Each week when we compile our Serie A round-up another intriguing name keeps popping up on the screen: Ciro Immobile.
The Torino striker has been absolutely dynamite for his club, leading the league in scoring and daring Italy not to select him for the World Cup. He’s strong in the box, an MLS comparison being Chris Wondolowski.
The best part for the Italian faithful? He’s just 24.
From our friend Alan Finnerty at Soccerly:
The 24 year old is Serie A’s top scorer on 21 goals ahead of legends such as Balotelli, Tevez, Toni, Higuain and Rossi. However, with just one senior Italian cap to his name, many believe he is too inexperienced to be considered a sure thing for Brazil. But as Serie A’s leading scorer, he is also becoming increasingly hard to overlook even though Cesare Prandelli tries to find a balance between talented youngsters and experienced veterans.
Prandelli has also stated his belief that he needs strong athletes throughout his squad given the Brazilian heat and the physical intensity of football’s month long jamboree that is the World Cup. Medical and fitness tests were held at Italy’s Coverciano training complex earlier this month to assist the Italian coach in his assessment of 42 players.
The goals have come against big names, too, with Inter Milan, Roma and AC Milan among the victims. By kicking off an active six-match goal streak with a hat trick against Livorno — in just 76 minutes — he’s bringing that great form right into the run-up to Brazil. With big names like Gilardino, Balotelli and Destro — maybe even Rossi — fighting for spots alongside him, can he make the big stage?
The game in 100 words (or less): Vancouver is a long way from Houston. That could’ve been a problem for a Dynamo team that had yet to see a road point through six games. DaMarcus Beasley made sure to put the Dynamo on the front foot with a goal that turned back the hands of time and, after a shoving match between Alex and Pedro Morales left both sides down a man, Octavio Rivero scored an outside of the foot goal to level things up. Russell Teibert was an artistic passing machine for the ‘Caps, and both Tyler Deric and David Ousted made terrific stops as it ended 1-1.
Three moments that mattered
20′ — Beasley scores a beauty — This run, dribble and finish is something this man has done many-a-time in his long and storied career.
42′ — Alex and Morales trade shoves, see red — No reason for this, fellas.
52′ — Rivero scores an attractive equalizer — A measured, bending shot from a man capable of authoring beauty with his feet.
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Man of the match: Russell Teibert
Goal scorers: Beasley (20′), Rivero (52′)
What did Jurgen Klinsmann learn from Tuesday’s win over Ecuador?
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Michael Bradley will be lying deep, while Bobby Wood is in for Graham Zusi and Ale Bedoya completes the midfield picture. Kyle Beckerman is out.
Oh, and left back belongs to Sporting KC center back Matt Besler. With Timmy Chandler injured, Edgar Castillo just arriving and Fabian Johnson going 90 against Ecuador, this was one of his only moves.
Still no Darlington Nagbe in the starting lineup, nor Christian Pulisic. Both were inspired subs against Ecuador.
The Yanks and Bolivia kick off from Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City at 8 p.m. ET, and this is how Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen to line up his USMNT.
Lineup: Guzan; Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Orozco; Jones, Bradley, Bedoya; Wood, Dempsey, Zardes.
The world was treated to the rare sight of a shirtless Cristiano Ronaldo as he celebrated the clinching penalty in a win over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in Milan on Saturday.
Jokes aside, one of the greatest players of his generation did get a moment to remember despite having a rather forgettable 120 minutes beforehand. Ronaldo buried the final penalty to give Real a 5-3 win in kicks after a 1-1 score line post-regulation.
[ MORE: Match recap | Bale reacts to second title ]
He almost sounded apologetic after the match, one that saw Real struggle to assert itself after a strong 45 minutes.
From the BBC:
“The penalties are always a lottery, you never know what will happen but our team showed more experience and we showed it by scoring all the penalties. A fantastic night for us.
“It is the end of the season and people are not fit, we have to rest and we have to go for the Euros.”
Then again, when you’re a superstar and have a trio of UCL crowns, you can feel however you like. Ronaldo’s never been a man for John Wooden-style quotes — heck, we’d even take David Beckham’s personality from him — but he’s won it all thrice.
And to be fair, the other two were better games (and performances from him). Ronaldo scored for Manchester United against Chelsea and capped off the scoring in the 2014 Real win over Atleti.
It took 120 minutes and penalty kicks, but Real Madrid outlasted Atletico Madrid for the second time in three seasons to win its 11th UEFA Champions League final on Saturday in Milan.
[ MORE: Match recap ]
Welsh star Gareth Bale made his spot kick before Cristiano Ronaldo took advantage of Juanfran hitting the post on his attempt, and Real won 1-1 (5-3) on the night.
Bale was thrilled.
From the Fox Sports broadcast:
“What an amazing feeling. In extra time a lot of people became cramped but we showed resilience, what we’re made of and we won the 11th.
“They gave it a great game. We feel a little bit sorry for them but you have to win a final.”
Afterwards, Bale said Wales would try to win the Euro 2016 because, “Why not?”
Why not, Gareth? Why not?