First off, huge congrats to Le Oranje for winning the 2017 Women’s Euro Cup. We didn’t preview the tournament but, for the first time ever, the tournament was shown in the U.S. Granted, most of the matches were on ESPN3, but the Semifinals and Finals were on ESPN2 and it was easily the best tournament of the summer (looking at you Gold Cup & Confederations Cup). The Dutch team was a tour de force and for the first time in over 24 years zee Germans did not win!
In fact of the traditional European powers – Germany, France, England, and Sweden – only the English side made it to the semifinal and they lost to eventual champions Netherlands. The other semi featured eventual runner-up Denmark and Group C winners Austria (finishing ahead of France). This was also the first year of an expanded 16-team Euro tournament.
Before the final, the Dutch had allowed only one goal all tournament and ended up as only the second champion ever to win all six matches. The final yesterday was absolutely amazing with both teams scoring two goals in the first 45 minutes. Neither team held a lead for more than five minutes! In the end the Dutch proved too strong and they remembered how to play defense, scoring two more in the second half and not conceding. So, the next time anyone tells you that women’s soccer is boring, kick them square in the balls (it will be a dude telling you this) and force them to watch this match, Clockwork Oranje-style!
European Soccer is back baby!
Well to be fair it only really goes away for like four weeks, then training starts back up, the cash grab of the ICC and Charlie Stilitano, then Europa and Champion’s League qualification starts. But over the weekend we had actual matches that count in the standings, not glorified friendlies that double as a trophy if you are Arsenal (zing!).
Below are the major European League Kickoff dates:
- France – August 4
- Scotland – August 5
- Portugal – August 6
- England – August 11
- Netherlands – August 11
- Turkey – August 11
- Germany – August 18
- Spain – August 18
- Italy – August 19
So, wha happened?
The biggest move of the summer transfer window so far was easily Neymar leaving the friendly confines of Barcelona for the bright lights of PSG for a scant world-record £198 million transfer. The biggest dominoes have yet to fall as Barca will need to replace the future of Barcelona and they have been linked all summer to Philippe Coutinho and Kylian Mbappe.
Speaking of Liverpool they had a bit of a summer inking Mohamed Salah and getting their asses handed to them by Southampton over Virgil Van Dijk rumors.
Thanks to the beginning of the new TV deal, the Premiership has been splashing the cash this summer. As of August 1st, 19 of the Premier League teams combined have spent nearly a billion dollars. Tottenham has spent $0!
We’ll be back later this week with an EPL preview and a Bundesliga, La Liga, and Serie A preview next week.
It’s great to be back watching good soccer on the men’s side, too, even if it’s halfway across the world and I need to get up at 6:30 in the morning to watch my fucking team!