It's the last day of 2014 and what a year it has been. Although there is a lot to look forward to in 2015, it's hard to be as quite as hyped about it as 2014, being that it's not a World Cup year...although the girls will be going at it up in Canada come June and there is little doubt that this will be one of the most competitive Women's World Cups yet.
Although there are plenty of great moments to take away from 2014, many have already covered these happenings and so instead it is time to look forward to 2015 and what we are most excited for.
FIFA Women's World Cup
As mentioned above, the Women's World Cup will be taking place in the Summer of 2015 across the border up north in Canada. For those of us who are die hard soccer fans, there is little doubt any of you will have trouble remembering the match between the USA and Canada during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London which saw the USA narrowly defeat the Canadians in a somewhat controversial semifinal match. The USA would go on to win the Gold Medal, but the Bronze that Canada went home with has no doubt left a very bitter taste in their mouths ever since.
It used to be that the USA was the main powerhouse in Women's Soccer, at least when it comes to consistency. Sure Brazil, Japan and China have all had their goes and even their upsets against the Yanks, but for the most part the USA has always been a solid favorite in every major tournament they've been in. That will all change this year.
After losing to Japan in a shootout during the last Women's World Cup, USA will definitely be looking for redemption in 2015, but they will be facing a gauntlet of teams who are much better prepared than they ever have been before. Old foes like the aforementioned Canadian, Japanese, Chinese and Brazilian sides will be there, but so will extremely strong teams from France, Germany and England.....just to name a few. Even USA's group will be a tough one with Australia and Sweden joining them. It might not be the "Group of Death" that the men saw in 2014, but the talents that have come out of Australia in Women's soccer lately are - for lack of a better term - damn good.
Some soccer fans will still grumble a bit about Women's Soccer, but it should only take watching a few highlights from both the last Women's World Cup and the last Olympics to turn those grumbles into.....well whatever sound you make when your interest is being peaked. I for one can't wait to see Alex Morgan and the crew back out there come June.
CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015
Have no fear....the USMNT will be back as well. Although it might not be on the World's Stage, it will be against some of their biggest rivals from North America, The Caribbean and Central America and after CONCACAF's overall performance in this past year's World Cup? This Gold Cup could be shaping up to be one of the best ever.
Soccer in the states has been growing in leaps and bounds lately and personally I am excited to see a potentially very competitive tournament here on this side of the globe. In past years it's always been about USA and Mexico (besides 2000 where Canada won their only title), but this year you can bet teams like Costa Rica and Honduras will be looking to build off of their experience in the World Cup as well.
It will be odd to see a USMNT side without Tim Howard between the pipes, but it is likely familiar faces like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will be there, not to mention all of the youngsters who we saw grow up in Brazil should be back and ready to show what they've got. A good showing will also mean the world to Head Coach, Jurgen Klinsmann who saw a rough ending in 2014 after an inspiring start.
Premier League Title Race
A day before we see some New Year's Day Premier League action, the Top 3 teams (Chelsea, Man City and Man U) have managed to remain in their respective places week to week by having the exact same results. All three teams saw draws recently which made the "Monkey See, Monkey Do" feeling all that more real.
Although both squads out of Merseyside have seen trouble this season, Liverpool's recent thrashing of Swansea might be something for the Reds to build on. Some Premier League fans that I asked over twitter seem to think Liverpool does have the best chance at making a jump into the Top 3 in 2015.
Either way, the run for the title should be a very exciting one as all of these teams are rivals with each other and have a history. If only Everton could get their heads on straight right?
UEFA Champions League
After an all Madrid final in the 2013-2014 UEFA Champions League, personally I'd like to see the next one be a little spread out, but hey....it was a crazy final to say the least.
Real Madrid already looks extremely tough in Group Play as their record remains unblemished. That said, their predecessors from Munich have only dropped one game so far and look like the machine that they were in 2012-2013 as well.
However the tournament ends, you always know it's going to entertain.
From everyone here at Who Are Ya Designs, we wish you all the best for 2015 and hope you will be watching all of these tournaments along with us!