This Saturday marks 30 years since Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall and reunited East and West Berlin. Last weekend marked the first time that teams from the East and West met in the Bundesliga as Hertha Berlin made the short trip to newly-promoted Union Berlin. The Bundesliga’s English site has a really nice write-up about the intertwined history of Hertha and Union.
The game itself seemed to hit more headlines for the wrong reasons. Smoke caused long delays as shown in the featured image, and unfortunately, we saw Union ultras attempt to get at the Hertha players after the 1-0 Union win. Fortunately, it wasn’t only shots that Rafał Gikiewicz was stopping.
Here’s Looking At Your Tifo, Kid
Ah yes, the rare and most obscure Casablanca/fan culture pun, that has to be worthy of a Patreon subscription doesn’t it?
It was also the Casablanca derby in the second round first leg of the Arab Club Champions Cup, Wydad Athletic Club and Raja Casablanca played to a 1-1 draw in the Stade Mohammed V home they share. Check out this animated tifo that the Wydad supporters put together, it’s nuts, and that’s coming from the guy who was responsible for an unintentional 60ft tall dong-joke tifo.
Peter Welpton Bucketlist Item #1
You probably get a kick out of the VAR alert on The Kickaround and Peter’s love-hate relationship with the referee’s aid. Monaco’s Ruben Aguilar didn’t so much get a kick out of VAR but he definitely gave one here, kicking the pitch-side monitor. His red card didn’t involve VAR, as a clear DOGSO incident, however, VAR did rescind a red for a Saint-Etienne player earlier in the game as they won 1-0.
If you’re familiar with TalkSPORT in the UK – possibly from their time on Sirius XM FC – you’ll know it as good sports content, albeit with the occasional less-than-agreeable personality balancing it out.
Adrian Durham is the chief less-than-agreeable personality. In a sea of former players and journalists, Durham is the resident shouty fan of the past 20 years before the station was even considered a sports radio station. Like Stephen A and Skip, he made his name offering bad takes and shouting loudest to defend them.
The latest one should have earned him a spot on his drive time show’s Head’s Gone segment as he claimed that the Arsenal side that went unbeaten in 49 consecutive Premier League games wasn’t any good and that Dennis Bergkamp was overrated. Cesc Fabregas, who was a youngster at Arsenal during the Invincible season, is the voice of the people
Listen To Your Inner Child
In the UK we have a term for a particular level of pettiness in gamesmanship that I don’t really know the equivalent of in the US. Without trying to be profane, that term is shithousery.
We’ve enjoyed Oscar Pareja shoving a tissue in the tear-covered face of Caleb Porter, and Pep Guardiola gave us a prime example last week as Man City came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1.
With the Saints ahead earlier in the game, assistant manager Richard Kitzbichler stopped City from getting the ball back into play. With City 2-1 up in the final moments, Guardiola grabbed the ball when it went out of play and offered it to Kitbichler. Quality!
Caution Trophy May Be Hot
The Canadian Premier League crowned its first champion as former FC Dallas midfielder Kyle Bekker lifted the North Star Shield.
Now you may think you’ve seen something similar to this glorious piece of glass, and it’s probably when you’ve cleaned your microwave. Fans of Forge FC also noticed this, so they came up with the #CanPLTrophyChallenge on Twitter to help their fellow Hamiltonians celebrate with the hardware.
If you’re feeling left out and want to celebrate, you can for the small price of $13.99!
If you work in soccer in an organizational role, FC Business is must-read material. North Texas SC General Manager Matt Denny is interviewed in the latest edition.
Skip to page 20, after recognizing that page 18 shows Luton Town CEO Gary Sweet nominated for CEO of the year (Come on you Hatters!). Also, check out the great Tony Incenzo’s profile on Horsham FC.
What To Watch
It’s a short week with the international break coming, but there’s MLS Cup, USL Conference finals, some USWNT games, Germany’s Klassiker between Bayern and Dortmund, and unbeaten Liverpool hosting Man City in the Premiership.
Another thing I want to force upon ESPN+ subscribers is the FA Cup. To me, it’s the best cup competition in the world, and something the US Open Cup can aspire to be. The First Round Proper begins on Friday – after six qualifying rounds – with 644 non-league teams whittled down to 32 and ready to take on the 47 teams in League One and League Two.
Just getting to this stage and on TV can earn a non-league team as much as FC Dallas got for winning the US Open Cup in 2016. Giant killing acts and watching teams secure their futures is wonderful. The lowest-ranked team available to watch is Maldon & Tiptree of the Isthmian League North Division, the eighth tier of English soccer. Another eighth tier team is guaranteed a spot in the second round as Chichester City benefit from Bury’s expulsion from the Football League earlier this year.
Friday, November 8:
2:00PM – Dulwich Hamlet v Carlisle Utd (FA Cup) – ESPN+
9:00PM – Xolos v Monterrey (Liga MX) – FS2
Saturday, November 9:
6:30AM – Chelsea v Crystal Palace (EPL) – NBCSN
6:30AM – Nottingham Forest v Derby County (EFL-C) – ESPN+
8:30AM – Hertha Berlin v RB Leipzig (Bundesliga) – FS1
9:00AM – Valencia v Granada (La Liga) – beIN SPORTS
9:00AM – Maidenhead Utd v Rotherham Utd (FA Cup) – ESPN+
11:00AM – Inter Milan v RB Leipzig (Serie A) – ESPN+
11:30AM – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga) – FS2
2:00PM – Real Monarchs v El Paso Locomotive (USL-C West Final) – ESPN+
9:00PM – Leon v Toluca (Liga MX) – Univision / TUDN
Sunday, November 10:
6:00AM – Dover Athletic v Southend Utd (FA Cup) – ESPN+
6:45AM – Leyton Orient v Maldon & Tiptree (FA Cup) – ESPN+
6:45AM – Chippenham Town v Northampton Town (FA Cup) – ESPN+
8:00AM – Manchester Utd v Brighton (EPL) – NBCSN
10:30AM – Liverpool v Manchester City (EPL) – NBCSN
11:00AM – Parma v Roma (Serie A) – ESPNews
1:45PM – Juventus v AC Milan (Serie A) – ESPN+
2:00PM – Seattle Sounders v Toronto FC (MLS Cup) – ABC / TUDN / Univision
7:00PM – USWNT v Costa Rica (Friendly) – ESPN2 / TUDN