28 August, 2010

The Beautiful Game (pt6)


Photo: Steve McCurry

Klinsmann Meets With USSF On Head Coaching Position

According to ESPN's Doug McIntyre and Luke Cyphers, the USSF and Gulati have met with Klinsmann over a coaching role with the USMNT. Now what exactly this means is debatable.

It could be simply getting some suggestive advice on how to improve scoring (the guy played as a striker for numerous teams including Spurs and Bayern Munich, and was a technical adviser for the Galaxy in 2004), or it could be for taking over a role of head coach if BB steps down (quite possibly to take the AV role in which Klinsmann would reprise the role he held up through the 2006 WC with Germany). I wouldn't mind a guy who's scored 47 times for Der Mannschaft in 108 caps.

Our take is that we aren't so sure about it. Yeah, most fans of the USMNT want it to happen, but Klinsmann was up for the position before Bob Bradley and turned it down over control issues with the team. Control is Gulati's middle name and I don't think he's willing to let a coach have that much freedom, including choosing a US squad all by his lonesome (it was rumored that Gulati and the USSF have a say in the callups for the USMNT, for better or worse). Personally, I think Klinsmann, given the support and freedom, could definitely move the USMNT forward, but until there is some definitive proof that he's got the job like BB walking around Birmingham International Airport or Charlie Davies tweeting that he can't wait to work with him, we'll hold our breath.

Photo: Sportige

27 August, 2010

Another Step Closer to England WC 2018

Chilean Football President Harold Mayne-Nichols just recently visited England for their WC 2018 bid.

"All the needs and objectives of our visit were met and we are positive that the World Cup in England in 2018 or 2022 would be a great experience with a long-lasting legacy for the country and its people as well as for football worldwide.

"The concept you are coming up with that every single participating team will be hosted by a domestic professional team makes perfect sense to us. It will guarantee that all the teams will be able to practise in perfect conditions." Mayne-Nichols via the Guardian

Yeah, this was to be expected. England kowtowed to FIFA after the whole Lord Triesman, affair, bribery to get the World Cup to Spain thing...

While it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that England will win the 2018 bid, don't be completely shocked if Russia pulls out the upset. Maybe it's the whole, "they know how to properly bribe an official" thing.

Does this jersey make me look bald?


Shenanigans in CONCACAF Champions League

she·nan·i·gan [ shə nánnigən ] (plural she·nan·i·gans)



1. questionable act: something that is deceitful, underhanded, or otherwise questionable ( usually used in the plural - shenanigans)
I am calling Shenanigans against CONCACAF on behalf of the Columbus Crew, who won their game against Santos Laguna 1-0 but had the goal disallowed after the fact because Emilio Renteria was wearing an illegal jersey without a number, although that jersey had been approved by the 4th official (who is in charge of checking equipment of players entering the field) and by the center referee, Luis Rodriguez of Panama, prior to Renteria re-entering the game. Thanks to Bill Archer at for reporting the news and providing video highlights so you can judge for yourself. His article is both factually accurate and also quite funny, and I suggest you read it.
I also must agree with one commenter who observes that he wants to follow the CONCACAF Champions League, but it is hard to do so when it is such a joke. No wonder the MLS teams only send their B-Teams to the CL games. You can't expect the coaches to take the games seriously if the referees don't. One of my favorite moments as a USA soccer fan was in 1998 when I was in Costa Rica, and we watched DC United win the USA's first ever CONCACAF Champions Cup with a 1-0 win over Toluca of Mexico, on an Eddie Pope goal. The Costa Ricans enjoying the game in the small-town bar (I remember it was called Bar Amigos) were all supporting DC United, because they were tired of Mexico winning everything all the time. From that moment on, I try to support the MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League but this hosing at the hands of the Panamanian official is so egregious it taints the rest of the competition.

Winnipeg Mayor Tries to Gain Inner City Youth Vote

And it goes horribly wrong when he and some youth counselors play some inner city youths. In the clip, the mayor tries to flick it over top of an oncoming opponent only to kick him in the face. Apparently the kid walked it off, while the mayor got a yellow for the incident.

Not sure to whose vote he was catering, but it wasn't pretty either way. And he wasn't even wearing proper cleats.

Video: StupidVideo

Jack Warner Parties Like It's 2006

Back at the 2006 WC, Jack Warner and his family owned company of Simpaul resold tickets for the World Cup that were meant for fans, but instead made them only available in "executive" packages where they had to be purchased with room/travel (of course through Warner's travel agency). Now if that wasn't enough, Warner also then stiffed the T&T men's team on the promised bonus to its players by telling them to take ~$500 each instead of splitting the ~$20mil in proceeds that the federation earned from qualifying.

Warner was finally accused of selling 5000 tickets illegally and was given a reprimand and told to pay the money back. Simply enough, Warner changed his company's and T&T's Soccer Fed names so that they would not have to pay the money back. For this transgression, Warner was given a slap on the wrist. Conversely, two other Executive Committee members (of Fifa) resold approximately 12 tickets each and were stripped of their ExCo status.


26 August, 2010

Champions League Draw

Well, some teams got a little something something in their Christmas stockings early this year.

Group A
  1. Inter Milan
  2. Weder Bremen
  3. Tottenham
  4. FC Twente
Group B
  1. Lyon
  2. Benfica
  3. Schalke 04
  4. Heopel Tel Aviv
Group C
  1. Man U
  2. Valencia
  3. Rangers
  4. Bursaspor
Group D
  1. Barcelona
  2. Panathinaikos
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Rubin Kazan
Group E
  1. Bayern Munich
  2. Roma
  3. Basel
  4. CFR Cluj
Group F
  1. Chelsea
  2. Olympic Marseille
  3. Spartak Moscow
  4. Zilina
Group G

Spurs Make Group Stage in CL Play

As expected, Tottenham won at home in the 2nd leg of the last round of play-in prior to the lucrative group stage of the Champions League play last night. How they won was a little more shocking, 4-0. A hat trick from the 6ft7 robot professional women's man, Peter Crouch and a 4th by Defoe (working despite requiring surgery) saw Tottenham move on.

Group stage draw is later today.

Video: Liverealgoal

Bundesliga Helping Find Missing Children

I stumbled upon this yesterday, and if you are like me, you don't get to see many Bundesliga games during the season and you definitely don't see many positive moves to help the public (sorry FIFA, I just wasn't feeling that whole "Respect" the ref thing).

This one was perhaps one you should have caught.

With the Bundesliga pulling in the highest average attendance totals over the last two years running, a not for profit group called the Kempertrautmann Missing Children Initiative (Initiative Kempertrautmann Vermisste Kinder) partnered with the Bundesliga to help locate missing children.

Apparently, the match last week between Bayern and Real Madrid (I know it's not Bundesliga, but this was one of the first promos being run) saw Van Bommel take the field with the photo blowup of a girl named Deborah, who has been missing since 1996.

Let's hope it helps.


25 August, 2010

Pay Attention

Sports reporter Jessica Kastrop doesn't pay attention to the action. The ball was allegedly delivered by Khalid Boulahrouz of Stuttgart. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If so, can you confirm this?

Video courtesy

This Makes Complete Sense

Well, no, not really. AEK was scheduled to play Dundee in Europa League action tomorrow. The problem is, AEK's pitch was in poor condition so they agreed with rival local club Panionios to use their pitch.

So, as fans of Panionios, you can't let a rival team use your pitch to earn glory for their club. How dare they?! Why don't you just grab 29 of your closest friends and then just destroy your own pitch so they can't use it.

Smart. Real smart. Hate to tell these brilliant economic bailout recipients that if your pitch is ripped up, then your own team may, just may, get injured and perhaps the club will have to pay to fix the damage you did, so possibly, you'll see increased ticket prices with nothing to show in team improvement.

Panionios fans, real men of genius.

Just added some video footage I picked up from over at the Spoiler.

Please read that with heavy heavy sarcasm...

Photo: The Courier

Beggers Can Be Choosers

Robinho. You completed a £32.5 million transfer deal (in 2008) to Man City. What are you going to do now? I think I'll sit the bench and complain about the team while pocketing ~£160,000/week in salary.

Sounds good. Oh, and then complain you aren't getting enough playing time, and say you want to go to Santos in Brazil to get match fit for the World Cup.

Add to that, you now turn down a possible £16 million dollar deal to play for Fenerbache in Turkey because you "want to play in Serie A". Wow. Really?

You want to dictate terms to Man City? You played 41 matches total for them in 2 years. Either Man City is one of the dumbest teams ever by not adding in a pay off clause to your contract or you are one egotistical bastard.

How about both?

23 August, 2010

CONCACAF Champions League Group Play Begins

The Professor is back from a short vacation, because today, Monday, August 23, is the first day of college. The Professor has to go back to work. But that means more time for studying soccer results during office hours and writing them up for you.

Fortunately, I was able to catch some CONCACAF Champions League group play matches on Galavision while I was away on vacation this past week. It was a very strong start for the MLS, with the four MLS squads winning three games and losing one. Props especially go to Toronto FC, Canada's lone representative in the CONCACAF CL, for their win over Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul. Furthermore, the Puerto Rico Islanders represented the USL well with a draw against group favorite Olimpia of Honduras.

The Beautiful Game, Hawaiian Style

Thanks to my good amigo Henry Marrugo for this. Aloha and enjoy:

Video: PepsiCo, YouTube

22 August, 2010

Aston Villa v Newcastle Highlights

Well, that didn't take long to get the win to shave the 'staches... after that big win, though, should they really do it? Newcastle rocks AV, and AV definitely will be going to the market for a coach... possibly Bob Bradley (he did get interviewed today by the BBC and said he's interested). Either way, Joey "Sean Penn" Barton opens the scoring and it ends with a Carroll hat-trick.

1st Half:

Special 1 TV (Ep. 6)

Video: BBCComedy

How to Tell You Need a New Back Line

The guys over at caughtoffsides gave the heads-up on this. Seriously, it's like someone cut and pasted the same goal from a cross on the right wing to a guy unmarked at the top of the 18 8 times (actually 6, cause he switched it up twice).

Really? 8 times? Your guys were horrible for the 2nd div in Dutch soccer. I think they all need to be strapped down to chairs, Clockwork Orange style, and force fed Coerver videos for the weekend.

The goalscorer was Johan Voskamp and he did this on his debut for Sparta Roterdam. He spent the last 5 seasons with Excelsior in the Eredivisie, where he netted 25 times in 95 games. Something tells me the 25yo isn't going to be staying here long.

Superhero Goalkeepers

Last Thursday, during a Copa Sudamerica match, Guarani keeper Pablo Aurrecochea donned a Batman jersey and proceeded to post a 2-0 win for his team (highlights below).

Which got me thinking... Where are all the other superhero keepers?

St. Etienne had Spiderman between the pipes in 2004 for a match:

I even remember seeing a keeper sporting a Sistine Chapel mosaic jersey back in the day for a college alumni match. I think we need to see some more of these inspired and ballsy jerseys. Who's with me?

Jorge Campos just gets it all wrong. Luckily his play made up for it.

Video: w1tvsports and Howdyhokostas
Photo: Shutoutcentral

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