Chelsea Are Champions – Congrats

Chelsea are once again champions of the EPL.

Yes, it says football.

Yes, it says football.

For the fourth time in the last ten years, Chelsea F.C. are champions of the English Premier League. The Blues got it done today against Palace, thanks to a goal from Eden Hazard. They earned all three points with a 1-0 victory, putting them at 83, where no one can catch them. Congrats to the boys from Stamford Bridge, 2014-2015 EPL Champions!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

World Cup 2014 – Days 3-4

The Elephants find their Talisman.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For much of Didier Drogba’s Chelsea career, he was referred to as their talisman. After his dramatic injection into the Ivory Coast’s World Cup opener against Japan, he surely holds that moniker in regard to his national squad as well.

When the pony-tailed striker ran onto the pitch in Brazil yesterday, his Elephants were trailing 1-0 to Japan. A mere 100 seconds later, the guys in orange were up 2-1 and in complete control of the game. Although Drogba did not score either goal, the emotional lift from his entrance was palpable, and his passing skills helped set up the first score.

Drogba signed with Italian giant Juventus this spring, but at 36, his best playing days are likely behind him. Then again, if yesterday was any indication, just his presence on the pitch might be enough to inspire the Elephants through a magical run. It will be one of many stories to follow in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup finals.

Of note: As mentioned above, Japan scored the first goal of the match, but eventually suffered defeat. Four other teams (Ecuador, Croatia, Uruguay and Spain) have already experienced the same fate in the first four days of the tournament.

There have been no draws so far in the tournament.

Confessions of a Soccer Nerd

Yes, I admit it, I love soccer. And there is no better time for a fan of the beautiful game than the World Cup Championship. Every four years, the soccer world  descends on a pre-ordained host nation. The world’s best players competing in the world’s best tournament for over a month. It’s soccer nerd nirvana.       

Heads up.

Who will be crowned this year? Brazil, Italy,England? Contenders are numerous, but as talented as the field is, I think the eventual champion will emerge from the following group of just five elite squads: Brazil, Italy, Spain, England and Argentina.       

Brazil: More World Cup titles than any other nation. Need I say more?       

Italy: Defending champs, a very talented and cohesive squad. Their roster is 100% filled with Serie A players.       

England: Most aficionados reading this post just busted out laughing. England’s national team has broken more hearts than any British group since the Beatles. Their ability to disappoint is legendary. Nonetheless, Rooney is healthy at last and their back four are solid with Ferdinand, Terry and Cole.       

Spain: The Spaniards are also notorious for falling short on the world stage, but Torres is a special talent and Fabregas is a crafty dealer. This team feels similar to the French squad of four years ago.       

Argentina: The only team besides Brazil to win a World Cup away from their home continent, Argentina has talent and bravado to spare in Tevez and Messi.       

Dangerous teams to watch …       

Chelsea F.C. has players on five different World Cup teams.

 Portugal: The best team no one is talking about. Ronaldo has the ability to take over any game.      

The Netherlands: Another team getting little press, but I guarantee, no one wants to play them.       

France: Still loaded with talent, but do they have the will, now that Z.Z. is gone?       

Sentimental favorite: Denmark. While most casual fans I know will be pulling for the U.S. (and I will too), I will also be rooting for the Danes. They represent part of my heritage and I’m proud of them for getting to South Africa while their big, bad neighbors from across the Baltic are at home washing their shin guards.      

Let's get the ball rolling.

But enough touting and predictions, lets roll the ball out to center and get this thing started. Ah yes … the beautiful time.