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The "New" Face of USSF? | Case of the Mondays

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Gaby Kirschner
Gaby Kirschner

Here's who's having the worst Case of the Mondays this morning.

EVERYONE IN THE USSF PRES RACE EXCEPT CORDIERO

After a long and arduous process that is pretty difficult to follow or understand, Carlos Cordiero — former Goldman Sachs man and former president Gulati’s hand-picked Vice President — was named Gulati’s successor as United States Soccer Federation president.

He’s no Kathy Carter, who was widely regarded as the most establishment candidate, but he’s certainly no Eric Wynalda. He was not a part of the “Change ” coalition that fell apart before it begun. And his appointment seemed to disappoint fans, who were hoping for somewhat of a revolution following the Men’s National Team’s failures this year — but, of course, fans don’t really get a say in this thing.

This was the platform he ran on: “Aim higher.” A focus on all levels of play, all types of people who want to play. It’s a lofty list, and time will tell how much he follows through.

ARSENAL

Arsenal may have won the 2017-18 North London Derbies 2-1 on aggregate, but they lost this weekend’s edition 1-0 thanks to who else but Harry Kane. And it’s a scoreline that flatters Arsenal; they were completely dominated, quite lucky not to concede many more.

The result kept them in — womp, womp — sixth. And with Tottenham and Liverpool both winning at the weekend, the Gunners sit five points behind Chelsea in fifth, seven behind Tottenham in fourth and nine behind Liverpool in third. That might not seem like an insurmountable difference, but Arsenal are just not consistent enough; and frankly, they’re not better than the five teams in front of them.

Plus, they still have to play Manchester City — twice in a row, counting the League Cup final — as well as Manchester United. And the remaining games against teams lower than them, well, their recent result against Swansea points to those matches not exactly being cake walks either.

Surely they won’t drop lower, as Burnley are nine points back in seventh, but a sixth place finish is pretty bad. Would even a trophy, albeit that of the League Cup, be enough for Wenger to keep his job?

MANCHESTER UNITED

Elsewhere in the Premier League, the 1-0 scoreline haunted another team: Manchester United. Except their result came not at the hands of mighty Tottenham, whose stature this year at least makes a loss at their ground somewhat respectable, the Premier League second-place team fell to a Newcastle United team who haven’t won in the league since New Years Day.

Maybe — just maybe — instead of subbing Paul Pogba early again, Jose Mourinho should consider playing him at a role he’ll thrive in rather than as a defensive midfielder? A player’s price tag is meaningless if they’re set up to fail.

Will Manchester United finish in the top four? Almost definitely. Does it matter if they finish second or fourth? Not really. But pride is at stake, and with Liverpool closing the gap, these are points that United don’t want to be dropping.

LAZIO

Lazio may have gotten to celebrate the lead they held over Napoli for almost a full half, but when they let it slip they really let it slip.

They went ahead in just the third minute and Napoli didn’t equalize until the 43rd, but when the second half begun it only took them 9 minutes to fall behind 2-1 – and then two more minutes for them to fall behind by 2. One more from Mertens in the 73rd ensured a 4-1 loss for the Roman club. Talk about scoring too early.

Inter Milan and Roma both won, too, which catapulted them into third and fourth respectively; Napoli themselves jumped over Juventus into first; and Lazio was left behind in the dust of fifth.

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