All Posts By

Sam Barthel

How to Enjoy a 0-0 Game

By Soccer Culture

Before I get too into this enthralling topic I would like to thank Manchester United Football Club and their enigmatic manager, Jose Mourinho, for the inspiration. With the source of this article clearly defined, I can say that it is very difficult to enjoy a game like the one we saw on Monday between Liverpool and Man U.

Personally, I was a Jose Mourinho fan when he was at Chelsea the first time, and a little bit less during his second spell. This is mainly because he is afraid of nobody, and is not afraid to speak his mind to the press, or poke fun at an opposing manager, *cough* Arsene Wenger *cough*. That being said, he seems to have turned up his trash talk now that he is Manchester and turned down his desire to play attacking football. At any previous club he has managed he was known for parking the bus on occasion, and it is typically effective at killing the game.

That is what made Monday such a sad game. Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have been one of the most dynamically scoring teams in the Premier League since his arrival, and with Man U assembling the most expensive team of stars IN THE LEAGUES HISTORY it was a mouthwatering match up. So when Jose parked the most expensive bus in England in front of their goal at Anfield you could feel the disappointment. The drab game finished 0-0 with the only highlights being a couple of David De Gea saves, and Mourinho was quoted after the game saying, “It was a good performance and the result is acceptable.”

With another big game coming up for United and Mourinho, at Chelsea on Sunday at 11am (EST), will there be a tactical change? Or will the irony of Mourinho parking the bus at Stamford Bridge take over? From the fans point of view, I sincerely hope the game is less defensive and more open.

So my advice for enjoying a 0-0 game is; you don’t. Take a nap like I did.


By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

USMNT vs Cuba Preview

By Soccer Games

The USMNT travels to Cuba to play their hosts in a World Cup Qualifier later this afternoon. Kickoff is at 4pmET and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Here are three of the big talking points on some of the US camp.

  1. Can Pulisic cement his place in the starting XI? We all know who he is, and how good he can be. But can he consistently show that he can and should be a starter for the United States? I certainly think he can and will. His form has been incredible for both the USA and BVB so far this season, and I hope that continues tonight.
  2. Who will be in the net? While the USA has had solid goalkeepers in the past, neither Howard or Guzan are playing particularly well at the moment. Plus both of them are getting up there in the age category. Maybe tonight will allow a younger USA keeper to show his worth and a glimpse of the future? David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough are all with the squad and could play tonight. Personally I would love to see Horvath get the start since he has more than proved himself through the US Youth National Team ranks.
  3. Will John Brooks pick up where he left off? The hulking 23 year old center back was the star for the US at Copa America. He was a rock defensively and brought some much needed stability to the US back line. However since he has missed the last month to injury the defense has continued to play well. If all goes well Brooks should return to his old form and anchor the US defensive line for years to come.

Enjoy the game!


By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

Why Borussia Dortmund are the best team in Europe to watch right now

By Soccer Games

Before their Champions League tie with Real Madrid on Tuesday this last weekend BVB were on a terrific run in their previous games. And when I say terrific, I mean a stretch of white hot form. In their four games previous to the Madrid game they outscored their opponents a combined 20-2 (Watch some goals here and here). Having watched multiple of those games myself I can attest they they were not just simple victories but complete, dominating team performances.

Now second year coach Thomas Tuchel has proven he can manage at the top of Europe and do so magnificently and with a team with one of the lowest average ages in the world. So many of Dortmund’s top performers are young talents with room to grow, especially the American phenom Christian Pulisic. He recently turned 18 and provided the key assist to Andre Schurrle for his 88th minute equalizer in the Madrid match (highlights here). Needless to say he and other wunderkids like Emre Mor, Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro and Julian Weigl are the real deal and show the future of the club is only on the rise.

So all of this to say that you NEED to watch them play on Saturday at 12:30 ET on FS2 and FoxSoccer2go against their rival Bayer Leverkusen. Watch for Dortmund’s incisive possession game and quick combination passes and Leverkusen’s blitz on the counter attack.


By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball