Day three was another outstanding day of football in Brazil. The goals kept pouring in – 13 on the day and now 28 goals scored in just eight matches – the most goals scored in that span in the World Cup since 1954. In comparison, there were only 25 goals scored after every team played one match at 2010 South Africa. Thats 16 games. Three and a half goals per game is a staggering statistic, especially considering most are the product of stellar play rather than poor defending. Its also quickly becoming the World Cup of the counter-attack, where speed and finish on the rush is proving decisive. Day three was also a day of standout individual performances. Specifically, the play of the young, a veteran and a guardian of the goal stole the show. These four players from different teams, representing different confederations and playing different positions, all coming up with memorable performances on a memorable day. Young Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier was a dominant force throughout for Cote dIvoire, helping turn around the nightcap of the Super Saturday quadruple-header. The Ivorian wingback was a constant threat down the wing all night, particularly in attack. A tactical change brought on Didier Drogba for Serey Die in the 62nd minute. The change caused immediate havoc in the Japanese back four, opening up more gaps inside the 18-yard box. Aurier went to work. It took just two minutes for Aurier to provide pinpoint service on crosses to Wilfried Bony, and then two minutes later to Gervinho. The attacking players did their part on the finish but it was the crosses that stood out. Both whipped in by Aurier with pace and precision, finding the open man rather than just hitting and hoping. There was composure about each ball, not usually seen from such a young player. His relentless energy bursting forward with strength and purpose was a difference-maker. The game shifted because of the goals, where Drogba and company were able to separate and seal the victory. The final scoreline read 2-1 with two assists for Aurier. The performance by the right back is the best weve seen so far from the position. One year his elder, James Rodriguez is a star in the making. The 22-year-old put in arguably the top display over 90 minutes of the tournament in Colombias 3-0 win over Greece. He played a part in all three goals, scoring the third of the game. His most impressive intervention wasnt on his goal – a poised finish after receiving a back-heal from the likewise impressive Cuadrado in the 90th minute. The opening goal was of the Monaco-mans doing. Hell never get the credit Cuadrado will get, but he should. Rodriguez started the move from his own end, playing a forty-yard ball over the top with a bend to a on-running Cuadrado. As his teammate pulled the moves out wide, Rodriguez ran the full length of the field showing in the attacking area. Cuadrado played near post to Rodriguez who dummied the ball to an awaiting Pablo Amero who provided the finish. Five minutes in and the tone had been set by the centre-midfielder. The pass, the run, and the wherewithal to leave the ball signaled his class. All afternoon, Rodriguez ran wild, covering an incredible amount of ground and setting the tone. Rodriguez also took the corner leading to the second goal, a near-post service that was flicked before Teo Gutierrez tapped home. It was a day Colombia was able to sit back and pick their spots. Rodriguez dictated the pace for Colombia. He was the maestro. Even if Falcao were available, it would be the young star that would prove most influential. Watch him as the tournament progresses. Rodriguez is special. Special and/or influential are a couple of apt superlatives used to describe the incomparable Andrea Pirlo. The 35-year-old Italian veteran had himself another match to remember in Italys 2-1 win over England. The intelligence by which he plays was another level to his competition. Composure is a theme here, and Pirlo was never rattled in the heat of Manaus. Pirlo completed 108 passes at a success rate of 95 per cent. Most the completed passes in the first half were without pressure. The passing out of the back in the second half under high pressure was a thing of beauty. England had no player who could limit his effectiveness. Pundits correctly point out to stop Italy you must stop Pirlo. Easier said than done. The savvy by which he plays is another level. The dummy he laid on Claudio Marchisios 35th minute strike gave his teammates ample time and space to pick his spot. England players were left without a hope. And the moment that will provided the GIF of the night was Pirlos free kick from 25 yards out, hit dead on by the midfielder with the ball floating and bending outwards before going off the crossbar. The floating ball completely fooled goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was entirely fooled and was left going the other way. Embarrassing for Hart, masterful from Pirlo. It was another near perfect night from one of the most influential players in the World Cup. Moments can define matches. No moment Saturday proved bigger than the 44th minute of Uruguay and Costa Rica. The highly favoured Uruguay was up 1-0 late in the first half, with the South Americans pressing for a second. What happens just before the half can have a distinct affect on what happens after play resumes. Case and point, Robin van Persies 44th minute wonder goal and equalizer Friday, helping turn the tides against Spain. Saturday, a second goal before halftime would have buried the Ticos. Queue goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican backstop had an outstanding year at Levante. His prowess was on full display in that decisive 44th minute. Diego Forlan had found space on the back post. His strike took a massive deflection off a defender and had eyes for the top right corner. Navas, caught off his line, lunged back and punched the ball out before it crossed the line. It was an incredible save to make, and a save of the tournament contender. The balance and co-ordination was outstanding at a difficult moment. Im comfortable saying if Navas doesnt make the save, Costa Rica loses the match. Navas remained a rock amidst pressure in the second half. He even guessed right on Edinson Cavanis penalty. Navas was in the zone and gives further reason to believe Costa Rica can remain competitive in Group D. These were four different contexts and four specials performances on an extraordinary Saturday at the World Cup. The high level of overall attacking play is making for a distinctive tournament. But its these kinds of special moments and exceptional performances that will live for the ages. No matter age, position, or method, Aurier, Rodriguez, Pirlo and Navas have already left their mark in Brazil. And to think, the best may be still to come. Kerry Wood Jersey . According to Tony Barrett of The Times, the Liverpool captain is set to announce that he will leave the club at the end of the 2014-15 season. Wholesale Cubs Jerseys . The cause of his death is as of yet undetermined, but police said foul play is not suspected. https://www.cheapcubs.com/910t-rick-reus...ersey-cubs.html. The D-Backs came into being in 1998 and appear destined to finish second in the AL West after the Tsunami that is the Los Angeles Dodgers swept over them. I thought it might be interesting to see what the D-backs have done over their 16 years compared to what the Blue Jays have done over their past 16 campaigns. Craig Kimbrel Cubs Jersey . Louis Blues are reportedly taking restricted free agent forward Vladimir Sobotka to arbitration. Benito Santiago Cubs Jersey . Casey Janssen was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday due to a strain in his left abdominal area and lower back. LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- If the Bears make changes this off-season, it will not be at quarterback. Chicago signed Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract Thursday, ending speculation they might make a change after five seasons of good and bad from their talented signal-caller. Cutler clearly thrived under first-year coach Marc Trestman and now has some of the best complements on offence hes had since arriving in Chicago in 2009. "Its not always been easy," Cutler said. "Theres been some ups and downs. Theres been some bad years theres been some good years. I think it makes me appreciate the moment Im in even more, with the offensive weapons we have, with the type of leadership we have from the front office, with the type of coaching staff we have with the play calling and our (offensive) install. It makes me happy Im here." The Bears also signed cornerback Tim Jennings, who has led the team in interceptions in each of the past two seasons, and guard Matt Slauson to four-year deals. Like Cutler, both players were scheduled to become free agents. General manager Phil Emery said the team and Cutlers agent, Bus Cook, completed contract discussions three days after the season ended Sunday with a 33-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers in a game that decided the NFC North title. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal for the 30-year-old Cutler is reportedly worth nearly $18 million per year over the first three years and includes at least $50 million guaranteed. "I think whenever you have two groups who want to work in the same direction and want the same thing to happen it can happen relatively pretty easily," Emery said. Cutler produced his career-best passer rating of 89.2 in 2013, although he played in just 11 games due to ankle and groin injuries. He completed 224 of 355 passes for 2,621 yards and 19 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Emery said he was sold on Cutlers return after seeing him in Trestmans offence early in the season. "After the first three games I definitely knew it was going in the right direction in terms of him putting the team in position to win games at the end of the game," Emery said. "That says a lot about the player. I think that Jays third-down passing and fourth-quarter quarterback rating are very high and have been high for a while. He was in the top 10 in both areas this year. I think it speaks of a guy that can be a guy, a player, that is a reason you win." Still, Emery said he wanted to see how Cutler responded to some adversity. He saw it when Cutler came back from a groin strain to face the Detroit Lions in a 21-19 loss and from an ankle sprain to beat the Cleveland Brrowns 38-31.dddddddddddd "How he handled the situation coming back from his second injury and the tremendous pressure that was on him because of the decision we had made to reinstate him as the starter, how he handled that as a person, pregame, game, within the game, after throwing a couple of picks, coming back and being a reason that you win the game," Emery said. "How he handled the Packers and Lions ... thats when I finalized the decision." Cutler feuded with former offensive co-ordinators like Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice, but he has steadily climbed the franchise statistical charts and guided the Bears to the NFC championship game in 2010. Under Trestman, he seemed to gain a new lease on life. "The mindset is right and the talent in the locker room is right, so Im happy to be joining the rest of the guys, the rest of the coaches, the rest of the organization in pursuit of a championship," Cutler said. Cutler wouldnt call money the key reason for staying out of free agency, citing familiarity with Trestmans offence as a big factor. He has only been in the same offence for consecutive years a few times in his NFL career, which started in 2006. Trestman found Cutler ran his offence efficiently, even if he had a reputation as a big-play, big-mistake type of player. "Hes been through a lot," Trestman said. "I mean, part of whats brought him to this point is the scars of the last five years and the adversity that hes gone through in getting to know himself better over the last five years. I saw selflessness. I certainly saw mental toughness. When you evaluate a quarterback, you say, does he have an inventory of passes? Can he make all the throws? Does he have mobility? Is he a quick decision maker? Jay has all that." The Bears tabled a few major defensive questions, including the fate of defensive co-ordinator Mel Tucker and whether they should stick with a 4-3 scheme. Trestman and Emery did acknowledge the numerous injuries Tucker dealt with his first season. The Bears lost Pro Bowlers Henry Melton, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman, as well as middle linebacker D.J. Williams, for big chunks of the season. "I will just tell you were going to be a younger defence," Emery said. "The draft will be focused in that area." Nor would Trestman or Emery rule out the switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme. "Everything is on the table in terms of a discussion," Trestman said. "Phil said it: Were going to get younger. Part of our decisions and how we move forward schematically will be based on the players that are in our locker room." ' ' '