SAO PAULO — It has been nearly 84 years since the U.S. last beat Belgium in a soccer match, and frankly there is no good reason to think the streak will end on Tuesday in Salvador. That doesn’t mean the Americans have no chance. They always have a grinder’s chance, and the ball is still round enough to roll unpredictably. But Belgium is enjoying a sort of rebirth in the sport, a fresh golden generation of young stars who are technically superior to almost anybody Jurgen Klinsmann can put on the field. Belgium is not Portugal — an overrated, aging team of overpaid, marquee names. The Red Devils are hungry, cocky and on the sort of streak that should scare a lot of people. Eden Hazard, the team’s star attacking midfielder, wants it that way. “We intend to carry on winning — each time, we inspire more fear,” the 23-year-old Chelsea midfielder said here. “That’s ideal in terms of getting the teams we meet to come at us with … [Read more...] about U.S. soccer team facing a young, cocky Belgium team in the World Cup’s Round of 16
What odds are belgium to win the world cup
Imagine if tiny Hershey, Pa., was an entire nation. Now open your eyes — and welcome to Belgium. The compact European nation of 11 million is slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania, but it boasts more chocolate per capita than even the confectionery capital of the U.S. The monarchy — yes, the soccer team’s No. 1 fan is King Philippe, not Jean Claude Van Damme — produces a staggering 220,000 tons of chocolate annually. And they’re hoping to give the Americans a huge kiss-off in Tuesday’s World Cup showdown. The nation’s low profile is just fine with Yves Michiels, a Belgian transplant who owns three BXL restaurants in Manhattan. “We are so small, people don’t adjust to us,” said Michiels, 42, whose eateries have catered to Belgian ex-pats since the World Cup began. “We have to adjust to the world.” The Belgians hope to raise their profile on the international soccer … [Read more...] about Belgium, tiny country full of chocolate and beer, favored in World Cup game against U.S.
Tim Howard isn’t just the goalie for the United States soccer team. On Wednesday morning, his title was changed on his Wikipedia page to “Secretary of Defense.” Actually, he could probably run for president right now and have a good chance of winning as Howard fever swept the nation Wednesday morning after his super-human effort in the U.S.’ 2-1 loss to Belgium. “Tired,” is the word Howard used to describe how he was feeling Wednesday when he spoke to Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio. He should be exhausted, after he nearly carried Team USA into the World Cup quarterfinals with his 16-save performance. Even though the U.S. got booted, fans all over the country and the world were raving about the heart the Jersey guy and his teammates displayed. Howard, of course, deflected the praise to his teammates. “The way we fought yesterday was incredible,” Howard said. “We played 120 minutes yesterday and the God’s honest truth … [Read more...] about U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard reflects on memorable World Cup performance
The smart money is on Brazil at this year's World Cup. So is the real money. The odds-on favorite to win soccer’s ultimate prize, Brazil also boasts the most expensive lineup of the 32 competing teams with a roster value of $718,299,900. Sports app company theScore ranked every World Cup squad according to their total market value, which consists of the sum of their players' market values at the club level. Factors such as player salaries, stats, age and recent performances all enter into the equation. Barcelona star Neymar, who's worth $88,297,440, and team captain Thiago Silva ($58,879,040) highlight a lavish Brazilian team that's looking to win its sixth World Cup title. Defending champion Spain came in second, with a total value of $673,567,074, followed by Argentina ($654,482,640), Germany ($621,815,994), France ($555,070,372), England ($493,232,648) and Belgium ($467,856,476). Ranked 28th, the United States can't compete … [Read more...] about World Cup 2014: Brazil most expensive team of competition
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed broadening the use of the recent FAN ID technology to upcoming cultural and sports events.France's victory meant Deschamps, who captained them 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach, BBC News reports. "We are increasing our legitimacy in that tournament".The thorny issue of compensation for Europe's top leagues including Spain, England and Germany because they will suspend their leagues during a "Winter World Cup" remains unresolved, with a payout as high as one billion euros suggested in some quarters.The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow."There are two things that matter - one is that these 23 players are now together for life, whatever happens, and also that from now on they will not be the same again, because they are world champions", a champagne-soaked Deschamps said Sunday.Croats took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate their national team despite its 4-2 defeat to France, but the nation of … [Read more...] about World Cup winner Mbappe donating bonus of about $350000