Many congrats to Tanguy Ndombele on his very important Hoddle debut!
Ramble of the Day
Now a yearly occurrence, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle likes to anonymously survey Major League Soccer players. As always, there was a host of questions only players in the league could answer, such as thoughts on the new playoff format and which away trips they like the least, mixed in this year with some more general questions, like their preference between Drake and Kanye West.
The results of the polls are always interesting, but what makes the piece more interesting are the quotes Carlisle includes from just a fraction of the players who answered. It makes for great fodder for MLS observers, and as I recently figured out, a decent Hoddle topic.
- On the question of worst away trip, one player said the New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium was the worst to play in. “New England. Terrible turf. Tom Brady world. Trader Joes and Bass Pro Shops,” he said in what I found to be a funny summary of his experience.
- Players were asked about their pre-match routines, and one player had an extremely unique answer. “I watch the same YouTube video before every game. Eden Hazard, the dribbling machine.” It’s a three year old video that is 16 minutes long. I have no idea how this player can watch this video that many times.
- One player said Los Angeles FC’s home kit was the best in the league, describing it as “the bad boy look.” Feel free to tell me what about this looks “bad boy”:
- The players were asked about who their favorite superhero was, and one answered with a superhero he doesn’t really love: “As a kid I really liked the Flash, but his movies are trash so I don’t know if I like him anymore. I’m gonna go with the Flash.”
- On the question of the television show they’re binging, one said The Office, calling it “realistic.” What about any major event in any episode of the show is realistic?
- The players had to choose between burgers and tacos. One chose burgers because tacos are “too soggy,” and I worry for this person that he’s never had a good taco in his life. Also: where is he getting them from?
There’s other interesting stuff in there that’s worth clicking on it. Like I said, the quotes are the best part.
tl;dr: Just a few weird MLS players.
Links of the Day
Bolton fielded mostly youth and development players in a friendly against York on Sunday, as the club only has seven players on contract.
Transfer updates: Barcelona has signed Antoine Griezmann from Atlético Madrid and Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers; Sheffield United has signed Callum Robinson from Preston North End; Valencia has signed Maxi Gómez from Celta Vigo; Inter has signed Nicolò Barella from Cagliari; Juventus has signed Cristian Romero and loaned him back to Genoa
Today’s longer read: Bill Plaschke on the Downtown Los Angeles Soccer Club’s girls team as they fight a system that has systemically kept out Latinas from the sport’s highest levels in the US for the Los Angeles Times