After that depressing International break, it’s nice to have the Champions League back. Tuesday did not disappoint, as Real Madrid and Tottenham drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu in an exciting game. It was a great result for Tottenham, especially combined with the fact that Borussia Dortmund drew away to Apoel. Tottenham look like a safe bet to advance out of the group along side Real. Liverpool got their first Champions League win, smashing Maribor 7-0. And in the other high-profile match of the day, Manchester City beat Napoli 2-1. Napoli are a very good side, and in the form CIty are in they did well to keep the game close. Manchester City are simply on another level right now, and in the form they are in only probably PSG are close to them at the moment.
After the debacle of not making the World Cup next year, plenty of former U.S. internationals have spoken out about the team and U.S. Soccer as a whole. Some of the rants have gone viral, like Alexi Lalas’ rant (which was actually a few weeks ago in response to the U.S. loss to Costa Rica), and Taylor Twellman’s rant on Sportscenter after the Trinidad & Tobago game. However some of the strongest words came from Claudio Reyna, former U.S. international and current technical director of New York City FC. Reyna slammed U.S. soccer as a whole saying “We’re far too arrogant. We’re far too obnoxious. We are egotistical having never won anything or done anything, and that’s not the case around the world.” Those are strong words, but there does seem to be a degree of truth in them. We need a close scrutiny of our approach to playing the game and developing players if we are to improve in the world.
News out of Northern England this week, as Newcastle United officially announced they are taking bids for ownership of the club. This will be good news for fans of the club, as their chairman Mike Ashley is widely regarded as one of the worst soccer executives in all of England. Despite the last few years of bouncing back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship, Newcastle are one of the most popular teams in England, and a new ownership group might be just what is needed to propel Newcastle back to where it was not that long ago, a team pushing for a spot in European football.
Jack Harrison had received a red card in NYCFC’s game vs. New England Revolution, and was set to miss out on NYCFC’s regular season finale against Columbus Crew SC this Sunday. However the Independent Review Panel rescinded Harrison’s red card, and he is again eligible to play in the season finale for NYCFC. This is a big game too, as NYCFC could lock up second place and a bye in the playoffs with a win. If they fail to win, teams like the Chicago Fire or Atlanta United could seize the spot. This is huge for NYCFC, who are getting one of their best players back for a very important game for them.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!