Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: MLS announces four expansion finalists

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield Town
(Lacazette 3', Giroud 68', 87', Sanchez 70', Ozil 72')

AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Burnley
(King 79')-(Wood 37', Brady 66')

Chelsea 1-0 Swansea City
(Rudiger 55')

Everton 4-0 West Ham
(Rooney 18', Rooney 28', 66', Williams 78')

Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
(van Dijk OG 47', Sterling 90+6')-(Romeu 75')

Stoke City 0-3 Liverpool
(Mane 17', Salah 77', 83')

Copa del Rey- Round of 32 Second Leg
Barcelona 5-0 Murcia (8-0 on aggregate)
(Alcacer 16', Pique 56', Vidal 60', D. Suarez 74', Arnaiz 79')

Real Sociedad 2-3 Lleida (3-3 on aggregate, Lleida wins on away goals)
(Llorente 24', Juanmi 34')-(Nunez 56', Molina PK 59', Radulovic 87')

Sevilla 4-0 Cartagena (7-0 on aggregate)
(Ben Yedder 3', 6', Ganso 42', Correa 66')

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Formentera (1-2 on aggregate)
(Minuz 90+6')

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Elche (4-1 on aggregate)
(Gimenez 31', Torres 33', 68')

Las Palmas 2-3 Deportivo La Coruña (6-4 on aggregate)
(Toledo 58', Remy 90+4')-(Colak 42', Valle 53', 80')

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Sassuolo 2-1 Bari 1908
(Falcinelli 34', Politano 90+3')-(Nene PK 64')

Chievo Verona 1-1 Hellas Verona (4-5 in penalties)
(Pellissier 8')-(Fares 34')

Torino 2-0 Carpi
(Falque 18', Belotti 32')

Ligue 1
Angers 1-2 Stade Rennes
(Ekambi 37')-(Hunou 51', Andre 84')

Guingamp 0-0 Montpellier

Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Lille
(Diaz 36')-(Mendes 21', Ponce 40')

Metz 0-3 Olympique Marseille
(Thauvin 18', Gustavo 36', Ocampos 71')

Nantes 1-0 AS Monaco
(Lima 90+3')

Toulouse 1-2 Nice
(Delort 3')-(Balotelli PK 80', Srarfi 90+1')

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Troyes
(Cavani 41', 90')

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals Second Leg
Toronto FC 1-0 Columbus Crew SC (1-0 on aggregate)
(Altidore 60')

Liga MX Playoffs- Semifinals First Leg
Club America 0-1 Tigres UANL
(Juninho PK 49')

European League Tables

MLS has announced four cities as finalists for the next round of expansion teams to be awarded next month. No real surprises as Sacramento, Nashville, Cincinnati, and Detroit made the cut. These are the four cities with concrete stadium plans and a solid ownership group, which are probably the two most important things MLS is looking for. Given the chance to predict, I say Sacramento and Nashville get in  this round, although I think Cincy deserves it more. The Music City just has too much momentum and Cincinnati's stadium deal isn't as robust. Detroit is a clear fourth place thanks to their stadium being Ford Field, which isn't soccer specific. These four markets will make their final cases in front of MLS leaders in New York on December 6. Then the Board of Governors will have their vote on December 14. An official announcement should come shortly after that.

More news continues to trickle out from the November 15 meeting between the city of Columbus, Anthony Precourt, and MLS brass. Reports indicate that the city offered up the use of two public parks as potential near-downtown stadium sites as well as a plan to redevelop the current site of MAPFRE Stadium into a world-class soccer stadium. Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer also addressed the ownership situation, offering a 50/50 split between Precourt and a consortium of local investors.

Sam Allardyce is officially the next Everton manager. He takes over for interim boss David Unsworth, who was in charge for five weeks after the sacking of Ronald Koeman. Allardyce watched Wayne Rooney's hat trick from the stands as Everton thrashed West Ham to move into 13th place.

Colorado Rapids also officially named Anthony Hudson their new head coach. He comes over from New Zealand, where he failed to get the nation to the World Cup. He has limited head coaching experience at the club level. He had a stint with now defunct Real Maryland in the old USL-2 and Newport County who were then in the English fifth tier. He was also an assistant at Tottenham before moving into international management with the Bahrain U-23 side.

Today's Matches
Copa del Rey- Round of 32 Second Leg
Alaves v. Getafe- 1pm
Espanyol v. Tenerife- 1:30pm- beIN
Villarreal v. Ponferradina- 1:30pm
Real Betis v. Cadiz- 3:30pm
Valencia v. Real Zaragoza- 3:30pm- beIN

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Udinese v. Perugia- 12pm
Genoa v. Crotone- 3pm

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals Second Leg
Seattle Sounders v. Houston Dynamo- 10:30pm- ESPN

Liga MX Playoffs- Semifinals First Leg
Morelia v. Monterrey- 8:30pm- Univision Deportes

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: England's old guard managers nearing new jobs

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace

Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham
(Vardy 13', Mahrez 45+1')-(Kane 79')

Watford 2-4 Manchester United
(Deeney PK 77', Doucoure 84')-(Young 19', 25', Martial 32', Lingard 86')

West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Newcastle United
(Robson-Kanu 45+1', Field 56')-(Clark 59', Evans OG 83')

Copa del Rey- Round of 32 Second Leg
Malaga 1-1 Numancia (2-3 on aggregate)
(Adrian 19')-(Elgezabal 53')

Leganes 1-0 Real Valladolid (3-1 on aggregate)
(Tito 34')

Celta Vigo 1-0 Eibar (3-1 on aggregate)
(Aspas PK 90')

Levante 1-1 Girona (3-1 on aggregate)
(Morales 75')-(Mojica 33')

Real Madrid 2-2 Fuenlabrada (4-2 on aggregate)
(Mayoral 63', 70')-(Milla 25', Portilla 89')

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Cagliari 1-2 Pordenone Calcio
(Dessena 18')-(Lopez 7', Bassoli 62')

SPAL 0-2 Cittadella
(Konate OG 13', Schenetti 87')

Sampdoria 4-1 US Pescara
(Kownacki 2', 74', Ramirez 9', Caprari 31')-(Benali 52')

Ligue 1
SC Amiens 2-1 Dijon FCO
(Kakuta 3', Cornette 50')-(Kwon 15')

Strasbourg 0-0 Caen

Bordeaux 3-0 St. Etienne
(Mendy 5', 57', Malcom 31')

European League Tables

Two old English managers that never seem to go away for good are close to getting new Premier League gigs. Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce always seem to pop up whenever some mid-table club falls on hard times and needs saving from a familiar name with a reputation for keeping teams in the top flight. Allardyce is reportedly on his way to Everton, which says a lot about how far that club has fallen. The club have but one win in seven tries under interim manager David Unsworth and need the help of Big Sam to keep them from suffering the unthinkable fate of relegation.

Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion, who just cast aside a boring British coach in Tony Pulis, are on their way to hiring another one. Alan Pardew appears set to take over that gig, with the sole mission of keeping them from dropping to the Championship. He reportedly is signing a deal that will last until 2020, but I give him until the middle of next season before they get bored with him and toss him to the curb. It's just what happens with Pardew. And Allardyce too.

Meanwhile, back in the States, D.C. United might be forced to play a few home games away from their home city. The new Audi Field won't be ready to start the season on time, and the club were hoping to start the season with a string of away matches, much like Toronto FC did in 2015 and 2016 while BMO Field received its renovations. The league, fearing competitive balance towards the end of the season, doesn't want them to do this. So United may have to play home games in either Baltimore, Annapolis, or Richmond before their new home opens. Between two and four matches are expected to be moved to one of those far off locales.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Arsenal v. Huddersfield Town- 2:45pm
AFC Bournemouth v. Burnley- 2:45pm
Chelsea v. Swansea City- 2:45pm
Everton v. West Ham- 2:45pm- NBC Universo
Manchester City v. Southampton- 3pm
Stoke City v. Liverpool- 3pm- NBCSN

Copa del Rey- Round of 32 Second Leg
Barcelona v. Murcia- 1:30pm- beIN
Real Sociedad v. Lleida- 1:30pm
Sevilla v. Cartagena- 1:30pm
Athletic Bilbao v. Formentera- 3:30pm
Atletico Madrid v. Elche- 3:30pm
Las Palmas v. Deportivo La Coruña- 3:30pm

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Sassuolo v. Bari 1908- 9am
Chievo Verona v. Hellas Verona- 12pm
Torino v. Carpi- 3pm

Ligue 1
Angers v. Stade Rennes- 1pm
Guingamp v. Montpellier- 1pm
Olympique Lyonnais v. Lille- 1pm
Metz v. Olympique Marseille- 1pm
Nantes v. AS Monaco- 1pm
Toulouse v. Nice- 1pm
Paris Saint-Germain v. Troyes- 3pm- beIN

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals Second Leg
Toronto FC v. Columbus Crew SC- 7:30pm- FS1

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: FCC clears expansion hurdle, Columbus told to apply for expansion

Yesterday's Scores
La Liga
Espanyol 1-0 Getafe
(Moreno 55')

Serie A
Atalanta 1-0 Benevento
(Cristante 75')

European League Tables

FC Cincinnati cleared another hurdle in their quest for an MLS expansion franchise. The Cincinnati city council approved $36 million in infrastructure funding around the privately financed stadium site. This pretty much secures FCC's stadium plan and clears the way for them to expand to MLS. It puts them just about on equal footing with Nashville and Sacramento as far as their qualifications are concerned. I think they should get in ahead of Nashville, solely due to their success at the USL level.

Columbus city leaders were apparently presented the option to simply apply for an MLS expansion team if their current club elects bolts for Austin, Texas after next season. They were told this at the November 15 meeting that nobody was at all satisfied with. This makes the league and owner Anthony Precourt look even worse than they did before if you ask me. It makes you think that they still think Columbus will work as an MLS market, they just don't want to put in the effort. If the league wanted to look a little more loyal to established fans, they should order Precourt to sell the team and apply for his own franchise in Austin as part of the MLS expansion process.

Toronto FC's Greg Vanney was named the MLS Coach of the Year. Vanney led Toronto to the best regular season in MLS history in 2017 and has the team on the brink of hosting the MLS Cup Final for the second year in a row. He joined the club in 2014 and has led them to the playoffs each of the last three seasons.

MLS teams no longer alive in the MLS playoffs needed to submit their roster moves involving contract options by yesterday at noon. There are a few interesting moves, such as the Quakes not extending a contract to goalkeeper David Bingham. Here's a full rundown of the moves at SBI Soccer.

AC Milan have had a bit of a rough season after spending a lot of money from their new owners over the summer. They find themselves in seventh place and 11 points outside of the Champions League places after their scoreless draw against Torino over the weekend. As a result, they have kicked manager Vincenzo Montella to the curb and placed former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso in charge for the time being. He will try to rescue the season, but it may not result in Champions League football even if they qualify. UEFA is investigating the possible financial irregularities in the April takeover of the club, which could result in a European competition ban.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v. Crystal Palace- 2:45pm
Leicester City v. Tottenham- 2:45pm- NBCSN
Watford v. Manchester United- 3pm
West Bromwich Albion v. Newcastle United- 3pm

Copa del Rey- Round of 32 Second Leg
Malaga v. Numancia- 1:30pm- beIN
Leganes v. Real Valladolid- 1:30pm
Celta Vigo v. Eibar- 3:30pm
Levante v. Girona- 3:30pm
Real Madrid v. Fuenlabrada- 3:30pm- beIN

Coppa Italia- Fourth Round
Cagliari v. Pordenone Calcio- 9am
SPAL v. Cittadella- 12pm
Sampdoria v. US Pescara- 3pm

Ligue 1
SC Amiens v. Dijon FCO- 1pm
Strasbourg v. Caen- 1pm
Bordeaux v. St. Etienne- 3pm

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Valencia draw Barca thanks to wrongly denied goal

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Southampton 4-1 Everton
(Tadic 18', Austin 52', 58', Davis 87')-(Sigurdsson 45')

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
(Sanchez PK 90+2')

Huddersfield Town 1-2 Manchester City
(Otamendi OG 45+1')-(Aguero PK 47', Sterling 84')

Hamburg SV 3-0 TSG Hoffenheim
(Akpoguma OG 6', Kostic 75', Jung 88')

FC Koln 0-2 Hertha Berlin
(Ibisevic 17', PK 64')

La Liga
Deportivo La Coruna 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
(Adrian 35', Schar 76')-(Susaeta 16', Williams 60')

Real Sociedad 2-2 Las Palmas
(Jose 31', Januzaj 62')-(Tana 21', Viera 67')

Villarreal 2-3 Sevilla
(Bakambu 19', Bacca 53')-(Lenglet 56', Vazquez 57', Banega PK 78')

Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
(Rodrigo 60')-(Alba 82')

Barcelona kind of got screwed early on in this one when a Luis Suarez shot blasted through the Valencia keeper and bounced over the line before it was swatted away. The referee didn't signal for the goal and the game continued on. There is no VAR or goal line technology in Spain to rectify this situation, so they lost out on a goal, and almost any sort of result, because of the errant call.

Serie A
Genoa 1-1 AS Roma
(Lapadula PK 70')-(El Shaarawy 59')

AC Milan 0-0 Torino

Udinese 0-1 Napoli
(Jorginho 33')

Lazio 1-1 Fiorentina
(de Vrij 25')-(Babacar PK 90+4')

Juventus 3-0 Crotone
(Mandzukic 52', De Sciglio 60', Benatia 71')

Ligue 1
Nice 0-5 Olympique Lyonnais
(Depay 5', 38', Cornet 20', Diaz 27', Maolida 79')

Olympique Marseille 1-0 Guingamp
(Thauvin 31')

AS Monaco 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
(Cavani 19', Neymar PK 52', Moutinho 81')

European League Tables

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Monterrey 4-1 Atlas (6-2 on aggregate)
(Funes Mori 15', Sanchez 26', Hurtado 29', 40')-(Caraglio PK 34')

Club America 0-0 Cruz Azul (0-0 on aggregate, Club America advances as the higher seed)

The Liga MX Apertura playoffs enter the semi-final stage this week. The first legs will be played Wednesday and Thursday and here are the matchups:

Monterrey v. Morelia
Tigres UANL v. Club America


Today's Matches
La Liga
Espanyol v. Getafe- 3pm

Serie A
Atalanta v. Benevento- 2:45pm

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Dortmund skid continues with blown 4-0 lead

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City
(Loftus-Cheek 56', Sakho 90+2')-(Shaqiri 53')

Manchester United 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
(Young 66')

Newcastle United 0-3 Watford
(Hughes 19', Yedlin OG 45+1', Gray 62')

Swansea City 0-0 AFC Bournemouth

Tottenham 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
(Kane 74')-(Rondon 4')

Liverpool 1- Chelsea
(Salah 65')-(Willian 85')

Borussia Dortmund 4-4 Schalke 04
(Aubameyang 12', Stambouli OG 18', Goetze 20', Guerreiro 25')-(Burgstaller 61', Harit 65', Caligiuri 86', Naldo 90+4')

Borussia Dortmund looked well on their way to their first league win since September 30 when they blow a four goal lead in the final half hour of the Revierderby against Schalke 04. Also, unfortunately for us Americans, Weston McKennie was subbed off after barely more than 30 minutes, ending his battle with Christian Pulisic prematurely.

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
(Volland 76')

FC Augsburg 2-1 VfL Wolfsburg
(Gregoristch 51', Finnbogason 78')-(Didavi 40')

RB Leipzig 2-0 Werder Bremen
(Keita 34', Bernardo 87')

SC Freiburg 2-1 Mainz
(Petersen 51', Kath 90+1')-(Berggreen 90+1')

Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 Bayern Munich
(Hazard PK 39', Ginter 44')-(Vidal 74')

La Liga
Alaves 1-2 Eibar
(Burgui 90+1')-(Jordan 33', Charles 69')

Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga
(Benzema 9', Cademiro 21', Ronaldo 76')-(Rolan 18', Castro 58')

Real Betis 2-2 Girona
(Guardado 85', Tello 90+5'')-(Portu 45+1', 90+4')

Levante 0-5 Atletico Madrid
(Rober OG 5', Gameiro 29', 59', Griezmann 65', 68')

Serie A
Bologna 3-0 Sampdoria
(Verdi 3', M'Baye 23', Okwomkwo 73')

Chievo Verona 2-1 SPAL
(Inglese 66', 81')-(Cesar OG 17')

Sassuolo 0-2 Hellas Verona
(Zuculini 22', Verdi 31')

Cagliari 1-3 Inter Milan
(Pavoletti 71')-(Icardi 29', 83', Brozovic 55')

Ligue 1
Stade Rennes 2-1 Nantes
(Khazri 51', 88')-(Sala PK 73')

Caen 1-0 Bordeaux
(Santini 23')

Dijon 3-1 Toulouse
(Kwon 42', Xeka 57', Said 64')-(Delort 71')

Metz 0-2 SC Amiens
(Konate 29', Zungu 66')

Montpellier 3-0 Lille
(Roussillon 4', Sio 26', Ninga 31')

Troyes 3-0 Angers
(Khaoui 12', Suk 45+3', Thomas OG 84')

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Tigres UANL 1-1 Leon (2-2 on aggregate, Tigres advance as the higher seed)
(Gignac 20')-(Mosquera 25')

Morelia 2-1 Toluca (3-3 on aggregate)
(Ruidiaz 6', Sepulveda 15')-(Uribe 4')

Bayern Munich confirmed that Douglas Costa will join Juventus full time at the end of the season. The 27-year-old Brazilian was loaned to the Italian champions for this campaign with the option to buy. He's only played a fill 90 minutes twice with his new club as he adjusts to the physical rigors of Serie A, but Juve don't seemed to be bothered by that.

Michael Carrick, who's working his way back from an irregular heartbeat, has been offered a coaching gig at Manchester United when he retires. He's on a contract that runs through this season and is already 36, so that could be pretty soon. He arrived from Tottenham in 2006 and has made 460 appearances for the Red Devils since then.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Southampton v. Everton- 8:30am- NBCSN
Burnley v. Arsenal- 9am- CNBC
Huddersfield Town v. Manchester City- 11am- NBCSN

Hamburg SV v. TSG Hoffenheim- 9:30am- FS1
FC Koln v. Hertha Berlin- 12pm- FS1

La Liga
Deportivo La Coruna v. Athletic Bilbao- 6am
Real Sociedad v. Las Palmas- 10:15am
Villarreal v. Sevilla- 12:30pm
Valencia v. Barcelona- 2:45pm

Serie A
Genoa v. AS Roma- 9am- beIN
AC Milan v. Torino- 9am
Udinese v. Napoli- 9am
Lazio v. Fiorentina- 12pm- beIN
Juventus v. Crotone- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
Nice v. Olympique Lyonnais- 9am
Olympique Marseille v. Guingamp- 11am
AS Monaco v. Paris Saint-Germain- 3pm- beIN

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Monterrey v. Atlas- 7pm- Univision Deportes
Club America v. Cruz Azul- 9pm- Univision Deportes

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Bale back in training... again

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
West Ham 1-1 Leicester City
(Kouyate 45')-(Albrighton 8')

Hannover 96 1-1 VfB Stuttgart
(Fullkrug PK 76')-(Asano 24')

La Liga
Celta Vigo 1-0 Leganes
(Aspas PK 27')

Ligue 1
St. Etienne 2-2 Strasbourg
(Hernani 41', Monnet-Paquet 56')-(Aholou 44', Martin PK 63')

European League Tables

After a series on injuries and setbacks, Gareth Bale is once again training with Real Madrid. The Welshman has been out since the October international break with a calf injury. When he resumed practice after that, he injured his hamstring. Now, he's back again and hoping to get back to game action as soon as he can.

Kaka recently left Orlando City and is still considering returning to play somewhere. In the meantime, he is mulling over a chance to join the AC Milan front office, something he would love to do someday. Kaka is impressed with the direction of the club, especially their showing in the Europa League, though he feels they should be higher in Serie A. He may join the club as a director one day, but he needs to officially retire from playing first.

Manchester United captain Michael Carrick revealed he has a heart condition that's been keeping him out since September. He says he is cleared to practice after the irregular heartbeat subsided and he is hoping to get back in the game soon.

This was quite widely reported on Turkey Day, but the San Jose Earthquakes officially hired Mikael Stahre as their new head coach. The Swede has spent plenty of time coaching in various top flights, most recently leading BK Hacken to their first top four finish since 2012. He's also coached in Greece and China, but he's had the most success in his native land, winning Allsvenskan titles with AIK Fotboll  in 2009.

Two more teams made their departure from the NASL official. San Francisco Deltas announced their end as a franchise after one title winning season. This isn't unexpected and it's only announcing what we've known to be coming for some time. Everyone involved with the organization will get paid for their 2017 commitments at least. Also, FC Edmonton say they are withdrawing from the league and discontinuing professional franchise operations effective immediately. This vague statement means they aren't folding or anything. They are going to keep operating their academy and may still return as a pro team. It also means they aren't making a jump to the soon to debut Canadian Premier League, which is what they were expected to do.

This brings the NASL down to seven confirmed teams for next year, if they exist. North Carolina FC bolted for the USL, making three teams departing, while Cal United and San Diego 1904 are coming along, meaning only only two are replacing them so far. They reportedly have letters of intent from half a dozen or more NPSL teams to join up, but they are waiting for the results of their preliminary injunction appeal to make those official.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Crystal Palace v. Stoke City- 10am
Manchester United v. Brighton & Hove Albion- 10am- NBCSN
Newcastle United v. Watford - 10am
Swansea City v. AFC Bournemouth- 10am
Tottenham v. West Bromwich Albion- 10am- CNBC
Liverpool v. Chelsea- 12:30pm- NBC

Borussia Dortmund v. Schalke 04- 9:30am- FS1
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Bayer Leverkusen- 9:30am
FC Augsburg v. VfL Wolfsburg- 9:30am
RB Leipzig v. Werder Bremen- 9:30am- FS2
SC Freiburg v. Mainz- 9:30am
Borussia Moenchengladbach v. Bayern Munich - 12:30pm- FS2

La Liga
Alaves v. Eibar- 7am
Real Madrid v. Malaga- 10:15am- beIN
Real Betis v. Girona- 12:30pm
Levante v. Atletico Madrid- 2:45pm

Serie A
Bologna v. Sampdoria- 9am
Chievo Verona v. SPAL- 12pm
Sassuolo v. Hellas Verona- 12pm
Cagliari v. Inter Milan- 2:45pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Stade Rennes v. Nantes- 11am
Caen v. Bordeaux- 2pm
Dijon v. Toulouse- 2pm
Metz v. SC Amiens- 2pm
Montpellier v. Lille- 2pm
Troyes v. Angers- 2pm

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Tigres UANL v. Leon- 8pm- Univision Deportes
Morelia v. Toluca- 10pm- Univision Deportes

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Pulisic back in training for Dortmund

Yesterday's Scores
UEFA Champions League
CSKA Moscow 2-0 Benfica
(Schennikov 13', Jardel OG 56')

FK Qarabag 0-4 Chelsea
(Hazard PK 21', Willian 36', 85', Fabregas PK 73')

FC Basel 1-0 Manchester United
(Lang 89')

Anderlecht 1-2 Bayern Munich
(Hanni 63')-(Lewandowski 51', Tolisso 77')

Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 Celtic
(Neymar 9', 22', Cavani 28', 79', Mbappe 35', Verratti 75', Alves 80')-(Dembele 1')

Atletico Madrid 2-0 AS Roma
(Griezmann 69', Gameiro 85')

Juventus 0-0 Barcelona

Sporting CP 3-1 Olympiakos
(Dost 40', 66', Cesar 43')-(Odjidja-Ofoe 86')

Barcelona are the only new team to seal a place in the knockout rounds from this set of matches. Benfica, and Olympiakos are all eliminated.

Continental Tables

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals First Leg
Toluca 2-1 Morelia
(Uribe 90+1, Barrientos 90+4')-(Ruidiaz PK 66')

Leon 1-1 Tigres UANL
(Boselli 59')-(Vargas 76')

After being pulled from last weekend's match against Stuttgart with a muscle injury and missing Dortmund's midweek failure against Tottenham, Christian Pulisic is back on the training pitch. Looks like the strain he picked up in warmups was far from serious, which is good, because Borussia Dortmund need all the help they can get to escape their current funk. They are without a win in all competitions since October 24, when they smashed FC Magdeburg in the German Cup. They Are without a Bundesliga win since September 30, when they took down Augsburg 2-1.

New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson resigned from his job amidst links to the vacant Colorado Rapids coaching position. Hudson and Colorado were reported to have come to an agreement weeks ago, pending the results of New Zealand's World Cup playoff against Peru. SInce they lost, he's not bound to the nation for an upcoming World Cup and is free to take the reins at the MLS outfit, should that report be true.

Today's Matches
Europa League
FC Astana v. Villarreal- 11am- ESPN Deportes
Lokomotiv Moscow v. FC Copenhagen- 1pm
FC Lugano v. Hapoel Be'er- 1pm
Viktoria Plzen v. FCSB- 1pm
BATE Borisov v. Red Star Belgrade- 1pm
FC Koln v Arsenal- 1pm- FS1, ESPN Deportes
Red Bull Salzburg v. Guimaraes- 1pm
Konyaspor v. Olympique Marseille- 1pm- FS2
Athletic Bilbao v. Hertha Berlin- 1pm
Ostersunds FK v. FC Zorya Luhansk- 1pm
Lazio v. Vitesse Arnhem- 1pm- ESPN3
Nice v. Zulte-Waregem- 1pm- ESPN3
Rosenberg v. Real Sociedad- 1pm- ESPN3
Zenit St. Petersburg v. Vardar- 1pm- ESPN3
Maccabi Tel-Aviv v. Slavia Prague- 3:05pm
Partizan Belgrade v. Young Boys- 3:05pm
Skenderbeu Korce v. Dynamo Kiev- 3:05pm
Braga v. TSG Hoffenheim- 3:05pm- ESPN3
Ludogorets Razgrad v. Istanbul Basaksehir- 3:05pm
AC Milan v. Austria Vienna- 3:05pm- FS2
AEK Athens v. Rijeka- 3:05pm
Everton v. Atalanta- 3:05pm- FS1
Olympique Lyonnais v. Apollon Limassol- 3:05pm
Sheriff Tiraspol v. FC Zlin- 3:05pm

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals First Leg
Cruz Azul v. Club America- 8:30pm- Univision Deportes
Atlas v. Monterrey- 10:30pm- Univision Deportes

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Dortmund eliminated, Real Madrid advance in Champions League

Yesterday's Scores
UEFA Champions League
Besiktas 1-1 FC Porto
(Talisca 41')-(Felipe 29')

Spartak Moscow 1-1 Maribor
(Luis 82')-(Mesanovic 90+2')

APOEL Nicosia 0-6 Real Madrid
(Modric 23', Benzema 39', 45+1', Nacho 41', Ronaldo 49', 54')

Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Tottenham
(Aubameyang 31')-(Kane 49', Son 76')

Manchester City 1-0 Feyenoord Rotterdam
(Sterling 88')

AS Monaco 1-4 RB Leipzig
(Falcao 43')-(Jemerson OG 6', Werner 9', PK 31', Keita 45')

Napoli 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
(Insigne 56', Zielinski 81', Mertens 83')

Sevilla 3-3 Liverpool
(Ben Yedder 51', PK 60', Pizarro 90+3')-(Firmino 2', 30', Mane 22')

Borussia Dortmund are eliminated from the Champions League after a very disappointing campaign. They have only managed two points so far, both coming against lowly APOEL Nicosia, and they need to get something on the final matchday in order to salvage a trip to the Europa League. Maribor, and APOEL were also knocked out today.

On the flip side of that, Real Madrid and Besiktas sealed places in the round of 16 with their results today.

Continental Tables

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals First Leg
Columbus Crew SC 0-0 Toronto FC

Crazy scenes at MAPFRE Stadium as Crew fans wavered between supporting the players on the pitch and trashing their ownership and Don Garber during this scoreless draw. #SaveTheCrew banners were everywhere in the sold out crowd as they tried to show there was a love for the team in the city, despite Anthony Precourt's desire to skip town. I can't imagine they escape Toronto with a win, especially with Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco returning from suspension, but I imagine an MLS Cup Final there would be a most bizarre experience, and it wouldn't look good for the league. Part of me wishes it would happen.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Seattle Sounders
(Svensson 11', Bruin 41')

Everton's Oumar Niasse is the first Premier League player charged with "successful deception of a match official" after his dive against Crystal Palace on Saturday. He won a penalty in the 2-2 draw when he appeared to be tripped by Scott Dann, but the FA has ruled it was a blatant dive and he now faces a potential two game ban.

Australia manager Ange Postecoglou abruptly resigned from his post yesterday, less than a week after he led the Socceroos to a World Cup birth. The Australian FA did offer him a new deal that would have kept him through Russia next summer, but he declined the offer and decided to depart. Postecoglou had been in charge since 2013 and won 22 of the 49 matches he managed.

Today's Matches
UEFA Champions League
CSKA Moscow v. Benfica- 12pm- ESPN Deportes
FK Qarabag v. Chelsea- 12pm- FS2
FC Basel v. Manchester United- 2:45pm- FS2
Anderlecht v. Bayern Munich- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Paris Saint-Germain v. Celtic- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Atletico Madrid v. AS Roma- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Juventus v. Barcelona- 2:45pm- ESPN Deportes
Sporting CP v. Olympiakos- 2:45pm- ESPN3

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals First Leg
Toluca v. Morelia- 8:30pm- Univision Deportes
Leon v. Tigres UANL- 10:36pm- Univision Deportes

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Tony Pulis sacked by West Brom

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Stoke City
(Grob 44', Izquierdo 60')-(Choupo-Moting 28', Zouma 45+1')

Peter Crouch set a fun record in this match. He was subbed on in the 73rd minute, making his Premier League record 143rd sub appearance. He's 36 and not up for starting all the time anymore, but he's been effective off the bench. He scores once every 162 minutes, compared to every 271 as a starter. He already has three goals as a reserve this year.

La Liga
Eibar 5-0 Real Betis
(Amat OG 6', Escalante 30', Charles PK 56', 71', Enrich 80')

Serie A
Hellas Verona 2-3 Bologna
(Cerci 12', Caceres 33')-(Destro 21', Okwonkwo 74', Donsah 76')

Ligue 1
SC Amiens 3-0 Lille
(Manzala 36', 48', Konate 85')

European League Tables

Tony Pulis was sacked as manager of West Bromwich Albion. They haven't won a game since August and were crushed 4-0 at home by Chelsea over the weekend. Garry Megson, who used to manage the team, will take over until further notice. Pulis was known for his ability to frustrate attacking sides and play very, very boring soccer during his time at West Brom, so I won't exactly miss him.

Miguel Almiron won the MLS Newcomer of the Year for 2017. The Atlanta United playmaker scored nine goals and provided 14 assists for an Atlanta United team that put together one of the best expansion seasons MLS has ever seen.

Today's Matches
UEFA Champions League
Besiktas v. FC Porto- 12pm- ESPN Deportes
Spartak Moscow v. Maribor- 12pm- ESPN3
APOEL Nicosia v. Real Madrid- 2:45pm- FS1
Borussia Dortmund v. Tottenham- 2:45pm- ESPN Deportes
Manchester city v. Feyenoord Rotterdam- 2:45pm
AS Monaco v. RB Leipzig- 2:45pm- ESPN3
Napoli v. Shakhtar Donetsk- 2:45pm
Sevilla v. Liverpool- 2:45pm- ESPN3

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals First Leg
Columbus Crew SC v. Toronto FC- 8pm- ESPN
Houston Dynamo v. Seattle Sounders- 9:30pm- FS1

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Liga MX Apertura playoffs all set

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Watford 2-0 West Ham
(Hughes 11', Richarlison 64')

Schalke 04 2-0 Hamburg SV
(Di Santo PK 17, Burgstaller 77')

Werder Bremen 4-0 Hannover 98
(Bartels 39', Kruse 55', 59', 78')

La Liga
Málaga 3-2 Deportivo La Coruna
(Rosales 15', Castro 63', Baston 84')-(Perez 23', Schar 52')

Espanyol 0-2 Valencia
(Kondogbia 67, Mina 83')

Las Palmas 0-2 Levante
(Doukoure 71', Jason 79')

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Villarreal
(Aduriz 77')-(Trigueros 28')

Serie A
Crotone 0-1 Genoa
(Rigoni 11')

Benevento 1-2 Sassuolo
(Armenteros 65')-(Matri 57', Peluso 90+4')

Sampdoria 3-2 Juventus
(Zapata 52', Torreira 71', Ferrari 79')-(Higuain PK 90+1', Dybala 90+4')

SPAL 1-1 Fiorentina
(Paloschi 43')-(Chiesa 80')

Torino 1-1 Chievo Verona
(Baselli 33')-(Hetemaj 14')

Udinese 0-1 Cagliari
(Pedro 54')

Inter Milan 2-0 Atalanta
(Icardi 51', 60')

Ligue 1
Caen 1-1 Nice
(Rodelin 90+2')-(Lees Melou 40')

Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 Montpellier

Bordeaux 1-1 Olympique Marseille
(de Preville 3')-(Sanson 90+4')

European League Tables

Liga MX
Toluca 3-0 Club Tijuana
(Uribe 26', 44', Mendez 55')-(Bou 59')

Santos Laguna 0-1 Club America
(Rodriguez 81')

Thus ends the Apertura regular season down in Mexico. Here are your first round playoff matches, with the first legs to be played on Wednesday or Thursday and the seconds on Saturday or Sunday.

Monterrey v. Atlas
Tigres UANL v. Leon
Morelia/Club America v. Cruz Azul
Toluca/Morelia v. Club America/Toluca

North American League Tables

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos will miss a little bit of time thanks to a broken nose. He picked up the knock in Saturday's Madrid Derby when he clashed with Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez. he stuck it out until half time when he had to be pulled. There's no word yet on how long he will be out.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v. Stoke City- 3pm- NBCSN

La Liga
Eibar v. Real Betis- 3pm- beIN

Ligue 1
SC Amiens v. Lille- 1pm

Serie A
Chievo Verona v. Bologna- 2:45pm

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: FC Cincinnati has new hope in stadium plan

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham
(Mustafi 36', Sanchez 42')

AFC Bournemouth 4-0 Huddersfield Town
(Wilson 26', 31', 84', Arter 69')

Burnley 2-0 Swansea City
(Cork 29', Barnes 40')

Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
(McArthur 1', Zaha 35')-(Baines PK 6', Niasse 45+1')

Leicester City 0-2 Manchester City
(Jesus 45', De Bruyne 49')

Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
(Salah 31', 41', Coutinho 68')

West Bromwich Albion 0-4 Chelsea
(Morata 17', Hazard 23', 62', Alonso 38')

Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United
(Martial 37', Smalling 45+1', Pogba 54', Lukaku 70')-(Gayle 14')

Bayern Munich 3-0 FC Augsburg
(Vidal 31', Lewandowski 38', 49')

TSG Hoffenheim 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Uth 90+1')-(Boateng 13')

Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 RB Leipzig
(Bailey 44', Volland 74')-(Werner PK 13', Forsberg PK 54')

Mainz 05 1-0 FC Koln
(Brosinski PK 43')

VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 SC Freiburg
(Gerhardt 3', Malli 29', 70')-(Kapustka 68')

Hertha Berlin 2-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
(Ibisevic 28', Weiser 71')-(Stindl 5', Hazard PK 14', Raffael 20', 77')

La Liga
Getafe 4-1 Alaves
(Bergara 6', Molina PK  9', Angel 53', 64')-(Santos 81')

Leganes 0-3 Barcelona
(Suarez 28', 60', Paulinho 90')

Sevilla 2-1 Celta Vigo
(Muriel 36', Nolito 48')-(Gomez 13')

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid

Serie A
AS Roma 2-1 Lazio
(Perotti PK 49', Nainggolan 53')-(Immobile PK 72')

Napoli 2-1 AC Milan
(Insigne 33', Zielinski 73')-(Romagnoli 90+1')

Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 Nantes
(Cavani 38', 79', Di Maria 42', Pastore 65')-(Nakoulma 60')

Dijon 3-1 Troyes
(Tavares 29', 46', Kwon 50')-(Suk 18')

Guingamp 1-1 Angers
(Camara 14')-(Andreu 23')

Strasbourg 2-0 Stade Rennes
(Blayac 28', Bakohen 82')-(Hunou 88')

Toulouse 0-0 Metz

European League Tables

Liga MX
Cruz Azul 1-0 Veracruz
(Mora 64')

Querétaro 1-1 Pumas UNAM
(Everaldo 8')-(Diaz 44')

Monterrey 2-0 Tigres UANL
(Juninho 46', Hurtado 51')

Leon 0-1 Chivas de Guadalajara
(Fierro 68', Brizuela 89')

Necaxa 1-2 Morelia
(Barragan 47')-(Osuna 19', Ruidiaz 24')

North American League Tables

FC Cincinnati has new hope for their stadium plan after Hamilton County commissioners turned down their request for infrastructure funding on their privately financed stadium plan. The city has posted to pay half the costs, as long as FCC pays off they're debts through a stadium lease program. This would be a far better alternative than the club paying in Paul Brown Stadium, which would lose money, or so they say. I still don't understand why Nippert Stadium, their current home, isn't an option without a soccer specific facility. 

Today's Matches
Premier League
Watford v. West Ham- 11am

Schalke 04 v. Hamburg SV- 9:30am- FS1
Werder Bremen v. Hannover 98- 12pm- FS2

La Liga
Málaga v. Deportivo La Coruna- 6am
Espanyol v. Valencia- 10:15am
Las Palmas v. Levante- 12:30pm
Athletic Bilbao v. Villarreal- 2:45pm

Serie A
Crotone v. Genoa- 6:30am
Benevento v. Sassuolo- 9am
Sampdoria v. Juventus- 9am
SPAL v. Fiorentina- 9am
Torino v. Chievo Verona- 9am
Udinese v. Cagliari- 9am
Inter Milan v. Atalanta- 2:45pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Caen v. Nice- 9am
Olympique Lyonnais v. Montpellier- 11am
Bordeaux v. Olympique Marseille- 3pm

Liga MX
Toluca v. Club Tijuana- 1pm- Univision Deportes
Santos LAguna v. Club America- 7:30pm- Univision Deportes

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Pulisic scratched from Dortmund start due to injury

Yesterday's Scores
VfB Stuttgart 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
(Akolo 5', Brekalo 51')-(Philipp 45+3')

La Liga
Girona 1-1 Real Sociedad
(Stuani 64')-(Jose 7')

Ligue 1
Lille 3-1 St. Etienne
(Pepe 20', Mendes 71', Ponce 89')-(Bamba PK 45')

SC Amiens 1-1 AS Monaco
(Gakpe 31')-(Jovetic 67')

European League Tables

Liga MX
Puebla 0-1 Lobos BUAP
(Maza 84')

Atlas 1-1 Pachuca
(Maduena 45')-(Herrera 90+1')

North American League Tables

Christian Pulisic was a late scratch from the Dortmund lineup yesterday after he picked up a muscle injury in pregame warmups. No specific word was given on the nature of the injury, nor was there any indication of how much time the wonderteen would miss.

Today's Matche
Premier League
Arsenal v. Tottenham- 7:30am- NBCSN
AFC Bournemouth v. Huddersfield Town- 10am
Burnley v. Swansea City- 10am
Crystal Palace v. Everton- 10am
Leicester City v. Manchester City- 10am- NBCSN
Liverpool v. Southampton- 10am
West Bromwich Albion v. Chelsea- 10am
Manchester United v. Newcastle United- 12:30pm- NBC

Bayern Munich v. FC Augsburg- 9:30am- FS1
TSG Hoffenheim v. Eintracht Frankfurt- 9:30am
Bayer Leverkusen v. RB Leipzig- 9:30am- FS2
MAinz 05 v. FC Koln- 9:30am
VfL Wolfsburg v. SC Freiburg-9:30am
Hertha Berlin v. Borussia Monchengladbach- 12:30pm

La Liga
Getafe v. Alaves- 7am
Leganes v. Barcelona- 10:15am- beIN
Sevilla v. Celta Vigo- 12:30pm
Atletico Madrid v. Real Madrid- 2:45pm- beIN

Serie A
AS Roma v. Lazio- 12pm- beIN
Napoli v. AC Milan- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain v. Nantes- 11am
Dijon v. Troyes- 2pm
Guingamp v. Angers- 2pm
Strasbourg v. Stade Rennes- 2pm
Toulouse v. Metz- 2pm

Liga MX
Cruz Azul v. VeraCruz- 6pm- Univision Deportes
Queretaro v. Pumas UNAM- 6pm- ESPN Deportes
Monterrey v. Tigres UANL- 8pm- Univision Deportes
Leon v. Chivas de Guadalajara- 8:06pm- ESPN Deportes
Necaxa v. Morelia- 10pm- Univision Deportes

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: CONCACAF announces its new Nations League

Yesterday's Scores

CONCACAF confirmed they will begin a new Nations League competition next September that will feature all 41 of its member associations. No details on the format of the competition came out, save for the fact it would be divided up into three tiers with promotion and relegation between them. Nore news should come out in February on how the event will work.

I like the concept of a Nations League for one reason, and one reason alone: it reduces the amount of meaningless international friendlies. I hate these things. As you noticed, I never include them on my score runs on here, even when they include the USMNT. Most of the time, these games serve no purpose other than perhaps making money. They provide false conclusions about a team's quality. The only ones that make sense are those played in the run-up to a major tournament. In this case, they serve as warm-up matches for the real show ahead. So, while this may mean the USA and Mexico face fewer intercontinental opponents overall, it will result in more meaningful games that are more interesting to watch.

Caleb Porter and the Portland Timbers are reportedly parting ways. Porter ran the Timbers for five years, winning an MLS Cup and making the playoffs three times. This year, he led the squad to the top spot in the West before losing in the conference semis to Houston. The unexpected move was apparently his decision. No word on where he's going next, but he is already being shouted as a name for the USMNT job.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia was named the league's goalkeeper of the year. He beat out Andre Blake (who would have been my choice) and Stefan Frei for the honor. Melia did have ten clean sheets while backstopping the best defense in MLS, so it isn't like he is some slouch who didn't deserve the award or anything.

As long expected, North Carolina FC confirmed its jump from the NASL to the USL for next season. They join the ever growing league in the same way Ottawa Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies did last year. They come to a more stable outfit with more regional matches. They will play several teams within their area of the country, including newcomers Nashville SC and Atlanta United's USL outfit, along with established foes like Charlotte Independence, Charleston Battery, and Richmond Kickers.

If my count is correct, that means the USL stands at a whopping 35 teams for next year. However, Rochester Rhinos are apparently close to closing up shop due to declining attendance and financial trouble, so that number could drop again before long.

After that, however, teams in Austin, Birmingham, and Memphis are climbing on board for 2019, when the league may also explore splitting into a third conference. So, the USL's growth cannot be stopped, it seems.

Today's Matches
VfB Stuttgart v. Borussia Dortmund- 2:30pm- FS2

La Liga
Girona v. Real Sociedad- 3pm

Ligue 1
Lille v. St. Etienne- 1pm
SC Amiens v. AS Monaco- 2:45pm- beIN

Liga MX
Puebla v. Lobos BUAP- 8pm- Univision Deportes
Atlas v. Pachuca- 10pm- Univision Deportes

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Australia, Peru completes the World Cup field

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- Intercontinental Playoffs Second Leg
Australia 3-1 Honduras (3-1 on aggregate)
(Jedinak 53', PK 72', PK 85')-(Elis 90+4')

Peru 2-0 New Zealand (2-0 on aggregate)
(Farfan 28', Ramos 65')

Thus ends World Cup qualifying. We now have the 32 nations that will compete for global soccer supremacy in Russia next summer. They are divided up into eight pots, based on their FIFA rankings at the end of qualifying. Here are the pots for the December 1 draw:

Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France

Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia

Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran

Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

Columbus officials met with Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt yesterday and left unhappy. While the city was hoping to make their case for why MLS should remain there, they failed to get any sort of commitment from Precourt or the league. The city claims to have every option on the table, while MLS says they didn't put anything out there. All in all, the talks sound very unproductive and feel like they only proved that Precourt wants to move his franchise to Texas no matter what.

Clint Dempsey agreed to a new one-year deal with the Seattle Sounders. No specific terms were disclosed, but it appears to be worth between $1.5 and $2 million. That's around half what he makes now. There were rumors that he might call it quits after this year, but his 14 goals in 30 games have spoken well to his form this year, so why not give it at least one more go?

Today's Matches

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Denmark completes Europe's World Cup contingent

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Ireland 1-5 Denmark (1-5 on aggregate)
(Duffy 6')-(Christie OG 29', Eriksen 32', 63', 73', Bendtner PK 90')

Only two spots remain as Denmark emphatically takes down Ireland in the lone exciting UEFA playoff match of the international break. The final places will be filled tonight, one will be full by the time this posts, at the conclusion of the intercontinental playoffs.

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Burkina Faso 4-0 Cape Verde Islands
(Nakoulma 45+1', 58', 62', Diawara 90+5')

Senegal 2-1 South Africa
(Nguette 55', Nguette 55', Kara 90+3')-(Tau 65')

Didier Drogba announced he will retire after next season. The former Chelsea star will feature one last campaign with Phoenix Rising of the USL, the team he partially owns. He will reportedly set his sights on getting his team into MLS, somewhat following in the footsteps of fellow European club legend, David Beckham.

MLS announced its key offseason dates yesterday. The significant one is Tuesday, December 12, which is the Los Angeles FC expansion draft and the beginning of the free agency period.

Atlanta United will field a USL team next season, adding to the growing ranks of MLS2 teams in the league. The new club will play at Coolray Field in Gwinnett, Georgia, home AAA baseball's Gwinnett Braves. The club will reveal its name and crest in the next few months.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- Intercontinental Playoffs Second Leg
Australia v. Honduras- 4am- beIN
Peru v. New Zealand- 9:15pm- beIN

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Italy misses World Cup for the first time in 60 years

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Italy 0-0 Sweden (0-1 on aggregate)

For the first time since 1958, the World Cup will be without Italy. The lack of finishing in both legs against the Swedes has that Azzurri cancelling their Russian travel plans for the summer. Sweden, meanwhile, is returning to the world's biggest stage for the first time since 2006.

There are now 29 teams qualified for the World Cup. The final three spots will be set by Wednesday evening.

We also have a tournament without the following world powers: the USA, Italy, Netherlands, and Chile. Which would be a pretty badass group had they all qualified.

USL Playoffs- Final
Louisville City 1-0 Swope Park Rangers
(Lancaster 88')

Cameron Lancaster's header in the dying minutes gives Louisville City their first ever USL title. A sellout crowd of more than 14,000 witnessed the event, and half of them stormed the field upon hearing the final whistle. It was a glorious scene, especially as the public address announcer pleaded for them to return to their seats for the trophy presentation. They didn't listen and it created a great atmosphere as the USL Cup was presented to the players as they were surrounded by the Louisville City faithful. Soccer, especially the lower leagues, should embrace the field storming for these title games. Its fun for the fans and presents minimal danger for everyone.

Christian Pulisic took to the Players' Tribune to express his thoughts on the USA missing out on the World Cup after their loss to Trinidad and Tobago last month. He had a lot of interesting perspectives on the state of soccer fandom, the USMNT, and player development that I encourage you to read the whole thing. One passage, in general, stood out to me as one that affected the entire soccer world, as opposed to just the messed up situation here in the United States. When mentioning how lucky it was that he has dual citizenship with Croatia, which allowed him to go to Dortmund at the age of 16, he had this to say:
And so I really just wonder, you know: Why is it that E.U. players are allowed to move country once they turn 16 … but non-Europeans can only do so at 18? Why aren’t we campaigning for a level playing field, where our best 16 year olds — who may not have an E.U. passport like I had — are free to move when they turn 16, like the best young players in Europe can?
Europe has dominated the international soccer scene over the last decade and a half. The continent has won every World Cup since 2006. Countries outside the E.U. aren't able to send their teenagers off to the best clubs in the world, which sort of hampers their development. I think it would be good for FIFA to find some way to get rid of their laws preventing teens from moving to new countries for soccer reasons. It might help develop the game in other parts of the world, like they claim to want to do.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Ireland v. Denmark- 2:45pm- FS2

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Burkina Faso v. Cape Verde Islands- 2:30pm
Senegal v. South Africa- 2:30pm- beIN

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: San Francisco Deltas win what could be the last NASL championship

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Switzerland 0-0 Northern Ireland (1-0 on aggregate)

Greece 0-0 Croatia (1-4 on aggregate)

Croatia and Switzerland both add their names to the almost complete World Cup roster. Only four spots remain in the field and those will be filled by tomorrow evening, when the intercontinental and UEFA playoffs conclude.

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Congo 1-1 Uganda
(Baudry 10')-(Karisa 11')

Ghana 1-1 Egypt
(Gyasi 64')-(Shikabala 61')

NASL Playoffs- Final
San Francisco Deltas 2-0 New York Cosmos
(Heinemann PK 19', Sandoval 90+5')

The San Francisco Deltas, in what is likely going to be their only season, win what could be the final NASL championship. The club is expected to fold due to financial difficulty regardless of this positive outcome and nobody knows what's next for the league as a whole. So, enjoy this possible NASL swansong.

This is easily the worst few days on the soccer calendar. There aren't enough games to keep me entertained, the ones that are there have been duds. I love seeing teams clinch the World Cup and all, but I'm counting down the days to a return to proper soccer next weekend.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Italy  v. Sweden- 2:45pm- FS1

USL Playoffs- Final
Louisville City v. Swope Park Rangers- 9pm- ESPNU

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Morocco, Tunisia complete Africa's World Cup field.

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs First Leg
Denmark 0-0 Ireland

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Zambia 2-2 Cameroon
(Daka 26', Mwila 64')-(Zambo Anguissa 31', Yaya 91')

Gabon 0-0 Mali

DR Congo 0-0 Guinea

Ivory Coast 0-2 Morocco
(Dirar 25', Benatia 30')

Tunisia 0-0. Libya

Tunisia and Morocco add their names to the World Cup pot. Morocco is there for the first time since 1998, while Tunisia only missed out on last two World Cups after qualifying for the previous three. That completes Africa's contingent of five teams with Egypt, Nigeria, and Senegal joining those two in Russia.

Yesterday it was Gareth Bale, today it's Isco joining the Real Madrid injury ward. He was subbed off in the 65th minute of their friendly against Costa Rica. There's no word on the nature of the leg injury. but it doesn't appear to be too serious.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs Second Leg
Switzerland v. Northern Ireland- 12pm- ESPNNEWS
Greece v. Croatia- 2:45pm- ESPNNEWS

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Congo v. Uganda- 9:30am- beIN
Ghana v. Egypt- 10:30am- beIN

NASL Playoffs- Final
San Francisco Deltas v. New York Cosmos- 8pm- beIN

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Evra released by Marseille

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs First Leg
Sweden 1-0 Italy
(Johansson 61')

World Cup Qualifying- Inter Confederation Playoffs First Leg
Honduras 0-0 Australia

New Zealand 0-0 Peru

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
South Africa 0-2 Senegal
(Sakho 12', Mkhize OG 38')

Algeria 1-1 Nigeria
(Brahimi PK 88')-(Ogu 62')

Patrice Evra has been banned from continental competition for the rest of the season and was subsequently released from Olympique Marseille after he kicked a fan before their last Europa League match. This comes after the club indefinitely suspended him immediately following the incident. UEFA also fined him €10,000.

Big shocker here, but Gareth Bale might be hurt again. He picked up a thigh injury during training with Real Madrid Thursday afternoon. He already hasn't played since September and this latest knock might keep him our for yet another month.

USWNT keeper Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault, bringing up an incident at the 2013 Ballon d'Or ceremony. She levied the allegation in an interview with a Portuguese newspaper, saying "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass." I have no trouble whatsoever believing her story. In fact, I'm rather shocked she's the first person to accuse that vile piece of himan filth of such actions.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs First Leg
Denmark v. Ireland- 2:45pm- FS2

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
Zambia v. Cameroon- 8am
Gabon v. Mali- 9:30am
DR Congo v. Guinea- 12:30pm
Ivory Coast v. Morocco- 12:30pm- beIN
Tunisia v. Libya- 12:30pm

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Croatia jump on Greece, Swiss steal away goal in Belfast

Yesterday's Scores
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs First Leg
Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland
(Rodriguez PK 58')

Croatia 4-1 Greece
(Modric PK 13', Kalinic 19', Perisic 33', Kramaric 49')-(Papastathopoulos 30')

Liga MX
Monterrey 1-1 Santos
(Pabon PK 37')-(Lozano 26')

North American League Tables

Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara was named the league's Defender of the Year. Opara helped anchor the stingiest defense in MLS as they only allowed 29 goals on the season. He set a career high in games and minutes played. He also managed three goals, second in MLS among defenders. It's his first time winning the award.

New England Revolution announced the hiring of Brad Friedel as their next head coach. Friedel replaces Jay Heaps, who was fired in September. It's his first senior head coaching job. He's spend the last two years coaching the U.S. U-19 National Team and assisting Tab Ramos with the U-20s.

Today's Matches
World Cup Qualifying- UEFA Playoffs First Leg
Sweden v. Italy- FS1

World Cup Qualifying- Inter Confederation Playoffs First Leg
Honduras v. Australia- 5pm- NBC Universo
New Zealand v. Peru- 10:15pm- beIN

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
South Africa v. Senegal- 12pm- beIN
Algeria v. Nigeria- 2:30pm- beIN