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30 December, 2011

African Nations Cup for Amputees

It has been a while since I posted anything but I just came across these highlights of the African Nations Cup for amputees. Field players must have only one leg, goalkeepers only one arm. Liberia defeated hosts Ghana in a shootout in the final to earn a place at the Amputee World Cup in Iran in 2012. And if you think this is a joke, look at the skills of these guys. Their upper body strength to support their body on crutches while shooting with their one leg suggests to me that any one of these guys could kick your ass. Literally. You would lose to a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

In Other News, Jack Warner is Corrupt

As if you didn't already know that from the title, Jack Warner is, and always has been corrupt. What makes it funny is that he has recently come out stating that FIFA was selling him rights to World Cup broadcasts for $1.

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?
ESPN
Yahoo
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

EPL: Chelsea v Fulham Highlights

If you're a Blues fan, this just hasn't been a good month. Draw Spurs and now you are in 4th looking up at Man City... Then, despite 12 shots on goal, you can only find the back of the net once (thanks Torres for missing yet again), as Dempsey scores his 9th of the season to pull back a point for Fulham at the Bridge no less... Chelsea fans, get used to the other teams catching up to you by repeating your new mantra, "Maybe next year ".



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Manchester United v Wigan

In a day that saw Man City blanked, Man U crushed Wigan. "The Sulk" Berbatov nets a hat-trick while Park Ji-Sing and Valencia also find the back of the net as the Red Devils run out 5-0 winners at Old Trafford.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Manchester City v WBA Highlights

For the first time all season, City were hold scoreless. Too bad Man U isn't close enough to take over the pole position, but maybe this will serve as a blueprint for overwhelmed teams playing City. City dominated possession (72% to 28%) and shots, but just couldn't find a way to break West Brom down. Final 0-0.



Video: Fox Sports

26 December, 2011

EPL: Bolton v Newcastle Highlights

Demba Ba... Wow, Newcastle just looks smarter every time that kid scores, and right now, that'd put Mike Ashley at the level of Mensa genius. Ben Arfa and Ba both score as Bolton manage only 1 shot on goal. Boy, does Bolton need Holden back soon.



Video: Fox Sports

25 December, 2011

Merry Christmas

From the boys at FC Santa Claus (yeah, a real Finnish 1st div. team). Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas.



Video: FC Santa Claus

23 December, 2011

Road to Mediocrity

Apparently, Eddie Johnson knows this line well. After suddenly bursting onto the scene with the USMNT and and scoring 23 in 25 appearances with the U17 US team (later scoring 7 in his first 6 matches with the full USMNT) and the subsequent signing with Fulham, EJ has, how should we put it? Dropped off a cliff.

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

Nguyen to Vancouver

Damn boy... bout time to see him finally make it back stateside. The ex-Hoosier who skipped MLS to go to Holland to develop his game, bounced around and after rumors were floated last year that he might come back (salary differences were the contention point supposedly)he's here.

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.


Video: ESPN

18 December, 2011

EPL: Arsenal v Manchester City Highlights

What do commanding possession, similar number of shots and shots on goal, and a lower payroll get you? A loss. Arsenal loses to a steam rolling Citeh on a 2nd half Silva goal. Can noone stop Citeh right now?



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Aston Villa v Liverpool

If you're Darren Bent, it's probably not a good time to be skipping a game 'injured' and then turn up at a shopping center while your team is losing 2-0 to 'Pool... Good thing no one else likes him either. Guzan puts in a subpar performance and Bellamy and Skrtel get Liverpool the 3pts away.



Video: Rutube

EPL: Tottenham v Sunderland Highlights

Roman Pavlyechenko... it doesn't matter if the spelling is off... the kid was on today. Pavs scores the lone goal off the bench to propel Spurs ahead of Chelsea and into 3rd.



Video: Foxsports

EPL: Manchester United v QPR Highlights

A rarity this season as both Rooney and Carrick get on the board as Man U walks away 2-0 winners over QPR.



Video: FoxSports

17 December, 2011

EPL: Chelsea v Wigan Highlights

Jordi Gomez scores a late goal to surprise Chelsea at DW Stadium as Wigan scrap a point and Chelsea falls to 4th in the table, behind Spurs.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Bolton v Fulham Highlights

A goal and an assist for Ruiz and Dempsey puts away his 8th goal of the season to tally 38 total goals, a record for an American in the EPL. Fulham gets the rare win this season, 2-1.



Video: FoxSports

15 December, 2011

CR7 Needs All The Help He Can Get

Apparently, not one to be outdone by someone with slightly more skill on the ball, Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to use the new Mercurial Vapor Superfly III shoes.

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.



Video: Soccerboots.de

08 December, 2011

Christmas Soccer Ideas 2011

Stuck on what to get for the soccer obsessed person in your life? We've put together a list of some ideas for your perusal (in no particular order):

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

CL: Bayern Munich v Manchester City Highlights

This just wasn't a good day for Manchester. First United lost to Basel... sorry, still laughing at that... and then despite beating Munich 2-0, City is knocked out as well thanks to a Napoli win over Villareal earlier in the day.



Video: FoxSports

CL: BaseL V Manchester United Highlights

Frei and Streller put the hammer to Man U and the Red Devils are knocked out of the CL in the quarters. Ouch. Guess the RAF time just didn't go United's way tonight. Hope you didn't bet on them to win it all. At least Man U can now focus on winning the League. What? They're in a close 2nd with Spurs catching up? This just isn't their year.



Video: Footytube

06 December, 2011

CL: Chelsea v Valencia Highlights

Chelsea got a brace from Drogba as Chelsea moves on in CL play over Valencia, 3-0.



Video: Dailymotion

05 December, 2011

Socrates

One of FIFA's 125 living legends of soccer passed away over the weekend to septic shock. He had been hospitalized three times in the past few months.

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.



Video: justlikethischannel1

04 December, 2011

EPL: Manchester City v Norwich Highlights

Tevez who? For the obscenely paid lineup of Man City, it really doesn't matter, as they chalk up yet another win, this time over hapless Norwich. Aguero, Nasri, Toure, Balotelli and Johnson all tally one, with a token goal by Norwich's Morison to prevent the shutout. They are looking tough ahead of the Carling Cup matchup against cross town United.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Aston Villa v Manchester United Highlights

Injuries to Given and Jenas saw Brad Guzan and Emile Hesky return to the field for the first time in ages. Man U got a lone goal from Phil Jones as they walk away winners, 1-0. Word also came down that Chicharito is out for a month with ligament damage.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Arsenal v Wigan Highlights

A bit lopsided of an affair as Arsenal gets goals from Arteta, Vermaelen, Gervinho, and RVP.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Bolton v Tottenham Highlights

Bale, Lennon and Defoe all score as Spurs roll over Bolton on their way to their to a club record 6th straight EPL win. Bolton didn't help matters as Cahill was red carded early.



Video: Foxsports

EPL: Chelsea v Newcastle Highlights

Newcastle finally falls. And falls hard at that, 3-0 to Chelsea. Despite balanced stats, Chelsea were on form (despite a Lampard missed PK), as Drogba's 38' goal lead the way, with Kalou and Sturridge putting the dagger in with goals a minute apart just before the final whistle.



Video: Rutube

02 December, 2011

Euro 2012 Draw

Here it is folks:

Group A:
A1 Poland
A2 Greece
A3 Russia
A4 Czech Rep.

Group B:
B1 Netherlands
B2 Denmark
B3 Germany
B4 Portugal

Group C:
C1 Spain
C2 Italy
C3 Republic of Ireland
C4 Croatia

Group D:
D1 Ukraine
D2 Sweden
D3 France
D4 England

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.

Photo: UEFA

30 November, 2011

Ajax Board Asked to Resign

Well, I guess we were wrong and Ajax is going with nuclear option #3. In a move to end the bickering and feuding that has gone on at Ajax in recent years between Ajax board members and former player legends, Ajax's governing council has asked all 5 board members, including Cruyff, to resign. Any board member that refuses to resign will be voted out, most likely, by shareholders. A resignation by Cruyff would keep him on mostly in a ceremonial role, with his youth program remaining and him making appearances for the club.

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.

Photo: Ajax

Carling Cup: Chelsea v Liverpool Highlights

Maybe Chelsea wanted to focus on CL play, because this game they never seemed to get into. Andy Carroll misses an early pk, but Rodriguez and Kelly score within 5 minutes of each other in the 2nd half to down Chelsea at home.



Video: Footytube

Carling Cup: Arsenal v Manchester City Highlights

A beautiful late give and go goal by Aguero spells the end of Arsenal's chances for some silverware this season. But, you Gunners didn't want a worthless trophy anyways, now did you?



Video: FoxSports

Carling Cup: Blackburn v Cardiff

Cardiff gets goals from Miller and Gerrard as Blackburn loses yet another match, with Kean sitting precipitously close to the firing zone.



Video: Footytube

29 November, 2011

Amercan Samoa v Samoa Highlights

Just cause we can... I somehow managed to scrounge up some highlights of that American Samoa v Samoa game for you kiddies.



Also big props to OFC Football for getting this uploaded.

28 November, 2011

EPL: Arsenal v Fulham Highlights

Apparently, Arsenal really don't want any silverware this year. Case in point? They drew at home with Fulham. And because they were so afraid that they might get the full 3pts, Vermaelen got the high sign from Arsene to spot them an early own goal. Wow. Just can't believe how this team has sunk.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Liverpool v Manchester City Highlights

Despite dominating possession and shots, Liverpool had to rely on a Lescott own goal to gift them the point.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Tottenham v WBA Highlights

An early WBA goal was the only thing that West Brom got right. Adebayor had a a penalty denied but followed up the rebound for a goal. Ade scored again in stoppage after Defoe put Spurs up 2-1 late in the game.



Video: FoxSports

EPL: Manchester United v Newcastle Highlights

On paper, Man U should have had this. On paper, Man U dominated shots, shots on goal, possession, and set pieces. Newcastle is thankful that things don't play out on paper. Demba Ba scores again, as Newcastle walks away with a point.



Video: FoxSports

27 November, 2011

RIP Speed Racer

85 Caps, and current coach of the Welsh NT only belie the fact that at 42, Gary Speed had more to accomplish in life.

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.



Video: SYZE84

No Happy Ending For You

If you were checking here to see if American Samoa won last night, you are going to be feeling a little disappointed.

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

American Samoa For The Win

It's amazing what a change in coaches can do. Just three weeks after Thomas Rongen (yeah, the same guy who coached the Mutiny, Revolution and Chivas in MLS and the US U20s) took over for American Samoa, they notched their first win... ever.

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.



Photo: Fifa
Video: Thepikopalkelee

22 November, 2011

EPL: Aston Villa v Tottenham Highlights

Adebayor 2, Aston Villa 0. And it wasn't like Spurs weren't trying. Actually, Ade should have had at least 5 in this game, it was just that lopsided.



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...

Video: Foxsports

21 November, 2011

Ankle Breaking Is Back

Carilho90 has some new tricks for you out there to try in your indoor league this winter. Get some practice time in on some and impress the ladies later.



Video: Carilho90

20 November, 2011

EPL: Chelsea v Liverpool Highlights

So what does 58% possession and nearly double the shots get you in the EPL? If you are Chelsea, that would be a 2-1 loss to Liverpool. Seriously. How long will it be before The Special One Redux gets the ax?



Video: Footytube

19 November, 2011

EPL: Manchester City v Newcastle Highlights

2 penalties and a token goal by Micah Richards put City 5 pts clear of the Red Devils. Worried yet? Because this is the first loss of the season for overproducing Newcastle, I wouldn't worry yet, but money does buy a lot of wins apparently. And all without misbegotten Tevez.



Video: footytube

EPL: Manchester United v Swansea Highlights

Note to self... make sure if I ever play Man U, don't worry about Rooney, just make sure I mark Chicharito regardless if he has the ball or not.

Man U wins, 1-0.



Video: Foxsports

17 November, 2011

Ajax Hire Van Gaal

In a somewhat surprising move, 4 of Ajax's 5 board members approved the hiring of former Ajax coach Van Gaal as their new director. Van Gaal takes over for Rik van der Boog, who left the position this past June.

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...

Photo: Ajax

15 November, 2011

Friendly: Slovenia v USMNT Highlights

Nothing says "US Wins!" like a Mexican announcer. Buddle, Altidore and Dempsey all score in the first half as US runs out a 4-4-2 formation to a 3-2 win in Slovenia.



Video: Footytube

13 November, 2011

Friendly: Mexico v Serbia Highlights

Salcido scores in the 2nd minute (Mexico always likes to get on the board early) and Chicharito scores yet again, this time via pk, to down Serbia 2-0.



Video: Footytube

Friendly: England v Spain Highlights

Despite not starting Shrek, I mean Rooney, England pulls the friendly upset as Lampard scores the lone goal. This is a shock considering Spain held possession for 71% of the game. Yeah, ESPN and BBC are both quoting those stats. Is Spain the new Brazil? All possession and no goals?



Video: Footytube

12 November, 2011

Friendly: France v USMNT Highlights

Worried yet? The US fails to score again and loses yet another under Klinsmann's watch, albeit to a better team than we've been losing to, but a loss is a loss... US defensive frailties show yet again.



Video: Footytube

09 November, 2011

RIP Valentin Ivanov

Most of you have no clue who the guy is. I'll admit, I had heard the name before, but didn't know what he had done on and off the field until today.

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):


Photo: Fifa/Getty
Video: fizbong88

07 November, 2011

MLS Cup: Houston at Los Angeles


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

Goal of the Day

Wow, don't look now Andy Carroll, but you left and Newcastle got better...



Video: FoxSports

03 November, 2011

US Roster v France and Slovenia

Looks like we are going to see a lot of euro based players for this one as only 5 MLS players are called up (they need a little break for now) including Bill Hamid who is currently on trial with West Brom in the EPL.

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

MLS Quarterfinals First Leg Recap


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.

EPL: QPR v Tottenham Highlights

One word... Bale. That's all. Since Spurs finally realized he wasn't a left back and moved him up to left mid like he plays for Wales, he's been on fire. Today, only 2 goals, but when was the last time one of your team's top scorers was a left mid? Just saying. Spurs roll, 3-1 at White Hart Lane.



Video: fooytube

Pan Am Games Final: Argentina v Mexico Highlights

Jerome Amione, currently with Atlante, scored the lone goal as Mexico's youth again shows it's international dominance in the Pan American Games as they win the gold medal 1-0 on home soil. Congrats to Tri Colores.



Video: yornom2011

29 October, 2011

EPL: Everton v Manchester United Highlights

Chicharito does it again. He salvages mediocrity out of the jaws of defeat for Man U. In a game that saw the Red Devils outpossessed and easily outshot, the Little Pea puts the only goal in and thus earns 3pts for Man U as Everton lose at home.



Video: footytube

EPL: Blackburn v Norwich Highlights

In a battle of 'Who Cares?" v "Who are they again?", no one wins. Case in point, today's 3-3 draw...



Video: footytube

EPL: Manchester City v Wolves Highlights

Clinic. Not sure what Wolves were even doing on the pitch today because they couldn't finish save for a token pk in the 2nd half. City rolls again, 3-1.



Video: footytube

EPL: Arsenal v Chelsea Highlights

Cold blooded. That's what Villa-Boas said Chelsea have to be. Well, after watching today's result, maybe they are. Reptiles are sluggish and sleepy in cold weather. Looked like Chelsea were today as well. For those of you at home, that's back to back losses for Chelsea. Don't know what is more shocking, the night and day play of the Gunners, or the two losses by the Blues.

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

MLS Playoffs begin


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.

Fewer Red Cards?

According to FIFA Task Force Football 2014, led by 'Der Kaiser' Beckbauer, the idea of red carding a defender in the box, giving a pk, and the obvious game suspension that goes with the red card is too much for teams to "endure". To reduce this, the Task Force has recommended that cards be given only if they would be cardable offenses anywhere else on the pitch.

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?

Photo: FIFA

23 October, 2011

EPL: Blackburn v Tottenham Highlights

VdV is back... Despite being outshot 19/9, Spurs prove the better side in this 2-1 win at Blackburn.



Video: Foxsports

EPL: Manchester City v Manchester United Highlights

If you are a Red Devils fan, look away, because you get to see the 2nd coming of "When a rich guy buys a team and then buys everyone regardless if they can play well together or not". This one was just ugly. Man U didn't score till the 2nd half, already down 3-0 at the time, then City puts 3 in in the final 5 minutes. You read that right. 3 in the final 5. That, for you math majors at home, leaves the score 6-1, Man City. And you laughed when they trounced Spurs to start the season...



Video: Foxsports

EPL: Chelsea v QPR Highlights

Ha ha ha ha... If you told me it was April Fools, I might have believed you. Especially after looking at the scoreline. 7 Yellows, 2 Reds, and a PK goal against send Chelsea to defeat. 1-0.



Video: Foxsports

20 October, 2011

Will FIFA Ban Alcohol for the 2022 World Cup?

I know this is a bit of a stretch, what with the WC about 10 years away, but follow my train of thought on this one and see if you disagree.

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

Leading the Band

Wow, can't believe I didn't see this one earlier. Galatasaray's Sabri Sarioglu scores and ends up directing the cheering. That's pretty pimp.



Video: malik932008

14 October, 2011

France v US Friendly Scheduled

Looks like the USMNT is stepping up the competition. While we may not win, it is pitting us against better opposition in an effort to improve. It's also an international friendly day, post MLS and thus the USMNT should be able to bring in a full starting lineup.

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?

Wales
Iceland (now with new coach Laagerback)
Norway
Finland
and Switzerland

all being likely opponents...

Photo: USSoccer

12 October, 2011

Euro 2012 Qualifications: Andorra v Russia Highights

And just because I always like a completely lopsided whooping... I bring you Russia dismantling (not very surprising, is it?) Andorra 6-0. Dazgoev (2), Ignashevich, Pavlyuchencko, Glushakov, and Bilyaletdinov all score.



Video: ZDF

Euro 2012 Qualifications: Bosnia v France Highights

A late goal by Nasri offsets the 1st half goal by Dzeko in this surprisingly even matchup.



Video: ZDF

Euro 2012 Qualifications: Denmark v Portugal Highights

Portugal was short some of their 1st choice defenders, and it showed as Denmark win behind goals from Bendtner and Krohn-Dehli while C Ronaldo scores for Portugal.



Video: ZDF

Euro 2012 Qualifications: Netherlands v Sweden Highlights

For the first time since 1983, Sweden beat the Netherlands... and they did it by coming back, down 2-1 to win 3-2. Damn. Sebastian Larsson with the penalty goal and then seconds later, Toivonen scores to seal the win. Didn't much matter to the Netherlands as they had already qualified, but for Sweden, by winning, qualified and avoids the playoff route.



Video: Footytube

Euro 2012 Qualifications

Last night was the final night of the group stage. If a team didn't win their group, they have to go to a playoff stage (drawing is streaming on UEFA's site Thursday).

Play-off draw
Pot 1 (seeded teams)
Croatia (coefficient 32.723)
Portugal (31.202)
Republic of Ireland (28.203)
Czech Republic (27.982)

Pot 2 (unseeded teams)
Turkey (27.601)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (27.199)
Montenegro (21.876)
Estonia (20.355)

The playoff will take place November 11, 12, and 15th in Poland.

Qualified

Bribery Keeps Giving

FIFA's case against some 15 Caribbean countries began yesterday in the whole bin Hammam/Warner bribery for votes. Caribbean Football Union VP Klass has already been banned for 26mo and slapped on the wrist and been told he was naughty. And by naughty, I mean fined $5000, but when you receive nearly $40,000 in bribes that you never account for, what is $5000?

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.



Video: Telegraph

11 October, 2011

Friendly: Ecuador v USMNT Highlights

Gooch is back. So is Beasley... Too bad Ream spoils their return with shoddy marking. Jaime Ayovi who scores the lone goal of the game as Ecuador wins yet another against the US... Klinsi is now 1-3-1 to start his US career...



Video: USSoccer

09 October, 2011

Friendly: Honduras v USMNT Highlights

A nice cutback goal from Dempsey and strong play from Shea and Howard as US walks away 1-0 winners in Klinsi's first US win, a win over Honduras.



Video: USSoccer

07 October, 2011

US v Honduras Preview

Just as a recap, the announced roster for this match against Honduras (Sat. 8th at 5pm CST on FSC and Univision) and Ecuador (Mon. 11th at 6pm CST on ESPN2):

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:
------------------Howard------------------
'Dolo*----Onyewu---Bocanegra--Chandler*
-------Beckerman-------Edu---------------
------Dempsey---Bradley----Shea*--------
-----------------Altidore-------------------

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

Bye Bye, Santa's Evil Twin

Now, forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I'm happy to see Chucky Blazer retiring at the end of this year from CONCACAF (and FIFA in 2013 after the WC).

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

EPL: Fulham v QPR Highlights

Clinic... Wow. 6-0. Wow... How do you come back from something that bad? I mean, Taarbat got subbed off the pitch and then left the game, catching a bus before the final whistle? wow... Johnson with the hat-trick. Dempsey, Zamora and Murphy also chip in this route.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Arsenal v Spurs Highlights

Hey Arsenal fans. You calling for Arsene's head now? Or do you just want to ride this "bump" out? 4th loss in 7 and just 2pts clear of the relegation zone. I know it's early, but you just lost to Spurs... Van der Vaart and Ramsey score and Walker notches his first for Spurs in this 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Bolton v Chelsea Highlights

Damn son. Lampard pulls a hat-trick on Bolton while Sturridge ONLY nets 2. Boyata saves some modicum of respect for Bolton as he keeps the score line from being a shut-out.



Video: Fox Sports

02 October, 2011

EPL: Manchester United v Norwich Highlights

Anderson and Walbeck score in the 2nd half of this snoozer of a match. Well, can't win all games like Chelsea and Fulham did. Don't worry, I consider this an off week for the Red Devils.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Blackburn v Manchester City Highlights

Blackburn stinks up the pitch again as Man City rolls with goals by Balotelli, Johnson, Nasri and Savic all coming in the 2nd half.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Everton v Liverpool Highlights

Don't look now, but Andy Carroll finally decided to show up for a game and score. That's his first goal in 7 appearances while Suarez nets his 4th in 7 as Liverpool takes down 10 man Everton.



Video: Fox Sports

01 October, 2011

EPL: Newcastle v Wolves Highlights

Demba Ba... This guy is on fire right now. Ba scores his 4th in 6 as Newcastle rolls 2-1 with Fletcher keeping the scoreline respectable despite Wolves holding the majority of possession and shots.



Video: Footytube

29 September, 2011

Pariah


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

Holden Out

Having already successfully undergone surgery following the horrific tackle during USMNT duty against the Netherlands, Stuart Holden is set to undergo "follow-up surgery" on his knee according to several news outlets. They describe it as routine and was most likely going to happen in the offseason, but after consultation had it moved up.

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.

Photo: thetelegraph

25 September, 2011

EPL: Aston Villa v QPR Highlights

Not even sure why I bothered giving you the highlights in this match. Was it the lackluster performance on both sides? Was it to see 2 pathetic goals (a pk and an own goal)? Actually, yeah, it was the way Aston Villa decided it really didn't want to be in the Premiership this year by scoring yet another own goal to blow the full 3pts away. Sad really.



Video: footytube

24 September, 2011

EPL: Everton v Manchester City Highlights

Balotelli and Milner score as Everton tries for an EPL record by trying to get as many of their players carded as possible. They failed, just like they failed to score. City wins, 2-0.



Video: todayfoot

EPL: Chelsea v Swansea Highlights

Torres. How do you toughen up a reputation? One that hangs so heavy? So many goals expected... so little produced... Well, when he's got something going in his head, he likes to go all out. Following last weeks sweet goal and horrendous miss, Torres outdoes himself with another goal and a straight red for a brilliantly stupid two footed lunge. In the first half. At least Ramieres puts in two and another by some guy up top named Drogba as Lampard looks on from the bench for the first 81 minutes. Too bad ol' Frankie decided to be mad and left the bench in disgust of not being used with the last substitution. Expect him not to be starting for the rest of the season (as if he was going to do that much). Chelsea roll, 4-1.



Video: mysoccerplacenet

EPL: Blackburn v Newcastle Highlights

What's the difference between Blackburn and a "woman for hire"? Everyone scores on Blackburn. Demba Ba is looking like an absolute steal for Newcastle as he nets a hattrick in a 3-1 trouncing of Rovers. Carroll who? And keep an eye on this Hoilett kid. He's get some serious tenacity and has been doing everything right for a Blackburn team that does everything else wrong.



Video: footytube

EPL: Manchester United v Stoke Highlights

He's big, he's scary, he runs like a misshappen fairy... Peter Crouch. And surprisingly, Stoke came to play today. In a pretty even match, Crouch scores the 2nd half equalizer as Nani scored yet again for the Red Devils. Final, 1-1.



Video: mysoccerplacenet

EPL: Tottenham v Wigan Highlights

It started off well for Spurs before they pulled back on the throttle. Van der Vaart scored in the first 3 minutes and Bale put in a ridiculous header off a corner to put Spurs up 2-0 before a pitiful clearance by Assou-Ekotto gifted Wigan a token goal in the 2nd half. The scoreline flatters as this match was all Tottenham.



Video: Todayfoot21

EPL: Arsenal v Bolton Highlights

In a game that saw RVP get his 100th goal for Arsenal, it was an all Arsenal all the time match, with all three goals coming in the 2nd half. Van Persie scores a brace and Song puts the nail in the coffin as the Gunners dominate 2/3rds of the possession anLinkd outshot Bolton 27 to 3. If you were looking for a Holden sighting, he's still not up with the 1st team yet.



Video: mysoccerplacenet

20 September, 2011

Mattheaus Raus

The Mattheaus experiment is over. After clocking 150+ NT appearances for Germany, several unremarkable club managing stints and a failure with Hungary, Bulgaria has now fired Mattheaus.

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.

Photo: theaustralian

EPL: Arsenal v Blackburn Highlights

I'm waiting until Tuesday to post this because the Arsenal board has now come out and said that Arsene will not be fired. Hate to break it to you Gunner fans, that's American for "you're on a short leash and you screw up again, and you're fired".

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.



Video: footytube

Bradley Update

According to the Egyptian Football Federation, Bob Bradley's flight was delayed today because of Homeland Security for some reason, so they expect to officially "unveil" him tomorrow.

18 September, 2011

EPL: Stoke v Sunderland Highlights

Bramble, Gardner and Larsson all score and Woodgate manages to chip in his annual own goal as Sunderland roll, 4-0.



Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Chelsea v Man U Highlights

Man U makes it a first half affair at Old Trafford as Rooney, Nani and Smalling all score. Rooney later misses a pk and while Torres scores a nice goal, he misses a sitter that your 4yo kid sister could hit. Red Devils win, 3-1.



Video: footytube

EPL: Fulham v Manchester City Highlights

Man City go up 2-0 to start the second half and pull it back only to give up 2 and walk out of Craven Cottage with only a point. Aguero continues his torrid goal scoring pace with two and now has 8 in 5 matches.



Video: footytube

EPL: Liverpool v Tottenham Highlights

To say Charlie Adams wanted to get tossed out of this game was an understatement. Two yellows in the first 30 minutes saw 'pool go down a man and then another sending off for Liverpool in Skrtel saw Spurs crank up the screws. Modric scored early and then it was all cruise control as Spurs go on to win 4-0 with a brace from Adebayor.



Video: footytube

17 September, 2011

EPL: QPR v Wolves Highlights

If you haven't figured out today's theme is surprises and upsets, then now is the time to clue you in. QPR lays the beatdown on Wolves as 80,000 quid/week hipster Joey Barton takes out his man UGG hating frustrations on Wolverhampton with a goal in the opening 10 minutes. 80 minutes later, it's all over but the Tweets. QPR 3 Wolves 0.



Video: footytube

EPL: Swansea v WBA Highlights

I bet you're wondering why I'm showing you Swansea v WBA highlights. It's because, despite being outshot, Swansea put on a scoring clinic to get their first EPL win. Sinclair scores from the spot while Lita and Dyer both add to the total. Swansea winners, 3-0.



Video: footytube

15 September, 2011

Bob Bradley is the new Egypt NT Coach

Bob was a finalist with three other coaches, Francisco Maturana of Colombia, Zoran Belosevic of Yugoslavia and Milovan Rajevac of Serbia although only former Ghanaian NT coach, Rajevac was considered a real contender. Reportedly, Bradley was the 1st choice and the lone holdup being the salary demands of Bradley. As USMNT coach, Bradley was earning ~$600,000/yr and he was negotiating for close to $1mil to take over for Egypt. Now, forgive me if I'm overstating the obvious here, but you don't give a coach who lacks tactical awareness and who was just fired a $400K raise to take over a strong team that should have several other good options.

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

Awkward

Just like walking in your grandparents making out, this one is going to get real ugly real fast.

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

Beach Soccer World Cup Final Highlights

They may be long, but they're distinguished. Ok, enough with the Top Gun referencing... 4 time winner Brazil just can't get it done and Russia. Wait, Russia? The Russia? Yeah, Russia, wins the Beach World Cup in Italy, 12-8 over Brazil. Damn.



Video: Medeiros5456

10 September, 2011

EPL: Manchester City v Wigan Highlights

Apparently, losing a club CEO to lying doesn't affect form. Who knew? Tevez misses from the spot after losing the team captaincy to Kompany and Aguero proves to be a stellar signing knocking in a hat-trick. Man City winners, 3-0.



Video: Footytube

EPL: Chelsea v Sunderland Highlights

Sunderland could have used unsettled Gyan as they drop points to Chelsea. Instead, Asamoah heads to the UAE to "get his head on straight" with a 1st div team there. Torres actually makes an appearance, but as usual, fails to score. Chelsea winners, 2-1.



Video: footytube

EPL: Liverpool v Stoke Highlights

Liverpool stumbles as Stoke picks up the 3pts from a Walters pk in the 1st half. That's all she wrote.


szólj hozzá: Sto 1-0 Liv

Video: Goalsarena

EPL: Bolton v Manchester United Highlights

Rooney on form with the hat-trick while adds two more after coming back from injury. Simply... dominating. Man U runs out 5-0 winners.


szólj hozzá: Bol 0-5 Man U

Video: Goalsarena

EPL: Tottenham v Wolves Highlights

Adebayor knocks in his first goal on a sweet possession while Defoe finally sees the back of the net as Spurs get their first win of the season.


szólj hozzá: Wol 0-2 Tot

Video: goalsarena

09 September, 2011

Bob Bradley Is Not Next Santos Laguna Coach

Well, not the biggest surprise out there (possibly instead that going to the Egyptian Football Federation for meeting 48hrs ago to announce a new head coach only to not do so...) but Bob Bradley was passed over as the next possible head coach for Santos Laguna.

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.

Photo: USSF

07 September, 2011

Tragedy

It's not often that we'll talk about a tragedy in another sport, but this is just sad. Yahoo Sports is reporting that en route to a Kontinental Hockey League match, all but one of the 1st team of Russian club Lokomotiv were killed in a horrific plane crash. The surviving member, Alexander Gamilov, is currently in intensive care with burns covering 80% of his body. This was to be the initial match of the new hockey season for Lokomotiv.

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.

Photo: sportslogo

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