American soccer fans are feeling a bit of anxiety at the moment. Fresh off a Gold Cup disaster, the USMNT has a chance to sneak into the 2017 Confederations Cup with a playoff win over hated Mexico. But considering the play we've seen from the Yanks lately, you won't find too many optimistic fans. So, how can we get that attitude turned around? By obsessing over irrelevant historical statistics!
USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has faced El Tri 10 times as a player and coach, and the Mexicans are still looking for their first win. And it's not like Klinsmann padded his stats with a vastly superior German team — six of those games have come during his tenure stateside, including the Americans' first win at El Azteca. Klinsmann has even put up a couple of dos-a-cero scorelines along the way. So if you're looking for a reason to feel good, this is pretty much it.
"We're definitely lucky to get to play soccer and do what we've always been passionate about and loved," declares Major League Soccer defender Ty Harden, who has been on five teams in five years. "At the same time, it's a job and there are a lot of parts and aspects that we don't love to do and are difficult. People kind of forget that sometimes. Fitting into a team and realizing that we're people with families and other concerns as well is definitely understated."
Liverpool has had a rough go of it lately, the happiest recent memory being a high-flying 2013-14 season that ended in bitter disappointment. In an attempt to bring the good times back to Anfield, Fenway Sports Group has hired former Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp to replace Brendan Rodgers, which for those who might be Premier League illiterate and are more comfortable with SEC football analogies, is like bringing in Nick Saban to replace Mike Shula. If Klopp can't turn Liverpool around, can anyone?
What's happening in The A?
The Falcons are having a good year, so everyone's ready to hand out quarter-season awards. The Falcoholic picks Julio Jones as the team's MVP so far, and the AJC is leaving it up to a fan vote — no surprise, Julio is winning there, too.