How does MLS compare with other leagues?

With the increasing popularity of soccer, the team at 538 have now included their stats analysis on various leagues in world soccer.

Since teams within a continent can play across club lines in things like the Champions League or Europa League, some head-to-head comparison is possible. However, how strong is a league in one continent compared to another?

The 538 people make an attempt. Not surprisingly, traditional soccer powers and their leagues are at the top of their charts.

Looking further down, you eventually can find the MLS.

One should note that the "market value" of a league is based on salaries. By that metric, the English Premier league is highest due to "wage inflation" that is possible with the rich TV contracts they have throughout the world. The same notion of "wage inflation" is true for MLS in the USA since Designated Player salaries are probably inflated for the level of talent that is obtained.
Yet, despite the monetary strength of MLS…

The life of a sports fan - victory or misery!

Been crazy busy. However, still keep my ears and eyes open to the soccer teams I follow.

USMNT - if you can't get a victory or a draw against Trinidad Tobago you don't deserve to go to the World Cup. The men's side of US Soccer is in sackcloth and ashes with calls for sackings. Coach Arena within a matter of days resigned. The question now is whether more changes will occur and what changes would be most helpful to improve the program. The major criticism I have heard is that the team simply didn't play as a team with any sense of urgency. They thought they would just roll the ball out onto the field and show up and win. Once they realized they were in a real match and having to play catch up the team just didn't have the mentality to recover. The other observation is the "missing generation" hypothesis. USMNT has relied on that group that came to prominence about a decade ago with Donovan, Howard, Dempsey, Bradley, and others. This group is now running o…

Star Trek Discovery episodes 1-4

Yes, I am a Star Trek fan.

I’ve seen all the movies. I’ve seen most if not all the episodes of all the flavors of the show. Therefore, when CBS decided to launch the latest edition of Star Trek on their streaming service, I signed up.

My impressions thus far after 4 episodes: production values are very high, characterizations show great potential, story line is wait and see what they will make of it since it is serialized storytelling.

(spoilers ahead) 

Episode 1 begins with the “4th act” of a previous episode that has Burnham and Georgiou bantering while going about saving an indigenous species by restoring their water supply. Hard core Trek fans might cry foul as it would be a violation of the Prime Directive. However, in various flavors of the show, the Prime Directive rule was often set aside in these kinds of situations. Clearly, the writers wanted to establish a mentor/mother figure in Georgiou which they did well.

Enjoyed the opening title sequence and music!

In the episode 1-2 …

Ooofff - LA Galaxy season hits bottom, Elfborg in the middle, FFF with still something to strive for

It has been a rough season with many low points and it seems the season has hit yet another low with a 4-0 defeat.

I had a prior event commitment so I was not able to watch the match.

However, from the post-game report from Corner of the Galaxy, it looks like Coach Sigi Schmid had seen enough and was at wits end. Excerpt:

The normally talkative Schmid appeared worn out and frustrated after a 4-0 drubbing by Toronto FC. His hand was pressed against his face as he struggled to find the right words to express his anger at the events without yelling at reporters.

And some of the fans had seen enough such that the Angel City Brigade (one of three official supporter groups) demanded a response from the club. Excerpt:

Meanwhile, back at field level, Galaxy supporters group Angel City Brigade still was singing nearly 45 minutes after the final whistle. Those fans were determined to stay in section 121 at the north side of the stadium until either a player or Galaxy President Chris Klein talked …

What it feels like to be a fan - LFC struggles

After the initial teeth grinding of the Watford 3-3 draw, LFC went on a pretty good tear: winning on the road against Hoffenheim, winning against Crystal Palace (a team that has always caused trouble), closing out Hoffenheim to stamp their ticket to the Champions League, and then the demolition of Arsenal.

Fans were dreaming of a serious run at the Premier League title and in the Champions league.

The wheels came off the band wagon with the crack up at Manchester City when Liverpool went down to 10 men and gave up five unanswered goals. This was followed by getting only a point against Sevilla when Liverpool had three points well in hand. And to top off the stretch of matches, Liverpool fired shotgun pellets against Burnley (35 shots) but only came up with only 1 goal. Meanwhile, Burnley got 5 shots of which 1 went in, 1 was headed away by an alert Matip right at the goal-line and 1 blocked away by Mignolet again right at the goal-line. LFC fans ground their teeth down breathing a si…

Playing catch-up - USMNT struggles

Been away from blogging for a bit.

To catch up some ....... there was quite a stir over the defeat of the US to Costa Rica and then the late rally to snatch a point in Honduras.

As a result of the bad results, Alexi Lalas went on an epic rant.

Hey #USMNT, @AlexiLalas has a message for you. — FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 11, 2017
Craig Burley on ESPNFC also went on a rant about the USMNT.

The USMNT still controls its own destiny. They need to beat Panama and Trinidad Tobago to finish third which they should. If they don't, they don't deserve to go to the World Cup, it is that simple

I think USMNT has the players to make it through. However, there is the feeling the team is less than the sum of its parts. How much of it is players not being alert on the field - losing concentration at the wrong moments? How much of it is picking the wrong combination of players to match up against the opponents? How much of it is the coaching staff not preparing …

FFF has an epic fail against Gefle

Falkenbergs FF fans witnessed a total collapse in the home match against last place, relegation bound Gefle.

Using google translate, here is how the reporter at the Hallands Nyheter put it.

It was Saturday night, there were nine matches without loss. It was sunny and hot in September. It was Gefle's last placed on the other side of the board, a team that lacked three suspended punches (players). Everything set for celebration; tjo and tjim (idiom for making sounds of celebration) and much more. It ended in embarrassing silence at the Falcon Alcohol Free Arena and crowds who left far before the end signal.

Final score: 0-4

The result leaves FFF in fourth place in the table two points out with 8 matches to go.

FFF goes on the road to take on Dalkurd in the next match.

Swedish soccer is unpredictable. Brommapojkarna and Dalkurd are sitting respectively at 47 and 46 points and in solid position for promotion. Nonetheless, FFF beat Brommapojkarna 5-1 on August 27. Dalkurd has been on…