Sides from Major League Soccer and Liga MX are about to lock horns once more.
With just over a month until the CONCACAF Champions League group stages begin — yes, you heard that right — the schedule for the five MLS sides in CCL action this year have been announced.
And plenty of focus will be on the all-MLS ties between the San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact.
That tie is in fact the opener on August 7, as the Impact host San Jose at Stade Saputo. With the Earthquakes staying put in Canada for an extended period, as they play against Vancouver in MLS action three days later.
Like I said, get excited.
In seasons gone by, MLS fans have often sneered upon CCL matches. For a variety of reasons the continental cup competition hasn’t quite captured the imagination of US and Canadian fans. For the most part. We all remember Real Salt Lake’s fairytale run to the final back in 2010.
But with so many MLS teams involved this year, hopefully that tide of optimism will return. Major League Soccer should definitely focus on success in CCL before thinking about entering competitions such as the Copa Libertadores.
Some people think MLS should jump straight into South America’s premiere club competition. But until MLS conquers the CONCACAF Champions League, those plans should be placed well and truly on the back burner.
So here they are, check out the schedule and plan your CCL trips accordingly.
Sporting Kansas City
8/7 at Real Estelí FC; 10 pm ET, Estadio Independcia, Estelí, Nicaragua
8/27 at CD Olimpia; 10 pm ET, Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
9/17 vs. Real Estelí FC; 8 pm ET, Sporting Park
10/23 vs. CD Olimpia; 8 pm ET, Sporting Park
8/20 at W Connection; 8 pm ET, in Trinidad and Tobago
8/27 vs. Árabe Unido; 8 pm ET, BBVA Compass Stadium
9/25 vs. W Connection; 8 pm ET, BBVA Compass Stadium
10/24 at Árabe Unido; 8 pm ET, in Panama
8/7 vs. San Jose Earthquakes; 8 pm ET, Stade Saputo
8/21 at CD Heredia; 10 pm ET, in Guatemala
9/17 at San Jose Earthquakes; 10 pm ET, Buck Shaw Stadium
9/25 vs. CD Heredia; 8 pm ET, Stade Saputo
San Jose Earthquakes
8/7 at Montreal Impact; 8 pm ET, Stade Saputo
8/28 at CD Heredia; 10 pm ET, in Guatemala
9/17 vs. Montreal Impact; 10 pm ET, Buck Shaw Stadium
10/23 vs. CD Heredia; 10 pm ET, Buck Shaw Stadium
8/20 vs. Cartaginés; 10 pm ET, StubHub Center
9/18 vs. Isidro Metapán; 10 pm ET, StubHub Center
9/25 at Cartaginés; 10 pm ET, in Costa Rica
10/24 at Isidro Metapán; 10 pm ET, in El Salvador
FA Cup slate set as Liverpool, Newcastle, Saints win
The field is set for the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Southampton joined 29 other teams in the fourth round.
Newcastle United 2-1 Birmingham City
Matt Ritchie scored twice and Yoan Gouffran also scored as the Magpies clinched a trip to third-tier side Oxford United. David Cotterill scored in the 71st minute to provide an interesting finish, but Newcastle weathered the storm.
Jurgen Klopp chose another youth-heavy lineup, but a pair of Premier League vets got the job done for the winner. Philippe Coutinho assisted Lucas Leiva‘s 18th mintue goal to give the Reds a home date with Wolverhampton.
Divock Origi had a late penalty saved by Luke McCormick, but it didn’t come back to haunt the Reds.
Southampton 1-0 Norwich City
Saints got a much-needed albeit ugly win when Shane Long won a tussle in the box to score a stoppage time winner. Southampton will host Arsenal in the fourth round.
Derby County vs. Leicester City
January 28 Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Oxford United vs. Newcastle United
Lincoln City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea vs. Brentford
Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town
Burnley vs. Bristol City
Blackburn vs. Blackpool
Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Millwall vs. Watford
Fulham vs. Hull City
Sutton United vs. Leeds United
“Jermaine is a winner who has experience in MLS and playing against the highest competition in the world,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Curt Onalfo. “He has a relentless engine on the field and we are confident that he will strengthen our midfield. We look forward to him joining the Galaxy as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
When healthy, Jones remains a game changer at the MLS level. He was not healthy often during his season in Colorado, but the Rapids did not lose a regular season game in which he hit the pitch.
Given the amount of buzz surrounding Lyon’s supposed interest in Memphis Depay, it’s no surprise this one got done.
The Ligue 1 side has agreed to buy the Manchester United winger for a fee that will range between $20 and $27 million. Reports claim the Red Devils have both buy back and sell-on clauses inserted in the deal.
Memphis was purchased for approximately $30 million from PSV Eindhoven in May 2015. That was hot on the heels of a 22-goal season that paced the Eredivisie.
After scoring two goals for United in his second appearance for the club, Memphis managed just 7 in 45 appearances. He hasn’t scored in seven matches this season.
Memphis has 27 caps with five goals for the Netherlands, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t reinforce his status with a prolific spell in France.
Lyon is fourth in the Ligue 1 table, eight behind third place PSG and 11 points back of leaders Monaco and Nice. The club is in the Round of 32 for the French Cup, and meets AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League.