The World Cup

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is over and now we can turn our attention to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. We will cover everything from the qualifying games to the World Cup Final.

landonAfter a 15-year international career, U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan will make his final appearance for the United States when the team plays against Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Buy USA v Eduador Tickets

It is interesting that US Soccer is giving Donovan a farewell game after Jurgen Klinsmann unceremoniously dropped him from the US squad for the World Cup. And I am sure we will read to much into it that U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati who is quoted about the event and not Klinsmann.

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ConteThe stars aligned perfectly for the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as they were able to name former Juventus boss Antonio Conte as the new head coach of the Italian national team. Conte replaces Cesare Prandelli who resigned at the end of the World Cup finals in Brazil after seeing his Azzurri side fail to progress from a group which also contained England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

An FIGC statement read:

“President (Carlo) Tavecchio and Antonio Conte spoke directly by phone this morning to define the final aspects of the collaboration that will bind Antonio Conte to the FIGC until 31 July 2016.

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Mexico-coachMexico will try and build on their World Cup performance when they take on Chile in Santa Clara on September 6. This will be the first-ever international soccer game at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Three days later, Mexico will take on Bolivia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

With these matches falling within FIFA’s international fixture window, top stars for Mexico and their opponents are expected to participate. The games could help shape El Tri’s roster for a busy 2015 which includes the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa America tournaments.

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Mario-Gotze-GoalA Mario Gotze goal in extra time gave Germany its fourth World Cup title on Sunday as they beat Argentina 1-0 at the Maracana. With the win Germany became the first European nation to ever win the World Cup in South American.

The game seemed destined for penalties when a great down and cross from Andre Schurrle found an unmarked Gotze who demonstrated perfect technique and calmness to chest down the cross and sweep in a left-foot finish past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

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brazil-fans-tearsIt started so well for Brazil. A rousing national anthem had the stadium in Belo Horizonte rocking and a national stood waiting to take its expected place in Sunday’s World Cup Final at the home of soccer, the Maracana stadium in Rio.

But then the referee blew his whistle to start the game and a ruthless German side ripped the heart out of the Brazilian side on their way to a 7-1 victory. Germany were up 5-0 inside the opening 30 minutes and the only reason the score wasn’t higher was because they took their foot of the pedal in the second half.

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Neymar-Brazil-4The World Cup took another twist and turn on Friday as Brazil and Barcelona stat Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup after Brazil’s team doctor confirmed he suffered a broken vertebra in the quarterfinal victory against Colombia.

Neymar was involved in a late collision with Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zuniga in the 88th minute. Neymar appeared to take a knee in the back, and as the medical staff came out to attend to the forward, they decided to stretcher him off the field.

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Neymar-Brazil-4Brazil and Colombia will meet in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday but they both got their with two very different performances.

Brazil looked uninspired against Chile and were lucky to be a their South American rivals 3-2 on penalties after drawing 1-1 after extra time. Gonzalo Jara hit the post with the decisive kick, while Julio Cesar saved two, to give Brazil a 3-2 win in the shootout and send the Chileans home.

We saw none on the free flowing football that we have came to expect from Brazil, and with Neymar a periphery in the second half and extra time, Brazil resorted to route one football with long balls up to Jo late in the game.

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US Fans BrazilThe United States has reached the knockout stage of the World Cup for the second consecutive time after they lost 1-0 on Thursday in soggy conditions to Germany. The US advances as runners-up in the group as Portugal beat Ghana 2-1.

Portugal and the US both finished with four points, but the Americans advanced from a so-called “Group of Death” because their goal difference was even and the Portuguese were minus-3.

The U.S. will next play Belgium next Tuesday in the round of 16.

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Suarez-bites-againUruguay and Liverpool were both stunned today when FIFA announced that Luis Suarez had been suspended from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The Premier League‘s player of the year will miss the rest of the World Cup and well as at least the first nine games of the Premier League season plus three Champions League matches.

Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch and, in particular, not at a Fifa World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, said in a statement.

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What do you do when faced with overwhelming proof that you committed a bad act? Call it a conspiracy of course. At least that seems to be the path that Luis Suarez And Uruguay are going down today.

The first line of defence is that the picture below of Chiellini’s shoulder that appears to show clear tooth marks has been digitally altered with the addition of the marks.

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Luis Suarez’s lawyer Alejandro Balbi, a Uruguay FA board member, added fuel to the fire saying that there was a conspiracy against Suarez..

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