So last week inspiration struck in the form of who the heroes of Gotham City may be facing on the pitch, so this week
I decided that in honor of our LIMITED RELEASE design that's preorder has been extended just through today (4.12.15), I would do a post on Gotham City FC's Starting XI heroes.
Before you read on, I highly suggest you head on over to the link below and order yourself this design, I personally am completely stoked to get mine. Gotham City FC LIMITED RELEASE Click Here!
Like I said, this design is only available through today, so what are you waiting for?
Now that you have ordered your shirt, time to check out my Starting XI for Gotham City FC.
Goalkeeper: Lucius Fox
Don't let the gray hair fool you, you never know what Gotham's best Manager has up his sleeves. Consider the goal his "Bat Cave" and Lucius will stop at nothing to protect it.
Defenders:, Allan Scott (Green Lantern), Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne (Batman), Barbara Gordon (Batgirl)
Having Allan Scott out on on the flanks might be borderline cheating, but I suppose some rules would have to be implemented (Red Card for taking flight perhaps?).
Once again having Gotham's most loyal Butler at center back is definitely choosing experience over youth, but we've seen Alfred handle himself without any issue and sometimes he even comes out of it with less bruises than the man who he's protected throughout most of his life...Master Wayne.
Speaking of Bruce, it might seem crazy to have a "Star Player" playing defense, but let's be honest, that is where Batman belongs, obviously we see him getting in on the scoring as well, but Batman himself may end up being a one man wrecking crew for the majority of Gotham City FC's matches.
Now that Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl has her mobility back...the girl wants to run! It's going to be hard for people to look past her good looks (thanks mom), but the way she'll be moving the ball, it will be hard for most opponents to focus at all.
Midfield: Detective Gordon, Lady Shiva, Zatanna
Detective Gordon is going to have to hold down the midfield with two of the most kickass girls in the universe, but that's a roll he will fit very well into, using his combination of grit and brains to solidify his defensive midfield position.
Ok, so maybe Lady Shiva blurs the lines of hero or villain just a tad, but as a free agent of sorts, her allegiance will be with the heroes.....at least for this season. Lady Shiva is both quick and brutal and you can thank the League of Assassins for that. The only trouble she will have is holding back....I mean she was trained to kill people with her bare hands after all...... As long as she stays out of the books, she will be a force to be reckoned with.
Zatanna Zatara and Bruce Wayne go waaaaay back and as long as Bruce can get over the fact she's altered his mind a few times....all will be ok. Zatanna is an real magician off the pitch and we can't see any reason why she won't be one on the pitch as well.
Forwards: Robin, Catwoman, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)
Everybody loves to hate Robin, but isn't that how it is with many strikers? Regardless of how fans feel, Robin will be continually trying to impress Bruce and we have this feeling that will result in goals.
Catwoman's stealthy ways and her agile attack will be perfect in getting the ball to cherry pickers like Robin, of course she will also benefit from the accuracy that belongs to Oliver Queen.
Speaking of the Green Arrow, the former Seattleite turned Star City, California resident has soccer in his blood, but how does that land him in Gotham FC? Well until Star City gets their own club, fellow Justice League hero, Bruce Wayne knew he'd have to recruit someone who was just as accurate a passer as he was a shooter. There is a zero doubt that Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow is that man. We see a lot of Golden Boots in his future.
Although Penguin may not be the fastest guy on the field, we never quite know what's under that umbrella. What we do know is that Penguin is a genius and will be able to keep the back line in superb working order, so that he will only have to come up with a big save when he desperately has to.
Defenders: Harley Quinn, The Riddler, The Joker, Poison Ivy
A mix of beauty and brains to baffle the opposing offense. Out on the flanks Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy will be making heads turn for multiple reasons, while The Riddler and The Joker do their best to confuse the opposition with the tricks they have up their sleeves. Penguin will have his hands full with these four in front of him, but I feel it would be a very solid back line.
Midfield: Bane, Mr. Freeze, Don Falcone
Gotta love Bane in a distributor role. The guy will be hard to knock off the ball due to his build and he will put the fear of God into his opponents for both physical and mental reasons.
Mr. Freeze will play in a more defensive mid fielder role, stopping plays in their tracks before they get too out of hand.
As for Don Falcone? Don't let the age full you. There is a good chance Don would both own and manage the team as well and although he isn't always a fan of getting his hands dirty, I don't see him staying off the pitch much. Who knows? With all those scientist acquaintances in Gotham, who's to say Don doesn't end up finding the fountain of youth as well?
Forwards: Scarecrow, Two-Face, Talia Al Ghul
Scarecrow is the perfect person to expose all the weaknesses and prey on the fears of the opposing back line. There's a chance he will do the same to the fans watching the game as well, but at least they'll be in a frenzied state throughout the match.
What's better than one goal? Two goals of course! Lucky for this team, Two-Face will be so obsessed with getting braces each match that you know he will be throwing a lot on frame.
Talia Al Ghul knows about precision and she knows about beating your enemy in the most lethal way possible. As the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, her history with the League of Assassins will help her go in for the kill in every match and always keep her in contention for MVP.
I hope you enjoyed my Gotham City Starting XI (Villains) and as I said....chime in with your ideas!
It always sounds crazy no matter how many times and how many ways you say it, but when it all comes down to it, soccer is so young in the USA, especially it's fan base that extends outside of the tried and true super fans.
After the USMNT's latest friendly against Denmark I saw a load of negativity - not just post-game - but throughout the whole match. When the USA was up, people remarked on how it was "our style" to play terrible and still find a way to be in the lead. When we gave up the lead, fans remarked on how it was "just like us" to give up a lead.
I've been watching the sport since I was a kid and have covered soccer for quite some time now and I still don't claim to be an expert necessarily. I've seen the many different sides of soccer and sure I have different insights than many do, but I am still witnessing a child growing up, therefore I am learning as well.
I try not to get negative about friendlies. Not only am I a soccer fan, but I am a football fan, a baseball fan and an ice hockey fan as well. When it's preseason for any of those sports, the only real negativity you will hear is when someone makes the mistake of being too positive. "The Rams went undefeated in the preseason? Yeah, well call me when it means something." Preseason isn't about winning, it's about figuring out how you're going to win in the regular season....when it means something. I understand at a glance that doesn't sound like a very American thing to say and I am definitely someone who lives be the creed "Winning is Everything", but preseasons are preparation....that's it.
That all said, soccer is a different beast. There is no "preseason" really, at least not in international play, so when there is an international "friendly", it could happen at any time of the year regardless of each player's individual form. It's also a sport where for the majority of each meaningful match, the 11 players on the field will mostly stay the same for the whole 90 minutes. No lines, no back in, back out subs, just three permanent subs per match. However, that only makes it harder for meaningless matches to even look remotely like a proper match. A back line in soccer's most important ingredient is chemistry. How on earth are you supposed to have chemistry after half of your team gets subbed at the half? When it all comes down to it, these matches are just a glorified training camp.
As I said before though, this country is young when it comes to the beautiful game and after cities across America packed bars and convention centers to watch the World Cup in 2014, fans want to see results. When commentators like Taylor Twellman remark on making a habit of giving up leads, the defense being soft or any of these matches being "must wins" it doesn't help a thing. Sure there is a tiny bit of truth to every one of those statements (besides the last one), but regardless of what it does for ratings, experts need to be honest and educate those watching and discuss these matches just as they are.
On the same day that the USMNT blew a lead to an inspired one man show (Nicklas Bendtner), the reigning champs (Germany) had a 2-2 draw IN GERMANY with the "Socceroos" of Australia, a team known for getting beat up on in World Cup play. That is what friendlies are. I didn't hear the experts talk much about that.
The USMNT do have a lot of work to do and yes - although our GAA was damn good in group play at the 2014 World Cup - our defense needs to build up chemistry. Yes, the coaching staff and the players have a lot to figure out, but when it all comes down to it, so do the rest of us.
So I decided to try a little something different this week in honor of our limited release Dark Side FC design...
It got me thinking...what would that starting lineup look like? I decided that the Sith would have to only be involved as management as obviously being that strong with the force would have advantages that would completely take any competitive aspect of the most beautiful game in the galaxy away, so that would leave the truly wicked souls of the universe, as well as some of Lord Vader's loyal servants to play for the Dark Side.
Now this is only my take on the Dark Side Starting XI, please feel free to include your suggestions in the comments below, but I have to admit....I think this lineup is deadly.
Goalkeeper: Jabba the Hutt
What Jabba lacks in athleticism, he more than makes up for in size. Now I know a lot of you are saying "but wouldn't he take up most of the goal?". Absolutely! But this is the Dark Side FC, do you honestly thing they give two Bantha Poodoos?
Positioning will need to be his main focus, as both small arms and somewhat slow reaction time will definitely be his downfall. Overall though, Jabba's complete lack of respect for any living organism should give him enough edge to keep clean sheets.
Defenders: Droidekas at left and right back, Storm Troopers at center back positions.
I am not entirely sure how many decisions that Storm Troopers take to heart, as they rarely show much emotion at all. That said, it might hurt a little that they will be forced to work with droids on the back line.
When it comes down to it though, the Droidekas will give Dark Side FC the speed that is needed along the flanks with their versatile shape shifting abilities. The Storm Troopers should hold down the center back positions fine, just so long as that armor stands up better against soccer balls than it does blaster fire.
Midfield:General Grievous, Greedo, Tuskan Raider
I know many would have liked to see Grand Moff Tarkin at midfield, but his age definitely limits his maneuverability at most positions. General Grievous on the other hand has the size to play a more defensive mid role, while the Tuskan Raider's very physical style of play will help open the field up on the attack.
Greedo on the other hand should be great at distributing the ball, and on that odd occasion where he shoots first? Well...we've heard he can blast with both feet.
Forwards: Aurra Sing, Sebulba, Boba Fett
I suppose Aurra Sing could be a controversial decision to start up front, but nobody can ignore that she is a natural sniper and is athletic to boot. Pod Racing Dug, Sebulba on the other hand lacks a little in the speed department, but his unconventional stance makes him a nightmare for officials when calling hand ball fouls.
What would an attacking front be without the ruthless, never say die attitude of the Galaxy's most fearsome bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Quite possibly the scariest being in the galaxy who doesn't possess the powers of the force, just his name on the roster alone will be enough to strike fear into any opposing side.
I hope you enjoyed my Star Wars Starting XI and as I said....chime in with your ideas! May the force be with you.
About a month ago things were looking a bit glum for teams such as Liverpool and Arsenal. Many questioned whether or not they would have a chance at a Champions League placing by the end of the season. However, fast forward a bit and believe it or not...things seem to be a bit more reasonable in the Top 5. Arsenal's recent spell of good matches have put them in 3rd place and Liverpool only finds themselves a game back on 4th place Manchester United. If you listen closely you can still here the Saints of Southampton saying "we're still here", but the cries are getting weaker by the....week (for those of you who are Saints fans, this sort of thing has usually helped them in the past, it's the football Gods way of making me look like an idiot).
As for the battle for first, Manchester City let a huge opportunity slide against Liverpool in Week 27 when they lost to the Reds 2-1 at Anfield. Chelsea now with a game in hand against Liverpool retains their five point lead at the top. Both teams earned three points in Week 28.
As long as the Blues don't let their Champions League woes bring them down, they appear to be comfortable in the driver's seat. However, all it takes is a couple road bumps and everything changes. We know all too well.....that is what we should expect in the Premier League.
Now for my three matches of the week. Please play along in the comment section below!
Match 1: Burnley v. Man City
This is one of those David and Goliath matches on paper, but given that Man City is on the road in an odd environment, I actually predict somewhat of an upset here. Burnley likes to hit big teams early and I expect them to draw first blood and take a 1-0 lead early. However, I do believe Man City will return fire later in the match after an exhausted Burnley side gets tired of defending. My prediction: Burnley 1 - 1 Manchester City
Match 2: Chelsea v. Southampton
As I said earlier, whenever I start doubting the Saints, the Soccer Gods tend to spite me, so this week Southampton, you're in luck. I fully expect Chelsea to roll Southampton at the Bridge. Chelsea will be looking to shake the feeling of losing to a 10 man PSG side in Champions League and unfortunately for Southampton, they will be the victims. My prediction: Chelsea 4 - 1 Southampton
Match 3: Manchester United v. Tottenham
In all honesty, Manchester United shouldn't have a problem handling the Spurs at Old Trafford. That said, the Red Devils have been their own worst enemy losing traction after gaining substantial ground this season. Man U currently sits in 4th place in the league, but I fear that might be in jeopardy this weekend if Arsenal can take care of West Ham. My prediction: Manchester United 2 - 2 Tottenham
This week I am going to take a quick break from Premier League and instead give my Top Five UEFA Champion's League Power Rankings. Basically it's going to be how I see the tournament ending up, the fifth team being my dark horse to potentially make some waves.
UEFA Champions League always brings the drama and this season is no exception, the question is....who will be the hero?
5. Bayer Leverkusen
So here is my dark horse. I know this one could really blow up in my face, as they could easily be knocked out this week by Atletico Madrid, but I feel like this under the radar side could have one of those "but damn do they have heart!" runs through the quarters and more. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see a Dortmund pull a ......Dortmund and rise from the ashes in their match against Juventus, but this year I think the Bundesliga team (besides Bayern Munich) who has the best chance of shaking things up is Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
This one is a tough one for me, because although I am supposed to stay mostly non biased, I will admit that I am a Bundesliga fan and more importantly, I am a Dortmund fan. The biased side of me says "never give up", but the realistic side of me says Juventus seems to be on a mission this season. They've been dominating Serie A for the last four years and this year it looks like there may be shades of 1995-96 UCL run (and yes Pirlo was playing then....only he was playing for Brescia).
Truth is, a part of me feels like Juventus deserves to be higher on this list.
3. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich is currently locked up in a 0-0 draw after Leg 1 in the Quarter Finals with Shakhtar, however it is hard not to feel like these giants of Bundesliga, as well as UEFA Champions League will be there near the very end. Their team is stacked with World Cup Champions, as well as World Cup Runners Up and players who have lifted the Champion's League trophy. This might not be their most dominating UCL so far, but I expect to see them down to the wire.
They could be the most popular team around the world right now. I remember years ago when I would see youngsters sporting Manchester United jerseys here in the states and every once in a while you would see a Barcelona jersey sprinkled in, these days it seems like the tables have flipped. It's not a shock that with players like Messi and Neymar Jr. that you would establish a widespread fan base and it's also not a shock that having players of that caliber results in UEFA Champions League bids. After missing out on the finals for the past three tournaments, you know they are hungry and looking for their 5th title (European Cup/UCL).
1. Real Madrid
I love to support the underdogs for the most part, but realistically I do see the reigning champs defending their title come June in Berlin. They've blazed through each portion of the 2015 UCL and even when they aren't firing on all cylinders, they are extremely hard to beat (being worth as much as many moderate sized countries can do that for you).
This is just my modest speculation of course and the soccer Gods know I would love to see a tight, unpredictable march to Berlin. With all that said though....I do predict that Cristiano and company will hoist their 11th title (European Cup/UCL).
Just when we thought the Top of the Table was mostly set for the remainder of the season, things got very interesting.
Manchester United dropped a match to Swansea City, while both Arsenal and Liverpool found a way to get three points out of their respective matches....even if there was some referee controversy (when isn't there ammiright?).
Heading into week 27, Liverpool - who is sitting in 6th with 45 points - could actually vault into a tie for third place with a little help, where is the Gunners will be looking to further solidify their spot in the Top 3. Chelsea still sits in the lead with 60 points, but they won't play this week against Leceister City like they were supposed to, as they will be playing in the League Cup Final on March 1st against Tottenham who's match against QPR will also be postponed. 2nd place Man City will be in action though and they will be facing off in an exciting match against Liverpool.
Here are my three matches of the week, please play along!
Stoke City v. Hull City
Kind of an interesting match as Hull City has been playing pretty gritty all season. That said, Stoke City should have the upper hand in this one. My Prediction: Stoke City 3 - 1 Hull City
Liverpool v. Manchester City
You have to love this one in Anfield. Liverpool seems to think they have momentum right now and are set on making a statement down the home stretch. Man City on the other hand could severely put the pressure on Chelsea with a win this week against the Reds. My prediction: Liverpool 0 - 1 Man City
Arsenal v. Everton
We've seen this story a few times this season so far. A team looking to make up ground gets a chance to beat up on a struggling Everton, but end up failing to do so. Usually those matches end up in draws, so this one is an easy one for me. My prediction: Arsenal 1 - 1 Everton