Belgium eked its way through against a late US rally to win the final spot in the Quarterfinals. (http://www.brusselspictures.com/)

The Round of 16 is complete. Host Brazil had to work harder than anticipated to get by. Team USA couldn’t keep things together in extra time of the final game. After all eight group winners advanced, we’re left with four European squads, three from South America and one from Central America. Two games were decided by two goals, four by one goal and two had to go to penalty kicks.

In our Pick ‘Em, Columbia over Uruguay was the one big surprise, with Belgium over USA being a split decision. Points from guessing each team’s final goal tally also provided a great avenue towards points, especially with the lower scoring teams.

So check below for the updated results, and come back on Independence day for the Quarterfinal selections. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Round of 16 Results »

Tags: ,

The bracket is set for the knockout games with a very good field. (http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/)

The knockout bracket is set and underway. Brazil continues their quest to win as host country. USA looks to beat a European opponent (after a tie and loss in the group stage) to move on. And of course, there are plenty of great games in between.

Our picks provide an interesting view, with group winners favored in general, though with blowouts kept to a minimum. For each pick, choosing the winner of each game is worth two points, while picking the goals scored by each team is worth one point.

Check below for the complete pick set, and come back once the round is complete for the updated results. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Round of 16 »

Tags: ,

Defending champs Spain met with an inglorious end, but there are plenty of worthy new champions. (http://marbellamarbella.es/)

After the Group Stage, the field has gotten more open with defending World Cup champion Spain not even making it past two games while in contention. The U.S. held off Portugal to advance despite giving up a game-tying goal against Portugal itself. Costa Rica won a group with three former World Cup winners.

With some big surprises, some of our experts were thrown for a loop. There were plenty of games that led to leads being opened up, but plenty more to come to make up the deficit. But for now, check below for the updated results, and check back Saturday for the Round of 16 picks. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Group Stage Results »

Tags: ,

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil looks to be a fun one with plenty of story lines. ("The Simpons," 'Marge Gamer,' April 22 2007)

The World Cup is here. Host Brazil is one of the favorites; with their skill and home-field advantage, it’ll be tough to stop them for sure. They also belong to one of several groups that could legitimately considered groups of death as well, with Mexico and Cameroon, not to mention Croatia as opposition. Last time’s finalists Spain and the Netherlands are both in Group B opposite Brazil, and the US has to deal with perennial juggernauts Brazil and Germany, and also Ghana, which eliminated them from the previous two World Cups. There’s plenty of other potential surprises as well.

In our Pick ‘Em, we’ve brought you our picks for which two teams will advance from each group. One point goes to a correct pick to move on, except two points for correctly guessing a group winner instead. Furthermore, whichever team wins each group, we’ll also be guessing how many goals will be scored by that team in all three group games combined; picks are worth one point for being within one, or two points for being exactly right.

For reference, the teams in each group are presented below, followed by the picks. So check everything out, and be sure to check back when the Group Stage is complete for the results.

Group A Brazil Cameroon Croatia Mexico
Group B Australia Chile Netherlands Spain
Group C Columbia Greece Ivory Coast Japan
Group D Costa Rica England Italy Uruguay
Group E Ecuador France Honduras Switzerland
Group F Argentina Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Iran Nigeria
Group G Germany Ghana Portugal USA
Group H Algeria Belgium Russia South Korea

Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Group Stage »

Tags: ,

world-cup-2014

Thursday afternoon at 4PM EST, Planet Earth will turn it’s attention to Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, Brazil. It is here where the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals will kick-off with the host nation taking on Croatia. For the next month after that, the world will be consumed by the planet’s best sports tournament. 

This edition of the World Cup is loaded with story-lines, and could be legacy defining tournaments for a number of players. There are also multiple groups of death, and several darkhorse teams who could be playing in the final four. I’ll be offering coverage here throughout the tournament.

Now, let’s get on to previewing each group. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Preview »

Tags: ,

Totti's Free Kick

New England Soccer Enthusiasts,

There was finally a buzz around Fenway Wednesday night for the first time since possibly Opening Day. Maybe longer? The stadium was decked out in Liverpool red. There was a flood of soccer jerseys throughout the city. In the midst of the recent rejuvenation of soccer fever in the U.S., people were excited to get their fix of the beautiful game.

Liverpool were in desperate need to have a quality performance for new manager Brendan Rodgers in hopes of taking a vital step forward with the Premiereship season weeks away. Sadly, their best effort could only muster a 2-1 defeat. What’s worse is more than a few key first teamers for Liverpool (Skrtel, Carragher, Aquilani) were on the pitch. Possibly even more troubling is that the score could have easily been tipped even more unevenly in Roma’s favor had it not been for the stellar play of Hungarian keeper Péter Gulácsi.

Those of you at the game already you know this, but for those who weren’t – there were two stories going on. Continue reading Liverpool Falls 2-1 to AS Roma At Fenway »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Liverpool/Roma Friendly at Fenway

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Soccer is back at Fenway this summer! Fenway Sports Management announced last Wednesday that Liverpool will play Italian club AS Roma at Fenway on July 25 as a part of Liverpool’s preseason North American tour. Yes, the last time the beautiful game graced the friendly confines of Fenway Park was during the summer of 2010 when Sporting Lisbon took on Celtic FC. I was at that game and minus a few spilled beers and a lost umbrella, it was great raucous and jovial environment for the game (other than the vuvuzelas). The match this summer could prove to be even better. Continue reading Looking Ahead to Soccer at Fenway This Summer: Liverpool vs. Roma »

Tags: , , , ,