:30am
Schalke 04 v. Werder Bremen- 11:30am

La Liga
Athletic Bilbao v. Eibar- 6am
Atletico Madrid v. Sevilla- 10am
Deportivo la Coruna v. Valencia- 12:15pm
Real Betis v. Real Madrid- 2:30pm

Serie A
Firoentia v. Torino- 6:30am
Hellas Verona v. Genoa- 9am
Inter Milan v. Carpi- 9am
Lazio v. Chievo Verona- 9am
Palermo v. Udinese- 9am
Sampdoria v. Napoli- 9am
Sassoulo v. Bologna- 9am
Juventus v. AS Roma- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
AS Monaco v. Toulouse- 8am
Stade de Reims v. St. Ettienne- 11am
Olympique Lyonnais v. Olympique Marseille- 3pm

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM v. Puebla- 1pm
Guadalajara v. Tiges UANL- 6pm

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It Happened in England: Leicester to the top again, Liverpool and Norwich give us a memory

Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool
Liverpool had heartbreak against Manchester United, thankfully and easy tilt with Norwich could get them back in track. What they didn't expect was this barn burner of a match that saw them go 3-1 down shortly after halftime, go back up by a goal, give up a stoppage time equalizer, then a dramatic winner seconds before the final whistle. The unexpected first half dominance of Norwich didn't start until after the Reds were up a goal. Roberto Firmino put them in front in the 18th minute. The next half hour or so was all Norwich.  Their first goal came int he 29th minute courtesy of Dieumerci Mbokani. The second was from their sparkling new signing, Steven Naismith, in the 41st. Wes Hoolahan completed the carnage in the 54th. Liverpool got back in gear immediately after the Hoolahan tally. They would bury the next three in the match over the next 20 minutes. First it was JordanHenderson in the 55th. Then FIrmino's second in the 63rd. Finally, James Milner had them back in front int he 75th. Norwich would not go quietly, however. After some sustained pressure, Sebastian Bassong got the home side back on level terms in the second minute of stoppage time. Just when you thought it was over, Adam Lallana stepped up to give Liverpool all three points. He finished off a crazy sequence in the penalty area by finding the upper corner of the goal in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time. After his insane celebration saw him yellowed for removal of his shirt, the final whistle, sadly, went to bring this memorable match to an end.

Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham
Crystal Palace have lost their goal scoring ability, and playing Tottenham is not a good way to get it back. It wasn't a good start for them, however. Jan Vertongen put one into his own goal at the half hour mark to give Palace the lead. It's a little funny that their goalless streak would come to an end with, of all things, an own goal. It took time, but Harry Kane came to the rescue for Spurs. As Tottenham controlled the game, Kane leveled in the 63rd minute. Dele Alli finished flipping the script with his 84th minute winner and Nacer Chadli added an insurance goal in the 90th

Leicester City 3-0 Stoke City
Leicester could go top of the table with at least s point at home agaisnt Stoke, but points against Stoke are never easy to come by. They were unphased by such thoughts early on. They dominated the first half and went in front inn the 42nd minute after Danny Drinkwater scored on a low shot from outside the penalty area after a series of corners for the Foxes. Leicester continued to keep things in their attacking end inn the second half. Jamie Vardy scored their second goal by getting ahead of the back line on a long poss forward. He was able to slip around Jack Butland inn the goal to slide the ball into an open goal from a tough angle. Leicester just wasn't letting Stoke anywhere near the ball. They finished he rout in the 87th minute when Leonardo Ullpa poked home a slick assist from Riyad Mahrez. Leicester are in first, for now. They await the result of tomorrow's big Arsenal-Chelsea clash to know their true fate for the week.

Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
United have a hot Wayne Rooney and some momentum to get back into the title race coming into this home match with Saints. But it was boring, boring Man United rolling the day. That lack of attacking punch would come to ruin them. Charlie Austin, inn his Southampton debut, scored the winner inn the 87th minute to warm Louis van Gaal's seat up a bit. His Red Devils sit in fifth after the loss, drifting further an further away from the Champions League each week. 

Sunderland 1-1 Bournemouth
Benik Afobe's 13th minute flick gave the Cherries the lead. It wouldn't quite last until halftime. Patrick van Aanholt,  who has been on quite a year for the Black Cats, leveled the score in first half stoppage time. That's how it would end in the northeast. Sunderland is still in relegation land after the draw and Bournemouth is still only four points clear.

Watford 2-0 Newcastle
Newcastle have been busy in the transfer window, and Jonjo Shelvey was looking to impress in his debut with the Magpies. Nobody was able to break through in the first half, but Odion Ighalo wasted no time during for the Hornets in the first minute of the second half. Craig Cathcart doubled it in the 58th. Newcastle didn't give yup at that point. They pulled one back through Jamaal Lascelles in the 71st minute.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Aston Villa
Aston Villa are still in last, West Brom are struggling. They only too four shots and couldn't land any on target. Villa couldn't put any of their 15 into the net, either, but at least they had chances. Their best opportunity was a denied penalty in the 24th minute that could have given them the lead. The referee thought that Jordan Olsson's challenge on Andre Ayew was legitimate, so he didn't blow the whistle and point to the spot.

West Ham United 2-2 Manchester City
West Ham thinks they are ready for the big time, and a win against Manchester City would prove that, as well as hurt the visitors' title chances. The game has only just got going when we saw our first goal. Enner Valencia connected on a low cross less than a minute intothe match to give the home team a lead. Manchester City had an immediate answer. Sergio Aguero drew a penalty in the ninth minute and buried the subsequent attempt. The rest of the first half was pretty even, but West Ham jumped back in front early in the second half. Valencia was the culprit once again as he nailed his second of the match in the 56th minute. City would have to work harder to gain teir equalizer, but it did eventually come along. Aguero found it in the 81st minute to ruin West Ham's hopes of an upset at the top of the table.

Either way, Manchester City falls a little off the pace at the top. The are level with Arsenal, for now in second and three points back of Leicester City for first. 

Hooligan's Wake Up: Euro and Champions League getting goal line tech

Yesterday's Scores
Bundesliga
Hamburg SV 1-2 Bayern Munich
(Lewandowski PK 57', 61')-(Alonso OG 53')

La Liga
Sporting Gijon 5-1 Real Sociedad
(Carmona 1', N'Di 9', Sanabria 44', 53', 81')-(Vela 37')

Ligue 1
Stade Rennes 1-0 GFC Ajaccio
(Filippi OG 90+1')

Liga MX
Querétaro 3-0 Dorados de Sinaloa
(Fierro 20', Corona 32', Benitez PK 86')

Tijuana 1-3 Santos
(Martin 75')-(Djaniny 28', DAvila 83', BRavo 90+4')

Headlines
UEFA is finally catching up with the times and adopting goal line technology, like pretty much every other major competition out there already has. They will use it beginning in this summer's European Championships an din next year's Champions League.

With the banning of UEFA's president, Michel Platini, they will need to elect themselves a new one. They will wait to do so however, until after the appeal of his eight year suspension is heard.  Platini has also withdrawn from the upcoming elections for FIFA president.

Good news for Barcelona s they expect to ge Lionel Messi back for this weekend's clash with Malaga. Unfortunately, Neymar will not make the trip. He is feeling "muscle pain" and is not able to play.

Javier Chicharito Hernandez and Carli Lloyd have been named CONCACAF Players of the Year. They are both first time award winners. In otehr CONCACAF awards, the USA swept the goalkeepr of the year vote with Tim Howard and Hope Solo both winning. They only reason that Keylor Navas from Costa Rica didn't win was because he didn't play in any CONCACAF competition this year, he was injured for the Gold Cup. Panama's Hernan Dario Gomez and the USA's Jill Ellis were the coaches of the year. Finally, The Americans had two players show up in the Best XI. Tim Howard and Michael Bradley were there. Meanwhile Solo, Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan were on the female Best XI.

Yesterday, I mentioned that the NASL is expected to announce at least one west coast expansion team in the coming weeks. It certainly looks like San Francisco will be one of them. The group behind the city's expansion bid has sent out a logo to the media. It isn't bad. It's pretty unique with their use of triangles and it has a strong color scheme of red, silver, and black.

Today's Matches
Barclay's Premier League
Norwich City v. Liverpool- 7:45am- NBCSN
Crystal Palace v. Tottenham- 10am- USA
Leicester City v. Stoke City- 10am
Manchester United v. Southampton- 10am- NBCSN
Sunderland v. Bournemouth- 10am
Watford v. Newcastle- 10am
West Browmwich Albion v. Aston Villa- 10am
West Ham United v. Manchester City- 12:30pm- NBC

Bundesliga
FC Koln v. VfB Stuttgart- 9:30am- FS2
FC Ingolstadt 04 v. Mainz- 9:30am
Hannover 96 v. SC Darmstadt 98- 9:30am
Hertha BErlin v. FC Augsburg- 9:30am
TSG Hoffenheim v. BAyer LEverkusen- 9:30am- FS1
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Borussia Dortmund- 12:30pm- FS2

La Liga
Malaga v. Barcelona- 10am- beIN
Espanyol v. Villarreal- 12:15pm
Granada v. Getafe- 2:30pm
Rayo Vallecano v. Celta Vigo- 4:05pm

Serie A
Frosinone v. Atalanta- 12pm
Empoli v. AC Milan- 2:45pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Paris-St. Germain v. Angers- 11am- beIN
Guingamp v. Bastia- 2pm
Lille v. Troyes- 2pm
Montpellier v. Caen- 2pm
Nantes v. Bordeaux- 2pm
Nice v, Lorient- 2pm

Liga MX
Club America v. Pachuca- 6pm- Univision Deportes
Monterrey v. Atlas- 8pm- Univision Deportes
Leon v. Cruz Azul- 9:06pm- NBC Universo
Morelia v. Toluca- 9:30pm
Chiapas v. Veracruz- 10pm- Univision Deportes

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Klinsmann happy with Morris decision

Jurgen Klinsmann spoke up about the Jordan Morris decision to remain in Seattle, Chelsea and West Ham are moving in the transfer market. And we learn how much money some of these huge clubs actually rake in.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Morris returns to USA

Amid a flurry of cup matches in Europe, Jordan Morris is coming home to the USA from his training stint in Germany. Sad news, if you ask me. Bruce Arena also spoke up about MLS and their rapid expansion plans.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jordan Morris is making a mistake by coming home to MLS

Jordan Morris had an opportunity. An opportunity to join one of the top leagues in the world. He may not have played right away, but he would have been receiving training from the quality of coaches you just cannot find in the United States. After his trial with Werder Bremen proved successful enough for the club to offer him a contact, he announced he is leaving Germany and coming home to sign the richest homegrown contract in MLS history.

I can understand why he's doing it. Seattle is comfortable. It's familiar. He was born there. He trained in the Sounders' academy system. But he is missing a big chance to improve both his skills and the prospects of the US National Team.

Jurgen Klinsmann is right to want his best players to be playing in Europe. It offers better competition and better training than MLS can offer at the time being. It offers the chance to play, and shine, in the Champions League like Fabian Johnson. It offers the ability to train and learn from the best in the world at Bayern Munich like Julian Green. It offers the experience of the Premier League, the most popular and exposed league in the world, like Tim Howard, DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, brad Guzan, and plenty others in the past. Instead of getting high class training and high class competition, Jordan Morris is coming home to MLS, a league that struggles to keep up with the talent of second divisions in Europe.

Just look at the guys who have been good in Europe who have come home to MLS. The best example is Michael Bradley. He was a key part of Borussia Monchengladbach's squad in the Bundesliga when he played there. He was also a force in the midfield of the US National team in the 2010 World Cup. He went from Gladbach to Italy, where he played for Chiev0 and AS Roma and played well the whole time. While he was in Europe, he developed a reputation as being one of the smartest players that the USA had ever developed.

Then he came back to play for Toronto in MLS. He was slower, his passing was less accurate and direct, and he was the number one punching bag amongst fans in the 2014 World Cup.

Jordan Morris making a mistake to pass up the chance to play in the Bundesliga and develop in a similar pattern to Bradley, or Green, or any American in Europe. The higher levels of training will make him a better player and make the USMNT a better team. He is sacrificing this long term success for the short term comfort of home.

He may not have been on the first team in Bremen right away, but it's not like he even has guaranteed playing time in Seattle. Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins aren't simply going to roll over and let the kid step into their roles. If he isn't going to see the field anyway, why not at least be practicing with better coaching and better talent around him?

I can only hope that the decision to stay in Seattle is a temporary one. He can play there for a year or two before exploring his options in Europe again. If he stars, Werder Bremen's door will still be open to him, for sure. But if he really stands out, if he continues his track record of highlighting himself like he did at Stanford, maybe some of the larger clubs will come calling as well. I just wish he wouldn't wait that long.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Messi injury not serious, Howard clear to come to Colorado

Barcelona got good news about Lionel Messi's hamstring yesterday. Colorado Rapids have also sent their starting keeper to Toronto, clearing the way for Tim Howard to come to the club, if he wants to.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Night Football: Swansea rises above relegation

Swansea City 1-0 Watford
Swansea had fallen down the the relegation zone thanks to a run of poor results and the performance of Newcastle over the past week. A win over surprising Watford would go a long way towards keeping them alive in the Premier League. On the day the appoint a full time manager, they got just that.

While Francesco Guidolin was not on the bench for this match, he had to be satisfied with what he saw from his new squad.

Ashley Williams's floating header in the 27th minute finished off a cross from Ki Sueng-yung to give them the three points necessary to rise above the drop. Swansea had quietly controlled proceedings before the goal, and continued to do so afterwards. Watford may have outshot them 13-12 on the night as a whole, but that's mostly to do with the more daring chances the Hornets took in the dying minutes. Swansea's 57% possession illustrated how much control they actually had.

The Swans take the three points and climb into 17th place, just a single point away from safety. The sale of Jonjo Shelvey could be considered a negative step in their quest to stay alive, but the England international had only scored once and assisted twice in 16 appearances for the Swans. Bafetimbi Gomis, who did not start today, is probably a more important cog for them. In the post Gary Monk era, it might be better off for him to have departed.

Watford is still mired in mid-table irrelevancy. They're in 12th on 29 points and should be able to accrue enough points to stay up when all is said and done.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Costa out with bruised shin, NYC add new left back

The last thing Chelsea needs is an injury issue, but they might have one with Diego Costa. New York City also added a new left back. The Jordan Morris saga could be coming to a close soon. Plus, there was lots of action on the pitch to keep us plenty entertained.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Premier League: Rooney winner downs Liverpool, Arsenal go top with draw

Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
One of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League didn't quite have the stakes that we are used to, but it was still good fun on a Sunday morning. It took about a quarter hour for things to get dicey on the pitch. An aggressive challenge from Marouane Fellaini led to some pushing and shoving, but no cards. Liverpool was the relatively better side in the first half. At least from the sense that that ball spent most of its time in their attacking third. None of their patiently constructed attacks really threatened United's disciplined defending. The Red Devils' forays forward were few and far between. They were also quite lifeless in the grand scheme of things.

Halftime must have rejuvenated the sides because play was more free flowing and open in the second half. The play was faster, but there were still no goals to speak of. David de Gea can be blamed for that in part. He made a couple of huge saves in succession to keep the Reds off the scoreboard. The first was an absolute blast from Emre Can that was earmarked for the far corner had de Gea not dove to make the sprawling save. Of course it was a set piece breaking the scoreless tie. On the 77th minute corner for United, Simon Mignolet was able to parry the first attempt, but Wayne Rooney was around to blast home the rebound. Rooney has now scored in four straight matches in all competitions. Liverpool would get a couple more chances. The best came from Roberto Firmino, who was alone on the six yard box near the end of the 90 minutes.At first glance, he looked offside. Perhaps he even thought he was. However the flag rightfully stayed down as he half hearted try on goal went right to de Gea. That would be it for the Reds, who could not find any late drama as they did in midweek against Arsenal.

Manchester United is now only two points out of the top four as they sit in fifth place. The loss is a painful one for Liverpool. They are back in ninth place and eight points back of the Champions League.

Arsenal 0-0 Stoke City
Arsenal needed points to get back to the top of the table, and points have been hard to come by for them when they visit Stoke. In fact, it's been six years since Arsenal last won at the Britannia Stadium. The first half reflected that lack of success. Possibly remembering last year's first minute concession in this fixture, Arsenal were timid to send too many number forward, even though they controlled a majority of the ball at the start of the match. Their possession game was a little starved of key passing with the Mesut Ozil taking the day off to rest. Their best chance came when Olivier Giroud latched onto a through pass from Joel Campbell, but Jack Butland was up to the challenge and made the save. Stoke was able to get plenty of time on the ball as well, but also didn't look extremely potent.

Arsenal came out swinging in the second half. They almost scored in the opening minute on a corner that found Giroud's head, but also the diving hand of Butland. Petr Cech was forced into some huge moments of his own. Stoke concocted a strong counter attack in the 57th minute, Bojan Krkic was the one taking the final shot, but the Czech goalkeeper dove to meet it. He also ws able to scramble to the rebound that Krkic also floated in at him. Stone would have the better off the chances going forward. They forced Cech into quite a few saves and even had one opportunity cleared off the line in the final minute before stoppage time.

A draw, maybe not a scoreless one, felt right for this game. Neither team really stood out above the other, so it makes sense for the points to be shared. A draw is enough to put Arsenal back in front over Leicester City. Stoke remains in seventh.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Martinez mad at officials, Cole clear to come to LA,

The Premier League saw some bad calls by both referees and assistants affect teams at both the top and bottom of the table. Ashley Cole has also made some news in regards to the rumors of his move to MLS.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It Happened in England: Poor officiating hurts Everton and Leicester

Tottenham 4-1 Sunderland
Tottenham had their hearts broken by Leicester City late in midweek, but Sunderland is the right team to welcome in if you want to get back on track. Despite 70% possession and blasting 15 first half shots, it didn't look good in the 40th minute. That's when Patrick Van Aanholt have the visiting Black Cats the lead with a nice run down the flank and a well placed shot inside the near post. Christian Eriksen was able to right the ship two minutes later. His curling effort was nearly cleared off the line, but the deflection tucked under the cross bar.

Tottenham was able to continue their attacking domination after the break. It took them far less time to score in the second half. Moussa Dembele scored at the hour mark with a low shot from the edge of the area. Eriksen then launched his second of the day in the 67th from about a mile and a half away from the goal. The Dane took an ambitious shot that bent perfectly into the top corner. Because a two goal lead wasn't enough for Spurs' level of domination, Harry Kane add a fourth in the 79th minute to finish the blowout. Spurs are in a distant fourth, for points behind the three way tie at the top of the league. Sunderland are still firmly entrenched in the relegation zone.

AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Norwich City
Two relegation candidates in need of points to stay alive met on the south coast. Dan Gosling gave the Cherries a tenth minute lead. Bournemouth went further in front in the 54th minute with a goal from Charlie Daniels. Benik Afobe erased any doubt with a 75th minute goal to make it 3-0 to the home team.

Chelsea 3-3 Everton
Guus Hiddink actually admitted that his squad are in a relegation fight this week, so it looks as if things are getting urgent in West London. While there were no goals in the first half, Hiddink's Blues wasted little time giving us reason to laugh in the second. John Terry bumbled an interception of a cross into his own goal in the 49th minute. The second Everton goal was much more attractive. Kevin Mirrallas doubled the lead with a beautiful turn around half volley banger. Chelsea would not go down quietly, though. Diego Costa got onto a long ball amidst a stumbling Tim Howard in the 64th minute before walking it in to an open net. They would equalize less than two minutes later with a simple dissection of the Everton defense followed by a deflected shot from Cesc Fabregas. Ramiro Funer-Mori thought he had put the Chelsea comeback to bed just into second half stoppage time, but John Terry has other plans. With the final action of the match, the Chelsea captain got behind the Everton defense (he very well may have been offside) to equalize and earn his side a point.

Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace
Tricky Palace was trying to become the next club to hurt Manchester City's title chances, but it simply was not to be. Fabian Delph scored his second of the season in the 22nd minute with a long range bouncer that evaded a diving Wayne Hennessey. City saw their lead stretch to two in the 41st minute. That's when Sergio Aguero hammered home the second goal. City would continue their complete control in the second half. In the 69th minute, some well organized passing confused the Palace defense enough to allow Aguero to nail his second of the match. The fourth came from David Silva with six minutes left to play. The win means Manchester City are temporarily in second with Arsenal still to play this weekend.

Newcastle 2-1 West Ham
The Hammers had won three straight and were without a loss in eight matches coming into this one agaisnt Newcastle, who had jsut scored a dramatic draw against Manchester United. They apparently had some momentum from that accomplishment. Ayoze Perez scored for them in the sixth minute. Georginio Wijnaldum doubled the lead in the 15th. West Ham would start their comeback effort right away in the second half. Nikica Jelavic got them within a goal in the 49th minute. Things got fast and furious with the Hammers looking for a tying goal, but there was nothing doing in the end, leading to West Ham's first loss in nine matches. Newcastle bumps out of relegation into 17th, with Swansea, who play Watford on Monday night, dropping down.

Southampton 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
You never really know what West Brom will give you, and today they didn't exactly offer very much. Southampton were in front with James Ward-Prowse's fifth minute stunner of a free kick. He made his brace in the 35th to make it a two goal Saints lead. It became a three goal advantage in the 72nd. Dusan Tadic had the third goal.

Aston Villa 1-1 Leicester City
Leicester City, fresh off their win over Tottenham, was in the mood to go to the top of the table with at least a point at lowly Villa. It took a half hour, Shinji Okazaki, and goal line technology to give the Foxes their lead. After a sprawling save kept an initial lob out if the net, the Japanese international swooped in to bury the rebound, which was almost swept off the line by Mark Bunn. It almost got worse for Villa pretty quickly. A 32nd minute sliding handball in the penalty area against Aly Cissokho led to Riyad Mahrez penalty. Thankfully Bunn was able to keep it out of the net.

Leicester had so far put in an unconvincing performance and they would come to pay for it. A 76th minute equalizer from Rudy Gestede took the scenic route into the goal on its own, but probably should have never had the chance to begin with. Gestede had played the ball down to his feet with his arm before taking the shot. The Foxes developed a sense of urgency towards the end of the match, but were unable to retake the lead and had to settle for a point. It still gets them into first place, at least until Arsenal pays Stoke tomorrow. Aston Villa are still in last despite the point.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Rapids targeting Howard

Yesterday's Scores
Ligue 1
Nice 2-1 Angers
(Ben Afra PK 80', PK 84')-(Capelle 24')

Two penalties against Angers to ruin a 1-0 lead in the final ten minutes? Yikes. The first was a bit of a shaky call, but the second one a few minutes later was a clear handball in the box.

European League Tables

Liga MX
Veracruz 1-3 Leon
(Andrade 62')-(Rocha 43', Hernandez 49', Moralez 90+2')

Santos 1-0 Chiapas
(Renteria 60')

Leon downed Veracruz on the road, which caused some unpleasantness in the Veracruz owners box. Apparently upset with his coaching staff, team owner Fidel Kuri was clearly unhappy with the quality of play from his club. He lashed out at his technical director shortly before Leon put the game away with the third goal in stoppage time.

North American League Tables

Headlines
The draw for the Copa del Rey quarterfinals took place yesterday. The big match will be a rematch of last year's final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona won that match 3-1. Here is the full draw:

Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao
Atletico Madrid v. Celta Vigo
Valencia v. Las Palmas
Sevilla v. Mirandes

the first legs will be played on January 20 with the second legs on January 27.

The Colorado Rapids traded for the top spot in allocation order for returning US nationals. They originally figured to be going after Alejandro Bedoya, who plays in France, but he has rejected the idea. Instead, they have turned their sights on Tim Howard, the much beloved Everton goalkeeper. It seems that he is dipping in quality in England and could be interested in coming to play in the States for the first time  since he was with the New York-New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls) in 2003.

Armenian international Yura Movsisyan is returning to Real Salt Lake. The forward comes back to Utah, where he played from 2007-09, as a designated player on loan from Russia' Spartak Moscow. When Movsisyan last played at RSL, the club won MLS Cup. HE has since gone on to score 48 goals in five seasons in Europe.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Tottenham v. Sunderland- 7:45am- NBCSN
AFC Bournemouth v. Norwich City- 10am
Chelsea v. Everton- 10am- USA
Manchester City v. Crystal Palace- 10am- NBCSN
Newcaste v. West Ham- 10am
Southampton v. West Bromwich Albion- 10am
Aston Villa v. Leicester City- NBC

La Liga
Sevilla v. Malaga- 10am
Celta Vigo v. Levanta- 12:15pm
Villa Real v. Real Betis- 2:30pm
Real Sociedad v. Deportivo La Coruna- 4:05pm

Serie A
Atalanta v. Inter Milan- 9am
Torino v. Frosinone- 12pm
Napoli v. Sassoulo- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
Toulouse v. Paris-St. Germain- 11am
Bastia v. Montpellier- 2pm
Bordeaux v. Lille- 2pm
GFC Ajaccio v. Stade de Reims- 2pm
Guingamp v. Nantes- 2pm
Troyes v. Stade Rennes- 2pm

Liga MX
Cruz Azul v. Guadalajara- 6pm
UANL v. Morelia- 8pm
Pachuca v. Queretaro- 9:06pm
Atlas v. Club America- 9:30pm
Dorados de Sinaloa v.Tijuana- 10pm

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Real and Atletico Madrid hit with transfer bans

Copa del Rey- Round of 16 Second Leg
Granada 0-3 Valencia (0-7 on aggregate)
(Zahibo 42', Alcacer 63', Platti PK 84')

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Rayo Vallecano (4-1 on aggregate)
(Correa 40', Griezmann 80', 90+1')

Atletico and Valencia round out the Copa del Rey quarterfinalists with their emphatic victories. They join Barcelona, Sevilla, Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao, Las Palmas, and second division Mirandes in the next round.

Headlines
Real Madrid and their crosstown rival Atletico Madrid have been hit with bans on signing new players for the next two transfer windows, beginning over the summer. Both clubs were found to have committed numerous violations in signing underage players. The details on which rules they violated are filled with bureaucratic red team and are written in legalese, but they have to do with the registration of minors and the lack of international transfer certificates for those players. Either way, you'd think both clubs would know better than to commit the same fraud that LA Liga giants Barcelona had just been hit for. Their transfer ban was lifted at the beginning of this transfer window.

AS Roma have named their replacement for the recently canned Rudi Garcia. They bring on Luciano Spalletti, who was at the helm in Roma from 2005 to 2009 before leaving to coach Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia.

Sunderland are trying to avoid relegation and they will need some help to do so. With that in mind, they signed Hull City's Dame N'Doye on loan until the end of the season. With his presence, maybe they won't have to rely on Jermaine Defoe hat tricks in order to win matches.

West Ham have won three straight and are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches, but they got some rough news today. Andy Carroll will be out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury. The oft injured forward has scored twice in West Ham's last four games to lift the Hammers into fifth place.

Mesut Ozil has been having a heck of a season. He is on pace to shatter the Premier League assist record while leading Arsenal to the top of the Premier League pile. He has also been named 2015's German player of the year for the fourth time in five years. Toni Kroos won in 2014 for the only blemish in Ozil's recent record. He received 45.9% of the fan votes for the award.

Remember yesterday when I said that Joshua Yaro would likely go number one to Chicago? Well, turns out I was wrong. Instead, it was Jack Harrison going number one overall to New York City. The Fire did actually take him, but they promptly traded him to NYC for allocation money.Yaro went second to Philadelphia and his defensive partner Keegan Rosenberry wnet third, also to the Union. Here's the full list of draft picks from the first two rounds:

Round 1

Pick
Team
Player
Pos
College
1 (1)
Chicago Fire (traded to NYCFC)
Jack Harrison
M
Wake Forest
2 (2)
Philadelphia Union
Joshua Yaro
D
Georgetown
3 (3)
Philadelphia Union
Keegan Rosenberry
D
Georgetown
4 (4)
Chicago Fire
Brandon Vincent
D
Stanford
5 (5)
Real Salt Lake
Omar Holness
F
North Carolina
6 (6)
Philadelphia Union
Fabian Herbers
M
Creighton
7 (7)
Orlando City
Richmond Laryea
M
Akron
8 (8)
San Jose Earthquakes
Andrew Tarbell
G
Clemson
9 (9)
Toronto FC
Tsubasa Endoh
M
Maryland
10 (10)
New England Revolution
Jordan McCrary
D
North Carolina
11 (11)
D.C. United
Julian Buescher
D
Syracuse
12 (12)
Chicago Fire
Jonathan Campbell
D
North Carolina
13 (13)
Orlando City
Hadji Barry
F
Central Florida
14 (14)
Montreal Impact
Kyle Fisher
D
Clemson
15 (15)
Colorado Rapids
Emmanuel Appiah
M
Cincinnati
16 (16)
Vancouver Whitecaps
Cole Seiler
D
Georgetown
17 (17)
FC Dallas
Ryan Herman
G
Washington
18 (18)
New York Red Bulls
Justin Bilyeu
D
SIU-Edwardsville
19 (19)
Columbus Crew
Rodrigo Saravia
M
FGCU
20 (20)
Portland Timbers
Ben Polk
F
Syracuse

Round 2

Pick
Team
Player
Pos
College
1 (21)
Columbus Crew
Chase Minter
M
Cal Poly
2 (22)
Chicago Fire
Alex Morrell
F
North Florida
3 (23)
Philadelphia Union
Taylor Washington
D
George Mason
4 (24)
Montreal Impact
Michael Salazar
F
UC Riverside
5 (25)
Real Salt Lake
Max Lachowecki
D
Notre Dame
6 (26)
Houston Dynamo
Ivan Magalhaes
D
Maryland
7 (27)
Seattle Sounders
Tony Alfaro
D
CSU Dominguez Hills
8 (28)
San Jose Earthquakes
Patrick Hodan
M
Notre Dame
9 (29)
Vancouver Whitecaps
Christopher Hellmann
F
Lynn
10 (30)
New England Revolution
Michael Gamble
F
Wake Forest
11 (31)
Columbus Crew
Kyle Parker
F
Charlotte
12 (32)
D.C. United
Paul Clowes
M
Clemson
13 (33)
FC Dallas
Timo Pitter
M
Creighton
14 (34)
Montreal Impact
Eric Verso
M
Stanford
15 (35)
Seattle Sounders
Zach Mathers
M
Duke
16 (36)
Vancouver Whitecaps
Thomas Sanner
F
Princeton
17 (37)
Colorado Rapids
Dennis Castillo
D
VCU
18 (38)
New York Red Bulls
Zach Carroll
D
Michigan State
19 (39)
Montreal Impact
Keegan Smith
F
San Diego
20 (40)
Portland Timbers
Neco Brett
M
Robert Morris
21 (41)
Columbus Crew
Marshall Hollingsworth
F
Wheaton


Rounds three and four go down today via conference call. If you thought very few of these players were any good in the grand scheme of things, today's picks will be even less important.

Today'a Matches
Ligue 1
Nice v. Angers- 2:30pm

Liga MX
Veracruz v. Leon- 8:30pm
Santos v. Chiapas- 10:30pm