Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bayern Munich 1-0 Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich XI: Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Van Buyten, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Martinez; Robben, Kroos, Muller; Mandzucik
Borussia Dortmund XI: Weidenfeller; Schmelzer, Santana, Subotic, Piszczek; Bender, Gundogan; Gotze, Grosskruetz, Reus

For the first time in over three years, Bayern Munich have finally defeated Borussia Dortmund thanks to a lovely curled shot from Arjen Robben.

With a commanding lead that Bayern Munich has in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s only hope of winning trophies this season would be to look for cups. However, last night, they would be completely outplayed. Bayern Munich has only lost twice this entire campaign in all competitions and they have not lost a game yet this calender year.

Bayern Munich continued to do what they did well against Arsenal at the Emirates during their Champions League matchup, which was Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez both making long runs from deep in channels of space in the Dortmund formation. Dortmund was unable to cope with the pressure from these two for some reason, because they had enough people to cover the runs.

Dante, who recently won his first international cap for Brazil in a friendly against England, played a huge role in the first half. Time and time again he would fire long thumping through balls to Thomas Muller, who continuously challenged the Dortmund right-back, Schmelzer.

The lone goal of the match from Ajern Robben, came from completely out of no where and powerfully from long range.

Borussia Dortmund were no where near there best last night as they recored their first shot of the match in the second half around the 53rd minute of play; and it was a rather tame shot at that. But with that said, they were the more aggressive team in the second half, but they lacked the clincal finish that we were used to seeing from the Dortmund side.

In the second half, Bayern Munich seemed to lay off the pressure which allowed Dortmund to be the more aggressive. Dortmund would press a lot higher up this half and push the tempo more than what Bayern wanted. Borussia Dortmund also closed down very well, with a lot of energy and pace. Schmelzer even improved his performance in the second half by being able to press up higher to not get caught out by Thomas Muller anymore.

Dortmund started passing a lot better when Bender and Gundogan dropping in between the center backs every now and then which helped get around the pressing from Bayern Munich, although they were not pressing to much as Bayern felt comfortable defending the attack from Dortmund.

In the end, Dortmund just could not put any ball on target that challenged Neuer. Neuer could have hung a hammock in his goal and laid down in it and Bayern would have won. By the time these two meet again in May, Bayern could possibly have already won the league.

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Spain 3-1 Uruguay (International Friendly)

Carlos Puyol earned his 100th cap for Spain last night and this was Spain’s coach Vicente Del Bosque 68th game in charge of the national team which moves him up to tied for first for the most matches in charge in Spanish football history. Cesar Azpilicueta, Isco, and Mario Suarez all made their international debuts for Spain.

When the first half whistle blew, Spain started out the much more lively of the two; passing was crisp with only one or two touches, they held possession well, making Uruguay work to get the ball back.

The first goal of the game came just after a quarter of an hour. However, a blemish from Uruguain keeper, Fernando Muslera, led to the goal. Cesc Fabregas received a pass from Chelsea man, Juan Mata 30 yards away from goal and hit it. The ball slipped through the hands of Muslera into the back of the net.

After the Spanish goal Uruguay really turned up the pressure. Uruguay nearly equalized right after after both Victor Valdes and Jordi Alba cleared the pressure from Cristian Rodriguez.

Cristian Rodriguez would eventually make the intense pressure pay off for his country and equalize the match.  He received a beautiful through-ball from Martin Caceras who then proceded to use his strength to get by Carlos Puyol. Then rifled it past Valdes into the net.

Uruguay could have had a lead at the break as Edison Cavani was clear down the flank, but Jordi Alba made a great taclke to deny him the goal scoring opportunity.

The second half would be the Pedro show for Spain as he scored a brace to seal the victory for them.

Halftime substitute, Gerard Pique, made an instant impact as he provided a pass for Pedro from the edge of the are. Pedro then hit it past Muslera into the far corner of the goal, putting the Spaniards up in front again.

Cavani fired a shot from just outside the area but Valdes got his finger tips to it. This was perhaps Uruguay’s best chance in the second half to get another goal.

Another Spanish substitute, David Villa, passed to Fabregas on the left-hand side of the pitch. He was under pressure from a Uruguain defender, but somehow got a lovely cross into the box which found Pedro just five yards from goal. All he had to do was head it into the back the net.

 

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Major League Soccer: A Brief History

Major Leauge Soccer started out in 1996 with only ten teams which included, San Jose Clash, Los Angeles Galaxy, Colorado Rapids, Dallas Burn, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, New England Revolution, Kansas City Wiz, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and the NY/NJ MetroStars.

The MLS plays in a tournament type system in order to decide the eventual champion. The first two MLS champions were won by D.C. United, who was led by Bruce Arenas at the time. It took until the Chicago Fire, an expansion team that played its first season in 1998, to knock off DC United.

However, attendance was down and teams were finding it hard to sell out their stadiums. But that all changed in 2002 when the United States Men’s National Team reached the Quarter Final of the World Cup after beating nations like Mexico and Portugal. The MLS final that year saw a record attendance of more than 61,000 plus attend the game; the Los Angeles Galaxy won their first title this year.

Freddy Adu made his major league debut in 2004 at the ripe old age of 14 for DC United, which obviously got a lot of media attention in the country and was one of the highest regarded prospects for the time being. Tim Howard was sold from the MetroStars to Manchester United, in 2006, in one of the most lucrative deals in MLS history. Landon Donavon went on loan to Bayer Leverkusen for a brief time to help develop his game a little more. 2010 brought Arsenal and the French-national team all leading goal scorer Theirry Henry to the New York Red Bulls who also opened their own football only stadium.

Two of the most recognized American born players playing in Europe right now are Clint Dempsey, who currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur, and Jozy Altidore, who plays for AZ Alkmaar. There are more American players that are playing in Europe than you may know, but these two are best known.

The Designated Player Rule was established in 2007 to help bring in more foreign players to the clubs. With this rule, Major League Soccer saw the debut of David Beckham, one of the most recognizable footballers in the world, for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Other players started trickling over from Europe and elsewhere, including Juan Pablo Ángel move from Aston Villa to New York Red Bulls. In 2011, Los Angeles Galaxy signed Republic of Ireland all-time leading goal scorer Robbie Keane.

Major League Soccer continues to grow and right now is at 19 teams right now with a plan to add a 20th team in Queens, New York by 2016. There are three teams in Canada, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, and Montreal Impact. There is a huge rivalry in the Pacific Northwest, called Cascadia, which is between the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and the Vancouver Whitecaps and is one of the most watched football areas in the country.

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