Getty Images

Full schedule for 2018 World Cup

Leave a comment

The 2018 World Cup is just one day away. 24 hours. Let’s do this.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

It’s time to focus on when/where the madness will ensue across Russia over the next month from June 14 – July 15.

With that in mind, below is a look at the full schedule for the entire 2018 World Cup with times, venues and dates for all 64 games being played in 12 stadiums across 11 host cities.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

All kick off times are listed in Eastern Time in the USA.


GROUP STAGE

Group A
Thursday, June 14: Russia v Saudi Arabia, Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am
Friday, June 15: Egypt v Uruguay, Ekaterinburg 10am

Tuesday, June 19: Russia v Egypt, St Petersburg 2pm
Wednesday, June 20: Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don 11am

Monday, June 25: Uruguay v Russia, Samara 10am
Monday, June 25: Saudi Arabia v Egypt, Volgograd 10am


Group B
Friday, June 15: Morocco v Iran, St Petersburg 11am
Friday, June 15: Portugal v Spain, Sochi 2pm

Wednesday, June 20: Portugal v Morocco, Moscow (Luzhniki) 8am
Wednesday, June 20: Iran v Spain, Kazan 2pm

Monday, June 25: Spain v Morocco, Kaliningrad 2pm
Monday, June 25: Iran v Portugal, Saransk 2pm


Group C

Saturday, June 16: France v Australia, Kazan 6am
Saturday, June 16: Peru v Denmark, Saransk 12pm

Thursday, June 21: France v Peru, Ekaterinburg 11am
Thursday, June 21: Denmark v Australia, Samara 8am

Tuesday, June 26: Denmark v France, Moscow (Luzhniki) 10am
Tuesday, June 26: Australia v Peru, Sochi 10am


Group D

Saturday, June 16: Argentina v Iceland, Moscow (Spartak) 9am
Saturday, June 16: Croatia v Nigeria, Kaliningrad 3pm

Thursday, June 21: Argentina v Croatia, Nizhny Novgorod 2pm
Friday, June 22: Nigeria v Iceland, Volgograd 11am

Tuesday, June 26: Nigeria v Argentina, St Petersburg 2pm
Tuesday, June 26: Iceland v Croatia, Rostov-on-Don 2pm


Group E

Sunday, June 17: Costa Rica v Serbia, Samara 8am
Sunday, June 17: Brazil v Switzerland, Rostov-on-Don 2pm

Friday, June 22: Brazil v Costa Rica, St Petersburg 8am
Friday, June 22: Serbia v Switzerland, Kaliningrad 2pm

Wednesday, June 27: Serbia v Brazil, Moscow (Spartak) 2pm
Wednesday, June 27: Switzerland v Costa Rica, Nizhny Novgorod 2pm


Group F

Sunday, June 17: Germany v Mexico, Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am
Monday, June 18: Sweden v South Korea, Nizhny Novgorod 8am

Saturday, June 23: Germany v Sweden, Sochi 2pm
Saturday, June 23: South Korea v Mexico, Rostov-on-Don 11am

Wednesday, June 27: South Korea v Germany, Kazan 10am
Wednesday, June 27: Mexico v Sweden, Ekaterinburg 10am


Group G
Monday, June 18: Belgium v Panama, Sochi 11am
Monday, June 18: Tunisia v England, Volgograd 2pm

Saturday, June 23: Belgium v Tunisia, Moscow (Spartak) 8am
Sunday, June 24: England v Panama, Nizhny Novgorod 8am

Thursday, June 28: England v Belgium, Kaliningrad 2pm
Thursday, June 28: Panama v Tunisia, Saransk 2pm


Group H
Tuesday, June 19: Poland v Senegal, Moscow (Spartak) 11am
Tuesday, June 19: Colombia v Japan, Saransk 8am

Sunday, June 24: Japan v Senegal, Ekaterinburg 11am
Sunday, June 24: Poland v Colombia, Kazan 2pm

Thursday, June 28: Japan v Poland, Volgograd 10am
Thursday, June 28: Senegal v Colombia, Samara 10am


ROUND OF 16

Saturday, June 30: 1C v 2D Kazan 10am (Match 50)
Saturday, June 30: 1A v 2B Sochi 2pm (Match 49)
Sunday, July 1: 1B v 2A Moscow (Luzhniki) 10am (Match 51)
Sunday, July 1: 1D v 2C Nizhny Novgorod 2pm (Match 52)
Monday, July 2: 1E v 2F Samara 10am (Match 53)
Monday, July 2: 1G v 2H Rostov-on-Don 2pm (Match 54)
Tuesday, July 3: 1F v 2E St Petersburg 10m (Match 55)
Tuesday, July 3: 1H v 2G Moscow (Spartak) 2pm (Match 56)


QUARTERFINALS

Friday, July 6: Winner match 49 v winner match 50 Nizhny Novgorod 10am (Match 57)
Friday, July 6: Winner match 53 v winner match 54 Kazan 2pm (Match 58)
Saturday, July 7: Winner match 55 v winner match 56 Samara 10am (Match 60)
Saturday, July 7: Winner match 51 v winner match 52 Sochi 2pm (Match 59)


SEMIFINALS

Tuesday, July 10: Winner match 57 v winner match 58 St Petersburg 2pm
Wednesday, July 11: Winner match 59 v winner match 60 Moscow (Luzhniki) 2pm

THIRD-PLACE MATCH

Saturday, July 14: St Petersburg 10am

FINAL

Sunday, July 15: Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am

Real Madrid to reject La Liga’s plans for USA games

AP
Leave a comment

Real Madrid aren’t interested one little bit about moving La Liga games from Spain to the United States of America.

La Liga, along with clubs Barcelona and Girona, have asked the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to move their league game from Catalonia to Miami, Florida in January 2019.

Amid growing negativity towards the idea from FIFA president Gianni Infantino plus several other La Liga clubs, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has now stuck his oar in.

“We won’t go to the United States,” Perez said. “I don’t know whose interest it is in to play there but it is not in the interests of the clubs or the supporters, so we outright reject it.”

And there you go.

This idea seemed to be a decent one to start with but the more it has developed, the more it has become a bit of a PR disaster for the league.

With the Spanish FA, La Liga, U.S. Soccer, CONCACAF and others all having to agree on moving a regular-season game out of Spain, it seems like a lot of people will need a lot of convincing between now and November/December time when this will have to be confirmed or canceled.

Last week RFEF demanded more details on the game in Miami from La Liga and refused to give the green light to the game.

Javier Tebas, head of La Liga, seems desperate to make this happen after agreeing to a 15-year deal to play one league game a season in North America. But Tebas hasn’t received much backing from clubs, officials and pretty much anyone else in-between.

La Liga is trying to grow its global brand but moving regular season games across the Atlantic Ocean a la the NFL, NBA and MLB doesn’t seem to be the way fans and players in Spain want to go about it.

What other alternatives are there?

They could perhaps start by playing the Spanish Super Cup in the USA and see how that fares? Or maybe host a mini preseason tournament in the USA involved over half of the La Liga teams? Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona and others already spend pretty much every preseason in the USA playing in front of European giants in prestigious friendly games and fans accept it is a scrimmage but still show up in their thousands.

If La Liga’s brand is that strong, fans will want to travel from across the globe to watch Real, Barca, Atletico and others in action. That already happens, but can you fault them for trying to strengthen it by taking games elsewhere?

La Liga want to try something different and to close the gap between themselves and the Premier League. Throw in the growing popularity of the Bundesliga and Serie A, at least from a commercial standpoint, and it makes sense fo think outside the box, or the country in this instance.

But if the key stakeholders do not agree, it can’t happen. End of discussion.

VIDEO: Worst dive in history? Quite possibly

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Now, we’ve all become accustomed to seeing some of the ugly parts of the beautiful game.

Diving is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems we needed to clean up. And ridiculous videos like this one may help to do that.

Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis got a little pat on his head from an opposition player at the weekend. It was a friendly ‘nice one, mate’ from Utrecht player Willem Janssen. That was it. Nothing more.

Yet this was how Berghuis reacted as he is being ridiculed across social media.

Now, we all know that ‘trying to win a free kick’ and other forms of embellishment are apparently part of the game. We don’t like it. But until VAR is commonplace at all levels of the game, players will continue to try and get away with whatever they can.

But incidents like this and some of Neymar’s antics this summer, coupled with the public ridicule that type of simulation has received, will surely act to dissuade future generations from attempting such outrageous levels of skullduggery.

We live in hope.

Word has it Berghuis is off to a swimming pool in Rotterdam on Monday to perfect his diving skills…

Women’s Ballon d’Or award launched

Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) A woman will win the most prestigious individual trophy in soccer for the first time this year.

Awarded every year by France Football magazine since Stanley Matthews won it in 1956, the Ballon d’Or for the best player of the year will be given to both a woman and a man on Dec. 3 in Paris.

Pascal Ferre, the magazine’s editor in chief, told The Associated Press women’s soccer has grown so much in recent years it was a logical step to create the new award.

“Women’s soccer is a booming discipline that deserves the same respect as men’s soccer,” Ferre told the AP. “It’s coming to maturity and growing bigger. More than 760 million TV viewers watched games at the last women’s World Cup in 2015, this did not happen by chance.”

France Football will make an official announcement in Tuesday’s edition of the magazine.

A list of 15 nominees for the prize will be announced on Oct. 8 alongside the 30-man selection. The players will be selected by France Football and a panel of international journalists specialized in women’s soccer will vote on a winner.

“The jury won’t be the same as the jury voting for the men,” Ferre said. “Only experts can vote. I’m confident we will get a jury of about 40 journalists, from countries where women’s soccer is growing.”

The Ballon d’Or merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award from 2010-15, but the magazine and soccer’s governing body split two years ago. FIFA also awards a trophy to the best women’s player.

Ferre said most of the female players he spoke with about the new Ballon d’Or have been enthusiastic.

“They are thrilled and can’t wait for it,” Ferre said. “They are very proud to see that the world of soccer considers that women should be treated in the same respect as men.”

France Football is also launching a new award for the best young player of the year, the Kopa trophy, named after the late Raymond Kopa. The former Real Madrid attacking midfielder who became the first French player to win the Ballon d’Or back in 1958 died last year at 85. Only former winners will be entitled to choose the winner from a list of 10 under-21 players.

The award ceremony will be broadcast live in more than 120 countries.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

VIDEO: 7-year-old’s amazing national anthem at LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy/Twitter
Leave a comment

Sometimes you see something which makes you stop in your tracks and marvel in the wonder of the world.

This is one of those occasions.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage

Seven-year-old Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja stole the show before the LA Galaxy’s 3-0 win against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, with the youngster performing an incredible rendition of the National Anthem ahead of the Major League Soccer clash.

Emma was the winner of the #GalaxySocial Day Instagram Anthem contest and her prize was to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the StubHub Center.

Take a look at the video below to see the youngster steal the show, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared her the MVP of the game.

Simply amazing.