Morning, Black and Red community. Yesterday was an incredibly sad day of soccer news, with the world waking up to the tragic news of the plane crash that killed over 70 people, including almost the entire delegation of Brazilian side Chapecoense that were traveling to compete in their first-ever Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. The world mourns this senseless loss and pays tribute to the fallen, while the small Brazilian community who called this team their own will be reeling from this event for a long time.
Immediately in the aftermath of the Chapecoense plane crash, the rest of the Brasileiro Serie A clubs called on the league to allow Chapecoense to avoid relegation for the next three seasons. Many have also offered to loan players for free to the club so they will be able to field a team in the coming seasons while they try to rebuild. Classy move from the Brasileiro sides.
Atletico Nacional, the team that Chapecoense was to face in tonight’s first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, has asked CONMEBOL to award the title to Chapecoense. All CONMEBOL activities have been suspended, including both legs of the final, but this is one of the nicest moments to come out of this tragedy so far. Respect to Nacional for this gesture.
Amid reports that the New York Cosmos had folded and several NASL teams were left to scramble to avoid their own demise, the future of the North American Soccer League is bleak.
As first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein, D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum has inked a new four-year contract to remain here in Black-and-Red. Great news for all of us that the USMNT player will be with us for a long while!
The 2nd leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals are tonight and Toronto FC and 36,000 of its fans will hope to overcome a goal deficit and move past the Montreal Impact on their way to hosting MLS Cup at BMO Field.
Looks like England has a permanent manager, as Gareth Southgate will have the interim tag removed today and assume the role full time.
With Philippe Coutinho out until 2017 due to an ankle injury and with other key pieces, Liverpool seems set to go after United States prodigy and Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic. The price tag is rumored to be a minimum of $31 million for the 18-year-old.
Bruce Arena is focused on getting the USMNT to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In fact, that’s his sole focus: qualifying. He says he’ll worry about tinkering with the roster later. He has the backing of many U.S. Soccer veterans, and all eyes will be focused on those March World Cup qualifiers to see how the squad will rebound.
Well, that’s the news for today. One very important thing: 34 years ago today, the greatest album of all time was released. So, give it 34 listens today for me. Oh, and if you see this guy around today, it’s his 34th birthday too and he’s proud to share it with the GOAT. Comments are open, y’all...get that cake.