(A thousand apologies to anyone who wondered where in God's name this dropped off from, but had a lot of home issues to take care of the last three weeks. Glad to say one of the many fires doused for the moment, but still have a lot to go before we can even know what our lives will look at. Not going to bore you with the details, but safe to say I want to talk soccer NOW so please join and enjoy. )
As of this writing, a late night West Coast game against the Portland Timbers fared a bit better than the last two games with a 0-0 tie giving the Crew at least a point for their troubles in one of the noisiest stadiums in the MLS.
The two previous Columbus Crew games left my daughter and I hoarse, tired, and sore from all the clapping and cheering. One game netted a 2-2 draw against the Houston Dynamo; one game was a defeat at home by the Vancouver Whitecaps with a 0-1 win. A lucky hanging free kick that found pay dirt in the corner of the net deflated an otherwise dogged performance from the Crew trying to create opportunity. The tone was set early when an early goal was waved off by the officials. Needless to say I wasn't happy with the officiating on both games, but what is done is done and all I can say is "that's life" and move on.
But the best part of the entire night for us was running into Frankie Hejduk for my daughter to get a picture with a Crew great. Despite this lone bright spot, I think the Crew is in a world of hurt mainly because of injuries to most of their talented side. If May into June can get some our players back on the field soon it could be a turn for the better. One bright piece of news came over my phone with text heralding the pick up a forward/striker Jairo Arrieta from Costa Rica. The downside: He won't be able to put on the Crew kit until June 27th. The 28 year old striker scored 45 goals in the last five years playing for Deportivo Saprissa.
Is there anyway to speed up the process? I'm thinking the Crew needs help like yesterday.
Two Worlds Collide: Andrew Luck interview with Kick.com
Andrew Luck may be a (former) Stanford QB great and the newest member of the Indianapolis Colts, but did you know his dad has MLS roots in Houston? If you didn't you need to check out an exclusive interview with Kick TV.com
He talks about his love for EPL football, his roots in MLS, and how he feels soccer helps him as a Quarterback in college and now the pros be a better player. Time will tell if his banner and face grace the sides of Lucas Oil Stadium anytime soon, but if he ever gives up on American football he's got a home with real football anyday.
My New Favorite Darby—Celtics vs. Rangers
Sure the Manchester City vs. Manchester United Derby (round 2) is the most popular Derby of the Premiership. Yes, the telecast on ESPN set records for being the most watched Premiership match on cable earning 1,033,000 (832,000 televisions homes) viewers.
But for my money, the best Derby is the Celtics vs. Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. If you haven't watched any of the matches on both sides this season you missed a treat. The passion, the fans, the play, and the history behind this Derby is so much better than anything I've seen from any league. For 400 meetings this Derby has everything you can ask for in a football match. To me, I love the cameras panning on the fans of both clubs as their noise and fury is unlike anything I've seen in any of the leagues I've watched. No disrespect to EPL; hats off to the Germany league; no issues with Serie A or any Latin leagues on both sides of the ocean. The history and grandeur of a game like this one is unlike anything I've seen before or since.
I didn't see that one coming-- Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea in the UEFA Champion Finals
I think sometimes when we, the fans, anoint who "will" be in the finals for any championship in football we are best to take prudence like the Roman Catholic Church and check out the outcome before we exult who will be champions.
No way Manchester United or City will be ousted early in the competition!
No way would Chelsea get into the sweet 16 after the mess this team showed half way into the season.
And now add to the saga:
No WAY will Real Madrid or Barcelona be left outside looking in for the UEFA Champion finals!
Guess what Sherlock...they will be!
In two semi-finals for the ages Chelsea vs. Barcelona will be Game of the Year entry for the most unlikely ending of the season. Who would have thought Chelsea beat off the mighty Barcelona with Lionel Messi and company having no answers for a 6 man defensive line, one man down with a red card (John Terry, the captain, being the player in question), and the relentless attack by the most talented side in all of world football? Who would have seen a late first half goal by Chelsea Ramires make things interesting for the first half of the game? But the biggest question of the year is this : WHO WOULD THINK CHELSEA FERNANDO TORES (THE BELIGURED STRIKER) GET THE GAME WINNING GOAL?!
One of the best calls I've ever heard (and funniest) the last few minutes will be one of the best in all of football in 2012. You got to see it to believe it!
(Apologies for the video quality)
One last question about Chelsea:
Who would have guessed after the first half of the season Chelsea would be the one team hoisting the FA Cup on Saturday against Liverpool in the FA Finals?
Didier Drogba looked like the player of old sealing the win and the championship for Chelsea in a 2-1 win. His game winning goal capped an incredible run for Chelsea in the first of two major wins for the team nobody gave a chance.
Now the team will have to face a very impressive Bayern Munich team at home for a UEFA Finals for the ages. If they pick up a win, and upset, against Bayern this will certainly be mention by many football fans as Comeback of the Year. Perhaps, I'd say, one of the greatest comebacks in soccer history?! We'll all have to see in less than two weeks time to see the outcome for that one.
For now I look forward to the next Crew game against FC Dallas at home; look forward to seeing the final week of English Premiere League soccer to see the drama of who stays above table, who falls, who gets promoted, who will be relegated, and WHO will win the Premier Championship? In fact, all of Fox Sports outlets and Fox networks (i.e. Speed TV, FX, Fox Soccer, etc.) will cover the events live in an unprecedented coverage of how the last day of the season unfolds. Me thinks another ratings bonanza football style will come into play when the day is done.
Hopefully it won't take me forever to get this written, but until then, here's to a thrilling end to the EPL, UEFA, Serie A, and any other league final I didn't mention.
Get Stoked! Get Ready! Get Massive Folks!
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