Friday, July 20, 2007

Angel, Toja Lead MLS All-Stars Over Celtic

New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel and FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja both tallied for the MLS All-Stars in a 2-0 victory over Celtic FC.

Major League Soccer All-Stars coach Steve Nicol has hit back at critics of the Los Angeles Galaxy and insisted David Beckham will help raise the standard of the MLS.

Under 20s World Cup: Argentina beats Chile to advance to final against Czech Republic

Argentina 3 - 0 Chile

Czech Republic 2 - 0 Austria

Members of the Chilean soccer team fought with police and security officers after a semifinal loss at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament.

Derby Line Up Ram Raid On Wizard Star

Eddie Johnson to Derby?!

Premier League's Top Ten Earners

News that Chelsea have agreed a new £6.8 million-a-year deal with their captain John Terry means that the central defender - who is also England skipper - is set to become the highest-paid player in English football.

Oh, and as the ass continues to fall out of the Dollar, as of today it'll cost you 1.38 dollars to get one Euro and a whopping 2.05 Dollars just to get one frickin' Pound. No wonder Becks came over... Profile: Rolando Bianchi

Italian striker Rolando Bianchi arrived in England from Reggina last week for £8.8 million as Sven Goran Eriksson's first signing for Manchester City. He wasted no time in getting off the mark in his new colours, converting from close range to put City ahead against Swedish outfit Orgryte in a friendly that the Premiership side went on to win 4-1. profiles the new City striker...

Asian Cup Update

I've not been too concerned with the Asian Cup, to be honest. I suppose it's the biggest tourny for the folks over there but the standard of play just isn't high enough to warrant my attention. Sure, Australia, Japan and South Korea can play with anyone on their day but the standard drops off so rapidly when countries like Bahrain and Malaysia get in the mix. But man, what fun it would be to attend some of these matches. Fabulous host countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia) with great beaches, mountains, forests, and FOOD would have made this an excellent trip. Maybe next time. But just to get an update on the proceedings, here's an article from the Guardian.

The Mill + ++

Friday's Rumours



Totti announces international retirement

He was never able to reproduce his Roma form for the Azzuri. Sadly, this will be my lasting impression of him playing for Italia.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

MLS All-Star Game, Mid-Season Review, and General Junk

Since it's so bloody quiet these days we'll check in on the MLS and see what's going going on with North America's top division. The game tonight is at 9 pm EDT on ESPN2.

Preview: MLS All-Stars vs. Celtic FC

Celtic not taking the MLS All-Stars lightly

Jeff Carlisle's Mid-Season Awards

MLS Commissioner Don Garber confirmed during his State of the League address in Colorado on Wednesday what several media outlets had reported on Tuesday by announcing that the San Jose Earthquakes will become the league’s 14th team and begin play in 2008.

MLS Power Rankings: Houston Dynamo Dominating

United in race against clock as Tevez case goes to Fifa

Manchester United face significant disruption to their preparations for the start of the season on August 11 after Fifa yesterday refused to give any indication of how quickly it could resolve the dispute over Carlos Tevez.,,2129628,00.html

Marina Hyde: An early whiff of Becklash hangs in the air

Marooned in a country where Rock Paper Scissors outshines football, David Beckham's hard won publicity is in danger of going to waste.

And...Beckham's LA Galaxy dismissed as pub team by media

The Mill

Thursday's Rumours


++ Profile: Arjen Robben

But will they explain how a man so young can look so old? Is that Teddy Sheringham?? I know someone else who has the Robben Syndrome...

Collina named chief selector for Serie A referees

Our favorite ref is back in the news...and we like it.

Owen woos Tyneside by bidding for the captaincy

Michael Owen has taken the latest step in his concerted charm offensive at Newcastle United, asking to be considered for the club captaincy. The England striker has been working tirelessly to convince sceptical supporters that he is committed to life on Tyneside after details emerged this summer of a £9 million release clause in his £110,000-a-week contract.

But how effective a captain will he be if he's always in hospital or in the training room?

Heath Pearce Signs with Hansa Rostock in the Bundesliga

Beasley stumbles at language barrier

American DaMarcus Beasley has revealed he is struggling to communicate with his new Rangers team-mates after finding the Scottish accent nearly impenetrable.

Come on, Kid! Get it together!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Robben agrees terms with Madrid

Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has agreed personal terms over a move to Real Madrid, reports BBC Radio Five Live. The clubs are yet to agree a fee, which is understood to be about £15m, but Robben, 23, is due to fly to the Spanish capital on Friday.

Fabregas eyes skipper armband at Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas has underlined his commitment to Arsenal by stating his willingness to skipper the club.

I like to see this, but I still think Gilberto is a better fit. I mean, come on, a 20-year-old captain??

Man United call in FIFA over Tevez dispute

Does ManU even need Tevez? Why don't they just let it go...

Reading Review & Outlook: Follow That! takes a look at Reading's chances for the upcoming campaign...

Portsmouth Review & Outlook: It’s All About The Experience takes a look at what the upcoming season has in store for Pompey...

The Mill +

Wednesday's Rumours


Galaxy's lesser lights learning about life in Beckham's orbit

Up in Beverly Hills on Sunday afternoon it will be open house at the new neighbours'. Glamorous film stars and music moguls will mingle around the pool while David Beckham, Major League Soccer's main attraction, attempts to find common ground with his new team-mates. Some, not many, of the players will be at home amid the glitz and glamour. The majority will be pinching themselves at the company they now keep.

Boumsong’s journey from Desailly’s heir to French farce

When Times Online listed its 50 worst Premiership players last week, there were howls of protest from supporters of Newcastle United about Jean Alain Boumsong – not at his inclusion, but at his omission.

However, the France defender, who is seen as one of the poorest signings made by the club, has not always been regarded as a joke. Although the circumstances of the arrival of Boumsong and Amdy Faye, his former Auxerre team-mate, at St James’ Park have been questioned, Boumsong’s £8 million transfer from Rangers was hardly controversial.

And in case your French is up to the task and you'd like to know more about the Geordie flop, here's his website officiel:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Happy Referee

I'm fairly certain that I've posted this before but the transfer window is wearing me down and since SSN regular Eddie Spaghettihead reminded me of it, I figured it would be nice to throw it up for another round.

Police swoop on three football clubs over corrupt transfer allegations

Newcastle United were at the centre of a corruption investigation last night after morning raids by police on three football clubs as part of an investigation into transfer dealings. Officers from the City of London force, which is leading the biggest-ever criminal inquiry into British football, raided the club's offices at Newcastle as well as the offices of Glasgow Rangers and Portsmouth.

Norman Hubbard: Fergie's Red Army is Overpopulated

Forget competition for places, there will be competition for pegs at Old Trafford. Presuming Tevez joins Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves among United's summer signings, there will be 45 footballers jostling for Sir Alex Ferguson's attention.

Premiership spending power stifles homegrown talent

Richard Williams says:
A frightening amount of money is in top-flight football so where has it all gone wrong for English players?

Messi's greatest goals

According to The Times, at least. Here are his top five.

American Dalby fails to get English work permit

The 21-year-old Dalby, who is part of the under-23 United States squad, had agreed to financial terms with Preston. Dalby's application for a work permit was turned down by British immigration officials.

Crouch: "I don't get the credit I deserve."

It is true, I'd have to say. He was England and Liverpool's leading scorer last season and he didn't even start regularly. Now Rafa has gone out and purchased more firepower. Must be tough on the lad. Let's read all about it, shall we?

The Mill ++ +++

Tuesday's Rumours



Malouda goal can't silence America

Chelsea 2-1 Club America

The score line may have read 2-1, but the real winners of the Chelsea v Club America friendly in Palo Alto, California were the fervent Club America supporters, who turned out in droves on Saturday for what was billed as the Disney Friendship Cup.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Trip to The Yoda

The Fire could have gotten crushed last Thursday and I still would have enjoyed my first visit to Toyota Park, a.k.a. The Yoda. Oh wait, they did. Indeed, Houston took advantage of a change of systems in Chicago and took it to the Boys in Red. The final score was 4-0 and the Dynamo deserved everything they got. Individually, the lads played well, but it was obvious that most were unsure of their role in Osorio’s new system. No matter, I was really there for the experience more than anything. Bobbie S. and Wyatt lifted me at Midway and before I knew it we had passed Mr. Shrimp’s and Escapades and I was enjoying a Bari Sub and an Old Style in the parking lot. Good times. As we watched the flow of Fire fans in Blanco shirts stream by, we reminisced about the good old days at Soldier Field.

Now that was some good tailgating. But we’ve graduated to the land of soccer-specific, and the Fire’s Toyota Park sits on a rise off of Harlem Avenue. You can see the skyline, but it looks pretty far away. The facade of the Park oddly incorporates the style of Chicago’s Southwest side, which is a gross-colored yellowish brick. But some of the exterior features are nice. There is some grass and bricks and whatnot. But I don’t care about the exterior, really. I just care about the pitch and the view of the pitch.

Since Bobbie S. is a charter season ticket holder, he’s got some sweet seats. Check us out in the accompanying photo. Not too shabby, I’d say, with only some minimal obstruction when the play shifts to the far corner. One great plus is that when the subs are called into the match, they run by the seats and you can give them a high-five. Or a low-five, should you desire.

And there was a pretty strong crowd, which was cool. It was the ESPN2 Thursday night broadcast, and for some reason if a game is on TV a lot of folks are more inclined to try to see it live. A bit odd, but true.

So, yeah, the match itself was poor but the experience was lovely. Thanks to Bobbie S. and Wyatt for being such gracious hosts. Next time, a victory!!

Copa America Final: Brazil 3-0 Argentina

Brazil produced a ruthlessly efficient performance to beat old rivals Argentina 3-0 on Sunday and win the Copa America for the second time in a row.

After Argentina’s shock 3-0 defeat against Brazil in the Copa America final on Sunday Carlos Tevez told the press that the reason for the result was because “Brazil played very well”.

The Copa América was widely seen as a success across South America - even if Venezuelan politics were never far from the surface. Adios...

Tim Vickery's Opinion

Austria eliminates U.S. U-20s

The United States was eliminated from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with a 2-1 overtime loss to Austria in the quarterfinals Saturday as Erwin Hoffer scored the go-ahead goal in the 105th minute, just two minutes after he entered the game.

Jen Chang's Post-Tournament Wrap

In the end, it just wasn't to be yet again.

The United States U-20 team had its chances, but just couldn't find the goal it needed to beat a quality Austrian squad and advance to its first U-20 World Cup semifinal since 1989.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

SSN's favorite Italian scribe reports on the missed opportunities following Italy's World Cup triumph.

The Mill

Monday's Rumours

Henry's shadow hangs heavy over Arsenal's goals for season

Barnet 0 - 2 Arsenal
Walcott provided Arsenal's chief attacking threat here in a side that contained a handful of first-team regulars, with Kolo Touré, who appears to have spent most of the close season on the weight machines, prominent in more ways than one at the back.

Palacio on the way to the Emirates?
The Sun's big back-page story on Monday claims that Premiership side Arsenal are about to break their transfer record by splashing £15 million on Argentine striker Rodrigo Palacio. Wow! Actual speculation regarding a potential Arsenal target.

Wenger calls on attacking trio to raise standards. Or else he'll buy Palacio?

50 Top Football Transfers: 25 - 1

Keano only makes it to 19:

19 ROY KEANE (Nottingham Forest to Manchester United, £3.75 million, 1993)

Nearly joined Blackburn Rovers before setting his heart on a move to Old Trafford. Kenny Dalglish’s loss was United’s gain. Anyone who doubts just how good he was should watch a video of his performance away to Juventus in 1999. “It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field,” Alex Ferguson said. “Pounding over every blade of grass, competing as if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player.”
The Complete List

Beasley upbeat after debut

Beasley impressed the Rangers coaching staff in Friday's 3-0 friendly win against German minnows Gutersloh, particularly as he had only just joined the squad following a deserved holiday, having helped the United States win the Gold Cup last month.

A galaxy far far away

The Beckhams' extraordinary arrival in the United States has already had a huge impact on the MLS, but it is questionable how long this will last.