Ageless Wonders, Crazy Owners, And Ultras: Our 2014-2015 Serie A Preview

Italy's Serie A is a league of stories, full of characters, narratives, plots, tensions, climaxes, and clichés. Time and again, the line between fact and fiction becomes so blurred that you just have to throw your hands up and shrug. You really couldn't make a lot of this stuff up. » 8/30/14 2:20pm 8/30/14 2:20pm

I have a feeling this is exactly the game that Italy are built to win. Unlike England, which relied on pace to make up for a lackluster central midfield and defense, Italy at their best is tactically strong and organized. Sure they fell apart a bit against Costa Rica, but that should only make them more focused for… » 6/24/14 11:13am 6/24/14 11:13am

How Russia Evolved Into One Of The World Cup's Most Dangerous Teams

Russia's march to Brazil began at the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland/Ukraine. The Russians, led by Dutch manager Dick Advocaat captured the attention of Europe with a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic in their opening game. The free-flowing, explosive Russian attack, a product of Advocaat's favored… » 6/11/14 6:57pm 6/11/14 6:57pm

Can Ghana Break American Hearts Once Again?

Ghana locked up a spot in Brazil by first cruising to the top of their African qualifying group, then demolishing Bob Bradley's Egypt over 2 legs by an aggregate 7-3 score line. The Black Stars allowed only 6 goals in their 8 qualifying games, while scoring 25 of their own. They were led by veteran striker Asamoah… » 6/10/14 4:17pm 6/10/14 4:17pm

Portugal Might Be Ronaldo And The Rest, But That's Still Scary Good

Portugal made a surprising run to the semifinals of Euro 2012, narrowly losing out to Spain on penalty kicks in a game many thought the Portuguese deserved to win. It marked the second straight tournament where Portugal were eliminated by their archrivals, as Spain won a 1-0 Round-of-16 matchup in South Africa. » 6/10/14 2:21pm 6/10/14 2:21pm

Why Nigeria, Now Hardened Veterans, Will Be A Tough Out In Brazil

Nigeria come into Brazil with as much international tournament experience in the last few years as any team in the world, having won the 2013 African Cup of Nations and subsequently playing in the 2013 Confederations Cup. These experiences gave manager Stephen Keshi, a former Super Eagle himself, more opportunity to… » 6/09/14 2:00pm 6/09/14 2:00pm

Overmatched, Costa Rica Can Still Make It Rough For Everyone Else

Do they have any shot? Not really. But that doesn't mean Costa Rica can't put the fear of God into the Group D favorites for a half or so. » 6/05/14 4:30pm 6/05/14 4:30pm

Even Without Superstar Falcao, Colombia Is Still A World Cup Terror

First, Colombia had to navigate the difficult South American World Cup qualifiers. It was easy. Led by superstar striker and certifiable beast Radamel Falcao, Colombia booked their tickets for the tournament after easing to a second-place finish in CONMEBOL. Going into 2014, Colombia looked a world power, and a dark… » 6/04/14 11:45am 6/04/14 11:45am

Call me crazy, but I could see a situation in which Spain bombs out, losing to the Netherlands in the first game and then being unable to beat Chile in their second. Spain is just a bit older and a bit slower, and can be beaten by vicious counter-attackers, which happens to be precisely what Chile and the Netherlands… » 6/03/14 5:07pm 6/03/14 5:07pm

A Shadow Of Themselves, The Netherlands Need A World Cup Miracle

In 2010, the Netherlands shocked the world by making it all the way to the World Cup final in South Africa. This year, many believe this team diminished. The oldest of their squad have since moved on, and injuries to stars like midfielder Kevin Strootman and keeper Maarten Stekelenburg have further depleted their… » 6/03/14 1:10pm 6/03/14 1:10pm