Sam’s Safe Space for Soccer Stoolies
Bundesliga is BACK and it only took one week for Bayern to remind everyone who the big swinging SCHWANZ in ze German soccer factory is. Oh well, not ideal but we still got plenty of live soccer to temporarily tantalize our taste buds… and the best news of the week is that the rest of the major leagues*** also cemented plans to get back after it sooner rather than later:
La Liga – June 11
Premier League – June 17
Serie A – June 20
As for soccer a little closer to home, the NWSL unveiled plans for a month-long tournament that will start on June 27 and will be played behind closed doors in Utah, while there is a lot of talk about MLS doing some sort of (perhaps abbreviated) competition in Orlando but the details have not been finalized nor has a timeframe been set.
So are we all up to speed? Good. Great! GRAND! For now let’s focus on the games on deck this weekend…
Scores from the midweek:
That leaves the table looking like this:
TITLE RACE: I would love to sit here and tell you that the race is alive and well. Alas, Bayern are in the driver’s seat after sneaking away with a 1-0 that turned on crap goalkeeping
and an inexplicable missed penalty call
Alas, that is just how the cookie crumbles sometimes/every year in Germany… unfortunately the only hope for the rest of the league is for Bayern to stumble BADLY down the stretch. Impossible? No. Improbable. Sadly. At least the battle for top four should be kinda interesting. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.
RELEGATION BATTLE: The more intriguing battle is shaping up to be at the ass end of the table where this season’s dregs of Bundesliga society have all started playing like with the kind of edge that comes with knowing you are in danger of getting the drop. In fact all of the bottom four picked up points in the midweek games, although all settled for draws except for a crucial win by the suddenly hot Dusseldorf.
And finally this weekend’s schedule:
PICKS OF THE WEEKEND
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT: I barely know what tf I am talking about. Fade away.
David Wagner is very likely the only person on the planet (apart from maybe Jeff Bezos and Chinese N95 mask manufacturers) who is LOVING this whole coronavirus thing… because if not for Schalke’s inability to find a replacement he would have been out on his ass weeks ago. The club has been straight up terrible lately, despite a lot of good shifts put in From Weston McKennie, with their biggest problems being giving up some soft goals but more importantly – as an outside observer – having zero strikers worth a shit. Suffice to say that Werder are catching Schalke at a good time, both because the latter has been sucking a fatty and Werder have shown a little spunk lately. I’m not saying that is because they finally got around to playing our beautiful bouncing baby ginger genius… but I’m not not saying that either.
Schalke have been so bad of late that they are quickly fading away from any hope of grabbing a European spot while Werder’s ass is still very much on the hot seat. Based on form alone it’d be hard not to like the upset… but I feel like Schalke have been playing a little better than the results suggest if they can just find some damn goals. Gimme them and another goal for the world’s classiest junkyard dog.
Prediction: Schalke to win 2-1
Bayern’s results have been brilliant but their performances have not been incredible. Am I grasping at straws hoping they stumble in order to make things a little more interesting? Yes, yes I am. But them odds is some big numbers and the first rule of playing the lottery is you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket… and daddy needs a new set of snow tires – so forgive me if I am successfully convinced myself that Bayern coming off a huge win against a hungry Dusseldorf feels like it has trap game potential…
Prediction: 1-1 draw
RB Leipzig [+325]
RBL looked like they were ready to remind everybody that they should be mentioned in the same breath as Dortmund when it comes to having an outside shot at catching Bayern after they put an absolute shellacking on Mainz last weekend… then they got tripped up by drawing with Hertha – albeit a Hertha that has looked surprisingly good coming out of the break. Long story short the club has looked good all season but keeps settling for too many draws to be a real title threat. They are still a big threat to everybody not named Bayern, though, and Koln went from being terrible to white hot and now appears to be back to terrible again. They thankfully racked up enough points in the middle of the season to basically ensure safety from relegation but may also suffer from a mild case of Evertinitis (eg, a slight lack of motivation that comes with being solidly mid-table near the end of the season).
Prediction: RBL to win 3-1
Some more predictions (to increase the possibility that I eventually get one right – maybe):
• Mainz 0-2 HOFFENHEIM
• Wolfsburg 2-2 Eintracht
• HERTHA 2-1 Augsburg
• GLADBACH 1-0 Frankfurt
• Paderborn 2-2 DORTMUND (note: 4-2 BVB if The Babyjesus Jr starts)
I hate to say it as a longtime hardcore Seoul FC fan… but that damn Jeonbuk Motors squad are a frickin machine. Three wins in three games having only conceded a single goal.
Are the three-time defending champions gonna get tripped up somewhere along the way? I don’t know, but – no offense to Jeonbuk – I hope so because nothing gets the juices flowing quite like a legitimate K-League title race, amirite?
So there we have it. Soccer is back and it feels good. Just gotta hold out a couple more weeks because the window from mid-June through the end of August (when Champions League could tentatively be finishing up) is looking like we could be in for another Summer of Soccer. These last couple months have sucked, no doubt, but things are looking up, boys and girls!
Says the guy who got dragged on social media by Tulsa FC. Dang, You hate to see it. Ah well, you win some and you lose some.