The ten most important matches for the newish American fan to follow. It’s what Noob does. I filter better than Brita.
Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders – MLS
Dallas stumbled down the stretch last season and finished 7th in the Western Conference, just missing the playoffs. Noob-reviled Seattle finished #B. They did it with a top defense. It’s a new season, sure, but Dallas needs to get on the board first, or it could be a long day. (5:00 PM Eastern, NBA League Pass 6)
RESULT: Dallas 3-0 And there was JOY
Man, I really loathe you, Seattle!
B. Wigan Athletic vs. Southampton – English FA Cup
Wigans’ defeat last round of Premier League titans Man City was the upset of the season worldwide. The third-tier league side have to believe anything is possible now. They get a comparatively manageable foe today.
Southampton are two leagues above Wigan and that should mean everything. But will they even be putting all their energies into this tournament? They’ve slipped into the Relegation Zone in Premier League, could not be blamed for saving starters for those matches. (9:30 AM, FS2)
RESULT: Southampton 0-2
Number B’s taking it all in stride.
Bethlehem Steel vs. Richmond Kickers – USL
Last year’s #8 hosts #14. But it’s the one American division two game today. And…
RESULT: Bethlehem 4-1
…the return of superfan Derek Zoolander!
Marseille vs. Lyon – Ligue 1
This is Lyon’s last, best chance to make a move on a Champions League berth for next year. The league has slipped in strength and now only gets three slots. And Lyon is in 4th, by five points behind their hosts today.
RESULT: Lyon 2-3 Lyon with the winner at 90′!
RB Leipzig vs. Bayern Munich – Bundesliga
Maybe 6th-place Leipzig can hope the undisputed German champs will play a bunch of backups on the road today, rest up for their current Champions League run. (1:00 PM, Univision Deportes)
RESULT: Leipzig 2-1 They’re still in 6th, but now 4th and a C.L. berth is at least in sight.
Villareal vs. Atletico Madrid – La Liga
It’s hard to imagine undefeated Barcelona suddenly going on a skid. At eight points back, #B Atletico has to be hoping beyond hope for exactly that.
Villareal, meanwhile, are in a tight four-way race for three Europa League invites. They’re probably the best of those four, but that doesn’t mean they can’t lose this game of Spanish musical chairs. (1:30 PM, beIN Sports en Español).
RESULT: Villareal 2-1 Winner at 90′ + 2!!
Musical Chairs – to the death!!
Sampdoria vs. Inter Milan – Serie A
5th-place Inter Milan have played one less game than 4th-place Lazio, and trail them by just a point in the table. That’s the last spot for a Champions League berth.
Noobstradamus prognosticates they will not play for a mere draw, even on the road against a tough 7th-place Sampdoria side trying to qualify for the next Europa League. The hosts like to play a wide open game, and Inter would be better off trying to beat them at it than slowing things down. 2-3 is the score of the predestined shootout. (7:30 AM, Rai Italia)
RESULT: Inter Milan 0-5 Well, I had the number of goals and winner right. Not a total bed-crapping.
barba fluente, niente pantaloni
Saprissa vs. Herediano – Costa Rica Premier
Alajuense took over the Clausura (second half-season) lead with their win yesterday. But Saprissa and Herediano are just one and two points back, respectively. There are just a few games to go, so better believe the league leaders are hoping for a draw in this match.
Apollon Limassol vs. APOEL Limassol – Cypriot First Division
Tied for 1st in Cyprus! This league has already separated into its Championship and Relegation halves. Apollon lead by virtue of greater head-to-head goal differential, but the odds of that mattering by the end seem low.
RESULT: Apollon 4-2
Cluj vs. FCSB – Romania Liga I
In Romania, too, they have divided into their league two halves now.
These two were just four points apart in the table when the regular season ended. Before starting the Championship part of their season, the points they’ve all earned are halved (and then rounded up), so now these two are even closer. #1 and league’s best defense hosts #B, league’s best offense. Classic.
Noob had not known TV classic Beverly Hillbillies was remade for a Romanian audience.