Celtic Nation

Could a non-league side be Glasgow Celtic’s ticket into England?

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According to Kevin McKenna of The Observer, Glasgow Celtic have a “foothold” in England by virtue of a small Carlisle based club called Celtic Nation, in division one of the Northern League, the eighth tier of English football.

The story goes as follows.

Celtic Nation was the brainchild of Frank Lynch, a 73 year old Glaswegian millionaire and die-hard Celtic fan. Lynch, who lives in the United States, was seeking a small and unknown English club to establish a club with a Celtic identity that would encourage people of Scottish and Irish heritage to support.

Lynch’s connection to the club began on a chance encounter when Lynch stopped his car in north-west England to help supporters of “Gilford Park”, whose bus had broken down. The supporters convinced Lynch to check out the club and he fell in love.

Within a year Lynch put his stamp on the side, changing its name to Celtic Nation. He also adopted Glasgow Celtic’s famous green and white hoops, created a club crest that is similar to that of the Scottish giants, and improved the quality on the pitch to help propel them through the feeder divisions of the English Football League.

A “source” close to Lynch set forth the club’s aspirations: “All the significant people associated with this project are committed supporters of Celtic FC. We have all become deeply frustrated that Celtic will never develop its full potential in Scotland, where the game is dying. Celtic Nation will take the best attributes of Celtic FC and bring them into English football. Our location will be important for attracting support from Scots, Irish and English fans who have an affinity for Celtic.”

For McKenna, these facts mean that Glasgow Celtic now has a foothold (or as he calls it “a Trojan horse in green-and-white hoops”) in English football that could come in handy when and if the Scottish club decide to secure entry to the English Football League system.

There is, of course, one big problem with McKenna’s assertion that the non-league side could be the Scottish giants secret ticket into England: Celtic Nation still has no official connection with Glasgow Celtic.

Just goes to show you – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, there’s still a chance it ain’t a duck.

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy

Robbie Keane
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Los Angeles Galaxy became the second team in the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the playoffs following a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders. A terrible mistake from Seattle defender Zach Scott led to an easy goal for Robbie Keane, and it looked like that would be the winner until deep into stoppage time. In the 93rd minute, Chad Barrett got his knee on a corner kick to save a draw for Seattle, although the point was enough for LA. The Galaxy join FC Dallas as the two Western Conference teams headed to the postseason.

[ RELATED: Who will take over as Liverpool manager? ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Robbie Keane capitalizes on Seattle’s mistake — Zach Scott misplayed a ball across the Sounders’ back line, as Robbie Keane intercepted the pass and finished one of the easiest goals he’s going to score. A true striker’s goal, Keane doesn’t miss ones like this.

64′ — Steven Gerrard denied by the woodwork — Los Angeles nearly made it 2-0 right after the hour mark, but Steven Gerrard was just inches off. Gerrard rose up to meet a corner kick from Juninho, but his header took a deflection and hit the crossbar before being cleared out of the box by Seattle.

90’+3′ — Chad Barrett finds a late, late equalizer — Just when it looked like LA was going to leave Seattle with a win, Chad Barrett stole a point for the Sounders. Marco Pappa whipped in a corner kick to the near post, which was flicked on by Brad Evans. Barrett surged into the box and got a knee on the ball as the match ended in a draw.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Steven Gerrard

Goalscorers: Keane (36′), Barrett (90’+3′)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)