Friday, December 19, 2014

Liverpool vs. Arsenal, The Parkers, Roma vs. Milan



There goes another week, folks. Let's jump right in and prep for another few days of footie insanity, shall we? As is customary, we'll begin in the UK...

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: 50-50 Challenge


It's not just this weekend in the Premier League, peeps. It's the next two weeks that'll bring us fixture insanity as the only major European league to NOT take a winter break kicks into high gear. Who is best suited to take advantage of all the matches?

There's a Big Interview to enjoy this Friday. Why, look at that! It's Hot Carl Jenkinson. Take it away, Carl.

It's the end of the year and that means it's time for The Parkers! What the hell are The Parkers, you ask? Graham Parker's end of the year MLS awards. Duh.

Speaking of MLS, it looks like Brek Shea's forgettable time in England will end. He's heading to Orlando. Hope he likes purple...

Spain? Leaders Real Madrid won't play because they're off at that stupid World Cup Championship thingy. It looks like Barcelona host Córdoba, though.  Here's a Weekend Preview.

Over in Italy, Roberto Mancini has to deal with the club that gave him his glory years as Inter face Lazio. James Horncastle takes a closer look here. We posted the Weekend Preview yesterday because there was a match. Juventus won said match to move four points ahead of Roma, who welcome Milan to the Stadio Olimpico domani. Meanwhile, Paolo Bandini is wondering who (after Juve and Roma) will claim that last Champions League spot.

Tim Vickery has a column. How nice. Tim's been silent of late so let's see what's on his radar: Tim Vickery explains why the Club World Cup - barely noticed in Europe - is the highlight of the South American football calendar. Looks great! We're in.

And now...we're out! See youz next week.

Onward!!

-SSN

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Liverpool to Meet Chelsea in League Cup Semi, Martin Odegaard, D.C. to get a Stadium, Serie A

Now pay up!
The Capital One Cup Semifinals are set. It'll be Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Sheffield United vs. Tottenham. This after Spurs spanked Newcastle (David Hytner was at White Hart Lane) and Liverpool avoided further embarrassment by winning at Bournemouth (Dominic Fifield was at Dean Court). The two ties will take place during the weeks of January 18 and 25. Raheem Sterling's play prompted Liverpool Gaffer Brendan Rodgers to compare him to Alexis Suarez, but Adam Bate thinks it's the Suarez-like qualities that are lacking at Anfield this season.

In the Bundesliga yesterday, Borussia Dortmund couldn't manage to defeat Wolfsburg at home and thus remain in the relegation zone. It's incredible, really. How can a group-winning Champions League side with so much talent be such shit in the league? Michael Cox says it's because they have problems at both ends. Hmmm. Anyway, here's a wrap of yesterday's action in Germany. And here's an article attempting to articulate why The Bundesliga is the most exciting league in the world. Bam! The World!

Great news for footie fans in The District of Columbia: The City Council voted unanimously to allow D.C. United to move forward with a new ground and leave RFK. About time.

Hey! This is fun! Some Premier League clubs charge up to £600 for children to be mascots! Some don't charge anything. How exactly does that all work, anyway?


Things are suddenly going swimmingly for Manchester United, are they not? LVG has the Reds winning again. Here are Five Players he's turned around and made decent again.

Martin Odegaard has got all the big clubs hot and bothered. He's the newest kid phenom. He's from Norway. He's probably going to Bayern Munich. Jonathan Wilson has more.

Geez, Louise. Serie A's weekend begins today! Here's a preview of what's going to happen. Mainly, AC Milan will play Roma and Inter Milan will play Lazio. It's Milan vs. Rome, people!

That'll do it for today. Thank you.

Onward!!

-SSN

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sheffield United Stun Southampton, Chelsea Cruise, Bayern Buoyant, Gold Cup

It's Hump Day already? Geez. In the Capital One Cup yesterday, Sheffield United pulled a surprise and are headed to the semi-finals after dispatching of slumping Southampton. Richard Gibson was at Bramall Lane and filed this report. In the night's other fixture, Chelsea brushed aside Derby County. Jamie Jackson was at Pride Park and filed this report.

Today? You've got a shaky Liverpool at Bournemouth and Newcastle at Tottenham.

More Thierry Henry? No worries - Jonathan Wilson has you covered.

It's almost 2015 and you know what that means. Time to look back at what the sport gave us over the past year. Truth is, it was quite a lot. Paul Wilson has his 10 Memorable Moments right here.

Midweek matches in the Bundesliga yesterday: Bayern Munich won. Again. They've not lost. Yawn.

Quickie today. We'll finish with the Gold Cup. It's coming this summer to a town near you, including Frisco, Glendale, and Charlotte.

Onward!!

-SSN

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thierry Henry Retires from Football, DaMarcus Beasley Retires from the USMNT, Scribes, Capital One Cup



Hello, Hello, Hello. Thierry Henry has retired from playing out favorite sport. Long Live The King, as they say. He certainly brought a lot of joy to several SSN Staff over the years. Here are some facts and remembrances...

So, Thierry Henry got all. We all get old. Even DaMarcus Beasley gets old. The Editor had the pleasure of taking in The Kid's first professional soccer game for the Chicago Fire back in 1974. And...he's decided to terminated his tenure with the National Team. We love you, Kid! Keep playing in MLS until you're 45, please.

What the hell happened in La Liga this weekend? At least Five Things, you can be sure of that!

Capital One Cup, people! The Final Eight! Derby County vs. Chelsea! Sheffield United vs. Southampton! There is also midweek action in the Bundesliga. Kirsten tells us what to watch here.

Scribe time, yo! On Tuesday we travel the world to bring you the best insight from foreign dudes and dudettes. Check it:

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Spanish football has become fragmented and flat.

Where? Italy. Who? James Horncastle. What? Jeremy Menez is finally fulfilling his potential at new club AC Milan.

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund the centrepiece of ‘Englische woche’.

Everton expectedly eased past QPR yesterday. Ross Barkley was particularly impressive. Richard Jolly has Three Points from Goodison Park.

Podcast! This week...AC Jimbo is joined by Barry Glendenning, Raphael Honigstein and Barney Ronay to round up the weekend's football action. After Manchester United comfortably beat Liverpool at Old Trafford, the pod debate whether United are now in the title race, and ask: where next for Brendan Rodgers? They also look at the rest of the Premier League news, including the diving at Chelsea and another win for Burnley. There's full reaction to the Champions League draw, which throws up a rematch of Manchester City v Barcelona and PSG v Chelsea. Plus there's your posts, World's Strongest Man chat and Barney's strange hotel experience in Ukraine.

Another Tuesday tradition is Marcotti's Musings. This week, Gabriele is gabbing about Man Utd-Liverpool reflections, Barca's blip, Bayern march on, Juve slip again.

What's up with Liverpool? Phil McNulty looks at how the club has gone "from ruthless to toothless in nine months."

Speaking of Liverpool, how are things going for Suarez since his move away? Graham Hunter says The Cannibal s the latest Barcelona forward signing to settle slowly.

And finally...we'll finish with a Top Tenner. Thierry Henry Moments.

Onward!!

-SSN

Monday, December 15, 2014

Champions League Draw, Manchester United Defeat Liverpool, Monday Night Football

A very pleasant Monday to you! The Champions League Final 16 Draw was this morning. Here's how it ended up:


You'd have to say that Chelsea/PSG is the most alluring on paper. And City/Barcelona could excite if City can get their act together. Also, cue all those funny photos/videos of Wenger from his Monaco days. Michael Cox is on hand to let us know where the ties will be won and lost. Cheers, Michael.

Back to the action on the pitch over the weekend and we've got to go directly to Manchester United's victory over Liverpool. United were not particularly good; it was more that Liverpool were so poor. Sterling in particular should have scored a few, and Super Mario was not super. To be fair, De Gea had another fine afternoon, but none of his saves were particularly astounding. He was always where he needed to be. Let's get to the EPL action!

Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Phil McNulty at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Paul Wilson at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Three Points
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Five Talking Points

Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: 'Swan Lake', 'disgraceful' or not a dive?
Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: Three Points
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium

So, a bunch of diving incidents this weekend. It's the foreigners, right? Wrong.

Over in Spain, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao drew in a Basque Derby (Sid Lowe was at The Anoeta and filed this report), Real Madrid cruised, but Barcelona couldn't score and drew 0 - 0 at Getafe, and Atletico Madrid suffered their first home league defeat in 28 matches!  Here's a review courtesy of a Nigerian newspaper. More mañana with Sid.

In Italy, Roma moved within a point of Juventus at the top thanks to a road win in Genoa and a draw by Juve against Samp. Here's a Weekend Review. More domani with Paolo.


There is more action to take in today if you are so inclined. 'Arry and QPR head up to Liverpool to face Everton. Here's a preview. Go to NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. EST to enjoy.

Football on Friday? It's a rarity but that's set to change. Money, Money Money.

That'll get us up to speed. More insight and focus tomorrow.

Onward!!

-SSN

Friday, December 12, 2014

SSN Retreat Complete, Weekend Previews, Zabaleta, Serie A Alternative Guide to Roma, Stadium for D.C.?

North Korea: SSN Retreat Photo
OK, OK, OK. We decided things needed a bit of a shakeup at SSN Headquarters so we shut it down and headed to the North Korean border. Now that that's done, we can get back to business. The Champions League Group Stage is complete. The draw for the Knock-Out Round will be Monday. You know those big clubs with a lot of money? Don't worry - they're all looking good. As for the weekend's football, Manchester United host Liverpool, Milan welcome Napoli, and Real Madrid play Almeria this afternoon. Hit it and quit it:

Manchester United vs. Liverpool: Key Battles
Manchester United v Liverpool: Six classic Premier League meetings 

Woop! Woop! Roma: Serie A alternative club guide In their latest Italian football guide, the Gentleman Ultra profile Roma’s ground, fans and classic player Abel Balbo.

How great is Pablo Zabaleta? He's, like, totally pretty great, you guys.

Spain? Here's a wee preview. Real Madrid have some injury issues, apparently. Also, Mr. Moyes get's his first Basque Derby as Real Sociedad face Athletic Bilbao. Sticking with Spain, two of our favorite scribes have decided to tackle the alarming achievements of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They are Martina Hyde and Sid Lowe.

What the hell is going on in Germany? Let's let Kirsten Schlewitz get us up to speed. According to her, Bayern Munich face a tough test at Augsburg...

Wait. What? Kirsten's covering the weekend in Serie A, too? Sweet. She's telling us to forget Juventus and check out these three other intriguing matches in Italy this week.

Feel-good story of the day? Infamous bad guy Pepe bought the poor some food. Good on you, Pepz. More good news? It would appear that D.C. United will finally get that soccer-specific stadium they've been craving all these years. Good.

So Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal are the three Premier League teams left in the Champions League. Phil McNulty wonders how far they can go.

It's good to be back!

Onward!!

-SSN

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Man City vs. Bayern Thrills, Messi Marches On, Arsenal vs. Dortmund


Whew! Just when you thought Manchester City's Champions League campaign couldn't become more disastrous, they relinquish a two-goal lead at home to Bayern Munich while playing up a man! Who could save them? Kun, of course. Sergio grabbed a hat-trick and City's blushes were spared. What a match. Elsewhere, Lionel Messi (remember that guy?) scored a bunch to become the Champions League's all-time highest scorer as Barcelona cruised. We're pressed for time today because of that holiday thingy so we'll be brief. Go.

Manchester City 3 - 2 Bayern Munich: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 3 - 2 Bayern Munich: Five Talking Points
Schalke 0 - 5 Chelsea: Dominic Fifield at the Veltins-Arena

Today!

Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview
Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview II
Ludogorets vs. Liverpool: Preview

Gotta go.

Onward!!

-SSN

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Champions League, Scribes, Aston Villa 1 - 1 Southampton, Copa America Draw

Archway Sheet Metal burns. It's all a bit curious...

No rest for the weary! More matches today, this time in Europe where Manchester City host Bayern Munich, PSG welcome Ajax, Barcelona go to Cyprus, Roma head to Moscow, Porto and BATE clash, and Chelsea are in Gelsinkirchen to face Roberto DiMatteo and Schalke. Let's bust some previews:

Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich: Preview
Schalke vs. Chelsea: Preview

How sketchy is this?! Firm locked in stadium land dispute with Tottenham hit by blaze. Hired goons?

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


Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Why are South Americans succeeding in England?


Where? Germany. Again? Yes. OK. Who? Raphael Honigstein. Again? Yes. OK. What? Roberto Di Matteo needs to justify big name status at Schalke


Yank Abroad Brad Guzan had another good game last night but couldn't keep out Nathan Clyne's late equalizer for Southampton and the match finished 1 - 1. Stuart James was at Villa Park and filed this report.

Sticking with Yanks, here's an MLS Playoff Rewind. Enjoy.

Time this Tuesday for Marcotti's Musings. This week, Gab is gabbing about...Arsenal woe down to Wenger, Milan sides have far to go, Chelsea impress.

Uli Hesse is talking, too. He wants to explain how attacking football's evolution has impacted defending. Good. Do it.

According to Kirsten Schlewitz, record-breaking Lionel Messi is both football god and mere mortal. Good to know.

This summer's big tourny is Copa America. The draw for the tournament that will take place in June took place yesterday. Check it.

And finally...here's your European Team of the Week.

Onward!!

-SSN

Monday, November 24, 2014

Arsenal Lose to Manchester United, Milan Derby Draw, Liverpool Lose at Palace, MLS Playoffs, Monday Night Football

SSN's Special Correspondent for the Arsenal vs. Manchester United match on November 22, 2014, LT's view of the proceeding at the Emirates.

Happy Week of Thanksgiving! All of us here at SSN Headquarters hope you enjoyed the weekend of football. In the big match, Arsenal contrived to lose to Manchester United yet again. How exactly it all happened would be a bit confusing if it had not been happening with regularity over the past several years. Groundhog Day, indeed. Meanwhile, Liverpool continue to struggle and they looked quite poor at Selhurst Park yesterday, losing 3-1. Let's dive into all the action, yes?

Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Daniel Taylor at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Chris Bevan at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium
Crystal Palace 3 - 1 Liverpool: Dominic Fifield at Selhurst Park
Hull City 1 - 2 Tottenham: Three Things

Over in Italy, AC Milan and Inter Milan drew 1 - 1. Here are Three Things We Learned. A bit like the "big" Arsenal/ManU match, sadly, the Milan Derby no longer impacts the Serie A title. More tomorrow with Paolo.

In Spain, a certain Lionel Messi is dominating the headlines after his hat-trick against Sevilla. He's now got more goals than anyone else in the history of La Liga. Well done, lad. Here are his Top Ten La Liga Goals. Here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga this weekend.

Back Stateside, the assGalaxy edged the Sounders 1 - 0. Jeff Carlisle has Three Points from that match, and Bird want to give his take, as well. Meanwhile, The Revs won 2 - 1 in New Jersey in what sounded like a pretty good game (we didn't watch it). Doug McIntyre has Three Points from that one, while Grant Wahl has Three Thoughts. And here's more on both of those matches that ended with one-goal leads yet leave the teams involved in very different circumstances.

Monday Night Football tonight, friends! It's high-flying Southampton at a decidedly not high-flying Aston Villa. Check it out at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN if you so desire. 

And finally...Good 'Ol Gervinho tried to smuggle a woman onto his flight back to Rome from Ivory Coast.

Onward!!

-SSN

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.

Onward!!

-SSN