Don’t forget to check back on any Track’s matches later for results!
Also, the newest of Noobites may always check the Vocab page to the right on the main page.
New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew – Major League Soccer
After leading the field most of the regular season, Atlanta United slipped late and lost the Supporters Shield to NYRB. That means Red Bulls had the most points in the standings of any team in the league. And in most leagues in the world, that club would be the champions for the season.
But in Amuricuh, we do Playoffs! They’ve reached the Conference Semifinals, the second round. Here (and next round), the opponents face off in two-legged, home and away ties. The East’s #5 seed, Columbus, won their home match 1-0.
Red Bulls scored nearly half again as much than the Crew throughout the season. It’s hard to imagine them being held done a second match in a row, especially in the Big Apple.
New York’s last seven goals have all been scored by different players. Noob thinks early-season leader Brandon Wright-Phillips will reemerge. But all the momentum belongs to the visitors. Columbus haven’t lost to Red Bulls in their last four matches. (7:30 PM EST, FS1)
RESULT: NYRB 3-0 On to the Conference Finals for Red Bulls! Daniel Royer with two goals and an assist.
B. Manchester City vs. Manchester United – English Premier League
After a dreadful start to the season, Man Utd are perhaps finally snapping out of their funk. They’ve climbed into 8th place, won three matches in a row across all competitions, including a massive Champions League victory over Juventus. All have been 2-1 or 1-2 wins.
Meanwhile, Man City just jeeps trucking along, undefeated in league. Over the course of their six-match win streak, they’ve outscored opponents by a staggering 23-1 margin. It’s hard to believe they only lead the next three clubs by two points each in the table. (11:30 AM, NBCSN)
RESULT: Man City 3-1 Bernado Silva with a goal and an assist
Now THAT’S a derby.
Number B, victor!
Santos vs. CF America – Liga MX
With two matches to go in the Apertura (first half-season), these two have already guaranteed themselves top half-finishes. That means they’ll play in the Liguilla (postseason tournament) no matter what.
But seeding matters a lot. They trail #1 Cruz Azul by five and four points in the table, respectively. In all likelihood, they’re fighting for the runners-up position.
CF America’s defense is the tale today. They’ve ratcheted that up a notch their last three matches, allowing just one goal over that span. They’re a regular league powerhouse. Noob thinks they get the road upset today and will win the Liguilla no matter what seed they go in with. (7:00 PM, Univision Deportes)
AC Milan vs. Juventus – Serie A
Remember that Champions League loss Juventus took to Manchester City? Well, no one’s managed that in Serie A all season. They’re second-best in Italy on both sides of the ball, three points up on Napoli, and likely to win on the road today.
Milan are tied for 5th and just don’t have the backline to withstand Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. (2:30 PM, Rai Italia)
RESULT: Juve 0-2
Artist thought Ronaldo had taken one too many headers.
Sevilla vs. Espanyol – La Liga
Espanyol are the city of Barcelona’s “other team”. Barcelona-the club are still #1 in the league, but their little sisters are on the rise!
Last year they finished just 11th, but now they sit in 3rd place. Their success comes on defense, though they’re not completely deficient when it comes of scoring. That’s where they look a little stronger this year.
Sevilla are just one notch back in the table. They’re high-end scoring comes at the expense of giving up too many goals to perhaps compete with Barcelona for the title. At home, however, they’re not likely to have trouble with upstarts Espanyol. It’s a bad matchup for today’s guests. (12:30 PM, beIN Sports en Español)
RESULT: Sevilla 2-1 Ever Banega with two assits
Vicarstown vs. Crovan’s Gate – Isle of Sodor Premier
Crovan’s Gate made the Semifinals of the first-ever IoS FA Cup this summer. As the three Divisions were being planned for this inaugural PL season, The Gate were slated for the second tier. More, it was thought they wouldn’t even be in the top half of clubs there! But play on the Isle, historically, has been loosely organized at best.
The new FA knew it might be tough to really gauge relative club strengths, regardless of town or village sizes. To their credit, they decided to place all the Quarterfinalists in Premier level to start out.
In typical Sudric fashion, neither team plays a ton of D. Bigger Vicarstown comes in the favorites today. But there’s a reason British betting houses haven’t started offering lines on Sodor matches. There’s just no league history and performance for them (or us) to go off of.
Arsenal vs. Moulien – Guadeloupe Division d’Honneur
Noob’s quest to get to know all our CONCACAF neighbors a little better rolls on! The “other Arsenal” are #1, Moulien #B. Amical Club are just behind them and all three are undefeated after six league matches. It’s too early to know much, but worth pointing out that Arsenal have only beaten Moulien once in their last six matches.
The top two finishers will qualify for the Caribbean Club Championships. That, in turn, is a qualifying event for CONCACAF Champions League.
Nacional vs. Peñarol – Uruguay Premier
Uruguay’s season is divided into two main stages, just like much of Latin America. These two each won one of those. They won 26 matches each, with Peñarol scoring all of one more point on the whole year. Both teams call Montevideo home. This is where today’s one off Final is being played, though not on either club’s home pitch.
The second half of the year, Peñarol started to really flex, becoming the best team on both sides of the ball. No reason to think that won’t make them the favorite on a neutral grounds. (2:30 PM, GOL TV)
RESULT: Peñarol 1-2 Congrats to the national champs! Cristiano Rodriguez with the go-ahead goal via penalty in AET.
Sooo many U’s…
NK Lokomotiva vs. Dinamo Zagreb – Croatia First Division
Statistically, the teams look nearly identical. but it’s Zagreb who are still undefeated with close to half the season in the books.
It’s not exactly must-win for Lokomotiva, but if they drop this home match, they’re then eight behind Zagreb. That’s a lot for any team to make up in a half season in any league. Either team can score in bunches, but defense is where both really set themselves apart.
Croatia’s top flight is ranked #16 by UEFA. Were they just one spot higher, the league would qualify two teams into the Champions league. As is, just one.
RESULT: Dinamo 0-1
Suduva vs. Zalgiris Vilnius – Lithuania A Lyga
We finish our Track much farther down the European league rankings. But it’s still a #1-#B matchup, no matter the Lyga is just #41 in UEFA.
There is no competition there for these two. Suduva lead everyone’s favorite Superman movie villain-sounding club by five points in the table with the season winding down. The next best team is two dozen points farther back.
Unlike Croatia’s best, these two are much more offensively-minded. Both average more than two goals per game, so a shootout looks to be in store.
RESULT: Z.V. 1-2 Domantas Simkus with the game-winner at 90′
So long from Marijampole, home of club Suduva!
The Millennia Monument