1. New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC – MLS
Red Bulls are in 5th, yet their only real threat to one of the 6th Eastern Division playoff spots appears likely to be the expansion Atlanta United side. NYCFC sits in firmly in 2nd.
B. Paris Saint-Germain vs. St. Etienne – Ligue 1
Noob normally wouldn’t pay too close of attention to standings just three matches into a season, but St. Etienne is one of the three 3-0 teams so far. So is PSG. Is Etienne for real? They were in the 1960’s and 70’s. -Really- real. Whilst you ponder, enjoy English indie pop band Saint Etienne’s cover of this Neil Young tune.
3. Tijuana vs. Pachuca – Liga MX
Last Clausura (half season), Tijana reigned. This go-round, they are having trouble finding their feet. Meanwhile. Pachuca is 3-0-3 – no losses.
4. Consadole Sapporo vs. Vegalta Sendai – J1 League
Sapporo was promoted from J2 League last season and is only one point and standings slot above the relegation line.
5. Libertad vs. Independiente de Santa Fe – Copa Sudamericana
Paraguayan and Colombian sides meet in their first leg (match) of the tie (two-game set) in the Sweet 16. The bracketed stage is seeded and this is an 8-9 matchup. Noob thinks the home team wins by a couple goals though. Colombia’s pretty low on the totem pole down there football-wise.
6. Orange County vs. Oklahoma City Energy – USL
Noob’s adoration for division two American soccer never wanes. These sides are 10th and 8th in the Western Division respectively. But you have to get pretty late in the season to count a team out since six teams from each division make the Playoffs. That said, if the OC in particular loses here, they’ll be sorely behind the eight ball.
7. Emelec vs. Macara – Ecuador Premier
One of Emelec’s team nicknames is “The Blue Ballet”.
And you’re going to tell me the NHL expansion team couldn’t have gone with “the Babies”? Vegas, baby, Vegas. The different iterations of this as a nickname, mascot, and merchandising possibility make Noob’s head swoon. Swoon! Instead of foam #1 fingers, imagine placards in the shape of and picturing the Gerber Baby’s head. Golden Knights is worse than an endless blackjack shoe. But I digress.
Mr. President, were you the Gerber Baby?
8. Green Buffaloes vs. Zesco United – Zambia Premiere
Top 5 clubs. As this league hits about the two thirds mark of the season, only those five have 40+ points.
9. Flora Tallinn vs. FCI Tallinn – Estonia Meistriliiga
Flora is pulling away with the league, FCI is fourth. But who can focus on such when that double-i has Noob’s gaze affixed yet again.
Do not question Noob about his love for consecutive i’s.
10. Alashkert vs. Pyunik – Armenia Premier
Alashkert advanced out of the first qualifying round of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League this year before losing in the second. But Noob is no fan! This team as a historical tendency to dissolve – pick up their ball and go home- – whenever they get relegated.
Don’t you ever turn your back on us again, Alashkert baby chick!