Friday, December 04, 2009
B3 NORTH KOREA
F3 NEW ZEALAND
G2 NORTH KOREA
G3 IVORY COAST
Noon EST on ESPN2 & ESPN 360
Over 200 million viewers in countries all around the globe are expected to watch the 90-minute draw - one of the biggest global media events - as it is broadcast from Cape Town's International Convention Centre, a veritable haven of activity as the excitement mounts.
The Wall Street Journal
All eyes on the host nation
I'll be twatting some twitts during the draw if you want to follow along.
This is me: sanfordssoccer
So after Friday's World Cup draw in Cape Town, will the U.S. find itself in the Group of Death or the Group of Death by 1,000 Cuts? Or will manager Bob Bradley find his team facing the kind of cushy trio that will draw envious glances from his international coaching colleagues?
The best-case scenario: South Africa, Slovenia and Uruguay
The middle-of-the-road scenario: England, Denmark, Nigeria
The nightmare scenario: Brazil, Netherlands, Ivory Coast
Italy are facing a squabble with USA over their hotel and training camp bases for the World Cup next summer.
Hamburg v Hoffenheim and Koeln v Bremen are among this week's matches to watch.
Borussia Dortmund – Nuernberg
Hamburg - Hoffenheim
Hannover – Bayer Leverkusen
Stuttgart – Bochum
Wolfsburg – Freiburg
Eintracht Frankfurt – Mainz
Koeln – Werder Bremen
Schalke – Hertha Berlin
Inter Milan travel to Turin to face Juventus and Rome gets all nutty as Lazio and Roma clash.
Juve were forced to play a game behind closed doors after fans chanted "a black Italian does not exist" at Palermo-born Balotelli in the corresponding fixture last season.
Real Madrid host Almeria while Pep Guardiola's Barcelona face a tough game away to fifth-placed Deportivo la Coruna.
Third-placed Sevilla are at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday while fourth-placed Valencia will need to be at their best to take all three points from Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday.
Atletico Madrid dragged themselves out of the relegation places with only their second win of the season last weekend and have a good chance to climb further away from trouble at Xerez on Saturday.
Manchester City will aim to derail the Chelsea juggernaut when the two mega-rich sides do battle at Eastlands in the Premier League on Saturday. Elsewhere, Arsenal will look to end a miserable week on a high note, second-placed Manchester United visit lowly West Ham United, bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth host troubled travellers Burnley, Liverpool take on North West neighbours Blackburn while out-of-form Everton lock horns with high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Barcelona may reign in Spain when it comes to the Beautiful Game on the pitch. But rivals Real Madrid have taken the battle to a different front by designing a sexy range of underwear. No longer will fans have to be content with a replica jersey, scarf, mug or key-ring, supporters will soon be able to buy boxer shorts, slips, bras and knickers.
I think I've avoided it as long as possible. With the transfer window set to open in less than a month, I suppose it's high time to bring back The Mill and dive into another several weeks of the ridiculous and absurd and possibly true world of transfer gossip. Enjoy. -Sanford
Fabio Capello will want to avoid an early World Cup meeting with Portugal.
A furious demon has occasionally stood in for the normally unruffled and articulate Wenger when he has been on the end of painful defeats down the years, but the mood he has exuded when carrying out his media duties at Arsenal's London Colney training base over the past week has been especially dark.
Xerez 0 - 2 Barcelona
One match in La Liga yesterday and it was bottom vs. top
|Deportivo La Coruña||12||8||1||3||5||25|
ExtraFootie's Dave Segar rounds-up all the action from Wednesday evening's Europa League action as Everton book their place in the knockout stage, Celtic bow out with a win and Steve McClaren suffers a rare defeat.
After a hard fight against the Catalans, Goal.com's Cyrus C. Malek assesses Real Madrid and forecasts what may be in store for Los Blancos...
While most of his team-mates drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis and high-powered vehicles, Balotelli prefers to use public transport and was recently spotted waiting for a tram to go into town.
Eto'o gets in Balotelli's way...
Manchester City 3 - 0 Arsenal
Talent and experience tell for City
Jolly: Desire for glory sees City progress
Hughes: Wenger a sore loser
Blackburn 3 - 3 Chelsea (4-3 penalties)
Robinson's shoot-out heroics send Chelsea packing
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Blackburn vs. Aston Villa
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Thierry Henry could miss the start of next year's World Cup after it was confirmed today that Fifa's disciplinary committee is to investigate his now infamous handball against the Republic of Ireland.
On Dec. 4, the group stage draw for the 2010 World Cup (Noon, ET, ESPN2) will be made, and it will begin an incredible time for the players involved.
While I was with Arsenal, I remember a couple of times that we sat at dinner preparing for a game while the draw was going on. We had 14 or 15 players preparing for the World Cup so there was always banter back and forth.
It's very important whom you meet in the first round when you qualify, and what scenarios could unfold if you progress. If a nation catches a great draw, it can have a little bit of an easier road to the final. However, either way, you're going to get some stick from your club teammates!
It wasn’t until after Declan Hill published “The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime” in September 2008 that European soccer authorities were ready to confront head-on the scourge of match fixing.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is ready for a love-in after seeing his side draw Watford in the FA Cup.
"There is no hope of me playing against Mainz. I will not return as only half
a player; not as only Ze without the Roberto."
Hamburg's Brazilian winger Ze Roberto is not doing thing by halves following his ankle injury.
"The replay, I'll do it when you want on a PlayStation."
Patrice Evra tries to be helpful as the Republic of Ireland-France saga goes into extra-time.
"It was disappointing but we just didn't do enough in the last third. Usually we would expect to score a goal in something like the 96th or 97th minute, and we didn't do that."
Gary Neville has got so used to officials giving United as much time as they need to equalise, he has lost touch with reality!
"Liverpool have got great experience in this fixture."
Comment by Alan Smith on Sky Sports' coverage of the Merseyside derby. Surely Everton have just as much experience in that particular fixture?
"Domenech is the worst coach France have had since Louis XVI."
Eric Cantona on French TV.
"Thierry Henry, Thierry Henry..."
Hull City fans to Man City keeper Shay Given as Jimmy Bullard prepared to take a penalty.
England have been seeded for the World Cup finals along with South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Argentina, FIFA announced at a press conference in Cape Town.
FIFA chose to base the seedings upon their October 2009 FIFA world rankings. That France have been placed into the general pot of European teams may be seen as punishment for their controversial win over Ireland in the World Cup play-offs.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
The first clásico to be shown on the silver screen lived up to its billing, but Madrid were made to pay for some poor finishing.
Cristiano Ronaldo fluffs lines as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scripts perfect ending.
Bent's mother was allegedly picked on by a Sunderland fan in a pub following the side's 1-0 defeat at Wigan on Saturday.
Comotto – Cannavaro – Rossi – Molinaro
Poli – Liverani – Seedorf
Miccoli - Zalayeta
After reviewing footage of the laser beams, Spain's officiating body La Liga decided not to pursue any legal action against Barcelona. The only way Barcelona can be sanctioned is if Real Madrid submit a formal complaint to La Liga, but this is unlikely.
In the build up to the draw for the first World Cup to be held in Africa, you can guarantee that one piece of information will be cited time and time again - that no European nation has ever won the tournament outside its home continent.
It's one way of looking at it - a Eurocentric way. The statement means just as much, if not more, if it's flipped around. Only South America has won the World Cup away from home.
After being elected to replace Franz Beckenbauer as president, Uli Hoeneß will retain the heart and soul of Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich's new president will ensure the club continue as FC Uli Hoeneß.
Milan's summer signing finally got off the mark against Catania but he has a long way to go to silence the critics.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar begins to repay Milan with timely double.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Major League Soccer's 14th season began with a flourish in Seattle as a packed house served up a teaser for great things ahead at the debuting franchise. The Sounders eventually set a single-season league attendance record, and then supplied a brilliant punctuation mark on 2009 as a grand and gracious MLS Cup host.
Here are a few of the memorable mile markers along the way, along with a peek ahead.
The third round draw also features three all Premier League ties, with West Ham hosting Arsenal, Aston Villa facing Blackburn and Wigan playing Hull.
The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has revealed that the Football Association of Ireland asked to be included in the World Cup as an extra team following the Republic of Ireland's controversial play-off defeat to France.
According to Sky.it, the 36-year-old man climbed onto the balustrade of the second tier where he lost his footing and fell down to the first tier, crushing a 46-year-old and his son in the process.
Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to eight points on Sunday thanks to a 1-0 home win over Fiorentina.
City rivals AC Milan capitalised on Juventus' 2-0 defeat at Cagliari to climb to second.
Dominic Fifield: Ashley Cole makes his point
Harry Harris: Men against boys
Arsenal's flimsy title challenge torn apart
Everton 0 - 2 Liverpool
Richard Jolly: Kuyt industry key for Reds
Everton and Moyes face testing times
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Tottenham
Harry Harris: Spurs edge ahead in top-four race