• Eight Big Winners in 2015: Club and Country
    Four of FIFA's six confederations, including our own Concacaf, crowned national team champions. Midway through the year came the seventh Women's World Cup. And a rather well-known team won the Club World Cup earlier this month. Those champs, and a pair Western Hemisphere victors, comprise our Eight Big Winners of 2015.
  • Top Four Gone: Chelsea Still Showing Relegation Form
    Chelsea's recovery under Guus Hiddink began over the busy Christmas period with a pair of draws: 2-2 at home to Watford and 0-0 away to Manchester United. On the face of it, the United draw looks much the better result, but a quick glance at the Premier League table reveals that Watford is just one point below the sixth-place Red Devils at the midway point in a strange season. Chelsea, of course, is 14th-and a measly three points above the relegation zone with 20 points after 19 games. When you multiply that total by two, you get 40, which is …
  • Van Gaal defiant as Manchester United remains without alternative
    First, there was speculation that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal would lose his job if the Red Devils lost to Stoke City or Chelsea in the post-Christmas week. Then after United lost to Stoke, 2-0, on Saturday, the speculation was that van Gaal would lost his job if United lost to Chelsea on Monday. Well, United didn't lose.
  • Van Gaal rants as speculation about Manchester United future mounts
    In a coaching career that has taken him to Ajax, Barcelona (twice), AZ, Bayern Munich and Manchester United and the Dutch national team (also twice), Louis van Gaal has never suffered fools lightly. But none of his rants was quite like the tirade he went on at Wednesday's press conference that lasted all of three questions and less than five minutes before he walked away.
  • Platini faces long shot on appeal: how bin Hamman case doesn't help him
    Michel Platini's last chance to rescue his FIFA presidential bid will depend on whether he can convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the decision of FIFA's ethics committee to ban him for eight years for multiple violations of the FIFA ethics code related to a $2 million payment he received from FIFA in 2011. Platini not only has to win the case, he has to do so before Jan. 26, the final date for candidates to be confirmed for the FIFA president election a month later.
  • Blatter, Platini to Go Down Fighting
    FIFA's ethics committee on Monday banned suspended duo Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from all soccer -elated activities for eight years each following an investigation into a $2 million payment that UEFA president Platini received from FIFA president Blatter in 2011.
  • Why Hiddink is Right to Demand Reassurances on Chelsea Job
    Guus Hiddink on Friday confirmed that he's in talks with Chelsea about possibly replacing departed former manager Jose Mourinho, but the Dutchman says he wants "insight" into just how the situation at Stamford Bridge got to be so bad. Wouldn't we all?
  • Second fall of Mourinho much harder than the first
    Seldom, if ever, has a defending top-tier champion lurched out of the gate and labored so futilely week after week, month after month. A 2-1 loss to surprise leader Leicester City last weekend left Chelsea in 16th place and just a point above the relegation zone, and as of Thursday without a manager.
  • Platini and his lawyers do him no favors
    With the holiday season coming and their 90-day suspensions set to expire soon thereafter, we're heading to the finish line in the cases of Sepp Blatter and Michael Platini, whose hearings before the FIFA ethics committee are scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Blatter will be there, but Platini is boycotting the proceedings.
  • The compelling evolution of Andres Iniesta
    Andres Iniesta voiced his displeasure after Barcelona coughed up a two-goal lead against Deportivo during its last La Liga game before Christmas, speaking as the undisputed leader of the 21st century's best soccer team, a response and designation few would have predicted for the shy boy from a small town.
  • Time's Up: Mourinho Turns on His Players
    Defending Premier League champion Chelsea fell to a ninth defeat in 16 league matches this year as Leicester City moved to the top of the table with a 2-1 on Monday night. It's hard to tell which is more astonishing: the fact that Leicester leads the Premier League table heading into the hectic Christmas period, or that Jose Mourinho's Blues are now 16th, just one point above the relegation zone.
  • Platini's Euro dream descends into a nightmare
    In 1984, France hosted the European Championship in the pinnacle moment of Michel Platini's playing career. He scored in all five games, nine goals in all, as the Bleus won their first major championship. Their 3-2 comeback win over Portugal in the semifinals is one of the great games in modern history. In 2010, Platini's dream of returning the European Championship to France was fulfilled when France was chosen to host the 2016 finals. But Platini won't be attending Saturday's draw.
  • Belgian surprise joins behemoths in Champions League knockout stage
    The dominance of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid continues unabated. Arsenal makes a great escape in Greece, Gent is living large on a modest budget, and Manchester United tantalizes its fans before crashing out in Germany while Wolfsburg makes history.
  • Van Gaal's case for progress at Man United is a joke
    A day after Manchester United's 3-2 loss to Wolfsburg, its exit from the UEFA Champions League looks even worse. Chelsea and Arsenal both advanced after Manchester City had already won its group, leaving United as the only EPL team to fail to get out of its group. The exit left United manager Louis van Gaal preparing for life in the Europa League and the inevitable discussion of why he should be fired.
  • Alohagate, U.S. Soccer's black eye and just what is its mission?
    U.S. Soccer's Victory Tour, intended to celebrate the 2015 Women's World Cup championship, blew up in its face when Sunday's game against Trinidad & Tobago at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium was canceled. Millions of Americans will remember soccer in 2015 for the U.S. women's thrilling run to the world title in Canada, but for thousands of Hawaiians waiting for the first international match on the islands, soccer in 2015 will be remembered for Alohagate.
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