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More praise for Vlatko Andonovski, tactical previews of TFC vs. Atlanta

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Election Campaign - Closing Event Photo by Carlos Tischler/Getty Images

There’s plenty of Sounders/LAFC coverage elsewhere on the site so we won’t revisit that wonderful result here, but the other contestant for the MLS Cup will be determined tonight, so let’s look at the tactical previews from both sides, before fawning a bit more over Vlatko Andonovski and looking at some of the recent action in Europe. Plus there’s a lot of exciting soccer on TV today!

MLS

Tactical Preview: Atlanta United battles Toronto FC for chance at MLS Cup - Dirty South Soccer
Who will be kinged champions of the East?

Toronto FC’s keys to success: cooling down Atlanta United FC - Waking The Red
Atlanta United looks like an unstoppable force so far, but what are the keys to bringing their run to a screeching halt?

Prekrap MLS Playoffs: Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC - kings must be crowned before becoming legends - Dirty South Soccer
I’m mostly happy I didn’t have to write half of this article about playing soccer in a baseball stadium.

2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Preview: Toronto FC @ Atlanta United - Waking The Red
Last year’s Champions host the 2017-winning Reds with a place in the 2019 MLS Cup Final on the line.

NWSL / Women’s soccer

Move over Marta, your heir-apparent has arrived. Debinha’s NWSL Championship MVP showed Brazil its women’s soccer future - SBNation.com
Debinha’s evolution into a complete player won her an NWSL Championship MVP trophy, and showed how the Brazil women’s national team can build its future.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. has their midfielder of the future to build around in Debinha’s North Carolina teammate. Sam Mewis is ready to become the USWNT’s next midfield general - All For XI
Sam Mewis has all the tools to become one of the most dominant midfielders the game has ever seen.

The worst part of the off-season might not be the lack of games, but the departure of players you’ve grown attached to. URFC Roundtable: Which players stay and go? - RSL Soapbox
In this Utah Royals FC Roundtable, with a potential expansion in 2020, waivers, and possible trades (Oh my!), we’ve been wondering this week: Which players return? Which do not return next season?

The Thorns GM might have let slip some of the roster rules changes voted on by owners earlier this week, such as multiyear deals. Ellie Carpenter gets extended; big signing targets promised for the Thorns - Stumptown Footy
A small-to-medium sized shakeup is on the immediate horizon for the team after going out in the semifinals.

Melbourne City FC re-signs three W-League stars | Melbourne City FC
Two familiar names from Reign FC return to Melbourne City during the NWSL off-season.

Vlatko Andonovski could be just what the USA women need to stay on top | The Guardian
It’s been a meteoric rise for the 43-year-old Macedonian, unknown outside Kansas City until a few years ago, but he may be the perfect choice to succeed Jill Ellis as USA manager.

Vlatko Andonovski is the most common sense hire possible for the USWNT
Vlatko Andonovski will keep everything you loved about Jill Ellis, and add a dash of tactical sophistication.

Vlatko Andonovski backs USWNT players’ equal pay lawsuit
“I’m very respectful of the drive, of the push that the players have,” Andonovski said in his first news conference as the new head coach of the U.S. women’s soccer team.

World soccer

I’m sure that €75k fine will teach them a lesson. Bulgaria ordered to play one game behind closed doors over racism | The Guardian
Bulgaria have been fined and ordered by UEFA to play their next competitive home game behind closed doors after the racist chanting which marred the Euro 2020 qualifier with England.

Crawley’s Gabriele Cioffi: ‘If you go the dictatorial way you will be a loser’ | The Guardian
Crawley Town have knocked out Norwich and Stoke and met Colchester on Tuesday for a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals – and their much-travelled Italian manager is enjoying the ride.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard says dropping youngsters is only for ‘flip-floppers’ | The Guardian
The Chelsea manager backed his young players after an opening defeat at Manchester United.

Granit Xhaka ‘devastated and sad’ after Crystal Palace game, says Unai Emery | The Guardian
The Arsenal captain’s situation remains unresolved as the club give him time to recover his frame of mind.

The sound you just heard is hundreds of data analysts simultaneously snapping open their laptops and firing up R. A public data set of spatio-temporal match events in soccer competitions | Scientific Data
The largest-ever open collection of soccer logs has been released, containing all the spatio-temporal events (passes, shots, fouls, etc.) that occurred during each match for an entire season of seven prominent soccer competitions.

Report: 2021 Club World Cup to be played in China - Stars and Stripes FC
Who’s ready to visit Beijing?

Si la gente me lo pide, sería Presidente de México en 2024: Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Spanish)
Cuauhtémoc Blanco, ex-footballer and Governor of Morelos, has thought about the presidency of Mexico and declared that if people want, he would gladly participate in the elections of 2024.

Japanese football team scores two goals from halfway in 90 seconds | The Guardian
A goal from behind the halfway line is a rare sight in football – however there were two in 90 seconds in the Japanese second division.

What’s on TV?

11:00 AM: Valencia vs. Sevilla (La Liga) — beIN Sports

11:00 AM: Napoli vs. Atalanta (Serie A) — ESPN+

11:00 AM: Twente vs. Wolfsburg (UEFA Women’s Champions League) — MyCujoo.tv

12:30 PM: Liverpool vs. Arsenal (League Cup) — ESPN+

12:45 PM: Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (League Cup) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Caligari vs. Bologna (Serie A) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Juventus vs. Genoa (Serie A) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Lazio vs. Torino (Serie A) — ESPN Deportes

1:00 PM: Sampdoria vs. Lecce (Serie A) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Sassuolo vs. Fiorentina (Serie A) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Udinese vs. Roma (Serie A) — ESPN+

1:00 PM: Korea Republic vs. France (U-17 World Cup) — FS2

1:05 PM: Chelsea vs. Manchester United (League Cup) — ESPN+

1:15 PM: Real Madrid vs. Leganés (La Liga) — beIN Sports

4:00 PM: USMNT vs. Japan (U-17 World Cup) — FS2

5:00 PM: Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC (MLS playoffs) — FS1

6:00 PM: Pachuca vs. Monterrey (Liga MX) — ESPN Deportes

8:00 PM: Tigres UANL vs. Toluca (Liga MX) — ESPN Deportes

Plus NCAA men’s and women’s soccer on ESPN+, with kickoffs from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.