My deepest apologies for my recent lack of posts. I have been working a difficult schedule fulfilling the last classes of my contracted guest lecture assignment and it has been grueling. Most of my keeping up with events has been through the use of mobile devices and I don’t feel comfortable posting from a tablet or smartphone. Also, I am still fighting my post-election blahs. Onwards and upwards!
As you can imagine, here in Brazil the crash of the plane that killed almost the entire Chapecoense football team earlier this week is dominating the news. The grief is palpable all over Brazil. After the grieving abates somewhat, there is another major question: the team is in the top division in Brazil. How do they mount a team for the next season in all competitions? The other question that is more pressing and should be addressed to prevent such future tragedies: how on earth is a professional pilot so unaware of his plane’s refueling needs?
So Bruce Arena is back as head of the US Men’s National Team as Jürgen Klinsmann apparently had apparently passed his sell-by date. Arena has a long and impressive pedigree and, save a horrible non-call against Germany in the 2002 World Cup Quarter-Final, came close to bringing the US to the semifinals of that tournament. I just hope he manages to turn things around as consecutive losses in qualifying make the process a challenge for him. At least no one suggested Steve Sampson!
Barcelona’s form has not been very impressive lately, although they remain in second place, ahead of Sevilla on goal differential. The good news at least is that they will have Andres Iniesta back.
Someone asked me how to say Schadenfreude in Portuguese. My answer? José Mourinho.
Everyone goes crazy for the World Cup and the European Championships, but if you can get to see the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, do not miss it. The final in 2015 had Côte d’Ivoire beating Ghana one penalty kicks, with the Ivorian goalkeeper, Boubacar Barry scoring his kick and then defending successfully against the Ghanian keeper, Brimah Razak. This, by the way, was after Côte d’Ivoire missed its first two attempts. Final total on the penalty kicks was 9-8.
Speaking of goalkeepers, if this doesn’t make the Puskas Award finalist list for next year, then there is no justice.
Finally, if you want to vote on this year’s Puskas Award, here is where you vote. All are worthy contenders, but what Mohd Faiz Subri did in Malaysia is unreal.