Category Archives: Soccer

UEFA Champion’s League group stage review (so far)

By: Dylan Moore

Group A: Looking at the standings in this group, you would be initially surprised. But anyone who has watched this group knows Napoli’s undefeated record is no fluke. After a 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool, Napoli showed their true intent in this group stage. The Italian team has taken Europe by storm, along with their new star Georgian player, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. 

As for the rest of the group, things are going as expected. Aside from the previously mentioned loss to Napoli, Liverpool has dominated the ties as expected. Meanwhile, Ajax and Rangers have scrambled for the leftover points, Ajax obtaining the lone win in a 4-0 destruction on Rangers. 

Group A standings pictured above 

Group B: On the note of surprising group standings, here we have group B. Perennial bottom 3rd & 4th place CL group finishers Club Brugge have put in a great shift this UCL season, topping their group with 10 points. 

To the surprise of many, it’s Porto and not Atletico Madrid that are in second place. Not surprising to anyone, is Leverkusen’s last place standing, given their poor form all season. New manager Xabi Alonso hopes to change the seemingly doomed fate of the German side. As things stand, second place is anyone’s game.

Group B standings pictured above

Group C:  This year’s group of death has been fascinating yet unsurprising, as these groups always seem to be. The ever unfortunate Viktoria Plzen is yet to even get a point, as European juggernauts Bayern Munchen are yet to drop any. 

The only surprising result thus far is Barcelona’s underperformance. They have been unable to get a win against Inter, regardless of their impressive additions in the recent transfer window. Inter looks to hang on to the 2nd spot as Barcelona faces the daunting task of playing Bayern yet again. 

Group C standings above 

Group D: This group has been in utter chaos. With the amount of games left, any team could end up in any position. Aside from Tottenham coming out to lead the group after a rocky start, there are yet to be many storylines besides the even-matched teams thus far.

Group D standings above

Group E: On the note of close groups, we have group E. The 2020 champions sit atop the group with 7 points, but RB Salzburg are very close behind. This is yet another group where any team could finish anywhere. This is surprising, considering the reputation of both Salzburg and Zagreb to finish in the lower 2 spots of the group regularly. 

Group E standings above

Group F: The last UCL group is seemingly set up for reigning champions Real Madrid to easily qualify for the round of 16. Whether or not you believe this, they are certainly taking advantage of their easier group. Although this group is rather bland, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk had an electric game this last matchday, with a bloodied-up Antonio Rudiger scoring a last minute header. 

Group F standings pictured above 

Group G: The story from this group has been Erling Haaland playing his old team. His wonder goal against Borussia Dortmund has propelled City to a much-expected first place in the group. Rounding out this rather uneven group is Sevilla and Copenhagen, who have both underwhelmed as expected. 

Group G standings above

Group H: This group raises many eyebrows. Initially, you are attracted to fallen giant Juventus with a measly 3 points sitting in 3rd. But the team that really deserves credit is Maccabi Haifa. The Israeli team managed to win 2-0 against Juventus in the most recent match.

All this being said, all credit to Benefica, who have really made this group competitive, due to powerhouse PSG’s mediocre performance.

Group H standings above

In the vast majority groups, plenty is still at stake in these last 2 match weeks. Lots to look forward to as a fan of the game, with many surprise teams popping up to take advantage of their group, and many teams looking to surprise us still. Expect an article reviewing the group stage in the weeks to come.  

All images taken from:

Premier League match week 9 review

By: Dylan Moore

The greatest league in the world has done it again. After an unusually long break due to both the untimely death of Queen Elizabeth II and an international break right after, the English Premier League is back in action for the first time since September 18th. To say the weekend’s results made up for time lost would be a drastic understatement. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham: This year’s edition of the North London Derby comes with extra high stakes early in the season. Arsenal comes into the week on top of the league, with Tottenham 1 game back. For the game itself, it was chippy as usual, with Tottenham’s Emerson Royale receiving a red card in minute 62 as the London-based sides combined for 20 total fouls.

For the scoring, Arsenal’s Thomas Partey opened the game up with a 20th minute strike, only for the prolific Harry Kane of Tottenham to even it at 1-1 before halftime. Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal scored (in the 49th and 67th minute respectively), as Arsenal won the game by a final of 3-1.

As exciting as the game was, Arsenal seemed to have a firm grasp on the pace of the game, finishing with a dominant 65% possession. 

Liverpool vs Brighton: Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side are off to a very rocky start. Their title challenge seems to already be looking like more and more of a fight for 4th or even 5th as they continue to drop points. With this being said, you can’t take this entertaining 3-3 draw away from Brighton, who some would argue deserved to win.

The Leandro Trossard hat trick showed that even under new management, the Seagulls will still be a very frustrating fixture for any and all Premier League sides. To Liverpool’s credit, Bobby Firmino’s brace and their 54% possession kept them in the game. But we would be talking about a completely different situation if Brighton’s Adam Webster didn’t score an own goal to give Liverpool their 3rd goal of the day. Liverpool fans, be concerned. 

Fulham vs Newcastle: Fulham looked to be in deep waters early on, with a red card on Nathaniel Chalobah and conceding a goal to Newcastle striker Callum Wilson before minute 15. By the halftime whistle, Miguel Almiron picked up his first of 2 goals on the day followed by a Sean Longstaff goal. Almiron picked up his second in minute 57, and Fulham’s Bobby Reid scored a completely irrelevant goal in the 88th to bring the final score to 4-1 Newcastle.

As you would expect, Newcastle dominated the match with 69% possession and well over double of Fulham’s total passes (605 to 281).

Southampton vs Everton: Although this may not have been the most exciting game of the weekend, Everton vs Southampton surprisingly packed a solid punch in the form of a flurry of goals. It remained a bland 0-0 game through the 1st half, although Southampton’s Joe Aribo made sure to change that quickly with a goal in the 49th minute. Frank Lampard’s Everton responded well, with a Connor Coady and Dwight McNeil goal in the 52nd and 54th respectively. Given Everton’s quick response, Southampton couldn’t push back, even though they did hold 55% possession throughout the match. 

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: The clash between the 2 London sides was quite exciting. Crystal Palace looked to play spoiler to Chelsea’s top 4 push with a quick goal from Odsonne Edouard in the 7th minute. There would be no more goals until Chelsea’s new number 9, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored in the 30th minute.

For the remaining 59 minutes, Chelsea’s 64% possession seemed to not be enough to leave Selhurst Park with 3 points. This is until Connor Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at Palace, heroically scored a 90th-minute winner to give Chelsea, and new manager Graham Potter, the 3 points they so desperately were after. 

Bournemouth vs Brentford: I’ll be honest, there isn’t much to report on in this game. A 0-0 draw between Bournemouth and Brentford saw its chances, but nothing went through. Brentford was able to display their superiority over the troubled Bournemouth side with 58% possession throughout the match. Both sides will be looking for a win in the coming weeks as they hope to maintain their mid-table places. 

West Ham vs Wolves: Although the Wolverhampton side did suffer a 2-0 loss in the final game of Saturday, they dominated the ball with 61% possession. With that being said, West Ham was lethal when they had the ball, putting up 5 shots on Wolves’ Jose Sa.

New signing Gianlucca Scamacca scored a brilliant goal in the 29th minute, followed up by a Jared Bowen strike in the 54th to bring us to our 2-0 conclusion. Wolves sacked Bruno Lage following the loss, and a slightly underwhelming 10th place position, given their hot start to their last campaign. 

Manchester City Vs Manchester United: If you know much about soccer, or the current state of it, this is the match you have been waiting for me to cover. The Manchester Derby had all the fireworks in a 9 goal thriller. Man City’s 6-3 victory makes it seem like a much closer match than it actually was.

It was 4-0 City at halftime, with a 2- goal masterclass from both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden. United players came out of the dressing room with their dignity on the line and managed to play a bit better in the second half. They opened the scoring with a wonder goal from $100 million signing Antony in the 56th.

After maintaining most of the possession, United conceded twice, giving both Haaland and Foden hat tricks in the 64th and 73rd minutes respectively.

Given that the score was 6-1, City slightly went on the breaks, although United’s Anthony Martial didn’t relent, scoring 2 late goals in the 84th and the 90th to bring us to our electric 6-3 final score.

Easily the game of the week, and Haaland’s 5 goal contributions easily made him player of the week, as the Norwegian giant continues to show his dominance over world soccer. 

Leeds United vs Aston Villa: To finish out the weekend, we had a rather bland 0-0 draw between 2 middling sides in Leeds and Aston Villa. Aside from Villa’s control in possession (57%) and their absurd 7 shots on target to Leeds’ measly 1, the only thing to report on was a red card. This was picked up in minute 48 by electric new Leeds signing Lewis Sinisterra.

Shoutout to Leeds goalie Islan Meslier, who stopped all 7 shots (as previously mentioned) and saved 2.5 more goals than expected. 

Leicester vs Nottingham Forest: The only game to be played on Monday between Forest and Lecisester was not much of an exciting one, although not for lack of goals. Leicsters 4-0 thrashing of Forest gave them a much-needed first win over the season, especially against a relegation rival like Nottingham.

Although the possession was rather even (at 52% for Leicester and 48% for Nottingham), Leicester’s James Maddison put in a shift, scoring 2 and adding an assist to easily achieve man of the match honors. Well played Leicester. 

Week 9 was yet another amazing week for the Premier League. The exciting Derby matches and absurd hat trick performances made it very entertaining. Look for Man United to bounce back following their terrible performance against City, and Erling Haaland of Manchester City to continue his form. 

Teams battle for promotion as Group Stage wraps up in UEFA Nations League

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

Image taken from: ebf148-1000–nations-league-where-to-watch/

In the international break, Europe’s best came together to represent their national teams. It would be the final meeting of the teams in preparation before the World Cup starts in early November. Nations League includes Europe’s senior men’s teams which compete in a biennial international competition.

On the final wrap up of the group stages, the highly anticipated action kicked off starting in Group A1 for the top spot with Croatia battling Austria and Denmark against France.

Croatia had previously beat Denmark a few days before, thus earning the top spot and tiebreaker over Denmark by 1 point. Croatia would have to beat Austria in order to get in and the result with Denmark wouldn’t matter if Croatia was able to hold on.

France went down and lost to Denmark 2-0 and Croatia held on to beat Austria 3-1. Croatia won the group with a total of 13 points, 2nd Denmark with 12, 3rd France with 5, and Austria getting relegated with 4 points.

Spain and Portugal met in their final match to decide the winner for A2. Switzerland and Czech Republic had been eliminated as they did not finish with enough points. Czech Republic saw themselves relegated on the final match day too. Spain got the last minute winner over Portugal to advance to the finals.

In Group A3, Italy and Hungary faced off in their decisive match. Italy held off an on point form of Hungary to win the group. Surprisingly, England and Germany both fell through and England was relegated.

In the final group, A4, it would be either Netherlands and Belgium to finalize the 4th team for the finals. Netherlands and Belgium would each have to win in order to eliminate the other one. A strong header by Virgil Van Dijk sent Netherlands to the final in last quarter of an hour in the game. Poland and Wales would be eliminated and Wales would be relegated.

In the 4 tiers of Group B, Scotland would win promotion in the group over Ukraine, and Ireland with Armenia being relegated. Israel would win promotion over Iceland, Albania, and Russia would be relegated and suspended in the competition. Bosnia and Herzegovina would escape Finland to earn the top spot and receive promotion with Montenegro and Romania being eliminated. Serbia would beat both Norway and Slovenia to earn promotion with Sweden seeing relegation.

In the 4 tiers of Group C, Turkey would win promotion with Luxembourg, Faroe Islands, and Lithuania being eliminated. Greece would gain promotion, which would eliminate Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus. Kazakhstan would gain promotion leaving Azerbaijan, Slovakia, and Belarus eliminated. Georgia would win promotion with Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Gibraltar getting eliminated.

In the 2 tiers of Group D, Latvia and Estonia would see promotion while Moldova, Andorra, and Malta would be eliminated and Liechtenstein and San Marino would be relegated.

Overall, it was a very exciting group stage of UEFA Nations league. Teams had surprises and made big steps in improvement. Promotion to the group above was the goal for most, but some unfortunate saw relegation to a bottom tier below them.

Croatia, Netherlands, Italy, and Spain will be going to the finals which will take place in the summer of 2023 on June 14-15th. The upcoming draw for how the other tiers will be drawn will take place at another point in time in the near future!

Sports schedule for: Oct 10-15

5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Volleyball vs. WashingtonHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:15pm / 8:15pmVolleyball vs. North St. PaulNorth St. Paul High School
TBD Boys Soccer SectionsTBD
TBD Girls Soccer SectionsTBD
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:45pm / 8:15pmVolleyball vs. CentralCentral High School
4:15pm2:45pm / 6:15pmGirls Swimming and Diving vs. CentralHumboldt High School
8:00am7:00am / 2:30pmJV / C-Squad Volleyball TournamentHarding High School
9:00am7:00am / 3:00pmVolleyball TournamentBenilde St. Margaret’s
1:00pm Football vs. North St. PaulHOME

Sports schedule for: Oct 3-8

3:30pm Tennis Sections vs. HardingHOME
4:00pm / 4:00pm 6:00pm Boys Soccer vs. SimleyHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:45pm / 8:15pmVolleyball vs. Como ParkComo Park High School
6:00pm4:30pm / 8:00pmJV Football vs. Como ParkComo Park High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm3:30pm / 6:30pm 5:30pm / 8:30pmGirls Soccer vs. CentralCentral High School
4:30pm / 4:30pm  4:30pm3:15pm / 6:00pmBoys Soccer vs. KennedyBloomington Kennedy High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Soccer vs. South St. PaulHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Volleyball vs. CentralHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Volleyball vs. HardingHOME
7:00pm4:00pm / 9:30pmFootball vs. Mound WestonkaMound Westonka High School
10:30am6:45am / 2:00pmCross Country MeetArrowwood Resort – Alexandria
1:00pm Boys Varsity Soccer vs. SouthwestMPLS Southwest  High School

Sports schedule for: Sept 26-Oct 1

4:00pm3:15pm / 6:00pmVarsity Tennis vs. SouthPowderhorn Park
5:00pm / 7:00pmJV: 3:30pm / 6:30pm V: 5:15pm / 8:45pmBoys Soccer vs. St. Croix PrepSt. Croix Prep
4:00pm / 4:00pm2:45pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. SouthwestV: Linden Hills Park JV: HOME
5:00pm Girls JV Soccer vs. HardingHOME
6:00pm4:00pm / 8:00pmJV Football vs. CentralCentral High School
4:00pm B-Squad Soccer vs. Como ParkHOME
4:00pm 5:00pm 7:00pmB: 3:15pm / 5:30pm JV: 4:00pm / 6:30pm V: 5:30pm / 8:45pmBoys Soccer vs. CentralB: Jimmy Lee Rec Center JV/V: Central High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Soccer vs. CentralHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Volleyball vs. HardingHOME
9:30am8:30am / 11:00amBoys B-Squad Soccer vs. Holy AngelsAcademy of Holy Angels
9:30am / 9:30am 11:00am8:45am / 12:15pmVolleyball vs. Minnehaha AcademyMinnehaha Academy
1:00pm10:30am / 3:30pmFootball vs. Como ParkComo Park High School

Minnesota United fights for the postseason, but results dwindle as of late

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

Image taken from: portland-timbers-leading-box-13381938ad

On the road in Portland the Loons addressed a few injury and suspension blips by testing out a new formation. United is known for their 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations. This time the new changes consisted of a 3-5-2 formation. They came out strong and looked like they would be on the front foot but unfortunately they didn’t come away with any points.

They maintained dominant possession and held Portland for the main course of the first 45 minutes. Having crosses and plenty of shots, and with 13 shots just in the first half, it left the Loons asking for more. Newly arrived Colombian striker Ménder García had some good quality chances but none could hit the back of the net.

On the backside of the field, the trio of Lawrence, Kallman, and Boxall allowed for a tight collective defense which prevented Portland from getting shots on goal. With the momentum in this game, it would be important to capitalize on your own chances and it was especially critical since the Loons had maintained more of a dominant presence against Portland. It’s fair to say that United’s coach Adrian Heath would be more pleased with their performance than Portland’s coach Giovanni Savarese at the halftime break.

Following halftime, Portland came out stronger than the first half but never posed much of a threat to the Loons’s shape and positioning. Anything can happen in a game, and when the 61st minute rolled around, disaster struck for the Loons.

Portland received a corner and on the kick, a high whipped in ball fell right to Portland’s Dairon Asprilla and was put through the Loon’s back line and into the net. 1-0 to Portland.

As the game went on, the Loons had trouble recovering their shape and found themselves a bit lackluster and tired out. With around 30 minutes left in regulation, the Loons had a few glorious chances but none that they were able to fully capitalize on.

Overall, the new formation worked fairly well as García and Amarilla posed threats up top in the attacking third. The midfield composition worked hard and helped with creating space. There were definitely many positives to take away from an overall good game but hard to accept defeat for the third time in 3 games straight.

The Loons went down to 6th place in the playoff race but will have plenty of work to do with the remaining four games of the season.

Sports schedule for: Sept 19-24

4:30pm JV Football vs. JohnsonHOME
4:30pm / 7:00pmJV: 3:30pm / 6:30pm V: 5:30pm / 8:30pmGirls Soccer vs. RichfieldRichfield High School
5:30pm / 7:00pm Volleyball vs. St. Paul AcademyHOME
4:00pm / 4:00pm3:15pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. Como ParkV: Como Park High School JV: HOME
4:15pm2:30pm / 6:00pmBoys Varsity Soccer vs. JohnsonJohnson High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm JV Girls Soccer vs. Central Varsity Girls Soccer vs. JohnsonHOME
4:00pm / 4:00pm2:45pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. Minnehaha AcademyV: HOME JV: Minnehaha Academy
5:30pm / 5:30pm / 7:00pm4:30pm / 8:00pmVolleyball vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
7:00pm Girls Soccer vs. HardingHOME
4:00pm / 4:00pm2:45pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. MPLS SouthwestV: Powderhorn Park JV: HOME
4:15pm3:15pm / 6:30pmGirls Swimming and Diving Meet vs. HardingHumboldt High School
4:15pm / 4:30pm3:15pm / 6:00pmBoys B-Squad / JV Soccer vs. HardingB: HOME JV: Bakken Field
3:00pm1:00pm / 4:30pmBoys / Girls Cross Country Roy Griak InviteLes Bolstad Golf Course
3:15pm Tennis Twin Cities MatchSt. Paul Site
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:30pm / 8:15pmVolleyball vs. JohnsonJohnson High School
7:00pm5:15pm / 8:45pmBoys Varsity Soccer vs. HardingBakken Field
TBDTBDGirls Swimming and DivingJean K. Freeman Aquatic Center
10:00am / 10:00am Girls Soccer vs. St. Paul AcademySt. Paul Academy
1:00pm10:30am / 3:30pmFootball vs. CentralCentral High School
5:00pm / 5:00pm 7:00pm Boys Soccer vs. IrondaleHOME

Sports schedule for: Sept 12-17

4:00pm / 5:00pmJV: 2:40pm / 5:00pm V: 3:40pm / 7:00pmBoys Soccer vs. Minnehaha AcademyMinnehaha Academy
4:00pm / 4:00pm3:15pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. TartanVarsity: HOME JV: Tartan High School
4:30pm JV Football vs. Bloomington KennedyHOME
4:00pm3:15pm / 6:00pmVarsity Tennis vs. JohnsonEastview Park
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Soccer vs. Holy AngelsHOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm4:15pm / 8:15pmVolleyball vs. Hill-MurrayHill-Murray School
4:15pm3:15pm / 6:00pmGirls Swimming & Diving vs. Humboldt / WashingtonHumboldt High School
4:15pm / 4:15pm2:45pm / 5:45pmGirls Soccer vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
4:15pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmV: 5:30pm / 8:45pmBoys Soccer vs. HumboldtJV: HOME B/V: Humboldt High School
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Volleyball vs. WashburnHOME
6:00pm Football vs. JohnsonHOME
8:00am C-Squad Volleyball TournamentMounds View High School
V: 11:00am JV: 1:00pmV: 9:00am/12:30pm JV: 11:00am/2:30pmGirls Soccer vs. Chisago LakesChisago Lakes High School

Sports schedule for: Sept 5-10

4:00pm Tennis vs. WashingtonHOME
4:00pm / 5:00pm 7:00pm3:15pm / 5:45pmBoys Soccer vs. Como ParkB-Squad: Como Park HS JV/V: HOME
4:30pm3:15pm / 6:30pmJV Football vs. SouthwestMPLS Southwest HS
5:15pm / 7:15pmJV: 3:55pm / 6:45pm V: 5:45pm / 8:45pmGirls Soccer vs. Como ParkComo Park High School
4:00pm / 4:00pm3:15pm / 6:00pmTennis vs. HumboldtV: Humboldt High School JV: HOME
4:15pm / 5:15pm 6:30pm Volleyball vs. St. Croix LutheranSt. Croix Lutheran Academy
7:00pm5:45pm / 9:00pmSwimming & Diving vs. Como/JohnsonHumboldt High School
V: 5:00pm JV: 5:00pm3:30pm / 6:30pmGirls Soccer vs. WashingtonWashington Technology
JV: 4:00pm B: 6:00pm V: 6:00pmJV: 3:15pm/5:45pm B/V: 4:30pm/7:45pmBoys Soccer vs. WashingtonWashington Technology
4:30pm / 5:00pm Boys & Girls Cross Country Meet St. Paul 2-MileHOME
7:00pm Football vs. KennedyHOME
TBD11:15am / 2:00pmGirls Swimming & Diving Hastings InviteHastings High School
9:00am / 9:00am 2:00pmJV: 8:00am / 3:00pm V: 1:15pm / 7:00pmVolleyball TournamentsC: Lakeville North High School JV: Blaine High School V: Visitation School