Euro 2016 Finals #PORFRA – Live Blog

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Euro Final

#PORFRA – Portugal vs. France in the final!

Match Notes

This is the fourth time these teams have met in major tournament competition. The other three matches were semi-final contests, Euro 1984, Euro 2000, and World Cup 2006.

The narrative is all about Cristiano Ronaldo. POR will play a 4-1-3-2, with Nani joining C-Ron on the attack.

FRA will play a 4-4-1-1 with Grioud and Griezmann on top. Payet and Pogba have both had a great tournament in midfield, and three of the back four for France have come through, in spite of Evra being mediocre at best.

Kickoff at 1400EDT

1358EDT – National Anthems sung, teams shake hands, here we go!

1359EDT Renato Sanches (POR) is the youngest player to compete in a Euro final.

1359EDT Referee is Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

01:10 – clean tackle on Payet, despite the home crowd reaction

02:05 – Clattenburg very much letting them play

03:53 – Nani can’t control his shot

05:15 – intense French pressure, very aggressive. Payet doing well.

06:10 – Sissoko is a BEAST so far. Strikers need to settle and deliver what Sissoko and Payet offer.

09:08 – Griezmann solid shot, Patricio makes a great save. Payet-to-Giroud corner, just not there

16:20 – C-ron down a second time, in pain. Always hard to tell just how much this guy’s faking.

20:02 – C-ron back.

21:33 – Sissoko another good run, should’ve settled and/or passed, but they did get the corner

23:14 – C-ron down a third time. Get him out of there. Nani gets the armband, off on a stretcher. Quaresma comes on, Ronaldo out.

28:25 – no, Darke, it’s not that “France has lost their fizz” as much as POR have settled

33:07 – Sissoko! good shot, brings Patricio down to save it.

33:42 – Cedric booked for taking down Pogba.

37:30 – too many touches, POR lucky to come out of that with a corner

40:10 – Sagna gets a touch. Forgot he was even out there.

+2

45+1 – head collision, ouch!

Half Time

47:10 – Sissoko did foul Pepe, but Pepe isn’t selling it as a caution

47:50 – Darke has a point, the officiating has been good. Twellman is also right about reforming the yellow-card-suspension rules

53:36 – Pogba takes the football equivalent of a 3-point NBA shot. Goes high, but puts the POR backs on notice

54:30 – Twellman rips Euro 2016/French security “if you’re getting flares in, something’s wrong” – YES

55:18 – Pogba is the MOTM for FRA so far

57:26 – Payet out, Kingsley Coman on for FRA. Payet gave it his all, time for fresh legs to keep pushing hard.

57:58 – Griezmann’s shot low-percentage, straight to Patricio

63:01 – Props to POR defense, they’ve marginalized the FRA strikers and have kept form on set pieces, like this latest corner

64:55 – Sagna and Evra able to push forward, but they’re awful when they arrive

65:12 – Coman! great cross, Griezmann can’t put it in as the ball goes high

65:57 – Second POR sub Moutinho for Silva

69:29 – POR defense still tight as Griezmann sends a free kick in where there are no blue shirts.

71:40 – Giroud to Coman, where was Olivier on the follow-up???

74:27 – Giroud finally taking good shots! good save by Patricio

76:45 – Giroud can’t believe Griezmann didn’t take that shot. solid position in the box.

77:30 – Grioud out, Gignac in for FRA

78:15 – Sanches out, Eder in for POR

79:17 – Lloris two saves in seconds. Good thing he’s stayed awake.

80:00 – Dumb challenge by Umtiti for FRA

83:17 – Sissoko from 30m! Patricio is there..incredible.

86:35 – Sissoko and Griezmann just aren’t on the same page today.

+3

90+2 – Gignac hits the near post! Sooo close! Griezmann there, but unable to pick up the trash.

Extra Time

94:09 – Quaresma takes a kick, for the first action. These teams are awful right now. Then POR offside on top of it

94:55 – Guerrero booked for being stupid. POR playing poorly so far in extra time

95:20 – Matuidi now being stupid for FRA

97:50 – Carvalho with the professional foul on Coman

99:35 – Good corner by Griezmann, all hands for POR

100:10 – Crowd booing Pogba, but he’s working it for FRA

103:10 – POR ridiculous with the pushing

103:19 – Lloris with a fantastic save on the corner!

105:00 – Switch sides

105:50 – Moutinho isn’t selling a card on that one. POR get a free kick

106:50 – that was Eder who hit the ball! koscienly was unjustly booked.

107:30 – Guerreiro with a great free kick, but Lloris makes a stunning save!

108:30 – Eder scores! Cheating pays off!

110:15 – Gignac could have been awarded a penalty for that. He was held.

114:10 – Pogba in the book. Fair call.

+2

FINAL WHISTLE

POR 1-0 FRA

Neither team wanted to win. FRA wanted it less.

 

 

 

 

Germany vs France – Euro 2016 Semifinal live blog #GERFRA

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France kicks off and here we go!

Interesting that Darke and Twellman think Evra is the weakest link for France.

3:35 – great throwing distribution, doesn’t go anywhere for FRA

6:05 – Neuer, excellent diving save for GER, Griezmann coming hard at Die Mannschaft

12:25 Müller just can’t buy a shot, much less a goal.

26:00 Multiple attempts by Özil to get something going, FRA defense holding. For now.

31:55 GER can’t pick up the garbage!

34:20 Darke makes a point when describing Özil as the “assist king” at Arsenal. Thing is, he’s got nobody to set up, with Müller being so cold

35:30 Cheap fall by Can, GER picks up their first yellow. Legit caution.

36:45 Payet’s free kick best opportunity for FRA so far, but Neuer right on top of it.

38:20 another weak shot for Müller

41:55 Giroud! It was a miracle Höwedes got back to stop him.

42:45 Evra cautioned. Good card

45:30 Schweinsteiger handball – clearly the Referee was signalled by the goal line judge that the GER defender smacked the ball. Replay confirms.

46:46 No, Darke, it’s not hugely debatable. FRA get the goal on a penalty kicked by Griezmann.

Site blew up in the second half!

Giroud sets up Griezmann beautifully, and the shot goes home. Lovely to watch.

Lloris had a couple of good saves, particularly in stoppage time at the end of the match, but the bottom line is that GER really never got started.

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Cup Begins! #USMNT

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The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) takes a break from 2018 World Cup qualifying for a month, as CONCACAF (Confederation Of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football) holds its biennial tournament. There are two reasons why this tournament is important to US Soccer.

First is pride! It’s our confederation, so, this is like Euro Cup is to UEFA. The second reason is the winner of Gold Cup competes to represent CONCACAF in the Confederations Cup. That tournament is held the year before the World Cup, in the nation hosting the big tournament. Each of the six continental football federations sends a representative to Confederations Cup. The idea is to assess the facilities to be used the following year in the 32-team big tournament, as well as the host nation’s logistics.

The road to the Confederations Cup 2017 is different from USMNT’s last trip to the tournament in 2009. The team got there by winning Copa Oro in 2007. USMNT lost to Mexico in 2011. This year’s tournament winner will face the winner of Copa Oro in 2017, and the winner goes to Russia that summer.

There are three groups of four in this year’s tournament. Here’s a bracket you can use to record the action:

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As I write this, Panama just scored against Haiti in the first Group A game. USA plays Honduras at 2000CDT.

Vamanos USA!

#USAvHON notes

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After an unimpressive Panama-Haiti match, which ended with a 1-1 draw, one half of play between USA and Honduras is strange. The USMNT back line is awful, which makes me sad, after watching a couple of weeks of a very tight USWNT back four. Brooks is a disaster, but he’s so tall, he’ll come along.

Yedlin’s making young-player mistakes, but no better time to learn than Copa Oro.

Dempsey’s Dempsey…thankfully

Guzan–he’s getting NO help, but he’s been there before:

Ive-seen-some-weird-shit.

More post-match.

SECOND HALF

Defensive form improved, particularly after Chandler came out. Brooks still needs polish.

Yedlin’s playing like beast, that’s a good thing.

Bradley-Dempsey are what this team is all about.

GROUP A standings after one round:

USA 3
PAN 1
HAI 1
HON 0

I can’t decide which tee I want to represent #USWNT

There’s this black-on-white one:

Screenshot from 2015-07-07 19:33:29

Then there’s this one, which is interesting. Unlike a NFL shirt from a Super Bowl, the ladies really did win a World Championship on Sunday.

Screenshot from 2015-07-07 19:35:18

And for you girls/gals, you can get the real jersey with the third star:

Screenshot from 2015-07-07 19:32:28

I’m shopping at US Soccer Store (dot com).

What do you think?

Quote of the Weekend

FIFA COPA DO MUNDO 2010

.@HoustonDynamo are my MLS Team

 

I’ve never chosen sides in Major League Soccer. My firstborn (whom I refer to as LTJG Firstborn on the book of zucker), has been a DC United fan for ten years. On a family vacation to DC in 2009, the highlight of the trip for him was going to a match at RFK. My kiddo, who is now 20, was more like me, never developed an attachment with any of the teams, until the Seattle Sounders moved up from USL to MLS. With Keller on the roster that first season in 2009, he was settled. Now, with Demps and Yedlin, well, it’s reinforced.

That left me. I flirted briefly with the Chicago Fire, back when we had the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers (later the New Orleans Storm) in the old USL A-League, but my feelings were always half-hearted, sort of like when you like your local AAA-baseball team, but are non-plussed by the club in The Show that your team feeds.

But Dynamo have captured my itnerest. The team doesn’t have any of the USMNT “stars” at the start of this season. Dynamo’s captain, Brad Davis, made the final 23 for Brazil, but did not start. The team acquired DaMarcus Beasley last week, and that’s generating a lot of buzz throughout MLS.

Most importantly for me, Dynamo are the team I’m most likely to actually go see. My travels for work are Monday-thru-Friday, which is the main reason I’ve never developed an attachment to a MLS side, since the matches are usually on Friday or Saturday nights. In baseball, the San Francisco Giants grew on me, too many nights eating in pubs in Silicon Valley. I’m usually home on weekends, which is good for seeing the New Orleans Jesters, but MLS? Not so much. Houston isn’t all that bad a trip, and that’s the plan for now.

So, Vamanos Dynamo! 🙂

 

.@NOLAJesters Advance in Playoffs!

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Jesters advance!

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The New Orleans Jesters advance in the NPSL playoffs, defeating the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves last night, by a margin of 4 goals to 1.

Jesters advance to the second round of playoffs tonight, with the win.

This victory is huge for Jesters – They played Silverbacks Reserves to a 1-1 draw and a 1-3 loss back in May. Now, coming into the playoffs in a do-or-go-home match, they stepped up.

The Jesters face Chattanooga FC tonight, Chattanooga having defeated Nashville, 6 goals to one, in the second playoff game at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.

In a pre-match interview with NOLA.com, Jesters Coach Kenny Farrell was cautiously optimistic about the team’s chances against Atlanta, and clearly, those expectations were well exceeded. Here’s to hoping they are tonight, as well!

Video of Jesters vs. Silverbacks Reserves

 

 

Ballack does well in Brazil for ESPN

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Former Germany captain and Chelsea star Michael Ballack is quite the sports analyst. I’m very impressed with his commentary and analysis so far from Brazil.

After Germany won yesterday, Ballack was extremely professional. With a match that was over in the 27th minute, of course, he had lots of time to compose himself for even the half time segment, but still, he wasn’t a homer about it.

Hopefully ESPN expands his role as league play in Europe begins to warm up.

Match Notes – Netherlands vs. Argentina

 

PRE-MATCH Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Argentina.

The Dutch won’t be able to completely stop Messi. He’s getting through one. Between RVP, Robben, and the rest of the Oranje, however, they’re good for two.

FULL-TIME/EXTRA-TIME/KICKS

The match was Holland’s to lose, and, that sums it up.