Found these Argentine fans, who came 37 hours in a taxi from Buenos Aires to Rio (one of the guys owns the taxi) and they don't even have tickets!! They were pumped to arrive in front of Maracana Stadium. Two of the guys said their girlfriends gave them permission to come on the condition that if Argentina wins, they will get married. Writing more about them, and the scene here in Rio before the Argentina-Germany final for Sunday Miami Herald.
SAO PAULO -- If you ever find yourself in this city for any reason, be sure to take some time to visit the Museu do Futebol, a terrific interactive museum of soccer history embedded in the Pacaembu Stadium (Municipal Stadium), site of 1950 World Cup matches. And yes, there is a gift shop!
Rather than tell you about it, you can see for yourself...
This man in the moustache is Charles Miller, the Brazilian of English roots who brought soccer to Brazil after studying in England...
Guess who's jersey this is???
Evolution of the soccer ball (early one looks like American football)
Loved this exhibit! In Brazil, EVERYTHING's a ball..socks, a doll's head, ball of string, etc..
Romario: I don't want to play well. I want to make goals.
View of the stadium from museum balcony...
Kids used to sneak peeks of matches through the fences...
World Cup Countdown: 9 Days to Go
England plays Ecuador at Sun Life Stadium Wednesday afternoon, and Honduras Saturday. They have sold 20,000-plus tickets for the Ecuador match and 40,000 plus for the Honduras match.
Here is the update on the England team from The Guardian...Wayne Rooney will start on Wednesday, but not at the position he likes...
World Cup Countdown: 10 Days to Go!
Want to make last-minute plans and head to Brazil for the World Cup? A new stash of tickets is for sale at midnight Wednesday. Here are the details from FIFA...
Close to 180,000 tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be up for sale this Wednesday, 4 June
Football fans have one more chance to experience the 2014 FIFA World Cup live in the 12 stadiums. As of midnight of Tuesday, 3 June 2014, about 180,000 tickets will be up for sale on www.FIFA.com/tickets, in addition to those tickets that are currently available. There will be tickets for all 64 matches.
In order to give an equal chance to all fans who are interested, no matter if they are based in one of the 12 FIFA World Cup Host Cities, in other areas of Brazil or international fans who plan to come to Brazil for the event, these additional tickets will be made available on FIFA.com/tickets.
World Cup Countdown: 13 Days to go!
BY BOBBY BANCROFT
WASHINGTON -- Mevlut Erdinc and Caner Erkin scored in the second half to help Turkey beat World Cup-bound Honduras 2-0 on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium.
Erdinc opened up the scoring in the 70th minute, one-timing a shot right in front of goalkeeper Noel Valladares after Ishak Dogan dribbled around Bryan Beckeles.
In the 83rd minute, Erdinc was again involved, this time providing the perfectly weighted ball to Erkin down the left hand side. Erkin riffled a shot into the back of the net.
Honduras travels to Houston to face Israel on Sunday before playing England in Miami on June 7.
Turkey, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, will travel to New Jersey to face the United States on Sunday at RedBull Arena.
World Cup Countdown: 18 Days to Go!!!!
So much soccer news this weekend...I love how much airtime The Beautiful Game is getting on ESPN these days. My, have times changed.
Let's catch up...
Yesterday's Champions League final was one of the ages, and for Atletico fans, a reminder of how cruel this sport can be. They were 2 minutes from winning the European crown and a Sergio Ramos goal in extra time changed everything. Real Madrid went on to dominate for the next 30 minutes, Bale scored off a gorgeous, athletic header; Marcelo outsprinted a tired Atletico defense, and then Cristiano Ronaldo knocks in a PK to make it 4-1. I could have done without Ronaldo's endless shirtless Hulk preening poses, but hey, the guy was playing in Portugal and it was a huge win -- Real's 10th CL title -- so I guess I'll cut him a break. What did you think of the game? Ronaldo's celebration?
As for Landon Donovan, he spoke out yesterday, and though he said nothing directly critical of Jurgen Klinsmann, his comments made it VERY clear that he feels he deserves to be on the US World Cup team. He said not only did he expect to make the team, he expected to be vying for a starting spot based on his performance in camp, fitness, and dedication to the team. To read exactly what he said, click here....
AS IF there wasn't enough drama about Donovan's snub, Jurgen Klinsmann's 18-year-old son, Jonathan, a goalkeeper with the US youth program, made it even worse by Tweeting a joke about Donovan being left off the team. Read about that here...
Here is my column on the Donovan snub, in case you missed it.
Here is a story by Linda Robertson on the evolution of the US national team and whether the federation is doing a better job of tapping into minority talent pool.
Finally, before you throw out your Sunday Miami Herald, or put it in the birdcage, be sure to pluck out your FREE page of Panini World Cup trading stickers!!
Our beloved Ray Hudson goes nuts on Landon Donovan World Cup snub. Be SURE you listen from start to finish. I just love Ray's passion. I wish he did all soccer commentary in our country. He is so wonderful.
World Cup Countdown: 23 Days to Go!!
Yet another international soccer match in Miami this summer: AS Monaco of France will play Atletico Nacional of Colombia at Marlins Park on July 23 at 7 p.m. as part of the Copa EuroAmericana exhibition tournament.
Across the pond in Germany, captain Philipp Lahn and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer suffered injuries in the German Cup final, but Bayern Munich announced that they are expected to be fit in time for the World Cup.
Neuer hurt his right shoulder during extra time and Lahm injured his left ankle. Neuer was seen with his arm in a sling leaving the team doctor's office.
Despite the injuries, both players are scheduled to travel with the German national team to training camp in Northern Italy on Wednesday.
Lahm is expected to miss a week of training.
"We are optimistic in regards to the World Cup participation of Manuel and Philipp, both, however, need to be treated intensively," Germany head coach Joachim Loew said via the German football federation (DFB). It is good and important that we will have them in South Tirol [at the Germany training camp] from day one, in spite of them not being able to train at the beginning.
Loew invited 27 players to camp and will cut down to 23 after their June 1 tuneup match against Cameroon. Germany is in the same World Cup group as the United States, along with Portugal and Ghana.
World Cup Countown: 26 Days to go!
The World Cup begins in 26 days, and if you plan to go and don't have your visa yet, you better go get one ASAP! Read here about the frustrations of World Cup fans who are overflowing the Miami Brazilian consulate.
World Cup Countdown: 27 Days!
The US team opened training camp in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday, and players have been warned that this will be a tense, grueling few weeks. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann must cut his roster from 30 players to 23 before June 2.
Here is what he had to say on Chris Wondolowski:
We believe that Wondo absolutely deserves to be part of the 30-man roster. He knows it’s a big opportunity and a big chance for him to make his case now in the next three weeks to become part of the 23-man roster. His personality, he doesn’t have to change anything. Every time he comes to the National Team environment, he gives you everything he has. He always goes 1000 percent. He knows he’s getting evaluated by the coaches and what he’s doing day in, day out. He personally doesn’t have to do anything different in how he has done things over the last year that we’ve worked with him, and he came quite a way. He came from a position in which over a longer stretch he hadn’t scored for the National Team, to his first goal then, and into more goals during the Gold Cup and now the last goal he scored against Mexico. He built his own case and he built it stronger and stronger. We’re looking forward to working with Wondo because it’s always a pleasure to have him in camp. He is a competitor. He is determined. You give him a one percent chance and he wants to make it 100 percent at the end of the day. He will be one of those drivers going into the next couple of weeks.”
And here are Klinsmann's thoughts on Jozy Altidore...
“I think it’s very important that you understand the phase a player is in right now, as of today. What phase of his career he’s in, what he’s learned so far throughout his career, and what he’s able then to do in the future time. Jozy is still a very young player and he is going into his learning curve. We have worked with him now over the last three years, and he’s gone from a much younger player into a more mature player, playing very good games for us and scoring important goals for us. Still, we see Jozy in his development phase. Jozy is not built yet. Jozy has not reached his potential yet. Our job, as coaches, is to help him reach his highest potential. I think the next two months will be a big part of that next learning curve for Jozy Altidore. I’ve always said that he has upside; he hasn’t shown it yet in different places maybe. I think we saw last summer a big part of that upside in the World Cup Qualifiers and in some friendlies as well. We coaches are looking forward to having him in camp and having our influence into the next step and we believe that Jozy can play a very big World Cup. Obviously he has to work the next couple of weeks to confirm our trust, which we think he will absolutely do. But I think he is still a player to be developed; he is not there yet.”