Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Klinsmann hinted for England job

Yesterday's Scores
U.S. Open Cup- Fifth Round
Houston Dynamo 3-1 Sporting Kansas City
(Manotas 7', 84', Alex 55')-(Davis 61')

Philadelphia Union 2-1 New York Red Bulls
(Pontius 55', 60')-(Grella 17')

Orlando City 1-2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
(Molino 15')-(Angulo 12', PC 120')

New York Cosmos 2-3 New England Revolution
(Bover 38', Guenzatti 56')-(Bunbury 43', 83', Kamara 75')

FC Dallas 2-1 Colorado Rapids
(Diaz 64', Urruti 96')-(Badji 38')

Portland Timbers 0-1 LA Galaxy
(Mendiola 5')

With that, the fifth round of the Open Cup concludes with one non-MLS team remaining. Despite a valiant effort by the Cosmos, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, thanks to PC (yes, that's this odd Brazilian's name) scored at the death of extra time to seal a win over Orlando City.

Canadian Championship- Final Second Leg
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Toronto FC (2-2 on aggregate, Toronto wins on away goals)
(Mezquida 47', Parker 68')-(Johnson 90+5')

Heartbreak for Vancouver as Will Johnson gives Toronto its away goals advantage at the death of the match to win the Canadian Championship. They will represent Canada at the CONCACAF Champions League next season.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1-0 Real Monarchs
(Burt 13')

Former England and Liverpool defender has some opinions that a certain sect of Americans may enjoy. He likes the thought of Jurgen Klinsmann taking over as England's manager. The FA has not ruled out another foreign born man to lead the troops into the 2018 World Cup, but is Klinsy interested? Doubtful. He has a fat contract here in the States that goes along with the type of power he wouldn't have in England. The American job is much less stressful compared to the constant pressure applied to the English boss. He seems to have decent job security, if you ask his vocal naysayers. Then there's his luxurious Manhattan Beach home that nobody would want to leave. Most signs point to him staying here.

This has been circulating the rumor mill for a while, but now it appears to be unofficial. New York City is sending Kwadwo Poku to Miami FC of the NASL. NYCFC fans really attached themselves to Poku after his strong play last season, but he has since fallen out of favor in Patrick Viera's regime. No transfer fee was specified, but the word is that it's in the neighborhood of $750,000.

As expected, Neymar is on Brazil's 18 man Olympic roster. He joins Bayern Munich's DOuglas Costa and Shakhtar Donetsk's Fred as the most notable names on the squad. Brazil has one goal for the tournament. It's win or bust for them as they are playing the only tournament they've never won on home soil.

Today's Match
Euro 2016- Quarterfinals
Poland v. Portugal- 3pm- ESPN2

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: England willing to wait for Hodgson replacement

Yesterday's Scores
U.S. Open Cup- Fifth Round
Chicago Fire 2-1 Columbus Crew
(Accam 7', 29')-(Finlay 79')

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Seattle Sounders (1-4 on penalties)
(Plata 43')-(Valdez 51')

Roy Hodgson wasted no time resigning from his post as England's manager after the loss to Iceland, but the FA might be willing to waste plenty to wait for the right replacement. They have said they are willing to wait for a manager like, say, Arsene Wenger, to be out of contract. That would be... interesting. World Cup Qualifying will be England's next challenge, something they've never really struggled with. Current U-21 boss Gareth Southgate, goat of the Euro 1996 Final, is considered the "obvious" person to take over in the interim.

AC Milan have hired a replacement for Sinisa Mihajlovic. The recently embattled Italian club has brought on Vincenzo Montella with a two year deal. The former Sampdoria boss takes over a storied club that finished 7th in Serie A last year.

Sadio Mane has completed his move to Liverpool. The Reds signed the 24-year-old forward to a five year deal after sending Saints £34 million. That transfer fee makes him the most expensive African player to date.

Thankfully, the negativity surrounding violence at Euro 2016 has given way for positive, fun loving fans. Tales of Irish supporters and their generosity and good cheer have spread far and wide. The City of Paris has recognized them as well and will award their contingent the Medal of the City of Paris, a 105 year old award that had been given out for many "remarkable acts."

Today's Matches
U.S. Open Cup- Fifth Round
Houston Dynamo v. Sporting Kansas City- 7pm- YouTube
Philadelphia Union v. New York Red Bulls- 7pm- YouTube
Orlando City v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 7:30pm- YouTube
New York Cosmos v. New England Revolution- 7:30pm- YouTube
FC Dallas v. Colorado Rapids- 8:30pm- YouTube
Portland Timbers v. LA Galaxy- 10:30pm- YouTube

Canadian Championship- Final Second Leg
Vancouver Whitecaps v. Toronto FC- 10pm

Colorado Springs Switchbacks v. Real Monarchs- 9pm- YouTube

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: England embarrassed by Iceland, Hodgson resigns

Yesterday's Scores
Euro 2016
Italy 2-0 Spain
(Chiellini 33', Pelle 90+1')

England 1-2 Iceland
(Rooney PK 4')-(Sigurdsson 6', Sigthorsson 18')

Iceland, mighty Iceland. If you had asked me before the tournament how England would eventually lose, I would have said in penalties to the eventual champion, or something. I was hardly expecting it to be at the hands of Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe.

The quarterfinals are now set for Euros. Here's the schedule:

Poland v. Portugal- 3pm, Thursday- ESPN2
Wales v. Belgium- 3pm, Friday- ESPN2
Germany v. Italy- 3pm, Saturday- ESPN2
France v. Iceland- 3pm, Sunday- ESPN

Germany-Italy is the marquee matchup here, but all eyes will certainly be on the scrappy Vikings from the north that seem to be up for anything, even against the hosts.

The fallout from the England loss is starting already. Roy Hodgson resigned within minutes of the end of the match. He says that he is in a results oriented business and he wasn't producing any results. He feels this loss was unacceptable and somebody else should lead this young group of stars.

Speaking of quick retirements, Lionel Messi did that soon after Argentina fell to Chile in Sunday's Copa America final. While many were busy lamenting the loss of such an icon from the international stage, I was sitting here thinking how he will return in time for the 2018 World Cup. Messi was emotionally compromised after the devastating loss. It was the third straight summer that Argentina lost in a major tournament final.

There's also the fact that Argentina's federation is so corrupt that it makes FIFA look like saints. FIFA has already stepped in to take things over while the rest of the group gets its collective crap together. Messi was only the first of many stars, including Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano, and others, to resign unexpectedly. I think this is a threat towards the AFA. They need to get themselves clean or they won't have a remotely competitive team to send out there.

Today's Matches
U.S. Open Cup- Fifth Round
Chicago Fire v. Columbus Crew- 7pm
Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders- 10pm

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Vardy staying at Leicester

Yesterday's Score
San Antonio FC 0-0 Orange Count Blues

The big news of the day was Jamie Vardy ending Arsenal's pursuit of him by signing an extension at Leicester City. Arsene Wenger hinted at this a few days ago, but, even though it was thought no decision would be made until England's inevitable death at Euros, Vardy made it official yesterday. This is a hit to Arsenal, who are looking to sign a proven striker over the summer, but not a fatal one. They have other targets on their radar, but seeing Wenger continuously fail to land his primary transfer targets is an all too familiar narrative at Emirates Stadium.

There were whispers going around Mexico that manager Juan Carlos Osorio would be fired after Saturday night's 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Chile, even though that was his first loss at the helm. However, Mexico announced today that Osorio would remain in charge. This is good news for Mexico, as firing their manager for his first loss in 23 matches would have been overly harsh.

FC Dallas have sold 18 year old winger Alex Zendejas to Chicas de Guadalajara in Mexico. He played eight matches, including two starts, at the MLS level last season and was a key member of the USA's squad at the U-17 World Cup. FC Dallas and the league will make a combined $500,000 off the homegrown player.

This has been known for a while, but Spurs have made their £11 million signing of Victor Wanyama official today.

Today's Matches
Harrisburg City Islanders v. Charlotte Independence- 7pm- YouTube
LA Galaxy II v. Tulsa Roughnecks- 10:30pm- YouTube

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Euro 2016 Round of 16 all set

Copa America Semi-Finals
Colombia 0-2 Chile
(Aranguiz 7', Fuenzalida 11')

Full match recap

Euro 2016
Hungary 3-3 Portugal
(Gera 19', Dzsudzsak 47', 55')-(Nani 42', Ronaldo 50', 62')

Iceland 2-1 Austria
(Bodvarsson 18', Traustason 90+4')-(Schopf 50')

Italy 0-1 Ireland
(Brady 85')

Sweden 0-1 Belgium
(Nainggolan 84')

What a thrilling close to the group stage! Hungary and Portugal have the match of the tournament that thrice saw Portugal come back from a goal down to salvage a draw and a third place finish. Hungary ends up winning the group with the point and Iceland, everyone's favorite little engine that could, coming in second after their late winner against a desperate Austra side.

In the other group in play today, Ireland got a late goal agaisnt Italy to set themselves up to advance through a third place finish. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's international career was closed out by Belgium finding a late goal to knock Sweden out for good.

Philadelphia Union 4-3 Chicago Fire
(Campbell OG 11', Alberg 15', 45+2', PK 56')-(Accam 2', Cocis 69', Thiam 80')

Real Salt Lake 0-0 New York Red Bulls
(Movsisyan 65', Allen 87')-(Baah 7')

LA Galaxy 0-0 Colorado Rapids

Full MLS recap

Rio Grande Valley 1-1 Arizona United
(Bird 21')-(Blackwood 64')

North American League Tables

Euro 2016's knockout rounds look to play out with two distinct brackets in the knockout rounds. First off, we have a rather light field that sets Belgium up for a relatively easy path to the final:

Switzerland v. Poland- Saturday at 9am
Croatia v. Portugal- Saturday at 3pm
Wales v. Northern Ireland- Saturday at 12pm
Hungary v. Belgium- Sunday at 3pm

Then there is the powerhouse bracket that managed to clump the rest of Europe's powers into one field.

Germany v. Slovakia- Sunday at 12pm
Italy v. Spain- Monday at 12pm
France v. Ireland- Monday at 9am
England v. Iceland- Monday at 3pm

Today's Match
San Antonio FC v. Orange County Blues- 8:30pm- YouTube

Unfortunately, for the first time in three weeks there will be no Copa America or Euro matches. This will also be the case tomorrow, as the European Championships will resume on Saturday with their first set of knockout round matches and Copa America stages it's third place match between the USA and Colombia.

Midweek MLS Madness: Union Storm back over Chicago, RSL ends Red Bull win streak

Philadelphia Union 4-3 Chicago Fire
When David Accam put the Fire ahead in the second minute of play, it looked like the Union may come back down to earth after cruising to the top of the Eastern Conference. Instead, it was business as usual for both them and Chicago. Jonathan Campbell provided an own goal to get the Union on the board. Then Roland Alberg went off and bagged a hat trick over the next 41 minutes to give the Union an insurmountable lead. The Fire tried to come back with two late goals by Razvan Cocis 69th minute and Khaly Thiam in the 80th, but it wasn't enough to knock Philadelphia off their ever growing high horse.

Real Salt Lake 2-1 New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls came into this match riding a four game win streak, but Western Conference road trips in midweek are usually a recipe for disaster for any team in the East. Despite Gideon Baah getting them in front in the seventh minute, this match played out as exactly that. It took a while, but Yura Movsisyan, who is really enjoying his return to Utah, got Salt Lake level in the 65th minute and Jordan Allen provided the winner in the 87th. The Red Bulls are still in second place, but the space between them and Philly has swelled to four points. RSL sits in third out West, just a point back of second place Dallas.

LA Galaxy 0-0 Colorado Rapids
This match was midweek MLS incarnate. Neither team looked interested in scoring a goal to earn the full three points. This was a little puzzling for the Galaxy, who haven't been as rocked by Copa America and European Championship departures as other sides have. They have most of their power available to them, but lazy play and non-aggressive tactics worked agaisnt them. It didn't help that the league's most stingy defense was in town. Colorado may be missing Jermaine Jones, but their back line is fully in tact and was more than happy to keep their opponents out the net. The point increases their lead atop the West to four points over Dallas. The Galaxy jumps into fourth place, five points behind RSL.

Copa America Centenario Day 18: Chile coasts by Colombia to reach final

Colombia 0-2 Chile
This semi-final was, on paper, supposed to be the more competitive affair when compared to yesterday's slaughter in Houston. Chile, who hung seven on Mexico in the quarters, was taking on fellow favorite Colombia, who needed penalties to see off Peru. Both sides contain bona fide talents that were capable of winning this tournament.

Chile got themselves off and running quickly. The went ahead in the seventh minute thanks to Charles Aranguiz latching onto a header in the box of a Colombian defender. His tap in made it 1-0 with relative ease. The lead was doubled in the 11th minute with a transition attack that ended in Jose Fuenzalida smashing into a wide open goal off a rebound.

For a while, it looked like this match would turn into another beat down in the knockout rounds. Instead, Colombia managed to stabilize and create a couple chances of their own. Claudio Bravo was stout in the Chilean goal to keep the likes of James Rodriguez and crew from putting anything on the board.

The start of the second half was delayed more than two hours thanks to violent thunderstorms in the Chicago area and the rain soaked pitch once they had cleared. When the half did get going, Colombia still had trouble getting anything moving. Chile wasn't much interested in attacking, even though another goal would certainly seal their move to the final. Instead, their game of keep away was enough to keep Colombia at bay.

Their task got even easier in the 57th minute when Colombia's Carlos Sanchez picked up a second yellow and got himself sent off.

All this did was increase the difficulty of Colombia's comeback and make the Chilean advance all the more likely. All it took was the time to tick away to send them through for a rematch of last year's Copa America final. Chile will take on Argentina on Sunday night in New Jersey with the aim of repeating as champions. Argentina won 2-1 in group play, for what it's worth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: USA bows out of Copa America after horrific defeat to Argentina

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America Semi-Finals
USA 0-4 Argentina
(Lavezzi 3', Messi 32', Higuain 50', 86')

Full match recap

Euro 2016
Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany
(Gomez 29')

Ukraine 0-1 Poland
(Blaszczykowski 54')

Croatia 2-1 Spain
(Kalinic 45', Perisic 87')-(Morata 7')

Czech Republic 0-2 Turkey
(Yilmaz 10', Tufan 65')

The shocking defeat of Spain sets up a thrilling round of 16 matchup between them and Italy in a rematch of the 2012 final. In group C, Germany and Poland are through with the latter playing Switzerland in the knockout rounds. Norther Ireland are through as one of the top third place finishers.

Canadian Championship- Final First Leg
Toronto FC 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
(Giovinco 43')

Harrisburg City Islanders 2-3 FC Montreal
(Wheeler 78', 81')-(Kacher 29', Jackson-Hamel 51', 56')

Louisville City 4-1 Toronto FC II
(Abend 11', 24', McCabe 26', Morad 65')-(Hundal 79')

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is set to join Manchester United this summer, is retiring from international football after the completion of Sweden's run at Euro 2016. He has scored 65 goals for Sweden in 115 caps. They face Belgium today in a match they must win in order to advance to the round of 16. Ibrahimovic hopes that today is not his final action for his country.

Spanish international Alvaro Morata is on his way back to Real Madrid. The Spanish giants had sold him to Juventus, but have activated his 30 million buy back clause in order for him to rejoin the fold. The 23-year-old has scored 27 times over his two seasons in Italy. There are whispers that Real Madrid might resell him before the end of the summer. Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly expressed interest.

Leicester City have added Spanish center back Luis Hernandez from Sporting Gijon. He's played in 140 matches over four years in La Liga, and joins a Premier League title winning defense that conceded only 36 goals last year.

Today's Matches
Copa America Semi-Finals
Colombia v. Chile- 8pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Hungary v. Portugal- 12pm- ESPN
Iceland v. Austria- 12pm- ESPN2
Italy v. Ireland- 3pm- ESPN
Sweden v. Belgium- 3pm- ESPN2

Philadelphia Union v. Chicago Fire- 7pm
Real Salt Lake v. New York Red Bulls- 10pm
LA Galaxy v. Colorado Rapids- 10:30pm

Rio Grande Valley v. Arizona United- 8:30pm- YouTube

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 16: USA hammered out of tournament by Argentina

USA 0-4 Argentina
On paper, this match was simply a blowout waiting to happen. The best team in the world with the best player in the world was going up against the little engine that could that was missing three of it's more important players.

\It didn't take long for Argentina to surgically cut the USA to pieces. After Fabian Johnson cleared the ball right to Lionel Messi, the superstar chipped a pass to an unmarked Ezequiel Lavezzi for a header past a helpless Brad Guzan, That was only the beginning of Argentina's dominance. They owned the first half hour with an iron fist. The USA was too slow to defend them and not nearly creative enough to break down their defense.

After a silly yellow card foul by Chris Wondolowski in a dangerous area, Messi did what he does best. He became Argentina's leading goal scorer with a free kick placed in the one spot that Guzan couldn't reach to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute.

In addition to looking outclassed when defending, the USA's attack wasn't doing anything going forward. They failed to take a single shot for the entire match. None of their remote chances even came close to testing the Argentine back line. That unit was pretty bored all night long.

The second half kept the romp going. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in the frame with the first coming off a breakaway in the 50th minute. Brad Guzan made the initial save, but he was never going to reach the follow up attempt. The fourth goal looked like a long time coming, but it came off a turnover and another great run by Higuain in the 86th minute.

Yeah, the USA was blown out in Houston tonight, but Copa America was an overall success. They surpassed the logical expectation of the quarterfinals after getting out of their difficult group on top. They even met with Jurgen Klinsmann's goal of making the semis. Yeah, they got the crap beat out of them tonight, but they cannot look at that as a knock on the program. Most sane people know that the USA is nowhere near Argentina's level. Tonight's match didn't tell us anything we didn't know about this team.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Tite announced as new Brazil manager

Yesterday's Scores
Euro 2016
Russia 0-3 Wales
(Ramsey 11', Taylor 20', Bale 67')

Slovakia 0-0 England

England and Slovakia played out a rather boring draw where neither team looked interested in trying to score at any point. Even when England was putting all the pressure on, knowing that Wales were cruising to victory over Russia and taking the top spot in the group, The Three Lions weren't putting nearly enough numbers in the penalty are out of fear of getting burned on a likely non-existent counter attack. It was extremely unsatisfying. It led to Wales, of all nations, taking the top spot in Group B while England comes in second. The four points on the round for Slovakia will probably be enough to get them through, too.

Tite has been officially announced as Brazil's new manager. He inherits a team from Dunga that was eliminated in this year's Copa America, couldn't get out of the quarterfinals in last year's edition, and currently sits in sixth place in South American World Cup Qualifying, one spot away from not qualifying. Tite's resume in Brazil is impressive. He led Sao Paolo to a pair of Brazilian titles, a Copa Libertadores, and a Club World Cup. His focus, naturally, will be righting the World Cup qualification ship and getting them to Russia in 2018.

Tottenham have agreed to pay Southampton £11 million for midfielder Victor Wanyama. He has made 85 appearances for Saints and scored four times. If he completes the move to North London, he will be reunited with former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Today's Matches
Copa America Semi-Finals
USA v. Argentina- 8pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Northern Ireland v. Germany- 12pm- ESPN
Ukraine v. Poland- 12pm- ESPN2
Croatia v. Spain- 3pm- ESPN
Czech Republic v. Turkey- 3pm- ESPN2

Harrisburg City Islanders v. FC Montreal- 7pm- YouTube
Louisville City v. Toronto FC II- 7pm YouTube

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Jones, Wood suspension appeals denied

Yesterday's Scores
Euro 2016
Romania 0-1 Albania
(Sadiku 43')

Switzerland 0-0 France

The Switzerland-France snoozer led both teams to advancing to the quarterfinals. Albania ends up staying alive in the third place and eliminating Romania race thanks to the late first half goal.

Sporting Kansas City 2-0 FC Dallas
(Olum 43', Feilhaber PK 45+2')

New York Red Bulls 2-0 Seattle Sounders
(Grella 18', 59')

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 1-0 Portland Timbers 2
(Haber 87')

Orlando City B 2-2 New York Red Bulls II
(Schmoll 38', Long 41')-(Garcia 17', Da Silva 87')

U.S. Soccer's appeal for the Bobby Wood and Jermaine Jones suspensions has been rejected. Both important players will miss Tuesday night's Copa America semi-final.

Once confident of signing Jamie Vardy, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is now leaning on the side of pessimism. He thinks that Vardy will remain in Leicester, who have countered Arsenal's offer with another extension that would keep in with the defending champions for an extra season. Vardy isn't expected to make his decision official until after England's run at the European Championships is complete.

Today's Matches
Euro 2016
Russia v. Wales- 3pm- ESPN2
Slovakia v. England- 3pm- ESPN

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Orlando and San Jose pay tribute to shooting victims

Copa America
Argentina 4-1 Venezuela
(Higuain 8', 28', Messi 60', Lamela 71')-(Rondon 70')

Mexico 0-7 Chile
(Puch 16', 87', Vargas 44', 52', 57', 74', Sanchez 49')

Full Copa America recap

Euro 2016
Belgium 3-0 Ireland
(Lukaku 48', 70', Witsel 61')

Iceland 1-1 Hungary
(Sigurdsson PK 41')-(Saevarsson OG 88')

Portugal 0-0 Austria

New York City 3-2 Philadelphia Union
(Lampard 8', Villa 21', Pirlo 5-')-9Alberg PK 50', Brillant OG 88')

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 New England Revolution
(Mezquida 41')-(Woodberry 31', Rowe 55')

Columbus Crew 0-0 Montreal Impact

Orlando City 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
(Hines 66', Baptista 90+1')-(Barrett 85', Salinas 90+4')

Toronto FC 1-0 LA Galaxy
(Moor 76')

Colorado Rapids 2-1 Chicago Fire
(Doyle 57', Pappa 89')-(Calistri 81')

Houston Dynamo 0-0 D.C. United

Real Salt Lake 1-2 Portland Timbers
(Martinez 17', Movsisyan  PK70')-(Adi 29', Melano 44')

Full MLS recap

Rochester Rhinos 0-1 Louisville City
(Luhban 28')

Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 FC Montreal
(Kerr 18', Hertzog 27')-(Jackson-Hamel 26')

Charlotte Independence 1-0 Richmond Kickers
(Calvert 30')

FC Cincinnati 2-1 Toronto FC II
(Delbridge 61' Stevenson 62')-(Edwards 4')

Charleston Battery 1-0 Harrisburg City Islanders
(Portillo PK 82')

San Antonio FC 2-1 Colorado Springs Switchbacks
(Araujo 8', McCarthy 35')-(vercollone 50')

Swope Park Rangers 1-3 Oklahoma City Energy
(Pinheiro 7')-(Thomas 45+1', Wojcik 64', Gonzalez 74')

Orange County Blues 1-0 Real Monarchs
(Meeus PK 22')

Arizona United 2-1 Saint Louis FC
(Blackwood 9', Tan 58')-(Roberts 90+2')

Sacramento Republic 3-2 Rio Grande Valley
(Iwasa 1', 53', 87')-(Rodriguez 14', Bird 71')

North American League Tables

Orlando City and San Jose stopped their match at the 49 minute mark to honor the 49 people killed in last week's night club shooting in Orlando. A minute long moment of silence throughout the stadium as pride flags adorned the stands. It was the culmination of the first sporting event in the city since the tragedy. Needless to say it was an emotional night in Orlando.

There was another fan incident causing a fine in Euro 2016. This time it was much less violent.A fan invaded the pitch after Portugal's scoreless draw with Austria in order to take a selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo obliged, but UEFA fined Portugal an undisclosed amount for the "invasion."

Today's Matches
Euro 2016
Romania v. Albania- 3pm- ESPN2
Switzerland v. France- 3pm- ESPN

Sporting Kansas City v. FC Dallas- 5pm- ESPN
New York Red Bulls v. Seattle Sounders- 7:30pm- FS1

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 v. Portland Timbers 2- 5pm- YouTube
Orlando City B v. New York Red Bulls II- 7:30pm- YouTube

It Happened in America: Late drama in Orlando and Colorado

After a couple of weeks off for Copa America, MLS was back in action this weekend. Needless to say with the tournament still going on and two knockout matches being played tonight, domestic club soccer was more or less on the backburner for most fans. Regardless, here's the recap of Saturday's eight matches.

New York City 3-2 Philadelphia Union
It was a good afternoon at Yankee Stadium for New York City's European imports agaisnt the Eastern Conference leaders. First off, it was a rare Frank Lapboard sighting. He pounced on a deflected shot in the eighth minute to start the scoring. Minutes after, David Villa tied to catch James Blake off his line with a bomb shot from near the halfway line. His shot sailed over Blake and off the crossbar. In the 21st, the Spaniard would capitalize to double the City lead. It went to 3-0 in the 50th minute with a goal from Andrea Pirlo. New York City's leader and their two most criticized players had all contributed to the dominating first hour, which must be pleasing for Patrick Vieira to see

The Union would muster a slight come back. A penalty in the 55th minute lead to Roland Alberg getting them on the board. The would control the majority of possession in the final half hour, but an 88th minute own goal off Frederic Brillant was the only tally they could collect.

Philly still heads the East by two points over second place New York City.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 New England Revolution
New England headed to the Great White North of Vancouver looking to get back into the top six. They got what they needed in a 2-1 win with goals from. London Woodbury in the 31st minute and Kellyn Rowe in the 55th. They did most of the damage agaisnt the run of play, too. Vancouver more than doubled them in shots and controlled 63% of possession. All they got was one goal from Nicolas Mezquida in the 41st. After ripping off a six match unbeaten streak, they have now failed to win in their last three tries and sit out West.

Columbus Crew 0-0 Montreal Impact
The main story around the Crew this season has been poor finishing. With Kei Kamara having been traded after the last match against Montreal, things have not improved. Their inability to find goals was on full display tonight. They were the better team for much of the match, but none of their chances were going in. It was unfortunate for them because Montreal wasn't exactly playing well. Didier Drogba was held to a pair of off target shots. Without Ignacio Piatti in the lineup to back him up, the Impact were more or less lifeless. The scoreless draw has the Impact in third place with 20 points.

Orlando City 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes
A more or less lifeless match picked itself up in the second half. Seb Hines started the scoring in the 66th minute, but the final five minutes and stoppage time were electric. First, San Jose equalized through former Sounder Chad Barrett in the 85th minute. Orlando found what they thought would be one of their many late winners when Julio Baptista scored in the first minute of stoppage time. The Quakes had otehr plans, though. Shea Salinas provided an unassisted equalizer in the fourth minute after the 90 to earn a share of the points for his side.

Toronto FC 1-0 LA Galaxy
The Galaxy are weakened at the moment, but not for the same reasons as everyone else. Yes, Robbie Keane is away at Euros. Gyasi Zardes is with the USMNT. But Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos are both out injured. Because of that, Toronto was able to keep this game in check with a single goal. Drew Moor found it in the 76th minute to give Toronto another trio of points.

Colorado Rapids 2-1 Chicago Fire
The Rapids may be without Jermaine Jones here, but they did quite well for their early season without him. The bigger problem would be the absence of Skelshan Gashi, who is over in France with Albania for Euro 2016. The first half was not extremely exciting. The lack of top talent on the field led to very little going forward for either team. Colorado found their all important first goal in the 57th minute from Kevin Doyle. The Fire would be able to scrounge up a tying goal. It cane from Joey Calistri in the 81st minute. However, their dreams of an unexpected point against the Supporters Shield leaders would be dashed by Marco Pappa, who came on as a sub and scored the winner in the 89th minute.

Houston Dynamo 0-0 D.C. United
A delayed start thanks to awful weather did not help these teams get going. The opening 45 minutes gave us six total shots and zero goals to speak of. The second half wasn't much better. The shots showed up, but they were mostly off target and also didn't lead to any goals.

Real Salt Lake 2-2 Portland Timbers
Portland was om control early on. but it was Real Salt Lake with the first goal. Juan Manuel Martinez's nifty finish gave them the lead in the 17th minute. The timber would find an equalizer before too long. The RSL back line allowed Fanendo Adi to get behind them in the penalty area to collect a through ball and poke home the tying goal. The Timbers would go in front jsut before halftime. In the 44th Diego Valeri got free on the left edge of the penalty area and clanked a shot off the post. The rebound came right to Lucas Melano for the smashing finish. The Timbers were holding onto the lead, but just barely. They lost it in the 70th minute after Jermaine Taylor committed a penalty and Yura Movsisyan snuck home the spot kick. The best chance for a winner came in the 87th minute when Darren Mattocks looked to have scored, but was millimeters offside when he collected the pass.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 15: Argentina, Chile dominate their way into semis

Argentina 4-1 Venezuela
Argentina have looked like the best team in this tournament throughout the group stage. With Lionel Messi back, fully fit, and making his first start of the tournament, it seemed like Venezuela would be a small bump in the road on their way to a semi-final date with the USA on Tuesday.

The first half proved just why they are heavy favorites. They picked up a quick goal through Gonzalo Higuain in the eighth minute thanks to a long feed from Messi. Speaking of Messi, he was taken down in the penalty area in the 22nd minute in what could have been a penalty. No whistle went, but Messi, who is coming off a back problem, was slow to get off the turf. Higuain picked up his double in the 28th minute by taking advantage of Venezuela pushing higher up the pitch. A silly back pass allowed the Napoli forward to surge ahead unabated to the goal.

Venezuela could not be completely counted out. The underdogs did come up with a couple chances towards the end of the half. After the 40th minute, the sent a couple of dangerous shots sailing just off target. In the end, they had to deal with a two goal halftime deficit against probably the best team in Copa America.

Argentina's class continued to be on display in the second half. Despite sitting back and allowing Venezuela to try and penetrate their shell, they still were able to find a third goal at the hour mark. A counter attack ended in Nicolas Gaitan picking out Lionel Messi on a run past the defensive line where he was able to easily slide a shot past Dani Hernandez.

La Vinotinto got on the board at the 70 minute mark with a header from Salomon Rondon, but that was nothing more than false hope. Messi picked out Erik Lamela less than a minute after the restart for Argentina's fourth goal. Nothing else needed to be done. A fully armed and operational Argentina team had stormed into the semi-finals, where they will face the USA. A logical person will have zero expectation of an American advance.

Mexico 0-7 Chile
El Tri cruised through the group stage with nine points and were rewarded with a match against the defending Copa America champions.

Despite Mexico's crowd advantage, they ended up going down early on. Chile jumped all over them and scored in the 16th minute through Edson Puch. He was in the right place at the right time to collect and hammer home a rebound of a long shot. They thought they had a second goal in the 37th minute off some nice passing on a counter, but the final ball before the smashing shot into the net was offside. They did get their second goal in the 44th. Lazy Mexico defending allowed Alexis Sanchez to get free near the touchline to pick out Eduardo Vargas for the finish.

Mexico had certainly dug themselves quite the hole with their first half performance. They were pretty much non-existent in that opening 45 minutes. They only took two shots, both off target, while getting themselves bossed around by Chile's superior talent all over the pitch.

The hole would only get deeper in the second half and as the Chile goal total grew, so did Mexican apathy. Alexis Sanchez cut through the Mexican defense for a 49th minute goal that would put this one to bed. As if they needed more, Vargas added his second of the night on a 52nd minute breakaway. The hat trick came off a rebound in the 57th. His fourth came on a tight angle shot after a strange deflection in the 74th. Puch chipped home his second of the match in the 87th. Even though they gave up seven, it could have been much worse for Mexico.

Mexico will certainly be disappointed in how this tournament ended. They came in as one of the favorites to win. They completed a successful group stage that included a win over fellow hemispherical power Uruguay, which only enhanced that belief that they could win the whole thing. the tough round of 16 draw aside, they should have played much, much better here. It will feel like a missed opportunity for them.

Chile, meanwhile, will move on to take on Colombia in the second semi-final on Wednesday night in Chicago. This emphatic beatdown will give them plenty of confidence heading into that big match.

Full Copa America Centenario Semi-Final Schedule
USA v. Argentina- Tuesday, 8pm in Houston
Colombia v. Chile- Wednesday, 8pm in Chicago

Hooligan's Wake Up: Croatia latest fan violence instigators

Yesterday's Matches
Copa America
Peru 0-0 Colombia (0-0 in penalties)

Full match recap

Euro 2016
Italy 1-0 Sweden
(Eder 88')

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia
(Skoda 75', Necid PK 89')-(Perisic 37', Rakitic 59')

Spain 3-0 Turkey
(Morata 34', 48', Nolito 37')

Wilmington Hammerheads 1-1 Bethlehem Steel
(Fairclough 48')-(Conneh 19')

Tulsa Roughnecks 2-2 LA Galaxy II
(Ochoa PK 42', Sneddon OG 47')-(Payeras 3'. McBean 23')

Croatian fans are the newest hooligans to join the growing list of negative headlines coming from Euro 2016. They were guilty of pelting the pitch with flares and firecrackers late in their 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic. There was also Croatian instigated violence in the stands after the match. UEFA has opened a disciplinary investigation for Croatia, who has had to play in empty stadiums for racist fan behavior before and were charged for pitch invasion after their opening game against Turkey. Russia has been given a fine and suspended disqualification from the tournament, so I expect a similar punishment for Croatia.

American international Emerson Hyndman has made a move up the English pyramid. He had been playing with second tier Fulham, but has now signed with AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League. The former FC Dallas midfielder made 17 appearances last year for Fulham and was a main part of the USA 's U-20 World Cup squad last summer.

Two Americans were carded in Thursday night's victory in the Copa America quarterfinals and US Soccer is upset. they have filed protests against Bobby Wood's yellow card and Jermaine Jones's red from that match. They are seeking a repeal of the cards, thus regaining their ability to use those two in the next match. Both will be out of the semi-finals thanks to their respective incidents unless the federation gets its way.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Argentina v. Venezuela- 7pm- FS1
Mexico v. Chile- 10pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Belgium v. Ireland- 9am- ESPN
Iceland v. Hungary- 12pm- ESPN
Portugal v. Austria- 3pm- ESPN

New York City v. Philadelphia Union- 1pm
Vancouver Whitecaps v. New England Revolution- 7pm
Columbus Crew v. Montreal Impact- 7:30pm
Orlando City v. San Jose Earthquakes- 7:30pm
Toronto FC v. LA Galaxy- 7:30pm
Colorado Rapids v. Chicago Fire- 9pm
Houston Dynamo v. D.C. United- 9pm
Real Salt Lake v. Portland Timbers- 10pm

Rochester Rhinos v. Louisville City- 6:05pm- YouTube
Pittsburgh Riverhounds v. FC Montreal- 7pm- YouTube
Charlotte Independence v. Richmond Kickers- 7pm- YouTube
FC Cincinnati v. Toronto FC II- 7pm- YouTube
Charleston Battery v. Harrisburg City Islanders- 7:30pm- YouTube
San Antonio FC v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks- 8:30pm- YouTube
Swope Park Rangers c. Oklahoma City Energy- 8:30pm- YouTube
Orange County Blues v. Real Monarchs- 10pm- YouTube
Arizona United v. Saint Louis FC- 10:30pm- YouTube
Sacramento Republic v. Rio Grande Valley- 11pm- YouTube

Friday, June 17, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 14: Colombia survives Peru in penalties

Peru 0-0 Colombia (0-0 in penalties)
Peru was fresh off their upset of Brazil that allowed them to win Group B and make an unexpected run to the quarter finals. For their trouble, they were matched up with Colombia, who were knocked down to second in Group B thanks to an unexpected defeat against Costa Rica.

End to end stuff dominated early as both sides came out the gate running hard and firing. Colombia hit a post after about 20 minutes after a quick attack through the Peru defense. Peru was getting half chances on the counter attack as well. There was also a great deal of physical play. This match could hardly go five minutes without an aggressive challenge that resulted in a player rolling on the pitch with a minor injury. Shockingly, no cards were shown to either team despite the surplus of hard fouls.

Despite the free flowing attacking moves, neither team was able to muster up a first half goal.

The poor officiating continued throughout the second half. Carlos Bacca was denied a pretty clear looking penalty in the 53rd minute after he was shoulder charged in the box while chasing a long ball. The cards started to come out after an hour had passed, but they didn't show up until tempers were getting out of control. Every foul brought a flurry of players to the referee's face and a card only made one side angrier.

The attacking play offered much more quality than the officials. Colombia kept having any push forward thwarted by an offside flag. Peru was simply inept whenever they even approached the colombian penalty area. This match seemed destined to head straight to penalties, as is the custom for Copa America knockout matches before the final, without a goal. The skipping of extra time would be merciful as far as this match was concerned. Nobody really needed to watch an extra half hour of shoddy officiating, players complaining, and poor attacking moves.

That said, Peru did come close to bagging a winner in the second minute of stoppage time when David Ospina had to rise high on a corner to top a header over the bar, although I'm not sure it was destined for more than the crossbar anyway. That was the best chance before the final whistle went and penalties came along.

In the shootout, the teams traded goals for the first two shots until David Ospina barely saved Miguel Trauco with his boot falling away from the ball to give Colombia a 3-2 lead. Peru lost the match after Dayro Moreno slammed home the fourth for Colombia and Christian Cueva skied his shot over the net for the final miss.

Colombia will need a much, much better showing than they had tonight if they want to take care of the Chile-Mexico winner. James Rodriguez was absent for the entire 90 minutes. Carlos Bacca couldn't collect a final ball and finish to save his life. Juan Cuadrado was alright at providing pace along the wing, but without the central support of James or Bacca, he was mostly useless out there. David Ospina was rarely challenged, but at least he came up strong when needed towards the end of regulation.

That match between Colombia and the winner of tomorrow's Mexico-Chile debacle will be on Wednesday night at 8pm in Chicago.

Hooligan's Wake Up: More Russian hooligans deported

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
United States 2-1 Ecuador
(Dempsey 22', Zardes 65')-(Arroyo 74')

Full match recap

Euro 2016
England 2-1 Wales
(Vardy 56', Sturridge 90+2')-(Bale 42')

Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland
(McAuley 49', McGinn 90+6')

Germany 0-0 Poland

A group of 20 Russian supporters are being deported from France for their role in the violence that has scarred the opening of Euro 2016. Those men are among 43 that were detained when French police stopped a Russian bus bound for Lille in a search for hooligans. No more punishments have been handed out to any Englishmen, yet. But more are likely to come after Wednesday night's arrests.

The draw for the round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup was made yesterday. Two non-MLS sides remain in the torunament. New York Cosmos get to host New England Revolution and Fort Lauderdale Strikers head to central Florida to take on Orlando City, Here's the full draw:

June 28
Chicago Fire v. Columbus Crew
Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders

June 29
Philadelphia Union v. New York Red Bulls
New York Cosmos v. New England Revolution
Orlando City v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Houston Dynamo v. Sporting Kansas City
FC Dallas v. Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers v. LA Galaxy

Today's Matches
Copa America
Peru v. Colombia- 8pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Italy v. Sweden- 9am- ESPN
Czech Republic v. Croatia- 12pm- ESPN
Spain v. Turkey- 3pm- ESPN

Wilmington Hammerheads v. Bethlehem Steel- 7pm- YouTube
Tulsa Roughnecks v. LA Galaxy II- 8:30pm- YouTube

Copa America Centenario Day 13: USA knocks down Ecuador to head to semi-finals

United States 2-1 Ecuador
After becoming surprise winners of Group A thanks to Costa Rica's upset of Colombia, the United States was presented with an opponent they had beaten in the run of friendlies before Copa America. It helped that Ecuador would have to travel to Seattle, lone a bastion of American success, to take on a suddenly favored USA.

While Ecuador opened the match with a short spell of possession, the Americans quickly took thinks over and were rewarded with a wonderful team goal 22 minutes in. Clint Dempsey sprung a pass to Bobby Wood down the middle of the pitch, and the Hawaiian was able to work it down to the low corner of the penalty area. Instead of cutting back and shooting, the kid dropped a pass for Jermaine Jones at the top of the box, who lofted a short cross for the waiting head of Dempsey for the thunderous opening goal.

The USA probably should have made it two a couple of minutes before halftime when Alejandro Bedoya led a two on one break with Wood. Instead of playing the pass, Bedoya took a weak shot that was rather simple for Alexander Dominguez to handle in the Ecuadorian net.

The teams came out for the second half with a little more fire. In the 52nd minute, a harmless looking incident sparked into the moment that flipped the match on its side. It started as Antonio Valencia picked up a deserved second yellow card for a cynical foul along the touchline. That should have been the end of it with Ecuador down to ten men, but Jones had to fly in for a final say. He got in Valencia's face, made a sort of punching move towards him, and was sent off for his trouble, The match would have to finish at ten on ten, a prospect that didn't exactly thrill the Americans.

They would bag a second goal without allowing too much more time to tick away. Clint Dempsey turned provider this time, but his assist was set up by a long pass and collection by Bobby Wood. Wood's work along the wing led to a cross that was knocked down for Dempsey. Deuce took a weak shot that was likely destined for the far post, but Gyasi Zardes was their to hammer home the ball from the doorstep to make it 2-0.

It was all hands on deck for Ecuador at this point. They picked up could of nice chances, but poor shooting failed them until a well constructed set piece in the 74th minute lead to a low shot from Michael Arroyo sneaking through the USA defense and Brad Guzan in goal.

The American defense successfully tighten up at that point. They were able to hold on and save the 2-1 result with only a couple of half chances, including the slight threat of an own goal near the final whistle, before ultimately hanging on and qualifying for the semi-finals.

The USA will have to handle a semi-final match, likely agaisnt Argentina, without Jermaine Jones and Ale Bedoya. Jones will miss out thanks to his silly red card and Bedoya picked up his second yellow card of the tournament and picked up a suspension. While they will likely fall in that match, the team has accomplished Jurgen Klinsmann's lofty goal of the semis after winning Group A. They have exceeded most people's expectations already, but expect the fire to still be there on Tuesday night when they try and blast their way into the final.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Tough, but manageable, night for MLS sides in Open Cup

Yesterday's Scores
Euro 2016
Russia 1-2 Slovakia
(Glushakov 80')-(Weiss 32', Hamsik 45')

Romania 1-1 Switzerland
(Stancu PK 18')-(Mehmedi 57')

France 2-0 Albania
(Griezmann 90', Payet 90+6')

US Open Cup- Fourth Round
Columbus Crew 4-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Meram 41', Martinez 48', Finlay PK 52', Hollingsworth 65')

Jacksonville Armada 0-1 Orlando City
(Mateos 62')

Philadelphia Union 3-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
(Restrepo 3', Alberg 45+1', 90+3')-(Foster 79', Warshaw 90+1')

Rochester Rhinos 0-1 New York Red Bulls
(Kljestan PK 20')

Carolina RailHawks 0-1 New England Revolution
(Herivaux 103')

D.C. United 0-0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (3-4 on penalties)

New York City 0-1 New York Cosmos
(Szetela 88')

Minnesota United 1-2 Sporting Kansas City
(Ramirez PK 81')-(Feilhaber PK 65', Rubio 109')

Chicago Fire 1-1 Indy Eleven (4-3 on penalties)
(Accam 111')-(Braun 105')

FC Dallas 2-2 Oklahoma City Energy (6-5 on penalties)
(Lizarazo 37', 43')-(Rideout 26', Thomas 90')

Houston Dynamo 4-0 San Antonio FC
(Manotas 39', Alex 45+5', Rodriguez 60', Miranda 66')

Seattle Sounders 2-0 Kitsap Pumas
(Roldan 71', Jones 90+1')

It was a tricky night for MLS clubs still alive in the US Open Cup. M any were using reserve sides since many are still short handed thanks to Copa America or sthey were simply resting players for the more important MLS matches on the weekend. Regardless, the minor league teams have a lot to be proud of after this round.

Philadelphia needed some late heroics to take down USL side Harrisburg City. D.C United fell in penalties to Fort Lauderdale. New York City failed to defeat the Cosmos. FC Dallas and Chicago Fire both needed penalties to tear down their lesser foes. Overall, it was a night filled with Open Cup unpredictability.

Toronto FC II 1-1 FC Montreal
(Fraser 90')-(Jackson-Hamel 55')

Russian fans were, for the most part, well behaved during their 2-1 defeat to Slovakia. There was one minor incident that is unlikely to get UEFA to act upon their threat of expulsion. After the Russian goal, a flare was lit in a section filled with Russian supporters. Although Russia will probably not be ousted because of their fans, they are working towards elimination from Euros the old fashioned way, by losing.

That's not to say there weren't issues. Over in Lille, where Russia and Slovakia were playing, there were 36 arrests made due to fan uprisings. English fans were at the heart of the disorder as riot police had to be dispatched to deal with hundreds of supporters, who claimed there were many Russians around looking to cause trouble. The fan violence nightmare that has been this European Championships now turns its eyes to Lens, were England and Wales go at it today in one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament.

Denis Cheryshev, who was made famous for being the ineligible player used by Real Madrid that got them kicked out of Copa del Rey, has made a move back to Villarreal, where he picked up the cards necessary to earn that suspension. He has signed a five year deal with the club that had him on loan from Real Madrid for the 2014-15 season.

Today's Matches
Copa America
United States v. Ecuador- 9:30pm- FS1

Euro 2016
England v. Wales- 9am- ESPN
Ukraine v. Northern Ireland- 12pm- ESPN
Germany v. Poland- 3pm- ESPN

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Russia one misstep away from Euro disqualification

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Chile 4-2 Panama
(Vargas 15', 43', Sanchez 50', 89')-(Camargo 5', Arroyo 75')

Argentina 3-0 Bolivia
(Lamela 13', Lavezzi 15', Cuesta 32')

Full Copa America recap

Euro 2016
Austria 0-2 Hungary
(Szalai 62', Stieber 87')

Portugal 1-1 Iceland
(Nani 31')-(Bjarnason 50')

US Open Cup- Fourth Round
Colorado Rapids 1-0 Colorado Springs Switchbacks
(Serna 84')

Real Salt Lake 2-2 Wilmington Hammerheads (3-1 in penalties)
(Plata 65', Martinez 86')-(Corboz 34', Michaud 58')

LA Galaxy 4-1 La Maquina FC
(Villarreal 15', Romney 96', Lletget PK 105', 115')-(Borboa 28')

Portland Timbers 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
(Asprilla 34', McInnerney 40')

No cupsets to report on day one of the fourth round, although Wilmington Hammerheads did have a two goal lead on Real Salt Lake before falling in PKs. One of the two remaining amateur sides in the tournament, La Maquina, did have the slight advantage of LA losing a man to a red card in the 17th minute. They ended up collapsing in extra time when the Galaxy were able to pull ahead. The other, Kitsap Pumas, take on Seattle Sounders tonight.

Portland Timbers 2 1-2 Seattle Sounders 2
(Bodily 67')-(Samuel 35', Magnus 43')

Russia's punishment for it's fans ruckus behavior has been announced. They have been fined €150,000 and handed a suspended disqualification. If there are any more incidents of in stadium violence, Russia will be eliminated from Euros thanks to their fans misbehavior. UEFA only has control over the in stadium actions of fans, so any violence outside will have to be handled by police and security forces. Many Russian instigators have already been deported for their troubles.

After their embarrassing showing in Copa America Centenario, Brazil have fired Dunga from his position as their head coach. Brazil were expected to make a run at the title despite a series of injuries and a focus on the Olympics this summer, but were eliminated after the group stage thanks to a 1-0 loss to Peru. Current Corinthians boss Tite has been approached about the job already. He may even take the new gig in time to coach Brazil at the Olympics.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has agreed to provisional terms with Manchester United. The Swedish free agent to be has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and now things finally are taking shape. He will officially sign with the team after the completion of Euros.

Ronald Koeman has completed his managerial move from Southampton to Everton. The Liverpool based club will send Saints £5 million for their trouble. This could be seen as a step down for the Dutchman, from a certain point of view. While Everton are the more prestigious club, they have finished below Southampton in each of Koeman's two seasons in charge.

West Ham continued their busy offseason by bringing in Algerian international Sofiane Feghouli from La Liga's Valencia. The winger has scored 42 times in 243 appearances in Spain and has been capped 40 times by Algeria.

Today's Matches
Euro 2016
Russia v. Slovakia- 9am- ESPN
Romania v. Switzerland- 12pm- ESPN
France v. Albania- 3pm- ESPN

US Open Cup- Fourth Round
Columbus Crew v. Tampa Bay Rowdies- 7pm
Jacksonville Armada v. Orlando City- 7pm
Philadelphia Union v. Harrisburg City Islanders- 7pm
Rochester Rhinos v. New York Red Bulls- 7:05pm
Carolina RailHawks v. New England Revolution- 7;30pm
D.C. United v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 7:30pm
New York City v. New York Cosmos- 7:30pm
Minnesota United v. Sporting Kansas City- 8pm
Chicago Fire v. Indy Eleven- 8:30pm
FC Dallas v. Oklahoma City Energy- 8:30pm
Houston Dynamo v. San Antonio FC- 8:30pm
Seattle Sounders v. Kitsap Pumas- 10:30pm

Copa America Centenario Day 12: Chile, Argentina cruise to quarterfinals

Chile 4-2 Panama
The winner of this match would make it into the quarterfinals. Chile were the heavy favorites, but that meant nothing to the little CONCACAF underdogs. Panama went in front in the opening five minutes after a Chile turnover and a long shot from Miguel Camargo that Claudio Bravo certainly wants to have back. They would not hold the lead for very long. A Chilean attack in the 15th minute would cut through the Panamanian defense like nothing and Eduardo Vargas would bang home a rebound to tie the score. It was just about all Chile from that point until half time. Save for a few Panama counters, Chile was in firm control and got their second goal in the 43rd minute on a Vargas header.

The second half was just as open as the first. Chile controlled the ball a lot and were rewarded when Alexis Sanchez added their third of the night in the 50th minute. Despite getting owned all over the pitch, Panama managed to get one against the run of play in the 75th from Abdiel Arroyo, but that wouldn't get them anywhere. Sanchez scored his second half brace in the 89th minute to seal this one off and send Chile to the quarterfinals with a second place Group D finish.

Argentina 2-0 Bolivia
By the time this match kicked off, Argentina had already won Group D and Bolivia had already been eliminated. That being said, Lionel Messi was sitting on the bench in the utterly meaningless match. Even without him, they got off to a hot start. A deflected Erik Lamela free kick opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Ezequiel Lavezzi doubled the advantage two minutes later. Victor Cuesta made it three in the 32nd. Argentina, who were firmly in control anyway, were plenty alright coasting out of the group stage with a perfect record after that. They owned this match by outshooting Bolivia 14-3 and controlling 87% of possession. To reward the 45,000+ in attendance, Messi was brought on as a halftime sub, but he didn't snare a hat trick like he did last match.

With that, the group stage of Copa America is complete. After a quick day off, the quarterfinals begin Wednesday night in Seattle when Group A winners USA takes on Ecuador, who came in second in Group B.

Full quarterfinals schedule:
Thursday, 9:30pm- USA v. Ecuador in Seattle, WA
Friday, 8pm- Peru v. Colombia in East Rutherford, NJ
Saturday, 7pm- Argentina v. Venezuela in Foxborough, MA
Saturday, 10pm- Mexico v. Chile in Santa Clara, CA

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Russian hooligans blamed for violence, English fans arrested

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Mexico 1-1 Venezuela
(Corona 80')-(Velazquez 10')

Uruguay 3-0 Jamaica
(Hernandez 21', Watson OG 66', Corujo 88')

Euro 2016
Spain 1-0 Czech Republic
(Pique 87')

Ireland 1-1 Sweden
(Hoolahan 48')-(Clark OG 71')

Belgium 0-1 Italy
(Giaccherini 32', Pelle 90+3')

UEFA has concluded that 150 "well trained" Russian hooligans have been the forces behind the fan violence that marred Russia's late draw with England. They were able to evade arrest, but five English supporters were not so lucky and have been jailed by French authorities. Several highly visible Englishmen, including Wayne Rooney, have called on their fans to cease the hooliganistic behavior and represent their country in a more civil way. Back in Russia, meanwhile, Igor Ledvedev, an executive in the Russian Football Union, has applauded his people, telling them to keep it up. Both sides have been threatened with disqualification. If any of them are kicked from Euro 2016, I put my money on Russia after those comments.

Miralem Pjanic is jumping the Roma ship for their Italian rivals, Juventus. The Old Lady has signed the Bosnian for €32 million. Pjanic had put in a transfer request last week with an expressed desire to join the Italian champions. He is their first signing of the summer.

Sepp Blatter is opening up about his suspicions into FIFA and UEFA's corrupt practices. He claims that he knows, and has witnessed, several draws for European competitions were rigged using the "hot and cold balls method." Blatter says that a draw can be rigged by altering the temperature of the ping pong balls used to draw teams into groups. Although he claims he had the power to rig draws, this never happened with any World Cup draws he oversaw, I certainly can't be sure.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Chile v. Panama- 8pm- FS1
Argentina v. Bolivia- 10pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Austria v. Hungary- 12pm- ESPN
Portugal v. Iceland- 3pm- ESPN

US Open Cup
Colorado Rapids v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks- 9pm
Real Salt Lake v. Wilmington Hammerheads- 10pm
LA Galaxy v. La Maquina FC- 10:30pm
Portland Timbers v. San Jose Earthquakes- 10:30pm

MLS sides join the US Open Cup this time around. The most intriguing matches of today are San Jose and Portland in an all MLS affair and the amateuer side La Maquina heading to the Stub Hub center to take on LA Galaxy. With MLS having not played in a couple weeks and many teams still missing important players thanks to Copa America, it is possible we see some lower division teams taking down some possibly apathetic MLS opponents. Stay tuned.

Portland Timbers 2 v. Seattle Sounders 2- 4:30pm- YouTube

Copa America Centenario Day 11: Venezuela almost shocks Mexico

Mexico 1-1 Venezuela
Although both of these sides had already advanced to the quarterfinals, first place in Group C was still on the line and we were treated to one of the more entertaining matches of this entire tournament, so far. The underdogs got the jump on the favorites thanks to an impressive overhead kick from Jose Velazquez in the tenth minute. The most shocking team in Copa America had themselves an early lead against one of the favorites and they were going to defend that to the death. Mexico was firmly in control from that point on. They held two thirds of the possession and hammered Venezuela's goal with shot after shot after shot. Several times, it looked like Venezuela was destined to win and finish atop the group with how many close calls and near miracles that kept going against El Tri. Venezuela's luck held until the 80th minute when Jesus Corona weaved his way through five Venezuelan defenders and blasted a shot past Daniel Hernandez for the equalizer. The rest of the match offered half chances on both ends, but no further scoring as Mexico held onto the point to take the top spot in the group on goal difference.

Uruguay 3-0 Jamaica
This was the only truly pointless match in this Copa America. Both Jamaica and Uruguay had already been eliminated. Uruguay had their reputation to uphold, at least. They had won a match at every Copa America they had participated in, and needed to win this one in order to keep that alive. Abel Hernandez got them on the board in the 21st minute and an own goal off Jamaica's Je-Vaughn Watson doubled the lead in the 66th. James Blake did his best to keep the deficit at only two goals, but Uruguay were able to best him once more in the 88th minute when Matias Corujo was able to finish a breakaway and keep Uruguay's win streak alive.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: England, Russia, warned for fan violence

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Ecuador 4-0 Haiti
(E. Valencia 11', Ayovi 20', Noboa 57', A. Valencia 78')

Brazil 0-1 Peru
(Ruidiaz 75')

Euro 2016
Turkey 0-1 Croatia
(Modric 41')

Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland
(Milik 51')

Germany 2-0 Ukraine
(Mustafi 19', Schweinsteiger 90+2')

FC Edmonton 2-1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
(Keegan 18', 31')-(Giro 58')

This concludes the NASL's spring campaign with Indy Eleven as first half winners. Thanks to their amazing outburst of goals yesterday, they took over New York Cosmos for the top spot thanks to their victory over the Cosmos earlier this season. The two were tied in the final table in every category, so it went down to Indy's stoppage time winner way back on April 16.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 3-2 Swope Park Rangers
(Bustos 5', 23',, Davies 80')-(Gonzalez 86', Tyrpak 88')

Russian and English fans have not exactly been on their best behavior during their journey to France for Euro 2016. After both sets of supporters have been involved in repeated incidents of violence and hooliganism, Russia and England have been warned of possible disqualification if this behavior continues. Charges of crowd disturbances, racism, and setting fireworks have led UEFA to open up a disciplinary investigation of Russia, but so far no such proceedings have begun agaisnt England.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Mexico v. Venezuela- 8pm- FS1
Uruguay v. Jamaica- 10:30pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Spain v. Czech Republic- 9am- ESPN
Ireland v. Sweden- 12pm- ESPN
Belgium v. Italy- 3pm- ESPN

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 10: Peru knocks out Brazil with controversial winner

Ecuador 4-0 Haiti
Ecuador may not have clobbered Haiti in quite the same way that Brazil did. Unfortunately, they needed to do just that in order to win group B. Enner Valencia's 11th minute opener and Jaime Ayovi's second in the 20th had them up by a pair at half time. They added two more through Christian Noboa in the 57th and Antonio Valencia in the 78th. Ecuador needed to win by seven goals in order to overtake Brazil in goal difference and win the group. Brazil would have had to lose to Peru too so...

Brazil 0-1 Peru
Brazil would either get a point or more and win Group B or lose and drop out entirely. A date with the United Sates would not be possible as Ecuador would end up in second place regardless of this result. Brazil would fail in this mission thanks to England levels of bad luck. The Selecao would rule the run of play and pick up many a chance to go in front. All of these would come back to haunt them as Peru would go in front in the 75th minute thanks to a goal that ranks up there on the list of most controversial winners we have ever seen, On a Peruvian counter attack, Andy Polo sent a cross in towards Raul Ruidiaz in the six yard box. Ruidiaz knocked the ball home, but Brazil's defense was screaming in protest for a handball. They had a great case for it too. Replays showed the ball clearly striking Ruidiaz's arm on it's way into the net. After a lengthy discussion with his assistant, the referee allowed the goal and Peru went on to win because of it. Brazil, who were weakened by injuries and a focus on the Olympics heading into the tournament, are now eliminated from Copa America and Peru are victors in Group B.

Hooligan's Wake Up: USA Wins Group A in Copa America

Copa America
United States 1-0 Paraguay
(Dempsey 27')

Colombia 2-3 Costa Rica
(Fabra 7', Moreno 73')-(Venegas 2', Fabra OG 34', Borges 58')

Euro 2016
Albania 0-1 Switzerland
(Schar 5')

Wales 2-1 Slovakia
(Bale 10', Robinson-Kanu 81')-(Duda 61')

England 0-0 Russia
(Dier 73')-(Berezutski 90+2')

Jacksonville Armada 1-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Sandoval 52')-(Burgos 84')

Ottawa Fury 1-1 Rayo OKC
(Haworth 59')-(Svantesson 2')

Indy Eleven 4-1 Carolina RailHawks
(Zayed 16', 65', 95', Braun 45+')-(Albadawi 29')

Minnesota United 3-1 Miami FC
(Ramirez 46', Pinho 52', Ibson 90+4')-(Chavez 66')

Charleston Battery 1-2 Orlando City B
(Portillo 45')-(Cox 15', Donovan 42')

Richmond Kickers 3-1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds
(Branson OG 17', Gilstrap OG 20', Owusu Sekyere 67')-(Hertzog 90')

FC Cincinnati 2-1 FC Montreal
(Okoli 35', 47')-(Kacher 90')

Toronto FC II 2-1 Rochester Rhinos
(Jobe 79', 90')-(Volesky 90+2')

Louisville City 2-2 Wilmington Hammerheads
(Kaye 41', Hoffman 48')-(Michaud 17', Fairclough 90')

OKC Energy 0-3 Rio Grande Valley
(Escalante 14', Murphy 41', Bird 90')

Saint Louis FC 7-1 Tulsa Roughnecks
(Rudolph 4', 50', Herrera 17', 52', Hardware 32', Roberts 76', Cicciarelli 79')-(Carpio 85')

Portland Timbers 2 1-1San Antonio FC
(Alvarez OG 15')-(Palacios 87')

LA Galaxy II 0-0 Colorado Springs Switchbacks

Arizona United 2-0 Orange County Blues
(Cortez 41', Cascio 90')

Real Monarchs 1-2 Sacramento Republic
(Velazco 42')-(Iwasa 47', Jahn 55')

Today's Matches
Copa America
Ecuador v. Haiti- 6:30pm- FS2
Brazil v. Peru- 8:30pm- FS1

Euro 2016
Turkey v. Croatia- 9am- ESPN
Poland v. Northern Ireland- 12pm- ESPN
Germany v. Ukraine- 3pm- ESPN

FC Edmonton v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 4pm- ESPN3

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 v. Swope Park Rangers 2pm- YouTube

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Messi comes on as sub, bags hat trick

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Chile 2-1 Bolivia
(Vidal 46', 90+10')-(Campos 61')

Argentina 5-0 Panama
(Otamendi 7', Messi 68', 78', 87', Aguero 90')

Euro 2016
France 2-1 Romania
(Giroud 57', Payet 89')-(Stancu PK 65')

On the eve of Euro 2016, Spanish keeper David De Gea was sent home from the squad after he was implicated in a rape case from last year. the details are ugly as it gets. There was apparently the trafficking and filming of a young girl for Athletic Bilbao players. Understandably, told him to go home and will not participate in the European Championships.

Today's Matches
Copa America
United States v. Paraguay- 7:30pm- FS1
Costa Rica v. Colombia- 9pm- FS2

Euro 2016
Albania v. Switzerland- 9am- ESPN
Wales v. Slovakia- 12pm- ESPN
England v. Russia- 3pm- ESPN

Jacksonville Armada v. Tampa Bay Rowdies- 4pm- ESPN2
Ottawa Fury v. Rayo OKC- 7pm- ESPN 3
Indy Eleven v. Carolina RailHawks- 7:30pm- ONE World Sports
Minnesota United v. Miami FC- 8pm- beIN

Charleston Battery v. Orlando City B- 5pm- YouTube
Richmond Kickers v. Pittsburgh Riverhounds- 5pm- YouTube
FC Cincinnati v. FC Montreal- 7pm- YouTube
Toronto FC II v. Rochester Rhinos- 7:30pm- YouTube
Louisville City v. Wilmington Hammerheads- 7:30pm- YouTube
OKC Energy v. Rio Grande Valley- 8:30pm- YouTube
Saint Louis FC v. Tulsa Roughnecks- 8:30pm- YouTube
Portland Timbers 2 v. San Antonio FC- 10pm- YouTube
LA Galaxy II v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks- 10:30pm- YouTube
Arizona United v. Orange County Blues- 10:30pm- YouTube
Real Monarchs v. Sacramento Republic- 10:30pm- YouTube

Hooligan's Wake Up: Messi will play agaisnt Panama

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Uruguay 0-1 Venezuela
(Rondon 36')

Mexico 2-0 Jamaica
(Chicharito 18', Peralta 81')

New York Red Bulls II 1-0 Harrisburg City Islanders
(Davis 7')

Seattle Sounders 2 3-2 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
(Craven 41', Mansaray 46', Ramos 56')-(Greig PK 45', Frano 72')

Unlike Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi appears to be fit for his country. After training with the team yesterday, Argentina's leader is going to suit up for today's match with Panama. Messi had been out with a back injury suffered in friendlies leading up to Copa America, but he appears to be healed now and will be out, possibly in force, tonight in Chicago.

Manchester United midfield stalwart Michael Carrick has signed a new one year deal with the club. The 34 year old made 42 appearances for the club last year and will stick around at Old Trafford, where he has played since 2006, for at least one more season. 

Swansea City are the latest European club to be picked up by American ownership. D.C. United ownder Jason Levien is heading the team to take the club over. It appears that American soccer legend Landon Donovan is among his partners. The national team hero is in advacned discussions to purchase a stake in the Welsh Premier League outfit.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Chile v. Bolivia- 7pm
Argentina v. Panama- 9:30pm

Euro 2016
France v. Romania- 3pm- ESPN

Copa America Centenario Day 7: Venezuela upsets Uruguay, makes quarterfinals with Mexico

Uruguay 0-1 Venezuela
Still no Luis Suarez for Uruguay as they looked to rebound from their late defeat at the hands of Mexico. One would think Venezuela was a good opponent for such a rebound, except Uruguay struggled through the first half and conceded to Solomon Rondon in the 36th minute to find themselves down a goal at the break.

Uruguay was in control for most of the second half and had plenty of chances to go along with it. The sad part was that Edinson Cavani, probably their best scorer without Suarez in the team, was horrible shooting on the day. Among his plethora of missed chances was one in the dying minutes where he cut across the box and launched a shot from the penalty spot that should have hammered the goal on any given day. Instead, it whistled wide and Uruguay were sunk.

It was frustrating for Suarez, who must not have been told that he was listed as out of the team. The Barcelona star was seen warming up on the sidelines expecting to come in.When he was told he could not play thanks to his pregame status, he was visibly angry while removing his boots and slamming them to the turf.

The Copa America Centenario will go down as a rough experience for Uruguay, who are now eliminated thanks to Mexico's expected result below. On the flip side of the Uruguayan anguish is the elation coming from Venezuela. The baseball mad nation finds themselves in the quarterfinals. The only South American side to never qualify for a World Cup are past the group stage for the third time in the last four Copa Americas.

Mexico 2-0 Jamaica
Mexico had an emotional win over Uruguay and now they joined their home crowd at a sold out Rose Bowl to easily dispose of Jamaica and make their way into the quarterfinals. It perhaps wasn't as comfortable as El Tri would have liked, but they did control much of the game on their way to a 2-0 win. Chicharito got the first one of the night with a well placed header in the 18th minute. While Mexico controlled the run of play, Jamaica did have a couple of counter attacking chances that ended in failure. The second goal came from Oribe Peralta in the 81st minute. That was the one that sealed Mexico's spot in the quarterfinals.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 6: Brazil hammer Haiti into elimination

Brazil 7-1 Haiti
After looking somewhat lethargic against Ecuador in their opener, Brazil ran into a Haiti squad that lacks anything resembling the skill necessary to take down even a weak Brazil side. While Brazil tried to force things to happen in the first ten minutes, they slowed down slightly afterwards and were gifted with their first goal of the tournament in the 14th minute. Philippe Coutinho launched a rocket from just outside the 18 that blew by a diving keeper and barely inside the near post. They experienced a wealth of chances after going in front. They probably could have had four or five by halftime, but they had to settle for only two more. Coutinho tapped into an empty net for his second goal amidst some absentee Haitian defending in the 29th minute. It went to 3-0 at the 35 minute mark when Haiti failed to clear and proceeded to leave Renato Augusto wide open for an easy header.

The carnage continued in the second half. Brazil put four more in as they toyed with their lesser opponents. Gabriel started it in the 59th. Lucas Lima scored the fifth in the 67th. Augusto bagged his brace in the 86th, and Coutinho capped it off with his hat trick in stoppage time. Haiti had one moment to celebrate and that was James Marcelin's 70th minute goal that would be their first ever in Copa America.

Regardless, Haiti are eliminated and Brazil are atop the group thanks to their gargantuan goal differential.

Ecuador 2-2 Peru
As underdogs in this group Peru needed to come out and play like they had nothing to lose. They did just that and were rewarded with a fifth minute goal from Christian Cueva. They didn't stop the early barrage there, either. The lead was doubled in the 13th minute by Edison Flores. Ecuador would chip away at this unexpected deficit. Enner Valencia would cut into the lead in the 39th. They would equalize with a tap in from Miller Bolanos in the 48th minute.

Even before the score was tied, it was quite clear Ecuador was the better team. They were quicker and more effective with the ball than Peru was. They peppered Pedro Gallese's goal with plenty of shots on the night overall, but nothing after the original two goals were able to penetrate the net. Peru almost stole the match in the dying minutes when a counter attack gave Raul Ruidiaz a shot at the top of the box. He hammered it past the keeper, but just wide of the far post. Shortly afterwards. Gabriel Achilier was sent off for a second yellow, but it had no effect on the end result here. It will likely not come into play against Haiti in the final group stage game either, since Haiti have clearly shown their inferiority to the rest of this group.

As a result of today's action, Brazil is ahead of Peru on goal difference with both sides holding four points. The two play each other in the group stage finale on Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Ecuador is sitting in second place. They would go through with three points against eliminated Haiti on Sunday in New Jersey and a winner in the Brazil-Peru match. It doesn't matter which side wins, as long as it doesn't end in a draw. If it does, goal difference will determine who makes it. Brazil currently leads that race with +6 while both Peru is +1 and Ecuador is at 0.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Messi training with Argentina

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Brazil 1-0 Haiti
(Coutinho 14', 29', Augusto 35')

Ecuador 2-2 Peru
(Valencia 39', Bolanos 48')-(Cueva 5', Flores 13')

Full Copa America recap

Swope Park Rangers 4-0 Rio Grande Valley
(Gonzalez 23', 27', Oliveira 42', Sallo 70')

Sacramento Republic 1-0 Real Monarchs
(Jahn 47')

Canadian Championship- Semi-finals Second Leg
Montreal Impact 0-0 Toronto FC (2-4 on aggregate)

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 Ottawa Fury (3-2 on aggregate)
(Morales PK 3', Mezquida 20', Rivero 52')

Toronto FC moves onto the Canadian Championship final against Vancouver with a spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League on the line. The first leg will be on either June 21 or June 22 with the second the following week.

Lionel Messi is making strides towards rejoining Argentina during Copa America. He trained with the squad in Chicago against Friday's match against Panama in the Windy City. It is still unclear if the superstar will play in the match at all, let alone find himself in the starting eleven, but any news of Messi in practice is good news for Argentina.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Uruguay v. Venezuela- 7:30pm- FS1
Mexico v, Jamaica- 10pm- FS1

New York Red Bulls II v. Harrisburg City Islanders- 7pm- YouTube
Seattle Sounders 2 v. Vancouver Whitecaps 2- 10:30pm- YouTube

Hooligan's Wake Up: USA scores huge Copa win

Yesterday's Scores
United States 4-0 Costa Rica
(Dempsey PK 9', Jones 37', Wood 42', Zusi 87')

Colombia 2-1 Paraguay
(Bacca 12', Rodriguez 30')-(Ayala 71')

Jose Mourinho may not have Zlatan Ibrahimovic yet, but he has landed Ivory Coast observational Eric Bailly from Villarreal for £30 million. The defender has made 40 appearances in La Liga and has signed a four year deal at Old Trafford.

With Jamie Vardy on Arsenal's doorstep, it's expected that Theo Walcott will be on his way out. The 27 year old forward maintains that's not the case, however. The club continues to tell him that he has a future at the club as a winger, as opposed to being a center forward. Walcott has been with Arsenal for ten seasons already, so not having him around would be strange, indeed.

Today's Matches
Copa America
Brazil v. Haiti- 7:30pm- FS1
Ecuador v. Peru- 10pm- FS1

Swope Park Rangers v. Rio Grande Valley- 8:30pm- YouTube
Sacramento Republic v. Real Monarchs- 11pm- YouTube

Canadian Championship- Semi-finals Second Leg
Montreal Impact v. Toronto FC- 7:30pm
Vancouver Whitecaps v. Ottawa Fury- 10pm

Copa America Centenario Day 5: USA hammers Costa Rica, Colombia remains perfect

United States 4-0 Costa Rica
This is exactly what the USMNT needed to do after the opening match defeat against Colombia. Before the match, Klinsmann's doubters were in full force as he trotted out the exact same lineup as the opening match failure. Although he said there were many positives to come out of that starting eleven, most of the anti-Klinsmann faction saw this repeat move as a failure to adapt to the negatives that were abundant in that opening match.

Boy were they wrong.

The USA got started nice and early as Bobby Wood earned a penalty thanks to a shove in the back that knocked him down. After some pointless protesting by the entire Costa Rica squad, Clint Dempsey confidently nailed the penalty in the ninth minute to put the Americans ahead. After the goal, Costa Rica, who had looked the better team for the first couple minutes, pressed forward, but sloppy midfield play set up tons of quality chances for their opposition. Turnover after turnover allowed the USA to create powerful counterattacking chances that should really have provided more goals than they did.

They did eventually score thanks to one of these takeaways. Dempsey, after an evasive individual effort, laid a ball off for Jermaine Jones, who accurately tucked a shot inside the far post to double the lead in the 37th. In the 42nd minute, Bobby Wood would finish a similar chance with a strong move to hold off the defender with his back to goal. He would collect a pass and turn and shoot with power, giving Patrick Pemberton no chance in goal.

Costa Rica would spend much of the second half with the ball, but the stout US back line, anchored by Geoff Cameron and John Brooks, didn't allow much of anything. Los Ticos had maybe one great chance to score late in the match, but their inaccurate shooting prevented anything from materializing. Graham Zusi finished off yet another counter attack after a midfield steal in the 87th minute to provide the USA with a rousing victory over a solid CONCACAF side

Colombia 2-1 Paraguay
Colombia experienced a comfortable victory against South American doormats Paraguay. Carlos Bacca started their party in the 12th minute by heading home a James Rodriguez corner. James would provide the eventual winner at the half hour mark with a well placed shot into the far corner. David Ospina would spend the rest of the match keeping Los Cafeteros alive in the match with some great saves. Although he had no chance at the Victor Ayala 71st minute golazo that put Paraguay within a goal. Any hope of a comeback was end in the 81st minute when Oscar Romero was sent off for his second yellow card within three minutes.

The Colombia win puts them at six points and ahead of the group and also means that second place USA controls their own quarterfinal destiny. A single point against Paraguay would likely be enough to see them through. Costa Rica, thanks to the now massive goal difference agaisnt them, would need to wreck Colombia by six goals in order to go through in that case. And I highly doubt that will happen.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Copa America could come to the USA permanently

Yesterday's Scores
Copa America
Panama 2-1 Bolivia
(Perez 11', 87)-(Arce 54')

Argentina 2-1 Chile
(Di Maria 51', Banega 59')-(Fuenzalida 90+3')

Full Copa America recap

So, Jamie Vardy boarded the England team plane for France without giving his decision on whether or not he is joining Arsenal or staying with the club he helped build into a champion. For what it's worth, Arsenal remain confident that he will sign and Leicester are rumored to have offered him a raise and a fresh contract, if for no other reason than to show their fans they are making an effort to keep him. Regardless, VardyWatch 2016 will continue for at least another few days.

Copa America Centenario is off to a rousing success, and there is apparently some talk of the tournament being permanently held in the USA (article in Spanish) every four years. Jurgen Klinsmann is in favor of it. While this is mostly talk at this point, there may be some momentum to make it happen. Outside of perhaps Brazil, the USA has better infrastructure and is better equipped to hold a major tournament on a regular basis than any other South American country. South American fans, however, would likely feel deprived that their continents marquee event will never again be held on their soil.

I can't help but feel that the decision to make this happen is fueled by bribery and corruption. Just the tales of how this even made it to America to begin with have me thinking that somebody is paying large sums of money to South American authorities to make this happen. FIFA's reputation certainly supports this hypothesis.

Rather than making the USA permanent hosts, I would rather see CONCACAF and CONMEBOL join together for their continental championship and continue rotating hosts between countries on both continents. The Gold Cup can be abandoned, for all I care. It's mostly a competition between the USA and Mexico anyway, as no other country has won the event since its inception except Canada in 2000. Why not send the federation to a more competitive event. They could even expand the field to 24 teams to include more smaller CONCACAF nations that would normally play in the Gold Cup, like Canada.

At the moment, CONMEBOL rotates Copa America hosts alphabetically. Brazil, who's turn was delayed because of their World Cup hosting duties, is slated to host the 2019 edition.

Today's Matches
Copa America
United States v. Costa Rica- 8pm- FS1
Colombia v. Paraguay- 10:30pm- FS1

Copa America Centenario Day 4: Argentina makes statement in win over Chile

Panama 2-1 Bolivia
Panama got contributions from their most prolific player, Blas Perez on their way to a late win over Bolivia. Blas Perez opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a wonderful sliding shot off a cross. Bolivia would not find their equalizer until the second half when Juan Arce bagged one in the 54th minute. The game took on an aggressive tone after the levelling goal. Six of the match's seven yellow cards would be shown between just before the goal and the 80th minute. Blas Perez would strike again on an 87th minute Panamanian counter that caught the Bolivian keeper well out of his net and leaving it wide open for Perez to hammer home the winner.

Argentina 2-1 Chile
Argentina are the number one ranked team in the world, but Chile is not too far behind them at five, and they got the better of the best in the world in last summer's Copa America final. Although Argentina would be without an injured Lionel Messi, it turns out they would not need the best player in the world all that much.

As you would expect from a pair of teams of this caliber, the first half was mostly about feeling each other out. There was some aggression of fouls as three yellows went out in the first half. The chances were limited to free kicks from distance as neither side wanted to risk too much in the penalty area out of fear of getting caught out against one of the many speedy attackers on the pitch.

One of those speedy attackers came to life in the 51st minute when Angel Di Maria capped off a wonderful counter attack off a midfield turnover with a well placed shot tucked inside the near post. Despite a solid, but wasted chance by Chile, a more patient maneuver in the 59th minute would double the Argentinian lead. Di Maria turned provider for Ever Banega's deflected shot off Mauricio Isla and inside the near post.

Argentine took the two goal lead as a chance to tighten up and prevent Chile from getting anything done in the penalty area. It worked like a charm. There was no space for Chile's creators to work and they were prevented from finding any real chances at goal until seconds before the final whistle. A free kick and header by Jose Fuenzalida three minutes into three minutes of stoppage time pulled a goal back, but the match ended right after the ensuing kickoff.

Today's results put Panama and Argentina tied atop Group D at the conclusion of the first stage of group play. The two leaders take each other on on Friday night in Chicago.