News

Luis Suarez bit Chiellini - and he deserves what's coming

Suarez holds his guilty teeth as Chiellini appeals for justice that would not come

With only minutes to go and his Uruguay team in the path of elimination, a frustrated Luis Suarez went for an old unsporting antic by sinking his teeth into the shoulder of the nearest Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini.

The biggest twist in this story is how many news sources are playing down the incident. Many outlets are reporting that there was a "collision" between the players, and some go as far as saying that it only appears as though Suarez may have bitten another professional player during a live television broadcast for the... third... time...

Man Utd owner Malcom Glazer dies at 85

The owner that caused controversy during the 2005 purchase of the foremost British club is once again raising concerns upon his passing due to deteriorating health after a stroke in April. The news puts the immediate future and handling of the club in question during a transition year that will be critical to the Red Devils.

During Glazer's era Manchester United were largely successful, guided by the steady leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson, whose retirement last season left the club in a precarious position of subpar management while also understaffed on the pitch.

Landon Donovan Cut From Team USA

Landon Donovan, the 32 year-old American attacking midfielder of international quality, considered by many the overall best USA soccer player, will not be representing his country in what was to be his last World Cup, a tournament integral to his nature as much as liberty is to the American way.

With some background playing in top divisions in Europe (Germany and England,) Donovan is one of the few players uniquely qualified to bring in hands-on knowledge to a group of players that are mostly isolated from top-flight playing experience.

Barcelona needs a top goalie. Make it a good one.

I never liked Victor Valdez. He is a good keeper, but he is not "king of the world" good. There's no essence of Van Der Sar, Casillas or Khan about him. Not even a little bit. It has always been puzzling to me how a team that's willing to pay Messi's salary and pay maddening figures for a brute diamond like Neymar, can go around for years with nothing but Valdez protecting the posts.

And don't get me started on Pinto. I think he would be a strong goalie for the second division. How is it that the "we play to win everything" Barca brand does not have a first rate second GK?

Can USA Overcome Group G? No. Of course not.

There's a wonderful optimism coming from the American team and media about the USA national squad going to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Bless their positive thinking, everyone wants to win, and USA has the confidence of already making it into the top 32.

Match Analysis

USWNT 1 - 0 Trinidad & Tobago

USA Deployment

At the begining the back line used 3.5 players, with Krieger essentially playing full-court right midfield. This was enabled by Klingenberg staying back on the left side to support the 2 central defenders.

Looking at the middle, Rapinoe was playing trequartista (all-out playmaker with minimal defensive duties) anchored on the left side. On the other extreme Holiday was playing destroyer/deep architect which means she would constantly exist close to the defenders, leaving Lloyd roughly by herself to marshal the entire central midfield.

Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid

Opinion on the UEFA Final 2014.

What did not work:

Khedira was lost in midfield. To be fair, Atletico were legendary in their ability to command the midfield, recover and navigate the ball, as well as manhandle their opponents with urgency and abusiveness. Playing a 3-person midfield made it hard enough on Real to deal with Atletico's brilliance, and Khedira's mediocre form was simply not up to par for the intensity of this final.

Arsenal 0 - 2 Manchester City - 1/13/2013

The highlight of this match was the referee’s hand on the player count. At 10’ Mike Dean saw an aggressive jostle inside the box, thought of it as a tackle and decided not only to award the penalty but also to exact the maximum card on Koscielny. Most of the players were as surprised as the spectators, not only given the venue and clock, but also the triviality of this type of jostle in the EPL. Arsenal fans were hurt by the call but soon uplifted as Dzeko shot the penalty into Szczesny.

Malaga 3 - 2 Real Madrid

GK selection aside, Real Madrid came to the field playing a rushed and ultimately inferior approach from the early stages of the game. Despite of creating many opportunities they were not really able to find a winning pace until the last few minutes when Málaga switched to a containment mentality.

Manchester City 2-2 Ajax

Ajax played their game with balance, were able to get their goals, and kept City from outscoring them even after a frantic second-half dominated by City's resilience in making something happen.

From The Web

A Samurai Roams Brazil - Speaks Soccer

As Japan gears up to their first FIFA World Cup 2014 match against the African nation Cote d'Ivoire, the team beings settling in Brazil and taking in the wonderful South American sights and culture.

At the same time, a Japanese Samurai traveling with the team's training staff got caught up sight-seeing and pulled into a cultural exchange, with the world's sport as the common language:

Edgy Interview with Balotelli

In a candid video, Mario Balotelli gives the best interview ever to himself, exploring his inner thoughts and intellectual complexity in the shallowest of ways. Mario catches Balotelli with a few quick fire questions, and you'll be surprised to find out who the player thinks is the best, most fun and prettiest of them all.

Joe Hart: There’s No Love for Goalies

Joe Hart

Better Football has an interview with Manchester City's #1 Joe Hart. The England goalie discusses growing up as a player and the relationship between keepers and infield players. Read the Interview:
http://betterfootball.net/soccer-coaching/interviews/joe-hart-goalkeeper...

Is Possession for Everyone?

An analysis at Magic Spongers, sparked by an opinion at The Guardian that passing and pressing are at the heart of the sport's foreseeable future:

"Football has undergone a process of bielsafication; pressing and possessing, passing rather than dribbling, intercepting high up the field rather than making last-ditch tackles, are in vogue."