Ten to Track (8/12/2017)

1. Seattle Sounders FC vs. Sporting Kansas City – MLS

KC is number one in a very tight Western Division, Seattle 4th.

I had a TA in college who was a big Sounders fan. I intercepted this medical communique of his back in the day.

Image result for douchebag teacher assistant

B. Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes – MLS

San Jose is just a point up on Vancouver for the final Western Division playoff spot. Houston is #2, but they can bugger off. Once again, Noob and the Management don’t like cities built on swamps!

3. Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns – NWSL

#2 vs. #3 in the standings. Neither one is in serious danger of falling below the playoff 4th place line with four games to go.

4. West Bromwich Albion vs. AFC Bournemouth – English Premiere League

The Noob is doing genealogy research and believes his forefathers may have been form the south of England., so Bournemouth may soon be an adopted team. In the meantime, neither of these teams seems to be predicted for great both both finished top ten last season.

5. Monterrey vs. Guadalajara – Liga MX

Neither side as lost early on this season. Guadalajara hasn’t won either – 0-3-0. These are last season’s #2 and #3 sides.

6. Consadole Sapporo vs. Ventforet Kofu – Japanese J-League

Two lower-rung teams, but we must get The Management his fix

7. Puerto Rico FC vs. San Francisco Deltas – NASL

I interviewed Puerto Rico FC head coach Marco Velez recently. I asked him

Noob:  “What’s been the key for yout club’s Spring Season 1-1-0 start after only winning game during the Fall campaign.”

Marco Velez: “Ass hat. Who are you with again?”

Well-said, Coach.

8. Swope Park Rangers vs. Orange County FC – USL

Our adopted Rangers have fallen to 3rd in the Western Division. Orange County FC is only in 9th, must start getting upsets like this opportunity to move up to top six for a playoff spot.

9. CSKA Moscow vs. Spartak Moscow – Russian Premier League

#2 vs. #1 last season, these teams are only off to so-so starts.

10. IBV vs. FH –  Icelandic Cup Final!

IBV sucks and it’s a miracle they made it to the Final. FH will rule at neutral Laugardalsvollur.

Ten to Track (8/11/17)

Around the Western World in 10 Games!   The weekend’s first evening is usually a little light, but here are your still pretty solid matchups —

1. Arsenal vs. Leicester City –  English Premier League

The Premiere is back! I may be Noob, but even I know to get excited.

I started tracking soccer – just a little – two seasons ago, towards the end of Leicester’s championship campaign. I now understand just how much of a breath of fresh air it was, as the league is normally dominated by seven particular teams, and Leicester ain’t one.

B. Atlas vs. America – Liga MX

Amuricuh!

And it’s a matchup of two top half teams from last season’s Clausura (second half! Nooooooooob learningness), this should be the more competitive of the this league’s offerings this date.

3. Stade Rennes vs. Lyon –  Ligue 1

Lyon just missed out on making this year’s UEFA Champion’s League last season, finishing 4th. Stade Rennes was a top half club.

4. Edmonton vs. NY Cosmos – North American Soccer League

NASL is the much smaller Tier Two League, compared to USL, and so their postseason only has four teams. The fabled Cosmos finished third in the leagues Spring Season, and so is in decent position to perhaps finish with one of the two best overall non-division champion records and get in the playoff mix. Edmonton, Canadia should fall to them, even at home.

5. Zulte-Waregem vs. Brugge – Belgian Jupiler League

Last season’s #2 hosts #3.

UEFA ranks’s Belgiums’s top flite league as 8th best on the continent, right behind surprising-to-me-is-this-high Russia and surprisingly-low-to-me Portugal.

6. Ballymena vs. Crusaders – Northern Irish Premiership

Crusaders were the only team to seriously challenge Linfield last season for this group’s Champions League slot. But like Crusaders, Ballymena also got into the Europa League, with a 4th place finish.

7. Bangor City vs. T.N.S. – Welsh Premier

The New Saints lapped the field last season, though have already lost in the early stages of the 2017-18 Champions League. Bangor City finished 4th and achieved a Europa League slot.

8. America de Cali vs. Deportivo Cali – Copa Colombia

The battle for Santiago de Cali is on! This semifinal FA Cup match is the second of the two-legged tie. Deportivo leads 1-0 on aggregate.

9. FCI Tallinn vs. Levadia Tallinn – Estonian Meistriliiga

This league’s top four teams are all from Tallinn. This matchup features #3 and #4.

10. Maribor vs. Donzale – Slovenian Prva Liga

Maribor is the superpower of this league, should handle last season’s #4 squad easily.

 

Ten to Track (8/10/2017)

Bury vs. Sunderland  – EFL Cup

The only game for this event this date. Bury is a League One (3rd tier) club from the Greater Manchester area. Sunderland got demoted to The Championship (2nd tier league) by finishing dead last in the Premiere.

The traditional dish of Bury is black pudding. Sounds tasty until one learns that isn’t a dessert.

Image result for recipe for black pudding sausagePork blood?  So, so treyfa.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Saint Louis FC   – United Soccer League

Tulsa is just two spots out of the playoffs. Saint Louis is not good and best forgotten. That goes for the soccer team, too.  Ohsnap.

Image result for Saint Louis sucks    Interwebs, you so cray-cray.

Arabe Unido vs. Central FC  – CONCACAF League (Round of 16)

Panamanian vs. Trinidadian…Tobagonian-? sides.  Both demonyms are accurate, yet that’s unhelpful to me.

The group stage is over and the bracketed portion of the even is begin.   Home and away two-legged ties for each pairing.  Winner gets a slot in the next federation Champions League.  Arabe leads 2-1 on aggregate.

Alajuense vs. Olimpia  – CONCACAF League (Round of 16)

Costa Rican vs. Honduran sides. Olimpia leads 2-0 on aggregate.

Belmopan vs. Walter Ferretti –  CONCACAF League (Round of 16)

Footballdatabase.com ranks club teams from all over the world. I don’t know if Belizian side Belmopan doesn’t get rated because they just don’t play enough or at all internationally, or if they just stink like an oyster in the sun. Their Nicuraguan counterpart here leads 4-1 on aggregate.

Botafogo vs. Nacional –  Copa Libertadores (Round of 16)

Brazilian vs. Uruguayan sides. Botafogo leads 1-0 on aggregate. This should be the most competitive of these three Copa matches Noob is Tracking for this date.

San Lorenzo vs. Emelec  – Copa Libertadores (Round of 16)

Noob asked The Management (and asks you, comments encouraged) whether “Emelec” sounds most like a South American soccer club name, baby formula brand, or crabs-treating ointment.

The Management: “It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!”

Santos FC vs. Paranaense  – Copa Libertadores (Round of 16)

Argentinian vs. Ecuadorian sides. The Noob is not getting overly into the prediction game this soon, but though Santos only leads 3-2 on aggregate, this should be the Copa game with best chance of being a blowout this date.  Santos should dominate.

Albirex Niigata vs. Tampines Rovers  – Singapore Cup (quarterfinal)

Albirex is essentially a reserve team for the Japanese J-League club of the same name. Funny to me that this squad dominates while the parent club is mired in last place.

Esteghlal vs. Tractor Sazi Tabriz  – Persian Gulf Pro League

This league, I believe, is all Iranian clubs. The 2017 season is just starting, but pits last season’s #2 and #3 sides against one another. I also recognize Esteghlal from the last Asian Football Championships, Asia’s version of Europe’s Champions League.

Ten to Track (8/9/2017)

1. Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes – U.S. Open Cup

It’s not clear to me how seriously teams take this event since it’s during the MLS regular season. I suspect they care more than European teams do over their Super Cups.

B. Juarez vs. Guadalajara – Copa MX (group stage)

Juarez finished 4th in the tier two Ascenso MX last season (Well, half season. More on that another time.). They’ve probably got a lot more than they can handle in last season’s Liga MX 5th place side. But Juarez gets to host, so fun to see if this minnow can swim.

I know they call smaller league teams minnows in England. I wonder if it’s used in Mexico. “Pececillos”. Let’s practice.

“Por que tengo pececillos in mis pantalones?” *nod*

Excelente.

3. Palmeiras vs. Barcelona SC – Copa Libertadores

Most competitive-looking of the Round of 16 games slated for today.

4. Colchester United FC vs. Aston Villa – EFL Cup

Colchester plays in League Two, three levels off Premiere. The Noob thinks they reside in the professional dregs because of their crappy nickname – “the U’s”. They were or are also The Eagles, and their badge actually has a Roman eagle standard. Infinitely cooler.

Image result for roman eagle standard

[Actual photo preceding The Battle of Teuteborg Forest]

The Noob loves his history.

5. Vissel Kobe vs. Kashima Antlers – J-League

The Management, as we’ve learned previously, is a big Japanophile. The Noob is afeared of mighty retribution if he fails to Track a J-League game and one or more is available. His wrath may be swift and terrible!

Maybe we can crowdfund a gift certificate to a soapland for The Management’s trip to Land of the Rising Sun.

6. Honduras Progreso vs. Chorrillo – CONCACAF League (group stage)

Count thy blessings, Panamanian Chorrillo team. You’re only in this thing because The National Football Federation of Guatemala was suspended from all international competitions over political interference of some kind by your actual government.

Oh and leave Belize alone.  American Realtors have 6% to keep earning.

Image result for belize independence

 

7. Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Botev Plovdiv – Bulgairan Super Cup

You can’t end so many words in V, Bulgarian Soccer! Learn you some American.

8. APOEL Nicosia vs. Apollon Limassol – Cypriot Super Cup

I -think- this in @ Nicosia. I blame Turkey for interfering, as usual in Cyprus.

9. Unversidad de Catolica vs. Talca – Copa Chile (Round of 16)

If you don’t think the Noob likes writing “Cope Chile”, you don’t know me. Of course, I don’t know me. I’m so tired all the time.

Night/overnight job.

Kindergartner daughter.

Severe sleep apnea.

What is this place? Where are my pants? Did I have a good time?

10. Toronto FC II vs. Charlotte Independence – USL

Because American Tier Two soccer r00ls. And Canadia.

Ten to Track (8/8/2017)

1. Real Madrid vs. Manchester United – UEFA Super Cup

Last season’s Champions League and Europa League winners face off in an event which confuses the Noob mightily. Europa League is like the American NCAA basketball NIT – for league also-rans. So the winner of the second-rate event vs. the best in the world? The Noob will track it for the names, but is confused mightily.

Also worth noting:  host city Skopje, Macedonia rated with Trip Advisor as the #4 City in the World that Makes You Say “Whowhere?”

B. Yeovil Town vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers – EFL Cup (first round)

The Noob is learning! I now understand the EFL Cup is not the FA Cup. This one is restricted to teams in The Football League – the top four divisions of play in England.

Yeovil is from League Two, the fourth tier in England. Prior to achieving this level, they had one of the best records in the FA Cup for “non-league” (below fourth tier) teams. The Noob loves big little guys, and so The Glovers are adopted.

3. Red Star vs. Auxerre – Coupe de la Ligue (first round)

More learningness! This is France’s equivalent of the EFL Cup. Only teams from their top three leagues can qualify.

Red Star is a small, Division 3 Parisian team from the northern burbs; a working class team to be sure. Their name is not translated from French.  It’s the actual name. It’s like the Norman linguistic invasion, but in reverse. Or not…

4. Necaxa vs. Morelia – Copa MX

Best combination of teams in group stage play this day.

5. Hibernian vs. Ayr United – Scottish League Cup

I -think- this is analogous to the two Cups above, where there’s another FA Cup that is broader in scope at some point in the year. Ayr U. is the reining 3rd Division champ, might have a puncher’s chance against a lower-rung Premier League side.

6. Lanus vs. The Strongest – Copa Libertadores (round of 16)

Bracketed play begins in the Copa, though this one’s not knockout/single match. This match is the second “leg” of the two-legged “tie” between these two clubs, a home and home affair. “Aggregate” is knotted at 1-1.

7. Real Esteli vs. Aguila – CONCACAF League (group stage)

-Not- the CONCACAF Champions League, though related. Qualifying teams from Latin American and the Caribbean face off in this tournament for a slot in the actual federation Champions League. Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S. are the only countries that likely matter there.

8. Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit – NWSL

The Management does not enjoy teams from cities built on swamps! The Noob is inclined to go along, whether out of fear or likeness of mind.

Orlando is in 6th place, in striking distance of a league postseason top four slot. But time is running out on their comparatively short season.

9. Orange County SC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks – USL

The Switchbacks – a nickname we love, but is not enough for Noob Adoption Status yet – tenuously hold the 6th and final league postseason spot.

10. Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Rochester Rhinos – USL

The Noob has is surprised about the Islander nickname for Harrisburg, and wonders if he should be embarrassed about that. They have a shot at home against 5th place Rochester. Away from “the island”, H City sucks out loud.

222 million Euros for Neymar. Or…

The Noob knows 222 million euros is the highest ever transfer fee for a soccer player. I have no idea otherwise how that compares to other transfer fees, or whether or not it’s thought Paris Saint Germain got a good deal or the greasy end of the stick.

  1. I also know that I’m not the first to post what other sorts of things one could get for that mountain of money. But I’m doing it the Noob way!

222 Million Euros buys you..

2,103,467 Paris St. Germain official home jerseys, complete with his (or your or any) name and the official Ligue 1 badge.

Image result for neymar home PSG jersey

4,483,590,462 hexagonal, color variety golf pencils (gpencil.com). Free shipping on more than 100 units! Since the indicate a knit is one gross, we’re covered.

Image result for mini golf rage

403,636 kilograms of Kopi Luwak coffee, the most expensive in the world. And not the farmed stuff, where the caged monkeys are forcefed the coffee cherries and then crap them out before they are used for human consumption. We’re talking about the Rolls Royce of African monkey poop coffee, made from the stuff collected in the wild.

Image result for kopi luwak

52,472,727 cups of monkey poop coffee, at ~130 cups per kilogram, something of an industry standard.

Image result for spitting coffee    Jake thinks Jimmy will love this coffee

Nearly 6x the amount Johnny Depp recently paid in tax penalties, believes he was defrauded of in extra fees by his finance handlers, and the money of his he claims they loaned out without his approval.

Image result for johnny depp tonto imagesWhite Johnny must pay taxes.

The transfer fee is only about 1/70 of what Qatar paid together in both legitimate and alleged illegitimate costs and dealings to land the 2022 World Cup.

22,263,450x the start-up cost for soccernoob.com.

Ten to Track (8/7/2017)

1. Barcelona vs. Chapaecoense – Joan Gamper Trophy

Annual Barcelona-hosted preseason game for a trophy named after a GUY named Joan. One to watch just for the chance at an explanation on that gender-bender.

Joan Gamper 1910 year.jpg

B. Shamrock Rovers vs. Cork – Irish FA Cup

Cork has lost one game in league all season. This is a semifinal.

3. Galway vs. Dundalk – Irish FA Cup

Dudalk should win handily, even on the road, for the right to lose to Cork 11-0 in the Final. Slainte! Christopher Nolan should make a movie about it since true protagnist-free Dunkirk stunk like this commentary…*bonnnnnnngggggg*

4. Djurgardens vs. Malmo – Swedish Allsvenskan

I may just call every country’s top-flite league “Premier” eventually. Talk American, world!

I think Allsvenskan translates to “All-Skate”. Everyone MUST skate. Childhood rink memories flood in.

5. Osijek vs. Rijeka – Croatian Perv League

It’s The Croatian First League, HT Prva league for sponsorship reasons. The Noob gets no kuna, so it’s the Perv League now.

(Last season’s #4 hosts defending league champ)

6. Mlada Boselov vs. Slavia Prague – Czech First League

Last season’s #4 hosts defending league champ

7. FC Astana vs. Ordabasy Shymkent – Kazakhstan Premier League

Astana leads this this two-horse league. O.S. stands at third.

8. BJMC vs. Abahani Chittabong – Bangladesh Premier League

I had a college roommate from Bangladesh named Wafiul. He didn’t like to give my hot redhead girlfriend and me privacy. We’re not in touch.

9. Fenerbahce vs. Cagliari – Club Friendly

Turkish vs Italian sides

10. Steinbach vs. Cologne – Club Friendly

Some Tier Three-or-worse team that must be geographically near Cologne hosts Cologne, who are warming up for the Bundesliga by storming small towns for soccer goals and Tier Three birddogging of players’ girlfriends.

Ten To Track (8/6/2017)

1. Netherlands vs. Denmark Final!! – UEFA Women’s Euro 2017

This event should’ve had a sponsor. Germany has been the reigning champ for 22 years, so now the Final should have one. Since I’m sure it’s too late to make a corporate entity cough up money, I hereby declare this to the The Treaty of Versailles UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Final.

B. Arsenal vs. Chelsea – FA Community Shield (Super Cup)

Eventually someone’s going to have to explain to me what the deal with shields is. Right now it burns me up.

3. NYCFC vs. New York Red Bulls – MLS

Now, if the team gets an actual shield, then we’re talking! If I were a player and got the Shield for a day, know where I’d take it? You’re darn right, a Rennaisance Faire. I’m running a sword through the gullet of some Medieval Literature grad student, then drinking honey mead while I clean my Shield.

4. Portland Timbers vs. L.A. Galaxy – MLS

*smokes a cigarette* #3 was awesome.

5. Sporting Kansas City vs. Atlanta United – MLS

Awesome matchup. KC is #1 in the weaker Western Division. Atlanta is #5 in the Eastern, but has only two fewer points with one less game played.

Avis and The Management adopt all things Kansas City.

6. Toluca vs. Atlas – Liga MX

See, soccer stuff in #5. the Avis the Noob can focus occasionally.

7. Besiktas vs. Konyaspor – Turkish Super Cup

I d wonder if these Super Cups, which are glorified preseason match-ups, are taken seriously.  If not, I want this guy in-goal:

Image result for silly Turkish Men

8. Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Spartak Moscow – Russian Premiere League

Last season’s #3 vs. #1.

9. Shanghai SIPG vs. Tianjin Quanjian – Chinese Super League

Current #2 vs. #3.

10. MFM FC vs. Enyimba – Nigeria Professional League

Current #2 vs. #5 yaddyaddawhatever let’s get to the holy crap part

Avis, soccernoob is clearly unhinged, yet won’t steer you wrong occasionally. MFM is Mountain of Fire and Miracles, a Lagos-based Pentecostal ministry organization. Look up these guys on your own, but the craziest thing I’ve found is that they’ve been accused of modern-day witch hunting in the U.S. and U.K.!

The Noob wonders what on earth he’s gotten himself into learning this sport.

Ten To Track (8/5/2017)

Hello, and welcome to what will be the start of an exciting, shared educational football adventure.  Even though I’m new to soccer and, yes, American, I can tell you what games around the world are important to watch.  And so much more.  No autobiographical foreplay, that will come in time.  Let’s just push in soccer balls deep.

1. Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution – MLS

Why? Amuricuh, that’s why!

2. Leon vs. Cruz Azul – Liga MX

It’s the least-crappy looking match, and The Management can actually watch some of these league matches on TV.

3. San Francisco vs. New York Cosmos – NASL

The SF Deltas will one day rule the Tier Two landscape! They are an adopted team of Avis and The Management. The Management may not feel similarly, but I will persuade The Management, despite my utter lack of leverage.

4. Saint Louis vs. Swope Park Rangers – USL

Rumor has it The Management used to do stuff at non-soccer stuff at Swope Park. Another adopted Tier Two team.

5. North Carolina Courage vs. Seattle Reign – NWSL

If the Lifetime Network not only airs but buys ownership stake in a league, the Noob is following. Even if he’s wondering if the halftime show will still vilify men in some cheaply dramatic way.

6. Kashima Antlers vs. Vissel Kobe Japanese (blow) – J-League

Japan is a league I’m highlighting for reasons The Management may or may not wish to make clear in time.

7. Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich – German Super Cup

At Dortmund. They probably call this something other the other than “German Super Cup”, even in translation. I’ve learned Super Cups in various nations match up the previous season’s top flite league winner with the last Football Association Cup winner. Given that this is a lead-in match for the regular season, I honestly have no clue if these teams will care, play anything but third stringers. But it’s Super!

8. Benifica vs. Guimares – Portuguese Super Cup

In Aveiro (neutral). See #7. I also like the city name. Portuguese tends to invert the I before E-rule I grew up with in the greatest nation on Earth, so I find that exotic and sexy.

9. Feyenoord Rotterdam vs. Vitesse – Dutch Super Cup

@ Feyenoord. The Dutch also have cool vowel clumpings. So hawt.

10. Kaizer Chiefs vs. SuperSport – MTN 8 Cup

Looks like a South African knockout tournament similar to MLS Cup, but I don’t know if it determines their league championship or if it’s more of a stand-alone. Because I’m noooob!

But I still know a sweet Kaiser Chiefs jam:

The Angry Mob – Kaiser Chiefs