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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Panama Men's National Soccer Team News

March 31, 2015 - Blas Perez & Luis Tejada score in win over Costa Rica
"First-half goals from Panama's Blas Perez and Luis Tejada condemned visiting Costa Rica to its first defeat in eight matches.... Perez — tied as the top scorer in MLS this season with three goals in as many games — gave Panama a well-deserved lead after 17 minutes. The FC Dallas star flicked the ball up and volleyed it past Costa Rica goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado — momentarily moving level with Tejada as Panama's all-time leading scorer with 37 goals. However, Tejada — who plies his trade with Juan Aurich — edged clear again in the all-time standings eight minutes later, reacting quickest to side-foot a rebound from close range. Costa Rica pulled a goal back midway through the second half following a foul on Marco Urena. Harold Cummings was ruled to have brought down the striker and Alvaro Saborio — Costa Rica's third-leading scorer — made no mistake from the spot, sending Jaime Penedo the wrong way." - Goal

March 27, 2015 - Román Torres scores in 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago
"Con un gol del defensor Román Torres, Panamá superó hoy por 1-0 a domicilio a Trinidad y Tobago en un partido amistoso jugado en Puerto España, capital de la nación caribeña. El seleccionado centroamericano marcó el gol de la victoria al minuto 16, mediante un acrobático cabezazo de Torres tras un centro desde la banda derecha lanzado por su compatriota Ricardo Buitrago." - LaVanguardia

March 13, 2015 - roster named for friendlies
"Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has extended invitations to 20 players ahead of two international friendlies later in the month. The Canaleros will first travel to the Caribbean for a March 27 encounter at Trinidad & Tobago, before returning home to take on another CONCACAF rival -- Costa Rica -- on March 31 at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. The roster consists of 16 foreign-based players and four from the domestic league, including Arabe Unido defender Chin Hormechea, who was named to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship’s Best XI in January. Galkeeper Luis Mejia (Fenix/Uruguay) and forward Jorman Aguilar (CA Independiente/ Panama) received their first call-ups." - CONCACAF

January 29, 2015 - friendly roster call-ups
"Three MLS players were included in Panama’s 21-man roster, announced Thursday, that will face the US national team in a Feb. 8 friendly at StubHub Center. LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres and FC Dallas forward Blas Perez were taped by Colombian head coach Hernan Dario Gomez. Penedo is coming off a MLS Cup championship in his first full season as the Galaxy starter, appearing in 29 games and making 81 saves. Perez scored 11 goals and recorded six assists for FCD last season. And Torres had three goals and an assist in his first full season with Colorado last year." - MLS

November 14, 2014 - Muñoz, Godoy & Nurse score in win over El Salvador
"Panama defeated host El Salvador for the second time in slightly more than two months, posting a 3-1 victory in an international friendly on Friday at the Estadio Cuscatlan.... Nicolas Muñoz struck in the 21st minute to give the visitor a 1-0 lead.  The 32-year-old forward, who plays club football with current Salvadoran champion Isidro Metapan, did well to position himself in between four defenders to slide a right-sided cross home from the edge of the six-yard box. Four minutes later, Anibal Godoy doubled the advantage, delivering a left-footed effort from 25-yards out inside the right post. The Salvadorans got on the scoreboard in the 39th minute as Alexander Larin converted a penalty kick. Roberto Nurse completed the scoreline by finding the back of the net from seven yards with five minutes remaining in normal time." - CONCACAF

October 28, 2014 - roster updates
"Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez announced Monday a list of 19 players for Panama’s friendlies against host El Salvador and visiting Canada on November 14 and 18, respectively. One of the more notable call-ups is César Vallejo striker Luis Tejada, who hasn’t played for the Canaleros since a 4-0 loss at Brazil in June.  The 32-year-old player featured in 14 World Cup qualifiers for Brazil 2014. Also returning to the fold is Isidro Metapan striker Nicolas Muñoz, who has 12 career goals in the CONCACAF Champions League." - CONCACAF

October 5, 2014 - roster updates
"Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez revealed Saturday his roster for an international friendly at Mexico on October 12 in Querétaro.... Among the 20 players, five ply their trade domestically.  All others are based with clubs in the Americas, with the exception of two: defender Luis Henríquez (Lech Poznan / Poland) and Aníbal Godoy (Honved / Hungary). Forward Blas Perez and defender Roman Torres, each of whom tallied two goals in the Central American Cup, were also called up." - CONCACAF

September 27, 2014 - Roberto Chen suffers ACL injury
"Malaga announced Friday that Panama international Roberto Chen has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.  He suffered the injury during training earlier in the day. Chen, who helped his country to a third-place finish in last month’s Central American Cup, will undergo surgery next week." - CONCACAF

September 13, 2014 - Roman Torres scores in win over El Salvador
"Panama played the final 14 minutes with only 10 players, but held on to defeat El Salvador 1-0 in the Central American Cup’s match for third place on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Roman Torres scored the only goal in the first half, as the Panamanians finished among the top three for the fifth time in the last six editions of the tournament. In the 76th minute, Armando Cooper was shown a red card in his own end of the field for a hard tackle on El Salvador’s Denis Pineda at the left-sided corner flag. The fiercely contested encounter was decided in the fourth minute.  A right-sided corner kick by Rolando Escobar appeared to take a slight – but intentional -- deflection off the head of teammate Gabriel Gomez in the direction of an unmarked Torres, who found the back of the net from seven-yards out." - CONCACAF

September 10, 2014 - Perez & Torres score in win over Nicaragua
"Panama posted a 2-0 win over Nicaragua in the Central American Cup (CCA) on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium, but fell one goal short of forcing a drawing of lots with Costa Rica for a place in the tournament’s final.... Blas Perez and Roman Torres scored late second-half goals within seconds of each other for the victory. In a match that looked destined to finish scoreless, Perez gave Panama a 1-0 lead in the 81st minute.  Nicaragua struggled to clear from inside its own box, ultimately kicking the ball in the direction of Gabriel Torres, who was stationed beyond 18 yards on the right.  The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup’s co-Golden Boot winner fired towards the net, only for Perez to stick out a foot and redirect into the back of Nicaragua’s net from close range. One minute later, Eric Davis delivered a corner kick from the left side that Torres rose high to head home to double the advantage." -  CONCACAF

September 1, 2014 - Central American Cup roster
  • Goalkeepers: Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy, USA); Oscar Mc Farlane (Pérez Zeledón, CRC) 
  • Defenders: Roman Torres (Millonarios FC, COL); Roberto Chen (Malaga, ESP); Harold Cummings (Juan Aurich, PER); Adolfo Machado (Saprissa, CRC); Richard Peralta (Alianza, SLV); Carlos Rodriguez (Fortaleza FC, COL); Erick Davis (Sporting San Miguelito, PAN); Ángel Patrick (Arabe Unido, PAN) 
  • Midfielders: Gabriel Gómez (Herediano, CRC); Amílcar Henríquez (Arabe Unido, PAN); Rolando Escobar (Deportivo Anzoategui, VEN); Armando Cooper (Godoy Cruz, ARG); Alberto Quintero (Mineros de Zacatecas, MEX); Darwin Pinzon (Sporting San Miguelito, PAN)
  • Forwards: Alfredo Stephens (Chorrillo FC, PAN); Nicolás Muñoz (Isidro Metapan, SLV); Roberto Nurse (Correcaminos UAT, MEX); Blas Perez (FC Dallas, USA)

Mexico Men's National Soccer Team News

March 31, 2015 - Eduardo Herrera scores in win over Paraguay
"Eduardo Herrera scored with his first touch in international football, netting the only goal in Mexico's 1-0 triumph over Paraguay in Kansas City on Tuesday. The 26-year-old striker volleyed Juan Carlos Medina's free kick home at the back post in just the third minute at Arrowhead Stadium, and while el Tri had the better of the chances for the rest of the match, they had to settle for successive one-goal wins." - Copa America

March 28, 2015 - Javier Hernandez scores in win over Ecuador
"Javier Hernandez moved a step closer to overhauling Jared Borgetti on Mexico's all-time scoring list after helping Miguel Herrera's men to a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in Saturday's international friendly. Hernandez scored the only goal of the match at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the 14th minute - moving second alongside Cuauhtemoc Blanco on 39 goals. The 26-year-old - on loan at Real Madrid - is now just seven goals adrift of Borgetti." - Fox Sports

March 25, 2015 - roster pre-updates
"Midfielder Hector Herrera and defender Miguel Layun will return to their clubs after El Tri's March 28 friendly with Ecuador and will not feature against Paraguay on March 31. Porto want Herrera to be ready for their April 2 Portuguese league cup semi-final against Maritimo, while promotion-chasing Watford hope to include Layun in their side for the clash with Derby County on April 3. Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera said the players' departure is part of the relationship the national team has with clubs." - Copa America

March 23, 2015 - Francisco Javier Rodríguez & Rafael Marquez withdraw
"Mexico have revealed that defender Francisco Javier Rodríguez has dropped out of their squad for the friendlies against Ecuador and Paraguay. The experienced centre-back – who has 98 international caps to his name – has withdrawn due a family problem.... It means Herrera, who initially named a 25-man squad, will now have only 23 players at his disposal with Rafael Marquez also having withdrawn through injury." - Copa America

March 18, 2015 - roster named for Ecuador & Paraguay friendlies
  • Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga - Spain), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)
  • Defenders: Julio Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Maza Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres), Oswaldo Alanis (Santos), Paul Aguilar (America), Adrian Aldrete (Santos), Diego Reyes (Porto - Portugal), Miguel Layun (Watford - England), Hector Moreno (Espanyol - Spain)
  • Midfielders: Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon), Javier Guemez (Tijuana), Juan Carlos Medina (Atlas), Jurgen Damm (Pachuca), Hector Herrera (Porto - Portugal), Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal), Andres Guardado (PSV - Netherlands), Jesus Corona (FC Twente - Netherlands)
  • Forwards: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (Real Madrid - Spain), Raul Jimenez (Atletico Madrid - Spain), Eduardo Herrera (Pumas), Gio dos Santos (Villarreal - Spain)
March 9, 2015 - roster updates
"Head coach Miguel Herrera has named 12 European-based players who will make up part of his squad for the forthcoming friendlies with Ecuador and Paraguay. El Tri, who will once again be competing at the Copa América this summer in Chile, take on Group A rivals Ecuador in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 28. Herrera’s side then head to Kansas City for their clash with Paraguay, who are in Copa America Group B, for their second game on US soil. Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela, who ended a lengthy international exile late last year to return to Herrera’s plans, misses out as he is currently sidelined after undergoing knee surgery. But Real Madrid’s on-loan Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez makes the cut, despite his relative lack of action following his summer switch." - Copa America

November 17, 2014 - roster changes
"Mexico manager Miguel Herrera has named his starting XI for Tuesday's friendly against Belarus and will make 10 changes from the side which defeated Netherlands 3-2 on Wednesday. Right wing-back Paul Aguilar is the only player who will start both matches, with Herrera making wholesale alterations for the second of two November matches El Tri are playing in Europe.... In midfield, Jonathan dos Santos is set to start as the holding midfielder and earn his first start for the national team since a 2012 friendly against Colombia. He's joined in midfield by Jesus "Tecatito" Corona, who assisted Carlos Vela's second goal against the Dutch, and Alfonso Gonzalez. The forwards will be Gio dos Santos and Raul Jimenez, who replaced goalscorers Carlos Vela and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez in the 76th minute of the match in Amsterdam." - Copa America

November 12, 2014 - Carlos Vela scores brace, Javier Hernandez hits winner over Netherlands
"In a rematch of their round of 16 game at this past summer’s World Cup, Mexico avenged its loss with a 3-2 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday in a game played on Dutch soil. The difference was Carlos Vela, who scored twice upon his return from a self-imposed exile.  For nearly 3½ years, Vela had refused callups after he was suspended from the team for disciplinary reasons in late 2010 and heavily criticized for his performances in 2011. It took only eight minutes to remind Mexico what they had missed. Vela had stepped into some vacant space outside the Dutch box and unleashed a rocket, a bending effort into the far top corner that left Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul helpless. In the 62nd minute, Vela put El Tri ahead a second time after Wesley Sneijder’s own strike from distance had evened the game back up just after halftime, when he’d brought down a poor clearance from the Mexican defense. This time, Jesus Manuel Corona, who had only just come on, connected with Vela over the top for the forward to lash his finish through Krul. But it was Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez who ultimately won the game. He was played through in the 69th minute, staying onside by no more than a few inches, then circled Krul to slipped in Mexico’s third. All the Dutch could offer in response was Daley Blind’s shot from distance five minutes later, when he ran up the gut and saw his shot deflected by Diego Reyes to wrong-foot goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa." - Fox Sports

November 4, 2014 - roster updates
"El Tri is set to take on the Netherlands and Belarus in friendlies on November 12th and 18th, respectively, with both matches taking place on European soil. Miguel Herrera had previously called in ten Europe-based players for these games, and he has now completed the roster with the addition of twelve domestic-based players. Querétaro’s George Corral, Atlas’s Arturo González, and Santos Laguna’s Adrián Aldrete are somewhat surprising call ups, while América’s Oribe Peralta is a notable absence." - Soccer, Translated

October 28, 2014 - Carlos Vela gets a call
"Carlos Vela has been called into Mexico's camp for November friendly matches against the Netherlands and Belarus. The Real Sociedad forward, who last night missed out on being named La Liga's best striker in 2013-14 after being placed on the shortlist, hasn't represented his country since 2011 because of various disputes. Miguel Herrera had hinted at a call-up for these two matches and, despite a news conference from the player that seemed to indicate he would not accept a call, has called Vela into camp." - Goal

October 12, 2014 - Erick Torres scores in win over Panama
Second-half substitute Erick Torres struck in the 89th minute to give Mexico a 1-0 victory over Panama in an international friendly on Sunday at the Estadio Corregidora Stadium.... Torres’ goal came as a result of being in the right place at the right time.  After some patient possession play, Miguel Angel Herrera unleashed a right-footed shot from 25-yards out.  The ball bounced in front of goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane, off his chest and into the air.  Oribe Peralta rushed in for a header, only for MacFarlane to apply the slightest of deflections.  It fell to Torres fortuitously and the Chivas USA standout was able to hit the back of the net with his right foot from six-yards out." - CONCACAF

October 9, 2014 - Javier Hernandez & Oswaldo Alanis score in win over Honduras
"Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez made the most of his first start for Mexico in almost a year as he scored an early goal for El Tri that helped defeat Honduras 2-0 on Thursday night. Chicharito’s goal was his 37th scored for El Tri and the victory marked the first time Mexico has defeated Honduras in over five years. Chicharito scored in the 21st minute after receiving a terrific assist from fellow striker, Oribe Peralta. With the goal Chicharito is now two goals shy of tying Cuahtemoc Blanco for second place on Mexico’s all time leading scorer list. Jared Borgetti is the current record holder with over 46 goals tallied while playing for El Tri. Newcomer, Oswaldo Alanis, scored the second goal for Mexico in the 36th minute off of a terrific set piece. Marco Fabian took the corner kick and placed it perfectly in front of the net for Alanis to head in easily." - Latin Times

October 2, 2014 - roster updates
"Mexico coach Miguel Herrera finalised his list of players for El Tri's October friendlies, adding Tijuana Xolos midfielder Javier Guemez, but leaving out Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona. El Tri will play two friendlies in October: Oct. 9 vs. Honduras at Victor Manuel Reyna stadium in Chiapas and on Oct. 12 vs. Panama at Queretaro. Herrera, who named the Europe-based players last week, said there was no controversy involved in leaving Corona behind. "He is not off the team. I would like to look at other players, it is nothing more'..... About the addition of Xolos midfielder Javier Guemez, Atlas' Alfonso Arturo Gonzalez and Cruz Azul's Julio Cesar Dominguez, Herrera said: 'they have earnd the chance, they have been playing very well'.... Last week, Mexico recalled a number of its Europe-based players, including Real Madrid striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and left out Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela. Malaga goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, on loan Rayo Vallecano winger Javier Aquino, Porto's Hector Herrera and Chivas USA's Erick Torres were included with Hernandez. Herrera left out Porto's Diego Reyes and the Villarreal brother duo of Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos.' - ESPN

September 9, 2014 - Miguel Layun scores in win over Bolivia
"Mexico picked up their first win of the 2018 World Cup cycle on Tuesday, besting Bolivia, 1-0, in a friendly. Miguel Layun provided the difference for El Tri, who were the better side in front of a partisan crowd in Denver, CO., but still struggled some with many of their best players missing. Miguel Herrera used few first choice players for this contest as the Mexico manager opted to give some youngsters and some once-exiled players an opportunity. Despite not having the likes of Hector Moreno, Diego Reyes, Carlos Pena, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Hernandez and Raul Jimenez, Mexico were the better side from the start, creating chances within minutes. Their pace overwhelmed Bolivia and in the 18th minute, they got on the scoreboard. A nifty one-two at the top of the box between Javier Orozco and Cubo Torres undid the Bolivia defense, but Cubo's finish wasn't great. It was straight at the goalkeeper, but fortunately for El Tri, Daniel Vaca did not handle the shot well and left a fat rebound for Layun to tap into the back of the net." - SB Nation

June 30, 2014 - Hector Moreno out six months with broken tibia
"The center back suffered a fracture in Mexico's loss to the Netherlands, which will likely keep him out of  action for several months and derail a move to a bigger club. Mexico center back Hector Moreno was carried off just before halftime in El Tri’s 2-1 loss to the Netherlands and is likely to be out for six months. Espanyol’s Moreno fractured his tibia bone while attempting to tackle Arjen Robben and will be operated on in Guadalajara on Tuesday. 'This type of injury requires six months to get back to playing,' doctor Rafael Ortega, who will be carrying out the operation, told Medio Tiempo.' - Goal

June 23, 2014 - Javier Hernandez leads Mexico to win over Croatia
"A three-goal burst in the space of 10 minutes propelled Mexico to a 3-1 win over Croatia in Recife in the final Group A game. Mexico will now head into the Round of 16, where it will face the Netherlands in Fortaleza on Sunday. The two teams played out a sloppy and tetchy match that only came to life when Mexico Coach Miguel Herrera withdrew the ineffective Gio dos Santos and replaced him with striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Hernandez, the Manchester United attacker, galvanized a hitherto stunted attack, and in the 72nd minute, Rafa Marquez rose above Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren to direct a header past Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa to give El Tri the lead. Hernandez set up the second goal three minutes, later, racing downfield to pass to Oribe Peralta on the right wing. Peralta’s low center was met by an unmarked Andres Guardado, who fired home from 12 yards. Hernandez rounded out the Mexican scoring himself in the 82nd minute, when he headed home a corner at the far post." - New York Times

June 13, 2014 - Oribe Peralta scores in win over Cameroon 
"Oribe Peralta scored in the second half to help Mexico to a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in torrential rain Friday, earning El Tri their first World Cup win over an African team and giving them a crucial three points in Group A. Peralta's left-foot shot in the 61st minute justified coach Miguel Herrera's decision to start him ahead of striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, arguably Mexico's best known player. Giovanni Dos Santos had two goals disallowed in a frustrating first half, when Samuel Eto'o hit the post for Cameroon. Peralta broke the deadlock just as thousands of Mexican fans were cheering for Hernandez to come into the game. He swooped after Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje parried a shot by Dos Santos." - San Jose Mercury News

May 31, 2014 - Luis Montes sugffers broken leg
"Midfielder Luis Montes was stretchered off of El Tri’s friendly with Ecuador at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, after fracturing his right tibia and fibula, according to Univision. The 28-year-old Leon player has been ruled out of the World Cup. Montes was driven immediately to a local hospital. The injury occurred in the 35th minute, when Montes challenged for a loose ball with Ecuador’s Segundo Castillo. There was nothing malicious on either player’s part, but Montes came out of the tackle writhing in pain and clutching his lower right leg." - MLS

May 28, 2014 - Miguel Layun scores twice in 3-0 win over Israel
"Miguel Layun scored the first two international goals of his career to lead Mexico to a 3-0 victory over Israel at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night. Layun found the net on either side of half-time and Marco Fabian added another as El Tri won the first of four friendlies before opening their World Cup campaign against Cameroon on June 13. The Mexican Federation used the Israel match to celebrate the career of legendary forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who recently signed with Puebla at age 41 and wore the No. 10 shirt in more than 100 matches for his country. Herrera named his starting line-up on Monday, surprisingly leaving Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez on the bench. Instead, Blanco and Oribe Peralta started up front." - Goal

May 9, 2014 - Word Cup roster named
  • Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)
  • Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio)
  • Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).
  • Rafa Marquez (Leon)
  • Paul Aguilar (America)
  • Andres Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • Miguel Layun (America)
  • Hector Moreno (Espanyol)
  • Diego Reyes (Porto)
  • Francisco Rodriguez (America)
  • Carlos Salcido (Tigres).
  • Isaac Brizuela (Toluca)
  • Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul)
  • Hector Herrera (Porto)
  • Juan Carlos Medina (America)
  • Luis Montes (Leon)
  • Carlos Pena (Leon)
  • Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon).
  • Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal)
  • Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)
  • Raul Jimenez (America)
  • Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna)
  • Alan Pulido (Tigres)

England Men's National Soccer Team News

March 31, 2015 - Andros Townsend scores equalizer in draw with Italy
"Andros Townsend's spectacular strike gave an experimental England line-up a creditable draw against Italy in Turin. Southampton striker Graziano Pelle's first-half header looked to have put Italy on course for victory in this friendly as England struggled to get to grips with the changes made by manager Roy Hodgson after Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier win against Lithuania. England, however, were lifted by the introduction of several substitutes and Townsend capped a second-half display that merited a draw. The Tottenham winger's rising 20-yard drive 11 minutes from time gave Italy's veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon no chance." - BBC

March 27, 2015 - Kane, Rooney, Welbeck & Sterling score in win over Lithuania
"Harry Kane scored 80 seconds into his England debut and Wayne Rooney moved a step closer to Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time goalscoring record in a routine Euro 2016 dismissal of Lithuania at Wembley. Kane - with 29 goals for Tottenham this season - emerged as a substitute after 70 minutes with England already on the way to fifth win from five qualifiers with goals from Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling. The stage was set for the 22-year-old but even the man with Midas touch in front of goal this season would have struggled to believe he would score with his third touch as a full England international, heading in Sterling's cross at the far post. It was the final flourish on an England win that was little more than a formality in a group that surely provides the safest of passages to France next summer for Euro 2016. Rooney got the night off to the perfect start when he headed his 47th goal for England after only six minutes, leaving him just two adrift of Charlton's tally ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Italy in Turin on Tuesday." - BBC

March 19, 2015 - call-ups for Lithuania & Italy matches
"Harry Kane has been called up to the England squad for the first time. The Tottenham Hotspur striker's return of 26 goals in 42 matches has earned him a place in the 24-man party for the upcoming internationals against Lithuania and Italy. Daniel Sturridge, Fabian Delph and Kyle Walker were named in the squad, which was announced on Thursday lunchtime at Wembley, but there was no place for Danny Ings, Ryan Mason or Charlie Austin." - FIFA

November 18, 2014 - Wayne Rooney scores brace in win over Scotland
"Wayne Rooney moved to within three goals of Sir Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record on Tuesday night when he netted twice in his national team’s 3-1 away win over Scotland. The Manchester United striker beat the Scots’ substitute goalkeeper Craig Gordon with a bullet header just two minutes after the break, when a wayward shot from Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere ricocheted around the home side’s penalty area. Rooney later side-footed in England's killer third strike, just two minutes after Scotland had pulled a goal back. The Three Lions had entered the interval at an electric Celtic Park in Glasgow with a slender but deserved 1-0 lead after Wilshere set up club colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a header just past the half-hour mark. " - Manchester United

November 15, 2014 - Wayne Rooney & Danny Welbeck score in 3-1 win over Slovenia
"Wayne Rooney helped England survive a scare against Slovenia on his 100th international appearance as they came from behind to make it four wins from four in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. Rooney was presented with a golden cap by England and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off in honour of his landmark but underdogs Slovenia threatened to spoil the celebrations when Jordan Henderson's own goal gave them the lead just before the hour. England's captain quickly restored order with his 44th goal for his country from the penalty spot, putting him joint-third with Jimmy Greaves in the all-time standings and moving him to within five of Charlton's record. With Slovenia's resistance finally broken, Danny Welbeck struck twice to bring his tally to an impressive five goals from England's four straight wins in qualifying." - BBC

November 6, 2014 - roster updates
"Saido Berahino, Theo Walcott and Stewart Downing are the surprise names called up to Roy Hodgson's latest England squad for the fixtures against Slovenia and Scotland. Walcott made his return from a serious knee injury against Burnley on Saturday, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute in the 3-0 win to end a nine-month absence, but did not feature in the midweek 3-3 draw with Anderlecht. Nevertheless, Hodgson has seen fit to include the 25-year-old in his 26-man party for the upcoming double-header, with Walcott joining West Brom youngster Saido Berahino in the squad. Berahino has enjoyed a stunning season to date, scoring eight goals in 13 appearances in all competitions so far, and the 21-year-old, who was born in Burundi, will provide competition to fellow strikers Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. Downing, meanwhile, returns to the England fold, having played a key role in West Ham's rise into the top five. The winger, who has earned 34 caps, last featured under Hodgson in the 1-0 win over Norway on May 26, 2012, but will join the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Andros Townsend in providing a wide option for the 67-year-old." - Goal

October 12, 2014 - Wayne Rooney scores in win over Estonia
"Wayne Rooney curled in a 73rd-minute free kick to earn England an uninspiring 1-0 win over 10-man Estonia and a third straight victory in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship on Sunday. Playing in his 99th international, the England captain made up for squandering two decent first-half chances by whipping a shot over the wall and inside the near post, with goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko parrying the ball against the upright but unable to keep it out." - Wichita Eagle
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October 9, 2014 -  Jagielka, Rooney, Welbeck & Townsend score in win over San Marino  
"England 5 San Marino 0: Wayne Rooney edges closer to Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record in routine win.... England recorded 32 efforts on goal, 16 on target, bringing goals for Phil Jagielka, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Andros Townsend and an own goal for Alessandro Della Valle bizarrely credited by the announcer to Rooney. It came from a Rooney cross but clearly diverted in off the San Marino defender. It was a significant moment not in the match but for the statisticians as Rooney sought to add to his international tally.The man chasing Jimmy Greaves’ third-placed all-time England goalscoring mark of 44 had immediately been involved. Rooney had spoken in advance that he was not focusing on Greaves but he certainly tore into San Marino’s defence as if he wanted to turn the pages of the history books." - The Telegraph

October 2, 2014 - roster updates
"Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne has won his first England call-up for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia. Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs and Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey are recalled to the squad. But there are only three strikers in the squad, with Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge out with a thigh strain. England play San Marino at Wembley on 9 October before traveling to face Estonia on 12 October. Arsenal's Danny Welbeck, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Liverpool's Rickie Lambert are the only three forwards in Roy Hodgson's 21-man squad." - BBC

September 8, 2014 - Danny Welbeck scores brace in win over Switzerland
"Danny Welbeck scored twice to give England respite from criticism and a deserved 2-0 win at Switzerland in their European Championship qualifying opener on Monday. Welbeck finished off Raheem Sterling's pass on a fast counter-attack in the 58th minute and slotted in a right-footed shot deep into stoppage time.... The 19-year-old Sterling took Rooney's weighted pass in his speedy stride, advanced into the left side of the Swiss penalty area and slid the ball across goal for 23-year-old Welbeck to score. Though it was Welbeck's shin connecting with the ball, Arsenal's new 16 million-pound ($25.8-million) signing from Manchester United was perfectly positioned to strike." - Star-Telegram

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September 5, 2014 - Daniel Sturridge injured
"An FA Spokesman said: 'Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury on his thigh in training. 'He has had a scan and will now return to Liverpool FC for treatment. He will play no part in the forthcoming Switzerland match.' The FA also confirmed no replacement would be called up for Sturridge, who started the Norway game up front alongside captain Wayne Rooney. England will travel to Switzerland on Sunday morning with just 19 players, two of whom are goalkeepers." - The Herald

September 3, 2014 - Wayne Rooney scores in win over Norway
"Wayne Rooney has marked his first game as captain with a goal as England overcame Norway 1-0 in a forgettable friendly game at a half-empty Wembley Stadium. The Manchester United striker smashed home a 68th-minute penalty won by the impressive Raheem Sterling to give England victory on Wednesday in their first game since they limped out of the World Cup at the group phase. It was his 41st goal for his country, taking him above Michael Owen in the all-time scorers' list, and brought England's run of five games without victory to an end ahead of Monday's opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland. England manager Roy Hodgson also gave debuts to Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph and Arsenal defender Calum Chambers, whose new teammate Danny Welbeck caught the eye as a second-half substitute." - Sydney Morning Herald

August 26, 2014 - Frank Lampard retires
"Frank Lampard has announced his retirement from international football. The 36-year-old midfielder has called time on his England career which has spanned 15 years and earned him 106 caps. Lampard said in a statement released by his management company: 'I have taken the decision to retire from international football. It has been a very tough decision for me to make which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup.' Lampard ended his 13-year stay at Chelsea in the summer and is currently on loan at Manchester City from Major League Soccer side New York City.... Lampard made his England debut in 1999 at the age of 21, but it was not until UEFA EURO 2004 that he played in a major championships. Since then he has appeared at every major tournament England have qualified for, including three FIFA World Cup™ finals. He is the joint sixth most-capped player in England history, level with Bobby Charlton, while his 29 international goals puts him joint ninth on the country's list of top goalscorers." - FIFA

July 21, 2014 - Steven Gerrard retires
"The 34-year-old made his debut in 2000 in a 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley, and the Liverpool captain went on to play 114 times for England, score 21 times and represent the Three Lions at six major tournaments. Gerrard’s first tournament came under Kevin Keegan when he was part of the squad for Euro 2000. It was the first of three UEFA European Championship Finals he would play a part in, with Portugal in 2004 and Ukraine and Poland in 2012. Though he missed the 2002 World Cup through injury, he played in three FIFA World Cup Finals, his first in Germany 2006, then as captain for both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. In all Gerrard played 12 World Cup Finals matches, scoring three goals. A winner of countless prizes at club level, both team and individual awards, Gerrard won the England Player of the Year award, voted for by the fans, in both 2007 and 2012. Gerrard was captain of the England team 38 times, and was the third most capped player of all time behind Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115)." - TheFA

June 7, 2014 - nobody scores in draw with Honduras
"England finalised their World Cup preparations with a disappointing goalless draw against 10-man Honduras in Miami on Saturday. Daniel Sturridge had opportunities in each half to break the deadlock, while Honduras played the final 25 minutes with a man less after Brayan Beckeles was dismissed, but England were still unable to make the breakthrough at Sun Life Stadium. The international friendly, which was the first meeting between the two teams, also came to a temporary halt in the first-half, when referee Ricardo Salazar suspended the game due to lightning." - Goal

June 4, 2014 - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured during Ecuador match
"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hopes of representing England at the World Cup are hanging in the balance after the Arsenal winger sustained suspected ligament damage to his right knee in the draw with Ecuador. Oxlade-Chamberlain, making his first appearance since 20 April after his involvement in the run-in to the domestic campaign was hampered by a groin complaint, and one of England’s best performers here in Miami, was injured in a second-half tackle with Carlos Gruezo and limped gingerly from the turf for treatment. He departed the stadium in clear discomfort and will undergo a scan on Thursday to ascertain the extent of the damage. If the medical assessments rule him out, Roy Hodgson can call up a replacement into his squad for the tournament." - Guardian

June 3, 2014 - practicing penalty kicks
"Steven Gerrard has revealed England ARE practising penalties to try to avoid another shoot-out nightmare at the World Cup in Brazil, writes John Cross in Miami. Gerrard, the Three Lions' captain, admitted the pressure of penalties does affect them, and said they are desperate to avoid more of the misery that came at the end of the 1990, 1998 and 2006 World Cups and the 1996, 2004 and 2012 Euros this summer. In an interview with BBC, the Liverpool midfielder said: "It's difficult to describe what it is like, unfortunately for me I failed in that situation when I took a penalty in a World Cup environment and it was a difficult atmosphere to be in. 'I learned my lessons from that and a couple of years ago I scored the penalty I was asked to take. We are going to practise penalties a lot but it is a difficult situation to put into words and describe it. There is a lot of pressure'." - Mirror

May 30, 2013 - Sturridge, Cahill & Jagielka score in win over Peru
"Defence was the best form of attack for England as they kicked off their World Cup preparations with a 3-0 win over Peru. After Daniel Sturridge had opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half, defensive duo Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka found the net to send England on their way with a comfortable victory. Boss Roy Hodgson included six players who ply their Premier League trade on Merseyside in his starting XI,and it was the Liverpool pairing of Glen Johnson and Sturridge who combined for the opener. Johnson's quick-thinking from a throw-in opened the door for Sturridge to shoot from the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistake in curling the ball into the top left-hand corner in the 32nd minute." - Goal

May 12, 2014 - World Cup roster named
  • Joe Hart (Manchester City)
  • Fraser Forster (Celtic)
  • Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)
  • Leighton Baines (Everton)
  • Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
  • Phil Jagielka (Everton)
  • Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
  • Phil Jones (Manchester United)
  • Luke Shaw (Southampton)
  • Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
  • Ross Barkley (Everton)
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
  • Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
  • Adam Lallana (Southampton)
  • Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
  • James Milner (Manchester City)
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
  • Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
  • Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
  • Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
  • Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
  • Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
  • Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United)

Venezuela Men's National Soccer Team News

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March 31, 2015 - Josef Martínez scores in win over Peru
"Venezuela edged a physical and end-to-end friendly against Peru 1-0 in Florida on Tuesday, in a tantalizing preview of their Copa América fixture.... Their past four outings had seen 17 goals, and it was only a matter of time before the opening goal came - with Josef Martínez providing what turned out to be the winner on the hour mark with a powerful finish. The goal came just seconds after Peru attacker Irven Ávila should have had the ball in the back of the net, but his free header flicked the crossbar - and would have been ruled out for offside had it been on target." - Copa America

February 26, 2015 - Fernando Amorebieta & Christian Santos called up
"Boss Noel Sanvicente has revealed he intends to select both Fernando Amorebieta and Christian Santos for his side’s friendly internationals at the end of March. The Vinotinto have arranged fixtures with Jamaica (March 27) and Peru (March 31) next month, and will face the latter in the group stages of this summer’s Copa América.... Centre-back Amorebieta, on the books of English outfit Fulham, is still feeling his way back after a persistent knee injury, but will be handed the chance to prove his fitness next month. Meanwhile, the uncapped Santos will have an opportunity to stake his claim for a spot in the Copa América party after an outstanding season at Dutch club NEC Nijmegen. The 26-year-old attacker, who was born in Venezuela but spent his formative years in Germany, has scored 15 goals in 26 appearances this term as his team have opened a 14-point lead at the top of the Holland’s second tier." - Copa America

February 11, 2015 - Franklin Lucena & Romulo Otero score in win over Honduras
"The South American side proved that result was no fluke, albeit after the first-half dismissal of Jorge Claros, with goals from Franklin Lucena and substitute Romulo Otero cancelling out Anthony Lozano's opener at Estadio Rafael Agustin Tovar.... the Central American outfit made a bright start away from home, after Lozano opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Lozano, who was on target last week, rose highest to power his header off the ground and past Venezuela goalkeeper Alain Baroja. However, Venezuela responded immediately, with Lucena equalising three minutes later after the midfielder's header was deemed to have crossed the line. Honduras went into the half-time break down a man after a second yellow card to Claros. And that proved decisive as Venezuela made the most of its numerical advantage in the second half. Substitute Otero put the home side ahead in the 57th minute after a howler from goalkeeper Valladares, which allowed the Caracas midfielder to chest the ball over the line for what proved to be the winner." - SBS 

February 4, 2015 - Blanco, Figuera & Farias score in win over Honduras
"Richard Blanco, Arquimedes Figuera and Edder Farias were all on target as Venezuela punished a wasteful Honduras outfit 3-2 to end a run of five consecutive defeats. Venezuela had lost to Honduras, South Korea, Japan, Chile and Bolivia prior to Wednesday's clash but the South Americans finally ended their dismal run at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. Figuera and Farias put the result seemingly beyond doubt in the second half after Blanco opened the scoring in the 21st minute, though hosts Honduras threatened a comeback with two goals in the final 10 minutes. It was Venezuela's first win since September 2013.... Romulo Otero drove towards the byline before squaring the ball across the six-yard box to Blanco, who side-footed past goalkeeper Donis Escober.... Honduras were punished for their wastefulness in front of goal yet again, with Figuera doubling Venezuela's lead five minutes into the second half. Figuera scooped the ball over Escober, having been played in by team-mate Argenis Gomez.... Oteru, who set up the first goal, weaved his way past three defenders before crossing the ball to the near post where substitute Farias made no mistake from close range." - Copa America

Argentina Men's National Soccer Team News

March 31, 2015 - Sergio Agüero & Javier Pastore score in win over Ecuador
"Javier Pastore's first-ever international goal was a match winner as Argentina defeated Ecuador 2-1 at the MetLife Stadium on Tuesday evening. With Lionel Messi sidelined for the second game running due to injury, la Albiceleste were still able to overcome their Copa América rivals thanks to the Paris Saint-Germain man’s second-half strike. There was also a first senior goal for Miler Bolaños, as he brought Ecuador level with a close-range finish following Sergio Agüero’s early headed opener." - Copa America

March 28, 2015 - Ever Banega & Federico Mancuello score in win over El Salvador
"Argentina rested Lionel Messi but were still too powerful for El Salvador in a 2-0 friendly win over the Central Americans in Maryland, USA. A deflected Ever Banega strike on 54 minutes and a curling free-kick from debutant Federico Mancuello three minutes from time secured a straightforward win for the FIFA World Cup finalists as they build towards June's Copa America in Chile." - FIFA

March 17, 2015 - three domestics called up
"Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has added three domestic-based players to his squad to complete his party for the friendly double-header against El Salvador and Ecuador at the end of the month. Martino announced a list of 22 foreign-based players who had been called up for the games last week. To that group he has now added veteran Maxi Rodriguez of Newell’s Old Boys, Independiente winger Federico Mancuello and young River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori. While Rodríguez – who has 57 caps to his name and has appeared in three World Cups – brings plenty of experience to the squad, both Mancuello and Funes Mori are uncapped." - Copa America

March 10, 2015 - friendly roster updates
"coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has revealed the names of 22 players based abroad to face El Salvador and Ecuador in the United States at the end of March, with the local players to be announced in the coming days.... Paris Saint-Germain’s Ezequiel Lavezzi will make the trip stateside, despite falling out of favour at Parc des Princes, with team-mate Javier Pastore also chosen after establishing himself in Laurent Blanc’s team. Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio and Valencia’s Lucas Orbán have both been recalled to the squad and will want to add to their collective tally of three international caps. Ángel Di María will look to put a difficult debut season at Manchester United to one side, and he will be joined in the midfield ranks by Roberto Pereyra, currently on loan at Juventus from Udinese. Familiar faces abound on Martino's initial list, with Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano and Manchester City's Sergio Agüero, who will clash in the Champions League next week, putting their club commitments to one side." - Copa America

November 12, 2014 - Cristian Ansaldi & Lionel Messi score in 2-1 win over Croatia
"Lionel Messi's second-half penalty gave World Cup finalists Argentina victory over Croatia at West Ham's Upton Park. Croatia went ahead early on when Mateo Kovacic found Anas Sharbini, who bent a shot past goalkeeper Sergio Romero for his first international goal. Argentina, featuring five Premier League players in their starting XI, levelled when Cristian Ansaldi's shot deflected in off Sergio Aguero's arm. Messi scored from the spot after Aguero was fouled by goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic." - BBC

November 7, 2014 - defensive roster updates
"Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini has been added to Argentina's squad for this month's friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal. Coach Gerardo Martino brought in the centre back, who won his second cap in the 7-0 win over Hong Kong in Asia last month, after World Cup defenders Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez dropped out through injury. 'We've had the problem of Marcos (Rojo) and Ezequiel and Federico so for that reason we called up Jonathan Silva and now we're adding Santiago Vergini,' Martino told a news conference in Buenos Aires before leaving for London. Uncapped Sporting Lisbon defender Silva was added to the squad earlier this week after Rojo injured his shoulder playing for Manchester United last weekend. Argentina have been so badly hit by injuries that the only World Cup defenders in the squad are Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis." -  Chicago Tribune 

October 27, 2014 - Carlos Tevez called up
"Argentina's forgotten man Carlos Tevez has been included in the squad for the first time in three years for next month's friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal. The 30-year-old striker, dubbed the 'People's Player' by former coach Diego Maradona, last played for his country at the 2011 Copa America on home soil and missed this year's World Cup in Brazil despite scintillating form for Juventus. Tevez was among four forwards, the others being captain Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, named in the squad posted on the Argentine FA's website ( on Monday." - Times of India

October 14, 2014 - Lionel Messi & Gonzalo Higuain each score brace in win over Hong Kong 

"Argentina strolled to a 7-0 friendly win over Hong Kong on Tuesday, with superstar Lionel Messi and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain both netting a brace.... Messi came on with half an hour of the match remaining. By then the score was already 4-0 but soon the little wizard had made it five, playing a neat one-two before dinking the ball over goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai. He was then instrumental in Argentina's sixth, pulling the ball back from the byline to give Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica the easiest of tap-ins from inside the six-yard box. It was Gaitan's second goal of the match. The first came just before half-time when he cut in from the right and smashed the ball in with his left foot. Just a minute earlier Higuain had scored his first, heading down a cross from the left. The forward got his brace and Argentina's fourth with a simple pass into a open goal less than ten minutes into the second half. Sevilla's Ever Banega had opened for Argentina on 19 minutes, pouncing on some woeful Hong Kong defending. Yapp fumbled a weak effort which landed at the feet of Lee Chi-ho who scuffed a clearance straight to Banega, for the midfielder to drill the ball home. With five minutes to go Messi scored his second and Argentina's seventh, taking the ball down beautifully with his left foot before going past three Hong Kong defenders and rifling it low into the corner." - Yahoo

September 22, 2014 - Lionel Messi back in, Carlos Tevez still out

"Captain Lionel Messi was called up Monday by new coach Gerardo Martino for friendlies against Brazil and Hong Kong but Juventus striker Carlos Tevez was snubbed again. Messi, 27, returns for La Albiceleste after a groin injury saw him miss out on his former Barcelona coach Martino's debut in a 4-2 friendly win against world champions Germany. Tevez was absent from the 19-man squad named Monday despite earlier press reports that he was set to return after three years in the international wilderness. The 30-year-old striker was shunned by former coach Alejandro Sabella but his successor was reported to be keen to see the 30-year-old forward return." - FIFA

September 18, 2014 - Carlos Tevez could return
Tevez has been in the international wilderness for more than three years, having not featured for Argentina since 2011. The Juventus man starred in Serie A last season, scoring 19 goals as the Italian giant claimed its third consecutive title. However, the 30-year-old was still overlooked by Martino's predecessor, Alejandro Sabella, for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. After revealing at his first press conference last month that the slate would be wiped clean in a new era for Argentina, Martino reiterated his willingness to link up with the former Boca Juniors player. 'I have already said that the door is open for everyone,' Martino told Argentine newspaper La Nacion. 'If I had to say where he'd fit into my tactics, I see Tevez only as a number nine, so he is an alternative to Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero'." - SBS

September 3, 2014 - Angel di Maria sets up win over Germany
"Angel di Maria set up three goals and scored the fourth himself as Argentina trounced Germany 4-2 in their friendly game Wednesday to get a small measure of payback after losing to the host in the World Cup final. Argentina was up 4-0 after just 50 minutes to dampen the home side's World Cup title celebrations in its first game since winning the final 1-0 in extra time in Brazil in July. Di Maria set up Sergio Aguero in the 21st minute, Erik Lamela's outstanding volley in the 40th, and Federico Fernandez' headed goal two minutes after the interval. Di Maria crowned his performance in the 50th with a chip over substitute Germany 'keeper Roman Weidenfeller. Andre Schuerrle pulled one back two minutes later before Mario Goetze, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, made it 4-2 in the 78th." - Fox News

September 1, 2014 - injured Lionel Messi to miss Germany friendly
"Lionel Messi is set to miss Argentina's friendly against Germany after suffering a groin strain in Barcelona's win over Villarreal on Sunday. Messi, 27, pulled an abductor muscle in his right leg as Luis Enrique's side secured their second Liga win of the season at the Estadio El Madrigal, though he played the full 90 minutes for the Blaugrana." - ESPN

July 9, 2014 - semifinal 0-0 (4-2) shootout win over Netherlands
"After playing 120 minutes to a scoreless draw, the Argentines came alive in the shootout, winning 4-2 with Messi getting things started. Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez followed, all making their shots against Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen. Cillessen was replaced by backup keeper Tom Kurl just ahead of the penalty kicks in the Netherlands' victory over Costa Rica. But he was forced to stay in the game this time when the Dutch used their three substitutions for field players. Argentina's unsung keeper, Sergio Romero, also came up huge with saves on shots by Ron Vlaar on the first penalty kick and Wesley Sneijder in the third round." - LA Times

July 5, 2014 - Gonzalo Higuain scores in win over Belgium
"Argentina is one step closer to fulfilling their half of a South American dream World Cup final. Argentina played its most complete game of the tournament Saturday, emerging with a 1-0 win over a surprisingly lethargic Belgium side.... There was no more pleasant surprise than the play of Gonzalo Higuain. He’d been a ghost so far this World Cup. Saturday he took on physical form, scoring the only goal of the game and almost adding a second when he ripped a shot of the crossbar. Higuain managed to one-time a bouncing ball on the turn to find the corner of the net behind Belgian goalkeeper Thibault Courtois. It was a tough finish because Angel di Maria’s pass took a slight deflection before coming to Higuain. It was Higuain's first goal for his country since August 2013." - Calgary Sun

July 1, 2014 - Angel Di Maria scores late in extra time for win over Switzerland
"Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute today to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland after extra time and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals. With a penalty shootout looming, Lionel Messi made a surging run toward the Swiss area and laid the ball off to Di Maria on the right, and the winger sent a left-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. Blerim Dzemaili nearly equalized right before the end but his header hit the post, and the rebound bounced off his knee and wide of the goal." - New Zealand Herald

June 25, 2014 - Lionel Messi doubles in win over Nigeria
"A double from Lionel Messi a day after his 27th birthday inspired Argentina to a 3-2 win over African champions Nigeria and assured them of finishing top of Group F at the World Cup finals.... The match got off to a stunning start as Messi fired home his third goal of the finals after two-and-a-half-minutes - the fastest goal of his career - to finally crack a Nigerian defence that had not conceded a goal in their previous two matches. A telling pass by Fernando Gago found Angel di Maria only for the Real Madrid man's shot to ricochet off the near post. As the loose ball bounced Messi magically appeared to slam into the roof of Vincent Enyeama's net.... As the interval approached Messi struck a peach of a free-kick from outside the box, only denied by another fine save from Enyeama. But the Lille stopper couldn't perform the same heroics when from a near identical position shortly after another Messi free-kick thudded into the near corner for his fourth goal of the tournament." - Sydney Morning Herald

June 21, 2014 - Lionel Messi scores late for 1-0 win over Iran

"Lionel Messi scored a last-minute goal to make it two wins out of two for much-fancied Argentina but they were given a scare by minnows Iran. The South Americans dominated the first-half but Marcos Rojo, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Garay saw their efforts go wide of the target. Iran grew in confidence and Reza Ghoochannejhad went close with a header before Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah should have won a penalty when he was caught by Pablo Zabaleta but the ref waved away his appeals. Dejagah then had a goal-bound header tipped over the bar by keeper Sergio Romero but Messi had the last word with a trademark strike in injury-time." - Daily Mail

June 15, 2014 - Lionel Messi scores in win over Bosnia & Herzegovina
"Lionel Messi lit up the Maracana with his first World Cup goal for eight years as Argentina was forced to battle for a 2-1 win over debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina in its opening Group F match on Monday. Although it took the lead in the third minute when Sead Kolasinac netted the fastest own goal in World Cup history, Argentina looked unconvincing until Messi struck with a dazzling run and sweet shot that went in off the post in the 65th minute. Even then, Argentina could not relax as Vedad Ibisevic scored in the 85th minute for Bosnia to set up a thrilling finale. It was Messi's first goal in the finals since scoring in Argentina's 6-0 win over Serbia & Montenegro in 2006." - ABC

June 7, 2014 - Ricardo Alvarez & Lionel Messi score in win over Slovenia
"Argentina easily beat Slovenia 2-0 in its last World Cup warmup with goals from Ricardo Alvarez and Lionel Messi on Saturday. Alvarez put a second-string Argentina ahead in the first half with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria came on in the second half and combined elegantly to double the lead in the 67th minute. Aguero headed down a pass from Di Maria to set up Messi, who calmly slotted the ball past Slovenia goalkeeper Vid Belec." - Yahoo 

June 4, 2014 - Palacio, Mascherano & Rodriguez score in win over Trinidad and Tobago
"Rodrigo Palacio, Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez all found the net for the Alejandro Sabella's in their friendly against the islanders. A misfiring Argentina defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 on Wednesday in their first pre-tournament friendly ahead of the upcoming World Cup.... Rodrigo Palacio opened the scoring with a header in first-half stoppage time, before Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez added goals after half-time. Boca Juniors midfielder Fernando Gago made his first appearance since mid-April having missed over a month's worth of football with a knee injury, as Sabella left Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Zabaleta on the bench." - Goal

June 2, 2014 - World Cup roster named

  • Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)
  • Mariano Andujar (Catania)
  • Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors)

  • Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)
  • Federico Fernandez (Napoli)
  • Ezequiel Garay (Benfica)
  • Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon)
  • Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan)
  • Martin Demichelis (Manchester City)
  • Jose Basanta (Monterrey)

  • Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
  • Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors)
  • Lucas Biglia (Lazio)
  • Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan)
  • Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo)
  • Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)
  • Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys)
  • Enzo Perez (Benfica)
  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
  • Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
  • Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan)
  • Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain)