2020 FA Cup Final.

Today was the final of the FA Cup. My favorite club in the world, Arsenal were making their record 21st appearance in the FA Cup final. Arsenal are also holders of the record for FA Cup final wins at thirteen. They were playing London rivals, Chelsea in today’s final. At the end of last season, Chelsea demolished Arsenal 4-1 in the 2019 Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan. Hopefully, the match would go much better for the Gunners today…

Leading up to this year’s FA Cup Final, Arsenal America took a look back at all thirteen Arsenal teams that lifted the Cup and in the process became FA Cup legends! They started with the very first Gunner squad to lift the FA Cup in 1930

And moved through all thirteen squads ending with the 2017 side

There were some neat graphics and photos on social media leading up to the match…

The match was all knotted at the half…

A brace by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lead Arsenal past Chelsea…

With the FA Cup win, Arsenal booked their spot in next season’s Europa League. It will be the Gunners twenty-fourth consecutive season of European football. Mikel Arteta’s side finished eighth in the Premier League table. Their win knocks Wolves out of Europe next season and forces sixth-place finishers, Spuds into the Europa League qualifying round to play an extra three matches before the tournament properly commences. And that makes lifting the FA Cup trophy just a little bit sweeter…

 

I hope Aubameyang stays with Arsenal for a long time to come…

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I’m so happy Mikel Artera is leading Arsenal now…

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Best handshake ever…

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Fourteen. Come on you Gunners! 😀🔴⚽️❤️

And I saw this graphic about Nicolas Pepe…

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After a slow start, I think he’s going to be a really good one. #COYG

A pretty good Saturday.

Good morning from Northside on this Saturday…

This morning we ran over to Lowe’s again to get more paint. After her success with painting our little half-bathroom, Genifer wanted to try painting our living room this weekend. While we were at Lowe’s, we also looked at some Pergo flooring for our third-floor bedroom. We really liked the color variations on this sample…

Pulling up the carpet on our third-floor and replacing it with wood might be our next, next project. After Lowe’s, we ran over to Kroger to get some groceries. They just had bee and sunflower balloons again today…

Have you ever tried Jack fruit? It looks like you’d get a lot of it for just $1.99…

I wonder if it’s any good? You know what IS good? These Ruffles chips…

Ohmigosh. They’re my new favorite! And this is the second time now that I’ve found them at Kroger! I was worried I would never find them again.

After we were done at Kroger, we stopped at Mad Llama for coffee…

When got home, Genifer started taping off the living room with painters tape…

And then she started priming,,,

And she did another really outstanding job with the primer…

And tomorrow she wants to paint the living room. She has a navy called Salty Dog that we think will look really nice in our living room. My job was to keep the dogs away from the paint while she was priming and tomorrow while she will be painting. And while she was priming, I got to watch the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and my Arsenal on ESPN+.

I don’t know why they relegated this match to ESPN+. They had a UFC behind-the-scenes show on ESPN and old X-Games highlights on ESPN2. It didn’t make much sense to me. But Arsenal defeated FA Cup holders Manchester City 2-0 to move onto the final at Wembley. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals for the Gunners, finishing off an unbelievable 18-pass team move and then a swift counter-attack goal to finish off Manchester City. Come on you, Gunners!

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Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez came up huge again for the Gunners especially with this save on City’s Riyad Mahrez. Watching the Mikel Arteta Bench Cam was also pretty entertaining. Arsenal’s head coach gets pretty animated on the sidelines. It’s been a week for The Arsenal. The Gunners beat newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday and now FA Cup holders City 2-0 just three days later. Pretty darn unbelievable!

Arsenal will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on August 1st…

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Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1 in the other semi-final.

When the match was over and Genifer was done priming, we went out in the backyard with the dogs…

And while we were in the backyard, we fired up the grill…

First, we grilled some salmon burgers and chicken kabobs…

And then we grilled a couple of burgers and some jalapeno cheddar dogs…

The burgers were really good…

And the dogs were outstanding…

We’ve been buying this sweet Hawaiian bread at the grocery. Not King’s Hawaiian, but the Kroger equivalent. And I’ve been putting my hot dogs on that instead of buying hot dog buns too. It seemed like there were always hot dog buns leftover. The dogs taste awesome on the Hawaiian bread and now we don’t have a lot of extra hot dog buns going to waste. I think that’s what they call, a win-win.

This is Bear, the newest member of our family…

I like him. He’s fitting right into our family like he was meant to be here.

Good evening from Northside…

When we got home, we had some of this strawberry cake we got at the grocery…

It was really good. I’ve been on a strawberry kick lately. I can’t wait to see how our living room looks in its new Salty Dog blue…

When we got upstairs, we watched Louisville City lose 1-0 to St. Louis. And we watched more of the MLS is Back tournament. It was a pretty good Saturday. 😀🗓️❤️

And here’s what actually happened.

I had this really epic soccer Sunday planned. And as you know, very rarely does anything ever go as planned. This is what actually happened with my epic soccer Sunday. I watched all the matches. But the results weren’t as I would have liked them.

Last night, the start of the FC Cincinnati versus Columbus Crew match didn’t start until well after 11pm because the match before theirs had a weather delay. I stayed up to watch the entire match. I don’t know why. It was bad. Really bad. It was the first match in charge for FC Cincinnati’s new manager, Jaap Stam. And it looked every bit of it.

News flash… FC Cincinnati is still terrible and lost 4-0

This morning we watched the second half of Wolves clinical 3-0 thumping of Everton. With the win, Wolves became the first English side to win competitive games in two different Julys in the same season. I was all set for the start of Toronto versus DC United. But the match was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. I mentioned we might watch yesterday’s Doosan Bears-Lotte Giants KBO game but we actually watched it yesterday. My Bears lost 5-4. Jose Fernandez hit a two-run homer with two out in the ninth to pull the Bears within one. But then the next batter flew out to center and that was the ballgame. I was also going to touch-up my quarantine haircut but I did that yesterday too. I got new clippers when we were running around yesterday. And I wanted to give them a try. They worked really well.

So with that, we had to endure Aston Villa versus Crystal Palace in its entirety. I don’t know how Crystal Palace don’t get relegated every season. Every time I see them play, they play the most uninspired, uninterested, and just plain boring soccer. Even when we saw them play FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium, they were pretty boring. Palace beat FC|C 2-0. But today, Palace lost 2-0 to Villa. Again.

The North London derby started well for Arsenal with Lacazette’s absolute screamer. The Gunners took a 1-0 but then the defense. Sigh. Arsenal. After the match, I changed from one of my Arsenal polos to my Leicester t-shirt. I switched the channel to ESPN to watch a bit of Parma-Bologna so I didn’t have to watch the Jose Mourinho post-match interview on NBCSN. I’ve never liked him. I can’t envision a scenario that would cause that to change.

Leicester looked to be rolling right along after Jamie Vardy scored his league-leading 26th goal. But then the wheels came off the Leicester wagon after the referee awarded Bournemouth a penalty. Leicester was reduced to ten men after a red card and Bournemouth would go on to score three more times to win 4-1. What. The. Heck?

Lousiville City started their USL season hosting Pittsburgh Rverhounds as they opened their new soccer-specific stadium. Speedy Williams scored the first goal for City in their new home. But then they gave up three unanswered goals to lose 3-1.

Are you seeing a trend here? All of my teams took a 1-0 lead and then lost.

Minnesota was trailing 1-0 as the clock approached the 90th minute. And then United scored two goals in stoppage time to win 2-1. The first was a penalty kick at 90+2 and then the winner at 90+7. And with that, Epic Soccer Sunday was salvaged!

It would have been a real bummer if all my teams lost. Thankfully, Minnesota United saved the day. 😀⚽️❤️

It’s finally happening!

I can’t remember the last time we had an epic sports day. One of those days where there are so many good games on TV, you don’t how you’re going to watch them all. It’s been soooo long since we’ve had a really epic sports day. It’s been so long since we had sports. But today is truly an epic sports day! I’m calling it, EPIC SOCCER SUNDAY! This is what I’ll be watching during today’s massive football feast with the teams I’ll be cheering for highlighted in blue…

I’m not entirely sold on watching Toronto-DC United. I guess it depends on if I managed to stay awake until the end of last night’s FC Cincinnati versus Columbus match.  The 10:30pm starts during the MLS is Back tournament are just a little late for me. I might also watch my Doosan Bears versus Lotte Giants KBO game that was on ESPN very early yesterday morning. We’ll see how it goes. I might also touch up my quarantine haircut first thing this morning.

Of the four matches I’m really interested in watching today, Arsenal seems to finally be finding their form after the restart. The Gunners are undefeated in their last five with four wins and a draw against Leicester. Spuds are doing their best Totteringham over their last five with two wins, draws at both Everton and Bournemouth, and a whopping 3-1 loss away to Sheffield United. Leceister City are currently sitting fourth in the league and hope to regain their pre-COVID-19 form against Bournemouth, who have lost four of their last five. My Foxes have just one win in their last five with two losses and two draws. But with Chelsea also losing to Sheffield United yesterday, a win could put Leicester back in third.

Leading up to Sunday’s USL Championship restart, two-time USL Champion Louisville City will be christening their brand new, $65 million state-of-the-art, Lynn Family Stadium at approximately 30% of the new facility’s regular 15,304-person capacity.

And finally, there’s my Minnesota United. Before the season was suspended, the Loons won both of their matches, 3-1 away to Portland and 5-2 away to San Jose. So I’m super excited to have them start playing again. I stocked up on MNUFC gear in the off-season, and I’ve been waiting all year to finally have the opportunity to wear it.

There are other matches on Sunday too. There are two early Premier League matches on Sunday. Wolves face Everton at 7am. Wolves have been in great form since the restart and hadn’t given up a goal until they play Arsenal last weekend. The second match is Aston Villa versus Crystal Palace. And it just sounds like it’s going to be a boring, lifeless draw. But watch it end up being the most exciting match of the day. AC Milan plays Napoli in Italian Serie A at 3:45pm on ESPN+. The Rossoneri stunned Juventus 4-2 midweek. And there’s also the late MLS tournament match between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids at 10:30pm on ESPN. I don’t know that we’ll make it all the way through the late MLS match. But I’m pretty sure it’ll be on our TV as we’re heading to bed.

It’s going to be an Epic Soccer Sunday. And I couldn’t be more excited. 😃📺⚽️🤗💯❤️

A world without sports.

Last night, the NBA shocked everyone by abruptly suspending the remaining games of their season after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus…

 

But at least, my Mavs are the 2019/20 Champions. This afternoon, Michigan was set to begin their 2020 B1G TEN tournament against Rutgers in Indianapolis at a Bankers Life Fieldhouse without any spectators…

And just as the game was about to tipoff, the entire tournament was canceled…

Both teams were on the floor, warmed up and ready to tip-off their tournament and then the plug was pulled on the whole thing.

Some things are bigger than basketball. This is a global situation and we need to make sure we follow the guidance and direction of the experts and health officials. While we are disappointed of not being able to play this event — especially for Zavier and Jon.

We need to stay bonded together during this time. We want everyone to stay safe and take precautions to protect yourselves and loved ones.

We are a Michigan family… forever.

— Michigan Head Coach, Juwan Howard

But on the upside, Michigan is still undefeated against Rutgers.

And less than an hour later, MLS postponed their season for 30 days…

No Minnesota United soccer for a while

In a related story, I’m done with FC Cincinnati. Completely done. But that’s another post for another time. And not long after MLS, USL followed suit and suspended their season for at least 30 days as well…

Louisville City just completed their soccer-specific stadium before the beginning of this season, and now they’re going to have to wait a little while longer to christen their stadium. But it looks just beautiful…

A few hours later, it was baseball’s turn…

And then later this afternoon, March Madness turned into March Sadness…

Ha. And when I got home from work, I saw an update from England…

Apparently, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been diagnosed with COVID-19…

The FA is scheduled to release a statement of the future of the English Premier League season. I’m guessing it will be postponed for the foreseeable future…

And there you go. Now we’re living in my nightmare, a world without sports. It’s a very sad day. And it’s going to be a really long month. 😭🚫❤️

UPDATE: The Premier League season has been suspended with the intention of returning on April 4. The League intends to reschedule the postponed matches.

And the NBA season is likely to resume. Games could return in April and possibly go straight into the playoffs, or the league could push the entire calendar back. But my Mavericks will always be 2019/20 NBA Champions to me.

Come on you, Gunners.

Before today’s Europa League match between Arsenal at Olympiakos, one of the 20 odd mascots, probably the smallest of the bunch was left out on the pitch when the rest had long since headed off. He clearly had no idea what to do and the Arsenal players pulled him in for their team picture…

Absolutely classic. Arsenal won the match 1-0 on brilliant four pass move started when Mustafi switched fields to Aubameyang on the left through to Sako and finished by Alexander Lacazette. #CYOG 😀⚽️😂🤣❤️

Pause for paws.

Just hanging out with Mack this morning watching my two very favorite English Premier League teams play each other…

I’ve loved Arsenal for the last thirty years. They’re my favorite soccer team of all-time. Hands down. When Leceister City won promotion to EPL back in 2014, I decided the Foxes would be my bottom of the table team. I would cheer Arsenal to battle for championships and pull for Leceister to stay up in the top flight.

Imagine my shock when my lower-level team wins the Premier League championship the very next season in 2015/16. And so far this season, Leceister is sitting up in third behind Liverpool and Manchester City and my “top of the table team” is floundering in sixth place.

Leicester continued their great form and beat Arsenal today 2-0. 😀🐾⚽️❤️

 

Dana’s Gardens.

Today was a big sports day. So this afternoon we went with a bunch of friends to Dana’s Gardens just across the street from the campus of Xavier University to watch Xavier play basketball away to the DePaul Blue Demons…

It’s just a great little hole in the wall sports bar. As it turns out, it’s also an official Everton supporters bar. My Arsenal was playing Liverpool this afternoon. So there were no shortage of people pulling for the Arsenal to beat Liverpool. And Michigan was playing Florida in their bowl game. All at the same time. And Dana’s had the TVs to have all those games on. I’m irritated with myself that I completely forgot to take a photo of the inside of Dana’s. But it’s just a little low ceiling dive bar. And like I said, they have a bunch of TVs. They also have really cheap drinks and equally cheap but really great food. It was also one of those places that had a lot of words of wisdom in the restroom…

It was a really fun time…

Xavier beat DePaul by ten but Arsenal got thumped 5-1 by Liverpool. 😀🏀⚽️❤️

The wait is almost over!

English Premier League soccer is back in just one week! And I’m so excited!

Check out NBC Sports season preview for my favorite club, Arsenal! 😀⚽️❤️

Happy North London Derby Day!

COME ON YOU GUNNERS! #AFCvsTHS #Arsenal #COYG 😀⚽️🔫❤️

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