The “Owen Coyle Era” go underway at Ross County over the weekend with a 2-0 victory away to bottom side Kilmarnock. That might not seem like a big deal, but going to the clubs likely to finish in the lower half of the table (Kilmarnock, Partick, Hamilton, Dundee, etc.) and taking maximum points is what the Staggies will need to do to move up the table. Anything taken off the Old Firm, the Edinburgh clubs, or Aberdeen- home or away- will simply be a bonus.
Recently sacked County manager Jim McIntyre is reportedly on the short-list at Kilmarnock (who fired Lee McCulloch) after the lost to County and is also holding “informal” talks with Championship side Falkirk. I can see Falkirk being interested in a manager with both Premiership and Championship experience, but why would Kilmarnock be interested in a manager who had only managed to get his previous club one spot above Kilmarnock?
Ross County developmental player Kyle Mcdowell has been called up to the Northern Ireland U19 team for their next group of European Championship qualifying matches. This is good news for Mcdowell and yet another feather in the cap of developmental squad manager Stuart Kettlewell.
The New England Revolution played to a 0-0 draw against Atlanta United F.C. this weekend keeping whatever playoff chances they have (about 2% according to most people’s calculations) alive for one more week. It was a good defensive performance, but the offense had only a handful of serious chances to get on the score sheet but couldn’t make anything of them.
New England’s playoff chances may actually be at 0% before they kick off due to developments elsewhere in the league. According to numerous sources, FC Dallas fielded an ineligible player in their recent match against Orlando City and may have to (i.e., should have to) forfeit the match and the points that went with it. Those points would go to Orlando, increasing their chances to make the post-season, decreasing Dallas’, and ending New England’s. Interesting to see what MLS will do here: they should just follow their (and FIFA’s) own rules, leading to the above consequences, but as we all know, MLS often does whatever it wants to regardless of the rules, e.g., see anything having to do with player acquisitions.
In the wake of Spain trying to violently repress Catalonia’s attempt to hold an independence referendum, Spain defender Gerard Pique- at Catalan- has volunteered to step down from the team if those in charge think it best. Pique tends to make good decisions, as evidenced by this: