Bruce Arena, coach of the Los Angeles Ga

Bruce Arena agrees with Jurgen Klinsmann: MLS off-season is too long


Jurgen Klinsmann created some ripples two years ago when he began a quiet crusade against Major League Soccer’s off-season, which he believed to be too long.

From a world soccer perspective, his sentiment made good sense. Most of the prominent pro clubs around the globe get 5-6 weeks off in the summer – and much of that is eaten up by national team activity.

But from the viewpoint of the American sports community, such thinking was a bit of a head-scratcher. After all, Major League Soccer already had one of the shorter off-seasons among domestic sports.

And the debate was tangled up in the playoff-structure nuance, something that sometimes gets lost in this particular conversation. See, from the MLS Cup final until the start of training camp, Major League Soccer’s break is really no greater than anywhere else, about six weeks.

But if your team doesn’t make the playoffs, then, yes … the break is probably too long. Then it’s about two and a half months.

Either way, count Bruce Arena in the advocacy corner of a shorter break. Here’s what the L.A. Galaxy manager, still one of the leading voices in the domestic game, said in an story when asked about the break’s duration.

I think we’ve been in position to be burned out physically and mentally over the last five years, so having a little bit of a break may be a blessing in disguise to prepare us for 2014. It’s not perfect. The break is too long, it’s too long for the entire league, it’s a real mistake, the time off, but we’re going to deal with it accordingly.”

Of course, the Galaxy being bounced out of the playoffs earlier than usual might have something to do with Arena’s thinking. The Galaxy haven’t been done this early since 2006, before Arena took over in Carson.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC
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Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

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Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).