Sure, it might seem odd to write a post about the demise of Liverpool FC after they booked their
place in the FA Cup final, but the win at Wembley and their Carling Cup victory mask how far the
once mighty club from Merseyside has fallen.
Currently 8th in the table, one point behind cross-town rivals Everton and 13 points adrift of 4th
place Tottenham, Liverpool are staring at their third consecutive season without the lifeblood of
modern European soccer clubs - the Champions League.
1) Arsenal F.C. - Sure Arsenal will not win a trophy for the seventh consecutive year, but the
Gunners are on a high. Arsenal have won their last 4 games in the Premier League via the comeback,
the first time in the twenty year history of the league. Their last loss came nearly a month ago,
and they have seen Spurs' lead in the race for the last automatic Champions League position shrink
from 10 to just 1.
Exciting news out of England as the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body
responsible for the laws of the game of soccer, announced that two goal-line technology systems
will move forward with testing. The two systems, Hawkeye (already used in tennis and cricket) and
GoalRef, will undergo further testing with the goal of introducing the technology no later than the
2014 World Cup.
The Champions League Round of 16 drawNOTE: Due to a technical snafu, this post wasn't
published yesterday morning (despite my scheduling it). The post below was written on Sunday, prior
to any of the Champions League games. I must say, I hope I predict the outcomes of today's
(Wednesday's) games as well as I did Tuesday's.
A near constant in myconversations with casual soccer fans and non-fans alike is the confusion
cupcompetitions cause when trying to understand international soccer. Tomost American sports fans,
a cup competition is an alien concept. Most sports(baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey)
in America compete againstteams in their league for the league title and that's it.
Hey everbody, welcome to my new blog, FC Blacklabel. I'm rejoining forces with my buddy over
at Blacklabel Tennis to create what I will modestly call a sports network. He focuses on
tennis, I focus on all things soccer (football, fÃºtbol, calcio or whatever you call it in your
part of the world).
Funny things happen when you travel. Sometimes you board the plane and sit on the tarmac for hours.
Sometimes you see the plane you are supposed to be on taxiing away from the gate just as you land.
Sometimes through sheer serendipity, you encounter Carli Lloyd in the Philadelphia International
Stop me if you've heard this story before - The United States Women's National Team jumps to an
early lead in a World Cup match, their opponent equalizes early in the second half, Abby Wambach
saves the day. In a match that, through the 78th minute, eerily mirrored Sunday's instant classic
(minus the referee miscues), the USWNT was able to alter the script and book their place in the
Women's World Cup final (their first since 1999).
Abby Wambach celebrates the game tying goal.Highs and lows came at a gut-wrenching pace, but an
emotional roller coaster doesn't even begin to capture the Women's World Cup quarterfinal match
between the Samba Queens of Brazil and United States Women's National Team was no exception. Fans
of the USWNT were ecstatic when Daiane put the ball into her own net off a cross by Shannon Boxx,
then livid when Rachel Buehler was sent off in the 65' for a foul in the box on Marta.
This is the final that everyone expected, and virtually everyone wanted to see. While the road to
the Rose Bowl hasn't been simple for either team (see the US loss to Panama in the group stage, or
Mexico's narrow extra-time victory over Honduras in the semifinal); was their really any doubt that
the continent's two juggernauts would be vying for the regional title?
Thanks to this absolute laser by Jozy Altidore, the US beat Guadeloupe to advance to the knockout
round of the 2011 Gold Cup. Despite this victory, the US finished second in their group and drew
Jamaica in the quarterfinals. On current form, this could be an extremely tough game for the Yanks.
While willing to give Bob Bradley the benefit of the doubt,
the USMNT cannot continue to lose matches to inferior sides.I could start this post, as I am sure
many have started (and will start) with a call to have Bob Bradley removed from his position at the
helm of the United States Men's National Team.
Schalke, the surprise team of the season, look to continue
their magical run against Manchester United.For soccer fans, the end of April can be a melancholy
time. Domestic leagues around Europe are winding down, and the transfer window doesn't open until
July 1. But, one thing that makes the end of April exciting is the culmination of the season long
UEFA Champions League.