The average age of players in the English Premier League is 26.8, meaning the vast majority of footballers weren’t playing 25 years ago when the most dramatic change to the game in recent times was instituted. Many weren’t even alive in 1992 when FIFA decided to prevent goalkeepers from picking up passes intentionally kicked to them by teammates.
I have some thoughts on goalkeepers taking penalties. Goalkeepers taking penalties is a net positive from an entertainment standpoint. Goalkeepers taking penalties is a net negative, from a soccer standpoint.
Sure, there have been goalkeepers who double as penalty specialists and they are professional footballers, so they can be expected to have enough skill to score from the spot when called upon. On the other hand, hello Thibaut Courtois in the Community Shield:
There's perhaps no other refereeing decision, in any sport, that causes the deep emotional reaction of the awarding of a penalty kick. When the call is made for a spot kick from 12 yards out, the response is typically either a flurry of expletives and impending sense of doom or the feeling of utter joy derived from receiving a blessing, depending on which side of the call you are.
And it seems these feelings are warranted — stats show that there’s a 75-80% chance of the penalty being converted.
Guillermo Ochoa switched clubs this summer, but he's already looking right at home with Standard Liège. Below is some video evidence that shows he's doing just fine in Belgium.
Former Chapecoense goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, one of three players to survive the LaMia Flight 2933 disaster, shared an Instagram video on Monday celebrating a remarkable milestone in his recovery process. Follmann had his right leg amputated because of the accident, but he’s now running again with the use of a prosthetic.
Approaching his 40th birthday, Italian shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon has been open about his plans for the future over the summer. If Juventus fail to win the Champions League this season, Buffon claims he’s “99.9 percent” certain that he’ll end his professional career after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
If Buffon is able to win that elusive Champions League title, his competitive nature would see him return to the field in an attempt to win the FIFA Club World Cup the following season.
26-year-old Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake had himself a night, Kemar Lawrence struck a sweet free kick in the 88th minute and the Reggae Boyz upset Mexico in the Gold Cup semifinals Sunday night, setting up a meeting with the United States in the final on Wednesday.
The opening 45 minutes saw Mexico in control. Jamaica were proactive in their approach, but El Tri carved out a couple of clear opportunities only to be denied by the outstanding Blake. In the 12th minute, the Philadelphia Union keeper denied Mexico with a fantastic double save.