Friday, November 21, 2014

Arsenal vs. Manchester United, Milan Derby, Barcelona vs. Sevilla, Lazio vs. Juventus, Liverpool Return to Palace, MLS Playoffs

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: 1926

There goes another week, Peeps! Enough of all that international crap. See you in 2015, national teams! It's time to to back to the real fun, and this weekend we've got some doozies. It's not quite the same as in years past, but whenever Arsenal and Manchester United meet, it's bound to be exciting. Instead of "who can make a statement of championship intent, " it's more like, "who can turn that frown upside down, at least for one match." Thankfully (and we never thought we'd see the day and still can't believe it), you no longer have to get that crazy dish or pay for that expensive sports package, or pay $20 to get into a pub: it's on the NBC. Let's begin, shall we?

Arsenal vs. Manchester United
12:30 p.m. EST on NBC

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: Preview
Arsenal vs. Manchester United: 50/50 Challenge

It must really suck to be a Wigan fan right now. Your Chairman busted out with some lovely anti-semitic quotes and also hired a confirmed racist, sexist, asshole. Here's one fan's view of the whole sad state of affairs.

And then there were four. Major League Soccer has some playoffs on Sunday. It's Donovan vs. Dempsey in the West, where the assGalaxy and Sounders clash (1:30 p.m. EST on NBC), and in the East, it is Red Bull vs. Revolution (5:00 p.m. on ESPN).

AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan
2:45 p.m. EST on beIN Sport USA

AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan: Preview
AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan: 50/50 Challenge

Here's something nice from ESPN: With the latest international break coming to a close and the frenzy of the club season about to resume, we asked some of our writers to chronicle what they love, both past and present, about the leagues they follow. It's #WhyWeWatchFootball. Here's James Horncastle on the history and class of Serie A. Apparently, it all began for James back in 1994 with the outside-of-the-foot volley Alessandro Del Piero hit to beat Fiorentina 3-2 in 1994.

Iain Macintosh, meanwhile, shares his love for beer, brats, and the Bundesliga here. What's not to love?

Well, would you look at that! It's an Americans Abroad Weekend Preview, don't you know!

Spain! We've not forgotten about you. You now have David Moyes and he's ready to take his bow for Real Sociedad. Here's a Weekend Preview.

We mentioned the Boca-River match yesterday. The First Leg finished scoreless. Oh, well.

And with that we'll head to Saturday. Enjoy.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wigan Hire Malkay, African Cup of Nations, Franz Beckenbauer, Boca-River

Ivory Coast fans celebrate qualification for the ACN. The police are not so pleased...

We'll fly into today with the news that Wigan Athletic have hired Malky Mackay. The very same clown who texted the following whilst managing Cardiff City:

'Fkn chinkys. Fk it. There's enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around.'
On the arrival of South Korean international Kim Bo-Kyung
'Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers'
On football agent Phil Smith
'He's a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted'
On an official of another club
'Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.'
On a list of potential signings
'I hope she's looking after your needs. I bet you'd love a bounce on her falsies.'
On a player's female agent
A picture entitled Black Monopoly (where every square was a "Go to Jail" square)
Sent to members of Cardiff's staff

Smashing. Is he really an honorable man? We think not.

Oh, dear. Reigning African Cup of Nations champs Nigeria couldn't even qualify this time around. Here are the countries who will play in Equatorial Guinea beginning in January: 

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea (as hosts), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

Jonathan Wilson takes a look at why African football remains marginalized from the rest of the world. You can bet that the CAF has a lot to do with it.

Here's headline for you: San Jose Earthquakes to have first 'cloud-enabled' venue in MLS. We don't even know what that means.

England. Have they turned it around since Brazil? Are they on the road to recovery? Are they really any good? Phil McNulty wants to think about it.

France. We've kind of forgotten about them. They've been so bad and so argumentative over the last several years. Julien Laurens reminds us that with the young lads they've got, the future is actually pretty bright for Les Blues.

Grant Wahl. Franz Beckenbauer. Der Kaiser! Go.

Boca-River is one of the fiercest rivalries in the world. The gritty southern side of Buenos Aires vs. the fancier northern burbs. Maradona, Riquelme, Tevez, Gago, Palermo. Di Stefano, Crespo, Ortega, Ayala, Balbo. The two sides clash today in the Copa Sudaamericana. Yes, it's a secondary competition, but it's still Boca-River. Here are six players you should watch (6:45p.m. EST on Fox Deportes).

That'll do for this Thursday. Keep it tite.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ireland Thump the U.S.A., England Beat Scotland, Portugal Edge Argentina, Spain Lose to Germany, Belarus Beat Mexico

"I will not look at you." "I will not look at you either."

Geez. Hump Day already? Here we go. The Yanks did absolutely nothing to change the opinion of them around SSN Headquarters. They suck. What a barf-fest. Once again they failed to dictate play, couldn't put passes together, and lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Here's your fallout from Dublin:

Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Grant Wahl at Aviva Stadium
Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Alan Smith at Aviva Stadium
Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Three Thoughts
Doug McIntyre: U.S. has lost its fight


Let's move on to the rest of the planet, shall we?

Scotland 1 - 3 England: Daniel Taylor at Celtic Park
Scotland 1 - 3 England: Dominic Fifield at Celtic Park
Scotland 1 - 3 England: Three Points
Portugal 1 - 0 Argentina: Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford
Portugal 1 - 0 Argentina: Three Points
Spain 0 - 1 Germany: Three Points
Belarus 3 - 2 Mexico: Three Points

Tim Vickery is a favorite scribe of ours who plies his trade down in Brazil. Today, he's got THREE NEW DUDES who lit up their South American teams this month. They are...Roberto Firmino from Brazil! Jeison Murillo from Colombia! And...Carlos Sanchez from Uruguay!

And finally...your average Premier League club's fan. Here.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ireland vs. USA, Ronny vs. Messi, Own Goal of the Year

And...Tuesday is off and running! It's all very friendly today. The men representing the United States are in Dublin to try to improve upon their recent performance in London. If you care to see how that goes, tune your telly to ESPN2 at 2:45 p.m. EST and enjoy all the action. Elsewhere, our amigos from south of the border are in Belarus, the Greeks try to save face against Serbia, Portugal face Argentina at Old Trafford (Ronny vs. Messi!) , and Spain welcome Germany. And there's the little matter of the "friendly" between Scotland and England. Here are some things to prepare you for today's events:

Ireland vs. USA: Preview
Ireland vs. USA: Preview II
Scotland vs. England: Preview
Scotland vs. England: Preview II
Scotland vs. Ireland: 50/50 Challenge


Dood. As noted yesterday, Bosnia-Herz lost 3-0 to Israel. Israel! A shocking result, really. What's gone wrong with the Bozzers?

Dood. As noted yesterday, the Croatian fans disrupted the match with Italy at the San Siro with flares, flames, and the like. Here's the question: why? Here's the answer.

Grant Wahl would like you to meet the man who arranges every USA friendly. His name is Tom King. Go on, say hello.

Amy Lawrence is a favorite scribe of ours. Today, she'd like to discuss how modern football has made the fox in the box an endangered species. Indeed, forwards like Lukas Podolski and Roberto Soldado are being lost as teams now favour different qualities in their frontmen. Or, so says Amy.

Ooooo...Own Goal of the Year. Nice.

And honor of Scotland vs. England...a Top Tenner.



Monday, November 17, 2014

USA Lose to Colombia, Euro 2016 Qualifying, Bleh, Bleh Bleh

The San Siro lights up as...
...Croatian fans enjoy a night out in Milan.
A very dreary Monday to you. It's all a bit lethargic today, is it not? All these internationals. Some are friendlies, some are qualifiers. Ugh. Can we please get our club football back? Please? So, eons ago (Friday), we watched as the U.S. once again failed to control the match, couldn't score from open play, and finally succumbed to a superior Colombian side. Tomorrow, the Yanks face Ireland. Wake us up at the half and let us know what's up, OK? Meanwhile, here's your latest USA stuff and things and whatever:

Colombia 2 - 1 United States: Euclides Montes at Craven Cottage
Colombia 2 - 1 United States: Three Things We Learned

No real surprises in Europe, either. Spain won, the Dutch won, England won in a drab draw, Scotland scraped by Ireland, Italy and the Czechs drew...wait...what's this? The Faroe Islands beat Greece?! Holy Mackerel! Claudio Ranieri? You're fired!

England 3 - 1 Slovenia: Daniel Taylor at Wembley
England 3 - 1 Slovienia: Five Things
Scotland 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland: Ewan Murray at Celtic Park
Italy 1 - 1 Croatia: Three Points

More fun with Roy Keane! It simply never gets old:

Keane: "Ask Martin. What's he said?''
Reporter: "I think he's had enough of these (distractions).''
Keane: "Go and ask him. Go and see him in the lobby. You're not brave enough to ask him?''
Reporter: "I am brave enough to ask him.''
Keane: "Go and ask him. You're asking me what Martin O'Neill might be thinking? Why don't you ask Martin?''
FAI press officer: "All right ...''
Keane: "What if we qualified? Do you think it will be a distraction? Are you thinking it's all a distraction from the result the other night?''
Reporter: "It was the build-up to the game for 24 hours. Everyone was talking about it.''
Keane: "What was the problem?''
Reporter: "We were all talking about it.''
Keane: "Talking about what? Talking about something you don't have a clue about, and everyone writing lies. The usual nonsense. 'This happened, that happened...'''

The African Cup of Nations is next year. So far, these teams are in:

Equatorial Guinea (hosts)
South Africa (top two in Group A)
Algeria (top two in Group B)
Gabon (top two in Group C)
Burkina Faso (top two in Group C)
Cameroon (top two in Group D)
Cape Verde (top two in Group F)
Zambia (top two in Group F)
Tunisia (top two in Group G)
Senegal (top two in Group G)

And finally...Goals of the Week!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Euro 2016 Qualifying, USA vs. Colombia, Inter Milan Sack Mazzarri

And so another week comes to a close. We shut SSN Headquarters down for a couple of days because nothing was happening. The FIFA report on Qatar and Russia is a complete joke (as David Conn puts it, "Corruption, collusion and vote-buying are identified but not seen as damaging), and we really didn't want to think about the international friendlies that occurred. We do, however, have a soft spot for the U.S. National Team, so we're back today to take a look at The Yanks' match this afternoon with Colombia at Craven Cottage (2:45 p.m. EST on ESPN), along with whatever else is on tap for today and the weekend. Here we go.

USA vs. Colombia: Preview
USA vs. Colombia: Preview II
USA vs. Colombia: Preview III

Right. On to Europe. Miguel Delaney picks four "can't miss" qualifiers for you to check out here. He's got Scotland vs. Ireland, Romania vs. Northern Ireland, Netherlands vs. Latvia, and Belgium vs. Wales. Meanwhile, Adam Bate is looking at the players themselves. He's got Five to Watch right here.

Oh, dear. Germany play Gibralter. That could get ugly. Here are 9 Other Things To Look Out For in this next round of games. And tomorrow's game between England and Slovenia will be Wayne Rooney's 100th match for England. So...way to go Wayne.

New York City Football Club

It's been a shitty season for Inter Milan. What does that mean? It means Walter Mazzarri has been fired and Roberto Mancini is set to return. Mancini enjoyed plenty of success with Inter in his last stint as their manager. We'll see if he can right the San Siro ship this time around.

Speaking of new/old gaffers, we mentioned earlier in the week that David Moyes had taken over at Real Sociedad. Jim White points out that if things were going better at Old Trafford, Moyes would probably still be out of a job. Makes sense.

Hmmm. Interesting, this: Growing up at Fulham: Life as an American youth in a foreign academy

Let's check in with Guillem Balague. He's dealing with all things Spain, including Costa, Cesc, and the national side.

Damn. African Cup of Nations. Equatorial Guinea is the new host after Morocco bailed. Have a glance at the action, won't you?

Back to Italy: The top three sides in Serie A last season were, in order, Juventus, Roma and Napoli. After 10 rounds of the current season, those three teams are, once again, leading the table in the same order they finished last time around. But that is not necessarily a sign that Italian domestic football is set for an unexciting repeat of least season.

And finally...Richard Williams claims that the international friendly is an institution worth cherishing. We suppose if we could have headed down to Upton Park to catch Aguero, Messi, and Co. lighting it up we'd appreciate the meaningless matches a bit more. But, we could not.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

International Waste Of Time

Hey. Meaningless friendlies today. Not really anything of note until Friday. Bleh.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moyes Takes Over at Real Sociedad, Scribes, Seattle Advances

Well, hello there. Welcome to Tuesday. Moe Szyslak David Moyes has taken over at Real Sociedad. How did the La Liga club get him? Does he have what it takes? Can he succeed in San Sebastián? There's only one man to give us the proper 411: Sid Lowe. Go.

Ebola! Morocco freaked out and said it wouldn't host the African Cup of Nations. Now, Morocco won't be involved at all. Good.

This looks lovely: From José Fonte to Mame Biram Diouf: 10 Unsung Premier League Heroes. Smashing. On that same page, Barney Rooney looks at how Southampton, West Ham, Swansea, and Stoke have been successful this season.

It's Tuesday and that means it's time to scribe. Hit it:

Where? Italy. Who? Jack Sargeant. What? El Shaarawy is finally getting back to his best

Where? France. Who? Julien Laurens. What? France's great expectations weigh heavy on Karim Benzema

Where? Germany. Again? Yes. OK. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Could Christoph Kramer’s freak own goal be the lift that Dortmund need?

Lots of disfunction in North London at the moment. No, it's not the transport that's the problem. It's the area's two largest clubs. Today, we'll examine the issues facing Spurs.

Major League Soccer is heading for its finale. Are Henry and Donovan destined to clash for the championship? Landy has to get by Seattle first, mind, and Thierry needs his Red Bull to beat New England. Graham Parker examines how things look to be playing out.

Sticking with the US, let's ask this? Who is Hot? Who is Not? 

Podcast! On today's Football Weekly, AC Jimbo has Barry Glendenning, Philippe Auclair and John Ashdown for company to give the hot chat on all the goings on in the Premier League and beyond. We start at Anfield, where Chelsea swatted away Liverpool, and also benefitted from slip ups (again) from Manchester City and Arsenal. Can anyone stop Mou's Blues? Certainly not Spurs, but you knew that anyway. Next, we head to Europe, to get up to speed with the action in Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga. (We'll have an extra-long phone call with Sid Lowe on Thursday to find out what's happening in Spain). Finally, we pop down to the Championship, where it's tighter at the top than, well, this.

It is Tuesday and that means we get Gabriele Marcotti's Musings. This week Gab is gabbing about...PSG pick up more than a win vs. Marseille. Plus: more pain for Rodgers.

That's really about it, friends. Have a good one.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Chelsea Win Again, Newcastle Win Again, Burnley Win For Once, Spurs & Arsenal Lose, Juve Hit Seven, Suárez Shines, Donovan Hat-trick

Hey, now! A fine Monday to you out there, OK? Woof. What a weekend. Have Chelsea already won the EPL title? When will Real Madrid score 10 goals in a game? What about Juventus? Is Luis Suárez the man to propel Barca back to the top? Why is Landon Donovan retiring? Who is more inept - Arsenal or Tottenham? So many bloody questions. Let's get to it.

Liverpool 1 - 2 Chelsea: Phil McNulty at Anfield
Liverpool 1 - 2 Chelsea: Andy Hunter at Anfield
Liverpool 1 - 2 Chelsea: Daniel Taylor at Anfield
Queens Park Rangers 2 - 2 Manchester City: Daniel Taylor at Loftus Road
Queens Park Rangers 2 - 2 Manchester City: Three Points
Tottenham 1 - 2 Stoke City: Amy Lawrence at White Hart Lane
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal: Stuart James at Liberty Stadium
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal: Same old problems for Arsenal
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal: Three Points

Oh, dear. Juventus plastered Parma 7 - 0. Ouch. You don't see that type of result very often, especially in Serie A. Other results? Here's a review. Inter Milan? Not good. Not good at all.

What did we learn in La Liga this weekend? Here are Five Things. You won't be surprised to learn that one of them is that Real Madrid scored five goals. You will be surprised to learn that Valencia didn't score any.

If you've made it this far, you've noticed that there were a fair amount of goals scored over the weekend. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

That's a lot of purple.
Are you hungover this Monday morning? Here, take this: World Football's Monday Morning Hangover

MLS? The assGalaxy crushed Real Salt Lake, thus allowing Landy to play another day. Donovan scored his third career playoff hat trick in the match. Time to retire, pal. Oh, and that Nguyen guy led New England to victory in their series. They'll face Red Bull in the Eastern Finals.

That'll do for today!



Friday, November 07, 2014

Liverpool vs. Chelsea, The Joy of Six, Gentleman Ultra's Alternative Serie A Guide To Palermo, Fernando Torres

Tomorrow. 7:45 a.m. EST. NBCSN.

Right! And there goes another week. The matches just keep coming, don't they? Fabulous. Last night in Europe there were no surprises. Dinamo Moscow, Fiorentina, Legia Warsaw, and Salzburg reached the knock-out stage, while the other Big Boys (Spurs, Everton, Sevilla) moved closer. Here a quick review. Now then, on to the weekend. Per usual, we'll begin in the UK and move east.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: 50/50 Challenge

In Spain, Barcelona are down to fourth as Valencia continue their surge up the table. Here's a weekend preview for La Liga. And it's been a weird season so far in Italy. Here's a weekend preview where Napoli's trip to Fiorentina catches the eye.

Stadio Renzo Barbera (Palermo)
Woop! The Gentleman Ultra is back! This time, his Serie A Alternative Guide takes him to Sicily to tackle Palermo. Enjoy!

Fernando Torres. Remember that guy? Yup, he used to be pretty good. He plays for AC Milan now. Can he turn his career around? Paolo Bandini addresses the issue.

The Joy of Six is here. This week's edition is Football Abandonments.

Errr...di Maria goes shopping? Why not? Fanta, Corona, Sprite...

And finally...
Bundesliga this week and this weekend? Raphael Honigstein, Max Whittle, and Ryan Baxter are on the case. Serie A this week and this weekend? James Horncastle and Max Whittle are on the case. La Liga this week and this weekend? Andy Brassell and Max Whittle (that guy's everywhere!) are on the case.