Soccer Updates

World Cup:

Ok, so through one set of games in each group we've had some absolute stunners (Switzerland beating Spain, Japan beating Cameroon, Brazil not destroying North Korea), some very good matches (England-USA, German domination of Australia), and a lot of excitement in the rest. Here's my take on the tournament so far.

Germany look like the favorites at the moment after Spain's collapse and Brazil getting held at bay by North Korea. Of course, one needs to see the Germans play someone else than Australia before actually saying that Germany is the outright favorite.

England's goalkeeping will be a question mark throughout the tournament after the howler by Green. Wayne Rooney was held in check well during the US game and will need to find a way to get hot.

North Korea is not a pushover after holding Brazil to a 2-1 loss. This game could have been much worse, but North Korea played excellent defense during the game.

The Italians still dive at every opportunity, as does Cristiano Ronaldo.

The US is a decent team that has a legitimate shot at qualifying and potentially advancing past the first knockout round (assuming that they do not draw Germany).

Spain continues to choke on the international stage (sorry, 2008 won't help you here).

As obnoxious as the vuvuzela is, it, in my opinion, is better to listen to it than completely take out the crowd noise.


The "Special One" has departed for Real Madrid (as many of you probably know by now), which means that Inter's chances of repeating in the Champions League are not very high. Real will most likely do what they do every year and acquire a couple of players for an inflated transfer fee, considering Mourinho will want his players with him. Rafael van der Vaart has been rumored to be leaving Real, possibly to Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Manchester United has a lot of debt and it will be interesting to see how that affects their transfer budget. Barcelona and Arsenal continue their duel over Cesc Fabregas, and Barcelona have also acquired David Villa from Valencia. Bayern Munich has terminated Luca Toni's contract and he is headed for Genoa. Champions League play starts on June 29th (game times have not yet been announced).

Match of the Titans (Yes, that is what this is called):

The new owner of the Pontiac Silverdome has announced that AC Milan and Panathinaikos have agreed to play a friendly at the Silverdome on August 6th at 8:00 PM (ET). AC Milan finished third in Serie A last season, while Panathinaikos won the Super League Greece. This should be a fun match-up to watch, even if Italian soccer is not the most exciting brand. Tickets range from $29.95 to $150 and can be found here. Note: The price jumps from $35 for the upper level to $65 at the ends in the lower level. H/T MGoJen for alerting me (and the rest of mgoblog) to this.

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