The Futbol Morality Police

VidalSo lets summarize some of the shenanigans that have occurred in futbol.

  • Gullit allegedly showing up stinking of alcohol.
  • We all know about Marco Fabian’s drinking
  • Carlos Vela goes to a Chris Brown concert instead of practice
    • Also there is the Monterrey party
  • The Fabian and Company Copa America party
  • Arturo Vidal drinking and driving and crashing his sports car
  • James Rodriguez alleged partying and speeding in his sports car

I could go on. Many would ask, what is wrong with people having personal lives? They can do what they like in their free time. Why hold these athletes to such high standards off the field? It is what they do on the field that counts.

Well, here is my argument. These guys get paid extraordinary amounts of money to play a game. A game that requires them to excel physically. To be in shape and prepared physically and mentally to win games and benefit the club or country that is paying them to do so. They need to be in optimal shape to perform at their best. Would you pay 500 dollars for a blender that only works 6 out of 7 days of the week? Then on every other day it only works at half speed?

When a player drinks, smokes, or endangers their own life by drunk driving, then they are risking the investment their club made in them. They are putting their capability to perform at a high level at risk. If they were to eat right and get enough sleep, with no alcohol or smoking, they may be able to perform better on game day and provide profit to their club/employer. When they skip practice to go to a concert, they miss valuable preparation time for the next game.

The life of a footballer is not long. When a footballer retires, what kind of regrets would they have looking back if they do not do everything in their power to be the best player they can be. What kind of regrets would their club have, to invest millions of dollars in a player that could have been better. What about all the fans that hoped for so much only to be disappointed because of bad decisions? Footballers are held in high regards, with a lot of power to influence and provide good things for club and country. With much power comes much responsibility.

Agree or disagree? Hit me up on twitter @beto_atx or in comments.

Ep. 25: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Clasico talk, Gullit/Vela drama

Gullit lolWe had a good podcast talking about the Clasico Regio and the greater Clasico Nacional. Most are in agreement that America will beat the weakened Chivas. We talked slightly the Clasico Regio as the fresas and tea sipping Monterrey fans enjoyed a good victory over Gignac and company.

Enjoy!

Ep. 24: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – MLS Fail in CONCACAF Champions League

A lot of CONCACAF Champions League talk in this episode. We cover the Robbie Keane comments, the Gio insults, the results and more. We streamed live during the RSL v Tigres game so a little bit of play by play. 11 years in a row a Mexican team will win the tournament and go to the Club World Cup.

Tune in blokes!

LigaMX tops MLS once again

dempseyPisotonThis week the return leg for each quarterfinal match took place between MLS and LigaMX teams. Once again all 4 MLS teams are eliminated.

DC United vs Queretaro

This 2nd leg took place in Washington DC and Queretaro got the tie 1-1. DC United couldn’t defend their home turf and lost the series with an aggregate 3-1. I would consider these teams as lower level, less interesting teams, so lets move on.

Santos vs LA Galaxy

This one had some drama. Santos goalkeeper, Marchesin, make a lame remark to Gio Dos Santos, calling him “Borracho”. Not really a relevant insult and I am not sure that Gio did anything bad to him. The insult took off, however, and Gio was greeted in Torreon with the same insult. So now all the fans were insulting the former National Team hero. A bit awkward? Its just a rivalry. This was a club match, not the NT. Santos fans took advantage of the insult to attempt to get underneath Gio’s skin. Gio even made a comment saying that Marchesin was an unknown player just like his team. So much drama.

The game ended up in a blow out, 4-0. Giovanni played up top but didn’t end up doing much.

America vs Sounders

The Aguilas played in Azteca vs Sounders. Seattle came out with a goal, but it was an own goal. Then America went off and scored 3 goals to finish Clint Dempsey and his team. Jordan Morris, didn’t show much, but did have one run that ended in a heel pass, but was ruined by a fellow teammate.

Dempsey was able to take a “recuerdo” back home from Mexico as Sambueza stepped on his head with his cleat.

Real Salt Lake vs Tigres

This game was the most competitive. Tigres was up 2-0 from the previous game in Monterrey, but RSL came out with the first goal to go up 1-0. RSL had other opportunities and looked better. Tuca later went on the defensive, and took out some of his offensive options. In the end, however, Gignac got a goal beating a floating Rimando to tie the game 1-1 and take the series.

Fail once again for MLS.

Some issues I have with the aftermath, is that the excuses still remain. It was preseason, the salary cap, etc. These excuses have existed for many years, yet no motivation to change. DC United and LA Galaxy posted controversial tweets, indicating they didn’t even care about the tournament.

The US press doesn’t care or pressure or complain about these poor performances and just act as cheerleaders. Sometimes things will only change if you light a fire under peoples arses. I don’t see MLS becoming the best league in the World anytime soon.

If you have a few minutes and want to listen to a ridiculous debate (in Spanish) between some Univision analysts, here you go. It is pretty laughable and I wonder if they set it all up for each to have their opposing positions. (credit to colima for posting the vid)

Ep. 23: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Copa America draw, CCL, Chivas v Cruz Azul talk and more.

Giovanni Dos AntrosIn this episode, we discuss the Copa America groups and the teams that Mexico will have to play. We also talk the US, supposed group of death, as well as the other groups. We also deviate into discussing the drama and controversy that the Press brings to the game.

The CCL was ongoing while we were podcasting, so we discuss the CONCACAF tournament and how MLS has been faring vs the LigaMX rivals.

We also discuss the “Clasico Joven” and the Thomas Boy dance controversy. Also Club America discussion of refs and incompetence issues throughout the league. 😀

CCL Week 1: The MLS vs LigaMX gap

When talking Soccer in the US and referring to Mexico, the phrase “The gap is closing” many times comes up. Meaning the MLS is catching up to the Mexican League, or MLS teams are beating LigaMX teams and challenging them more than in the past. Well at least after weak one of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, this does not seem to be the case. There still seems to be a gap of sorts.

Stats for this week are that 2 LigaMX and 2 MLS teams played at home. The MLS home teams were able to obtain two ties (0-0 and 2-2). The LigaMX home teams were able to both obtain wins (2-0, 2-0). LigaMX teams defended their home turf advantage. The return leg will now decide who goes through to the semifinals.

Last night Tigres played Real Salt Lake in Monterrey. It seemed like a typical away game for an MLS team as Real Salt Lake seemed to play defensive and Tigres could not find the net until the late stages of the game. Damian Alvarez and Gignac had cold games and missed some good opportunities to score. “La Palmera” Rivas participated in the two goals, scoring one and providing the opportunity for Damm on the 2nd.

The final and big game of the night was to be the LA Galaxy vs Santos Laguna. This game took place in front of a home crowd for the Galaxy. Giovanni Dos Santos needed to prove his worth and give Juan Carlos Osorio reasons to call him up to the National Team. It didn’t play out as expected. The game resulted in a 0-0 tie. There were some heated moments during the game, some fouls, some acting and even some insults. Santos goalkeeper Marchesin, apparently insulted Gio by calling him “borracho” and making gestures with his hands as if he was drinking a beer. This of course is in reference to previous occasions where Gio was recorded drunk in a car, while partying.

Giovanni showed passion and urgency, but could not lift his team. Nor could his star teammates, Steven Gerard, Ashley Cole, Nigel De Jong or Robbie Keane. Juan Carlos Osorio was surely watching Gio in this game to see how his form would be. Luckily it is still early in the MLS Season.

So back to “the gap” talk. My impression is that the gap is still there. Sure the MLS is in preseason form, however to me the MLS seemed more dangerous to LigaMX teams in years past. MLS teams have even beat LigaMX teams in Mexico, which took them a while to do, but they did it. This year, I predict all four MLS teams will fail on the return leg to come back and we will see an all Mexican semifinals.

Cheers!

 

Queretaro beats DC United, Aguilas tie Sounders.

Queretaro, playing at home defeated DC United 2-0 with goals from Candelo and Benitez. In a game that wasn’t as exciting as one would hope, it ended with a bang. Queretaro fans had reason to celebrate as the two goals came toward the end at the 70th and 83rd minute.

The America – Seattle game was a bit more exciting. It took place in Seattle’s Century Link field before what i believe was 40,000 fans approximately. Seattle has been a team with the loudest and most active Support groups in MLS. Although some might call them corny, you could hear their chants on the Univision broadcast toward the end of the game. The scoreline went back and forth and ended up in a 2-2 tie. Seattle demonstrated a weak back line that got beat on multiple occasions. On the opposite side, Seattle exposed America on set pieces, both occasions capitalized by Clint Dempsey.

It’s not over yet, return legs take place in March and will finalize the series winner and who will advance to the next round.

CONCACAF Champions League Battles begin today

Santos's Hercules Gomez (L) and Darwin Quintero (R) celebratestheir first goal against Seattle Sounder during their CONCACAF Champions League first leg semi-final match in Torreón, Coahuila state on April 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/VÍCTOR STRAFFON (Photo credit should read VICTOR STRAFFON/AFP/Getty Images)Heated competition between MLS and LigaMX teams is upon us. USA vs Mexico. The alleged retirement league vs a Mexican league riddled with mediocre South Americans. Most likely insults will be hurled on the field during this battle of pride. MLS has always fared poorly compared to their Mexican counterparts. Could this year be different?

 

Mexican-American, Hercules Gomez thinks that MLS can do it. Herc, of course, played in Mexico and beat MLS teams in this very tournament. He even got into heated smak talk and rough play with his American opponents. Now he is in MLS himself, although not in this years tournament. He is quoted as saying, “I hope they(MLS) smash them all” on the mlssoccer.com website. The MLS teams will certainly get their chance.

America vs Seattle Sounders

The Aguilas have been playing decent in LigaMX, but not necessarily lighting it up. They are still a very talented team and could end up causing big problems for Seattle. They may be without Dario Benedetto, one of their offensive players, as well as their starting goalkeeper, Moises Muñoz.

Seattle will have the services on new superstar Jordan Morris, who didn’t believe the “yo estoy en Europa y tu no” hype and signed with the MLS team. Dempsey is another player who could be a difference maker.

Queretaro vs DC United

Queretaro hasn’t been great of late. Look out for their goalkeeper, Tiago Volpi, who has been playing especially bad. On the bright side they do have newcomer, Carlos Fierro, who has been scoring goals since coming from Chivas. Emmanuel Vill will also have to step up.

DC United has always been a CCL contender. They have challenged many Mexican teams in the past, including Pumas and have even won the tournament once before in 1998.

Excuses

The reasoning for the results, be it bad or good, in this tournament is always interesting. For MLS, they are still in preseason form. Herc mentioned that injuries play a part in past MLS failures. Mexican altitude as well has been stated.

For LigaMX teams, Soccer is their sport, the US/MLS has baseball, pointy ball and basketball. There is no reason they should lose to MLS teams. LigaMX teams also have local Clausura tournament to think about. Do they have the roster to double up tournaments? Another reason LigaMX has the upper hand on MLS was mentioned in the same article by Hercules Gomez. LigaMX teams have more depth and talent. Herc says players 1-10 on MLS teams can play against any team in the world, but after that the talent level drops.

Tune in tonight for the start of some potentially entertaining and fiery Soccer.

 

Copa America draw: Mex and US National team overview

copaAmericaCentThe Copa America draw took place and groups are ready and in place. Mexico is in group C with Uruguay, Venezuela and Jamaica. Chilean coach Noel Sanvicente, stated Mexico can be considered a favorite. Of course he also praised his team as one not to be underestimated. Psychological warfare may be taking place here, when calling Mexico a favorite. Not that they are in a group of death or anything, but this is a South American tournament including the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Chile. One of the El Tri opponents, Jamaica, is a CONCACAF team that is beatable, Venezuela is not usually a top South American team. Uruguay will be the biggest challenge in the group, on paper.

We know that Mexico plays better when they are considered the underdog or are forced to elevate their play to take on giants like Brazil or Argentina. We have also seen Mexico struggle vs CONCACAF teams that they were supposed to handle without major problems. This tournament is an excellent opportunity for Mexico to shine and show their worth versus the powers of CONMEBOL. Also any type of beating given to Uruguay is a good thing.

The US National Team is also in this tournament. It will take place in the US after all. So Mexico and the US will essentially be the home teams. The USMNT are in group A with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay. We have seen many “Molero” games with the US and Mexico vs Paraguay, so many would see them as a beatable opponent. Costa Rica has been a top team in CONCACAF, and could pose a challenge for the US. Especially at a time where it may be thought that the US is at a low level of play recently. Consider the US already losing the CONCACAF cup as well as the Gold Cup prior, not even making it to the final. Is this the worst US team to be put together for a long time? Also is this Copa America the toughest tournament the US will participate in since the World Cup? Not a good time for the US to come in at a low level of play.

There is always the fighting spirit that the US can rely on. The underdog grit. The “dig deep” attitude that could lift the US up to Copa America glory. On the other hand, I have seen many US adversaries say the US will go “3 and out”, or even chant “I believe that they will lose!”. It should be an exciting tournament.

Pumas and Toluca get home wins in 1st week of Libertadores

pumaswinWith Puebla failing to get past the first stage, Toluca and UNAM are the only hopes for Mexican clubs in the Copa Libertadores. Both teams have similar defensive styles of play and in the first week, both now have wins.

Toluca played first and was in trouble to start as Moises Velasco got into a bit of a ruckus with Gremio players and was sent off with a Red Card. However, Toluca stayed strong and ended up with a surprising 2-0 win.

The UNAM vs Emelec match was exciting. Pumas came out and scored an immediate goal in the beginning seconds of the game. Ismael Sosa received a nice cross and put it in the back of the net, as Emelec players seemed to fall and failed to clear the cross.

Emelec didnt play bad and came on the attack, playing better for much of the 1st half. Then they tied it 1-1 with a nice play in the center of the field, getting behind the UNAM defense. The scoreline wouldn’t last long as Pumas scored off another nice cross, to a cutting Dario Veron, for the header that bounced once off the ground and fell into the back of the net. Set pieces or crosses would prove to be very effective for Pumas. This of course goes along with the playing style of Pumas in recent times. Long passes, playing vertical and strong gritty defense is what Memo Vasquez has made this Pumas team into.

In the 2nd half David Cabrera for Pumas gets a red card on a dangerous looking tackle. This would result in Emelec getting a goal to tie the game 2-2. Pumas just wasn’t having it though, as another set piece would enable the felines to take the lead again 3-2, with a header from Gerardo Alcoba. Pumas looking like the USMNT with all this grit, set pieces and excellent goalkeeping.

Pumas would finish the scoreline off with a final goal to make it 4-2, which was actually an own goal off a cross from the right side.

PikolinIt is worth noting that Pikolin Palacios had an excellent game, blocking many hard shots taken by Emelec. His athleticism, reflexes and quckness saved Puma hide on multiple occasions. After having a semi-bad game last weekend vs Dorados, he came back with avengance. He must still have hunger for some National Team minutes.

In yesterday’s episode of the Dos a Zero podcast, we talked about how these teams could have good performances in the tournament, even though expectations may not be too high. Both these teams are in the mid to lower half of the LigaMX table, and it may be a good idea to put Libertadores as a potentially higher priority, if LigaMX hopes don’t pan out.

We will watch closely how these teams continue to fare as the tournament progresses.

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