In the first real "game" of the Major League Soccer season, Real Salt Lake and Columbus "played" to a0-0 draw (that featured 3 red cards) in the CONCACAF Champions League.
It was brutal.
On that same token, Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Copenhagen was equally brutal. It shouldn't be shocking, the only team of the four I've mentioned so far that has played a competitive game in 2011 is Chelsea. Due to the climate in Denmark (it was -4 celsius yesterday) and the United States (it was below freezing and the pitch was icy in Columbus), those leagues don't play in January and February.
The advantages for teams in these competitions that play in Spain, England, Italy, Mexico and Costa Rica are fairly obvious: They get to play these big games with plenty of game fitness. Making the hill a bit higher to climb for the Danish, Russian, Swedish, American and Canadian teams.
Could explain, in part, why some of those teams crash out too early.
• In case you missed it:
andSporting president Robb Heineman explained "membership" benefits yesterday
•Get to know more about midfielder Korede Aiyegbusi.
• Fanhouse soccer scribe Brian Strausstakes on the state of MLS jerseys in 2011, which he feels aren't very memorable.
It's a definite read, with an interview with adidas and a look at each team's '11 kit. He is unimpressed with KC's monochrome look. He suggests this might be a more "distinctive" look that KC should've chased:
I like Strauss. He's a good a very good writer and I read him every single day. But that is distinctive for the same reason Ed Hardy shirts are distinctive. Of course, this is a matter of taste, and I personally prefer a simple design (I don't own an Ed Hardy shirt for that simple reason) and let the colors do the work.
Of course, I root for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State Nittany Lions, two teams that haven't changed uniforms or colors since World War II.
What say you on the jerseys KC?
•USA U-17s clinch World Cup berth.
•Haitians are angry over the treatment of their U-17 team during the qualifying process.
•Barcelona extends Pep Guardiola's contract to 2012.
•David Beckham will rejoin the LA Galaxy soon, wonder if he'll treat them all to a pie and mash dinner like he did for Spurs.
•FIFA will reveal its total profit from the 2010 World Cup... it's expected to be upwards of $3.2 billion. Wow.
• This is the sort of list I can get behind:The Top 10 Footballer Monobrows.
A must read.
Soccer on TV
Big day, again, for the Champions League. A repeat of the 2010 final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich is the highlight.• Champions League
Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich, 1:30 p.m., Fox Soccer+
Manchester United vs. Marseille, 1:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel• Other games:
Europa League: Sevilla vs. Porto, 11 a.m., GolTV
CONCACAF U-17s: Canada vs. Trinidad Tobago, 11 a.m., ESPN Deportes
CONCACAF U-17s: Jamaica vs. Honduras, 2 p.m., ESPN Deportes
ENG: Arsenal vs. Stoke City, 4 p.m. Fox Soccer+ (DELAY)
Copa Libertadores: Internacional vs. Jaguares, 6:30 p.m., Fox Deportes
CONCACAF Champions League: Toluca vs. Monterrey, 7 p.m., Galavision