For almost an entire year, Argentina’s national team refused to speak with the press. The boycott was the result of a terrible run in qualifying which led to extremely harsh criticism from the media, including an unfounded substantiation that Ezequiel Lavezzi had been dropped for smoking pot after training.
This season, Serie A has been about the top teams beating the bottom teams every week. The five best teams have racked up a huge number of points. So far, Napoli and Inter are unbeaten, while Juventus have only lost one game. Two points separate the top three teams, five points separate the top five.
Between November 9 and November 14, the complete European field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be decided over the course of eight gut-wrenching playoff ties. The two-legged affairs will mark the final cuts in a qualifying marathon that began with 54 hopefuls back on September 4, 2016, and will end with 14 European nations vying for glory next summer.
With only two rounds remaining before the Liga MX playoffs, the competition looks as interesting, uncertain and exciting as ever. Tigres and Rayados, the two teams from the northern city of Monterrey, are heading into the playoffs in fantastic form. But who makes up the chasing pack?
From a young age, every fan's dream is to attend a match at the club they support. Last week, I was lucky enough to travel across the pond to visit Anfield for a stadium tour and then see Liverpool cruise to a much-needed victory over Huddersfield Town the next day.
I am in no way a trained photographer, so bear with me as I try to portray the beauty of Anfield.
This should have been a fun article to write. This should have been an article in which Lazio were praised and evangelized; the remarkable rehabilitation of striker Ciro Immobile after years in the wilderness; the astounding performance of manager Simone Inzaghi, only appointed after Marcelo Biesla refused to show up for work on his first day; the way in which the entire team has blown away opposition this year, propelling themselves all the way up the table and sitting, right now, level with Juventus. It should have been a fantastically positive article.
But it’s not.
Thursday night’s MLS playoff action provided us with the perfect examples of an exhilarating 0-0 stalemate (Atlanta vs. Columbus earlier in the day) and an entirely forgettable one. The opening 90 minutes between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City was highlighted by a relatively subdued BBVA Compass Stadium (the Astros might just be the talk of the town at the moment) booing Graham Zusi’s every touch.
Zack Steffen had himself a game on Thursday night. The young Columbus Crew goalkeeper saved everything kicked, headed and scuffed his way against this season’s darlings Atlanta United in an MLS Knockout Round playoff.