World Cup 2014: Guide to Germany’s Group G

June 2, 2014

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“Style & formation: Blessed with far more flair than many Germany sides of the past, their fluid 4-2-3-1 is underpinned by Bastian Schweinsteiger and the currently injured Sami Khedira anchoring the side from the base of midfield. Ahead of them lies creative fulcrum Mesut Ozil, who is usually flanked by the dangerous Marco Reus and Thomas Muller.” BBC – Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

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The 10 Most Significant Goals In U.S. Soccer History

June 2, 2014

“1. THE ‘SHOT’ THAT STARTED IT ALL. In November 1989, the week-long training camp before the most important U.S. soccer game in 40 years was the usual no-frills affair. In the days before cell phones and the Internet, the U.S. players slept two to a dorm room in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and shared a single pay phone among all of them to call home. But they did have basic televisions in each small unit, and one night defender Paul Caligiuri was sitting on the floor when his roommate, goalkeeper Tony Meola, commandeered the couch and started flipping through channels looking for a show to watch. Their talk turned to the game they would play two days later in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, a World Cup qualifier that bore the highest of stakes. To clinch the U.S.’s first World Cup berth since 1950, the Americans had to win on the road against a team that had not lost at home during the qualifying campaign. If the U.S. tied or lost, tiny T&T would end up grabbing the first World Cup spot in the nation’s history.” SI


Backward headers the new bicycle kick at World Cup

June 2, 2014

“Each World Cup brings its own trends: no defending in 1954, bendy long-range goals in 1978, thinking a crowd wave was both fun and original at Mexico 86. This summer we’re in the country with the image rights to the overhead kick. It’s the kind of acrobatics beloved of commentators and pundits, easily commodifiable as the ‘toughest skill in the game’. But try a backwards header. Atlético Madrid’s last goal of 2013-14, in the Champions League final, was scored like this by Diego Godín. Arguably the best ever headed goal was a reverse effort at the 2002 finals.” WSC (Video)


Inside the Fixing: How a Gang Battered Soccer’s Frail Integrity

June 2, 2014

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“A man arrived at the police station here in 2011 with an unusual tip. He told the police that a Singaporean man was fixing matches with the local professional soccer team. The police were incredulous. This city on the Arctic Circle is known as the hometown of Santa Claus. It boasts a theme park with reindeer, elves and jolly St. Nicks. It is also a popular destination for Asian couples looking to make love under the Northern Lights. Rovaniemi is known for many things, but not for organized crime.” NY Times – Part 1, NY Times – Part 2


Memphis Depay By Adidas Foolball X Capa 90

June 2, 2014

“PSV’s Memphis Depay was confirmed in Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad for the World Cup earlier today, and is part of this year’s The 100. In this two-parter by adidas Football in partnership with Copa90, Depay and the people around him tell the story of a remarkable young player from his childhood in Moordrecht to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” In Bed With Maradona (Video)


Colombia and Uruguay give way to youth

June 2, 2014

“It looks as if centre-back Dante will get a game when Brazil take on Panama in Tuesday’s warm-up match. Captain Thiago Silva is carrying a knock, and is likely to be rested. Otherwise, the team picks itself. All week, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been training with the same lineup that won the Confederations Cup. In subsequent friendlies, Scolari has looked at variations here and there, and tested out reserve players. But that same starting eleven has been in his mind for a year now.” ESPN – Tim Vickery