News Update

2017 mls season

The MLS playoff picture

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Monday's soccer news starts with the MLS table. Major League Soccer's normally unbalanced schedule is now locked in at 33 games played across both conferences with one game left in the 2017 regular season.

In the Eastern Conference, 1st-place and 3rd-place are called for. Toronto has the top spot a dozen points ahead of 2nd-place.

Win for Houston and Kaka says goodbye in Orlando

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Thursday's soccer news starts with MLS action. Houston came back to beat Sporting KC 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jimmy Medranda put Sporting up in the 33rd minute. Tomas Martinez equalized for Houston in the 63rd with an own-goal proving the difference in the 77th.

"The game had a playoff feel," Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark said.

New England makes a change

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The soccer news starts with the official announcement that Jay Heaps is no longer the coach of the New England Revolution. Goal.com's Ives Galarcep had the story last night, the capper on a ridiculous week for the Revs.

For anybody paying attention past the score line in that 7-0 loss at Atlanta and the 3-1 loss at Kansas City, red cards were a problem.

Atlanta sets new margin of victory record in MLS

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The soccer news starts with last night's MLS results and one of them requires a double take. Atlanta United shutout New England 7-0 at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Were red cards involved? Of course red cards were involved.

Atlanta took the lead in the 2nd minute when Josef Martinez scored. The Revs went a man down in the 16th with a red card to Xavier Kouassi for a serious foul.

Fulham out, win for Tijuana, Yankee Stadium

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the USMNT scores from Europe and Mexico. Tim Ream was on the bench with Fulham exiting the League Cup 1-0 at home to Bristol Rovers. The game's only goal came in the 13th minute.

"Yes, it's disappointing," Fulham coach Slavisa Jokanovic said. "We didn't play a good enough game, we didn't create enough clear chances.

Should MLS worry about entertaining?

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Monday's soccer news starts with an exciting weekend in MLS. Well, unless you're concerned that the MLS version of parity might be trending towards fluke runs and too much stoppage time. That's the latest version of the old entertainment value debate when it comes to Major League Soccer.

What was entertaining about MLS in week 24 was for the wrong reason.

US Soccer

The knockout round at the U-17 World Cup

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Friday's soccer news starts with the USMNT finishing in 3rd-place in Group A at the U-17 World Cup and drawing Paraguay in the Round of 16. That game is set for Monday in New Dehli. A point for the USMNT against Colombia would have won Group A, but there's an argument that depending on how Group D finishes this is a good matchup.

The day after the Hexagonal

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the responses to the USMNT missing out on the 2018 World Cup. The USMNT lost their final game in the Hexagonal 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago, giving Panama and Honduras the gap in the table that both needed to advance. Panama advanced directly with Honduras now playing Australia over two legs to see if a fourth CONCACAF team can qualify for Russia 2018.

Game day for Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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It's time to say goodbye to the 2017 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying cycle one way or the other. Sure, one team will end up in 4th-place and have to play Australia in a November playoff, but for everybody else tonight is it. No more wondering if the old "win at home, draw on the road" script is flipped.

Return to normal for the USMNT

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We start the soccer news with the quick takeaway from the USMNT's 4-0 shutout of Panama on Friday. This is how it's supposed to go at home in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The visiting team tries something that doesn't work and is unable to make the adjustments necessary to salvage a point. Only making things worse is when the home team turns the game into a major statement.

Game day for USMNT vs Panama

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Friday's soccer news starts with the obvious. The USMNT plays Panama tonight in Orlando in another game with three crucial World Cup qualifying points on the line. Plenty of people with plenty of opinions have already let us know about the potential pitfalls and scenarios should those three points not end up with the USMNT.

Playing up the opponent in CONCACAF

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The USMNT is a day away from the next game that counts in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. It's the next must-win scenario in a schedule full of them. Obviously, all of those must-win games didn't turn into three points.

Given the stakes, there's a tendency to build up the state of CONCACAF. Is this region more difficult than most outside observers might expect?

From Shield to Cup

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It's not lost on anybody in MLS that the US Open Cup and the Supporters' Shield are secondary to the MLS Cup. You can go ahead and add the CONCACAF Champions League title in as well. Winning the MLS title is what counts most, and that requires navigating the playoffs. It's also not lost on anybody in MLS that the playoffs often aren't reflective of regular season performance.

Win for Gladbach, exits in the League Cup

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with games in the Bundesliga. Fabian Johnson subbed on in the 70th minute for Gladbach's 2-0 shutout of Stuttgart. Gladbach's goals came from Raffael, scoring in the 57th and converting a 74th minute penalty. Aron Johannsson wasn't in the squad for Werder Bremen's 1-1 draw at Wolfsburg.

That point is the point for the USMNT

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Win on the road and draw on the road is the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying strategy. It's in play for all teams, from the early rounds to the Hexagonal. The USMNT got it half right in September, losing at home and picking up a desperate point on the road. That second part is nothing new in CONCACAF.

Match day for Honduras vs USMNT

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Tuesday's soccer news focuses on the obvious, with the USMNT in action later today against Honduras (5:30pm ET - beIN Sport). It's a waste of words to stress that a World Cup qualifier for two teams tied on points for 3rd-place is important. For the USMNT, we've had various riffs on what "crucial" and "must win" mean.

Match day for the USMNT vs Costa Rica

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Friday's soccer news has the USMNT preparing to play for three World Cup qualifying points against Costa Rica tonight at Red Bull Arena (7pm ET - ESPN). It's not the easiest scenario for the USMNT, needing to readjust to their European-based players after a domestic summer with a Gold Cup win.

Most of the media focus has been on one of those European-based players.

The September CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers

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Thursday's soccer news puts the focus on World Cup qualifying. CONCACAF resumes the Hexagonal schedule tomorrow with a familiar set of questions. Can the USMNT put any indication of trouble behind them with a home win over Costa Rica? Can Mexico claim a spot in the World Cup? Can Trinidad & Tobago manage to disrupt the table from the bottom?

Dealing in the transfer market

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with another round of the absurdity of the current transfer window. We're now in the era of super clubs and the bulk of the Premier League with significant amounts of money to spend but no one willing to accept a price. Why sell now when you could get more in the next window?

Mastroeni out at Colorado, Brooks out for three months

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the Colorado Rapids using that unfortunate MLS euphemism that means they've fired the coach. The Rapids "parted ways" with Pablo Mastroeni, drawing a line underneath a poor record this season and a previous regime no longer running the show in Commerce City.

"We would like to thank Pablo for his contributions to this organization, both as a player and as head coach," said Rapids Sporting Director and Interim General Manager, Pádraig Smith.

English Premier League

How serious is a partial Premier League breakaway?

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The news that six Premier League teams think they deserve more of the international broadcast rights isn't surprising. Those teams are more responsible for the broader appeal of the league, exactly what EPL management is selling across the world.

Under the current model, that revenue splits equally among the member clubs.

Bayern fires their coach after loss to PSG

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the aftermath of PSG rolling over Bayern Munich at home. PSG proved their point as the top team in Group B, something that Bayern and then the rest of Europe will have to deal with this season. For Bayern Munich, the first step is a new coach.

News broke earlier today that Carlos Ancelotti might not last the day as Bayern Munich coach with the club officially confirming his exit using that favorite turn of phrase "part company".

Predicting the future of soccer TV

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When the money is pouring in domestically and internationally, it's easy to be a bit bullish on the future of Premier League television rights. BBC Sport's Simon Stone has Manchester United Ed Woodward doing exactly that, linking internet giants like Amazon and Facebook eventually bidding for the Premier League.

Why is it so hard to play simply?

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Monday's soccer news starts with a simple question. Why is it so hard to play simply?

In the 83rd minute of Werder Bremen vs Schalke on Saturday, Schalke scored on a corner that the announcer called "simple football." It was a solid point. Schalke headed in that corner by paying attention to man marking and catching the Werder Bremen defense ball watching.

Frank de Boer the unfortunate winner of the 2017-18 Premier League sack race

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It's always a question at the start of the Premier League season. Who will win the sack race? In 2017-18, that dubious distinction falls to now former Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer. Palace's 1-0 loss at Burnley sealed his fate just weeks into his first season in charge.

"Crystal Palace Football Club have this morning parted company with Frank de Boer," read the official statement.

The present of Financial Fair Play

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Friday's soccer news starts with shocked looks all around. Arsenal, one of the only clubs to fully embrace the spirit of Financial Fair Play, has reconsidered. BBC Sport has Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saying, "I'm convinced that at the moment the rules are not strong enough to make them respected.

Shutout for NYCFC

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Thursday's soccer news starts with NYCFC shutting out Sporting KC 1-0 at Yankee Stadium. Jack Harrison scored the game's only goal in the 84th minute. NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson needed one save for the clean sheet.

"I think at the end of 90 minutes, they competed with more intensity than we did," Sporting coach Peter Vermes said.

The transfer deadline in the Premier League

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The Premier League is approaching the transfer deadline with all the subtlety of a kid building a team in a video game. "Throw money at it" seems to be the main tactical concern, with teams panic spending at an entirely new level.

Part of this is undoubtedly the Neymar effect. Part of it is the wealth of every Premier League team wading into the types of deals that used to only involve the elite.

What counts as a crisis for Manchester City?

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with an open question for Manchester City. What counts as a crisis? It's certainly not splitting the point at home against Everton. Not even when it's an old friend from that other Manchester team scoring the goal. Certainly not when there's the additional challenge of playing a man down for almost 45 minutes.

The demise of the freebie TV soccer leagues

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Friday's soccer news starts with something basic. Depending on your cable system, some soccer leagues are freer than others. If your package includes most of the major sports channels, it's a reasonable assumption that so do a lot of other peoples. That may or may not be true. Some people are paying extra for things like FS1, much less beIN Sport, GolTV, or Univision Deportes.

The Premier League considers their own rules

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The transfer window isn't riding an all-time high in popularity anywhere in world soccer. FIFPro, the international players union, is challenging it under European labor law. Clubs across Europe are wondering if we're in the middle of an inflated period they'll regret sooner than later. Now, the Premier League is considering ending it early next season to match with the start of their league schedule.

Liverpool and Premier League money

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Friday's soccer TV has the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season and a willingness to once again consider the big picture. For the Premier League, that's spending a whole lot of the revenue they're generating in large part through TV rights deals all over the world.

What this is building is the expectation up and down the league that the Premier League's club have no choice to spend.

Champions League

PSG tries to get it together

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It's not clear yet whether or not the PSG experiment in paying extremely large amounts of money for marquee players is working. It doesn't take Neymar to win Ligue 1, after all. It's the Championship where their version of pay to play is supposed to show quick results. Their 5-0 win at Celtic to open Group B play probably sent the obvious message to fellow group favorites Bayern Munich.

Mourinho has a point

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho letting everybody know what he doesn't like to see with the game well in hand. Up two goals in an eventual 3-0 Champions League win over FC Basel, Mourinho took issue with his club's approach.

"We were playing fantasy football, PlayStation football.

FIFA

FIFA changes stance on poppy ban

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Monday's soccer news starts with FIFA deciding they don't care quite so much about British teams wearing poppies to honor Remembrance Day. The November holiday coincides with an international window. FIFA's earlier response was to fine England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for adding a poppy to their match day uniforms.

FIFA tinkers with World Cup seeding

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Friday's soccer news starts with FIFA deciding it's a heck of an idea to mess with World Cup seeding. The last time they did this it was using the October FIFA Ranking to determine the seven teams joining the hosts in pot 1. This time, next month's FIFA ranking seeds all the teams that make the World Cup.

The Rest

Precourt announces the Crew might move to Austin

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with an MLS team potentially moving to a new city. News broke last night that the Columbus Crew might leave for Austin if they can't get a new stadium deal. Yes, the MLS team with the first soccer-specific stadium has decided that they're better off somewhere in downtown Columbus or a completely different city.

Minnesota wins at Atlanta

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Minnesota getting a late winner to beat Atlanta 3-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Abu Danladi put Minnesota up in the 48th minute. Atlanta went a man down in the 60th with Kyle Reynish seeing red for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

Hector Villalba equalized for Atlanta in the 67th with Julian Gressel scoring five minutes later.

Barcelona’s future

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with La Liga facing the same existential crisis as the rest of Spain. With Catalonia wanting to be a separate country, that means the potential for a La Liga without Catalonian clubs. The Express's Joe Short has Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu making an obvious point about his club's future.

The best eleven in the Open Cup

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Thursday's soccer news begins with an old issue for the US Open Cup and any tournament not considered up to league level. Coaches hedge. They can't resist the urge to rest players. They start different lineups. They try tactics and strategies that wouldn't be in play for games that really count. The ones worth three points in the league standings.