Outside the Box: Smalling, Selfies, and subs

MLS Cup is going to be Seattle and Toronto for the third time in four years, and hopefully it will be better than the last two were, but I wanted to start off with some fine sportsmanship from our favorite Swede.

When LAFC won the most important El Trafico so far, Zlatan got in a few rows after the game before facing the media. When asked about his future, he gave this gem.

Well former Galaxy star Mike Magee ‘members…

I’m a fan of what Ibrahimovic brings to MLS but at a club I worked for an old friend who used to do just about every task to get a game on would say ‘If I leave tomorrow someone will replace me. They might not do as good a job, but it’ll still get done.’ The Paxton Pomykals of the world will gladly take some of the attention and money that’s being showered on him currently, and do more for the long term prospects of MLS.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

We’ve seen some bizarre yellow cards handed out but at least you can understand this one. In a charity game between an Israel XI and Brazilian XI, referee Lilach Asulin stops play with Kaka dribbling the ball. She pulls out the yellow card much to everyone’s confusion until a phone follows. Well played.

Small Hands

Speaking of dodgy yellow cards, Chris Smalling had good reason to complain about the one he received last week in the Europa League. With Roma leading in stoppage time, the ball hits the arm of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus before hitting Smalling in the face. The referee gives a penalty for a phantom handball on the former Manchester United defender and dishes out a yellow for good measure. Without the benefit of VAR, Roma concede the 96th minute penalty.

It hasn’t been all bad for Smalling in the Italian capital after he scored in yesterday’s 4-0 win over Udinese.

Don’t Cross The Line

From one spot kick without the luxury of video review to one given by VAR. Holstein Kiel midfieler Michael Eberwein made his debut yesterday in a cup loss but his first touch is one he’ll want to to forget. Last week, as an unused sub, Eberwein stopped a wayward shot but gets to it before it’s fully crossed the line. The box score read 0 minutes, 1 PK allowed and 1 yellow card.

Away Daze

Staying in Germany with fellow 2. Bundesliga club Dynamo Dresden. Check this out.


What an atmosphere! But as the title alluded to, those aren’t the home fans. Dresden took 35,000 fans on a 250 mile round trip to their DFB Pokal second round game at Hertha Berlin. The pyro, that tifo, the noise *Alexi Lalas set-piece thrills*. Dynamo didn’t quite upset Hertha, losing on penalties after a 3-3 tie but an away trip like that can’t be spoiled by the result.

The Old Lady in a New Frock

The Old Lady, Bianconeri, Zebras, whatever you want to call Juventus, they’ve not quite looked right this year. The new half-and-half jerseys are designed to make the fans become the famous stripes of N̶o̶t̶t̶s̶ ̶C̶o̶u̶n̶t̶y̶ Juventus but they just look off. They teamed up with adidas and British skater brand Palace to bring in some stripes in a rather ‘out there’ fourth kit. Lime green and dayglo orange are an interesting combination but it makes for a fun kit.

Boy Wonder

Nothing FC Dallas related to share this week but let’s take a moment to mark the brilliance of Christian Pulisic. He became the youngest Chelsea player to score a hat-trick, albeit it a long way off the English top flight record a then-16-year-old Trevor Francis set in 1971 as he scored four goals for Birmingham City against Bolton. For good measure, Michael Owen has the record for youngest hat-trick scorer since the Premier League took top spot in 1992, he scored three hat-tricks before his 19th birthday.

Although he did score a ‘perfect’ hat-trick with goals on both feet and the head.

He’s the fourth youngest to pull of that feat since 1992.

Robbie Fowler managed it twice, and Romelu Lukaku did it a week after turning 20 in 2013.

What To Watch

Some nice Dallas connections with more U-17 World Cup action featuring Ricardo Pepi and Nico Carrera, and former FCD academy kid Weston McKennie playing former FCD midfielder Carlos Gruezo as their Schalke and Augsburg teams face off. There’s also a Turin Derby, some Champions League action, and another chance to watch my hometown Luton Town.

Saturday, November 2:
7:30AM – Bournemouth v Manchester Utd (EPL) – NBCSN
9:00AM – Roma v Napoli (Serie A) – ESPNews
10:00AM – Levante v Barcelona (La Liga) – beIN SPORTS
10:00AM – Luton Town v Nottingham Forest (EFL-C) – ESPN+
12:30PM – W*tford v Chelsea (EPL) – NBCSN
2:45PM – Torino v Juventus (Serie A) – ESPN+
3:00PM – Real Madrid v Real Betis (La Liga) – beIN SPORTS
6:00PM – Netherlands v USA (U-17 World Cup) – FS2

Sunday, November 3
:7:00AM – Villareal v Athletic Bilbao (La Liga) – beIN SPORTS9:00AM – Everton v Tottenham (EPL) – NBCSN11:00AM – FC Augsburg v Schalke 04 (Bundesliga) – FS2

Tuesday, November 5:
12:00PM – Barcelona v Slavia Prague (UCL) – TNT / TUDN
2:00PM – Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan (UCL) – B/R Live / TUDN / UniMas
2:00PM – Chelsea v Ajax (UCL) – B/R Live

Wednesday, November 6:
12:00PM – Bayern Munich v Olympiakos (UCL) – TNT / Galavision
2:00PM – Real Madrid v Galatasaray (UCL) – TNT / TUDN / UniMas
2:00PM – Atalanta v Manchester City (UCL) – B/R Live

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