Where does Brazil’s crushing defeat rank in all-time World Cup shocks?

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Brazil 1-7 Germany.

Let that result sink in for a moment. Yeah, Brazil 1-7 Germany. In a World Cup semifinal. In front of the home fans in the host nation Brazil.

Okay, have you grasped the monumental nature of this yet?

[ VIDEO: Watch all seven goals for Germany ]

[ VIDEO: Klose breaks WC scoring record ]

It’s quite difficult to put this display from Germany into context. It is quite simply one of the most incredible results in World Cup history and a game that is destined for the history books as five-time world champions Brazil suffered their worst-ever defeat.

To try and put this result in its rightful place among the World Cups most shocking defeats, lets take a look back at these moments from years gone by to see where it should rank.

Germany beats Brazil 7-1 | How Brazil fell apart | Scolari takes blame | Luiz apologizes

Use the comments section below to discuss where Germany’s incredible win should slot in. Right now it seems like, and probably is given the enormity and importance of the match, the most shocking result in World Cup history.

USA 1 England 0, 1950

This is by far the most humiliating defeat in England’s World Cup history. The English were the favorites to win the entire tournament but found themselves 1-0 down in the 37th minute and they never recovered. Joe Gaetjens scored the game-winner for the U.S. and English soccer fans have had to live with this shock ever since.
North Korea 1 Italy 0, 1966
Going into this match it was a case of how many would Italy win by. At the end, it was a case of hanging their heads in shame as the Italians were beaten by Asian minnows North Korea. Pak Doo Ik scored the winner and the Italians were in shock.

Scotland 3 Holland 2, 1978

The Dutch made it to the World Cup final but lost to hosts Argentina. There’s no shame in that. However with the likes of Johan Neeskens in their prime and ‘total football’ in its pomp, there was certainly some shame in losing to Scotland. Archie Gemmill’s famous goal spurred the Scots on to win an epic clash 3-2 after everyone expected the Dutch to wipe the floor with their opponents.

Cameroon 1 Argentina 0, 1990

In just their second World Cup tournament Cameroon stunned the reigning champions Argentina in the opening match of Italia ’90. Reduced to nine-men after two red cards, the African nation looked doomed but Omam-Biyik headed home the winner as the “Indomitable Lions” made it all the way to the quarterfinals.

Republic of Ireland 1 Italy 0, 1994

Jack Charlton’s Ireland weren’t pretty to watch. Not at all. In Giants stadium the Irish stunned the runners up from 1990, Italy, as Ray Houghton’s looping effort gave the Republic of Ireland and unlikely win that they rode to reach the last 16. Somehow Ireland managed to keep Roberto Baggio and co. off the scoresheet as they produce a stunning win.

Spain 1 Netherlands 5, 2014

The depending champions were humbled in their opening group game. Humiliated, in fact. In a replay of the 2010 final, the Dutch used up all their pent up anger over the last four years to rip Spain apart. Robin can Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice and Iker Casillas and Spain’s defense had a nightmare. They never recovered and crashed out at the group stage. Huge shock.

France 0 Senegal 1, 2002

It is hard to forget this one. France’s swaggering stars waltzed into Seoul for the opening game of the 2002 World Cup as the reigning champions… they then skulked out of the stadium with their tails between their legs as Senegal shocked the world. The reining World and European champions lost out after Papa Bouba Diop’s strike (cue the awesome dance around the corner flag celebrations) and they defended bravely to keep the French at bay. Incredible stuff.

LA Galaxy offloads Jelle van Damme to native Belgium

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The 2017 season continues to punch LA Galaxy fans right in the gut.

With the club near the basement of the Western Conference standings, the LA Galaxy have officially announced the sale of defensive rock Jelle van Damme to Royal Antwerp of the Belgian top flight. The club confirmed a transfer fee of $235,000.

While van Damme is 33 years old, the sale of fan-favorite van Damme is still a blow both on and off the pitch. With the Galaxy in a period of transition, van Damme was a likeable personality who was known for leaving it all out on the field on gamedays.

The official news release of the transfer made it clear the club did not initiate the transfer with the intention to sell, but instead the player himself requested a return home as his career comes nearer to a close. Van Damme is from Lokeren, Belgium, a town between Antwerp and Ghent.

“Jelle came to us and requested to return home to Belgium to be closer to his children,” LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas told LAGalaxy.com. “We worked closely with Jelle and Royal Antwerp so that we could make this move possible for Jelle and his family. Our top priority remains the success of the LA Galaxy. We thank him for his time with our club and wish him the best going forward.”

Van Damme joined the Galaxy in early 2016 on a free transfer from Belgian giants Standard Liege. He made 55 total appearances across all competitions, including 46 in league play and another three in the playoffs. The defender’s contract was set to expire in December.

The team has taken a total nosedive in the last two months. Without a league win since June 21st against Colorado, the Galaxy have collected just a single point in league play, and they currently sit just a point off the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Liverpool holds all the cards in Coutinho saga

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In a time of heightening player control in a rapidly expanding transfer market, one club sticks out as grasping a clear understanding of the shifting business landscape and how to retain its grip on its most valuable assets.

Following the sudden departure of superstar playmaker Neymar, Barcelona is trying desperately to pry Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. On Friday, numerous reports in England claimed that Barcelona had gone in with a third bid, one even more ridiculous than the previous two. But they’re fighting a losing battle.

For a number of reasons, the Reds hold complete control over Philippe Coutinho’s transfer saga, a saga that will likely end with no transfer having been completed.

First and foremost, Coutinho just recently signed a contract extension in January that runs through 2022. As far as we know, there is no release clause in the deal, meaning at the most basic of levels, Liverpool maintains contractual control. However, as we’ve seen the past few years, that alone hasn’t stopped a number of players forcing their way out.

Yet this time, Liverpool finds itself in an advantageous position outside of just the contract. With the 2018 World Cup right around the corner, the Reds know that should they force Coutinho to stay, he is obligated to play at his best, knowing that any less would see him miss out on a spot in the packed Brazil roster, or at the least a starting position. Thus, Liverpool can be sure that even if their denial of his departure renders him despondent, he will likely remain the quality player he has proven to be.

The money Barcelona is offering – a whopping $151 million according to the most recent reports – is indeed a ludicrous amount for a player who, while quality, does not have nearly the marketability of his countrymate now residing in Paris. On talent alone, Coutinho likely isn’t worth that total, meaning Liverpool should sell. And yet, even with that cash in hand, in this hyper-inflated market where more is less, could it really do justice in replacing his impact in the club? This late in the transfer window, there’s no chance they could replace the 25-year-old, meaning they’d likely be torpedoing their entire season – Champions League included – to feel the warmth of $151 million burning a hole in their pocket until January, or even next summer.

Liverpool has built its entire roster around Coutinho. The arrival of Salah, the use of Firmino, the wide deployment of Mane, the makeup of the midfield. He’s good enough and young enough to be considered a “franchise player.” In two games without Coutinho this season, they’ve scored five goals, but that is a poor metric to describe the 180 wild minutes. The money alone isn’t worth the cost of his departure.

It’s quite possible that Barcelona’s stubbornness, brought on by the sudden loss of a beloved player and the meteoric rise of their rivals to all-time greatness, could see the Catalans come back with an even more preposterous bid. It’s true every player has a value, and at some point, should Barcelona’s blind rage see them flail wildly into the transfer window, the Reds should sell, and will. But with Fenway Sports Group not in dire need of cash and in an advantageous position, in all likelihood they won’t. Barcelona can throw all the Neymar money at Liverpool their heart desires, but nothing will force the Reds to budge.

Top 25 moments in Premier League history: 19-21

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Premier League we thought it would be great to count down our top 25 moments from a quarter of a century of action.

[ VIDEO: Top 25 moments in PL history ]

Each week we will release our best moments and you can keep track of the full list here.

Below are numbers 19-21 to as we continue our list.

(more…)

Premier League Preview: Stoke City vs. Arsenal

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  • Shkodran Mustafi, Francis Coquelin, Per Mertesacker all in line for season debuts.
  • The game will likely come too soon for Alexis Sanchez, who is still working to get to match fitness.
  • Stoke City have lost only one of their last seven home matches against Arsenal (W3 D3 L1).
  • Stoke City forward Jese Rodriguez could make his debut following his season-long loan move from Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Alexandre Lacazette could become the first Arsenal player to score in both of his opening two PL appearances for the club.

Coming off an exciting 4-3 comeback victory at home against Leicester City, Arsenal travel to what’s been in the past a house of horrors, visiting the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City. (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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Three months ago, Arsenal ended some of the bad voodoo on them in Stoke with a 4-1 win on the road. This time around, the Gunners have even more firepower, with Alexandre Lacazette off to a strong start in the Premier League.

Stoke City, like Arsenal, are still getting comfortable in the in-vogue 3-4-3 formation, as well as getting used to life without Marko Arnautovic. Spanish forward Jese, a Real Madrid academy graduate, could make his season debut for Stoke on Saturday and summer signings Kurt Zouma, Bruno Martins Indi and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will push American Geoff Cameron for a place in the team each week.

What they’re saying

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on last year’s win at Stoke: “We were well-organized, efficient and under pressure to win the game. We were on a strong run as well. We had a convincing win there and that should inspire us. Traditionally it’s always been a difficult place to go for everybody, but of course we continue in a strong way our start to the season.

“I don’t believe in bogey teams too much. What is important is the performance on the day. We had a good performance last season and we have to focus on that, just to deal with the same performance. Stoke have a good record at home against many teams and I’m convinced that if we play our game, we have a good chance of winning.”

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes on this season’s new signings: “We are hoping to involve all the guys we have signed this summer, some will be on the bench, others won’t. We are very excited by the group that we are assembling to be honest.”

“We always aim to be stronger at the end of the window than we were at the beginning, and I would argue that of all the players that have left only one would have been considered as a regular starter. We have replaced those guys with players who I see as potential regular starters.”

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Prediction

Arsenal are clearly still a work in progress, but offensively they’re improved from a year ago. Stoke City on the other hand fell by a slim margin to Everton last week but have greatly improved defensively. We think it will be another defensive struggle, ending in a draw. Stoke City 1-1 Arsenal