Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Mourinho suspended... again

Yesterday's Scores
EFL Cup- Quarterfinals
Arsenal 0-2 Southampton
(Clasie 13', Bertrand 38')

Manchester United 4-1 West Ham
(Ibrahimovic 2', Martial 48', 62')-(Fletcher 35')

With the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup in the books, here's the draw for the semis:

Manchester United v. Hull City
Southampton v. Liverpool

The two legged matches will take place on January 10/11 and January 24/25. A Manchester United v. Liverpool final is certainly the hopes here.

Copa del Rey- Round of 32 First Leg
Real Madrid 6-1 Cultural Leonesa
(Diaz 1', 42', 87', Rodriguez 23', Zidane 63', Morgado OG 90')-(Yeray 45')

SD Formentera 1-5 Sevilla
(Gomez Roman 26')-(Ben Yedder 1', 74', Correa 15', 29', 43')

Toledo 0-3 Villarreal
(Jimenez Gomez OG 15', Bakambu 20', Castillejo 81')

Guijuelo 0-6 Atlético Madrid
(Niguez 29', Vrsaljko 45', Carrasco 49', 53', Correa 57, Nunez 85')

Granada 1-0 Osasuna
(Toral 52')

Cordoba 2-0 Málaga
(Rodri 71', Dominguez 83')

UCAM Murcia 0-1 Celta Vigo
(Gomez 42')

Hercules 1-1 Barcelona
(Mainz 52')-(Alena 58')

Ligue 1
AS Nancy Lorraine 4-0 Metz
(Pedretti 38', Cuffaut 78', Dia 80', Ait Bennasser 90+3')

Bastia 1-1 Bordeaux
(Bifouma 49')-(Laborde 78')

Guingamp 0-1 Nice
(Belhanda 5')

Nantes 0-6 Olympique Lyonnais
(Tolisso 16', Lacazette 39', Gonalons 41', Valbuena 60', Diakhaby 75', Fekir 81')

St. Etienne 0-0 Olympique Marseille

Toulouse 1-0 Montpellier
(Sylla 19')

Paris-Saint Germain 2-0 Angers
(Silva 34', Cavani 66')

Nice are now on top by one point over Paris-Saint Germain thanks to AS Monaco slipping up on Tuesday. Still only three points separate the top three sides in France.

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Palermo 0-0 Spezia (4-5 in penalties) 

Atalanta 3-0 US Pescara
(Raimondi 7', Grassi 29', Pesic 90+3')

Sampdoria 3-0 Cagliari
(Alvarez 13', Schick 71', 90')

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Final Second Leg
Toronto FC 5-2 Montreal Impact (7-5 on aggregate) 
(Copper 37', Altidore 45', Hagglund 68', Cheyrou 98', Ricketts 100')-(Oduro 24', Piatti 53')

This match was truly unbelieveable. From the early Montreal goal, to Toronto's comeback, to Montreal going ahead again, and finally with Toronto's late equalizer and storming ahead in extra time it was a thriller of a match for anyone not cheering for the Impact. The atmosphere of the game was second to none. Toronto's fans were top notch despite the driving rain, which seemed to only make the game more memorable. This entire series was one for the history books. It may have been one of the best two legged playoff matchups in MLS's history.

Liga MX Playoff- Semi-Finals First Leg
Leon 0-1 UANL
(Gignac 56')

Headlines
As expected, Gareth Southgate has been permanently hired as England's new manager. Southgate had been the interim manager since the dismissal of Sam Allardyce, who was caught dealing with fake Asian businessmen about illegal investments in player transfer fees. He has done well enough to earn the permanent gig as far as the FA feels. He has been given a four year deal.

Jose Mourinho has been given another one game touchline ban for his water bottle kicking incident over the weekend. This is his second suspension of the season and third improper conduct charge. He has also been fined £16,000 for his trouble.

Some news regarding the cause of the plane crash that killed 71 people, including the vast majority of Brazilian club Chapecoense. A recording has emerged of the pilot talking to air traffic control requesting permission to land because of a total eclectic failure and lack of fuel. The empty fuel tanks can be backed up by the lack of fire on the crash scene. A complete investigation into the incident will take place over the coming months, but so far this story seems to make sense. There is a lot more evidence in general, including a recording from a nearby plane that was picking up the transmissions of the doomed plane calling for help due to lack of fuel and an electrical issue. There is also a surviving flight attendant who backs up the no fuel story.

In the latest of the NASL in crisis, we now know that Rayo OKC was not represented at the Board of Governors meetings in Atlanta. This almost certainly means that the team will not play in 2017, which would bring the NASL down to nine teams for next year.

Nipun Chopra, who is finishing up a PhD in neuroscience while also proving a force in soccer journalism, is saying four NASL clubs are looking to make the jump to USL. Carolina RailHawks, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada, and San Francisco Deltas are all mentioned. If this holds true, the NASL would be down to five teams with two more in financial crisis. That would certainly spell the death of the league. The USL, meanwhile, would be up to 34 members and thriving.

Today's Matches
Copa Del Rey- Round of 32 First Leg
Real Valladolid v. Real Sociedad- 2pm
Gimnastic de Tarragona v. Alaves- 3pm
Huesca v. Las Palmas- 3pm
Racing Santander v. Athletic Bilbao- 4pm

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Genoa v. Perugia- 12pm
Bologna v. Hellas Verona- 3pm

Liga MX Playoffs- Semi-Finals First Leg
Necaxa v. Club America- 10pm- Univision Deportes

50,000 Words of Soccer Update
The campaign came to a close yesterday and, with this article about Bruce Arena's plans for the USMNT, the word count crossed the 50,000 word threshold and ended up at 50,198. Over the course of the month, I was writing far more than I have since I began soccer blogging nearly two years ago. The goal of the entire month was to develop a habit of writing something of quality every day.

Every night I went to bed pondering what topic I would tackle the next day. There were times when it was easy, like when there was MLS playoff matches to review. Other times, it was more difficult. Sometimes, a massive news story would break as I was writing something already, like with the Jurgen Klinsmann firing, the Bruce Arena hring, and the onset of the Cosmos Crisis in the NASL.

Overall, it was a fun time that I can continue on even as November ends. Writing became a part of my daily routine and, while I can't promise 50,000 words every month, I would miss writing if I suddenly stopped and went back to a lesser output. That means the campaign worked. I feel I've developed the habit of writing daily. Here's hoping I can keep it going without the motivation of a 50,000 word goal.

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