Tag Archives: Brazil

New Kicking it Podcast! 2014 FIFA World Cup Semifinals Preview and Predictions

In this edition of the Kicking It Podcast, Kyle and Richard break down each of the 4 teams left at the FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands. We discuss how each team did in the quarterfinals and make our bold (and probably wrong) predictions for the rest of the tournament.

Listen in the player below, or subscribe on iTunes by searching “Kicking it With Kyle Gibson.” Please allow a podcast up to 24 hours to appear on iTunes because of additional posting steps.

New Post: Luis Suarez is an absolute disgrace to the game of soccer

By, Kyle Gibson

Things were already very ugly between Italy and Uruguay in today’s final group stage game of Group D. Towards the 80th minute, though, things got even uglier when Uruguay’s superstar, Luis Suarez, took a bite out of Giorgio Chiellini, one of Italy’s star defenders.

Sounds crazy right? Who in their right mind would bite another player? This is not the first time Suarez has helped himself to a bite of succulent shoulder, though, Actually, it’s the third time.

In 2010, Suarez, then at Ajax in Amsterdam, bit PSV rival Otman Bakkal and was suspended two games.

In 2013, in a much more high profile incident, Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, leading to a 10 game suspension.

Add that to today and that’s three separate incidents. That means that three times, during the course of a game of soccer, a man has bitten the shoulder of three separate players.

If you think, wow, three major incidents for one player is a lot, that’s not the end of the controversy for Suarez.

In the 2010 World Cup, in the quarterfinals against Ghana, Suarez blatantly handled a ball aimed at an empty Uruguay net late in the game. Suarez earned a red card, but the damage was done. Ghana was denied a great chance to score  and lost due to a cheap trick, an abomination against soccer. Uruguay, without Suarez, went on to lose the semifinal.

Also, in 2011, Suarez was charged by the FA for “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules” for an apparent racial abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match. Suarez was suspended eight games and forced to pay a $40,000 fine.

Suarez is an amazingly talented player who, when simply playing and not disparaging the game, is one of the best attacking players on earth. Even though he signed a 5 year deal with Liverpool earlier this year, Suarez is being looked at by two of the world’s top clubs, Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona. One has to wonder if they will still be interested now.

Why would a player with such gifts stoop so low? Is it just part of his nature, or his reaction when his temper hits boiling point? We may never know that answer.

I think FIFA needs to show resolve here and ban Luis Suarez for the remainder of the World Cup. His actions have cast the entire sport in a negative light. FIFA has to send a message to a childish, petulant player who despite his talent, comes off as a very little man with attitude issues.

Bite that, Luis.

New Kicking It Podcast: USA 2-2 Portugal Instant Analysis

By, Kyle Gibson

Last week after the US defeated Ghana, we hopped on the podcast in jubilant spirits and rehashed the game that was. I decided to do that again this week, albeit with a heavier heart. Still, I believe. I believe that we will advance! This quick podcast covers the amazing game against Portugal and the implications from the game (we want a tie or Portugal win). Please give it a listen, it’s very quick and I think you will find it enjoyable.

Here is the link, or listen below.

 

Mexico Gets Robbed, Steals one to beat Cameroon 1-0 In World Cup opener.

By, Kyle Gibson

Giovani dos Santos is not necessarily the fan favorite for Mexico, but his performance today should not be forgotten soon.

It’s a shame that dos Santos was denied two goals in the opener against Cameroon, especially because the goals appeared to be legitimate. Poor officiating is hurting this World Cup so far, but Mexico was able to rally and get the win it deserved 1-0.

New golden boy Oribe Peralta was able to make the most of his starting nod over Javier Hernandez by tapping in a rebound in the second half. It was a strike any player could convert, but credit to Peralta for being in the right place.

Chicharito has said he is tired of the super sub role that he saw today as well. There is a quick remedy to that: score goals.

I didn’t see Mexico going very far this World Cup, but today might have swayed me. After getting the goal, Mexico was able to step back and defend a feverish Cameroon attack.

The group now sits as follows

Brazil 3 (+2)
Mexico 3 (+1)
Cameroon 0 (-1)
Croatia 0 (-2)

One has to think Mexico, which has been on rocky footing for a year, seems to be in the driver’s seat to advance to yet another Round of 16.

I guess I was wrong to ever doubt Mexico.

Brazil is up next, though.

World Cup Blog: Spain vs Netherlands, a World Cup Final rematch on Day 2 + other predictions

By, Kyle Gibson

The 2010 FIFA World Cup final was everything soccer is not supposed to be. The Netherlands knew it couldn’t match up with the talent of Spain, so it resorted to downright violent conduct. The match produced 14 yellow cards and a red, with several vicious Dutch attacks that aimed at reducing Spain’s creative flair.

Then, late in extra time, like a Hollywood script, a true soccer savant named Andres Iniesta was able to rise up and volley Spain to victory.

Four years later, the sides meet again in the World Cup. This time, it’s a group stage match in Salvador. Sure enough, like last meeting, the Spanish are the more talented side. According to many, though, this team is the most beatable it’s been in perhaps six years.

I think Spain will win, though. The midfield will have too much magic for a Dutch defensive line that spends the majority of its time playing Dutch league soccer. The Spanish mids read like a world 11, with Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Koke, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla. Only 4-5 can play at a time, but you can bring at least 2 of those guys on as substitutes to continue dancing around the Dutch.

In a year that many in the public and many in their lofty pundit positions think Spain will flame out, I still believe in magic. I still believe that, in an unfair world, good can still triumph over bad.

Spain 2-1 Netherlands

Mexico 1-1 Cameroon

Mexico will need to win this one. I just don’t see it happening.

Chile 3-1 Australia.

Sanchez and Vidal get the ball rolling in a big way.

World Cup Blog: My Takes from Brazil’s 3-1 Win over Croatia

By, Kyle Gibson

Can you feel the excitement? Can you feel the passion? Can you feel the sense of relief?

All of those emotions and many more were felt in abundance tonight in Sao Paolo as Brazil opened the FIFA World Cup with a 3-1 win over Group A foe Croatia, escaping an early Marcelo own goal with two from Neymar and one from Oscar.

Here are my takeaways from a match that saved its best for the last minutes.

Marcelo is the luckiest person On Earth tonight

Poor Marcelo’s ugly own goal early on was the exact opposite of what everyone on earth expected to start that game. If you know the story of Barbosa, Brazil’s goalkeeper that is still the scapegoat of the 1950 Brazil World Cup, then you know Marcelo is lucky that his teammates bailed him out. This raises questions, as Marcelo can truly be very shaky at the back. Credit Croatia for attacking and being in the position to net an own goal, but Marcelo needs to reel it in from now on.

Forget the dubious penalty, Brazil would have found a way anyway

Referee Yuichi Nishimura probably made the wrong call on the penalty that sent Brazil ahead, but in truth I would have made the same call. With thousands of fans screaming at you and what looks like contact, it’s an easier decision than you think. If you’re Croatia, don’t give a Brazilian the chance to go down in the box! Brazil was on the attack before that anyway and I have no doubt that a goal was imminent.

Neymar and Oscar left nothing on the field

Neymar Jr. opened his World Cup account with 2 goals and made all kinds of plays in what has to be one of the best World Cup debuts ever. With 33 goals in 50 caps and at age 22, one has to think Neymar has a legitimate shot to break Pele’s scoring record of 77 goals for Brazil. Sensational stuff. Neymar has become must watch every time he laces up.

Equally impressive though, was Oscar. Neymar’s midfield mate is a little magician with clever passes, runs and chances. His goal outdid Neymar’s first, as he sent a straight toepoke past Pletikosa late in the game.

Add Dani Alves, who has a motor that will never stop and you have a recipe for success in Group A.

You’re Next, Mexico.

The World Cup Ad to end all world cup ads

By, Kyle Gibson

Normally, I don’t like to get swept away by an ad campaign. After all, there’s a time and a place for advertisements and I don’t want it to blur the work I’m trying to do.

However, this is just a really cool video from Beats by Dre ahead of the World Cup and it’s not like I’m getting paid to show it to you. From a production standpoint, I just thought it was a cool video It’s got all kinds of star power, sex appeal and superstars. Obviously it’s a big budget ad that hopefully air before the game.

Check it out! It’s called The Game Before The Game

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