SportMuse Best of 2018

With the New Year upon us, we felt like it would be appropriate to share the top articles read by you, our readers, during 2018.

We started this little enterprise back in July to write about the Premier League, and have since expanded our coverage over the past few months to include the EFL Championship, UEFA Champions League, NCAA football, some MLS coverage, and some writing about the NFL and NBA (which nobody seems to read).

As we enter 2019, we intend to keep focus on European football, but will also be offering in-depth coverage of the Asian Champions League, Women’s World Cup 2019, March Madness, and a bunch of other things that we can find time for. We appreciate every reader and social media interaction that we’ve had over the past 5+ months and look forward to more of the same in 2019 and beyond.

Without further ado, here, in reverse chronological order, are our most read articles from 2018:

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Monday Musings – MLS Playoffs moving towards the pinnacle

MLS Conference Finals on Monday Musings This week’s Monday Musings will take a look at the MLS Conference finals matchups. We have two teams remaining in each conference. In the Western Conference, we have Sporting l Kansas City and the Portland Timbers. And in the Eastern Conference we have Atlanta United and the New York … Read moreMonday Musings – MLS Playoffs moving towards the pinnacle

Monday Musings – MLS Playoff Picture & Schedule

This piece will be updated as the tournament progresses…

The dust is barely settling on decision day, but we’ve got everything you need to know about the upcoming Major League Soccer playoffs!

We ended up with some unlikely teams in the playoffs, including my hometown side Real Salt Lake, who advanced after the LA Galaxy gave up a 2-goal lead to lose 3-2 to FC Dallas. The Columbus Crew also advanced to the the playoffs with a 3-2 win over Minnesota United.

Without further ado, here’s what to look forward to as the playoffs get underway.

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The Future of Professional Soccer in North America

We focus a lot on European Football on this site, primarily in England and the various continental competitions. This is kind of odd in a way, since we (Chris and I) are located in the United States, which has its own professional soccer league as well. We even have a club – Real Salt Lake – that actually won the MLS Cup, and tends to do better than most in the league.

My personal dislike of the league has multiple facets, but primary on the list is that the level of play – and quality of players – just isn’t on par with a lot of the European leagues. In FiveThirtyEight’s Global Club Soccer Ratings,* Sporting Kansas City, the first MLS club on the list, is ranked 170th, behind all 20 Premier League clubs, six Championship clubs, and even three clubs from Liga MX. The average ranking of all 23 MLS clubs is 340 (median of 335), and range from Sporting KC’s 170 to Colorado Rapids’ 539 (out of 628 total clubs). By average club ranking, MLS ranks 19th out of the 33 leagues ranked by FiveThirtyEight, just behind the Greek Super League and just ahead of the Japanese J1 League, which aren’t leagues that are known for their overall quality.

*As of 22 October 2018.

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Monday Musings – MLS Playoff Picture

We’re getting down to the wire in the Major League Soccer Season with 4 teams still in the running for a playoff spot. The Eastern Conference is closer to locked up, with only 2 teams vying for the final slot. The Western Conference has 2 teams fighting for the final spot. There are only two teams left competing for the Supporters Shield, and it’ll be a battle between Atlanta United (69) who have been rampant this season averaging almost 2.1 points per game, but NY Red Bulls (68) are hot on their tail. The Western Conference is almost a full 10 points behind either of these teams with their closest competitors.

Here is a little about each team and what their chances are for making the post season:

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