Dogs on the field, TikTok out of control, Brazilian clubs firing managers: Starting Lineup, Sept 29
by Jason Longshore
1- Napoli is a giant mess at this point after their social media department upset star striker Victor Osimhen by posting an official TikTok that seemed to mock his missed penalty last weekend. Yesterday they released a statement that wasn't an apology but they said the "never intended to offend" Osimhen with the post. "On social media, and TikTok particularly, expressive language is used in a light-hearted and playful manner. In this case involving Victor there was no intention of mockery or derision," they went on to say. Good luck rebuilding the relationship with your top player Napoli, you're going to need it.
2- Flamengo fired manager Jorge Sampaoli and want to hire former Brazil manager Tite. Sampaoli had only been in charge since April. The firing comes after Flamengo lost to Sao Paulo in the Copa do Brasil final over the weekend. A few weeks before that, they were eliminated in the Round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores by Olimpia of Paraguay. They're currently 7th in the Brazilian top flight.
3- Inter Miami increasing their payroll by upwards of $60 million by adding Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and more have seen them increase their ticket prices for next season by double or more in some season ticket locations. Premium players typically mean premium prices, although this jump is severe. I'm not sure how much or if ticket prices at Inter Miami increased since their launch in 2020.
4- Jose Mourinho's Roma is not in a good way to start the season. They lost 4-1 to Genoa yesterday, yes newly promoted Genoa. Roma is currently in 16th place in Serie A and has one win in six games. Mourinho is already talking about how successful he was last year at the club, which is never a good sign if you've followed his career.
5- The Mexican second division, the Liga de Expansión MX, has the best pitch invaders.
6- Love to see club synergy like this. New Tottenham women's manager Robert Vilahamn said that his team will play a braver, more attacking style in the mold of Ange Postecoglou's men this season. Spurs avoided relegation from the Women's Super League last season, but finished ninth out of twelve. "We shouldn't expect Tottenham to win the league this year, (but) we need to make sure we show the supporters, the board members and everyone that we play better football," Vilahamn told reporters. The new WSL season kicks off this weekend, Chelsea are the defending champions.
7- Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group will sell a minority stake in the club worth between £82-164m to Dynasty Equity, a global sports investment firm. FSG had been seeking new investment for a while, while also wanted to remain in majority ownership of the club. This new investment will mostly be used to pay off the club's bank debt.
8- Great match last night in Macon as Mercer defeated Wofford 3-1 in SoCon play. It's always fun to call a match with Jessica Charman and we had an entertaining one to call. The Bears picked up their first SoCon win, Jada Moorman scored her 10th goal of the season while Larkin Thomason scored her 9th. Mercer is one of the highest scoring teams in the country. Wofford showed that they are building a program to keep an eye on, first year coach Elissa Post will make the Terriers a very interesting ball-dominant side soon.
9- I'll be on the call tonight for a huge Sun Belt women's soccer showdown as Texas State visits Georgia State at 7pm. Both teams are undefeated in conference play this season. Both teams are also sporting freshman award winners this week as the reigning Defensive Player of the Week in the conference, Texas State goalkeeper Caitlyn Draper will face the Panthers' attacking sensation from Ontario Aaliyah Faddoul. See y'all at the GSU Soccer Complex tonight or on ESPN+.
10- On this day in 2007, the Atlanta Silverbacks lost 4-0 to the Seattle Sounders in the USL First Division championship match at the Starfire Sports Complex. Dan Antoniuk and David Hayes were named to the league's Best XI for the season.
11- On this day in 1984, Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" hit #1 on the US charts. It's one of his most beloved songs and it's the perfect Song of the Day for a Friday. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy this live performance from Prince's 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.