Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Group A

1. Portugal – I think there is too much talent for them not to win this group. Cristiano Ronaldo is at the top of his game (isn’t that right Real Madrid?), Deco heads a strong midfield, and they should have this one locked up.

2. Switzerland – They’re the co-hosts, I think they’ll do anything to please their fans, and with the forward play of Frei and Streller, I think they will pull off a surprise.

3. Czech Republic – This is the type of team that will underachieve when expected to win, as evidenced in the 2006 World Cup. Another repeat here, and yes, it’s their inconsistent offense that will kill them.

4. Turkey – If they make it I’ll eat my hat.

Group B

1. Germany – I need an explanation?

2. Croatia – The race for 2nd will be very close, and I think Croatia’s backline will make the difference. They weren’t even supposed to be here, but England’s incompetence ensured they would advance. Niko Kranjcar is a very under-appreciated midfielder, and he is one of my key players for this side.

3. Poland – I don’t know why, maybe it’s the first appearance in the European championships, maybe it’s the fact that they’re playing in a very tough group that I think they’ll probably fall short of 2nd.

4. Austria – Are they even ranked? I think they’ll put up a very good effort like Switzerland, but they do not have the talent just yet to get the breakthrough.

Group C

1. France – Henry, Malouda, Thuram, this is a very dangerous French side that’s in the Group of Death, and with their solid attacking play, I believe that even if they lose to Italy, they’ll still beat Romania and the Netherlands and win the group.

2. Netherlands – Robin Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt are world class strikers, Edwin Van Der Sar at the age of 38 is still a solid goalkeeper, I see them nudging out Italy for the 2nd spot.

3. Italy – Losing Fabio Cannavaro really hurt them. The defense is just not the same without them, and this is after all, a very unpredictable tournament, out goes Italy.

4. Romania – The weakest of the strong teams, but I don’t expect them to be humiliated.

Group D

1. Spain – If you have Fernando Torres, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, and David Villa and not win, you have problem. This could be the side that scores the most goals in the tournament.

2. Greece – Why not? They are the defending champions, they want to prove it was not a fluke. I believe them and they will be in the quarterfinals.

3. Sweden – Unfortunately, in a tournament full of young stars like Ronaldo and Torres, the Swedes are old and cannot keep up with the likes of Spain or Greece.

4. Russia – Lucky if they win one game.

Quarterfinals

Portugal 2 Croatia 0

Germany 3 Switzerland 1

France 1 Greece 0

Spain 1 Netherlands 1 (Spain win 5-3 on penalties)

Semifinals

Portugal 2 Germany 1 (AET)

Spain 1 France 0

Final

Portugal 2 (Ronaldo 34, 65)  Spain 1 (Villa 57)

Golden Boot: Cristiano Ronaldo (5 goals)

Have a great time everyone and enjoy the tournament.

Cheer Up John Terry

Posted: May 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

On second thought, nevermind.

This is the first of a series of interviews for my other blog, and this one happens to be about a football blogger. Josh Mayers is the writer for The Beautiful Game, and he took the time to answer my questions.

1. When did you decide it was time to join the blogging world?

How crazy does one have to be to start a soccer blog in the U.S.? It’d probably garner as much interest as a VCR/Discman repairman these days.

Anyways…

It must have been early in 2007, I got a random Facebook message from a former high-school teammate. He saw that I’d gotten into the sportswriting field and casually said “Hey, you should start a soccer blog!”

It made perfect sense.

I’ve always loved the sport, it’s the only one that I’ve played competitively and it could be a great way to keep informed and keep my writing fresh.

It’s been fun.

2. Do you have a strong soccer background in your family?

Not really. My dad played casually and loved watching games when I was young. That exposure really got me interested in the international stars like Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp, Zidane.

My little brother, like myself, played through high school. But not much else.

3. What is your favorite league to cover?

<epic anthem style>The Champions!</epic>

I love the Champions League, which isn’t a domestic league, but it’s awesome, so there. Otherwise I spend most of my attention to the Premiership, which has all the money, the stars and, oh yeah, three of the four semifinalists in the UCL. (And I can read England’s newspapers)

I’m trying to get more into the MLS, especially with Seattle getting a team, but it’s a work in progress.

4. What can Bob Bradley do to improve the US Men’s National Team?

‘Roids.

The USMNT would be unstoppable if all the guys were on the juice. It’s the great equalizer. Other countries have loaded talent pools and passion for the sport, we need some help.

5. Have you bought into “Beckhammania” at all (like most people)?

As a soccer fan in this country, I’m thrilled that Beckham is here.

He’s set a precedent for European stars to come over in the future. (you reading this Thierry? Zinedine?) He’s gotten all the ESPN heads and media folk talking about the game. And he’s still a phenomenal player, with service second to none.

Some soccer purists think he’s a sideshow, but I think American soccer is a better and more entertaining product with him here.

6. Who wins the title? Manchester United or Chelsea?

Man. U.

Despite a dip in form of late, I still think the Red Devils will get the two wins. They got the tiebreaker (goal differential) locked up, obviously that’s work.

Oh yeah, Cristiano’s on the juice. That’ll help.

7. What are some soccer blogs that you recommend?

I love the soccer beat-writers’ blogs: The Soccer Insider, Soccer by Ives and Sideline Views.

101 Great Goals always has the highlights and awesome videos for me.

Some other favorites: Center Holds It, Goal! NY Times, Kickette, MLS Rumors, The Offside, The Offside Rules, The Spoiler and Who Ate All the Pies?


8. Do you think Seattle Sounders FC will threaten to move (like the Sonics and Mariners) if not granted a new stadium?

I can’t see that happening.

The Pacific Northwest is one of the best markets in the country, and people love soccer up here.

I appreciate what the league is doing, stressing the importance of soccer specific stadiums, but in Seattle I think it’s win-win with or without one.

Plus, I’ve been to many games at Qwest. In my opinion it’s a great soccer venue.

9. Finally, if you had one ticket to go to any international match in the world, where would it be and why?

It’s not very creative or original, but being the stands for a World Cup final would be out of this world.

It’s a soccer players dream, so it’s got to be a soccer lover’s dream too, right? 100,000 fans going nuts for 90 minutes. The pinnacle of the beautiful game puts the world on pause.

Where legends are made. I’d love to be there live blogging.

Thanks to Josh for the interview and you can check out his website at http://jmayers.blogspot.com

Certainly a very interesting week of football just now….and it’s not over, Manchester United vs. Arsenal may very well decide Arsenal’s fate and United’s title chances.

Portsmouth vs. Cardiff City in the FA Cup Final

Both Cardiff and Portsmouth won in er….very boring 1-0 games over Barnsley and West Brom respectively, and Portsmouth’s win confirms the Premier League will have one team in the FA Cup Final again. I certainly never envisioned either team making it past the quarterfinals but here they are and have pulled off miraculous runs. It’s good every once in a while that we don’t have the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea of the Premiership coast their way to Wembley.

Champions League Final 4

Manchester United will face Barcelona after hammering AS Roma 3-0 (2-0, 1-0), in their quest for a Cup Double. Barcelona are looking for something to raise their heads about as their La Liga chances are all but dashed.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea blah blah blah…I’m sick of seeing that series.

Arsenal/Liverpool 1-1

Before the classic encounter at Anfield in which the Reds won 4-2 on Tuesday, Arsenal could not put away Liverpool twice at the Emirates and suffered 1-1 draws. Arsene Wenger can pretty much kiss any trophy goodbye with a loss or even a draw this weekend at Old Trafford.

Canada’s Women’s Team Qualifies For Olympics

A first in Canadian football as the ladies qualify for their first ever Olympics after a 1-0 over Mexico, the team that knocked them out during qualification in 2004. They will join the USA, who as you know, steamrolls through everyone in CONCACAF. The men had a chance to qualify as well but they lost to the U.S in the semifinal 3-0.

Yes, I’m Still Here

Posted: January 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

Been other the weather lately, haven’t been able to put in my weekly posts. Don’t worry, I didn’t abandon this site.

I’m Back!

Posted: December 4, 2007 in Uncategorized

This hiatus is only because we’ve lost power, had snow and wind storms in Seattle, so I’m sorry for the lack of posting. I’ll try catching up with everything including the Euro 2008 draw.

New EPL Standings Up!

Posted: November 1, 2007 in Uncategorized

As promised, I’ve put up a new page for Premiership standings. Check in later this week for Serie A, and much more.