30 March, 2013

Arsenal v Reading Highlights

Another completely one-sided match today.  26 shots to 5 in favor of the Gunners as Reading just don't put up even a fight.  4-1 the final.

Video: MSN Sports

Manchester City v Newcastle Highlights

Wow, weren't the Toons in the top 5 or close to before the break?  They decided to take the dive I guess.  Completely dismantled by Man City. 4 goals for City as they run away with this one. 4-0 the final

Video: footytube

Spurs v Swansea Highlights

Bale and Vertonghen get on the board for Spurs and right their ship after several disappointing results as of late.  For their part, Michu scores yet again for Swansea.  Tottenham moves to 3rd in the league with this result and Chelsea dropping to hobbled Southampton.

Video: MSN Sports

Chelsea v Southampton EPL Highlights

Poor Rafa.  He blames a blogger in eastern Europe for his team's troubles lately.  Wonder who he'll blame for Chelsea now losing to Southampton and dropping to 4th in the league today?

Even a token Lampard goal couldn't save Chelsea.  Southampton gets the deserved 3pts missing several starters, 2-1.

Video: MSN Sports

26 March, 2013

There's S'no Problem Here

Yeah, feeling a bit cheesy on this one.

So according to FIFA, Costa Rica's protest about the USMNT/CR match from Friday (March 22) being played in the snow is ruled invalid.


Well, (since all the other media outlets got lazy and didn't pull the FIFA rules and I wanted to read the wording myself), Article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 WC qualifying rules states:
4. Protests regarding the state of the pitch, its surroundings, markings or
accessory items (e.g. goals, posts or footballs) shall be made in writing to the referee before the start of the match by the head of delegation of the team lodging the protest. If the pitch’s playing surface becomes unplayable during a match, the captain of the protesting team shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team. The protests shall be confirmed in writing to the FIFA general secretariat during the preliminary competition and during the final competition by the head of the team delegation no later than two hours after the match.
So there we go...  Costa Rica was stated as having lodged the complaint within 2hrs of the end of the game and sent a copy certified by mail to FIFA  HQ in Switzerland within 24hrs, so this boils down to the "captain of the protesting team shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team."  Basically, Costa Rica didn't complain to the ref with Dempsey present. 

We play at Costa Rica September 6th, so you can bet that they are going to be pissed and ready to play, especially if 3rd/4th place is on the line for qualifying.

As it stands now after 2 games:

Team         MP W D L GF GA   Pts
Honduras     2  1 1 0 4  3     4
USA          2  1 0 1 2  2     3
Panama       2  0 2 0 3  3     2
Mexico       2  0 2 0 2  2     2
Jamaica      2  0 2 0 1  1     2
Costa Rica   2  0 1 1 2  3     1 

25 March, 2013

Our Dear Player

A few of you might remember WC 2010.

North Korea claimed that their star forward, Jong Tae-Se, was nicknamed North Korea's Rooney.  Apparently, they thought that looking like Shrek and underperforming at random intervals was a good analogy.

Which brings us to North Korea declaring it's armistice with South Korea, null and void this month.

Previously, the two were still technically "at war" and just calling a cease fire until some later point.  What makes the connection between Jong Tae-Se and war?  Well, see, for the last two years, Jong Tae-Se has been plying his trade on the benches of VFl Bochum and more recently FC Koln.  He barely played, so naturally, he needed to move somewhere.

In steps 4th place finisher of the K League (South Korea) for 2012, Suwon Samsung Bluewings.  Signing Jong Tae-Se to a multi year contract this past January was the efforts to boost their shot at winning the title and hopefully improve on their semi final finish in the AFC CL from the previous season.

Now, here's the interesting part.  Jong Tae-Se has played every match so far this season for Suwon.  Granted, he's sitting out the next one on a thigh injury, but considering all men of his age are still supposed to be in the North Korean Army, how does one play for a team in a now "desputed" territory?

So far this season, Jong Tae-Se has yet to find the back of the net and last scored a league goal in 2011.  The real Rooney has found the net 16 times in 30 odd appearances so far this season alone. 

Considering Kim Jong Un shot 18 holes in ones in his first golf outing, writes songs and communicates telepathically to the women's NT coach, maybe this is just a ploy to put a spy in South Korea. It could also be an effort to make a North Korean player look better by playing lesser competition.  Then again, maybe Jong Tae-Se just needs to borrow Kim Jong Un's marketing guy.

Photo: Global Sports Media

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