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

B4SfLTSIcAAkgoI

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!

donovan-white-out

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.

lat-sp-landon-donovan-2-20141207

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.

jones_cup

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!

10701948_338160323024097_1929840432600756729_n

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.

Expectations, Curiosities, Handshakes, Dj’s and Blankets… It’s all about Football!

Hello !

The weekend is here, I was waiting for it so bad!…  It’s going to be a busy weekend, most European leagues are back after the International break, so the local battles are back too, lots of games and points to fight or defend and for some records to break. It should be interesting and hopefully fun!

Before submerge into the deep waters of the European league – ohh the ocean, with this cold weather I really miss you- but that’s not the point, back to submerge into the deep waters of every league lets look at some curious, funny and sometimes weird images and moments that this International break left us;

The Messi- Ronaldo show…

B2v6mKrIgAAAp3U

Let’s start with the highly anticipated friendly between Argentina and Portugal  at Old Trafford, which for everyone it was a Messi vs Crisstiano Ronaldo match, everyone expected them to play at their best, to challenge each other and to try to prove who is the best of the World… They only played one half and for many they weren’t  that impressive, it was one of those “expectations were higher than reality” kind of moment.

B2v1sBsIMAIT5jz B2vqJvLIEAAucGh

Anyhow what was interesting and funny was to see the incredible attention to every detail, move  or interaction both player had before, during and after the match :0, pictures, photos or analysis of how they look at each others, how strong was the handshake, who smile more, and many more things of that nature, it was just crazy but so enjoyable!!

B2wiNjzCQAAzDmk B2v8pNEIAAENcT1cristiano-ronaldo-lionel-messi-argentina-portugal-friendly-match-old-trafford-18112014_op592jdxpzna16es8uhvtvv0p

And this story is to be continued…. 😉

The name game, Casillas or Casilla??

I know this is silly but it’s funny too, if for some reason during the match between Spain and Germany you missed the moment when Iker Casillas was substituted by Kiko Casilla you probably would have thought at some point, wait, what happened?, did the commentators are missing the “s” in Iker’s last name, but then you would have look at the TV and at Spain’s goalkeeper and think he doesn’t look like Casillas at all, unless you are familiar with La Liga which most of you probably are, but for the ones that are not, know that there is an Iker Casillas and a Kiko Casilla (no “s” at the end) and both are goalkeepers. Haa!! It can be confusing at times… Or maybe just anecdotic!

B2wUPapCUAAmDK7

The weird note…

Goes to Xabi Alonso and his comments about Neuer being the best goalkeeper by far that he has ever played with,  emphasis in the “by far”, and how he deserves the Ballon d’or because he won the World Cup with Germany and the whole he is the best goalkeeper, comments that have created a big fuss because he just left Real Madrid and the comments are considered for some a direct attack o lack of support for Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, of course you can support your new teammate but for many these comments are a little bit out of time or place, but hey he is free to express his opinion I guess, but oh boy he really stir the waters up!

B3AgxjnIQAAiowo B23wQnpCUAEd9Hk

The sad news;

There are many player that get injure during the International break when playing with their national team, so we wish them all a speedy recovery, specially to Luka Modric, he will be out around three-months according to the latest report. Get well soon Luka!

B2rcjTOCIAACCxK

The introduction;

Let me introduce you to the Euro 2016 “Mascot”

Let’s conclude in our side of the pond;

Hard to understand if Mexico players  were getting ready to play or to have a pajama party! haha… They were trying to stay warm in this cold weathers! I like that they are kind of coordinated, and so into plaid! Fashion alert!!

B21GWfuCYAAOzSC

The USA probably needed some blankets after their lost 1-4 vs Ireland, and most probably in need of a serious pajama party after picking the ball up from their goal fourth times! 😦 Ouch!

B2xVj_qCEAEriPX

Let’s closed it with a famous DJ!! David Guetta wearing the Colombia national team jersey, a gift from James with an Instagram messages included!

B2w9Ye3CEAEb4Zl

I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away…

I bet you started to sing… I did! 🙂

By the way if you are planning to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the Formula 1 season and the battle for the championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enjoy and I’ll probably be tweeting  during the race, I’ve been following F1 for some years now, but this season I’ve been so involved, that I am nervous  to know who will be the champion :O and I love it!!

B2-vItKIQAAM5fh

Thank you for reading and stopping by, feel free to leave any comment. What do you think about the whole Xabi Alonso comments situation? or Who is the best Messi or CR7? Ha… Also we can talk on twitter, you can fin me @MonikJHerrera

Have a great weekend!!

Besitos !

Pictures thanks to As.com, Marca.com. Deportestelemundo.com, Univisiondeportes.com, goal.com and BBCSport.com

World Cup tales!… Surprises, dancing and goals!!

Hola!

Fifa-World-cup-2014-brazil

Day 8 of the World Cup is over.  Can we please agree that it feels like is going too fast??… It might be the schedule, its perfect don’t get me wrong, I don’t have to wake up early morning to watch games like last World Cup, but  it feels the day  just flies away,  maybe watching this type of quality football makes the day go even faster.

This is a great World Cup so far, these teams are playing at a high level, the style of game from most team is about proposing, creating and attacking which leave us with lots of goals and very exciting matches! I remember last World Cup I even said that the group stage was usually a bit boring and that things get better in the knock out stages, but not the case of this WC, it has been so different, a great tournament so far, emotional games, surprises all over the places and a very entertaining tournament.

2376486_big-lnd

Many things had happens, some still sensitive to talk about, yes I am looking at you Spain…. Can you believe it? I felt so bad for them, the first team to say good-bye to the World Cup, the defending Champions left the throne for someone else to take the reign. I Still can’t believe it but well let’s talk about it later when emotions are under control hehe… Hey they have been or were the best of the World for the past years, they re-defined the way football is play now and are the most successful national team of our generation, football soccer fans around the world,  we are totally allowed to feel the pain too.

I felt we went from day 2 to day 8 in a blink,  so I won’t do a day by day recap, review or look back whatever you want to call it, too many days and too few non football hours hehehe

First round of matches is over for all teams, so let’s recap or look back to some of the best shocking or more memorable moments… oiii

We covered day 2 and Spain debacle, yes it got worst by now let’s move on, we got a few more surprises during  first round of matches, here are some;

Colombia

2377237_big-lnd

It is true that group C is not as difficult as other groups might be, but as we have seeing in this World Cup anything can happen…

Congrats to Colombia, after 16 years  they are back in a World Cup with a team full of young players most of them playing at an international level and so far so good! Not only their first result beating Greece,  but also what they did today, it’s incredible, the way they are playing is very inspiring and very good, still some things to fix, but overall a great  and very promising performance something to look forward. What I love the most is the happiness they provide to the tournament, the dancing, best celebration in this World Cup by far!!

2377403_big-lnd 2377373_big-lnd

Keep dancing Colombia!!

The other teams in group C, also have played their first and second round matches too, Ivory Coast is one team with Didier Drogba and another one without him, the bad news for them is that he cannot play  all 90 minutes, he’s been getting in on second half, and even though he injects some energy to the team  sometimes it’s not enough, Yaya Toure is another star in this team but hasn’t shine the way a lot of people expected. I still think they can get out of the group stage, let’s see…

Uruguay

2377555_big-lnd

2371520_big-lnd

Big surprise on day three, when they were defeated by Costa Rica, the Central America team which in theory is less competitive, and they were the great surprise of that day, wining and playing good football, they not only took the three-point from Uruguay but also they made them look bad, slow and without ideas. Who would have thought Costa Rica would be at the Top of the table after their first game, I think no one, with all the respect their deserve, but Uruguay even though is not the same team that it was four years ago when they  finish in fourth place in 2010 World Cup, are still a good team and with quality players, yes Luis Suarez didn’t play first match but they had Cavani and Forlan and other good players. Costa Rica from CONCACAF which for many have not the same quality, well guess what it might be true but they played with no fear and went for it.

2371503_big-lnd

2371530_big-lnd

2377822_big-lnd

The good news for Uruguay, Luis Suarez is back and he showed it today in their second match vs England, he scored two goals and left the England team with very slim chances to advance to the next stage, an England team that was very promising in their first game vs Italy, yes they lost because Italy has a legend that controls Italy’s destiny Pirlo, he is just amazing at 35 years old, he is like a wine the older the better he gets, but the feelings left from the England team were very positive, today they couldn’t stop Uruguay and heir star Luis Suarez, the only good note for England was Wayne Rooney scoring his first goal in a World Cup. Let’s see if they can pull out a miracle, mates let’s start to pray? maybe that could help ;/

2377688_big-lnd 2377697_big-lnd

2371963_big-lnd

Italy still have to play their second match vs Costa Rica, we have yet to see if Los Ticos can hold on and at least get a tie, Gigi Buffon didn’t play the first match due to an ankle injury, but maybe he’ll be back for this one… It should be an interesting match, I still think Italy is the strongest in this group and one of the stronger in this tournament, playing not the usual catenaccio but a surprising kind of offensive good football. Very entertaining.

2371738_big-lnd

And this is how group D is unfolding… Let’s move on to more surprises.

France

2372886_big-lnd

France in group E, Benzema was a goal machine he officially had two in his tally, but it could have been three if the goal line technology wouldn’t have shown us that the second goal was a rebound from the keeper. Good for Benzema he didn’t score as much as he would have wanted toward the end of Real Madrid’s season and some were starting to question him. Best way to answer is always with goals!

Portugal

2373718_big-lnd

2373633_big-lnd 2373640_big-lnd

Germany vs Portugal in group G, oh my God, if we were surprise by the 5-1 that Spain got, this match was another surprise, less shocking but still surprising, Portugal actually started well, Critiano Ronaldo had two good chances in the first minutes, but then Germany started to level things out, and then the worst happened to Portugal, Pepe was sent-off with a red card, and left not only a bad image if this is possible I mean is Pepe, his reputation precedes him… We can argue that Muller felt very easy, that he didn’t headbutt him that hard, and that it should have been a yellow card, but it’s a World Cup and some referees won’t let these type of action go away so easy, my two cents, he should have known better, he is an elite type of player, so a red is a red, and he left his team in an awful condition, Portugal lost all the control, couldn’t find a way, Cristiano who many say is not at his best, looked desperate and couldn’t find options either and they had their worst lost in the history of the World Cup

2373658_big-lnd 2373749_big-lnd

Germany , on the other hand so far is one if not the best overall team in the tournament, they looked good as a team, collectively, the style of play was also good and they have Muller in great condition, scored the first hat-trick of the World Cup. And to think that some people didn’t consider then  as contenders, well so far they have proved them wrong. It’s early but they looked good. Something to say though  is that they have won their last four opening game scoring 4+ goals, and still they haven’t won the title in the last three World Cups.

2373746_big-lnd

 USA USA USA

2374125_big-lnd

2374095_big-lnd

Last but no least team USA beat their nemesis, the team that sent them home the last two World Cups, Ghana. The U.S scored the fastest goal so far, Dempsey in less than 30 seconds, it was either at the 30 or 29 second mark, some mix information hehe. But that was fast, they suffered more than expected tho but at the 86th minute John Brooks scored the 2-1 for the red, white and blue, and they finally were able to defeat Ghana in a World Cup and on top of that they got the three precious points specially in a tough group like this one, the group of death… Well they are very alive, and in a country where soccer is not as big as it is in other places it was impressive to see the support and all the craziness that went after Brooks’ goal,  it was great, there are so many videos on vine, instagram and twitter that you think; Is it real that they don’t care much about football? It didn’t  look that way on the videos and many pictures. Anyhow things are changing and there are a lot of football soccer supporters, which is great because that match  was emotionally amazing!!

 2374251_big-lnd 2374252_big-lnd

2374078_big-lnd

Other first round of matches notes;

BqNdYj-CIAADk3C

  • Argentina is not in a difficult group but, they looked nervous and  they didn’t have an easy win, the expectation of this match were so high everyone wanted to see Messi in the mythical Maracana, and I think at the end the expectations were higher than what we saw on the pitch. Messi is under a lot of pressure, but he scored his first goal in this World Cup and his second in all World Cups, and everyone breathe again… hehe
  • Belgium is supposed to be the revelation of this tournament, they suffered more than expected too but at the end  they still can give the surprise, lot’s of well-known players even the substitutes can make the difference.
  • Russia’s head coach Fabio Capello  has the best salary, they say 22 millions ;0… oiiiii so they better get out of the group stage, just saying!
  • Iran vs Nigeria was the only boring game so far, I mean some other matches maybe had some boring lapses but this one was painfully boring, sorry for both teams, hopefully they will do better in the next match.

Some injuries news;

  • Coentrao  from Portugal will miss the rest of the World Cup due to an injury.
  • Altidore got injure in the USA vs Ghana match and he’ll miss next match, and it’s not sure when if he will be back.
  • Dempsey broke his nose in the same USA match but he is expected to play with or without a mask.

I know I am probably missing so many more things and important moments, but this is already the longest post in this blog hahah so I don’t want to make it more impossible to read.

If you make it  here give your self a round of applauses!! You are amazing 😉 … I will try to make the next recap shorter, but in my defense so many good things and surprises are happening that it’s hard to make things shorter, or maybe it’s just me, I can let things goo…. Well it is what it is, I have to take some “to the point” classes.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciated and if you want to leave a comment, if you agree or disagree with something or just want to say something feel free to do it in the comment area.

This World Cup not only is giving us good surprises but also, good laugh, I leave you with some of the funniest one…

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to  first worldsoccertalk.com, rest to FIFA.com, ESPN.com… Funny pictures random from twitter and ESPN.com

World Cup… Basic kit!

Hello hello!!

fifa-world-cup-2014-brazil-7

We are full World Cup mode ON…  For most of us Football soccer lovers, our lives revolve around the tournament, the talks, parties, BBQs, activities, jobs, our entire schedule is base on who is playing and at what time… Crazy I know but the good news is that it only happens every four years!! 😉

To be able to put our normal life on hold for a months we need to know the basic World Cup kit, in order to organized and schedule our life for the next month.

First the Groups.

After the play-off, we find out the latest teams that made it to Brazil, then we had the final draw ceremony, which increased our anxiety because it happened months before the opening ceremony, but it allowed us to prepare for kick-off time.

In between the draw ceremony and  the kick-off match we had the road to Brazil, those were the friendly matches that the national teams played to get ready for the tournament, toned up matches, I had the chance to go to three games!! Wohoo I will share my experience later, it will be like my throwback thursday or something like that.

Anyway the point is that we need to know the groups and  how the 32 countries were distributed meaning who plays who!!

Iphone 165

Once we had the groups we identified the group of death just because if your  national team is part of that group you start to pray or prepare for any outcome, after all it’s called the group of death because it’s the hardest one…. But one thing we know is that in a World Cup anything and everything can happen!!

Groups notes:

  • The group of death of 2014 is “Group G”…  Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA. The  USA was eliminated last world cup by Ghana, who has advanced to the next stage or out of the group stage the last two World Cups, Portugal has Ronaldo as their star and a some important players Pepe, Coentrao and Nani, and Germany well even if you don’t follow football soccer you know that they usually are very good, base on history they are consider a super power team on the football world, another story is to see how good they will be in this tournament. Now we understand why all the media picked this group as the group of death.
  • I think even if the others groups are not supposed to be as hard as group G, some are more complicated than others.
  • Group A; Brazil wont have it easy we saw that Croatia wasn’t easy and let’s see if Mexico or Cameroon can complicate them, as well Spain in group B has Chile a tough one for them and well The Netherlands and you probably already know what happened, Group D is also a bit complicated, three out of the four have been World Cup Champions before, Uruguay, England and Italy.
  • The rests of the groups are less complicated in most people opinions.

The Bracket

Once we know the ups and downs of the groups… We need a bracket, I am not used to fill in a bracket in advance like predictions for each match, I don’t do that, I use it more to follow-up results and to see who will face who in the next Stage, but if you want to fill them in, if you haven’t done that yet you still have time, we still have a lot of matches ahead.

e10711362a0eb2eb91c0f59f4c17b28d6bf2119f21f2741c1128de793e74021f_large

88_WC_BRACKET2

Matches Schedule

Then we need to know the schedule, so we can decided which matches to watch, or as in my case to plan the non football relate activities I need to do ;). The one below is FIFA’s schedule that I really like, because I have the groups and their abbreviations to use when I’m tweeting and also I can see which teams play every day. But it’s in Brazil time zone, so for example here in New York we have one hour less than Brazil, so for me is still easy, but you just can look at your TV programing to find out about the hours.

FIFA-world-cup-2014-Wall-Chart-Schedule

Where to watch it.

I usually watch the games at home, I’m more comfortable and also I have wi-fi all the time haha… But for some matches I do like to go out and watch it with other soccer fans, so bars and viewing parties are perfect. I like to keep it simple, I wont spend all day in a bar but if you want to… 😉 hehe

Most probably a bars near you will have the tournament on theirs TVs but if not usually magazines or newspapers will give you ideas. In New York there a couple of list even with maps so you can decided depending where you live.

Where wc map where to wc

Other option is to search soccer supporters website to find out where they will meet and you can join them, just be careful and be safe if you don’t know them. Some MLS teams are having public viewing parties for certain matches in the U.S so check their websites too.

 Online/ Application Options

So if you don’t have access to a TV to watch the matches, nowday most probably the network that has the WC rights have an online streaming, or an application to download and follow all the action. In the U.S, Univision has free online streaming and applications for your phone, ESPN also has an application although I don’t remember if you need to subscribe or something, I’ll double-check and update. For other places check the networks online pages, they will have all information.

Twitter – I really  like twitter coverage of the World Cup, you find a lot of information with hashtags, follow journalist or people who are in Brazil, and also have fun with the falshtags, when you use a hashtag with the official FIFA country abbreviation a flag of the country will appear next to the letters, which is really cool, also they have other cool options like teams logos, or teams profile type of pictures. If you are using a computer results in real-time will appear on the side… see why I am kind of obsess with twitter specially during the world cup!

twitter pic twitter 2

Google – They have some cool things, like statistics and schedule of matches, also quick search and other things like that. I love the World Cup Google doddles, they are so cute!!

BqNZgs2CIAA2YGA

Bp6pttiIUAA9Qd3 BqLVwuuCIAAMuaT

I think these are the basics things to know what’s happening during the World Cup, probably you already knew this but just in case you just joined the soccer fever this is a good start.

Later we can look other things that make the whole World Cup experience more fun, like national teams Jerseys, Fashion, how to party and other type of essentials for the tournament.  At the end it’s all about having fun, enjoy and experience all about it. The serious things and the silly and funny things too.

Thanks for reading, let me know if this is kind of helpful, or if you  have other ideas or basic information that we need to know to have more fun while enjoying the World Cup, feel free to leave a comment.

In honor to the host Country lest dance a little bit to celebrate all goals!!

tumblr_m8uvenvwSK1rxdvy7o1_500_large

 Have a great day!!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Google.com. fifa.com, 8by8mag.com, NYTimes.com, Twitter.

 

Get your passport and tickets ready…. destiny Brazil 2014!!

Hello ♥s!!

tumblr_mforhzDPaX1s1qyeto1_500

Yep we are going to places!! lol…. Some teams already got their tickets to the hottest place and the most excited adventure in football World next year, and I meant Football soccer, so no I was not talking about New York/ New Jersey Super Bowl, I was talking about a much bigger scenario, nations have been fighting with their hearts, minds and bodies to get there, yes you got it now… Brazil 2014, THE WORLD CUP!!

Now that we are starting to see more teams getting their direct tickets with non stops in between, the feeling and emotions are increasing too… Can’t wait! But according to my blog countdown we went from nine months to eight months now! One less!! Wohooo…

1233367_10151803542948941_1571862123_n

Costa Rica's Brenes celebrates his goal against Jamaica with teammates during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Kingston

In our side of the map, in our region the qualifiers were as expected emotional,  with a happy ending for two out of the six team playing the hexagonal, the USA and Costa Rica are ready to get their passport stamped and it will says Brazil! Good for them, they did an amazing job, the Hex is not over yet but mathematically they are classified for the World Cup, kudos to them, they will not suffer the anxiety that it is trying to get that last spot or to at least get into that 4th place that would give a hope to get a chance to dance Samba in the place where everyone knows what Samba is and how to dance it! lol

The games last week were very emotional for different reasons depending on who you were supporting, The Red, White and Blue had a great game with a needed Mexican team, they both needed the win, but with two different feelings, the U.S was looking to booked their plane seat to Brazil and Mexico was trying to stay alive and with options.

 1234995_10151803341248941_1912490428_n

1378865034000-USP-Soccer-World-Cup-Qualifier-Mexico-at-USA

Mexico visited the USA in Columbus, with an incredible turnout and support for U.S fans, this was great to watch, it is something we are not used to see in U.S soil, but happily is something that we are starting to see more often and I hope it will continue that way!  Anyways back to Mexico, they came with a new coach after Chepo was fired, Jose Tena’s mission was to win this game and keep the hopes alive, but he was not lucky, first base on previous encounters in Columbus, the result in latest games played there have been 2- 0 in favor of the bars and stars, so you have that and if you add a team that is not in their best mind-set, fiscally and emotional under a lot of pressure well it was a difficult mission… And we all saw it, the result was once again a “dos a cero” as the whole stadium chanted and let us know just in case we weren’t looking at the board lol…

1174750_10151803317588941_804697853_n

1235027_10151803441573941_2085419454_n

So I think out of the six team playing the Hexagonal, Mexico is the one that has surprised us the most, because of their history, because of what they meant to the region, the rest of the teams still fighting for a ticket, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama  they know they might have a chance, but historically they are not expected to be there every WC, like Mexico, they have missed one due to suspension and beside that one they have been in there all the time therefore the surprise….

So yes it’s a big disappointment, and base on the fact that Tena who was on an interim basis was replaced  just after one game you can feel the pressure and the rush,  Honduras in holding the third place with a direct ticket, Mexico  is fith and in the hopes for a miracle they hire a new coach Victor Manuel Vucetich to see if he can be the savior that could lead them at least to the fourth place that would get then not to Brazil, but to New Zealeand in November to fight for a chance to Brazil…

628x471

7imago

The good news for them is that despite still needing a miracle,  the results of the other games played last week still make it possible for them to hold on to that hope, mathematically they still have a change but most likely they will be hoping for that fourth spot… let’s see how it would turn out, they only have two matches left in CONCACAF qualifier.

Aside from Mexico real drama… for Costa Rica and the USA was all celebration, well deserved it!

seleccionados-Costa-Rica-Mundial-Brasil_LNCIMA20130912_0136_5omar-gonzalez-chugging-a-beer

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think?  You think Mexico will make it to the WC? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Have a great week!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to USsoccer official facebook page, nacion.com and deportes.terra.com.ar, gif from google.com and US celebration video from YouTube user: Pablo Maurer

“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”

Holaaaa!!

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

int_130728_carlisle_Gold_Cup_IA

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.

1375052358003-USP-Soccer-Gold-Cup-Championship-USA-vs-Panama3-1307281904_4_3

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!

CLN-PAN-MEX-Recap-755x539

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.

hi-res-174373339_crop_exact

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.

BQTXKSFCEAA60sH

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!!!!

tumblr_lmagqmTWDi1qii6tmo1_500

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.

Midweek tales!

Hola!!

Weekend

Yes It’s me again, I am really into peace and love hahaha….

It’s Wednesday! The belly button of the week, it feels like the weekend is kind of close or at least that’s what I like to think…  belly button make me think about belly dance… bailamos!!!

A quick midweek dance over some Football Soccer tales!

♠ On my last post Real Madrid was about to play their first pre-season game against Bournemouth, it was the first chance to see Ancelotti’s team in action, and they didn’t disappoint with a 6-0 victory, it’s still early to tell how they will do during the regular season but base on the result and what the team did on the Pitch, it looks promising, at least for now.

1002318_10150433291899953_1187569789_n

1374643568_extras_noticia_foton_7_1

In the transfer scenarios, the Bale case is still going on, so this is a to be continued…  and sadly or happily depending on your preference, Marca is reporting that in a couple of hours “El Pipita” Higuain will be heading to Naples, Italy, to sign for Napoli, if everything goes well his transfer will be done, in that case he scored his good-bye goal in the 6-0 win this past Sunday, Good bye Pipa… I’ll miss you!

1374575262_extras_noticia_foton_7_1

♠ Moving on… When I heard that Tito Vilanova stepped down as Barcelona Manager, it was such a sad news, one thing is, if a coach leaves a team because he signs for another club, or when the head coach is remove meaning fired because of results or whatever, but his reason is just heartbreaking… He’s been fighting cancer for a while, and just when we all thought that he was well, the Club announced that he has to go back to treatment, it was sad, he stepped down as Barcelona’s head coach or Manager, to fight his most important game, defeating throat cancer, I am sending him prayers, good vibes and positivism…. life is soo fragile…

Jordi Roura, Carles Puyol and Lionel Messi at Friday's press conference. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Jordi Roura, Carles Puyol and Lionel Messi at Friday’s press conference. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

The team was at the press room in a sign of support for who has been involved with the Club for many years including the Guardiola period and who has been their coach during the last seasons, but the Club said it, life goes on, and they have to get ready for next season, so after the news, the question was who was going to take the challenging mission of coaching one of the greatest Football Club in the world?…

Well after many speculations, and names flying up and down, coming in and out from many directions, the waiting wasn’t that long as the awaiting of the Royal Baby hehehe. The chosen one was the Argentinian Gerardo Martino known as “Tata” Martino, who will be given a two-year contract said the Club. It was some kind of surprise for many since his name wasn’t at the top of the list of the possible candidates, but he was well-known by Leo Messi and Leo’s  father, who might have put his name in the orbit and made some recommendations to Barcelona directives.

Roda_de_Premsa_de_Tata_Martino_v1374604727

After  almost 30 years an Argentinian will be once again the head coach of Barcelona, he held his first press conference, in which he said that Barcelona already has a defined style and that they as a coach team are the ones that have to adapt to that style and work  day by day to feel comfortable and be up to the expectations.

 1374599361_extras_noticia_foton_7_0

♠ Both clubs have made major chances in their coach seat, we will have to see how this new season will unfold, seems we will have a very entertaining season, and if you add that next year is the World Cup, well you have an additional motivation for players to do their best to get that dreaming spot to wear and defend their national team jerseys!

1000729_10150433291094953_1799595518_n

Let’s bring the tales to our side of the pond….!!!

♠ I am full recovered from my national team El Salvador losing the quarterfinals game against a very good USA team in the Gold Cup, they played in Baltimore, in front of a very large group of Salvadoran fans, in fact I think it felt like the US team was a visitor in their own soil, but that didn’t help that 5-0 was painful to watch :(. It amazed me how we are not that good as other teams, but as you can see we support out national team unconditional, we feel part of the team and the nation even when we have never won any major tournament or event in a while or ever… but the fans are always there, no matter what, even if we probably know that we might lose they still will support and have the faith that there might be a chance, a miracle or a surprise, I just love that!!

072113-SOCCER-gold-cup-quarterfinal-OB-G3_20130721181550661_600_400

No miracles or surprises this time, the USA team is playing very good, Landon Donovan in making all amendments to be back in the world cup qualifying roster, meaning the “A”  team after his brief vacations from soccer,  leading a very good team that has been able to keep up a wining streak even playing with their “B” team, they look strong and a serious contender to win this tournament…. Mexico is another story, they are trying to come out of a very bad period, draw games, not many victories but still they just got into semifinals so you can not take them out of the equation, we’ll see.

072013-SOCCER-gold-cup-mexico-trinidad-tobago-LN-G6_20130720204756305_600_400

The Gold Cup will have semifinals today, USA vs Honduras and Mexico vs Panama. Might the forces be with the best ones, or with the ones that score the goals!

GoldCupSoccer2013_930x278

CONCACAF which means Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, is not as competitive as other confederations such as Europe or South America CONMEBOL, but still is our region and they are trying to make improvements to make it more entertaining and more competitive, I think is a good thing, I hope they can keep growing with time and I hope they will try to keep improving,  there is still a lot, I mean a looot of room of improvement lol…

Let’s see how this will end up, if I have to pick, base on what I’ve seen I will say, USA and Panama will move on to the Final… predictions, predictions, predictions….

Thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of the week if you want to comment don’t be shy feel free and let me know what you think!!

Besitos

Pictures from Real Madrid facebook, Marca.com, The Guardian.co.uk, FCBarcelona.com and FoxSoccer.com, last one from google images.