Tag Archives: World Cup

“World Cup Final Prediction”

I foresee the Netherlands flying high today, capturing their first World Cup Title.

In sporting news other than the Lebron James saga, there is a soccer tournament going on.  And today, the final game takes place at 2:30 Eastern time.  2 European squads are matched up.  Neither squad has ever brought home a World Cup Title for their respective countries, though both have a very rich soccer tradition.  They also are both very familiar with each other.  And I will be entirely honest with you..

I could really care less about this game.

If it wasn’t an event to get together with friends and family to watch, then I would be just as content sitting and watching the Reds take on the Phillies to conclude their 4 game set today.  This series has been a doozy.  Three straight nights of extra inning baseball!  And though my beloved Reds have lost all 3 games, the series has had quite a playoff feel to it.  The Reds could have probably headed into the All Star Break with a decent lead over the rival Cardinals.  Sadly, they will go into the break up by 1 or 2 games with the Cards nipping on their heels.  It would be big to end the year’s longest road trip at 6 and 5 rather than 5 and 6.  So today’s game holds a lot of meaning for the Reds.  But I digress.  Back to the soccer.

The Netherlands and Spain have each played outstanding tournaments.  Minus the opening game surprise for Spain, both of these teams have been winning with authority.  Both teams are currently riding at least a 5 game winning streak.  Now I am not going to go into an analysis of the actual play.  Because let’s be real, these teams both play your typical European skilled style of soccer.

And to keep this short and sweet, I got the Dutch winning.  There will be a party tonight in the Red Light District beyond your wildest dreams.  And it is well deserved.  Spain is extremely young and talented.  They will be my early favorite to take home the 2014 World Cup though.  David Villa will be back and ready to go in 4 years.  No team has ever lost their opening game of the tournament and gone on to win the World Cup (Spain lost their opener).  And it will not happen this year either.

This year belongs to the Dutch.

It will be an “Orange” filled afternoon.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

“LBJ is King, but Life Goes On”

Carlos Boozer should be yelling for joy after signing a big time contract with the Chicago Bulls yesterday.

Either way, Boozer is now on a team that will be a playoff team, and he just took in a boat load of money.  And wouldn’t it be ironic if Lebron was reunited with his former Cavs teammate Boozer in Chicago?  Maybe LBJ missed playing with the scrappy Boozer.  Many thought that Carlos was a great college player who never would have the skill set to compete at the next level.  Boy were the experts wrong.

This guy has averaged a double/double the past 4 years and is a career 17 and 10 guy.  That does not appear to be a guy who is unable to compete.  For Chicago, especially if they come up empty-handed on the King, they really salvaged their offseason with this pickup.  They may not be a title contender yet, but the have improved.

Staying in the NBA, the League announced the salary cap to be at 58 million for next season, which is about 2 million more than expected.  So teams will have a little more money than they originally bargained for to spend.  Could this be a sign that the recession is ending (just kidding)?  Also in the NBA, Kevin Durant, last year’s League scoring champ, who has remained very quite during this entire free agency frenzy, signed a 5 year contract extension with the Thunder for around 86 million.  Durant and the Thunder appear to be on the brink of becoming a contender.  Get this team a center or a very tough power forward, and they will compete for the West.  Maybe they should have went after Mr. Boozer perhaps?  Though this may have not fully solved their problem of lacking a solid center, it would have been a makeshift start.

In other sporting news, the World Cup had its second semifinal match yesterday.  Very weird how Lebron James and “The Decision” have completely overshadowed this event.  And in similar fashion to the Eurocup final of 2 years ago, Spain once again defeated the mighty Germans 1 to 0.  After Germany had massacred the “it” team of the tournament (Argentina), many had jumped on the German bandwagon (myself included).  Well I and many others were wrong again.  The Germans appeared half asleep the entire game and were outplayed by the very young and talented Spanish squad.

Now Spain will get to participate in their first World Cup Final against the Dutch.  Neither of these storied soccer countries have ever won a World Cup title.  So on Sunday, we will have a new champion.  Now I know many are disappointed not to see Brazil, Argentina, or Germany in the finals, but these are both great teams that have earned their spots.  Many are not excited for this Final but I think that is nonsense.  These are 2 very strong teams that will put up an entertaining final.  So do not forget to tune in on Sunday at 2:30.

Lastly, voting for the final spot on the NL and AL All Star squads ends tonight with the announcement being made at 6:00.  Now I know this is only a precursor to the real announcement show at 9:00, where Lebron will reveal to the world where he will be playing basketball next season.

Do not get to glued to your television set.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

“Down Goes Frazier”

The World Cup provided some big time surprises today.  Unfortunately for Africa, they have no participants left with 6 teams remaining in the prestigious event.  Ghana put up a valiant effort, but a missed penalty kick by their star player and a poor showing in the shootout proved to be their demise.  It appeared that nerves got the best of a very strong Ghana squad.

And in the other game, the team that everyone thought was invincible.  The team that spent over half of its matches toying with opponents.  The team that was 35-0-2 in games where they led heading into halftime was beaten.  The Netherlands knocked out the mighty Brazilians.  And who is to say that this team cannot take home the Cup?

The Netherlands are playing a Uruguay team in the semifinals, whom nobody expected to make noise in this tourney.  They will be heavily favored and look ready to make their first finals appearance since 1978.  There will be quite a celebration tonight in the Red Light District and I can only imagine the party if this team wins their next 2 matches.  July 11th will be a day forever remembered in Dutch history if they can continue this improbable run.

It was really just shocking to see the mighty Brazilians lose.  Kaka, who is Brazil’s form of Derek Jeter, was unable to deliver on this day.  The Brazilians had never lost a match with both Kaka and Robinho in the lineup (they were 30-0-4 before today).  I will admit I enjoyed watching the Brazilians play.  They are the Yankees of soccer.  Many people from around the world either love or hate these guys.  But everyone has an opinion.

But I will also say this.  They are one of the most cocky group of guys I have ever seen.  These dudes were really good, and believe me, they knew it.  Who doesn’t like to watch basketball players put on fancy moves and no look passes?  Well Brazil plays a  fancy brand of soccer that people enjoy to watch.  And you know what, this may have proved to be what killed them in the end.  No Brazilian player completed 40 passes in the entire tournament.  And the team struggled with passing accuracy.  How about we get back to the fundamentals? 

 The Brazilians had made a mockery of most of their opponents up to this point.  Well it appeared things were going to be that way today when Robinho scored in the 10th minute.  This was the mighty Brazilians.  A team that was ranked number one in the world and had cruised into the quarterfinals. 

Not sure what was said in the locker room at halftime to the Dutch players, but it had to have been a Knute Rockne like speech.  Because these guys came out ready to play.  They scored 8 minutes into the 2nd half and then scored again at the 68 minute mark.  The Netherlands probably felt like the 1980 US Hockey team trying to hold the lead over the mighty Russians after Eruzione scored at the 10 minute marker.

This was no miracle on ice.  This was no Muhammad Ali knockout of Joe Frazier.

But it was a big time victory in Dutch history that will not soon be forgotten.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze