Fridays In Football: The Clarion’s Weekly Soccer-Centric Blog


Clarion photo Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire

Diego Valeri won the MLS MVP title with 50 percent of the vote. Getty Images.

By Charlie Snyder and Jaden Rapaport, Reporters

Hello, and welcome to Fridays in Football where we, Charlie Snyder and Jaden Rapaport, will discuss hot topics in soccer around the world.


Timbers’ Treats

The Timbers may not have had a repeat of their 2015 MLS cup win, but it is certainly exciting to see Portland Timbers maestro Diego Valeri win the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, the most prestigious individual award in the league. Valeri managed to trump the likes of Sebastian Giovinco and legendary David Villa to win this highly sought after prize. The icon managed an astounding 21 goals and 11 assists, largely contributing to the Timbers topping the Western conference. Valeri not only finished third in the goals charts, but also set a new MLS record by scoring a goal in nine straight league matches. Diego Valeri may be nearing the tender age of 32, but he only seems to get better with age. “Every individual award in our game is a collective achievement, I’m just happy to do my part,” said Valeri.     


MLS Mill

This Saturday, the Seattle Sounders hit the road to take on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final, a rematch of the final a year ago. Last year’s final was considered an extremely boring match but it did feature a simply outstanding save from Sounders keeper, Stefan Frei as the Sounders went on to win in kicks from the spot. This year, the MLS final could produce anything, including a very high chance of snow.


Champions League Checkup

Two days ago, the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League group stage came to a close with many of Europe’s top teams advancing through to the round of 16. This included: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all from the English Premier League. Spanish teams that advanced were Sevilla, FC Barcelona, and 12-time champions Real Madrid, going for their third consecutive title. Other notable sides that progressed to the last 16 were Italian talents Juventus and AS Roma; German powerhouse Bayern Munich; and heavy favorites to win the whole thing, Paris Saint-Germain. Notable absentees that did not qualify for Europe’s top 16 include Atletico Madrid, SSC Napoli, AS Monaco, and Borussia Dortmund. The draw for the round of 16 as well as the Europa League round of 32 will be held the morning of Monday, Dec. 11.


Upcoming Games

There are some very exciting upcoming matches this weekend with our game of the weekend, Manchester United vs. Manchester City on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. The Manchester derby is one of the most anticipated matchups in the world, and crucial this season if any team in English Premier League has any chance to keep pace with City, who currently are eight points clear at the top, and with a win against United on Sunday will surely cruise to the title.

Jaden’s Pick: 2-1 United

Charlie’s Pick: 1-1


Other Games to watch:

Liverpool vs Everton Sunday, 6:15 a.m.

Jaden’s Pick: 4-0 Liverpool

Charlie’s Pick: 3-1 Liverpool

Juventus vs Inter Milan Saturday, 11:45 a.m

Jaden’s Pick 1-1

Charlies Pick 3-2 Juve

Real Madrid vs Sevilla Saturday, 7:15 a.m

Jaden’s Pick: 2-2

Charlie’s Pick: 1-0 Madrid

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Schalke 04 Saturday, 9:30 a.m

Jaden’s Pick: 1-0 Shalke

Charlie’s Pick: 2-2

All times in Pacific Daylight Time


Table Toppers

EPL- Manchester City, 8 points clear of Man. United

La Liga- Barcelona, 5 points clear of Valencia

Bundesliga- Bayern Munich, 6 points clear of RB Leipzig

Serie A- Inter Milan, 1 point clear of Napoli

Ligue 1- PSG, 9 points clear of Lyon



  • Cristiano Ronaldo draws level with Messi as he wins his fifth Ballon d’Or
  • Tigres and Monterrey face each other on Dec. 10 in leg 2 of the Liga MX Apertura after a 1-1 draw in the first leg
  • FIFA Club World Cup kicked off Wednesday morning as Al-Jazira of the Unite Arab Emirates defeated Auckland City FC of New Zealand 1-0
  • Rumors grow thicker for Columbus Crew SC’s move to Austin
  • Benevento get first point in their Serie A as goalkeeper, Alberto Brignoli scored a diving header to equalize in the fifth minute of injury time


Special Stats

  • Stat of the Week- Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first player in Champions League history to score in all six group stage matches
  • Game of the Week- Benevento 2-2 AC Milan, Serie A
  • Blowout of the Week-Liverpool 7-0 Spartak Moscow, UCL
  • Player of the Week- Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, 4 goals, 2 assist in 2 matches
  • Loser of the week- Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, red card and three match ban for stomping on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin forearm