Soccer Around the World Gears Up for Finals

While there are no international competitions, including the Olympics, to look forward to this summer on the men’s side, we do have major soccer nearly every day with European leagues back in action and the MLS gearing up.

Different Year, Same Result

The German Bundesliga finishes this weekend after returning to play May 16. For the eighth year running, Bayern Munich has already clinched the championship, while Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig will head to the Champions League with them. Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen are battling for the final spot, while Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim will take the other two Europa League slots.

Paderborn has already been relegated and will be joined by either Werder Bremen or Dusseldorf, while the other heads to a relegation playoff. Bayern Munich will face Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal Final on July 4 in Berlin.

Liverpool on the Brink

The last time Liverpool won the top flight in England was 1990, before the Premier League existed. They had a chance to wrap up the title last weekend but drew 0-0 against Everton while second-place Manchester City picked up a win. Now, the earliest the Reds can celebrate the title on the pitch is July 2 when they face City head-to-head.

Most teams are getting into their second game of action since the restart with standings battles in full force for Champions League spots and also for relegation. Meanwhile, the FA Cup quarterfinals resume this weekend with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal among the big names in action.

Barca v. Real Madrid, Again

After two rounds of games since the return to La Liga action, the two top teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid, are tied atop the table. Barca currently has the better goal differential at +38 over +36, but with eight games left, there’s a lot that can still happen. Those two have separated from the pack with third-place Sevilla 12 points behind the leaders.

The table behind Sevilla is packed with six teams battling for European football in 2020-21. Real Sociedad and Athletic Club have made the Copa del Rey Final, but no date has been announced for that final.

Can Lazio Snag the Scudetto?

Juventus pushed away the disappointment from the Coppa Italia final loss by dispatching Bologna 2-0 in their first Serie A game since March. That win gave them a four-point lead over Lazio, who have not yet gotten back on the pitch. I Biancocelesti have not won a title since 2000 but were in great form before the break.

Napoli hopes to take the momentum from their Coppa Italia title to make a run for a European slot as they chase down the likes of Internazionale, Atalanta, Roma, and AC Milan. Brescia and SPAL seem destined for relegation with a battle to avoid the third spot.

‘MLS Is Back’ Tournament

The ‘MLS is Back’ Tournament will start on July 8 in Orlando with all 26 teams. There will be six groups, five groups of four, and one group of six. The top two teams in each group plus the four best third-place teams head to the knockout round of 16.

The knockout round starts July 25 and will run for two weeks. LAFC, Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United, and NYCFC are among the favorites to win the title.

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