Tag Archives: Argentina

Looking Back: The Art of Riquelme 15 Years After His Debut

A one of a kind player, Riquelme stood above the rest with talents almost unmatched at times and a stubborn side that alienated him from clubs and managers at other times. (Courtesy http://www.ouyeah.net)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Juan Roman Riquelme made his debut for Boca Juniors 15 years ago. Since then, he has amazed the world with his talent, his creativity, and his homesickness. He’s the kind of creative player who can take over a game and silence crowds and critics alike with one touch of the ball. But he’s also the mysterious genius who wasn’t — for one reason or another — understood. He is a player who almost always seemed to butt heads with managers and directors , but that’s the way of the creative player who sees the game and plays the game differently than those around him.

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Quick thoughts on U.S. and Argentina friendly

Messi working his magic in and around the box. The little man seems to glide across the field when watching him in person. (Courtesy Alison Ciarleglio of APC Studios)

By Kevin Koczwara

1.) Jozy Altidore needs a partner in crime — He’s not a hold-up striker. Altidore is a ball at his feet type of player who likes to pass and move  and take on defenders. His body looks like it should be a that of a bruising center forward, but he’s not, no matter how much people want him to be.

Altidore works best when he has someone playing directly alongside him, and last night was proof, again. When Juan Agudelo came on at halftime, Altidore transformed, starting to hold up play a bit, open up space for other players, and connect passes. The 4-5-1 may put the best players on the field for the U.S., but it doesn’t work for the type of forward Altidore is. He can’t hold up play or swing the ball wide and get in behind defenses with break-neck speed on the counter. He is a solid, ball at his feet type of player who knows how to open space for his partner.

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USMNT draws with Argentina thanks to Agudela's second half goal

By Kevin Koczwara

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Juan Agudela has made a name for himself on the international stage for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Quickly. The 18-year-old striker again proved he was more than worthy of earning a spot on the team by scoring his second goal in three games with the USMNT.

Agudela’s goal sealed a 1-1 draw with Argentina, who scored in the 42nd minute when Esteban Cambiasso slammed a rebound from six yards out into the net. Anything less than a win for Argentina looked unlikely for much of the game as it controlled the tempo, almost all of the possession, and had the majority of the chances on net.

Argentina toyed with the USMNT at times in the first half, dominating the possession, forcing the U.S. deeper and deeper into it’s own end. Stretching play from one side to the other. Argentina forced Bob Bradley’s five-man midfield deep into its own end for much of the opening 45 minutes.

Angel di Maria had a great chance to open the scoring in the 34th minute when he found some space in the box after the U.S. was unable to clear the ball. Di Maria weaved around a few defenders but found himself to close to the touchline and had to shoot with no angle. Tim Howard made the easy save.

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A New Group of Stars Emerge At World Cup

Courtesy ???????? ????

By Joe Meloni

The stat lines of a few of the world’s best through the first few weeks of the 2010 World Cup may have left a few of the game’s newest fans a little confused. They’re wondering why Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead his nation deeper in the tournament with a dazzling set-piece or two. They sat waiting as Spain and Portugal battled in the Round of 16, but they wound up remembering the name Gerard Pique instead as the massive Barcelona defender helped stifle Ronaldo and the entire Portuguese attack. Those opting to watch Argentina clamored with anticipation while Leo Messi left a defender or two in his path only to hit a ball wide or send one sailing into the crowd. It was Messi’s countryman Gonzalo Higuain drawing most of the praise for the Argentines in their run to the Quarterfinals.

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The Rise of Gonzalo Higuain

By Cameron Dickinson

There have been few players to stand out during the opening week or so of the World Cup. Indeed only one player has caught the world’s attention – Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine has timed his rise to prominence to perfection, and, now, with the Albiceleste qualified for the Round of 16, he has reached the peak of his young career.

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World Cup Draw Part 1: Groups A & B

Courtesy Wikicommons/ Audrey & Patrick Scales

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s look at the first half of the Group Stages of the World Cup. The draw was Friday afternoon, and now that I have had some time to digest the pairings, I am going to make a few predictions. I will write a wrap-up of each group, two at a time, in this series. There will be four parts and all will be posted this week.

So let’s start it off with groups A and B.

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Where Are You Argentina?

Maradona is a legend in the world of soccer. His skill was unmatched as a player, but as the coach of Argentina he is faultering in World Cup Qualification for 2010. (Courtesy Diego_3336s Flickr)

Maradona is a legend in the world of soccer. His skill was unmatched as a player, but as the coach of Argentina he is faltering in World Cup Qualification for 2010. (Courtesy Diego_3336's Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Argentina has won the World Cup two times (1978 and 1986) and has been to the finals four times. The only year that the Argentinians didn’t qualified was 1970 (they have withdrawn their spot three other times). But they are on thin ice this year in the qualification stages, even though they have the world’s best player in Lionel Messi. If coach Maradona doesn’t bring his team back from the dead in the final stages of qualifying then this could be a historic year for the World Cup, it would be only the second time Argentina didn’t qualify.

Maradona scored wonder goals while playing for Argentina and lead the national team to the 1986 World Cup title, but maybe he is not suited to coach his peers. His team has great depth and some of the world’s best players, but they aren’t getting the results they need. The 3-1 defeat to Brazil over the weekend has hurt the team’s chances of making it to the World Cup.

Currently Argentina is fourth in the CONMEBOL table. Brazil has already secured their place in South Africa and Paraguay and Chile are looking to book their flights and accommodations as well (each just need one win). If Argentina doesn’t seal up the fourth spot then they will have to play for the fifth spot and that doesn’t mean an automatic bid.

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