Germany v Ecuador - International Friendly

What happened to Ecuador? German reserves cruise in friendly


Ecuador’s probably going to be at Brazil 2014. They currently sit second in CONMEBOL qualifying, four points back to region-leading Argentina but seven head of Uruguay, whose sixth place standing leaves them one spot short of South America’s playoff spot. Now up to 10th in the (admittedly deceiving) FIFA rankings, Ecuador’s a team on the rise, even if their goal difference hints their  results may regress.

Regardless, Reinaldo Rueda’s team should have been expected to a challenge for a German national team that was without all of its stars. Neither Bayern Munich nor Borussia Dortmund players took part, while Real Madrid midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira are still with the Merengues (the Spanish season ending June 1). Joachim Löw’s team was a collection of second and third-teamers, one that should have been at a disadvantage against Antonio Valencia, Christian Benítez, and Felipe Caicedo.

But when the teams kicked off this afternoon in Boca Raton, Germany held all the advantages. Lukas Podolski scored in the first minute and added another at the 17-minute mark. In between Lars Bender had doubled Germany’s lead, and when the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder completed his own double in the 24th, Löw’s side had an early four-goal lead.

Antonio Valencia scored before halftime, and Walter Ayovi added a very late second, leaving the final a slightly more explicable 4-2, but for an Ecuador side that resumes World Cup qualifying June 7 in Peru, the performance was a worrying way to transition into an important summer. Giving up four goals in 24 minutes against anybody should send a coach through the roof, but against a team that chose reserves at every position? It was embarrassing.

As for the Germans, next up is … well, look at this: the United States, Sunday, at RFK Stadium. So much for a weakened Germany.


Memphis jersey biggest seller in Premier League

during the Barclays Premier League match between XXX and XXX on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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Memphis Depay‘s name has been printed on more Premier League jerseys than anybody else.

[ PHOTOS: Must-see Klopp merch ]

According to, the Manchester United winger is the biggest climber on their top 10 list and fans have flocked to have “Memphis” printed on the back of their United jerseys.

The Dutch winger, 21, has had an up-and-down start to life at Old Trafford but that is not detracting fans from having Memphis, the name he prefers, emblazoned on the back of their shirts. Folks from an unnamed city in Tennessee, have you been buying lots of jerseys on the internet? No doubt the number of United fans in that region has sky-rocketed in the last few months. No doubt.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ]  

Anyway, below is the list of the top 10 players name printed by Kitbag.

Top 10 selling jerseys worldwide

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
3. Memphis Depay – Manchester United
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Manchester United
5. Eden Hazard – Chelsea
6. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
7. Neymar – Barcelona
8. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
9. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
10. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

New Arsenal contracts on the way for Alexis, Ozil

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil
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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both in line to be handed new contracts by Arsenal.

The attacking duo, who have been in fine form in recent weeks after slow starts to the season, both have current deals which run until 2018 but the Gunners are said to be keen on locking the attacking midfielders down to contract extensions.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ] 

According to the Daily Mail, Sanchez is set to become Arsenal’s top earner with a new deal on the table in excess of $220,000.

Sanchez is currently being paid $197,000 per week but is not the highest paid player at the Emirates, with Ozil taking that mantle and earning a cool $215,000 a week. Speaking of Ozil, talks over a new deal for him are also being prepared by Arsene Wenger and club officials with the German playmaker finally showing consistency this season, which is his third campaign in the Premier League following his $63 million move from Real Madrid in 2013.

[ MORE: Sanchez, Ozil dazzle in Arsenal’s win vs. United ]

Sanchez, 26, missed most of Arsenal’s preseason after winning the 2015 Copa America with Chile on home soil this summer, but he is now back in his groove and the former Barcelona forward has scored five goals in his last two PL games and seven times in his last four outings for club and country.

Ozil scored his first goal of the season against Manchester United in Arsenal’s recent 3-0 win, as Ozil and Sanchez ripped United’s defense apart in a stunning 19-minute spell at the beginning of the match.

[ MORE: Klopp merchandise you need to see ]

With Theo Walcott locked down to a new long-term contract in the summer, Wenger now looks to have found his go-to front three as Walcott, Sanchez and Ozil possess a superb combination of pace, power and trickery. It’s no surprise to hear reports about new deals being prepared for Sanchez and Ozil, as the duo have that extra bit of class which has seen the Gunners win back-to-back FA Cups and comfortably finish in the top four of the PL.

Now, can they kick on and contend for the title this season? If Sanchez and Ozil stay fit and in-form, there’s no reason why not.