Leicester City

Why is the Leicester City team so interesting?  In 2016, Leicester City (pronounced Lesterclinched its first Premier League title.  In a league that is usually dominated by the same handful of teams, this is the first time that a new club has won the title since 1977-78

Long shot turned sure thing.  Just last year, Leicester was at the bottom of the Premier League standings and were nearly relegated to a lower, less prestigious league.  This year, they rose to the top of the standings because of their humble coach, impressive teamwork, and undervalued talent!

Who’s their biggest star?  They don’t have any household names, but the player that really rose to the top of the pack was striker Jamie Vardy.  He set a Premier League record by scoring in 11 straight games this season and won England’s prestigious Footballer of the Year award.  Unfortunately, he missed the past 2 matches after he was suspended for a penalty.  Where did you even come from?  Just 3 seasons ago, Vardy was playing in the 5th division (psst— that’s the 5th best football league in England, whereas the Premier League is the best league)

Who isn’t celebrating?  Your English bookie.  English betting houses will lose a total of $11.4M because they offered 5000-to-1 odds against Leicester at the beginning of this season.  Not a gambling fiend?  Here’s some perspective on how insanely slim those odds are: other 5,000-to-1 odd bets that you can make are that Big Foot is real and Elvis Presley will be found alive. The longest shot to win next year’s Super Bowl is the Cleveland Browns at 200-to-1.

Copa America

What is the Copa America?  The Copa América is South America’s soccer championship and it is the oldest international soccer tournament in the world.  In the tournament, 10 members of the South American soccer confederation (called CONMEBOL) compete, as well as 6 teams invited from outside the continent.  For 2016’s special 100th anniversary, the U.S. and Mexico were invited to join in the fun and the event was held in cities all across the U.S.—its first time hosted outside South America.

How do you win?  The first round of the tournament is made up of 4 groups of 4 teams. Each team plays 3 games and the top 2 teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, where the contest becomes a normal elimination tournament. 

I’m digging this international soccer thing.  Good, there might be more of it on the way.  The CONMEBOL is in talks with the North American, Central American and Caribbean footballing body (called CONCACAF) to possibly merge the Copa America with the CONCACAF Gold Cup and have a joint tournament in the U.S. every 4 years. Stay tuned for updates!