Yankees – The Yankees have been red hot lately, winning their last 6, including a sweep of the Red Sox and only losing 4 in their last 20. Since the addition of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo during the trade deadline they have improved massively. Once 9 games back of the Red socks they have moved a game ahead after their sweep of the Red Sox. Their big guns are now swinging with the power of Judge, LeMahieu, Stanton, Torres, and Urshela hitting top gear. Earlier in the season they struggled to put up runs and their pitching suffered. Now that they have become adapted to the new substance rule their pitching has improved and their hitting game too. At this point I don’t see the Yankees stopping anytime soon and I even think that they have an outside shot at catching the Rays and becoming division leaders.
Red Sox – After an amazing start to the season the Red Sox have struggled. Only winning 6 of their last 20 and getting swept by the Yankees things are not looking good for them. Their pitching has been terrible and their hitting abysmal. They have only put up more than 5 runs in 2 of their last 20. They need to pick up the hitting game if they want to get a wild card spot because after not making the playoffs last year they need to bounce back this year.
Padres – Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Padres have been great this season, however they have the unfortunate fate of being in the best division in baseball right now. They have to play the Dodgers and the Giants 9 times more each before the end of the season and I do not see them overcoming that. Unless they turn around their losing streak then they will be destined to fall behind in the wild card race to the Reds simply because of schedule.
Reds – The Reds are a team that play in surges. They look good at some times and bad at others. They are lucky to play in such an easy division but make no mistake on their day Jonathan India and the Reds are a team to be reckoned with. They just have to find the right form and pitching and they can be great. The Reds have dominated at the plate this year, but they need an improvement from the mound. I do think they will get a wildcard spot but their issue will be maintaining their good form to get there.
I’ve supported the Rossoneri through thick and thin ever since I first got a Kaka jersey in 2010, but that all changed yesterday with the bombshell announcement of the “super” league. Now let me be unequivocally clear, I completely oppose this so called super league, both in theory and practice. It stands as a mockery of the beautiful game, and should not be allowed to play even a single minute of action. As an AC Milan supporter I am absolutely disgusted in the club, and I will not support the club in any way, shape, or form until the super league is terminated.
But what exactly is this “Super League”?
For Americans- Basically 12 of the biggest clubs in Europe have created their own competition outside of the organizing body of Soccer, FIFA. They haven’t officially broken away from FIFA, EUFA(FIFA for Europe), and their domestic governing bodies, but will do so eventually through sanctions or their own choice. A good example would be if some of the biggest CFB programs, even the ones that haven’t been dominant in a while(Texas, Michigan, etc.) broke away from NCAA and formed their own league, for the sole purpose of robbing fans of more money than they already do.
For Europeans- This is the American style of leagues, also known as the “Franchise” style. There is no promotion relegation, and teams and leagues make money by overpricing anything they can stick a price on. For Example, according to Statista.com the average ticket price in the NFL in 2020 was 104.73 USD(86.95 Euros; 74.84GBP) while (according to another article at Statista.com) the most expensive (match day)ticket in the Premier League in 2020 was 97 GBP(112.67 Euro; 135.74 USD). And tickets are only sold at that price at Arsenal, one of the 12 clubs betraying football and it’s fans.
Who are the clubs?
Just twelve of the self-declared “biggest” clubs in Europe have broken off to form this new club. The clubs are as follows.
Manchester City-Premier League
Manchester United-Premier League
AC Milan-Serie A
Inter Milan-Serie A
Atletico Madrid-La Liga
FC Barcelona-La Liga
Real Madrid-La Liga
Why these teams?
The only real logic behind these clubs joining this super league is that they one, consider themselves one of the bigger clubs in Europe, and two, have a greedy owner willing to sacrifice his morals to the devil in order to make some extra cash. Some notable teams not invited to the party would be AS Roma, Napoli, Lazio, PSG, Marseille, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. In PSG’s case, it is because their owner has a seat on FIFA’s executive board, and for the German teams, it is due to Germany’s 50+1 rule, which states that the members of the club must hold 50% plus one share of the club, ensuring the fans hold the majority ownership of the club. Note that these aren’t necessarily the best teams from each country, if so, then as of current standings Leicester and West Ham would take the places of Tottenham and Arsenal, and Atalanta would take the place of Juventus.
Where do we go from here?
The best way to go about stopping this money grabbing Ponzi Scheme is simply to boycott these clubs and this competition. If you want to support the real Super League, I suggest the Indian Super League. In all seriousness, the best way to burn this super league to the ground is to go support your local non-league, or even non-super league, side. Non-league sides in England such as Clapton CFC, FC United of Manchester, and my very own Fisher FC show how successful non-league clubs, especially supporter run clubs can be. Some examples from here in the states would be Detroit City FC and Chattanooga FC. Personally I believe FIFA should mandate that every league and club follow the 50+1 rule I mentioned earlier. Now is not the time to hope that this new super league will be better run than FIFA and UEFA, because I can promise you it won’t be. Unfortunately this means us fans will have to work with EUFA and FIFA on this one. The good news is that both organizations are ready to slap heavy sanctions and punishments onto anyone associated with the league, sadly this might mean that some players might be unjustly punished for the actions of the owners of the clubs they play for.
Will this “Super League” last
It’s too early to tell for sure wether or not this will last, but it certainly has the money to do so. Currently it is planned to take the structure of a mid-week competition, with no clubs currently having dropped out of their domestic leagues and governing bodies. Thankfully, FIFA, EUFA, and even Governments have condemned the league and are prepared to take action against it. Hopefully the general outcry from fans will show the owners how wrong this idea is, but it will take a collective effort from million of Football fans to bring this to the ground.
After an upset-free first round made up largely of mismatches with large goal differentials on aggregate, we’ve finally gotten to the competitive part of the CCL. Three of the four matches are MLS vs Liga MX, with the exception of the Philly-ATL game. Can the MLS show up, or will Liga MX keep up their pattern of dominance, scroll down to see all my predictions.
Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union (3-5 aggregate)
I see this being a highly entertaining matchup. I think the first game will be 3-1 ATL, and the second will be 4-0 Union. As long as the Union can score goals, their defense and Blake should be able to hold off the Atlanta attack.
Toronto FC vs Cruz Azul (3-3 aggregate)
Cruz Azul will win 2-0 at home, and lose 3-1 on the road, advancing through that away goal. I had confidence for TFC in this tie until they lost to Montreal, I think they just don’t have the morale needed to win.
Columbus Crew vs CF Monterrey (4-6 aggregate)
I think Mori and Zelarayan will have a shootout in this one, with maybe veteran BWP adding in a few for good measure. Will be a good close series for the most part, but Monterrey will capitalize on any remaining rustiness the Crew have.
Portland Timbers vs Club America (5-6 aggregate)
I really wish I had the Timbers winning this game, but ghosts of CCL’s past keep visiting telling me to keep my hopes down. Nevertheless, if their veteran goal-scorers in Blanco and Valeri can show up, they’ve got a chance, as America have been struggling in their recent form.
Runners up: Philadelphia
Thank you for reading “2021 SCCL Preview: Quarter Finals” If you enjoyed this article, please have a look through the website and read some of our other articles. Keep an eye out for more soccer related articles from me and Willy Stats coming out soon. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and look for our podcast “Embrace Debate” wherever you listen to podcasts…
The super league had quite the week, as the announcement of the 12 team super league formed by the owners of the most profitable clubs in Europe. The idea of a league created by billionaire, wanting to get more money and change the game of football, created an uproar in the football community.
And rightfully so, the current plan of the super league and basically the entire idea behind it destroys the beautiful game of football and the traditions of the sports as a whole. The creation of the super league and allowing six teams from the premier league to make the super league simply because they are the richest would destroy the entire idea of the table and top four in the EPL. Not to mention one of the coolest tournaments in terms of history and start to finish which is the FA cup. And then the championship league and europa league which is a very fair and equal tournament amongst all the top leagues in Europe, and follows a really exciting and well thoughtout format.
I certainly see the many faults of the super league, and with the restrictions put on by Fifa and UEFA I was very glad to see the teams pull out off it. But for the sake of argument what if you kept the idea of the super league, and just fixed it to satisfy fans and preserve the beauty of football.
My proposal for the super league is that we keep every other club football league the same, and week keep all the tournaments like Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, World Cup, Euros and all others the exact same. But we have a super league where the top 16 most profitable clubs automatically qualify, which we satisfy the greedy billionaire owners who are upset they don’t get the constant revenue from not making the championship league. And then the other 4 spots available in the 20 team super league would be determined by the four best finishes in the championship league outside of those 16 big name clubs. So example is Leicester City losses in the quarterfinals to PSG, but all the teams in the semifinals automatically qualify for the super league because of revenue, Leicester City would get in. The idea of the four open spots is to still make the super league fair and accessible for smaller clubs.
The super league would in my eyes be less important that the Championships league and thus less important than finishing top four in your table or winning the Europa League. The super league would occure in a two week span, at the end of August, right before the EPL, and LaLiga start their season. The super league would occur ever 3 years in-between Euros and the World Cup and would really just be generated by money as each team would receive money for being in the league, and obviously the winner would receive a substantial amount of money.
In my eyes us football fans would win, as we would get to see the top clubs in soccer compete every 3 years in a very competitive, all close together, tournament style, where rivalries and bragging rights would be established across Europe. As much as I love the Champions League and it’s format, very rarely do we get that top notch club matchup in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. We would get those Man U vs Real Madrid, and PSG vs Barcelona matchups back to back and in a primetime game. Make the league very fun and exciting built around the fans, having a very enjoyable two weeks of watching these top clubs compete in a tournament for money so that their club can sign better players. For americans it would be like having a college basketball thanksgiving tournament where UNC, Duke, Kentucky alll play eachother in games that really only matter for money and the fans, and basically be a preview for March Madness which actually matters. Just like the super league would be a fun, money driven Tournament that just previews the Champions League.
I think this idea of the super league tournament would draw so much attention to football, as long as you kept the fans engaged and in support of it. I mean look at how fun this two week tournament would be…
MLS is back! Thankfully it’s not a random tournament in Orlando, but an actual full season. This article will be just my predictions for this season, for a more in-depth article, check out my pre-season power rankings that will be dropping later today.
*teams in bold make the playoffs*
MLS Cup Champion: LAFC
US Open Cup: Philadelphia Union
Supporters Shield: LAFC
Golden Boot: Josef Martinez
MVP: Carlos Vela
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Jazz-no question this team is playing the best basketball in the league. Gobert is a decent center in my eyes not top 3 in the league, and Spida is no super star. So while its nice to see their role guys in Ingles and Clarkson play well, in my eyes there’s no shot this team makes it to the WCF.
Nets-obviously the most talented roster in the NBA, but without Kryie, Harden and KD playing together in the regular season with this team have the chemistry to make it all the way. Also little pressure should be put on Steve Nash to firgure out better rotations.
Suns– put some respect on CP3’s name, everywhere he goes his team wins in the regular season. Would love to see him and Dbook carry this team to a playoff series win.
Clippers– literally the most boring and confusing team in the NBA, but who cares, cause clearly Kawhi and PG don’t. I just want to see Clipper/Lakers in the WCF.
Sixers– I think this team in going to need Embid to elevate his play down the regular season stretch to secure the one seed and have Embid win the MVP. Cause let’s be honest sixers fan would love that because in the back of their mind they know that the only thing the sixers can win.
Nuggets– the addition of Aaron Gordon has been so good for this team, and I can’t wait for this team to make noise in the playoffs. And at this point I think Jokic will win the MVP.
Some journalists company realized their top 25 NBA players under 25, which was awful and clearly for clicks and debate. So below is the logic top 12 NBA players under the age of 25, embrace debate.
Ahead of this amazing annual tradition unlike any other, I’m going to give my predictions for the leaderboard in tiers.
My Predicted Leaderboard
Justin Thomas: I think the buzz around JT is legit. Despite some controversies lately, JT is great at Augusta where you need great skills in tight lies. Additionally, JT has finished high in the leaderboard in the last few years, his 3 ranking is good, and he leads in purse rankings.
Xander Schauffele: I’ve always like Schaufele because of his great short game and despite his size, he can really hit the ball. I think it’s his year to compete and he will be strong throughout the tour this year.
Cameron Smith: In recent years, Cameron Smith has been very strong at Augusta the last few years and he has an incredible mental game under the Masters spotlight. He has 2 top-five finishes under his belt.
Dustin Johnson: it’s hard to get back to back green jackets but Dustin is an incredibly talented golfer. I think it’s going to be tough for him to do it again. He is on fire as of recent and this past year has been the best of his career and he’s rightly number one in the world.
Max Homa: great player who has a great track record so far this year and fun personality who will focus on playing. He excels on the fairway, which is a key to success at Augusta.
Patrick Reed: experience is an important part of competing at Augusta and he has that. Reed has been playing pretty well as of recent and he’s incredibly talented and cool under pressure.
Sleepers: Aside from Cam Smith who I previously mentioned, I think Tommy Fleetwood is a few years away from being dominant; Jordan Spieth who just won Valero; Patrick Cantlay ; and Lee Westwood who has gotten a lot of great buzz lately with great history at Augusta. I also like Jon Rahm.
Busts: I know this is an unpopular opinion but Bryson Dechambeau is someone who struggles at Augusta and the highest he’s ever gotten is top-25. At Augusta, science doesn’t win the green jacket. Finally, I don’t love Rory. He’s been off of his game as of late and not someone I’d trust to beat out some of the guys on the top of the world ranks.
Gonzaga vs Baylor is finally here! The two teams will play tonight, Monday April 5th at 9:30 pm for the national championship, the first time the AP #1 and #2 have met in the national championship since 2005 when UNC defeated Illinois.
Unless you live under a rock and have no idea about the world of sports then you’ve probably heard people talk over and over about that UCLA vs Gonzaga game where Jalen Suggs banked home the game winning shot from 33 feet away. I totally agree with people who say that was one of the best college basketball game of all time but lets jump right in to this national championship preview.
Baylor dominated Houston from start to finish, which was by far their best game of the tournament even though it was against a team in Houston that definitely wasn’t an elite team this season, they are still a solid well coached team that just flat out was outplayed. Gonzaga obviously coming off an emotial high but more importantly likely and physical drain as that game was close and intense for all 45 minutes.
For this reason I expected Baylor to come out stronger early and probably have the lead for most of the first half as long as they continue their strong shooting. Then watch for Timme to establish himeself in the post and get the foul prone Baylor bigs off the court early.
The Matchups to watch will be who has their offense going on the big stage tonight will it big Suggs/Kisper for Gonzaga or Mitchell/Butler/Teague for Baylor. Jarod Butler couln’t miss in the first half for the Bears and Macio Teague has put together stellar shooting performances in the sweetsixteen and elite eight. But in my eyes Suggs had the best performance of any player in any game this tournament on Saturday vs UCLA with his defensive blocks, bounce pass dimes, and obviously timely scoring.
I think the issue that might playout tonight for the Zagas is that Suggs simply can’t do it all, and with that three headed monster in the backcourt for Baylor it might just be to much for them to handle. Timme definitely has the ability to dominate this game as the baylor post defence is certainly not great, and Baylor will definitely push the tempo which allows this unselfish Gonzaga team to get plenty of easy layups.
The X factors in this game for me are the bench for Baylor, that would be Mayer and Flagler coming into the game and providing a spark on both ends of the court. And then for Gonzaga will they get great 3 point shooting outside their superstars plus Timme and Kisper going off offensively? That right their plus transition layups is the recipe for an easy Gonzaga win.
Watchout for Davion Mitchell going after Jalen Suggs all night and trying to draw offensive fouls on Gonzaga but based off coaching I think Mark Few is the coach you want over Scott Drew. I really hope this game delivers and cements itself in the legacy of an all time most anticipated championship game.
The 2021 SCCL is just around the corner, and while it’s about a month and a half later than usual, it should be a pretty normal tournament otherwise, hopefully. Let’s take a look at the matchups. (Team: best finish, current league standing *this season unless noted otherwise*)
Cruz Azul vs Arcahaie
Cruz Azul: 6 CCl titles, 1st in Liga MX Clausura
Arcahaie: Debut, 1st in Ligue Haitienne (last season)
Prediction(aggregate): 8-2 Cruz Azul
Toronto FC vs Leon
Toronto FC: Runners up, 2nd in MLS (last season
Leon: Round of 16, 8th in Liga MX Clausura
Prediction(aggregate): 4-3 Leon
Monterrey vs Atletico Pantoja
Monterrey: 4 CCL titles, 3rd in Liga MX Clausura
Pantoja: Round of 16, 4th in Liga Dominicana de Fútbol
Prediction(aggregate): 8-2 Monterrey
Columbus Crew vs Real Esteli
Columbus Crew: Quarter finals, 4th in MLS, MLS cup champions (both last season)
Real Esteli: Group stage, 1st in Liga Primera de Nicaragua (last season)
Prediction(aggregate): 4-2 Crew
Philadelphia Union vs Saprissa
Philadelphia Union: Debut, 1st in MLS, Supporters Shield Champions (both last season)
Saprissa: Semi Finals, 3rd in Costa Rican Primera Division Clausura
Prediction(aggregate): 4-2 Union
ATL United vs Alajuelense
ATL United: Quarter Finals, 23rd in MLS (last season)
Alajuelense: Semi finals, 1st in Costa Rican Primera Division Clausura
Prediction(aggregate): 5-3 ATL United
America vs Olimpia
America: 7 CCL titles(most), 2nd in Liga MX Clausura
Olimpia: Semi Finals, 1st in Honduran Primera Division Clausura Group B
Prediction(aggregate): 5-3 America
Portland Timbers vs Marathon
Portland Timbers: Group stage, 8th in MLS (last season)
Marathon: Quarter Finals, 5th in Honduran Primera Division Clausura Group A
Prediction(aggregate): 6-1 Portland Timbers
Current Finals Prediction:
Runners up: Monterrey
Thank you for reading “2021 SCCL Preview (Round of 16)” If you enjoyed this article, please have a look through the website and read some of our other articles. Keep an eye out for my next articles, which will be preseason predictions and power rankings for MLS. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and look for our podcast “Embrace Debate” wherever you listen to podcasts…
In the first game of the Elite Eight the surprise 12 seed Oregon State continues their Cinderella run as they take on the two seed Houston. I think this game has the potential to be a high scoring affair, something we’ve seen rarely in this years tournament. Houston is definitely expected to win fairly easily as Oregon State is certainly the hottest team in the tournament at this point but few people really believe they are good enough for the final four. Oregon State dominated a #5 seed Tennessee team that struggled to shoot the three, and the controlled the #4 seed Oklahoma State who could never recover from their poor shooting first half and costly turnovers. And then Oregon State was ready to play versus a very good Loyola team that had quickly become one of the biggest storylines of the tournament with their dominating win over Illinois, Cameron Kurtwig, and of course Sister Jean. Many people including myself were hoping Loyola could once again make it to the final four but it was the gamplan of Oregon State that caused the upset. The 2-3 zone defence that oregon state ran exceptionally well casued Loyola to turn the ball over, take bad shots and ultimately have a horrible 3-point shooting performance. Oregon State isn’t the most talented offensive but Ethan Thompson has had a great tournament performance and I expected them to be competitive in this one. For me Houston just has to much offensive firepower for them not to win this game Quentin Grimes is one of the most talented players remaining in the tournament, he’s experienced foul trouble and poor shooting performance in rounds one and two but Houston needs him the string together some big time performances here in late march and april for the cougars to make the final four and possibly play in the national championship. Jarreau must take care of the ball for Houston for them to win but ultimately I think he does and this should be a very close one but Houston 75-68.
Baylor vs Arkansas
I simply don’t understand why this game was to start at 10, call me an old man but its simple rediculous, start it at 9 and the west coast is fine with a 6pm start, I mean do they even watch the tournament. Arkansas has played three relatively tight games with the exception of colgate where they pulled away late but a solid win over a very good Texas Tech team. And then against Oral Roberts they trailed most of the game and barely pulling out the win after Max Abmas had as good of a look as your going to get to win this game. With all this being said Arkansas is really being slept on in this matchup, and if you look past that Oral Roberts game this team is really solid and has great talent, heart and offensive firepower. The question is do they have enough offensive firepower to compete against the uber talented Baylor offense and their high level guard play. And for this reason I like the Baylor Bears to win this game thanks to their experienced guards but look for Arkansas to make a big push late to make a really interest final 6 minutes, Baylor 74-66.