soccer

  • When To Watch Team USA

    This past year, The World Cup sparked a huge interest in soccer from millions of Americans. We rallied together as a nation, and supported Team USA during their entire campaign. It seems like the same exact thing happened in 2010. I love the American passion that comes out for the tournament -- but it seems like it just goes extinct during the years between each World Cup. There is absolutely no reason as to why America can’t continue to support and love its team, even after the World Cup comes to a conclusion. If you’re desperately wanting to watch the national team take the field again, but don’t want to have to wait until 2018 -- then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

    Next year, Canada will be hosting the Women’s World Cup. Women’s soccer is just as fast paced as men’s soccer, and is definitely just as exciting. USA’s women’s squad is regularly one of the very best teams in the entire world, and will prove to be very strong competitors. This is surely a tournament you won’t want to miss.

    The CONCACAF (this is the name of our region, which consists of nations from North & Central America and the Caribbean) Gold Cup will also take place next year. Teams from all over the region will face off to become the champion of CONCACAF. Expect to see quite a few new faces, as these young, untested players will be trying to solidify their role in the national team.

    2016 should be a very exciting year for U.S. Soccer. There is of course, the Olympic Games in Brazil. The thing I really like about the Olympics is that our entire squad, with the exception of three players, all has to be younger than 24 years of age. This gives all of these young players a chance to show their talents on a global stage.

    In addition to the Olympics, USA will actually be hosting Copa America – which is a South American Soccer tournament that invites a few CONCACAF teams to participate. We’ll get the chance to watch very talented national teams like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia face off….right here in our country! If you have the chance, I urge you to go out and support Team USA during this tournament, it should be an incredible experience!

    In 2017, the Confederations Cup will be held in Russia. This is an 8 team tournament, with at least one team from each region around the world competing. It’s sort of like a “pre-game” to the World Cup the following year, if that makes sense. If USA wins the Gold Cup in 2015, we will compete in the Confederations Cup.

    Finally, before we know it, 2018 will roll around and The World Cup will be upon us! I am very excited to see what this tournament holds for our country. Don’t just watch soccer every four years. There is a major tournament every single year between the World Cups, so get out there, have some fun, and support Team USA every day of the week!

    Kelby

  • Experiencing It Live -- Supporting and Loving Major League Soccer

    On August 16, I had the privilege of traveling to Ohio to watch Columbus Crew face off against Los Angeles Galaxy in the Major League Soccer showdown. Before the match kicked off, Columbus honored legend Landon Donovan by showing a video of the most memorable goals that Donovan has scored over the years at Crew Stadium. After the video presentation, former Galaxy and USA teammates Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter (currently the coach of Columbus) presented Donovan with a framed piece of netting from the north net -- which is from the goal he scored on in the 2-0 victory against Mexico in September, 2013.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9k4R1yVvm4&list=UUQsasqjpe_blMBHbUoWYGZg

    “I have a lot of very good memories here and I was very appreciative of them doing that. They certainly didn’t have to and I certainly have a lot of respect for the Gregg [Berhalter] and the Crew organization.” – Landon Donovan

     

    It’s very heartwarming that the Crew went out of their way to honor Landon’s career in such a way as that. In the next game the Galaxy played, the Colorado Rapids presented Donovan with a ski pass, a Vail Resorts gift basket, and a bottle of wine from the vineyard of Colorado’s owner.

     

    Getting back to the actual game in Columbus -- it definitely didn’t have the turnout that I was hoping for. The Galaxy were basically ineffective throughout the entire match, resulting in a 4-1 thrashing from Columbus. Both teams have been on fire and have won every game since their meeting on the 16th.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRXL3OJarSE&index=2&list=LLomvsraQAHLT6HdA95wcrYA

    After the match, the Crew treated fans who decided to stick around for a while longer to a fireworks show. Although the Galaxy didn’t get the win they were hoping for, I’m so glad that I got to experience Landon’s very last game in Crew Stadium, and a fantastic fireworks showing.

     

    I urge everyone to start supporting Major League Soccer. The best way for soccer to further develop in The United States, is to build a stronger fan base. The best advice I can give is to find an MLS team and support it. Watch as many televised games as you can. If you ever have the opportunity -- PLEASE buy tickets and watch a game live. I promise the atmosphere is totally different from any sporting event you have ever been to, and you will absolutely love it. You definitely won’t regret it. I’m so excited for our league and our national team to continue to grow. Soccer is beginning to become one of the major sports in our country, and that is something I’m proud of.

     

    Stay tuned, Kelby

  • Thank you, Landon Donovan

    On August 7, US National Soccer Team & Major League Soccer (MLS) legend Landon Donovan announced that he will retire from professional soccer following the conclusion of the 2014 MLS season. Donovan is the leading goal scorer in MLS history, US National Team history, MLS playoffs, and in the MLS All-Star games. He has won five MLS Cups, a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, two MLS Supporters Shields (best regular season record), and four CONCACAF Gold Cups. He has scored 5 goals in three World Cups (earning Best Young Player in 2002), and arguably should have competed in a fourth.

    Donovan has been the “face of soccer” in the United States for as long as I can remember. He has been consistent throughout his entire career, and has even carried his team on his shoulders when they have needed him most. One moment that I, and I’m sure everyone else will surely never forget, is the stoppage time goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup. It looked like the US were certainly eliminated from the tournament, but with just minutes remaining, Donovan smashed home the game winning goal in the 1-0 victory over the Algerians. Please feel free to share your favorite memories of the greatest American soccer player in history.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7eZmKWW9s4

    On Saturday, I traveled to Ohio to watch Columbus Crew host Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS regular season match. Los Angeles, as I’m sure many of you know, is the club that Landon Donovan plays for. It was my third and final opportunity that I have to watch Landon Donovan play in person --  and what a privilege that has been. I’ll be sure to share my experience in Columbus with you, and hopefully have some pictures to post too. Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy only have 14 MLS regular season games remaining. I encourage everyone to watch as many of these games as you can -- you still have an opportunity to watch a true legend play before he hangs up his cleats for good -- so please don’t waste it.

    There’s no doubt that Landon Donovan is the greatest American to ever play the game. He has given so much to this sport, and this country -- and said he will continue to do so -- however he can. This certainly isn’t the last we’ll hear of the legend. After the 2014 season comes to an end, there are countless opportunities for him -- whether that be coaching, commentating, or just offering his expert opinions -- Landon Donovan will continue to give to soccer.

    With Donovan leaving, this will obviously free up quite a bit of salary space, so who will LA sign to the team? There are endless possibilities, and it’s probably a little too early to start guessing. It probably won’t be until around January that we actually start hearing news about potential signees. As always, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

    Landon will definitely be missed by soccer fans all around the world. He was playing in the first soccer match that I ever watched in my life. He inspired me quite a bit during my soccer career, and I’ll definitely miss watching him do what he’s best at. He is a one of a kind player that has had such an impact on our country. Landon Donovan is a true American Hero. It’s tough to grasp that we will never see him in the US jersey ever again, but soccer in America still has a very bright future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-0yrpvNUbI

    Stay tuned, Kelby

  • No Landon Donavon? No Problem: World Cup 2014

    World Cup 2014

    Hello there! My name is Kelby Ferrell. I was recently offered a chance to keep you informed and up to date on all of the excitement that is happening in Brazil during the World Cup 2014 this summer. I graciously accepted the offer. Just a little about myself before we get started. I'm a graduate of Belfry High School in Kentucky where I captained the varsity soccer team my junior and senior years. As you can imagine, I live and breathe soccer. I am a passionate follower of the United States Men's National Team (USMNT), and I would love to share my knowledge and analysis of the team and the entire World Cup with you. So let's get started.

    If you follow the US team at all, then you're probably aware that coach Jurgen Klinsmann excluded American superstar Landon Donovan from the World Cup roster. Donovan has scored more goals and recorded more assists than any other player in USMNT history. American fans have become outraged at the coach's decision, doubting his judgement. Regardless, they had to accept that they would not be cheering on their favorite player this summer.

    On June 16, the USMNT faced a familiar foe for their first game of the World Cup 2014 -- Ghana. In the last two World Cups, (2006 & 2010), Ghana not only beat The US, but they were the team that eliminated them from the competitions. Most USA fans will agree that Ghana is their most hated team, and are desperate for revenge. On the evening of the 16th, their dream of revenge was fulfilled.

    The game opened up quickly -- very quickly, actually. In just 34 seconds, American captain Clint Dempsey calmly slotted a left footed shot into the net. The goal is the fastest of the World Cup so far.  The Americans held on to their 1-0 lead for almost the entire game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb8vOGI1JQA

    With roughly eight minutes left of the 90 minute match, Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew finally beat the US defense and scored the equalizing goal. With a draw, the US would only earn one point instead of three. With four minutes remaining, 21 year old John Brooks headed a corner kick delivered by Graham Zusi into the goal. The US held on for the 2-1 victory and earned all three points.

    Along with the positives, the game also produced its share of negatives for Team USA -- including one BIG negative. Twenty-three minutes into the game, Jozy Altidore dropped to the ground, clinching the back of his thigh. Altidore is arguably the best goal-scorer on this US squad, so this is obviously a huge blow to the team. He was later diagnosed with a hamstring tear. The severity of the tear is still unclear, so it's possible that he could return for World Cup play. I'll be sure to keep you updated on Altidore's injury.

    Overall, it was a fantastic start to the tournament for the US. On June 22, they'll face Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal in their second game of the Group Stage (which I'll explain more in my next post). A win for the US would be absolutely fantastic.

    Stay tuned, Kelby

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