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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG
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Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988425 On the road again...all the time On+the+road+again...all+the+time Champions League

2013 came and went for me in a blur of airports, hotel rooms and rented flats. From our twin home bases in Los Angeles and Chicago, my long-suffering partner and I packed on some 50,000 miles in international air travel alone, visiting three continents, 25 cities, and more than a few dodgy pubs. 2013 taught me that you can in fact live out of a suitcase if you have five shirts, a sweater, good thermal underwear, woolen socks and two pairs of pants. Here’s my best moments.

 

-- Jamie Trecker

royalty free via thinkstock - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G1_20131228220100339_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G1_20131228220100339_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988426 USA-Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow, November 15 USA-Scotland%2C+Hampden+Park%2C+Glasgow%2C+November+15 Champions League

The final game of the year for the Americans was on home soil for me. My nephew is set to graduate from University here in the spring, and my cousins are an easy train ride east to the capital. In fact, there was absolutely nothing remarkable about this match save this it was in Scotland. And both teams played that way, settling for a turgid 0-0 draw. It was dull, but it was long.

Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G2_20131228220114340_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G2_20131228220114340_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988427 Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium, November 2 Arsenal+v+Liverpool%2C+Emirates+Stadium%2C+November+2 Champions League

The Gunners cemented their grip atop the table with this command performance, punctuated by Aaron Ramsey’s spectacular goal from long-range. Both teams would continue to jockey for top spot as the race went into Christmas, but this match made people start to think that it actually, finally, might be Arsenal’s year. My partner also drops some £200 at the Arsenal Superstore, but that’s another story.

Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G3_20131228220135342_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G3_20131228220135342_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988443 Toyota Park, Chicago, August 23 Toyota+Park%2C+Chicago%2C+August+23 Champions League

On an unusually balmy day in Chicago – for August in the White City, anyway – I trudged out to the burbs to see the Fire down the eventual MLS Cup champs, Sporting KC, 1-0. It was an intemperate and foul-ridden affair that SKC actually dominated, but a diving header from Hunter Jumper won it early for the homers. Despite it being on national TV, Toyota Park full that night as well, and while it wasn’t great soccer, it is a far cry from where we were just ten years ago.

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G16_20131228220953369_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G16_20131228220953369_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31990895 Gold Cup Final, Chicago, July 28 Gold+Cup+Final%2C+Chicago%2C+July+28 Champions League

The USA downed Panama in front of a bevy of empty seats at Soldier Field. What happened? Well, everyone expected Mexico to be here, but the Canaleros had KO’ed them in the semis. And that meant Chicago fans from the heavily Mexican neigborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village, stayed home. Brek Shea finally broke what in truth was a slog of a game, scoring the only goal and sparing us all extra time.

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Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988428 Rio, Brazil, June 30 Rio%2C+Brazil%2C+June+30 Champions League

Brazil claims the crown with a thumping 3-0 win over a tired Spain. Led by Neymar and Fred, the golden boys announce themselves as favorites for the 2014 World Cup. But the game is overshadowed by the turmoil: President Dilma Rousseff skips it, and so does Pele. FIFA were left with egg on their faces. An incandescent Sepp Blatter circulates a list of folks who did show up to the media at halftime. It feels a mean rich kid threw a birthday party and no one came. Tear gas wafts into the media tribune, a fitting end for a bizarre tournament.

Michael Regan - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G4_20131228220203345_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G4_20131228220203345_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988429 Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 26 Belo+Horizonte%2C+Brazil%2C+June+26 Champions League

Over a hundred thousand protestors descended on the Mineirao, setting up a tense confrontation with security forces. The city had the feeling of a war zone the night before, with people filling the bars of Savassi while endless loops of the protests played on big screen TVs. This so-called “city of bars” was among the hardest hit by violence accompanying the protests, with looting and vandalism accompanying a brutal police crackdown. On the field, Brazil overcome Uruguay at the Mineirao to advance to the final. Off it, police and protestors clash just outside the “sanitary zone.”

PEDRO GONTIJO/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G5_20131228220217346_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G5_20131228220217346_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31990896 Recife, Brazil June 19 Recife%2C+Brazil+June+19 Champions League

The protests continue to grow in size and force. 68 are arrested in Sao Paolo. The police’s tactics towards the demonstrations grow ever more violent. There is serious talk of calling the tournament off. But in Recife, waters are calm, and on the field here Italy beat Japan 4-3 in the best game of the Cup yet, a firecracker that saw the lead change four times. The Pernambuco, however, is barely ready for the game, yet another sign of the problems bedeviling Brazil.

Michael Regan - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/30/123013-Soccer-Year-in-Review-CH-G2_20131230151922741_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/30/123013-Soccer-Year-in-Review-CH-G2_20131230151922741_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988430 Brasilia, June 17 Brasilia%2C+June+17 Champions League

One of the most remarkable nights in Brazilian history unfolds as tens of thousands of protests fill the streets – and here, the Congress falls. Peaceful demonstrators flood downtown and seize the seat of power, an act akin to occupying the White House. The nation is stunned, and footage of protestors dancing on the roof ricochet around the world. The Confederations Cup has become a rallying point for injustice and graft, and FIFA is already close to panic. We watch the city fill up from atop the Congressional roof, our feet dangling over the side.

Adriano Lima/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G6_20131228220239349_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G6_20131228220239349_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988431 Brasilia, June 12 Brasilia%2C+June+12 Champions League

There is no rest for the weary. We fly in for the Confederations Cup, set to kick off at the Garrincha amidst the craggy steppes that host this utopian city. The sun is scorching and the air shimmers with the heat. But problems quickly rise to the surface. Picking up our credentials, we are greeted with a blaze of burning tires. Protests over the cost of hosting this tournament and World Cup have begun. They would continue to grow…

EVARISTO SA/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G7_20131228220259351_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G7_20131228220259351_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988432 UEFA Champions League Final, London, May 25 UEFA+Champions+League+Final%2C+London%2C+May+25 Champions League

The Yellow Wall is to my right. A sea of red-and-white to my left. On the field, Bayern and Borussia Dortmund play out one of the best finals in memory. Manuel Neuer makes five fantastic saves to keep Dortmund at bay in the first half, and Bayern turn the screw in the second, with Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben breaking the game open. Even the London hacks, fuming all week that no English team is in the game, admit that this was a match of true champions.

VI Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G8_20131228220317352_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G8_20131228220317352_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988436 Women’s Champions League Final, London, May 23 Women%26rsquo%3Bs+Champions+League+Final%2C+London%2C+May+23 Champions League

Megan Rapinoe’s Lyon take on Wolfsburg at Chelsea’s gleaming Stamford Bridge. It’s a gorgeous night for football and even though the house is small, it’s passionate. The game isn’t half bad, either. Wolfsburg snaps Lyon’s win streak behind a second-half penalty from Martina Muller. Rapinoe comes out to the touchline after the game and graciously entertains the media, even as the temperature plummets.

IAN KINGTON/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G10_20131228220745357_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G10_20131228220745357_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988437 Europa League Final, May 15, Amsterdam Europa+League+Final%2C+May+15%2C+Amsterdam Champions League

Bobbing along on a houseboat in Amsterdam, and fetching groceries on a balky Dutch bike? A guy could get used to this. Pity the game I was here to see was so grim. Living down to it’s billing, the Europa League final in Amsterdam felt distinctly second rate. Despite UEFA’s late generosity, there were empty seats everywhere. Chelsea looked a side that wanted the trophy but not to have to actually go out and win it. And Benfica? They looked snakebit, as always. Branislav Ivanovic scored the crucial goal with a late header in the 93rd minute, and Chelsea would celebrate, albeit in very restrained fashion.

Michael Regan - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G11_20131228220758358_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G11_20131228220758358_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988438 FA Cup Final, London, May 11 FA+Cup+Final%2C+London%2C+May+11 Champions League

Wembley. It’s pouring. Manchester City, heavy favorites, instead look look utterly unmotivated by the occasion. Relegation-bound Wigan rip right through them yet cannot score. The match seems set to go to extra time and, sigh, penalties when sub Ben Foster rises up in stoppage time to head home. The stadium explodes. It is the Latics’ greatest achievement – and for a moment, everyone at Wembley is a Wigan fan. Credit to City: they are gracious in defeat. Yet, they look stunned as they trudge up the 107 steps to collect a second-place medal.

IAN KINGTON/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G12_20131228220816360_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G12_20131228220816360_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988433 London, May 3 London%2C+May+3 Champions League

We’re at Wembley, shooting some pre-game footage with Gus Johnson. The Champions League trophy is wheeled out for our shoot. For security purposes, people are told it’s a replica. It’s not. One enterprising and very young boy walks over and touches it. “Look, dad, it’s the Cup!” Even the white-gloved guards crack a smile.

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G9_20131228220328354_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G9_20131228220328354_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988439 USA v Costa Rica, Denver, March 22 USA+v+Costa+Rica%2C+Denver%2C+March+22 Champions League

To be fair, this was a game that never should have been played. A blizzard was raging and only two of us were brave enough to watch the game outside along press row. And still, if you saw it or were there, you’ll never forget it. The Americans got their World Cup campaign back on track in the swirling wind thanks to a goal scuffed over the line by Clint Dempsey. And my partner? She had the glory of shooting that entire game on the byline, waist deep in snow. She still hasn’t quite forgiven me – but her shot of Jermaine Jones’ “sno-fro” made galleries around the world.

Dustin Bradford - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G13_20131228220834362_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G13_20131228220834362_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988440 Manchester United v Chelsea, Manchester, March 10 Manchester+United+v+Chelsea%2C+Manchester%2C+March+10 Champions League

United’s weekus horriblis continued with a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup to Chelsea, giving both teams a deeply unwanted replay. Wouldn’t you know it? Nani was at the heart of this game too, limping off injured early. United would go on to lose that replay in London in April. I spent the evening in the pub where George Orwell and Karl Marx both broke bread.

ANDREW YATES/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G14_20131228220902365_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G14_20131228220902365_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31988442 Manchester United v Real Madrid, Manchester, March 5 Manchester+United+v+Real+Madrid%2C+Manchester%2C+March+5 Champions League

Back to Manchester, for my third time in just 18 months. (I’d be there again twice more before the year was done.) Booked into a flat in converted hospital that, coincidentally, formed a key scene in Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow,” things started to get trippy. At Old Trafford, United would be ousted from the Champions League after Nani was controversially sent off here against Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. Sir Alex is not amused.

John Peters/Man Utd - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G15_20131228220919367_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/28/122813-SOCCER-2013-YEAR-IN-REVIEW-DC-G15_20131228220919367_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2820 Trecker's Travels: 2013 in Review 31990897 MLS Cup, Los Angeles, December 1 MLS+Cup%2C+Los+Angeles%2C+December+1 Champions League

On an uncharacteristically cloudy SoCal day, the Los Angeles Galaxy gave David Beckham a sunny farewell. The Galaxy blew apart the Houston Dynamo in the second half to win their second-straight Cup and their fourth overall. Confetti rained on the field, the sun came out, and for a moment, it felt like the MLS Cup was a big deal, after all.

ROBYN BECK/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/30/123013-Soccer-Year-in-Review-CH-G1_20131230151923742_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/30/123013-Soccer-Year-in-Review-CH-G1_20131230151923742_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 17 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 17 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/14/021414-SOCCER-FAILURE-TO-FIRE-OB-pi_20140214172035535_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - February 14-20 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Lack of firepower... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Lack of firepower have Arsenal going in the wrong direction Lack of firepower has Gunners going in the wrong direction. Feb 15, 2014 1:14 PM ET 1 17 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-14-20-arsenal-going-in-the-wrong-direction-lack-of-firepower-021414