1. NYCFC vs. New England Revolution – MLS
New England is near the bottom of the Eastern Division standings. Is it misleading? They have a break-even goal differential. Still, they are winless on the road this season and NYCFC has to be a favorite to win the Supporter’s Shield (regular season best record).
B. Tottenham Sir Toppem Hatt Hotspur vs. Chelsea – English Premiere
Last season’s #2 hosts #1. Hawt.
Hotspur is named for Sir Henry Percy, aka Sir Harry Hotspur. A hotspur is an impetuous, reckless fellow. Far worse, Percy was officially deemed a traitor posthumously. Noob carries no water for such! A hex on the club for being carrying his namesake. And so I will only ever refer to this club as Sir Toppem Hat from children’s show Thomas & Friends.
Shoosh. No one really believes you’ve been knighted, tubby.
3. Atalanta vs. AS Roma – Serie A
Atalanta was something if a surprise last year in reaching fourth last year I gather. It will be fun to see if they can carry momentum into this year against one of the historically great Italian sides.
4. Toluca vs. Necaxa – Liga MX
Toluca is a heavyweight. Necaxa had a forgettable 2017 Clausura, but has winning ways so far this fall. If they can get a result (win or draw) at Toluca, they will be taken seriously.
5. Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Louisville FC – USL
Louisville just put a monster stomping on FC Cincinnati as the latter was focused on their US Open Cup semifinal. Will Louisville in turn be sleeping on the #6 Steel?
6. FC Basel vs. Lugano – Swiss Super League
If memory serves, The Management actually got to see the stadium while on a trip to see a mutual old schooldays friend who now works in petroleum catalysis in eastern France. It could be enough for Adoption for the Noob, but I might also feel like a bandwagon-jumper. Basel destoyed this league last season.
7. Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs. Beitar Jerusalem – Israeli Premier
Also called the Ligat Hall. I don’t have a sense yet for how truly seriously teams take the second-tier European tournament Europa League yet. But it’s possible they may not be ready for or not play every starter against the very accomplished Jerusalem side this early in the league season.
8. Carabobo vs. Deportivo Tachira – Venezuelan Premier
The Garnets won the Premier least year with Tachira hot on their heels, and both clubs are nearly picking up where they left off.
9. Vissel Kobe vs. Yokohama F. Marinos – J1 League
Is this the only soccer club with a middle initial? It knows it’s in trouble when it’s mother addresses it with the F included.
10. Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Kansas City – NWSL
Looks like Chicago can all but wrap up a playoff berth with a win here.