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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Miracle That Is the Philippine Azkals

Tonight the Philippine Azkals will play against Kuwait for the second round World Cup Qualifying match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Everyone is praying for a miracle, especially after Kuwait’s 3 goals in the first round. As my son and nephew has been saying, the Azkals need 4 goals and they should not allow the 95th-ranked Al-Azraq to score any. Three factors could help the Azkals today: The boost from the return of Aly Borromeo and Stephan Schrock on the field.       The first round showed us how important effective defenders are. The twelfth man. The profound impact of supporters and fans on how a team      performs has long been acknowledged as effective, and in the case of Azkals it certainly helps. They have played against Kuwait before and have studied how the team plays and work together, and most importantly the team has learned their lesson from the first game and can correct the misconceptions and errors in the first. While everyone is rooti

A Mom's Thoughts on Sports and a Black-eye

For the first time in 13 years I came home to see my son sporting a shiner. And as much as I wanted to fuss, I couldn't...I wouldn't dare insult my son. Just waited for him to show it to me and tell me what really happened. Oh, I so wanted to rush him, to ask him to give me a blow-by-blow account but I kept my lips sealed. I wanted to kiss it and make it well, but I stopped at just a touch at his cheek while asking if it hurts. His teammate was telling him to make excuses for what happened and he answered with: Why should I? My mom knows I play soccer and she has always said this is part and parcel of the sport .  I remember seeing Fernando Torres of Liverpool once sporting a black-eye, too.  Well yes so I always say that…he plays basketball and soccer, which are both contact team sports albeit limited-contact - meaning there are rules that specifically prevent intentional or unintentional contact between players and penalties can be incurred when it happens. I c

Japan's Nadeshiko: A Picture of Hardwork, Resilience and Teamwork

Japan players celebrate with the trophy after winning the final match between Japan and the United States at the FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, on Sunday.   (Michael Probst/Associated Press) Women's World Cup - so okay I was really rooting for USWNT or the US Womens National Team and they played really good but then again Japan played even better obviously.The victory of Japan brought great joy and pride to a country that has suffered and which continues to suffer from the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which has killed a lot of its citizens. According to the players they were inspired by the resilience that their compatriots have shown as they continue top struggle with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. In the same way that the victory has inspired the survivors making them more optimistic with the future. On the other hand, there has been a lot of negative comments from some Americans that brings to mind the relationship

Mexico Defeat Uruguay to Win FIFA U-17 World Championship

Mexico won the Under-17 World Cup final on Sunday, defeating Uruguay 2-0 with goals from Antonio Briseno in the 31st minute and Giovani Casillas in second-half stoppage time. Team captain Briseño volleyed home a Carlos Fierro cross while Casillas poked home an insurance goal to give Mexico their second victory in two weeks. The first being the senior side’s second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup title won by defeating United States 4-2 in California. The second victory within 2 weeks for Mexico football was this 2 nd under-17 World Cup championship amidst the boisterous crowd at Azteca Stadium in Mexico. GK Richard Sanchez I believed though that goalkeepers also play a crucial role in a team success. Because what good is a defense if the competition is able to score for every goal attempts they make. I remember reading once that any football team with designs on success needs a strong backbone which is formed by the goalkeeper. In this case, the FC Dallas ‘keeper Richard Sanchez di

TEEN AZKALS: The Future of Philippine Football

While all eyes are on the Philippine National Football Team or Philippine AZKALS as they prepare for the next qualifying game against Kuwait, the next generation members of the team called Teen AZKALS will be competing in the ASEAN Football Federation Under-16 Youth Championship 2011 in Vientiane, Laos from July 7 to 21. The Philippine Azkals’ goal to qualify to the FIFA World Cup remains a question, as the long road to World Cup will entail them to compete with several national football teams including Kuwait who has been playing for a long time and is ranked 101 st to Philippines 159 th   in the world. The Kuwait has appeared once in World Cup and 8 times in AFC, and has even won the AFC Cup in 1980.  Even manager Dan Palami admits “the chances are quite slim but that is all they need to attain victory as long as they train with their heart.” And certainly the Filipinos are rooting for them, but whether they do qualify or not, the Azkals has brought football to the hearts of a co

AZKALS Make Their Mark In Philippine Football History

At last! After so many years of rooting for Los Blancos (and recently, FC Schalke 04 becoz of Raul) and by default to Spain, I can now support my own team, the Azkals, our very own Philippine National Football Team. We were watching the game last Sunday inside my sister’s bedroom since I do not have a TV inside mine, and though the TV in the living room is bigger, it seemed more natural (and excitingly noisy) to watch together. So one can only imagine how crowded it was with 4 adults and 5 children ranging from ages 6 to 13 and all of us shouting, getting all excited, and giving their own versions to some of the moves. Since I started watching late coz I had to finish something I thought the Azkals were wearing their home team uniforms which is the white so I was lost for a few seconds. I know that they wore the blue soccer kit in Sri Lanka because that is their away team uniforms. My son was teasing me that it was okay for me to cheer for the white team if I really wanted t