Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When Didier Drogba left Stamford Bridge, he left a note on the Cobham dressing room white board. The note read “Blue till I die” with his signature below.  Rumors of Drogba’s Chelsea reunion with Jose Mourinho and Chelsea began as early as April 2013, after an embrace following a Champions League match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray.  The Drogba transfer speculation lasted for over a year before Drogba was reunited with his beloved Blues.

After a two year departure, Didier Drogba has returned to Stamford Bridge. His last term at Chelsea ended with his kick of the ball that earned the Blues their first ever UEFA Champions League title. Last year Chelsea’s weakest position was striker, now it is almost an embarrassment of riches at the front of attack.  Drogba is now the latest addition to go along with the fresh intensity of Diego Costa, the return of Romelu Lukaku, and Fernando Torres, who once upon a time was the greatest striker in the world.

The internet is awash in rumors that Romelu Lukaku will soon depart Chelsea for Everton, but the signing of his idol Didier Drogba likely signals that he will stay with the club. Lukaku scored 15 goals in his previous Premier League campaign with Everton, a total greater than any player accomplished at Chelsea last season. Internet rumors also have Fernando Torres linked with a return to Atletico Madrid, but until either of these rumors are proven true, Chelsea will boast a depth in the position they have lacked for the past two seasons.

Diego Costa should absolutely be considered the first choice striker. His considerable skill and trademark intensity should serve him well in the league, where Chelsea lacked a consistent goal scoring threat. Costa is one of the five best strikers in the world and is coming off a season with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 27 La Liga goals. In his last campaign he fell just short of Champions League glory, with Chelsea he seeks to contribute to a growing dynasty. He has already displayed his lethal finishing ability, running onto a through ball from fellow new signing Cesc Fabregas, during Sunday afternoon’s friendly with Slovenian club Olimpija.

The friendly match also displayed the mercurial talents of Torres, who impressed all with an incredible flick, and followed it up with a monumental miss from 6 yards out. Torres is an incredibly interesting tale of glory and decline that coincided with his switch from Liverpool to Chelsea three years ago. He has not been able to return to the form that once made him the greatest in the world. As El Nino grew into a fully matured footballer, he only showed flashes of brilliance, thankfully for Chelsea some of those moments earned them a Champions League title. As Torres enters the second to last year of his contract, he seeks one more chance at glory before the club will be forced to consider his ongoing status.

Romelu Lukaku enters this season with a lot to prove to his manager and teammates. His contributions to West Brom and Everton were tremendous over the past two campaigns. He scores goals with an alarming frequency for a player only a few years into his career. Now with the chance to work with his idol Drogba at Chelsea, Lukaku could learn from and compete alongside some of the most experienced and cultured strikers of our time. Some critics have argued that Lukaku has an attitude problem, rather than a belief that he can immediately contribute to a squad that has not had a player match his goal totals from the last two seasons. The influence of veterans like Drogba and Torres will teach him how he will be expected to operate under Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho has made no suggestion that he will stray away from the 4-3-3 formation that has brought him so much success in the past. In Mourinho’s system there is usually only one striker on the pitch at a time. The wide positions in the attacking three will be made up of some combination of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Willian, and Mohamed Salah. Diego Costa will likely feature in most matches at the center of attack, while Lukaku should serve as the second striker in the pecking order. This arrangement would mean that Torres and Drogba would feature in roles coming off the bench or starting matches of lesser importance. It is a role that both are already accustomed to and one that could preserve the fitness of Diego Costa, who played a total of 58 matches for club and country over the last season.

As we rapidly approach the beginning of the English Premier League season, Chelsea’s depth at striker is almost unparalleled. The combined career goals scored by the Chelsea quartet is a massive 760 goals. With over 1,850 matches of experience at the striker positon, there is a tremendous wealth of footballing knowledge for Lukaku and Costa to continue growing from. Mourinho is the greatest squad building manager of the current era of football and is also one of the most savvy man mangers in the beautiful game.  The Premier League title is up for grabs and with the death of tiki-taka, the Champion’s League competition will be wide open. Chelsea should be considered favorites for both.

Didier Drogba has said that he returned to Chelsea in order to win more trophies. A club like Chelsea is accustomed to the demands of fighting on multiple fronts. The depth that they enjoy at the striker positon will help give them a great advantage in their campaign. The ability to play legends like Torres and Drogba in Cup competitions will give them a leg up on almost every other team they will face. With the youth and desire to win that Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku bring to the table, Chelsea can stand toe to toe with any club in the world. By bringing back Drogba and holding onto Lukaku, Jose Mourinho has already gone a long way to making this a Blue decade. 

Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Lex

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Soccer in the United States is on the rise, there is no denying this. The US Soccer Federation has been recognized by FIFA for over 100 years. It has done an excellent job fostering the sport in our nation for the past 20 years. Thanks to their efforts we have multiple leagues on the rise, one of the largest youth player populations in the world, and a loyal fan base for both the Men's and Women's national teams. Despite this, there are still areas where our countries lag far behind.

Coaching is not up to the standard of many of the European and South American countries we are competing with. Domestic clubs have no incentive to build academy systems within their communities. Our nation squanders our numbers advantage in youth player population, with only a few players that could be considered international superstars coming from a population of millions. The USA also has a tremendously confusing league structure with a bizarre system of player transfers. 

As the manager of the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann is in a unique position to push through reforms to bring America into 21st century football. He has already breathed life into the squad by selecting a youthful World Cup squad that rekindled American public interest in the sport. Under his tutelage he led the United States to their most successful year ever in 2013. He was part of the reform effort in Germany that ultimately led to World Cup triumph just a week ago. Klinsmann is at his heart a reformer, there is no better man to overhaul the American system. With that being said, here are reforms Klinsmann should push through in order to take American soccer to the next level.

1. Encourage Unification of American League Structure

As it currently stands, American professional soccer is divided into three tiers comprised of 50 teams. Expansion efforts will increase this number over the coming seasons, with the top tier Major League Soccer being the 3rd most attended sport in North America. These indicators signal that American soccer at least at the top tier is healthy and solvent. For this reason, America now needs to transition that success down the league structure and unify the leagues, utilizing a system of promotion and relegation. This system would give MLS clubs an added incentive to perform at a high level, give USL and NASL clubs rewards for their success, and add excitement at all levels for the fans.

2. Encourage Professional Talents to Forgo Collegiate Soccer

The NCAA is a cartel that profits from free labor and it harms the development of American youth soccer talent. Currently the majority of high school talents are playing for a college scholarship, not to become a professional footballer. By the time American soccer players expend their collegiate eligibility they are at least 21 years old. 21 is considered by most professional clubs to be too old to relearn the skills and benefit from professional training they should have received during their teenage years. At European and South American clubs, professional prospects are groomed from the age of 13 by top youth coaches. They receive training from an early age in order to develop the instincts and discipline necessary to become a professional. 

Players are in America are motivated by the hope of receiving a college scholarship and diploma, a worthwhile investment, but a short sighted one. As a student-athlete it is difficult to take full advantage of either opportunity when you are forced to sacrifice academics for training or vice versa. Tying academics to football not only harms college institutions, but the players that are involved in them. Now, I'm not saying every prospect should give up college in order to chase the dream of being a professional footballer, but for elite teenage talents it is something that should certainly be considered. 

3. Require Clubs to Develop Academy Systems

American clubs do not take advantage of the youth player populations within their areas of influence. Professional clubs should be motivated to develop talent within their locales. By developing talent locally they foster new generations of fans, can create unique club identities, and perhaps most importantly, avoid excessive transfer fees and profit off the sale of these players. Also by improving and developing academy systems, the national team can better keep track of elite talents in different areas of the country. This would decrease the number of youth players that fall through the cracks. America is a unique country so there will always be players like Clint Dempsey that succeed without club academy involvement, but these should be rare occurrences, not the norm. 

4. Pay Professional and Semi-Professional Players a Living Wage and increase the Minimum Wage

The average salary for MLS players in currently $207,831 per year, however 76% of players make less than the league average. In 2013, 62 players were paid the league minimum of $35,125. Compare this to the English Championship, the second tier league of England, where players make 211,068 per year. Salaries for leagues such as USL Pro are significantly smaller, with players make on average between $20,000 to $40,000 per year. How can professional players be expected to succeed when they could make more money being an accountant? Players must have an economic incentive to continue their careers, giving them something beyond the entry level salary for most careers. Without a living wage, players could be forced to take off season jobs, which can cause them to sacrifice fitness and training opportunities. The future of US Soccer depends on players being able to make a living playing domestically.

5. Win the CONCACAF Champions League

Despite having a solvent league, the MLS still performs poorly in CONCACAF's continental competition. The best ever performance by an American club came from the 2010-11 Real Salt Lake squad that finished runner up to Monterrey. Without a club establishing itself as a dynasty in this competition, American club football will struggle to find itself taken seriously in the world of football. Winning this competition opens the doors to the Club World Championship, which pits the champions of each continent against each other. On this stage, an MLS club could face European giants like Real Madrid and display how far the league has come.

In closing, America is a sleeping giant in world football. Taking action on these reforms would not be easy and may require sacrifice. However if they are implemented, America could begin to wake the beast from its slumber.

Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014 by Lex


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

At the end of the World Cup final on Sunday, Manuel Neuer cemented his place as the greatest goalkeeper in the world. Over the last month he displayed how he has earned that label and his exemplary play earned him the coveted Golden Glove as the tournament's best keeper. Neuer tracked down virtually every ball played within his end. He set a record for most touches in a match outside the penalty area by a keeper with 21 against Algeria. He even boasted a higher passing completion percentage than Lionel Messi. 

Manuel Neuer was the keystone of success for Germany, just as he has been for Bayern Munich for some time now. His considerable skill, dribbling ability, and distribution allow Germany's full backs to press higher up the pitch, creating more pressure on the opposition. This allowed Germany to attack with eight, while the center backs could play wider and Neuer scooped up any loose balls in the middle. This tactical advantage allowed Germany to attack with lethal force against Brazil, while remaining stable at the back against Algeria and Argentina. His heat maps for the World Cup cover almost an entire third of the field, something no other keeper at the tournament could boast.

Manuel Neuer possesses the skills set to be an outfield player, yet his body dimensions, jumping ability, and reflexes make him a perfect goalkeeper. Standing at 6'4'', 200lbs, he has a body similar to Jon "Bones" Jones or Richard Sherman. He is a super-athlete wearing a goalkeeper's kit. With almost every performance he spectacularly refutes Twitter critics who clamor for him to stay within the penalty area. He is calm under pressure, capable of making the big saves, as he displayed in the dying moments against France when he denied Karim Benzema with a palm of defiance. 

As time goes on, and the tactical advantage that Germany and Bayern enjoy grows more apparent, we will begin to see the sweeper keeper role utilized more commonly. Children will grow up wanting to become goalkeepers, so they can dance around defenses and deny attackers in the same fashion as Neuer. Players will want to emulate him because he is involved in buildup for attacking play. Few things in football are more impressive than Neuer starting a counter attack. He is the model goalkeeper for the future and possibly one of the best of all time. He is a treasure for our time.

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Lex


Monday, July 14, 2014

Post World Cup Depression is a medical condition that I invented to summarize the feelings of emptiness, boredom and depression that can be felt by football fans following the end of the world's greatest tournament. PWCD sufferers may have begun to show signs of symptoms as soon as their rooting interest has been eliminated from the tournament. Others may not experience symptoms for days to come, while German fans should be immune to this fictional malady following their success. For those of you suffering, this simple five step program should help bridge the gap between the bliss of the World Cup and the beginning of the European domestic campaigns.

1. Go play football

When I was six years old and the World Cup came to the United States, I could not get enough soccer. Following the USA's elimination and Brazil's ultimate success at the tournament, I found myself wanting more. In the days before Major League Soccer began operating, I decided to join my local club team. This began my 20 year love affair with the beautiful game. There are not many better feelings than running with the ball at your feet and this simple pleasure remains one of the greatest joys in life. So find a group of friends and play five aside or go practice your juggling for a half hour or so. One thousand touches later and you should be feeling a bit better.

2. Support your local club

No matter where you live, odds are you are within driving distance of your local professional soccer club. There are hundreds of professional and semi-professional clubs around North America and if you haven't had a chance to check out your local club, now is the perfect time. Whether your club is riding high at the top of the table or sitting at the bottom of the league, they would love to hear your voice and have your support. Your patronage allows the sport to continue to grow and fosters curiosity among younger generations of football fans. As time goes on the league structure in North :America will strengthen and the quality of play will improve, allowing your initial attention investments to pay dividends.

3. Get wrapped up in the "silly season"

One of the best things about being a football fan is witnessing the ongoing soap opera of the transfer season. The transfer window does not close until the end of August, so there are still six more weeks of drama for players to move from club to club. So far during this silly season we have seen Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas move to Chelsea, Alexis Sanchez move to Arsenal, and Luis Suarez chomp his way through transfer embargo to Barcelona. Several big names are still rumored to be in the market for transfers to big clubs including midfield maestro Toni Kroos, French talent Paul Pogba, and PSG striker Edinson Cavani. There will also be dozens of other signings and transfer request submitted, so get your popcorn ready because these will be an exciting six weeks.

4. Begin or continue your Football Manager career

There is perhaps no better way to familiarize yourself with the beautiful game than to play Football Manager. In this computer game you can select your squad from virtually any club in the world and choose almost any player in the world to join your team. It offers a great introduction to the tactics and strategy of the beautiful game, while giving gamers one of the most immersing experiences in all of gaming. *Warning* Do not do this if you value your free time, close relations, or have an addictive personality. Hours will seem to disappear, but if you're looking to fill the void until the beginning of the Premier League season, this is a great way to spend a month.

5. Take a deep breath and wait it out because the Barclays Premier League returns on August 16.

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 by Lex


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The 2014 World Cup has been the best World Cup of my lifetime, but until yesterday it had yet to see a transcendent performance. When the Germans struck with brutal record-setting efficiency, they set numerous World Cup records, including the record for most goals scored in a semifinal. Miroslav Klose set the career record for goals scored at the World Cup. Tony Kroos scored the fastest brace in the history of the World Cup. Germany became the first team to score 5 goals before the 30th minute. The match also ended Brazil's 62 match unbeaten streak that stretched back to a 1975 loss to Peru in the Copa America. It was Brazil's worst ever home defeat. 

The list of records was not only reserved to the pitch, it also was the most talked about event in Twitter's history. In Germany, the match received an incredible 87.8% of the market share. Within hours the match had it's own Wikipedia page to list the records broken and collective reactions of fans and experts alike. Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter overflowed with memes and quips capitalizing on the schadenfreude enjoyed at the expense of Brazil. 

Brazil's fans lamented openly, providing one of the most surreal atmospheres I have ever witnessed at a sporting event. An elderly fan, Clovis Fernandez was pictured clutching a replica World Cup Trophy as he wept, but was later photographed handing it to a young German supporter. Fans wept through face paint, while players were virtually inconsolable following the final whistle. A nation usually known for their enthusiasm and exuberance fell quiet and demure. It was a moment when the beautiful game displayed how fickle and cruel it could be to those that love it. 

At last this tournament saw a transcendent performance from an elite team. It also saw a very talented Brazil squad self-destruct in front of the world. A nation that had been filled with so much hope, even during the early stages of the match, fell silent as the goal total rose to seven. Even Oscar's consolation marker barely drew a cheer. At the end of the match, the world witnessed a usually jubilant David Luiz weep as he apologized to his beloved country. The match will remain in the record books because of the incredible performances, but it will be the sorrow of Brazil that the world remembers.

Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 by Lex

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Monday, July 7, 2014

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I’ve had quite an eventful week since I last left you. We were evacuated off of Hatteras Island because of Hurricane Arthur. I enjoyed the 4th of July by supporting my local club the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who won their first home USL PRO match of the season. Going back to Tuesday, the United States unfortunately fell to Belgium in extra time, but Tim Howard set a record for saves and really inspired our nation. America has a knack for producing world class goalkeepers and Tim Howard might have just sealed his place as the greatest American player of all time. His performance earned him phone calls from President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. I thought the majority of the reaction to the match was positive, with the exception of the assholes out there who used it as an opportunity to say “sawker sucks.”

Aside from these detractors, this truly has been the greatest World Cup of my lifetime. Teams have attacked and not held anything back. Dynamic performances from unexpected places have made this a truly special tournament, however the cream has risen to the top. We are left with our final four that consisting only of giants, the Netherlands will face Argentina and Brazil will see Germany. These teams all had to fight for their place in the semi-finals.

Brazil defeated Colombia in one of the dirtiest matches I’ve ever seen. It set a World Cup record for fouls and the referee never displayed even a semblance of control over the match. The captain Thiago Silva opened scoring from a corner kick, giving Brazil an early advantage. Brazil then proceeded to kick lumps out of Colombia, while they returned the favor. James Rodriguez was fouled 6 times, but was not only the receiving end of any true brutality. Unfortunately for Silva and Brazil he will miss the semi-final because he picked up a yellow card when he attempted to imitate George Best by poaching the keeper when he went to punt. The yellow card is being appealed by Brazil. In the 69th minute Brazil struck gold on a picture perfect free kick which didn’t make a single rotation as it knuckled into the net.

James Rodriguez then finally got his marker when he converted from the penalty spot. Following the match he was in tears as his nation was defeated. Dani Alves and David Luiz consoled the young superstar, he even swapped jerseys with David Luiz. It was a touching moment following a brutal match, which saw Neymar leave with a spinal fracture after Juan Zuniga delivered a flying knee to the back of Neymar. As a result he will miss the remainder of the World Cup. The medical team that stretchered him off displayed a horrible lack of professionalism by not immobilizing his spinal column. Neymar is reported as saying he couldn’t feel his legs, which should have been an immediate dead giveaway. So now Brazil will be forced to take on Germany without their captain or talisman, it looks like it’s up to the Geezer.

Germany earned their place in the semi-final thanks to a goal from Mats Hummels. Tony Kroos played a beautiful set piece ball that found the head of the German defender. That goal was the match’s lone moment of brilliance, it was enough to see Germany through. In truth, it wasn’t an ugly dirty match like we say with Brazil and Colombia, but rather a pretty boring match between the European giants. France did have an opportunity to equalize right at the death, but Karim Benzema was denied by the defiant fist of Manuel Neuer. Neuer was once again excellent and earned the praise of Hugo Lloris who declared the German to be the most complete goalkeeper in the world.

Argentina squeaked past Belgium thanks to an early goal from Gonzalo Higuain. He pounded on a giveaway and fired home on a beautiful side volley. It was an instinctive finish and a singular moment of brilliance in a match where both teams failed to perform up to expectation. Eden Hazard believes he did not perform up to his abilities in the tournament and I’ve got to agree because I really thought that Belgium had an advantage in the midfield. Axel Witsel was fantastic in this tournament and the emergence of 19 year old striker Divock Origi should have allowed them to achieve more than a quarterfinal appearance. However, they did not produce the result necessary, while Messi and Argentina fought through their opponents rightfully securing their place in the semis.

In our last quarterfinal match, the upstart Ticos from Costa Rica gave the Netherlands everything they could handle. They managed to hold out for 120 minutes and took the game to penalty kicks, just like their previous match, however this one had a much different outcome. Keylor Navas was fantastic over the 120 minutes, but he was upstaged at the end by Tim Krul. Krul was substituted on in the final moments of the match in order to face the Costa Rican penalty takers. He made it a point to intimidate them from the start. He claimed to know which way they were going to shoot, and he was right. He dove correctly on all five penalties, and managed to stop two in between banging the crossbar and shouting at opposing penalty takers. Meanwhile the Netherlands were perfect with their penalties and bucked the trend that the Dutch never win in penalties.

Well now that we’ve caught you up with how the semi-finalists earned their spots, we’ve got some news from over the weekend to catch you up with.

Ashley Cole has agreed to a deal that will see him move to AS Roma. He is still in my opinion one of the ten best left backs in the world and should be a great addition to that club. Roma has also signed Salih Ucan who will be loaned back to Fenerbahce.  Roma was very busy over the weekend because they also are interested in signing USMNT talent Deandre Yedlin, who would remain at Seattle for the remainder of their MLS season.

Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of Argentina’s semi-final matchup with the Netherlands with a thigh injury. Argentina fans will be happy to hear that Sergio Aguero is expected to be fit for the semifinal.

Barcelona have completed a €12 million move for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from Real Sociedad. He has signed a 4 year contract with a €40 million buyout clause after an impressive World Cup with Chile.

In a truly bizarre rumor, Stoke City are rumored to be favorites to sign Ronaldinho, yes that Ronaldinho. I don’t think that is going to happen, but this has to be the pinnacle of silly season rumors.

Posted on Monday, July 07, 2014 by Lex


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

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I said it last time, but it holds true again, today is the most important day in the history of our footballing nation. Today we face off against Belgium, it has been declared American Outlaws day in Pittsburgh, and most importantly Jozy Altidore has been declared fit and ready for action. That should be a huge boost to the USA because we’ve looked sort of listless without the big man up front. Playing with a true striker will give us some structure and we all know that Jozy can provide those moments of brilliance that are so crucial at the World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann has spoken out against FIFA selecting an Algerian match official for today’s game. I’m sure bias won’t have anything to do with his refereeing decisions, but I do question them selecting an official that doesn’t regularly officiate matches of this importance.

Either way, that match kicks off at 4PM today, so by 3:30 I expect all of you to be standing with your fellow USA fans at whatever venue you feel appropriate. The American Outlaws are hosting watch parties at the Claddagh and Lattitude 40 for those of you in the Pittsburgh area. The atmosphere will  be spectacular and I really can’t wait for this afternoon.

In yesterday’s matches, France ran out 2-0 winners over Nigeria. Nigeria had a goal taken away in the first half for a dubious offside call. I think that one could have gone either way, but the referee blew the whistle and Nigeria were unable to mount much of an attack following that. After a scoreless first half, the second half began with Blaise Matuidi earning a yellow card for an ugly challenge on Ogenyi Onazi. The challenge broke both the tibia and fibula of Onazi and probably could have earned a red card for Matuidi, but he escaped dismissal. Vincent Enyeama was an absolute monster in this match, he played spectacularly, and unfortunately his performance wasn’t enough. He batted a ball away from his goal, but it fell onto the head of Paul Pogba who smashed it home. In the closing moments of stoppage time, a French corner kick was taken short and a cross sent into the box, which Joseph Yobo sent into his own goal for the match’s final goal. It was a heartbreaking and legbreaking way for Nigeria to crash out of the tournament, and I think that Enyeama’s performance deserved better.

In yesterday’s second match, Germany required extra time to break a scoreless deadlock with Algeria. The match ended 2-1 with all the goals coming in the extra periods. Manuel Neuer was doing his best sweeper keeper routine throughout the match and displayed his considerable skills to the world. It only took two minutes into the first extra period for Andre Schurrle to break the scoreless deadlock, Schurrle flicked in a perfect Thomas Muller cross with his left foot. In the 120th minute, Mesut Ozil scored his first goal of the tournament, by pouncing on an Andre Schurrle rebound and smashing it home. Algerian keeper Rais M’Bolhi really deserved better after making 10 saves in the match, earning MOTM honors. One minute later Algeria managed to scrape back a goal thanks to Abdelmoumene Djabou who hit home a spectacular cross from Sofiane Feghoul to make things respectable for Algeria.

Trivia segment:
Before we get to our results from the weekend and upcoming matches for tonight, here’s a new trivia segment sponsored by Ruffneck Scarves and Who Are Ya Designs. They make a tons of great shirts and scarves and sent me their #Murica shirt, so you should check them out at www.ruffneckscarves.com orwww.whoareyadesigns.com . That brings us to our trivia question for the day which is: Who is the most capped player in USMNT history? If you think you know the answer, Tweet me @IamSchaffer, respond on the Full Time Football Facebook Page, or comment on the blog. We’ll select the winner from the correct responses and send them a gift card so they can pick up some new gear. If you don’t know the answer, still go to ruffneckscarves.com or whoareyadesigns.com and buy a shirt for yourself or the football fan in your life.

Scores from the weekend:
In MLS action:
Chris Barrett’s first half strike was all that Seattle needed to beat DC United. They ran out 1-0 winners in their return to MLS action.

The Phialdelphia Union defeated the New England Revolution 3-1. Sebastien Le Toux opened scoring for the Union just before the halftime break. They went up 2-0 thanks to a Danny Cruz goal that was assisted by Michael Lahoud. The Revs then managed to peg one back thanks to Saer Sene, but Philly put things out of reach with Sebastien Le Toux earning his brace.

The Columbus Crew and FC Dallas played to a scoreless draw on Sunday after the match was postponed on Saturday after lighting struck an off duty firefighter in the parking lot.

The Montreal Impact ran out 3-0 winners over the Houston Dynamo. Jack McInerny had two goals in this match with Marco Di Vaio adding the third.

Gyasi Zardes scored the only goal of the game for the LA Galaxy during their clash with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Erick Cubo Torres scored in Chivas USA’s win over Real Salt Lake. Despite the win they remain in last place.

The Colorado Rapids were 2-0 winners over the Vancouver Whitecaps thanks to goals from Dillon Powers and Vicente Sanchez.

Moving on to NWSL action from the weekend:
Carli Lloyd scored both goals for the Western New York Flash in their 2-1 win over the Boston Breakers. Ezurike Nkemjika earned the Breakers’ goal in that match.

Lauren Holliday scored the match’s only goal for FC Kansas City in their win over Portland Thorns FC.

The Washington Spirit defeated the Houston Dash 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jodie Taylor.
In the final NWSL match from the weekend the Seattle Reign and Sky Blue FC played to a scoreless draw.

Headlines for today:

Adam Lallana has completed his move to Liverpool. He says his wish has been granted to compete in the Champion’s League and for Premier League titles.

Orlando City has completed their move for Ricardo Kaka. He becomes the second Ballon D’Or winner to play in MLS.

Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi will miss the rest of the World Cup after he picked up a muscle tear in his left thigh.

The Cameroon FA has launched an investigation of seven players in match fixing allegations that were made by notable convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal. The match in question is their 4-0 defeat against Croatia, where Alex Song was sent off for elbowing Mario Mandzukic. Betting industry sources have not reported any irregular betting on this match or any other World Cup match.

Luis Suarez issued an apology to Georgio Chiellini and the world football community and Chiellini has said that all is forgotten.

Coming up at noon we’ve got Argentina taking on Switzerland followed by that monumental clash between Belgium and our brave United States Men’s National Team.

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 by Lex

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