Man City in Driver’s Seat, Seattle Teams Thriving: An International Club Soccer Update

Premier League

The English Premier League (EPL) is entering their last few weeks of play, and all eyes are set on Manchester City and Arsenal to see who will come out on top of the league. After this last weekend of play, Manchester City has 82 points to Arsenal’s 81, which makes for a tight race to the finish line in the final weeks. 

There have also been multiple goal-scoring records made in the EPL in the past week. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland broke the EPL’s single-season scoring record with his 35th goal in a match versus West Ham United. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool became the highest-scoring Egyptian player of all-time during a match against Brentford last Saturday. Between professional and international matches, Salah now has scored 314 goals.

FC Barcelona’s Dominance

FC Barcelona has been dominating in Spain’s La Liga on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Barcelona Femeni has already won their league with a few weeks of play left in the season. The win marks their fourth-straight women’s league title. The team won every single game they played, scoring 108 goals and only conceding five. 

On the men’s side, FC Barcelona is two points away from becoming the champions of La Liga. In other words, they need one win to seal the deal. A win would come with major financial gain to the club, which has been dealing with corruption charges and lawsuits off the pitch.

Serie A

SSC Napoli won Italy’s Serie A for the first time in over 30 years in a 1-1 draw against Udinese Calcio. With a 16-point lead going into the game, the draw was all they needed to claim the title. After the final whistle, fans in Naples went wild celebrating the victory of their team. Napoli had an incredible season leading up to their victory, going undefeated for their 15 games. With only four games left, Napoli will be going for a victory lap to finish out the season.

Major League Soccer

For local soccer fans, you’ll be pleased to hear the Seattle Sounders are currently at the top of the Western Conference in the American Major League Soccer (MLS). During a game against Real Salt Lake April 29, the team earned their sixth clean sheet of the season, which is already more than they had last year. While this past weekend saw a 1-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City for the Sounders, they are still at the top of the table with 20 points. 

It’s still early in the season, though. St. Louis City SC, a brand new expansion team for this season, is hot on the Sounders tail. St. Louis has been setting records, becoming the first expansion team to win their first four matches in a season. 

In the Eastern Conference of the MLS, the New England Revolution and FC Cincinnati are currently tied in points and record, with New England coming out on top due to goal differential. With play wrapping up in late October, there is plenty of time for teams to go up or down in the rankings.

National Women’s Soccer League

After the past weekend of play, Seattle’s OL Reign is currently at the top of the table for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), with just a single loss so far. The Reign are also currently at the top of their division for the NWSL Challenge Cup, which is a tournament that runs during the regular season.

Although the Reign are at the top of the league for now, there are two undefeated teams who are right behind them. Both Portland Thorns FC and Washington Spirit are currently sporting 3-0-3 records. The Thorns are the league’s current reigning champions, and were at the top of the league until this past weekend. The Spirit were the champions of the 2021 season but finished second to last during the most recent season. However, if their play up to this point is any indication, the Spirit will be seeing much more success this season than in 2022. 

Wrexham A.F.C. Promoted from the National League

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElheney brought National League soccer to the center stage when they bought Welsh Football Club Wrexham A.F.C. in late 2020. In August of last year, a show titled “Welcome to Wrexham” came out on Hulu detailing their journey in bringing the club back to its former glory.

The English Football League is much more than just the Premier League. In total, there are eight different interconnected leagues that make up professional football in England. At the end of every season, teams are promoted or relegated to different leagues based on where they finish overall. 

Wrexham A.F.C. spent 15 years in the National League, which is the fifth level of the system. Reynolds and McElheney’s goal was to get the team promoted to the Football League, which starts at the fourth level with the EFL League Two. That dream finally came true April 22 when Wrexham beat Boreham Wood 3-1 to win the league and earn their promotion.