11/8/18 MLS Playoffs tonite/Sun, Big 10 Men’s Tourney Fri/Sun at Grand Park, US plays next week, Champs League Results, Carmel FC Trainings next week

MLS

Ok so I know a lot of you do not watch MLS soccer – its not as good, the players are no where as good as Europe – etc etc etc.  Well i am hear to tell you – if you haven’t watched MLS PLAYOFF SOCCER – You are Really missing out.   Last night’s battle between the oldest Rivals in US Soccer – Seattle hosting Portland winner advances to the conference finals – WAS SPECTACULAR.  Seattle scored in the 2nd half to tie it up on aggregate 2-2 – then Portland scored the go ahead goal with just 5 minutes to play plus 6 minutes of injury time.   That 11 minutes of soccer was the most exciting soccer I have witnessed this year – Seattle attacking, Portland countering, finally the home squad hitting a stinger when Riu Diaz scored his 2nd of the night on a screaming shot from the top of the box. Then 2 more minutes of up and down play – 40,000 plus fans of both teams jumping and screaming, rooting their teams on.  It ends in a 2-2 tie on to Extra time.  In Extra time Portland again takes the lead just 2 minutes in – then a hand ball in the box by Portland (the 3rd on the night finally this time given a penalty) allowed Lidero to tie it up once again for the Sounders from the penalty spot.  Finally Portland won it in PKs at 1:40 am!  Love MLS playoff soccer!

The 2nd legs of the other 3 semi-finals are all Sunday afternoon starting at 3 pm on ESPN with Salt Lake @ Sporting KC  & NYCFC @ Atlanta down 0-1 at 5 pm on ESPN, and Columbus up 1-0 @ NY Red Bulls at 7:30 pm  on FS1.

US Men Play England and Italy next Week

The US men – still with no word on who the head coach will be (Its going to be Gregg Berhalter from Columbus by the way) just waiting for Columbus to lose in the MLS Playoffs first.  England will play tribute to Wayne Rooney at Wembley when they face the US men on ESPN 2 Thursday at 2 pm (anyone want to catch lunch to watch ??).  The US has a young crew with many oversea’s US players being called up.

Big 10 Men’s Soccer Tourney at Westfield’s Grand Park Fri/Sun  

Quarterfinals: Two Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament quarterfinal games needed extra time to determine a winner, No. 1 Indiana versus No. 8 Northwestern and No. 4 Michigan State against No.  5 Maryland. Indiana advanced with a 2-1 victory and Maryland won 1-0.  No. 2 Wisconsin went down 2-0 against No. 7 Rutgers in the first 14 minutes, but rebounded to move on to the semifinals with a 6-3 win. No. 3 Michigan advanced with its 3-1 victory against No. 6 Penn State.  Carmel FC Director of Soccer Operations Juergen Sommer (a former National Champion Goalkeeper at IU) will be on hand for the coin toss of the Championship Game on Sunday afternoon!  Tickets are available at the gate  on-site, for $12 for adults, $7 for youth, high school and college students with school ID and $1 for veterans and active military.

Fri 1 pm on BTN  #1 Indiana U vs 5 Seed Maryland/ 3:30 pm BTN #2 Mich vs #2 Wisc

Sun 12 noon BTN Championship Game

Champions League

Some unbelievable results in Champions League this week right after the leak that certain huge clubs in Europe might be planning a Super League to replace Champions League (read stories below).  First Liverpool lays an egg at Red Star 2-0 meaning qualification may well come down to the final round as they have 2 difficult games left.  Then Juventus loses to Man United in the last second 2-1 showing just how much they miss Buffon between the pipes.

 INDY 11 $99 Season Tickets

Ok for folks looking for great Christmas ideas – the Indy 11 have come out with a family Season ticket plan that simply rocks.  $99 Season tickets in the South End Zone, or $150 in the BYB.  Seriously -these are level 1 seats for the full season for less than 1 Colts or Pacers game.  If you put just $50 down on Reserved Seat Tickets that start at just $289 before Nov 26th you get the bonus of Free Parking ($15 per game value).  All Season ticket holders get Exclusive Meet the Team Events, More Games on Saturdays less on Weds, Ticket Exchange Program (mix and match your games if you miss a game get double seats for another game of choice, 20% off team merchandise.  Click here for more info or Call 317-685-1100 for more details and tell them the Ole Ballcoach Sent you !

 CARMEL FC PLAYERS

We have access to Murray Stadium the next two weeks and we will be offering free outdoor training sessions for Carmel FC travel players and our Select Players.

Here are the dates:

  • Monday (11/12),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Wednesday (11/14),  5:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday (11/15),  5:45pm – 6:45pm  *Goal Keeping Training Only

Here is the schedule for the training sessions:

  • Academy Sessions (8U-10U boys and girls) – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • 11U/12U Boys & Girls – 6:40pm to 7:40pm
  • 13U/14U/15U Boys & Girls – 7:50pm to 8:50pm
  • Goal Keeping training will be on Thursdays only
  • 5:45pm – 6:45pm (U11-U15, Boys & Girls only)

USA

US In need of Pulisic’s Creativity

Rooney to return for England farewell vs US at Wembley

Optimistic View of our New US Manager – Greg Berhalter  Stars and Stripes

Pulisic Wants Revenge for US World Cup Failure

Atlanta United’s Martino Never Contacted about US Job before Taking Mexico’s

US Women play in Europe this Week

USA Complete squad:for England and Italy Games Next Week

Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 59/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew; 6/0)

 Defenders (10): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 35/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 1/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 6/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 10/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 3/0), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 6/0), Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers; 19/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 56/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 3/1)

 Midfielders (13): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 21/2), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 7/1), Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG; 1/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 5/0), Romain Gall (Malmö/SWE; 0/0), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 14/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 3/1), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 6/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC; 25/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 9/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 7/1)

 Forwards (2): Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 5/2), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 43/13)

 Champions League

Red Star’s Upset of Liverpool a reminder of What a Superleague Would Lose

Man U Stuns @ Juve

Atletico Gets Revenge on Dortmund in 2-0 win at home

– Latest Champions League tables

European Super League Details Leaked? ESPN

European Super League a serious problem for European Leagues ESPNFC   

UEFA President to fight European Super League FC

It’s time to fix — and save — the Champions League  ESPNFC

MLS

Biggest Take-Aways for the MLS Semi-Final First Legs – SI

Real Salt Lake Boots LAFC from Playoffs in Thrilling Knockout Match

Berhalters Gamble Works out for Crew SC in 1 leg of East Conf Semis – Kevin Johnson Soc Sakes

538: Who is likeliest to make Conf Championship?

Injury letoff, response boost Sounders for Leg 2

How each Leg 1 turned on a key coaching call

Wiebe: Who’ll win MLS Cup? The haters will say…

Power Rankings – Greg Doyle MLS.com

EPL

Ibra – EPL Overrated

EPL Big 6 demoralizing for small Clubs and Fans

Man U Paul Pogba and Mourino Relationship 1 of Happiness

Indy 11

Indy 11 Season tickets for just $99 if U order by 11/26

Meet the Team Events, Free Parking for the Games ($85 savings), More Games on Saturdays less on Weds, Ticket Exchange Program (mix and match your games if you miss a game get double seats for another game of choice, 20% off team merchandise. Call 317-685-1100for more Details and tell them the Ole Ballcoach Sent you!

11 Reasons to Get Your Indy 11 Season Tickets today with Mike Henn

USL Championship Features Louisville vs Phoenix Rising & Drogba Thurs Eve 8 pm on ESPN2

 GAMES ON TV

Thurs  Nov 8   MLS Playoffs

10:30 pm FSI                Seattle Sounders vs Portland (Leg 2)

8 pm ESPN 2                Louisville FC vs Phoenix Rising USL Champ Game

 Sat, Nov 10   

9:30 am Fox Soccer      Werder Bremen (Seargent) vs Mgladbach (Johnson)

12:30 pm NBC            Crystal Palace vs Tottehham

12:30 pm FS 2              Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Bayern Munich  

12:30 bein Sport        Atletico vs Athletic Club

Sun, Nov 11  

7:30 am NBCSN            Liverpool vs Fulham (Ream)

9;30 am FS1                  RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen

9:15 am NBCSN             Chelsea vs Everton  

11:30 am NBCSN         Man City vs Man United

2:30 pm ESPN+            Milan vs Juventus

3:30 pm ESPN             NY Red Bulls vs Columbus   (MLS Playoffs)

3:30 pm FS1                 Atlanta United vs NYCFC (leg 2)  

5:30 pm FS1?           Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake(leg 2)

Thur, Nov 15  

2 pm ESPN2           England vs USA Men  (Rooney last match)

Tues, Nov 20  

2:45 pm FS1           Italy vs USA Men

Sunday, Nov. 25

Conference championship first legs

Thursday, Nov. 29

Conference championship second legs

Saturday, Dec. 8 (8 p.m.): (FOX, UniMas)

MLS Cup final

Christian Pulisic returns to U.S. squad for England, Italy friendlies

Nov 6, 2018Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

Christian Pulisic headlines the 28-man squad named by United States caretaker manager Dave Sarachan for upcoming friendlies against England and Italy.The U.S. will take on England at the famed Wembley on Nov. 15, and will then play Italy in Genk, Belgium five days later.”These last two matches provide a fantastic set of challenges and experiences, so we’re excited to bring in this group of players for another huge opportunity,” said Sarachan. “We continue to build with a core group that has developed throughout the last year, while including some players who we haven’t seen in some time.”Injuries and club commitments have limited Pulisic to just one U.S. appearance this calendar year, a May 28 match against Bolivia. But now the Borussia Dortmund midfielder appears to be healthy enough to take part in the last two U.S. matches of 2018. The squad is weighted slightly in favor of foreign-based players, with 16 of the 28 invitees playing abroad. Of the 12 MLS-based players, seven belong to teams still competing in the MLS Cup playoffs. This could explain the reason for the slightly greater squad numbers compared to previous camps, as those seven will arrive at camp later than others given that the second leg of the conference finals will take place this weekend.”These are important matches and we only have so many opportunities every year to bring our players together,” said Sarachan, speaking about the decision to include players involved in the MLS playoffs. “This is a FIFA window and we are one of many countries playing matches during this time, so you want to include players that you feel are vital to your program. There are other leagues around the world that have games right before and after these windows, but I feel when the national team calls, there is still an importance to bringing players that we feel will be significant to the team now and in the future.”Sarachan will also use the expanded squad to take a look at more Europe-based players. There are no specific plans to release players in between games, though circumstances could dictate otherwise.One notable absence is Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley. Two reasons were given by Sarachan for his exclusion: that the younger midfielders on the squad are in greater need of minutes at international level, and that Bradley hasn’t had much rest in two years due to his involvement in MLS Cups and the CONCACAF Champions League.”At this stage, it made sense to give [Bradley] some extra time off and also allow these games to be a platform for players that lack that kind of experience,” he said.Otherwise, Sarachan has continued to call in the core group of young players he’s developed over the past year. This includes Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen, Nantes defender Matt Miazga, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, and Paris Saint-Germain forward Tim Weah.All told, 17 of those named in the squad took part in the previous national team camp back in October. The average age of the squad is 23 years, 241 days, with the average number of caps 13.Four players on the squad play in the U.K. They are Wigan Athletic defender Antonee Robinson, Swansea defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, Fulham midfielder Luca De La Torre, and Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin.Midfielder Romain Gall is the lone first-time call-up on the squad. Gall, 23, has recorded 15 goals in 27 league and cup matches for Swedish sides Sundsvall and Malmo in 2018.

Complete squad:

Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 59/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew; 6/0)

Defenders (10): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 35/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 1/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 6/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 10/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 3/0), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 6/0), Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers; 19/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 56/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 3/1)

Midfielders (13): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 21/2), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 7/1), Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG; 1/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 5/0), Romain Gall (Malmö/SWE; 0/0), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 14/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 3/1), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 6/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC; 25/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 9/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 7/1)

Forwards (2): Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 5/2), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 43/13)

Christian Pulisic’s return is sorely needed for U.S. side lacking creativity

Nov 6, 2018Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

The year of discontent for the U.S. men’s national team is almost over.Caretaker manager Dave Sarachan named his 28-player roster for friendlies against England on Nov. 15 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and against Italy five days later. It figures to be the last time Sarachan engages in this exercise for the U.S.To be fair, Sarachan was handed a thankless job last year, and he’s conducted himself with aplomb. His decisions to go with mostly young players have induced a collective nodding of heads. A total of 50 players have been used during Sarachan’s tenure, with 19 making their international debuts. The team has gotten some decent results along the way, although it’s clear that there is a long way to go for many of these players. For these two games, it will help to have Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams all back in the fold. The trio, which figures to form the core of the U.S. midfield for the next cycle, missed the last round of games in October due to injury. That they will (hopefully) be back ought to give U.S. fans a glimpse of what is to come.Pulisic’s return is undoubtedly the most welcome, although McKennie and Adams will be critical as well. The U.S. has shown a distinct lack of creativity for much of this calendar year, and with Pulisic limited to just one U.S. appearance in 2018, that burden has been left to others with predictable results. With the Borussia Dortmund attacker back, it will be interesting to see what the knock-on effect will be on the offensive contributions of McKennie and Adams, who have both shown an ability to score from late runs into the box.There are other attack-minded players who will be worth a look. It seems like every month there’s a new player brought into the fold with an eye-catching skill set. Last month it was Jonathan Amon. This time around it’s Malmo’s Romain Gall, whose numbers — 14 goals in 30 matches across two teams in 2018 — have piqued some interest. Gall’s career had seemed to stall during a two-season stint with the Columbus Crew, but his game has been reborn in Sweden, and his ability to run at defenses and strike at goal makes him intriguing.Sebastian Lletget, a player whose slick passing has always made him an interesting option, is back in the frame as well. The tendency has always been to look at him as a purely attacking option, but the last few months of the MLS season with the LA Galaxy saw him perform well in a deeper role beside Jonathan dos Santos, giving the U.S. added versatility.

Darlington Nagbe is another player returning to the fold, but he remains something of an enigma, a player who everyone wants to be a No. 10 but is more of a linker instead.Then there’s Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent and Paris Saint-Germain’s Tim Weah. Sargent has been getting steady playing time with the team’s reserves, although his promotion to Bremen’s first team has been teased for some time now. Of late, Weah hasn’t been even getting time with PSG’s reserve team, but both players figure to get extended minutes for the U.S.One player who won’t be joining up with the U.S. is Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley. The reasons given for his exclusion centered around giving minutes to younger players and allowing Bradley to take some time off. The second of those explanations is the one more grounded in logic. If playing time for younger players was a concern, why call him back in during the October window? But it’s clear that after playing virtually nonstop for the past two years, Bradley could use a rest.The concerns for Sarachan — and whoever succeeds him — are a bit different on the defensive side of the ball. Matt Miazga has been a mainstay for Sarachan ever since he took over, but poor form and change of coach at Nantes have consigned the center-back to the team’s reserves, leading to speculation that his loan from Chelsea might be terminated early. A couple of respectable performances for the U.S. might catch the eye of another team if his way at Nantes remains blocked. At minimum, he should get the chance to get some more reps with Wolfsburg center-back John Brooks.

Wayne Rooney to return for England farewell vs. U.S. at Wembley

Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC

Wayne Rooney will win his 120th England cap later this month after Gareth Southgate sanctioned a farewell appearance for the DC United forward against the United States at Wembley on Nov. 15, the English Football Association (FA) has announced.The former Manchester United and Everton captain — England’s all-time leading scorer with 53 goals — has not represented his country since lining up against Scotland at Wembley in November 2016.

– Rooney’s record-breaking England career in numbers

Rooney, 33, who had by that stage lost his regular starting spot at United under Jose Mourinho, was then omitted from a series of squads by manager Southgate before announcing his international retirement in August 2017, having initially targeted this year’s World Cup in Russia as his swansong.But with Rooney ending his England career having made more appearances than any other outfield player, as well as eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of England goals, Southgate and the FA have agreed to give Rooney the honour of a farewell appearance, at the same time as handing supporters the opportunity to show their appreciation of the former England captain.The game against the U.S. — three days before the decisive Nations League clash with Croatia at Wembley — has been designated as a charity fundraiser by the FA. Some of the monies raised will go towards the Wayne Rooney Foundation.

Despite Rooney’s impressive form in the MLS since moving to DC United in July, where he helped the team into the playoffs after scoring 12 goals in 21 games, his return to the England set-up is purely on a one-off basis, sources have told ESPN FC.Rooney will be presented with an award in recognition of his contribution before the game, but sources have told ESPN FC that he will not play the full 90 minutes and that he will not be considered for the game against Croatia.Rooney’s MLS season is now over after the team’s defeat in the knockout round against Columbus Crew last week, but he told ESPN last month that he will not seek a loan move back to Europe during the closed season, opting instead to focus on the start of the 2019 MLS season next March.

Red Star’s upset of Liverpool a reminder of what football stands to lose with a super league

Nov 6, 2018Nick AmesESPN.com writer

BELGRADE, Serbia — What would football be without nights like this?

Red Star Belgrade had not enjoyed a victory of this significance since their European Cup win in 1991, and the timing could hardly have been better. On a week when details of the big guns’ apparent plans for a continental super leaguehave dominated the news agenda, the Serbian champions served up a vibrant, wild demonstration of everything the sport cannot afford to lose.

Perhaps the executives and money men who would like to create a closed shop among the elite should be made to watch Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over a rattled Liverpool side on a loop, and at full volume. It hammered home a vital, increasingly urgent fact: that the soul of football is worth fighting for.Before kickoff, Red Star’s supporters cheered members of the team that, 35 years ago to the day, won 2-1 at Anfield. In those days they would go toe to toe with the best every season. Those players’ names were read out one by one on the public-address system; at full-time it was Vladan Milojevic’s class of 2018, rank outsiders in a fiendish Group C, who were being hailed in sequence over the loudspeaker.”This generation will become equal to others in the club’s history,” Milojevic said afterward. They are in this famous old institution’s pantheon now and, at least until their visit to Napoli in three weeks, can keep dreaming of a previously unthinkable place in the knockout stage.That kind of dream would be dead if clubs from England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France cleaved off to play among themselves. One version of the proposed new setup would, it appears, include guaranteed immunity from relegation for 20 years.

On Tuesday’s lacklustre showing, it was possible to see how this might appeal to Liverpool, who are among those believed to want a slice of the cake. Although they missed the game’s first big chance through the recalled Daniel Sturridge, they did not really get going in the opening period and paid a heavy price — beaten to every ball by 10 whirling dervishes in red and white stripes, finding themselves picked apart far too easily and failing completely to deal with the towering target man Milan Pavkov, whose two emphatic finishes settled the issue.”The second goal was out of the blue,” Jurgen Klopp said of the 25-yard piledriver that turned the Marakana into a cauldron of bedlam. “That’s not cool in a game like this, an atmosphere like this, a situation like this.”The noise was deafening, as it had been from the moment the teams emerged to a silver-and-red tifo display that covered the entire stadium. Red Star warm up for big games on their practice pitch, adjacent to the ground, only taking the long walk through one of football’s most hair-raising tunnels when it is time for kickoff. It creates a delicious extra frisson of suspense among the Delije, the ultras who stand behind the north goal, and the fans to either side; it also ensures the team are roared out when they finally emerge and that a raucous, intimidating tone is set from the start.Klopp stressed his team had not been fazed by the atmosphere, which had been heavily discussed in the buildup and never let up. “It was a good football atmosphere, noisewise and singingwise, not a problem,” he said, noting how the temperature rose as Red Star scented blood. That eliminates one potential excuse for a performance that clearly troubled him.

·        

“We made life a bit too easy tonight,” he continued. “They were not as lucky as they should be if they win against us.”That was right and, despite dominating the second half, Liverpool posed a consistent threat only in the final 10 minutes. On the back of this and a similarly pallid display in another football hotbed, Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo, it suggests an issue that needs correcting when they face the might of Paris Saint-Germain later this month. If Liverpool are not to fall well short of last season’s Champions League heroics, they need to rediscover a semblance of their swashbuckling, fearless best form.Here it was Red Star who had the swagger, the strut and the hard work to go with it. In the latter stages, each bulldozing challenge, each successful clearance was greeted by mini-celebrations from those who had prevented Liverpool from breaking through yet again. “I think even bigger victories will come, I’m not just satisfied with this one,” Milojevic said. Red Star’s return to the top has left romantics misty-eyed, and much bigger battles are to come if it is to be sustained.But more raw, visceral, old-fashioned football nights of this measure would help underline the point that they must simply not be lost to corporate greed.At Milojevic’s prematch news conference Monday, Red Star’s press officer had blocked questions (on UEFA’s request, he claimed) about any potential super league. The thought occurred at the time that it was a short-sighted move: Surely the clubs who would be cast into the ether by such a breakaway need to be allowed a voice at this point more than ever. What nobody knew then was that they would state their own case — and that of football’s supposed also-rans — in such overwhelming fashion the following day.

Paul Pogba underwhelms but Man United grab lucky late win at Juventus

5:10 PM ETMark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC

TURIN, Italy — Three thoughts from the J Stadium as two late goals gave Man United a 2-1 win Wednesday at Juventus.

  1. Heroic United stun Juve with late fightback

Manchester United turned the clock back to 1999 by turning defeat into victory against Juventus with a dramatic late victory in Turin.Juan Mata’s 86th-minute free kick and an Alex Sandro own goal in the final minute gave Jose Mourinho’s team a crucial win against the Italian champions, which could see United qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with a home victory against Young Boys later this month.

Nineteen years after Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners overturned a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in Turin, Mourinho’s men showed similar fighting spirit to win this game. It had appeared to be lost after Cristiano Ronaldo, kept quiet by United for the majority of the game, made his one decisive contribution when, in the 65th minute, he volleyed Leonardo Bonucci’s long pass beyond goalkeeper David de Gea to register his first Champions League goal of the season.The goal looked to be enough to win the game and secure top spot and qualification for the knockout stages with two games to spare for Massimiliano Allegri’s team. But Mata hauled United level with his free kick before Sandro bundled in Ashley Young’s late, in-swinging set-piece.United had been unfortunate to fall behind to Ronaldo’s goal, and a draw would have been a fairer result on the night. Yet with Juve hosting Valencia later this month, a win for the Italians combined with a United victory against Young Boys at Old Trafford will ensure both clubs make it into the round of 16.

  1. Sanchez states his case to play through the middle

Alexis Sanchez has been a major disappointment in a Manchester United shirt since arriving from Arsenal in January, with not even his staunchest supporter able to suggest any different. But one argument in the Chile international’s defence is that he’s not been handed the chance to play on his best position by Mourinho.Mourinho has consistently stuck with Romelu Lukaku as his centre-forward, choosing instead to use Sanchez out wide, but with Lukaku injured, Sanchez was given his chance through the middle against Juventus and he impressed. It was clear at times that his confidence is still low: after all, he entered Wednesday’s game having scored just four times in 27 appearances, and his appearances this season have been sporadic at best.But Sanchez offers totally different qualities to Lukaku, and they were on show in Turin. Lukaku is one-dimensional, a classic striker in the sense that his first thought is always to head for goal. Sanchez, meanwhile, is more prepared to assess his options, hold up the ball and bring teammates into play. There was more of a thread between United’s attacking players against Juve than there is when Lukaku plays.Lukaku’s injury means he is a doubt for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City, so Sanchez might get another outing at the Etihad. He still needs to sharpen his fitness and intensity, but if he gets the game time, Sanchez can still be the big-game player Mourinho expected him to be when he signed him.

  1. Pogba goes missing back “home”

Paul Pogba really wanted to own the stage back on his old turf with United against Juventus, but he went missing again Wednesday night.Having spoken bullishly in the prematch news conference about his form, happiness and United’s prospects of winning a major trophy, Pogba was applauded back to Turin by the Juventus fans before the game. But two years after leaving in an £89 million move to United, Pogba did little justify his fee or make the Juve fans yearn for his return.This was Pogba on one of his bad days. He failed to track Juventus runners and he was poor in possession. He really should have approached the game determined to show his old fans what they were missing, but he was simply swallowed up Juve’s midfield of Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Rodrigo Bentancur.Pogba has talent, that is without question. He has won big honours for club and country and can be a game-changer, but fails to deliver too often. His late involvement in Sandro’s own-goal winner for United wasn’t enough to make Pogba stand out.It is on nights like these that Pogba should demand to be centre of attention, but he was a bit-part player again.

European Super League a ‘serious’ problem for professional football – leagues group

Nov 6, 2018Reuters

A breakaway European Super League would have “serious and lasting implications” for professional football across the continent, the European Leagues group (EL), which represents domestic leagues, said on Tuesday.German magazine Der Spiegel and European Investigative Collaborations, a network of international media, reported on Friday that plans for a Super League involving clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United were back on the table.Citing leaked documents, Der Spiegel said a fresh plan had recently been drafted for Real Madrid by Spanish company Key Capital Partners. The plan foresees 11 top European clubs creating a Super League in 2021.Key Capital Partners and Madrid have not commented on the report, while the European Club Association, which represents more than 200 European clubs, said it was not aware of discussions by clubs to develop a breakaway league.The EL, which represents 25 domestic leagues including England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga, voiced its “strong opposition” to any such plan on Tuesday.”The European Leagues note the ongoing rumours and speculations around the possible creation of a European Super League by the big European professional clubs,” it said.”[EL] has consistently voiced its strong opposition to the creation of any ‘closed and franchised style’ Super League.”The Leagues supports the European sports model based on a pyramid structure where the mechanisms of promotion and relegation and the sporting merits of clubs are at the core of any competition.”The statement said domestic football was at “the heart of the game throughout Europe” for players, clubs and fans.”Proposals for a closed Super League will have serious and lasting implications for the long term sustainability of professional football in Europe,” it said.It said it “fully supported” European football’s governing body UEFA in the organisation of the Champions League and Europa League and “shares with UEFA the common principle of protecting and enhancing competitive balance in European football.”The EL recently presented its own suggestions for the format of European club competitions in the next three-year cycle, starting in 2021, which it said would ensure a more equal distribution of revenue.According to Der Spiegel, the 16-team Super League would replace the Champions League from 2021 and include 11 “founders” who could not be relegated for the firt 20 years.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to ‘fight’ European Super League

Nov 5, 2018Stephan UersfeldGermany correspondent

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said he will “fight against” the idea of a European Super League as long as he is at the top of European football’s governing body.

The latest batch of Football Leaks stories released by German magazine Der Spiegel claimed on Friday that plans for a European Super League with 11 founding members: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich remain intact.The report added that, from as early as November 2018, the 11 teams could sign a “binding team sheet” and commit to the new European Super League from 2021.”It would damage football worldwide,” Ceferin told kicker. “It would be boring.”To see Juve vs. Bayern every week would be more boring than let’s say Juve vs. Torino. It’s no question for me that I will fight and do all I can against such a league for as long as I am here.”If we are talking about a closed system, we can forget about solidarity and the development of football. In the long run, the clubs would be the losers.”Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, rejected reports of the club’s push for such a league.”I am not aware of any Super League news,” he was quoted as saying by kicker. “We neither have any knowledge about this nor have we participated in any talks. That’s out of the question for us.”

Ex-Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic calls Premier League ‘overrated’

 Nov 5, 2018

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said the quality of the Premier League is “overrated” but that very few can handle the pace required to succeed in English football’s top flight.Now at LA Galaxy, Ibrahimovic spent 19 months at Manchester United between 2016 and 2018 — scoring 29 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions with much of his time blighted by a serious knee injury. Previous to that, he had played in his native Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France.Ibrahimovic, 37, said a lot of people tried to persuade him not to join United as he could produce a low mark in a career which had seem him win 13 league titles up to that point; but he was determined to prove them wrong.”I’d had a long career before I came — different kinds of countries, different kinds of clubs,” he told FourFourTwo. “People said: ‘You don’t need to go to ngland, because if you fail in England, people will always say you weren’t good enough.'”Everybody was against it. And guess what? That made me motivated. That gave me adrenaline. I liked the Premier League. I found it very motivating and very exciting.”It gets a lot of attention, although I feel the quality is a little bit overrated — the individual quality, the technical part. But the rhythm is high. Even if you are the best, if you can’t handle the rhythm, the pace, then you will not succeed, because the pace is very high.”Ibrahimovic’s first season ended prematurely with his knee injury after he had scored 17 league goals and helped United win the League Cup and Europa League, and he struggled to recapture his best form when he came back.He made just seven more appearances before joining LA Galaxy in March 2018 — and said his Premier League rivals were fortunate not to have faced him when he was 10 years younger.”I’m super proud and super happy that I went to United — it was the right club,” he added. “We won, and I did what I did before I got injured.”I had an excellent time — great memories. I’m attached to United forever. The supporters are amazing: wherever I went, I saw red shirts, which was fantastic. It’s a very important moment in my career.”As I said when I was in England, you’re lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago, because if I did what I did at 35 years old, imagine it if I was 25. Then it would have been a different story.”I came there and they said I came in a wheelchair. All the people that talked, in the whole Premier League, I put them in a wheelchair. That’s what I did.”

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