No zany image inclusions today. No honorable mention-matches. No stateside TV listings.
Noob is dozing in the overstuffed chair that serves as my throne from which I reign over all I survey. So no extra bells and whistles today. Sleep comes for Noob unbidden, stalking me like a lion in the rushes.
But the soccer action is hawt. Marvel at the quality matches leading the way. Linger longer and savor the deep hits into CONCACAF domestic leagues we make. And have blessed footyball Sunday!
New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United – Major League Soccer
#B hosts #1, two teams that have finally bot separated themselves a little bit from the Eastern Conference pack. it’s very unlikely either team will get caught for one of the top two Playoff seeds. If either wins today, that team will be all but guaranteed that bye and home field advantage.
Red Bulls had given up six goals in two matches – a loss and a draw – before shutting out Toronto last time out. Bradley-Wright Phillips has been the star offensive-player all year. Argentinian national winger Alejandro Romero’s surging contributions may be the key to a strong regular season finish.
For scoring sensations ATL, Josef Martinez has been the star, breaking the league scoring mark. But if Hector Villalba (Argentinian by birth, currently affiliated with Paraguay) keeps getting involved like he has of late, no one is stopping this club from getting the #1 seed. Or probably the MLS Cup.
RESULT: NYRB 2-0 Daniel Royer and Tim Parker with goals, Alex Muyl with an assist. Noob….doesn’t know these names! These were not my names I wrote. Such noobishness.
B. Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake – Major League Soccer
First, the Noob-angles. KC as a supporter in The Management. RSL stokes Noob’s ire just by being “Real. Find Noob the monarch that formally blessed this team and I’ll accept that name. Until then, scorn for them!
OK, with that business out of the way — KC is back behind #1 Dallas again in the West. They’ve got the best GD in conference. Bias aside, Noob thinks they’ll overtake Dallas again for #1.
Salt Lake has slipped down to 6th, and the last postseason slot. They still lead LA Galaxy by four points for that honor though. If they do fall below 6th, they’ll look at their recent home draw against lowly Minnesota harshly.
CF America vs. Guadalajara – Liga MX
CFA may have just lost to an Ascenso side in the Copa, but it’s hard to put a ton of stock in that necessarily. They’re vying for the Apertura (first half-season) title and #1 seed for the Liguilla (playoffs) and may well have been sitting or going light on some starters. Prior to that match, they’d been on a four-match winning streak.
Guadalajara are down in 11th, though only a point behind a slue of teams tied for the eight and final playoff berth. They don’t have the quality defense necessary to leapfrog enough teams to get there though.
Cardiff City vs. Burnley – English Premier League
Second-to-last place Cardiff earned promotion from the second-division last season. And their last win came when playing in that league. #17 Burnley were winless as well, until stomping all over Noob’s beloved Bournemouth Fighting Cherries and my heart.
Burnley have the experience to move up towards midtable over the next couple weeks. Cardiff are probably going right back down to Championship League.
This is a matchup far better suited for a Relegation Monday. But it’s the one EPL match we have today.
RESULT: Burnley 1-2
Lille vs. Marseille – Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain are 8-0-0. The league race may end up anything but. But there are two other Champions League berths to be had.
These two are tied for 4th, just a slot shy of one. Today, Lille will try taking the air out of the ball, as is their wont. PSG aside, Marseille have the best offense running in France.
RESULT: Lille 3-0 So much for the no-air ball theory
BATE Borisov vs. Dinamo Minsk – Belarus Premier
This is a league on the rise, will just crack the #20 in UEFA in the 2019 rankings. That’s still just good for one Champions League invite, however.
Two thirds of the way through the season, BATE has nearly achieved a double-digit lead in the table. This is never a surprise. Dinamo are tied for #B, though they have the advantage of having played one less game than their peer. The #B’s have the league’s best defenses, but BATE is in their class there and much more powerful up front for scoring.
RESULT: BATE 2-1
Saprissa vs. San Carlos – Costa Rica First Division
This has always been one of Noob’s sneaky-favorite CONCACAF domestic leagues. They are every bit as good as America’s.
Saprissa are in a deadlock with Alajuense at #1, even tied on GD. They do it on defense, allowing just a teeny half goal per game-average.
San Carlos were just promoted for the first time ever to top-flite. They’re #3 currently, and top four clubs will make the domestic playoffs. They don’t have the defense to stay quite this high (Herediano will pass them, and soon), but the offense has been terrific. Perez Zeledon probably pose the biggest threat to knocking them out entirely.
RESULT: 3-3 Each side squandered a lead today. Jairo Ariette and Marcos Mena each with a pair of goals
Olimpia vs. Marathon – Honduras National League
#1 Olimpia are the one undefeated team remaining here. But they’re not ahead of the pack by much at all, courtesy of five draws in their 10 matches so far.
Marathon are tied for #B. More importantly today, they are 4-2-0 against Olimpia in their last six.
This league isn’t Costa Rica, but it’s very good in Central America. Noob thinks when in another 2-3 week the league race will look like these two and Motagua. Those three are a full notch better on defense in than the others outside that group.
RESULT: Olimpia 2-1 Jerry Bengtson with both goals for the winners. Things got chippy let, as Marathon lost one guy to a second yellow on the day, then another to a straight red shortly after.
W Connection vs. Central – Trinidad and Tobago Pro League
Noob assumes this is one of the best teams from the Caribbean region, based on the trouble their national team always seems to give the U.S. Whether or not that corelates, a shiny 1-B matchup always hits the spot.
W Conn are #1, undefeated. a 28-5 GD says they may not lose anytime soon, either. Central trail them by just four, and are every bit as good when it comes to goal-scoring at least.
Top two finishers qualify for the Caribbean Club Championship next year. Police FC are the only team likely to give Central a challenge, and Noob wouldn’t bet on it.
RESULT: now listed for 10/5
Cibao vs. Atletico de SF – Dominican Republic Liga Mayor
#B vs. #1 from the regular season, and they remain so in their postseason subdivision. After that, the league’s top six move on, start over on points.
But they’re #B and #1 again just the same. AdSF’s goal-scoring has been fading a little. Not the case with Cibao. Today, they’ll switch places in the standings.