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    • 3143 posts
    July 31, 2017 10:22 AM +0430

    Forty eight matches are now in the books. Rayshawn Jenkins Jersey . Sixteen teams have moved on. Sixteen teams have gone home. There have been 136 goals, countless talking points, and numerous standout performances. Its time to make sense of the last 15 days. Here is your best and worst from the Group Stage. Team of the Group Stage GK: Keylor Navas (CRC) – Only let in one goal, a penalty in his opening 45 minutes of the action. Navas made one of the saves of the tournament in the 44th minute in the same half against Uruguay. A shot by Diego Forlan took a dramatic deflection and had eyes for the top corner. Navas ranged back and made an incredible save on his off-shoulder, showing standout body control and concentration making the unorthodox stop. If Navas doesnt make that save, Costa Rica doesnt come back to win that match, and probably doesnt advance from the group. It was a special stop from a special goalkeeper. RB: Serge Aurier (CIV) – Pacey. Strong. Purposeful. And positionally sound. The 22-year old did it all in the group stage. He set up both goals fantastically well in the 2-1 comeback win in the opener against Japan.  Its disappointing his team couldnt provide enough going forward against Greece to advance to the next round. Aurier is an emerging top talent and showed why he is so coveted. CB: Giancarlo Gonzalez (CRC) – The Columbus Crew centre-back was a rock throughout the Group Stage. He had no better performance than in the second match against Italy, making what ended up being a four-man Italian attack look like a bunch of amateurs. Timely tackles and the general of Costa Ricas backline, he kept the group organized and keeping a high line.   CB: Rafael Marquez (MEX) – The fourth World Cup captaining El Tri and perhaps putting in his finest performance. Marquez has led a young backline with composure and strength against a group featuring marquee attacking talent. The job he did on Croatias Mario Mandzukic was a master-class, as was his match-winning goal, the third straight World Cup he has scored. The performance has been one of the most unexpected in the tournament, slowing down over recent years. The 35 year old has been class in Brazil. LB: Daley Blind (NED) – The versatility is most impressive with the left back. His presence going forward has been as purposeful as his defending in the adaptable wingback position. His ball from mid-field on Robin van Persies opening goal of the tournament was a thing of beauty. And he thrived in a more defensive role against Chile with Bruno Martin Indi out with Dirk Kuyt in front of him. Few have looked better at the World Cup. M: Hector Herrera (MEX) - The Mexican keeps getting better as the games go by. He has provided a reliable midfield link to the attacking players and has threatened multiple times on goal. The work-rate is second to none and quality is there to equal. His game against Croatia was worthy of Man of the Match. The future is bright for the 24 year old. M: James Rodriguez (COL) – A midfield engine and the heart and soul of Colombia. Radamel Falcaos absence was deemed disastrous, but not with the number 10 manning the field. Hes taken the tournament by storm, contributing three goals and two assists, capping his fine group stage performance off by chipping the keeper after coming on as a second half substitute against Japan. From dropping deep, to providing hustle plays, to decisiveness in the final third, hes been everywhere. Remember this name. M: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (COL) – Rodriguezs teammate on the right wing has even more flare. The footwork and pace has been unmatched down the flank. A goal and three assists to his tally is a testament to his quality. F: Thomas Muller (GER) – Mr. Golden Boot himself. Without a true number nine, Muller is the next best thing for Germany. Four goals in the tournament, including an opening match hat trick puts him in position for back-to-back World Cup scoring titles. Only 24, Muller is threatening to shatter records in the not-so distant future, having scored nine World Cup goals already. The flexibility in the German system allows him to freelance to a degree. Muller has found the spaces and has finished with authority. F: Arjen Robben (NED) – The best player coming out of the best group, Robben has to make this list. His speed and craftiness on the run is a game-changer. Three goals and an assist so far, and many other opportunities coming close, Robben maintained his top form through all group stage matches with production in all. He wore the captains armband in Robin van Persies absence against Chile, and showed remarkable composure in a difficult game. He is the best counter-attacking player in what has been the counter-attacking World Cup. F: Lionel Messi (ARG) – Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi remarked Messi is from another planet after the Argentines two-goal performance against his team in a 3-2 win. Messi was that good. In his two previous games, Messi was unspectacular, but scored the game-winner in both. There is no player that can take advantage of weakness more than Messi. He narrowly edges Neymar on the list because of the flair for the dramatic. Messi has put an otherwise subpar Argentina on his shoulders. This may very well be his World Cup.  Group Stage Second Team GK: Guillermo Ochoa (MEX) – Save on the tournament on NeymarRB: Daryl Janmaat (NED) – The bookend to Blind has been likewise impressiveCB: Gary Medel (CHI) – Chilean bulldog playing much bigger than his statureCB: Mats Hummels (GER) – Professional, intelligent performances from key to the German defenceLB: Junior Diaz (CRC) – Athelticism and ability to get forward have been a nightmare for slower competitionM: Charles Aranguiz (CHI) – Goal against Spain the cherry on top of thorough group stage performancesM: Nigel De Jong (NED) – Defensive cog has remained composed, allowing attacking players get out in frontM: Toni Kroos (GER) – Passing machine, dictating tempo from the middle of the parkF: Neymar (BRA) – Four goals makes puts him in joint tournament lead with flair to spareF: Robin Van Persie (NED) – Best goal so far, but suspension keeps him out of first teamF: Karim Benzema (FRA) – No player looks more hungry for goals  Top Five Moments 5) Timmy Terrific (AUS vs. NED) – Tim Cahills finish on the volley with his opposite foot rivals for goal of the tournament. Seconds after the Netherlands took a 1-0 lead, the Australian talisman hit a ball as pure as they come, with the ball hitting underneath the crossbar and in. The moment was breathtaking, with the Aussies full of belief. It was a goal scorers goal and there wont be a much better truer strike in the tournament. 4) Ochoa to the Rescue (MEX vs. BRA) – Neymars header had eyes for goal if it were not for the out-stretched Mexican goalkeeper. Goal-line technology made the save look even better, showing Ochoa taking the ball off the line. It was incredible bravery getting to the ball with the post looming, with reaction time that dazzles. No save will be better in Brazil. Ochoa was the hero on the day in a 0-0 draw. 3) Persieing (NED vs. ESP) – The World Cups hottest fad came from a goal of the highest quality. Down 1-0 to Spain in the 44th minute of the mouth-watering Group B opener, Robin van Persie at full pace took a long ball through the air from midfield and without hesitation struck with a diving header for the ages. The ball found the top corner past Iker Casillas with van Persie going face-first into the ground. RVP admitted after he saw Casillas off his line and picked out the spot. The difficulty level is off the charts and van Persie delivered. Were all better off for the photos that have followed with even RVPs own grandfather face first into the ground, Persieing. 2) Messi Magic (ARG vs. IRN) – It was supposed to be a walk in the park for Argentina. Instead, Iran put up an 11-man defensive wall that seemed unbreakable. Iran even grew in confidence, pushing forward for a potential winner. The match was settled in the 91st minute through the dramatics coming off the left-foot of Argentinas number 10. Iranian defenders gave Messi his lethal left side for the first time in the match. Messi seized the opportunity, burying it low left side and delivering the dagger into the hearts of all of Tehran. A moment as such is made for the best. The legend of Messi grows.   1) Varela at the Death (POR vs. USA) – The United States were seconds away from advancing to the Round of 16. They had come from behind to take a 2-1 lead over Portugal in the difficult conditions in Manaus. Never seen before numbers of Americans watched in primetime, as their new soccer heroes were about to deliver to the nation. That was until Cristiano Ronaldo, who was frustrated all night, intervened. Eder won the ball in the midfield before the ball was played wide with Ronaldo. With time running down, Demarcus Beasley assumed Ronaldo was going to take the ball to goal. Beasley stepped back to give space and Ronaldo obliged, taking advantage of the space delivering a cross for the ages to the on-running Varela. The Portuguese substitute finished and the American dream was shattered. Shock and Awe. It was the last meaningful touch of the ball and the most dramatic finish imaginable. The final was 2-2. The USA would have to wait another day.  Worst Five Moments 5) Fred Flop (BRA vs. CRO) – The Brazilian striker duped the match official into calling a penalty on Croatia in the tournament opener. It was a clear flop by Fred, and a horrible way to open the tournament. 4) Akinfeev Howler (RUS vs. KOR) – Every tournament has one of two. Igor Akinfeev obliged with worst goal conceded. An innocent shot by Lee Keun-Ho went right through the hands of the Russian number one. It was a sign of what was to come for Russia. It was a nightmare start to a nightmare competition for Fabio Capellos side. 3) Cameroon Chaos (CMR vs. CRO) – It was a game Cameroon lost their heads. A mindless sending off of Alex Song put the team at a deficit. After being played off the pitch by their opponents, matters got worse in the dying minutes as Benoit Assou- Ekotto confronted Benjamin Moukandjo, head-butting his teammate. It was an ugly incident showing the level of dysfunction in the team. It was an embarrassment of extraordinary proportions to happen on the global stage. Assou-Ekotto did not play in Cameroons final match. 2) Dzeko Disallowed Goal (BIH vs. NGA) – Edin Dzeko had a goal in the 21st minute ruled offside. He wasnt. It was the most blatant case of a goal disallowed that should have stood in the group stage. Mexico was denied two in similar fashion against Cameroon that were less egregious. The disallowed goal proved costly as Bosnia and Herzegovina lost the match and were knocked out of the tournament. The case is the clearest shout that technology should be used to adjudicate offside-goal decisions. 1) Suarez Bite (URU vs. ITA) – It will be the most vivid image coming out of this World Cup for all the wrong reasons. The shoulder bite of Giorgio Chiellini by serial biter Luis Suarez is a stain on the game and takes away from what has been one of the best sporting tournaments we have ever seen. The defence of Suarez by his Uruguayan teammates and federation are equally disturbing. There is no room in the game for an individual like Suarez. The decision was swift by FIFA to punish and they should be applauded for the heavy punishment (four month suspension from the game and nine match international ban). Its a travesty the bite was not caught when the chomp went down. Or else Italy may be still alive leaving Uruguay with plenty to chew on.  Power Rankings – Most Impressive Teams (FYI – my two World Cup finalist picks, Germany and Argentina, are not in the top five) 5) Mexico4) Brazil3) France2) Colombia1) Netherlands  Best and Worst Best Match: Netherlands vs. SpainWorst Match: Iran vs. NigeriaBest Referee: Mark Geiger (assistant referee Canadian Joe Fletcher)Worst Referee: Yuichi NishimuraBest fan support: tie – Colombia/ArgentinaBest Player: Arjen Robben (Netherlands)Worst Player: Wilson Palacios (Honduras)Biggest Disappointment: SpainBiggest Surprise: Costa RicaTournament Dark Horse left-standing: MexicoBest Route to the Final: ArgentinaMost Controversial Decision: Claudio Marchisio sending off/Samaras penaltyBest Group: GWorst Group: FBest Head Coach: Miguel Herrera (Mexico) and Marc Wilmots (Belgium)Worst Head Coach: Fabio Capello (Russia)Best Goal: RVP (NED) vs. ESPWorst Miss: Gekas (GRE) vs. COLBest Team Eliminated: Ivory CoastWorst Team Remaining: Greece @WheelerTSNgareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca Dan Feeney Womens Jersey . "It feels good, Ive never had one before, not even in College," Hagelin said after the Rangers outgunned the Jets 4-2, behind some solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist following a pretty wide open first period. Dan Feeney Jersey . Ferrer was unable to find his rhythm in losing 6-4, 6-2 to Teymuraz Gabashvili in his opening match while Nadal struggled past fellow Spanish player Albert Ramos 7-6 (2), 6-4. Nadal eventually overcame his 103rd-ranked opponent to reach the third round, rebounding from a surprise loss to Ferrer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals.MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins starting rotation has been the biggest reason the franchise has plummeted to the big league basement with four straight seasons of at least 92 losses.The groups monumental struggles have caused the fan base to clamour for a fresh voice from outside the organization to fill the role of pitching coach on new manager Paul Molitors staff. After filling several spots candidates who have strong ties to the Twins, Molitor and general manager Terry Ryan went with an unfamiliar face for arguably the most important position.Neil Allen, the pitching coach for Tampa Bays Triple-A affiliate in Durham for the past four seasons, was appointed as Twins pitching coach on Tuesday. Hes never been a pitching coach in the majors but did play a big role in helping to shepherd several of the Rays top prospects up to the big leagues, including Alex Cobb, Chris Archer and Matt Moore.We decided to start fresh, and I think this is an opportunity for both parties involved, Ryan said. I think this is an opportunity to kind of pave our new way here. It will be a challenge, we know that. Weve got issues here, we know that. We know Neils not afraid of it. And were not afraid to have him at the helm of our pitching staff.The team also hired former Twins closer Eddie Guardado as the bullpen coach and Joe Vavra, who has been an assistant on fired manager Ron Gardenhires staff since 1996, as the bench coach.When Molitor was hired to replace Gardenhire, he said hiring the right pitching coach was essential, given his own background as a Hall of Fame hitter.Coming from the Tampa Bay organization, certainly Neils got a resume and a reputation over there, Ryan said. Not only has he helped them become who they are, individually there are some very impressive guys that have come throuugh him. Rayshawn Jenkins Chargers Jersey. ... I liked the tone. I liked the energy. I liked his answers, as did Paul.The 56-year-old Allen was the bullpen coach for the Yankees in 2005 and pitched for the Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, White Sox and Indians during an 11-year big league playing career. Allen said Molitors lack of managerial experience did not deter him from the job, nor did the Twins rotation, which has an ERA that has been at the bottom of the majors for most of the past four years.I think Im very well-groomed and ready for this opportunity, Allen said. Ive been a pitching coach for almost 20 years now and have been on bus rides all around the country, so Ive learned a lot. My philosophy is I want to get to know these guys the best as I can and get them to execute to the best of their abilities. I want them to get to be comfortable with me and what I expect out of them.Guardado spent 12 of his 17 seasons as a reliever with the Twins and figures to bring a fiery edge to a team that has been criticized for lacking competitiveness.Eddie has a lot of the attributes were looking for, Ryan said. Were looking forward to him and Neil working in unison. He has the type of mentality were looking for. He had a great career, most of which was here. And hes familiar with our staff because hes been in camp, which doesnt hurt any.Allen, Guardado and Vavra join hitting coach Tom Brunansky, assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez and third base coach Gene Glynn on Molitors staff. Ryan expects to soon hire a first base coach but said previous coaches Terry Steinbach and Scott Ullger would not return.The Twins also announced that right-hander Anthony Swarzak, who spent the last five seasons, was assigned outright to Triple-A Rochester. Swarzak can decline and elect to become a free agent. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticWholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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