Friday, June 19, 2009

Look-A-Likes of the Week: Bruno and Fernando Torres

One is a skilled man-poacher. The other is a skilled goal-poacher...

Big ups to Nick in Pasadena for this one. -Sanford

Footballers upset as noisy fans blow their own trumpets

Call for ear-splitting vuvuzela to be banned from next year's World Cup in South Africa.

FIFA Confederations Cup: Weekend Matches

Saturday's matches kick off at 2:30pm EDT with the Spain and South Africa clash (ESPN2) a wee bit more enticing than Iraq/New Zealand (so sorry - no U.S. TV). On Sunday it's the big Brazil/Italy match (ESPN) along with the United States/Egypt (ESPN2). Those are at 2:30pm EDT as well, with coverage of Brazil/Italy beginning at 2pm. Below are the previews I could find...

South Africa need draw to advance

Italy loss a blow to Brazil

Iraq vs. New Zealand: Preview

Friday MLS Forecast: Week Fourteen

The Forecast urges U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley to remember the lessons he learned while managing in MLS before turning its sights to Week Fourteen.

Gibbs stands tall after the pain of his public slip-up

It was the moment when time stood still for anyone connected to Arsenal, before the painful reality caught up. Kieran Gibbs' slip in the eighth minute of the Champions League semi-final second-leg at the Emirates presented Park Ji-sung with Manchester United's first, and ultimately decisive, away goal. There was nowhere for the 19-year-old left-back to hide. At least not until half-time, when he was spared by the manager, Arsène Wenger, and substituted.

The Joy of Six: What We Miss in Modern Football

From shocking transfers to bench-emptying brawls, we start what could become a long list of things we miss from back in the day.

The Mill + ++

Friday's Rumours



Delap Saddles Up For Charity

While the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand are splashed across the tabloids sunning themselves on a beach somewhere, Rory Delap and friends are saddling up for a 202-mile bike ride from Newcastle to Edinburgh - all in the name of charity.

With the trip scheduled to take three days, Delap and six others must cover around 70 miles a day in the hope of raising money for the Donna Louise Children's Hospice in Stoke.

Not Rory Delap. Cheers to J for this one. And well played Rory...-Sanford

FIFA Confederations Cup: Egypt 1 - 0 Italy

Egypt stunned Italy 1-0 with a header by Mohamed Homos on Thursday, leaving the world champions with an uphill battle to reach the Confederations Cup semifinals. The African champions easily neutralized Italy's revamped forward line and surprised the World Cup holders in the 40th minute when Homos outjumped Daniele De Rossi and beat goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with a header off the inside of the post.

Player Ratings

Attack experiment backfires for Lippi

FIFA Confederations Cup: Brazil 3 - 0 United States

The United States never looked like securing the point needed to maintain a realistic chance of progress and didn't manage a chance until substitute Benny Feilhaber hit the bar with seven minutes left.


Carlisle: U.S. team taught a painful lesson
Trecker: U.S. fans should be disgusted
Rogers: Sense of disarray and negativity surround US camp

Player Ratings

I am, in fact, disgusted...-Sanford

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup Previews (Thursday)

Brazil vs. United States
Kick-off: Thursday 18 June 2009, 10am EDT
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
U.S. needs at least a draw

Egypt vs. Italy

Kick-off: Thursday 18 June 2009, 2:30pm EDT,
Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Ellis Park Stadium, Joburg...

The Mill + ++

Thursday's Rumours



Chelsea reel from toughness of bans on Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa

Chelsea reacted with dismay last night after being stung by Uefa sanctions that could potentially mean Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa will be banned for six and four European games respectively for their misdemeanours after last month's Champions League semi-final elimination by Barcelona.

FIFA Confederations Cup Reports (Wednesday)

Spain 1 - 0 Iraq
David Villa scored the only goal of the game as Spain recorded their 14th consecutive win in defeating Iraq in the Confederations Cup.

South Africa 2 - 0 New Zealand
It's a first Confederations Cup victory for the hosts, as the Oceania champions go crashing out at the group stages.

MLS Report: Seattle Sounders FC 3 - 3 DC United

"Extremely frustrated," Keller said, loud enough that his teammates could hear. "We scored three goals at home, could have scored 10, and we throw a game away in the 87th minute when we should have quite comfortably won this 4-1. ... There is no excuse. We rightfully got booed off the field at the end of the game. It's inexcusable."

Who threw the Bud?

Aaron Sheedy? Beckett Sheedy?
J. Mayers?...

North Korea Qualify For World Cup With Draw Against Saudi Arabia

North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun praised his players after they overcame the searing conditions of Riyadh to earn the goalless draw against Saudi Arabia that booked their place in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1966.

While the North Koreans can start making their World Cup plans, Saudi Arabia have to prepare for a play-off against Bahrain in September as they look to keep alive their hopes of a fifth consecutive World Cup appearance.

The winner of that match-up will face Oceania champions New Zealand for a spot at next summer's finals.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MLS Preview: DC United (5-2-7) at Seattle (5-3-5)

A pair of home victories over two of their biggest rivals pushed D.C. United to the top of the Eastern Conference. They’ll attempt to carry that momentum into a stretch of three consecutive road games Wednesday night when they face expansion Seattle Sounders FC for the first time.

United (5-2-7) leads the East by one point over Chicago, which is idle until July 4 due to its participation in SuperLiga.

Quotes of the Week

"I don't know much about this evolution and I'm worried about it. Spending $96m on someone that can get injured or be in bad form isn't correct to me, especially during this period of financial uncertainty."
Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder attacks his club for the money they spent on Ronaldo. That's him off, then.

"If they played the World Cup now, we'd win it."
Australia's Socceroo captain Lucus Neill, safe in the knowledge only three other sides have qualified so far.

"Three years ago he was just Nani with a step-over."
BBC blogger Robbo on Ronaldo.

"That counts as a save for the goalie because the posts are part of his equipment!"
Commentator on an MLS match after the ball hits the crossbar.

The Rest

English Football's Slippery Slope

It is less than one month since Burnley's victory in the Championship play-off final brought the curtain down on another memorable year in the Football League.

But as the Clarets look forward to mixing with English football's aristocracy, the release of next season's fixtures confirms that Charlton Athletic, Southampton and Norwich City are facing an altogether bleaker reality.

Three clubs who were members of the Premier League only four years ago will take on Wycombe, Millwall, and Colchester respectively in League One on 8 August, after being relegated from the Championship.

FIFA Confederations Cup Previews (Wednesday)

Spain vs. Iraq
Kick Off: Wednesday 17 June 2009. 10am EDT
Where: Free State Stadium, Manguang/Bloemfontein

South Africa vs. New Zealand
Kick-off: Wednesday, June 17 2009, 2:30pm EDT
Where: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa.

Americans in the UK: Wolves draft in keeper Hahnemann

Hahnemann, 37, was released by Reading at the end of last season after the Championship club failed to win promotion to the Premier League.

The Mill + ++

Wednesday's Rumours



England: Manchester United play Birmingham City in season opener

Premier League new boys Birmingham City face the toughest possible test on the opening day of next season after being handed a trip to play Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 15.

The champions then tackle Burnley - the Coca-Cola Championship play-off winners - the following weekend in a difficult start for the newly promoted teams.

All League fixtures were announced this morning.

Complete EPL Fixture List

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gabriele Marcotti: Mohamed Aboutrika shows he belongs in highest company

He is possibly the greatest footballer in the history of the world with a bachelor's diploma in philosophy hanging on the wall of his sitting room. He is arguably the best footballer on Earth not plying his trade in Europe or South America. And yesterday in Bloemfontein, South Africa, he was without doubt the best player on the pitch.

Ukraine Struggles with Euro 2012 Ultimatum

Ukraine's preparations to co-host the European Football Championship in 2012 have fallen badly behind schedule.

Uefa, Europe's football governing body, has given the country until 30 November to show significant improvement, or face losing most of the matches to the co-hosts, Poland.

Ukrainian Parliament members discuss preparations for the big tournament...

The Mill + ++ +++

Tuesday's Rumours




FIFA Confederations Cup: Italy 3 - 1 United States

Of all the Italian players in the new jerseys, the standout was the kid from New Jersey.Teaneck-born Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in the second half, Daniele De Rossi had a goal and Italy rallied to overcome a Landon Donovan penalty kick and beat the United States 3-1 Monday night in its opener at the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The U.S. played a man short after Ricardo Clark was ejected in the 33rd minute for a late tackle on Gennaro Gattuso.

Lippi pleased with difficult win

Trecker: Moral victories just won't cut it for U.S.
Carlisle: Short handed U.S. runs out of steam

Player Ratings

FIFA Confederations Cup: Brazil 4 - 3 Egypt

Brazil had to rely on a 90th-minute Kaka penalty to overcome plucky Egypt and claim a barely-deserved win to start their Confederations Cup defence in Bloemfontein.

Egypt lodge protest after alleged use of video evidence.

Player Ratings

Monday, June 15, 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup Previews (Monday)

Italy vs. United States
Kick-off: Monday June 15, 2009, 2:30pm EDT
Where: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa
Preview I
Preview II
Preview III

Brazil vs. Egypt
Kick-off: Monday June 15, 2009, 10am EDT
Where: Free State Stadium, Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa

Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria...

Tim Vickery: Brazil's Confederations Cup Dilemma

History shows that the Confederations Cup brings two dangers for a Brazil coach - he can take it too lightly or he can take it too seriously.

The Mill + ++

Monday's Rumours



Monday MLS Breakdown: A Reply Worth The Wait

Kansas City midfielder Herculez Gomez didn't say much after receiving physical treatment from New England at the end of last season. Kyle McCarthy writes that Gomez's performance in Saturday night's 3-1 win issued a belated but effective reply.

Amy Lawrence: Marcello Lippi hopes Confederations Cup is stepping stone to World Cup

Confederations Cup gives Italy and Spain a taste of Africa but players are involved in a three-year endurance test. Profile: Aly Cissokho takes an in-depth look at Aly Cissokho, AC Milan's first signing of the summer and the man who has risen from Ligue 2 to Serie A in just over a year...

Premier League could put Setanta's 46 live matches up for sale by next week

The Premier League has announced it will sell Setanta's 46 live matches for next season to other broadcasters if the Irish company does not fulfil its payment obligations by 19 June.

FIFA Confederations Cup Reports (Sunday)

South Africa 0 - 0 Iraq

Hosts held by Asian champs

New Zealand 0 - 5 Spain

Torres smashes hat-trick
Derek Rae: All whites, all wrong