Sunday, 25 August 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 4 Preview 27 August - 1 September

Bundesliga Matchday 4 will be stretched from Tuesday to Sunday in consideration of Bayern Munich's Champions League Supercup encounter with Chelsea on Friday August 30.  There is also midweek activity for Eintracht Frankfurt against Quarabag and VFB Stuttgart against Rijeka in the Euro Leauge Playoff round.  Thursday FC Schalke 04 travels to PAOK in the Champions League Qualifying round.  The Champions League Group Stage draw will be made on Thursday as well.

This week's Bundesliga opener will be on Tuesday with FC Bayern traveling to Freiburg to continue on its path of a perfect record in four matchday.  Freiburg will have a voice in this and with only one point will be determined to defeat Bayern at home.  Bayern's new acquisition Thiago will be out for seven weeks due to a ligament injury, which requires surgery.  Mario Goetze made his debut with Bayern against Nuernberg, but still requires game fitness.  Pep Guardiola will also have to take Friday's game against Chelsea into consideration.  Bayern is the clear favourite in Freiburg and should win by two goals.

Four teams, Dortmund, Leverkusen, Bayern and Mainz have earned all three points in three matchdays.  Dortmund travels to Frankfurt on Sunday and is the clear favourite.  If Dortmund can take care of its defensive side, the Borussen should win by at least two goals.  Leverkusen travels to Schalke on Saturday.  Schalke has a match on Thursday and has not played up to its potential so far this season.  The extra stress of the Euro League will be a factor for Schalke and Leverkusen seems to be firing on all cylinders.  The nod has to go to Kiessling and company.

FSV Mainz travels to Hannover on Saturday and this match could go either way.  A slight home game advantage goes to Hannover.  VFB Stuttgart and Eintracht Braunschweig are still chasing their first point, having lost the first three season matches.  Stuttgart, which plays on Thursday in the Euro Leauge also hosts Hoffenheim on Sunday.  This is a game that could go either way and may end up in draw.  Braunschweig travels to Hamburg on Saturday.  Braunschweig has lost its first three matches, while Hamburg only has one point.  A slight advantage goes to Hamburg.

The remaining two matches see Nuernberg hosting Augsburg.  Nuernberg has drawn two matches and lost one, while Augsburg lost two and won one.   This is another Bavarian derby match and should provide ample entertainment to fans.  No matter how it turns out it should be close with home team advantage to Nuernberg. Gladbach hosts Bremen and Bremen has won two matches and lost one.  Gladbach won one and lost two.  This should be another nail biter.  Berlin travels to Wolfsburg for a match that should be interesting.  Can Berlin continue to remain undefeated. With seven points in three starts, Hertha has had an excellent start in the Bundesliga. 

This week's question is whether or not the front runners can win their fourth consecutive match and if Stuttgart and Eintracht Braunschweig can finally win some points. All eyes will be on Friday's FC Bayern vs Chelsea game, when the Bundesliga once again measures itself against the Barclay's Premier League.   Bayern will be ready. 

Tuesday 27 August

SC Freiburg vs Bayern München 1-1

Saturday 31 August

Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 vs FSV Mainz 05   
VfL Wolfsburg vs Hertha BSC   
1. FC Nürnberg vs FC Augsburg   
Hamburger SV vs Eintracht Braunschweig  
Schalke 04 vs Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday 1 September
 
VfB Stuttgart vs 1899 Hoffenheim   
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Dortmund

    
Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts
1--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------4----3----1-----0-------7-2-------10
2--------Borussia Dortmund-----------3----3----0-----0-------7:1--------9
3--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------3----3----0-----0-------8:3--------9
4--------Mainz 05-----------------------3----3----0-----0-------7:3--------9
5------- Hertha BSC Berlin------------2----2----1-----0------9:3---------7
6--------Werder Bremen----------------3----2----0-----1------2:1---------6
7--------Hannover 96--------------------3----2----0-----1------4:3---------6
8--------1899 Hoffenheim---------------3----1----2-----0-----10:6--------5
9--------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------3----1----0-----2------4:4---------3
10-------Borussia M'gladbach-----------3----1----0-----2------5:7--------3
11--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------3----1----0-----2-------3:7--------3
12--------FCAugsburg-------------------3----1----0-----2--------2:6--------3
13-------1. FC Nürnberg-----------------3----0----2-----1-------4:6---------2
14-------SC Freiburg---------------------4----0----2-----2-------6:9---------2
15-------Hamburg------------------------3----0----1-----2-------5:8---------1
16--------FC Schalke 04-----------------3----0----1-----2-------4:9---------1
17--------VFB Stuttgart------------------3----0----0-----3-------3:6---------0
18--------Eintracht Braunschweig------3----0----0-----3-------1:5---------0

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 3 - Dortmund, Bayern, Leverkusen, Mainz lead the pack

Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Bayern Muenchen and Mainz 05 won their three opening matches in the new season and are ahead of the field, leading with nine points. One goal separates Dortmund from Leverkusen and Bayern, while Mainz trails by two.

Borussia Dortmund vs SV Werder Bremen 1-0

Despite Borussia's overwhelming dominance over Bremen it wasn't until the second half that the Champions League finalists was able to get on the scoreboard.  Robert Lewandowski scored in the 55th minute to earn the three points for Dortmund and secure its lead in the Bundesliga.  Werder Bremen to its credit played a compact game in the defence and avoided a roll over.  Dortmund managed to open the Bremen defence more often in the second half, but was unable to convert some excellent scoring opportunities. Despite the loss, Bremen remains in sixth spot.

FC Bayern Muenchen vs 1. FC Nuernberg  2-0

Another derby and another win for the men from southern Bavaria.  The match wasn't without difficulty for Bayern though.  Pep Guardiola opted to start Mario Goetze and Thiago for this match, leaving Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos on the bench.  Bayern had difficulty cracking the Nuernberg defence in the first half and David Alaba, who normally is a sure bet for penalty kick, missed one in the 33rd minute.  Thus the sides were scoreless at the half.  Bayern continued its domination in the second half but it wasn't until Thomas Mueller came in for Thiago in the 62nd minute and Toni Kroos came on for Mario Goetze in the 68th that Bayern's fortunes improved.  In the 69th minute Ribery put the European champion on the scoreboard and Arjen Robben put Bayern ahead 2-0 in the 78th.  This leaves Bayern third place with one goal behind Dortmund in the top spot.  Nuernberg moved to 11th spot.


Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-2

In an exciting match Bayer Leverkusen went on to take its third victory in the new season.  Right from the start Leverkusen took control and lead 2-0 by the 28th minute with goals by Kiessling (23rd) and Sam (28th).  This is how the teams went into the half time break.  Gladbach showed a breath of fresh air in the second half and got the equalizer by the 57th minute.  Stranzl scored in the 54th minute and Arango tied the game in the 57th.  After that it was mostly Leverkusen, which edged out more scoring opportunities.  Sam scored the 3-2 at the 60 minute mark and Castro put Leverkusen ahead 4-2 in the 72nd minute.  Leverkusen remains in second place, while Gladbach moved to tenth. 

Hannover 96 vs Schalke 04 2-1

Trouble keeps mounting for the Schalke side.  The club that is vying for a spot in the Champions League dropped another three points and currently holds 14th spot in the league, a place they would not have envisioned to be in three weeks ago.  Hannover was the dominating team in the first half and this was partly due to Hoewedes red card in the 14th minute.  In fact Hannover which led with goals by Huszti (14th) and Diout (42nd) after the first half could have had a much higher lead. Schalke made a courageous attempt in the second half and Szalai made the score a respectable 2-1 in the 55th minute.  Hannover was able to hang on an capture the three points and move into sixth spot. 

1899 Hoffenheim vs SC Freiburg 3-3 


Both teams approached the game with vigour.  Sejad Salihovic scored the opener for Hoffenheim in the ninth, unfortunately it was also accompanied by a send off for overenthusiastic celebration.  Despite the early lead, Freiburg wasn't phased and got the equalizer in the 13th minute with Oliver Sorg's goal. Kevin Volland again got the lead for Hoffenheim in the 25th minute.  Karim Guede got the equalizer for Freiburg in the 29th for a 2-2 score at the half.  The second half continued to be entertaining and Freis put Freiburg ahead for the first time in the game in the 65th minute. But once again Hoffenheim got the equalizer in the 77th minute when Strobl got a netter.   Hoffenheim is currently in 7th spot and Freiburg earned its first point for the season and is in 13th spot.

Main 05 vs VFL Wolfsburg 2-0

Mainz is one of four teams that have now won all three games of the new season.  Wolfsburg was the better team on the pitch unitl Choupo-Moting scored for Mainz in the 60th minute.  This was followed by a second yellow card and a send off of former Bayern player Gustavo in the 64th minute.  Mainz secured the 2-0 win in the 78th minute.  This was a hard pill to swallow for Wolfsburg, which has now slipped to ninth spot. Mainz remains in fourth.

Hertha BSC Berlin vs Hamburger SV 1-0

In hard fought match, which boiled down to hard work, Berlin came out on top of Hamburg.  Hamburg did not impress over all compared to the newly promoted club.  Offense was far and in between and it wasn't until Ramos scored for Berlin in the 74th minute that Hamburg attempted a real push, which was too little to late. Hamburg has one point in three games and rests in 12th spot, while Berlin after three games with seven points occupies fifth.

Eintracht Braunschweig vs Eintracht Frankfurt  0-2

Frankfurt was the dominating side from the start and put pressure on Braunschweig throughout the match.  During the first 45 the side was unable to convert opportunities into goals.  A revitalized Frankfurt side came out in the second half and Alexander Meier, who has scored four of Frankfurts six competition games this season scored in the 52nd minute.   Stefan Aigner netted in the 62nd, giving Frankfurt its first win this season.  Frankfurt moves into 11th place, while Braunschweig is currently in 17th spot.

FC Augsburg vs VFB Stuttgart  2-1

Stuttgart lost their third match of the season and continues to linger at the bottom  of the league.  For Augsburg it was their first victory of the season, primarily due to it more vigorous engagement and quick counters.  Altintop and Callston-Bracker scored for Augsburg in the 6th and 36th minute before Ibesivic narrowed the score to 2-1 just before the half in the 42nd minute.  Augsburg started the second half as they finished the first and Stuttgart became shorthanded after Traore was send off on a direct red card in the 70th minute.  The last 45 minutes belonged to Stuttgart, unfortunately it was too little too late.

23 August

Borussia Dortmund vs Werder Bremen    1-0

24 August

FC Bayern vs Nürnberg     2-0
Bayer Leverkusen vs M'gladbach     4-2
Hannover 96 vs Schalke 04     2-1
1899 Hoffenheim vs SC Freiburg     3-3
FSV Mainz 05 vs VfL Wolfsburg     2-0
Hertha BSC vs Hamburger SV   1-0

25 August
   
Eintracht Braunschweig vs Eintracht Frankfurt  0-2
FC Augsburg vs VFB Stuttgart  2-1

Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts
1--------Borussia Dortmund-----------3----3----0-----0-------7:1--------9
2--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------3----3----0-----0-------8:3--------9
3--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------3----3----0-----0-------6-1--------9
4--------Mainz 05-----------------------3----3----0-----0-------7:3--------9
5------- Hertha BSC Berlin------------2----2----1-----0------9:3---------7
6--------Werder Bremen----------------3----2----0-----1------2:1---------6
7--------Hannover 96--------------------3----2----0-----1------4:3---------6
8--------1899 Hoffenheim---------------3----1----2-----0-----10:6--------5
9--------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------3----1----0-----2------4:4---------3
10-------Borussia M'gladbach-----------3----1----0-----2------5:7--------3
11--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------3----1----0-----2-------3:7--------3
12--------FCAugsburg-------------------3----1----0-----2--------2:6--------3
13-------1. FC Nürnberg-----------------3----0----2-----1------4:6---------2
14-------Hamburg------------------------3----0----1-----2-------5:8---------1
15-------SC Freiburg---------------------3----0----1-----2-------5:8---------1
16--------FC Schalke 04-----------------3----0----1-----2-------4:9---------1
17--------VFB Stuttgart------------------3----0----0-----3-------3:6---------0
18--------Eintracht Braunschweig------3----0----0-----3-------1:5---------0

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 3 Preview 23-25 August 2013

Bundesliga matchday 3 gets under way on Friday afternoon when Borussia Dortmund hosts Werder Bremen.  The two sides are among five clubs that have won their first two matchdays.  Dormund leads the five team pack by goal difference, while Bremen is at the bottom of the  unbeaten pack.  Bayer Leverkusen, FC Bayern and Mainz 05 are the remaining three. 

The matchday three opener is important, since one of the two or both sides will give up points.  Dortmund with the home game advantage and last season's Champions League finalist, has the clear advantage over Bremen and should emerge victorious.  Juergen Klopp with his star alignment will want to make sure of that.  Bremen has won its first two matches by one goal each and will have to do much better against the Borussen.  While improving its scoring ability the defence will have to be solid.

On Saturday FC Bayern Muenchen hosts 1.FC Nuernberg in the Bavarian derby, which has a long history.  FC Bayern has been the overwhelming winner of the derby, but Nuernberg has been known to pull out all the stops.  Bayern trails Dortmund by two goals with 4-1 goals in two matches.  Nuernberg currently holds seventh place in the top flight having drawn their first two matches.  Regardless the match will be interesting and Bayern is the hands down favourite.

Bayer Leverkusen hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach and currently is tied with Bayern for goals with 4-1 after two games.  Gladbach won one match and lost the other with goals even at 3-3.   Leverkusen is the favourite in this match, but the side should not underestimate Gladbach, which held Bayern to one goal last weekend.  This should be a close match.

Mainz 05 hosts Wolfburg and has won its first two matches with a goal difference of 5-3.  Wolfsburg on the other hand has won one and lost one with a respectable goal difference of 4-2.  Mainz has had an excellent start to the season and this match should be a particular tough challenge.   Wolfsburg has the ability to defeat Mainz.  No clear favourite in this match.

Schalke will be traveling to ¸Hannover.  The club from Gelsenkirchen, considered one of the top four sides in the Bundesliga has only gained one point in two matches.  In its Champions League debut on Wednesday, the Royal Blues put in a disappointing performance, only getting a draw at home against PAOK.  With Klass Jan Huntelaar injured, if the Knappen can come up with a successful match in Hannover is a good question.  Hannover has won one and lost one match and is currently in tenth spot.  This will be a closely contested match, which could end up in a  draw or a win for Hannover.

Hoffenheim and Freiburg are both trying to establish themselves in the upper half of the league.  Hoffenheim has a win and a draw,  while Freiburg has lost their first two starts and finds itself in the bottom three. The match in Sinsheim should provide good entertainment and tension for the fans and should end up with a narrow win or a draw.

Scheduled on Sunday, Eintracht meets Eintracht.  That is Eintracht Braunschweig hosts Eintracht Frankfurt.  Braunschweig, new to the Bundesliga this year is still without a point, while Frankfurt is at the bottom of the league after two starts and have scored one goal, but have been scored on seven times.  A positive sign was the sides Euro League debute against Quarabag, where Frankfurt won 2-0.  How the stress of travel affects the side remains to be seen.  It would appear however that Alexander Meier has found his scoring boots.  Frankfurt should win this match.

The final match on Sunday has Stuttgart traveling down the road to Augsburg.  Both teams have not netted a point in two games.  Augsburg has been scored on five times, while scoring none.  Stuttgart scored twice and took four goals.  The result is a toss up with both sides having equal chances to pick up the three points.  The joker for Stuttgart is how the side was affected in its disappointing Euro League debut. 

It is still too early to examine trends within the league, but each matchday comes closer.  Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and FC Bayern Muenchen are on target.  Schalke, Frankfurt and Stuttgart have some work to do.



23 August

Borussia Dortmund vs Werder Bremen    1-0

24 August

FC Bayern vs Nürnberg    
Bayer Leverkusen vs M'gladbach    
Hannover 96 vs Schalke 04    
1899 Hoffenheim vs SC Freiburg    
FSV Mainz 05 vs VfL Wolfsburg    
Hertha BSC vs Hamburger SV

25 August
   
Eintracht Braunschweig vs Eintracht Frankfurt
FC Augsburg vs VFB Stuttgart  

Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts
1--------Borussia Dortmund-----------3----3----0-----0-------7:1--------9
2--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------2----2----0-----0-------4:1-------6
3--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------2----2----0-----0-------4-1--------6
4--------Mainz 05------------------------2----2----0-----0------5:3--------6
5--------Werder Bremen----------------3----2----0-----1------2:1---------6
6------- Hertha BSC Berlin-------------2----1----1-----0------8:3---------4
7--------1899 Hoffenheim---------------2----1----1-----0------7:3--------4
8--------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------2----1----0-----1------4:2---------3
9--------Borussia M'gladbach-----------2----1----0-----1------3:3---------3
10-------Hannover 96--------------------2----1----0-----1-------2:2--------3
11-------1. FC Nürnberg-----------------2----0----2-----0------4:4---------2
12--------Hamburg------------------------2----0----1-----1-------4:8--------1
13--------FC Schalke 04-----------------2----0----1-----1-------3:7---------1
14-------VFB Stuttgart-------------------2----0----0-----2-------2:4--------0
15--------Eintracht Braunschweig------2----0----0-----2-------1:3--------0
16-------SC Freiburg---------------------2----0----0-----2------2:5---------0
17--------FC Augsburg-------------------2----0----0-----2-------0:5--------0
18--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------2----0----0-----2-------1:7--------0

Euroleague Playoffs Bundesliga Clubs 22 August 2013

The first leg of the Euroleague playoffs ended with mixed results for the two Bundesliga sides.  Eintracht Frankfurt, despite a bad start into the Bundesliga, defeated Quarabag 2-0 and has a two away goal advantage for the second leg next week.  VFB Stuttgart which played in Rijeka, Croatia was defeated 2-1, but has a critical away goal for the return match in Stuttgart.

Quarabag vs Eintracht Frankfurt  0-2

Frankfurt won deservedly in their quest for the Euroleague Group stage.  Frankfurt stood solid defensively and the offense developed several good scoring opportunities.  Alexander Meier score twice, the first in the 6th minute and one in the second half in the 75th minute.

Meier's goal in the first half came in the sixth minute after Stefano Celizzo stormed up the right wing and put a superb pass into the center, where Alexander Meier picked it up with a one time shot just below the crossbar.  Miro Varvodic, Quarabag's keeper had no chance.  It was a picture perfect goal and gave the Eagles the 1-0 halftime lead.

The second half saw Frankfurt perform with the same vigour, again solid in the defence and agressvie in the offense.  Alexander Meier got his double pack with his second goal of the night. 

Alexander Meier secured Frankfurt's lead in the 75th minute after he took a pass from the right flank, and moved the ball past defender Maksim Medvedev, netting the ball in the far corner.  This is how the contest ended and Frankfurt goes into the second leg with a two goal away advantage and one leg in the group phase.



Rijeka vs VFB Stuttgart  1-2

VFB Stuttgart had difficulty managing a power Croatian team, but managed to get the important away goal, despite a 2-1 defeat.  The goal leaves the opportunity open for a good result in the home match next week. Rijeka opened the scoring in the 74th minute with Benko's goal.  Kvrzic doubled the score in the 87th minute, but Ibesevic got one back in the 89th minute for Stuttgart.


Stuttgarts performance in the first half was lacking, while Rijeka challenged Stuttgart's defence.  The Schwaben managed to salvage a scoreless draw at the end of 45 minutes.


The second half was not much better for Stuttgart and Benko gave the lead to the Croats in the 74th minute, Ivan Tomecak, after moving around Minaro, delivered a perfect pass to the far post, which Benko easily transported into the far corner.  Stuttgart became a little more aggressive after the goal, but it was Kvrzic that found the net for the security goal in the 87th minute.

The goal came on a counterattack by Rijeka and Benko divided Stuttgart's defence, moves around Ulreich and put a perfect pass in front of the net.  Zoran Dvrzic left two defenders in the dust and sends the ball home for the 2-0 Rijeka lead. 

With a little luck, Stuttgart managed to narrow the score in the 89th minute with Ibesivec's goal.  The goal came on a pass from Gentner on the left flank.  Abellaoue near the left post was in a offside position, but was unable to get to the ball, before Ibesivic beat him to it and transported the ball into the net. 

Stuttgart's goal is important for the return match and makes Stuttgart's lot a little easier, since the Schwaben only need to win by one goal.  VFB Stuttgart will have to ramp up the temp if they are to make the group stage.






Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Schalke disappoints with a 1-1 draw against PAOK




Schalke 04 only managed a 1-1 draw in their Champions League qualifying match against PAOK.  Despite overwhelming possession in the first half, Schalke only managed a single goal in the 32nd minute by Jefferson Farfan.  PAOK came out in the second half ready to battle and was able to penetrate the Schalke penalty box.   In the 73rd minute the disappointment was there for the Schalke fans when Miroslav Stoch got the equalizer for the Greek.  
 
It took Schalke sometime in the first half to get their feet and it was also only during the first three minutes that PAOK got three corners.  After that it was all Schalke in the first half, but PAOK was defending resolutely.  When PAOK had possession the ball barely made it across the midway line, with inaccurate passes and lack of good coordination.  However it took Schalke 32 minutes to net the ball for its only goal by halftime. 

In the 32nd minute Szalia received the ball in the penalty area, but had trouble controlling it.  With presence of mind he pushed the ball to his right toward Jefferson Farfan.  He fired at the net with his left foot and pushed it inside the far post for the 1-0 Schalke lead.
 
 Two minutes earlier, in the 30th minute, Jermain Jones fired over the  net from about 30 meters distance.
 
PAOK performed better in the second half and were able to break into the Schalke penalty box several times.  In the 73rd minute Miroslav Stoch found some room on the left side and moved into the centre unhindered.  His shot with his right foot moves directly into the far corner of the net.  Timo Hildrebrand had no chance. 

Schalke's troubles continued when Jefferson Farfan was carried off the field in a stretcher and went directly to the dressing room.  He was replaced by Teemu Pukki in the 87th minute.

Unfortunately Schalke did not sew up the game in the first half when they had the chance and PAOK was able to hang on to the draw and goes into the second leg in Greece with the advantage of an away goal.  
 
Schalke's troubles continue with two Bundesliga and one Champions League match in the books, Schalke has managed 1 loss and two draws.  The Royal Blues have a lot of work ahead of them.
 
Schalke:  Hildebrand - Howedes, Uchida, Fuchs, Matip - Matip, Meyer Clemens (69th), Draxler - Hoeger (Goretzka) Jones , Farfan (Pukki 87th) - Salai

PAOK:  Jacobo - Miguel Vitor, Lino, Tziolis, Stoch - Lawrence (Kace 60th), Lazar, Katsouranis, Kitsiou, Lucas (Oliseh 90th) - Salpingidis (Athanasiadis 60th)

Champions League - Group Qualification FC Schalke 04 vs PAOK Saliniki Preview

FC Schalke 04 will be facing the Greek club PAOK Saliniki in the first leg of the Champions League qualification round.  Schalke is seen by many as one of two clubs capable of dethroning FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.  Bayer Leverkusen is the other. 

Despite the fact that Schalke is considered as one of the top four sides in Germany's top flight, its first two matches in the new season have left Schalke in 13th place.   In their season debut against Hamburger SV, the Royal Blues ended the match with a 3-3 draw, while four days ago in their second match against Wolfsburg Schalke took a 4-0 beating.   Those two games were not exactly confidence builders. 

PAOK Saliniki is coached by Huub Stevens, who was fired by the Royal Blues in 2012.  Stevens has occupied the coaches bench 304 times with Schalke and knows the club inside out, which will have helped him to prepare PAOK for this competition.

Schalke has had difficulty with its defence in the first two games and it is something that the club only had four days to fix.  Will it be good enough to avoid another loss?  Schalke's scoring ace Klaas Jan Huntelaar   is out due to injury and will be replaced by Adam Szalai, who was acquired from Mainz 05 during the summer transfer window.  Also out are Chinedu Obasi, Anthony Annan and Kyriakos Papdopolous.

Although Schalke is the clear favourite in this contest, the club hasn't been firing on all cylinders and will have to overcome the devastating defeat against Wolfsburg this past weekend.  Game time is 2:30 pm EDT and the match will be broadcast in Canada on SNET 1.  


Projected lineups:

Schalke 04: Timo Hildebrand; Christian Fuchs, Benedikt Höwedes, Felipe Santana, Atsuto Uchida; Jermaine Jones, Marco Höger; Christian Clemens, Julian Draxler, Jefferson Farfán; Ádám Szalai

PAOK Salonika: Jacobo Sanz Ovejero; Lino, Miguel Vítor, Íñigo López Montaña, Stelios Kitsiou; Miroslav Stoch, Alexandros Tziolis, Costin Lazăr, Lucas Pérez Martínez; Stefanos Athanasiadis, Dimitris Salpingidis

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Veterans prepared to unite to restore Canada's moral obligation to Veterans

Under the motto "One Veteran one Standard" an array of veteran advocates and interested veterans contributed to an e-mail forum to bring forth ideas on how to unite and mobilize both veterans and the public to put pressure on the federal government to change the New Veterans Charter (NVC).  The primary concerns were the allocation of lump sum payments, without the option of a life time pension and the omission of the social contract Canadians have with veterans.

Equitas, an organization of concerned citizens formed to fund raise for a law suit against the federal government, represented by the lawfirm Miller Thompson pursued the case in court pro bono. Here is a link to the Equitas web site for reference. They sued the Canadian government for their treatment of veterans and their objection the NVC.  During the case government lawyers argued that the Government of Canada had no obligation toward veterans and that their cases were no different than any other welfare programs.  In other words veterans are at the grace of the government when it comes to benefits. 
The social contract with veterans has existed since Prime Minister Robert Borden stated that “You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance:
"That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just
appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done. The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home…that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in
Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died.”
This social contract has been in place since Prime Minister Bowden spoke those words for every generation of veterans.  The social contract is with the people of Canada and not a particular government.  Members of the Canadian Forces have taken on every peacekeeping/peacemaking mission that their gouvernment asked them to take on.  Just as veterans of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have met their obligations under the contract, it is incumbent upon the gouvernment  to meet its sacred obligation.

Below is an executive summary, prepared by Harold Leduc, who started the e-mail forum, which outlines the way ahead:
Executive Summary

The dialogue revealed that Canadian Forces (CF) veterans are seriously outraged with how they are represented, how they are being treated by Government and are ready to do something about it! They feel abandoned by the former CF senior leadership including former Chiefs of the Defence who they readily served and sacrificed for. The Veterans organizations don’t consult with the greater veterans community and are out of sync with their needs yet claim to advocate on behalf of all veterans. The organizations don’t protest that their advocacy with Government is used against CF veterans in the Equitas lawsuit yet they protest the Government denouncing the sacred social contract they helped erode. The Government has returned to a willful negligence of responsibilities towards veterans not expressed by Canadian Governments since the 1930’s.

The organizations are in transition and are failing the veterans community. They need to take the veteran's call for change seriously because the status quo is harming C veterans. The time to act is now if it hopes to stop the Government's erosion of their special status as veterans and their obligations of the sacred social contract. Veterans are calling for central leadership to organize and lead the community through the chaos. The attached report summarizes the open dialogue conducted by the broader veterans networks and the below recommendation from the report are provided to establish a first step in moving forward towards s cohesive community. The open dialogue that's been established is important to the community's success and should continue.

Report Recommendations:
Recommendation 1. That all organizations and individuals immediately stop negotiating or consulting with Government and it’s bureaucracy on any matters brought before the Courts on behalf of all Veterans by Equitas and Miller Thompson. This message will be widely communicated by media release.
Recommendation 2: That the greater veterans community recognize the importance of fostering strong relationships with Government and the people of Canada understanding that these relationships are dynamic and that tough love may be required from time to time to maintain the balance.
Recommendation 3. That the organizations commit to the principle of ‘One Veteran – One Standard’ not only in words but in action to remove discrimination against CF veterans in all veterans issues.
Recommendation 4. That the organizations accept that they are part of the greater veterans community and have the authority to advance the needs of their members only unless permission is obtained from the greater community to do otherwise.
Recommendation 5. That the greater veterans community is responsible for holding Government, it’s bureaucracy, the Veterans Ombudsman and itself to the true meaning, spirit and intent of ‘One Veteran – One Standard’ and the ‘Veterans Bill of Rights’. 
Recommendation 6. That lines of communication between the organizations and the greater communications be established for transparent information sharing and consultation.
Recommendation 7. That a roster of qualified, relevant professionals and subject matter experts be established to set a high standard of advisors to guide the greater veterans community and Government on legislative, policy and medical matter of concern to veterans and their families. Members of this roster should be arms length from any organization or level of Government.
Recommendation 8: That former senior officers of the rank of General form a strategic planning committee to develop an appropriate leadership model as a first step towards unifying and building capacity in the greater veterans community. Nominations for this committee should be put forward immediately.
Recommendation 9: That an advisory panel of qualified subject matter experts be convened to support the strategic planning committee in their work. Nomination for this advisory should be put forward immediately.
 Recommendation 10: That former Chiefs of the Defence Staff voluntarily come to the assistance of veterans and their families to lead the greater veterans community during this time of crisis and into the future so that veterans are never taken advantage of again.
 Recommendation 11: That the greater veterans community recognize that the current leadership model over the last few decades has seriously failed CF veterans. Organizations and individuals alike must become willing agents for change to unite and organize the greater veterans community to the level necessary to defend against any further attempts to take away the special status as veterans or the sacred social contract.

Authors Opinion:  

The special status as veterans and the sacred social contract with the people of Canada has been in place since 1917.  No government has the right to change this status without the concurrence of the Canadian people or a parliamentary debate.

The Leader of the Official Opposition, Thomas Mulcair and the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau are asked to take up the mantle on behalf of "Veterans" and place pressure on the government of Canada to restore this social contract and bring the issue of veterans compensation front and centre.  Only in this way will the Canadian public be aware of this shameful position of the gouvernment.

The main stream media, CBC, CTV and Global as well as the conservative SUN TV have to make this an issue and not ignore the plight of veterans because it's not news.  Canadians, once aware of this issue, will most certainly have the back of veterans.

In view of the crown lawyer's statement in the Equitas case, the Government of Canada has remained silent on its policy and one can only assume that the lawyers acted on behalf of the Harper government.  Queries to three conservative members of parliament, two of them military veterans, have been greeted with silence.  Surely this is not the way the rank and file of members of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) feel. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 2 Roundup 17/18 August 2013

Matchday 2 is in the books and  Leading the pack is Borussia Dortmund, after their second win in the new season.  With a two goal lead in goal difference.  Four more clubs have won their second match, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Muenchen tied for second place, trailing Dortmund by two goals.  One more goal behind with a goal difference of two are  Mainz 05 and Werder Bremen.  26 goals were scored on this matchday.

While Bayern Muenchen and Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund  won their matches by a single goal, Schalke 04 was defeated handily by Wolfsburg with four goals.  Mainz edged out a 2-1 victory over SC Freiburg and Werder Bremen  won 1-0 over Augsburg.  Hoffenheim ran over Hamburg 5-1.

In the evening match Gladbach scored three times to defeat Hannover 96 for their first win in the new season.

Hertha BSC Berlin was unable to repeat its starting performance of last weekend, but edged out a draw in an away game in Nuernberg.  Borussia Dortmund dominated newcomer Eintracht Braunschweig, but was tested by Braunschweig's compact defence.  In the end Dortmund scored two goals in the second half, one on a penalty kick, before Braunschweig answered with one near the end of the match.  The win was enough to send the Westfalen to the top spot.  

Hertha BSC Berlin and Borussia Dortmund don't play until Sunday and can also win their second match.  Berlin plays Nuernberg, while Dortmund takes on Eintracht Braunschweig.

VFB Stuttgart vs Bayer Leverkusen  0-1

A single own goal by Stuttgart's Schwaab secured the narrow win for Bayer Leverkusen.  While Stuttgart dominated throughout the match, the Schwaben were unable to capitalize.  The goal was enough to secure Leverkusen's spot on top of the league, equal to Munich, while Stuttgart occupies 15th.

VFL Wolfsburg vs FC Schalke 04  4-0

Goals by Knoch (55th), Vierinha (61st), Naldo (67) and Kutschke (90th) secured the win for Wolfsburg.  The first half remained scoreless, although Wolfsburg took control of the match from the start.  After Knoch's goals ten minutes into the second half the factory team could no longer be held back.  Schalke became totally ineffective and could have lost by even a higher score.   Wolfsburg moved into 8th spot while Schalke moved to the second half of the table in 13th spot.

SV Werder Bremen vs FC Augsburg 1-0

Depsite a superb performance by Augsburg, a 22nd minute goal by Ekici, deprived Augsburg of its points. While Augsburg played superb in the midfield, the quality in their offence was lacking.  On the other end, Bremen fought hard to maintain its lead and with Lady Luck on its side, the Hanseaten secured their second win and fourth place spot.  Augsburg bring up the rear of the league in 17th place.

SC Freiburg vs Mainz 05  1-2

After a  scoreless half, Mainz took the lead in the 64th minute on Kimling's goal.  Four minutes later, in the 68th minute, Mueller netted to double the lead.  Freiburg bounced back with Freis' goal in the 71st minute, but it wasn't enough.  Mainz held Freiburg back for the remainder of the match to ensure a 2-1 win.  Mainz is currently in third spot while Freiburg moved into 16th.

Hamburger SV vs 1899 Hoffenheim 1-5

Refreshing and entertaining offensive play gave Hoffenheim the clear advantage in this match. Firmino opened the scoring for Hoffenheim in the 5th minute, but Klaas Van der Vaart got the equalizer in the 44th minute  After Vollands got the go ahead goal in the 50th minute, Modeste netted twice in the 67th and 74th minute.   Firmino put the final nail in the coffin at the 77 minute mark.  Hoffenheim moves into 5th spot and Hamburg moves to 12th.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Bayern Muenchen  0-1

Mandzukic's goal in the 12th minute was all that Bayern needed to take the three points.  Bayern was unable to capitalize on their overwhelming dominance and had the fans holding their breath a few times, especially when Frankfurt threatened, but there attempts were foiled by Manuel Neuer.  This match should have easily been a three goal win.  Regardless, Bayern established a club record with the 27th undefeated league game.  Despite Frankfurt's second loss, this was a much better performance than their first match in Berlin.  Frankfurt remains at the bottom of the league and Bayern is on top with Leverkusen.

Moenchengladbach vs Hannover 96  3-0

Kruse gave Gladbach a half time 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.  Kramer doubled the score in the 53rd, while Dames scored Gladbach's third in the  66th minute.  Gladbach played a disciplined tactical game in the defence while connecting with plenty of combinations offensively.  Hannover looked shaky in its defence and appeared without imagination or plan to succeed offensively.  Gladbach moves into 9th spot while Hannover occupies tenth.

1. FC Nuernberg vs Hertha BSC Berlin 2-2

Nuernberg's Drmic got the lead in the 40th minute and Berlin came back in the 61st minute with Allagui's goal and took the lead with a goal by Ronny in the 78th minute. In the final minutes of the match when it looked like another victory for Berlin, Kiotake scored from a direct free kick and saved one point for the Franken.  Despite the last minute goal, newcomer Berlin can take solace in the fact that they took a point in their first away match.  Berlin moved into sixth place, while Nuernberg occupies 11th.

Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Braunschweig  2-1

Braunschweig's compact defence made it difficult for Borussia Dortmund to find the net.  After 45 minutes the match was scoreless.  The second half saw Dortmund with the majority of the possession.  Braunschweig seldom ventured out of its own half.  Jonas Hofmann, who came in as a substitute in the 68th minute got the go ahead goal for Dortmund.  A penalty kick by Reus in the 86th gave Dortmund a two goal lead.  Braunschweig's Kratz narrowed the score to 2-1 in the 89th minute.  Braunschweig narrowly lost it first two debut matches and occupies 15th spot. Dortmund's win moved the Westfalen into top spot in the Bundesliga on goal difference.  Four more teams, Leverkusen, FC Bayern, Mainz 05 and Werder Bremen,  remain undefeated after two matchdays.

Saturday August 17, 2013

VfB Stuttgart vs Bayer Leverkusen     0-1
VfL Wolfsburg vs Schalke 04              4-0
Werder Bremen vs FC Augsburg         1-0
SC Freiburg vs FSV Mainz 05             1-2
Hamburger SV vs 1899 Hoffenheim    1-5   
Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Bayern        0-1
M'gladbach vs Hannover 96                 3-0

Sunday 18 August
  
Nürnberg vs Hertha BSC       2-2
Borussia Dortmund vs E. Braunschweig 2-1


Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts
7--------Borussia Dortmund-----------2----2----0-----0-------6:1--------6
2--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------2----2----0-----0-------4:1-------6
3--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------2----2----0-----0-------4-1--------6
4--------Mainz 05------------------------2----2----0-----0------5:3--------6
5--------Werder Bremen----------------2----2----0-----0------2:0---------6
6------- Hertha BSC Berlin-------------1----1----1-----0------6:2---------4
7--------1899 Hoffenheim---------------2----1----1-----0------7:3--------4
8--------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------2----1----0-----1------4:2---------3
9--------Borussia M'gladbach-----------2----1----0-----1------3:3---------3
10-------Hannover 96--------------------1----1----0-----0-------2:0--------3
11-------1. FC Nürnberg-----------------2----0----2-----0------4:4---------2
12--------Hamburg------------------------2----0----1-----1-------4:8--------1
13--------FC Schalke 04-----------------2----0----1-----1-------3:7---------1
14-------VFB Stuttgart-------------------2----0----0-----2-------2:4--------0
15--------Eintracht Braunschweig------2----0----0-----2-------1:3--------0
16-------SC Freiburg---------------------2----0----0-----2------2:5---------0
17--------FC Augsburg-------------------2----0----0-----2-------0:5--------0
18--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------2----0----0-----2-------1:7--------0

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 2 Preview -17 August 2013

Matchday one over all had no major surprises, with the exception of  newcomer Hertha BSC Berlin's win over Eintracht Frankfurt with six to one goals and a first place berth.  Dortmund, Leverkusen and Bayern took the next three spots as expected. Schalke only managed a draw against Hamburg. 

What will the second matchday bring?  All games this week will will be played on Saturday and Sunday, due to  Germany's friendly against Paraguay.  Dortmund, Leverkusen and Bayern will be looking for their second win and increasing their goal difference.  For Eintracht Braunschweig it will be a fight to hang on for a draw in their first encounter with Dortmund.  Hertha BSC Berlin travels to Nuernberg in the hope of winning their first away match and to improve its balance sheet to maintain the lead.

Bayern is in Frankfurt on Saturday and will endeavour to duplicate Berlin's success, while Frankfurt will make an attempt to move out of last place.  Leverkusen travels to Stuttgart, which lost its opening match in Mainz last weekend.  Schalke travels to Wolfsburg in an attempt to hang on to one of the top positions.  Schalke had to settle for a draw last weekend.

Predictions

Three matches will be featured on goltv.  On Saturday Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Muenchen will be broadcast live at 9:25 am EDT, followed by Borussia Moenchengladbach vs Hannover 96 at 12:25 pm EDT.  Sunday features Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Braunschweig at 11:25 am  EDT.

Bayern is the favourite in Frankfurt, but don't discount the ability of Frankfurt on its home pitch.  Bayern should win by two goals.   Gladbach put in a stellar performance in the Allianz Arena last weekend and with the same engagement and courage should trump over Hannover 96.   This will be a close match and should result in a draw.

Borussia Dormund should easily collect another three points against Braunschweig. Will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put in another strong performance as he did in his debut match last week?  Dortmund's new acquisition got a hat trick during his debut match.

Schalke 04 travels to Wolfsburg and should pick up the three points.   Wolfsburg starts this season near the bottom of the league.  The factory team will try to get up on the table, but Schalke is the clear favourite.  Bremen hosts Augsburg, which lost last week to a well oiled Dortmund team, while Wolfsburg edged out a narrow win over Braunschweig.  A spirited Augsburg team could walk away with three point or at least split the points.

All odds are off in the Freiburg/Mainz game, but a draw is the most likely outcome.  Hamburg should easily defeat Hoffenheim based on last week's performance of both club.  Both teams earned one point during their opening matches last weekend.

Nuernberg hosts Hertha BSC Berlin on Sunday and it will be interesting to see if Berlin can repeat last week's performance.  A slight edge goes to Berlin. 

Regardless of eventual results, the venues will be sold out and there will be surprises on this matchday as well.  The scramble will be on for the top clubs in the league to solidify their lead. 

Matchday 1 results




Saturday August 17, 2013

VfB Stuttgart vs Bayer Leverkusen     
VfL Wolfsburg vs Schalke 04     
Werder Bremen vs FC Augsburg     
SC Freiburg vs FSV Mainz 05     
Hamburger SV vs 1899 Hoffenheim     
Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Bayern   
M'gladbach vs Hannover 96

Sunday 18 August
  
Nürnberg vs Hertha BSC     
Borussia Dortmund vs E. Braunschweig



Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts

1------- Hertha BSC Berlin------------1----1----0-----0-------6:1--------3
2--------Borussia Dortmund-----------1----1----0-----0-------4:0--------3
3--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------1----1----0-----0------3:1--------3
4--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------1----1----0-----0 ------3:1--------3
5--------Hannover 96-------------------1----1----0-----0-------2:0--------3
6--------Mainz 05------------------------1----1----0-----0------3:2---------3
7--------Werder Bremen----------------1----1----0-----0------1:0---------3
8--------FC Schalke 04-----------------1----0----1-----0-------3:3--------1
8--------Hamburg------------------------1----0----1-----0-------3:3--------1
10-------1. FC Nürnberg----------------1----0----1-----0------2:2---------1
10-------1899 Hoffenheim--------------1----0----1-----0------2:2---------1
12-------VFB Stuttgart------------------1----0----0-----1-------2:3--------0
13-------Eintracht Braunschweig------1----0----0-----1-------0:1--------0
14-------Borussia M'gladbach----------1----0----0-----1------1:3---------0
15-------SC Freiburg---------------------1----0----0-----1------1:3---------0
16-------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------1----0----0-----1------0:2---------0
17--------FC Augsburg-------------------1----0----0-----1-------0:4--------0
18--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------1----0----0-----1-------1:6--------0

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Clean Energy Strategy a noble goal for Canada

Unquestionably clean energy should be something all of us should be striving for and is a noble goal for Canadians.  The question is how often have we heard that the environment was the number one issue for Canadians during elections?  When a politician was honest, proposed a solution, which required that Canadian cough up some money, those politicians were handily defeated.

Many Canadians live on a tight budget and many of them from payday to payday.  Every dollar counts.  A Harris-Decima poll commissioned by Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada indicates that:

"The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future"
The poll, was conducted between July 4th and 8th by telephone, reached 1000 people.  The poll doesn't indicate if the poll was conducted nationwide, which would of course influence the outcome of the poll.

According to the poll 87% Canadian strongly or somewhat agree that we need a climate and energy strategy to plan our nation's future.  62 percent strongly or somewhat agree that an energy strategy will only be successful if we move to a low carbon economy, while 61 percent say it is a high priority to reduce fossil fuels. 73 percent believe that creating green energy jobs is a high priority, only 31 percent of Canadians believe that exporting more oil and gas is a high priority.  In contrast 80 percent believe improving energy efficiency is a high priority. 

Results of polls often depend on the question asked.  In this poll the question missing is, "How much are you prepared to move toward a clean energy strategy and improvements to fuel efficiency.  This should particular be a question that politicians should ask themselves before presenting a plan to the electorate.  As was also demonstrated in polls for the recent elections in Alberta and British Columbia,  polls can also be dead wrong.

Green Party Leader runs with the poll 

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament, ran with the poll in a blog published on August 12, "Canada is missing out on global clean tech revolution" stating that:

Canadians clearly embrace this kind of ambition. The most recent poll from Harris-Decima (conducted for the Clean Energy Project of Tides Foundation) demonstrated overwhelming support for clean, renewable energy. Nearly 90 per cent of Canadians agree with the statement: “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future,” and more than 70 per cent support “creating more jobs in clean energy.” Less than one-third agree that “exporting more of Canada’s oil and gas resources” is a high priority.
The countries that are heavily invested in renewable may surprise those who associate China’s energy picture with nothing but dirty coal. In fact, China is the top performer in installed wind energy, producing 26 per cent of its electricity from wind. Next in the ranking is the U.S. at 19 per cent wind, and then Germany with 12 per cent. Canada stands at 2.2 per cent. We rank at a similar level in solar, with China once again in top place. Solar photovoltaic prices continue to drop contributing to an all time high in installed capacity in 2012.
We do not make the cut in the top 10: China, U.S., Germany, Japan, Italy, U.K., India, South Africa, Brazil, France.
The new buzz word in the green movement is "sustainable energy.  According to anti-oil sands lobbyists oil is evil and stopping the development of the Alberta oilsands will avert a global disaster.  The process has been politicized both in the United States and Canada.


Green energy, such as wind and solar, are not ready for prime time and affordable alternate energy is still a few years away.  Of course environmentalists will never discuss the real estate required for solar panel farms or wind turbines nor the fact that thousands of birds get killed by wind power.  Solar power is very expensive and for now can not sufficiently provide the energy required to run a household.  As an example, an Edmonton solar company is offering to rent solar panels to home owners.  The panels, which require an initial investment of about $1000 can only provide 18-30% of actual power required.  Home owners must remain on the grid.  The savings in energy costs are minimal.  The biggest part of an electricity bill in Alberta are the riders and fees and not the actual energy used.  The lease contract is long term.

Despite May's dismissal of China's coal produced energy, China is a much larger emitter of carbons.  Reuters reported in a June 19th report that China led a rise in global carbon dioxide emissions to a record high in 2012.  

Carbon Emitters of the World 

The politics of oil - Green energy alternatives 

Consumption is the real problem

Everyone talks a good story when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, yet we all seem to enjoy our creature comforts and continue with our consumption.  While many cities have efficient public transportation at a relatively low cost compared to an automobile, commuters prefer traveling in their own vehicle.  SUVs are seen in overwhelming numbers and our love for the automobile is never satisfied.  

Politicians, including Elizabeth May, travel across the country on many weekends as do environmentalists, contributing to the problem.  The author of "An inconvenient truth" Al Gore lives in a mansion and flies everywhere in a private jet.  

For most of us a green energy strategy is a bread and butter issue, while others are actually making money on it.  Yes we should strive toward clean energy, but without a cut in consumption and a significant drop in cost to replace current infrastructure, build wind and solar farms, this is an issue that has to be approached slowly.  Essentially we all need to do our part by reducing our consumption and we need those advocating to set the example.  My favourite statement still is:  "Talk is cheap, show me the money." 



Canadians strongly believe the country needs a climate and energy strategy that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. An integrated approach to climate change and energy is strongly supported by Canadians, with 87 percent of those surveyed agreeing, “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future.” - See more at: http://cleanenergycanada.org/2013/07/23/poll-canadians-want-energy-strategy-to-deliver-low-carbon-transition/#sthash.7mU0S2OE.dpuf
Canadians strongly believe the country needs a climate and energy strategy that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. An integrated approach to climate change and energy is strongly supported by Canadians, with 87 percent of those surveyed agreeing, “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future.” - See more at: http://cleanenergycanada.org/2013/07/23/poll-canadians-want-energy-strategy-to-deliver-low-carbon-transition/#sthash.7mU0S2OE.dpuf

Canadians strongly believe the country needs a climate and energy strategy that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. An integrated approach to climate change and energy is strongly supported by Canadians, with 87 percent of those surveyed agreeing, “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future.” - See more at: http://cleanenergycanada.org/2013/07/23/poll-canadians-want-energy-strategy-to-deliver-low-carbon-transition/#sthash.7mU0S2OE.dpuf
Canadians strongly believe the country needs a climate and energy strategy that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy. An integrated approach to climate change and energy is strongly supported by Canadians, with 87 percent of those surveyed agreeing, “The nation needs a Canadian climate and energy strategy to plan its energy future.” - See more at: http://cleanenergycanada.org/2013/07/23/poll-canadians-want-energy-strategy-to-deliver-low-carbon-transition/#sthash.7mU0S2OE.dpuf

German national side not convincing in match against Paraguay

Jochen Low's German national side (DFB Team)  was not convincing in its friendly against Paraguay, a side that is last in its World Cup 2014 qualifying group.  The match revealed major flaws in Germany's defence. 

After a short practice session in Mainz, the DFB Team matched their skills in Kaiserslautern against a South American side that was not about to take a backseat to the Germans.  Within 15 minutes Paraguay took the lead with goals by Ariel Nunez (9th) und Wilson Pittoni (13th).  The goals revealed major flaws in the German defence.  

Ilkay Gündogan narrowed the score to 2-1 in the 18th minute and when Thomas Mueller got the equalizer in the 31st, it appeared as if Germany had recovered.   Paraguay scored a spoiler at 45+1 when Samudio scored the third goal for the South Americans and Paraguay went into the break with a 3-2 lead.

The only goal is credited to Lars Bender in the 75th minute, permitting the DFB Team to save faith with a 3-3. 

Jochen Low knows that he has a lot of work to do if Germany is to continue its unbeaten streak in World Cup 2014 qualification.   Low  commented on the game:

"We made basic mistakes in the first half.  Our defensive play was sloby and we gave the opponent too much room.  We made indivdual errors, but it was also clear that for some the league is still on its break.  We will certainly not play this way against Austria, we will improve our performance.  I foresee an intense competition for spots on the World Cup side."
Germany's world class keeper, Manuel Neuer, who seldom collects three goals, also said:

"We know that defensively nothing worked.  Those were clearly our mistakes, although in the second half it was better.  I believe that today was a shot across the bow and just in time.  We cannot play in this manner against Austria."

The German side has collect seven goals in the last two games.  The first was a loss against Juergen Klinnsman's US Men's National Team and this one.  Germany plays its World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Austria on September 6th. 

DFB Team Line Up:  Neuer - Lahm, Mertelsacker , Hummels, Schmelzer - Khedira, Gündogan - Müller, Özil, Reus  - Klose

Monday, 12 August 2013

Veterans Organizations Stand United

Veterans Organizations Stand United and demand Government Reaffirms its Social Contract to all Veterans.

This is a republication of a media release by the Royal Canadian Legion.

The Veterans Consultation Group, representing 17 Veteran Organizations, is outraged that Department of Justice lawyers representing the Government of Canada reject the view that the Government has any moral or social obligation to Veterans and their families. On behalf of these
17 Veteran groups, The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Gordon Moore strongly believes that all Canadians trust the Government will honour its obligation to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the RCMP who willingly risk injury, illness or death to
serve our country protecting the values and way of life we all enjoy. There is also a responsibility to the families of these men and women.

In 1917, just prior to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden stated that “You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance:

"That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just
appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done. The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home…that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in
Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died.”
Inherent inthese words, by the Prime Minister, was the promise and moral recognition that Canada and the Government of Canada would never forget the sacrifice its Veterans and their families make. This promise formed the basis of Canada’s legislation to support our Veterans. Moore is concerned that the Government has forgotten this commitment.

“On behalf of the Veterans Consultation Group I am asking the Government to demonstrate its social and moral obligation to all Veterans and their families who serve and continue to serve our country and assure us that there will be an expanded review of the New Veterans Charter this fall.”

 In addition Moore states, “This lawsuit highlights beyond any doubt the need to confirm the
Government’s commitment to all Veterans, to hear from Veterans and their families and to fully understand the impact of this important piece of legislation. When have injured soldiers ever sued their government?”

The money and travel related to commemorating Canada’s military history does not have meaning when soldiers are suing their government. With the 100th anniversary of World War I just around the corner, the most profound activity this Government could deliver to honour this historic event would
be to reaffirm its social contract to all Veterans and their families and assure an expanded and transparent review of the New Veterans Charter is conducted.

This is exactly what the Legion along with the members of the Veterans Consultation Group asked for in their letter to the VAC Minister in May of 2013. We are still waiting for the Minister, and indeed the government, to take action on this issue.

Opinion:  While there has been ample main stream media coverage on those killed during the Afghan conflict, there are many veterans suffering silently, primarily due to PTSD.  We have veterans that are homeless due to inadequate care, including many that have committed suicide or have contemplated it.

It is time that the mainstream media take up the mantle and report this story with the same vigour.  The overwhelming sentence that sticks in my mind from this release is:  When have veterans ever sued their government before?   That is definitely food for thought.

Bundesliga matchday 1 - What was revealed.

Bundesliga matchday one was true to its given name "Torfabrik" (goal factory).  37 goals were scored in nine matches, averaging around four goals per match.

Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen were true to form, all winning their openers. Schalke exchanged blows with Hamburg, but in the end had to settle for a draw.   The debut of the two newcomers, Hertha BSC Berlin and Eintracht Braunschweig ended with an overwhelming victory for Berlin, but Braunschweig gave up a tear jerker to Bremen.

Borussia Dortmund has set the pace for the Bundesliga race by maintaining a clean sheet.  While FC Augsburg, which barely escaped relegation put up a stellar fight, its defence was no match for Dortmund's new acquisition Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who got his first hattrick during his debut appearance.   While Bayern only has two goals in the plus column after their 3-1 win over Gladbach, the win must be seen as a success for Bayern's new coach Pep Guardiola.  He stuck to the normal line up for the Bavarians and permitted them to conduct an attack friendly game.  This allowed Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery to perform their magic.  Bayern, however showed some serious flaws in its defence during this match.  Dante's own goal revealed that there has to be better communication among them.

It is difficult to draw any real conclusions after one matchday.  Both Bayern and Dortmund had relatively easy opponents, Leverkusen played at home, while Schalke disappointed against Hamburg.  Berlin's trouncing of Frankfurt was a surprise and revealed that the Hessen have a lot of work to do in their defence.  Hoffenheim, despite its 9-0 DFB Cup success appears to continue its struggles.

Hoffenheim and Augsburg seem destined for another season battling relegation and Werder Bremen will be in the same boat.  Franfurt, after one match took a trouncing and may only have had a bad day.  Next weekend should provide a clearer picture.

Dortmund, Bayern and Leverkusen appear to be battling for the top spot, but the Knappen from Schalke will require a vast improvement.  While both Bayern and Dortmund have experienced the rigors of Champions League competition, it remains to be seen how Leverkusen will cope with the stress.  Schalke will have to improve vastly if the side is to compete at the top level.

Predictions

FC Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen should finish in the top four.  Who will be on top in the end is not that easy to predict.  This season the battle should be among all three.  While Dortmund was well behind Bayern during the 2012/13 season and Leverkusen just one point behind Dortmund, it should be a lot closer this year.  Toss a coin.

Hoffenheim, Augsburg, Braunschweig and Bremen are predicted to fight off relegation.  Berlin will have a top ten finish.  Gladbach, Hannover, Hamburg, Freiburg and Mainz will compete for spots in the Euro League.   The remainder of the pack will finish in the middle.

Related:  Matchday 1 Roundup

Bayern wins season opener

Season Preview


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Bayern hosts Hannover, Dortmund meets 1860 Munich in DFB Pokal second round

The DFB Pokal second round will take place on September 24th and two Bundesliga encounters will be one of highlights. FC Bayern Muenchen will host Hannover 96, while VFB Stuttgart travels to Freiburg.  Super Cup winners Borussia Dortmund will travel to Munich for an encounter with 1860 Muenchen.

Bayer Leverkusen travels to Bundesliga 1 fixture Arminia Bielefeld,  while Schalke 04 will be hosted by Darmstadt 98 of the third division.   The DFB Pokal has its own rules of survival, but one thing is clear that at least two more Bundesliga clubs will be eliminated.  Werder Bremen, Eintracht Braunschweig, Borussia Moenchengladbach and 1. FC Nuernberg were eliminated in the first round.

Here is the complete line up for the second round:

Bundesliga vs Bundesliga

FC Bayern München - Hannover 96
SC Freiburg - VfB Stuttgart

Bundesliga gegen 2. Bundesliga

TSV 1860 München - Borussia Dortmund
VfL Wolfsburg - VfR Aalen
Arminia Bielefeld - Bayer Leverkusen
Hamburger SV - SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Eintracht Frankfurt - VfL Bochum
1899 Hoffenheim - Energie Cottbus
FSV Mainz 05 - 1. FC Köln
1. FC Kaiserslautern - Hertha BSC Berlin

3. Liga gegen Bundesliga

Preußen Münster - FC Augsburg
Darmstadt 98 - FC Schalke 04

2. Bundesliga gegen 2. Bundesliga
FSV Frankfurt - FC Ingolstadt 04

3. Liga gegen 2. Bundesliga

VfL Osnabrück - 1. FC Union Berlin
1. FC Saarbrücken - SC Paderborn 07

Regionalliga - 2. Bundesliga

SC Wiedenbrück 2000 - SV Sandhausen

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Bundesliga 2013/14 Matchday 1 Roundup

The Bundesliga has returned after a long summer break and the Friday opener did not disappoint.  Last years treble winner FC Bayern Muenchen hosted the season opener in the Allianz Arena and earned their first three points.  Pep Guardiola played with ten players that were in the Champions League final with one exception.  Toni Kroos replaced Martinez.

FC Bayern Muenchen vs Borussia Moenchen-Gladbach   3-1

While the match was intense, Bayern's offence was clicking with the likes of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, who is  up for Europe's "Footballer of the Year" award, Phillip Lahm and David Alaba were back in their usual positions.  Gladbach, unlike the Telekom Cup, during the preparation phase was a worthy opponent.  Bayer connected early in the first half, with goals from Arjen Robben (12th) and Mario Mandzukic (16th).  Dante's own goal on a communication error with Manuel Neuer in the 40th minute, made the match interesting.  Dominguez handball in the 68th minute resulted in a missed penalty by Thomas Mueller, but lo and behold Dominguez touched the ball with his hand again and David Alaba made no mistake on the retake of the penalty putting the record champion ahead 3-1 in the 69th minute.  Full game report

Bayer Leverkusen vs SC Freiburg 3-1

Leverkusen won the contest thanks to a double pack shortly after the half.  Freiburg dropped a penalty kick, which would have been a big opportunity to narrow the score.  Stefan Kiessling score d in the 22nd minute, but Freiburg's Hanke equalized in the just before the break in the 40th minute. Son made it 2-1 in the 46th minute, while Sam got the security with his 3-1 in the 52nd.

Hannover 96 vs VFL Wolfsburg 2-0

 A goal in each half gave Hannover a 2-0 victory in its home opener.  For large stretches of the game, Hannover was dominant.  With the sending off of two Wolfsburg players  (Arnold 22nd and Klose in the 52nd) it made life almost impossible for the Wolves.  Hannover went ahead with Andreasen's goal in the 17th minute and Huszti scrored the assurance goal in the 84th.

1899 Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Nuernberg 2-2

Hoffenheim started the second half with a 1-0 halftime lead, thanks to Abraham.  In the 51st minute it looked as if Modeste's goal put the game out of reach for Nuernmberg.  Not to be outdone, Nuernberg came back as a direct answer to Hoffenheim's goal when Frantz scored in the 54th minute.  Three minutes later, in the 57th minute, Ginczek got the equalizer, capturing the first away point of the new season.  Overall this was an exciting match.

FC Augsburg vs Borussia Dortmund 0-4

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started his Bundesliga debut with a bang, achieving a hattrick, which contributed to Dortmund's overwhelming success in its Bundeliga opener in Augsburg.  Aubemeyang put the Champions League finalist ahead in the 24th minute and added two more goals in the second half (66th and 79th minute).  Robert Lewandowski scored the fourth on a penalty kick in the 86th minute.  While Augsburg put up a fiesty defence, the side was lacking in the offence.  Dortmund's Juergen Klopp must be thrilled with his new acquistition and the win puts the black yellows in good stead for the season.  Augsburg will have to work on its offensive role, it it doesn't want a repeat of last season.

Hertha BSC Berlin vs Eintracht Frankfurt   6-1

After a nervous start, Berlin took control of the match and had a more than respectable debut in the Bundesliga after a one year absence.  Ramos and Brooks gave the side from the capital a 2:0 lead with their goals in the 18th and 32nd minute.  The Hessen, with a penalty kick by Meier narrowed the score before the half in the 37th minute.  Berlin's Allagui put the game out of reach for the Hessen with goals in the 58th and 60th minute.  Ramos and Ronny scored in the 71st and 89th minute to add insult to injury.   The game was a disaster for the Eintracht side, which qualified for Euro League competition in their debut season last year.  It would appear that Berlin has no intention to return to the second tier.

Eintracht Braunschweig vs Werder Bremen 0-1

After a mediocre performance by both sides in the first half, the teams, particularly Braunschweig returned revitalized.  The second half saw good action on both ends,  with a number of missed opportunities.  In the end Bremen can consider themselves lucky to come out on top, after Januzovic scored in the 82nd minute and Bremen captured the three opening points.  Braunschweig put in a strong performance, especially in the second half.   Both teams have work to do if they are to avoid relegation. 

Mainz 05 vs VFB Stuttgart  3-2

Mainz won their season opener in a close match.  Stuttgart and Mainz exchanged blows during the first 15 minutes, with an opening goal for Mainz (Mueller) in the 14th minute.  Ibisevic equalized in the 16th minute, which was the score at half time.  Mainz pulled ahead Ozakaki's goal in the 65th minute and then doubled the lead in the 78th, Mueller's second of the afternoon.   Stuttgart bounced back in the 82nd when Harnik narrowed the score to 3-2.  In the end it was too little too late for the Schwaben.

Schalke 04 vs Hamburger SV  3-3

Fans in the Veltins-Arena saw an exciting match, where Huntelaar didn't disappoint scoring his first goal of the season in the second minute.  Hamburg's Van der Vaart equalized on a penalty kick in the 12th minute and Hamburg took the lead in the 23rd on a goal from Beister.  Just as it looked as if Hamburg would take a one goal lead into the half, Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored his second in the 45th minute, sending the teams into halftime with a draw.  Incidentally the game marked the highest scoring one in a half for the new season.  Sobiech moved Hamburg once again out in front with his goal in the 49th.  Szalai again got the equalizer in the 72nd.  With a final score of 3-3 the sides shared a point and put on entertaining match for the 62,000 spectators.


Saturday, August 9
   
FC Bayern vs M'gladbach  3-1

Sunday, August 10

Bayer Leverkusen vs SC Freiburg  3-1
Hannover 96 vs VfL Wolfsburg  2-0
1899 Hoffenheim vs Nürnberg   2-2
FC Augsburg vs Borussia Dortmund  0-4
Hertha BSC Berlin vs Eintracht Frankfurt  6-1
Eintracht Braunschweig vs Werder Bremen  0-1

Monday August 11
FSV Mainz 05 vs VfB Stuttgart    3-2
FC Schalke 04 vs Hamburger SV  3-3

Place-----Team-----------------------GP---W---D----L---GF/GA ---Pts

1------- Hertha BSC Berlin------------1----1----0-----0-------6:1--------3
2--------Borussia Dortmund-----------1----1----0-----0-------4:0--------3
3--------Bayer Leverkusen-------------1----1----0-----0------3:1--------3
4--------FC Bayern Muenchen--------1----1----0-----0 ------3:1--------3
5--------Hannover 96-------------------1----1----0-----0-------2:0--------3
6--------Mainz 05------------------------1----1----0-----0------3:2---------3
7--------Werder Bremen----------------1----1----0-----0------1:0---------3
8--------FC Schalke 04-----------------1----0----1-----0-------3:3--------1
8--------Hamburg------------------------1----0----1-----0-------3:3--------1
10-------1. FC Nürnberg----------------1----0----1-----0------2:2---------1
10-------1899 Hoffenheim--------------1----0----1-----0------2:2---------1
12-------VFB Stuttgart------------------1----0----0-----1-------2:3--------0
13-------Eintracht Braunschweig------1----0----0-----1-------0:1--------0
14-------Borussia M'gladbach----------1----0----0-----1------1:3---------0
15-------SC Freiburg---------------------1----0----0-----1------1:3---------0
16-------VFL Wolfsburg-----------------1----0----0-----1------0:2---------0
17--------FC Augsburg-------------------1----0----0-----1-------0:4--------0
18--------Eintracht Frankfurt------------1----0----0-----1-------1:6--------0






Friday, 9 August 2013

Bundesliga - Bayern wins season opener over Gladbach 3-1

 FC Bayern continued its winning ways with a 3-1 win over Borussia Moenchen-Gladbach 3-1 and collected the first three points of the season.

FC Bayern Muenchen started this season with record winning season, having won the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the DFB Cup.  They currently are on a run of 26 games without a defeat and have now scored in 38 consecutive games.  Bastian Schweinsteiger started in his 300th Bundesliga match.
 
Bayern's new coach Pep Guardiola's instructions for the game were simple:

"Take the ball, have fun and attack as much as possible.  When Gladbach has the ball help each other and win."
 
 Glabach's coach had a  simple approach and attitude to this game:

"We think being in the opener of the new Bundesliga season is fantastic. We look forward to the game, even though we know we have a formidable task."
 FC Bayern Muenchen dominated the opening half and took the lead in the 11th minute (Robben) and Mandzukic doubled the score in the 14th.  For most of the half Bayern played at will with Gladbach, but Ter Stegen foiled several attempts by both Kroos, Ribery and Mandzukic.  A commuication error between Dante and Manuel Neuer resulted in an own goal in the 40th minute.  The teams parted at half time with a 2-1 Bayern lead.

In the 11th  minute Ter Stegen pushes a ball in the centre, but the ball is too short and Bayern moved the ball out to the wing to Ribery.  Robben saw Ribery starting into the penalty box and provides him with an accurate pass.  Robben, with the tip of his foot defeats Ter Stegen for the 1:0 lead.
At the 15 minute mark Robben was fouled in the right wing area and takes the free kick with his left foot.  Ribery picks up the ball at the near post, but Ter Stegen is able to deflect the ball.  The subsequent rebound is converted for a 2-0 lead by Mario Mandzukic.

While Bayern dominated, a communication error between defender Dante and keeper Manuel Neuer results in an own goal by the Brazilian defender.  Neuer charged out of his net while Dante was in the process of pushing the ball back toward the goal, resulting in a 2-1 lead for the Bayern at half time. 
Although Bayern dominated most of the game with possession, the match was much closer than during recent encounters.  Bayern certainly did not get it all their own way.

Toni Kroos had one of the best opportunities in the 60th minute when he fired the ball from twenty meters toward the net. With Gladbach's Ter Stegen beat, Kroos's attempt was stopped by the upright.
In the 67th minute Alvaro Dominguez was called on a handball in the penalty box.  Thomas Mueller took the ensuing penalty kick, but fires the ball in the centre of the net, but Ter Stegen gets a piece of the ball and deflects it.  The rebound, in a strange development hits Dominguez in the hand again, resulting in another penalty kick. David Alaba made no mistake and scored the 3-1 for Bayern.   
The Bavarian giant earned an important first three points and Pep Guardiola registers his first Bundesliga win.  Gladbach put in a good performance and certainly did not make it easy for the champions.