Can the Sounders go 10 – 0?

The Sounders are 3 – 0 and Schmetzer wants to go 10 – 0 to start the season, is it possible? Let’s talk about it.

1998 LA Galaxy team photo. Featuring Cobi Jones and Greg Vanney to name a few.

In terms of MLS history, the record winning streak is 15 by the LA Galaxy in 1998. Now, you can’t really take that as a comparable achievement to modern day MLS. Because in 1998 there were no draws in MLS. Every game ended in a win or a loss thanks to the shootout rules they used to employ. In “modern day” the record holder is… well this is awkward, the Seattle Sounders right now, with 8 consecutive wins since September 29, 2018.

Starting this season 10 – 0 would put us at 15 consecutive wins which would be an unheard of feat in the MLS (though, not elsewhere in the world.) It would be a record likely to stand for years to come. Can the Sounders invent doing it in the modern MLS era?

Cincinnati, Colorado and Chicago down. 3 – 0 so far this season. Let’s look at the schedule coming up.

March 30 — At Vancouver

Historically the Sounders lead the series in Vancouver. The Whitecaps have only won when Seattle comes to town 3 times. The last time being back in 2017 when they won 2 – 1 (I was at that game, sadly.) Vancouver does not look good right now, they have to figure out their team. They, along with the Sounders, have next week off to try and right the ship. Can they be prepared for the Sounders offense? I don’t think so. 4 – 0.

April 6 — Vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL just got thrashed 5 – 0 by DC United after having two players sent off. Mike Petke is at the helm of a struggling club and he has to figure out how to turn them around. Historically, Seattle does very well vs. RSL at home. They lead the series 8 – 2‐3, though the last time RSL came to visit Saucedo gave them their win on a beautiful volley. This loss was in the midst of our dark period of last season when everyone, including Will Bruin, was out injured. Regardless, in current forms, I am confident that Seattle will win this. 5 – 0.

April 10 — At Colorado

A midweek game on the road. Colorado will be looking for revenge after they lost to us in Seattle. Winning on the road is hard in MLS so every away game is going to be tough, but I just don’t see Tim Howard and the Colorado defense being able to withstand the Sounders offense again. And don’t forget the confidence the team will be playing with if they have begun the season 5 – 0, they are going to be hungry for goals. I think this is a win, and puts us up to 6 – 0.

April 13 — Vs. Toronto FC

Third game in 8 days, with a jaunt to Colorado in the middle. The team is going to be tired. They are going to have to stand up to their arch rivals, the zombified corpse of the greatest MLS team ever. It’s honestly the first game of the season I am truly concerned about. Toronto are undefeated in MLS games and Toronto loves beating Seattle, and Toronto won’t have had a midweek game. So, we’ll see, but this is where I think our streak comes to an end. 6 – 1.

April 21 — At LAFC

Thankfully the team has a week off to rest and recover, otherwise this game could be ugly. LAFC scare me. Carlos Vela scares me. Bob Bradley is one of the keenest tactical minds in US soccer, he scares me. I will be thrilled to leave this game with a draw. 6 – 1‐1.

April 24 — Vs. San Jose

Almeyda is trying to fix a broken club but we are on short rest and depending how brutal the game in LAFC is we might rest starters and give San Jose a window of opportunity against us. That said, as long as two of our four attackers play, and the defense stays intact, I predict Seattle wins. 7 – 1‐1.

April 28 — Vs. LAFC

As if facing them as part of a 3‐game week wasn’t enough, we get to face them twice in a week and they don’t have a third game in the middle. This one could be rough, but I trust the home field advantage to carry us through. 8 – 1‐1.


So, that’s it. The schedule just doesn’t play in our favor to make the 10 – 0 dream a real possibility. Should we try for it? Absolutely. If we try for 10 – 0 and fail, but doing so starts us even close to it, getting 25 of 30 points, that will be truly remarkable and put us on track to win the Supporter’s Shield this season.

But who knows, maybe we can get to 10 – 0.

World Record for Win Streaks

As a brief digression, I went looking for club win streak records. I was curious how would our theoretical 15 game win streak compare to other leagues in the world?

Turns out the longest winning streak ever is held by the Czech team, AC Sparta Prague. From 1920 – 1923 they won 51 games in a row. 51 games in a row is an unbelievable feat and speaks to the era of imbalance in the Czech league. Not even Bayern Munich has managed that.

But, to be fair, Bayern did get 19 consecutive wins during a 53 game unbeaten streak, 46 wins and 7 draws, back in 2013 – 2014. Oh Bayern.

A sixteen game win streak for the Sounders would tie us with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and AS Monaco, who each managed an equal win streak. I would note that the Sounders doing it would be even more impressive given the comparative parity of the MLS to La Liga and Ligue 1.

As I said above, I think it is a lofty goal that is unlikely to happen for the Sounders. Could it happen? Absolutely. I can’t wait to see.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 3

Week 3 sure was a wild one. From Cincinnati’s echoing victory at home, to DC United’s 5 – 0 blow out over RSL, to Seattle winning big on the road… this season of MLS is heating up and looking to be a wild one.

The biggest climber this week: FC Cincinnati. Biggest fall: Portland Timbers.

The Leaders

1. DC United

Change: +3 — Form: WDW
Rooney bags a hat trick. RSL did themselves no favors this game but they were unquestionably outmatched and DC did not show any mercy. Turns out that Rooney kid is good at soccer. I wonder if we’ll see him snapped up by some European club?

2. New York Red Bulls

Change: +1 — Form: WD
Coming back from their off week, they earned the win over San Jose. I have to imagine there was a twinge of panic when San Jose went up early, but Red Bulls made it look easy as they started scoring and didn’t stop.

3. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: -1 — Form: WWW
Winning 4 – 2 on the road? Seems good. Sounders fans deserve to be excited about the team this season. But there should also be a bit of skepticism as we have not yet had to face a top team. The two goals Chicago scored left questions about the defense. Can they shore it up and be the complete package?

4. Los Angeles FC

Change: -3 — Form: DWW
A draw on the road is nothing to sniff at, but it is also not enough to hold your top spot when the three teams below you all earned the W. LAFC and Carlos Vela look like a good team that will contend for the top spot this season.

The Pack

5. Toronto FC

Change: +3 — Form: WW
They come back from their CCL attempt and get the win at home. Toronto are off to a solid start in their post Giovinco era.

6. Columbus Crew

Change: +0 — Form: WWD
A win at home over FC Dallas, as much as they are struggling, is still a win. It was not a dominant performance, but it was enough to keep them atop the pack.

7. Atlanta United

Change: -2 — Form: DDL
Atlanta fans are frustrated. Being the league champions and then waking up and discovering that you aren’t hot shit anymore is a tough pill to swallow. Can De Boer shake off Atlanta’s champion slump?

8. Sporting KC

Change: -1 — Form: DWL
SKC held out for the draw, and now will likely turn their focus to advancing in the CCL. The only MLS team to advance to the semi finals. Power rankings shouldn’t concern them or their fans until that saga plays out.

9. Houston Dynamo

Change: +2 — Form: WWD
Houston looks solid. Love their counter attacking offense and we will have to see if they can continue this early season form.

10. LA Galaxy

Change: +3 — Form: WLW
Zlatan out and LA Galaxy looked phenomenal anyways. That’s what Galaxy fans have been waiting for. LA Galaxy could make their way back to the top of the pack if this form continues.

11. Minnesota United

Change: -2 — Form: LWW
Losing on the road is a part of the MLS. Minnesota fans might have hoped for more but they can’t leave that game too angry, they looked solid more than not and just couldn’t score an equalizer.

12. NYCFC

Change: +2 — Form: DDD
Another week, another draw. NYCFC have some truly excellent players but what I saw of their game against LAFC felt like the old Sounders when the team relied too heavily on Clint & Oba to score and if they were successfully neutralized the team struggled. I think NYCFC can break free of that, but we’ll have to wait and see.

13. Montréal Impact

Change: +2 — Form: WLW
A road win is a big thing for teams in the MLS, the home team has a rather sizable advantage. Montréal should feel good about their 3 – 1 victory, even if it was over Orlando.

14. FC Cincinnati

Change: +6 — Form: WDL
FCC is exceeding my expectations by a large margin. I tweeted last week that I was thinking FCC would win at home this weekend, and they proved me right. From the home stadium energy, to FCC looking competent, and Portland’s struggling form. Kudos to Alan Koch and the whole squad.

The Chase

15. FC Dallas

Change: -3 — Form: LWD
Pareja leaving to go to Mexico was a big hit to the organization. He did a lot of work building the squad and the strategy. Dallas is playing their kids and trying things out, both things I heartily support. Losses happen, the game goes on.

16. Colorado Rapids

Change: +1 — Form: DLD
A draw at home against a, theoretically, better SKC. They would have had the win had Johnny Russell not managed to snag the late equalizer.

17. Real Salt Lake

Change: -1 — Form: LWD
This week they collapsed in the worst possible way. Two red cards and five goals. It gave me flashbacks to the Sounders vs. Portland “Red Card Wedding.”

18. Chicago Fire

Change: +0 — Form: LDL
Chicago should not feel destroyed by the Sounders win. Sure, they lost. But their offense looked solid and had a lot of shots. Similar to the Sounders last season, having a lot of shots means that eventually they are going to start to fall. Hang in there.

19. Philadelphia Union

Change: +4 — Form: DLL
The Union managed a draw against Atlanta. In a vacuum that’s a very good result.

20. Portland FC

Change: -8 — Form: LLD
They are in a tail spin. They need to figure their formation and tactics out, all while going on an extended long road trip. The good news for them, as mentioned elsewhere, is teams on extended road trips in the start of the season have never failed to qualify for the post‐season.

21. New England Revolution

Change: -2 — Form: LLD
New England Revolution have an amazing talent in Carles Gil. The question is, can they form a plan that utilizes, supports, and defends against all opponents.

The Basement

22. Orlando City

Change: -1 — Form: LDD
Orlando fans should be worried. I don’t want to mince words or give false hope but nothing I’ve seen from Orlando has given me any real hope of them turning their form. I hope I’m wrong and have to eat my words, but that’s my feeling.

23. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: -1 — Form: LLL
I feel like Vancouver shows flashes of competence and solid attack. But their defense is too porous and they can’t score enough goals to overcome it.

24. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: +0 — Form: LLL
Being a bad soccer team is never fun. They had hoped they could turn it around after last season but so far they are only showing us how to lose games.

Header image posted to reddit by /u/thelost2010

Watch These — Week of Mar. 18

As we head into the international break, most leagues in the world go on break.

Thursday, Mar. 21

  • Belgium vs. Russia (UEFA Euro Qualifiers) — Russia crashed out of the Euros during the group stage in 2016, Belgium made it to the knockouts before being defeated 3 – 1 by Wales. Belgium is #1 in the world right now. This should be an entertaining match as they vie for another go in the Euros.

Friday, Mar. 22

  • England vs. Czech Republic (UEFA Euro Qualifiers) — England sits at #6 in the world, but they are very much a team in transition as the next generation of players take over.

Saturday, Mar. 23

  • Spain vs. Norway (UEFA Euro Qualifiers) - Spain are among my favorite international teams to watch, for obvious reasons. Who doesn’t want to see them face‐off against #46 in the FIFA rankings?
  • Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids (MLS) — The MLS limps along in the international break. Both of these teams need a win to help them rise in the standings.
  • Saint Louis vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) - Two of the three remaining undefeated teams in USL meet. Saint Louis with dreams of coming to MLS. Rowdies living in the shadow of Orlando and the soon to arrive Miami.

Sunday, Mar. 24

  • Netherlands vs. Germany (UEFA Euro Qualifiers) - Unquestionably the biggest of the Euro qualifier matches this week. Netherlands need to recover after not qualifying for the World Cup. Germany were disgraced at the World Cup after not making it out of the group stages. Two teams looking to make a comeback.

Seattle Extinguish Fire 4 – 2

This week Brian Schmetzer let out that he is eyeing a very high bar for the start of this season: Starting this season with a 10 – 0 run. It certainly would be something amazing if the Sounders managed to do it. And Saturday in Chicago was another step on that path, matching their best start ever from their first MLS season, 2009.

While the match ended with a 4 – 2 Sounders win, it could easily have ended 7 – 6. Lots of dangerous shots for both sides with both goalkeepers playing well. Ousted had a few notable saves and Frei had two which actually made me say ‘wow.’

Graphic taken from MLSSoccer.com

I could focus on the delightful goals the Sounders scored but I’ll be honest. It was our defense which held my attention this game. Chicago had 25 shots during the game, 12 of them on target. The Sounders defense had a few poor moments and looked relatively porous. As surgical and threatening as the Sounders look on the ball offensively, and as easy as it is to feel we are impervious and unbeatable… watching this game makes me nervous for April when we travel to LAFC. How does this team do when faced with a powerfully offensive team? Can we hold them back? Can we out race them? I don’t know.

That defensive nervousness was my core takeaway from the game. Seattle has an offensive package unlike anything we’ve ever had before. Scoring ten goals in the first three games is excellent. We have two players tied at 3 goals (Ruidiaz and Morris), competing for the golden boot in the league. I mean, the Sounders are very scary offensively. We can score from anywhere by any of our offensive players.

But other teams have to be looking at us and zeroing in on our defensive weakness; the chink in our armor. That is what would keep me up this week were I on the coaching staff for the Sounders. How do we strengthen our defenses?

I think every player on our defense had a few concerning plays against Chicago, but the one I noticed most was Svensson seemed a bit off. Even when we shifted to five in the back we didn’t end up looking more defensively solid.

In the 72nd minute, Schmetzer pulled Lodeiro off and subbed on Panamanian center back, Roman Torres. This was a clear sign that we were settling in to defend our lead 3 – 1, as we shifted to a 5 – 3‐2 or 5 – 4‐1 structure. I don’t hate the strategy, we have three of the best CBs in the league. But it is not as convincing a tactic as I would hope. We looked just as vulnerable and perhaps more confused when the transition took place. It was twelve minutes later when Fabian Herbers managed to get on the loose ball in the box and bring Chicago up trail 2 – 3. Suddenly we had to be scared Chicago might find the third goal.

And look, I’m not saying anything the team doesn’t already know. Schmetzer himself in his postgame interview called out Frei’s big performance because “they could have scored a few more.” I trust in the coaching staff to look at the replay footage and figure out who messed up and how. And I expect the next two weeks will be a lot of defensive drills, and further tinkering with the five in the back.

Don’t let all this defense focus make you feel bad about our win. We are 3 – 0 so far in the season. We have a goal differential of +7. We have scored with five different players so far this season. We are having a hell of a start to the season and the Sounders are showing everyone who we are.

The Good

  • Rodriguez is a man on a mission. He has been tagged as a DP by the club and he wants to show us all what he is capable of when fully healthy.
  • Lodeiro looked great and was all over the field. He had a fortuitous bounce from his penalty kick, but a goal is a goal.
  • Morris continues to be goal dangerous, and he scored one which could be voted as goal of the week.
  • Raul Ruidiaz didn’t have a lot of time on the ball, but that’s not a bad thing. He continues to keep defenders occupied and help maneuver formations to expose them. Combine that with his current goal scoring streak and he’s doing great.
  • Brad Smith looked strong offensively, pairing excellently with Rodriguez.
  • Stefan Frei says the Keeper of the Year award doesn’t matter to him, and that’s a reasonable response to not getting it last year. But I contend that him not getting it last year has left him more determined to be undeniably great this season.

The Bad

  • Our two CDMs, Gustav Svensson and Cristian Roldan didn’t look like themselves, they seemed sluggish and off.
  • Roman Torres didn’t look great when he subbed on.
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger didn’t have a good game.
  • Chicago Fire attendance was depressingly abysmal.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 2

After week 2’s results, the power rankings are starting to come into focus. We are watching the teams as they fall through the league’s plinko machine until everything settles. It’s already been a wild two weeks in the league, and I cannot wait to see how week three goes. Biggest climbers: Minnesota United and… FC Cincinnati? Biggest fall: Philadelphia Union.

The Leaders

1. Los Angeles FC

Change: +1
As much as my Sounders fan self wants to put the Sounders up top, LAFC looks to be the complete package. Carlos Vela is a superstar on par with Lodeiro and I can’t wait to see how they do for this season.

2. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: +1
Two goals in the first eight minutes of play. It was a hell of a way to start a match. And then it slowed down with the Sounders dominating but not able to get their third. Had we gotten that third I’d put them atop the league in my power rankings. Still, top of the league after two. How will they do on the road next week in Chicago?

3. New York Red Bulls

Change: -2
Off due to their CCL competition, I suspect they are still pretty good.

4. DC United

Change: +0
Rooney and Acosta are shaping up to have an amazing season, leading DC United back into contention as one of the top teams in the league. That said, they were unimpressive offensively against NYCFC.

The Pack

5. Atlanta United

Change: +0
A loss and a draw. Not a good look for the reigning champions. But, it’s also not unusual. They lost their key playmaker and changed coaches. Atlanta is in transition, give them a few weeks to settle into their new era. They still have the talent to do great in this league.

6. Columbus Crew

Change: +1
#SaveTheCrew might have worked too well. The Crew look to be true contenders in the league this season.

7. Sporting KC

Change: -1
A win’s a win. I am going to enjoy seeing how Kansas does this season, and see if Gedion comes in to make an impact for the team.

8. Toronto FC

Change: +2
As with New York, Toronto had this week off given the Concacaf Champions League. Unlike New York though, they get a bump as other teams fall around them.

9. Minnesota United

Change: +4
I would not have expected to give Minnesota a top 10 ranking this early in the season, but here we are. They are undefeated after opening their league on the road for two games. Now, granted their wins were against a rebuilding Vancouver, and the perennial struggling San Jose.

10. Portland FC

Change: -2
Thrashed in LA, Portland looked quite poor. But it doesn’t strike me as systemic issues, and more about early season wrinkles as they get their season going.

11. Houston Dynamo

Change: +1
Despite playing mid‐week for CCL, Houston managed a 2 – 1 win over Montréal. They could be the real deal this season.

12. FC Dallas

Change: +2
A win over the Zlatan‐less Galaxy is a win all the same, but they sure didn’t look convincing. Could be a rough season for Dallas fans.

13. LA Galaxy

Change: -4
Zlatan is already missing a game in week 2 of his “all the records” season. LA are on an upward trend compared to last season, even with this loss, but boy does it appear like they still have work to do.

14. NYCFC

Change: -3
Week 2 was a snorefest.

The Chase

15. Montréal Impact

Change: +1
Remi Garde. Piatti. And a loss against Houston. Montréal has promising flashes, they just need to hold onto it.

16. Real Salt Lake

Change: +3
RSL got the win this week, but it was not a comprehensive victory. I feel like RSL can do better, but they aren’t there yet.

17. Colorado Rapids

Change: +1
It’s a rough start to their season. First they drew vs Portland in the coldest MLS game in history, then they go on the road to Seattle and go down 2 – 0 in 8 minutes. Colorado had moments in Seattle where they got dangerous but they weren’t able to find the net.

18. Chicago Fire

Change: -1
Chicago got an equalizer at the death of the match to preserve a point at home. They need to get some fire and some threat, otherwise Seattle is going to run them over this weekend.

19. New England Revolution

Change: +1
A draw against Dallas, then a loss to Columbus. In both cases this team is outgunned. New England could sure use some reinforcements or a strategy change.

20. FC Cincinnati

Change: +4
A draw on the road against Atlanta is nothing to sniff at. Is this the start of Cincinnati warming up or a blip of false hope?

21. Orlando City

Change: +0
Two weeks, two draws. Orlando wants and needs to be better.

The Basement

22. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: +0
Not good. Can Fredy Montero pick up and be the offensive weapon to pull the Whitecaps out of the basement?

23. Philadelphia Union

Change: -8
Did I mention how dreadful and boring that NYCFC match was? I had Philadelphia in the middle of the table but they looked so dreadful I am correcting immediately and dumping them into the basement.

24. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: -1
Almeyda took on quite the challenge with San Jose. This team needs a deep reboot and a wake‐up call.

Watch These — Week of Mar. 11

MLS’s features for this week aren’t complete, but I don’t think any of those outcomes are going to change my top matches to see for the coming week. Here we go!

My Top 3

So you’ve only got time for a few soccer games, these are the three I most recommend you watch if you’re able:

  • Milan vs. Inter (Sunday, 12:30pm Pacific — ESPN+) — The Milan derby is this weekend, broadcast online over ESPN+ for those of us in the States.
  • Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid (Tuesday, 1pm Pacific — Univision/FuboTV) — Can Juventus mount the comeback? Or will Atletico advance further than their cross‐city rival?
  • Chicago Fire vs. Seattle Sounders (Saturday, 10am Pacific — ESPN+) — Perhaps my homerism is peeking through, but it feels like the Sounders might be about to do something special in this league. This game will be a true test of how they perform away from home with their fully healthy squad.

See my full listing of games to see, after the break.

Continue reading “Watch These — Week of Mar. 11”

MLS Power Rankings — Week 1

Here we are! The new season is upon us and I cannot be more excited that I can watch MLS matches again. I wanted to sit down and do my take on the power rankings for the league, starting with the first weekend’s matches.

As always, power rankings are subjective. This is 100% just me talking for the sake of talking. If you disagree, I encourage you to go find a forum and post your objections.

  1. New York Red Bulls — While battling in CCL, they managed a 1 – 1 draw away at Columbus. I still hold them atop the league for my first Power Rankings.
  2. LA FC - Los Angeles FC stole the victory in the final moments of their game, and I think this team is going to be a real contender this season.
  3. Seattle Sounders FC - 4 – 1 at home. Sure, it was against Cincinnati, but they showed hints at what the league can look forward to from a healthy Sounders roster.
  4. DC United — Defeating Atlanta 2 – 0 is no small feat, and they deserve to feel very good about it. They looked solid.
  5. Atlanta FC — Losing on the road is fairly common in MLS. Losing on the road, while resting some starters for CCL, is to be expected. But being the only team shutout to start the season, especially as the reigning MLS champions, hurts. I’m going to dip their power rankings, and I look forward to being shown how wrong I was when Atlanta comes roaring back.
  6. Sporting KC — They looked good, going to get a point on the road visiting LA FC, only to have it stolen the last moment. Were it not for the upward movement of LA FC, Seattle and DC United; KC would probably be top 3 had they gotten the draw.
  7. Columbus Crew - Drawing NYRB at home is nothing to scoff at, but it also isn’t anything that is going to dramatically move the needle in terms of rankings.
  8. Portland Timbers - Playing in the coldest MLS game ever is an achievement unto itself. But a 3 – 3 draw against Colorado leaves me questions about their defense.
  9. LA Galaxy — LA managed to grab the win at home, and thus not bringing shame to their newly installed Beckham statue. But this team wasn’t convincing for me and has to work to solidify their plan going forward.
  10. Toronto FC — If you had asked me where I thought Toronto would be before last weekend’s game, I would have said 15ish. But their win on the road, with Michael Bradley netting a brace, has made me reconsider. Perhaps the remnants of the “best MLS team ever”™ might have more life than we thought.
  11. NYCFC - With David Villa in Japan, many wondered how this team would evolve. Drawing on the road is good. Drawing with Orlando is less impressive.
  12. Houston Dynamo - Many, myself included, expect Houston to rise in the league’s estimations this season. But drawing at home against RSL leaves me uninspired and not seeing their power rising. Yet.
  13. Minnesota United — If you had Minnesota winning their first game on the road in Vancouver on your bingo card, congrats. I didn’t. With their offseason signings I expected them to be more competitive this season (Ozzie Alonso in the midfield all but guarantees that for any MLS team.)
  14. FC Dallas — I had these guys picked as a winner in their first match. I was disappointed. New England are no powerhouse, Dallas should have dispatched them early.
  15. Philadelphia Union — Toronto surprised them and they never recovered their footing.
  16. Montréal Impact - One of the three road winners in week 1, theirs was over San Jose. I am hoping to see Remi Garde’s side form into a more convincing squad in the coming weeks.
  17. Chicago Fire — In many ways Chicago had the upper hand in their match against LA. They scored first. They led in shots, passing accuracy, and possession. But the Galaxy found two goals to take the lead. Also Ousted looked excellent this match, despite giving up two.
  18. Colorado Rapids — Drawing 3 – 3 at home against Portland. Perhaps Colorado are the sleepers of the Western Conference.
  19. Real Salt Lake - RSL struggled to find the net this game, taking 14 shots and only sinking one in the 93rd minute playing against the 10‐player Houston. They will need to do better than that this season.
  20. New England Revolution — Well. These guys managed a draw in Dallas after Carles Gil’s tying goal in the 57′. Gil is going to have to carry this team.
  21. Orlando City SC — Oh Orlando. Adding Nani should be a help this season, but you certainly aren’t looking like a major threat. Or a minor threat.
  22. Vancouver Whitecaps — They might as well be the second expansion side of the season. They are going to be rebuilding and might sink like a rock in the western conference.
  23. San Jose Earthquakes - Losing at home against Montréal, San Jose’s coach Almeyda said “[T]here is a light that is coming, and we’ll have to turn over and work, that’s the only way to get out of this situation.” I will be eager to see this work happen.
  24. FC Cincinnati — Welcome to MLS Cincinnati. You’re going to have to work your asses off this season. You don’t have owners who spend like Atlanta or LA FC. You’re much closer to the Minnesota side, and that is a fine thing to be. But it’s going to be a rough transition as you try to find your footing and place in the league. Have fun at Atlanta next week!

Watch These Matches for the week of Feb. 4

Monday, Feb. 4

  • West Ham United vs. Liverpool (Premier League) — Liverpool sit only two points ahead of Manchester City after their win today, they need to win at London Stadium to maintain their lead or else they risk losing the top spot this coming weekend.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen (DFB Pokal) — Top of the Bundesliga vs. the middle of the pack. However Werder Bremen have Josh Sargent, and Dortmund potentially have Pulisic. Could we see two of America’s rising stars face off?

Wednesday, Feb. 6

  • Everton vs. Manchester City (Premier League) — Man. City are chasing Liverpool and depending how they did, this could be the match where Manchester take the top of the league. Can they?
  • Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (Copa del Rey) — An El Classico on the road to the top of the cup? Yes please.
  • Aberdeen vs. Rangers (Scottish Premier) — #3 vs. #2 facing off.

Saturday, Feb. 9

  • Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid (La Liga) - We have an El Classico immediately followed by the Madrid derby. If you haven’t seen it, you should really check out this Derby Days that explores this Spanish rivalry.
  • Parma vs. Internazionale (Serie A) — Parma managed to draw the talent laden Juventus. Can they also upset against Milan’s side?
  • Melbourne Victory vs. Perth Glory (A League) — Top two in Australia face off this weekend.

Sunday, Feb. 10

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City (Premier League) — Having lost to Manchester United, Leicester are looking to bounce back. Can they do it against the Spurs?
  • Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Premier League) — #2 vs #4. Fireworks. Lots of fireworks.
  • Utrecht vs. PSV (Eredivisie) — Two of the top in the Netherlands face off, can Utretcht give PSV their first loss of 2019?

Watch These Matches for the week of Jan. 28

Another week of the beautiful game for us all to sit back and enjoy. From Scotland to Mexico, and even an International friendly. Should be a good week.

Monday, Jan. 28

  • İstanbul Başakşehir vs Kasımpaşa (Turkish Super Lig) — Istanbul has opened a 6 point lead on the nearest chaser, and Kasımpaşa sits in fourth, nine points behind them. A win here would tie them for 2nd, and prevent Istanbul from opening a wider gap.

Tuesday, Jan. 29

  • Arsenal vs. Cardiff City (Premier League) — Arsenal sit in fifth. Cardiff City in 18th. Not exactly close. But both teams are fighting to progress. A win for Arsenal ties Chelsea. A win for Cardiff City could mean that they escape relegation (assuming Newcastle doesn’t beat Manchester City.)

Wednesday, Jan. 30

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford (Premier League) — Watford continue to put up good games, as they chase the leaders. Spurs though have their challenges ahead of them with Kane injured and Son playing for his national team.

Thursday, Jan. 31

  • Union Berlin vs. Koln (Bundesliga 2) — Koln were Bundesliga mainstays until they got relegated. Koln are #2 in the second league, fighting to make their way back into the league.

Saturday, Feb. 2

  • USA vs. Costa Rica (World Friendly) - Our second look at the US Men’s squad under the new coach as they face Costa Rica. We’ll be curious to see how they look.
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern München (Bundesliga) — Casual fans, or those unfamiliar with the German league might assume these two teams were in the same city given the presence of ‘Bayer’ and ‘Bayern’ — but no, Leverkusen and Munich (Munchen) are nearly 300 miles apart. Bayer is named for the pharmaceutical company Bayer, while Bayern comes from the name of the region Munich is in.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga) — Fifteen points separate them, Eintracht sits at 30 points while Dortmund leads the league with 45. Dortmund has won four of their last five where Eintracht Frankfurt have only taken 7 points out of their last five matches. A win for Dortmund gives them a commanding nine point lead over the chasing Bayern München (pending the outcome of their match vs. Leverkusen.)
  • Monaco vs. Toulouse (Ligue 1) — The great Thierry Henry had tried to turn Monaco around, taking on a monumental challenge as his first coaching job. And, well, it hasn’t gone well. He has been removed as the team tries to save their season again. Toulouse is not a powerhouse, so perhaps Monaco can turn it around here.

Sunday, Feb. 3

  • Manchester City vs Arsenal (Premier League) — Do I need to explain why to watch this? Well, as a Tottenham supporter I can tell you it’s so I can see Man. City beat them.
  • Real Madrid vs Deportivo Alavés (La Liga) — Real Madrid sit in third, and Alaves is four points and two spots behind them. Madrid are in good form as they rejoin the hunt for the top of the league.
  • Roma vs. Milan (Serie A) — Two legendary teams of Italy, Roma needing to earn that fourth rank to try and play in Champions League rather than Europa league.
  • Olympique Lyonnais vs PSG (Ligue 1) — PSG all but has this league clenched barring a catastrophic run of games, but Lyon are also in great form as they have not lost a game since the beginning of December.

Watch These Matches for the week of Jan. 21

Another week of the beautiful game for us all to sit back and enjoy. From Scotland to Mexico, and even an International friendly. Should be a good week.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

  • Kilmarnock vs. Rangers (Scottish Premier) — We don’t easily get the Scottish games here in the US, but #2 vs. #3.

Thursday, Jan. 24

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea (English League Cup) — Two British powerhouses face off in the second leg of their match. Going into it, Tottenham is up 1 – 0.

Friday, Jan. 25

  • Manchester United vs. Arsenal (FA Cup) — One day after we see Tottenham vs. Chelsea, we get this matchup. Olé has turned Man United around and made them fun to watch.

Saturday, Jan. 19

  • Milan vs. Napoli (Serie A) — Two top teams in Italy facing off.
  • Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Bundesliga) — Two middle‐of‐the‐pack teams in Germany face off. In addition tune in to see if the up and coming American, Josh Sargent can notch another goal in his early Bundesliga career.
  • Cruz Azul vs. Tijuana (Liga MX) — We are early into the Clausura for Mexican football and both of these teams need to start earning points.

Sunday, Jan. 27

  • USA vs. Panama (World Friendly) - Panama got the last spot in the 2018 World Cup after the US failed to qualify. This is a little bit of going full circle as we introduce the world to the next era of the US Men’s Team.
  • Juventus vs. Lazio (Serie A) — Historically, Juventus have a dominant performance in this series. Will they notch another win over Lazio?
  • Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup) — Crystal Palace are struggling to climb in the Premier League while Tottenham fights for the shield. Can Palace get a win over the Spurs for the FA Cup?
  • Feyenoord vs. Ajax (Eredivisie) — Two of the top Dutch clubs face off!
Header photo by unsplash-logoTom Grimbert