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U.S. World Cup Winning National Team Hires New Coach

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Vlatkko Andonovski has been named the new coach of the reigning World Champions.

 

Although filling the shoes of former coach Jill Ellis will be a tough task to take on, Andonovski has the experience, attitude, and background to do it.

 

As a Macedonian immigrant with a background in indoor soccer and over seven years coaching at a high level in the National Women’s Soccer League, Andonovski is no stranger to success. His teams in the NWSL to the postseason five out of those seven years—two of which when he made it to the championships.

 

With a unanimous backing of the U.S. soccer board, Andonovski was chosen and quickly put into action—the USWNT has two friendlies coming up, where Andonovski will have his coaching be put to the ultimate test. On November 7th, the team confronts Sweden and three days later, they play against Costa Rica.

 

The new coach is ready to take on the challenge and continue to help the team evolve—willing to cut players who are outshone by newcomers.

After His €222 Million Trade, Neymar Misses Half of the Games

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For what seemed like a profitable—and very expensive trade, the Brazilian international star Neymar has actually missed a countable half of PSG’s matches since his move from Barcelona back in 2017.

 

The trade, having a record-breaking cost of €222 million, had been thought to be a monumental move for the team to help influence their winning record.

 

However, due to unforeseen injuries like a fractured metatarsal before the 2018 World Cup, questionable fitness, and a Champions League suspension after his referee outburst, Neymar has missed 63 out of 126 games where he was set to represent PSG.

 

From an uncompleted registration filing for PSG’s first opening win against Amiens to being unfit for this season’s 4-0 home win over Toulouse, the reasons have been plenty and frustration from both sides have run amok.

 

These absent past two years have made it so Neymar was left off a few important lists, including the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

MLS Goalscoring record Broken by Vela

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Previously held by Josef Martinez with his 28 goals back in 2018, the MLS goalscoring record in one season has been now smashed through by Carlos Vela with a whopping 34 goals in one year.

 

The Los Angeles FC striker Carlos Vela scored a three-goal hat trick to be the only scorer on record in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

 

Vela, previously signed with Arsenal, the forward was tied with Martinez with 31 goals and decided to make a statement, scoring two in the first half, with one of the goals being an astounding scissor inside the box, and took his total goal number to 34 late into the second.

 

The result of this match means that Vela and the Los Angeles FC will reach the final series with a 16-point difference to next-placed Seattle Sounders.

Success in Champions League Knows No Age

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Both soccer stars center forwards Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suarez, who are well into their years have continued to prove that age is nothing but a number on the pitch.

 

From tricky, slick Lewandowski’s game-winning goal that cheered Bayern off in a historic win in London to Suarez's  comeback two goals after his team was in a deficit.

 

These three goals between the two of them show that even though they both have years of experience, they use it to their advantage rather than have it weigh them down.

 

Although it’s expected that a center forward's productivity nosedives when you hit your 30s—with a decline in stamina, quickness, speed, and agility, but their technique and mental understanding that still keep them on top.

 

Although Suarez isn’t off projected as the “calm” type, is age is giving him a sense of serenity in front of the goal, helping him notch his half of the joint total of over 1,400 games as professionals for the pair of them.  

 

Both Suarez and Lewandowski show that with age, although other traits tend to fade, others show up and compensate—and do it well. Fine-tuned technical ability over everything!

 

FIFA Announces An Overdue Turn for Women in Iran

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Following an incident where a woman set herself on fire after being denied entrance to a soccer stadium in Tehran to watch a match, FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino says that he was told that females will finally be allowed to attend the next match on October 10th—which hasn’t happened for 40 years because of the ban that was set after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 

The woman who died, on September 9th, was first charged with "openly committing a sinful act” because she first appeared in public without a hijab and then attempted to enter the stadium dressed as a man.

 

After appearing in court, she then poured gasoline on herself and set herself on fire in protest.

 

FIFA has also requested through a letter addressed to the Iranian Football Federation that there would be access to women to be able to purchase World Cup Qualifier tickets.

 

After the incident occurred, the FIFA federation is pushing for the legality of the issue, that women should be allowed to attend a men’s game. That the sport needed to move forward.

International World Traveler Coach Rudi Gutendorf Passes Away at 93

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Nicknamed Restless Rudi, this German native and football legend passed away at 93 years old after having accumulated a lifetime of influencing generations of teams over a span of 55 teams in over 30 countries around the world—and holding the world record for doing so.

 

He also took pride of championing 18 different national teams, including Rwanda, shortly after the 1994 genocide.

 

An alphabet of countries in one lifetime

From Antigua to Zimbabwe, his 50-year long career began by playing for his hometown, TuS Koblenz.

 

Taking on the coaching side, his team-leading role began with Blue Stars Zurich in 1955. From there, he continued climbing the coaching ladder to Duisburg, Schalke, Hamburg, and Stuttgart, among many others.

 

From his national coaching success, he also took on the teams in South America, like Chile and Venezuela all the way to Australia and China.

 

However, he didn’t solely want to head the successful teams. He also humbled himself to help  national and club teams in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

 

One of his final and most famous quotes that he truly fulfilled was, "When I kick the bucket, I want my life to have been worth it. That's why I enjoyed taking the biggest risks."

Referees Take a No-Tolerance Stance on Homophobia

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Referees Take a No-Tolerance Stance on Homophobia

In France, niceness truly wasn’t one of the characteristics of the team’s supporters at a match against Marseille.

Directly after unfurling multiple homophobic banners during the matched, the referee pulled playing time to a halt and temporarily suspended play on Wednesday.

Referee Clement Turpin stopped play in the first half as players were then escorted off the pitch following the new no-tolerance stances FIFA has taken with fans and all those accompanying the game. At Nice's Allianz Riviera stadium, the banner targeted the French football league in their organization of more fenced off sections in the stadium—the fans suggested the stadiums would become more “gay” in a derogatory sense.

The banner, displaying a homophobic slur, went against what all players and coaches at the game stood for—passion, not hate.

 

Nice Manager Patrick Vieira, agreed with the referee in his decision to stop the match and hopes that this sort of behavior doesn’t continue in Nice or other stadiums around the world. Unfortunately, however, this wasn’t the first time an incident like this occurred, with a similar match suspension in the Nancy-Le Mans game.

World Champions are on a Roll

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For their first kick-off of a well-deserved tour, the World Cup Champions, USA, faced Ireland at Rose Bowl.

Counting as the first of five games, Pasadena saw a few reasons—live—how the world champions claimed their fame.

Although Ireland is preparing for the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro in September, it seems they’ll need a bit more training after losing 3-0.

The floodgate opened up from the 16th minute, with a header from Heath.

Throughout the game, Ireland did have their chances. After getting scored on three times in the first half, they switched to a solid defensive game, holding onto the score the entire second half.

Despite their hard-working efforts, Ireland still remains 0-13 in their record against the US.

Ireland interim manager Tom O'Connor expressed his feelings with Ireland’s team after the match:

"It's 3-0 and no one likes to lose, but I think you have to put it in context. We're playing against the world champions in their home match, on their victory tour. Overall, I'm very, very pleased with the performance and the way the girls played tonight.

Portugal is next in line for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions’ Victory Tour. The match will take place on Thursday, Aug. 29, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The MLS Heating Up in Miami

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The MLS Heating Up in Miami

 

It’s no secret that England superstar David Beckham has retired in a city where the weather reminds him nothing of home: Miami, Florida.

 

However, this retirement isn’t like most ex-pros, with their days in the sun, laying by the beach. Instead, Beckham has opted to create and run a brand new franchise that will help him keep his passion alive: Inter Miami CF.

 

Set to debut in the MLS season of 2020, Beckham’s got a lot of work ahead of him, with only a few months left to go.

 

With the clock ticking, Inter Miami have signed their first two players—two young talents from Argentina, Matias Pellegrini, (former club Estudiantes) and Julian Carranza, (former club Banfield), both 19 and ready for the city where the heat is on.

 

The new team in South Florida promised through their sporting director Paul McDonough that they would have eight players on the roster by September, their self-made timeline is closing in.  Recruiting throughout Central and Latin America seems to be the hotspot—quite literally—since the appeal of Florida’s dual-speaking city is going to play host for the new season.

 

As for where the players will be debuting under the stadium lights? The club is vying for Miami Freedom Park—with a deadline approval looming around September 15th.

 

A Controversial Tech Update: A Closer Look At the VAR Process

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From Women’s World Cup games to more recent men and women’s league matches, you’ve probably witnessed a game-deciding call being made on the VAR process.

Although still relatively new, the help of a VAR not only can make the call of a penalty for a goal-scoring opportunity, but it can be the change that some fans or players are not yet ready for.

 

Criticized for turning the beautiful game into a highly-regulated match of American football, the VAR process has made its way to the US—and we’ve got the scoop of how the referee review cycle works in the MLS.

 

From large monitors displayed with fourteen different angles, the game can be regulated much clearer and “more correct.”

With the possibility to enlarge images to peek into what’s really going on in a tackle or on an offsides call, the VAR process gives an opportunity to check a call or a play. This new world of VAR gives questionable calls more backup references and gives on-the-field referees the luxury of a whole team behind them—as well as giving them a closer view than even those watching back home.

MLS has taken its role seriously as one of the leaders when it comes to introducing innovation. From running experiments in three different venues across the country, MLS actually was the first league in the world to put VAR in every game in late 2017.

Although labeled still as a work in progress, it has been seen to slowly being implemented all over the world.