Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Pete Vagenas named new Galaxy general manager

Yesterday's Scores
La Liga
Las Palmas 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
(Prince-Boateng 40', Momo 50', Viera 90')-(Garcia 79')

Serie A
Napoli 1-1 Sassuolo
(Insigne 42')-(Defrel 82')

Inter Milan 4-2 Fiorentina
(Brozovic 3', Candreva 9', Icardi 19', 90+1')-(Kalinic 37', Ilicic 62')

This is certainly a positive result for an Inter Milan team that has been having quite a rough go of things. They will certainly take a 20 minute opening ambush that saw three different players, including recently disgraced captain Mauro Icardi, score goals. While they tried to let the lead go in the second half, a second from Icardi in stoppage time prevented the lead from being blown. The three points lift Inter up to eighth place from 12th in Serie A, still seven points back of a Europa League position, however.

European League Tables

Jose Mourinho is being charged with improper conduct yet again after getting sent to the stands during Sunday's Manchester United-West Ham match. He faces a three match ban for the incident. It's the second time in the last month that Mourinho has been banished from the touchline. The FA is currently reviewing the case and should present a ruling and punishment this week. Manchester United has until Thursday to refute the charges before any punishment could be handed down. Mourinho's behavior is just another problem plaguing Manchester United. They are off to their worst start in the Premier League era with 20 points from 13 games.

Philippe Coutinho suffered a nasty ankle injury on Saturday afternoon in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Sunderland. Scan results haven't been made public, but reports indicate there is ligament damage that would keep him out until the middle of January. That would keep him out of a Merseyside Derby and a crucial match against title challengers Manchester City on New Year's Eve.

The front office turnover at LA Galaxy has begun. They have brought in former Galaxy captain Pete Vagenas to serve as general manager. Bruce Arena had held both the head coach and GM positions during his time in Southern California and it looks like the Galaxy will have two different men in charge this time around. Vagenas played with LA for nine seasons from 2000 to 2008. He finished his playing career with Seattle and Chivas USA. He has worked in the Galaxy front office since the end of his playing days as director of the club's academy and as VP of soccer operations. His first job will be finding Arena's replacement at head coach.

The New York Cosmos, the crown jewel of the NASL, are in a bit of financial trouble. Dave Martinez of Empire of Soccer reports that the team has struggled to pay their staff and is even putting some on furlough for a week or more. They have not secured a home stadium for the 2017 season and are not even taking season ticket deposits. Many signs point to them closing, but there isn't any definitive word yet. Most assume that they intend to play out the season, but it's not looking bright at the moment.

Combine this latest issue with MInnesota United departing for MLS, Ottawa Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies bolting for the USL, and financial issues with Rayo OKC and Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the NASL is in an awful rough patch right now. With half of the 12 teams from this past season either gone or possibly folding, it's not an unrealistic assumption to say that the NASL as a whole is next to crash and burn. That's exactly what I wrote about over at Last Word on Soccer yesterday.

Of course, the pro/rel army and anti-MLS conspiracy theorists decided to use the occasion to accuse the MLS of clandestine crimes against the NASL while U.S. Soccer sits around watching the league burn. I have long maintained that the NASL doesn't need help from the federation or MLS to kill itself off. Their over aggressive business plan an impatience for success have done a plenty good job of that on their own. MLS likely never considered the NASL a true threat to their first division status or general popularity despite the NASL's aspirations. Because of this, they'd have no reason to orchestrate an overly complicated scheme to send the league into financial ruin after only six years of play.

Today's Matches
EFL Cup- Quarterfinals
Hull City v. Newcastle- 2:45pm
Liverpool v. Leeds United- 2:45pm- beIN

Copa Del Rey- Round of 32 First Leg
Legan├ęs v. Valencia- 2pm
Sporting Gijon v. Eibar- 2pm
AS Alcorcon v. Espanyol- 3pm
Real Betis v. Deportivo La Coruna- 4pm

Ligue 1
Lille v. Caen- 1pm
Lorient v. Stade Rennes- 1pm
Dijon v. AS Monaco- 3pm

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Empoli v. Cesena- 9am
Chievo Verona v. Novara- 12pm
Torino v. Pisa- 3pm

50,000 Words of Soccer Update
Articles about the future of Jermaine Jones and the New York Cosmos bring the word count up to 46,689. Only two days left to reach the coveted 50,000 word threshold.

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