Your spot for what's kicking in the world of soccer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who Needs What Pt.1


With Christmas emerging thick and fast upon the horizon, giddy children will be making their wish list's across the globe, as will the fans of the beautiful game.  Want's are want's - Man City, and needs are needs - see the 18 teams below them. Some team's in the Premier League have gaps needing filled. Realistic goals taken into account every teams got a space in the XI needing an injection of talent but their are a few who need it more than the rest.

Liverpool and the Hunt For A Red Striker.

They may have the hottest forward in the land in Luis Suarez tied top scorer but without the Uruguayan's fire power Liverpool have only scored 6 other goals, not good enough. Having no notable striker in their ranks besides Fabio Borini, who has managed a whopping 0 goals this season, Liverpool are crying out for a No.9 ( Not Andy Carroll).

Talk has been circling about a move for Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge, a talented front man but not an out-out striker that is required. Perhaps that No.9 forward is not what Manager Brendan Rodgers wants, opting for a fluid,  false No.9 forward line- see Barcelona. In that case Sturridge could slot in well, but would the link up be effective?  A major problem for Liverpool is their lack of option in the box on crossing situations. Liverpool break quick with pacey wingers like Raheem Sterling and Jose Enrique but when it comes time to play a telling ball, often they are bereft of a target.  The rumored  move for deadly Klass Jan Huntelaar last summer seemed a definite possibility, and would hope them to emerge once again in January.

Another team hurting for a striker is Chelsea and the debacle of:

The Miss Firing Fernando Torres.

Owner Roman Abramovich had no problem sacrificing Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo to the cause in his plight to get Torres on the goal sheet. Springing for Premier League old timer Rafa Benitez,  former coach of Torres at Liverpool were his best stuff was on display -see Peaches & Herb: Reunited And It Feels So Good.  Yet to be fruitful in the three matchs that Rafa has overseen it's pretty evident that Chelsea needs a new striker.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Liverpool Secure Sahin On Loan


Barring the passing of a medical, Liverpool look to have secured Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid on a year long loan. The 23 year old has 31 international caps for Turkey to his name as well as helping German side Borussia Dortmund secure the Bundesliga title. 

A tidy acquisition by Rodgers I must say. Sahin had practically negative chances to impress at Real Madrid albeit injured for the bulk of the season. I'am extremely interested to see how he bounces back and if he can regain effectiveness in the heart of Liverpool's midfield. My question is does he start along with Gerrard and Lucas or will he operate from off the bench, time will tell. Also does this suggest Rodgers surrender in the Clint Dempsey deal, or does he look to pair up both midfielders in a new look Liverpool, we will see.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tell Your Story & Win A Jersey With Footy-Kit Connections




Spot Kick Journal is pleased to announce a competition that could see you win a Jersey of your choice. Read below and see how you could do so. 

What makes being a being a soccer fan in the United States different than anyway else in the world is a sense of camaraderie. When you are a fan, it feels like you’re a part of a little secret, almost like being a member of the Masons or a Rotary club — you are part for a group of people who support a sport that is often overlooked by the mass media in the U.S. 

That's how I feel when I catch a glance of someone in a soccer kit. Even if it’s the jersey of the team I most desperately despise, I want to give him or her a nod and say, "Nice kit." 

I call it a Footy-kit connection.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that soccer is not big in America, because it is — not from watching or reading whatever the media’s spinning but because of Footy-kit Connections. Footy-kit Connections happen every day everywhere; at the grocery store, at the bar, in a park, at a bus stop. You’ll never know where or when, but you’ll absolutely know why. Soccer fans in the U.S. are just crying out for a platform to express their love of the beautiful game. I've seen it, I’ve felt it, I’ve lived it. You probably have, too.

This is not the same as an interaction that, say, a San Jose Earthquakes fan would get from wearing his team’s kit at an opposing team’s stadium. I'm talking about soccer fans as they go about their everyday life experiencing a sense of camaraderie with someone else all because of a shirt.

I come from a suburb just outside of San Francisco, a place blessed with natural beauty. I was exercising the right to experience such beauty by going on a hike up the mountain known as Mt. Tamalpais wearing the necessary hiking equipment for a casual trek with my dog and my Ibrahimovic Sweden national team kit from the 2006 World Cup in Germany. 

On my descent I noticed a man in his 30s looking at me with an excited gleam in his eye. As I approached him he stopped me and asked if I was Swedish. No, I told him, I’m of Norwegian origin — treasonous, I know. Regardless, he told me he liked my jersey and then asked if I played. Without even waiting for an answer, he graciously invited me to play in a tournament called the Scandinavian Consulate Cup. The Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish consulates of San Francisco put on an annual tournament in which players from the aforementioned countries get together to play a pick-up tournament in a park. 

The tournament happens every September; and now that I know of Its existence I can't wait to lace up my boots. 

This is a perfect example of how kit connections happen. All you have to do is slip on a soccer jersey and bam — you’ll find yourself interacting with another fan of the beautiful game. In my case, it led to being enlightened on a tournament I never knew existed. 

This Footy-kit connection represents the torch-b    earer for a new feature on Spot Kick Journal. Every time I have an experience that qualifies as one, I will breakdown the events that transpired and touch on the importance of said events. 

This is how you can win the kit of your choice. Comment on the blog, Facebook,  send me an email, or link to twitter telling a Footy- kit connection that you have experienced. The most creative will be selected and to the victor will a brand spanking new kit be awarded.


Stay tuned for the next edition of Footy-kit connections, only on spotkickjournalism.blogspot.com. 

All emails sent to SpotKickJournal@gmail.com

Arsenal Land Themselves Some Quality


Arsenal has added diminutive playmaker Santi Cazorla to their list of summer transfers. Jumping off the wage-withholding ship of Malaga, the Spanish international joins Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud as the newest players entrusted with showing their stuff at the Emirates. What a signing for the Gooners, seriously. He's such a tidy player, whether outside, in the middle, or supporting a striker, which most likely will be Giroud. 

It shows major intent, and in the done in the wake of Robin Van Persie's decision to not sign a new contract, saves Arsenal from looking like a feeble can't-hackit club. 


Think Arsenal will set up like this next season? Assuming RVP is gone.

Giroud

      Podolski         Cazorla         Oxlade-Chamberlain 

Arteta   Song 

   Vermaelen  Koscielny  Mertesacker    Sagna

Scezney 






Sunday, August 5, 2012

Liver n' Onions: Andy Carroll, better with us than against us


With reports still somewhat swirling around the possible departure of Andy Carroll from Liverpool, I have been forced to ponder the fallout that would occur if actually leaves. Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers has made it  crystal that Carroll does not fit into his system, and that he is willing to ship the big lad out by any means necessary. Ok fair enough he dosen't fit into the style of play your trying to cultivate, yet here is the problem that occurs if you dump him. 


This is the same problem that occurred when Fernando Torres was firing for Liverpool, that is with Carroll gone Liverpools attack will be resting solely on the shoulders of Luis Suarez. What happens if god forbid he gets hurt?...Or more likely suspended. What happens then?  Looking at Liverpool's roster the lack of experienced or semi-experienced strikers is astounding. The newly acquired Fabio Borini is by nature a striker but I have my doubts on his ability to lead a line, when I have watched him he looks more suited to play off of a number 9 type. After that their is nothing that Liverpool could feel confidant putting out against the Premier League's elite. Carroll may not be first choice but what is the harm of having backup. Looking currently at Liverpool's squad I foresee the starting XI looking something like this:


4-1-3-2 or 4-4-2
Reina

Johnson  Skrtel   Agger  Enrique

Lucas

   Downing  Gerrard     Cole 

  Borini  Suarez 

A fluid forward line full of movement and interchanging of postions, which is not conducive to hitting Carroll's strong points. If that's not working Carroll is plan B. If new signings such as Clint Dempsey or Gaston Ramirez enter the fray, this shall change, but keeping Andy Carroll at the club can only help not hinder. I would also say that I'd rather have him with us than against us. 

Recollecting on the days of old, back when Torres walked Merseyside I remember the issue the team had in his absence relying on David N'gog for goals due to a lack of recognized strikers on the books. I don't want to see this happen again. 


Keep Carroll and get rid of the chaff i.e. Charlie Adam.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

FC Gomel 0-1 Liverpool FC- Stewart Downing's Goal (video0


Liverpool won their first competitive game of the season beating FC Gomel in Belarus thanks to Stewart Downing's howitzer of a left foot. Video below:


MLS 36: Chris Wondolowski- A true MLS Allstar (Video)



MLS and NBC bring you MLS 36: a 36 look into the life of an MLS player. The first player profiled is San Jose Earthquakes forward, and and league leading scorer Chris Wondolowski.

I cannot stress enough the pleasure I get that he was chosen first. It would have been so easy to pick the David Beckham and Thierry Henry of the League, but now we get a look at 36 hrs in the life of a true MLS player. 

If you had any curiosity in how the Allstar spent his 36 hrs ahead of kickoff with Chelsea, stay tuned.
Check the promo:



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liver n' Onions: Dog days of a Deuce deal.


The flirting continues between Dempsey and Liverpool. On reading the rumor mill of newspaper headlines you'd think that Liverpool would be close to landing Clint Dempsey. Really it's anyones guess the status of talks between Reds manager Brendan Rodgers and Dempsey. Reported on nearly every outlet from the Daily Mail to Bleacher Report, " Rodgers has confirmed interest in Dempsey." That's all well and good, but when will you sign him?

It seemed a perfect scenario to sign him before Liverpool departed on their North American tour, and have him square off against American National team colleague Michael Bradley and Roma at Fenway Park. This was not to be, and If the Reds are to acquire the services of the Texan they look to be leaving it late.

Just today BBC Sport reports that Dempsey has been left out of Fulham's pre- season training camp in Switzerland, but manager Martin Jol insists it's due to his lack of fitness. For me this is denying the inevitable. The player has made it pretty clear that he wants to go by not signing a new contract, and some reports suggest that Dempsey excluded himself from camp in an effort to force a move. He has said that he wants to play for a Champions League caliber side, which whoever says Liverpool is not is mad. The team is in a state of transition, with new manager, new players and a new identity that sees last year's big money signing, Andy Carroll, possibly being loaned out. Dempsey could flourish in then new set up at Liverpool, acting as the focal point in Midfield.

According to reports the transfer has staled due to a disagreement on a fee between Fulham and Liverpool. Liverpool seem to have been valuing the move at around 5 million pounds due to the fact that Dempsey entering the last year of his contract. With the start of the Premier League season a mere 3 weeks away, it looks like it might be one of those deals that might reach a conclusion on the eve of the seasons commencement.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ninja Attack In New York



Tim 'The Ninja" Cahill has officially signed for the New York Red Bulls and already has an exclusive interview up on the teams site. The new number 17 rounds out an already formidable attack in place at NY, and the edition of his contributions excites the piss out of me. 


From www.newyorkredbulls.com


“We are absolutely thrilled to bring in a player of Tim’s caliber to the Red Bulls,” said New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He is the technical, physical presence we have been looking to add in our team and he brings a wealth of experience to our club having played in some of the highest levels of international soccer. Tim is a proven leader both on and off the field and we believe that he can help us immediately in our quest to win the MLS Cup this season.”  


For  a player standing 5'10, Cahill netted numerous headed goals for his previous club side Everton with his ninja like skills. What is most exciting about the Australian internationals signing is that he is at an age where he can make a impact for a handful of years. At 32, Cahill still has plenty to offer Major League Soccer and the signing of players like Cahill continues to contribute to the growth of the American game.

You've got to admire an attacking line up of Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper, Sebastien Le Toux and Tim Cahill. Makes the LA Galaxy's attack look like Kris Kross.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FOX Soccer presents: Being Liverpool (Trailer)



Liverpool Football Club and FOX Soccer haver teamed up to bring fans a six-part documentary series about the going-ons at LFC. This series known as "Being Liverpool" will provide unseen insight into the inner workings of the beloved club.

Filming started in May of 2012 and will run through the summer and their North American tour, all the way up to their first few matchs of the 2012-13 season. 

For one I 'am stoked beyond belief to see this. If you have followed this blog you will know that I'am quite partial to the Red side of Merseyside and the chance peak behind the curtain fills me with such excitement. With the recent change of manager and various back room staff this documentary should shed such much need light on how things are done, to a certain extent. Even if your not a supporter of LFC, such documentation of a top-flight club should interest many who follow the beautiful game.

"Being Liverpool" premiers September 16th.

Check the trailer:


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ibra signs for PSG



Now the Eiffel tower is the second largest structure in Paris. The signing of the Ibra is the most recent in a string of high profile signings conjured by manger Carlo Ancelotti. New feeding ground: AC Milan, signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for 14 million Euros, Thiago Silva, and from Napoli Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The towering Swede will add a new dimension to PSG's attack, and a target for player's like Nene and Menez to find. Seriously, It's Ibra we are talking about here, and I would expect nothing less than a a great season from him. Having performed well at every club he has been at since his Ajax and Juventus days to recent times with Barcelona and the Milan clubs. Having player's such as him in your squad it attracts the eye of the watching world, and I will be one that will look on with intent at the upcoming season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bradley training with AS Roma (Video)


Here's a Roma training video featuring (drum roll please) America's own Michael Bradley. The next step in his meteoric rise to stardom leaves my mouth watering in anticipation of viewing him line-up next to Danielle Di Rossi and Francesco Totti next season.


Making the move form Chiveo Verona, Bradley now has to be considered the American player playing at the highest profile club. What opportunities he will get next season remains to be seen, but the edition of Bradley to the Roma squad, not only benefits the player, but adds some steel and vision to the club's Midfield. Can't you see how happy he looks?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Liver n' Onions: Summer Shopping List

It's that time a year once again where football fans make their "wish list" so to say. The summer transfer window is open, and new signings offer to possibly catalyze a teams success for the upcoming year.

With out further a duet I bring you my summer shopping list for Liverpool Football Club. Liverpool have a new manager in the shape of Brenden Rodgers. A patron of pretty football, played on the ground, with good movement and passing as the backbone of his philosophy. It will be his goal to find players that fit this mold, and implement them into the current squad. Some players have already moved on, most notably and most aggrieving, Dirk Kuyt who has moved to Turkey. The long time Liverpool servent was unparalleled in his work rate and industry, and will be missed by moi.

Liverpool's lynch pins for next season will be Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard (though sat in a deeper position), Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, and to a certain extent Andy Carroll, though linked with AC Milan...."chuckles." Quality is needed and I would like these new signings not to just provide support but to steal the headlines. Unfortunantly poor results last season makes it harder to attrack the talent that will grace the front pages, unless Rodger's system is eye catching in its self, and such stars by into it the systems philosophy. The Reds have already missed out on Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played under Rodgers at Swansea, choosing to join Tottenham Hotspur for the reason that " The London club is going places," he told the Daily Mail.

Before I get to my wish list I want to touch on the fact that Liverpool have a couple talents that will be returning to the club after loan deals. Joe Cole out on loan with French side Lille has hopefully done his soul searching abroad, now ready to return to Merseyside, refreshed, renewed and on form. A creative force is what Liverpool needs in midfield and the silky touch and vision of Cole could just be what's needed. He is now back training with the Reds ahead of next season. Alberto Aquilani, once known as"The Little Prince," in Rome, now has the demoted tag of "The Habitual Injury Victim," Slick huh? He makes his return to Merseyside as well, guessing a long with everyone whether he'll be in the plans for the upcoming season. Unless Rodgers intends to sell either Cole or Aquilani, the Northern Irishman might as well give them ago, and hope and pray they can plug a few gaps needing to be filled.

If the aforementioned don't pan out, a possibility not by any stretch of the imagination, Liverpool needs an attacking creative midfielder, winger and a central defender. Here's a few that would work:

1.) Clint Dempsey- Fulham


It's no secret that the rumor tabloids have been boasting a link between the American and Liverpool, as reports of a 6 million pound move has been made. Dempsey has one year left on his contract and refused a new one last April. Tied for the fourth top-scorer in the Premier League last year, Dempsey is creative, versatile and has a nose for the net. A player who would give Liverpool what they missed last season, drive and creativity, Oh and goals. The American link between owner John Henry and Fenway Sports Group is another element that could help persuaded Dempsey of a move. Landon Donovan is still seen as the best American Soccer player currently, but those who watch the Premier League know that Dempsey is more talented and competing at a higher level.  Having an American Soccer star like Dempsey on a American owned team could see Liverpool develop a more depthful fan base in the United States. A situation not dissimilar to AS Roma's American owner going after Michael Bradley. Dempsey is also a proven Premier League player, and that's what Liverpool needs right now.

2.) Adam Johnson- Manchester City


The silky winger has had more than a difficult time getting into Man City's first team, though netting six times in 26 League games for City. Rumor is that Liverpool are plotting a 16 million pound move for the winger, which is inflated English player prices, yet compared to the 20 million pound payout for Stewart Downing, it looks like a snip. Like Downing,  Johnson has a deadly left foot, which is showcased by cutting in from the right side. Johnson is direct and takes his opponent with quick, tricky play. He's not bad defensively when I have seen him, more than able and willing to track back when necessary. Prying the winger from City wouldn't be difficult, as his chances have been limited and at Liverpool he'd be a shoo-in to start. On road-block might be that Sunderland is also rumored to have it in for his services.

3.) Mamadou Sakho- Paris Saint Germain


He has stated that he would leave club side PSG If they where to sign another defender. The 22 year old, 6 foot 2 Senegalese defender found it hard to get into PSG's starting line-up after Ancelotti took over as manager. Due to the riches at the club, the higher-ups seem to be opting for the expensive imports rather than the young talent, spurning his interest to possibly move on. Liverpool's central defensive pairing of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel was solid last season, and I would render a guess that will be the preferred pairing for next season. That said the back up behind those two looks thin. Jamie Carragher has lost a step in pace, and Sebastian Coates still is finding his bearings since moving to the club last summer. Sakho is young, yet experienced having made his debut for PSG at age 17.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AVB Squats His Way Into North London



Two days after the completion of the European Championships, one of, if not the most interesting signing of this summers transfer window has been completed. Tottenham Hotspur has signed Andre Villas-Boas on a 3-year contract, appointing him as head coach for the upcoming season. After his successes with Portuguese club side Porto where he won four trophies including being the youngest manager to ever to win the Champions League, he announced to the world that he was ready for a big job. His managerial nonce earned him a shot with Chelsea, where fallouts out with players' ultimately earned him a ticket out of west London.

Their is no doubt that AVB deserved a shot at the big time, with a big club, but the situation that transpired at Chelsea spoke ill on his ability to manage a group of egos. All football players have egos, no doubt, but comparatively the egos at Porto are to a lesser extent than the collection of superstars plying their trade at Chelsea.  I'am extremely delighted, yet slightly skeptical of AVB's appointment at Tottenham. Giving the young Portuguese manager another shot at the big time is warranted. After his departure from Chelsea, the team went on to defeat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League with his assistant Roberto Di Matteo at the controls. That said how much of that success, and foundation of success can be attributed to the work of AVB? I would say a lot. The key to AVB's success at Tottenham is recapturing the team spirt and camaraderie that his Porto side had, which is not all dissimilar to the spirt that former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp captured last season.


Also newly announced this week was that come July 12th Tottenham will release their new kit this season, manufactured buy Under Armour. I have never been a fan of the work the company has done within football, but Liverpool's fantastic new kit made by Warrior, anything is possible.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Euro 2012 Day 3 (Group C)



Spain 1-1 Italy
A match up of two world renowned footballing nations started the footballing publics' day with reigning champions Spain taking on Italy for the first match in Group C. Many, including Alexi Lalas feels as though Spain have peaked and their unraveling will begin in this tournament. Questions where raised when the starting line-ups emerged with Spain playing with no identified striker. All the talk about who would start up top due to the absence of David Villa, yet no Negredo, no Llorente, and no Torres. A midfield of Alonso, Xavi, and Busquets with Inesta,  Fabregas, and David Silva in front of them. Exercising what's know as a "False nine" in the Biz, these midfielders can rotate, and interchange positions causing headaches to the defensive unit entrusted with stoping them. Did it work? Not really I would say as the attack lacked a focal point, Italy's unorthodox back-line remained un-stretched. 


Danielle De Rossi played a sweeper role in front of a back two, aided by wing-backs Maggio and Giaccherni. Italy has always been renowned as a defensively sound team and it snuffed a few efforts from the outstanding Iniesta which threatened Buffon's goal. Italy started with Mario Ballotelli and Antonio Cassano up-top in which the latter had a fantastic game. Yet it was Balotelli with the clear cut chance to convert when he hustled and hurried Sergio Ramos into making a sloppy back pass to Casillas, that deflected of the Italian's foot falling right into his path. Bearing down on goal Balotelli, eyes for goal took to long and Ramos recovered with a sliding hook clearance. Italian Coach Prandelli amended this squandered chance by taking out the big man and replacing him with Antonio Di Natalie, who scored with literally his second touch. 




Spain's goal came from a combo of those midfielders I spoke of as Xavi touched it to Silva around the arch, who controlled and deftly flicked the ball with the outside of his boot right into the path of the on rushing Fabregas, who powered it past Buffon. This is how it ended -deadlocked, while Croatia made heavy work of Ireland.

Croatia 3-1 Ireland 


Precast as the whipping boys of the group, Ireland took on the team seen as their best chance of picking up three points, Croatia. An early goal to Croatia threw the green army's plan out the window.  Having to chase Ireland got a goal back from a set play, due to their grit and determination. The wingers Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady where fairly anonymous and the likes of Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle had to scrap to get anything in the way of service. Ireland didn't play bad, but suffered from some sloppy play and a run of bad luck. Directly after the half Everton's Nikica Jelavic put his nation ahead after (like I said) a squewd Irish clearance.  Ireland had a shout for a penlty after Gordon Schildenfeld went through Robbie Keane in his effort to reach the ball, a clear penalty for me and the Irish should feel agreived. Croatian strikers Jelavic and Mario Madzukic where immense giving Dunne and St Ledger plenty to think about. With the Irish yet to face Spain and Italy I'm saying it's curtains. Croatia now sit atop Group C

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Euro 2012: Day 1 (Group A)

Day 1: Group A


Greece 1-1 Poland
Having waited with the masses for the commencement of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, one could not hope for a more entertaining match. In front of a ruckus home crowd, the hosts Poland went one up on the Greeks through a thumping headed goal from star striker Robert Lewandowski. The Greeks always solid in defense looked sloppy and in the first half when the rare attacking opportunity presented itself the move petered out faster than you could say "Opa." Second half super-sub Dimitris Salpingidis salvaged the deficit which before the break was compounded by the 44th minute red card to central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos. After leveling, and playing with 10 men the Greeks held it together as the Polish found it hard to challenge the 38 year old deputant in the Greek keeper. This was fortune was well deserved for the second yellow to Papastathopoulos was as harsh as they come. Salpingidis continued his tricky ways as he latched onto a floated ball over the defense, pushing it past the Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny who brought him down, awarding a penalty and earning a strait red. 




Couldn't write this stuff, could you? And hold on it gets better. The Polish substitute keeper Przemyslaw Tyton's first task was to face a penalty kick, that if converted would put his nation behind. Old timer Karagounis with the chance to put his name up in lights flubbed his effort which was handily saved by the substitute keeper, who in turn became the man of the moment, showing his satisfaction with celebratory clenched fists. ESPN commentator Alexi Lalas  brought out the old cliche of "A game of two halves," and apart from its mediocrity as a analytical breakdown, he was right. Having their backs up against it in the first half, the Greeks took it to the Pol's in the second, and should feel aggrieved that they didn't snag the 3 points. 


Russia 4-1 Czech Republic


Really not much to say about this one except for: my how far have the Czech's fallen from grace. Ranked second in the world going into the 2006 Cup in Germany, my word six years has done a number on the squad. They looked terrible, but before I praise Russia too much I'm not sure if it's a case of Russia as a force to be reckoned with or, the Czechs' being a force to be wrecked. No matter, the Russians where rampant looking like the team of the last Euro's. Starlet Alan Dzagoev notched two in their route to victory. For my money they'll be top dogs in Group A.







Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AdidasPredator Lethal Zones vs. The Deadly Challenges



RVP, Casillas, Dani Alves, Sandro, David Villa, Di Maria, and Xabi Alonso fitted with the New Adidas Predator Lethal Boot Line, face the deadly challenges that test the integrity and grit of their fancy footwear. Pitted against water cannons, rotating turbines and fluorescent tubes these players' make heavy weather of their challenges. 


 

Dexter Season 7 & 8 Announced.


Anyone who has followed this blog since its conception knows that I have given mad love to Showtime's Dexter.  Now everyone's favorite serial killer emerges for a 7th season that will premiere Sunday, September 30th at 9pm ET. Below is the first teaser that has been released, yet doesn't offer much in the way of  visuals. With the emergence of this trailer comes news of some cast add ons and that a large plot point will have to do with a stripper and the owner of a gentleman's club played by Jason Gedrick. With the announcement of Season 7, Showtime has reportedly signed on for another one, which will be the penultimate season. Should be flesh biting fun...


Monday, June 4, 2012

Liverpool x Warrior Release The New 2012-13 Away Kit

 I was super excited when the Warrior made Liverpool home kit  emerged this summer, and with the release of the away kit I maintain my delight on the result. I've heard some say it looks like a wetsuit, and it kind of does, yet I like the style. I heard rumors it might be purple and I can say with 100% assurity that I am more please with this result.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Liver n 'Onions: Brendan Rodgers named new Liverpool FC Manager


To say it's been a topsy turvy couple of weeks' for Liverpool FC would be a mammoth understatement. Having last week departed with club idol and current manager Kenny Dalglish, the new manger charade began with a fury. Names like Roberto Martinez, Andre Villas-Boas, Louis van Gaal, Fabio Capello and Frank de Boer hit the ears of Liverpool fans eagerly awaiting a new appointment. This wait concluded Wednesday when Liverpool announced the appointment of their 18th manager in the clubs history, ex-Swansea Manager Brendan Rodgers. For me it's the antithesis of a climactic decision.Yes he deserves acclaim for guiding a newly promoted side to the eleventh spot, achieving this playing attractive football to boot, but is taking on the current mess that is Liverpool a job to much for the thirty-nine year old? Liverpool FC is in a hot mess at the moment, and the appointment of a big name like van Gaal, or AVB sparked hope, yet the set-up being implemented forced Liverpool down an alley with limited options. 

A trio of footballing directors will oversee the players purchased based on how they will fit into the system. This leaves the manager to work strictly with the team, and utilize the players according to that philosophy. With a big name like AVB or say de Boer, that just won't work. Clash of ideals and falling out between manger and higher-ups is a familiar complication at Anfield as Rafa Benitez fell out with Rick Perry and his purchase of Robbie Keane. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers I fear was a last resort as the bigger names denied the position. According to a statement by Ian Arye on the Liverpool website, Rodgers was Liverpool's " first choice,"which I find highly suspect. For Rodgers the difficulty of getting current players, and any potential new signings to perform at their bast is key, after a lackluster season that saw the majority of the squad under perform. Looking at how new signings will be assessed by "signing by committee type of procedure an 'analysis by committee'. It will be a whole range of people bringing together a whole range of skill-sets to go out and find and identify what we need and Brendan will have a big input in that." Liverpoolfc.tv 

Owner John Henry and Fenway Sports Group sent Dalglish packing after he guided Liverpool to an eighth place finish, four points behind club rivals Everton. Wholesale changes seem to be in the offing this summer for the Merseyside club, as the higher-ups look at last year's sub-par results and ponder solutions. The signings that Dalglish made with the help of Damien Comollli, now formally of Liverpool, did not pan out on the whole. Yet with the latest injury to Frank Lampard ahead of Euro 2012 sees Jordan Henderson make the England squad, joining four other Liverpool players on the roster….go figure. I guess this is the time to touch on it because a requires mentioning. Downing had a terrible season, Carroll came decent a month before the end of the season, Glen Johnson underperformed, and now Henderson strikes me as a stretch from the England Manager Roy Hodgson. The season that Liverpool had does not warrant having four players in the squad.

Now I want to take you into the Oniony side this piece, after all it is silly season. Reports have linked Liverpool with Barcelona's Ibrahim Affellay who could be available for around six million Euro's. What Liverpool need is sure up the Midfield and get some quality wingers. For me the player I want to see at Anfield next season is Adam Johnson.


Surplus to requirement at Manchester City, Liverpool should be able to sign him for a decent price, which for under ten million pounds would be a snip for a player would could beat any fullback with his tricky and direct play. Judging on Brendan Rodgers style of play at Swansea, he likes playing the ball on the floor utilizing tricky wingers to open defenses. Both of the aforementioned players' would fit well into the system that he would like to implement.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

USMNT vs. Brazil May 30th, 8pm ET





Probable Lineups:
USA (4-3-3): Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Johnson; Bradley, Edu, Jones;      Donovan, Altidore, Dempsey
Brazil (4-2-2-2): Jefferson; 

               Danilo, Silva, Juan Marcelo 
                     Sandro Romulo 
                      Lucas, Oscar 
                         Hulk, Neymar

The USMNT will face a stern test of there mettle when they face Brazil tomorrow May 30th at Fedex field.This comes on the back of a 5-1 win against Scotland, and Jurgen Klinsmann's band of red, white, and blue will have confidence pulsing through their veins. The Scots' and the Selecao pose very different threats, to which compensating measures may be taken by the German.

Against Scotland the US played free flowing football not seen from past US sides, and the midfield trio of Bradley, Edu, and Jones formed a formidable force in front of the back four. Terrance Boyd created space for the likes of Donovan and Torres to exploit. 


I hope that the US come out in this shape, and with this game plan...Attack. Though being tight defensively is a must against Brazil. US Fullbacks, Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson will have their hands full with the likes of Hulk and Neymar running at them. That's the key for me---stop Hulk.
You wont like me when I am ANGRY.
Here's what Jurgen and the boys' have to say ahead of the match:




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MNT vs. Scotland: Field Level Highlights



I scrounged this little ditty up this morning, It's a field level look at the USMNT's comprehensive 5-1 win over Scotland, Saturday May 26th. Check the video below it's pretty rad.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Master



The Master is the newest film by Paul Thomas Anderson, director of Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, and on its October 2012 release date is expected to make a splash in Hollywood. The Master is A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as "The Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man. Based loosely on the story of one L. Ron Hubbard and the founding of Scientology, thought the production company denies it, the film has received some shtick from the Church of Scientology for these reasons. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and these stars are all accompanied by a regular joe in the shape of me. This shape can be seen in the first official teaser released this week. View It Below...41 secs in.









Studying in Hawaii this summer a friend recommended that I join Hawaii's Actor Network, who cast extras for shows such as Hawaii Five-O and ABC's The River. Needless to say I did, and the first casting call I got was for a untitled film, set during WWII. I jumped and got one of the many extra spots to be filmed on a Oahu North Shore beach. They cut my hair to the style of 1950's Marine, and gave me a pair of Khaki shorts the sat at practically above the belly button.


I arrived at the set at about 6am to be dressed, styled and given direction. A group of 60 20 something guys where brought to a beach where we where supposed to act like a bunch of soldiers taking in some R&R. We drank fake beers, smoked cigarettes and through coconuts as though they were footballs. We where the background setting to Joaquin Phoenix who the camera focused on. The scene that is in the teaser where we crowd around wrestlers spawned one of the most hilarious things I have ever heard, not for what was said but for the context.  It was a bunch of extras, as I was, and a star, Joaquin. He said nothing all day. He looked like he had come off a two week bender, weighing maybe a buck 15 and hunched over like an elderly man. When the director was asking for wrestling volunteers, out of know where Joaquin screams, " Who the fuck here wants to wrestle fucking naked!" classic. 


It was a blast, getting paid to sit on a beach, and end up in a Hollywood film. I was surprised how much they used from the scene I was In, I was a afraid it might be cut but it made up the  content of the teaser. 





Friday, May 11, 2012

Introducing The New Liverpool Home Kit

When Adidas announced that they would be ending their relationship of kit manufacture with Liverpool Football Club after what seems like eons, I was surprised. I was even more surprised when Liverpool announced that New England based Lacrosse gear manufacturer Warrior would make in charge of giving the Red their "Reds." Not all that surprising as John Henry and Fenway Sports Groups try to market the English club to the American public. This is Warrior's first time making a Football kit and If I may, it's Gorgeous. 

Their has already been strife over the new kit as Members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign formed after the disaster in May 1989, that left 96 dead.  As The BBC Reports,     "The new shirt sees the club's logo, which featured an image of the Shankly Gates, replaced by the original Liver Bird crest that became synonymous with Liverpool's success in the 1970s and 80s. As a result the two Justice flames honouring the Hillsborough campaign have been moved to the back of the shirt." This is being seen as a disrespectful to the the 96 who lost their lives, saying "96 is more than a number."

I personally love the Home Kit, and kind of pisses me off that I bought Last season's- 2011/12 kit. The thing I love most about it is the more regal looking red, not so fiery and bright as the others. Also the fact that it does not have the ugly Adidas Stripes that dominate all of their uniforms. I am excited to see the release of the away kit, though I have heard rumors that it might be purple, and that doesn't particularly fly with me.



Liverpool players model new 2012/13 Home Kit



(Video): Reina's thoughts on the his new Liverpool Home Kit.




Monday, May 7, 2012

Liver n' Onions: "Cech" The Replay Ref



The moment of ecstasy that would flush Andy Carroll's seasons woes down the drain, and perhaps being the moment that would justify Liverpool's sub-par season fizzled as quick as it came. Running away from the Chelsea goal in celebration after having thought he scored the tying goal in the FA Cup Final, a goal that would surely send it to extra time, was disallowed by the officials. It typified Liverpool's season in one second. A team that have hit the post more times  than any other, once again suffered from the curse of the wood work. This kept the game 2-1 in Chelsea's favor, after second half substitute Andy Carroll scored for the Reds, shifting momentum, and showing the watching world the potential he bares. He thought he did it again, a goal that would equalize the game, but a smart save from Petr Cech slapped Carroll's header off the bar and out. A huge cry from the Liverpool players, fans and Manager Kenny Dalglish pleading that the ball went over the line cascaded around Wembley, but this was waved away by the officials. I still believe the angles leave some ambiguity in it, but by the letter of the law, the whole ball must go over the line, and according to the cameras set up at Wembley, it didn't. 

On the whole the match was well fought by the Liverpool squad, looking for their domestic cup double, having knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup earlier this season on their way to winning silverware. It was a Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde performance from the Reds, as they started the game as I suspected, not as I hoped, with Suarez the loan striker, Gerrard, Henderson and Spearing behind him. Downing and Bellamy operating on the wings, with Carroll on the bench. Liverpool were slow out the gates, allowing Chelsea to press upon them, as they sat deep and seemed to lack options when trying to break upfield. Downing and Jose Enrique on the right side both started off bag's of nerves, sloppy in passing and disconnected in their thinking. Their tempo was slow, much like Chelsea under Andre Villa Boas, with unnecessary passing in their own half, that ultimately lead to nothing. I didn't take long for the sloppy play to cost them as Ramieres capitalized on Enrique defending to tight, making it easy for the Brazilian to tun him, skin him for pace and crack a rocket shot off Pepe Reina and into his near post. Clever keeping by Reina backfired, as the Spaniard showed Ramieres his far post, only to have his momentum take him away from the shot at the near. It pains me to say that I was glad Liverpool conceded, but I knew now that they would have to open up and stick the game to the Blues. This is exactly what they did.

Towards the end of the half Liverpool enjoyed some promising forays forward, yet their talisman Luis Suarez remained anonymous. Coming out after the half the excitement and tension of Wembley harnessed itself in my back, and I wondered what changes in mentality and tactics Dalglish instilled at half time. Right from the off I knew more expansive football would be in the offing as a long searching ball was hit by Midfield maestro Gerrard, something non-existent in the first half. 

Hope sprung eternal, until a pocket opened up between Johnson and Skrtel in the back line, just wide enough for Lampard to slide a pass  to the Wembley specialist himself Drogba, whose one touch then smack trimmed the grass on its way into Reina's far-post, making it 2-0. Just like the first half Liverpool conceded early, but with 40 odd minutes left to play, the game was far from over. The introduction of Andy Carroll turned the game on it's head, and Liverpool grew some teeth in attack. So much criticism has been shot the  big Geordie striker this 
season, yet in this match he put all the critic's to rest. His hold up play, superb. Inspired by the presence of Drogba, Carroll won numerous headers against anything no slouches, Terry and Ivanovich. It was a loose ball that fell to his feet, and where some would smash it in a panic, Carroll shifted it onto his left and hammered it into the roof of the net past an outstretched Cech, personifying cool. 

His scream of joy said it all, knowing he just gave his side a way back into the game. It was his last minute header in the semi-final against Everton that got them to Wembley, and now he did it again. After this Chelsea started to crumble, and the urgency from Liverpool brought out their best stuff. If you look back on their play this season, the times  they looked a dangerous side always came when they were down by a goal. Even back to the Rafa Benitez days, Liverpool have always been a "do or die"  kind of club, often leaving it late to take their chances, and always a team for the big occasion. At first their play reflected a side unconfident in this match, but growing into it they looked much a better side, one capable of sustaining a challenge for a european place next season. It's no secret that the project didn't work this season, and I fully expect whole-sale changes this summer. 

Another goal for Liverpool looked inevitable, as Carroll threw his weight about, Downing started cutting in- and- out getting crosses into the box, and Suarez started to pull strings around the arch. It was Suarez who presented the chance that could have changed the outcome, when tidy work from right-back Glen Johnson put him past Ashley Cole, and into the box. The onrushing Suarez took over the ball, looked up and dinkted a cross to the back post where the poaching Carroll loomed with intent. A violent whip from his pony-tail shot the ball towards the net, where a quick reflexed Cech parried it off the cross bar and out. At first glance it looked to have crossed the line as the keeper arrived late. With Liverpool's No. 9 running away arms outstretched in celebration, the whistle blew and a shake of the head from match official Phil Dowd squashed the celebratory Carroll's exhalations instantaneously. If you look at the shot below, it's really any ones guess if it's a goal or not. It looks as though the ball is over the line, but you cannot tell  if all of it is or not. If it didn't, it really is a fantastic reflex save from Cech, who knew it to add, as he wagged his finger in denial at the onrushing Carroll. The debate for goal line technology will rage on, as Liverpool fans will feel argreaved that once again there team was denied by the post.


This decided the match, as Chelsea held on for the remainder and Liverpool lost the opportunity of a domestic cup double. The players can hold their heads high, as they made a valiant effort, but sometimes the luck is not with you, and it has been that way for the whole season. In a positive outlook, Carroll looked fantastic during his spell on the field, and when Liverpool face Chelsea in their next  league game on May 8th, he'll be a shoe-in to start.