Friday, June 15, 2007

Americans are soccer-savvy ... and that scares little Englanders

Apparently some English people need to delude themselves about America in order to feel good.

Spain: La Liga Climax

Spanish title race reaches nerve-shredding finale:;_ylt=AmZCFuKHGLIrW9gtVpEcMfMmw7YF?slug=reu-spainpreview&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Brief Updates:

Kobe Bryant Show Up at Camp Nou to Boost Barca:

Iker Casillas Tribute:
People are raving about His Ruudness, Becks and the band of characters that are on the edge of bringing a European giant back to glory. But lost in the mix is the one man that has been a constant beacon throughout these times of darkness.


Two Players from Cuban Team Missing:

Galarcep: U.S. Passes Through Group Stage Unblemished:

Carlisle: U.S. Caught Plenty of Breaks in Group Stage

And again, the Quarters...

Saturday, at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Canada v. Guatemala
1 pm ET, TV: TeleFutura

USA v. Panama
4 pm ET, TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Univision

Sunday, at Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

Mexico v. Costa Rica
3 pm ET, TV: TeleFutura

Honduras v. Guadeloupe
6 pm ET, TV: Univision

Fifa shafts Africa by shifting goalposts

Fifa's decision to side with Spanish clubs over African countries is scandalous and depressing.

The Mill ++

Friday's Rumours

And transfer round-up...Sheva back to Milan?,,2103976,00.html

And Transfer Talk!

Under-21: Italy Snatch England Draw, Serbia Into Semis

Italy responded bravely to going 2-0 down to England, and stamped their authority on the game in the second half, picking up a draw that keeps both teams alive. However, the Azzurrini are on the brink, with qualification now out of their own hands.

Davies to stay with Derby but assistant's role is still up in the air

Rammy is happy!!,,2103649,00.html Profile: Tuncay Sanli profiles the Turkish star who has agreed personal terms with Premiership club Middlesbrough, and whose free transfer deal is now subject only to his passing a medical...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Barclays Premier League Fixtures 2007-08

Sam Allardyce is set to return to Bolton Wanderers more quickly that he might have imagined, when Newcastle travel to the Reebok Stadium on the first day of the new Premiership season.,,2102809,00.html

Riquelme on target as Boca win Copa Libertadores Leg One

Midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme scored from 30 metres to help Boca Juniors beat Gremio 3-0 in the first leg of the South American Libertadores Cup final on Wednesday.


Honduras stomped Cuba and over 68,000 were on hand in Houston to see Mexico edge Panama

Here's how the Quarters look:
Saturday, at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Canada v. Guatemala
1 pm ET, TV: TeleFutura

USA v. Panama
4 pm ET, TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Univision

Sunday, at Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

Mexico v. Costa Rica
3 pm ET, TV: TeleFutura

Honduras v. Guadeloupe
6 pm ET, TV: Univision

European Under-21 Championship

England vs. Italy: Young England Playing for Pearce's Future:,,2102412,00.html

England (4-4-2): Carson; Hoyte, Taylor, Cahill, Baines; Milner, Reo-Coker, Huddlestone, Young; Lita, Nugent.

Italy (4-1-4-1): Viviano; Raggi, Andreolli, Mantovani, Chiellini; Nocerino; Rosina, Aquilani, Montolivo, Palladino; Pazzini.

The Mill

Thursday's Rumours,,2102938,00.html

The Ins And Outs of Stamford Bridge

Chelsea may have ended the season with two trophies, but the main prizes eluded them. In the quest for the Champions League and the Premiership, what course should Chelsea take with their summer transfers?

Neururer: Drugs Rife in the 1990's

He says that half of the Bundesliga was jacked up during the 90s. I wonder if that includes Stefan Effenburg and Ollie Kahn?

Barcelona accused of buying favours from Madrid rivals

Oh no, here we go. I suppose it was inevitable as La Liga approaches the Day of Reckoning...

And not to be outdone, Iberian neighbors Porto are now in the mix with some hanky panky of their own:

Africa should show its strength by making peace with Europe

A little flexibility would make the African Cup of Nations an even better tournament - both for Africa and for Europe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CONCACAF Gold Cup Tuesday Wrap

The U.S. has little trouble with El Salvador and cruises to a 4-0 victory in Foxboro. DeMarcus looked particularly strong, as did The Duece.

Meanwhile, a Carlos Ruiz goal is enough for Guatemala to advance to the quarterfinals and a date with Canada.

By the way, what's the deal with Donovan's pre-penalty routine? The guy must have kissed each of his arms 15 times during his little squat session. Didn't seem to have much positive effect since both of his shots were terrible. And in another fabulous example of the crap quality of commentary we have to deal with, our announcers on FSC told us that the penalty had to be retaken because of an American infringement in the box when it was obvious that the reason for the rekick was because the Salvadoran keeper had moved off his line early (I had friends over, otherwise you can believe I would have been watching on Univision).

Gold Cup: Sanchez keeps crying

Mexico play Panama tonight:

Riquelme holds Boca's key in Libertadores final

Playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme will hold the key as Boca Juniors attempt to unlock Gremio's defence in the first leg of the Libertadores Cup final at the Bombonera on Wednesday.Last year Riquelme played a major role in leading unfashionable Spanish club Villarreal to the Champions League semi-finals, where they lost to Arsenal. After falling out with Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini, Riquelme has returned to Boca on loan and again been the main figure in taking them to the final of the Champions League's South American equivalent.

Marcela Mora y Araujo's Preview: Some Boca fans reckon ridiculous weather conditions could help them become South American champions.

The Mill

Wednesday's Rumours:,,2101926,00.html

And Transfer Talk:

Hungry Hiddink makes no secret of his friends in the highest of places

While chatting over David Beckham’s renaissance, the approaching European Championship qualifiers against England and how Russia can show Western Europe the way to improve home-grown talent, he describes a relationship with Roman Abramovich so marked in contrast to that José Mourinho shares with the Chelsea owner that it only underlines the theory that, when his contract expires after the Euro 2008 campaign, Hiddink’s next port of call could be Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gold Cup: U.S. should coast into quarterfinals

Frank Dell'Apa's Preview of USA vs. El Salvador:

The match is tonight at 7 pm E.D.T. in Foxboro. It'll be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel. I've seen nothing in the U.S.'s play to indicate that the squad is ready to win the thing, but hopefully they'll get it together as the tournament heads into the later stages. Bradley's been tinkering, and that's fine, but he'll need to find the right balance once the Nats face some real competition, i.e. Mexico. -Sanford's wrap from yesterday's action and additional previews for tonight:

The Joy of Six: football's forgotten classics

The Guardian looks back at six forgotten football classics including Inter vs. Sampdoria from 1991, Arsenal and Luton in the Littlewoods Cup Final in 1988, and Milan vs. Real Madrid in 1989.

The Mill

Tuesday's Rumours,,2101018,00.html

Something better change at Newcastle

Norman Hubbard wonders if Newcastle will change Big Sam or if Big Sam can change Newcastle:

Top ten transfer stories of the summer so far

Lampard to Madrid? Berbatov to ManU? Henry to Barca? Take your pick...

Barça's title gone in 18 seconds

A preposterous late turnaround in two matches means Real Madrid are almost certain to be champions of Spain. Sid Lowe weighs in:

Henry invites Arsenal to persuade him to stay

Thierry Henry last night issued a challenge to Arsenal to convince him to stay at the club. Although confirming he will be at training at the Gunners' London Colney complex next Monday, the Arsenal captain acknowledged he has other offers and insisted he has "taken no decisions" about his future.,,2100704,00.html

Ukraine's double winners desire a revolution of their own

Dynamo Kyiv may reign at home, but their coach must raise the new champions' game to meet the challenge of Europe or face the sack.

Why Fifa's altitude ban is the height of stupidity

Fifa's decision to ban internationals being played above 2,500m has actually helped bring antagonistic factions in South America closer together.

Monday, June 11, 2007


U.S. too strong for T&T:

Late goal gives Honduras win over 10-men Mexico (guess who was sent off?? -see below for answer):;_ylt=Ap64Owf3yGEaqMLKd2JmqKsmw7YF?slug=ap-goldcup-honduras-mexico&prov=ap&type=lgns


Ives Galarcep: Mexico and Canada pose real threats to U.S. (what about Honduras?? - Sanford)

This is beautiful. Señor Blanco does not liked to be kissed, apparently...

Phil Ball in Spain

Phil is understandably excited as La Liga romps towards its final weekend:

Tim Vickery in South America

All the fuss about the air miles David Beckham will have to clock up to keep playing for England throws some light on the sacrifices South America's top players have to make to turn out for their national sides. What Beckham will have to do is standard practice for the South American stars.

LA deal revived Beckham - Antic

Former Real Madrid coach Radomir Antic says the key to David Beckham's revival for both club and country has been his decision to sign for LA Galaxy.

Woodgate living the Teesside dream

The cultured 27-year-old central defender is a dyed-in-the-wool Boro fan and stood on the terraces as a boy, cheering on his idols.

The Mill

Monday's Rumours:
and more transfer talk:

Napoli and Genoa promoted to Serie A

Figo to stay at Inter for one more season

Poor guy...doesn't know when to hang up his boots...

Wenger promises Gunners will be competitive

Arsene Wenger has thanked Arsenal's fans for their 'trust' - and promised a much more competitive team to watch at Emirates Stadium next season.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

The worst day in any given year is known around the house as CTS - Cold Turkey Saturday. Normally it's the first Saturday after the season has ended with the German FA Cup final. This year, CTS came a week later due to the Euro qualifiers. But it has finally arrived, and I'm kind of mooching around the house trying to find books I haven't yet read.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Late night Spanish drama

. .

As I said yesterday, RVN, loser!

The penultimate fixtures of the Spanish season more than delivered on their promise of excitement: plenty of goals, league leaders changing within 20 seconds, Messi proving he really is the new Diego. What more could you ask for? Well I suppose Seville could have produced more than a 0-0, but it keeps them in contention.
In many ways last night's games summed up Barca and Real over the past 6 mths. Barca played super football but their arrogance and lack of drive let Espanol back in. Real, on the other hand, having missed umpteen chances, never gave up and fought their way to a deserved draw through pure doggedness.
Ruud didn't actually have his best game, but still snagged 2 all-important goals. Beckham, for his part, looked a bit tired, but would have had 3 or 4 assists had other players in the team the predatory skills of RVN. In the other game, Barca, as they always do, offered some sublime soccer. But in a strange way it's difficult to really enjoy watching them. They're like a spoilt child squandering its talent. And as a result there's more than a touch of pleasure in seeing a team of local fighters like Espanol sticking it to them.
Once again, it was team spirit and drive, Barca's lack compared to Real's abundance, that's made the difference this season in Spain.

Beckham nears title on fright night
Madrid keen to keep Beckham