I have a theory as to one reason (of many) the England National Team tends to underperform in major tournaments: the players all play in the same league. Every England international plays in the Premier League. One might argue this breeds familiarity and is therefore good for the national team, but I think it leads to a lack of stylistic variety in the team and makes the payer pool stagnant. It's basically like inbreeding, is what I'm saying.
Atletico Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at the San Mames on Tuesday to continue their unbeaten start to league play after five matches. But anemic draws against Girona and Valencia find them trailing Barcelona by four points, and you can’t fight the feeling that despite the continued excellence of players like Koke and Antoine Griezmann, there’s a Diego Costa-sized hole in this Atleti side.
With the full release of FIFA 18 only nine days away (Sept. 29), we got our hands dirty with the demo, and we somehow managed to learn five things while completely disregarding a plethora of other things in our actual lives (I will call you tomorrow, Grandma). And awaaay we go.
Amid strong interest from clubs in Major League Soccer, it was with a view towards the 2018 World Cup that Andres Guardado decided to join Real Betis and continue pushing himself at the highest level in La Liga. After three starts for the Seville-based club, it’s apparent that the 30-year-old made the right decision. This is obviously his level.
The unthinkable happened on Thursday night in London during the Europa League match between Arsenal and Cologne: Fans from the opposing teams were allowed to sit next to each other. I’ll let you gather your collective breath for a moment as the gasps sweeping across America just created another hurricane in the Atlantic.
Typically, supporters from one club are cordoned off from supporters of the other club in stadiums across Europe. In America, opposing fans sit next to each other and nobody gets hurt. Why is it so hard for European fans to not murder each other?
Raheem Sterling is good at everything except for shooting. He is extremely good at everything except for shooting. He dribbles like a wizard, passes like a maestro, defends like a honey badger, moves off the ball like someone who actually knows how to do that and shoots like a man with a cinderblock tied to his foot. He shoots almost reluctantly, like it's something he knows he has to do but doesn't actually want to do.
Alexi Lalas brought it up; we’re here to answer it. Is Tim Howard still the right man in goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team?
Three years ago Tim Howard was the meme king of the World Cup, dual-handedly keeping Belgium at bay for 90 minutes while his USMNT teammates flailed around defensively. Howard made a World Cup record 15 saves that day, ultimately allowing two goals in extra time in a 2-1 loss that would have been a 1-0 win had Chris Wondolowski been able to put a shot on target from six yards out.
There’s no fighting the feeling that the Champions League group stage has become more and more of a nonevent over the past few years. Over the course of this week’s action, we watched Chelsea hammer Qarabag 6-0, PSG pummel Celtic 5-0 and Manchester City put four unanswered past Feyenoord. Even the marquee matchup between Barcelona and Juventus had the feeling of an International Champions Cup match being played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
There’s an immediate hot take available here that I just can’t commit myself to: the departure of Neymar from Barcelona has had an uplifting effect on 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, and El Ilusionista is about to enjoy the consummate season because of a mixture of peak footballing intelligence and a proverbial unchaining on the left-hand side of Barca’s midfield.