Tottenham v. Dortmund Champions League (UCL)

Tottenham v. Dortmund Champions League This is part of our Champions League coverage, as always, there’s more on our Champions League page! This game features the Group A winner (Borussia Dortmund) and Group B Runner up (Tottenham Hotspur). From a fan perspective, this should be a meeting of two great clubs with a ton of … Read moreTottenham v. Dortmund Champions League (UCL)

Champions League – Round of 16 Draw

Champions League is taking a break until February now that the group stage is complete. But before it does, they needed to determine the pairings for the next round of matches.

The draw took place this morning at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. As a reminder, here’s how the eight groups were settled during group play:

Group

Winners (seeded in draw)Runners-up (unseeded in draw)

A

Borussia Dortmund (GER)Atlético Madrid (ESP)

B

Barcelona (ESP)Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

C

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Liverpool (ENG)

D

Porto (POR)Schalke 04 (GER)

E

Bayern Munich (GER)Ajax (NED)

F

Manchester City (ENG)Lyon (FRA)

G

Real Madrid (ESP)Roma (ITA)

H

Juventus (ITA)Manchester United (ENG)

Read moreChampions League – Round of 16 Draw

(UPDATED) Champions League – Matchday 6 Scenarios

It’s time for Matchday 6 in Champions League. Four matches will be played each of the next two days, and while some of the matches won’t matter, there are still 12 spots up for grabs in the knockout phase. Beyond that, there are three groups that have yet to find a third-place finisher – those clubs head over to Europa League’s knockout phase – so we will try to point you towards the games that matter before the Champions League takes a two month hiatus and returns in February.

It’s important to win the group in order to be seeded in the draw for the knockout phase. The seeded team gets to host the second match of the two legs, allowing the seeded club to overcome a poor road showing in their first match if necessary. As mentioned, third place clubs head to Europa, and they too want to do their best, as the top four third-place finishers are seeded in the knockout phase of Europa League.

I’ll be using FiveThirtyEight’s Champions League Predictions when I talk about the various chances for placement within the groups, and reflect the club’s chances of claiming that particular spot. Here’s a group-by-group summary of how today’s results will impact the ending tables, with teams in bold locked into that position:

Read more(UPDATED) Champions League – Matchday 6 Scenarios

Champions League – Matchday 3 Recap

We are halfway through the Group Stage in the Champions League, and we have three groups that have leaders with the maximum of nine points. While they are not yet assured of advancing to the knockout phase, their chances are much higher, and they can be sealed up with wins on Matchday 4 in two weeks.

We also have two clubs with zero points through three matches, so they would have to go on and amazing run to redeem their Champions League play and possibly qualify for the Europa League by finishing in third place in their groups. However, neither club – Lokomotiv Moscow and AEK Athens – were favorites to advance coming in, and they have shown with their play thus far that people were right.

Finally, we have two of our own “favorite” clubs in the tournament – Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys – that are probably going to miss out on Europa as well. While they have both scored one point through three games, they are far behind their groups in fourth place with terrible goal differentials. I have higher hopes for Young Boys moving up to third, if only because they just drew with the club ahead of them in the group, but they will need to find three points against two clubs that have already defeated them easily.
Here are some of the more shocking results of the first round of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location). Home teams are listed first:

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Atletico Madrid
Atlético Madrid entered the Champions League Group Stage as the second-ranked club in UEFA; Borussia Dortmund entered in 10th. One would expect a competitive match under those circumstances, not a 4-0 destruction. Maybe Atletico chose not to send their Best XI to the match because they were tied with Dortmund with six points heading into the match, far ahead of the other two clubs in Group A. Maybe they knew that Matchday 4 would see a rematch, except at home in Madrid, so they expect to even the score then. Either way, both clubs are still the overwhelming favorites to advance out of the Group, and will fight for the first position, if only to face off against another group’s second finisher. But the only other matches in the Champions League that have had as lopsided of a score were matches between top clubs and qualifiers, not from two of the top 10 clubs in the tournament.

Read moreChampions League – Matchday 3 Recap

The Future of the U.S. Men’s National Team – Part 2

Note: This is Part 2 of a look at the potential future of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Yesterday, I took a look at the defensive side of the pitch. Today, it’s the offense. The positions listed below is where they are currently categorized by US Soccer, but some midfielders are perfectly capable of playing defense or forward and vice versa.

Midfielders
Kellyn AcostaColorado Rapids (Major League Soccer (United States)) – Acosta has been playing in MLS since shortly after his 18th birthday in 2013. Born in Texas, he started as a homegrown player with FC Dallas, making 117 appearances for the senior club from 2013-2018, scoring nine goals. He recently moved to the Rapids and has had a quick start there, scoring twice in his two games with the club. On the international side, he was on the U.S. squad for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament that the U.S. won, and has made a total of 17 appearances with the USMNT.

Tyler AdamsNew York Red Bulls (MLS) – Adams is only 19, and joined the Red Bulls Academy at the age of 12, playing with the club’s youth teams before signing his first professional contract at the age of 16. He debuted with the Red Bulls in a friendly against Chelsea, scoring a goal in a game the Red Bulls went on to win. He is now a regular starter for the club. He made his international debut with the USMNT in a friendly against Portugal in 2017, and has made a total of six appearances with the club.

Paul ArriolaD.C. United (MLS) – Arriola began his professional career with Tijuana of Liga MX (Mexico), opting to play 18 miles away from his hometown of San Diego instead of taking an opportunity with the LA Galaxy. He made the most of his time there, playing in 83 matches and scoring four times. He garnered the attention of D.C. United, where he signed a contract in August 2017 and where he remains. He made his international debut with USMNT in a friendly against Puerto Rico in 2016, notching a goal and an assist in a win. He has made a total of 16 appearances for the national team.

Read moreThe Future of the U.S. Men’s National Team – Part 2