By Andrew Warshaw
July 13 – Who on earth was Brendan Rodgers, the new manager of Scottish giants Celtic, trying to kid? Perhaps just himself. “There’s no embarrassment,” said Rodgers after his side were beaten 1-0 by Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in their Champions League second qualifying round first leg on Tuesday.
By Paul Nicholson
July 5 – The US Soccer Federation has officially announced a new 25-club Girls’ Development Academy that will start matches in the Autumn of 2017. The academy structure is “an initiative designed to accelerate the development of world-class female players” in the World Champion nation.
June 2 – Liverpool have added a third US fixture to their pre-season schedule. Already competing in the International Champions Cup (ICC) tournament, they will now play AS Roma from Italy’s Serie A in St Louis on August 1.
By Paul Nicholson
May 30 – The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) and US Club Soccer have combined to launch a new national competition platform for boys that will challenge the national US Academy competition that the US Soccer Federation has been promoting to clubs across the country.
May 30 – England Under 21 beat France 2-1 Under 20s to win the Toulon Tournament their first win since 1994, having qualified for the third place play-off for the past two years.
May 26 – England virtually guaranteed their place in the final of the Toulon Tournament with a storming 4-0 win over closest group rivals Paraguay. France need just one point from their final group game tonight to join them.
May 24 – The Toulon U23 tournament became a goal fiesta last night as England’s Under 21s hammered seven past Guinea to top their group above Paraguay on goal difference.
May 18 – The Barcelona trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez fill three of the top four best performing big-5 league strikers, according to the CIES Football Observatory. The surprise is that Suarez, who has had a storming goalscoring end to the season is the fourth ranked striker.
By Samindra Kunti
May 10 – Qatar’s Belgian investment at Eupen has come good with the club’s ascendency to Belgium’s top flight, but only after a farcical kerfuffle of Belgian bureaucracy.
May 9 – Tottenham Hotspur’s Moussa Dembélé and Dele Alli come top and fourth in the CIES Football Observatory ranking of ‘box-to-box’ midfielders in Europe’s Big 5 league. The Bayern double act of Arturo Vidal and Xabi Alonso topped the rankings defensive midfielders.