Saturday, March 15, 2014


Check out our latest installment of our #JUSTWAITONIT campaign, a spoof of the Nike "Dare to Be" campaign.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Check me out on YouTube!

I have started to do more and more videos related to all things football with my buddy Nate. You can check out the channel here and a like, subscribe, or anything on the videos would be much appreciated!

Bayern's Poise Outlasts Arsenal's Attack

Going into the second leg of the Round of 16 tie against Bayern Munich, Arsenal found itself in a difficult situation. Starting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was red carded in their first match against Bayern, Jack Wilshere joined Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott on the list of notable absentees due to injury, and Mesut Özil was struggling for form. So to most this seemed done and dusted. Bayern was up 2-0 on aggregate, meaning Arsenal had to win by 3 goals away from home in arguably the most intimidating stadium in the world at the moment, Bayern's gorgeous fortress the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal started the game fairly well, pressing the Bayern midfield high and not letting them settle into the game, but the lack of real chances the Gunners failed to create would prove costly as Bayern calmed the play down and started to dictate the pace of the game. Arsene Wenger opted to shift Özil out wide in favor of playing Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain in the germans favored spot behind the striker. The Ox's pace proved difficult for Bayern throughout the whole game as he time and time again ran at Bayerns defense and caused havoc. But where he failed was the final pass, something Özil would have provided had he been played through the middle.

As the game progressed it seemed more than likely Bayern would take control, and in the 55th minute they did so through a couldn't miss chance from the returning Bastian Schweinsteiger. 3-0 up on aggregate and Arsenal having to score 4 goals in less than an hour against the recognized best team in the world looked too big of a task. But there was hope as Lukas Podolski scored 2 minutes later to even the game at 1-1 and reduce the aggregate to 3-1. But that would be it, as Bayern's midfield and defense never got rattled and held their ground perfectly. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery tormented the Arsenal flanks and Mario Mandzukic played his role perfectly as a target man/hold up striker.

So what does the end result mean for both teams? For Bayern it's business as usual. Marching on towards the Champion's League final in Lisbon to try and do what no team has done before, defend their crown as champions. They also are still very much alive for another treble as they will not be caught in the Bundesliga and the Deutscher Pokal is in the final stages. For Arsenal, it's a very different story. What seemed their most promising campaign has started to unravel. 7 points back in the Premier League and out of the Champions League their sole hope for a trophy is the FA cup in which they are now the odds on favorite to win. There are murmurs if Arsene doesn't deliver a trophy this year he may be on the way out, and I for one wouldn't be able to come to his defense much longer.

But the real story here is how far Arsenal still have to go to really challenge the elite while also showing just how good Bayern is. Arsenal is 1 or 2 really great players away from challenging every year for every trophy, while Bayern is looking like a well oiled machine poised for a long stay at the top of the football summit.

What are your thoughts? Can Bayern repeat as UCL winners? Will Arsenal break the drought? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, March 7, 2014

MLS Predictions: Champion, MVP, and More!

The MLS season is about to be (or is depending on when you read this) upon us, and for the fast growing league this season looks to be a great one. So many teams are so close to each other in terms of quality or lack thereof, so the matches are sure to be even more exciting than they were already.

Here are my predictions for the MLS season.

Most Improved Player: DeAndre Yedlin - Seattle's first homegrown player has already earned a cap for the USMNT at the tender age of 20 and looks to be, for the moment, the United States best talent for the future. He had an amazing season for the Sounders last year and earned himself Rookie of the Year honors. I see the 2014 MLS season as his statement season. This is the season he tells the rest of the league (and possibly the world) "Here I am, I'm not going anywhere" and if he can improve on his already great rookie season with an even better sophomore season, Yedlin will start to turn heads for more than his hair.

Flop Player: Jermain Defoe - One of the new "big three" formed in Toronto, Defoe carries the expectation of proven scorer in the Premier League coming to MLS to dominate the league. But Defoe isn't the player he used to be, and his age will catch up to him with the rigorous travel schedule MLS has. Defoe will not get the pass that MLS favorite Dwayne De Rosario and American favorite Michael Bradley will get if he plays bad. I think Defoe knows this, but I still believe he will not live up to the hype.

Surprise Team: Real Salt Lake - Salt Lake had a great season last year, no one can deny that. Coming within a few missed PK's of MLS supremacy. But I for one would not be surprised to see them make it back to the biggest stage in MLS. RSL is the team full of players you can't name, at least I can't, but that doesn't matter. The fight I saw in that RSL team last season was something I hadn't seen in a team in a long time in MLS. They will be hungry to make it back to the final.

MLS MVP: Clint Dempsey - If any of you know me or have watched any of the videos I make on YouTube to talk about soccer (check out the channel) you will know I am a huge critic of Dempsey. In my opinion, he is a bit overrated. Not good enough to be named the "best player on the national team" while I do think he is the best American player out there. Dempsey will come into the season with a point to prove. After this move from Tottenham to Seattle he did virtually nothing. Most games I forgot he was on the field and I think a lot of MLS fans did too. The thing I will say I admire most about Dempsey is the chip on his shoulder he plays with. Just when you think he is "done" he will do something that will make you pause. I will still be a critic, regardless of if he wins MVP or not as I do not judge him on club performances anymore. But I can't see past the best American player making a statement out of this season and winning MVP.

MLS Cup Champion: Portland Timbers - The Timbers come into the season with not TOO much hype. We all know what they are capable of, they were on a tear last season and had a slip up in the playoffs, but this season I think they will refuse to take their foot off the pedal. They have the talent, they have the fan support, and they have the hunger. Portland will bring the MLS Cup to the Pacific Northwest, and they will probably rub it in the faces of the Sounders.

What do you think? Are you excited for this MLS season? What are your predictions for the "big" categories?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Premier League Contenders and Pretender: Revised

So two months ago before the winter break I posted this: Breaking Down the Premier League Contenders and Pretenders Midway Through The Year. At the moment I would like to revise what I had said. The teams in the "Contender" category were Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Everton. The team in the "Pretender" category were Manchester Untied, Liverpool, Southampton/Newcastle.

As of today, February 5th, the Premier League table looks as follows:

1. Arsenal - 55 points
2. Manchester City - 53 points
3. Chelsea - 53 points
4. Liverpool - 47 points
5. Everton - 45 points
6. Tottenham - 44 points
7. Manchester United - 40 points
8. Newcastle - 37 points
9. Southampton - 35 points
10. Aston Villa - 27 points
11. Stoke City - 25 points
12. Swansea City - 24 points
13. Hull City - 24 points
14. Sunderland - 24 points
15. Norwich City - 24 points
16. West Brom - 23 points
17. Crystal Palace - 23 points
18. West Ham - 22 points
19. Cardiff City - 21 points
20. Fulham - 19 points

So let's get into the categories.


Arsenal: Well we are into crunch time in the Premier League and (literally) surprise, surprise the Gunners are on top of the table. Arsene Wenger's men have been consistent all season and look poised for a stay at the top of the league table. The lack of a striker depth could doom them, but Wenger has his men and his fans believing again, and that's huge.

Chelsea: Are we not convinced by Mourinho's men yet? I still stand firm in my stance that Mourinho isn't as "special" as his nickname states, but there's no doubting the quality of football that Chelsea have been playing lately. They ground out a great 1-0 against Manchester City AT the Etihad and look primed to pounce to the top of the table if Arsenal slip up.

Manchester City: Despite a home defeat to Chelsea, City are still the best attacking team in the Premier League and have all the weapons that could vault them to the top of the league. Injuries should be a worry for Manuel Pellegrini, but City are still in the mix at the top of a tight title race.

OKAY so I know that the Contenders didn't change, but what about the Pretenders?


Everton: I'm going to keep it short and sweet, they don't have enough to take them to the Champions League.

Manchester United: Doesn't it just seem a matter of time before David Moyes gets his marching orders? Despite the great purchase of Juan Mata from Chelsea, United are playing lackluster football and at this point we really have to question if it's lack of talent or lack of a real manager.

Tottenham: Just not enough chemistry within the team for me. Too many players that want to play the same spot and no real striker that poses a threat. Spurs are REALLY missing Gareth Bale who saw the writing on the wall and got out ASAP.

So there you have it. My revised Premier League Contenders and Pretenders, what do you think? Did I get it wrong?

I'll make another one as the title race heats up even more. For now please comment and share this post!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Juan Mata Joins Manchester United

It had been coming for some time, Juan Mata has left Chelsea. Where he went no one saw coming. Instead of being sold to a team outside of the Premier League he was sold to "rivals" Manchester United.

Mata had a great 3 seasons at Chelsea, 18 goals in 82 appearances, a Champions League title, FA Cup, and Europa League title. The arrivals of Oscar, Hazard, Willian, and Schurrle saw Mata forced to the bench for most of this season. There were talks that Mata didn't fit Mourinho's system and that might be right, but I personally feel he wasn't given enough time in the first team to fully adapt to the system.

Mata going to United is a sign that the club is committed to at least finishing in the top 4, splashing a club record 37.1 million pounds on the Spaniard. Mata will surely be hoping that going to United and playing regularly will land him a spot in the Spain squad that heads to Brazil for the World Cup.

Fans of the club will surely be hoping he will have a Mesut Ozil like effect, where his signing reinvigorates the fan base and players and lifting them into form.

Where Mata will play in the team is another mystery as his preferred spot is the number 10 role that is currently occupied by the teams current number 10, Wayne Rooney. My prediction is Mata will play on the left or right and drift into the middle.

The signing of Mata will likely see the talk that David Moyes can't sign world class players subside, but unless he signs 1 or 2 more world class/quality players those talks will again start up.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Videos on YouTube

My friend Nate and I have been producing weekly (usually) videos where we discuss the topics that interested us most in the soccer/football world. If you'd like to have a look here's a link to our channel:

And here's the link to our most recent video:

Please subscribe to our channel or at the very least, leave a like on the videos!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Equalizer YTC Podcast

The first episode of the podcast featuring myself and my good buddy Nate Enthuxiasm is up and you can listen to it here! It's the audio only version of our weekly soccer talk series!

Subscribe to us on youtube:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My World XI for 2013

At the Ballon d'Or ceremony the FIFA World XI was unveiled, and many felt there were some huge snubs. I was among those people. The FIFA XI was as followed:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves
Midfielders: Xavi, Iniesta, Franck Ribery
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi

Amongst those chosen I felt too much praise had been given to the two La Liga giants again. Here is my World XI:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer; No argument here. Neuer was far and above the best goalkeeper in the world last year. He was a huge part of Bayerns historic trophy haul.

Defenders: Philipp Lahm, Thiago Silva, Dante, David Alaba; Removing the La Liga duo and replacing them with two Bayern players. Dante stepped right into the Bayern starting line-up and helped transform them into a team that was near impossible to score against, just ask Barcelona. David Alaba moves into the team after basically solidifying himself as one of the top 2 left backs in the world, and he's my age.

Midfielders: Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Gareth Bale; No more Barcelona favoritism people!!! Xavi and Iniesta shouldn't have even SNIFFED the world XI. I replace them with Schweinsteiger and Bale. Schweinsteiger was by far the best box to box midfielder in the world last year and he was the heart of the 5 star Bayern team. Bale is the most debatable here. While having a great season it would be easy to leave him out and throw someone else in, but just by the eye test Bale was quite possibly the best player in the world not named Ronaldo or Messi towards the end of last year. His health was an issue, but his quality is nothing to scoff at. 

Forwards: Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Messi; I mean, c'mon. 

So there you have it, my World XI. We need to acknowledge that last season the spanish teams weren't the best in the world and don't deserve to have a crazy amount of players in these teams! Let me know what you think of the replacements. Who deserves to be in it, who doesn't, and why should your player be in instead!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Michael Bradley And Jermain Defoe To Toronto FC Could Be The Start Of A New MLS Trend

The news of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe reportedly being close to finalizing their moves to Toronto FC from Roma and Tottenham (respectively) has been the top transfer buzz regarding MLS. With both set for "big" money moves from Europe to MLS we could soon see other clubs breaking the bank to bring in some quality talent from Europe.

The Jermain Defoe to Toronto rumors have been going ever since the end of the summer transfer window and really amped up again around October 2013, but with a series cryptic videos released by Toronto FC on their YouTube channel called "It's A Bloody Big Deal" it seems sure that the Englishman will be unveiled as a Toronto FC player on January 13, 2014.

If the news of Jermain Defoe coming to MLS was widely known, the recent breaking news of Michael Bradley being close to a MLS move was the exact opposite. Bradley who has fell out of favor at Roma should complete his move to Toronto any day soon now according to reports. This is a semi big deal for the United States soccer scene. On one hand, one of our best and brightest players is leaving a top european club for MLS, on the other it shows that it's possible our top US players can't handle the biggest stages in Europe. Just recently we have seen Clint Dempsey join Seattle Sounders after an okay season with Tottenham.

What does the potential move of Michael Bradley mean for MLS? Some may argue that it shows that MLS is a destination for players that are in their prime, and maybe the players it attracts aren't "World Class" players, but they are still good players nonetheless. Others may argue that it shows a weakness. If you aren't cutting it at your current club you can run back to MLS and be embraced with open arms because it seems that you are returning home to grow your sport. I honestly believe it is a mistake for Bradley to move to Toronto, and that he should have tried to force a move to another club playing in a top european league.

Regardless, Toronto FC may just be laying the foundation for the future when it relates to MLS clubs. Spend big, bring in talent from overseas, and expand your brand...or at least create a media buzz around you.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo's Ballon d'Or Deserving Year

We are about 2 weeks away from the football world giving their most prestigious award out, the Ballon d'Or. The MVP award of the football season. The final three nominees for the award were no surprises: Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

All three players had spectacular years, but only one player was truly deserving of the award when voting closed.

Ronaldo should win his second Ballon d'Or on January 13th.

Now the stats don't back up my claim really. Messi finished the calendar year with more trophies and goals than the Portuguese star. Ribery led Bayern to the first treble season by a German club and was part of the most dominant team in 2013. But when you look at what Ronaldo did in 2013 there should be no question as to why he should win it.

Stats are one thing, but the eye test is another. Just watch CR7 play. In 2013 he was the single most unstoppable force every time he was on the field. It didn't matter who he was facing, he showed up. When we talk of MVP awards we usually talk about a MVP moment. In college football you have the Heisman trophy, and usually when a player wins it everyone has the "Heisman moment" to point to as to why they did win. When you look at Ronaldo, almost every game he gave us a MVP moment. His goal against Manchester United in the Champions League in his return to Old Trafford, his superb 2 goal performance against Barcelona, his header against Manchester United, and we can't forget his one man show in both legs of the playoff round against Sweden to propel Portugal into the World Cup.

Yes, Ronaldo is selfish, he isn't the best team player, and maybe he does care a little more about his looks than others, but in 2013 Ronaldo was undoubtedly the best player in the World. I expect it to not even be close when the final results are revealed, but we all know FIFA love them some Messi. My only hope is when he walks up to accept it and the crowd is cheering he does his "calma, calma" thing to the crowd.

With that said Ronaldo was undisputedly the best player in the world, and it wasn't even close.