Friday, November 16, 2007
Euro 2008 in the balance for Italy, France and England
David Beckham, the rock star with his gold-stitched initials adorning his adidas boots, will hang up his Predators next Wednesday – as far as the international stage is concerned anyway – unless England is afforded an outrageous slice of good fortune and qualify for the 2008 European Championships.
When the draw for the Euro qualifying groups was made, the general view - especially in England - was that Croatia and England were the best bets from Group E to reach the finals in Austria and Switzerland.
Greece are already through, but Turkey and Norway face the clash of a lifetime on Saturday in Oslo as second place still lies wide open. Moldova, Malta and Hunary have just pride to play for as Group C draws to a close...
Allen Hopkins covers Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer for ESPN, and he has patrolled the sideline for "MLS Primetime Thursday." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MLS Cup Final
New England vs. Houston
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Sunday at Noon EST on ABC
MLS Cup Scouting Breakdown
Proud Scot and ESPN Soccernet Press Pass host Derek Rae visited Glasgow to speak to Scotland manager Alex McLeish ahead of his team's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy.The Tartan Army - and Derek of course - are hoping that McLeish's team can get the win at Hampden Park, where the interview took place, to take their place in Austria and Switzerland next summer.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A seemingly innocuous piece of shirt swapping could have serious repercussions for one South American player - and highlights the importance of local derbies in his continent's football.
Manchester United’s splendid young team came buoyantly to Highbury on February 1, 1958. Doomed, alas, just five days later to suffer the appalling Munich air crash. At half-time they were 3-0 ahead with goals by the powerful Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, the centre forward, both of whom would both die in Munich, and the precocious Bobby Charlton. Arsenal, however, scored three times in three minutes in the second half. Dennis Violett and Taylor made it 5-3. The Gunners pulled one back and it finished 5-4. Jimmy Bloomfield, the clever inside forward, scored two of the Arsenal goals, David Herd and Derek Tapscott one each.
This is absurdly reactionary. And really quite sad. -Sanford
By offering his support for a Fifa proposal to introduce quotas that would require a minimum of six England-qualified players in each team, Gerrard has become the first senior England international to raise concerns about the growing overseas influence in the Premier League.
I don't really care that much about Legrottaglie, but whenever I get the chance to use the "Jesus Coach" figurine I've got to take it. Anyway, apparently He is coaching the Juventus defender quite well. For now. -Sanford
Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie says that Jesus Christ is the reason for his incredible upturn in fortunes this season.
It would be a major blow to England should the national team fail to qualify for Euro 2008. But for this inward-looking nation of football fanatics, England's absence from Austria and Switzerland might be a blessing in disguise, saving us all from another dose of our 'world beaters' suffering another 'shock' quarter-final exit. The truth, you see, is that England aren't that good. And that's nothing new.
I hope the guy can get things straightened out. When he's on, he's pretty much unstoppable. And I miss seeing him in that form. -Sanford
Troubled Inter striker Adriano has flown to Brazil to undergo a course of rehabilitation and is not expected back in Italy until the New Year.
Seattle's professional soccer team will play its home games at Qwest Field, home of the National Football League Seahawks. The stadium will seat 24,500 for soccer.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The struggle to qualify:
Italy: Group B
Drew 1-1 in Lithuania and lost 3-1 in France.
To qualify Italy need to beat Scotland, or draw with Scotland then beat the Faroes. If France lose to Ukraine, a win in the Faroes will do.
England: Group E
Drew 0-0 at home to Macedonia, lost 2-0 in Croatia and lost 2-1 in Russia.
To qualify If Croatia lose to Macedonia: England can go through if they beat Croatia 2-0, depending on goal difference, or by three goals. If Croatia draw with or beat Macedonia: if Russia lose to Israel a draw with Croatia is enough for England; if Russia draw in Israel England will qualify if they beat Croatia; if Russia beat Israel, England are almost certainly out as Russia only need to defeat Andorra.
Spain: Group F
Lost 3-2 in Northern Ireland and 2-0 in Sweden.
To qualify Need to win one of their two games, or draw one and hope other results go their way.
"When you think of the Chicago Fire, you think of Chris Armas," Fire president John Guppy said. "When you think of Chris Armas, you think of the Chicago Fire. Chris has helped create the values that the Chicago Fire stands for."
Nov 24 Wigan (h)
Dec 1 Aston Villa (a)
Dec 5 Newcastle (a)
Dec 9 Middlesbrough (a)
Dec 16 Chelsea (h)
Dec 22 Tottenham (h)
Nov 24 Bolton (a)
Dec 3 Fulham (h)
Dec 8 Derby (a)
Dec 16 Liverpool (a)
Dec 22 Everton (h), Dec 26 Sunderland (a)
“I came on to a chorus of ‘If Neville can play for England, so can I’,” he recalled. “I walked off that night and I said to myself, ‘That’s it, I’ve had enough.’ For the first time I just thought, ‘What’s the point?’
Phil talks about Neville haters and his daughter's illness...
The Irishman had promised he would not allow himself to join any training sessions but it is a vow he has been unable to keep as he takes a more hands-on approach to getting the best out of a set of players among whom top-flight experience is lacking.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Goal.com USA's Matthew Braine recaps last week's action by the American contingent playing in England and Scotland, highlighted by the standout play of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Kevin McCarra: Sir Alex Ferguson's claims for his team's greatness owe more to bravado than considered thought.
The league's teams are falling further and further behind the elite of Europe. They can't compete in the Champions League anymore and have to decide between embracing the dough or sacrificing success in Europe to remain fan-friendly. Uli fills us in...
Bundesliga reaches cash crossroads
The new franchise, which will begin play in 2009, was announced Friday and was to be formally introduced Tuesday.
But Carey was at Monday night's Seahawks game against San Francisco at Qwest Field, which will be the home of the to-be-named franchise.
Ultras across Italy hijacked Gabriele Sandri's death for their own capital. Now the Italian football federation must consider its next move carefully. Signor Paolo Bandini reports.
Fan tragedy sends the fight against Ultras back to square one
Having been given a final chance to fulfil his potential at Madrid, Robinho has sent scribes scrambling for the same old superlative. Señor Lowe reports.
Suddenly Robinho looks like the New Pele ... again
Monday, November 12, 2007
"I can confirm that commissioner Don Garber is going to travel to Seattle for an announcement Tuesday of the expansion of Major League Soccer for the future into the Seattle market," Dan Courtemanche, MLS senior vice president for marketing and communications, said Friday by phone from league headquarters in New York.
|Sat., Nov. 10|
|Derby 0-5 West Ham||Recap|
|Liverpool 2-0 Fulham||Recap|
|Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle||Recap|
|Sun., Nov. 11|
|Birmingham 1-2 Aston Villa||Recap|
|Bolton 0-0 Middlesbrough||Recap|
|Chelsea 1-1 Everton||Recap|
|Man Utd 2-0 Blackburn||Recap|
|Portsmouth 0-0 Man City||Recap|
|Tottenham 4-0 Wigan||Recap|
|Mon., Nov. 12|
|Reading vs. Arsenal||Preview|
Riots hit Rome, with fans attacking a police barracks as well as the Olympic Stadium and causing extensive damage to the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee next door.
A top flight game between Atalanta and AC Milan was also abandoned after seven minutes when fans tried to break down a glass barrier keeping them from the pitch.Gabriele Sandri was hit in the neck by a shot fired by a policeman at an Italian motorway rest area where rival fans had been fighting on Sunday. An autopsy on his body was carried out as controversy raged.
Leiweke wants the Galaxy to be the best and makes no apology for it. His words will not be to everyone's liking, but those who refuse to accept second-best cannot be everyone's best friend.
"I like the fact that the Galaxy is the most important team in Major League Soccer," Leiweke said. "I like the fact that we lead the way. We are the ones trying to reinvent this sport and reinvent this league.
"I like everyone shooting at us. I like everyone being pissed off at us. But we have got to get better. We have got to back it up.
"We don't like losing and I don't like people pointing fingers at this organization. It is time to step it up and Ruud will help us get better."
Houston's 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in Saturday's Western Conference final earned the Dynamo a return trip to MLS' championship game.