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 – U.S. Men’s National Team Youth Development

US Men’s National Team Youth Development If you’ve followed us for a while you know that one of the topics we write about frequently involves the US National team(s). One of the concerns I have written about before is the American National Team’s reliance on dual nationality players. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to … Read moreMonday Musings – U.S. Men’s National Team Youth Development

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 – The Road to Insolvency?

The English Football League

Much has been made of the widening gap between Premier League clubs and even the EFL Championship, although it widens exponentially through the lower leagues. With the “Football Leaks” discussion about a European Super League, it brings into question — Can the rest of the EFL survive?

Most Championship clubs take on substantial debt in an attempt to compete for (and ideally win) promotion to the Premier League. In fact, Tony Bloom (owner of Brighton and Hove Albion) said in 2016 that “[a]ny Championship club without parachute payments wishing to compete for promotion will inevitably make significant losses”. A prominent opponent of parachute and solidarity payments insinuated that eventually private clubs would grow tired of subsidizing the league.

Have we reached this point? In the era where every time Premier League television rights are awarded is a new, can “everyone else” truly thrive? 9 clubs (including one Premier League side) have entered administration for insolvency since 2010. Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules have helped some, but the growing chasm in revenues have some clubs willing to take the risk.

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Monday Musings – “Football Leaks” and a geyser of gluttony…

Monday musings is a weekly series, you can find the other entries here.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton 1887

FIFA had been the subject of numerous inquests — most recently involving Sepp Blatter and a multitude of additional staffers. In 2015, Swiss authorities arrested 7 and US authorities arrested 39 more after bribes were found for marketing deals, World Cup placements, and other major actions. In light of these arrests and prosecutions FIFA made wholesale changes and promises of transparency and fairness… but it turns out that lasted but a few months…

Several high-profile clubs were reportedly able to ignore gross violations of financial fair play rules. Smaller clubs that violated these tenets were banned from continental competition. Turns out that if you’re rich enough, the rules don’t apply. Gianni Infantino is supposedly responsible for allowing (and even hindering the investigations of FIFA) gross abuses for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Read moreMonday Musings – “Football Leaks” and a geyser of gluttony…

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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