Odd European News

Liverpool Striker Luis Suarez, 26, has caused some outcry overseas. In their most recent match against Chelsea, Suarez is seen biting Defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm. He has since apologized but not before everyone and their mother had something to say about it. As a former soccer player who always fought back against those who call Soccer a “sissy sport”, this sucks. As if there wasn’t enough diving and crying already in European Football, now there’s biting!

In completely related news, Mike Tyson is now following Suarez on Twitter. No, that’s not a joke. Tyson, who famously had his boxing license revoked after chewing off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997, is now a Tweet-Mate of the Uruguayan-born futbol star.

Metro.co.uk Picture Luis Suarez

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Crazy Soccer Goal

Whether you’re a soccer fan or not, you’ll definitely appreciate this goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovicweden (try saying that 5 times fast) of Sweden knocks in an incredible bicycle from about 30 yards away to close out the match against England. Enjoy.

The Boy Who De-Feet-ed the Odds: An Unbelievable Feat

ImageDefying a Disability: 11-year-old Gabriel Muniz is considered to be one of the best young soccer players among his age group in the the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But this young talent isn’t making headlines across the world for what he can do “with his feet”, he’s making heads turn for what he can do “without them”.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. No need to adjust your computer screen, 11-year-old Gabriel Muniz was born without feet but has been walking since age 1 and has played the game he loves persistently. Muniz’ birth defect is medically known as Meromelia, which is the lack of one or more limbs such as the hands, or in Gabriel’s case his feet.

Humbling Highlights: Videos have surfaced recently, via YouTube, YahooSports, MSN.com and other websites, showcasing Muniz’ talent’s and the tape is without question an amazing display of determination, courage, and inspiration. Here’s a clip of the highlights:

 

 

As mentioned in the video, Muniz has been invited to attend a Barcelona training camp in Saquarema, just outside of Rio, where he will meet some of his soccer idols. The youngster will also get to showcase his skills in Spain as the Barcelona coaching staff, intrigued by his skill and determination, invited him to train with the Catalan Side. Though Muniz may never make a professional team, it’s humbling to witness a youth overcoming obstacles, believing in himself, and disregarding his disability to chase his dreams.

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Final Thoughts: This story is a breath of fresh air for me as a sports fan. It takes you away from all the high-profile-headlines, big dollar contract talks, rumor-mill trade stories, etc, and lets you view a different side of sports, the inspirational one. Stories like these remind us why we are sports fans.

The passion, love for the game, commitment and dedication to a sport, makes up the unwritten code we the fans live by. Hopefully one day, all of those things will help Gabriel Muniz achieve his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

USA Beats Italy for the First Time Ever

The USA came out with a 1-0 victory over the Italian side today for the first time in the United States history. Clint Dempsey scored the game winner in the 55th minute after Jozy Altidore took down a cross from Fabian Johnson and laid it off for Dempsey to slot it under two Italian players in the bottom left corner.  The goal was Dempsey’s 25th career goal for the national team and one of his biggest all time. He is the 4th all team leading goal scorer for the United States. But while Dempsey is going to get all the praise, Tim Howard showed why he is one of the world’s most respected goalkeepers. He kept the United States in it in the first half with his big saves, and made a few more late as the Italian side never stopped pressing. He had seven saves overall.

The United States looked the best they have looked in the Jurgen Klinsman era. They were tight as a group defensively and put together passes better than they have in any other game thus far. A lot of credit goes out to Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu for holding down the middle of the field and controlling play. Andrea Pirlo is a master with the ball and found time to pick out his players, but Bradley and Edu played as well as you can expect. Bradley especially came up with big tackle after big tackle and proved his worth to Jürgen in the middle. Jonathan Spector also had a huge game after he came on as a substitute for Fabian Johnson in the 77th minute. He got in the way of shot after shot of the Italians and came up with a few more crucial tackles. Jozy played extremely well tonight as a hold up player and Terrance Boyd made the first appearance of what will hopefully be many more.

Italy has to be frustrated as they were caught offside 9 times by the referees. They also have to be kicking themselves because they also had 19 shots during the game, 8 corner kicks, and over 60% of time of possession. Sebastian Govinco was extremely dangerous to the United States when he wasn’t being caught offside as he kept using his quickness to get behind the defense.

Starting Lineups for the US (4-4-2)

G – Tim Howard

D –Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson

M – Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea, Daniel Williams

F – Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore

Subs Used:

Jonathan Spector, Sasha Kljestan, Terrance Boyd, Edson Buddle

The United States next three games are all friendlies against Scotland (5/26), Brazil (5/30), and Canada (6/3).

In other soccer news, Spain beat Venezuela 4-0, Netherlands beat England 3-2, France beat Germany 2-1, and Argentina behind 3 goals from Lionel Messi beat the Swiss 3-1.

Deadly Riot at Soccer Game in Egypt

Over seventy fans were pronounced dead and hundreds of other fans were injured Wednesday at a soccer game in Egypt. Apparently one of the top clubs in their league was upset and chaos ensued. Riot police failed miserably to intervene and the mess got worse and now at least 74 paid their life due to this. This is horrible and shocking news.

I know soccer games are known to get wild over in Europe and Africa, but this is ridiculous. Fans threw rocks, sticks, and chairs while storming onto the field. It was the deadliest incident at a soccer match since 1996 and definitely sets back soccer in Africa. I really don’t understand how some people think and can be that violent over a simple game.

Thoughts and prayers go out to those wounded in this tragic incident.