’10 to Track’ Globetrotting Friday soccer matches – Muricuh, Europe, then soccer paths less traveled

It’s another somewhat quick and dirty-job  on another Track.  Some of the matches below have already been played (and results are noted).

So, no zany images.   No specially designated Fun Facts, though you’ll still learn a little fun stuff all over the place here.   But it’s ten of the most important matches from our perspective, with some vibrant color tossed in at the end.

Get down.  Boogie.

  1. Brighton & Hove Albion vs. West Ham United – English Premier

West Ham, you saucy little minxes!

Started the league season in your mom-jeans – four straight L’s.  Then you juice cleansed, got a healthy glow about you.   You dared to be called cliché and brought out the little black dress, and oh my!   2-1-0 in the last three league matches.   Did you sharpen those red stilettos?   Heart go pitter PAT.

More, those W’s came on the road (Everton) and then at home against (admittedly a hot mess at present) Man Utd.   If the defense stays on form like it’s been for two straight weeks, they won’t be #15 or close to it for long.  At #14 BHA represents a chance to move to midtable.

RESULT:   B&HA   1-0

B.  Toronto II vs. Louisville FC – United Soccer League

No MLS matches today.  The other USL game involves two bottom-rung teams.   So Noob presents another edition of “Hiccup Watch”.

Defending champs L’ville are tied for #B in the Eastern Conferences.  Cinci has run away with the East title already, but the runner-up will get a First Round playoff bye.

The last place Toronto FC reserve team shouldn’t a challenge to them.  Then again, that’s probably what Charleston Battery thought their last outing, and then lost.   If Louisville has a Hiccup on the road tonight, they may well fall behind Pittsburgh.

RESULT:   L’ville   1-3      And so they jump to #B

  1. Santos vs. Atlas – Liga MX

When Noob was a pre-teen, I played on a local youth basketball team.  I was terrible.  Worse, in a way, I played with a bunch of classmates of which many went on to be division one college athletes.  But one day, I made a basket.  At the quarter, when our coach always switched out who was on the court wholesale, I was rushed by teammates and told I was staying on the floor.

Atlas, even though you’re still in last place, welcome back to the Track!   You’d not won a single match until pulling an upset in your last outing.  You’re staying on.

Of course, in the little story above, I stayed on.  But I missed the shot or two that I took going forward, and moved on from organized basketball to other activities after that season.  Santos is in 3rd place and this is just a “Hiccup Watch” match for them.

RESULT:   Santos   3-1       Jonathan Rodriguez with one of the goals, a player who had option to actually play with USMNT before going with Mexico.

  1. France vs. Australia – women’s international friendly

The 2019 World Cup is being hosted by France, which means their national team isn’t playing in the ongoing qualification tournament.  They’re automatically in.  Not that they wouldn’t survive that event, mind you.  They’re the #4-ranked team in the world.  Australia is 6th and coming to help them tuneup.

RESULT:   France   2-0

  1. Shamrock Rovers vs. Cork City – League of Ireland Premier

Dundalk are your Irish 2018 league champs!  And Cork City have already secured #B and a Europa League invitation.

But there’s one more EL berth on the line, and Rovers are #3.  Waterford is just two points back.  Noob thinks Shamrock is as good as Cork City.  Well, maybe not quite as strong on offense.  But especially given that it’s hard to know how many starters Cork will play on the road with nothing on the line for themselves that Rovers will get this by a couple goals.

RESULT:   0-0

  1. Yokohama F. Marinos vs. Consadole Sapporo – Japan J1 League

Noob’s sleep schedule is all out of whack of late.  At time of writing, this match is already done.  Yokohama, which had a much stronger season last year than this go-round, took it 2-1.

Three clubs from Japan will qualify for the next Champions League.  This loss leaves Sapporo in 4th, a point behind Kashima.

  1. Go Ahead Eagles vs. Sparta Rotterdam – Netherlands Eredivisie

Sparta has won the last three times these clubs have faced off.  They would never love more to add to a streak then now perhaps.  The season is young in the Dutch second division, but these two are part of a four-way tie for 1st.  And only one gets promoted to top-flite at season’s end.

If the score stays low, Sparta takes it.   Noob thinks it’s Go Ahead’s time.  They have the offensive firepower to be one of the top two candidates for moving up.

RESULT:   2-2      Lars Veldwijk with the equalizer for Sparta at 90′

  1. Bentleigh Greens vs. Adelaide United – Australia FFA Cup

Here was the last Minnow in Australia.  They finished four last year in one of the country’s second division leagues (National Premier Leagues Victoria).  They got almost as favorable a draw as they could’ve for their Semifinal – midtable A-league team and at home.  Alas, the Green fell today 0-2.

  1. Sepahan vs. Nassaji Mazandaran – Iranian Hazfi Cup

This is Iran’s FA Cup and it has reached its Round of 16.  Sepahan have more league titles than anyone in the nation’s top tier, though they haven’t won it is 2013-14.

Nassaji are one of the best-attended clubs in the whole country.  This, despite the fact that they were only just promoted to the top division.  They’re the only team – or only team that’s any good at all – from their province is likely the reason.

RESULT:   Sepahan   1-1  /  4-3  PK

  1. Bangladesh vs. Philippines – Bangabandhu Gold Cup

This is the second and final Group Stage match of this standalone tournament  – no repercussions regarding other international events.   It was founded to celebrate Bangladesh’s founder and is hosted there.

Six countries competed in this year’s version.  Host Bangladesh are barely ranked in FIFA’s top 200, but home pitch advantage has meant a lot to the lowest-ranked team here.  Philippines only brought their B team for some reason, but there they are in the final.

This match isn’t so much “important” to Americans, but Noob gets to define the word however he wants.  This is my learning journey.  I’m glad you’re here.  it’s important to me and I hope in turn important to you that we get to know at least a little bit about soccer from all over.

RESULT:   Philippines   0-1       But both advance to the Semifinals as the top two finishers of their Group

Author: Soccernoob

After a year of previewing soccer matches the world over with my own off-brand comedy, I now provide exclusive coverage for the Isle of Sodor Premier League, Championship, and FA Cup. (FC Dryaw 'til I die.)

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