This has been a great summer for soccer. We got MLS, where a mere nine points separates first from ninth place in the Western Conference. We got Copa America, in which some of the best players in the world (Messi, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, etc) get to represent their countries on a continent which take entire workdays off to watch their national teams play. We also have the FIFA Women’s World Cup, in which the U.S. women are now considered underdogs while chasing after a third title. The US U-20s made a great run, but Tab Ramos subbed off Tommy during the Serbia match, and his sub Berrera missed his PK while Tommy proved he had the mettle to make it last week vs. SRFC. The U-23 team placed third in the Toulon Tournament, in which Alashe continued to impress. Just a few reflections on upcoming matches..
#1: The L.A. Galaxy are rounding into form just as the Sounders are starting to falter. In their past three games, if you count the Open Cup, the Gals have scored 16 goals by eight different players. To put this in perspective, in their entire MLS season, the Quakes have the same number of goals with the same number of players. This sets up for either a great Clasico on Saturday, or a potential blowout. The Quakes also play L.A. in the Open Cup on Wednesday, July 1st. I am predicting L.A. beats the Quakes 3-1, with Alan Gordon, Gyassi Zardes and Robbie Keane scoring for L.A., and Shea scoring the Quakes lone-goal on Saturday (will post Pre-Match tomorrow!). I am also predicting the Quakes beat L.A. in the Open Cup game, as L.A. will have played five games in two weeks and will be running on fumes.
#2: The USWNT has yet to lose in the 2015 World Cup, but that will definitely change. In their game against Columbia, they failed to convert on multiple chances, including an Abby Wambach PK miss. Their defense looks good, but they lack the chemistry to score, so while I think the U.S. will beat China tomorrow, I am predicting they will lose to eventual World Cup champions, which I believe will be France. The German team looks great, but I think France scores an upset win over Germany and goes on to win it all (I made this prediction back in April, and I’m sticking with it!).
#3: Chile versus Uruguay was an awesome match. For those that missed it, it embodied dirty soccer which got both sides heated, resulting in two Uruguayan players being ejected, coaches and subs confronting refs, and Ray Hudson giving magisterial color commentary. That match alone should be reason enough to watch the rest of the tournament, including today’s Peru v. Bolivia. I am expecting Chile to win the championship, beating out Messi and Argentina in the finals.
Picture: Houston Post Magazine