6/14/18  World Cup Starts Today, Spain Fires Coach, Full TV Schedule, Indy 11 travel to Toronto, CFC Coaches Game Thur Night

The US/Canada/Mexico Will Host World Cup 2026

So huge news on Wednesday when The United Bid – consisting of the US/Canada/Mexico will host World Cup 2026.  Finally FIFA with a legit and open vote gave the World Cup to the right bid.  That means in just 8 years we get the World Cup here in the US.  With the Finals in New York and the Semi’s probably in Dallas and Atlanta.  Currently Nashville and Cincinnati are the closest possible World Cup Cities that might have games.  I can only imagine how much tickets will be – but man its going to be in our country – GLORIOUS!

The World Cup is Upon Us

So I understand that many like myself are both heartbroken and disgusted that the United States Men’s National Team did not qualify for the World Cup – for the first time in over 30 years.  But the World Cup is indeed upon us and there are tons of reasons to watch.  But let me start here – the reason I am ordering Telemundo during this month of the World Cup as one Andres Cantor will be doing the Spanish Language coverage.(see story below)  Andres Cantor’s Call of Landon Donovan’s WC Goal vs Algeria.  If that doesn’t get you excited – how about this?  Cantor on Telemundo World Cup Warm Up  or The Official Video and Song of the World Cup 2018.  So sure the US and Italy, the Dutch and Chile are missing – but look at who is in.  Can Lionel Messi finally lift Argentina to World Cup Glory after reaching the finals in the last World Cup and Copa America? Can Germany repeat as champion – a feat that hasn’t been done since Pele in 1958 and 1962 with Brazil?  Can Brazil with a semi-healthy Neymar put the demons of a 7-1 home beatdown to Germany behind them and reach the pinnacle again?  Will Mexico get #5 – that elusive win of game #5 and a visit to the Quarterfinals?  Can Spain with new coach Lopetegi return to glory of 2010 with an aging set of veterans?  Can Belgium and all that talent finally make a run to the finals? Can France with all its youth like Pogba and Mbappe, put things together and reach the Championship?  Will Portugal and superstar Renaldo, just 2 years off a European Championship, find lightning in a bottle once again here in Russia?  There are tons of storylines and even more predictions for this World Wide Phenomenon known as the World Cup which is expected to be watched by more than 4 billion people over 5 weeks from June 14 till the Final on Sun, July 15 at 11 am on Fox 5.  The Games are at interesting times from Russia – with 8 am, 11 am and 2 pm the most popular start times for most of the games.  (Thank God I work from home!)  So tons of previews out there but here are my favorites.  World Cup Predictions – SI Planet Futbol   ESPN FC’s experts make their picks
As for me – I will be rooting for lots of teams of course.  I for one would love to see an underdog say an Iceland, the smallest country to ever make the World Cup, make it to the Elite 8.  I have lots of friends who love Germany or Mexico – and while I don’t mind Germany doing well – I always like to see new teams win it all.  As for Mexico – I should be rooting for our neighbor and CONCACAF Champion and I will certainly thru the Group stages. It will certainly be interesting to see how American sport networks cover this World Cup without the US in it.  A run by Mexico into the Semi-Finals would most certainly energize our Mexican-American friends, neighbors and co-workers and might do a bit to re-unite this somewhat fractured country of ours.  As for my picks – oh it depends on which of my 3 sheets you look at?  For now I am going with a rejuvenated Brazil under Tite to make the finals and win it all vs Spain or Germany.  Maybe Germany since Spain fired their coach Wednesday. Man I would love to see Argentina and Messi find a way however.

worldcup

US Ladies Win Both

Had a chance to watch the win on Tues night over China for the US Ladies – a hard fought win over a good China squad – I thought the US Ladies did a fine job of possession and pulled out the victory 2-1 – great to see Tobin Heath back from injury score the game winner.  Look for many of the US Ladies in the NWSL on Lifetime and ESPN News (see TV Schedule below).

Indy 11

Fresh off the big home win last week the Indy 11 will travel this week to Toronto 2 this Sat night at 7 pm on ESPN+ (Join the BYB at Union Jack in Broadripple).   The Eleven will be on the road until they return June 26th for a Sat night match-up with Penn FC at 7 pm and July 4th at 7 pm vs Ottawa.  Of course discount tickets below $15 are available Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code.

Carmel FC Coaches Game @ Shelbourne Fields

Thursday, June 14th 6:30 pm Pizza and Water provided – All CFC Coaches and Managers welcome!

SUMMER CAMPS

Carmel High Girls Middle School Soccer Camp  Ages middle schoolers – June 18, 20, 25, 27 July 16, 17, 18, 19 at Murray 3-5 pm $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Skills Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 8:30-10:30 am $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Tactical Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 11 am till 1 pm $85

Butler Bulldog Soccer Camps – full day $255

 GAMES ON TV This Week

Thur, June 14        World Cup on Fox

10:30 am Fox         OPENNING CEREMONIES

11 am Fox              Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Fri, June 15           World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox Sport1     Egypt (Salah) vs Uruguay

11 am Fox              Morocco vs Iran

1 pm Fox                Portugal (Renaldo) vs Spain

Sat, June 16          World Cup on Fox

6 am FS1                France vs Australia

9 am Fox                Argentina (Messi) vs Iceland

12 noon FS1           Peru vs Denmark

3 pm FS1                Croatia vs Nigeria

8 pm ESPNNews    Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns NWSL

9 pm USSocccer.com Sporting KC vs Dallas (Matt Hedges) US Open Cup

Sun, June 17         World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox 59          Costa Rica vs Serbia

11 am Fox Sp1   Germany vs Mexico 

2 pm FS1               Brazil vs Switzerland

 WORLD CUP

World Cup Video – 2018 – Live It Up  –

World Cup Warm Up Video

Andres Cantor to Call World Cup for Telemundo

Andres Cantor’s Call of Landon Donovan’s WC Goal vs Algeria.

2nd Most Memorable World Cup Goal – Argentina – Hand of God – Fox

3rd most Memorable Goal – Brazil

Pele Meets the World

Which World Cup Team Should You Support?

– Welcome to the Alternative 2018 World Cup Fans’ Guide
– ESPN FC’s experts make their picks
– Marvel’s amazing World Cup spoilers
– Revealed: World Cup 2018 Ultimate XI
– Fixtures, results and full coverage
– Team-by-team previews of all 32 nations

ESPN  – WORLD CUP HOME PAGE

Spanish FA Right to Fire Lopetegui – Gab MArcotti

Argentina Wary of Iceland Height –

 Goalies

Save of the Week – NWSL – Ashlyn Harris

MLS Top Saves of Week

Saves of the Week – USL

 Indy 11

Indy 11 Snap 4 Game Winless Skid with 2-0 downing of Atlanta United 2 – Kevin Johnston indy Star

Indy 11 2 Tough 2 B Bothered by Atlanta United 2 – Bloody Shambles – Rebacca Townsend

Indy 11 Discount Tickets for Saturday’s Game!   (Code 2018Indy)

Flex Packs: Discount Indy 11 Flex Pack Tickets
Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan

GAMES ON TV 

 

Fri, June 15           World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox Sport1     Egypt (Salah) vs Uruguay

11 am Fox              Morocco vs Iran

1 pm Fox                Portugal (Renaldo) vs Spain

Sat, June 16          World Cup on Fox

6 am FS1                France vs Australia

9 am Fox                Argentina (Messi) vs Iceland

12 noon FS1           Peru vs Denmark

3 pm FS1                Croatia vs Nigeria

7 pm ESPN+        Toronto II vs Indy 11

8 pm ESPNNews    Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns NWSL

9 pm USSocccer.com Sporting KC vs Dallas (Matt Hedges) US Open Cup

Sun, June 17         World Cup on Fox

8 am Fox 59          Costa Rica vs Serbia

11 am Fox Sp1   Germany vs Mexico 

2 pm FS1               Brazil vs Switzerland

  MON, JUNE 18
8 a.m. ET FS1 Sweden vs. South Korea
11 a.m. ET FS1 Belgium vs. Panama
2 p.m. ET FS1 Tunisia vs. England
    TUESDAY, JUNE 19
8 a.m. ET FS1 Poland vs. Senegal
11 a.m. ET Fox Colombia vs. Japan
2 p.m. ET Fox Russia vs. Egypt
    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
8 a.m. ET FS1 Portugal vs. Morocco
11 a.m. ET Fox Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia
2 p.m. ET Fox Iran vs. Spain
    THURSDAY, JUNE 21
8 a.m. ET FS1 France vs. Peru
11 a.m. ET Fox Denmark vs. Australia
2 p.m. ET Fox Argentina vs. Croatia
    FRIDAY, JUNE 22
8 a.m. ET FS1 Brazil vs. Costa Rica
11 a.m. ET Fox Nigeria vs. Iceland
2 p.m. ET Fox Serbia vs. Switzerland
    SATURDAY, JUNE 23
8 a.m. ET Fox Belgium vs. Tunisia
11 a.m. ET Fox Germany vs. Sweden
2 p.m. ET Fox South Korea vs. Mexico
    SUNDAY, JUNE 24
8 a.m. ET FS1 England vs. Panama
11 a.m. ET Fox Japan vs. Senegal
2 p.m. ET Fox Poland vs. Colombia
    MONDAY, JUNE 25
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Uruguay vs. Russia
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Iran vs. Portugal
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Spain vs. Morocco
    TUESDAY, JUNE 26
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Australia vs. Peru
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Denmark vs. France
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Iceland vs. Croatia
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Nigeria vs. Argentina
    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 South Korea vs. Germany
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Mexico vs. Sweden
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Switzerland vs. Costa Rica
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Serbia vs. Brazil
    THURSDAY, JUNE 28
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Japan vs. Poland
10 a.m. ET Fox/FS1 Senegal vs. Colombia
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 England vs. Belgium
2 p.m. ET Fox/FS1 Panama vs. Tunisia

World Cup on Fox TV Schedule

MLS TV Schedule

McCordsville/Ronald McDonald House – Greater Indy 3 vs 3 – June 23

www.3v3live.com  $200 per team up to six players. Each player will receive a t-shirt, top three teams in each division get custom medals, top four qualify for Regionals the road to Disney. Full details and fun details on our tourney https://www.3v3live.com/mcdonalds

The U.S. will co-host the 2026 World Cup: Here’s everything you need to know

5:53 PM ETJeff CarlisleSoccer

MOSCOW — The World Cup is coming back to North America.The “United Bid” comprising Canada, Mexico and the United States prevailed in a vote against Morocco here on Wednesday and it represents something familiar and something unfamiliar. Old in that Mexico will be hosting the tournament for a record third time after previously hosting the 1970 and 1986 editions. Meanwhile, the vote marks the second time the U.S. has won the honour of hosting the tournament, and it was the highly successful 1994 World Cup that in part helped the Americans land the tournament this time around. For something new, you have Canada hosting the men’s edition for the first time, though it has hosted other FIFA events, including the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

So what does it all mean? Let’s try to fill in the blanks.

Q: When will the tournament be?

A: In all likelihood, the tournament will run from mid-June to mid-July, though given the increase in teams from 32 to 48 (more on that in a bit), the timeline for the tournament may be stretched out a bit longer. Yes, that falls smack in the middle of summer, and those who recall the 1994 World Cup remember that a few games were played in searing heat. But with more indoor stadiums to pick from, the hope is that will be mitigated to a degree.

Q: How many teams will take part?

A: Barring a change of heart by FIFA as it relates to 2022, this will the first World Cup to feature 48 teams. That decision may have actually aided the United Bid’s cause given that the three nations have a host of World Cup-ready stadiums to pick from, with more sure to be built. Morocco couldn’t say the same.

Q: How will this impact World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF? Will the three hosts get spots automatically?

A: The expanded field will see CONCACAF get allocated six guaranteed slots with the possibility of more via a playoff. As for the question of whether three spots will be set aside for the hosts, that won’t be decided until next year’s FIFA Congress in Paris. But FIFA certainly seems to be leaning towards granting automatic spots to all three countries. Former U.S. Soccer Federation president and current FIFA Council member Sunil Gulati told ESPN FC colleague Sam Borden that he would “fully expect” that all three countries would get automatic bids.

Q: Why didn’t the U.S. bid on its own?

A: Because the odds of winning the bid jointly were greater. Each country could have bid on its own, but a combined bid was viewed as a bid for the entire region as opposed to one that was for individual countries. Had some combination of the U.S., Mexico and Canada bid, it might have fractured the vote within CONCACAF, bolstering the bid from another confederation.

Q: How much did the political climate impact the decision to bid jointly?

A: Even in the best of times, geopolitical considerations have an impact on a World Cup bid. That was true when the U.S. lost out on hosting the 2022 tournament when Barack Obama was president. It’s also true now that Donald Trump is president. Simply put, there is plenty of anti-American sentiment around the world that would have hampered a U.S.-only bid. The inclusion of Canada and Mexico made the bid more palatable to voters.

Q: Has a World Cup ever been co-hosted?

A: Yes. Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, and while the tournament generally came off without any major glitches, it was very much a forced marriage. Both countries wanted to host the tournament themselves, but the bids were so even that FIFA was loathe to select one over the other. So FIFA hit upon a compromise, but one that was ultimately unsatisfying, so much so that afterwards FIFA swore it would never go for such an arrangement again. Then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that having two host countries required twice as much effort in terms of organizing, which led to twice as much cost with no additional money heading FIFA’s way.

The vibe of the United Bid was different in that from the beginning the decision was made to join forces, and that helped sway voters.

Q: So what’s the breakdown of games by country?

A: The U.S. is hosting the bulk of the games, 60 out of 80 in fact, and every single match from the quarterfinals on.

Q: Are Mexico and Canada okay with this?

A: There is some grumbling for sure. Mexico in particular feels that given it has hosted the tournament twice previously, it should get more games, but at present this is the arrangement the three countries have agreed upon.

Q: What will be the expected crowds be?

A: Big, really big. The 1994 edition of the tournament set records for total (3,587,538 fans) and average attendance (68,991 per match) that still stand to this day. This is despite the fact that it was a 24-team tournament that contained just 52 games as opposed to the 64 that have been played in each edition since. The larger stadiums in all three countries, as well as the additional games should see those records shattered. The United Bid is projecting average crowds of 72,500 over the 80 games.

Q: How much money will the World Cup bring in?

A: The official bid book submitted by the United Bid touted $14 billion in revenues and $11 billion in profits for FIFA. Exactly how much of a cut the host countries would get isn’t known exactly, and there has been some skepticism that the numbers listed in the bid book are inflated. But USSF president Carlos Cordeiro has said that he wants the USSF’s annual budget to increase from $100 million to $500 million and winning the bid was a major part of his plan for getting U.S. Soccer to that level.

Q: Where will the games be played?

A: Ultimately ,there will be 16 host cities. For now, 23 host cities — 17 in the U.S., three in Canada and three in Mexico — have been selected. All three cities in both Canada and Mexico are likely to be chosen which would leave the United States to pick 10 remaining cities from their preliminary list of 17. There appears to be some wiggle room, though. CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani stated that his hometown of Vancouver — which opted to take itself out of the running over concerns about among other things security costs — might have a way back in. We’ll see.

World Cup predictions: ESPN FC’s experts’ picks for champion, Golden Ball and more

  Who will win the Golden Boot (top scorer)?

Gab Marcotti: Luis Suarez, Uruguay

A weak group and the fact that I have Uruguay going far suggest he may hit his peak after a relatively lacklustre — by his standards — club campaign.

Craig Burley: Neymar, Brazil

Neymar is much more prepared to carry his country than he was four years ago. He’s had a good rest after injury, too, so fitness permitting, he has the ability and supporting cast to back his showmanship up.

Mark Ogden: Neymar, Brazil

It usually takes six goals to win the Golden Boot. With Brazil benefiting from a soft group and a good route to the latter stages, it is difficult to see past Neymar in the race for top scorer.

Shaka Hislop: Gabriel Jesus, Brazil

Gabriel Jesus will launch himself into the top tier of players in world football, joining the likes of teammate Neymar.

Stewart Robson: Lionel Messi, Argentina

Given a free role, the best player in the world will finally show it on the world’s biggest stage.

Paul Mariner: Antoine Griezmann, France

Surrounded by top players, he will get the supply and will be on all of France’s dead ball opportunities. Always cool under pressure and a great finisher.

Alejandro Moreno: Timo Werner, Germany

I know this pick may be surprising to some, but Germany will be around for a while in this tournament and were drawn into a favourable group that could provide Werner with more opportunities than most to have very productive matches. Werner is not a popular pick, but I am guessing neither were past Golden Boot winners Salvatore “Toto” Schillaci (1990) or Oleg Salenko (1994).

Raphael Honigstein: Antoine Griezmann, France

One of the favourites, France are destined to go far, and Griezmann is in top form.

After scoring six goals at the Euros, what does Antoine Griezmann have in store for the World Cup. Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Julien Laurens: Neymar, Brazil

The fact that he didn’t play at all between the end of February and mid-May means that he will be fresher and sharper than other big players. This is a Brazil team that will go far in the competition and will score lots of goals, and Neymar will be at the heart of everything they do going forward.

Which two nations will reach the final?

Gab Marcotti: Spain vs. Uruguay

If last-minute replacement Fernando Hierro can guide a gifted and experienced Spain team to the final, it will be because they can beat you many different ways. Uruguay is more of a long shot, obviously. But that explosive attacking tandem, coupled with the grizzled warriors at the back and some fresh legs in midfield means they may just do it … and even upset favourite Brazil along the way.

Craig Burley: Germany and Brazil

Quite simply, two best teams entering the tournament will be the two best teams at it.

Mark Ogden: Germany and Brazil

Sorry to be predictable, but who can beat either of them?

Shaka Hislop: Germany and Brazil

Both Brazil and Germany looked impeccable in qualifying and will take that form and their tournament experience into the World Cup.

Stewart Robson: Brazil and Spain

Both countries have been brilliant in qualification and have mixed outstanding quality with defensive organisation.

Paul Mariner: France and Spain

There is massive pressure on France’s Didier Deschamps to get it right, and the players will respond. Spain, on the other hand, have quality in all the right areas and are experienced on this stage.

Alejandro Moreno: Brazil and Spain

The two best teams coming into the tournament will not disappoint. They may have a couple of nervous moments in the latter stages of the competition, but experience, character and talent will eventually separate these two from the rest.

Raphael Honigstein: Brazil and Spain

Brazil and Spain should both win their groups and will survive tough semifinals vs. Germany and France, respectively, to set up a mouth-watering final.

Julien Laurens: France and Argentina

France will beat Brazil in one semifinal and Argentina will knock out Germany in the other. Les Bleus will then get a superb 3-2 win thanks to a late Kylian Mbappe goal.

Who will win the World Cup?

Gab Marcotti: Spain

A shutdown goalkeeper, a veteran defense, a midfield that can keep the ball all day … all they need is some directness up front. If they can find it, they will be world champions.

Craig Burley: Germany

I’m swaying on this pick as Brazil in particular do look strong. However, the continuity in terms of coaching with Joachim Low means they can usually sail through rough seas as they did in 2014. They’ve been unconvincing recently in friendlies, but Germany aren’t about friendlies. Personnel changes mean some players are untried at this level, but they still have enough big-game players and game-changers to just sneak it.

Mark Ogden: Brazil

Brazil are stronger than four years ago, and if Neymar stays fit, they should go all the way this time around.

Shaka Hislop: Brazil

Brazil to bury the ghosts of 2014 and avenge that infamous 7-1 defeat to Germany!

Stewart Robson: Spain

This Spain team has many of the qualities of the clubs responsible for recent glories, but also includes a more penetrative attacking element and more athleticism.

Paul Mariner: France

The pressure is on the French, but with talent all over the field and a star like Griezmann, Les Bleus repeat their exploits of 20 years ago.

Alejandro Moreno: Brazil

Assuming Neymar is fully recovered from his foot injury, Brazil has everything you want from a team in a World Cup. Brazil are the total package as they have attacking talent everywhere, balance in midfield and discipline in the defensive half. Brazil’s best is just better than that of every other contending team.

Raphael Honigstein: Brazil

The perfect blend between skill, depth and tactical balance.

Julien Laurens: France

It is France’s destiny, 20 years after their 1998 triumph, to win the World Cup again. This squad is ready for it!

Potential dark horse(s)?

Gab Marcotti: Senegal

Boasting arguably the best defender in the competition in Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty of punch up front, you’re not sure what you’ll get with them, but if they’re in stride, they can spring a few surprises.

Craig Burley: none

Think it’ll be the usual suspects. Don’t see a smaller nation making a huge dent in this World Cup.

Mark Ogden: Uruguay and Egypt

Uruguay are the perennial dangerous outsider, capable of beating any team on their day with a combination of skill, mental toughness, cynicism when required and goal threat. Egypt, meanwhile, are an African powerhouse and could make it to the last eight here if Mohamed Salah is healthy.

Shaka Hislop: Senegal

Africa’s second-highest-ranked team will surprise a few. Given a good draw as well with Poland, Colombia and Japan in Group H.

Stewart Robson: Uruguay

Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin allied with an experienced coach in Oscar Tabarez make the South American team a dangerous opponent.

Paul Mariner: Colombia

The Colombians boast pace on the counterattack and are rock-solid in central defence.

Alejandro Moreno: Colombia

This squad is filled with skill and athleticism all over the field. If they defend well and David Ospina has a solid tournament in goal, Colombia has enough to scare the big teams.

Raphael Honigstein: Colombia

A manageable group followed by a decent shot vs. Belgium or England could see Colombia make it to the quarterfinals.

Julien Laurens: Senegal

I really fancy Senegal to surprise a lot of people. They are back at the World Cup for the first time since 2002, where they were wonderful and reached the quarterfinals. This is a golden generation for Senegal with lots of talented players, and coach Aliou Cisse was the captain of that team that reached the quarters in 2002.

Which country will flop?

Gab Marcotti: Germany

OK, we’re talking “flop” by German standards. And that means failing to make the semifinal for the first time since 1998. But hey, they set the bar very high. Joachim Low has had a tremendous run, but striking the right balance between youth and experience might be a big ask this time.

Craig Burley: Belgium

Belgium are full of talented individuals but have yet to prove themselves a contender on the international stage. Manager Roberto Martinez’s usual defensive carelessness will bite them against the real big boys.

Mark Ogden: Portugal and Mexico

Portugal may be the European champions, but they still rely too heavily on an aging Cristiano Ronaldo. As for Mexico, it will be the same old story of high hopes and early disappointment.

Shaka Hislop: Argentina and England

All eyes are on Messi, including those of his teammates. He can’t do it alone, though. Same old story for England.

Stewart Robson: Portugal

They may be the champions of Europe, but not enough creativity and an ultra-defensive approach will see them crash out early here.

Paul Mariner: Belgium

Loads of talent but with very high expectations around the world, the pressure will be too great.

Alejandro Moreno: Portugal

I don’t know how much is expected of them, but much like Greece years ago, Portugal is an unlikely European champion that will not be able to sustain that level of success in the World Cup.

Raphael Honigstein: Argentina and Portugal

Don’t see Portugal’s defensive approach being rewarded a second time. Argentina won’t flop in the sense of crashing out super early, but they will exit at the quarterfinal stage at the hands of Spain, if not in the round of 16.

Julien Laurens: Portugal

I don’t believe in them. I think they have a tricky group outside of Spain. Spain will beat them in their first game and a talented Morocco team and Iran could give them trouble. I don’t see Cristiano Ronaldo having a good tournament, either.

Who will win the Golden Ball (best player)?

Gab Marcotti: Luis Suarez, Uruguay

So difficult to call this. It’s usually from the World Cup winners, but Spain are so multidimensional that a goal-rich tournament and a run to the final from Suarez might just swing it his way despite Uruguay falling at the final hurdle.

Craig Burley: Neymar, Brazil

This has a chance to be his tournament. He needs to deliver and I think he will.

Mark Ogden: Neymar, Brazil

The guy who scores the most goals usually dominates the individual awards, so Neymar again. But Antoine Griezmann may be an outside bet.

Shaka Hislop: Neymar, Brazil

Neymar in the yellow of Brazil isn’t the arrogant and sometimes selfish player we see in the blue of PSG. He usually responds well to the pressure of his country.

Stewart Robson: Lionel Messi, Argentina

Why would you bet against the best player in the world over the past 10 years? Messi will take home the top individual hardware for the second straight World Cup and become the first player to win the award twice.

Paul Mariner: Antoine Griezmann, France

France is my pick to win it and Griezmann is their best individual. Griezmann was the best player at Euro 2016 and will do it again here, this time on an even bigger stage.

Alejandro Moreno: Neymar, Brazil

This is his moment. There is always pressure when you wear the No. 10 and captain’s armband for Brazil, but under Tite, Neymar seems to have embraced this responsibility. The World Cup stage will provide Neymar with the unique opportunity to take a big leap and put his name alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the very top of the game.

Raphael Honigstein: Antoine Griezmann, France

Griezmann’s goals will power France to the semis while Brazil’s stars, while deserving, are likely to split the vote.

Julien Laurens: Kylian Mbappe, France

He is only 19 and this is his first big tournament, but he is the type of prodigy we see only once every 20 years or so. The PSG youngster will play with freedom, without any pressure and will take the World Cup by storm.

Who will win the Golden Gloves (top goalkeeper)?

Gab Marcotti: Alisson, Brazil

He has all the tools to make this tournament his own defensively … at least until the semifinal.

Craig Burley: Manuel Neuer, Germany

Neuer had a difficult season with injuries, but I think if Germany do go all the way, he’ll have been a busy boy. Not convinced by the German defence, so success could hinge partly on the goalkeeper.

Mark Ogden: Jordan Pickford, England

The new England goalkeeper is confident, good with the ball at his feet and a risk-taker. He has the ability to be spectacular, too.

Shaka Hislop: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Germany

With the lack of playing time for Neuer this season, I have a sneaky suspicion that Ter Stegen will get the nod. At Barcelona, he has established himself as one of the world’s best. Expect to see just that in Russia.

Stewart Robson: David De Gea, Spain

Not only does De Gea make match-winning saves, but he rarely makes a mistake.

Paul Mariner: David De Gea, Spain

He makes the key saves when called upon and, almost as importantly, is an error-free goalkeeper.

Alejandro Moreno: Thibaut Courtois, Belgium

Belgium is a sexy pick for many in and around the game. If Belgium advance deep into the competition, Courtois may have to come up with a few big saves and maybe even a memorable penalty kick shootout performance.

Raphael Honigstein: Alisson, Brazil

The most gifted of keepers, Alisson is set to have a breakout tournament.

Julien Laurens: Alisson, Brazil

The Brazilian had a superb season with Roma and has proved to be a wonderful shot stopper. In an attacking Brazil side, he will show how good he is in this tournament.

Player most likely to be red carded?

Gab Marcotti: Mats Hummels, Germany

What he lacks in pace he makes up for in reading the game. But you only get away with it for so long. And in a tournament marked by flat-out speed — and on a team that tends to play on the front foot and can get caught on the counter — he’s got to be among the candidates.

Craig Burley: John Stones, England

I like John Stones as he’s a flamboyant centre-half, but I think he takes too many risks and makes some bad decisions, both with and without the ball. Can see him making a daft challenge in desperation and seeing red.

Mark Ogden: Dele Alli, England

The England midfielder has insisted he will not fall foul of the officials in Russia, but opponents will be wise to his short fuse and we have yet to see evidence that Alli can count to 10 before reacting.

Shaka Hislop: Sergio Ramos, Spain

Sergio Ramos is always good for an error in judgement. With VAR he won’t be able to get away with things he often does.

Stewart Robson: Nicolas Otamendi, Argentina

A great season under Pep Guardiola but too many rash challenges from behind in an emotionally charged environment makes Otamendi a prime candidate to see red.

Paul Mariner: Dejan Lovren, Croatia

In Croatia’s group with Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria, the front players are too quick, technical and strong. He will struggle.

Alejandro Moreno: Sergio Ramos, Spain

There will be a lot of people watching Sergio Ramos very closely after the Champions League fallout. With VAR in play in the World Cup, maybe one of the multiple cameras catches Ramos doing something naughty.

Could Sergio Ramos’ temper and reputation get him in trouble in Russia? Photo by Shot for Press/Action Plus via Getty Images

Raphael Honigstein: Luis Suarez, Uruguay

Luis Suarez might just stumble and accidentally bite into someone again.

Julien Laurens: Pepe, Portugal

He is 35 and played only four games with Besiktas between March and May. He will be out of form if he starts for Portugal, and despite his experience, I expect him to get sent off.

Group winners (A-H)

Gab Marcotti: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Senegal

Craig Burley: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Colombia

Mark Ogden: Uruguay, Spain, France, Croatia, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Colombia

Shaka Hislop: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, Colombia

Stewart Robson: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, Colombia

Paul Mariner: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, Colombia

Alejandro Moreno: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Belgium Colombia

Raphael Honigstein: Uruguay, Spain, France, Croatia, Brazil, Germany, England, Colombia

Julien Laurens: Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Colombia

Group runners-up (A-H)

Gab Marcotti: Russia, Morocco, Peru, Nigeria, Serbia, Mexico, England, Poland

Craig Burley: Egypt, Portugal, Peru, Nigeria, Serbia, Mexico, England, Poland

Mark Ogden: Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Argentina, Serbia, South Korea, England, Senegal

Shaka Hislop: Egypt, Portugal, Peru, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belgium, Senegal

Stewart Robson: Russia, Portugal, Denmark, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico, Belgium, Senegal

Paul Mariner: Egypt, Portugal, Denmark, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico, Belgium, Poland

Alejandro Moreno: Russia, Portugal, Denmark, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, England, Senegal

Raphael Honigstein: Russia, Portugal, Peru, Argentina, Switzerland, Mexico, Belgium, Senegal

Julien Laurens: Egypt, Morocco, Peru, Croatia, Switzerland, Mexico, England, Senegal

The unbearable hope — and inevitable pain — of supporting England at a World Cup

Jun 8, 2018Nick Hornby

 (Editors’ note: We asked Nick Hornby — novelist and screenwriter who wrote about his obsessive fandom of Arsenal in “Fever Pitch” — to reflect on what it’s like to follow England during a World Cup. This is the first of three pieces he’ll be writing for ESPN while England chases glory in Russia.)

“You’ve got to face the fact there may now be a meltdown. OK?,” said a senior member of the squad this week. “I don’t want anybody to panic during the meltdown. No panic. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic. It’s going to be all right in the end.”Yes, it’s time for another England World Cup campaign, and it doesn’t matter that the senior member of the squad is Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, or that he happened to be talking about the Brexit negotiations, now into what seems like their ninetieth year, and with no end in sight.An English World Cup campaign will almost certainly include a meltdown, and there will be panic, and introspection, and calls for something, anything, to be done to — or by, or for — somebody. But it’s going to be all right in the end. It’s just that as with Brexit, nobody knows when the end will be or whether any of you old enough to be reading this will live long enough to see it.England’s two friendly victories this past week, against a poor Nigeria team and a workmanlike Costa Rica, allowed the nation (or the nation’s football commentators, at least) to accentuate the positive. The thumping header with which Gary Cahill opened the scoring against Nigeria got them excited about set pieces; more ominously, it earned Cahill the man-of-the-match award. The willing, likeable but tortoise-paced centre-back is not the recipient one might have been hoping for in a home game against Nigeria, with Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling all up the other end.In the game against Costa Rica, TV pundit and former England manager Glenn Hoddle enthused about the left-footed full-back Danny Rose putting a left-footed cross into the penalty area from the left side of the pitch. “Lovely to see,” said Hoddle. “Natural.”Nothing came from the cross and if you have a season ticket at Rochdale, you’ve probably seen something similar in every home game this season but keep it to yourself. England need to keep morale high and if that means praising an international footballer for kicking the ball with his stronger foot, then so be it. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic.In previous tournaments, it was possible to feel the disappointment turning to rage and bile even before a ball had been kicked. In 2014, the “Golden Generation” had almost vanished in a fog of under-achievement but Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were still there. Two goals, two defeats and one goal-less draw later, they were home again, after the group stage, and England could draw a veil over another era of expectancy and failure.This time around, the players are not celebrities, not yet; those with no interest in football would be hard pushed to name a single member of the squad, let alone any of their wives or girlfriends. Several players — Marcus Rashford, Rose, Cahill, Danny Welbeck — can only occasionally push themselves into the first team at their clubs, and one of them, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, can’t force his way into his club at all: he’s spent the year on loan at Crystal Palace instead.So maybe — and this, inevitably, is an undertone in the conversation — that could work in England’s favour, right? A young, hungry and humble squad, nearly all of them belonging to a top four Premier League team; a modest, thoughtful, likeable coach … why couldn’t a team like that win the World Cup? Why couldn’t Dele Alli destroy Spain like he destroyed Real Madrid in the Champions League for Spurs?Then you remember who won the Champions League, and that the Spurs vs. Real Madrid game was a group match that didn’t count for much, and that when it came to the crunch, Spurs (who are providing five of the 23-man squad) conceded two late goals to a battle-hardened Juventus team and went out of the competition. Nobody in this England squad has ever scored a goal in the World Cup finals; then again, the national team have only scored 20-odd goals during the five tournaments that have taken place since Sterling was born.Usually in the build-up to an England World Cup campaign, expectations, both great and grim, come out in precisely the same place: we think we have more than half a chance either way.The second of the two friendlies this week was played at Leeds’ Elland Road ground and the difference between the atmosphere there and the atmosphere at Wembley for the Nigeria game was striking. The Leeds fans got behind the team and sang the National Anthem, giving the players a rousing send-off.The Wembley fans were much more apathetic, as usual, and though there are easy explanations — the rest of the country rarely gets to see the national team play outside the capital — this World Cup, and the whole idea of national identity, is taking place at a very peculiar moment in the nation’s history.There is a schism in the country just as there is in the United States; those who voted to leave the EU and those who voted to stay are snarling at each other with mutual incomprehension. The city of Leeds voted (only just) to stay in the EU but the north of England (and Leeds is very much in the north of England) voted overwhelmingly to leave.Meanwhile, 75 percent of Londoners voted to remain. England’s relationship with Europe is complicated (at least from our side — one suspects gloomily that it’s much more straightforward over the Channel) and it’s not hard to imagine that in the current climate, the England team means different things to different English people. If, as some fear, our far-right nutters clash with the Russian hard-right nutters, then feelings will become even more diffuse.Of course, it would be great if England won the tournament but that “if” is too small to the naked eye to be any use to the editor of this piece. What many of us crave is an England team we can like: one that plays fast, muscular, ambitious English football, beats the teams that are inferior to them and goes out bravely to the one that’s better.It’s not much to ask, but it would help an unhappy country to feel better about itself.

McCordsville/Ronald McDonald House – Greater Indy 3 vs 3 – June 23

www.3v3live.com  $200 per team up to six players. Each player will receive a t-shirt, top three teams in each division get custom medals, top four qualify for Regionals the road to Disney. Full details and fun details on our tourney https://www.3v3live.com/mcdonalds

INDY ELEVEN FRONT OFFICE GROWS WITH ADDITION OF NEW HIRES

By IndyEleven.com, 06/12/18, 8:45AM EDTShare

 Indy Eleven adds Vice President of Sales and Marketing, additional positions

Indy Eleven Professional Soccer announces the hiring of Josh Mason as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mason, who attended Ball State University for his undergraduate degree and Indiana Wesleyan University for his MBA, will start July 1, 2018.“We’re very excited to have Josh join our Front Office staff,” said Indy Eleven presidet Jeff Belskus. “We’re very appreciative of [Indy Eleven owner] Ersal Ozdemir in making the investment to grow our organization.”Mason has spent the last 18 years in various sales and marketing roles with top brands including: Monarch Beverage, Miller Brewing Company and Starbucks Coffee Corporate. Most recently, Mason acted as Central Regional Manager for Enthuse Marketin, a New York based beverage marketing agency. “Josh brings many years of experience as a sales and marketing executive, and as President of the Brickyard Battalion,” Belskus said. In addition to his marketing experience, Mason is one of the founding board members of Indy Eleven’s supporters group, the Brickyard Battalion. Mason has been acting President of the non-profit organization’s board for the last four years. “We want to bring in someone in, like Josh, who is very passionate about this club and connected with our local supporters,” said Belskus. “Our supporters are very important to the organization. We want to continue building a stronger relationship with those who continue to support us.”Indy Eleven has also added Dan Dripps as its new Corporate Partnership Manager, and is in the process of adding two Ticket Account Managers and a new IT Director.

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INDY ELEVEN FRONT OFFICE GROWS WITH ADDITION OF NEW HIRES

By IndyEleven.com, 06/12/18, 8:45AM EDTShare

Indy Eleven adds Vice President of Sales and Marketing, additional positions

Indy Eleven Professional Soccer announces the hiring of Josh Mason as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  Mason, a Carmel FC Coach, who attended Ball State University for his undergraduate degree and Indiana Wesleyan University for his MBA, will start July 1, 2018.“ We’re very excited to have Josh join our Front Office staff,” said Indy Eleven presidet Jeff Belskus. “We’re very appreciative of [Indy Eleven owner] Ersal Ozdemir in making the investment to grow our organization.”Mason has spent the last 18 years in various sales and marketing roles with top brands including: Monarch Beverage, Miller Brewing Company and Starbucks Coffee Corporate. Most recently, Mason acted as Central Regional Manager for Enthuse Marketin, a New York based beverage marketing agency. “Josh brings many years of experience as a sales and marketing executive, and as President of the Brickyard Battalion,” Belskus said. In addition to his marketing experience, Mason is one of the founding board members of Indy Eleven’s supporters group, the Brickyard Battalion. Mason has been acting President of the non-profit organization’s board for the last four years. “We want to bring in someone in, like Josh, who is very passionate about this club and connected with our local supporters,” said Belskus. “Our supporters are very important to the organization. We want to continue building a stronger relationship with those who continue to support us.”Indy Eleven has also added Dan Dripps as its new Corporate Partnership Manager, and is in the process of adding two Ticket Account Managers and a new IT Director.

PREVIEW | TORVIND

By IndyEleven.com, 06/14/18, 4:45PM EDT

“Boys in Blue” to face Toronto FC II on mutual ground in New York

Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 7 P.M. EST  Marina Auto Stadium – Rochester, New York  

Watch/Listen Live: Local/National TV: N/A  Streaming Video: N/A

Follow Live: In-game updates: Follow @IndyElevenLive on Twitter  Official stats: USL Match Center

WEEK 14: SIGHTS SET ON ANOTHER WIN

Indy Eleven look to improve their 2W-1L-2D record on the road this weekend against Toronto FC II. The “Boys in Blue” are attempting to win their second game in a row, something the team has not done since the Week Four and Five victories.Indy Eleven (5W-4L-3D) currently sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. The “Boys in Blue” are three points off of third place, chasing Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC with 21 points. In their last outing, “Indiana’s Team” defeated 15th place Atlanta United 2, 2-0, which ended a four game winless skid. Goals from Indy Eleven midfielder Matt Watson and defender Carlyle Mitchel handed Indy the victory. The two goals were also the first of the season for each player. Indy Eleven goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams recorded his sixth clean sheet for “Indiana’s Team”, which ties Fon Williams for most clean sheets in the Eastern Conference.Toronto FC II (0W-11L-2D) currently sit at last place in the Eastern Conference with two points. The home team will attempt to get their first points since its draw with New York Red Bulls II on April 28. Toronto FC II nearly secured a point against Penn FC in their previous match in Week 13. The game was level at two when Toronto defender Robert Boskovic committed a hand ball in the Toronto 18-yard box resulting in a penalty for Penn FC. Penn substitute Jerry Ortiz scored the penalty and dashed hopes of a point for Toronto. The loss is now their seventh in a row and first under newly appointed head coach Michael Rabasca.Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie will aim to continue the attacking performance and defensive dominance displayed last weekend against a Toronto FC II team that has conceded the most goals, and scored the least, in the Eastern Conference. Rennie will rely on captain Matt Watson to keep his squad focused going into the Week 14 fixture.“You don’t underestimate anyone,” Watson said. “If we work hard, as hard as them or harder, then our talent will shine through.”

INDY ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH: FW EUGENE STARIKOV

Indy Eleven forward Eugene Starikov returned to the pitch in last week’s matchup with Atlanta United. The reappearance of the forward, his first since Week Three, bodes well for Martin Rennie’s lineup. Starikov’s ability to return to action is timed perfectly, as teammate and forward Jack McInerney serves the second of his two-game suspension against Toronto FC II.Starikov adds pace and flexibility to Indy Eleven’s offense, with the ability to bounce between forward and midfield. Last season with NASL’s New York Cosmos, he made 25 appearances for th club and found the back of the net four times.

TORONTO FC II PLAYER TO WATCH: MF LUCCA UCCELLO

What Toronto FC II midfielder Lucca Uccello lacks in size, he makes up for in talent on the ball. The 5-foot-5-inch midfielder has been a positive light in a dark tunnel for Toronto FC II. He has started 9 out of12 games for the Canadian side. Despite his youth, the 20-year old midfielder has moved the ball well this season and averaged just over 80 percent passing accuracy.The Canadian born midfielder has been a threat in front of goal, having found the back of the net twice in 12 appearances. In addition to scoring goals, he can create them for his teammates as well. Uccello has tallied one assist so far this season and created 10 chances.

MATCHUP TO MARK: INDY OFFENSE FACES TORONTO FC II’S DEFENSE

Indy Eleven’s offense seems to be catching stride at the right time. In the last three games the “Boys in Blue” have found the back of the net six times. The team has also found the back of the net using various methods, keeping opposition defenses from being able to contain one aspect of the team’s offense. They’ve found the back of the net once from a penalty, once from a corner kick, twice from direct free kicks and twice from the run of play.Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie’s compact press has led to effective counter attacking play. The aim is to apply pressure in the midfield and attacking third taking away opponents time on the ball and forcing sloppy passes that lead to turnovers and goal scoring chances. The tactics proved fruitful as they led to midfielder Matt Watson’s first goal against Atlanta United 2.“I think we’ve always been better on the front foot as opposed to letting them have good possession around the half way line,” Watson said. “I think we’re always better when we win the ball high.”Toronto FC II will have to be weary of the counter attack deployed by Indy Eleven. During the 2018 season, Toronto has averaged a completion percentage of three-quarters of their passes per game. They also average 86 percent completion in their own half.The high pressure may be amped up against Toronto FC II, as the Canadian side has given up 10 goals in the last three games. Toronto has given up the most goals (30) in the Eastern Conference through the 2018 campaign.The “Boys in Blue” will aim for another three points and a chance at third place as Indy Eleven’s offense continues to pick up steam.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no local/ESPN+ live stream available for this match. Be sure to follow @IndyEleven and @IndyElevenLive on Twitter for live updates at the “Boys in Blue” kickoff against Toronto FC II at 7:00 p.m. in Rochester, New York.

Catch “Indiana’s Team” when it returns to Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 p.m. for Pride Night against Penn FC. Fans can get their tickets starting at $15 at IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.

 

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