The ten most important matches for us – the newish American fans of the global game – brook no nonsense (ok, maybe a little nonsense…) on the weekends. There’s hardware to be passed out today, so let’s dive in.
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire – MLS
Noob originally had Dallas and LA Galaxy for the top game today, but it’s a save over the crossbar! Correct best game identified.
Columbus are #4 in the Eastern Conference, have seemingly righted their ship. They lost three straight matches before this unbeaten streak of four. Chicago are having trouble on offense. Four assists out of their aged Euro-star Bastian Schweinsteiger isn’t bad, but he’s stuck on one goal for the season. (7:30 PM Eastern, NBA League Pass 6)
Noobstradamus Sees: Columbus 1-0 on an early goal. Columbus doesn’t score much, either, but they’re tied for the conference lead in goal defense.
RESULT: Columbus 3-0
Do you have a question, Bastian? Noob’s spot-on.
B. Portland Thorns vs. Orlando Pride – NWSL
Orlando have won four in a row! That’s pushed them to 5th place, but Noob thinks the soccer gods are lulling them into a false sense of accomplishment. (3:30 PM, Lifetime)
Noobstradamus Sees: …#4 Portland repeating their 2-1 home win from earlier this season versus the Pride. Down with cities built on swamps!
RESULT: Orlando 1-2
Number B – menacing with a thorny look
Middlesbrough vs. Aston Villa – English Championship
The battle is on to determine which of the #3-6 clubs will get the third and final Promotion into Premier League for next season! This is the first leg of a semifinal between, as you might imagine, two very even sides.
Noobstrdamus Sees: 1-1. Saving the real drama for the return leg at Aston Villa.
RESULT: Aston Villa 0-1
1899 Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Dortmund – Bundesliga
This is the last weekend of matches in Germany! Reminder: Four Champions League berths for this league.
#3 Dortmund are all but guaranteed one now, as they lead #4’s Hoffenheim and Leverkusen by three points each. Might explain why they lost to lowly Mainz at home last match.
Hoffenheim is hoping their hosts today will be sleeping again. Leverkusen play at home against also-ran Hannover today. (9:30 AM, KTBC)
Noobstradamus Sees: Hoffenheim 2-0, leaving Leverkusen having to utterly blowout Hannover to pass them.
RESULT: Hoffenheim 3-1
He’s even in a yellow BVB jersey, see?
AS Monaco vs. St. Etienne – Ligue 1
Monaco are tied for 3rd place and the final CL slot for France. But they’ve got this and one more match to play, whereas their peer Marseille are down to just one.
St. Etienne may be #6 and fighting to hold onto their Europa League slot, but there’s a massive gulf in ability between the league’s top four and everyone else. (3:00 PM, TV5MONDE)
Noobstradamus Sees: …Monaco leaving nothing to chance. 5-1.
Inter Milan vs. Sassuolo – Serie A
With two matches to go in Italy, it’s Inter who are losing the game of musical chairs. They’re in 5th, two points out of 4th and the final CL spot. They have a possibly sneaky-tough matchup today as #12 Sassuolo have only lost once since mid-March.
Noobstradamus Sees: …that the competition Sassy-pants have been playing of late is decidedly not the league’s strongest. Inter 3-0.
RESULT: Sassuolo 1-2
Noob neither has nor needs any reason.
Galatasaray vs. Yeni Malatyaspor – Turkey Super Lig
Hiccup Watch game. Y.M. are 10th place, should be fodder for tied-for-1st Galatasaray.
Noobstradamus Sees: …Galatasaray – who have two matches left to just one for co-#1 Istanbul Basaksehir – not giving up that advantage. 4-1.
RESULT: Galatasaray 2-0
AEK Athens vs. PAOK – Greek Cup
The Final! Athens get to host, no neutral site business here. And it’s the league #1 vs. #B, as is good, right, and proper. (1:30 PM, Antenna 20 Years)
Noobstradamus Sees: Massive fires in Athens, a couple of maimings… it’s Greece! Oh, and PAOK gets the upset, 1-1, then taking it in PK’s. So make that several maimings.
RESULT: PAOK 0-2
Hold up. Did someone say snausages? Yummaaaay.
HJK vs. FC Inter – Finnish Cup
Another Final! This one shouldn’t be dramatic, truth be told. HJK Helsinki are the league defending champions. FC Inter are a bottom-half club who achieved nicely by getting to this match.
Noobstradamus Sees: HJK 11-1.
Sporting Cristal vs. Huancayo – Peru Premier
Let’s end the Track with one more Final! This is the championship for the Verano (first of three regular season stages). Cristal earned a 1-1 draw on the first leg of this two-match tie. They are likely considered a full goal-better than Huancayo on their own pitch. (9:30 PM, Peru Magico)
Noobstrdamus Sees: …that funny things happen in footyball! 2-2 today, then the visitors take the title in penalty kicks.
RESULT: Cristal 1-0 chamPEENS!
So long from Peru– from Noob and controversial Peruvian TV character “Peasant Jacinta”!