MLS All-Stars Defeat Bayern Munich

Last night, the best players the MLS had to offer took on Bayern Munich at Providence Park in Portland. The result was a 2-1 win by the All-Stars, taking down one of the best German club teams. Bayern scored the first goal when Robert Lewandowski scored a curving beauty from 20 yards out. But from there, the All-Stars took over the game. The MLS’ defense held strong and allowed their offense to score their first goal in the 51st minute. The league’s leading goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips made it level at 1-1 with a 20-yard strike of his own. Then, U.S. legend Landon Donovan scored a goal in the 70th minute to take the lead for the All-Stars. It was Donovan’s sixth MLS All-Star goal and his 14th straight All-Star appearance. His six goals are now most by any MLS player in an All-Star game. He also plans to retire from the world of soccer at the end of the MLS season. He had a tremendous career and will be known as one of the greatest American soccer players to ever play the game.

The ending of the All-Star game had everyone talking. After the MLS All-Stars had won, Bayern Munich’s manager, Pep Guardiola refused to shake hands with the MLS All-Star coach Caleb Porter. Instead, Coach Pep gave Coach Porter a little finger wag and that was the end of it. Apparently, Guardiola was mad about how physical the All-Stars were playing in the game and making hard, unnecessary tackles. Oh well, I know a sore loser when I see one. Just learn to accept how the game played out and move on. That’s all I have to say about that.

The MLS regular season picks up this Friday when Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 10:30 p.m. Five more games will be played on Saturday and an additional three on Sunday. Week 24 of the MLS season is underway and teams are still fighting for that final playoff spot.

Paul George Injury Leaves Questions in Eastern Conference

After Paul George suffered that devastating leg injury that will keep him out for next season, the Indiana Pacers lost a valuable member of their squad. Without George, there is little hope for the Pacers’ title hopes in 2015. Although this may not take them out of the postseason just yet, let’s look at some threatening teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a favorite simply because they have LeBron James. Not only that, but they also have an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving and a future superstar in Andrew Wiggins. However, their front court could be their ultimate downfall. The main reason why James was so successful in Miami was because he had Chris Bosh pulling in rebounds and giving him extra chances. Last year’s number one draft pick Anthony Bennett was a huge disappointment, but he is the best option for next season’s starting forward position. For center, they have Anderson Varejao and Brendan Haywood, but they are old veterans that can be reliable in all 82 games next season. Tristan Thompson would make a good fit at the power forward spot and Dion Waiters will make a great back-court player that could compliment both Irving and James. It’s mostly wait-and-see at this point for the Cavaliers.

LeBron James' return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year. Credit: www.cleveland.com
LeBron James’ return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year.
Credit: http://www.cleveland.com

The Chicago Bulls look to be the favorite in the East as well. They have an established coaching staff that knows how to win with low-caliber players, but this year, they get Derrick Rose back…again. If Rose can stay healthy, this Bulls team will be Cleveland’s main competition in the Central Division. They signed Pau Gasol in free agency and landed Doug McDermott in the NBA Draft. All of the pieces are there with Joakim Noah coming off a terrific year, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Guys like Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer will also aid Rose in chasing that elusive NBA Finals, somewhere they haven’t been since Michael Jordan led the way many years ago.

Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Credit: pagesix.com
Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Credit: pagesix.com

With the Pacers, Cavaliers and Bulls fighting for the Central Division, let’s take a look at some other potentially threatening teams in the East. The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors will be battling for the Atlantic Division. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to return to New York will definitely give them a chance. Phil Jackson looks to make this team a consistent winner in the East and will have to go through the upstart Raptors in order to get there. The Raptors finished last season with the 3-seed in the East with a surprising 48-34 record. They did better than the Brooklyn Nets who landed a tight 44-38 finish. Coach Lionel Hollins will try to make his new Nets team a title contender this year. If he can’t get them that good in a short amount of time, the Knicks and Raptors will dominate this division.

The two most surprising teams last year were the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats. Both finished with more than 42 wins, which is saying a lot for both of these franchises. The back-court combination of John Wall and Bradley Beal will definitely keep the Wizards in the championship race, but their front court will have to play consistently well in order to compete in the division. The Bobcats are now back to being called the Hornets and hopefully this rejuvenated team will make more surprises this year. With the Miami Heat losing some firepower because of the whole Decision 2.0 fiasco, the Southeast Division is wide open for the taking. Even the Atlanta Hawks are contenders after making the playoffs last year with a losing record. You can never count out everyone  in that division. Unless you’re the Orlando Magic.

The Eastern Conference will definitely be more interesting this year and a lot more competitive. Unfortunately for the Pacers, their chance at a title shot is dampened with the George injury. Hopefully they can learn some lessons from Chicago on how to make the playoffs without your superstar player.

Christian Athlete of the Week: James Jones

James Jones is another one of those great rags-to-riches stories. Throughout his childhood, Jones had to rely on homeless shelters in San Jose, California for food and clothing. When he was seven years old, he met his father for the first time. Unfortunately, Jones’ father was a drug addict and refused to pay child support. From the age of eight to fourteen, Jones grew up in homeless shelters with his mother and sister. He was also surrounded by people who abused drugs and stole money. His future was very limited and not very assuring. At the age of 13, Jones and his mother were evicted from their one-bedroom apartment. All Jones had was a backpack and a basketball. Luckily, Jones’ mother was a beacon of hope for this young man’s life.

 

Jones’ mother, Janet, took her two children, Desiree and James, to a shelter when she couldn’t stay at a friend’s or relative’s house. The Jones family lived in shelters four times, sometimes for five months at a time. Jones moved so much as a child he went to seven different elementary schools. He sometimes took special education courses to keep up academically. While Jones was at school, his mother would take the bus to work and they would meet back at the homeless shelter every night. This went on for what seemed like an eternity.

“I saw how strong my mother was just to keep on,” Jones said. “She worked so hard with nothing. She tried to get a job here, a job there. I saw how hard she worked. I would never let my mother down. I would do anything to make her happy, and what made her happy was me going to school and staying out of trouble.” (Credit: JSOnline.com)

As a young boy, Jones was tempted to do things he knew God wouldn’t want him to do. Living in a bad neighborhood, Jones made friends with thugs, drug dealers and burglars. Somehow someway, Jones held strong to his mother’s beliefs and he stuck close to her rather than falling prey to the ways of the world.

After Jones went to go live with his grandmother during high school, his athletic talents were presented on display. He was one of the best players on the Gunderson High School basketball team, but his play at wide receiver, quarterback and safety on the football team was what the college prospects were really impressed with. The athletic high school superstar went to San Jose State University where he caught 125 passes for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns in 35 games.

From there, Jones was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.  He was a part of the Packer’s Super Bowl winning team and back on March 17, he signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. His past did not determine his future as he held strong to his faith and believed in the hope of God through seeing his mother and what she accomplished.

Now, Jones has decided to help out the ones who used to be in his position. He partners with a homeless shelter in Green Bay called Freedom House. For the past four years, Jones has donated to this shelter and has provided for those in need. He also helps out disadvantaged children through his other foundation “Love Jones for Kids.”

Jones’ story proves that everyone can make it. No matter where you come from and no matter what kind of environment you grew up in, you can escape it through the power of Jesus Christ. Jones knows that God doesn’t put any obstacle in his path that he can’t handle. Jones was able to escape poverty and is now making millions in the NFL. It just goes to show that as long as you put your faith in God, He will bless you in due time.

Christian Athlete of the Week: Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis may be one of the hardest-hitting linebackers in football, but he also has a soft heart. The 29-year-old is entering his eighth season in the NFL and throughout the past seven years, he’s had quite a journey, both on and off the field. His walk with God has been a crucial part of his life ever since he was a little boy.

“My grandmother, she always just you know, told us about faith and always put us in church,” Willis said. “I’ll never forget my Uncle Arthur who was a professional boxer. He would always tell me, ‘Just always remember to give God all the praise, glory, and honor.'” (Credit: CBN.com)

The Ole Miss product has 20.5 sacks in his illustrious career and has had at least 104 tackles in six of the seven seasons he has played in his career. He is the backbone of the San Francisco 49ers’ defense and has been a perennial Pro Bowler ever since his fantastic rookie season in 2007 where he logged in 174 tackles and 4 sacks. However, his love for the game of football is nothing in comparison to the love he has for Christ. Check out this video clip below:

Born in Bruceton, Tennessee, Willis grew up poor and never knew what it was like to live in luxury. He had to work at the age of 10 in cotton fields in order to provide for his younger siblings. Without a mother and an alcoholic and abusive father, Willis moved his two brothers and sister out of their trailer park and moved in with his high school basketball coach at the age of 17.

Now, Willis gives back to his surrounding community, working with kids who have cancer. He is part of a foundation, Childhood Cancer Charity, that raises money and awareness for these kids who have an uphill battle ahead of him. Willis also runs off-season football camps and teaches kids how to play the game that basically saved his life.

Today, Willis looks to bring his 49ers a Super Bowl and will have to lead this defense to postseason glory. He will do this while also bringing attention to God at the same time.

“I just go out there and I always pray, I say, ‘Lord, I don’t know what today’s game is going to be like, but I just pray,” Willis said. “‘I pray that you bless me to go out here and play for you. Be a soldier for your army, go out here and lead this team the way you want me to lead it.’ So each time I play, I don’t want to go out there and say, tell people, ‘I’m playing for the Lord today.’ I just want them to see it and know that when I, whether good, or bad, or indifferent, you know I’m playing for the Lord.”

 

 

Christian Athlete of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald

Like Aaron Rodgers in the last article, Larry Fitzgerald is also very mild-mannered and does not spend much time in the media spotlight. He tries his best to humble himself before God and others. The All-Pro wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals is one of the greatest players in franchise history. He currently has caught 846 receptions for 11,367 yards and 87 touchdowns and he is only 30 years old! Fitzgerald was drafted third overall by the Cardinals in 2004 and really made an impact in 2005 when he put up 103 catches for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. Since then, he has had six 1,000-yard seasons and has had double-digit receiving touchdowns in five of them.

Fitzgerald was a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings and watched Cris Carter how to play the position up close and personal. He went on to play for the University of Pittsburgh where in 2003 he was named the best receiver of the year and 1st-Team All-American, putting up monster numbers. Now, the veteran has been to 8 Pro Bowls and holds seven franchise records for the Cardinals. He also holds the NFL record for the most catches, yards and touchdowns in the postseason when Arizona went on that Super Bowl run in 2008. This guy is definitely a superstar and still one of the best receivers in the league. However, he lets God decide his fate on how great he is.

“I believe in God,” Fitzgerald said. “God controls my fate. Whatever God’s plan is, I will follow.” (Credit: Athletes4Christ)

Fitzgerald has come a long way since being a ball boy in Minnesota. He never knew that God would cut out a path like this for him. Fitzgerald understands that God holds the future in His hands and He decides whether or not things work out our way. All that matters is that He gets the glory and Fitzgerald does that through his play in football.

“Faith in God, a positive mind-set, and hard work will take you a long way,” Fitzgerald plainly puts it.

Fitzgerald established the “Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund” to help kids and their families by funding positive activities for kids during the summer and throughout the year, supporting kids and families in crisis and supporting health-related organizations that work with families. Each summer, Arizona and Minnesota holds youth football camps through Fitzgerald’s charity. He also partners with other companies to provide children with technology, new football helmets and new recreation equipment. In the past, Fitzgerald has made trips to places like Africa, India, Thailand and the Philippines to support economic growth in the underprivileged communities.

Fitzgerald does a lot on and off the field. Most importantly, he gives thanks and credits God in everything that he does. He serves as a good role model in the NFL community and establishes his faith in the One who controls his life for His glory.

MLS All-Star Update

The MLS regular season is a little more than halfway through, and there has been some great soccer as of late. The MLS All-Stars have already been announced and the best the MLS has to offer will play Bayern Munich on August 6 at Providence Park, the home of the Portland Timbers. Here is a list of the MLS All-Stars that will be competing in the big game: GK Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), GK Bill Hamid (DC United), CB Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), CB Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DEF DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC), DEF Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), DEF Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), DEF Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), MF Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), MF Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), MF Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), MF Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), MF Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), MF Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), MF Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), F Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), F Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), F Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), F Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), F Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), F Erick Torres (Chivas USA),  and F Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls).

Most of the players listed above played for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the FIFA World Cup. Twelve Americans made the list for the MLS All-Star team and eleven are international. Now, here’s how each team has been doing so far:

Kansas City has a one point lead over DC United for the Eastern Conference. United has shocked a lot of people by playing this well after finishing dead last in the entire league last year with only 16 points (3 wins, 7 draws and 24 losses). Now, they are 10-4-5 and have a goal differential of 9, the third best in the entire league. Their surprising efforts have come in due to the play of their All-Star goalkeeper Bill Hamid and their ability to play as one unit. Fabian Espindola deserves a little bit of credit for leading his team with seven goals this year. The 29-year-old forward from Argentina has been a huge help since joining the club earlier this year. His seven assists also leads the team and is tied for second in the entire league!

Back to Sporting Kansas City, they have three All-Stars on their team, but their best player didn’t even make the roster this year and that is Dom Dwyer. He is tied for second in the league with 14 goals with All-Star Erick Torres. The 23-year-old forward from England definitely has a bright future ahead and could open the eyes of some Premier League scouts.

Since 2012, Dwyer has scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for Kansas City. Credit: www.sportstalkflorida.com
Since 2012, Dwyer has scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for Kansas City.
Credit: http://www.sportstalkflorida.com

The team to beat right now is the Seattle Sounders. They have dominated their opposition, landing a 12-2-4 record and lead the league with 35 goals scored for them. They also lead the league with the most All-Star players with five. One of those five is National Team Captain Clint Dempsey. He has nine goals accredited to his name and fellow All-Star teammate Obafemi Martins is having one of the best years of his career. The 29-year-old Nigerian forward has eight goals and six assists in 16 appearances with the team this year. This one-two-punch combination has been deadly all year and will continue Seattle’s winning ways unless someone stops them.

Speaking of great seasons, Thierry Henry is continuing to defy his limits has he now leads the MLS in assists with eight and has scored four goals this year. The French Forward has been able to produce for New York even at the well-experienced age of 36. He has now made four straight All-Star appearances and will look to continue his amazing career after scoring 45 goals in 108 appearances for the Red Bulls.

Henry’s teammate, Bradley Wright-Phillips, is having one of his best seasons ever as well. The 29-year-old forward from England is leading the league right now with 17 goals in 19 appearances. It seems as if he’s bound to score at least one goal in every game he plays in! He will have to play just as hard for the rest of the season in order to catch up with Toronto FC just two points ahead of New York.

This is Bradley Wright-Phillips' first MLS All-Star appearance. Credit: www.theguardian.com
This is Bradley Wright-Phillips’ first MLS All-Star appearance.
Credit: http://www.theguardian.com

The next MLS game will be played this Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. and it will pit San Jose against Chicago. Stay tuned for the rest of the MLS season as everything starts to get more interesting with playoff pushes in focus.

Christian Athlete of the Week: Aaron Rodgers

Some people may not be aware of this, but Aaron Rodgers is in fact a Christian. He hasn’t been very exuberant of his faith and proclaiming it as much as guys like Tim Tebow have in the past. Rodgers tends to stay away from the media in general as much as he can. He doesn’t want to put himself in the spotlight and let the focus be on him.

Rodgers’ faith started with his parents. He always looked up to them as Godly examples and it was from them that he knew more about Christ.

“I grew up knowing what a stable relationship was by my parents’ example and how it centered on Christ,” Rodgers said, “When our family had its ups and downs, I knew my parents relied on God for everything and He always got us through those rough spots.” (Credit: Beyond the Ultimate)

There was a time early in his life when Rodgers had drifted away from his faith. Luckily for him, he had two mentors that put him on the right path: Andrew Burchett, his youth pastor and Matt Hock the leader of his old youth group “Young Life.” God always puts other people in our life to help us follow Him. He works through these role models so that we can have a better understanding of who God really is. Because of these two men, Aaron Rodgers dedicated his life to Christ when he was 16 years old.

Since then, Rodgers has been a phenomenal quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. I loved this guy before I knew he was a Christian because he had to replace a legend in Brett Favre and he did it well. He had to wait three years to get his chance to start, but when he did, Rodgers threw for over 4,000 yards  and 28 touchdowns in his first season as a starter and had a 93.8 passer rating. Then in 2010, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl and Rodgers took home the Super Bowl MVP. The very next season, he won the NFL MVP award after putting up 4,643 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns, while only throwing six picks. It’s still a NFL record of a 3.62 touchdown to interception ratio. Rodgers also holds the record for the best career passer rating in NFL history with 104.9. He is also the only quarterback in NFL history to have a passer rating over 100 in both the regular season and the postseason. As of right now, the 30-year-old veteran has 188 touchdown passes and has thrown for over 24,000 yards in his career. In other words, he’s pretty good.

Even with all of these great things happening to him, Rodgers stays quiet during the off season and never brings any attention to himself. When given the opportunity, he always gives the glory to God.

“I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.’ So basically, I’m not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith,” Rodgers said. “I would rather people have questions about why I act the way I act, whether they view it as positive or not, and ask questions, and then given an opportunity at some point, then you can talk about your faith a little bit.”

Rodgers is the kind of man whose actions speak louder than words. He never talks down to anyone or makes himself known in the media. He has always remained honest and true to his heart. Rodgers also understands that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.

“I try to build relationships,” Rodgers said. “I feel if you are not personally invested in the people you spend every day with, then you are missing out on building a relationship and wonderful life experiences. That is what I like about Jesus: Jesus is about relationships.”

Rodgers is also a big contributor to charities and humanitarian efforts around the world. He is the founder of his own charity called itsAaron, which raises awareness for organizations and people who are changing the world. Once again, he shows through his actions that the focus is not on him, but the people who physically help others everywhere they go. He is also a big supporter of the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) and RAISE Hope for Congo. Rodgers is a great role model to young athletes and kids everywhere. He shows them that life is more than just football and putting up big numbers on the field, it’s about Jesus Christ and serving Him and Him alone. Rodgers’ favorite Bible verse is John 10:10 which says,

“I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” Rodgers summarizes, “The Lord is my Rock. He has always been there, always present at good times and bad; and to me when I feel His presence, my life is full.”

 

Germany wins the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Germany defeated Argentina in extra time 1-0 to take home their fourth FIFA World Cup title! This is their first championship win since they beat Argentina back in 1990. It was substitute player Mario Gotze who scored the game-winning goal for his country. He was subbed in the 88th minute and then in the 113th minute, Andre Schurrle hit a cross that bumped into Gotze’s chest and then he immediately kicked it in the side of the net for the win. Before Gotze was brought on the field, his head coach, Joachim Loew gave him some motivation.

“I said to Gotze, ‘Show to the world that you are better than Messi and you can decide the game.'” (Credit: SB Nation)

What a moment! As for Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, he ended up winning the Golden Ball award, which is given to the World Cup’s best player. However, it wasn’t near as satisfying as what all of the Germans are experiencing now. Staying with awards, German goalie Manuel Neuer was voted the tournament’s best goalkeeper. The thought of winning his first World Cup has still not sunk in yet for the world’s elite goalie.

“It’s incredible. The team did it beautifully,” said Neuer. “At some point we’ll stop celebrating but we’ll still wake up with a smile.” (Credit: ESPNFC.com)

Lionel Messi and Argentina had multiple chances of scoring, but the chemistry was a little off for the offense as they failed to score a single goal. Their defense was able to keep them in the game, but sooner or later, The Machine of Germany was bound to score at least one goal and they did at a perfect time.

Mario Gotze's goal in extra time won the FIFA World Cup for Germany. Credit: podcoost.com
Mario Gotze’s goal in extra time won the FIFA World Cup for Germany.
Credit: podcoost.com

Germany started the tournament with a 4-0 rout of Portugal. That was a sign of greater things to come from the Loew’s team. They defeated Algeria 2-1 in the first round of the knockout stage. Then they shutout France 1-0 on the 4th of July. After that, they shocked the world by destroying Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals. Now they stand on top of the world for the next four years as FIFA World Cup champions.

Germany led all countries in goals with 18 and their superstar striker Thomas Mueller was second in the tournament with five goals. He was also second in assists with three, while his fellow teammate Toni Kroos led all players with four assists while also adding in two goals. Gotze finished the World Cup with six appearances and two goals. His rise to fame will surely continue as he is only 22 years old. Watch him in the future to develop into an elite player.

I always knew Germany was going to win, but Argentina put up a good fight. Unfortunately, Germany has a better overall team than Argentina does. It doesn’t matter if you have the best player in Lionel Messi, if you don’t have a supporting cast around him, he won’t win a whole lot of games. That is why Germany came out on top. With players like Mueller, Neuer, Kroos, Klose, Schurrle, Hummels, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker, Julian Draxler, Philipp Lahm, Gotze, Jerome Boateng, Christoph Kramer and Bastian Schweinsteiger, there’s no way this team could lose. They played together and functioned as one great unit. That is why they are World Champions. Now we will have to wait till 2018 when Russia will host the next FIFA World Cup. I’m looking at you USA!

Lord of the Two Rings: Return of the King

It’s official! LeBron James has decided to go back to his hometown and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. A contract has not been presented yet, but James will probably get a max deal, making him the highest paid basketball player in the NBA. As for Chris Bosh, he will remain loyal with the Miami Heat and keep his talents in South Beach where he will just landed a 5-year deal worth over $116 million. Dwyane Wade is also a free agent and is probably going to stay in Miami as well. However, the Chicago Bulls have made a push to bring Wade back to his hometown. Everything will start falling into place once Carmelo Anthony makes up his mind on where he wants to play. He has narrowed his choices down to Chicago and staying in New York. Anthony is leaning towards the Knicks, but if Chicago is still a great place for Anthony to land. He will play for a championship-caliber team with a All-Star point guard in Derrick Rose and NBA-Defensive-Player-of-the-Year winner Joakim Noah. If the Bulls sign Wade, that could also attract Anthony to move west.

Now back to LeBron. James is the franchise-leader in points, free-throws made, and steals. He just needs to make 32 three-pointers and he will have the franchise record for that as well. He will also have the opportunity to play with something he has never had in his NBA career: a really talented All-Star point guard. Kyrie Irving has emerged as the leader of the Cavaliers since James left town. Now James won’t have the pressure to carry the team on his back like he did back when he first played with Cleveland. Irving will provide that All-Star power and the play-making ability to compliment James’ style. Not only that, but James will also get to play with rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins. The first-overall pick in this year’s draft will learn from LeBron up close and personal. It’s likely that the two players will share a bond on the court that will help develop the young star into one of the best rookies in the league. James will serve as a mentor for the young Wiggins, but he’ll do more than mentor him; he’ll show him how it’s done.

I think everyone in Cleveland now forgives LeBron for The Decision back in 2010 and now Cavaliers’ fans will have something to cheer about this season. Home games are going to be sold out, jerseys are going to be dug out of the trash can and Johnny Football will be closer to his new friend. The Heisman-winning quarterback will be playing for the Cleveland Browns this year and Manziel will definitely bring some excitement to the city. With both him and LeBron, a little hope has been poured into Cleveland. Now we’ll wait and see if LeBron can bring a title to his hometown.

The FIFA World Cup Final is Set

Argentina just defeated Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout after both teams went scoreless in regulation and extra time. Netherlands defense was able to shut down Lionel Messi and company, but they couldn’t score a goal themselves. Their defense did great, but their offense did not. Yesterday, Germany defeated Brazil in a heartbreaking 7-1 blowout. The Germans ended the first half 5-0 and they just couldn’t stop scoring the whole game. Neymar was absent because of a back injury and Thiago Silva was suspended because he picked up too many yellow cards. Those two players were the main reason why Brazil couldn’t deliver in the semi-final.

Thomas Muller and Germany will try to win their fourth World Cup Championship against Argentina. Credit: www.dailystar.co.uk
Thomas Muller and Germany will try to win their fourth World Cup Championship against Argentina.
Credit: http://www.dailystar.co.uk

Now it is Argentina and Germany meeting in the FIFA World Cup Final for a third time. The first time they met was in 1986 and Argentina won that round 3-2. Then the very next World Cup in 1990,  Germany got their revenge  and beat the Argentinians 1-0. Argentina has a total of two World Cup championships while Germany has three. Now it will be best two-out-of-three in this meeting for the World Cup Final.

Germany has scored the most goals out of any team in the World Cup this year with 17. That last match with Brazil probably helped out a little bit. Thomas Muller is second among all players with five goals to his name and is also credited with three assists. He will be the player that Argentina has to look out for. Miroslav Klose has a record 16 World Cup goals in his career, scoring two of them in this World Cup. Andre Schuerrle has three goals for Germany and Toni Kroos has two for his team. With a stacked team like Germany to face, Argentina will have a lot to deal with defensively.

As for the Argentinians, they have arguably the best soccer player in the world on their team, Lionel Messi. The 27-year-old superstar has four goals and an assist in this year’s World Cup. He has carried his team all the way to the Finals and now it’s time to see if he can do it one more time. He hasn’t had much help on offense, so he will have to rely on his defenders to keep Argentina in the game.

It’s going to be tough to call this one, but after seeing Germany destroy Brazil in the semi-finals, I have to go with them to win the World Cup. Look for Germany to score early and put Argentina in a position where they have to make hurried decisions in order to catch up. Argentina’s bad decision-making and lack of depth will be their downfall in the upcoming match.

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