The FA Cup Final.

I’ve been a fan of Arsenal football club for as long as I can remember. My love for the club dates back to the early nineties. Way back in the day, I would watch (and record) the hour-long highlight show from the week that was in the English first division. And I fell in love with Arsenal. I fell hard. Their name, their kit, their larger-than-life cast of characters, their style of play with all the intricate passing, and jaw-dropping team goals. Before Arsene Wenger led the club to new heights. Heck, even before there was even an English Premier League. Arsenal has just always been my team for as long as I can remember.

Fast forward to the start of the 2014/15 season, and newly promoted Leceister City caught my attention. I still remember the piece NBCSN did on the newly promoted Foxes from “Lester.” And I thought if Arsenal were my top-of-the-table team, Leceister would be my relegation battle team. Leicester survived their first season back in the Premier League and then went on to become Premier League Champions during their unbelievably magical 2015/16 season. All of a sudden Leicester is my team competing for top-four finishes. Because in the meantime, Arsenal forced out their club legend manager, Arsene Wagner and is now somehow a middle of the table team.

Long story short, I’m a big fan of two football clubs.

Today, Leicester played in their fifth FA Cup final. They’d made the finals on four other occasions and lost all four, the last itme being during the 1968/69 season.

But today, the Foxes won their first-ever FA Cup by beating Chelsea 1-0 on a Youri Tielemans goal from 25 yards out. I collected a bunch of images from social media to commemorate the occasion…

It was an amazing match! It had a bit of everything… a banger of a goal from Youri Tielemans, an iconic save from Kasper Schmeichel, VAR controversary and most importantly, Leicester City lifting the Cup!

#FoxesNeverQuit 😀🦊⚽️🏆😍❤️

Tuesday, March 16th.

We were up super early this morning. It was very foggy…

This truck was on our street today…

I really liked the bear and dot-matrix glow around their logo…

Leicester beat Sheffield United 5-0…

We ordered El Taco Veloz from Doordash…

We found a really good one in El Taco Veloz. And they have dessert…

😀🌄⚽️🌯🌮♥️

Saturday, March 6th.

I’d never seen all The Hobbit movies. So tonight, we started watching the trilogy…

😀🌄⚽️🍕📺❤️

A sunny day in Northside.

It was a very bright and sunshiny morning…

Good morning from Northside…

And the sun was out all day today…

Good evening from Northside…

We had another one of the Kroger Prep+Pared Home Chef Express meals. This was Swiss Chicken with honey mustard green beans and crispy onions…

It was another really delicious meal. The cheesy chicken was really terrific and the green beans were really good. I think crispy onions can make anything even more delicious. We like the Kroger Prep+Pared Home Chef Express meal kits a lot.

While I was working this afternoon, I listened to Leicester beat Chelsea 2-0 to go top of the Premier League. And this evening, we watched Michigan bounce back from their first loss by thumping Maryland 87-63.

We had another good Tuesday. 😀🌄☀️🐔⚽️🏀❤️

Happy Boxing Day!

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day. It originated as a holiday to give gifts to the poor. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants, and the day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmas boxes to their families. Today, it’s a great day of soccer from the UK. Early this morning, we watched Leicester rally twice to draw 2-2 with Manchester United

And we watched my Arsenal…

Arsenal lifted the funk they’ve been in recently with a 3-1 win over Chelsea

That’s two in the row for the Gunners. They actually looked like the formidable Arsenal of old today.

It was a very pretty evening…

Good evening from Northside…

For dinner tonight, we had stuffed mushrooms that we got at the grocery…

Stuffed mushrooms are delicious. And then we had a frozen oven pizza…

Later, we started watching Hinterland on Netflix. It’s pretty good.

We had a really good Boxing Day. 😀🌄⚽️🍄🍕❤️

Nice! You have a reward.

Good morning from Northside…

This afternoon we ordered pizza from Taft’s Brewpourium. And we had accumulated some rewards…

Omigosh! Look at our Taft’s Brewpourium pizza feast…

I’m pretty sure Taft’s is my favorite pizza is all of Cincinnati. It’s so good.

Oscar was telling us it’s time to go on our evening walk…

And when we were walking the dogs, we noticed this…

That’s pretty darn creepy.

Good evening from Northside…

We hung this guy out on our back porch…

This afternoon I had to knock out a few things for work while I listened to Arsenal lose 1-0 to Leicester, and then we watched the Bengals come up short against the Browns.

This evening, we watched the Dodgers win the World Series. It’s a bummer. It would have been so neat for Tampa Bay teams to win the Stanley Cup and the World Series. This season will always have asterisk next to it for me. The Dodgers were the best team that money could buy over the course of a pandemic-shortened 60-game season. Personally, I liked it much better when the Dodgers would spend all that money year after year and and then come up short. That was great. 😀🌄🍕🐾⚽️🏈⚾️❤️

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. 😃📺⚽️🤗💯❤️

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. 😀🐾⚽️❤️

 

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