Summer is here and for me that means saying goodbye to a good friend (see you soon, English Premier League) but it also means a start to a pretty fantastic summer of soccer. The Confederations Cup, the Gold Cup, USL, NPSL, and Major League Soccer all have a full slate of games, which for a footy freak like me is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
So as we head into the long weekend, here is what I am watching:
Major League Soccer
Cascadia Cup. Nothing else needs to be said.
Well...I really don’t know what to say about the Rapids that has not already been said. The Rapids are a third of the way through the season which is when I really start taking stock of a team and how they are doing.
I am not going to blast the players or the Front Office. That does nothing and it is not as if the players are “mailing it in.”
I am not going to freak out that the season has gone this way. I did not think the Rapids were a playoff team this season and that is clearly not going to happen.
I am still going to go to as many games as I can this season...I am not one of those fans that jumps on and off the bandwagon.
But this season is a massive disappointment. We deserve better than what we have gotten so far. That is all.
United Soccer League
Orlando City B vs Charlotte Independence—Saturday, 5:30 PM MDT
Charlotte has started the season off a bit poorly, and currently sit 14th in the table (out of 15 teams) in the Eastern Conference. But there are some reasons for optimism for the Jacks:
- They have as many as five games in hand on teams that are in the playoffs.
- They will be moving into their new home in Matthews, North Carolina very soon. This is a permanent home for the Independence and that will help
- They are just three points out of a playoff spot. The Eastern Conference is that tight right now.
- In their last five matches, Charlotte is 2-1-2 (8 points). Things are looking up for our USL affiliate.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs Reno 1868 FC—Saturday, 6:00 PM MDT
The Western Conference in USL is funny. There are two teams at the top, with 26 and 24 points respectively, and than there are 12 teams within five points. It is just nuts and that is where the Switchbacks and Reno find themselves. This is a big match for both clubs, that will help them solidify their position in the table.
English Football Association Cup
I know that Arsenal gets a lot of grief (from me included) for being, well, Arsenal. You have a billionaire owner, a beautiful stadium and a loyal fan base. Arsenal should be better, right? Well, it is never that simple in soccer and by all measures, Arsenal has underachieved this season. They missed out on Champions League for the first time in nearly two decades and did not turn it on this season until they really needed to win. This has been a massive let down for the Gunners and winning the FA Cup might help with that.
But they run into the champions who won 30 out of 38 EPL games this season. That is an insane record and they are head and shoulders above Arsenal. Winning this match means that Antonio Conte can do the double in his first season. Not too shabby.
So that is what I am watching. What is on your footy agenda this weekend? Hit us up in the comment section and let us know.