FIFA

USAIN BOLT SCORES TWO GOALS IN FIRST START AS A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER

USAIN BOLT SCORES TWO GOALS IN FIRST START AS A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER @usainbolt

Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt took his first start for the Central Coast Mariners, an Australian professional soccer club, aiding his team to a 4-0 win over Macarthur South West United.  Bolt scored his first goal as a professional soccer player Friday night in Australia. Less than fifteen minutes later, he added another.  It was Bolt’s third appearance overall with the club.

“It was a big deal. Scoring a goal in your first proper match … it’s a good feeling,” Bolt said afterwards, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’ve been improving quickly, I personally feel.”

The Jamaican, who is the world-record holder for the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint, is seeking to earn a contract ahead of the upcoming A-League season.  He retired as a sprinter in 2017, following the World Championships and has turned his focus to soccer.

Bolt left the game in the 74th minute.

CRISTIANO LEFT OUT OF UPCOMING PORTUGAL MATCHUPS

CRISTIANO LEFT OUT OF UPCOMING PORTUGAL MATCHUPS @cristiano

Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the Portugal squad on Thursday, this time for games against Poland and Scotland later this month.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said of Ronaldo, “I personally always support my players, and this is not even a question of solidarity, but I believe what the player said publicly. He considers rape to be an abominable crime and clearly reaffirms that he is innocent of what he is being accused of. I know Cristiano well and I fully believe he would not commit a crime like that.”

Santos did not specify that the absence is related to the investigation but said the Juventus forward also will not represent Portugal in games against Italy and Poland in November.

Authorities in Las Vegas, NV have re-opened a case involving the super star and a 33-year-old woman who claims she was raped in 2009. Previous Post

World Cup Final Preview – France vs Croatia

World Cup Final Preview – France vs Croatia @OscarHandsome

“And then there were two.”

Croatia and France will play in the World Cup final tomorrow (Sunday, July 15th @ 8AM Pacific Time on FOX).  Croatia hopes to bring home its first World Cup in its 28 years as an independent nation, while France aims for its second title and first in 20 years.  France has beaten Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium to reach the final while Croatia have knocked out Denmark, Russia and England, with all three games going to extra-time.

“Money Talks:

France brings one of the World Cup’s most expensive squads into the final. Transfermarkt.com estimates the French team is worth $1.29 billion in transfer fees, led by 19-year old Kylian Mbappe, worth an estimated $140.2 million for French squad Paris St. Germain. Croatia’s team is worth just over a third of the French, totaling $425.3 million. Their most valuable player is midfielder Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona, worth an estimated $58.42 million.

Who to watch for Croatia:

Croatia’s offense goes through its engine in the midfield, Luka Modric. The 5-8 player for Spain’s Real Madrid has scored twice and added an assist for Croatia over the tournament. Ivan Perisic of Inter Milan in Italy could also pose problems for France. The left winger has scored two goals in the World Cup, including Croatia’s equalizer against England and he assisted on Mandzukic’s winning goal.

Who to watch for France:

Mbappe wasn’t alive for France’s lone title in 1998, but he might carry Les Bleus to their second one this year. The Paris St. Germain forward has scored three times for France and offers explosive play-making capabilities over the top. He’s joined up front by Antoine Griezmann, who is also responsible for three goals. Griezmann of Atletico Madrid led all scorers in the 2016 European Championship with 6 goals. Tending to the back line for France is the long-limbed Thibaut Courtois. Courtois has made 22 saves while putting up two clean sheets, including France’s 1-0 semifinal victory.” – Kirk Meyer, Daily News

PREDICTION

We are sticking with France for this one as we selected them before the tournament at +700. If you took Croatia before the start of the tournament you could have gotten them at 33/1.

We’ll take France -1/2 -115 (Goal Line)

VAR Impact at World Cup 2018

VAR Impact at World Cup 2018 @Fellaini

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been the biggest superstar of World Cup 2018. Scoring is up, players and fans have no idea what’s going on, and drawing a circle with your hands is the new signal for instant replay. We are in a technology era and it seems obvious to use the hundreds of cameras available to assist the referee. But has the introduction of VAR had a positive or negative impact on the tournament in Russia?

“I think the new system (VAR) is good for the World Cup because there can be no mistakes in the box and for the penalties, for the free kicks it’s good – for red cards as well. I think it’s the new revolution.” – Marouane Fellaini- Belgium National Team

 PROS

  • It makes the game more exciting. More drama and goals. Nothing is worse than a 0-0 final score.
  • We are getting a higher percentage of correct decisions.
  • Terrible calls are being eliminated from games.
  • The chance referees coming to a ‘fair’ decision are higher.

CONS

  • The decision to use VAR during a game is subjective. Some plays are reviewed while others are not.
  • It still comes down to human interpretation. Watching video slow motion repeatedly doesn’t change that. The referee still could make the wrong interpretation of the replay.
  • Taking the human element out will kill the game. Soccer isn’t supposed to be perfect.
  • Too slow. The referee must wait until the ball is in a neutral zone to stop play – the game is kind of in limbo while we wait for decision. Then if replay is granted, that’s another stoppage. Then stoppage time is added to make-up. Therefore the games are longer.

CONCLUSION

We approve of VAR and think it definitely makes the tournament much more exciting. Soccer players, coaches, and referees are now held accountable for getting things wrong. Human error is minimized and scoring is up. There has only been one game that’s finished 0-0 (France vs. Denmark). We like the technology, however both referees and the VAR officials themselves don’t seem sure on how to use the technology properly.

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Preview and Odds

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Preview and Odds @PaulPogba

Now that Robbie Williams has kicked off the World Cup by flipping the bird to a camera and world; confirming that he got paid $0.00 for this performance.  We are officially underway for FIFA 2018 in Russia.   Also congrats to the USA for winning bid with Canada and Mexico to host in 2026. More importantly for qualifying!

“Germany and Brazil are the pre-tournament favorites, and France is fancied behind them with a young roster. England will try to end more than five decades of hurt since winning its only major title on home soil in 1966. Mexico will try to advance past the second round for the first time since 1986, but El Tri opens against Germany and its likely second-round opponent is Brazil. There also has been a generational change within FIFA. Many of its leaders have moved from penthouses to prisons following indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice that detailed kickbacks to be as much a part of soccer as free kicks. Expect controversy on a regular basis.” – by STAFF WRITERS WITH AP

Lets take a look at the favorites this year. Although there are 32 teams in the field, only a few have a REAL shot to win.

GROUP ODDS

Group A 
Uruguay -110
Russia +160
Egypt +500
Saudi Arabia +4000

Group B
Spain -220
Portugal +220
Morocco +1600
Iran +4000

Group C 
France -425
Denmark +550
Peru +1000
Australia +2000

Group D
Argentina -200
Croatia +250
Nigeria +1200
Iceland +1200

Group E
Brazil -450
Switzerland +700
Serbia +800
Costa Rica +2000

Group F 
Germany -325
Mexico +500
Sweden +700
South Korea +2000

Group G 
Belgium -140
England +120
Tunisia +2200
Panama +4000

Group H 
Columbia +120
Poland +180
Senegal +500
Japan +700

ODDS To Win World Cup

  1. Brazil +400
  2. Germany +475
  3. Spain +650
  4. France +700
  5. Argentina +900
  6. Belgium +1100
  7. England +1600
  8. Portugal +2200
  9. Uruguay +2800
  10. Croatia +3500
  11. Colombia +4500
  12. Russia +6000
  13. Poland +8000
  14. Mexico +10000
  15. Denmark +10000
  16. Switzerland +10000
  17. Senegal +15000
  18. Peru +15000
  19. Serbia +15000
  20. Sweden +20000
  21. Egypt +20000
  22. Nigeria +25000
  23. Iceland +30000
  24. Japan +30000
  25. Costa Rica +5000
  26. Australia +5000
  27. Iran +5000
  28. Morocco +5000
  29. South Korea +5000
  30. Tunisia +5000
  31. Panama +100000
  32. Saudi Arabia +100000

** Oddsshark

PICK

They should win their group easily and have three players totaling 300 million dollars in value – Kylian Mpabbe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Greizmann. They are so deep that even world-class players like Anthony Martial didn’t even make the team. Lets not overthink this one and go with the team with the most talent and easiest group draw.

We are taking France (+700). To WIN the World Cup 2018.

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