England has five teams in the Champions League for the first time and amazingly all of them are still unbeaten through three matches in group play. Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham all lead their groups with a combined 11 wins, four draws and no losses.
Wednesday’s Chelsea-AS Roma game had everything. It had six goals in total, Antonio Rudiger playing against his former team, Gary Cahill wearing a bandage around his head like he just went to the dentist in 1876, Frederico Fazio getting magic spray on his junk because Pedro’s head smashed into his nether regions and an Edin Dzeko goal that might be one of the best you’ll see all year. In the end, Chelsea and AS Roma played to a wildly entertaining 3-3 draw in Champions League group play at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Tuesday sure was wild, huh? CONCACAF CONCACAF’d the sh*t out of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for two insane hours. There was a lot to take in. A lot. Wacky own goals, rampaging ball boys and hugging commentators. And USMNT World Cup dreams dashed. So like Hillary Clinton after her election loss, let’s revisit what the hell just happened.
Lionel Messi might not go to the World Cup. Argentina need to win in Ecuador, a country they have only won in once in the last 56 years, to guarantee at least a spot in a playoff to go to Russia.
This is disheartening for most soccer fans, because Lionel Messi is the best player in the world and a joy to watch. His resume speaks for itself: five Ballon d'Ors, 2014 World Cup Golden Ball, La Liga all-time top goalscorer, Argentina all-time top goalscorer, 30 trophies won with Barcelona.
As much as Bruce Arena wants you to believe CONCACAF has the toughest World Cup qualifying cycle, North America and the Caribbean have nothing on Africa. Take Gabon, for instance, which is blaming orange juice for its 3-0 loss to Morocco, which ended Gabon World Cup hopes on Saturday.
Perhaps more than any other weekend every four years, this upcoming (extended) weekend from Thursday to Tuesday defines a nation’s success on the world football stage. Playoffs aside, this is the final week of World Cup qualifiers, and it’s going to be absolutely bonkers.
There is so much at stake for so many countries from traditional powers (Argentina, Netherlands) to the incredible underdogs (Syria, Iceland) and everyone in between. Only a handful of teams have already qualified and an incredible amount are still in the running.
28 Years Later, The U.S. Is In A Familiar Position Needing A Result At Trinidad And Tobago To Reach The World Cup
The United States has qualified for every World Cup since 1990. Only once in that span did the Americans need a result on the final day of qualifying. That came in 1989 when the U.S. traveled to Trinidad and Tobago needing nothing less than a win to procure a trip to the 1990 World Cup. The USMNT again travels to Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10 needing a result to extend its streak to eight straight World Cup appearances.
How much of Hatem Ben Arfa’s enfant terrible reputation is deserved? It’s impossible to say, because we don’t know the man. However, with only one-year remaining on his Paris Saint-Germain contract, it’s become clear that Ben Arfa’s exit from the French capital is going to look a lot like his exits from Lyon, Marseille, Newcastle United and Hull City.
Is this the dumbest thing you’ve read today? IS IT?! Go ahead, say it. I don’t care.