It’s been a week now, but the news is still stunning nonetheless: last Monday the U.S. men’s national team fired head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann and the next day they brought back former head coach Bruce Arena to theoretically guide the team through the 2018 World Cup in Russia (assuming of course that they make it). It is a shame that it had to come to that but for Klinsmann, his fate seemed to be sealed after a disastrous 4-0 loss at Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifying match on Nov. 15. Despite their terrible 0-2 start to this stage, the USMNT should still reach the 2018 World Cup but they better think outside the box once again (as they did with getting Klinsmann) for their next long-term coaching hire rather than settle for another American with limited experience outside MLS.
Half of 2016 MLS Cup is Decided as Seattle Reaches Final for 1st Time
Already it’s been a remarkable playoff run for the Sounders (18-15-6) who have reached their first MLS Cup in franchise history after winning 1-0 at Colorado (16-9-13) on Sunday to beat the Rapids 3-1 on aggregate in the Western Conference Finals. Seattle did this without its superstar Clint Dempsey who has missed the entire postseason (and much of the second half of the regular season) with an irregular heartbeat. Now they await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals: Toronto (17-10-11) hosts Montreal (18-9-11) on Wednesday (7, FS1) with the visiting Impact ahead 3-2 on aggregate after a wild first leg.
RB Leipzig: Best Story in Europe That You Might Not Know About
Last season in the Barclays Premier League, Leicester City captured the imagination of even casual soccer fans with their once-in-a-lifetime title. It’ll be hard to ever top the impossible odds of that one but this season in the Bundesliga (Germany), debutants RB Leipzig are forging a unique story all their own. Through 12 matches, the Bulls are unbeaten (9-0-3) and in first-place in the league, three points ahead of mighty Bayern Munich (8-3-1) with a very impressive goal-differential of plus-17 (27 scored, 10 conceded).
The 2016-17 UEFA Champions League Starts to Get Really Interesting
With the holiday season upon us in the U.S., for soccer fans that means you can really start paying attention to the UEFA Champions League as it is almost down to 16 teams left in the world’s most prestigious club tournament with the second legs set to decide things on December 6 & 7. The 12 sides that have already clinched a spot in the Round-of-16: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Leicester City, Monaco, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund (American Christian Pulisic’s club), Juventus, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. The last four teams will come from these seven: Benfica, Besitkas, Copenhagen, Lyon, Napoli, Porto and Sevilla.
Follow Metro soccer writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate