Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guillem's La Liga Guide

La Liga expert Guillem Balague runs the rule over all 20 clubs, where he thinks they will do well, where he thinks they might struggle and just who he expects to light up another season of Spanish football...[pt. 1]

Friday, August 24, 2007


Bernt Haas is a 6’1” defender born April 8, 1978 in Vienna, Austria. Haas began his career at Grasshoppers in Zurich before moving to Sunderland, Basle, West Brom, Cologne, Bastia, and finally St. Gallen where he currently enjoys his football. He has spent time on the Swiss national team, including Euro 2004 when he was sent off against England, but is no longer representing his country. Speaking of, I don’t know why he played for Switzerland instead of Austria. And honestly, I don’t really care. I only care that his name is Bernt Haas, and that when he played at West Brom the fans would chant, “Vindaloo, Vindaloo!” in his honor. Brilliant. Mr. Haas also once worked as a model, with Armani as his boss. I’ve been unable to find out what sort of model he was, but I’ve been told by those in the know that he’s got a smoking butt. Anyway, there is no doubt that Bernt Haas deserves a starting spot on Sanford Soccer Net’s All-Name Team, and he’ll be one of our center-backs.

Next Week - who will be our keeper? It might not be who you expect...

Everton fans vote to leave Liverpool

Soon there will be only one team in Liverpool: Everton fans have voted to back their club's proposal to move from Goodison Park to a new 55,000-seater stadium in Kirkby which, though only a few miles away, lies outside the city limits.
25,761 cast votes in club ballot

And Ian Griffiths says, "
Everton's famous old ground will be a genuine loss to the national game, but, it seems, money talks"

If you're planning that trip to Anfield before it's gone you might as well add Goodison Park to the itinerary...

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Our favorite pundit delivers his thoughts on this weekend in the EPL

Derby v Birmingham

Derby v Birmingham

This is a match between two teams in the bottom six, who, frankly, will be two teams who will finish the season in the bottom six.

Derby were mauled by Tottenham last week and they will have to be better on Saturday.

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has signed quite a few players in the transfer window but I am finding it hard to work out where the goals are coming from.

A long hard season for both these teams.

Prediction: 2-1

The Mill ++ +++

Friday's Rumours



La Liga: Big-spending Real face Atletico pressure

Almeria, Real Murcia and Real Valladolid are the new boys in the top Spanish Division. And it all kicks off tomorrow.
Sid Lowe's Season Preview

Primera Liga Weekend Fixtures:

Playing on Saturday
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid Click Here For A Madrid Derby Preview
Real Murcia v Real Zaragoza
Sevilla v Getafe

Playing on Sunday
Athletic Bilbao v Osasuna
Deportivo Coruna v Almeria
Racing Santander v Barcelona
Real Mallorca v Levante
Recreativo Huelva v Real Betis
Valencia v Villarreal
Espanyol v Real Valladolid

Serie A: Football returns but old demons remain

Napoli, Genoa and Juventus are the new faces in Italy's top flight. And it all kicks off tomorrow.

Serie A Weekend Fixtures:

Playing on Saturday
Lazio v Torino
Juventus v Livorno

Playing on Sunday
Fiorentina v Empoli
Genoa v AC Milan
Inter Milan v Udinese
Napoli v Cagliari
Parma v Catania
Reggina v Atalanta Bergamo
Siena v Sampdoria
Palermo v AS Roma

English Premier League Weekend Preview: Matchday 4

There are already a few vital clashes geared up to take place this weekend in the Premiership. Both Manchester United and Spurs have started the season poorly and will be looking to get their season up and fully running. For the Red Devils, a win would be their first of the season, and for Spurs, three points would ease all speculation regarding Martin Jol’s future. Arsenal welcome top of the table Manchester City, who will be looking to cause an upset at the Emirates and continue their winning streak, whereas Middlesbrough face Newcastle in a local derby, where pride amongst points will be at stake. Mushtaq Quraishi previews the weekend’s fixtures…

Oh, and Fast Eddie's Betting Guide!

Sat 25th August 2007
Sunderland v Liverpool12:45
Aston Villa v Fulham15:00
Bolton v Reading15:00
West Ham v Wigan Athletic15:00
Derby County v Birmingham15:00
Arsenal v Man City15:00
Chelsea v Portsmouth15:00
Everton v Blackburn17:15

Sun 26th August 2007
Middlesbrough v Newcastle13:30
Man Utd v Tottenham16:00

Source: Brazilian Denilson headed to FC Dallas

Sources told that FC Dallas has finally agreed to a deal with the 29 year-old midfielder. The club is very hopeful Denilson will be available for his MLS debut Sept. 1 vs. D.C. United and for FC Dallas' U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Sept. 4 at the Seattle Sounders.

The King of the Stepover to MLS?

He's the one on the right...

Under-17 World Cup: Defeat to Tunisians leaves Americans on edge

For the U.S. to qualify now, it must beat Belgium in its final Group E match on Sunday and get a perfect storm of other results to go through as one of four third-place finishers.

Fulham striker McBride sidelined until Christmas

He has flown back to his homeland, and is expected to face a four-month lay-off during which he will be put through intense rehabilitation. Manager Lawrie Sanchez said: 'He is having an operation and we expect him to be out until Christmas. 'He is captain, he is a centre forward who wins a lot in the air and is a big presence in the dressing room. 'So he is quite a big loss for us.'

American goalkeeper Keller signs for Fulham

'It's fantastic to be back in the Premier League after a couple of years' absence - and when the opportunity to join Fulham came up it was an exciting proposition that didn't take too much consideration,' he said.

Should we start calling Fulham "Team USA" ???

Los Angeles Galaxy admit to Beckham travel fears

Globetrotter David Beckham's draining trans-Atlantic schedule is beginning to concern his employers Los Angeles Galaxy.

The former England captain drew a blank, along with his team-mates, in Galaxy's 3-0 Major League Soccer derby defeat against Chivas USA on America's west coast last night - less than 30 hours after he had finished playing for his country against Germany around 5,500 miles away at Wembley.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Rod Fanni is a 6’ 1” right back who currently plies his trade in France for Rennes. Mousier Fanni was born on December 6, 1981, in the tiny seaside hamlet of Martigues, which is northeast of Marseilles. His footballing exploits have taken him from his hometown club to Lens, off to Chateauroux on loan, to Nice, and now to Rennes. Rod is quite versatile, and can position himself anywhere across the back, although his preferred position is on the right where he can use his speed to penetrate the opposition defense. Sadly, he doesn’t score much, with just one goal in French football since 2000. Word on the street was that Newcastle and Celtic fancied Fanni, but he wished to remain in France and chose Rennes over those two clubs. Rod is still being linked with a move abroad, and is eager to don his first cap for France. There is no doubt that Rod Fanni deserves a starting spot on Sanford Soccer Net’s All-Name Team, and he’ll be our right back.

Keller Keeping Options Open

For the first time in nearly twenty years, goalkeeper Kasey Keller doesn’t have a team…. And that’s just fine with him. Arguably the most accomplished American player ever, Keller talks with Soccer365’s Lars Lifrak about what it will take to get him back on the pitch. He also looks back at a career that has spanned four World Cup appearances and success at the club level in three of the biggest leagues in the world.

(And 20 years ago he also had a nice Kentucky Waterfall...Tennessee Tophat...Soccer Rocker...Neck Blanket...Louisiana Purchase...Missouri Compromise...Mississippi Mudflap...Canadian Passport...McGuyver...)

International Round-up: Italy, England, Argentina, Netherlands, United States and Mexico Lose

World champion Italy was upset by Hungary 3-1 Wednesday night, joining England, Argentina, the Netherlands and the United States on the losing side in exhibition games.

U.S. Disappoints Against Sweden

Sweden 1 - 0 USA

Heading into Wednesday's friendly match with Sweden, the stated goals of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley were to match the tempo and physical play of the Swedes, and build on the positive aspects of this summer's Gold Cup. Not only did the U.S. fail on almost all counts during its 1-0 loss on Wednesday, but the negative traits from this summer, namely a shaky defense and poor finishing, were once again staples of the American game.

Jen Chang said: I actually thought the U.S. had a good showing overall and a lot of positive aspects, but it only created two clear-cut chances and you never got the feeling that the U.S. was going to win.

The Insider at Wembley

England 1-2 Germany

As even a couple of drunken England fans on the London Underground questioned why David Beckham was forced to fly half the way around the world for an England friendly, you couldn't help but wonder why Steve McClaren couldn't see their point.

Qualifier Report: Poor Portugal Held By Animated Armenia

A great move from Cristiano Ronaldo saved Portuguese honour in Erevan as the visitors suffered an early goal and only harvested a meagre point from their away fixture. The result is a let-down for Scolari and his men and postpones Portugal's chances of making it through to Switzerland and Austria next year...

Argentina in fear of the Drunks in the Stands

This was meant to be the year Argentinian football cleaned up its act - but gangs of murderous hooligans are ensuring it isn't happening yet.

(Like this guy? - Sanford)

Chelsea could make new move for Alves as Robben joins Real in £24m deal

Real Madrid made a double swoop on two of the Barclays Premier League’s big four yesterday, signing Arjen Robben from Chelsea and Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United for a combined outlay thought to approach £33 million, with Robben worth an estimated £24.5 million of the total.

Dismal summer can give way to a vintage Serie A

James Richardson gives us his Serie A preview. And like Roberto Gotta, he discusses the fact that no big names have arrived, while many have left...

Walcott issues timely reminder of glittering potential

England Under-21 1 - 1 Romania Under-21

Stuart Pearce answered Arsène Wenger’s claim that Theo Walcott should be considered for another call-up to the England senior squad by applauding the Arsenal winger’s starring role in last night’s friendly at Ashton Gate.

Only chaos theory can explain Styles wars

Marina Hyde looks back at the ref's absurd penalty gift to Chelsea last weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Dean Windass is a 5’ 10” striker from Hull, England. He was born on April 1, 1969. Windass was one of my wife’s favorite players, and remains so even though he is now entering the evening of his career. Highlights of said career include starring for his hometown club Hull City, helping Bradford win promotion to England’s top league for the first time in 80 years, and doing pretty much fuck all during his spell at Middlesbrough. In September 2006, on Fifa Fair Play day, he was accused of grabbing John Finnegan by the testicles during Bradford's 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town. Finnigan was then sent off for violent conduct after hitting Windass. Brilliant! He’s now back at Hull and is a bit of an icon there. Well played. There is no doubt that Dean Windass deserves a starting spot on Sanford Soccer Net’s All-Name Team, and he’ll be one of our strikers.

Rich cannot get richer without help from friends

Before Liverpool’s new owners attempt to send English football to the poorhouse, it may be worth checking in with Phoebe Buffay, one of the gang in Friends, the American TV sitcom.

You remember Phoebe. She was the blonde, kooky one — a tad out there, a little bit dangerous.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

Serie A starts up this weekend and Roberto is back to keep us up to date. Today he's discussing the goal drain in Italy...

The Mill ++ +++

Wednesday's Rumours



We could, for example, opine at length about how tedious we're finding this Martin Jol business, but where does that get anyone? Does that put bread on the table? No. All you really want to know is that Sevilla boss Juande Ramos doesn't want to go to Spurs anyway, he's really after Jose Mourinho's job at Chelsea.

Beasley has seen and heard soccer's racist side

It's a small minority of fans, "but at the same time you get it everywhere," the 25-year-old Beasley said. "You get still get it in Spain. I got it in Belgrade (Serbia). I got it Montenegro and the Netherlands as well."

But not in Scotland.

"I haven't had it in Scotland," Beasley said. "Hopefully, at some point it will stop in other parts of Europe."

It's also not likely to happen Wednesday, although racist taunts have occurred in a few Swedish league games.

Giving MLS More Star Power

Below is Yahoo! Sports' list of the 10 players who should be on the radar of Garber and the CEOs of MLS clubs. It has to be realistic, so the likes of Ronalidinho, Kaka, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not mentioned. Their age and current contract situations mean there is no chance of seeing them playing regularly Stateside anytime soon.

The following players, however, could be gracing MLS stadiums within the next few years, and they would certainly add something positive to an improving product.

International Friendly: Sweden vs. USA

Europe has long been where American soccer dreams go to die. Granted, the U.S. has taken its lumps in other non-CONCACAF locales as well, but nowhere has its reputation taken as much of a beating as it has across the pond. It's something coach Bob Bradley will be looking to change when the U.S. faces Sweden on Wednesday in Goteborg's Ullevi Stadium (2:30 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel).

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Sweden
Aug. 22, 2007 – Göteborg, Sweden
Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (2) – Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

DEFENDERS (6) – Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS (6) – DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)

FORWARDS (5) – Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Kamani Hill (VfL Wolfsburg), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96

International Friendly: England vs. Germany

Injuries and withdrawals leave Löw German expectations: Wembley was supposed to be a test of Germany's progress since the World Cup, but instead manager Jogi Löw is bringing over a B team.

John Terry last night launched a staunch defence of his club-mate Frank Lampard, with the England captain hopeful there will be no repeat of the barracking to which the midfielder was subjected by the Wembley crowd against Brazil in June.

And...Michael Owen and Alan Smith are set to start for England against Germany in Wednesday's friendly at Wembley. Now that's a strike force to fear!

Oh, and of course we must include the Golden Balls Update.

Spurs Shocked as Sevilla say Ramos stays

The north London club, who stand accused of undermining their manager Martin Jol after sending a delegation to meet Ramos in Seville last Friday, responded with a statement on their website that effectively translated as a warning to Jol. Unless he begins to do better, he will not be so lucky next time. Support for him was conspicuous by its absence.

U.S. Soccer's Next Big Thing

Martin Rogers thinks it's this guy. I won't argue -- I like what I've seen so far.

Clichy Keen to Add to His Experience

Clichy: 'It just goes to show that we will never ever give in. Things have changed in comparison to the last few seasons. In the past two years we failed to have a true winning attitude at the start of the season and that cost us dearly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A few points on Jol

The first: the sacking of a manager three games into the season is ridiculous. Here, here.

Times Podcast

Although I'm not a great fan of the podcast, the one on offer from The Times ain't bad. Regular readers of The News will recognise Tony Cascarino, Guillem Balague and the crazy looking Gabriele Marcotti. Here, along with Alysn Rudd, they discuss the weakend's EPL events, there's an intervew with Mikel Arteta, and Guillem tells us about his boozing with the WAGs. Listen to it here.

Bookies suspend betting on Jol's exit

In terms of sequence of events the only thing left is the press conference. Deeply troubling that a manager provides the best two Premier League finishes in back-to-back seasons and is shown the door after three games, regardless of gaffer-striker strife rumors.

Ramos on way to take over at Tottenham

Jol out of White Hart Lane?

Juande Ramos has declared his readiness to resign as Sevilla coach and become the new Tottenham manager, with the White Hart Lane board hopeful of closing the deal this week. Ramos could even take charge for Sunday's fixture against Manchester United.

South Africa to play in World Cup qualifiers

South Africa will become the first World Cup hosts in more than 70 years to participate in its own qualifying competition, although they will play in the finals regardless of their performance, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

EPL: Team of the Week

What a fickle mistress footballing form is. So if Tony Warner, superb in Fulham's opener at Arsenal seven days ago, would kindly shuffle along taking his recent calamitous errors with him, and make way for Steve Harper in TOTW. Harper kept a clean sheet against Aston Villa and proved himself an able deputy once more for the injured Shay Given.

Steve Harper (Newcastle)
Micah Richards (Man City)
Richard Dunne (Man City)
Andre Bikey (Reading)
Steed Malbranque (Spurs)
Jermaine Jenas (Spurs)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Mark Noble (West Ham)
Steven Hunt (Reading)
Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth)
Emile Heskey (Wigan)

Manager: Sven Goran-Eriksson (Man City)

Coleman Set for Spanish Lesson

Chris Coleman was driving to the gym one day in June when he received the phone call that would lead to a new life in the beautiful Basque seaside town of San Sebastian.

The 37-year-old was asked if he would be interested in becoming the new manager of Real Sociedad.

Alan Hansen's Column

The BBC Expert says that Liverpool are here to stay and Manchester United's upcoming clash with Spurs is a must-win...

The Mill ++ +++

Tuesday's Rumours



Well, according to the Sun, Jol's crime was to try and sell Dimitar Berbatov, who he doesn't believe is a team player. The Mirror reckons Jol will be off before the match against Man United on Saturday (even though he already died in the first paragraph of today's Mill), the Star says Robbie Keane is starting up some kind of Guardian Angels vigilante squad to protect his manager and just about every paper going knows that Sevilla boss Juande Ramos is the man who'll be mopping up the (metaphorical etc) gore from Jol's office floor before settling down in his big, swivelly chair and then signing Juan Roman Riquelme. Oh, and the Mail reckons Marcello Lippi and Harry Redknapp are also on Spurs' shortlist.

Raphael Honigstein on Germany

There are two types of arrogance in football. One's good, one's bad: allow Franck Ribéry and Rafael van der Vaart to illustrate the difference.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Americans in the EPL: McBride Goes Down USA's Matthew Braine takes a look at how the bevy of Americans playing in the English Premier League fared this past weekend.

Not a great day for the Fulham Yanks as Captain McBride injures his knee, Deuce misses a sitter and Blackmouth falls asleep for Boro's second...-Sanford

Spanish Super Cup Report: Stunning Sevila Roll Over Real Madrid

Real Madrid 3-5 Sevilla

Sevilla stunned Real Madrid 5-3 in a rip-roaring encounter at the Bernabeu to lift the Spanish Super Cup 6-3 on aggregate.

Changing Times In Manchester As City Beat United

Manchester City are today top of the Premiership with a 100% record after three matches, while Manchester United are in the bottom five. That is the strange state of affairs after Sven Goran Eriksson's side withstood a barrage of pressure to edge a 1-0 victory at a jubilent City of Manchester stadium.

Richard Jolly's Match Report

The Monday MLS Breakdown: The Return of Cletus USA's Kyle McCarthy recaps an interesting weekend in MLS, which was highlighted by the play of Clint Mathis on Saturday night. Player of the Week: Cuahtemoc Blanco, forward, Chicago

It’s easy to pick from Mathis or Angel or Beckham from the New YorkLos Angeles game, but Blanco is the pick of the week for his star turn in the Fire’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. Blanco scored the first with a sublime volley that left Nick Rimando stranded and he set up Paulo Wanchope’s first career MLS strike to clinch the three points in Salt Lake. Blanco will be vital to the Fire if they hope to make the playoffs, perhaps even more so than Beckham will be to the Galaxy.

Italian Supercup Report: Roma Win Curtain-raiser

The Giallorossi made it two in a row against Inter as the Capital city side defeated the Nerazzurri 1-0 at San Siro to take home the second trophy in the space of a few months.

US Under-17s Lose to Tajikistan

With Monday's result, the U.S. is in third place in Group E with a -1 goal differential separating them from Belgium (-2). The next match for the U.S. will be Thursday, August 23 against Tunisia. That match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 4 a.m. ET.

Beckham's presence illuminates the MLS field

Beckham rose above his disdain for fake grass Saturday to last the entire 90-plus minutes against Red Bull New York, demonstrating once and for all how everything is magnified when he steps on the field.

Apologetic Styles dropped after Anfield chaos

The match official has accepted he made a mistake in penalising Steve Finnan and as a result he will not be given a match to referee this weekend.

EPL Reports

Liverpool robbed by Stiles, Citey take the Manchester Derby as United just can't score, Lehmann has another howler to gift Rovers a point, Spurs destroy Derby, Fulham fail to win at home and more.

Derby complete deal for USA international Lewis

The 33-year-old US international has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Premier League newcomers.

Norman Hubbard on Spurs

It took three days for Spurs to lurch into supposed crisis and four more for them to emerge from it with the biggest win of the fledgling Premier League season with their demolition of Derby.