1. Chelsea and Arsenal to Play in Women's FA Cup Final

    4th May 2016.
    Last year, the Women's FA Cup saw a huge uptick of interest, with the championship match between Chelsea and Notts County drawing an attendance of 30,710. That crowd was the biggest in the history of the event, outstripping 2008's previously record-holding audience by more than 6,000 people. Even more impressive, the game more than doubled its audience from the 2014 final, which pitted Arsenal against Everton.

    Another Attendance Record?

    It's tough to see a scenario where the Women's FA Cup final doesn't get another major boost of attention this year. This season's championship match will pit reigning champions Chelsea against 13-time winners Arsenal-arguably the ultimate match-up in English women's football.

    The 2014/15 Women's FA Cup final drew so many people in part because it was the first time the game was played at Wembley Stadium. This year, with the championship match heading to Wembley

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  2. La Liga vs Premier League: Which Heavyweight Football Division is Stronger?

    2nd April 2016.
    Luis Suarez has enjoyed nothing but success since making the move from Liverpool to Barcelona ahead of the 2014/15 season. In his first campaign with Barca, Suarez won the treble and was a finalist for UEFA's Best Player in Europe Award. He also got to play alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar in what many have called one of the best front threes in football history. This season, meanwhile, the Uruguayan striker is duking it out with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo to be the La Liga's top scorer-all while hoping for a second treble in a row for Barcelona.

    With all of this success, it would be easy for Suarez to call his time in the Spanish La Liga the highlight of his career. Yet, in

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  3. A Preview of the FA Cup Semi-Finals

    It's been a thoroughly unpredictable season of football in the English Premier League, so it stands to reason that the 2015/16 FA Cup would take an unpredictable turn as well. Following a winding and at times bizarre season, the FA Cup exploded in a series of upsets and close calls in the quarterfinals. Now, with most of the tournament's supposed frontrunners eliminated and one replay match left to decide the full semi-final draw, we are going to take a look at what happened and what could happen going forward.

    The Tournament So Far

    At the outset of the 2015/16 FA Cup, most of the teams earned assumed frontrunner notices were the teams that always get those notices: Premier League giants like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United. After the third round-the first to feature most of the supposed top contenders-there was little reason to think that one of those "Big Four" clubs

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  4. Could the Premier League Lose Its Fourth Champions League Spot?

    Right now, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, and arguably even West Ham United are all battling to clinch one of the English Premier League's top four spots. As in previous years, the top four clubs in the division this season will qualify for the Champions League-with the top three earning entry into the group stage and the fourth-place club heading into the final play-off round.

    The race for these four slots is even more intense this year, given the fact that last year's EPL champion-Chelsea FC-has very little chance of qualifying for the Champions League. As such, clubs that haven't traditionally qualified for Europe's most prestigious tournament in the past-Leicester, Tottenham, and West Ham are getting ever close to breaking the cycle in 2016.

    But what if England didn't get four spots in the Champions League? Recent rumors have suggested that the Premier League could, at some point in the not-too-distant future, be

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  5. Football Without Fans: Are Clubs Pricing Their Supporters out of the Market?

    When Manchester United faced off against Midtjylland for the first leg of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League, in many ways, the game was an important one. The Red Devils were looking to save face, after a disappointing season in the Premier League and an early exit from the Champions League; these troubles have left the once-dominant English heavyweights looking almost weak. The Europa League could prove to be United's last shot at a trophy for the 2015/16 campaign.

    And yet, there was a least one thing missing from United's big round of 32 game: Manchester United fans.

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    The Manchester United Boycott

    Indeed, as has been reported in publications all throughout Europe, Manchester United supporters planned a boycott

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  6. Can Chelsea Overcome Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League

    After a more than two-month break, the UEFA Champions League has resumed with the first leg of the round of 16. For Chelsea FC, the return to the high-profile tournament was something of a moment of truth. Despite a dismal autumn performance in the English Premier League, the Blues managed to fight their way to the top of their group in the Champions League, winning four of their six games and edging out Dynamo Kyiv, Porto, and Maccabi Tel Aviv for the honor. Sure, Chelsea's group, Group G, was one of the easier ones in the competition, but in a period where any win was a landmark for the football club, qualifying for the round of 16 was nothing short of a miracle.

    Theoretically, winning their group should have given Chelsea an easier draw for the round of 16. Instead, the Blues were drawn against reigning French champs, Paris Saint Germain, who finished second to Real Madrid in Group A. PSG have been borderline unstoppable in the Ligue 1 this season and are widely expected to win

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  7. Can Leicester City Win the Premier League?

    Leicester City lost a game last weekend, falling 1-2 against Arsenal, but the defeat barely seemed to matter. The Foxes remain the highest ranked team in the Premier League, and as the weeks go on, it's becoming increasingly probable that they will at very least contend for the top-flight title in 2016. Such a victory would be a game-changer for the EPL, not because this has been a great or even particularly good season for English soccer, but because it would further challenge the idea of the Premier League's virtual "class system."

    Since the English Premier League began with the 1992/93 football season, the division has crowned 23 champions. The 2015/16 campaign will mark the 24th Premier League winner. However, despite the fact that this league has now persisted for nearly a quarter of a century, the number of different soccer clubs to actually hoist the trophy remains a very small figure. Indeed, 23 seasons in, only five different teams have won the Premier

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  8. The Rise of Chinese Football

    Are we witnessing the birth of a new football superpower? Just a few years ago, Chinese league football play was little more than a footnote. With the Premier League, the La Liga, the Bundesliga, the Serie A, and the Ligue 1-not to mention other increasingly competitive divisions like the Dutch Eredivisie-what was there to draw players to China? And without the star players, what did China have to draw international audiences?

    In the past few weeks, though, it's become clear that ignoring the Chinese Super League might not be an option for much longer. This week alone, there are numerous high-profile headlines pertaining to Chinese football. There's the Daily Star article about how current Paris Saint Germain star (and major Chelsea target) Ezequiel Lavezzi could make a move to China at the end of the season, instead of moving to the Premier League. There's the Telegraph piece about how Chinese President Xi

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  9. With His Departure from Manchester City Confirmed, What is Next for Manuel Pellegrini?

    You can't blame Manchester City for jumping at the chance to hire Pep Guardiola as their new head coach for the 2015/16 season. The Spaniard is viewed as arguably the greatest football manager alive, and judging by his work at FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he is going to do great things in the Premier League.

    Still, Man City's current manager, Manuel Pellegrini, deserves a thank you from fans and a commendation from the club for turning the Sky Blues into one of the best squads in English soccer. Since taking over at Etihad Stadium in 2013, Pellegrini has coached the football club to one Premier League title, one runner-up finish in the Premier League, and one League Cup. He's kept his win percentage right around a very respectable 64%, and could deliver yet another top-flight title for Manchester City this season. Under any other circumstances, Man City probably would have adopted the "if it ain't

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  10. Is Massimiliano Allegri Heading to Chelsea?

    When was the last time this many major, league-winning managers were in the market for new jobs? Between Chelsea's December sacking of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola's decision to leave Bayern Munich for Manchester City at the end of the season, there is a lot of upheaval going on in the top-flight coaching markets right now.

    Unsurprisingly, all of that upheaval is leading to some pretty big rumors about where various big-name coaches are going to end up in 2015/16. Guardiola has already been appointed at Man City, and Carlo Ancelotti has taken over Guardiola's old Bayern Munich job. But the Guardiola move displaced Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho is still in the market for a new job, and Louis van Gaal could be on the lookout soon, as well.

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    Allegri's Exodus

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