Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best and Worst Movies of 2014

Top 5 Movies of 2014 that I have seen obviously
  1. The Imitation Game- This movie was great. I usually don't like "talking" movies but this movie, was fantastic. Benedict Cumberbatch was great as Alan Turing, you could see Turing's struggles to first break the enigma code and then deal with his sexuality being discovered and the problems that stemmed from that.It was also very interesting, to find out why the machine was called Christopher, stemming from his childhood crush.  Cumberbatch was not the only good actor in this movie. I thought that his "wife" Joan Clarke, played by Keira Knightly also put in a great performance, she was sympathetic with him when he was discovered as being gay, she did not abandon him in that hard time. The crossword puzzle scene with Keira Knigthly is one of the best scenes of the year. I don't know who the child actor was who played Alan Turing as a kid but he was also great, you could see and sort of relate to the struggle of him being different and falling in love with his friend Christopher who was the only one who was nice to him. Alan Leech the actor that played John Carincross, hid the fact that he was a spy so well for the entire movie, you would think he could actually be a spy in real life, if he quit acting.

2.  Guardians of the Galaxy- Marvel Can’t Fail. This movie had characters that I did not know much about but are household names now. Prior to the movie I was interested to see how Vin Diesel would take 3 words, “I am Groot” to mean the billions of words in the English language to put into a sentence. Bradley Cooper also did a phenomenal job tip toeing the line for Rocket. Rocket is a type of character that if Bradley Cooper screwed it up and made Rocket too much of a cheesy cartoon character, the movie would have tremendously suffered, but Bradley Cooper made Rocket, funny but also a deeper character than just laughs. I don’t watch Parks and Rec, so I did not know about Chris Pratt, before this role. Chris Pratt was awesome as, Peter Quill/Starlord. Pratt made this role his own; he got into great shape and brought humor that tremendously helped the movie. Zoe Saldana is better green than blue, fact. She brought a level of female badassness (just made up a word, I don’t care) that the movie needed, in a world really full of men dominating the movie. Dave Bautista is a wrestler that’s all I knew him from prior to this movie. I knew since he was a WWE Superstar, he would be fine in the action scenes because that’s his job to act fighting in the WWE. However, like the rest of his cast mates he can act and was funny. He can act, unlike some other WWE superstars in the past, and he seems like a smart, good guy. The soundtrack is one of the best in the last decade of movies. I constantly listen to it. The after credits scene is not the coolest but it is far and away the most entertaining after credits scene Marvel has ever done. Peter Serafinowicz’s line, “What a bunch of a-holes” is easily one of the best lines of 2014, for the pure delivery of it and the humor behind it.  Dancing Baby Groot is also really awesome!! I must have seen this movie 4 or 5 times after it came out in theaters. 

3.    22 Jump Street- I loved the first one, 21 Jump Street, and everybody knows comedy sequels are hard to get right, well Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and the rest of the cast got this one right. This movie was hilarious, the plot was completely different than 21 Jump Street, which some comedy sequels struggle with. The dynamic that Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have with each other, is part of why these movies are so great. The movie is just a laugh fest from start to finish. They stay current with the current trends, in the clothing, something most movies don’t, wearing a Odd Future sweatshirt at one point. Ice Cube is also pretty funny in this movie, his office being shaped like an ice cube, was pretty funny. The “My name Jeff” line starts the movie off on the right foot, that it keeps walking on until the end.

4.   Captain America: The Winter Soldier- Marvel again hits the right notes throughout this movie. This movie differed tremendously from Guardians of the Galaxy, which was great, because it was funny but also had good action. This was an action movie more than a comedy with action. Chris Pine, as he was in the previous Captain America film was great. The entire cast was great. Since I was little kid, I loved Falcon as a character, so to see him being brought to the big screen made me ecstatic, especially when Anthony Mackie did a great job with the character. Sebastian Stan also did a great job, as The Winter Soldier. Marvel can do political thrillers as well as action movies that’s what this movie showed. As Marvel always does, with everything being connected the events of this movie happen in the same universe as every other movie/tv show in the Marvel universe to create one big fantastic universe. Robert Redford was really evil but played the character of Alexander Pierce, fantastically. I enjoyed seeing GSP or George St.Pierre one of the best UFC fighters ever, play Batroc the Leaper. The scene on the boat with GSP and Chris Pine was a great fight scene that I’m sure they practiced a lot. Hailey Atwell was great as Sharon Carter, which even builds the excitement towards Agent Carter the upcoming tv show on ABC about Sharon Carter. Frank Grillo was really cool then he was really bad and in the future as the bad guy Cross Bones, he will be really deadly and slightly scary, which I can’t wait for. Standard Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Fury was a great character in this movie.
5.     Million Dollar Arm- I liked this movie, because the two pitchers were relatable, thanks to good acting. Jon Hamm was pretty good, relatable as a man that is struggling with his business, and finds a solution in a foreign land. It is a sports movie, which I love. I liked Lake Bell’s performance as Jon Hamm’s neighbor and friend. The fact that it was a true story was very interesting and made me search for their stories, with the person I saw the movie with after the movie.

Top 4 Worst Movies of 2014





1.     The Theory of Everything- This movie really sucked. It was insanely boring. The acting was not laughable but it was not as good as some other movies this year. The plot was boring. Why make a movie about Stephen Hawking? I can summarize the entire movie in one sentence, Steven Hawking is a really smart college kid, he goes to a lecture that changes life, he gets ALS, he marries his girlfriend, he does a lot of research, makes scientific breakthroughs, he writes a famous book, his wife cheats on him with a church choir director, he gets married to his nurse, and finally he makes a big speech. I just saved you 2 and a half hours of your life you won’t ever get back, in 30 seconds.

2.     A Million Ways to Die in the West- I had very high hopes for this movie before going to see it. However, the movie did not deliver, Seth McFarlane is awesome but he missed the mark on this movie. The funniest parts of this movie were in the trailer. The funniest part in the movie not in the trailer, when Jamie Foxx has a cameo as his character Django. 
3.     The Lego Movie- This movie was okay, not the worst but not the best either. That song is really annoying, and this movie is decent.

4.     Lucy- The concept of this movie was stupid, you need a “magic drug” to use 100% of your brain, that is not true, humans already use 100% of their brain with no magic drug. The action was decent but the entire movie got lost in the inaccuracy of the major plot.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yankees 2015 offseason Preview, Predictions


The 2014 MLB season is over. The San Francisco Giants are the World Champions after defeating the Kansas City Royals in 7 games, full of drama, and great play on both sides. The World Series MVP was Madison Bumgarner the pitcher for the Giants who was 2-0 in the World Series with one save, 17 strikeouts and one earned run. The Atlanta Braves have traded Jason Heyward and pitcher Jason Walden to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. The Miami Marlins have agreed to a 13 year $325 million dollar deal that will keep him in Miami until 2027, his age 38 season. That deal is the largest in baseball history averaging $25 million per season. Former Yankee Russell Martin has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for five years and $82 million.  The Yankees finished the season, legendary shortstop Derek Jeter’s last season in second place in the AL East 12.0 games back of the division leading Baltimore Orioles. They were also 4.0 games back of the second wild card spot. This coming after the Yankees spent $500 million dollars in the offseason before this season. This is the first time the New York Yankees have missed the postseason in consecutive years since 1992 and 1993.  The Yankees free agents going into the offseason are closer David Robertson, starter Hiroki Kuroda, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, shortstop Stephen Drew, third basemen Chase Headley, and pitchers Chris Capuano, Andrew Miller and Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy.

If I were Brian Cashman I would resign Chase Headley, David Robertson, and Brandon McCarthy. I would resign Chase Headley to a 3 year, $6 million deal, after the Yankees acquired him in a trade with the Padres for Yangervis Solarte and minor leaguer Rafael de Paula. Chase Headley would be a back up third basemen behind returning third basemen Alex Rodriguez. Chase Headley would also play third base while Alex Rodriguez is the DH. I would resign David Robertson for a maximum of 3 years and $14 million before set up man Delin Betances is ready to take over the helm. One of the biggest surprises of the Yankees season was the success of Brandon McCarthy after acquiring him from the Diamondbacks for Vidal Nuno. After the trade Brandon McCarthy was 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA. After starting the season 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA.

This offseason other than resigning I do not expect the Yankees to sign many people if any, especially after spending $500 million last offseason. If I was the Yankees would sign Asdrubal Cabrera to a 4 year, $5 million deal to play shortstop and replace Derek Jeter. I would not sign a pitcher, because I think the rotation will be fine in 2014 with the rotation of Masahiro Tanaka as the ace, followed by Michael Pineda, Brandon McCarthy, Shane Greene, and then C.C. Sabathia. I think they should take a flyer on John Axford, Jason Motte and Craig Breslow to help the middle of the bullpen. I would give each of them a 1 year $2 million deal.  

The Yankees will have a better year but will still fall just short of the postseason after a good effort, The Yankees will finish in second in the AL East finishing 2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles and finish in 3rd in the AL Wild Card 3.5 games back from the second wild card spot. They will be stuck in the same position next year trying to rebuild and be one of the best teams in baseball again, while thec ross town rival Mets are trending up. I think that the Yankees will continue to deal with injury problems having Carlos Beltran missing 100 games with a broken hand, a sprained right ankle and a mild left knee sprain. Alex Rodriguez will miss 20 games with a high elbow strain. 

Projected Lineup for Opening Day 2015:
     1.  Jaccoby Ellsbury LF
     2.  Brett Gardner CF
     3.   Asdrubal Cabrera SS
     4.  Alex Rodriguez 3B
     5. Martin Prado 2B
     6. Brian McCann C
     7. Mark Teixeira 1B
     8. Chase Headley DH
     9.    Carlos Beltran RF

Projected Rotation for 2015:
1.     Masahiro Tanaka
2.     Michael Pineda
3.     Brandon McCarthy
4.     Shane Greene
5.     C.C. Sabathia

Projected Bullpen for 2015:
MR: John Axford
MR: Jason Motte
MR: Craig Breslow
LR: Jacob Lindgren
LR: Adam Warren
SU:Delin Betances
CL: David Robertson

Bench:
1.     John Ryan Murphy C
2.     Brendan Ryan UTL INF
3.     Jose Pirela INF
4.     Chris Young OF

5.     Nyjer Morgan OF

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Case For And Against Notre Dame in the Playoff



The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are ranked number seven in the AP poll today after the heartbreaking loss to Florida State last night. The Irish were in the game all the way to the final whistle and won the game before the touchdown was called back for offensive pass interference. So, here is the case of the one loss Irish to be in the Inaugural College Football Playoff. The key to this scenario of the Irish making the playoff, is if they win out, win every one of their remaining games. They, in my opinion will make the playoff, or should make the playoff. The Irish have had a bottom heavy schedule this year, starting with Florida State last night, the rest of their schedule includes trips to Tempe to play the Arizona State Sun Devils and to the LA Coliseum to face off against the USC Trojans. The computers are out, no more one deserving one loss teams being left out, humans are in. If Notre Dame finishes the year 11-1, they will make the college football playoff because even in losing to arguably the best team in the country with the best quarterback in the country in Jameis Winston, they hung in the entire game and executed perfectly. If I was on the selection committee I would put the Irish in because, they did not get blown out as everybody expected they played tough, football for all four quarters, only losing by three. The three of the six teams ahead of them have one loss, given they play in the top five conferences and Notre Dame is an independent, they have the advantage, that should not be against Notre Dame. In my opinion the case against Notre Dame of they have not played anybody yet, is false every team they have played this year omitting Syracuse, Rice, and North Carolina were good teams this year or were supposed to be good teams this year and started the land slide after the loss to Notre Dame. People can make the argument that they barely beat UNC and Stanford, those are valid arguments but in my mind a win is a win; of course it is more impressive to blow out a big name team like a Stanford and get a really big win. However, that is not the way it works sometimes; sometimes the best teams are the ones, that just win, not putting up a lot of points but wins. If the college football playoff was eight teams instead of four the Irish would be a lock and everybody would be saying that, however, it is four, so people have to view it as the best four teams in the country that the selection committee sees. I think the Irish will be in that top four because, they will take this upcoming bye week and get back to business, win out and play well in all those games. Everett Golson played really well in the loss throwing three touchdowns and only two interceptions, (one on the final play of the game). For some reason I can't shake the feeling that this will be like the 2007 New York Giants and the Patriots that year. With the Giants losing a nail bitter to the Patriots and then coming back to win the Super Bowl. In many ways the differences between the two events outweigh the similarities, but the best team in football and then coming back to play them in the playoffs and winning it all. The Irish have not even made the playoff yet, and might not even make it so to compare them to a team that won the Super Bowl is ridiculous but the losing to the best team in a tight game makes me feel this way.  For all these reasons if Notre Dame wins out the selection committee will put Notre Dame into the playoff.


The Case Against Notre Dame Into the Playoff

The case against Notre Dame into the playoff is the one loss. The only team in the top four is Alabama, whose one loss is against the number three team in the country Ole Miss. Notre Dame would also not make the playoff because they are not in one of the power five conferences. The selection committee would also not put ND into the playoff because of their one loss. If every other team in the top four has only one loss to an SEC team or another team in the top four the Irish won’t make it. There is also the selection committee’s possible bias against ND, would make Notre Dame miss out on the playoff. Stanford's loss this weekend also hurts Notre Dame's chances, as they now have three losses. Another way Notre Dame would not make the playoff if they lose another game. If they lose another game and finish 10-2, they have virtually no chance to make the playoff. 


Prediction:







My prediction is that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will win out finishing 11-1 and making the inaugural college football playoff.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Notre Dame 2014 Season Preview


The Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2014 offseason was a one of many turnover and change. Both the offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and the defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, took head coaching jobs at UConn and Miami (OH). They have been replaced by Brian VanGorder as the  defensive coordinator and Mike Denbrock as the offensive coordinator. The Irish lost 8 players to the NFL;OT and Captain Zack Martin to the Dallas Cowboys, DL Stephon Tuitt to the Pittsburgh Steelers, TE Troy Niklas to the Arizona Cardinals, DL Louis Nix III to the Houston Texans, OG Chris Watt to the San Diego Chargers, LB Prince Shembo to the Atlanta Falcons, CB Bennett Jackson to the New York Giants, and WR TJ Jones to the Detroit Lions. As well as those 8, Notre Dame had 5 undrafted free agents. This is the first year of the College Football Playoff,where the four "best" teams in the country will be in the playoff.  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off a 9-4 season which saw them win at Yankee Stadium in the Pinstripe Bowl over Rutgers. This year Everett Golson is back after serving a one year suspension for academic reason. During the offseason Notre Dame had to suspend 5 players while the investigation into academic dishonesty is ongoing. As well the Thursday before the week one game vs Rice, which they managed to win 48-17, defensive captain Austin Collinsworth hurt his knee and missed the game.




Schedule:
Rice-48-17, Notre Dame wins
Michigan- Under the lights, I think Notre Dame will win 30-27.
Purdue- 45-7, Notre Dame wins.
at Syracuse- This game is being played at a Metlife Stadium in New Jersey; I think Notre Dame will win 45-3.
Stanford- I think this game might  be a worse loss for Notre Dame if it was in Stanford but it is not so it will be 30-27 Stanford wins.
North Carolina-I think Notre Dame gets back to it's winning ways in this game winning 27-3.
at Florida State- This could possibly be a trap game, and as  ND Fan I hope it is especially if Florida State has a loss by then, but I think Florida State will win 50-3, if FSU does not have a loss however the score will be 25-23, Notre Dame pulls the upset.
at Navy- Notre Dame will win beat Navy 35-3.
at Arizona State- This will be Notre Dame's trap game and they will put it out at the end 23-20.
Northwestern- Notre Dame will pull it off coming out of their trap game which saw them losing by a touchdown at halftime, they win 55-7.
Louisville- Notre Dame will beat Bobby Petrino's Louisville Cardinals 40-14.
at USC- Notre Dame will beat Steve Sarkisian's Trojans in the Coliseum by a score of 35-29.

Notre Dame will finish the regular season with a record of either 11-1 or 10-2. If they have one loss I think they will make the inaugural college football playoff, losing to Florida State in the Rose bowl. If they have two losses I think they will play in the Orange Bowl against Duke and win by a touchdown, 21-14.

Brian Kelly might be copying Lou Holtz after they beat Duke or they will be moving towards next season after losing in the first round of the inaugural college football playoff.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Knicks offseason preview and predictions


The Knicks have not made the 2013-14 playoffs they had a terrible season with injuries and still managed to almost make the playoffs, testament to them and the luck of the three ball going in. The season was chock full of terrible events. The most memorable were Mike Woodson not calling a timeout when the Knicks were down to get the ball to midcourt, allowing the time to tick of clock when they went up the court. As well as the now infamous "I believe I can fly" Andrea Bargnani failed dunk; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9dX6IhU2tM and the Andrea Bargnani shooting the ball with the knicks up with the clock ticking down; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7b5wHb6htM.THe Knicks hired Phil Jackson, the NBA legendary coach with 11 NBA titles, coaching and playing.



What has happened so far this offseason:
The Knicks traded fired head coach Mike Woodson and hired former Laker and Thunder Derek Fisher. They also traded center Tyson Chandler,and point guard Raymond Felton for point guards Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, center Samuel Dalembert, shooting guard Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 51st pick in the draft. They used  those picks on Wichita State power forward Cleanthony Early, the "Greek Freak"'s brother shooting guard Thanasis Antetokounmpo from the Delaware 87ers in the NBA D-League. After watching a video from Draftexpress I posted on facebook a scouting report of Cleathony Early. He looks like he is big and strong, and can muscle his way into the paint. I also like the hustle back on D, his scoring looks good,but if he could develop an outside game, he would improve, his handle needs to be closer into his body, it won't survive so far out in the NBA. He looks good at spot up jumpers but all the highlights are when he has tons of space, NBA defenders do not usually give tons of space, so he needs to work on his outside and step back and spot up game with defenders in his face, pressuring him,not letting him get an inch.Cleanthony only had 0.8 blocks per game, last year, that needs to improve tremendously, he needs to get smarter with the shots he takes, needs improvement on playing vs the big men in the paint, he needs to improve his awareness and stop standing around watching when his man does not have the ball. Early needs to work on getting out of double teams and not forcing shots when double teamed; he has bad court vision, and peace of mind to develop a play before it happens.He suffers from lackluster passing at times, and that is putting it nicely.Cleanthony  needs to have a more consistent shot, take his time, not shoot it as soon as he gets it, get set, he's only 207 needs to bulk up to 215 to push in the paint.He is already 23 years old, which could be a concern, he needs to take less stand up jumpers and incorporate more step back jumpers, he needs to adjust to the NBA three as he had trouble toeing the line in college. Overall he looks good not great in his highlights and atrocious in his lowlights. I was more impressed by Thanaisis Antekumpo's highlights. He averaged 11.7 ppg last year in Delaware. He is good in transition because of his size. The first highlight of him, he grabs the rebound dribbles all the way up the court and then takes off for the one handed slam in the paint.Upon a second viewing of that he could've passed it to his teammate who was wide open in the corner but  I will take the dunk, as long as he is not a ball hog.He succeeds in taking advantage of the defense giving him space and slashing it with a good first step to the basket for a layup or dunk. He plays well above the rim and getting the ball to go in when he is right under the basket.He has a high motor so his ceiling on defense his high. He had 1.3 steals per game last year. As a result of his long arms, he can deflect inbounds passes easily. He can get back on defense if his team turns the ball over or a simple change of possession and swat the ball away. He is a big energy guy that can come off the bench and provide the Knicks with a shot in the arm when they are down late in a game. He also plays very hard, which I like in a player. One highlight shows him pressuring the ball hander to lose control before getting it back and getting it past Thanasis and then Thanasis getting back to the ball and blocking the shot; forcing a turnover. He can sometimes struggle on the offensive glass. He is very good at the little things that do not appear on sportscenter or the box scores, like boxing people out, or hustling down the ball to save a turnover etc.. One thing that can be negative and positive about him, is he shows a lot of emotion, when he dunks the ball or forces a turnover he gets amped up about it. His mechanics are not consistent. Sometimes he shoots the ball while on the way down. He is a shoot first ask questions later type of player so when he is not square and with the right mechanics he does not take two seconds to fix it, he immediately puts one up. He struggles mightely shooting off the dribble, out of his 67 jumpers last year only two were off the dribble. He is lacking in basketball IQ. Thanasis does not get his teammates involved enough. He forces plays which result in turnovers. Per 40 minutes he averages 3.3 turnovers. He does not create well in Iso or pick and roll situations. His ball handle in poor, which leads to turning the ball over 25% of the time in iso and pick and roll situations. The Knicks drafted two, "long term projects" in my mind, which is what second drafts usually are. 


Predictions:


The perceived attitude of the Knicks was to scrap this upcoming season and wait till 2015 when NBA MVP Kevin Durant is on the market. However, with taking on 5 more million dollars in the Chandler to the Mavs trade they look like they will not do that. I think the Knicks might sign one or two more players to the veterans minimum and come off the bench to provide good minutes but I think it is highly unlikely that they will get enough free cap space to sign premier free agent Lebron James. I think Lebron will go to join Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins in Cleveland. I think New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony will join Joakim Noah and Derek Rose in Chicago. Phil Jackson is a genius and I'm sure he will all have it work out but I think they are done for next season and will settle for a lottery pick. I think in 2015 the Knicks will sign Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh. I think they will sign Chris Bosh because in Miami he is the third fiddle per say. The chain of command goes Lebron James-Dwayne Wade then Chris Bosh. However if he is a Knick, especially if Carmelo leaves he will be the first fiddle, and it makes sense for the Knicks too because Amare Stoudemire's contract is up at the same time and unless they are crazy, they will let him walk. I also think that the Knicks will work out a way to get Kobe Bryant to the Knicks because I think Kobe wants to win one last championship with Phil Jackson. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

United States World Cup 2014 Preview and Predictions



In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa the United States got past the group stage but lost to Ghana in the next round for the second straight World Cup. The United States soccer federation then fired head coach Bob Bradley and hired former West German star and World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsman, who immediately instituted a new coaching style, hopefully for the better. Then, was the World Cup Draw, the US was grouped in group G.Group G is the United States, Portugal headed by Ballon D'Or winner Cristiano Rinaldo, Ghana who knocked the United States out of the World Cup and Germany headed by Bastian Schweinsteigger who plays for top German club Bayern Munich. As if the United States being grouped in the "Group of Death" was not enough they also have the highest number of miles traveled out of any of the 2014 World Cup teams, going from Natal where the game time temperature is suppossed to be 86 degrees to Manaus in the middle of the rainforest, back to Reciefe which is south of Natal. Below is a map of Brazil, with the host cities marked.



Group G:

The United States opens against Ghana, the bottom left in Natal, then they go against, Portugal in Manaus, top right, lastly they go against Jurgen Klinsmann's former country Germany, top left. This group is commonly referred to as the "Group of Death" with many pundits announcing the United States not making it out of the group,  but the greatest United States soccer player of all time Landon Donovan said "It's the group of death because we are in it too". Which I agree with because I think even though soccer is not as big in the States as the other countries and the US does not have such an illustrious history as the rest of the countries in Group G, they have shown they can play and beat good teams, in a friendly last year the United States beat Germany, and great defense even caused the German keeper to have a mishap and an own goal to occur.

Portugal:

I think Portugal is beatable because I do not believe there is enough people around Cristiano Ronaldo for them to succeed. When Rinaldo for example, has a bad game they will probably lose. Portugal is ranked 4th in the world, but because of what I just said I do not think they will make it out of the group stage, so prepare for changes after this World Cup, probably because the coach always gets blamed, in the form of a managerial change.

Germany:
(credit A.J. Levine for the help)

The German team is the team I am most scared about in the Group of Death, they are filled with EPL and Bundesliga players, most of them play for top German club Bayern Munich, one of the best teams in the World. In the FIFA world rankings the Germans are ranked number two behind 2010 champions Spain. I think Miroslav Klose, Mezut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski will have the best tournaments for the German team. If the Germans are holding up the World Cup trophy in a month, it would not entirely shock me.


Ghana: 


The dang United States killers are back. The Ghanaian National team includes players from various different teams in the world, including Juventus, Orlando Pirates, and Schalke 04. I believe Ghana will not get out of the group and they will lose to the United States of America in the first game.

United States: 

The Underdogs from the United States of America. I am American so I am biased for this part, I think the United States will finally bury their demons and beat Ghana, I also think they will make it out of the group. The Americans will lose in the quarter finals to Argentina. The United States has players ranging from the MLS at home, to the EPL, to other European leagues.  I believe the results in the group stage for the States will be, the names after the scores denote the game winning goal scorer, or general goal scorer
US 3-1 Ghana, Mix Diskerud
US 1-1 Portugal, Clint Dempsey
US 1-4 Germany, Jozy Altidore
I think the United States will only get as far as Clint Dempsey can bring them, he is taking over for legend Landon Donovan, but Clint Dempsey is not a young inexperienced player by any stretch of the imagination, he is a hell of a player. I do not like however that Jurgen Klinsmann publicly stated them winning the world cup was "Just not realistic". I hate that because even if that is true and they are gonna be a colossal failure this year, they should not believe that they should believe that they are the best team in the world, and they can beat anybody they are up against.

The United States 23 man roster going to Brazil:

Goalies: 

#1- Tim Howard-Everton FC, England
#12-Brad Guzan-Aston Villa FC, England
#22-Nick Rimando-Real Salt Lake, United States

Defenders: 


#2- Deandre Yedlin- Seattle Sounders FC, United States
#3-Omar Gonzalez- LA Galaxy, United States
#5-Matt Besler- Sporting Kansas City, United States
#6-John Brooks- Hertha BSC, Germany
#7- Damarcus Beasley- Puebla, Mexico
#20-Geoff Cameron-Stoke City, England
#21-Timothy Chandler- Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany
#23-Fabian Johnson- Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany

Midfielders: 

#4-Michael Bradley- Toronto FC, Canada (part of the United States, MLS league)
#10-Mikkel (Mix) Diskerud- Rosenborg, Norway
#11- Alejandro Bedoya- Nantes, France
#13- Jermaine Jones- Besikitas, Turkey
#14-Brad Davis- Houston Dynamo, United States
#15-Kyle Beckerman- Real Salt Lake, United States
#16-Julian Green-Bayern Munich, Germany
#19-Graham Zusi- Sporting Kansas City, United States

Forwards:


#8-Clint Dempsey (C)- Seattle Sounders FC, United States
#9-Aron Johannson- Az Alkmaar, Norway
#17-Jozy Altidore- Sunderland FC, England
#18-Chris Wondolowski- San Jose Earthquakes, United States

New York Rangers 2014 Offseason Plan



I was wrong, I'm sorry I really thought the Rangers were the team of destiny and they would end their 20 year drought and win the cup; I really did. From the outside looking in a 4-1 series win looks like the series was not even close especially when the series was 3-0; however that was not the case; 3 out of the 5 games went to OT and 2 of them went to double OT. If the Rangers got a bounce here or there and a call here or there, I could be writing about how happy I am that the Rangers lifted the cup etc.. But, That is not the reality of the situation, the reality is the Rangers did not get the bounces or the calls, and lost the series to frankly, a better team. The Rangers hit the post more times than I care to count in the total 6 overtimes, in 3 games, but that is life. I will stop dwelling on that and actually talk about what this article is about, which you know from the title. For certain stretches in the postseason the Rangers could have changed their name to the Henrik Lundqvist's because he played brilliantly, while other players cough cough Rick Nash did not show up. The Rangers will buyout Center Brad Richards, because of the retirement cap penalty and the lack of the quality of play in comparison to the amount of money he is making.

Free Agent Situation: 

The Rangers have five restricted free agents and another seven unrestricted free agents, some of which I think they should resign and some of which I do not think they should resign. The UFA's are Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot, Dominic Moore, Daniel Carcillo, Anton Stralman and Raphael Diaz. Out of that crop I would resign Dom Moore to a three year deal worth 1.5 million dollars and Brian Boyle to a one year deal worth 1 million dollars. Now to the RFA's, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Justin Falk, and John Moore. I think it would be very very unwise of Rangers GM Glen Sather to let Mats Zuccarello walk. I would resign Zuccarello to a 5 year deal worth 6 million dollars because of his improvement from a player only to be used in a shootout to one of the Rangers best players, far and away. I would also resign Kreider, Brassard and John Moore because I think Chris Kreider will only improve with time, and Brassard is also a good center man. John Moore is also a good 3rd D-Line pairing. The Rangers also should sign former captain Ryan Callahan to a 4 year 3 million dollar deal, they also should sign Paul Stastny from the Colorado Avalanche using the money from the buyout of Brad Richards for a 3 year, $1,250,000.00 deal.

Possible Trades:
If the Rangers want to be back where they were this year in the Stanley Cup finals they need to find a trade partner for Rick Nash, who had a terrible postseason scoring two goals in 26 games, needless to say that is not going to cut it. I would trade a first round pick and Rick Nash to the Ottawa Senators for Jason Spezza. However, Spezza has said he has 16 teams he does not want to go to but did not release the list, if the Rangers are one of those 16 i would call up the San Jose Sharks inquiring about center big bad Joe Thornton. A possible trade scenario would be Rick Nash and John Moore for Joe Thornton. I think this would be mutually beneficial to both teams because I think Rick Nash would be on the west coast and re find his game with Joe Pavelski and I think Joe Thornton could center the Rangers 3rd line, and checking line with Derek Dorsett at Left Wing and Dominic Moore at right wing. I say that because Joe Thornton is skilled but he would not fit on a speedy line like a line with the likes of Carl Hagelin, Marty St.Louis and Mats Zuccarello.


Possible Draft Picks:
The 2014 NHL Draft is on June 27th and 28th, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rangers do not have a 2014 First round pick because it is in the possession of the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Callahan-St.Louis trade. The Rangers do however have the 59th overall pick, a second round pick. As a result, big name, big impact in 2014-15, and probably 2015-16 players will be off the board. So, the Rangers can pick a center out of Dexter School in Massachusetts, who has committed to Harvard for the 2015-16 season, named Ryan Donato, whose father was a Ranger, and is now the Head Coach at Harvard University. They could also get a defenseman named Alex Peters, out of the Plymouth Whalers. He had three goals this year.  The last person they could possibly get is Luke Phillip a center out of the Kootenay Ice in the WHL. He had 31 goals and 77 points this year for the Ice. 


Hartford WolfPack and who will be called up in 2014-15:

The Hartford WolfPack had a bad year, not making the playoffs. I think the Rangers could once they get rid of Daniel Carcillo call up Dylan Mcilrath, who is basically the same player, a fighter. They could also call up J.T. Miller, who I enjoy watching very much and is a good player, and Ryan Bourque. 

I believe the Rangers can and will get back to the cup next year if they do all these things mentioned in the article.