Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 3 EPL Scores/Breakdown

Starting this week, I will begin to post scores of all EPL games and my commentary on each game. While I am unable to watch every single game, scores and back stories tell a lot so I will try my best to support my comments.

Burnley 0:0 Man United
With Van Gaal (finally) getting his first point in the EPL, this score is very underwhelming. This was also Burnley's first point in the EPL since being promoted this year. With many new arrivals and many departures, I'm assuming the Man U locker room is very chaotic causing for poor results.

Man City 0:1 Stoke City
Probably the most surprising score of the weekend. Stoke scored through a fantastic solo effort by Mame Biram Diouf, and were able to hold the usually very high scoring Man City to 0. Can't say much about Man City's attacking efforts, they were there, just none happened to go in.

QPR 1:0 Sunderland
Honestly a very boring game. Charlie Austin with his first goal of the season. The USMNT fan in me would love to see Jozy Altidore get into the starting XI again.

Newcastle 3:3 Crystal Palace 
An exciting battle between the two teams that took until stoppage time for the final tying goal by Wilfried Zaha. A good result for new (old) coach Neil Warnock.

Swansea City 3:0 West Brom
Perfect through 3 games, the Swansea side is fun to watch. Gylfi Sigurdsson is a leader for this team and assisted 2 of the 3 goals for his side. Swansea's next game will be a challenge as they face Chelsea, the only other team to win all 3 games.

West Ham 1:3 Southampton 
Honestly, I said at the beginning of the season that Southampton would be one of the three teams relegated at the end of the season. Much of their squad was picked away, and they were unable to make many great purchases in the transfer market that ends TOMORROW. However, they have been more impressive than I thought with Morgan Schneiderlin scoring twice. (Another USMNT fan wish, I hope the rumors are true about Brek Shea possibly being connected with Southampton.)

Everton 3:6 Chelsea 
This game can best be summed up by what I tweeted while watching the game on Saturday morning: "HOLY S%#@ IF YOU ARE WATCHING FOOTBALL YOU NEED TO STOP AND TURN ON EVERTON CHELSEA. OH MY GOD". This was an extremely exciting game to watch and the goals just kept coming. Unfortunately, Everton's defense was unable to match the attacking prowess that Jose Mourinho has created this transfer market. (As much as I hate saying it, Diego Costa has proven to be a great signing for Chelsea, as he scored 2 of the 6 Chelsea goals.)

Aston Villa 2:1 Hull City
With 2 wins and a draw in the first 3 games, Aston Villa has sort of been under the radar. Without many big names, they don't get as much coverage as many other teams do and this may explain why they are doing so well. Great performances by USMNT GK Brad Guzan have helped this team achieve the 7 points that they currently have.

Tottenham 0:3 Liverpool
This is a very positive result for Brendan Rodgers and the rest of the team. After losing upsettingly 3-1 last week to Man City, they were able to bounce back and beat a Tottenham team that had just come off a huge 4-0 win against QPR. The clean sheet also says something about the defensive changes made by Rodgers this transfer season.

Leicester City 1:1 Arsenal
A great effort by Leicester gave them a tie at home vs. a static Arsenal team that has not made many changes this transfer season. Their big purchase in Alexis Sanchez was the goal scorer, but many fans are still calling for a signing to replace Olivier Giroud, who was hurt last week in the tie vs. Everton.

There are no games this weekend because of an international friendly break. EPL play will resume September 13th.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Basics

Before I start getting into full out blogging on my personal thoughts on soccer tactics and teams, let me give you some basics so that this blog is easier to navigate:

  1. MLS stands for Major League Soccer. It is the biggest league of soccer in America and is still growing with Orlando, New York City, and Atlanta all getting new teams starting within the next few years. 
  2. EPL stands for English Premiere League. It is one of the most renowned soccer leagues in the world because top class players play there. Manchester United, an EPL team, is very popular in the United States (and I have no clue why....)
  3. USMNT stands for United States Mens National Team. It is the best soccer team in the world. No arguments. 
  4. FPL stands for Fantasy Premiere League. It is an online website where you can create a team and gain points based on how well the players on your team do. Below is a picture for my FPL team for this weekend. 

The First Post

Hello to everyone who reads this! Welcome to my first ever blog. If you know me, you know that over the past 4 years (since the 2010 World Cup) I have become obsessed with soccer. While I did play the sport before I started becoming fully entrenched in it, I was an average player that knew the bench a little too well. It wasn't until a coach told me that those who know the sport best are actually those that didn't have stunning careers as players. They had more time to sit on the bench and really analyze the game. They were the ones who thought "why is my coach playing this formation" or "why is this player not starting over this player". After I gained these skills during the numerous hours warming the bench, I started to play a game called FIFA (I'll write a whole other post about that...) and then took the skills I learned from the game (such as a further understanding of formations) and applied them while watching leagues like EPL and MLS. I now think I have a good enough understanding of these that I am able to write about them to an audience.

The purpose of this blog is to ride the wave of soccer fever that still lingers after the 2014 World Cup, and to bring soccer concepts and ideas to an audience. While this blog is meant to be unbiased, it will mostly lean toward American soccer, both the domestic league and the national team, and a little bit of EPL. Thank you for reading!

Caleb Besaw

The last goal I ever scored in an organized game.