Friday, April 24, 2015

Barcelona To Face Bayern, Real Get Juve, Arsenal vs. Chelsea, The Joy of Six, Croatian Racism

Woop! There goes another week in the book, kids. The Champions League draw just went down and it'll be Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich (juicy!) and Real Madrid vs. Juventus. Pretty damn good, we must say. You get a week off and then the matches commence in the first week of May. Now, then. This weekend. What have we got? In the Premier League, Chelsea go to Arsenal, and while the result won't have any impact on the title race, it's an intriguing match nonetheless. Elsewhere, Tottenham go to Southampton, and Everton host Manchester United. In Spain, it's the Catalan Derby as Espanyol host Barcelona, and in Italy, it's the Turin Derby as Torino welcome neighbors Juventus, Inter host Roma, and Napoli and Sampdoria clash. Let's hit some previews!

Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Key Battles 

Thierry Henry is on TV. Apparently, he's unpopular and terrible. Barney Ronay is on hand to tell us why.

Major League Soccer has matches this weekend, including the always spicy Portland vs. Seattle clash. Here's a weekend preview for the top North American league.

Serie A Preview? Done. La Liga Preview? Done. Bam!

Racism in Croatia. Not good. Aleksandar Holiga reports from Zagreb on how Croatia turned on an activist accused of reporting fans’ racism.

The Joy of Six! Scott Murray's leading the charge this week and it's...Everton vs. Manchester United! Splendid. quite a photograph.
The Europa League quarters were yesterday. Who made the semis? Well, it'll be Sevilla vs. Fiorentina and Napoli vs. Dnipro Dnipronitropetropsckovsksksksk. Good.

And finally...The Zlatan Suite.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Real Edge Atlético, Juventus Advance, Adam Johnson Charged, More Milan, Montreal Draw at The Azteca, Soccer in New York

Well, hello there. The Final Four of the Champions League is set. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, and Bayern Munich are the last clubs standing. The draw is tomorrow, with the first legs set to go down on May 5 and 6. Let's do it:

Real Madrid 1 - 0 Atlético Madrid: Sid Lowe at the Bernabéu
Real Madrid 1 - 0 Atlético Madrid: Sid Lowe at the Bernabéu II
Real Madrid 1 - 0 Atlético Madrid: Three Things We Learned
Monaco 0 - 0 Juventus: Dominic Fifield at Stade Louis II
Monaco 0 - 0 Juventus: Three Thoughts
Monaco 0 - 0 Juventus: Three Things We Learned

They are also attempting to narrow the field in the Europa League down to four today. Here's what to watch for in Europe's second-best club competition.

AC Milan. Internazionale Milan. Two powerhouses not competing in the Champions League. Two powerhouses who will not compete in the Champions League next season, either. Here's the question: With the Milan clubs stranded in Serie A’s unfashionable midriff, will the derby take on added meaning, turn nastier and leave fans fighting for city pride?

Neymar & Nadal

How about this for MLS? Frankie Klopas and his boys from Montreal went down to the Azteca for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final and left with an away goal and a 1-1 draw. They could've won it, too. The return leg is next Wednesday in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium. The match is already sold out. Impact de Montréal, indeed!

Oh, dear. Adam Johnson was arrested back in March, and he's now been charged. Three counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. Not good. Not good at all.

New York. The center of the Free World. And now home to tons and tons of soccer. The Guardian's Graham Parker attempted to get a handle on things this past weekend. Here's his take: The glut of live soccer options is a recent phenomenon, and this past weekend Graham Parker waded into the city’s most crowded schedule yet – four days, three teams, four matches. His takeaway? The competing visions for the future of the New York soccer scene still need to coalesce into something more substantial.

Listen. It's difficult to defend. We get that. Here's an excellent piece on why that's the case, featuring...Porto!

The Special One. José Mourinho. Jonathan Wilson takes a look at the man who learned his craft at Barcelona, but sets his sides up to play in a far different manner.

And finally...Tottenham are considering building a stadium that they can share with an NFL team.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bayern Bounce Back, Barcelona Stroll, Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid, Monaco vs. Juventus, George, Kevin-Prince & Jérôme, CONCACAF Champions League Final

Pep got so excited he ripped his pants.

Happy Hump Day! Before we delve into what's in store on this fine Wednesday, let's examine the two matches from yesterday. Pressure on Pep? Another manufactured story of hyperbole. Bayern destroyed a shell-shocked Porto (the third goal was glorious - this clip doesn't do it justice) to advance to the semis of the Champions League. Barcelona vs. PSG? Yawn. The French side still can't defend. Look, David Luiz played. Enough said. Here's your lot:

Bayern Munich 6 - 1 Porto: Barney Ronay at Allianz Arena
Bayern Munich 6 - 1 Porto: Three Things We Learned
Barcelona 2 - 0 PSG: Sid Lowe at Camp Nou
Barcelona 2 - 0 PSG: Three Things We Learned
Graham Hunter: Iniesta works his magic

One of the Bayern (and German) stars is Thomas Muller. Gabriele Marcotti takes a closer look at the forward's success here.

Right! So! Matches today! There's nothing like the Madrid Derby, peeps! Here we go!!

Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid: Preview I
Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid: Preview II

Monaco vs. Juventus: Preview I
Monaco vs. Juventus: Preview II

George, Kevin-Prince and Jérôme. Care to learn more about the Brothers Boateng? Read this

The CONCACAF Champions League Final is tonight at the Azteca in Mexico City. Relative newbies Montreal Impact represent MLS against Mexican powerhouse Club América. The match is at 9:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 2.

Hey! That'll do it! Enjoy!



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bayern Munich vs. Porto, Barcelona vs PSG, Eight By Eight on Arsène Wenger, Uli Hesse on St. Pauli, Goals of the Week

Dear Barcelona, I will defeat you all by myself. Signed, The Zlatan.

It's Tuesday and all eyes are on Bavaria where Bayern Munich host Porto down 1 - 3 on aggregate. They'll have to take some risks or else they can kiss their Champions League dream goodbye. The day's other match in at Camp Nou. Barcelona lead PSG 3 - 1 on aggregate and look to have the tie locked up. The Zlatan will play, though, never know. Here's some prep for your afternoon of fun, along with some extra stuff that includes tomorrow's matches:

Bayern Munich vs. Porto: Preview I
Bayern Munich vs. Porto: Preview II
Barcelona vs. PSG: Preview I
Barcelona vs. PSG: Preview II
Barcelona vs. PSG: Preview III

Eight By Eight is an excellent zine. If you don't know it, check it out. This month, it has an excellent piece on Arsène Wenger. You should, er, check it out.

Now is time time on SSN when we scribe:

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and a wild week in the Bundesliga

Where? Germany. Who? Uli Hesse. What? The Ups and Downs of St. Pauli

Where? South America. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Copa Libertadores group stage finale promises spectacle and surprises

Where? Spain. Who? Tim Stannard. What? Rantings and ramblings from the weekend...

Let's see. What else? How about a European Team of the Week? Yes, that's nice. Oh, and we should probably check out some of those MLS Power Rankings. Who's on top? New York Red Bull Energy Drinkers.

And finally...the CONCACAF Champions League Final is tomorrow at the Azteca. Nigel Reo-Coker is playing.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Chelsea Beat United, Drab Draw in Milan, Arsenal vs. Villa for the FA Cup

Hey there! We hope you enjoyed the weekend's fine fare. Chelsea did their best Chelsea imitation and defeated Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, effectively sealing the title for the Blues. Arsenal and Reading went to extra time before Arsenal eased through to the FA Cup final after a galling gaff by Royals keeper Danny Adam Federici. The Gunners will face Aston Villa in the final. Liverpool looked flat and confused and lost to the Birmingham side 1 - 2. Alas, Stevie G's dream of a Wembley send-off is dead. Let's dig in...

Peter Berlin: Weekend Thoughts
Reading 1 - 2 Arsenal: Nabil Hassan at Wembley
Reading 1 - 2 Arsenal: Paul Wilson at Wembley
Reading 1 - 2 Arsenal: Three Observations
Chelsea 1 - 0 Manchester United: Daniel Taylor at Stamford Bridge
Aston Villa 2 - 1 Liverpool: Phil McNulty at Wembley
Aston Villa 2 - 1 Liverpool: Stuart James at Wembley
Aston Villa 2 - 1 Liverpool: A Trio of Thoughts
Aston Villa 2 - 1 Liverpool: Three Things We Learned

Cue the Phil Collins ballad...

In Spain, Messi scored his 2,440,327th goal as Barcelona cruised to victory. Both of their Madrid rivals won as well, but Real were left with some injury issues. Here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga. The United States? Here are Five Things We Learned in Major League Soccer.

You know what was sad? The Milan Derby. Two of the most storied clubs in world football, currently languishing in Serie A mid-table obscurity, and playing crap football. The match suckedand nobody won. Which is good, because nobody deserved to win. We'll have more domani with Paolo.

That's all we've got for this Monday. Tune in tomorrow for in-depth reporting from The Scribes, as well as Champions League previews.