Friday, October 31, 2014

The Manchester Derby, Los Angeles Football Club, Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund

Here we go again...
And there goes anther one, folks! The weekend is here and it is time to party! Manchester Derby? Bring it! Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund? Das ist super! Napoli vs. Roma! Grazie mille! Let's roll, beginning with the Premier League necessities...

Manchester City vs. Manchester United: 50/50 Challenge

Americans Abroad. It's been awhile. Let's check in on Yanks plying their trade across the ponds/borders.

A title race in Spain? It's the honest-to-goodness truth. Here's a preview for the weekend action in La Liga. We should take a gander at Italy while we're at is. Besides the Napoli/Roma clash, there is Samp/Fiorentina, Parma/Inter, Milan/Palermo, and Empoli/Juve. Check it.

Let's get caught up on MLS. Here are some headlines: Vancouver lament a bad call, Thierry Henry shows he's still the best around, FC Dallas will need to improve home form, and KC can’t escape their end-of-season woes. Speaking of MLS, did you know Chivas USA no longer exists? Not to fear, those of you who think there should be two franchises in The City of Angels: LAFC is here!

Red Star Belgrade vs. Partizen Belgrade. A dodgy derby to make make Manchester's seem tame. Kirsten Schlewitz took in the action recently and filed this report from Serbia.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's In Your Wallet Cup?, Cosmos Sign Raul, Roy Keane Reveals 'Drinking Was My Hobby'

That's one Hamburg fan who's not a fan of Franck.

Wow! League Cup fun! Whoda thunk? Newcastle looked good yesterday. All of a sudden they've got a spring in their step and look to be turning things around. They dispatched a rather lethargic Manchester City side at the Etihad without too much trouble by the score of two goals to zero. Speaking of trouble, Man City not only lost the match, but they also lost playmaker David Silva. Jamie Jackson was at the match and filed this report. Richard Jolly was there as well and came away with Three Points about the contest. Up next for City? United. Yikes.

Elsewhere, Graziano Pellè simply cannot stop scoring for Southampton. He's been key to the Saints surge up the table in the Premier League, and last night he scored two, including the late winner as his side won at Stoke. Pete Lansley was at the Britannia Stadium and filed this report. In the other match, Spurs beat Brighton 2 - 0. Here's a report.

What else? Ahh, yes. Italia. These weren't cup matches, mind you. Straight up Serie A, son! Our favorite scribe in Italy, Paolo Bandini, gives us all we need to know here. It was Gigi Buffon's 500th game for Juve, but he didn't get the win! No, instead, Juventus lost to Genoa and with Roma's win, the top of the table it tied up. Juventus = Played (9), Goal Difference (12), Points (22). Roma = Played (9), Goal Difference (12), Points (22). Here's a wee bit more on Juventus.

Another old guy is coming to the States. Raul has signed with the NY Cosmos. He's 37. Ok, then.

MLS Playoffs kicked off last night. Dallas beat Vancouver. Brian Strauss has Three Thoughts about it.

And finally...more fun with Roy Keane. 'Drinking was my hobby, I suppose. I’m not giving it the thumbs up, but it was my trait. I don’t know why – because I’m Irish, maybe, because I lived by myself. Boredom kicked in.'



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's In Your Wallet Cup?, Clattenburg Dropped After Sheeran Gig, Midweek Serie A Action, Tevez Back With Argentina, MLS

That's better. We took a wee break but we're back on this fine Hump Day. It was quite the weekend, what with Real Madrid and Barcelona squaring off, and Chelsea and Manchester United going at it. Hey! West Ham beat Manchester City and are in the Top Four! How did that happen!?

There were some fine goals, too. Here they are. Let's call them...Goals of the Week (plus Tackle of the Week and Miss of the Week).

He scores when he wants. Which is not terribly often, mind...
The League Cup had some matches yesterday. Matches of note? Well, Chelsea edged Shrewsbury Town to advance. Jamie Jackson was at New Meadow and filed this report. Mario Balotelli scored and Liverpool left it late to edge Swansea City. Andy Hunter was at Anfield and filed this report. Richard Jolly was there as well and came away with Three Thoughts about the contest.

Today you've got Manchester City vs. Newcastle, Tottenham vs. Brighton, and Stoke vs. Southampton.

Major League Soccer. What the hell is going on in that league? This helps us find out. Thank you, Grant Wahl, Brian Straus, Bird (Power Rankings!), etc. You want a MEGA MLS PLAYOFF PREVIEW? We will make it so.

Graham Hunter wants to talk about Diego Simeone and Atlético Madrid. We shall let him do so.

We all hate Mark Clattenburg, right? A ref who wants the spotlight, who jokes with gaffers, who, well, sucks? Yes. Anyhoo, he won't be working this weekend. He broke some rules and went to see Ed Sheeran. Shame.

Sad, but true...

This is some midweek action in Serie A to get you through to Saturday. Here's a preview. You're looking at Fiorentina vs. Udinese, Inter vs. Sampdoria, and Genoa vs. Juventus, among others.

In Spain they'll play some Copa del Rey today. Looks like Real Madrid face some club called Cornholeia. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, in the League, Sevilla are the surprise package thus far. Let's investigate, shall we?

Tim Vickery is reporting from South America. His focus is on Argentina and the return of a certain Carlos Tevez to the national side.

And finally...this English FA official is a Neanderthal.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back Tomorrow

We took an SSN staff trip to New York over the weekend and are currently wandering back into the office. Normal service will return tomorrow. In the interim, please enjoy this photograph of SSN staff members enjoying the Manchester United/Chelsea match in a hotel room. Onward!!  -SSN

Friday, October 24, 2014

¡El Clásico!

Whew. There goes another one, eh? We find ourselves on a Friday yet again, eagerly awaiting the fine fixtures that will be thrown our way over the next two days. The Big One is at the Santiago Bernabéu, but we'll get to that a bit later. Best to start in the Premier League, where Chelsea's trip to Manchester United has SSN Headquarters on edge. Here we go!

The Special One and LVG meet again...

¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! ¡El Clásico! It all goes down tomorrow at 12 p.m. EDT on beIN Sports USA. Is it The Biggest Game in Club History?

Sid Lowe has a preview here. Graham Hunter explains why the contest is so compelling here. Tim Vickery says Neymar is learning from Messi here. Alan Smith ponders who has the better lineup here. You want a 50-50 Challenge? It's here. Lawro?! Lawro?! What's he doing talking about this? Geez, everyone wants a piece of the action. One final preview? Sure, why not?

Did you see the vid of Lamela's rabona above? Pretty sick, right? It happened last night in the Europa League. Here's the rest of what happened last night in the Europa League.

The Joy of Six is...well, it's an odd one this week. Big-Boned Footballers. Enjoy.

Just a wee bit of history...

Look at this: As the MLS season enters its final weekend, the Supporters' Shield is still up for grabs and the race to for Eastern Conference playoff spots is heating up quite nicely. Here's what to watch when the assGalaxy and Sounders clash.

Podcast! What a week! On today's Football Weekly Extraaaaaa, AC Jimbo has Barry Glendenning, James Horncastle and Rafa Honigstein in the pod to look back on a huge week in the Champions League, with Liverpool outclassed by Real, Bayern ruthless against Roma, and Arsenal lucky to beat Anderlecht. Also in the show, Sid Lowe looks forward to Luis Suárez's likely return in a typically low-key clásico, while we also catch up with the state of play in India's Super League and Ireland's Premier League. Finally, we preview the big games in the Premier League this weekend, including Manchester United v Chelsea, Sunderland v Arsenal, and 'Arry Redknapp v Adel Taarabt.

Let's not forget Italy. Here's a preview of the weekend's Serie A menu.

And finally...The day UFOs stopped play.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Real Madrid Thump Liverpool, Arsenal Escape With Three Points, Tear Gas in Lille, Sid Lowe on Suárez, Super Mario Shirt Swap

Hey Hey! Great action yesterday as Ronaldo and Real showed the gulf in class between Liverpool and Real Madrid (and Super Mario did a half-time shirt exchange), Arsenal were awful but still somehow managed to grab a late win, Olympiakos shocked Juventus, and Sporting were robbed in their game against Schalke and want a rematch. Check it:

Liverpool 0 - 3 Real Madrid: Phil McNulty at Anfield
Liverpool 0 - 3 Real Madrid: Daniel Taylor at Anfield
Liverpool 0 - 3 Real Madrid: Three Things We Learned
Liverpool 0 - 3 Real Madrid: Five Talking Points
Anderlecht 1 - 2 Arsenal: Three Things We Learned
Anderlecht 1 - 2 Arsenal: Three Points

Luis Suárez's ban is about to end. Sid Lowe wants to talk about it. That makes us happy.

Meanwhile, over in Lille, Everton fans awaiting their side's Europa League match were greeted with teargas. Smashing. Interested in the Europa League? Here.

So, Borussia Dortmund are cruising through their Champions League group, but are struggling mightily in the Bundesliga. What's wrong?

And finally...Manchester United v Arsenal: Pizzagate revisited - 10 years on.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bayern Ravage Roma, Chelsea Crush Maribor, Shakhtar Donetsk Destroy BATE, Sneijder Rules Istanbul, Previews for Today's Champions League Matches

Bayern Munich and The Pope
Is it really Hump Day already? Good Grief. Let's get to it. Europe's top club competition wasn't really much of a competition in a few of the matches yesterday. Bayern at Roma was supposed to be a good one. It finished 7 - 1 in favor of the Germans. Chelsea have a bunch of injuries to deal with. They won 6 - 0. Shakhtar? They beat BATE 7 - 0. That said, there were some good ones. Here's your lot:

CSKA Moscow 2 - 2 Manchester City: Jamie Jackson at the Arena Khimki
CSKA Moscow 2 - 2 Manchester City: Three Points
Bayern Munich 7 - 1 Roma: Three Things We Learned
Barcelona 3 - 1 Ajax: Three Points
Barcelona 3 - 1 Ajax: Three Things We Learned
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Amy Lawrence at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Three Points
Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor: Five Talking Points

Sneijder! Sneijder! Sneijder! We don't normally cover the Istanbul Derby, but, man. Check out the two goals that won it for Galatasaray (and the other Goals of the Week). Fenerbahçe didn't know what hit them.

Bad Goalkeeping Performances? Here are FIVE.

William Gallas has retired after a very successful 19-year career. Amy Lawrence takes a look back at the French defender's tenure.

D.C. United = Worst to First

More matches today, folks! All eyes are on Anfield as Ronny & Co. arrive from Madrid to face Liverpool. Elsewhere, Arsenal are at Anderlecht, Galatasaray host Dortmund, and Juventus go to Olympiakos.

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Preview
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Preview II
Anderlecht vs. Arsenal: Preview

And finally...Rochdale AFC's grass will look better this season, and it it thanks to some confiscated marijuana lamps.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United, Scribes, Champions League, Sunderland Fans Get Their Money Back

What West Brom executive allowed a 12-year-old to take over the official Twitter feed?
Good Day! The match in the West Midlands last night was a fine affair. The hosts were certainly up for it and looked set for three points, but the Red Devils managed to snatch a draw. United goals scored by...Marouane Fellaini and Danny Blind. No. No, we were not expecting those two names on the score sheet. Here's the breakdown:

West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Luke Reddy at The Hawthorns
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Stuart James at The Hawthorns
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Five Things
West Brom 2 - 2 Manchester United: Three Points

Scribe Time! It's time to pull a Wide World of Sports and span the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport soccer... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition...

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Bilbao suffering from Euro hangover

Where? Portugal. Who? Andy Brassell. What? Porto increase doubts over tiki-taka

Where? Germany. Again? Yes. OK. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? All is not yet lost for Dortmund

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? Inter and Milan missing urgency

Woop! Check this out: Best XIs from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga, plus analysis of the big Champions League fixtures. We'll take it.

Taarabt vs. 'Arry. Here's the latest.

The Big Interview today is...Álvaro Arbeloa! Yes, as you might expect, the Spaniard is relishing his Champions League return to Liverpool after leaving the club for Real Madrid.

The Champions League is back, folks. Get on it:

Champions League Match-Day Three

Roma vs. Bayern Munich: Preview
Rudi Garcia: Emperor of Roma
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester City: Preview
Chelsea vs. Maribor: Preview
Schalke vs. Sporting Lisbon: Preview

And travel 317 miles to watch your club get destroyed 8-0. At least you get your money back.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Southampton 8 - 0 Sunderland, Juventus Draw, Barcelona & Real Madrid Win, Monday Night Football

That was quite the weekend, was it not? Southampton scored eight against poor Sunderland. Aguero scored four against Spurs. Ronaldo scored two against Levante. Inter and Napoli drew. Juventus did not win. Late drama between QPR and Liverpool. And...loads more. Let's dive in, beginning in the Premier League...

Manchester City 4 - 1 Tottenham: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium
Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Chelsea: Three Points
Arsenal 2 - 2 Hull City: Amy Lawrence at the Emirates Stadium
Southampton 8 - 0 Sunderland: Paul Doyle at St. Mary's
Newcastle 1 - 0 Leicester City: Iain Macintosh at St. James' Park
QPR 2 - 3 Liverpool: Jonathan Jurejko at Loftus Road
QPR 2 - 3 Liverpool: Three Points

Over in Italy, leaders Juventus were held at Sussudio, Roma crushed Chievo, and Milan rode Honda's heroics to a win at Verona. Here's all you need to know. More tomorrow with Paolo.

España? Barcelona scored three in 15 minutes to win and Real Madrid had little trouble against Levante. Here's all you need to know + Five Things We Learned in La Liga. More tomorrow with Sid.

There are a bunch of strikers in the Premier League who are either new to the league, or are simply playing with new teams. Jacob Steinberg takes a look at who is providing the best value for the money.

Back Stateside, it's advantage Seattle as the Sounders came back to claim a draw against the assGalaxy. Bird's got more on that here. And check out the Five Things We Learned from the action in MLS this weekend. Wait! Here's a Sixth Things We Learned: Boys II Men sang a tribute song for Landycakes...

Sweet! Monday Night Football is a good one. West Brom vs. Manchester United. Here's a preview. Here's another. 3:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Internationals Are Over

Hello, Friday! Woop! We can finally resume normal service and enjoy some club football this weekend. Manchester City host Spurs, Chelsea return to Selhurst Park to try to avenge their loss, Arsenal have no defenders (again), and Manchester United face a tricky trip to The Hawthorns. In Spain, Real Madrid go to Valencia to face Levante and league leaders Barcelona host Eibar. Here's your schedule and preview for La Liga.

In Italy, league leaders Juventus travel to Sussudio, Roma host Chievo, Fiorentina welcome Lazio, and Inter host Napoli. Here's your schedule and preview for Serie A.

Can't wait for tomorrow? Head over to beIN Sports USA at 2:30pm EDT this afternoon and catch some League Uhhhhhhh action between Lens and PSG.

Back to England. Here's your lot:

Top Tenner? Yes, please. This week it's Instant Premier League Impacts. Oh, Fabrizio Ravanelli...

This is good: The German judge overseeing Fifa’s investigation into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has insisted that the report cannot be published in full for legal reasons, but promised an overview of the main findings by the middle of next month.

Back Stateside, the MLS playoff race is heating up! Or hotting up, as they say not Stateside. Anyhoo, here's a preview. assGalaxy vs. Sounders looks tasty. It's Lando's final regular season home match.

Curious about who would make a list of the 10 Most Coveted Youngsters in Europe? So are we...