Today we saw the end of a dynasty. Just like how the Heat's 4 year reign came to an end, so did the Spain National Football team's. Chile defeated the Spaniards 2-0, eliminating them from the World Cup, making them the 5th defending champ to be eliminated from group play (1950 Italy, 1966 Brazil, France 2010, Italy 2010). The Spaniards have been outscored 7-1 so far in Brazil, still with a final match against Australia Monday with only their pride on the line. The Aussies have given both Netherlands and Chile a run for their money, so expect them to really challenge Spain. A loss for Spain could make this the first year in the World Cup they go winless. The only thing to blame this on is age and slow legs. Chile looked so much more faster and younger then Spain, who only has 4 players under the age of 25. Last summer may have been a sign when they were beat 3-0 by Brazil in the Confederation Cup final. Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Andre Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, David Villa, and Fernando Torres were the main pieces during that run but all of them are 30-n-over and today was a sign that youth is needed.
Fortunately when people say a Dynasty has ended, that also mean a lot of success came before it. Spain from 2008 til now has dominated the World. They won the Euro Cup in 2008 and 2012, which comes every 4 years, and the 2010 World Cup. They are the only team to have won 3 consecutive major titles, thanks to their Tiki-Taka style of play and also some great defense. We will have to rank them with some of the greatest football dynasties like the Germans of the 70s ('72, '80 Euro Cup, '74 World Cup) and Brazil's 12 year run ('58, '62, '70 World Cup). I would call myself an average soccer fan but I do understand what I saw today, an end of a very dominant generation.
Another impressive performance by the Netherlands, this time showing that they can come from behind. The Aussies went up 2-1 in the 54th minute thanks to a successful penalty kick from Mile Jedinak, The Aussies scored 2 unanswered goals and held a small but convincing lead over a team that just beat up the defending champs 5-1. Netherlands never loss their cool though, 4 minutes later, Robin Van Persie scored the tying goal and 10 minutes after that, Memphis Depay from long range scored the go ahead game winner. Even though the Aussies loss, this was still a valiant effort by them.
The Flying Dutchmen are on a mission this year. They already captured revenge, demolishing the Spaniards, the team that defeated them in the 2010 World Cup Final. They're offense looks fast and powerful, and even though it was against a mediocre Australian squad, they showed that they can score when they really need too. Are they the best team so far? Depending on how Germany do Sunday, I would say yes. They have the most goals out of all the teams with 8, second is Chile with 5. Netherlands and Chile we face each other Monday, both will advance but winner will be undefeated in group play.
Vin Scully has been broadcasting for the Dodgers since 1950, back when they were still located in Brooklyn. The 86 year old announcer made Kershaw's no-hitter that much better with majestic baseball voice and I just want to say that was definitely a classic moment for me that I had to speak on.
Since then, 14 pitchers have thrown no-hitters while playing in a Dodgers uniform, time to add Kershaw to that list. Kershaw struck out a career high 15 batters to achieve his first career no-hitter. Not only was he dominant but he was dominant against a strong lineup, Rockies with a team batting average of .284, best in the majors. Never once did Kershaw look out of control, all his pitches were on point and unhittable. He had an opportunity at a perfect game, but in the 7th inning, shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, made a bad throw on a routine play to 1st, that cost the Dodgers and Kershaw an error in the books. Still after that, Kershaw didn't lose his cool and went on to retire the next 8 batters, striking out 5. Fans have claimed Kershaw the next Sandy Koufax, who has 4 no-hitters in his MLB career, and I can say Kershaw is on his way to being that. This is a power pitcher with unbelievable control. I'm sure this won't be the last no-hitter we see from the 26 year old.