Wednesday, July 23, 2014

European Teams Prepare for Season in United States Tournament


(Twitter.com)
As teams prepare for the upcoming season, eight European clubs have opted to prepare in North America by participating in the International Champions Cup.  Some of the biggest teams in Europe have already begun to prepare for the tournament which begins on Thursday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Germany Wins on Magnificent Goal

(time.com)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Germany has now joined the select few teams to have won four World Cups after Sunday's victory at the Maracana. Mario Götze's extra time goal, gave Germany their first World Cup title since 1990.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Germany Puts up Touchdown on Host Brazil

Overmatched. That one word sums up Brazil's performance today in Belo Horizonte against Germany. Everyone thought that Neymar and Thiago Silva's absences would have an impact but nobody thought that would mean a 7-1 thrashing.
This picture pretty much sums up the day that Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar had
Brazil played a very solid first 5 minutes before everything started going downhill. The defense was lacking, the touches were sloppy and Brazil didn't even bother to try to play through the midfield. Once Germany started to control the possession there was no turning back.

The scoring began with Thomas Muller in the 11th minute off of a corner kick. It was Muller's fifth goal of this tournament and his tenth in his World Cup career. Muller would also add two assists in the game. In the 23rd minute Miroslav Klose broke Ronaldo's World Cup goal scoring record with his 16th career World Cup goal to make it 2-0. Three minutes later it was 4-0 thanks to two goals from Toni Kroos. Three minutes after that Sami Khedira capped the first half scoring to put the Germans ahead 5-0.
Miroslav Klose now has the most World Cup goals by any player in history
The second half did not provide much relief for the hosts. They did get off to a fairly decent start once again, by holding some possession in the German half and even had some dangerous touches but those attacks disappeared quickly only to be replaced by German offensives. In the 69th minute, just ten minutes after replacing Klose, Andre Schurrle added a 6th goal for the Germans, and ten minutes after that the seventh.

Mesut Ozil very nearly added an 8th goal for the Germans before Oscar received a long pass from from Marcelo and dribbled his way past Jermoe Boateng to put the Brazilians on the board in the 90th minute. A few late chances including the Oscar finish were really the only signs of life from an outmatched and disappointing Brazilian squad.

It had been talked about all tournament, how Brazil's whole offense was simply Neymar and there was no better example than today. Brazil could not get anything going offensively for 89 minutes outside of a few counters or set pieces. Defensively the showing was even worse. There was little pressure on the ball and German players were making runs towards goal nearly completely unmarked. They group seemed completely disorganized, something that Thiago Silva, as captain, may have been able to improve somewhat had he been available.

Of course Neymar and Thiago Silva would not have been enough to turn the tides of this game around. That's not to say they weren't missed but the Germans were simply too good and the Brazilians too lazy for the outcome to have been changed. That said it certainly would have been more competitive and a better performance from the hosts had those two key players been able to play.

Germany awaits the winner of Argentina vs. Netherlands in the finals on Sunday, July 13.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Brazil beats Colombia, loses Neymar

Brazil defeated Colombia 2-1 on goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz while conceding only a penalty kick to James Rodriguez, but lost their best player to injury. Neymar took a knee to the back and was removed from the game in the 88th minute. A trip to the hospital revealed that he suffered a fractured vertebra and will be shelved for the remainder of the tournament.

Neymar will be out for the remainder of the World Cup with a fractured back
Thiago Silva scored off a Neymar corner kick after he was unmarked on his run to the far post in the 7th minute. David Luiz put the hosts up by 2 in the 68th minute when he scored a beautiful, curling free kick from 35 yards out.

Colombia got their goal from James Rodriguez from the penalty spot in the 80th minute. It was Rodriguez's sixth goal of the tournament, the most of any player, but in the end could not find an equalizer in the last ten minutes.

The hosts became the first team in World Cup history to win a game after going to penalty shots in the game prior.

Brazil will be facing Germany in the semifinal without their captain and top defender Thiago Silva, who is serving a yellow card suspension, as well as Neymar.

Neymar's production will be tough to replicate. He had four goals and an assist but also led his country in shots, chances created, and touches in the attacking half. Brazil will look to some inconsistent performers to come together to try to create offense. Fred, Oscar and Hulk as well as whoever coach Luiz Felipe Scolari selects to replace Neymar will all need to have big games against a tough German defense of the hosts want to reach the final.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Two Late Goals Break Mexican Hearts

Giovani dos Santos gave El Tri the lead with his first international goal since 2012
Mexico took a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute on a goal from Giovani dos Santos after dominating much of the first half, following the departure of Dutch defenseman Nigel de Jong. 40 minutes later, with the Dutch in desperation mode, Wesley Sneijder equalized off a Klaas jan Huntelaar header. 6 minutes later Arjen Robben drew a foul in the box for a penalty kick, which Huntelaar powered home to give the Netherlands a 2-1 victory.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brazil Survives Penalty Kicks to Advance Past Chile

Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar stepped up when his team needed him, saving two penalties and forcing this miss from Gonazalo Jara
Brazil will advance to the next round thanks in big part to a post and a crossbar. As time was ticking down at the end of extra time Mauricio Pinilla launched a shot that beat Julio Cesar but smacked into the crossbar and away. Then in penalty kicks, after Neymar had put Brazil ahead 3-2, Gonzalo Jara's shot bounced off the inside of the post and out of bounds to seal the win.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Uruguay Eliminate Italy Despite Suarez Disgrace


Natal, Brazil - In the midst of yet another shocking action by Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez, Italy has been eliminated to the surprise of many.  Suarez, who has a history of causing problems on the pitch has now been accused of a third biting incident.