Two weeks ago, we delved into the absurd home field advantage that comes with hosting matches in Major League Soccer.
Since then, it’s gotten nuttier.
The home side was taking 1.85 points per game as of July 10 — full article here — and snaring a point or better in more than 82 percent of home fixtures this year.
[ MORE: Ten best transfers so far ]
Since then, road teams have won a total of two matches in 26 tries moving, making the home team record for the season 107W-67D-34L. That’s now 1.88 points per game and points in close to 84 percent of games.
So, of course, this week’s marquee match-up could defy the trend.
Game of the Week
With apologies to FC Dallas and its three point advantage on Colorado, each conference’s top team will face off Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The Rapids bring their MLS-best 1.9 points-per-game into the match, while NYC currently sits atop the East despite its second humbling at the hands of the Red Bulls.
Colorado has done a masterful job at finding points on the road, with two wins and five draws in nine tries. That should bode well for them despite the cross-country flight, especially when you toss in NYC’s meager 3W-3L-5T mark at home this season.
Really, it’s a case of studs and duds. The first three matches of Sunday are living in high-five country, while the majority of the 6:30 p.m. ET kickoffs don’t inspire much outside of the Trillium Cup showdown in Toronto and a “Dominic Kinnear Derby” in Texas.
Colorado at NYCFC — 3 p.m. ET Saturday
Portland at Sporting KC — 2 p.m. ET Sunday
L.A. Galaxy at Seattle — 4 p.m. ET Sunday
Vancouver at FC Dallas — 6 p.m. ET Sunday
Montreal at DC United — 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday
New York Red Bulls at Chicago — 7 p.m. ET Sunday
Real Salt Lake at Philadelphia — 7 p.m. ET Sunday
Columbus at Toronto — 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday
New England at Orlando City — 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday
San Jose at Houston — 9 p.m. ET Sunday
Jurgen Klopp isn’t pleased with the mega money transfer fees being used to “collect” players from around world football.
The Liverpool boss says he doesn’t know how much he’s allowed to spend on one player, as no move he’s made has really required that sort of question.
[ MORE: Ten best transfers so far ]
He sees club football as a means of assembling a team with critical pieces, not buying and then building around a player.
And Klopp said he would do it differently even if he had the green light to spend absurd amounts of dough.
“If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney,’ he said.
“The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.”
“If I spend money, it is because I am trying to build a team, a real team. Barcelona did it. You can win championships, you can win titles, but there is a manner in which you want it.”
Klopp has spent a lot of money, but he’s spaced it out in picking up six players for around 2/3 of the Pogba fee this summer (Granted two were on free transfers).
That said, he didn’t exactly take over a club lacking star power that required loads and loads of buys. Klopp is at a different standard in answering to the media and public right now. While that’s pretty well-deserved, the way he’s getting credit for the price tags on assets he’s sold is kind of hilarious.
Either way, we are loving Klopp in the Premier League. Bring on the season.
As Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United moves closer, where will it rank on the list of the most promising moves of the summer?
Putting cost aside given the giant budgets of world football, Pogba’s move will probably top the proverbial pops once completed.
[ MORE: Guzan finds new PL home ]
Yet this summer has been an incredible one for transfers, with so many Premier League teams leading the way in business, that names like Sadio Mane, Michy Batshuayi, Nico Gaitan, and Nolito miss out list (and they are just the tip of the iceberg).
Here’s our Top Ten so far
10. Mario Gotze, Bayern Munich –> Borussia Dortmund
Will a return “home” do the trick for the World Cup clinching attacker?
9. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Borussia Dortmund –> Manchester United
The Armenian attacker was somewhat unheralded. No more.
8. Andre Schurrle, Wolfsburg –> Borussia Dortmund
BVB reaps the rewards from a still questionable Chelsea decision.
7. Granit Xhaka, Borussia Monchengladbach –> Arsenal
The big money man is a perfect fit for how Arsene Wenger likes to play.
6. Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli –> Juventus
Whether his big season was an aberration or not, that’s a lot of dough.
5. Ilkay Gundogan, Borussia Dortmund –> Manchester City
His possession game should be a jewel in Pep Guardiola’s crown.
4. Miralem Pjanic, Roma –> Juventus
One of the best in the world could even be an improvement over Pogba.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain –> Manchester United
Let’s hope he doesn’t read this and see he’s not No. 1 (and soon to be No. 4)
2. Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund –> Bayern Munich
Technically announced a while ago, but Bayern is almost unfair. Enjoy, Carlo.
- N'Golo Kante, Leicester City –> Chelsea
An absolute beast, and a player that will seamlessly slide into Antonio Conte’s plans as a center piece.
Didier Drogba got to score against an old rival and a former teammate, and this pleases him greatly.
The Ivorian legend and Montreal Impact striker scored the lone MLS goal as the All Stars fell to Arsenal 2-1 on Thursday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
But that goal went behind former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who was Drogba’s goalkeeper from 2004-2012 and 2014-15 at Stamford Bridge.
[ MORE: Man City plays tennis on Great Wall ]
Both players joined Chelsea in July 2004, and Cech used Twitter to post this photo from a post-match meet-up.
Drogba looks happy.
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) July 29, 2016