Dec 16, 2015  US Abby Wambach Retires Tonight 8 pm-FS1, Champions League and Euro Cup Sweet 16 set, EPL News

So the big news in Europe as the Champions League Sweet 16 (the knockout stages) and the European Cup Draws were done over the weekend.  Champions League finds some interesting match-ups on Feb 16/17 + Feb 23/24 as last season’s finalist Juve face Bayern Munich, PSG matches Chelsea again, and Arsenal is again placed against 5-time and defending Champion Barcelona.  Full Analysis Below.

Turning to US Soccer – the Leading Scorer in World Soccer history –both men’s and women with 184 goals – Abby Wambach (a former Florida Gator) retires tonight as the US Women’s team WC Victory Tour continues with the USA facing China on Fox Sports 1 at 8 pm. Gotta See this Commercial.

MLS has announced increased payroll for new players which can only be good for the league in the long haul, that and of course 2 new teams join the league next spring.  Be sure to scroll all the down for the MLS Cup Final Recap – it really captures what was a fantastic MLS Cup final – made so by the traveling whord of Timbers Army.  Other news has US and Stanford forward Jordan Morris scoring 2 goals in the NCAA final as he led the Cardinal to their first NCAA Championship-you have to assume he will now turn pro either with MLS’ Seattle Sounders or perhaps overseas.

The EPL has some intriguing story lines as the coaches at Chelsea and Manchester United are both on the hot seat.  Leicester City – Amazingly sits atop the EPL as we near Boxing Day and Chelsea is in the relegation zone. BREAKING MOURINO IS FIRED AT CHELSEA 

Mourino is Sacked by Chelsea – Marcotti ESPN FC

#s behind Special One’s Exit ESPN FC

5 Turning Pts in 2nd Tenure at Chelsea – John Brewin – ESPN FC

Champions League –Draw Sweet 16

Teams will play home and away with aggregate high scorer advancing to Quarterfinals. First legs February 16-17 and February 23-24 and conclude with the return legs on March 8-9 and March 15-16

KAA Gent vs. Wolfsburg
AS Roma vs. Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea
Arsenal vs. Barcelona
Juventus vs. Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven vs. Atlético Madrid
Benfica vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester City


Copa America Announces Seeded Groups and US Locations – 3 games in Chicago including US + Semi’s !

Gotta See this Commercial on Abby

Abby Hangs up the boots – Grant Wahl SI

Abby Retires at Proper Time and Place – Grant Wahl SI

Abby Wambach Retires tonight –Mia Hamm’s thoughts

Jordan Morris Wins NC at Stanford

What Should Stanford Star and USMNT Forward Jordan Morris  do next

Gent Forward Kenny Saief sheds light on possible switch from Isreal to US National Team

Kenny Saief from Champions League Sweet 16 to US Team?

MLS – Increases payrole ESPNFC

MLS Cup Final – Recap

Trimming of Portand’s Borchers infamous Huge Red beard post game

 Champions League – Sweet 16 Draw

Sweet 16 Draw results

Quick Analysis of the Champs League Draw – SB Nation

UCL draw | Delaney: Predicting the games | Predictor

Juve Punished for losing last game face Bayern Munich

Bayern eye classic vs Juve in Sweet 16

Gunners draw Barcelona again

Renaldo should score lots vs Roma

Chelsea and PSG go At it Again

Man City should Roll Kiev – but gonna freeze

European Championships Draw and Analysis

 Marcotti on Euro 2016 | A | B | C | D | E | F | Euro ’16 Express

 EPL + world

Can LVG and Mourino Save their Jobs?  ESPN FC

Marcottis Musings – ESPN FC

– Brewin: Leicester add to Chelsea’s crisis | Player Ratings

How has Leicester City overtaken the EPL  ESPN FC

Chelsea’s Special One on the Cusp –EPSN FC

Chelsea Board discussing Mourinho Future

Klopp Stunt could Backfire

Liverpool in Striking Distance


 Wed, December 16

8 p.m., Fox Sports 1  USA WNT vs China – Abby’s Last Game

 Thur, December 17

5:30 am – Fox Sports 1, Fifa World Club Cup–Evergrande vs Barcelona  

 Saturday, December 19

9:30 a.m., Fox Sports 1 German – Bayern Munich vs Hannover 96
9:30 a.m., Fox Sports 2: German -Koln vs Dortmund
10:00 a.m., NBCSN and NBC Universo: Chelsea vs. Sunderland

10:00 am., USA Network: Manchester United vs. Norwich City
10:00 a.m., Extra Time: Everton vs. Leicester City, Southampton vs. Tottenham, Stoke CIty vs. Crystal Palace, West Bromwich vs. Bournemouth
11 Am , beIn Sports : France – Caen vs PSG

12:30 p.m., NBC: Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa

Sunday, December 20

5:30 am – Fox Sports 1, Fifa World Club Cup Final – River Plate vs Barcelona ??  

6:30 am, beIn Sport  – Italy  – Carpi vs Juve

8:30 a.m., NBCSN: Watford vs. Liverpool

9:30 a.m., Fox Sports 1 German – Hertha BSC (John Brooks) vs Mainz 05
11:00 a.m., NBCSN: Swansea City vs. West Ham United

11:30 am, fox sports 2, German – Borussia MGladbach (Johnson) vs Darmstadt 98

2:45 pm, Bein Sport, Inter vs Lazio

Monday, December 21

3:00 p.m., NBCSN and NBC Universo: Arsenal vs. Manchester City

Saturday, December 26

7:45 a.m., NBCSN: Stoke City vs. West Ham United
10:00 a.m., TV TBD: Aston Villa vs. West Ham, Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace, Chelsea vs. Watford, Liverpool vs. Leicester City, Man City vs. Sunderland, Swansea vs. West Bromwich, Tottenham vs. Norwich

12:30 p.m., NBC: Newcastle United vs. Everton
2:45 p.m., NBC: Southampton vs. Arsenal

 Sun, Dec 27

9 am, Fox Soccer Plus, Scotland -Midlothian vs Celtic

11 am, beIn Sport, England Champ – Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United

Monday, December 28

10:00 a.m., NBCSN: Premier League Breakway, featuring whip-around coverage of all concurrent games
10:00 a.m., Extra Time: Crystal Palace vs. Swansea,, Everton vs. Stoke City, Norwich vs. Aston Villa, Watford vs. Tottenham, West Bromiwich  vs. Newcastle
12:30 p.m., NBCSN: Manchester United vs. Chelsea
12:30 p.m., Extra Time: Arsenal vs. Bournemouth, West Ham United vs. Southampton

Tuesday, December 29

2:45 p.m., NBCSN: Leicester City vs. Manchester City

Wednesday, December 30

2:45 p.m., NBCSN: Sunderland vs. Liverpool

Saturday, January 2

7:45 a.m., NBCSN: West Ham United vs. Liverpool
10:00 a.m., TV TBD: Arsenal vs. Newcastle, Leicester City vs. Bournemouth, Manchester United vs. Swansea, Norwich vs. Southampton, Sunderland vs. Aston Villa, West Bromwich vs. Stoke City
12:30 p.m., NBC: Watford vs. Manchester City

Sunday, January 3

8:30 a.m., NBCSN: Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea
11:00 a.m., NBCSN: Everton vs. Tottenham

Mailbag: Abby Wambach’s finale

Y GRANT WAHLPosted: Tue Dec. 15, 2015

The road ends on Wednesday for Abby Wambach. After 254 caps, after an all-time record 184 international goals, after one World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals, Wambach will call it a career when the U.S. meets China in a friendly in New Orleans (8 p.m. ET, FS1).And yet a few things came in loud and clear in the far-ranging conversation I had with Wambach for the new SI Planet Fútbol podcast. One of them is that she thinks her road is only beginning. Wambach does not plan to disappear from the public discussion after the final whistle blows in New Orleans. In fact, she’s making it her mission to fight for equality in a way that she did not during her playing career.“I want to be passionate about what I do next,” Wambach says in the interview, which will be released in full Wednesday (we played a portion of the interview last week, and you can listen to that here). “Since I retired I’ve felt the inequalities that I allowed to happen to me throughout my career—and when you’re in it, it’s harder to see and feel the disparity, and there’s a lot of fear that goes on, which is probably why you can’t see it so clearly. I think stepping away and getting more perspective has allowed me to see more clearly what really needs to happen.”“To be quite honest, I’ve been getting a little bit mad at myself for not fighting more while I was in it,” she continues. “I kind of promised myself I’d do whatever I can at this point to make sure this next generation of studs that hangs their cleats up is going to feel differently about their retirement than I do. I want them to have more choices and options than I do.WAHL: Wambach retires at appropriate place, time

“When I look across the aisle, I’m pretty sure Landon Donovan isn’t stressing or worrying about his financial position. For me, not to sound crazy or egocentric, but to have the resume I have and because I’m a female changes completely the landscape of the opportunities of what I’ll be able to do when I’m done playing, quite frankly I’m going to make it my mission: I’m going to change the world so that no woman who has done the things I’ve been able to do or have the course of the career I’ve had will have to make the same decisions.“Somebody has to make equality real and happen. I know it’s a huge undertaking. And I know saying the words changing the world is such an arbitrary thing. How are you going to do that? I know all these questions will come. But I’m just going to do it.”  OUTTAKES: Best unused shots from SI’s USWNT cover shoot

This isn’t your typical “walk off into the sunset” retirement talk. And that’s refreshing, even if it makes some people feel a little uncomfortable. In fact, that’s precisely the point. Wambach says she’s looking forward to ending her playing career on a high note Wednesday before adoring fans and teammates, but she also has reached a point where she believes she can help create the change she wants to see for women, both inside and outside the sports world.I’m fired up to see what she can do with her bully pulpit.

Abby Wambach retires at appropriate time, place to cap iconic career

U.S. women’s national team forward Abby Wambach announces retirement

BY GRANT WAHLTwitter EmailPosted: Tue Oct. 27, 2015

In the end, Abby Wambach came full circle.On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, the most prolific goal-scorer in the history of international soccer began her day at the White House, where President Barack Obama honored Wambach and the U.S. women’s national team for winning this year’s Women’s World Cup.Thirteen years ago, in 2002, Wambach started her professional career in the same city, Washington D.C., where she arrived as a talented yet uncommitted forward with the Washington Freedom and became something else entirely: A relentless force of nature who would go on to score 184 goals for the U.S. on her way to winning a World Cup, two Olympic gold medals and six U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards.The nation’s capital is where Wambach toughened up while playing alongside the legendary Mia Hamm, who helped unlock Wambach’s potential and release the beast that she knew Wambach could become.On Tuesday, in a city dear to her heart, the 35-year-old Wambach announced she will retire from soccer at the end of this year, after her final U.S. game on Dec. 16 in New Orleans against China. The timing was typical Wambach, which is to say it was nearly as good as it was on her most famous goal, the 122nd-minute Hail Mary equalizer against Brazil in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals.  MOST SIGNIFICANT U.S. GOALS: Wambach stuns Brazil, 2011

As she contemplated her future in recent weeks, Wambach did not want her decision to take away from anything else connected to the team. Not their visit to the White House, where President Obama said “this team taught all of America’s children that playing like a girl means you’re a badass.” And not theplanned retirement farewells for teammates Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny and Lauren Holiday.Wambach has always been a team player that way. In fact, at one point Wambach had told her friends that she just wanted to quietly fade away, avoiding any big celebration for her career in the final games of this year’s Victory Tour. She reconsidered, thankfully, after realizing that properly celebrating her accomplishments would also be a good thing for her sport, which has come so far, and for showing a 10-year-old girl in the stadium on Dec. 16 that you, too, can do this with your career—and perhaps even surpass it.Video  The timing was good in another way, too. Wambach can go out having just won the World Cup, the trophy that had eluded her for so long, the one she said her career would not be complete without. She could have tried to hang on for next year’s Olympics, a tournament she has already won twice, but there might have been more costs than benefits in doing so, both for her and for the U.S. team, and no guarantees she would have made the roster.And so, even though we will still see plenty of Wambach in the public sphere, our lasting final images of her as a competitive player will be from that magical time in Canada this summer, when she finally raised the World Cup trophy and when, in a remarkable seven-minute monologue on Fox Sports, she spoke directly to her teammates on the eve of the World Cup final.Wambach’s finest moments have always been unscripted. That’s what we love about her. That’s what we love about sports.

Proud Member of the Brick Yard Battalion –, Sam’s Army- ,  American Outlaws

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