Osasuna fans prior to kickoff, likely not looking quite as excited after their side were relegated.

La Liga relegation places decided


After an exciting final round in La Liga, the relegation places have been decided: Real Betis, Real Valladolid and Osasuna will be playing in the Segunda Liga next season.

With just 25 points on the season, Real Betis’s fate was sealed long ago. Their unfortunate tangle with Europa League, and their loss of their best player to Bilbao, shaped their season – to devastating effect.

Valladolid fell to Granada in the weekend’s most nerve-wracking match, as Granada could’ve very well slipped down had they failed to win. But Valladolid dug their own grave, with Stefan Mitrović putting the ball in the back of his own net just before the break.

Osasuna had a bit of trouble at their match, with a retaining barrier collapsing twelve minutes in, after the first goal was scored. An estimated 40 fans were injured, although none are in serious condition. After a 35-minute delay, the game was restarted, with the decision made to delay the start of the second half in the three other matches. Osasuna scored a second almost immediately after, but ultimately it didn’t matter. They needed Granada, Getafe or Almeria to lose, and that didn’t happen.

It’s unknown yet who will move up to the top division. Deportivo la Coruna, who were relegated last season and very nearly slipped down to the third division thanks to a dispute over players’ wages, are currently top in Spain’s second division. But with three games left to go after this weekend, it’s really too soon to say who we’ll be welcoming to La Liga.

Here’s how everything else in La Liga shook out…


Atlético Madrid! They drew with Barcelona to clinch the La Liga title on Saturday.

Champions League

Barcelona and Real Madrid will skip qualifying and go straight into the group stages. Atheltic Bilbao will take the fourth spot, joining the tournament for the last playoff round.

Europa League

Sevilla, Villarreal and Real Sociedad round out Spain’s European teams. That’s particularly impressive for Villarreal, who spent last season in the second division.

How will USMNT line up vs. Mexico in CONCACAF Cup?

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You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.

With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.

Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.

JPW’s choice

—– Guzan —–

— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —

Jones —– Bradley

— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Mix-and-match XI

—– Howard —–

— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Williams —–

— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —

— Altidore — Zardes —

Stopping Mexico

—– Howard —–

— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Cameron —–

— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —

— Altidore —


I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.

The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.

“Legends World Cup” hope to bring Beckham, Zidane to Mexico

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David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane coaxed out of retirement to play in a “Legends World Cup” you say?

Well, that got my attention.

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According to an interview with the BBC’s world service, the organizers of the 2017 Legends World Cup are hoping to entice both Becks and Zizou to roll back the years and represent their nations in Mexico.

Beckham, 40, and Zidane, 43, are already putting their boots back on to captain a Great Britain and Ireland XI vs. a World XI for a friendly at Old Trafford on November 14 to raise money for UNICEF, and former Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos, 48, has urged the duo to take part in the tournament in 2017 where he will coach Mexico’s team.

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From the BBC:

“I want to see Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazilian Ronaldo,” said Campos, 48, the flamboyant ex-Mexico goalkeeper who will coach his country.

“Everybody wants to see Argentina’s Diego Maradona, but he can’t play. He’s too old.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2017, with 12 teams in total — four from the Americas, six from Europe and one each from Africa and Asia — taking part.

Given the age (players must be aged between 35-45) and caliber of the players Campos and Co. are trying to recruit, let’s have a think about who would play for the U.S.

Landon Donovan and Brian McBride up front? Brad Friedel in goal? Let us know who would make the squad.