12 February, 2011

11 February, 2011

Newcastle, the Apocolypse is Upon You

If having Mike Ashley as a manager and selling your only goal scoring product (oh and being home to multiple players in trouble with the law), now comes the coup de gr√Ęce.

Meet Shefki Kuqi, your new um... well he hasn't scored any goals lately... um... field player? Yeah, Newcastle meet your new field player:

(And since the likelihood of scoring any goals in the EPL is pretty much nil since he couldn't cut it in the Championships. Makes for a good rationale to pick this guy up on that fact alone *sigh*)

You know, after watching his 2008/9 highlights, I think I know Newcastle's new game strategy... Long ball and have Kuqi run someone over. Come to think of it, he's like the poor man's Emile Heskey. Ugh.

Video: Ruikulii

Hodgson to WBA

Wow... Di Matteo, we hardly knew ye.

Hodgson stays in the EPL for now with the signing of a new 1 1/2 year contract to lead WBA in the race to avoid relegation. Di Matteo, goes on indefinite "gardening leave" until such time as a team needs someone to dig them a new hole, or at least until someone wants to make the final push to make the EPL.

Hodgson, despite leading Liverpool to mediocrity, has experience with the middle of the table. In the 2007-8 season, he helped Fulham escape relegation and move mid table and safety.

10 February, 2011

Gyau and Renken, Renken and Gyau

So, it's tough to keep up with the movings and happenings at Hoffenheim lately. First, their coach leaves when they sell one of their defenders against the wishes of the head coach (to be fair, the owner and the coach had a lot of disagreements over the years) and then Joseph Gyau goes from the U-17 squad where he appeared 12 times with one goal to the U-19 squad.

Fast forward 1 month and Gyau is now listed on the U-23 squad for Hoffenheim and lo and behold, Renken is listed on the team site as a fellow U-19 player. While neither has played for the club at the U-19 level, this bodes very well for the future of US players.

Already, Bobby Wood (18yo) is on the first team squad with 1860 Munich in the 2. Bundesliga and now you've got two more of the U-20 USMNT on their way to getting some action with a 1. Bundesliga club.

Looking good guys, keep it up.

09 February, 2011


I caught a few of the international friendlies today. And in the end, it wasn't the big time, big name games that produced the biggest upsets or results (although Russia losing to Iran 1-0 was a shock and the Croatia 4-2 win over the Czechs was another good game or even the French win over Brazil 1-0 after a Brazilian red card).

Instead, it was lowly Luxembourg that came up big. The same country with just a couple people over 500,000. And they did it HUGE!

Luxembourg came out as the 131st ranked team according to FIFA. Their opponent was ranked 20th with a recent 3-2 win over Italy in the 2010 WC, they were considered strong with any lineup they might muster.

So when I caught the scoreline, I was shocked. Luxembourg 2, Slovakia 1. Now argue all day about how Slovakia was fielding a weakened team. They lost to Luxembourg. I don't care who you are or when, you just don't do that. That's like the US losing to Fiji or Italy losing to Turkmenistan.

I wish we had highlights of the game to show you, but frankly, the news media probably considered this as important of a game as we did prior to the result and didn't bother sending a camera crew. Wow. Just... wow.

Photo: logoserver

Lichaj to Leeds on Loan

Quick update on the Lichaj situation for you Americans following Aston Villa. When Tottenham agreed to loan Kyle Walker to the Hammers, you kind of had to wonder what would happen to the new signee Lichaj as both play RB.

Well, rather than waste talent on the bench, AV has sent Lichaj down to 6th place 2nd Div Leeds United. They can use the talent and frankly, he'll get plenty of playing time so anything that guarantees him regular playing time is good. How he does will determine what his role with AV will be at the end of the season.

Hump Day

Going through the international friendly list of games today. There's some good stuff, so pop over to ESPN3 or and get your game on while you finish your work in the background.

Some of the highlights today:
Croatia v Czech Republic
Turkey v South Korea
Denmark v England
Netherlands v Austria
Germany v Italy
Argentina v Portugal
France v Brazil
Spain v Colombia
and Mexico v Bosnia

So what are you going to be watching?

Agbossoumonde Joins Djurgarden on 6 Month Loan

After a 2 week successful trial, and a little time back stateside, Gale Agbossoumonde has officially joined Swedish First Division team, Djurgarden, on a 6 month loan. Djurgarden has the option to purchase, through Gale's contract owners Traffic (a Brazilian company that likes to buy up player contracts), at the end of the loan period.

This is a good move for Gale, because for the last 6 months he really only got practice time with Portuguese 2nd division Estoril as he was ineligible to play there. If he can produce, Sweden tends to be a great stepping stone to playing for bigger clubs throughout Europe. Hopefully, though, he does take the Gooch route and jump to a bigger club than he will start with as that tends to hamper development.

If you jump over to Djurgarden's page, you can get a decent look at Gale getting some practice time with his new club (it's about a minute in). Djurgarden sits 9th out of 16 currently.

Photo: Milk Cup

07 February, 2011


And what better to start you off than a little Pharrell and Viva Football 67? Get hot.

Video: vivafutballofficial

06 February, 2011

Luca Toni Doesn't Like Nutty Dutch Coaches


In case you missed the interview Bild did with Luca Toni, here's the premise:

Van Gaal, coach of Bayern Munich, said that players were interchangeable parts to a team. To wit, Luca said,
"The coach wanted to make clear to us that he can drop any player, it was all the same to him because, as he said, he had the balls. He demonstrated this literally (by dropping his trousers). I have never experienced anything like it, it was totally crazy. Luckily I didn't see a lot, because I wasn't in the front row."
Our take? Luca was a little prima dona and when a crazy coach called his bluff, he took offense. Interesting, since Luca is all about Luca.

Well, at least he won't have to worry about Van Gaal anymore as he managed to get himself sold to Roma during the winter transfer.

I can just bet that half to three quarters of the Mexican First Division have been subjected to this treatment by their coaches as have half the FIFA Ex-Co when Sepp wants his way with something.

It could be worse. (warning, lots of vulgarity)

Video: Honestjohn1992

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