A lot can change in a few months. The gap between the draw for the Champions League round of 16 and the matches themselves can be vast. Even in countries where a winter break (or the lack thereof) is not just an annual excuse for under-pressure managers, the sides which face off in February can be entirely different from those which were first drawn out of the pots. Now, after a relatively normal week in Serie A, what should we expect from the Italian teams still in Europe’s premier cup competition?
It’s not a glamorous role, but it’s the lifeblood of any club. Soccer's executives and administrators are the unsung heros of the sport at all levels.
At best, admins and execs keep a club running like a well-oiled machine. At worst, they find themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Charged with the oversight of all aspects of the game – from scheduling matches to hiring coaches and balancing the books – administrative life is a juggling act of communication, organization and foresight.
Scoring too many goals is graceless. In Italy, when a team gets a few goals ahead, an unspoken agreement settles over the pitch; the team in the lead won’t score too many goals and the team behind won’t try too hard to get back into the game. The energy and the pressure eases off and the three points are settled early on.
In its brief history, MLS has seen some talented sides.
The '98 Chicago Fire assembled arguably the best MLS team in history in their first year as an expansion side. With Zach Thornton, Peter Nowak, Chris Armas, and Jesse Marsch, along with the burgeoning stars Ante Razov and Josh Wolff, the club swept both the cup and league.
Following a blatant attack of racial abuse on Mario Balotelli during Nice’s match against Bastia last Friday, the Italian striker took to Instagram and said, “Is it normal that Bastia supporters make monkey noise [and] ‘uh uh’ for the whole game…?” Balotelli then criticized the French League’s disciplinary committee for failing to address the situation, summarizing the entire incident as “a real shame.”
The conversation about technology in soccer reached a fever pitch following FIFA’s use of Video Assistant Referees at the Club World Cup. Video replay technology has long been an area of fierce debate, but it’s finally beginning to make headway after the unmitigated success of goal-line technology.
Alex Morgan may have left the NWSL on a six-month loan to France’s Lyon, but she’s still the face of the women’s game in America. Recently speaking with British newspaper The Guardian, Morgan stated that a labor strike for the USWNT players is still a possibility in the weeks or months ahead.
We’ve shown you some of the best and most amusing moments the Copa Sao Paulo has had to offer over the past few weeks. However, the latest news coming from Brazil’s top youth competition is nothing short of disturbing. Age fraud has been present in soccer ever since the conception of youth competitions.
In the opening episode of the newest, most extravagant HBO television series, The Young Pope, the decidedly Neapolitan Cardinal Angelo Voiello, anticipating his upcoming meeting with the Holy See, lays out on a desk his three smartphones. Each is emblazoned with a slightly different cover. The Naples Trinity, Voiello calls them: the attacking trident which set Serie A on fire. Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain.