Welcome to the first Footy Digest Weekly, a roundup of the headlines, stories, and games you should follow, curated just for the Hudson River Blue community.
• The rumors from last week were true: Former New Jersey Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch is the new head coach of Leeds United, taking over for Marcelo Bielsa. The Guardian reports that “Jesse Marsch must fight US stereotypes as well as relegation at Leeds.” Word is Marsch wants to sign US international Djordje Mihailovic, who is currently at CF Montréal.
• Chelsea FC are for sale. We Ain’t Got No History reports that the asking price is “around £4 billion,” but the details are murky. Jacob Steinberg at the Guardian reports that owner Roman Abramovich will “write off £1.5 billion [in] loans” he made to the club, and that “proceeds will go to Ukraine war victims.” And if you believe that, I have a Stamford Bridge to sell you.
• This Sunday will see a clash at the top of Serie A table when first-place Napoli hosts second-place AC Milan. (See “Games to watch,” below.) The two sides are even on points (57), and wins, losses, and draws (17-4-6). Only Napoli’s goal differential (30) puts them above Milan (24). Napoli was drifting in recent weeks, drawing 17th-place Cagliari 1-1, but Nicky Bandini of the Guardian writes that a hard-fought win over Lazio last weekend gives them the momentum to “set up a seismic meeting with Milan.”
• New York City FC made national news when the club announced they signed midfielder Maximo Carrizo to a five-year contract on his 14th birthday—it’s the youngest First Team signing in MLS history.
• The broadcast schedule for the NWSL 2022 Challenge Cup was announced, and all six of Gotham FC’s group stage games will air live on Paramount+.
• Queensboro FC will launch a women’s team this summer that will play in the USL Championship, the league one tier below NWSL, reports All for XI reports. The head coach is former Sevilla FC player Nadia Caballero.
• Matt Turner is out with an injury, and isn’t training with the New England Revolution—the Bent Musket’s Sam Minton didn’t see him with his own eyes yesterday. Reports are the goalkeeper might not be match-fit for the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Mexico and Panama later this month. If that’s the case, we know a shot-stopper who’s ready to step up.
• Huston Dynamo signed Mexican international Hector Herrera from Atletico Madrid. Dustyn Richardson at Dynamo Theory reports that the 31-year-old midfielder will join Houston this summer after the end of the la Liga season
• NWSL expansion side Angel City FC sold 13,200 season tickets. The high-profile startup is the sister club of LAFC.
• Current Gotham FC defender Gina Lewandowski talks about the ‘B’ coaching license she earned through a player-to-coach pipeline launched last summer by the NWSL and the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association. All for XI reports that the free 24-week course set out to increase the number of women coaches in NWSL—currently, only five of the 12 teams are helmed by women.
• Turner Sports and HBO Max agree to an eight-year contract to broadcast U.S. Soccer games starting in 2023. Stars and Stripes reports that the rights cover over 20 United States National Soccer Team matches every year, including home FIFA World Cup qualifiers and friendlies for both the USMNT and USWNT. Every match will be live-streamed live on HBO Max, and a number will also be broadcast on TNT or TBS. It doesn’t include FIFA World Cup games, which will be broadcast by Fox through 2026.
• All for XI reports that US Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association reached an agreement to resolve their equal pay dispute for $24 million, ending the impasse that started in 2019.
• US Soccer will not play Russia in any capacity until “freedom and peace have been restored” in Ukraine.
#WeStandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/spRVx7NZbr— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) February 28, 2022
Games to watch
Saturday, March 5
Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga), 9:30 am ET — ESPN+
Rangers FC vs Aberdeen (Scottish Premiership), 10 am ET — ESPN+
Vancouver Whitecaps vs NYCFC (MLS), 6 pm ET — ESPN+, YES, YES App
Charlotte FC vs LA Galaxy (MLS), 7:30 pm ET — Fox
Sunday, March 6
Manchester City vs Manchester United (English Premier League), 11:30 am ET — USA
Napoli vs AC Milan (Serie A), 2:45 pm ET — Paramount+
LAFC vs Portland Timbers (MLS), 10 pm ET — ESPN+
Tuesday, March 8
Liverpool vs Inter Milan (Champions League), 3 pm ET — Paramount+
Bayern Munich vs Red Bull Salzburg (Champions League), 3 pm ET — Paramount+
NYCFC v Comunicacions FC (CONCACAF Champions League), 8 pm ET — FS1
Wednesday, March 9
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League), 3 pm ET — Paramount+
Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon (Champions League), 3 pm ET — Paramount+
Do you have suggestions for other articles NYCFC fans should read? Post a short description and a link in the comments below.