Written by Will Parchman

brazil

This gem comes to us from the hinterlands of Brazilian U20 soccer, which is a fantastical fairy tale of step-overs and rainbows over young men and one-on-one take-ons and brutally hilarious defensive missteps.

Like this one. Exactly like this one.

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Written by The 91st

Horrific misses are a regular occurrence in every professional league across the world. No matter how often you convert in practice, or how many year-end trophies you win, everyone is due for a horrible mishit at some point. But this, this missed opportunity is a “pack up your career and call it a day” bad.

Let’s take a look at the evidence:

– Gifted opportunity? Check.

– Clear path to goal? Check.

– Round keeper? Check.

– Empty net? Check.

All the characteristics for an easy goal are there, and even when the player rounds the keeper and somehow puts himself in a worse position, it’s still a relatively straight forward effort. But no, karmic retribution from a previous incarnation reared its head and the gods of soccer looked away.

Luckily, we don’t know the player’s name, so hopefully karma gives him another chance.

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Written by Will Parchman

This is Yago Pikachu, the man with the greatest name in sports. He plays his soccer for the coastal Paysandu in Brazil’s Serie B. The team was promoted from Serie C last year, and they’re currently flitting around the promotion places for a look-in to Serie A next season. Good things.

Pikachu is helping them get there. The marauding 23-year-old fullback has an astonishing (for a defender) five goals in his last seven matches. This bending Roberto Carlosian free kick was the most recent, drawing third-place Paysandu level with second-place Nautico en route to an eventual 1-1 draw earlier this week.

It was a real Thunder Shock. An Electro Ball, if you will. Or maybe a Wild Charge. These are all attacks used by the Pokemon character Pikachu, which I just spent 45 seconds researching for your benefit. You’re welcome.

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Written by Travis Clark

NeymarSo turns out this Neymar kid is pretty good after all.

Fresh off a treble winning season with Barcelona where he scored 39 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions, Neymar has no chance to rest. He played a starring role on Sunday as Brazil opened up its Copa America campaign with a win over Peru.

After scoring a goal in that game, the 23-year-old now has 44 goals in 64 games for the national team.

First, check out how he embarrassed a few of Peru’s midfielders:

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Written by Will Parchman

Sometimes here on The 91st we like to dip back into the bubbling vat of the past to melt off all the skin on our limbs in the acid of the terrible. Was that too hyperbolic? Nah. Probably not.

In any case, this comes to us from the Brazilian second division, which is not very good. The goal was credited to Avai in an eventual 2-0 win over Boa Esporte last September, but let’s tell it straight here. Nobody won in this scenario. Life lost.

There’s such a dizzying array of failures from Boa Esporte in this video. First, a Boa Esporte player completely whiffs on a slow, chest-level header without an opposing player within 15 feet of him in any direction. His teammate then tries to rifle a ball back into the box (it was very clearly not to anyone in particular and was almost certainly headed over the crossbar), but it smacks an opposing player in the face and ricochets back to start the break. Mmkay.

Avai quickly builds and rolls up on Boa Morte (do you see what I did there) like a phalanx advancing on an unaware village. Boa Esporte didn’t bother reorganizing any kind of defense, while you can practically see Avai’s perfectly spaced four-across attack sharpening its knives on the bones of its enemies.

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Written by Will Parchman

While we in the U.S. have largely been consumed with CONCACAF’s U20 World Cup qualifying campaign this month, which the U.S. has largely shuffled through without much of a flourish, CONMEBOL is holding its own World Cup entry exam in Uruguay.

Earlier this month, Brazil took six points from its three group games to advance to the final stage, and three of those points came in a 2-0 win over Venezuela, which finished at the bottom of the group. Fluminense’s Kenedy, one of the most promising youth talents in South America, scored this decisive goal in the 72nd, and holy crap was it decisive. Am I a bit surprised this shot didn’t burn a hole through the net, leave a conical sonic boom in its wake and spontaneously deafen thousands of people? Yes. Yes I am.

Funny story. Kenedy was named after JFK’s brother Robert, hence Kenedy’s first name (Robert). There’s also a Brazilian on this U20 squad named Malcom named after, you guessed it, Malcolm X.

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Written by Travis Clark

Up 2-0 on Sunday against Brazil in the game’s first ten minutes, it looked like the USWNT would cruise to a win against the tournament hosts.

Then the Marta show began.

With the Brazilians down, the team’s star roared into action, scoring all three goals leading Brazil to a come-from-behind 3-2 win. That, coupled with a disappointing 1-1 draw with China to open the tournament, should be of slight concern to USWNT fans ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

Check out the highlights, including a couple of appearances by recent college stars Morgan Brian and Sam Mewis.

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Written by Will Parchman

This is Marcio, a 33-year-old futsal player from Brazil who decides to rip off his backheel straight from heaven in a game earlier this week. Futsal is awesome. Brazilian football is… awesomer. No spell check.

Happy Friday, folks.

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2014 World Cup Best XI

Written by The 91st

The 2014 World Cup is officially in the books.

Germany’s 1-0 win in Rio ended the latest campaign, lauded by many as one of the best tournaments in recent memories, thanks in large part to an action-packed group stage.

The Germans were worthy winners, hands down the best team on a game-by-game basis during the month long tournament.

Here is TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Best XI from the the 2014 World Cup:

GK Manuel Neuer, Germany: The heroics of Costa Rican Keylor Navas caught a lot of headlines, although his run came to the end in the quarterfinals. That opened the door for Neuer, often in the discussion for the impossible to label “best goalkeeper in the world” tag. Neuer helped pave the way to Germany’s triumph, and while he may not have had much to do in Sunday’s final, he was immense throughout.

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Written by Travis Clark

I miss it already. ESPN put together this video looking back at the best moments during the last month in Brazil.

 

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