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.

“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”

Holaaaa!!

Say hello to the 2013 Gold Cup Champions!! The United States of America….

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The USA National Soccer Team, lift up the trophy after beating Panama 1-0. It was a difficult game for the stars and stripes, the first half was a bit slow, the U. S had possession of the ball but wasn’t able to do anything, they were practically moving the ball in their own area and just from side to side, but they were not generating any real danger for Panama’s defense.

In the other side Panama was just waiting to have a chance to counterattack but they didn’t have any and when they did they couldn’t manage the ball in an effective way,  it seems that they were just going to wait to see what was going to happened, which caused it a slow first half that lacked of emotion, football and dangerous occasion for any team, pretty much a bit boring game at some points.

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Thank God for half time, sometimes those 15 minutes can change a game, the USA came out of the locker rooms determin to win the title, they were more aggressive and took advantage of their ball possession, they started to put more pressure and got closer to open the score board, but still with a few chances the coaching team made a substitution and entered Brek Shea, after just a couple of minutes in the picth,  at the 69th min he scored the only Goal that was enough to give them the Championship!

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Panama, tried to work their counterattack but they weren’t that good at the execution, later after being down 0-1, they tried and pressure the U.S defense, the last minutes were very emotional, Panama trying with all their effort to get the equalizer and the U.S defending that lead that would make them Champions. Overall I think it was a great run for Panama, good tournament, they defeat Mexico twice, which it’s not an easy thing to do and showed that they were a strong team and deserved to be in the final! Congrats to them, this will give them energy to face a difficult last run of the hexagonal.

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A couple of notes:

  • This was the fifth Gold Cup Title for the USA.
  • Donovan didn’t have his best game, but he was there just before Shea scored the goal, and had an incredible tournament.
  • I guess blonde is the new in, base on Eddie Johnson hair style…
  • What was going on with that manicure session at the final, one Panamanian player was cutting his nails just right before getting in, are the referees demanding more stylish players?? Metrosexual much? lol
  • Panama look at times like they were waiting to get to Penalties and try their luck…
  • Was nice to see the Soldier Field with a great turnout of USA fans. They showed support for their nation.

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Landon Donovan was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A well deserved MVP, he was the best and most influential player in his team and in the tournament.

“This is not the end,” Donovan said. “It’s the end of the tournament, but hopefully this is just the beginning for a lot of us. We want to be a part of the bigger picture.”

One sad note though, Stuart Holden, he was back to the national team after recovering from a knee injury and in the 19th min he injured his knee again and had to leave the game, we still don’t know how bad it is, but for sure he’ll make all efforts to get back, shout-out to his spirit he was at the end celebrating with his teammates!! It’s never a good thing when a player gets injured… all positive thoughts and strength to him!

I had fun  and as usual enjoyed watching the tournament!! It was a burst of energy as the Hexagonal final stage is approaching, this will give to the six  remaining teams an idea of what they need to keep doing, what to improve and what to change to face the important stage that would give to three of them a direct ticket to Brazil 2014!

And for us the ones that our national teams are already out of the competition, well it gave us entertainment and makes us want to have a fast forward button to push it and get to the World Cup 2014! I can’t wait!!!!

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How I did on my predictions, it was a 50-50 I got the champion right I said USA, but I thought  we were going to see more goals for both sides… maybe I was wishing at loud hahaha… anyways 50-50 was good, I’ll take it!!! Lol

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the tournament, that you cheered for your national team and if not well I know every day we are close to Brazil!! Can’t wait 🙂

Besitos

Pictures thanks to, goldcup.org, usatoday.com and Google.com.