Pack a bag and let’s set off! Lots of fun fact about lots of teams, leagues and their locales await in today’s ten mini-previews.
U.S.A. vs. Brazil – international friendly
We last saw the USMNT in action in a 1-1 draw at who are now World Cup champs France. Today we see them take on FIFA-ranked #3 in East Rutherford, NJ. The U.S. is #22.
This and probably several friendlies to come will be primarily used to build experience for the American very young players. The average one tonight will be under 24 years old.
Christian Pulisic – perhaps our best youngster – has been out with an injury with German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. Look for Tim Weah to be the name heard most tonight. (7:30 PM EST, FS1)
RESULT: Brasil 0-2 no Tim Weah appearance
B. Mexico vs. Uruguay – international friendly
Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is the most experienced player his side will field today, with 95 international appearances. Otherwise, like with the US team, they will be playing comparative kids.
#16 Mexico impressed in the Group Stage of the World Cup, getting past Germany and into the bracketed Round. But #5 Uruguay went even farther in the WC, eventually losing a Quaterfinal to France. (10:08 PM, Univision Deportes)
RESULT: Uruguay 1-4
Number B – looking positively friendly!
Portland Thorns vs. Seattle Reign – National Women’s Soccer League
The NWSL playoff clubs are set in name, though not yet in seeding with just one match each to go.
With even a draw, Seattle would clinch the #B seed and home field advantage for the First Round against Portland.
Should Seattle win today, Chicago could pass Portland for #3. That’s big. No one wants to play #1 North Carolina Courage to open the playoffs. (10:00 PM, Lifetime Channel)
Fun Fact: The Thorns’ crest is designed to look somewhat similar in part to the Portland city flag.
RESULT: Portland 3-1 Lindsey Horan with a pair of a scores. Portland will be the #B seed for the Playoffs, hosting #3 Seattle.
Italy vs. Poland – UEFA Nations League
Scroll down to the Midweek Edition just below this post to see particulars on this new international event.
This should be a very even match, though advantage to the Italians since it’s at their place. FIFA ranks the teams as #12 and #18. UEFA currently ranks them in the confederation as #8 and #9. Poland was actually ranked higher by UEFA than Italy at the start of the Group Stage of the World Cup, which is what was used for seeding this event.
Nothing in that last paragraph matters too much on the field today though. (2:45 PM, ESPN2)
Fun Fact: Italians are still feeling strongly about missing the last World Cup.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Bethlehem Steel – United Soccer League
With frequent flyer miles to burn, Noob brings us back stateside for second-division action.
3rd place hosts 6th in this Eastern Conference Keystone State battle. Or is that Massachusetts? Noob’s not going to look it up, live with the mystery. I wonder which state consumes the most Keystone Light? I wonder if Keystone Light would sponsor Noob? I have no pride, would shill for anyone.
Top eight in each conference make the Playoffs. No one’s catching Cinci, but Pitt only trail defending champs Louisville by a point in the table. Small ball’s worked for them this year. Low scores for everyone. The visiting Steel take the opposite tack.
Fun Fact: Pitt’s all-time leading season scorer was from Saint Lucia.
RESULT: Pitt 4-1
Basford United vs. Staveley Miners Welfare – England FA Cup
This is the first match of the third round of the tournament. English folks would say the event doesn’t really start for a long while yet, when the Premier League teams have entered the fray. But we’re still paying attention. It’s fun to learn about the teams and leagues farther down the pyramid there.
Basford play in the seventh level of said pyramid. Teams below that really don’t have much chance to be Minnow, make the “tournament proper” and try for a deeper run. This team plays in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, and are based out of suburban Nottingham. Early this league season, they’re #B in their table.
Staveley MW are in 6th place in the Northern Counties East League, tier nine. They’re visiting today for this one-off match, but are from the Derbyshire area. Noob liberally handicaps them as a two-goal underdog today.
RESULT: Staveley 1-3
Guyana vs. Barbados – CONCACAF Nations League qualification
Like with the UEFA version above, scroll down to the Midweek Edition below for some details on this event, also a new one.
These two national teams are ranked #16 and #22 within the federation. Strangely, FIFA ranks Barbados as the stronger team (#160 versus #182).
Fun Fact: Hindi, of all things, is one of the prominent languages of Guyana.
RESULT: 2-2 It’s possible this match was actually played yesterday.
Cruz Azul vs. Pumas UNAM – Liga MX Femenil
Noob almost feels sort of bad. Usually on Fridays we jetset around to soccer hinterlands less known.
There are just so many interesting things happening in North American region and Western Europe…they can’t be ignored. We have our priorities, Noobites. More, we’ll actually visit a pretty broad spectrum of locales on Relegation Monday. Noob has plans, such tremendous plans.
Mexico’s top women’s league is divided into two Groups. These two are last place and 4th in one of those. Cruz Azul and the other group’s bottom-feeder (Necaxa) are the only two winless clubs now.
Pumas have only scored four times and conceded two goals in their first six matches. This would not be a fun game to watch, in Noob’s opinion. But now we know a little bit more about our soccer world, and that is the point.
RESULT: Pumas 0-2
Fun Fact: Noob did not create this. This is a real marketing image for Cruz Azul.
Longford Town vs. Cork City – FAI Cup (Ireland)
Longford Town are one of two teams of eight remaining not from the Premier League here. They play in the next division down, and are merely midtable there.
Cork City are starting to look like they won’t quite successfully defend their 2017 Premier League title, sitting #B in that league. Still, they’ll be more than a handful for their hosts today. Cork by a couple.
Fun Fact: The town of Longford is noted for its many single-chambered megalithic tombs, known as “portals dolmens”.
RESULT: Cork 0-7 Longford were already down 0-2 at 39′ when they lost a player to a straight red. Kieran Sadler had a pair of goals.
Parnu vs. Minsk – Baltic Women’s League
We’re finally treading a bit further afield!
This league is a standalone, meaning its results have no bearing on any other events of any sort. The competing clubs are the top two finishers from last year’s top women’s flights in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They’ve also thrown in one from Belarus for spice.
Noob thinks they’ll each just play each other once, except for clubs from the same county not playing one another at all.
Gintra Universitateas from Lithuania are the defending champs, but it’s today’s visitors that are running away with the title. Minsk (Belarus) have one all five matches and have a 27-0 GD working. Good LAWD. Estonian Parnu JK are in 3rd.
RESULT: Minsk 0-6
So long from the Viking Spa Hotel in Parnu!
Town is renowned as a tourist destination.