September 2016

Posted by jschario on 09/30/16
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Week 2 of the Champions League group stage completed this week, and Spain again showed it quality against some of the biggest international clubs in the world. The English Premier League may get a lot of adulation as the best soccer league on the planet, and for good reason. Any given match a team the stature of Manchester United or Chelsea can lose to the likes of a Swansea or Crystal Palace. However when it comes to European play, the true cream of the crop lies in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain to be exact. Europa League or Champions League, Spanish teams are proving to be the class of... Read More
Posted by jschario on 09/26/16
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No one thought anyone team was ever going to run away with the championship, so it should not be a surprise that the race for the La Liga title got nothing but tighter after all 20 teams played twice this week.  Real Madrid still hold on to a slim lead after being held to just one point in each of their matches this week, a draw at home to Villarreal and then another Saturday on the road in Gran Canaria against Las Palmas. The newly promoted Las Palmas were able to pull even at two in the 85th minute thanks to a goal by 24-year-old Argentinan striker Sergio Araujo. Marco Asensio and Karim... Read More
yet everything remains the same
Posted by jschario on 09/22/16
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The Spanish top flight gets a bit of a bad rap in the soccer world for being very top heavy, which holds some merit. Every year for the past four or five seasons, the title race has come down to a battle of three teams; Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid. However this past weekend easily featured the best match ups and most contested matches in the young 2016-17 season. The marquee match taking place on the Mediterranean at the Camp Nou between Atleti and Barça. Of course, any match with the words Madrid and Barcelona is always somewhat of a rivalry, even if both sides look at Real... Read More
No surprises in Week 3
Posted by jschario on 09/18/16
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Last week, Real Madrid moved into sole possession of first place in the Spanish top flight for the first time in over a year. And this was not the week they wanted to give it up again, traveling to Barcelona to take on Catalonia's other team, Espanyol Sunday. Manager Zindine Zidane decided to rest both of his biggest galaticos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. No matter however, because he still has galaticos on reserve. Out go Ronaldo and Bale, in go James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio. And the Colombian James rewarded Zidane by putting the visitors up 1-0 just before halftime. James of... Read More
Posted by jschario on 09/14/16
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Champions League is already back underway and the Spanish quartet of clubs came away undefeated, with Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid winning three points a piece; and Sevilla finishing with a point after a goalless draw with Juventus. Atlético beat Dutch side PSV Eindhoven on the road, while both Barça and Real won at home, 7-0 and 2-1 respectively. Diego Simeone's rojiblancos squad started their quest for a third UCL final in four years in the Netherlands, earning a hard fought three points in typical Atleti fashion. Saul Ñiiguez, not even 20-years-old, showed why everyone around... Read More
Barcelona drops three points
Posted by jschario on 09/11/16
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None of the three top Spanish teams have played teams anywhere near their stratosphere, yet only Real Madrid remains unscathed through the first three weeks of the 2016-17 season. Heading into the season's third week, Atlético Madrid was still looking for their first win of the young season, and coming out of the weekend, Barcelona find themselves looking up at Real Madrid in the leaderboard. Newly promoted Alavés from Basque Country in the north of Spain has suddenly assumed the titles of world beaters as they have managed to upset both Atleti and Barça. First they played Diego Simeone's... Read More
Atletico have dug themselves quite a hole
Posted by jschario on 09/08/16
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Soccer leagues around Europe took a break last week to accomodate for players going on international duty to play in their countries' World Cup qualifiers.  For the big clubs in Spain - Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid - this is a time of great stress as nearly all their players, and certainly their entire starting XI, are playing overseas rather than resting. This is an especially stressful time for Barça as every member of their attacking trio flies all the way to South America for their World Cup qualifiers. Lionel Messi for Argentina, Neymar for Barzil and Luis Suarez represents... Read More
Posted by jschario on 09/06/16
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August 31 has come and gone, and some soccer players are breathing sighs of relief, while others are left to fume until at least January 1st.  No one can be fuming more than Real Madrid pair Isco and James Rodriguez. Once darlings at the Bernabeu, the gargantuan stadium has turned into the largest prison cell for the two as they have relegated to the bench. Isco had been linked with a move away from Madrid, with Tottenham Hotspur supposedly swooping in in the last week or so of the transfer window for an offer to take him on loan. Alas however, it was not to be, as Isco reportedly rejected... Read More