Chapecoense Remembered

Football transcends languages, cultures and differences. Now, more than ever we can rely on each other.

A chartered plane with a Brazilian first division football team crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing 71 people, Colombian officials said. Six people survived. The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10pm on Monday (0300 GMT) because of an electrical failure, aviation authorities said.

The aircraft, which had departed from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was transporting the Chapecoense team from southern Brazil for the first leg of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin, which was due to be played on Wednesday.

Atletico Nacional has requested that the Copa Sudamericana final be given to Chapecoense, a great gesture in a horrible time.

Youth the Answer for Liverpool

Liverpool has new youngest 1st team scorer in Ben Woodburn. The 17 year old found the back of the net after a great move from Liverpool seen below:

Klopp On Woodburn’s contribution…

“We know what Ben is capable of and what he is already able to do. My first job is to help these boys so that they can be the best. In this case, Ben Woodburn. There’s a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible. That’s quite a difficult thing to do. But on the other hand, we only bring him in because we want to use him. So that means when he’s on the pitch he’s absolutely allowed to score goals, to prepare situations, to make crosses – how Trent did, for example. So, all good. I’m really happy for him. The only problem is I’m a little bit afraid about you [the media]. That’s why I’m so quiet on this. Think and do what you want, but don’t write anything – only ‘Goalscorer, Ben Woodburn.’ Done. Quite a challenge!”

Woodburn wasn’t the only youthful presence on the pitch. Right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold was born in 1998 and served up a peach of a cross for Origi’s opener. It is great to see the youth getting involved in Liverpool’s successes!

Transition Transition Transition

How do you beat a dominant team? You transition properly. You play forward beyond the lines of committed players from the opposing side. Sporting may have lost this game but check out the chances they were able to create through proper forward thinking transitional play.

If you can create 2 v 1 and 1 v 1 situations in wide areas like this then you are doing something right and it gives you a chance no matter who the opposition is.

MLS Delayed Yet Satisfying

We were all thinking it. The excessive time between the MLS Playoff Rounds is finally up and we can start an all Canadian affair…but wait!!!!

Yes, you read that correctly. Somehow, Montreal focused completely on the 60,000 fans coming into the stadium and not the pitch which they would play on! The turf was horrendous and the conversion from yards to meters must have been way off! That being said, the game itself was pretty good. Montreal went up 3-0 early only to have two away goals put home by Toronto in the second half. This will make for an exciting second leg in Toronto this weekend!

Always a comedy. Seattle took care of business 2-1 at home. Both games will be fun this weekend.

No Bus For United

You see it all too often. Your team controls the game and earns a well-deserved lead going into the final stages of the competition. Then, instead of keeping the pressure on and maintaining the course that delivered the lead, the winning side goes into a prevent defense and allows the other team back into the game.

In football you’ll see the safeties drop deeper to prevent the deep ball. In baseball a defensive substitute will come in to replace a teammate great at the ball bus less so in the field. In soccer all ten outfield players make their own half their home and commit less numbers going forward.

United followed this tact yesterday and dropped two crucial points at home as a result. After a fairly even first half, United controlled the second half and took the lead through Juan Mata in the 68th minute. United continued to press and almost found a second goal in the period that followed. Despite United’s ramshackle back line featuring Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo as the centerback pairing, Arsenal were without a shot on target entering the final five minutes of regulation. However, as the final whistle neared United changed their style and opted for a more defensive formation. Mourinho’s critics and fans alike could immediately identify the bus being parked in United’s half. Schneiderlin came on to replace the goal scorer Mata and United fell into a back six. Rooney patrolled space 10 yards inside United’s half and Rashford found himself next to Daley Blind in the left channel.

As United shifted from a 4-2-3-1 to a 6-3-1, Arsenal were allowed space in the midfield. It was the first decent spell for the visiting side during the second half. Finally, after several passes inside United’s half, Oxlade-Chamberlain found himself isolated against Rashford. Daley Blind chose to follow a man into the center instead of providing support to the young United winger. Despite a big touch past Rashford, Oxlade Chamberlain was able to get deliver an excellent ball into the six yard box unmolested as Blind found himself in no man’s land. Rather than staying with his man or providing support to his winger, Blind stood in the space between the near post and the edge of the 18 yard box as the cross came in. United’s marking in the penalty area was equally woeful as they allowed the substitute Olivier Giroud to attack the chipped cross and get his goal. The goal marked the first shot on target for the Gunners and came in the 88th minute. Check out the goal:

The result is devastating for United as they drop two crucial points at home to their bitter rival. Two points United were desperate for after similarly disappointing results in recent weeks. Although the “park the bus” mentality has worked for Mourinho teams past, he would be wise to realize the vast gap between the defensive stalwarts at Chelsea in recent years and United’s current injury-stricken back line. United invited pressure on their unfamiliar and inexperienced center-back pairing and abandoned the strategy that made David De Gea’s first 87 minutes an easy day at the office. Forward-thinking players like Rashford were forced to defend deep in their own half without requisite support from United’s proper defenders and Arsenal’s creative players were allowed time and space in United’s half. United were torn apart at Chelsea while employing a similar strategy and it’s difficult to justify resorting to the same tactics in light of how yesterday’s game unfolded.

Again, the result is damaging for United in what would have been Mourinho’s first win against a “big” team since joining the Red Devils. United fans will hope Mourinho recognizes the error of his ways but will also be wary of the Portuguese’s stubborn reputation.

Let Our Journey Begin as Klinsmann’s Ends

Every thinks they know. Everyone sees the product and proclaims they have all the answers to toughest problems in sport. When the results don’t come, everyone knows the way in which that team needs to go. Soccer is the worst for this and we want to know what you think about all of these situations. Should this player start and play in this role? Should this coach be fired? Should the team quit the league and fold? Tell us what you think! Conversation breeds the answers and we are sure that together we can solve all of the world’s footballing problems!

What a better way to start then with the current USA boss! He is more out of flavor than bellbottoms and afros. What is the answer where does the US go from here? Gulati isn’t sure as stated below.

All we know, is that if this is how your team defends with intensity:

‘Cough’ Omar ‘Cough’ there is no way that your team deserves to win. Yes, we are using Gonzalez as a scapegoat but this is a theme that is not new and one that needs to end now or the USMNT will find its way to a nice stay at home in 2018. What do you think? Is Klinsmann done? Who replaces him? Is it totally his fault?

Put your footy hat on. We are looking forward to battling with you all!