1. FC Kaiserslautern 2:0 FC Bayern Munich (27 Aug 2010) – This game was hosted by the oddly named team (is that like First National Bank?) in the same stadium where the 2006 World Cup debacle between USA & Italy took place. Defending German and DFB-Pokal champions and Champions League runners up took on 1. FC Kaiserlautern who were also champions. Of the second Bundesliga. One would think that Bayern would romp over the recently promoted 1FCK. One would be wrong. Bayern played reminiscent of the US MNT getting many chances but unable to finish. Meanwhile, 1FCK scored two quick goals near the end of the the first half which was all they need. I tend to favor underdogs, especially plucky underdogs who defeat the champions in their first Bundesliga game in four years, so I think I’m adopting 1FCK as my new German team to follow. Match report.
New England Revolution 1:2 Philadelphia Union (28 Aug 2010)
I was only able to watch the second half of this game so I had the misfortune of seeing the Revolution playing a man down attempting to defend a 1:0 lead. They did well for a while but ultimately ran out of steam and lost the win in the 82nd minute and the tie in stoppage time. For the second time in a row I’ve watched the Revolution throw away a winnable game in what is increasingly becoming a lost season (in between this game and the previous one I watched, the Revolution also lost 4-1 to Kansas City). At least the Revolution can still win the Superliga cup on Wednesday. Match report.
By the way, I’ve discovered The Midnight Ride, a fan-produced podcast with good coverage of the Revolution.
Boston Breakers 2:1 Philadelphia Independence (29 Aug 2010)
The Revolution’s female counterparts are faring much better in the WPS. I only caught the last 20 minutes of the Breakers’ win which brought them closer to second place and shored up an almost certain spot in the postseason. Watching the game I was a bit depressed to see the Independence playing in a small American football stadium with few fans, something of culture shock after watching so many European games. At least I’ve learned that the Independence and Union will be moving into a soccer-specific stadium soon, although it is not in Philadelphia proper. Actually, I figured out that the Boston Breakers are the only team in the WPS that actually play within the city limits of the city they’re named for. Way to represent Breakers! Match report.
Internazionale 0:0 Bologna (30 Aug 2010)
I’ve shied away from Serie A because of a perhaps unfair bias that Italian soccer is where all the stereotypes of soccer come to life: defensive play, diving, not to mention match-fixing. This match up of the 5-in-a-row defending champions Inter versus the cellar dweller Bologna should’ve been Chelsea-Wigan style smackdown. It was not. There was a lot of defense, diving, and who knows maybe even match-fixing. Dull, dull, dull. Match report.
New England Revolution 1:2 Monarcas Morelia (1 Sep 2010)
The Revs last chance for hardware in 2010 ended disappointingly in this hotly contested Superliga final. Morelia pretty much dominated play although Revolution errors contributed to the loss, particularly the first goal which came on a penalty kick after a dumb foul. Miguel Sabah won the game for Morelia with a gorgeous volley in the 75th minute. The Revs showed some life with a nice goal of their own by Kevin Allston (his first with the Revs) in the 79th minute. The Revs had some chances right up to the last second, but alas they will only be Superliga runners-up. Still this was a fun, fast-paced game. I enjoyed the passion that was evident on the field and in the stands even if I didn’t like the poor sportsmanship (such as Morelia’s time wasters or Revolution fans throwing things on the field). Match report.
Armenia 0:1 Ireland (3 Sep 2010)
The Euro 2012 qualifying campaign kicks of this weekend and I’ve adopted my ancestral home squad of Ireland to follow. At least until they are eliminated. The opening match in Yerevan, Armenia was not exceptionally well-played but both sides had some action in front of the nets. Armenia had one particularly breathtaking spell with several opportunities in a row before the Irish defense cleared the ball and Ireland’s skipper Robbie Keane so a can’t-miss-opportunity deflected by the post. Finally, Ireland broke-through with a 76th minute goal by Keith Fahey, his first for the national team. A good start to what I hope will be a strong Euro campaign by Ireland.
- Following my train of thought regarding WPS teams named after cities I looked to see if there were any teams in London that have London in their name. There are thirteen clubs in the Premier League and Football Leagues and many more in the lower divisions based in London and none of them have London in their name. I suppose that the club would have to be based in the City of London to earn that name but I doubt there’s room for a stadium there.
- This week the world of football lost a living link to the first World Cup when Franciso Varallo died. Varallo played for Argentina the team that were runners up in the 1930 World Cup