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Blog - ESPN FC United

Below Barcelona, Bayern Munich climb and Liverpool make a rankings return

The ESPN FC crew were surprised by Liverpool's return to the power rankings after a long hiatus.

The Power Rankings are back with the same leaders, but there has been plenty of jockeying for position below Barcelona as well as a trio of new entries.

1. Barcelona (no change)

Luis Suarez's scoring form continued -- the Uruguayan now has four goals in his last three games -- with a pair of strikes in wins over Granada in La Liga and Villarreal in the Copa del Rey semifinals. Meanwhile, Neymar netted twice in the latter and suddenly treble talk is heating up in Catalonia, especially after Real Madrid...

MLS welcomes several big-name stars as new season approaches

MLS commissioner Don Garber notes that the league season will proceed as planned following an intensive CBA negotiation.

Here's one area where MLS has world football beat: Its haul of new recruits for 2015 surpasses anything the European leagues procured during their most recent transfer window.

Clubs snatched up U.S. national team players looking to resurrect their careers closer to home and global icons lured by the lifestyle -- and plenty of cash. Among the teams that have done some impressive luring? Newcomers New York City FC and Orlando City SC, home to MLS' highest-paid player ever. With MLS opening on Friday,...

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil yet to find magic formula at Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are the two most expensive players in Arsenal history. Can Arsene Wenger find a way to use them both in the same team?

Arsenal's acquisition of Alexis Sanchez had supporters beaming with excitement over the summer -- they hoped the Chilean and club-record capture Mesut Ozil would link up effectively to help guide Arsene Wenger's men back to Premier League glory.

Ozil, who won a World Cup winners' medal in Brazil with Germany over the summer, was understandably granted a longer leave of absence on account of his exploits in South America. This meant supporters had to wait until the 2-2 draw at Everton in late August...

Kaka eyes MLS Cup with Orlando, doesn't rule out Brazil return

Orlando City's marquee signing Kaka speaks to the media ahead of his side's MLS opener against New York City FC.
Orlando City co-owner Flávio Augusto da Silva expressed his excitement ahead of his side's MLS season opener on Sunday.
Orlando City SC's recent signing and MLS veteran Brek Shea spoke to ESPN FC's Adrian Healey about his move back the MLS , as well as his side's season opener against New York City FC.
ESPN FC's Taylor Twellman discusses the attributes of Orlando City SC and NYCFC and what sets the two MLS sides apart.

For someone who is about to take a huge leap of faith, Kaka sounds remarkably calm on the other end of the phone.

It's the last Thursday in February, 10 days before his and Orlando City's Major League Soccer debut against fellow newcomer New York City FC. It's not the first time in his career that Kaka has arrived at a club and league surrounded by heavy expectations; one just has to think back to his eye-watering 57 million pound ($87.5 million) move from Milan to Real Madrid in 2009, for example.

This...

Chelsea closer to Premier League title, but are Everton in a relegation scrap?

Manchester United grab another three points, while Aston Villa break their losing streak with a vital extra-time winner.
A full slate of midweek fixtures saw Tim Sherwood lead Villa to victory, an apologetic Ben Foster and a water bottle showdown between Gus Poyet and Steve Bruce.
The ESPN FC panel discuss why Chelsea have been able to maintain their lead atop the Premier League as they held on for a 1-nil victory over West Ham.

It's time to run the rule over the Heroes and Villains of matchday 28 in the Premier League, as there were plenty of exciting midweek fixtures.

HEROES

Twice, Jonas Gutierrez has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Twice, he has beaten it. To fight that battle with courage and dignity, whether that battle is won or lost, is an achievement that outstrips any of the trivialities this column covers from week to week. To fight it twice, to beat it twice and to return to one of the world's most demanding...

Is FIFA president Sepp Blatter losing support in South America?

FIFA president Sepp Blatter took the Paraguay presidential helicopter as his election rivals went by bus to see the Paraguay president.

What does it mean when something doesn't happen? Is inaction actually an action?

Sepp Blatter left CONMEBOL's congress this week without the endorsement of the South American Football Confederation. In the past, it was downright automatic, thanks to his long history with various power brokers in that part of the world. He was close to Brazilian FA boss Ricardo Teixeira, son-in-law of his former boss and predecessor, one-time FIFA president Joao Havelange, and to Julio Grondona, who headed the Argentine...