As the year comes to a close, here’s an opportunity to get caught up on three episodes of HBO’s investigative “Real Sports” that looks at issues surrounding the World Cup and the under-covered issue of global match-fixing:
— The Madridistas (@RMadridNation) December 16, 2014
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 16, 2014
It was only a couple of years ago that this soccer columnist and plenty of others around the world were raving about Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Incredibly, it seems rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid could even eclipse those achievements. For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.
Sometimes it’s actually instructive when you don’t get around posting your column until after an event occurs that is included in the column.
Which is how it went today with the U.S.-Ireland game that sent the Americans scuttling back home across the Atlantic 4-1 losers.
Frankly, we didn’t learn much from a youbng, make-shift team: the U.S. ships goals in the second half and can’t score either, although to be fair they hit the woodwork twice.
Oh, and the Galaxy’s robbie keane, if fully fit, would have ripped apart the U.S. back line of left back Timmy Chandler, right back Fabian Johnson and the due of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron in the middle.
That’s it for this year for the USMNT: their record was 6-5-4.
The biggest problem soccer fans will have this weekend is figuring out what to watch — and what to miss.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTSUSA) October 24, 2014
The biggest game on the planet gets under way at 9 a.m. on BeInSports. Don’t have the channel? No worries. The BJ’s at Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and in Glendale will open early for the game. They have a weekend brunch — so it’s a great place for a quick bite (pun intended).
Want an appetizer?
See you tomorrow at The Fox and Hounds when we get back to the Top 4. 7:00 AM (for those at home — NBCS, mun2). http://t.co/duISd7Yma3
— LA Gööners (@LAGooners) October 24, 2014
— Arlo White (@arlowhite) October 24, 2014
Chelsea and Manchester United clash at 9 a.m. Sunday on NBC. Preview all the BPL games here.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) October 24, 2014
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) October 24, 2014
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 24, 2014
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) October 7, 2014
Read more about the conclusion of Landon Donovan’s U.S. career on Friday in this week’s column.
— Norma (@norma_28) October 7, 2014
This is going to be a long weekend, with no epl football. #MUFC
— Chris (@emmett99) September 5, 2014
Just getting into the EPL, and they hit me with an international break! WTF? @MenInBlazers
— Billiam M (@Myrman71) September 5, 2014
It’s going to be a boring weekend without Epl football
— Alex♆ (@RedCityOfficial) September 5, 2014
6 p.m. Friday Brazil-Colombia on BeIn Sports
10 a.m. Saturday Ivory Coast-Sierra Leone on BeIn Sports (featuring former MLS player Kei Kamara of Lawndale)
6 p.m. Saturday Mexico-Chile on UniMas
11:30 a.m. Sunday Portugal-Albania on ESPN2
11:30 a.m. Sunday Germany-Scotland on Fox Sports 1
11:30 a.m. Monday Switzerland-England on Fox Sports 1
11:30 a.m. Tuesday Norway-Italy on Fox Sports 1
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) August 12, 2014
The game will kickoff at 11:45 a.m. with TV information to be announced at a later date.
“We are absolutely thrilled to finish our work in 2014 with a game against Ireland,” said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They are consistently a difficult team to play against, and we welcome these types of challenges as we continue to move our team forward towards the Gold Cup next year.”
More from the U.S. Soccer press release:
Ireland has been drawn into Group D of qualifying for the 2014 European Championship, along with 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany. The Irish will face Scotland in qualifying action four days prior to hosting the United States. LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is the team’s captain and its all-time leader in appearances (134) and goals (62).
The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where the Irish collected a 2-1 win.
The U.S. will also play the Czech Republic Sept. 3 in Prague in its first post-World Cup game.