The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Euro Cup 2008, What’s up with Portugal? June 12, 2008

Filed under: Current Events — gfg2sports @ 5:33 am
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To all you devoted soccer fans, the Euro cup is starting to get into the quarter-finals round of play. With favorites including Portugal, and Germany the teams are bringing their best in order to be named champion of Euro Cup 2008.

The buzz is that Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo is the one who is going to carry the Portugal team. In fact, in his last 13 appearances he has scored eight goals. According to soccernet.com he is “the best player on the planet going into the Championships,” (referring to Euro Cup 2008).

Apparently Portugal has the reputation of being inconsistent when it comes to big championships. They made it to the semis and quarter-finals in 2000, and 2002 however, in 2004 in the Euro Cup final they had a shocking loss to Greece, a loss that will not be forgotten.

With Coach Luis ‘Big Phil’ Scolari leading the team the Portuguese have a chance to take it. Sadly, the contract of Scolari is ending soon after the Euro Cup tournament, with many teams looking to hire him.

 The problem for Portugal that is critical in play is: the lack of defense. Portugal is known to have an exceptional offense, and a so-so defense. With a team that is not particularly well-rounded it is hard to make it far, and this is what has seemingly been the problem for quite some time now.

It is not that the defense is bad but, they lack discipline. The defense as a whole makes silly mistakes that can be easily corrected with more time and effort.

If Portugal wants to become the champions they are going to have to step up their game, not only in their so-called average defense but, in their incredibly good offense as well. Strategic mid-field play will be pivotal to this team’s success throughout the tournament.

Maybe this will be the year for Portugal, and I guess we’ll find out soon.

-Jess

 

 

 

Soccer’s Swedish Super-Hottie May 26, 2008

David Beckham is sooooo hot! Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve heard it a gazillion times. What’s worse is that he recently moved to the States, to play for the L.A. Galaxy, and the press coverage and hoopla has grown even bigger.

What I wanna know is why all of the other soccer hotties are lacking in attention. While millions of girls ogle Beckham they rarely discuss the other studs out on the football pitch.

For this reason we have take this week to honor Fredrik Ljungberg as the sports hottie of the week. Like the fore mentioned David Beckham, Ljungberg is too an undie model (he sports Calvin Klein’s) and European soccer phenomenon.

Ljungberg was born on April 16, 1977 in Vittsjö, Sweden. He grew up playing multiple sports, but primarily focused his efforts on soccer. He played for a local club team until he began playing outside mid-fielder or ‘winger’ for the Swedish national team. Later that year he went on to sign with Arsenal, one of the greatest professional teams in Europe, at just 19 years old.

Ljungberg worked his way into a starting position by his second season. He played a large role in Arsenal’s victories in both the Premiership and the Football Association Challenge Cup (i.e. the Super Bowl of European soccer) in 2001-02 season.

Unfortunately Ljungberg has been plagued with nagging injuries for the past few seasons. He even suffered from blood poising in 2005. While he recovered from this ailment, he has been suffering from an ankle injury for quite some time. Some have speculated that this reoccurring physical inability may have contributed to his transfer to West Ham United last season.

While his soccer career has fluctuated from great to mediocre, his physical appearance has been consistent: one thing is for sure, Fredrik Ljungberg is a mega hottie!

-Tab

 

Soccer Basics May 6, 2008

Filed under: Sports Rules — gfg2sports @ 8:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well, you’d like to know why the word-wide sports network is crazy about soccer. I’ll tell you why, it is just about the best sport ever!

Before I lecture you on why people get so consumed by this amazing game, let’s talk about the fundamentals.

Soccer is played on a field that usually ranges from 100-120 yards long and 30-50 yards wide. There are eleven players on the field at a time, including one goalie. The goalie is the only person on the field that can use their hands at any given time. And if you didn’t know soccer is played with your feet, well, now you know.

Each player does have an important role and there is no one person who is more important than any of their teammates. You cannot score without forwards and you cannot block the ball from getting into the net without a goalie.

Oh, the goal is the objective in the game of soccer is to score goals into the opposing net and block goals from going into your own net.

Now that we have established what the key objective is, let’s move on to what each position does for the team as a whole. Remember, soccer is a team sport and no one player is more important than the man or woman standing next to them. If you want to be an individual this is not the sport for you, go play tennis or golf.

First, the forward is the person who is usually the best striker. “Striker” is a term used for people who can strike the ball very well; this includes force, accuracy, and consistency. The forwards usually have great agility, ball skills, and speed.

Next, the midfield. The Midfield players are essential to every single play. The Midfield position is the position on the field that does the most running because they act as forwards and as defenders. They run up and down the field like they will never run again. Most midfield players are exceptionally experienced and know the game very well. It is important that midfielders have outstanding endurance, quick reflexes, and accuracy in being able to place the ball at a teammate’s foot.

Subsequently, the defense. The defense is the last chance to block opposing players from getting close to the goal. Many defenders have great strength in their kick and strength in their bodies to be able to knock a player down from time to time, in a clean way of course. Defense is important because they also help guide the players in front of them and have a great sense of the field.

Lastly, the goalie. The goalie to soccer is like the catcher to baseball. A goalie is the only thing standing between scoring goals and blocking them. A goalie must be quick, fearless, and strong. Goalies are often injured because of the brutal beatings that people give them. Another important quality in a goalie is the ability to have great extension of the body and great height when jumping for a ball that is high.

Now that we have established the positions, let’s talk about the usual format that most teams use during play. The 4-4-2. Why it starts from the back number to the front I couldn’t tell you, I thought the normal way to count and read is from top to bottom and left to right but, whatever. The 4-4-2 stands for: four defenders which are called the sweeper, stopper, left outside, and right outside, four midfielders which are called the left outside mid, center mid, center mid, and right outside mid, and two forwards which are called left wing, and right wing.

If you didn’t know much about soccer, you now know the basic line-up for most teams. People will definitely be impressed with you now.

So, now that you may understand soccer a little bit better, go try to watch a game, you may appreciate it and begin to understand why s many people world-wide love it.

And if you still have a hard time enjoying it, turn on a Galaxy game because who can honestly say they don’t want to see Mr. Dreamy himself, David Beckham.

-Jess

 

Amy Rodriquez-Living the Dream April 28, 2008

I began playing soccer in a time where Mia Hamm was quickly becoming household name and the U.S. Women’s National Team was well on their way to earning international recognition as a one of the most premier programs in the world. The success of the WNT led to a boom in popularity for the sport. The term ‘soccer mom’ was practically synonymous to the word ‘mom’ because practically everybody’s kid seemed to be playing soccer. Soccer was everywhere and girls’ soccer, in particular, was becoming more and more mainstream.

Every time the WNT came to Southern California I would be there, along with literally thousands of other little girls cheering and crying when they watch their heroes walk out on to the pitch. We all dreamed of becoming the next Hamm, Foudy, or Scurry.

Now here I am 17 years later; I almost finished with my college eligibility and as of right now my dreams of making the WNT are pretty much nonexistent. While my dreams of competing at the international level may have been stifled, a girl that I grew up playing against is currently preparing for the Beijing Olympics.

Amy Rodriguez was always a ball of energy; I remember my coaches instructing the defenders on my team how to mark her. Her speed alone made the feat practically impossible, and when you combined it with her technical skill and remarkable ability to make a connection with the net she was unstoppable.

For the past three years Rodriguez has been attending the University of Southern California. At USC she has had a tremendous career. This past season Rodriguez had 10 goals, three assists and three game-winners during USC’s NCAA championship drive. These points elevated her to rank No. 6 all-time in career points (59), No. 6 in career goals (23) and No. 4 in career game-winning goals (9) at USC.

Rodriguez has played and scored in several of the CONCACAF tournament games, which were held as the Olympic qualifiers. The U.S. won the tournament and received the top seed for the Beijing Olympics. Now they are scheduled to play Norway, Japan and New Zealand in the first round.

In August I will be watching and cheering for the WNT as they compete for Olympic gold. My heart will be with all of them, but I will be rooting for Amy in particular. She is living proof that little girls can grow up and be just like Mia Hamm. Maybe one day little girls will grow up dreaming about being the next A-Rod, as her teammates like to call her.

-Tab