32 Flags Presents: Soccer’s Best and Worst of 2014

Throughout the next week, we at 32 Flags are recapping the past year as well as look toward 2015. We’ll take a look at the best and worst of 2014, best games and goals and predict what is going to happen in 2015. Today, we’re talking about the best and worst of 2014. It was a World Cup year and World Cup years mean nonstop, amazing action. We saw the retirement of a legend and FIFA being FIFA.

 

BEST: German National Team

Germany won the World Cup so I guess they’re having a great year. Germany got through the “Group of Death,” though if we’re being honest, Germany may have been the only team in the group to know they were surviving the group. Germany went through and crushed host and favorite Brazil in a way we had never seen before and then followed it up to defeat who is arguably the greatest soccer player in the world and Argentina in the Final.

 

BEST: West Ham and Southampton

These two teams are very much like “peas in a pod.” West Ham and Southampton have been impressive so far and they are taking advantage of other teams struggling and are starting to get into the discussion of achieving a top 4 spot.

 

BEST: American media coverage of soccer

I have watched the FIFA World Cup since 1998 and in the four years between each World Cup, you can easily tell the difference in media coverage of each World Cup. 1998 and 2002 was next to nothing because the US wasn’t good in 1998 and while the US went to the Quarterfinals for the first time in the modern era, the World Cup was played in South Korea and Japan and games were played in the middle of the night. Things picked up a little bit and the actual soccer coverage improved in 2006. In 2010, other sports networks and ESPN’s other, non soccer, shows reported about the World Cup. In 2014, EVERYONE talked about the World Cup. From talk shows to news shows to anything else, everyone had World Cup fever this past summer. Along with NBCSN’s coverage of EPL, FOX getting Bundesliga rights and MLS’ huge deal with ESPN and FOX, the coverage is just going to get better.

 

BEST: US Mens National Team

With the hand that the team was dealt, the USMNT put in a great performance. They weren’t the most impressive team in Brazil and they are struggling a bit post-World Cup but we did see the team beat Ghana, almost beat Portugal and just fall short against Germany and Belgium. We also saw the emergence of great young players like John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green among others who will likely factor into the future of the USMNT.

 

BEST: Landon Donovan-the player

Landon Donovan ended his playing career in stunning fashion. The LA Galaxy won the MLS Cup and Donovan got to ride off into the sunset as a winner in a storybook ending.

 

BEST AND WORST: Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool

Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool have had the same type of year. Both teams spent the first half of the year high in the table as both finished 2nd. Now in the second half of the year, both teams have struggled. Liverpool can barely beat teams like Burnley and is sitting 10th while Dortmund is tied for last place in the Bundesliga and is only saved from being in last due to having one more goal than Freiburg.

 

Click Page 2 For The “Worst” of 2014

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp

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