Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts

Friday, September 19, 2014

Daily Headlines: September 19, 2014

* Brazil: A new poll published this morning found that President Dilma Rousseff and main opposition rival Marina Silva are statistical tied in a likely runoff to decide Brazil’s next president in October.

* Argentina: An attorney for Citibank called for the suspension of a U.S. court decision that pushed Argentina into default and claimed that the Argentine government has placed a metaphorical “gun to our head.”

* Ecuador: Environmentalists, indigenous activists and others joined Ecuador’s largest labor union in anti-government protests in Quito yesterday.

* Latin America: Argentina (2nd) and Colombia (3rd) are the top South American countries in the latest FIFA soccer rankings while Costa Rica (15th) was the highest-placed entry from CONCACAF.

Video Source – CCTV America via YouTube

Online Sources – Blooomberg; LAHT; Businessweek; The Latin Americanist;

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Daily Headlines: September 4, 2014

* Argentina: Argentina enacted a measure of revenge for losing the World Cup title match in July and thumped Germany 4-2 in an international friendly held in Dusseldorf.

* Brazil: A pair of polls released yesterday showed that President Dilma Rousseff gained support but is still expected to lose in a likely runoff to challenger Marina Silva.

* U.S.: A new medical study concluded that the sexual risk behaviors among young Latinos vary due to factors like language, country of birth and economic status.

* Venezuela: Producers of U.S. TV drama “Legends” apologized for a scene depicting the Venezuelan government buying nerve gas for using against opposition protesters.

Video Source – TyC Sports via YouTube

Online Sources – Deutsche Welle; The Latin Americanist; Reuters; The Guardian; Medical Xpress

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Daily Headlines: September 2, 2014

* Europe: Mexican soccer star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez left Manchester United to Real Madrid on a season-long loan hours before Colombian striker Radamel Falcao joined the famed Mancunian team via his own season-long loan.

* Peru: Police in Lima displayed a record 7.7 tons of cocaine seized last week that were reportedly destined for Spain and Belgium.

* Uruguay: A senior Uruguayan official claimed that the process of transferring six Guantanamo detainees to the South American country would likely occur after presidential elections next month.

* Cuba: Cuban expats traveling to the island are none too pleased with new government restrictions on items including “hard-to-obtain” consumer goods.

Video Source – Liga BBVA via YouTube

Online Sources – Los Angeles Times; TVNZ; Uruguay; CBS Miami

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 27, 2014

* Argentina: Angel Di Maria of Argentina broke the British transfer record when he officially signed for Manchester United on Tuesday as part of a $95 million deal.

* Venezuela: The governments of U.S. and Venezuela usually don’t see eye-to-eye but nearly two out of three Venezuelans view the U.S. favorably according to a Pew Research Center survey.

* Dominican Republic: Ex-Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski could be extradited to the Dominican Republic where he’s accused of child sexual abuse.

* Latin America: A United Nations study found that roughly 200 million residents of Latin America and the Caribbean are “vulnerable” to falling into poverty even though poverty rates in the region decreased between 2000 and 2012.

Video Source – YouTube user ScoutNationHD

Online Sources – BBC Sport; The Latin Americanist; UPI; BBC News; Pew Research Center

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 19, 2014

* Mexico: Environmental officials filed a criminal complaint against a company responsible for spilling ten million gallons of acids from a copper mine into two rivers.

* Uruguay: “I say to all the fans: don’t worry, I won’t do that again,” said Luis Suarez as he pledged not to repeat actions such as his infamous biting of an opponent at this year’s World Cup.

* Argentina: A Vatican spokesman said that Pope Francis was “deeply pained” over the deaths of three of the pontiff’s relatives in a car crash in Argentina.

* Colombia: A group of victims of Colombia’s armed conflict met with government representatives and FARC guerrilla envoys, and gave their full support to peace talks being held in Cuba.

Video Source – AFP via YouTube

Online Sources – ABC News; The Guardian; The Latin Americanist; Al Jazeera; GlobalPost

Friday, August 15, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 15, 2014

* Mexico: Several politicos allied to Mexico’s ruling National Action Party have come under fire after they were shown on video partying with alleged escorts.

* Uruguay: The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld most of the punishment against Luis Suarez for biting an opponent at the World Cup but allowed him to train and play in friendly matches with new club F.C. Barcelona.

* Brazil: The board of banana giant Chiquita rejected a $611 million takeover bid from a pair of Brazilian firms and found it to be “inadequate.”

* Haiti: U.N. peacekeepers clashed with supporters of ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide upset that the former leader could be arrested on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking,

Video Source – YouTube user Reporte Indigo

Online Sources – ABC News; SBS; The Latin Americanist; LAHT; BBC Sport

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Argentina's San Lorenzo Wins Copa Libertadores

This summer the Argentine men's national team fought their way to the World Cup championship match although they ultimately lost to a strong German side. Similarly, Argentine soccer club San Lorenzo battled their way to the final series of the Copa Libertadores. Unlike their more heralded compatriots, however, El Ciclón did not stumble at the final hurdle.

San Lorenzo captured the crown of South America's top soccer tournament following a 1-0 win at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday night. The 2-1 aggregate win over Paraguayan minnows Nacional gave San Lorenzo it's first major title in the team's 106-year history.

Following last week's tie in Asuncion, both teams looked for the advantage to cap their surprising runs in the Libertadores.  The Paraguayan side was stronger in the first half hour and were unlucky when a shot by Derlis Orue rang off the goalpost. But the breakthrough came in the 36th minute against the run of play when Nacional defender Ramón Coronel handled the ball in the penalty box. Midfielder Néstor Ortigoza cooly converted the penalty kick past goalkeeper Ignacio Don.

Nacional subsequently pressed forward looking for the equalizer and nearly got it before halftime via a blast from Julián Benítez.  The second half saw San Lorenzo hold off wave after wave of attacks by the visiting side.  Substitute Brian Montenegro nearly leveled the score with a golden chance in the 77th minute. Yet bolstered by a boisterous and raucous crowd of 43,000 plus at El Nuevo Gasometro, San Lorenzo held on for a memorable victory.

"This is a historic triumph, we are immensely happy," San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza said following the final whistle.

"The team was very nervous, we didn't play very well, especially in the first half...We had to win it and we did. We found a way," added the Argentine-born coach who previously guided Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito in 2008 to the only triumph of an Ecuadorian team at the Libertadores.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paraguayan Minnows Head to Libertadores Finals

Numerous Latin American sides such as Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica shined at the recently World Cup in Brazil and performed beyond expectations.  Yet the Cinderella stories have also taken place in South America’s premier soccer club tournament: the Copa Libertadores.

Paraguayan team Nacional continued their fairy tale run by winning 2-1 in the semifinal aggregate score against Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting. 

The Asuncion-based side entered Tuesday’s semifinal second leg in Montevideo having won 2-0 in the first leg last week.  From the beginning of the match Defensor Sporting constantly pressured their rivals with the hope of at least tying up the aggregate score.  Nacional goalkeeper Ignacio Don came up big on several occasions especially in the first half when he denied a one-on-one chance by opposing forward Giorgian De Arrascaeta. Despite several good Defensor chances in the opening half Don’s teammates also stood tough yet De Arrascaeta got a measure of revenge when he assisted on Adrian Luna’s goal in the 55th minute. 

Following Luna’s tap-in, the Uruguayan team came very close to scoring the key second goal that would’ve tied the series and sent the semifinal to a penalty shootout.  Numerous Defensor attacks rang off the goalposts including a Felipe Gedoz blast that would’ve beaten Don but missed by inches and a Robert Herrera point-blank shot that hit the crossbar.  In the end, Nacional would hold on by slimmest of margins and the 110-year-old club booked their ticket to the Libertadores finals for the first time in team history.

This is unique, unbelievable. I hope Paraguayan people can be altogether in the name of the country,” said Don following the final whistle.

“I've always dreamed of playing in professional football and then the Copa Libertadores. Now, I'm playing the finals because we've been warriors on the field,” he added about the unfashionable team that normally plays at a stadium with maximum seating for 4000 spectators.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Daily Headlines: July 22, 2014

* Venezuela: Authorities today started to peacefully evict thousands of squatters residing in the "Tower of David", a Caracas skyscraper abandoned in 1994, to instead live in a publicly-funded housing project.

* Colombia: James Rodriguez, the Colombian player who was the top scorer in the recently finished World Cup, will reportedly join Spanish giants Real Madrid for about $100 million.

* Honduras: Police found the body of Honduran TV reporter Herlyn Espinal who was apparently kidnapped and subsequently murdered.

* Argentina: “Terrorism only knows to kill, it does not know how to build. It destroys,” said Pope Francis in a message last week commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the AMIA center bombing.
Video Source – YouTube user Vocativ

Online Sources – Reuters; Buenos Aires Herald;; ABC News

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daily Headlines: July 17, 2014

* Latin America: According to the U.N., the Caribbean has seen the biggest decline in new HIV infections while every hour ten people in Latin America are infected with the disease.

* Costa Rica: Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, whose superb play helped guide Los Ticos to the World Cup quarterfinals, could be headed to one of soccer’s most prestigious clubs.

* Panama: imprisoned former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega is none too pleased over his depiction in the “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” video game.

* Mexico: The government of Mexico City enacted legislation approved last month banning the use of animals in circuses.

Video Source – YouTube user David Mercer (“Originally Published by Al Jazeera English on May 16, 2014.”)

Online Sources – euronews;; The Latin Americanist; The Guardian; LAHT

Monday, July 14, 2014

Daily Headlines: July 14, 2014

* Colombia: Colombian James Rodriguez became the third South American player since 1978 to win the Golden Boot Award as top scorer at the World Cup.

* Argentina: Visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin backed Argentina’s claim to the Falklands and also signed a nuclear energy cooperation pact with his counterpart, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
* Peru: Peruvian officials claimed that their country could double their copper production by 2016 and surpass China as the world’s second-largest producer of the metal.

* Brazil: The BRICS group of developing countries that includes Brazil will reportedly launch its own development bank that could curb the influence of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Video Source – Richard Swarbrick via YouTube

Online Sources – USA TODAY; euronews; The West Australian;

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Argentina Falls in World Cup Final Match

Chris Wondolowski’s shot above the crossbar against Belgium. Mauricio Pinilla’s attempt ringing the goalpost in extra time against Brazil. Michael Arroyo not pulling the trigger late versus the Swiss. There were numerous missed opportunities at this year’s World Cup though none may have been bigger than the squandered chances by Argentina in their narrow 1-0 loss to Germany in the title match.

In the 29th minute, Gonzalo Higuain received the ball in space following a defensive lapse by the German backline but he mishit and his shot rolled woefully wide of the goal.  Minutes later, Higuain found the back of the net yet his celebration was cut short as the goal was called back for a clear offsides.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi also wasted several opportunities in the final match played at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.  In the early minutes of the second half, La Pulga was alone in front of goal with only German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to beat however he dragged a poor shot low and wide.  Messi’s teammate, Rodrigo Palacio, was also alone in front of Neuer in extra time but has chip ended harmless to the right of the German netminder.

It took until the 113th minute for the scoreless deadlock to be broken when Mario Götze scored from a sharp angle past Sergio Romero’s net.

Messi, who netted a late game-winner in group play against Iran and assisted Ángel di María’s gamewinner in the second round versus Switzerland, was fouled in injury time of the second extra period.  He took it upon himself to try for the equalizer from about thirty years away from goal but his shot sailed high and wide. Two minuets later the final whistle blew and Germany won the World Cup for the fourth time in team history.

Following the match numerous Argentine players such as Messi, who was named as the best player of the World Cup, couldn’t hide their dejection.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Daily Headlines: July 11, 2014

* Cuba: Cuban lawyer Ernesto Vera claimed that he worked for the state security agency and pretended to be an opposition activist in order to “discredit the dissidents.”

* Uruguay: Luis Suárez may be serving a harsh suspension for biting an Italian player at a World Cup match but that hasn’t stopped the Uruguayan from reportedly being transferred from to F.C. Barcelona as part of a $129 million deal.
* Latin America: A new U.N. report found that Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brazil are in the top five of the world’s most populated cities though their ranking is expected to fall by 2030.

* Chile: President Michelle Bachelet of Chile criticized landlocked Bolivia’s appeal to the International Court of Justice seeking access to the sea.

Video Source – AFP via YouTube (Ernesto Vera alleged that he infiltrated the Ladies in White protest movement, seen here during a 2010 march, as part of his work as a Cuban state security agent).

Online Sources – Fox News Latino; Bernama; The Latin Americanist; The Guardian

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Argentina Survives and Heads to World Cup Final Match

Argentina will head to the title match of the World Cup for the fifth time in team history after outlasting the Netherlands in a semifinal duel.

A penalty kick shootout was needed in order to break a scoreless deadlock between two teams that had been undefeated throughout the tournament.  Los Albicelstes converted all four of their spot kicks while goalkeeper Sergio "El Chiquito" Romero emerged as man of the match by blocking attempts by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Snejder.

Prior to the penalties both sides had few offensive chances during the 120 minutes of play amid rainy conditions in Sao Paulo. Lionel Messi was largely quiet throughout the semifinal aside from a free kick bullet straight into the arms of Oranje goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.  The Argentine defense smothered what few opportunities the Netherlands could conjure up especially Javier Mascherano who ruined a pair of dangerous runs in the penalty area by Arjen Robben.      

The two-time champions generated very little on the attack but could’ve won the match in the second extra time period when Cillessen blocked Rodrigo Palacio’s close range header and a weak volley from Maxi Rodriguez. Unlike their quarterfinal match against the overachieving Costa Ricans, the Dutch faltered in the penalty shootout much to the delight of the scores of Argentine fans at the Arena Corinthians.   

Argentina will face Germany in the final match for the third time in World Cup history. (Los Albicelstes captured the crown in 1986 though Germany gained revenge four years later).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Germany Thrashes, Eliminates Brazil From World Cup

Brazil has been shockingly eliminated from soccer's World Cup after suffering a 7-1 loss against Germany in a semifinal match.

Five different goalscorers tallied for Germany as they handed their rivals their first home loss since 1975 and the biggest defeat for a country hosting the World Cup. Among those who beat Brazilian goalkeeper Julio César was Miroslav Klose who surpassed Ronaldo to become the top goalscorer in World Cup history.

The memory of Brazilian striker Neymar, who suffered a tournament-ending injury in the previous match versus Colombia, was strong as fans donned masks of the infirm player and his jersey was displayed by the team following the national anthems.  Yet the lack of defensive stalwart Thiago Silva, who was suspended for receiving too many yellow cards, seemed to be a greater absence than Neymar.

For the first few minutes of the match Brazil looked solid yet the hope of heading to the championship match quickly disappeared into thin air.  What is being called the "Mineirazo" began when Thomas Müeller opened the scoring in the eleventh minute and the German offense broke the floodgates open with four more goals before the half-hour mark.  The result left most of the 60,000 plus in attendance stunned in silence while others sang a chorus of insults upon visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

(After the match, Rousseff tweeted "Like every Brazilian I'm very, very sad about this defeat.")        

Though Brazil was much more organized and forceful in the attack in the second half but could not beat the fast reflexes of German netminder Manuel Neuer.  The Brazilian defense continued their woeful performance, however, as Germany scored twice before Oscar tallied Brazil's lone goal late in the match.

"I just wanted to bring some happiness to my fellow countrymen," said a tearful team captain David Luiz following the final whistle.  "I apologize to all the Brazilian people," Luiz added.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Weekender – The Not-So-Beautiful Game

“The Weekender” is our new feature where every weekend we hope to highlight a short film, movie or documentary pertaining to the Americas. 
Four countries remain in the hunt to become champions at the World Cup currently being held in Brazil.  Among the four elite teams looking to win at soccer’s premier tournament is Argentina, which eliminated Belgium in their quarterfinal match on Saturday.  Next up for los albicelestes is a semifinal duel with the Netherlands, a rival who Argentina beat to win its first World Cup in June 1978.

That tournament thirty-six-years ago was hosted by Argentina in the middle of the Dirty War era where an estimated 30,000 people where killed or “disappeared” at the hands of a ruthless, authoritarian government.  Then-strongman Jorge Videla used the World Cup as propaganda to convince skeptical Argentines and critics around the world that all was fair and well in the South American country.  Yet amid the festivities of the tournament, individuals deemed as “subversive” by the state where kidnapped, tortured and killed.

One of the most infamous “torture centers” was the ESMA naval school located blocks away from the River Plate stadium where the final was played.  ESMA prisoners were forced by guards to celebrate during the match with them or run the risk of additional beatings and possibly being murdered. For Miriam Lewin and Graciela Daleo, their captors had a sadistic plan for them following Argentina’s 3-1 win in the final against the Dutch: 
The guards forced prisoners into a convoy of waiting cars. The gate slid up and they drove into the madness. Fans packed the avenue, waving blue-and-white flags, chanting, "Argen-tina! Argen-tina!" The guards demanded the prisoners look out the windows.

"Who remembers you?" one of them taunted.

Daleo asked permission to stand up through the car's sunroof. The cold wind hit her gaunt face and shivered her thin frame. The people looked right through her. Nobody knew she was disappeared, the single most important detail of her life, which meant that she didn't exist to them. The guards demanded that Daleo and Lewin celebrate. Miriam felt the stares. "If you weren't happy," she'd say decades later, "you were heading straight to the death flight."
She sat in the middle of the back seat, trying to look happy. The cars parked at a local restaurant, and the guards took the prisoners inside. Waiters pushed tables together. The torturers ordered beer and pizza and shared them with young women they'd raped with a cattle prod. Lewin looked around, feeling pale and skinny, like an alien, as the place exploded with joy and noise. People danced next to her, right in her face.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Injured Neymar Out of World Cup

Brazil may have gone through to the World Cup semifinals following a 2-1 win against South American neighbors Colombia, but the tournament came to an abrupt end for one of the team’s star players.

Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar announced that Neymar would miss the rest of the World Cup after fracturing his vertebrae during a quarterfinal match on Friday.

“He will not be in condition to play, he will need a few weeks to be fit again,” said Lasmar who added that the star striker will not have to undergo surgery.

Neymar became injured when Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zúñiga kneed him in the back in the 86th minute of the match.  The 22-year-old crumpled to the ground and was carried on a stretcher off the field.  He was subsequently transported to a medical clinic in Fortaleza where Lasmar made his assessment. 

“I never had the intent of hurting the player,” said Zúñiga after the match to reporters. “On the field we have to play tough but never with the aim of injuring a player,” he added regarding the striker who scored four goals for Brazil in this World Cup.

Thiago Silva, Brazilian team captain and the scorer of his team’s first goal against Colombia, defended Zúñiga as someone who “doesn’t have any malice” when he usually plays.  He also downplayed worries that Brazil will falter in the next round against Germany due to Neymar’s absence.

“This moment could start a revolution for us.  We’ve pledged to win the Cup for Neymar…This is the moment when we have to show our strength as a team.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Daily Headlines: July 1, 2014

* Argentina: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is trying to survive being rocked by two major scandals involving an indictment against Vice President Amado Boudou and Argentina potentially falling into debt default.

* U.S.: Can President Barack Obama use executive orders to make more progress on major immigration reform than a deadlocked and divided Congress? 

* Mexico: Mexico’s painful elimination from the World Cup proved to be a big ratings gain for Univision and ESPN as 17 million people watched the match on Sunday between El Tri and the Netherlands.

* Guatemala: Authorities in Texas believe that a dead eleven-year-old boy recently found near the U.S.-Mexico border was an undocumented Guatemalan migrant who got lost during his trip.

Video Source – euronews via YouTube

Online Sources – CNN; ABC News; MSNBC; USA TODAY

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colombian Gov’t Protest “Offensive” World Cup Comments

Colombia may be playing outstandingly well at the World Cup in Brazil, but that hasn’t stopped several public figures from making insulting comments being about the South American nation.

On the same day that Colombia finished its final group game with a third consecutive win, the Colombian government sent a letter of protest to Australians radio station Triple M regarding the “denigrating and offensive” remarks recently made on the air by two of the station’s DJs.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry (CFM) “requested that according to Australian radio’s Code of Practices…that the radio station apologize and punish” Matt Tilley and Joe Hildebrand for “discriminatory” comments made on their June 18th program. 

On the date in question one of the presenters wondered “is Colombia really famous for its coffee?” to which his partner replied, “Are you suggesting there is another stimulant with (the letter) ‘c’ that Colombia is more famous for?”

Later one of them asserted, “It seems to me that if you mention Colombia the one thing they mention is ‘cocaine’” while the other man said several colloquialisms for the drug.

“You know, everybody (in Colombia) has it, sells it…I thought I wonder if that is true or if it offends Colombian people who go ‘You know what? We’re a bit more than that. We have gangs and we kill people too,’” claimed one of the pair.   

They also alluded to the death of Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar who was killed following a World Cup own goal twenty years ago and referred to ex-goalkeeper Rene Higuita’s antics as something chimpanzees can do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Suárez Allegedly Bites Opponent in World Cup Win

Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez is one of the world’s best soccer players and he demonstrates this often such as his two goals in his country’s win over England at the World Cup.  Occasionally, however, his dark side can get the better of him as he apparently showed in this afternoon’s victory by Uruguay over Italy.

In the eightieth minute of the deadlocked, must-win match for the Celeste, Suárez collided with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and both players went down.  Initially it seemed that Suárez head butted Chiellini who may have responded by elbowing the Uruguayan.  But TV replays and images the incident apparently showed that Suárez appeared to have bitten his opponent on or near the left shoulder.

Chiellini pulled down his jersey sleeve to show the apparent injury to match referee Marco Rodríguez of Mexico.  Yet Rodriguez, who had previously sent off Italian Claudio Marchisio for a dangerous tackle, did not foul Suárez or Chiellini.

Diego Godin scored the lone goal one minute later that would send Uruguay to the next round and eliminate the Azzuri.

It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut,” said an irate Chiellini after the final whistle.

“Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done,” he added.

Suárez did not mention the incident with Chiellini but his coach did speak out.

“I would like to see it again”, admitted Óscar Washington Tabárez following the match.

“If something would’ve happened then the referee would’ve observed it.  Thus, there are no further comments that can be made,” mentioned El Profesor Tabárez.