U.S. advances to Gold Cup quarters, but doesn’t impress in win over Haiti

July 11, 2015

“The record will show that the U.S. national team won its CONCACAF Gold Cup group after only two games. But the scoreboard doesn’t begin to show how difficult it was to do so. Three days after struggling to beat Honduras, the Americans squeaked by a dangerous Haitian squad, 1-0, before 46,720 fans on a temporary grass field at Gillette Stadium. Clint Dempsey scored his third goal of the tournament—he’s the only American to find the net so far—and goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a spectacular second-half save to rob Haiti (0-1-1) of a draw it probably deserved. The U.S. (2-0-0) will move on (not before playing Panama on Monday) but has plenty of work to do to find its championship form.” SI

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup
“The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is the 13th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition and the 23rd CONCACAF regional championship overall in CONCACAF’s fifty years of existence. It is currently being held in the United States, with two matches being played in Canada, marking the first time the CONCACAF Gold Cup is played in that country. …” Wikipedia

2015 concacaf Gold Cup – Schedule & Results

A guide to formations: The 4-1-2-1-2

July 11, 2015

“The 4-1-2-1-2 formation is a variation of the standard 4-4-2 and there are two versions of this formation. In both versions, the back 4, central defensive midfielder, the central attacking midfielder and the two strikers stay the same. The main difference is the role of the two extra midfielders. In one variation, they play as wide midfielders and in the other, as central midfielders. This slight difference in positions has a large impact on the roles of the other players and the team’s overall style of play.” Outside of the Boot

Copa America 2015: Team of the Tournament

July 11, 2015

“Chile ended their near century drought with a penalty shoot-out victory over Argentina in front of a sea of red in Santiago on Saturday to claim their first ever Copa America. It was a triumph of the collective over the individual and fittingly rewarded the country’s best ever generation with victory on home soil. Yes, there had been some kind refereeing decisions that had gone their way but that shouldn’t take anything away from a fantastic team performance by Sampaoli’s men. For Argentina, it was so close but yet so far as they fell at the final hurdle for the second year in a row. For them the wait continues. After a memorable tournament, now comes the time for reflection and a chance to recognise some of the best performers from Chile 2015. Playing in a 4-2-3-1, here are the players that stood out for me over the course of the last few weeks.” Outside of the Boot

Lyon – All The Young Punks

July 11, 2015

“At the beginning of the 2014/15 season very few analysts expected Lyon to be among the front-runners in Ligue 1, given that they had just changed their manager, replacing Rémi Garde with Hubert Fournier, and spent virtually no money. However, their exciting young side led the table for a lengthy period before finishing in a highly creditable second place behind the expensively assembled Paris Saint-Germain, thus qualifying for the Champions League. Expectations were on the low side, as Les Gones had endured much disappointment in the previous two seasons, failing to reach their previous heights by only finishing 3rd and 5th in the league.” The Swiss Ramble

Sergio Busquets – the underrated key of Barcelona’s success?

July 11, 2015

“When you think of Barcelona’s successes from 2008 onwards the three players who immediately come to mind are Lionel Messi, Andreas Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. There’s another player though who is rarely spoken about that should receive equal praise in relation to how Barcelona perform. His name is Sergio Busquets.” backpagefootball

An Intimate Portrait of a Professional Footballer’s Last Match An Intimate Portrait of a Professional Footballer’s Last Match

July 11, 2015

“When Milad Ahmadvand, the team photographer of Swiss club FC Winterthur, learned that former fan favorite Sawwas Exouzidis would play his final game as a professional footballer against his one-time club, it was an opportunity he couldn’t resist. The result is an heart-wrenching, intimate portrait of a man coming to terms with the end of his career. Eight by Eight spoke with Ahmadvand about the photo series, titled “My Last Game,” and he agreed to share a truncated version of the essay.” 8 by 8