Monthly Archives: June 2015

  1. Juventus Sign Mario Mandzukic: Could He Help the Team Win the Champions League?

    The 2014 2015 season was a great one for the Juventus football club, bringing a fourth consecutive title in the Italian Serie A (with only three losses along the way, no less), as well as a long-awaited return to the top of the podium in the Coppa Italia. Still, if one thing continues to elude the Italian titans, it's a European title. They haven't won the Champions League since 1995 1996, and haven't clinched the Europa League since 1993. Needless to say, in 2015 2016, the primary goal is going to be ending that draught. The announcement that Juventus sign Mario Mandzukic signals a plan of action!

    Juve's Offensive Void

    Mario Mandzukic is on his way to Juve after a single-season stint with Atletico Madrid. The 29-year-old Croatian striker will join the Zebras on a four-year contract, and will hopefully fill the void that existed in the club's offense during the 2014 2015 season.

    While the wearers of the Juventus home jersey 2014 2015 had an ace in the hole this past season-with Carlos Tevez knocking down 20 goals in Serie A fixtures, and 29 overall-they lacked another star scorer. Where Tevez ranked third in the league in terms of goals scored, Juve's next most prolific scorers-Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba-scored eight goals apiece, finishing as two parts of a 10-way tie at 28th.

    Obviously, that was fine for the Serie A. Juve finished the season with a goal difference of +48-15 points better than any other football club in the league. In the Champions League, though, the fact that Tevez essentially had to carry the team arguably cost Juventus the title. Tevez was the only Juventus player among the top 10 scorers for the tournament. Meanwhile, Barcelona had three players in the top 10 and two in the top three. It's simple math for why the Zebras didn't quite have enough gas in the tank to win the tournament.

    What Mario Mandzukic Will

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  2. England Exits Euro U21: What Needs to Change to Bring the Country Back to Football Prominence

    As England exits Euro U21 tournament we ask what can be done to improve the chances of the English national team? Last summer, when the England national football team was eliminated from the 2014 FIFA World Cup without winning a single game, many wondered how England had fallen so far from football prominence. It wasn't that they were expected to win the tournament: on the contrary, the English side have only won the World Cup on one occasion, and that was almost half a century ago. But 2014 was the worst World Cup performance in history for the English team, featuring only two goals (the only other time England went home winless, in 1958, they at least netted four goals) and ending with a 26th place finish out of 32 teams.

    Since then, most soccer fans have backed off from the "English football is doomed" stance, thanks in part to the senior national team's performance in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Indeed, the wearers of the England football shirt have bounced back substantially in the European Championship qualifying competition, winning all six of their games so far. At this rate, the Three Lions could be headed toward their first-ever Euro victory.

    Under 21 Team Woes

    While England's senior team seems to be enjoying a period of relative stability right now, things aren't looking so great for the future of English football. The country's under 21 team bowed out of the UEFA European U21 Championship early this year.

    The good news is that the U21 squad's Euro exit wasn't quite as tragic as the senior team's exit from the World Cup last year. They did finish in last place in their group (which also included Portugal, Sweden, and Italy), but at least managed a win before bowing out. Their one victory, a 1-0 away match triumph over Sweden, slightly dulled the pain of a 0-1 loss to Portugal and a 1-3 beat-down against Italy.


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  3. Liverpool Sign Roberto Firmino: What Will He Bring to the Club?

    So Liverpool sign Roberto Firmino! Who is he? And why did LFC sign him? It's no secret that the Liverpool football club needs to find some new firepower if they are going to contend in the 2015 2016 Premier League. Last season was a huge step down from the team's near-championship run in 2014 2015, with the Reds struggling to compensate for the departure of offensive wizard, Luis Suarez. They still came in sixth place and scored a qualification for the 2015 2016 Europa League, but the last match of the season-a demoralizing 1-6 loss against Stoke City-showed just how much things needed to change at Anfield.

    The good news is Brendan Rodgers is off to a good start in fleshing out his squad for the 2015 2016 campaign. Summer transfer signings have so far included Manchester City midfielder James Milner, Burnley forward Danny Ings, and now, Hoffenheim attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino.

    LFC Shirt

    Roberto Firmino: A Quick Profile

    Will Firmino be a good fit in the Liverpool home jersey 2015 2016? Based on the statistics from his time at Hoffenheim, yes.

    The Brazilian-born Firmino comes to Anfield after four and a half seasons playing with Hoffenheim. In those four and a half years, he made 153 overall appearances and netted 49 goals. He was a regular component of the Bundesliga club, appearing in 33 of the soccer team's 34 league appearances for each of the past three seasons.

    Firmino has also reliably been Hoffenheim's top scorer for the past few seasons, peaking in 2013 2014 with 16 goals in league and 22 overall. That season, he tied as the fourth most prolific scorer in the entire Bundesliga, behind Robert Lewandowski, Mario Mandzukic, and Josip Drmic, and on the same level as Adrian Ramos and Marco Reus.

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  4. Adidas Keep Things Simple for Real Madrid Home Kit 2015 - 2016

    Where many clubs unveiled their 2015 2016 home shirt before the 2014 2015 season was even fully complete, Real Madrid held off until June 15th to launch the new Real Madrid home kit 2015 - 2016. The jersey, which maintains Real's traditional white and black home kit design, was revealed alongside a new away shirt design. The mock-up of the 2015 2016 Real Madrid third shirt, meanwhile, has been leaked to the press.

    Real Madrid Shirt

    The Home Jersey

    For the 2015 2016 home jersey, Real Madrid and Adidas opted to keep things relatively simple and Real Madrid Home Shirt 2015 - 2016traditional. Just like past Real Madrid home kits, the new Vikings jersey is primarily white, with the team crest embroidered over the heart and the Adidas logo set over the right breast. The logo of Real club sponsor, Fly Emirates, remains at the center of the shirt.

    Where the Real Madrid home kit 2015 2016 differs from past designs is in the color of the detailing. Like most other football jerseys designed by Adidas, the kit boasts three stripes running along the shoulders. Unlike last year's home shirt, though, the stripes this year are an understated gray instead of black-creating an even subtler jersey design than we've seen in years past.

    The 2015 2016 Away Kit

    In addition to the 2015 2016 home kit, Real Madrid and Adidas also launched next year's away shirt on June 15th. Here, the redesign is substantially more drastic than with the home shirt.

    2014 2015's away kit deviated from

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  5. Nike Launch New Design for the AS Roma Home Kit 2015 - 2016

    The 2014 2015 season was a strong one for AS Roma, ending in a second-place finish in the Italian Serie A. It was the football club's sixth runner-up finish in the Italian top flight in the past decade. Yet AS Roma Home Shirt 2015 - 2016despite the fact that the Wolves consistently crop up near the top of the Serie A table, they haven't actually won an Italian football championship since 2001. The team looks to change that fact during the 2015/16 season, and they've launched a brand new AS Roma home kit 2015 - 2016 to mark the start of their next chapter.

    The AS Roma home jersey 2015 2016-unveiled in early June by Roma and their kit manufacturers, Nike-boasts a slightly modernized redesign of last year's home shirt. The jersey retains the maroon color and golden trim of the 2014 2015 home kit. However, the design is updated this time around, ditching the polo style look of last year's shirt for a slick notch color. It's a bold and modern new look for the Wolves, and a fitting change for a football team fighting to end a 15-year title draught.

    Roma Football Kit

    Paying Tribute to Roman Heritage

    Supposedly, the new notched neckline on the Roma home shirt has thematic significance, recalling the AS Roma Home Kit 2015 - 2016 Nike Advertneckline on suits of armor once worn by the Roman army. The message is clear: AS Roma is ready to go to war and become the dominant

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  6. Getting Kids Interested in Football: Five Suggestions

    kids footballDo you want your kids to love watching soccer as much as you always have? Better yet, do you envision your child becoming a big-time soccer star in the Premier League, La Liga, or the Bundesliga? There's really no guaranteed method of getting kids interested in football. After all, some kids raised in sports-loving households end up wanting to blaze their own paths, while other children develop interests in different sports than what their parents or siblings love. However, if you want your child to take up football, here are five ways that you can help the dream along.

      1. Start Early

    It's never too early to start planting the seeds for lifelong football fandom. From dressing infants and toddlers in miniaturized soccer kits to taking them to games at a young age, raising your child in the culture of association football improves the chances of them adopting that culture as their own. Just make sure not to overdo it. Buying your son or daughter a Barcelona kids home kit 2015 2016, or making a point to watch games on TV with them are good ways to encourage passion for the sport (not to mention parent-child bonding). As your child grows older, though, make sure that soccer is something they are interested in. Ask them if they want to go to games or pursue playing football for themselves-don't force them. Putting too much pressure on the situation will take the joy out of soccer for your kids, and make it something they resent more than something they enjoy.

      1. Teach Them the Game

    There are so many different ways that you can teach your child the game of football, both on and off the field. On the one hand, exploring the history of a league or a favorite team can be a fun way to kick-start the encyclopedic knowledge that many

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  7. An Analysis of Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D: Who's Headed to Paris, and Who Is Going Home?

    With the mid-June qualifying games now on the books, we are officially more than halfway through the Euro 2016 qualifying competition. Standings in each qualifying group are now starting to solidify themselves, and we are getting a better sense of which soccer teams are in good qualifying position and which ones are going to have to turn on the heat between now and October. In this blog post we take a look at the teams in Euro 2016 qualifying group D.

    Of all the groups in this year's qualifying competition, Group D is undoubtedly among one of the most interesting. After winning last year's World Cup in glorious fashion, the German national football team really should have been able to steamroll Group D. After all, there are no other real heavyweight soccer teams in the group. Poland, Scotland, Ireland, Georgia, and Gibraltar are the other five contending countries, and none of them even participated in the 2014 World Cup-let alone reached the top of the podium.

    A Polish Surprise

    And yet, Germany-the top-ranked national team in the world, and the de facto frontrunners to take the Euro 2016 title-are not the leaders of Group D. That title belongs instead to the Poland national football team, who are still undefeated in this year's qualifying competition.

    The wearers of the Poland away jersey 2014 2015 have been remarkably bulletproof so far in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. They've won four of their football games so far (including a 2-0 home fixture against Germany themselves) and drawn the other two, for a leading point total of 14. They also have the best goal difference rating (+17) in Group D-thanks to a pair of 4-0 wins over Georgia and a 7-0 trouncing of Gibraltar.

    Germany: Biding Their Time?

    Germany kicked off the qualifiers for the 2016 European Championship in rough fashion, losing to Poland in their second Group D match

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  8. Euro 2016 Qualifying Group A: Analyzing the Current Standings

    On June 12th, Turkey won an away game against Kazakhstan, Iceland topped the Czech Republic 2-1, and the Netherlands grabbed a satisfying 2-0 victory over Latvia. The three fixtures represented the start of the second half of the Euro 2016 qualifying competition, of which each team has now played six of their 10 games. With only a few months remaining until we see the final lineup for the 2016 European Championship, now is the perfect time to analyze the current situations in the qualifying groups and assess what certain soccer teams need to do in order to secure Euro qualification. We will start with Euro 2016 qualifying group A.

    Group A has proven to be one of the most surprising and unpredictable in the qualifying competition-at least so far. When the group was originally announced, most football fans expected the Netherlands to take the top spots without much difficulty. After all, the Dutch squad has finished in the top three of the last two World Cups, and was the team to really undo the Spanish defending champions at last year's FIFA football tournament.

    Holland Jersey

    Iceland: Euro 2016's Dark Horse Contenders?

    Shockingly, though, Iceland is currently running the table in Group A. For the record, Iceland has never participated in a World Cup, and has never qualified for a European Championship. They're also currently ranked back at 37 on FIFA's world rankings list-31 slots behind the Netherlands, and 21 slots behind Group A's Czech Republic. Suffice to say, most people expected Iceland to finish in third place in Group A-at best-and likely without a qualification.

    Now, six games into the qualifying competition, Iceland look like they could win Group A outright. Even if they get overtaken

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  9. The 2015 UEFA European Under 21 Championship: A Preview of Saturday's Semifinals

    It may not garner the attention or press coverage of the regular European Championship, the World Cup, or even the Copa America, but the 2015 UEFA European Under 21 Championship does provide some interesting insight on the up-and-coming talent of European football. Therefore, if you want to get a glimpse at the soccer stars of tomorrow ahead of everyone else, you might want to tune into Saturday's under-21 Euro semifinal matches. Here's what to expect.

    Semifinal Match 1: Portugal vs. Germany

    The first semifinal match on Saturday will be played between the winners of Group B (Portugal) and the runners-up from Group A (Germany). The Portuguese side will be playing in the "home team" position, while the Germans will be donning their away kits.

    This match should be an exciting one to watch, since Portugal and Germany performed similarly during the group stage. The German side, though widely predicted to win Group A, underperformed somewhat during their first three games of the tournament. They only scored one win (a 3-0 victory against Denmark), and sputtered to 1-1 draws against both Serbia and the Czech Republic host team. Ironically, Denmark won Group A and the other two teams were eliminated.

    The Portuguese squad was similarly unspectacular in the group stage, and currently has the same one win, and two draw record that the Germans do. They did score a satisfying victory against England in their first game of the tournament, donning the Portugal football shirt for a 1-0 win over the under 21 England team. But a scoreless draw against Italy and a 1-1 stalemate with Sweden put Portugal at the top of Group B more by default than by skill.

    So which side will find victory on Saturday? Portugal technically has the advantage, given their group stage win and their "home field" advantage. But the German side actually have the better statistics at this juncture-they finish the group

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  10. Jurgen Klopp Career Review To Date

    When the 2015 2016 football season gets underway in late August, the game will be missing one of its greatest and most vital voices. This Jurgen Klopp career review will track this popular football manager's Borussia Dortmund Away Shirt 2014 - 2015career to date. Following two long coaching stints at FSV Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, Klopp will be taking a sabbatical next season. Originally, Klopp was ready to leap right back into the fray following his departure from Borussia Dortmund. He no longer felt he was the best coach for the job at BVB after the club's disappointing seventh place finish in the 2014 2015 Bundesliga.

    He at first insisted that he wouldn't be taking a break, and that he would be considering other coaching opportunities for the 2015 2016 season. Quickly, Jurgen was linked with possible moves to Liverpool and Real Madrid. Ultimately, though, the 47-year-old manager decided to change his mind on the idea of a sabbatical. "It makes sense to take a break after seven intensive years," he said.

    He's not wrong. Klopp has been one of the busiest men in football since taking the job at Borussia Dortmund back in 2008. Before that, he spent another seven years at Mainz. And before that, he had played for Mainz from 1990 to 2001. Bottom line, Klopp hasn't taken a break from soccer for as long as many of his players at BVB have been alive.

    Early Days

    In an era where soccer players and managers tend to move from one club to the next every few years, Jurgen Klopp has had a remarkable amount of consistency throughout his career-both as a player and as a manager.

    After a youth career that spanned from 1975 to 1989, Klopp signed with FSV Mainz for the 1990 1991 season to start his senior

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