Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Leicester cans Shakespeare

Yesterday's Scores
UEFA Champions League
NK Maribor 0-7 Liverpool
(Firmino 4', 54', Coutinho 13', Salah 19', 39', Oxlade-Chamberlain 86', Alexander-Arnold 90')

Spartak Moscow 5-1 Sevilla
(Promes 18', 90', Melgarejo 58', Glushakov 67', Adriano 74')-(Kjaer 30')

Feyenoord Rotterdam 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
(Berghuis 7')-(Bernard 24', 54')

Manchester City 2-1 Napoli
(Sterling 9', Jesus 13')-(Diawara PK 73')

AS Monaco 1-2 Besiktas
(Falcao 30')-(Tosun 34', 54')

RB Leipzig 3-2 FC Porto
(Orban 8', Forsberg 37', Augustin 40')-(Aboubakar 18', Marcano 44')

Apoel Nicosia 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
(Pote 62')-(Papastathopoulos 67')

Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham
(Ronaldo PK 43')-(Varane OG 28')

Contnental Tables

Liga MX
Lobos BUAP 1-2 Club Tijuana
(Escoto 44')-(Bou 3', Bolanos 38')

Querétaro 1-2 Cruz Azul
(Sanvezzo PK 5')-(Cauteruccio PK 13', PK 87')

Tigres UANL 1-0 Veracruz
(Gignac 3')

Pumas UNAM 2-0 Leon
(Gonzalez 33', Acosta 84')

Atlas 0-1 Morelia
(Guzman 3')

North American League Tables

Leicester City sacked short lived manager Craig Shakespeare, who was retained last spring after Claudio Ranieri was shown the door. The Foxes are down in 18th in the Premier League at the moment, so the firing is fairly justified, even though he saved them from relegation last year. Assistant manager Michael Appleton will take over until a permanent replacement can be found and, rumor has it they are eyeing a big name like Thomas Tuchel.

We learned the four two legged matches to determine Europe's final four World Cup participants yesterday and here they are:

Northern Ireland v. Switzerland
Croatia v. Greece
Denmark v. Ireland
Sweden v. Italy

The ties will be played during the next international window. The first legs will take place between November 9-11 and the second legs between November 12-14. For what its worth, I'm picking Switzerland, Croatia, Ireland, and Italy to go through.

Finally, there were a lot of unconfirmed rumors floating around regarding the makeup of the USL for next year. I saw everything from all the MLS operated teams getting kicked out of the league to only a few MLS2 sides leaving. From what I could gather, Vancouver 2, Bethlehem Steel, and Orlando City B would depart, but Seattle 2 would stay. I couldn't find anything solid, so no links or anything, but I felt the need to comment on it anyway.

I've begun to feel like the USL needs to do away with the MLS2 sides in order to continue with their aggressive expansion plans. The idea being the clash of MLS-stooge clubs and independent clubs trying to make their own way would only serve to divide the league both on and off the pitch. Also, with more MLS operated clubs entering the fold and more expansion teams coming in, the league will simply get too big to remains sustainable, which is just another sign the league has outgrown the need for the MLS2 sides and can trudge on without them.

I think MLS, and, by extension, U.S. Soccer, is trying too hard to fit the MLS2 sides into the existing pyramid. Just create an MLS reserve league featuring only MLS2 sides. They can play in front of 100 people all year long without having to worry about conflicting business models while retaining their focus of developing future MLS level players. It's such a simple solution.

Today's Matches
UEFA Champions League
FK Qarabag v. Atletico Madrid- 12pm- ESPN3
Benfica v. Manchester United- 2:45pm
CSKA Moscow v. FC Basel- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Anderlecht v. Paris Saint-Germain- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Bayern Munich v. Celtic- 2:45pm- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Chelsea v. AS Roma- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Barcelona v. Olympiakos- 2:45pm- ESPN Deportes
Juventus v. Sporting CP- 2:45pm- ESPN3

Liga MX
Santos v. Necaxa- 8pm
Pachuca v. Toluca- 8:06pm- Univision Deportes
Club America v. Chivas de Guadalajara- 10pm- Univision Deportes
Puebla v. Monterrey- 10pm- ESPN Deportes

San Francisco Deltas v. Miami FC- 5pm
Jacksonville Armada v. FC Edmonton- 7pm- beIN
Puerto Rico FC v. New York Cosmos- 7:30pm

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