New to soccer (or as the rest of the world calls it - football)? So am I! This is my place to share thoughts about the sport and news and commentary about the clubs I'm following. Who am I following? LA Galaxy, IF Elfsborg, Falkenbergs FF, Liverpool FC, and LAFC. Send comments to rrblog[at]yahoo[dot]com.
Soccer round up
Falkenberg is hanging in there just staying above the relegation zone! Will they be able to stay in the top league for a third season? This is going to be exciting to follow. Last year, they were right on the edge but they hung on!
Elfsborg took leg #1 of round 3 in Europa Cup 2-1 at home. They go on the road to Norway for the second leg and a 1-0 loss would boot them out of the competition on away goals. However, the nice Europa league run they have had so far has not been matched by Allsvenskan play where they have slipped to fourth place. Fortunately, they do have a game in hand and if they were to win that game they would be in third place and only 1 point behind the leaders.
The LA Galaxy can't seem to win on the road. They were soundly beaten in Houston and this Saturday they are in Colorado. With players back from Gold Cup duty, we should be seeing something closer to their full strength team this Saturday. Will be interesting to see how the Galaxy fare with the departure of Penado and the arrival of Ricketts. I would think this is a slight to moderate downgrade in talent between the pipes. The Galaxy have the most goals in the MLS (36) but they also have surrendered the most goals in the Western Conference (28) so defense has been an issue with the Galaxy. This may have to do more with inconsistency in the back-line rather than the goalkeeper but we shall see.
Liverpool go to Helsinki for a friendly and then one last friendly back in the UK and then the 2015-2016 season starts! Good to see Lambert get an opportunity at West Brom. Wonder where Borini will wind up and, of course, will Liverpool be able to move Balotelli?
Will be interesting who is in the starting XI against Stoke, the team that battered them at the season finale last year.
About the only "lock" picks for the starting card:
Mignolet in goal. Skrtel and Clyne in the back four. Henderson and Milner at midfield. Coutinho somewhere/anywhere!
If Firmino and Benteke are match ready, they will be in for sure.
Thus, who gets the final two spots on the defense? Sakho, Lovren, Toure, Moreno, or Gomez?
Who joins up front? Lallana, Ings, Origi, or Ibe?
And what about Can? Will he be a defender or midfielder? Last season, he was a bright spot and with the revolving door of injuries he was almost always a must start player. This season, if everyone is healthy, don't see him breaking into the XI all that often.