I’m sitting in an airport bar at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, sleep-deprived, avoiding the crushing amount of work I have to do when I get back to campus and taking advantage of my 30 minutes of free airport WiFi to watch the Madrid derby in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.
Last Monday, the United States Soccer Federation gathered reporters on the top floor of One World Trade for a pseudo-mysterious press conference. The media had already leaked the news, but when U.S. legend Alexi Lalas took the stage to introduce federation President Sunil Gulati, along with the presidents of the Mexican and Canadian federations, one of the worst-kept secrets in sports was made official.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Arsène Wenger, the venerable Frenchman in his 21st season at the helm of Arsenal. An early February drubbing at the hands of league-leader Chelsea effectively ended any fading hopes of a Gunners title charge; similarly, an even more deflating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League all but assured a seventh consecutive Round of 16 exit in that competition.