Tag Archives: soccer

Major League Soccer, Time to Shine

12 Jun
La Liga Fans

La Liga Fans

The time has come for soccer to take its rightful place in the United States and its long- awaited return to triumph and popularity.  I wonder why it is that people continue to question the place of major league soccer, MLS.  The media may play a part in this influence, as financially speaking the big money rests in baseball, football (American) and basketball.  The sporadic location of soccer teams may be another, if a city has no team, then its citizens are not as apt to promote a sport.

The decline of soccer popularity in the United States has contributed to soccer fans turning their attention to the Premier league, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.  Now is the time to bring the joy back to US soil, now is the time to let soccer shine in this neck of the woods.

New York has already announced a second MLS team, giving the Red Bulls a competitor, and now it seems, maybe Miami will soon join in the excitement.

David Beckham is said to be considering club ownership in Miami.  The international friendly fixtures seem to draw a crowd and create frenzy among the local fans and then there is the upcoming International Champions Cup.  The idea of major league soccer in a town heavily populated with South Americans may prove interesting, at the very least lucrative, that is, if the introduction of a new team is managed properly.  The high profile name of Beckham may be the seal on the deal.

We will soon find out if another MLS team is born, in the meantime we can enjoy the game in limited release as well as in World Cup Qualifying matches, for it seems like the US Men’s Soccer Team has no intention of giving up its bid for World Cup 2014.

Now for those of you who still question the brilliance of soccer. Let me just recap my views on this fantastic sport, just in case you missed it before.

The game of soccer is magnificent to watch.  It is a game of skill and art.  The combination of immaculate fit, masculine, close to perfection bodies, as well as the skill to maneuver a leather, 28 inch, 16 oz ball across a grass field while 9 other set of legs quickly and assertively manipulate that same ball to their advantage is a sight to see.

That last minute crossing pass that seems to slow down time as it soars from the sidelines, down the middle to the perfect chip shot that floats over the goalkeeper’s head and just makes it swiftly under the crossbar to score the winning goal.

Since many of us, soccer fans, will say anything so that this sport is given a higher profile in the US, may I add for some of you ladies that are still on the brink of hesitation on whether to watch this wonderful game…

The game of soccer is an artistic endeavor and a sexy game as well.  When that tone, fit to perfection player immaculately and skillfully maneuvers a chest trap, you have to sigh at the tone chest rippling underneath the snug jersey, while the hamstring and quadriceps muscles peak from underneath those fantastic billowing shorts.

Of course, there are those of us who enjoy the game for its athletic and skillful intensity, but a little bonus fun never hurts.  Besides I believe that promoting a sport should be done in any way possible, just ask the folks in Europe; they know how to use this marketing strategy and do it very well.

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Soccer International Break: The Rain of World Cup Qualifications

17 Oct

My nerves on the edge of betrayal, the love of the game intertwined with the reality of what is to come, the calm before the down pour that brings joy, disappointment and the wonders of a sport alive until the very last seconds; turning dreams into a different reality.

The future is swift, history created in one moment; the honor of World Cup champions hangs by a very fine string.

La Roja beats strong, the heart of a defender with nothing to prove looks to the sky and gives thanks for the honor to score for a team that etched their glory into a past never forgotten.

How is one to decide the path that lays open for creation, wide with anticipation, and long with possibilities.   The clouds roll in and allow the magic of water to flow, encompassing the green below, mixing tension and fear with determination and hope.  Can the ripeness of what could happen, be picked with certainty?

The strength of a four-point lead, allows the wondrous sprinkle of sunshine to bring joy to those that never give up.  The fog rolls thick, one hundred ways in which one man brings a smile to the faces of many, but within the raindrops, the win cannot be achieved, yet the applause will remain forever to keep.

A sparkle of aspiration for countries long forgotten, lost in the shuffle striving to be found, looking for a moment of glory.  The monster of the south, with the help of a number ten legend, showing the unstoppable hunger to find the splendor of 2014.  A country which has yet to step up to the game, make their own mark on the name of football, a European foundation that has yet to stronghold its existence in a country with youth on its side.

The love of a country, the rain of the past, makes way for the forthcoming mistakes that lead to a rebirth of a people full of love for the world, the strength to overcome a sodden mess that makes way for a glorious contribution to a game that will continue to keep fans cheering in their seats for its unpredictability and wonder.

A game of magic that leads us to shout for the past to make way for the future; rays stream through the cloudburst.

(Some of my favorite Groups)

GROUP A
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Belgium 4 3 1 0 8 1 10
Croatia 4 3 1 0 6 2 10
Serbia 4 1 1 2 6 5 4
FYR Macedonia 4 1 1 2 3 4 4
Wales 4 1 0 3 3 11 3
Scotland 4 0 2 2 2 5 2
GROUP C
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Germany 4 3 1 0 15 6 10
Sweden 3 2 1 0 8 5 7
Republic of Ireland 3 2 0 1 7 8 6
Austria 3 1 1 1 5 2 4
Kazakhstan 4 0 1 3 1 8 1
Faroe Islands 3 0 0 3 2 9 0
GROUP F
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Russia 4 4 0 0 8 0 12
Israel 4 2 1 1 10 5 7
Portugal 4 2 1 1 6 3 7
Northern Ireland 3 0 2 1 2 4 2
Azerbaijan 3 0 1 2 1 5 1
Luxembourg 4 0 1 3 2 12 1
GROUP H
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
England 4 2 2 0 12 2 8
Montenegro 3 2 1 0 9 2 7
Poland 3 1 2 0 5 3 5
Moldova 4 1 1 2 2 7 4
Ukraine 3 0 2 1 1 2 2
San Marino 3 0 0 3 0 13 0
GROUP I
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Spain 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
France 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Georgia 4 1 1 2 2 4 4
Belarus 4 1 0 3 3 8 3
Finland 2 0 1 1 1 2 1
GROUP MATCHES
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Argentina 9 6 2 1 20 7 20
Ecuador 9 5 2 2 12 9 17
Colombia 8 5 1 2 14 6 16
Venezuela 9 3 3 3 8 9 12
Uruguay 9 3 3 3 16 18 12
Chile 9 4 0 5 14 18 12
Bolivia 9 2 2 5 12 14 8
Peru 9 2 2 5 10 15 8
Paraguay 9 2 1 6 6 16 7
GROUP A
Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
USA 6 4 1 1 11 6 13
Jamaica 6 3 1 2 9 6 10
Guatemala 6 3 1 2 9 8 10
Antigua and Barbuda 6 0 1 5 4 13 1

No Motivation to Write: No Problem, Eye Spy the Soccer (football) Lads of Euro 2012

20 Jun

Sometimes we find ourselves unable to focus, unable to pick through the rubble that makes way for the diamond of the future. What must we do, when there is no urge to create, no urge to foster something for the morrow? Writing gets you in a pickle sometimes; focusing all energy on a project causes you to exclude the world around you. I am transported into another realm, one in which my imagination creates; a realm where all my ideas seem to make sense.

However, not being able to focus on my writing tasks causes me to disconnect with my world even more; I worry whether I will ever finish a piece, whether it is all worth the effort. I walk myself through all the motivational artillery I possess and most of the time I can get my inner demons of self-doubt, sometimes just plain laziness, out into the light, evaporated or maybe only invisible, waiting to reappear, but at least I have won against them for now.

Then there are the times that nothing does the trick, and I step away from the tasks for a while, give myself room to breathe, stop pushing and allow the fruition to manifest until it is ready to be brought forth, on its own, without my need to push something into existence, force it to become.

Those are the times I need a little distraction; currently, that is Euro 2012, the great game of football (soccer), and the lovely men who make it not only a game of talent and great fluid foot work, but also I feast for my eyes.  A girl has to have a distraction, alas a few handsome lads in uniform or out of it, for that matter, always get my creativity back on the path of cultivation.

That’s how I feel! (Robert Lewandowski)

We all have to win sometimes, right?! (Croatia)

Happiness is Energy. (Czech Republic)

 He is just that good, high five. (Cristiano Ronaldo)

Well… Not much to say or too much! (Fernando Torres)

I needed a little bit more, didn’t you? (Fernando Torres)

Yup, that’s the name of the game; which team jumps higher. (Germany)

That’s how we do it!! (Poland)

Moving on to the quarterfinals is something to celebrate! (Greece)

They tried their hardest. (Ireland) A little more Lewandowski, who can resist? (Robert Lewandowski)

That’s how you get your hair off your face 😉 ( Sergio Ramos)

Oh those Spanish boys, each uniquely good looking. (Spain)

The celebration was there for a little bit. (Poland)

We would love Pique to wave to us, right girls? (Spain)

We all want to know what he’s thinking. (Steven Gerrard)

Air Hugs! (Sweden)

 A little sprinkle of fabulous chest hair. (Xabi Alonso)

This is what Soccer (football) is all about!!!!

Cristiano Ronaldo and  Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Portugal and Sweden)

Euro 2012: Whatever Happens, Poland Wins the Hearts of Thousands

12 Jun

One of the most stressful matches of the tournament for any fan of Poland will be today:

Poland

vs

Russia

I am Polish of course, so the stress will be 10 fold, not only will the final score, more or less, solidify the outcome of group A, but the tension in the air is as thick as honey.

Unfortunately, the Russian fans have already shown their unsportsmanlike behavior sending four stewards of the European championships to the hospital.  There are no excuses to why Russian fans would attack stewards after a match that left Russia winning against the Czechs 4-1.

Security will be tight today in Warsaw; thousands of fans, both in Russia and Poland, will watch the match.  The hoopla surrounding the tensions between the Polish and the Russians have been aggravated by the media, hopefully history will be kept off the field and the fans will focus on the spirit of the tournament, the spirit of friendly matches that unify the world.

Of course, we all have our favorites, and I will be putting all my fan energy into this match; the Polish team would be more than national heroes if they could pull this one off and win, or even bring home a tie.

Long Live Poland, and all the Best of Luck to a Wonderfully inspiring Team!

Robert Lewandowski: Poland Needs You Again

GO POLAND!

Euro 2012: An Oldie but Goodie Keeps the Spirits High: Andriy Shevchenko

11 Jun

A lack luster England vs France match left me begging for more; more flair like the football (soccer) matches I have become accustomed to.  England played a defensive match, lacking the energy needed to produce positive crowd appreciation.

The highlight was the Sweden vs Ukraine match.  Who would have thought??

Well apparently not the commentators, they thought Sweden would take the win.

 Andriy Shevchenko scored 2 points, utter brilliance.  The striker was not even supposed to make the starting lineup, but for a few days back.  Well, the veteran player, who made his Euro debut, didn’t let his age get in the way of grand football (soccer) skills, scoring not one but two goals: goals rewarded by the Ukrainian fans, who made their own impact on the game.  The crowd support stirred the players to go for the win.

Oldest Striker in the tournament,  Andriy Shevchenko, scores better than the youngest superstars yet to make their mark.

Now that was some exciting Football (soccer)!

Tomorrow, will be a nail biter, and I might just have to be a little tipsy for the Poland vs Russia Game.

Long live Poland!

Euro 2012: TV Schedule for Those West of the Atlantic

7 Jun

Excitement is in the air, and patriotism is ready to take its mark.  Football (soccer) is an important part of the culture in European countries; the spirit of the game is always in the air, and tomorrow it will be flourishing in full force.

Poland has put their best foot forward and is ready to impress millions of Football fans with their heartfelt hospitality, genuine smiles and authentic joy in promoting not only Euro 2012, but a country ready to welcome the possibilities of a bright future.    

Group A will be the first to show their prowess on the field. 

I will be glued to the television, as my favorite team will be up first: Poland of course!

EURO 2012 TV Schedules for USA (EST)

ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes

 

June 8, 2012

Poland vs Greece                      Group A     12:00pm

Russia vs Czech Republic      Group A     2:45pm

Poland

VS

Greece

Russia

VS

Czech  Republic

 

June 9, 2012

Netherlands vs Denmark        Group B    12:00pm

Germany vs Portugal                Group B     2:45pm

June 10, 2012

Spain vs Italy                                 Group C    12:00pm

Ireland Republic vs Croatia     Group C     2:45pm    

June 11, 2012

France vs England                     Group D    12:00pm

Ukraine vs Sweden                    Group D     2:45pm    

June 12, 2012

Czech Republic vs Greece       Group A     12:00pm

Russia vs Poland                        Group A     2:45pm

June 13, 2012

Portugal vs Denmark                Group B    12:00pm

Germany vs Netherlands         Group B     2:45pm

June 14, 2012

Croatia vs Italy                            Group C    12:00pm

Ireland Republic vs Spain       Group C     2:45pm    

June 15, 2012

France vs Ukraine                    Group D    12:00pm

England vs Sweden                  Group D     2:45pm    

June 16, 2012

Poland vs Czech Republic         Group A     2:45pm

Russia vs Greece                           Group A     2:45pm

June 17, 2012

Germany vs Denmark                  Group B    2:45pm

Netherlands vs Portugal             Group B     2:45pm

June 18, 2012

Spain vs Croatia                               Group C    2:45pm

Ireland Republic vs Italy               Group C     2:45pm  

June 19, 2012 

England vs Ukraine                    Group D    2:45pm

France vs Sweden                        Group D     2:45pm    

June 21, 2012

Winner Group A vs  Runner Up Group B       2:45pm   (Quarterfinals)

June 22, 2012

Winner Group B vs Runner Up Group A        2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 23, 2012

Winner Group C vs Runner Up Group D         2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 24, 2012

Winner Group D vs Runner Up C                  2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 27, 2012

W25 vs W27  (Semi-Finals)     2:45pm   

June 28, 2010

W26 vs W28   (Semi-Finals)    2:45pm   

July 1, 2012

Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2    (Final)     2:45pm   

Euro 2012: Wroclaw, Little Venice, is the Place to Be!

4 May

Still trying to decide what cities to discover while enjoying the exciting vibe of Euro 2012; take a quick glance at Wroclaw, a city that will grab your attention and the people that will keep you coming back year after year.

Wroclaw is known as little Venice of Central Europe.  The city is made up of 12 islands and over 100 bridges; many of the bridges go back to medieval and Pre-Christian times when Wroclaw was a Slavic tribe settlement on the Odra River.

It is the city of my birth, so I have a special place in my heart for this town.

 Wroclaw is a wonderful city with an eclectic community of citizens.  Many of the Polish people in this town can trace their ancestry to Austria, Germany, and Ukraine.  A town whose population and borders were constantly changing, the people of Wroclaw are as unique as their backgrounds.

 A lot of us can trace our toots to a grand time in Polish history; a time when Poland held a powerful place in the continent of Europe, and it’s royalty flourished among the noblest of its time.

Prince Mieszko I, of the Piast dynasty, founded the Polish state and extended its borders, including Wroclaw as a prominent city in history.  King Boleslaw the Brave established one of three bishoprics in Wroclaw, establishing the town as the religious center of Silesia.  During the 12th and 13th centuries, Wroclaw became a center of international trade, merchants from all over Europe flocked to the town so that they could trade and sell their goods.

Wroclaw is known for its dynamic atmosphere and its sprinkle of college students, adding a wonderful youth to the ancient town.  In recent years Wroclaw has gained popularity for its night life as well, although not to the extents as Poland’s capital Warsaw, it has become a trail blazer for party night life.

Stroll among the ancient bridges, enjoy the canals, and relax in a particularly pleasant ambiance.

Another shout-out to my favorite Euro 2012 teams.

Poland Euro 2012Spain Euro 2012England Euro 2012France Euro 2012

Euro 2012: Poland’s People Welcome You

19 Apr

The Euro 2012 host countries, Poland and Ukraine, are still hard at work perfecting structures, transportation and strategic planning.  However, the people of Poland are waiting with open arms; their hearts open to welcome fans and tourists from all around the globe.

If you are venturing into Poland, you will be enchanted by delightful people, a beautiful land rich in history and tradition, mouth watering, eclectic, and savory food and, most importantly, an ever-present smile.

Poland’s history is steeped in struggle; resilience of its people is visible throughout the country and felt within the atmosphere.  Don’t forget to stop, take a moment to breathe and enjoy all that the country and its people have to offer.

Wawel Castle in Kraków, Poland (Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu)

 The Masurian Lake District or Masurian Lakeland  is a lake district in northeastern Poland containing more than 2,000 lakes.

Resilience

The European bison (the wisent, and zubr (zshoobr)

The bison are a national symbol of Poland; they roam Europe’s last primeval forest, the 8,000-year-old Bialowieza.

Polish Seaside Resorts

Resilience

Zakopane

Tatra Mountains

 The Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)

 Can’t forget our football (soccer) team

Euro 2012: Top Teams

14 Apr

Poland

Yes, I know, they are one of the least likely teams to walk away with the coveted prize; however, never underestimate a team at the bottom of the totem pole.  Of course I have a stake in the Polish team; you can take a girl from her home country, but you cannot take away pride and loyalty from a girl.  Someone has to cheer on the underdog; I take on the duty whole-heartedly.

These boys are not bad to look at either.

Poland

I am also cheering on the Spanish, French and English teams, respectively, as neither of these teams is in Group A, so, at least in the beginning, Poland is not in danger from my other favorites.

Spain

France

 England

Euro 2012: Have a Drink or Two

29 Mar

Would a soccer match be as good without a celebratory drink?  Although many will join the argument in regard to the best beer or vodka in Europe, I have my own favorites.

If you are in Poland for any of the soccer matches, don’t forget to try some of the local favorites.

Some of the more popular Polish beers are Zywiec, Tyskie, Zubr, Lech, Okocim, Warka, Debowe Mocne, Tatra.

Zywiec is a great pick; the porter is my favorite, with a slight chocolaty flavor (??) and a pleasant crispness that does wonders to my pallet.

Top Vodka brands are Sobieski, Pan Tadeusz, Belvedere, Żołądkowa Gorzka, Dębowa, Krupnik, Chopin, Żubrówka, Luksusowa, and Wyborowa.

My favorite is Żubrówka.  Żubrówka also known in English as Bison Grass Vodka, is a brand of dry, herb-flavored vodka that is distilled from rye and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Its flavor is unique and is described as having vanilla, coconut, and almond notes. The name comes from grass eaten by polish bisons, (żubr – bison) and in each bottle you will find a blade of bison grass.

In Poland, vodka is usually served chilled, not on the rocks , not mixed and without a chaser; I cannot really imagine a Polish native ordering a vodka and coke or vodka and orange juice.  What you  may become familiar with, I have to say it is my favorite, is Żubrówka with apple juice or cider. The combination is delightfully sweet with a great kick, unfortunately substituting with apple juice bought in the states just doesn’t give it the same flavor, so if you can get your hands on Polish apple juice, I advise it whole heartedly.

If you find yourself lucky enough to be invited to an authentic Polish dinner, make sure you bring your appetite; the food and drinks never stop coming.  The secret is to take a drink with every bite 😉   If you have the elusive invitation to try some bimber, do so with enthusiastic vigor.  Bimber is Polish moonshine (never say never).

I am definitely having a beer tonight; a lovely, crisp cold Polish beer.

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