Saturday’s Flashback Soccer!… Congrats to the LA Galaxy! MLS Champions!

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Congratulations to the LA Galaxy for their fifth MLS Cup title!!

December is not only the last month of the year but also the month of the Major League Soccer final. This year the LA Galaxy won a very emotional title after Robbie Keane scored the game-wining goal, their fifth in their history, becoming the first and only team to accomplished that impressive milestone, #FirtstoFive was the trending hashtag among their fans. The victory was their third title in four years a very difficult and special achievement, only done before by D.C United, therefore Congratulations for an incredible and fun season for the team and the fans!!

Emotional was indeed taking into consideration that Landon Donovan announced his retirement long ago and all his fans were counting down the days until his last game, and he couldn’t ask for a better send off, wining his seventh and last championship,  retiring as the top player in USA soccer history, he is by far the best player this nation has produced for many reasons, including, accomplishments, character and relevance that he has brought to the sport called soccer,  even some controversial moments will remain as part of his legacy!

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A legacy that is mostly positive and has earned him the title and prestige of being called the best US soccer player, a true legend of the sport in this country, and a favorite for all LA Galaxy fans, and the club where he played most of his career.

The LA Galaxy made it to the final by defeating a good Seattle Sounder team to win the western conference, as one of the most accomplished teams in MLS, with ninth MLS Cup finals, a league record, the expectations for the LA Galaxy are always high, whether fans outside Los Angeles like it or not.

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On the other side NE Revolution had a tough semifinal against the NY red bulls and  Thierry Henry one of the most accomplish player in MLS history who later announced his retirement from all US soccer, his last game in US soil was intense and entertaining, at the end NE Revolution won the Easter conference title and left the NY Red Bulls and Thierry Henry with a feeling that they gave it all during a second leg match that was  intense and with good quality.

The semifinal might have been tough but they won it, a contrast with their MLS Cup final, the fifth time they reached the final and once again for the fifth time they couldn’t win, that must have been hurtful and difficult to digest, but the good news for them is that football doesn’t give you too much time to grief or feel sorry about, as soon as you finish one season the work for the next one starts.

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Next season is just a few months away and it would be interesting. A new season without Landon Donovan nor Thierry Henry and with two new teams,  Orlando City Soccer Club and New York City FC, both have added to their brand new rosters some well-known and accomplished, a bit older but still elite players like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaka, they might not be in their prime time anymore, but they might still have some class to show and contribute to the league, only time will tell.

Compelling times for MLS and I am happy to get more involved with this upcoming new season!  The good news for all New Yorkers, now, instead of one they get two teams and maybe a rivalry?… what is for sure is that they get more football. The Red Bulls Arena is a nice and beautiful stadium and now  you can add to your NYC football places the Yankee Stadium, that’s a lot of history that now will include a bit of football or let’s say soccer in their legacy!

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Thanks for reading and stopping by, let me know what do you think, who will be the next Donovan? Or no one can replace him as a symbol of U.S soccer? What about the new signed players like Villa, Lampard, etc are they too old to play in MLS,  it will help or make it worst??

Ok enough questions… Just let me know your though if you want you can do it in the comments or to my twitter @MonikJHerrera

Pictures from; mine, LATimes.com, revolutionsoccer.net, socceryanks.com. NYCFC facebook page.

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Ballon d’Or!… The award season is ON… prepare the campaigns?…

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We are at the end of the year, the award season is approaching. FIFA just announced their nominations for the prestigious, controversial  at times and very famous Ballon d’Or award.

We all thought this year everything was going to go smoothly with the nominees, well not so fast, things just got a lot interesting to put it in a way and a lot more controversial-ish.

The Nominees for the Best Player of the year are;

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As of a few weeks ago, no one would have doubted that Cristiano Ronaldo was the favorite to win his second Ballon d’or, players and media were talking about his incredible year,  that despite his awful World Cup, he won titles with Real Madrid and broke some records in the process.

Everyone has talked about it, but some opinions have generated more headlines than others;

First Xabi Alonso and his comments about Manuel Neuer and later the reports of his apology for any offense that Ronaldo might have taken over his comments.

Most recently Michel Platini, president of the UEFA, who said that the winner should be “a world champion” and not Ronaldo. Words that not only stir the pot but also generated a response from Real Madrid, the team issued a statement in which they outline his impartiality and reminded him that “the Ballon d’Or  is an individual rather than collective prize.”  – Award drama…

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Now everyone is talking, from ex- players like Thomas Muller, Lotthar Matthaus to current players like Buffon, Pique, Ramos and the list goes on and on and the opinions varies; who deserve it?, if the World Cup should matter more than club achievements, goals records vs season performances, even their marketing powers or sponsorship influences are part of the conversation.

We haven’t mention Messi, who broke two historic records in less than two weeks and suddenly he is back in the race, he was a world cup finalist with Argentina, but aside from that his year hasn’t been that impressive, at least not for some of the media and football fans, and at times he wasn’t even consider as a possible winner, now he is in the race talk, although the voting process was closed before he broke the records, this just has added more to the drama!

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Coach of the Year is another big award that have also created controversy in the past, this year at least most agree with the final three nominees. All have made enough the past year and deserve the award but only one will get it, who?… is yet to be seen, for many the race is between Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti.

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The Puska award should be a fun one, James goal was incredible but Van Persie’s was very impressive too, let’s not forget all the fun we had with the memes and it also created a new verb; Vanpersing!!

What is for sure is that we will have to wait to see how the Ballon d’Or drama will unfold, people will keep talking, speculating and most will keep campaigning for their players, for some this should be avoided but that also has become part of the award itself.

The voting process for the 2014 Ballon d’Or ended on Nov. 21st, 2014, with coaches and captains from all FIFA member associations, as well as some media representatives, choosing their three favorites.

Thanks for reading and stopping by!!! Who do you think should win the Ballon d’Or for player of the year?… Which goal was the best one?…. Feel free to share your opinion, you can leave a comment here or on  my twitter @MonikJHerrera.

I leave you with a few but fun vanpersing pictures.

Pictures via FIFA.com, Gifs via Huffingtonpost.com, Vanpersing pictures via google.com