’10 to Track’ for Relegation Monday (1/29): Drop Zone daisies try to see some sun

The ‘ten most important games to follow for us, the newish American fans’, takes it weekly turn to the Dark Side.  Nine teams trying to claw their way to some daylight outside their leagues’ Relegation Zones get featured.

Let’s get to know them before they get the boot.  They must be crap, since match #10 and out only non-Relegation match today is Scottish.

  1. Tucumán vs. Temperley – Superliga Argentina

Argentina’s premier division Relegates four of their teams annually.  That feels like a lot until you consider the league is 28 teams deep.  Rather than just booting the lowest-performing ones each season, they consider results going back three more years.

Temperley is 24th in the table this season, but third-to-last on that Relegation table.   They could still save themselves, but need a turnaround toward at least a mediocre 2018.  Unlikely, given they don’t even average one goal per game.

RESULT:   Tucuman   3-0

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The Buddha wishes to help Temperley with their quest for mediocrity.

B.  Istanbul Basaksehir vs. Karabukspor – Turkey Super Lig

Could last place-Karabukspor end up with less than zero goals in a match?  They aren’t even close to having the second-worst league offense, and #2 Istanbul sports the best defense.

Fun Fact:  The city of Karabük’s name translates to “blackbush”.

RESULT:   Istanbul   5-0

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Everybody’s loves you, Number B!   

Just have to get used to it.

  1. Smouha vs. Wadi Degla – Egypt Premier

Smouha sits in 4th place, good for a berth into Africa’s version of Europa League, five points out of their Champions League.  Who will be more motivated, them or 16th-place Wadi Degla?  If they can climb just one more spot in the table, they’ll be out if the Drop Zone.

Fun-ish Fact:  Wadi Degla is nicknamed “The Community of Champions”.   Maybe it sounds cooler in Arabic…

RESULT:   Smouha   2-1

  1. El Antag El Harby vs. El Raja Marsa Matruh – Egyptian Premier

8th place hosts dead last in our Egyptian double-dip!  Worst defense and worst offense, Raja is eight points in the table from safety.

RESULT:   El Antag   2-1

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Streamed date pudding, with a double dip of ice cream.

  1. Al Batin vs. Al-Ettifaq – Saudi Arabia Premier

Second-to-last place Ettifaq actually has a mediocre offense.  If they can shore up their shoddy defense even a little, they should survive the season.

Mid-pack Al Batin have trouble scoring, and so Noobstradamus is calling this one for the underdog “Commandos”!

RESULT:   1-1      Noobstradamus miss

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I’m also calling Alyssa Milano’s performance opposite Ah-nold in “Commando” underrated.

  1. Al Quwa Al Jawiya vs. Karbala – Iraqi Premier

Karbala has yet to win a match and has only three goals in 11 games.  Second division-bound.

Not That Fun, But Interesting-Fact:  “Saddam’s Killing Fields” documents the 1991 destruction of Karbala.

RESULT:   Al Quwa   4-1

  1. Ternana vs. Salernitana – Serie B

Ternana can’t quite get over the hump in Italy’s second division.   They have 12 draws in 21 games.  They’re 20th of 22 teams.  Should they climb even a spot higher, they won’t be automatically Relegated, though the next two teams in the table have to play a Relegation avoidance event.   Salernita are 7-7-7 on the year.

RESULT:   2-2      Make that -13- draws.

  1. Sporting CP B vs. Real SC – LigaPro

The hosts are the reserve side for Portuguese legend FC Porto.  They are in 1st, but ineligible for promotion out of the second division.  Real SC is at the opposite end of the table.  They can score, but playing defense eludes them.   The table is tight enough that they could climb, but this isn’t the match where that starts.

RESULT:   Sporting B   2-1

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For now, Real SC, you’re the fat chick with the hula hoop.

  1. Gil Vicente vs. Varzim – LigaPro

GV are in a three-way tie in the table with two team in the Relegation Zone.  Varzim is one of those two.  These two have identical records.  This should be the most competitive match of the Tracked games today.

RESULT:   Varzim   0-1

And our one glorious, non-Relegation match to care about today —

  1. Albion Rovers vs. St. Johnstone – Scottish FA Cup

This event has reached its Fourth Round, in which just 32 teams remain.  Our minnow today is Albion Rovers.  They’re from the Coatbridge (Glasgow area), and about the economically most dismal town in the country.  This hard-times blue collar town could use something to cheer about.

St. Johnstone is in 8th this year, after a Scottish Premiere 4th place finish last season that had them miss Europa League by only one slot in the table.

RESULT:   Johnstone   0-4

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Coatbridge, back before it was more air-polluted than almost anywhere.

10 to Track for Christmas – Relegation Monday!

You’d better watch out, and crying is optional – Santa Noob has come to town!   Just because most of the Western world is off from footyball, that doesn’t mean there aren’t games for us to Track.

Relegation Monday!  Our celebration of teams that might get demoted out of their current leagues by season’s ends.  Let’s get to know them before they are Dropped into soccer oblivion.

As always, we first start with some games of import that aren’t Relegation-related.

  1. U.A.E. vs. Saudi Arabia – Arabian Gulf Gup

Reminder:   This event is seven Gulf national teams, plus Yemen.  Two Groups of four, top two finishers advance from each.

These two each won their first match.  No surprise, given they are the most highly FIFA-ranked teams in this tournament (#73 and #63 respectively).  It’s likely both will advance out of the Group, but finishing 1st versus 2nd probably matters for the next round’s seeding.

RESULT:   0-0

B.  Kuwait vs. Oman – Arabian Gulf Cup

#189 and #101.  Oman should have the better shot at passing one of the above two should slip up.

RESULT:   Oman   0-1

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Giant soccer ball slip and slide.

Noob doesn’t get it.  But Noob doesn’t need to.

  1. Jordan vs. Libya – international friendly

Nothing directly at stake in this one.  But on 12/25, this is where the footyball is being played.  We track with joy!

RESULT:   1-1

  1. Southern District vs. Eastern – Hong Kong Senior Shield

This is Hong Kong’s FA Cup, though it’s just teams from their Premier League.  These are the league’s 5th and 6th place teams presently.  This is a Semifinal.  The winner will face off against league 9th-place club Yuen Long.

RESULT:   Eastern   0-1

Image result for football southern district hong kong   Image result for football southern district hong kong

  1. Al-Shorta vs. Naft Al-Wasat – Iraqi Premier

They’re only a few games into this league’s season, but Al-Shorta is one of three still undefeated.  The Al-Wasat “Euphrates Nightingales” are in 5th.

RESULT:     ppd

  1. Karbalaa vs. Amanat Baghdad – Iraqi Premier

Welcome to Relegation Monday, Karbalaa!   Noob has a feeling we’ll be seeing you again.   0-0-6.  One goal scored in those matches.  Given up 16.   Yep, we’re going to be best friends.  Amanat is in 7th.

Fun(?) fact:  According to Shi’ites, the translation of the city name Karbalaa is “land which will cause many agonies” and “afflictions”.

RESULT:     ppd

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How far does the price on even a mansion get knocked down in the City of Agonies and Affliction?

  1. Naft Al-Janoob vs. Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya – Iraqi Premier

JaNOOB!    Adopted!  We have an Iraqi fave.

This league demotes two clubs to Division One annually.  Al-Sinaat sits in the second-to-last position.  They have a more favorable matchup today than their Relegation Zone playmates above though.  Al-Janoob is in just 15th.

Fun fact:  Al-Sinaat is owned by the Ministry of Industry and Minerals.

RESULT:      ppd

  1. El Geish vs. Al-Ittihad Al-Sakandary – Egypt Premier

The Egyptian Premier League Relegates three sides at each season’s end to the Second Division.  Due to being on the wrong side of a tiebreaker, Ittihad is on top of the trio staring at the Drop.  El Geish is in 12th place.

Fun fact:   Ittihad plays in the Alexandra area.  The stadium is named after the town, Borg el-Arab, which seats 86,000.

RESULT:   o-o

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1)  86,000 fans would disagree.

2)  Strangely, this actress is more attractive as a Klingon than out of costume.

  1. Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs. Macabbi Haifa – Israeli Premier

The top six in this league play a postseason championship.  The bottom eight will all play in a Relegation-avoidance tournament at season’s end.

More points separate 6th and 7th place in the table than between 1st and 6th.  The difference between the two groups is much more pronounced on offense than defense.  M.H. will need to score early and often against 2nd-place Be’er to have a shot.

Fun fact:   It would really be something if M.H. were to be Relegated.  The “Green Locomotive” are one of the historical four powerhouses in Israeli football.

RESULT:   HBS   2-0

  1. Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem vs. Hapoel Ramat Gan – Israeli Liga Leumit

Noob saw there was a little room left at the top of your Christmas stocking, correctly deduced could squeeze in a second-tier league match.  And yes, I realize that mixing a Christmas reference with Israeli football is odd.   Read the archives, Noobites.   Stick around a while.  This won’t budge the weird needle.

This league has 16 clubs which will split evenly after the regular season into Promotion and Relegation playoffs.  Ramat Gan are in 12th, courtesy of not being able to find the back of the net much.   3rd-place Katamon sports the league’s best defense.

Fun fact:  Ramat Gan is a city east of Tel Aviv, and is where the club plays.   But the full, official name of the club includes another area city – Givatayim.

RESULT:   Ramat Gan   0-1      It’s an Xmas miracle… sort of? in Israel!   Ramat Gan pulls the upset.

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