18 February, 2012

He's Back...

Eddie Johnson.

Oh, how you are like a joke in the US Soccer community, yet somehow, you come back almost as often as Freddy Adu when the media claims you will "turn [a] team aound".

In case you missed it, like I almost had, EJ had signed with Puebla last fall and was moving there to play, presumably because they were going to pay him more.

Well, let the joke begin.

'So, EJ walks into a Mexican club and fails a physical...'

Yeah, Eddie failed the physical in December and with nowhere left to turn for the money he wanted, he returned to MLS, only to be selected by Montreal, who then traded him to Seattle for Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle.

At this point, I'm thinking Montreal robbed Seattle blind, but hey, they do have the ability to surprise.

Question is, are the Sounder faithful going to like this? Because I give it 2 seasons before he washes out.

Photo: Sports Illustrated

12 February, 2012

Greatest Comeback Story of the Year

I can hardly believe it myself. After 120 scoreless minutes, Zambia defeated Ivory Coast 8-7 in a penalty kick shootout to capture Zambia's first ever African Nations Cup, in Libreville Gabon, the site of the 1993 plane crash that claimed the lives of nearly all of Zambia's national team.

Early on, Zambia's starting defender Joseph Musonda injured his knee in just the 11th minute, and broke down in tears when he was replaced by Nyambe Mulenga, but the Zambia defense was spectacular. Ivory Coast did not have an attempt on goal until 30 minutes into the match, when Didier Drogba back-heeled to Yaya Toure, but the Manchester City star shot over the goal from only 8 yards out.

In the 70th minute, Gervinho was fouled in the box by Isaac Chansa, covering for the substitute Mulenga, and Didier Drogba stepped up to take the penalty kick. Drogba then shot it wide of the goal, reminding everyone of the 2006 African Nations Cup final, when Drogba's shootout penalty against Egypt was stopped, handing the title to Egypt.

Each team had one last chance to win in regulation. Max Gradel shot just wide of goal for Ivory Coast, and Kolo Toure made a game-saving tackle against Zambia's Emmanuel Mayuka. Zambia had the best chance to score in extra time, with Christopher Matongo forcing Boubacar Barry to make a toe save on a shot that was heading inside the near post.

In the shootout, Drogba was not afraid to take the critical fifth position, and he scored. So did all of the other shooters. In fact, all of the first 14 shooters scored in the shootout, which was tied 7-7 when the 8th man from Ivory Coast, Kolo Toure, had his shot saved by Kennedy Mweene. But, Zambia's 8th shooter, Rainford Kalaba, shot over the bar to send the shootout to a 9th round. Gervinho stepped up, because there was no one left, and missed the goal, setting up an unexpected winner for Stoppila Sunzu. This was Zambia's first African Nations Cup win after losing twice in the finals, most recently in 1996.

Photo credits: Zambia = Getty Images
Drogba and Y. Toure = Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
Video: Borovez

EPL: West Brom v Wolves Highlights

I don't know what they gave the Baggies at halftime, but I bet Mick McCarthy wishes they didn't. With the score tied 1-1 at half, WBA came out and crushed it. Like, 4 goals in a 24 minute span, crushed it. Mick, your Kit Kat bar is in the mail. Just so you can, you know, "get away"...

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Fulham v Stoke Highlights

Now, I'm not sure how the winning goal for Fulham is credited as an "own goal", because this sure looked like Dempsey all the way. Regardless, Fulham wins again thanks to a Dempsey goal.

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Arsenal v Sunderland Highlights

You have to feel sorry for Sunderland. They suck. They can't seem to buy a string of wins to save their lives. Well, at least we know there are some worse teams out there... Sunderland gets late in the game, leading 1-0 only to have a loss shoved down their throats with a late goal by Aaron Ramsey and a last second one by Henry. To quote Bill Paxton in Aliens, "Game over man... Game over."

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Chelsea v Everton Highlights

Zoinks! Looks like Chelsea really don't want to play CL next year. How else would you explain the Brazilian like 60+% possession they held only to lose 2-0 to Everton? Let me repeat that... they. lost. to . Everton... Landycakes notches another assist (anyone else wondering why they just don't pony up the money and buy him from MLS?) and Pineaar puts one in as well in his return to Everton after a disappointing run at Spurs.

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Liverpool v Manchester United Highlights

I guess this is what happens when Suarez refuses to shake Evra's hand. Rooney comes out with a fire lit under him and nets 2 in 3 minutes to seal a much needed win for the Red Devils. Suarez, for his part, tries to keep the scoreline honest and puts one in late.

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Newcastle v Tottenham Highlights

It. Wasn't. Even. Close.

Tottenham 65% possession - Newcastle 35%
Tottenham 18(7) Shots- Newcastle 8(3)
Tottenham 5 goals - Newcastle 0

Saha, in what can only be said to be a dramatic debut, scores 2 before the 21st minute (Assou-Ekoto nets one too inside 5mins). Kranjcar puts Spurs up by 4 before the break and then Adebayor finishes the recently slumping Newcastle in dramatic form at White Hart Lane.

Video: Fox Sports

TSI Blog Archive