Monday, September 24, 2012

Union Win with Two Goals from Freddy Adu

The Philadelphia Union ended an 8 game win-less streak in their home game against the Houston Dynamo.

The Union have been struggling with goals recently, scoring only 2 goals in the last 5 games. But they got three goals in their 3-1 win over Houston at PPL Park.

Freddy Adu scored two goals to put his season total at five.

His first goal came from a cross by rookie Ray Gladdis, who sent the ball into the box and eventually to the feet of Adu who put it in the back of the net.

Adu's second goal came from a PK, which he converted.

Unfortunately, the night ended for Freddy Adu with a possible injury.

The Union needed all three points if to keep any hopes of reaching the playoffs alive. Mathematically they could still make the playoffs, but it is long shot.

The Union's next MLS game is against a surging Columbus Crew who are striving to reach the playoffs. Can the Union be a speed bump in their path? We will have to wait and see in next week's game.

Highlights of the Union's 3-1 win over Houston:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

MLS Action Heats up as Playoffs Draw Near

With just weeks left in the MLS regular season, games are starting to really heat up with playoff spots on the line.

Only 10 points separate 3rd place Chicago Fire from 11th place Montreal Impact, who have a total of 40 points.

While San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting KC appear to be battling it out on their own for the Supporters Shield, they are only 7 and 5 points respectively, ahead of Chicago.

For many teams now, a win can mean reaching the playoffs, and a tie or loss might mean missing out on any chance of winning the MLS Cup.

Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, Portland, New England, Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids may already be out of playoff contention as these teams all have less than 30 points. They are now playing for pride, and develop a better team for next season.

As I watch the EPL with their relegation system, I can't help but wonder how much harder the bottom teams would play at the end of the season in the MLS if they knew the last 3 would be dropped from the league.

I think the MLS needs to become a little stronger before that occurs, but it does make for great entertainment.

Be sure to follow the MLS as it reaches the last weeks of the season, and team compete for playoffs and the MLS Cup.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

USA Beat Jamaica in World Cup Qualifying

The US Men's National Team were able to get three points with a home win over Jamaica in the World Cup 2014 Qualifying group stage on September 11th ,2012. 

The game was played in the Columbus crew stadium in Columbus Ohio with a huge crowed in support of the Americans. 
The US dominated from the fist minute of play and looked like they would score multiple goals in the first half but nothing went in despite several fantastic shots.

Two screaming shots hit the post in the first half, and one deflection was tipped by the goalkeeper into the post. 

The US got close in the first half, but could not find the back of the net.

In the 55th minute they were finally rewarded for their impressive performance up to that point.

Jamica conceded a free-kick about 30-35 yards from goal and Gomez took the opportunity to curl a shot on goal.

The Jamaica goalkeeper got two hands to the ball in a diving save, but was unable to alter the trajectory, and the ball landed in the back of the net.

The rest of the game was a bit disappointing for the US who seemed to take their foot off the gas, and relinquish possession to Jamaica who had several efforts on goal.

It was a nervous final 30 minutes but USA finished the game 1-0.

This result leaves the World Cup Qualifying group in a three way tie for first with Jamaica, Guatemala and USA each on 7 points.  USA leads the group, however, on goal difference.

Several more qualifying games will occur before the top two teams advance to the next stage of World Cup 2014 Qualification.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

International Break for FIFA World Cup 2014 Quealifications

This past weekend (September 7-11th) is an international break from club soccer for national teams to have an opportunity to play a few games in the group stage of the World Cup 2014 qualification.

For many European teams, these are some of the first national team games since the Euro Cup in which Spain put on a dominating performance in the final winning it 4-0 over Italy.

There are quite a few interesting match-ups in World Cup 2014 qualification where teams are placed in groups, and the top two usually advance from the group.

Often the games are David and Goliath battles, with large soccer countries taking on much smaller countries. But the Davids rarely win.

A few of the notable games already played include:

England 5-0 Moldova
Germany 3-0 Faroe Islands
Italy 2-2 Bulgaria
Netherlands 2-0 Turkey
Jamaica 2-1 USA

Visit the FIFA Website for more on World Cup Qualification Games.

USA Loses to Jamaica 2-1

In a surprising game in Jamaica, USA lost to Jamaica 2-1 in World Cup Qualifying.

After an early goal by Clint Dempsey, Jamaica scored two beautiful free-kicks to win the game.

Clint Dempsey's goal was scored in the 1st minute of play, and set a new record for fastest goal scored by the US in World Cup play.

The Jamaicans responded with two free-kicks, one in each half, that beat Tim Howard and gave Jamaica a valuable 5 points.

This leaves USA in a must win situation when the play Jamaica again on September 11th. This game will be played at home for the US and they will look to get the full three points as they strive to get to the top of their group.

USA's World Cup Qualifications Current Standings (9/11/12)

Jamaica is the surprise leader of the group after 3 games played.

  • Jamaica - 7 Points
  • Quatermala - 4 Points
  • USA - 4 Points
  • Antigua and Barbuda - 1 Point
With only the top two teams advancing, the US will have to start winning if it wants to avoid serious abuse from fans for not qualifying for the World Cup 2014.

Tonight (9/11), the US will have an opportunity to get three points as it plays Jamaica at home in Columbus Ohio. The game will be live at 8pm on ESPN2 and

Be sure to watch and cheer on the USMNT!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Champions League Groups Announced for 2012/13

The Champions League, arguably the best league in the world, announced the groups for its group stage in the 2012-13 season starting September 15th.

The UEFA Champions League invites the top soccer teams from many of the leagues in Europe to play together in one league with the goal of winning the title, champions of Europe.  In this league, 32 teams from top leagues such as La Liga, Serie A, EPL, and many others, are placed in eight groups with four teams in each.

During the group stage of the Champions League, each of the four teams in a group play against each other, and the two teams with the best results (most points) advance to a knockout playoff format competition.

To view the complete list of groups, read this article on the Analysis and Predictions for the Champions League 2012-13

This year, one group stands out as being particularly interesting and nicknamed the 'group of death'.

Group D: The Group of Death

In group D are: Manchester City, Real Madrid, Ajax, and Dortmund. At first glance, Manchester and Madrid stand out as the favorites to win it. But once you take a closer look and realize that each club in this group won their home league last season, you realize this is a group packed with talent. 

Although it still seems likely Manchester and Madrid will advance, Dortmund and Ajax will fight hard to survive past the group stage and one slip up could lead to an early exit for any of the four.

The likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are also scattered throughout the various groups. It will be exciting as the games unfold to see who might challenge the defending champions, Chelsea, and try to take the title Champions of Europe.