Mexico advances to Gold Cup final after chaotic, ugly semifinal show

July 25, 2015

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“Mexico is heading to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, but not exactly in the most glory-filled manner. Despite having a man advantage from the 25th minute on, Mexico needed another late, controversial penalty call to force extra time, where it ultimately prevailed over Panama 2–1 at the Georgia Dome to set up a final against Jamaica on Sunday at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. Andres Guardado, just like he did in the quarterfinals against Costa Rica, converted the late penalty and then another one in extra time to keep El Tri alive.” SI

Undesired third-place game still serves a purpose for United States
“There are two ways to look at Saturday’s Gold Cup consolation game between the United States and Panama. On one hand, it can be viewed as little more than an inconvenience, a match the players and coaches on both teams — having fallen short of reaching Sunday’s final in nearby Philadelphia — would just as soon not play at all. On the other, it’s still a chance for the sides to represent their countries, make a little bit of appearance money and, for the team that is victorious (after all, there must be a winner), an opportunity to end a disappointing, unfulfilling and ultimately unsuccessful tournament with heads held high.” ESPN


What should be expected from Liverpool?

July 25, 2015

“Liverpool have been shrewd in this transfer window (as much as I can regret these words in 2016). The fact that they’ve got most of the transfers done before the pre-season because Rodgers wanted the players to be together and train for a month before the season began, unlike last season, signifies that the Northern Irishman has some sort of a plan in his head. There has been a clear improvement in the squad and unlike last season, the focus is not merely on increasing the squad but also on quality. Roberto Firmino has been the pick of the signings for most people who cry for ‘marquee’ players, and the swiftness in which the Reds got that done was massively impressive. Not to forget, there has been a change in the backroom staff.” Outside of the Boot


The genius of Ghiggia will forever be remembered

July 25, 2015

“On 16 July 1950, he scored the decisive goal as Uruguay came from behind to beat Brazil 2-1 and win the fourth edition of the World Cup. The crowd gathered in Rio de Janeiro’s newly opened Maracana stadium may well have been one of the biggest ever assembled to watch a game of football. And Ghiggia, as he liked to say, along with the Pope and Frank Sinatra, was one of just three men to silence the giant stadium. The most important man on that fateful day was the final one to leave the scene. All the other 21 players who took the field that day have already passed on. Ghiggia was the last of the gang to die.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Tactical Philosophy: Thomas Tuchel

July 25, 2015

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“Thomas Tuchel is one of these new up and coming coaches who never played at the highest level. He grew up in a tiny Bavarian town named Krumbach near Augsburg. At the age of 15, he joined FC Augsburg where he won the German youth cup twice in 1991 and 1992. Finishing his youth career, Tuchel signed for the second-tier side Stuttgarter Kickers. However, having made 8 appearances during his first professional season, the second season at Stuttgart was a disappointment, as he was dropped from the first team. Afterwards, he joined the Ralf Rangnick-coached SSV Ulm in the third division where he played in 69 matches for the Swabians in 4 years before ending his active career due to a chronic cartilage injury in 1998.” Outside of the Boot

Tactical Philosophy: Unai Emery
“Unai Emery’s father, grandfather and uncle were professional football players and it was in Emery’s genes to follow their footsteps. But the journey was not an easy one for the Basque. After representing Real Sociedad five times at the senior level, Emery was booted out. He spent most of his time playing for lower division clubs until an injury put an end to his playing career during his time at Lorca Deportiva.” Outside of the Boot


How UEFA can fix Financial Fair Play

July 25, 2015

“It has been five years since Michel Platini promised to save European football from financial ruin. The introduction of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules gave fans hope that success in football would no longer be decided by how much money a Russian oil tycoon or Middle Eastern sheikh could throw at a club. But the rules in their current format are not stopping super rich clubs from spending eye watering amounts of money. Seven of the top ten transfers of all time have occurred in the last two years and financial experts warned against ‘reckless wage spending last summer, four years after the introduction of FFP. The rule make no attempt to improve the chances of well run clubs who see no benefit from living within their means.” backpagefootball


Adriano – A virtual cult hero

July 25, 2015

“Of all the international tournaments at which a player can make their mark, take by storm and forever be associated with, perhaps there is none more underwhelming than the Confederations Cup. But perhaps there is no more fitting a match than the Confederations Cup and Adriano Leite Riberio, the player who will forever be associated with the 2005 edition of the official ‘year before the World Cup dry run’. At the time of the tournament, Adriano was one of the most fearsome strikers in world football, part of a Brazilian side that had sold its samba soul to Dunga.” backpagefootball