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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Galaxy Champions, United and City Struggle in Europe

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In this week’s review section, we congratulate the new MLS champions LA Galaxy, while we also feature the poor results of the two Manchester clubs in Europe. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.

Good

It has been a good week for the new MLS champions LA Galaxy as they defeated Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Centre in Los Angeles. Irish striker Robbie Keane capped a great week for him after helping the Republic of Ireland to qualify for the European Championships when he combined with David Beckham to set up the only goal of the game for US star Landon Donovan. This goal gave LA their first title since 2005 and of course gave David Beckham his first since joining in 2006. It was fitting that LA won the title, after all, they had the best regular season record, had the best defensive record and they also managed to win the Supporter’s Shield and progress in the CONCACAF Champions League. Congratulations to the Galaxy.

Bad

Not so good for two teams that usually feature in our good section. Both Manchester sides slipped up in their Champions League matches this week with United being held by Portugal’s Benfica 2-2 and City losing away in Italy to Napoli. These results leave United needing to avoid defeat in their next game away in Switzerland in order to progress, while City’s fate is out of their own hands meaning that they need a favour from bottom of the group Villareal to cause an upset against Napoli in order for City to make it to the knock-out stages. Both Manchester clubs in the Europa League in the spring? That was definitely not in the script.


Ugly

It is always ugly to see bad sportsmanship, so this in this week’s ugly section we feature Jose Mourinho and his ungracious celebration after Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal that sealed a victory for Real Madrid against Valencia. After the goal, Mourinho raced down the touchline, jumped on a player’s back and pumped his fists up and down – all this in front of the Valencia  fans in their ground. His actions angered Valencia’s players and staff, and of course their fans – who through various objects at the Madrid boss. he does have form with over the top celebrations, however – strutting across the Nou Camp turf after his Inter knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League in 2010, and even further back when Porto, again in the Champions League, knocked out Manchester United in 2004. Sometimes entertaining, always passionate, but this time ugly from Jose.

Vocabulary

MLS: Major League Soccer (The US League)

capped a great week: Finished off, completed a good week

he combined with: He passed to, he worked with

to set up : To help with, to assist

It was fitting : It was very suitable, it was right

the Supporter’s Shield : A US domestic competition

slipped up: Made errors, fell behind, failed to win

being held by: They drew

fate is out of their own hands : They cannot decide their own future; they are relying on other teams

That was definitely not in the script.: This was not in the original plan

sportsmanship: playing and acting fairly and with respect for your opponents

turf: grass, ground

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at languagecaster.com.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly