10
Dec

Winter wonderland delays Galatasaray-Juventus match

Hail. Sleet. Orange balls. Orange paint. All to no avail.

In a scene reminiscent of the famous “Snow Bowl” World Cup qualifer between the USA and Costa Rica earlier this year, UEFA was forced to abandon Tuesday’s Champions League match between Galatasaray and Juventus when hail and heavy snow forced the teams off the field.

Fans of the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles are allowed to jeer referee Pedro Proenca’s decision. This never would have happened in the NFL, right?

The game will now be played early Wednesday morning (live on FOXSoccer2GO at 8 am ET) after a severe hailstorm interrupted the winner-takes-all encounter in Istanbul. A statement published on the official UEFA Champions League Twitter account read:

"The #UCL fixture between @GalatasaraySK & @juventusfc has been abandoned after a snow storm caused the pitch to become unplayable. According to article 11.04 of the competition regulations, the remaining match time must be played either tomorrow or on a reserve date or other date set by the UEFA administration. A further UEFA update confirmed the fixture would resume on Wednesday afternoon at 1300CET (1200GMT)."

Check out this amazing time-lapse video of the events as they unfolded, and have a nice cup of cocoa.

5
Sep

Five things to watch: Costa Rica v USA

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA

On Friday, the United States men’s national team plays its seventh of ten games in the final stage of World Cup qualifying against Costa Rica.

Here are five urgent questions heading into the game:

Is Jozy Altidore ready to go?

The young target man, newly of Sunderland, is recovering from a hamstring injury. After getting an MRI in Miami upon joining the team, he was given the go-ahead by the medical staff. But how effective he will be, and how durable, remains to be seen.

His importance can hardly be overstated. There is no other striker available who is so proficient at holding up the ball and getting the adjoining attackers involved. And Altidore has scored in his last five USA games, a record, tallying seven goals in all.

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Image courtesy of AP Images

Who will play right back?

Steve Cherundolo is still out with an injury. Timmy Chandler is unavailable too. And Brad Evans, who has played in the spot most recently, was a late scratch from the team because of a calf injury. He was replaced on the roster by Michael Parkhurst, but he, like fellow candidate Geoff Cameron isn’t a natural at the right back position.

Both have their limitations going forward. And both are fourth-stringers at best.

Read More

4
Sep

No surprise: USA gets hostile reception in Costa Rica

When the United States men’s national team squared off against Costa Rica last March, a snow storm hit Colorado making the game one of the most memorable contests in sports history.

Costa Rica wasn’t happy the game was allowed to continue. Maybe that’s because Costa Rica lost. Needless to say, the Ticos certainly haven’t forgotten about the incident.

A crowd of Costa Rican fans are heard chanting “No fair play!” as members of Team USA deplane and board the team bus on Tuesday. You can see exactly how much the perceived injustice earlier this year still sticks in their craw.

One might assume the confines of a bus would bring an end to the pestering. Wrong. According to the Tico Times, eggs were also launched in the salvo against the United States.

Perhaps they just thought the Americans needed a late breakfast after their flight? That’s a stretch. Either way, it should shape up for an even more interesting match come Friday.

28
Mar

Tartan Army answers call before World Cup qualifier

Image via Dailymail

Serbia got by with a little help from their Scottish friends. Despite a heavy snowfall at Karadjordje Stadium, the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Serbia and Scotland was able to be played. Thanks to the efforts of the Tartan Army, fans of Scotland’s national team, the pitch was cleared of snow in time for inspection and the qualifier was given the green light to commence.

Perhaps the fans should have left the snow on the field as Croatia went on to defeats the Scots 2-0 thanks to a double from Filip Djuricic.

23
Mar

USA players commemorate Costa Rica win with signed shovel

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By now, you’ve all watched and read about the ridiculous snowstorm during USA’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Costa Rica on Friday night. To stamp their historic victory in soccer folklore, U.S. soccer posted a signed shovel by USA players on its Instagram account to commemorate their victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The picture of the signed shovel was accompanied with the following message from U.S. soccer:

The entire #USMNT signed this shovel after the game tonight!”

Much to Costa Rica’s chagrin, the Central American team plans to file an official protest with FIFA following their loss to the United States under the snowstorm, which they labeled as an “embarrassment.”

On the bright side, the game was entertaining to watch.