June 2016

England see another type of Brexit
Posted by jschario on 06/27/16
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Monday in France, one of the most dominant eras of soccer ended at the hands of the Italians, as they defeated two-time defending Euro Cup champions Spain. Many had them rated as the best team in the tournament, even after they lost to Croatia after winning their first two matches, and were rated as one of the favorites coming into this year's edition. Some might point to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as the real beginning to the end, but that was an older Spanish team, still clinging to their most golden era of players. This squad in France was supposed to be the perfect blend of youth and... Read More
A look at some intriguing matchups
Posted by jschario on 06/23/16
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The knockout round has been set at Euro 2016 in France, and thanks to a larger field, 16 teams start the round, with four of the best three seeds advancing in the 2016 edition. The expanded field yielded much controversy, but there have been some pleasant surprises such as Wales and Ireland. Both of whom have played atonishingly well considering their past histories. Summing up the play so far, the most disappointing team would have to be Portugal, who needed the expanded format to even get to the group stages. Not to mentiona Cristiano Ronaldo brace that featured one of the most brillant... Read More
USMNT has a long way to go
Posted by jschario on 06/21/16
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At the end of the day, Argentina showed why they are ranked as the top national team in the soccer world by FIFA, and the United States showed why they are 31st. If there is any silver lining in losing the way they did, it's that Jurgen Klinsmann learned how valuable Bobby Wood, Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya are. Or that the US still has much work to do if they are going to compete for championships. Argentina came in as heavy favorites, as they should be (they do have the best player in the world in their uniform after all). They play with such skill, rhythm, cohesion and creativity... Read More
World champs Germany still looking to hit their stride
Posted by jschario on 06/19/16
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A favorite has finally showed itself in Euro 2016. The two-time defending champions Spain, produced a work of absolute art in their match against Turkey Thursday, becoming the first team in the tournament to score more than two goals. Spain was so brilliant; they left not just anyone who watched the game in awe, but the Turkish as well.  It was as if they turned back the clock to their run as one of the best international teams in the history of the game, retaining possession and picking apart their opposition. They may no longer be ranked number one in the world – Argentina showed why they... Read More
Posted by jschario on 06/17/16
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It looks like Jurgen Klinsmann wasn’t crazy after all for forecasting a semifinal finish for the United States in the Copa America Centenario. In front of a passionate crowd as is custom in Seattle, the men’s national team pulled out a 2-1 win over a formidable Ecuador side. "Our program is maturing," coach Jurgen Klinsmann said afterward. "Our players are maturing. They are learning with every game they can play in this type of an environment. This is what we had hoped for." Ecuador, ranked 13th in FIFA’s world rankings, had an advantage coming in as Deandre Yedlin was suspended for... Read More
Posted by jschario on 06/15/16
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After securing their spot atop Group A, many thought the US Men's National Team would have been facing Peru in the quarterfinal round. Instead, Peru upset the power house that once was Brazil thanks to a fortuitous blown call on a handball in the box that led to Peru's lone goal, which proved to be the game winner. Alas, the Americans are playing Ecuador, another team that Brazil may have taken lightly, as they tied the Selecão in their opening match. They will likely have the best home field advantage they could ask for as the USMT will take on the Ecuadorians in Seattle at Century Link.... Read More
Possibly avoids Brazil in the quarterfinals
Posted by jschario on 06/12/16
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Before the outset of the Copa America tournament, before kicking off in Santa Clara last week, Team USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann claimed that the goal was to get to the final four. Many thought that such a goal would be a bit too lofty for the hosts, with Colombia in their group and Brazil their likely quarterfinal opponent. Although now, with Group A all wrapped up, it seems that the final four may not be out of the questionfor Klinsmann and co. Behind Clint Dempsey's goal in the 27th minute, the US did just enough to hold onto a 1-0 win over Paraguay despite playing much of the second half... Read More
Posted by jschario on 06/11/16
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Stateside, there's a bevy of stars playing in the Copa America tournament. However, of the biggest South American stars are holding out until the knockout rounds. Leo Messi and Neymar are prime examples with Neymar missing the entire tournament in order to appease Barcelona enough to release him to play in the Olympics to be held in Rio de Janiero. A look over to the other side of the pond and all the biggest European stars will be suiting up for the entire tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Wayne Rooney, the list goes on. Here are a few others you should keep your eyes on for... Read More
Now 1-0-1
Posted by jschario on 06/07/16
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The first Copa America on U.S. soil started last week and is in full swing, with the hosts Team USA already logging two matches in group play. It was not easy as their first two matches were against arguably the best two teams in their group, Colombia and Costa Rica. Of course, the USMT kicked off the Copa America Centenario in Pasadena Calif. taking on Colombia at the Rose Bowl. They host handily, dropping three points after a 2-0 loss to los cafeteros. Star midfielder James Rodriguez scored for the Colombians, with the US struggling to get much going despite playing on their home turf.... Read More
Posted by jschario on 06/05/16
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This summer is one filled with quality soccer. Stateside we have the Copa America, later in the season we have the Olympics in Brazil where the likes of Neymar will compete, and likely the best of all the summer competitions, the Euro Cup, starts this week. What makes the Euro Cup the best tournament in soccer - even better than the World Cup according to some - is that it's only the best players and best teams facing each other. Unlike the World Cup, you won't see France playing a team the likes of South Korea. Instead you see France take on the likes of Spain, England or Cristiano Ronaldo's... Read More
What are the US' chances?
Posted by jschario on 06/02/16
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The Copa America kicks off tomorrow with hosts USA taking on James Rodriguez and Colombia. It's the first Copa America tournament to no be held in South America, and will kick off at Soldier Field in Chicago. The USA makes a return to the tournament, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said that the goal is to get to the semifinals. But what are the realistic expectations for Team USA? Let's start with the coach, shall we? Klinsmann is in his fifth year at the helm of the American ship, and despite much fanfare around his arrival, his results have been somewhat underwhelming. Yes, the USMT... Read More