Wigan Athletic's manager Roberto Martinez holds the trophy after defeating Manchester City in their FA Cup final soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London

Premier League decides to put FA Cup final at season’s end

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Fans in England have been calling for a while now that the final of the coveted FA Cup should be placed after the close of the season, and not before the final fixtures as it has been for many years.

With the release of the Barclays Premier League fixtures Wednesday, the Football Association (FA) listened to the plea of both fans and media alike, choosing May 17 for the date at Wembley, a full weekend after the final fixtures of the league season.

The match has been situated in the midst of league fixtures since 2010. FA general secretary Alex Horne citing the recent Champions League finals at Wembley following all league seasons as one of the reasons the Cup final was temporarily moved from its end-of-season seat.

Now it will return to its usual place, much to the delight of fans, which Horne said persuaded the FA to make the change.  “We’re aware fans and media have been calling for the FA Cup final to have a day to itself and we’re delighted that this is going to happen for 2014” said Horne.

Last season, Roberto Martinez (pictured) led Wigan Athletic to FA Cup glory in a shock victory over Manchester City, only to see them relegated to the Championship three days later.

Two year before, City won the Cup on the same day Manchester United clinched the league title.

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.

From MLSSoccer.com:

“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.