But my faith is restored, and I now restore it to you with this wondergoal, after the jump, from the second-division Cypriot League. Thank you, Ricardo Fernandes.
We all know that the Europa League is UEFA’s trouble child. Its European Club Football’s sloppy seconds. Unless a team’s name starts with the word Athletic, there’s a good chance that the only people who care less about this competition is their fans. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Secondary competitions like the Cup Winner’s Cup and the UEFA Cup were valued parts of the European football scene back in the day. So how can we bring some life to the Europa League?
Worry not, for Four Five Two has all the answers.
Hey, there’s not much club football being played this weekend, but there’s plenty of international fixtures to feast on. Some of them are even meaningful, like USA’s away qualifier against Jamaica tonight. Won’t you please come down from your ivory tower into the comments and bless us with your pearls of wisdom? Oh, and if you’ve got beIN Sport USA at your house, post your address so we can all come over. We’ll bring the beer. Promise.
Semi-not-at-all-complete fixture list after the jump. Continue reading
Early last summer, new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was given the task of tracking down his predecessor and club legend Kenny Dalglish. The following records are all that remain of his journey.
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool, September 1, 2012-
“shit… I’m still in Liverpool. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the north, up the Mersey. When I was in Swansea, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be Wales. I hardly said a word to my chairman, until I said “I’d like to go to Liverpool.” When I was in Liverpool, I wanted to be back in Wales; when I was in Wales, all I could think about was getting back to the Kop and singing about things that happened 40 years ago. Its been a summer now … waiting for success … getting softer; every minute I walk alone, I get weaker and every minute Andre Villas Boas squats on the sidelines, the Sky Six gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the “Rodgers for England” chants get louder.”
It seems the mid-Atlantic heat wave has knocked out power at the 452 skunkworks. Since it’s pretty impossible to liveblog a game by candlelight, we’re putting up this open thread so you can offer us your pearls of wisdom on this match.
By now you should be familiar with the lineups. Rest assured that both Iker and Buffon will be key today, and the Spaniards will try to suck the life out of the game (and put us all to sleep) with their tiki taka passathon. Personally, I’m hoping for an Azzurri win, and dreading a scoreless draw that goes to penalties.
Enjoy the game, folks. It may be the last meaningful soccer you’ll see for weeks.
One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith. During the Euros, we’re doing things a little differently; we’re trying to find beers from the countries participating in the tourney. We’ve covered England and Sweden, this week, it’s another eliminated nation, France!
The Beer: Kronenbourg 1664, Brasseries Kronenbourg, Obernai, France
The Pub: The Queen Vic, in Northeast DC
What You Need to Know: Euro Pale Lager is the European equivalent of American Light Lager. Think Stella, think Heineken, think Tennent’s, think Harp. But, as with the ALL, there’s room to do an excellent version. Samuel Smith, for example, has an organic lager that’s quite good. The style is highly carbonated, light in color and flavor, and has a bit more hop snap than its American cousin. It’s actually a lot closer to the Munich Helles Lager, with just a bit less sweetness, and I’d say that Kronenbourg more closely straddles the gaps between EPL (Suck it, Barclays! . . oops, force of habit) and Helles Lager. Continue reading
Today’s going to be a fun day, that’s for sure. Eurozone jokes will abound. Germany, the prohibitive favorites in the tournament, and Greece, surprisingly one of the most entertaining teams at the tourney this year, will challenge for the right to face the winner of Sunday’s England-Italy tilt.
The Germans have played well, if not spectacularly, throughout their group matches, gliding to nine points with pretty minimal fuss in the Group of Death. The Greeks have usurped their traditionally defensive attitude, going out to attack in every one of their matches in the erroneously dubbed “Group of Meh.” They suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the now-ousted Czech Republic, but that was with defensive linchpin Sokritis Popastathopolis serving a suspension for two very dubious fouls in the opening draw with Poland, before shocking the world and dumping Russia out.
Pre-match smack talk has indeed referenced the Germans’ inexorable hold over the Greek economy, with Bild’s front page reading “Bye, Greeks. We can’t save you today!”
Hopefully, incoming Greek finance minister Vassilis Rapanos can make it through this game in better stead than he made it through the Greek balance sheet.
Lineups and jokes about the Greeks being “bankrupt of ideas, too” to be found after the jump!
Liveblog time. Since I’m mostly French and unapologetically Arsenal, I’ll be starting with France-Sweden in the hopes that Giroud will eventually get subbed in, but will update on England-Ukraine as events warrant, or if France-Sweden gets unsuspenseful.
Your lineups, upon the jump:
So here we are. Germany sit atop the group on six points, Portugal and Denmark sit joint-second on three, and Holland sits last having been beaten by both Germany and Denmark. But! Should the Dutch win by two and Denmark lose, the Oranje will go through. For Denmark, it’s quite simple. Win with Portugal drawing, or draw with Portugal losing, and they’re through. Portugal goes through on a win or a draw and a German win. And the Germans would have to suddenly turn into England to not go through.
I’m coming to you live from the Queen Vic in scenic Northeast DC, to give you the events from Metallist Stadium (Portugal-Holland) and Arena Lviv (Germany-Denmark)
The Lineups and the rest of the liveblog are after the jump. Continue reading