Roundup: Championship Weekend, MLS Action, & Trailblazing In France

Fire Gaffer looks to right the ship - Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Final day in English top flight, Chicago’s next chance at points on the road, and new gaffer in Ligue 2

All down to this

The final day of the EPL season is sure to be an exciting, and nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. As has been tradition for the last few seasons, the Barclay’s Premier League champion will be decided on its final day. At the moment it is a two horse race with Manchester City just two points ahead of second place Liverpool, but both teams have interesting matchups that can lead to an improbable finish. . All EPL matches kickoff at the same time, and will all be broadcast on the NBC family of networks. There will be lots of flipping back and forth on that remote of yours.

Cardiff v. Chelsea: Cardiff City has already been confirmed to be relegated to the Championship next season, but it’s not to say that they’ll roll over for third place Chelsea. Cardiff will be playing for pride as they sing their swan song in the top flight, while Chelsea will look to finish the season strong, despite a disappointing last few matches in the league, as well as a semifinal exit from Champions League.

Manchester City v. West Ham United: Manchester City will be looking to close out the EPL title against the Hammers, with already two point clear in first, and a heavy goal differential in their favor. West Ham however will have their opportunity to play giant killer if they can pull off a shock result against the Citizens

Arsenal v. Norwich: With Arsenal already locked for a Champions League spot, all pressure turns to Norwich who are not only battling the gunners, but battling relegation as well. Norwich are three points from safety, but even then would have them in a tie with West Bromwich Albion, leaving Norwich to make up a hefty goal differential. This may be the end of top-flight football for the Canaries, at least for now.

Major League Soccer action

Plenty of action coming up this weekend in Major League Soccer, with eight teams coming off of a midweek match this past Wednesday. Houston, Columbus, Seattle, FC Dallas, San Jose, and Colorado all had regular league play while Vancouver and Montreal will get back to MLS play after their midweek Canadian Championship fixtures.

Coming off a disappointing loss at home to Real Salt Lake, the Chicago Fire will look to secure away points from a surging New York Red Bulls squad that seem to have found a whole new level of confidence within their squad. With Tim Cahill nursing an injury a few weeks back, Bradley Wright-Phillips assumed the starting striker role aside Thierry Henry and hasn’t looked back since. His production has made it tough for Mike Petke to remove him from the starting XI, even with Cahill back from injury. It’ll be interesting to see how the Fire deal with New York’s offensive threats, especially when Fire gaffer Frank Yallop has hinted at more changes in the lineup. With the Fire’s back line still needing tweaking, let’s hope they can find the formation and personnel that will see the Fire leaving Red Bull Arena with an away point, or dare I even say, an away WIN?

French trailblazers

French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot 63 have appointed Portuguese manager Helena Costa to head the club next season. Costa will become the first female manager to coach a French professional club. Costa has an impressive coaching résumé with coaching stints within the Benfica system as well as managing the women’s national teams of Qatar and Iran. Costa also served as a scout for Glasgow Celtic. The news made waves in local and global media outlets, as there is a scarcity of female leaders in men's football. Female referees have become more common in the lower leagues in Europe, but this is undoubtedly a significant step forward in world football.

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