30 December, 2011
Ironically, it comes on the heels of the announcement that FIFA will not fight a judgement against them to release names of those accepting kickbacks (since those "stealing" had already paid it back- ha ha).
So why is this news suddenly to the media?
even the Guardian in England
The problem with this "sudden realization" is that it's not new, and hasn't been for a while, but definitely stinks of Warner being implicated in the upcoming release of documents.
So let's flash back to last year...
Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and the 2010 FIFA World Cup by Andrew Jennings was released.
In it you will find some interesting tidbits from page 79:
27 December, 2011
Video: Fox Sports
Video: Fox Sports
Video: Fox Sports
26 December, 2011
Video: Fox Sports
25 December, 2011
23 December, 2011
EJ failed to score in 18 appearances during the regular season for FFC (he was prolific during preseason, but preseason doesn't count, right Cubs fans?). Fulham then loaned him out to Cardiff City, where he failed to impress, Greece's Aris where he teamed up with Freddy the largest midget in the world Adu, where he failed to impress, then out to Preston North End where his only goal in 16 appearances was actually tallied an own goal to an opponent's header.
Now, he's made the Run DMB move, and is going south of the border to Puebla to try to resurrect what is left of his career, in Mexico.
Now don't feel bad for him.
19 December, 2011
This kid was shaping up to be one of the future forwards of US Soccer, and fell off the map. Whether his diminutive size (5ft8) or his play in a 1st division off the radar (HAGL in the Vietnamese 1st division for the past few years)were the detractors, this kid has the potential to light it up and quick for a new MLS team.
You better watch out for him, and if you are playing some fantasy soccer for MLS next season, he's the sure cheap bet. You heard it here.
18 December, 2011
17 December, 2011
15 December, 2011
The general idea behind the shoe is that the patterns on the shoe will deceive defenders in their marking as many players are taught to watch the feet rather than the ball when marking a player. This is akin to football players being told to watch the hips, as both will give defenders a good idea of a player's future movement, with or without the ball.
That said, there is no difference other than the graphics on the shoe that make it any different from Nike's previous iteration. Your call as to whether it'll make you or CR7 a better player.
08 December, 2011
1) FIFA 2012 (Xbox, PS3, PS2) ~$40
Players can manage a club, be a player on the team, or just go head to head online. The umpteenth edition is still going strong, and now that it's been out for over a month, you may see some discounts heading into the holidays.
2) A Beautiful Game by Tom Watt (Available on Amazon) ~$16
Watt wrote a collaborative with several of the world's most recognized footballers. Includes stories by, Lionel Messi and Brazil's Gilberto Silva, Italy's Fabio Cannavaro, Spain's Iker Casillas, and France's Franck Ribery; USA's Landon Donovan and Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura, and there is even a Beckham siting.
3) The Wild Bunch by Jaochim Masanneck (Available on Amazon) ~$10
Good book targeted to young children. Great story line, and even has Landon Donovan pimping it to Soccer Moms everywhere.
07 December, 2011
06 December, 2011
05 December, 2011
At 57yo, the former World Cup star, had made 63 appearances for Brazil, notching 25 goals in that span. After his playing days finished, he went on to earn his MD, and spent time writing for the AP on social and political conditions as well as the game of soccer.
His tall figure, graceful moves on the field, and easily identifiable beard made him very recognizable on the pitch. He'll be missed.
04 December, 2011
02 December, 2011
A4 Czech Rep.
C3 Republic of Ireland
Poland leads off the competition with a Group A match v. Greece on June 8th.
By the way, they drag out this draw as long as they can to hear themselves talk... killing me here. The online system told us who was picked a good 10 seconds before the "live" draw which doesn't help rumors that these things are fixed... So, what do you think of the draw? Any favorites?
Personally, Russia lucked out, I think. Group B and C are pretty tough. Germany v Netherlands will be a good one. Spain, is obviously the heavyweight in C. England gets the usual matchup v. France in Group D. This should be another great tourney. Can't wait.
30 November, 2011
While this doesn't bode well for most of the board members, it is incumbent on the governing council to get fans/shareholders to actually vote out living legend Cruyff as well. Should Cruyff stay on, his sour relationship with new coach Van Gaal will only get worse, and become a festering problem for Ajax and future growth of the club.
29 November, 2011
28 November, 2011
27 November, 2011
Notching 103 goals in 677 matches for club, and another 7 in 85 during NT duty, Gary is survived by his wife and 2 sons.
Another great player lost.
Despite a 1 on 1 chance for American Samoa's Diamond Ott, the resulting shot clanked off the crossbar and away from danger. It only got worse for American Samoa.
In the 90th minute, Samoa's Silao Malo converted on the counter attack (Samoa only needed to draw to progress based on goal differential), and put away a last second goal. The goal stood as the only one of the match, and put Samoa through to the next round while American Samoa's dream chance came to a crashing halt. Despite playing for first, American Samoa ended up 3rd in the group as earlier in the day, Tonga won their match with Cook Islands, 2-1, and moved into 2nd place because of the goals for rule (if record and goal differential are tied, goals for is the next tie breaker according to FIFA).
All is not lost for American Samoa. They did hold Samoa scoreless for 90' after having lost to them by much greater margins in the past. Ia manuia!
25 November, 2011
And to follow up that 'miracle', they drew Cook Island 1-1 after they scored an own goal in a game which they dominated for extended periods of time.
The result leaves American Samoa with the surprisingly enviable position in which if they draw or defeat Samoa (yeah, I know that's confusing), then they move to the next round of qualifying for the 2014 WC in Brazil. This is the same team that has lost all 12 of its previous WC qualifiers and who lost 8-0 to Vanuatu not 2 months ago, just prior to Rongen taking the helm.
The matchup between Rongen's American Samoa and Samoa takes place in less than 24hrs, and promises to be one for the recordbook.
22 November, 2011
By the way, for those of you scoring at home, this puts Spurs in a tie with Newcastle in 3rd, with a game in hand as well...
21 November, 2011
20 November, 2011
19 November, 2011
17 November, 2011
The surprising part is that Van Gaal and current board Ajax legend Johann Cruyff agree to disagree. They hate each other, but had this been any other club, Van Gaal would have been snapped up in a second as he won the CL trophy with Ajax, has been to the final with Bayern, and coached Barcelona. A star studded resume gets you far, but Van Gaal has gone on record to say he can't and will never work with Cruyff.
So this begs the question, is Cruyff being forced out at Ajax?
Possibly not. Ajax does have members, and those voting members are currently demanding an explanation from the board for the hiring. Most likely, it is because despite Van Gaal's reputation as a winner, Cruyff is a legend with Ajax, and that takes precedence.
Of note, Guus Hiddink was released from his contract with the Turkish NT this week after failing to qualify for the Euro 2012 tourney in a group that included Germany, Austria and Belgium (Turkey finished 2nd, but did not make the tourney as they weren't among the top point 2nd place teams). If you remember, Germany is the only team to win all 10 qualifying games and the first to qualify.
Maybe the board wants to rethink their decision and get a hold of Guus before some other country picks him up...
15 November, 2011
13 November, 2011
12 November, 2011
09 November, 2011
Ivanov, one of the World Cup 1962 Golden Boot winners, 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist in Football, and a player who scored 26 times in 59 appearances for the Russian NT, passed away at 76 after a long battle with illness. As one of the rare players to stay with one club for his lifetime, Ivanov came out of the Torpedo Moscow youth ranks and went on to net 124 goals in 286 appearances with the club from 1952 to 1966. He finished his career as the 9th leading scorer in Russian League history.
A true soccer legend, and one that will be missed.
A clip of his play during the 1962 WC match between Russia and Colombia's 4-4 draw (he's #8):
07 November, 2011
The Professor was right, this time. Houston Dynamo upset Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on the road to earn the right to travel to the Home Depot Center on November 20 to face the mighty Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup final. The Galaxy destroyed Real Salt Lake 3-1 to move one step closer to total league domination this season. That's what happens when they stack one team with players like Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and then add Robbie Keane to what was already the most powerful lineup in MLS.
06 November, 2011
03 November, 2011
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
This could be the last chance for Robbie Rogers to impress and it's looking rather thin at mid... interesting.
30 October, 2011
The first leg of the four aggregate home-and-home MLS quarterfinal matches concluded today, and the biggest winner would have to be Real Salt Lake. The lower ranked teams hosted the first leg, and the favored road team won every matchup except one: Real Salt Lake defeated the Seattle Sounders 3-0 yesterday in Sandy, Utah, on the strength of two goals by Costa Rica star Alvaro Saborio. For Seattle to advance to the final four, they must beat Real Salt Lake by four goals at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday. A Seattle win by only three goals will give the win to RSL by the away goals rule since Seattle has no away goals, unless the score is exactly 3-0, in which case it will force overtime.
29 October, 2011
Going to have to go back a while since you saw that in league play. Van Persie with the hat-trick with Santos and Walcott tossing in one each while Terry, Mata, and Lampard score for the Blues. 5-3, Chelsea loses.
Video: Goals Arena
26 October, 2011
The MLS regular season wrapped up on Sunday, with the Los Angeles Galaxy blowing away all the competition to win the Supporter's Shield as the top regular season team. However, regular season success does not count for anything when the eliminations begin for the MLS Cup. Think of it as a post-season Cup Tournament like the FA Cup, which has little to do with the standings in the league table and everything to do with an NCAA-style knockout tournament.
In effect, you could then see a player concede a pk yet not be carded, or only receive a yellow.
Additionally, the Task Force wants a ban on the use of electronic devices (presumably instant replay or the like) on refs off the pitch, but who are part of the match (4th official and end line officials during Euro matches) and the judging of active/passive offsides after the run of play.
While we like the idea of that active/passive, it can create issues where a player may be offsides, then while the AR is notifying of a potential offsides, misses another one that is relevant to a goal being scored and with no proposed electronic devices, the issue doesn't really resolve itself, just changes the potential offsides miscall.
Whether any or all of these suggestions are voted in favor of, will be decided March 3rd, when FIFA will propose any rule changes to happen and then later voted in July of this year, with any such approved rule changes taking effect for the 2012/13 season.
What are your thoughts on the idea of reducing red cards in the box?
23 October, 2011
20 October, 2011
UEFA today announced that the 2012 Euros in Poland/Ukraine were going to be tobacco free.
"A tobacco-free EURO 2012 is about respecting the health of our spectators and everyone else involved in the tournament," said UEFA President Michel Platini. "We uphold the highest standards of health, safety and comfort at our flagship tournament, and tobacco does not fit within them."
"A tobacco-free EURO 2012 makes so much sense," said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe. "Tobacco use kills and causes serious illnesses. This is a great example of what can be done within the WHO framework convention on tobacco control, which is already scoring goals across Europe." - UEFA
Here's the thing. There is a very likely chance that Plantini will take over FIFA after Blatter "retires". Additionally, Sharia Law (a strict adherence to law as pertains to the Koran) prohibits the use of alcohol. It is no secret that many soccer fans also consume alcohol and some of the rowdiest, consume in excess. And during major tournaments, jails are frequently filled with drunk fans during World Cups.
Since Qatar follows Sharia law, alcohol is presumably going to be banned in public, even for World Cup attendees
18 October, 2011
14 October, 2011
That said, November 11th. Stade de Paris, 2pm CST on ESPN 2.
And as a side note, this is actually, a double friendly weekend, which means the US is working on picking up another Euro friendly days later on November 15th (yes I understand the irony of saying weekend when in fact it's 4 days apart).
Those teams available in Europe at the moment for a Nov. 15th match?
Iceland (now with new coach Laagerback)
all being likely opponents...
12 October, 2011
Pot 1 (seeded teams)
Croatia (coefficient 32.723)
Republic of Ireland (28.203)
Czech Republic (27.982)
Pot 2 (unseeded teams)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (27.199)
The playoff will take place November 11, 12, and 15th in Poland.
Regardless, a video by the Telegraph leaked yesterday that has Warner telling people to take the money and do whatever they'd like with it, and if they "are pious, they should go open a church" and "give the money to someone who wants it". Funny, as you can see British Virgin Island president Franka Pinkering laughing and raising her hand, showing her willingness to take the other federations' money if they don't want it.
If this isn't a guilty as hell verdict, then we are just wasting time.
11 October, 2011
09 October, 2011
07 October, 2011
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt)
Buddle is replacing Landycakes who pulled out with calf issues. With the adjusted lineup, I expect we'll see the following 4-2-3-1:
I expect to see Cherundolo and Chandler make way for Spector and Fiscal with Gooch or Bocanegra coming off for Ream (whoever gets tired first). Beckerman may come off for Williams (his first cap) and Shea making way for Beasley as he seems to burn out quickly like Dempsey used to do. Altidore will make way for Bunbury late or if need be, they'll pull Bradley and replace him with Agudelo and push him forward into a more traditional 4-4-2.
This is the US's 17th matchup with Honduras and the US currently holds a 11-3-3 record against them. We are expecting Klinsi to see his first win in the Red, White and Blue. 2-1.
Photo: US Soccer
06 October, 2011
Some of you may wonder why though. See, Chucky, can I call him Chucky, good. Well, Chucky, he's still a little tainted from that whole bribery before the bribery in CONCACAF that led to the "resignation" of Jack Warner and firing of Mohammad bin Hammam. For a span of nearly 10 years, Chucky was grafting his way around the Caribbean like the best of them. Yet, unlike most of the others, he did a pretty damn good job of keeping all his skeletons in the closet. If someone wanted to open that door up just a bit, they would also be incriminating themselves, so it was a sort of mutual destruction reassurance that he had going.
03 October, 2011
Video: Fox Sports
Video: Fox Sports
02 October, 2011
Video: Fox Sports
Video: Fox Sports
01 October, 2011
29 September, 2011
Early this week, Carlos Tevez warmed up from the sideline waiting to come on for Manchester City in a CL match against Bayern Munich. City was already down 2-0 when coach Roberto Mancini told Tevez to start warming up to come on. The problem is that Tevez warmed up 10mins prior and took it as some kind of offense that he should have to warm up again when he felt he was ready.
Instead, Tevez sat, sulking, like an overpaid Demitar Berbatov, and refused.
Needless to say, Mancini didn't put him on the pitch. The rest is history. City loses 2-0 in an important group stage match, and people start clamoring for Tevez to be sold.
But at this point, who's going to pay his ridiculous wages, let alone take on a player that openly ignores their coach? Yeah, you'll have people say teams like Real Madrid, but they don't take on players that don't listen. They took on the notoriously petty merc, Cristiano "You hate me because I'm so beautiful" Ronaldo, but Tevez won't get that move. Italy? Not likely. They don't pay that much unless you produce and kiss the fans backsides.
Well, there is always that new Russian Chelsea team, Anzhi. They paid way too much for Eto'o and already overpaid on Roberto Carlos. Maybe, but here's the problem with that idea, you need to produce and definitely not talk back. They fired their coach less than 1 month after Eto'o was purchased, and have 1 win in 7 since paying such ridiculous prices.
28 September, 2011
At 26yo, Stuart isn't getting any younger, but he had started and gone the distance in a handful of reserve matches for Bolton this year. That said, I've had personal experience with ACL tears, meniscus damage and floating cartilage in my knee and you don't have "routine follow-up surgery" unless a) the original surgeon screwed up, or most likely for pro club surgeons, b) he suffered some additional minor injury and/or tried to come back too early.
Either way, Holden is out of the USMNT picture and Bolton's, for that matter, for another 6 months now as he gets the procedure on his knee and has subsequent rehab. Let's just hope he doesn't turn into another John O'Brien; lots of promise in the midfield, but succumbing to repeated injury that derails his career.
25 September, 2011
24 September, 2011
20 September, 2011
Lothar had only 1 win and 2 draws in 5 qualifying matches and has effectively eliminated Bulgaria from the Euro 2012 Tournament. Bulgaria has a pitiful 3W-6L-2D overall under Lothar. During his time in charge, Bulgaria managed to defeat only Cyprus, Wales (both 1-0), and Saudi Arabia 2-0 and had humbling losses to Montenegro, two losses by a combined 7-0 to England and a 1-0 loss to Belarus. Maybe it's just Lothar. At the helm of Hungary, he failed just as miserably, 11W-14L-2D. At this rate, he'll be hired by a Middle Eastern NT in no time.
While Mattheaus had a better record managing clubs (in the standings at least), he has been fired from every coaching job and/or left under bizarre circumstances. Whether some other team takes a flying leap on the mercurial player/coach (we assume later rather than sooner) will be anyone's guess.
Gunners can't get anything right this season and lose to the Chicken owning Rovers 4-3. How bad was it exactly? Arsenal wanted to lose the game so badly that they gave up not 1, but 2 own goals. Arsenal was up 2-1 at half. Guess the bookies made their obligatory calls to make sure they dropped the points.
18 September, 2011
17 September, 2011
15 September, 2011
During his tenure with the USMNT, Bradley went 43-25-12 with such pitiful wins as barely beating Cuba and Barbados 1-0, and playing up wins such as the 3-2 win over a 3rd string Sweden squad. Bradley did manage to get a shocking 3-0 against Egypt during Confederation's Cup and upsetting Spain during the same tourney. Those 'surprise' wins, though, are few and far between and not indicative of coaching or tactics.
Recently, during a CNN interview, Bradley was quoted as saying, "The Egyptian team is well qualified to be a dangerous opponent, but it only lacks some organisation on the field. The Egyptian player is a talented one unlike the American who depends mainly on his fitness,” he added.
13 September, 2011
As some of you may remember, Switzerland's FC Sion had illegally lured Egyptian keeper Essam El-Hadary away from Al-Ahly in 2008 while still under contract and had been subsequently punished. Part of that punishment is no player transfers may play for the club in competition.
Fast forward to Europa League qualifications this year. SPL's Glasgow Celtic were paired up with FC Sion. Because of the previously mentioned ban on transfers, FC Sion had to forfeit their matches against Celtic because they fielded illegally acquired players, thus, Celtic were awarded 3-0 wins for both home/away matches.
11 September, 2011
10 September, 2011
09 September, 2011
While Bradley has had a stellar career as a club coach, his NT head coach position for the US made his possibility of hiring a little more expensive and did lend some cache to the club, which I'm sure didn't mind the attention.
Instead, the position goes to former Santos player and previous coach (in 2006) Benjamin Galindo. Perhaps it was the fact that Bradley doesn't speak Spanish, or the fact that many Mexican-American players didn't see the light of the pitch under his tenure. Either way, he's now got a battle on his hands as the EFF has brought in former Ghanaian NT and recent Qatar NT coach Milovan Rajevac to interview in recent days.
Honestly, I don't think Bradley is going to get the Egypt job either because who in their right mind asks for a $400K raise after they were fired from their previous job? And It doesn't help that Rajevac comes much cheaper. Again, I'll throw this out there... Iceland still doesn't have an NT coach year. It's only about $400K/yr but you get Euro qualification Bradley. Of course, don't wait too long or Sven Goran might pimp himself for the job.
07 September, 2011
It is eerily similar to the 1993 crash in Africa of the promising Zambian National Soccer team. The young team was en route to Senegal to play in a 2nd round qualifying match. Spared from the accident were three players. By strange circumstances, their starting forward, Kalusha was in Amsterdam, unable to make the connecting flight.
This Zambian team were no slouches. Just a few years earlier, they stunned an Italian squad 4-0 in the 1988 Olympics to finish 5th. Sports Illustrated has a great article looking back at the Zambian team that is well worth the read. So much promise, so much loss.
Our hearts go out to the Lokomotiv team, their families and fans.
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