After half a season in which it seemed like Cristiano Ronaldo was in decline, he has suddenly exploded, banging in goals left and right in La Liga and in the Champions League. He is on a current run of 37 goals in 35 matches. Part of it seems to be his teammates, particularly Karim Benzema, have raised their game, and Benzema seems to have a telepathic connection with Ronaldo. But what happened with Ronaldo in the first part of the season, when couldn’t score in La Liga to save his life? Graham Hunter of ESPN dives into what has gone on with Ronaldo this season.
Every year in the knockout rounds the Champions League gives us some great matchups. This year is no exception, and it seems like each team in this round is capable of playing well and causing trouble for their opponent. Even in the cases of Bayern Munich vs. Sevilla, and Barcelona vs. Roma where their are clear favorites, Sevilla and Roma are talented teams that are capable of causing their opponents problems. The other matchups feature a rematch of the Champions League final last year, Real Madrid vs. Juventus, and a tie of arguably the two best offensive teams in Europe this year, Liverpool and Manchester City. Kevin McCauley of SB Nation ranks these matchups of Champions League ties in the quarterfinals.
Lyon looks to again be in trouble with UEFA, having been charged by them with incidents involving “racist behavior” and “crowd disturbances” at their Europa League home game last week vs. CSKA Moscow. Several police officers were injured during repeated clashes with fans during the game. A UEFA panel will decide Lyon’s fate on May 31st, and they face a year ban if convicted of these offenses. Lyon fans aren’t the first set of fans in Europe to engage in racist activity, and its fair to ask UEFA what took so long to enforce strict punishments for it (assuming the ban is held up). Still, the hope is stricter punishments will lead to a decrease in incidents of racism at games, if not an outright elimination.
When people discuss who should be the next manager of the USMNT, one of the first names that gets thrown out there is Tab Ramos, currently coach of the US U-20 team. And it’s easy to see why: Ramos is a former star player with the USMNT, and he’s had success with the U-20 program. Still, Ramos has been involved with U.S. Soccer for a long time now, and there’s questions as to if that’s good thing given where the U.S. are right now (or more importantly, where the U.S. will not be this summer). Charles Boehm looks at Tab Ramos’ career with U.S. Soccer, and whether he could be part of the solution, or part of the problem.
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