Soccer

DC United-Toronto FC preview

753972.png

DC United-Toronto FC preview

D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen spent his 35th birthday on Thursday flying from San Jose to Toronto. Along with checked baggage, Olsen and United are saddled with mixed emotions ahead of Saturdays road match against Toronto FC and it has nothing to do with long airport delays that slowed their journey to Canada.

The mid-week 5-3 loss to the Earthquakes ended Uniteds seven-game unbeaten run. It was a curious game. Dwayne De Rosario provided the dream start for the Black and Red with a wonderful goal eight minutes into the match. The Earthquakes responded later in the half with three goals in a 12-minute span and led at halftime 3-1.

I was proud of the way the guys fought and came back, Olsen said. Overall, Im disappointed in the loss, but there is a lot of fight in this team, and when we get healthy, I think that we are going to be OK.

As United prepares to face winless Toronto, health and fatigue are issues. With three goals and 21 shots Uniteds offense is threatening. On defense injuries have led to inconsistency. The absence of center back Emiliano Dudar, who Olsen described as a stud this season, because of a hamstring was glaring against the Earthquakes.

I think we missed a center back today, and thats not against Perry (Kitchen) or Robbie (Russell), but theyre not center backs, Olsen said after the loss in San Jose. Dudars out, and Dejan (Jakovic), they would have really helped out on a big (guy) like (Steven) Lenhart, who had a good day.

Against the earthquakes, both Kitchen and Russell logged time in the middle of the defense. Kitchen started on the back line, but was shifted to defensive midfield after Marcelo Saragosa struggled there in the first half. Russell then moved into the middle with Andy Najar introduced in Russells position at right back.

Against that backdrop the focus remains on Uniteds defense against Toronto. If Kitchen remains in midfield, the question will be who will partner centrally with Brandon McDonald. Dudar is not an option and Jakovic is listed as questionable with a sprained ankle. Also, goalkeeper Joe Willis should not be blamed for allowing five goals, but Bill Hamid is eager for his second start of the season.

At forward, designated player Hamdi Salihi came off the bench and was finally able to open his United scoring account. Salihis first goal probably should have come earlier, but he was denied by the crossbar and an incredible save by Vancouvers Joe Cannon. On Wednesday Salihi was able to run on to a precise pass from De Rosario and chip it over charging Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.

With Rapid Vienna in Austria, Salihi scored 36 goals in 67 appearances. Salihis last start was on April 14 against New England when he was pulled after 65 lackluster minutes. Now Olsen must weigh whether to reward Salihi with a start against keeping Chris Pontius and Maicon Santos together.

He (Salihi) looked sharp, Olsen said. He was able to connect on some passes and made some nice runs. Thats what he does. He makes great runs. If we are able to find like De Ro did then he is going to score goals. Its not been an easy road, but he has been a real pro.

Pontius and Santos have formed a strong strike partnership, but failed to connect with each other Wednesday against the Earthquakes. United also needs to get its wide players more involved. Nick De Leon and Danny Cruz were not as effective as in previous games and with Saturday marking the third game in seven days change is possible.

Toronto FC is looking for change in the form of results. The Reds as they are known have yet to win in seven MLS matches. As a team they have six goals and seven assists. De Rosario alone has seven assists and Santos has six goals by himself. They also played mid-week and drew 0-0 to Montreal in the group stage of the Canadian Championship.

I have watched them and they (Toronto FC) are better than their record. Olsen noted. They are low on confidence but can be dangerous because they might just say lets go play free to make the best of the situation.

World Cup Viewing Guide: The best soccer bars in Washington, D.C.

russia.2018.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

World Cup Viewing Guide: The best soccer bars in Washington, D.C.

Although the United States men's national soccer team is irrelevant to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there are still plenty of reasons to watch this summer. 

32 countries are making a run for the Cup, which includes both Iceland and Panama making their debuts in worldwide competition. 

In 2014, almost half of the world's population knew what was at stake. 

3.2 billion people tuned in to watch that year. 

Before venturing out to watch this year's madness, consider this list of local bars in the D.C. area: 

Caddies Bar and Grill (4922 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814) 

  • This sports bar located in the heart of Bethesda is offering $9.99 lunch specials Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Happy hour: Monday-Friday from 3-8 p.m. featuring $12 Bud Light, Miller Lite and Yuengling pitchers
  • @caddiescordell

 

Dock FC (1400 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002) 

  • Located in a former warehouse, this location is a hub for soccer fans in the D.C. area. 
  • World Cup Package: a pitcher of beer with nachos, churros and wings for $50 
  • Bucket special: 6 beers for $30 (Modelo Especial, Peroni, Heineken & PBR)
  • Food comes from two separate kitchens under the same ownership
  • Tacos/nachos comes from La Puerta Verde
  • Ari's Diner provides burgers, fries and breakfast foods 
  • Four projectors and a slew of TV's 
  • @DockFCDC

(Photo courtesy: @DockFCDC) 

Fado Irish Pub (808 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001) 

  • Guinness is widely argued as the top beer that goes hand in hand with watching soccer and Fado Irish Pub gives you both
  • $5 drink specials include Guinness, Goose Island, Red Bull and Red Bull Orange
  • June Beer of the Month: Harp Lager 
  • Bucket special: 5 beers for $25 
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday to 2 a.m., Friday-Sunday to 3 a.m.
  • Limited $9.95 brunch deals (avocado toast and Irish breakfasts) 
  • Management is taking reservations throughout the month 
  • @fadodc

 

Franklin Hall (1348 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009) 

Per management, here is the official schedule for the World Cup at Franklin Hall: 

  • Saturday games: $3 Pints, $8 Liters of Narragansett 
  • Sunday games: $4 Pints of Founders Solid Gold, $7 Liters of Miller Lite
  • Tuesday games: $4 Port City Optimal Wit, $6 Giant soft Pretzel with Port City beer cheese
  • Wednesday games: $2 off all Liters and free toppings on all sausages
  • @FranklinHallDC

 

Lou's City Bar (1400 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20010 )

  • Located next to Bar Roubaix, which was recently named the official bar of Poland, this NW DC area offers a diverse soccer atmosphere
  • Heineken specials: $4 drafts and $16 pitchers 
  • Fans from Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico crowd this bar and enjoy special dishes from each country
  • @Louscitybar

The Lucky Bar (1221 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036) 

  • Set to open early throughout the World Cup, Lucky Bar offers special Russian foods for breakfast and lunch
  • Cocktails include The Putin, Moscow Mule and White & Black Russians 
  • Per management, the atmosphere has been electric throughout the first week with big crowds for Denmark, Iceland and Russia 
  • @luckybardc

 

Public Bar (1214 18th St NW B, Washington, DC 20036) 

  • Heineken specials: $5 drafts and $30 buckets 
  • A hot spot for Mexicans, Peruvians, Colombians and Argentinians 
  • Per management, a Mariachi band will be playing ahead of Mexico's match on 6/23 
  • @PUBLICBAR

 

The Queen Vic   (1206 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002) 

  • This Old English Pub in NE DC offers a traditional British menu for soccer fans throughout the World Cup 
  • Draft specials: $5 Carlsberg and Jameson 
  • Per management, if there is an England match, it will be on with sound throughout the entire bar
  • @thequeenvicdc 

 

Have thoughts on my Top 8? Hop on Twitter and let me know @BobTrosset. 

 

 

2018 World Cup: Group Stage results, scores, TV Schedule, and how to watch

world_cup_flags_usat.png
USA Today Sports

2018 World Cup: Group Stage results, scores, TV Schedule, and how to watch

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia begins Thursday, with group stage play until the knockout round begins June 27.

Although the United States Men's National Team did not qualify, the field is set for an unpredictable tournament featuring the best soccer players in the World. 

Brazil, Germany and Spain — as they seem to always be — are the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup. Before they can get there, though, they'll have to advance out of the group stage.

The 2018 World Cup airs on FOX and FS1. You can stream World Cup games online with Fox Sports Go and the Fox Sports Go app.

Here's everything you need to know about the group stage fixtures.

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP HOW TO WATCH: 

GROUP STAGE TELEVISION SCHEDULE

Group A schedule, teams, standings, results, scores

Group A Teams: Russia (70), Egypt (45), Saudi Arabia (67), Uruguay (14)
Group A Schedule:
June 14: 
Russia 5, Saudi Arabia 0
June 15: Uruguay 1, Egypt 0
June 19: Russia vs. Egypt. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 20: Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia. 11:00 a.m. FOX
June 25: Uruguay vs. Russia. 10:00 a.m. FOX
June 25: Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt. 10:00 a.m. FS1

Group B schedule, teams, standings

Group B Teams: Iran (37), Morocco (41), Portugal (4), Spain (10)
Group B Schedule:
June 15: 
Iran 1, Morocco 0
June 15: Spain 3, Portugal 3
June 20: Portugal vs. Morocco. 8:00 a.m. FS1
June 20: Iran vs. Spain.  2:00 p.m. FOX
June 25: Spain vs. Morocco. 2:00 p.m. FS1
June 25: Iran vs. Portugal.  2:00 p.m. FOX

Group C schedule, teams, standings

Group C Teams: Australia (36), Denmark (12), France (7), Peru (11)
Group C Schedule:
June 16: 
France 2, Australia 1
June 16: Denmark 1, Peru 0
June 21: Denmark vs. Australia. 8:00 a.m. FS1
June 21: France vs. Peru.  11:00 a.m. FOX
June 26: Australia vs. Peru. 10:00 a.m. FS1
June 26: Denmark vs. France. 10:00 a.m. FOX

Group D schedule, teams, standings

Group D Teams: Argentina (5), Croatia (20), Iceland (22), Nigeria (48)
Group D Schedule
June 16: 
Argentina 1, Iceland 1
June 16: Croatia 2, Nigeria 0
June 21: Argentina vs. Croatia. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 22: Nigeria vs. Iceland. 11:00 a.m. FOX
June 26: Nigeria vs. Argentina. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 26: Iceland vs. Croatia. 2:00 p.m. FS1

Group E schedule, teams, standings

Group E Teams: Brazil (2), Costa Rica (23), Serbia (34), Switzerland (6)
Group E Schedule
June 17: 
Serbia 1, Costa Rica 0
June 17: Brazil 1, Switzerland 1
June 22: Brazil vs. Costa Rica 8:00 a.m. FS1
June 22: Serbia vs. Switzerland. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 27: Serbia vs. Brazil. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 27: Switzerland vs. Costa Rica. 2:00 p.m. FS1

Group F schedule, teams, standings

Group F Teams: Germany (1), Korea Republic (57), Mexico (15), Sweden (24)
Group F Schedule
June 17: 
Mexico 1, Germany 0
June 18: Sweden 1, Korea Republic 0
June 23: Korea Republic vs. Mexico.  11:00 a.m. FOX
June 23: Germany vs. Sweden.  2:00 p.m. FOX
June 27: Korea Republic vs. Germany. 10:00 a.m. FS1
June 27: Mexico vs. Sweden. 10:00 a.m. FOX

Group G schedule, teams, standings

Group G Teams: Belgium (3), England (12), Panama (55), Tunisia (21)
Group G Schedule
June 18: 
Belgium 3, Panama 0
June 18: Tunisia vs. England. 2:00 p.m. FS1
June 23: Belgium vs. Tunisia. 8:00 a.m. FOX
June 24: England vs. Panama 8:00 a.m. FS1
June 28: Panama vs. Tunisia. 2:00 p.m. FS1
June 28: England vs. Belgium.  2:00 p.m. FOX

Group H schedule, teams, standings

Group H Teams: Colombia (16), Japan (61), Poland (8), Senegal (27)
Group H Schedule
June 19: 
Colombia vs. Japan. 8:00 a.m. FS1
June 19:Poland vs. Senegal. 11:00 a.m. FOX
June 24: Japan vs. Senegal. 11:00 a.m. FOX
June 24: Poland vs. Colombia. 2:00 p.m. FOX
June 28: Japan vs. Poland. 10:00 a.m. FS1
June 28: Senegal vs. Colombia. 10:00 a.m. FOX

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP SCHEDULE

Group Stage: Thursday, June 15 to Thursday, June 28
Round of 16: Saturday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 3
Quarterfinals: Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7
Semifinals: Tuesday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 11
Third Place Game: Saturday, July 14
World Cup Final: Sunday, July 15

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE, RESULTS, SCORES:

Thursday, June 14: 
Russia 5, Saudi Arabia 0 (Group A)

 Friday, June 15: 
Uruguay 1, Egypt 0 (Group A)
Iran 1, Morocco 0 (Group B)
Portugal 3, Spain 3 (Group B)

Saturday. June 16: 
France 2, Australia 1 (Group C)
Argentina 1, Iceland 1 (Group D)
Denmark 1, Peru 0 (Group C)
Croatia 2, Nigeria 0 (Group D)

Sunday, June 17:
Serbia 1, Costa Rica 0(Group E)
Mexico 1, Germany 0 (Group F)
Brazil 1, Switzerland 1 (Group E)

Monday, June 18:
Sweden 1, Korea Republic 0 (Group F)
Belgium vs. Panama. 11:00 a.m. FS1 (Group G)
Tunisia vs. England. 2:00 p.m. FS1 (Group G)

Tuesday, June 19: 
Colombia vs. Japan. 8:00 a.m. FS1 (Group H)
Poland vs. Senegal. 11:00 a.m. FOX (Group H)
Russia vs. Egypt. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group A)

Wednesday, June 20: 
Portugal vs. Morocco. 8:00 a.m. FS1 (Group B)
Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia. 11:00 a.m. FOX (Group A)
Iran vs. Spain.  2:00 p.m. FOX (Group B) 

Thursday, June 21: 
Denmark vs. Australia. 8:00 a.m. FS1 (Group C)
France vs. Peru.  11:00 a.m. FOX (Group C)
Argentina vs. Croatia. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group D)

Friday, June 22:
Brazil vs. Costa Rica 8:00 a.m. FS1 (Group E)
Nigeria vs. Iceland. 11:00 a.m. FOX (Group D)
Serbia vs. Switzerland. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group E)

Saturday, June 23:
Belgium vs. Tunisia. 8:00 a.m. FOX (Group G)
Korea Republic vs. Mexico.  11:00 a.m. FOX (Group F)
Germany vs. Sweden.  2:00 p.m. FOX (Group F)

Sunday, June 24:
England vs. Panama 8:00 a.m. FS1 (Group G)
Japan vs. Senegal. 11:00 a.m. FOX (Group H)
Poland vs. Colombia. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group H)

Monday, June 25: 
Uruguay vs. Russia. 10:00 a.m. FOX (Group A)
Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt. 10:00 a.m. FS1 (Group A)
Spain vs. Morocco. 2:00 p.m. FS1 (Group B)
Iran vs. Portugal.  2:00 p.m. FOX (Group B)

Tuesday, June 26: 
Australia vs. Peru. 10:00 a.m. FS1 (Group C)
Denmark vs. France. 10:00 a.m. FOX (Group C)
Nigeria vs. Argentina. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group D)
Iceland vs. Croatia. 2:00 p.m. FS1 (Group D)

Wednesday, June 27:
Korea Republic vs. Germany. 10:00 a.m. FS1(Group F)
Mexico vs. Sweden. 10:00 a.m. FOX (Group F)
Serbia vs. Brazil. 2:00 p.m. FOX (Group E)
Switzerland vs. Costa Rica. 2:00 p.m. FS1(Group E)

Thursday, June 28: 
Senegal vs. Colombia. 10:00 a.m. FOX  (Group H)
Japan vs. Poland. 10:00 a.m. FS1 (Group H)
Panama vs. Tunisia. 2:00 p.m. FS1 (Group G)
England vs. Belgium.  2:00 p.m. FOX (Group G)

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP LOCATIONS

Moscow: Luzhniki Stadium (81,000), Otkrythye Arena (44,9292)
Saint Petersburg: Krestovsky Stadium (66,881)
Sochi: Fisht Olympic Stadium (47,659)
Ekaterinburg: Central Stadium (35,000)
Saransk: Mordovia Arena (45,015)
Rostov-on-Don: Rostov Arena (43,702)
Kazan: Kazan Arena (41,105)
Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad Stadium (35,00)
Samara: Cosmos Arena (44,918)
Volgograd: Volgograd Arena (45,015)
Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium (44,899)

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP TOP-10 ODDS & NOTABLES

Brazil: 4-1
Germany: 19-4
Spain: 13-2
France: 7-1
Argentina: 9-1
Belgium: 11-1
England: 16-1
Portugal: 22-1
Uruguay: 28-1
Croatia: 35-1
Russia: 60-1
Mexico: 100-1
Iceland: 300-1
Costa Rica: 500-1
Panama: 1000-1