Thursday, June 28, 2012

Euro Cup 2012 Semifinal Preview – Germany Vs. Italy

Euro Cup 2012 Stats for Germany vs Italy

UEFA Euro Cup 2012 

Germany and Italy are set to clash to see who will advance to the Euro Cup 2012 Final against defending champions Spain. The tickets are sold, and predictions are in, as these two soccer superpowers play for the last spot in the Euro Cup 2012 Final.

Date and Time for Euro Cup 2012 Semifinal – Germany vs. Italy

Germany will play Italy on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 20.45CET (2:45 pm EST) from Warsaw, Poland.

How Germany and Italy Reached the Euro Cup Semifinal:

  •       Won group ‘B’ (Aka: The Group Of Death):
  •       Beat Denmark 2-1
  •       Beat Portugal 1-0
  •       Beat Netherlands 2-1
  •       Easily beat Greece in quarterfinal 4-2 to advance to semifinal

  •       Finished second in group ‘C’:
  •       Tied Spain 1-1
  •       Tied Croatia 1-1
  •       Beat Ireland 2-0
  •       Tied England in quarterfinal match 0-0, won 4-2 in penalty kicks

Predictions for Euro Cup 2012 Semifinal between Germany and Italy

70% of fans on predict Germany will beat Italy to advance to the final. Most are expecting an exciting game with the possibility of goals for both sides. After going scoreless against England, Italy will look to adjust its lineups to provide better scoring opportunities. Germany, meanwhile, scored 4 goals against Greece, but let in two. They will look to continue their attacking momentum, while keeping a tight defense.

Key Players to Keep an Eye on;

For Germany:
Germany Striker Gomez has already scored three times and will look to continue his run. In the midfield, Ozil will launch the Germans attacking plays and look to reach their forwards such as Gomez.

For Italy:
Long time goalkeeper Buffon stopped a PK to allow Italy to reach the semifinals. Italian midfielder Pirlo provided precise passing and will look to guide the attack.

For full match info, also check out UEFA Euro Cup 2012 Official Website

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Union Stun Sporting KC 4-0 at PPL Park

Most improbably, most unexpectedly, the Philadelphia Union trounced one of the best teams in MLS, Sporting KC, 4-0 on June 23rd.

let me put this huge home win into perspective. Before the match began, Sporting KC had conceded the fewest goals in the league. Not only that, but the Union had scored the fewest goals in the MLS as well! All that changed at PPL Park when the Philadelphia Union systematically beat SKC, scoring two goals in each half.

Jack Mclnerney scored two goals in the first half to pave the way for the Union's first win in weeks.  Antoine Hoppenot and Lionard Pajoy also got on the scoreboard with a goal each. 

While the Union's season has been very disappointing thus far, is this a turning point for the team? I think it can be if the team chooses to do better and play as well as they have the potential to do. With the recent change of head coach for the Union, this win is a very positive result. 

As a Union fan, this dominating win for the Union is very inspiring. check out the highlights for the Union's 4-0 win vs. Sporting KC, or watch the video below!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MLS Full of Action After International Break

After a few weeks off, Major League Soccer is back in full swing with plenty of action and news after week 13. Some teams in the MLS came back strong after the break, either turning around what had been a string of poor performances, or continuing their winning ways. Other teams found themselves struggling  to win. Here is a roundup of some of the interesting games from week 13 of the 2012 MLS season.

Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC
Sporting KC was one of the teams coming back from the break that continued to win games. KC played Toronto FC beating them 2-0. Both goals in the game were exciting finishes, with the second an extraordinary volley powered into the net by Julio Cesar. Check out the highlights to see the volley for yourself or watch the video below. Unfortunately for Toronto, they continue to lose this season with only one win in 13 weeks.

Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA
With a resounding 3-0 win, Real Salt Lake maintain their top position on the challenging western conference. The attacking power of RSL was too much for Chivas who conceded multiple chances, and thee goals to RSL. In the western conference where many of the teams are vying diligently for playoff spots, Chivas will have to make changes if they hope to do the same.

LA vs. Portland Timbers
LA Galaxy grabbed 3 much needed points beating the Timbers 1-0. The Galaxy have not found this season anywhere as easy as last, when they won the MLS Cup. But a solid win may help kick-start their push towards the play offs in a few months. The Portland Timbers will hope to make up points in their next match, an exciting game against Seattle.

DC United vs. Philadelphia Union
I was really rooting for the Union in this game, hoping a change in head coach might be enough to help them get a much needed win, but DC United won 1-0. The Union showed themselves as a strong team, controlling much of the midfield, but a quick goal by DC was all they needed to win, and top the Easter Conference ahead of Sporting KC. DC United has been a team hard to beat for many competitors. The struggling Union will hope to get some points when they play Sporting KC next, but I don't think I would bet on it.

Major News:
Besides a few signings and transfers, the biggest news is Philadelphia Union coach Peter Novak parting ways with the team. Last season went very well for the Union under Novak's control. But this season has been dismal and disappointing for all involved. The Union's assistant coach will take over until a permanent head coach is found.

The Union's performance this year has been puzzling. they are currently second to last, with only  Toronto below them, and they even lost to Toronto a few weeks ago. I hope they change of their Coach will give them some new energy to at least pull together for the rest of the season and look towards the next. 

See full MLS standings here

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Portugal Beat Denmark in Thrilling 3-2 Win at Euro 2012

Portugal massively needed to win against Denmark in the Euro Cup 2012 round 2 of the group stage to keep hope alive for advancing to the knockout stage, and they did just that.
Portugal scored two goals in the first half by Pepe and Helder Postiga and looked to be well on their way to 3 points. However, Denmark answered at the end of the first half, and again in the second half to make it 2-2. They game reached a frantic pace as Portugal, the 9th ranked team in the world pushed forward to try to score on Denmark, the 10th ranked. 

With only minutes to go, substitute Verela scored the game winning goal to make it 3-2 and keep hopes alive for Portugal to advance to the next stage.

The game kept a lively pace throughout most of the match with chances more often in favor of Portugal. Christiano Ronaldo was much more active in this match compared to his performance Vs. Germany, yet he just didn't have the same lethal ability as he so often has had this past season for Real Madrid.

The Euro Cup 'Group of Death' has so far lived up to the hype and excitement, with several more important games to come. 

Next game for Portugal: Netherlands on June 17th.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Euro Cup 2012: Best Games Thus Far

Each team in the Euro Cup has now had a chance to play a match in the group stage. There were some big match ups, such as Germany Vs. Portugal, Italy Vs. Spain, and France Vs. England. Each of these games were entertaining and full of excitement in their own way, but the best games thus far came by more unlikely teams.

Best Matches at the Euro's so far:
Stadium in Kiev for Euro 2012
Poland Vs. Greece: 1-1

Poland and Greece were the first game of the tournament and played to fair score of 1-1. However, the game was filled with drama as there were two red cards handed out, and a PK save by the newly subbed on Polish goalkeeper. This game proved to be a fit beginning to what is expected to be an action packed tournament.

Russia Vs. Czech Republic: 4-1

This was the second match of the European Championship, and the Russian side came out and showed they are an attacking force to be reckoned with. They simply overwhelmed the Czech's, leaving many to expect the Russians to advance from group A. 

Russia plays Poland in the next match on Tuesday at 2:45pm Eastern. This game is expected to share some of the same excitement as the first matches and should not be missed!

Ukraine Vs. Sweden 2-1

Ukraine versus Sweden was the most recent game that saw an incredible back and forth game for the first half with chances for both teams. Ukraine's Shevchenko and Sweden's Ibrahimovic would prove to be the Goal scorers, and stars of the game. the chances for both teams through out the game made for a much more exciting game compared to the slow England Vs. France tie. Both Ukraine and Sweden looked strong with powerful attacking players. At the final whistle the game concluded 2-1 in Ukraine's favor with two good goals by 35 year old striker Shevchenko.

After four days of games there have already been surprises, beautiful goals, and great games. One can only expect the matches to get better and better from here. Be sure to catch the action live on ESPN, and online at! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Brazil Tops USMNT 4-1 in Soccer Friendly

That’s the headline you will see most places; that the US lost to Brazil 4-1. What you won’t see many places in the news is that the US team looked like they could make a comeback in the beginning of the second half.

With a goal just before halftime, after a half where Brazil really dominated, the US team came out in the second half looking threatening and a little more confidant.

The 2012 USMNT Jersey
Unfortunately, Brazil managed another goal on a counter attack in the 56th minute which made a comeback much more difficult.

Yet in spite of the 3-1 score, the US team continued to create chances, with several great shots that where only stopped by even more brilliant saves by the Brazil goalkeeper. The score easily could have been 3-3. I must be fair and say it could also have been 1-6. But in the end, Pato score a beautiful goal to reach the 4-1 score line.

It seems like many people are taking the wrong information away from this game. People are thinking, ‘well, I guess the US team isn’t a top level team yet.’ But I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think this showed that the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) has a lot of heart, and is improving every game. This was the first game in a year where Dempsey and Donovan played together. It was also a game where Brazil played very well. Even though the score was 4-1 and Brazil controlled much of the game, I think on another day, it could go in the US teams favor, like it did back in ’94.

This game was a great practice game for the USMNT, as they prepare for World Cup qualifying. I hope they recognize the improvements in the team, and play with confidence in their next games.