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First Impressions: EvoPower blackout leather
Puma EvoPower 1 FG blackout leather
First Impressions: EvoPower blackout leather

 There here, finally, I have finally got my hands on new boots and they are none other than the new Puma EvoPower boots. This will be my first impression write up; I have only played in these boots twice now. So far the boot has impressed me a lot just by the look of it. The good people of Puma have been buzzing about these new cleats and what they can offer the player on the field.


When looking at these boots for the first time, they appear to be an amalgamation of the Puma cleats today. The combination of the EvoSpeeds, Powercats, and the Puma Kings some claim. When unboxing the boot for the first time my first impression was "humbling" with all the black as opposed to the new "flashy" boots of today. There is nothing wrong with "flashy" boots but something different is a nice thing when you look for variety in the cleat market today.


This boot boasts a handful of interesting attributes and qualities that should give the modern footballer the edge they desire. Forwards of today always brag about one thing in their shoe and that is the strike surface to their boot. The Puma EvoPowers boast the use of Accufoam inserts which are supposed to provide a smooth striking surface. The Accufoam inserts are in fact somewhat noticeable on the bright orange boot. The blackout leather edition on the other hand the only way of noticing the Accufoam inserts is by looking close up. The EvoPower’s also treasure a particular feature, the Gradual Stability Frame, which is boasts a capability of being super flexible.


On to the important attribute (well important for me since I have a tendency to rip my cleats at this exact spot every time) the EverFit External Cage. The Everfit External Cage is alleged to add stability in the middle of the foot, which should help with all aspects to the game and one's performance on the field. Finally on to the AdaptLite one-way stretchable upper, which is supposed to allow maximum flexibility to one's foot when striking the ball.


In the upcoming week I will be putting these boots to the test, playing in as many games as one possibly can. In order to best describe the feeling of the boot when it comes to the boots level of comfort, first touch, striking capability and strength overall. Stay in touch to catch my field test review soon!


Special Thanks to Michelle and Ariela of Puma for the opportunity to try these bad boys out. 

Posted by Gio Franco on 04/23/2014 at 4:03 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Dempsey carries the ball forward into the attacking third
" R E S P E C T"

Errors can cost dearly, especially errors at home, Chivas USA Saturday evening took on the smooth firing Seattle Sounders at home in Carson California. In what appeared to be a pragmatic lineup by Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera decided to play a five man midfield in order to best clog the Seattle attack. Seattle manager Sigi Schmid went with a more traditional lineup with Dempsey paired with Martins up top. A tactical battle for both possession and opportunities ensued from the first half to the second.


The first half started with a fascinating mistake from Oswaldo Alonso in the fourth minute, after making a strong tackle to intercept a through ball sent in for Barrera. The tackle although pushed the ball slightly forward for Barrera to run onto. Oswaldo made a second tackle, but instead of winning the ball this time around Ossie caught Leandro Barrera in the box and referee Ismail Elfath was quick to point to the spot. Erick Torres stepped up to the penalty and easily dispatched it past Stefan Frei. The match after the goal displayed some intrigue, one mistake led to the goal for the Goats and another error led to Seattle equalizing.


 The sounders won a free kick in the attacking half in the 24th minute of the game. Pineda whipped in a wonderful cross only to be met by Bobby Burling who sent his header soaring into the air and Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy approached for a easy save. Kennedy when touching the ball spilled the ball back into the chaotic box where Clint Dempsey lashed a shot into the chaos. The ball deflected off of Chad Marshall and in front of Lamar Neagle who was quick to put the ball into the empty net. The remaining of the first half became a midfield battle which the goats enjoyed a fair share of opportunities.


The second half would reconvene and also would boil over for Chivas in the 73rd minute. Chivas USA midfielder Marco Delgado was shown red for a slight challenge on Pineda, which can be arguably a yellow card. Seattle Sounders who tested Kennedy and got their winning goal in the 81st minute would soon exploit the red card. A quick play between Martins and Dempsey where Martins played a quick pass to Clint. Martins then ran into space where the Seattle number two again found Obafemi Martins in the box and Martins chipped his shot over Kennedy for the winning goal.


In the post game press conference Chivas USA head coach was livid with officiating on the night particularly with their "display of respect towards Chivas USA.” Coach Cabrera was quick to point out the fact that in most 50-50 contentions his side encountered against the Sounders, referee Ismail Elfath “would give the Sounders the benefit.” When looking at the statistics it is a little conspicuous when Chivas USA are accounted for 26 fouls during the match and Seattle just seven. The fact for this mach is simple though; Chivas was only able to score once opposed to Seattle's two goals. In contrary to what Wilmer Cabrera stated Chivas USA were indeed awarded a penalty in the early stages of the match.


Coach Wilmer Cabrera was also quick to point out his side's future with the very noticeable obstacles that they need to overcome. The main word Cabrera used was to describe the obstacle the Goats need to overcome is "respect the respect given to them on the field.”


Attendance 7,499

Photographs accredited to Angelica Orozco

Posted by Gio Franco on 04/22/2014 at 12:03 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Field Testing the Mitre Delta V12 Professional Match Ball
More than just a Round Ball
Field Testing the Mitre Delta V12 Professional Match Ball
We here at World Football Daily were recently sent the Mitre Delta V12 and Delta V12 Fluo Profession Match Ball to use and test out. It's not like we need much of an excuse to kick a ball around, especially when it is a top quality premium match ball like this.  So we took it to the pitch to see just how good this ball really was.

Before we get into the actual field test and the overall opinion of those kicking this ball around, let's go over some of the general "Tech Specs" on this ball.  When you go to to research this ball, the first thing that stands out is the bold claim that this ball is the "most advanced FIFA Approved quality match ball ever made".  Right off the bat, we had high expectations for this ball.

The Delta V12 is a 12 panel Professional football used in the English Football Leagues, the Scottish Premier Football League, and the Capital One Cup.  According to Mitre, the football was developed with professional players in mind, relating to the quality of touch, speed of play, and vision during play.  The Delta V12 and the "Hi-Vis" brother the Fluo, are recommended for use on natural grass pitches.  A Soft-feel, textured grain PU surface offers excellent aerodynamic stability.  Basically, the ball is capable of keeping stable, even at 70 mph.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's go in to what we use to judge a premium match ball. 
  1. Touch and Feel of the ball
  2. What you see when you play
  3. Actual playability

Touch and Feel

One of the coolest things about this ball is the actual feel of it.  Most professional match balls these days have a very synthetic feel to them and because I'm not that old (almost 30), I grew up playing with either rubbery or plastic feeling balls that were not of much quality.  So when I first touched this ball, I was really impressed with the fact that it literally felt like leather. 

At the same time, the leather feel made me  wonder a bit because I was was worried that the leather would hold water or moisture in general, but after testing this ball in both dry and wet environments, I can definitely say that this balls stay consistent with its touch and feel, no matter the weather you are playing through. 

The leather feel sticks to your feet in a very organic fashion and it doesn't feel like it has to make up for the synthetic cover with padding underneath.  It took no time at all to get used to this ball.

What You See

This is something that really impressed me as well.  I've been lucky enough to be sent to various research and development conferences with many top sporting good manufacturers and those who build balls always point to the design or graphics on the ball as something that they work on to help the player see the ball better. 

When you play with the Delta V12 during the day, it is incredible how much you see while the ball is in motion.  Regardless of whether it is in the air or on the ground, the player will be able to pick up the spin and movement immediately.  Now, I'm no professional footballer, but the graphics on this ball literally made me a better player simply because I could pick up its movement that much faster.

If you've paid for the top balls from Adidas or Nike, I would highly suggest that you look at this ball in comparison and be prepared to be amazed.


Flat out, this ball is fun to play with.  The Mitre Delta V12 feels like a real football, not a plastic basketball or a synthetic super ball or whatever.  The ball has a true roll and true touch.  Because you can see the ball better and because of the general touch and feel of the ball, you actually learn with this ball as you play with it which is something I've always appreciated with a ball that I am spending more money on in comparison to the balls you get at your local sporting goods shop.

When you kick this ball, whether you're striking it on goal, taking a set piece or corner, or blasting it out of the back, you understand what you're doing.  What I mean by that is, you know how and where you hit the ball and you understand the resulting reaction.

All around, this ball is an amazing purchase if you're buying it.  If you're lucky enough to play with this ball in competition, you'll be pleasantly pleased with it.  You won't be able to blame the ball for any reason and in general, playing with the Delta V12 is an incredibly enjoyable experience.

Posted by Rafa Gonzales on 04/15/2014 at 5:14 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Galaxy grinds the gears against Vancouver
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane plays pass a Vancouver tackle into open play
Galaxy grinds the gears against Vancouver

Grinding the gears, there's absolutely nothing worst than driving down the road hearing your car's RPMs kick up and she instead slows down instead of speeding up. Saturday night the Los Angeles Galaxy experienced a little more stress in their match against the Vancouver Whitecaps than last weeks LA derby encounter. In a match whom the Galaxy really needed to win in order to extend the winning run to two games. In the league none can stress the importance of winning home games most than we here at World Football Daily.


The first half exhibited the alacrity and typical slow start to the Los Angeles Galaxy's play. Dominating possession in the first half the Galaxy found it still rather difficult to challenge David Ousted's goal. Only recording one shot on goal out eight total shots. Opposed to Vancouver who instead preferred to press high up the field putting fast paced pressure on the Galaxy's back four. The forward pairing of Mattocks and Manneh by Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson almost paid off on certain moments in the opening half. Pressure from Mattocks in one instance forced a terrible back pass from Leonardo and left Penedo scrambling to boot it clear. The issue for the Los Angeles Galaxy this week appeared to be in their initial passing. Last week's display against Chivas USA, the Galaxy showed their capacity of creating cutting passes quite astutely. This time around the passing overall throughout the first half lacked immensely.


The Galaxy did not look entirely lost in the first half to the contrary of what the statistics stated. The Galaxy was in fact patient when it came to their build up going forward. The main obstacle was coming from random weight on passes or lack of passing. The fruit of their labor would come to forward for the Los Angeles Galaxy though after the restart.


At the start of the second half it did not take long for the Galaxy to make something of their build up. The Galaxy's new signing Stefan Ishizaki whipped in a beautiful cross from the right side of the Whitecap's penalty box in the 47th minute. Meeting the cross was none other than the Los Angeles number seven Robbie Keane on the volley to make it 1-0 in favor of Los Angeles. Much of the match began to fade after the goal, the best opportunity for Vancouver came in the 77th minute when Kenny Miller got to Mezquida's corner on the near post forcing a save from Penedo.


The Galaxy in fact could have had two more goals in the dying moments of the game. Robert Friend had a chance in both the 82nd minute and in the 88th minute. Friend was able to run onto a one-touch pass by Robbie Keane to take on Ousted one on one, but Robert scuffed his shot wide of the far post. In the 88th minute the Canadian giant was able to get up to a Keane cross into the box but Robert sends his effort again wide of the post. The Galaxy on a third attempt could have extended their lead further. Robbie Keane in the dying moments of the match took down a brilliant header from Rob Friend. Keane sped into the Vancouver box beating DeMerit and attempting a cheeky chip, but the chip went over the bar.


 The Los Angeles Galaxy won their second league game this year in rather dull fashion. The main take away from this match up was the three points for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The questions still rise of the Galaxy's capability of containing themselves when they take on a team that will press them high up the pitch. Sloppy passing could have afforded the Galaxy in this encounter but didn't, the Galaxy need to tighten up their passing from all ends of the field from the attacking role to the defense. The Los Angeles Galaxy will travel to Vancouver next Saturday with hopes of trying to acquire a result in Canada to keep their MLS campaign rolling right. 

20,847 attendance  

Posted by Gio Franco on 04/13/2014 at 4:22 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Portland Timbers 1-1 Chivas USA from Providence Park
Will Johnson Opens The Scoring 8 Minutes In
Portland Timbers 1-1 Chivas USA from Providence Park

MLS Game 6– Providence Park

04/12/2014: Clear and mild, 16C/61F

Attendance: 21,152

Pre-game records: Portland Timbers (W0-D3-L2) vs. Chivas USA (W1-D2-L2)

Starting Line-ups:

Portland Timbers – GLK Donovan Ricketts, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Futty Danso, DEF Pa Modou Kah, DEF Michael Harrington, MID Will Johnson, MID Diego Chara, MID Diego Valeri, MID Darlington Nagbe, MID Kalif Alhassan, FWD Maximiliano Urruti. Formation: 4-2-3-1.

Chivas USA – GLK Dan Kennedy, DEF Eric Avila, DEF Eriq Zavaleta, DEF Carlos Bocanegra, DEF Andrew Jean-Baptiste, MID Mauro Rosales, MID Augustin Pelletieri, MID Carlos Alvarez, MID Thomas McNamara, FWD Leandro Barrera, FWD Erick Torres. Formation: 4-4-1-1.

Game 6 of the MLS season:

A beautiful springtime evening greeted the loyal fans here at Providence Park as the Portland Timbers faced Chivas USA in their 4th home game of the season, the Timbers still looking for their first home victory of the season and they started out heavy favorites in this contest as Chivas USA had not won since their opening game of the season against the Chicago Fire at the StubHub Center.

The Timbers may not have won at home this season, but they also remained unbeaten at Providence Park and after throwing away a 2 goal advantage last week to Seattle who came back to draw 4-4 in a thrilling encounter, the Timbers and their fans will have felt that it was high time to get 3 home points on the board against a Chivas side not fancied by many to make the play-offs this season. Chivas last result was a 3-0 thumping by the LA Galaxy at Chivas which will not have pleased Coach Wilmer Cabrera.

Kalif Alhassan was excellent in the game against Seattle and his pace and wide play brought a new dimension to the Timbers attack so he kept his place over Gaston Fernandez and Futty Danso came in at the heart of the defense for Nolberto Paparatto who has looked a little shaky throughout the early games this season. Alvas Powell also kept his place over the experienced Jack Jewsbury as Coach Caleb Porter opted for youth at right back.

Match Highlights:

1st Half

The Timbers made a bright start and it was clear from the outset that the plan was to get the ball to Alhassan as often as possible to terrorize former Timber Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Alhassan easily broke past Jean-Baptiste on the right wing and his cross was met by a diving Dan Kennedy whose fist away took the ball off the foot of Diego Valeri.

Goal 8 mins: With Chivas down a man due to what looked like a change of boots for Carlos Bocanegra, the Timbers took advantage of a defensive error and Diego Valeri found Darlington Nagbe who then slipped in Will Johnson. Johnson calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner from just inside the penalty area. Portland Timbers 1-0 Chivas USA.

Not many chances were had in the first 20 minutes and Futty Danso was doing a good job of man marking the dangerous Erick Torres and there was no doubt that the Timbers looked more secure at the back than in recent games as Caleb Porter looked to get things right at the back and stop the goal leakages of recent games.

In the 25th minute after some decent possession for Chivas USA, Darlington Nagbe slipped in Maximilliano Urruti who faked a pass to Valeri and turned and shot from just outside the penalty area and Dan Kennedy dove down to his right to tip the ball around the far post. A fine effort by Urruti. Ten minutes later and after some good hold up play by Alhassan, the ball broke loose to Diego Valeri who put Will Johnson in again and his powerful shot just grazed that near sided frame of the goal as he looked to do what Diego Chara did last week and bag a brace.

Just before the stroke of half-time, Chivas USA forced a corner after a slight mistake by Will Johnson and from the corner Avila hit one from outside the box that was deflected on its way toward goal but Donovan Ricketts saw it all the way, even with some severe spin on the ball.

It was a pretty scrappy first half with clear cut chances few and far between but the home side will have been happy with their first half performance as Danso and Kah looked solid at the back. Chivas had plenty of possession but rarely looked threatening and their set pieces lacked real penetration and were dealt with quite easily by the Timbers defense. Will Johnson’s excellent early strike was the difference between the two sides as Portland actually scored first in a home game for the first time this season.

Half Time Score: Portland Timbers (Johnson 8) 1-0 Chivas USA

2nd Half:

The 2nd half continued in a similar vein to the first as it was rather scrappy and although Chivas had slightly more possession, the Timbers back line dealt with everything that came at them. Portland almost played like the away side in the first 15 minutes as they looked to counter Chivas on the break and get the all-important second goal that would give them the cushion they need. Chivas almost slipped in Erick Torres on 57 minutes but Kah made a crucial defensive tackle to see off the danger.

As the game approached the 70 minute mark and the Chivas continued to try to press, it was clear that the Timbers were playing it cautiously and were looking to grind out a home win in a scrappy fashion. The game was very disjointed at this time and much of the game was being fought out in the midfield third with few chances being created.
With 15 minutes to go, Chivas USA almost equalized when a whipped in free kick was not dealt with by the Timbers back line and Carlos Bocanegra was unable to steer the ball home in a crowded penalty area after some poor attempts to clear by the Timbers defense. Portland were clearly nervous and looking to hang on to the victory and not commit too many forward.

Goal 79 mins: Chivas USA found a way through the Timbers defense when former Timber Jean-Baptiste found Leandro Barrera on the left wing and he slid a low cross in for Erick Torres to pounce upon and slot it past Donovan Ricketts. The goal was on the cards and Portland were now paying for lacking attacking creativity in the second half. Portland Timbers 1-1 Chivas USA.

In injury time, the Timbers pushed for the winner and gained a free kick just outside the penalty area. Will Johnson stepped up and the ball took a slight deflection off the wall and smashed onto the near post. So close to a huge winner that would have kicked off the season for the Portland Timbers. The game remained a tight affair as the Timbers tried to get a late winner but as in their first 2 home games, they were unable to penetrate the Chivas defense with any real creativity and the game finished at 1 goal apiece.

Full Time Score: Portland Timbers 1-1 Chivas USA


It looked as though the Portland Timbers were going to carry on where they left off last week with some excellent attacking play in the first 20 minutes but once they got the first goal, their attacking mindset seemed to dissipate as the team looked more concerned with keeping the 1-0 lead instead of going at Chivas for the second goal and that allowed the away side to try to go at the Timbers and they finally got their deserved goal with 10 minutes to go. Another frustrating night for the Timbers Army with the 4th home draw in a row at Providence Park. 4 points from 6 games will not please Timbers Coach Caleb Porter.

Final Score: Portland Timbers (Johnson 8) 1-1 Chivas USA (Torres 79)


Posted by Mark Henty on 04/12/2014 at 9:36 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
LA Derby victory puts the Galaxy into Gear
Leonardo brings the ball forward from the back line
LA Derby victory puts the Galaxy into Gear

The Los Angeles Galaxy, only two games into the regular season look to kick-start their MLS campaign with a win against their local rivals Chivas USA. The Los Angeles Galaxy has had their opening home game dashed by Real Salt Lake with a 0-1 lost and scrounged a point with a 1-1 draw against Salt Lake in Utah. The Galaxy will come to rely on their midfield in the upcoming matches. Bruce Arena last sunday chose to start Dan Gargan as right back and Brian Perk in goal. In the game against Chivas USA two players from the midfield would open their scoring accounts for the Los Angeles Galaxy.


The first half could not of turned out perfectly for the Galaxy as they dominated possession early and created opportunities. The Galaxy got on the score sheet just a little after 37 minutes after Ishizaki sent in a cross to Dan Gargan at the right post. Gargan brilliantly headed the ball across goal for Robbie Keane to smash it home despite Kennedy's best efforts. The LA Galaxy did not stop there either in the 42nd minute Juninho found Ishizaki bursting into the Chivas USA box. Stefan on his second touch quickly dispatched his shot into the back of the net to extend the Galaxy's lead to two going into halftime.


LA manager Bruce Arena knew as well did his Chivas USA counterpart that if the Galaxy can get a third goal before Chivas can score, they will put the game out of reach. The Galaxy's third decisive goal came in the 56th minute with a beautifully built counterattack. The Galaxy's passing cut through the Chivas USA defense, like a warm knife through butter, clearing enough space for Baggio Husidic to net his first Galaxy goal. The important third goal slowed the game down significantly for the Goats; in fact their first effort on the Los Angeles goal was in the 82nd minute. Chivas USA didn't in fact have much going forward for them until after the 80th minute. Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera stated in the post game press conference "this is our worst performance." Wilmer Cabrera was also adamant on his side being able to get back to work the next week to recover from this set back.


The Los Angeles Galaxy have won their first game in the MLS this campaign and reluctantly it was against their hometown rivals Chivas USA. The Galaxy will be facing off against the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday evening in Carson California. The Whitecaps will be looking to recover from their lost to the Colorado Rapids in week five, losing 2-1 in Colorado. The Los Angeles Galaxy will need to capitalize on their opportunities when they host Vancouver, especially if they hope to come out of the game with all three points.


The Los Angeles Galaxy appear to have found an identity to their play especially after their home lost to Real Salt Lake. The fact that the LA Galaxy also were knocked out of the Champions League (CONCACAF) by the other team in California, Baja California, Club Tijuana. A strong home display against the Xoloitzcuintles gave the Galaxy their first win in the overall campaign 1-0 in the first leg. The second leg in Tijuana was where the Galaxy had their worst first half display yet. But the Galaxy in the second half of that leg began to show real character scoring twice but still losing 4-2 in the second leg and dropping out of the tournament 4-3 in aggregate.


The game last Sunday in Carson the Galaxy played with that same character and drive that they had in that second half in Tijuana. The upcoming season for the LA Galaxy should be a very enticing one. It is in fact really early in the season, but a strong start can help when it comes to qualifying for the MLS Cup in the end of the season. 

Photography credit to Angelica Orozco

Posted by Gio Franco on 04/10/2014 at 3:50 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Portland Timbers 4-4 Seattle Sounders from Providence Park
Diego Chara celebrates the first of his two beauties against the Seattle Sounders in a thrilling match!
Portland Timbers 4-4 Seattle Sounders from Providence Park

MLS Game 5– Providence Park

04/05/2014: Drizzle, 11C/52F

Attendance: 20,168

Portland Timbers (W0-D2-L2) vs. Seattle Sounders (W2-D0-L2)

Starting Line-ups:

Portland Timbers – GLK Andrew Weber, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Norberto Paparatto, DEF Pa Modou Kah, DEF Michael Harrington, MID Will Johnson, MID Diego Chara, MID Diego Valeri, MID Darlington Nagbe, MID Kalif Alhassan, FWD Maximiliano Urruti. Formation: 4-3-3.

Seattle Sounders – GLK Stefan Frei, DEF DeAndre Yedlin, DEF Jalil Anibaba, DEF Chad Marshall, DEF Leonardo Gonzalez, MID Osvaldo Alonso, MID Michael Azira, MID Gonzalo Pineda, FWD Kenny Cooper, FWD Clint Dempsey, FWD Obafemi Martins. Formation 4-3-3.

Game 5 of the MLS season:

This is the game in the season that most soccer fans in the pacific NW look forward between the Portland Timbers and their derby rivals the Seattle Sounders. Neither side has made a blistering start to the season with Seattle sitting on 6 points from 2 wins and 2 defeats and Portland underperforming on 2 points with 2 draws and 2 loses from their opening 4 games. The Timbers will have hoped to have garnished more points from their opening two home games against Philadelphia Union and the Chicago Fire as they came from behind to snatch a draw in both encounters and they will have been disappointed with the two losses on the road since.

Seattle have had an indifferent start to the season themselves with wins against Champions Kansas City and Montreal Impact but losses at home against the much improved Toronto FC and Columbus Crew will not have pleased coach Sigi Schmid. Still very early on into the season, both teams were looking to take the points, especially in a heated derby game such as this where Pacific NW pride is at stake and of course points in the Cascadia Cup.

Both teams went with a 4-3-3 formation and for the Timbers, Jack Jewsbury and Gaston Fernandez were placed on the bench with Alvas Powell and Kalif Alhassan in to replace them. The Timbers have lacked real width on their opening home games and bringing in Alhassan would hope to provide good pace and crosses from the wing. Seattle did not surprise with their team selection playing Kenny Cooper, the pacey Obafemi Martins, and Clint Dempsey in a 3 pronged attack. It looked like both teams were setup to go for the win and go toe to toe with the same formations.

Match Highlights:

1st Half

Goal 3 mins: With only 2:15 minutes on the clock the Sounders were ahead through Kenny Cooper from a corner that was driven past the far post and there was Jalil Anibaba to drive the ball back across goal and none other than former Timber Kenny Cooper couldn’t miss from a yard out. The perfect start for the away side but yet again for the third time at home this season, the Timbers would have to come from behind to get something from this game. Portland Timbers 0-1 Seattle Sounders.

Goal 9 mins: Gonzalo Pineda got caught in possession by the hustling Diego Chara and he drives toward goal and hits the ball low and although Frei got a hand to it, it’s too good and goes into the bottom right hand corner. Game on! Portland Timbers 1-1 Seattle Sounders.

In the 12th minute Darlington Nagbe found himself in space on the left hand side and skillfully drives the ball from the edge of the area and hits the near post with Frei beaten. The Timbers have suddenly come alive.

Goal 14 mins: We are still not out of the first 15 minutes and this time Michael Harrington drives into the Seattle penalty area and reaches the by line, he then sends a simple low cross straight to Diego Valeri who gets a truly skillful touch and hits it in off the bar from the edge of the 6 yard box with 3 players around him. This derby was now on fire and this took the roof off the stadium. Portland Timbers 2-1 Seattle Sounders.

Goal 24 mins:
Yet another goal in this amazing first half and this time it was Norberto Paparatto who’s headed clearance was knocked back to Osvaldo Alonso who played in Clint Dempsey who calmly slotted it home into the bottom right corner of the goal from 12 yards. Portland Timbers 2-2 Seattle Sounders.

The first half was breathless and the Timbers were far more direct than in their previous home games, thanks in part to the introduction of Kalif Alhassan into the first XI. Both sides were playing some excellent, creative football and Martins and Dempsey often looked dangerous going forward for the Sounders. Will Johnson and Gonzalo Pineda were brewing their own personal battle and both were booked in the first half. Watching them off the ball, you could see the fire rising between them and it was sad to see play acting by Pineda when Johnson fouled him in order to get Johnson booked and then sprang but up onto his feet once the card was shown but it seems that this unsavoriness is just a part of the game that will be hard to eradicate.

Chad Marshall almost scored in the 39th minute after a high, looping cross was delivered from deep on the right hand side that the Timbers defense really should have dealt with and Marshall got his head to it and forced a fine one-handed save from Andrew Weber. Neither team was really in control, this was a battle between two teams that really wanted to win this game and it was hard to see how they could keep this energy level throughout the second half too. Quite the spectacle for the paying public.

Half Time Score: Portland Timbers (Chara 9, Valeri 14) 2-2 (Cooper 3, Dempsey 24) Seattle Sounders

Shots: Portland Timbers 8 (3)- (4) 9  Seattle Sounders

Possession: Portland Timbers 48.2%-51.8% Seattle Sounders

Corners: Portland Timbers 2-2 Seattle Sounders

2nd Half:

Within 5 minutes of the 2nd half starting, it looked like Seattle would get another when a corner was not dealt with at all by the Timbers defense (not for the first time) and Jalil Anibaba almost fired the ball home but for a deflection in a crowded 6 yard box. The Sounders definitely started the 2nd half the brighter of the two. But just a minute later, Will Johnson’s excellent cross field pass found Michael Harrington who skipped the ball first time past DeAndre Yedlin but the ball just never settled for him and he screwed his shot wide.

Goal 56 mins: None other than Diego Chara found himself in plenty of space centrally once again as the Seattle defenders backed off and he hit it from 25 yards right into the top corner! This strike was even better than his first! Portland Timbers 3-2 Seattle Sounders.

Goal 57 mins: Just 1 minute after Chara scored his second goal. Maximiliano Urruti decided to get in on the action and spun his defender Yedlin beautifully to put himself in on goal and he curled a delightful shot to the left of the oncoming Stefan Frei to make it 4-2!! Two skillfully crafted goals in the space of 90 seconds. Portland Timbers 4-2 Seattle Sounders.

In the 65th minute Diego Valeri put in an out-swinging cross that Norberto Paparatto climbed to reached and is header had Frei well beaten but unfortunately not the crossbar which the ball hit and then bounced right onto the goal line and out. So nearly 5-2 to Portland. They were continuing to press and really had Seattle on the ropes looking for the knockout punch.

Into the 71st minute and some fabulous interchange play by Diego Valeri and Kalif Alhassan sees Valeri dribble the ball along the edge of the penalty area and it sits up nicely for Urruti but his thunderous shot is blocked by the lunging bodies of the Seattle defense who by now were being run ragged. This was a very direct and different Portland Timbers that we were seeing today and Darlington Nagbe almost scored a minute later after some fantastic interplay with Will Johnson and Michael Harrington. Chances were coming thick and fast for the Timbers and the Sounders looked in trouble as the waves of attacks just kept coming at them.

78 minutes on the clock and a rare chance for the Sounders in the 2nd half as Clint Dempsey delivers a teasing cross for Obafemi Martins who, from 6 yards out, put his free header over the crossbar. Had that gone in we would have been in for one hectic final 10 minutes or so.

Goal 86 mins: The last 10 minutes or so saw the Timbers take their foot off the gas and allow Seattle to go on the offensive and the introduction of Lamar Neagle really helped to make Seattle look dangerous in the final third and some chances were beginning to come their way and it was Neagle’s neat cross that was flicked on by Martins and Clint Dempsey made no mistake to make it 4-3. Portland Timbers 4-3 Seattle Sounders.

Goal 87 mins: An incredible match! Portland had this game in the bag with 10 minutes to go but the introduction on Neagle put them on the back foot and Portland substitute Ben Zemanski brought down DeAndre Yedlin who was looking to latch onto a ball past the last defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Clint Dempsey calmly slotted the ball low and to the keeper’s right and claimed his hat-trick. What an incredible game!  Portland Timbers 4-4 Seattle Sounders.

Full Time Score: Portland Timbers 4-4 Seattle Sounders


The first half was exactly what a derby should be. Frantic, exciting, with quality goals, and with plenty of fire in the bellies of the two sets of players. The Timbers were far more direct than in earlier home games and Alhassan was causing plenty of problems out wide. Michael Harrington was also providing excellent width as Portland looked a far better outfit than either of their previous two home outings. The Sounders had an excellent first half too and the Dempsey, Martins combinations were causing plenty of problems for the Timbers defenders who did not look too comfortable when they got the ball anywhere around the final third.

The 2nd half? Well, it had just as much drama as the first. Seattle started the brighter of the two but the Timbers knocked the stuffing out of them with two high quality goals within 90 seconds of each other. It looked like Portland were then in control and hit the bar too and could have been 5-2 up. Then with 10 minutes to go, Portland seemed to take the foot off the gas and go on cruise control allowing Seattle the chance to go forward and with the introduction of Lamar Neagle, they created more opening in the final 10 minutes than in the prior 35 and scored an excellent crafted goal through Clint Dempsey and the penalty that completed his hat-trick and the draw for the Seattle Sounders.

It may not be the result that the home crowd wanted, but it was a truly memorable game of football that everyone will remember for a long, long time. You don’t see many games with that intensity, passion, and indeed, skill. This was a magnificent advertisement for the MLS.

Shots: Portland Timbers (11) 19-22 (13) Seattle Sounders

Corners: Portland Timbers (4) 6-5 (3) Seattle Sounders

Possession: Portland Timbers 49.4%-50.6% Seattle Sounders

Final Score: Portland Timbers (Chara 9, 56, Valeri 14, Urruti 57) 4-4 Seattle Sounders (Cooper 3, Dempsey 24, 86, 87pen)


Posted by Mark Henty on 04/05/2014 at 2:32 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Enigmatic English title enthralls
Daniel Sturridge powers past a tackle
Enigmatic English title enthralls

Every year in the Barclays Premier League the football viewing public is graced with some form of football drama for the title. Last year at this time United were walking away with the title, waving to competitors with confidence. The year before, City and United took the drama to the last day to the very last second and kick of the final game. The year City won the title was one of the most entertaining and emotional occasions in the English Premier League. This current season has the same capacity to enthrall and entertain the football viewing public today as it did two years ago. In fact to an extent this campaign can be one of the most entertaining in the last decade.


 Liverpool, the Brendan Rogers experiment has more than impressed this campaign making a push for the English title.  The current form that Liverpool has found are in must be accredited to their manager Brendan Rogers and they’re number nine Luis Saurez. Out of all the forwards in the world the Uruguayan has to be top of the list of all the strikers. Many pundits would argue today that Luis Saurez is the ultimate number nine today. In fact Luis has the most goals in the English Premier League so far with 29 goals. The man behind him is also another Liverpool player, Daniel Sturridge, with a total of 20 goals, both Luis Saurez and Daniel Sturridge have combined for a total of 49 goals in the Barclays Premier League. Under the current form both Sturridge and Saurez are exhibiting its safe to say they will combine for over 50 goals this season. The total number of goals scored for Liverpool this campaign is at 88, with the SAS combining for over 50% of the Reds goals this year. Will Liverpool hit 100 goals this campaign with it the domestic title?


On the other side of the country in Manchester, the blue moon has fallen out of the FA cup and Champions League. The citizen's demise from Europe and the FA Cup could serve as a blessing to Manchester City and to those who watch the English Premier League. Currently in third place in the league with two games in hand to still play to catch up with the rest of the league. City can usurp first from Liverpool by just winning their two games in hand which can add to a total 76 points to Liverpool's 71. Manchester City who have just won the newly dubbed Capital One Cup this season and are definitely not satisfied with just that piece of silverware. Since City was eliminated from Europe by Barcelona, and the FA Cup by what seems to be their kryptonite, Wigan Athletic. Manchester City will more than likely be zeroing in on the league trophy, since their quest for the quadruple has sputtered into a journey for a minor domestic double.


Finally back to London, to the blue side of the city, Chelsea at the start of the New Year enjoyed sitting top of the dog pile. At the start of the new year Chelsea seemed to be in firm command of the title from the get go. As time progressed and as teams fixtures began to pile on, fatigue and frustration begins to set in. In regards to Chelsea who currently sit first even after shock defeats to both Aston Villa and Crystal Palace the blues are looking to remedy their situation quick in England. The upcoming weeks left in the Barclay's Premier League will be vital to the blues. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho should be diligent to have his squad recover from their current stumble since they are also still competing in the Champions League. Even though they lost 3-1 to the Parisian giants, the score line can easily be overturned. Remember the year Chelsea won the Champions League they needed a turn around against Napoli who won 3-1 in Naples and Chelsea won 4-1 in London. Mourinho isn't a stranger to competing on two fronts; he has won multiple trophies with teams before, the treble with Inter Milan and doubles with Chelsea and Porto.


Now to the red side of London, Arsenal have taken a beating recently after a humiliating display against Chelsea a few weeks back 6-0. Arsene Wenger's side has found it difficult to pick themselves back up after that lost, and after drawing to visiting Swansea City. Another tough match against Manchester City yielded another draw for the Gunners. Arsenal currently sits in fourth in the league in the last crucial space for a spot in the UEFA Champions League. The Gunners are aloft from the top spot currently by seven points. Wenger's side appears to be reorganized and reset, which the Arsenal faithful will hope that their side can push for the league this year. Many of the Gunners' supporters would also hope they can make a push for the FA Cup this year since they are in the semifinal match up against Wigan.  


The English Premier League again is one of the most entertaining leagues in the world (yes we at World Football Daily agree, well at least I do). Contrast to last year where United were running away with the title to give as a parting gift to the best manager in British history (Sir Alex Ferguson). This campaign has the potential to give the football public the same thrills and spills that occurred two years ago when City took the title with the last kick of the game. This time though the competitors for the title are definitely between three contenders possibly four depending on how Arsenal do on the road against Everton this coming Sunday. The upcoming fixtures are tough on the top three as Liverpool host Manchester City on the 13th of April and Liverpool again entertains Chelsea on the 27th of April. Again this is under the grounds that all three teams get all three points in their other remaining six games of the league. Remember the Citizens do have two more games in hand as well, instead of six games they have eight, one of those eight is against Liverpool. This campaign may come down to the last game and to the very last kick again to settle who will come up on top of the heap. 



Posted by Gio Franco on 04/05/2014 at 1:10 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
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