While looking at the tracklisting of NAStalgia by Petey Cologne & J-Smoke, one song stood out among rest in a Nas tribute – “Deja Vu.” A personal favorite, the poor sound quality was just as I remembered it, rewinding and replaying it years ago on Read the rest of this entry »
New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert must be a happy man. After a long road back from injury, he started his first game with a win in London and this week released his player exclusive sneaker, the adidas Top Ten 2000 “2WE 1NE.” Read the rest of this entry »
Remember the hoopla surrounding the terrible calls from the replacement referees in the NFL? Now double that controversy, throw in some ejections and add accusations of racism and what you get are the recent flubs by English Premier League officials. These are the full-time refs who don’t have instant replay, yet hold full autonomy over calling fouls. We accept human error, but the rejection of using goal-line technology to accurately call games won’t fly. Read the rest of this entry »
Upsets are common in world football but when so many top clubs fall simultaneously, its no fluke. The rest of Europe stepped their game up and getting out of the group stage in the Champions League won’t be the cakewalk it was to the bigger names. Read the rest of this entry »
This was the best week ever to be an English Premier League fan. It was highlighted by arguably the biggest game in the history of the EPL (not to mention a deciding factor in the season,) as Manchester United and Manchester City took their rivalry to epic proportions with City edging out its crosstown rival 1-0. Read the rest of this entry »
Begrudgingly, I was denied an El Clasico Champions League Final. Chelsea scores before halftime again and shuts the door with an injury time Torres hop-and-pop goal over Barcelona. Real Madrid surprisingly chokes in penalties and Bayern Munich gets to play the final at home. Who knew Munich and Chelsea would both make it to the final? I was expecting at least one Spanish club to make it through, but the drama filled week in the UCL ended as one of the greatest semi-final rounds of all time.
Before the Superbowl of Soccer is played, let’s analyze what just happened and what we can expect on May 19th.
Los Cinco Puntos – FC Barcelona Vs. Chelsea
1. The Injury to David Villa was more detrimental to Barca than we thought. Villa is a finisher. The depth Barcelona created coming into the season included him as a starter. Alexis Sanchez wasn’t bad, but remember Villa’s winning goal against Manchester United in last year’s UCL Final? That sort of pinpoint accuracy would’ve helped a lot against the Londoners.
2. Roberto Di Matteo deserves to become full time manager. Analogous to Mike Woodson turning around the New York Knicks after Mike D’Antoni, Chelsea’s interim manager set the ship in the right direction after the sacking of Andre Villas Boas. Drop the “caretaker” label and give this man a contract.
3. If Chelsea wins the Final and remains out of the top four in the English Premier League, fourth place doesn’t get to play in the UCL next season.Tottenham and Newcastle, be afraid. Very, very afraid.
4. Chelsea was the better team. They played with both starting center defenders out AND only ten men and Barcelona didn’t score after the 35th minute. But with John Terry, Ramires and Raul Miereles out of the Final, can they be the better squad?
5. Fernando Torres is Alex Rodriguez in 2009 right now. Just like A-Rod, this is the kid’s time to shine in the big game. Yes, he scored the winning goal in the semi-final, but if he doesn’t show up in Munich the title of “95 million pound bust” will remain.
Los Cinco Puntos – Real Madrid Vs. Bayern Munich
1. Manuel Neuer is a top goalkeeper. Going toe-to-toe with Madrid’s Iker Casillas puts him in good company. Neuer held goal with Shalke 04 to the semi-finals last year and now with Bayern Munich he’s worked wonders for the team and his career. Stopping Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka in a shootout doesn’t hurt either.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo falls short again. Two goals by anyone is a tremendous contribution, but just like Lionel Messi clanking his penalty kick, every miss is judged by a higher standard. He’ll just have to settle for a La Liga title instead.
3. Bayern Munich has their own big three: Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez. They are simply the best cohesive attacking trio in the game. Of course the rest of the team is top-class, but their front three can battle with the best.
4. Sergio Ramos will again be the goat. Fans of sports bloopers will know him for dropping the Copa Del Rey trophy, but for the next year his horrendously off-target penalty kick will be the calling card of the guy who looks like Legolas from Lord of the Rings.
5. Jose Mourinho’s legacy isn’t tarnished. “The Special One” fell one game shy of a Champions league final with Real Madrid, but whatever team he lands with next year will welcome him with open arms. The world-class manager of two UCL winning sides will see European silverware once again.
The Champions League final four are set with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid as this year’s representatives. As Madrid and Munich easily advanced without any hiccups, Barca and Chelsea benefitted from referee calls to send them to the next round. The benefactors of the whistle are grouped together in the semi-finals but with Barcelona as the favorites, can Chelsea pull off the improbable? Read the rest of this entry »
What’s your pre-game track before you hit the club? I can guess Rekstizzy bumps Biggie’s “Big Poppa” because on his new video for “Posted,” he samples the track in this tongue-in-cheek song about the females. Read the rest of this entry »
The Champions League’s version of the elite eight kicked off their first leg match ups this week. While the Barcelona vs AC Milan match surprisingly ended in a stalemate, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich turned on paper expectations into actuality with convincing victories. Read the rest of this entry »
Leo Messi smashed a 57-year club record last night bringing his personal tally to 235 goals. The Barcelona star made it his 34th goal in 27 league games. Messi did in style too scoring three goals against Granada making it his eighth hat-trick of the season. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a reason why you label certain teams with words like “elite” and “favorite.” They pull off victories. Was it purely an anomaly that those teams in this batch of Champions League matches went winless in the first leg? Read the rest of this entry »
Pittsburgh Pirates fans should be ecstatic when their team finally agreed with their All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen on a six-year $51.5 million deal. After the Pirates’ brief run in first place in last season, McCutchen became a sign of hope for a franchise in the doldrums ever since the departure of Barry Bonds. Exceptional in defense and swiping bases, McCutchen’s stock will soar now that he’s inked a long-term contract.
This is a sign in the right direction for the team after their questionable signing of NY Yankee cast-off A.J. Burnett who subsequently bunted a ball on his own face in batting practice. All you’ll say is “ouch” when you see the footage. Burnett is now out for up to three months. Signing McCutchen will divert attention from that fiasco while drawing some ticket sales before Opening Day. Read the rest of this entry »
They say death comes in threes and for Chelsea Football Club it came with a loss to WBA, dropping out of a Champions League spot and the firing of their coach Andre Villas Boas. For supporters of the London club, the first two are heartbreaking but I doubt any tears were shed by AVB’s departure. Read the rest of this entry »
It took 82 years and 11 tries but the US finally beat Italy 1-0 tonight in Genoa. The winning goal came from Clint Dempsey in the 55th minute after a lay-off pass via Jozy Altidore. Now there were better games like the 3-2 thriller between England and Netherlands as well as another hat trick from Leo Messi to lead Argentina for the win against Switzerland, but on shock value alone – the US win takes precedence. Read the rest of this entry »