WEEKLY SOCCER FIX – August 18, 2017

WEEKLY SOCCER FIX

The latest highlights of the week from the beautiful game

August 18th, 2017


REAL MADRID STROLLS PAST BARCELONA FOR THE SPANISH SUPER CUP IN A DISPLAY OF CONTRASTS BY THE WORLD’S TWO MOST IMPORTANT FOOTBALL CLUBS

“For the first time in 9 years, I felt vastly inferior to Real Madrid”, these were the words of Gerard Pique after the second leg defeat of Barcelona to Real Madrid that gave way to the Blancos newest SuperCup champions award.  Real Madrid defeated Barcelona first in the Camp Nou by 3-1 and afterwards in the Bernabeu for 2-0 for an aggregate score of 5 goals to 1, with Madrid completely dominating both legs of the Spanish Super Cup. Barcelona’s struggled during both legs to compete with Real Madrid and were unable to create any sort of real threat to Real Madrid during the two matches. Without Neymar, the attack suffered to create any chances after a very tightly marked Messi was unable to do anything to help his team win. He should have had the help of Luis Suarez, but the Uruguayan striker gave some very poor performances during both games. The fact is this, Barcelona showed that they desperately need some restructuring, with players like Pique and Iniesta at the end of their careers, and others like Dani Alves, Neymar, and Xavi Hernandez leaving the club, Valverde’s side needs some reinforcements to cover some key roles in the pitch, as it is clear Messi cannot do everything. On the other hand Real Madrid proved why it is currently the best team in the world, with one of the best squad football has seen in the last years with a very good mix of experienced players like Toni Kroos, Marcelo, and Benzema, combining with some great upcoming talents like Isco, Marco Asensio, and Casemiro, led by a Cristiano Ronaldo in one of the best forms of his career,  it is not clear who are the substitutes and who are the starters in this club, with all players performing at a great level. So as Real Madrid confirms its dominance of current international football, and can also look ahead to a great future as long as Zidane can manage to keep any young talent from leaving his squad, rival Barcelona, is looking at perhaps the end of a great era and one of the most complicated season starts in its history. The Catalans now prepare for the start of the Champions league and La Liga after a terrible year, where they were only able to win the Copa del Rey, without what they hoped was their future start: Neymar, a new inexperienced coach in Ernesto Valverde, players like Iniesta at the end of their career, and to top it all off, without Luis Suarez and Pique for the first fixtures, as they both left the second left of the SuperCup injured.  Two very different realities that the world’s top Football clubs are experiencing this summer that were clearly seen in this week’s Spanish Super Cup

MLS RESISTING PROMOTION/RELEGATION STRUCTURE

There has been a lot of talk lately about the MLS being pushed by international football organisms like FIFA to have a relegation and promotion structure in the league. However, the MLS has consistently rejected the idea, and this time it actually went as far as rejecting a 4 billion global media rights deal that had a clause which included the institution of relegation and promotion. The offer came from media company MP & Silva, and would run for 10 years starting in 2023 after the current deal with ESPN, expires. Official statement from the MLS was that they would not consider the offer due to the current broadcasters having “exclusive renewal rights”, but the fact is that this just shows the MLS is not interested in Promotion and relegation, and thus why they did not even consider the offer. Ricardo Silva, owner and co-founder of MP & Silva, is also known to be one of the owners behind Miami FC, that plays in the NASL, and has a clear interest in the institution of relegation and promotion in the MLS, allowing clubs in other American Leagues like Miami FC, to have a clear path to join Major League Soccer.  Without having to invest any extra money. In the relegation and promotion system that is present in most professional soccer leagues around the world, a team with a one-million-dollar investment can become overnight a team worth more than 5 million after gaining promotion from second division into first division professional soccer. Clearly owners like Mr. Silva would be looking to take advantage of this, as on the other hand, the MLS resists the idea, in order to protect its current teams, many of them founded through an expansion format, where in order to be able to have an MLS franchise, a high investment is required. According to reports by ESPN, many owners and current investors looking to have a team in the MLS like David Beckham, would see the institution of relegation and promotion as unfair for them in financial terms, as currently they are required to invest a high amount of money, and with a format like this one, it would allow teams to enter the league without having to invest as much as the current owners and investors, already have. Recently Miami FC has gone to the Court of arbitration of Spot, arguing that MLS is not meeting FIFA standards by not allowing relegation and promotion. It will be interesting to see how the subject develops and if in the near future the MLS actually considers such a change in its system.

MOROCCO WILL COMPETE WITH NORTH AMERICA FOR THE 2026 WORLD CUP

Morocco has officially stated that it will join the race for the 2026 World Cup hosting responsibilities, competing against the bid presented by North America (US, Canada, Mexico). This isn’t the first time Morocco makes a World Cup bid. It has also done so in 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010. Morocco has very little experience hosting FIFA Events. It hosted WTO Club World Cups in 2013 and 2014, and it almost hosted an African Cup of nations in 2015, if they hadn’t had to drop out at the last-minute due to an Ebola outbreak. So, the odds don’t quite seem in their favor when facing North America, who between all three countries has hosted several World Cups already, both male and female, as well as other big sporting events like Summer and Winter Olympics. Morocco does have a couple of points to its advantage, mainly being that it has a good infrastructure already set in the Country as well as 6 stadiums that all meet FIFA standards, and also that being close to Europe (Continent with the most powerful soccer nations and leagues) it would make travelling to the World Cup for the top players and fans quite simple and short. Regardless, it will be hard for the country to make a strong bid compared to North America, as the US, Canada, and Mexico have already given a list of some cities being considered to host the tournament, with many of them being large capitals with top class structures.  Venues included are New York, Chicago, LA, Vancouver, Toronto, and Mexico City, all have first world transportation and accommodation, as well as one or more large stadiums that meet FIFA standards.

VENUE OF THE WEEK: Rabat

Morocco Venue of the week
The capital of Morocco. Located on the northern part of Africa, facing the Atlantic Ocean, known for its iconic architecture found on its historical buildings, and considered by UNESCO a World Heritage site, is the 7th largest city in the country with approximately 1.2 million people. The city is also known for its Mediterranean climate and hot desserts nearby. Some sights include the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Hassan Tower, and the Chellah Necropolis. The city is the main venue considered in the bid by Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup.  The Stadium, the Prince Moulay Abdellah, has already hosted 2 Club World Cups and has a capacity of 52,000 people. It is the home of AS FAR, one of the most famous football clubs in the country, that has one the Moroccan first division league 12 times, and one African Champions league.

THIS WEEK’S TRANSFER UPDATES AND RUMORS 

 

Official Transfers:

Paulinho from Guanzhou to Barcelona

Matuidi from PSG to Juventus

Carlos Bacca from Milan to Valencia

Jesé from PSG to Stoke City (Loan)

Wesley Sneijder from Galatasaray to OGC Nice

Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad to LAFC

Neymar from Barcelona to PSG

 

Rumored:

Arda Turan from Barcelona to Galatasaray

Cristian Pullisic from B.Leverkusen to Liverpool

Johnny Evans from West Bromwich to Manchester City

Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan to Manchester United

Danny Rose from Tottenham to Chelsea

Nani from Valencia to Fenerbache

Mbappe from Monaco to PSG

Dembele from B. Dortmund to Barcelona

William from Chelsea to Manchester United

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal to Chelsea

Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich to Milan

Arda Turan from Barcelona to Atletico de Madrid

Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

Dybala from Juventus to Barcelona

Mahrez from leicester City to Inter Milan

Ibrahimovic to sign again with Manchester United

 

 

 

Upcoming games to watch:

Tottenham vs Chelsea 10:00hrs Central Time August 20th ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE  

Barcelona vs Real Betis 13:15hrs Central Time August 20th SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISION 

New York city vs New England 17:00hrs Central Time August 20th MLS   

 

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