Worrld Cup in Rio de Janeiro

World Cup is approaching.
Check the newsest Nike WC commercial below. Amazing!


Conspiracy theory? – by Bogdan Poprawski Ph.D. 

We learned about pairings for the quarter-finals of the Champion League last Friday. 

This is what we know:

FC Barcelona                -           Atletico  Madrid
Real Madrid                  -           Borussia Dortmund
PSG                             -           Chelsea London
Manchester United         -           Bayern Munich

It seems like a perfect draw for the future games. The strongest teams will be meeting the weakest teams (on the paper – obviously) and one may expect FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern and PSG/Chelsea in the semis.
Honestly – outside of Manchester United and Borussia, all other teams are from the top shelf for now.

In soccer – nothing is for certain. Nobody believed in Manchester’s advance over Panathinaikos last week or Borussia beating Real last year.

So far: three Spanish clubs, two from England and Germany and one – from France. Seems like a good representation of the powers of the best leagues in Europe.

The supporters of the “conspiracy theory” are saying that this draw was suspicious, since in the semi-finals the biggest clubs with the strongest coaches will meet, but I wouldn’t believe in anything “iffy” here.

This time is an opening of the scene for the biggest club money and everybody is watching any movement very carefully.

Talking about careful watching: you might be watched by the refree. Just have a look at the below link … and don’t do it : )


„Bloody big deal!” – by Bogdan Poprawski Ph.D.

I have been living in this country for almost 33 years and have never witnessed situation that in the Toronto Star, on the front page and on the front page of the sport section soccer would be a main topic for two days in the row.
We had some “warm-up” situation before, when Toronto FC signed up Michael Bradley and Jermainel Defoe. This time – it was about soccer. Not just some stars. Soccer!

Probably all of us agree that signing these two + Julio Cesar Soares Espindola, the Brazilian national team goalkeeper + Gilberto – also from Brazil made the TFC much stronger, but just 4 guys won’t cut it.
Tim Leiweke, the new president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment, promised, that he will turn around basketball and soccer teams in a hurry.
So far – so good.  Basketball team plays great, placing temporarily third in the Eastern Conference.
Hopefully – soccer will follow suit.

The first game against Seattle Sounders was a dream beginning.
Daniel Defoe scored two goals, Michael Bradley “owned” the midfield, Julio Cesar stopped a few dangerous shots and the rest hang in. “W” is “W” and this is most important to anybody on this side of the boarder.
I hope for a good season.

Tim Leiweke is a proven winner. It was he, who signed David Beckham to MLS and Los Angeles Galaxy was able to win MLS Cup twice in a row.
There is a weak link in this organization, in my opinion: coach Ryan Nelsen.
He was appointed by his buddy before Leiweke took over the entire reign.
Coach Nelsen is a very inexperienced one, he never coached any serious team. He just moved straight from playing in Premier League (Tottenham of London) to Toronto.
Leiweke didn’t want to change the existing structure too much, but I am more than certain that after few losses the days of the coach will be counted.

Tomorrow – the home season opener at the BMO Field. The win will show a nice continuation of the progress. The loss may mean first yellow card for the coach.

And here, just for fun a nice example of differences in coaching between Scottish and Spanish. Check about 3min 30s into the link:


… Free kick – by Bogdan Poprawski Ph.D.

Soccer, throughout many generations already, has been seen as a „psychological safety valve” among players, coaches and fans as well.Why soccer? Because this is amazingly popular sport, the biggest in the world, very easy to understand, to play, to get engaged and hugely emotional.It is simple, since there is only one objective – to win. It doesn’t matter what league, country - only the win matters. The winners are happy, the losers – unhappy. Black and white. Simple.

When we have a look at the nowadays societies, no matter from which corner of the world, we see that people are frustrated in their ordinary lives and attending the local soccer games gives them a chance to get rid of their frustration, bad energy. After all, the soccer fans are meeting at the audience similar people, with similar problem and similar needs to be fulfilled.Nothing surprising here. People feel strong in the pack.

A very long winter made Polish fans feeling „uneasy” it seems, because right at the beginning of the spring season the fans of Legia Warsaw and Jagiellonia Bialystok got into a real fight during the game.It doesn’t matter who started or who won. For those people – it was the “bad energy” that had to be used, unfortunately – in wrong way.

The police, clubs or local authorities’ actions won’t be very effective in longer term. Sure – closing the stadium for fans may help in the short run, but the reason lies deeper, somewhere in the social behaviours.

Last summer players and coaches of our Lakeshore United visited Warsaw to see Legia qualifying match do the European Cup. We were unpleasantly approached by the Legia fans, who thought that we were Wisla Krakow’s fans – just because of our red shirt! I, personally, felt a bit terrified. Ridiculous.

Interesting observation from Canada: The fans of Leafs and the fans of Montreal Canadians don’t even show this kind of behavior, although the animosity between clubs has 100 years of tradition.

Similarly - the Toronto FC fans are made of a different cloth.

I guess – Europe is different and maybe, maybe the only way of changing such attitude is a long term approach against hooligans like … the long term policy against smoking in Canada.

Once the hooliganism becomes condemned socially, the safety and fun will return to the soccer stadiums.

Just for fun: check the link below about ideas for swearing at the soccer game  : )




©- lakeshoreunited.ca