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.
Now that the 2016-17 season has concluded, let’s take a look at 10 managers who exceeded expectations for their clubs.
In 2016, the Chicago Fire were awful. They finished last in all of Major League Soccer with 31 points from 34 games. The foundations for that pathetic season had been laid in 2015, when they finished last in MLS with 30 points from 34 games.
2017, however, has been a different story. The Fire have already matched their point total from last season, and surpassed their total from 2015, with 18 games still to play, and they're riding an eight-game unbeaten streak in league play.
Unless you’ve been living in a penal colony in the outer reaches of Siberia for the last few days, bereft of internet and with only polar bears to converse with, you’re no doubt fully up-to-speed on the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has “irreversibly” (his words) decided to leave Real Madrid.
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Australia
History and Background
Football hasn’t always been a major sport in Australia. Although the national team was formed in 1922, the country didn’t participate in the first seven World Cups. When they did decide to start participating, they failed to qualify in their first two tries — losing to North Korea in the playoffs for 1966 and Israel in ’70.
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Germany
History and Background
Like Gary Lineker once said, “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” It’s no surprise that Die Mannschaft are by far the most historically successful team at this tournament, having won four World Cups and three European Championships.
Are you wondering who did what to who with what and when and where? You’ve come to the right place. The18’s decidedly polarizing staff is here to run the rule over the 2016-17 European season, and you won’t believe what Sam Klomhaus has to say. Sit back and enjoy our review of the most recent season yet.
On Sunday, England won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, sparking snarky Brits to declare the nation had finally ended its 51-year cycle of hurt, dating back to last winning the World Cup in 1966.
Despite being home to arguably the world’s most entertaining league, England has consistently failed to flatter at the international level. A stellar crop of English players (including David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen) in the 2000s were dubbed the Golden Generation. Their play at the highest level didn’t exactly live up to the lofty moniker.
No one likes a big-name signing more than Real Madrid, the home of the Galáctico. You almost get the feeling that club president Florentino Perez is a little dismayed at the recent success and stability brought by manager Zinedine Zidane.
2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action resumes today and tomorrow with the fourth round, and I'll forgive you for not knowing that, but I'll never forget. Founded in 1914, the competition has overcome some turbulent times in American soccer, as evidenced by the fact that the tournament’s two most successful sides, Bethlehem Steel FC and Maccabi Los Angeles, no longer really exist.