‘Tis a strange T2T today. OK, strange in a different way than usual. Though it’s strange in the usual way, too…
The American portion of the ‘ten most important matches for us – the newish American fans of the global game’ aren’t chock full of the most high-end squads. Still, we track and we learn the breadth of our local game!
The European and rest of the world-matches, weh-heh-hell, they’re quite the basket of goodies- let’s gorge!
Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid – Europa League
The Final! And while it’s not in Marseille, it is in France (Lyon). The winner gets a shiny trophy, and even better, an automatic invitation to the next Champions League. (2:45 PM Eastern, FS1)
Noobstradamus Sees: …that the Spanish club gets better experience playing in a deeper league. They’ll cruise today, 1-3, even on French soil.
RESULT: Atleti 0-3
Even Marseille fans in the French soil will be upset.
B. Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes – MLS
Vancouver are in 5th place, SJ -10th. Top six in each conference will make the playoffs, though that’s a ways off.
San Jose just got off a three-game losing skid, beating Minnesota Utd. on the road. Vancouver, meanwhile, have been moving the wrong direction in the table since a reasonably nice start to the season. (10:30 PM, NBA League Pass 6)
Noobstradamus Sees: …the ‘Quakes keeping Toronto’s star from Sierra Leone – Kei Kamara – in check, getting an 0-1 road upset!
RESULT: 2-2 My prognostication powers are not supposed to be for evil! I tweeted the MLS After Dark pod guys/’Quakes fans when SJ led 1-2. The game was immediately tied again.
My vision also shows me the MLS After Dark pod duo will treat themselves to magnificently aged whiskey after the S.J. victory.
Bethlehem Steel vs. New York Red Bulls II – USL
The top eight from each conference in the U.S. second division league makes the post season. NY Red Bulls are 6th and should climb if their offense and goal differential continue as they are.
13th-place Bethlehem are not at all bad themselves, but the Eastern Conference is by far the tougher this season.
Noobstradamus Sees: NYRB 1-2
RESULT: Bethlehem 3-0
Atlanta United II vs. Toronto II – USL
For as awesome as second-year MLS club Atlanta have been, their reserve team has sure been abysmal. Yet they should be favored over winless Toronto II. They haven’t even averaged a goal every other game. These two are at the bottom of the East.
Noobstradamus Sees: Surprisingly – goals! 2-2
RESULT: ATL2 5-4 Many goals!
Seacoast United Phantoms vs. Elm City Express – U.S. Open Cup
This is the Second Round of America’s FA Cup. At this stage, USL clubs enter the competition. To this point, Local Qualifying teams, and fourth-tier teams from PDL and NPSL have been vying. The match Noob opt to feature today Is the only one from two dozen today that doesn’t feature a USL club.
Seacoast are officially from New Hampshire (“seacoast”, really?) but play their home games in Massachusetts. They won the 1017 Northeast Division of the PDL. Elm City entered the NPSL last year and one the whole shebang! They play on Yale University’s campus.
Noobstradamus Sees: …that Elm City won the first match on the road, while it took the Phantoms penalties to advance on their own pitch. Express 0-2.
RESULT: Elm City 0-2 Soothsaying success!
Flamengo vs. Emelec – Copa Libertadores
South America’s version of Champions League is close to completing its Group Stage. Four teams are in each Group, top two move on to the Knockout Round.
Ecuadorian Emelec – the country’s top entrant – are in last. They probably need to win both their remaining games to get to #B. Flamengo are the 5th-best entry from Brazil.
Noobstradamus Sees: …that Flamengo need to win out to possibly catch #1 River Plate out of Argentina. They win in a rout today, 4-0.
RESULT: Flamengo 2-0
Knock-knock. Who’s there?
Emelec. Until they’re eliminated.
Shanghai SIPG vs. Kashima Antlers – AFC Champions League
This is the Round of 16 in Asia’s CL. Each of these clubs finished #B in their domestic leagues last year. Kashima won the first match of this two-legged tie big, 3-1.
Noobstrdamus Sees: Kashima have too much offense for SIPG to make up this kind of deficit. 2-2 today.
RESULT: SIPG 2-1 Kashima advances!
Suwon Bluewings vs. Ulsan Hyundai – AFC Champions League
These are the 3rd and 4th-place clubs from South Korea’s K1 League last year. Ulsan won the first leg 1-0.
Noobstrdamus Sees: Ulsan have been very average this season, and can’t score easily. Suwon can and will, winning 2-0 today to advance.
RESULT: Suwon 2-0 More success for my prognostication!
Etoile du Sahel vs. Zesco United – CAF Champions League
The tournament is only a match or two in for everyone. Africa’s CL, too, starts with Groups of four, with the top two finishers moving on to the Knockout Stage.
Tunisian EdS are finished #B last season in Africa’s best league not named Egyptian Premier. Zesco won the last Zambian top-flight league title.
Noobstrdamus Sees: Zambia’s league is barely ranked top-10. Noob’s not convinced there’s tons of parity in Africa. Etoile wins 2-0.
RESULT: Etoile 2-1
AEK Larnaca vs. Apollon Limassol – Cypriot Cup
Let’s end the Track today with a Final! It will be played at a neutral site, Cyprus’ biggest stadium, in Nicosia. These two are #3 and #B in this year’s First Division.
Noobstrdamus Sees: that despite not being in 1st currently, Apollon Limassol have only lost once all season. Larnaca just don’t have the defensive chops to stay in it today. 1-3 Apollon Limassol.
RESULT: Larnaca 2-1 Congrats to the Cup winners!
So long from Loufa Fun Park, Nicosia!
Will Noob enter the giant chicken?
Need you ask?