Thursday, August 02, 2012

Olympic Soccer: Schedule

Friday -- Women's Quarterfinals

7:00 AM  Sweden vs. France
9:30 AM  United States vs. New Zealand
12:00 PM  Brazil vs. Japan
2:30 PM  United Kingdom vs. Canada

Saturday -- Men's Quarterfinals

7:00 AM   Japan vs. Egypt
9:30 AM  Mexico vs. Senegal
12:00 PM  Brazil vs. Honduras
2:30 PM United Kingdom vs. South Korea

Gabriele Marcotti: Robin van Persie's Next Move

So Thierry Henry has come out and said that while he'd love it if Robin van Persie stuck around at the Emirates, he is confident the club can cope with his departure.

What else is he supposed to say? Go all Chicken Little and warn of falling skies over Goonerland?

Henry sums up the way many Arsenal fans (and manager Arsene Wenger himself) view Van Persie. He's an important asset, but not one who is worth keeping at any price. Where folks might differ is what value to put on his head.

And it's interesting to note that there hasn't exactly been a stampede to the Dutchman's door, suggesting that maybe Van Persie is somewhat overrating his value and what he may be worth to other clubs. Obviously, for any club, there's a price at which it makes sense to sign him and one at which you'd be best served to run the other way, especially if his agent starts talking five-year deals and eight-figure annual wages for a guy who turns 29 next Monday.

With this in mind, how about a cost benefit analysis among those reportedly chasing Van Persie?

The Mill +

Thursday's Rumours


MLS Week 21 Power Rankings: Contenders spending, dreaming big

Between the league's bevy of new big-name additions and some questionable in-game personnel moves, here is a look back at Week 21 in MLS:

Team of the Week

Goalkeeper: Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Defenders: Danny Califf (Chivas USA), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Boswell (Houston Dynamo)

Midfielders: Felipe (Montreal Impact), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)

Forwards: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Men's Olympic Soccer: Wednesday's Review, Reports, & Analyses

Great Britain sealed their place in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win in Cardiff that knocked Uruguay out of the Olympics. With Uruguay losing, Senegal sealed their place as runners-up after they drew 1-1 with the United Arab Emirates. Internacional striker Leandro Damiao inspired 10-man Brazil to comfortable 3-0 Group C victory over New Zealand to send them into the quarter-finals with a 100% record. Egypt also progressed to the knockout rounds after a convincing 3-1 win to knock out Belarus. Pre-tournament favourites Spain embarrassingly bowed out of the men's Olympic football competition without a goal to their name as they drew 0-0 to Morocco. In the same group, Japan and Honduras both qualified for the quarter-finals in the men's football tournament after fighting out a 0-0 draw of their own at the City of Coventry Stadium. Japan finished top of the group with seven points from three games and they will take on Egypt in the last eight. Runners-up Honduras will face a more daunting test against one of the tournament favourites in Brazil. Oribe Peralta's second-half strike saw Mexico top Group B with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland at the Millennium Stadium. South Korea set up a quarter-final meeting with Great Britain despite being held to a disappointing 0-0 draw against Gabon at Wembley.


Great Britain 1 - 0 Uruguay
Henry Winter at the Millennium Stadium
Paul Fletcher at the Millennium Stadium
Daniel Taylor at the Millennium Stadium
John Brewin at the Millennium Stadium

Brazil 3 - 0 New Zealand
Luke Edwards at St. James's Park

Paul Fletcher: Luis Suarez's dejection and Great Britain's elation shows that Olympic football matters

Amy Lawrence: Barracking of Luis Suárez goes against the Olympic spirit

Luis Suárez: Fans lack respect

Manchester rivalry goes global as City aim to capitalise on Premier League title

A lone spectator inside Kuala Lumpur’s vast Bukit Jalil Stadium stood up, removed his jacket – not that he needed one in such sticky, humid conditions – and proudly pointed to his counterfeit Manchester United shirt.

Jonathan Wilson: Andriy Shevchenko's political ambition may break spell of Ukraine icon

There is no guarantee this magnificent footballer will campaign against abuses by police and problems within the judiciary.

Roberto Carlos Officially Retires

The former Brazil and Real Madrid full-back Roberto Carlos has officially ended his playing career, the Anzhi Makhachkala player confirmed on Wednesday.

The 2002 World Cup winner, who joined the wealthy Russian club in February 2011, has not played since being taken off the team's squad in March.

First XI: Titles at the first attempt

Half a century since Ipswich Town won the English title in their first season in the top-flight, we pick out a selection of sides to have claimed glory after winning promotion.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Men's Olympic Soccer: Wednesday's Preview

Brazil and Japan may already be qualified for the quarterfinals and Spain and United Arab Emirates may already be eliminated, but the remaining 12 teams in the men's Olympic soccer tournament still have all to play for.

Tim Vickery in South America

Olympic football may not be the main event of the Olympic Games but those teams taking part have an excellent opportunity to try things out as they prepare for the next World Cup.

This has rarely been clearer than at Old Trafford on Sunday, when 2014 hosts Brazil were confronted with a problem they will surely meet time and time again in two years' time. Opponents Belarus put 10 men behind the ball and looked to frustrate them, forcing them to pass sideways, hoping that Brazilian frustration would lead to error and then launching the counter-attack.

What made this match especially interesting was that Belarus took the lead, scoring a beautifully worked goal on almost the first occasion they crossed the halfway line. The true test of a team is always when they go a goal down. How would Brazil respond?

The Mill +

Wednesday's Rumours


Solo, Chastain war of words obscures U.S. team's success

Hope Solo gets people talking. On the field, she's the greatest U.S. women's goalkeeper of all time. Off it, she's arguably the most outspoken American player ever. As the U.S. women's soccer team chases its third consecutive Olympic gold medal -- buoyed by impressive Olympics victories over France, Colombia and North Korea in the opening round -- the majority of the attention has been on Solo's Twitter rant aimed towards NBC broadcaster (and former U.S. women's national team star) Brandi Chastain. Instead of a positive buzz for the women's team heading into the quarterfinals, it has now largely been overshadowed by the public debate of whether you are on #TeamSolo or #TeamChastain.

Women's Olympic Soccer: Tuesday's Review, Reports, & Analyses

The United States clinched top spot in Group G with a 1-0 defeat of North Korea at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Abby Wambach continued her impressive form in women's Olympic Soccer, scoring in each match of the group stage by providing the lone goal in Manchester. Finishing as Group G winners, the U.S. advances to the quarterfinals where it will play New Zealand, which finished third in Group E with a 3-1 defeat of Cameroon on Tuesday.

United States 1 - 0 North Korea
Report II
Jeff Carlisle: U.S. Women still perfect
Grant Wahl: U.S.-North Korea match headlines historic day for women's soccer

Great Britain 1 - 0 Brazil
Simon Hattenstone at Wembley
Paul Fletcher at Wembley

The Trawler: The Pompey four, Forest go shopping

Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.

Analysis of Manchester United Flotation

The Glazer family has moved to block any future hostile takeover of Manchester United by quietly altering the club's constitution, in a move that will further enrage the club's fans. The changes – almost certainly designed to protect the Glazers' control of the club if the family cashes in further shares – is revealed in regulatory documents published as part of the club's planned flotation in New York. The float stands to net the Glazers around $150m (£96m), despite previous assurances that proceeds would go towards paying down the club's debt.

Richard Jolly: Manchester United IPO - Q&A

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Tottenham's Gareth Bale calls Liverpool's Charlie Adam 'a coward' after injury threatens his start to season

Tottenham's pre-season friendly in the United States has turned nasty, with Gareth Bale launching a scathing post-match attack on Liverpool's Charlie Adam.

Olympic policing own goal after Wembley keys go missing

Locks at one of London 2012's main football venues have had to be changed after Metropolitan police lost a set of internal keys.

Olympic Soccer: Upcoming Matches

9:30 AM Women Group F Games Japan v South Africa
9:30 AM Women Group F Games Canada v Sweden
12:15 PM Women Group G Games North Korea v United States
12:15 PM Women Group G Games Colombia v France
2:45 PM Women Group E Games Cameroon v New Zealand
2:45 PM Women Group E Games Brazil v Great Britain

9:30 AM Men Group C Games Brazil v New Zealand
9:30 AM Men Group C Games Belarus v Egypt
12:00 PM Men Group B Games Mexico v Switzerland
12:00 PM Men Group B Games Gabon v South Korea
12:00 PM Men Group D Games Honduras v Japan
12:00 PM Men Group D Games Spain v Morocco
2:45 PM Men Group A Games Senegal v United Arab Emirates
2:45 PM Men Group A Games Great Britain v Uruguay

Monday MLS Breakdown

Jack McInerney takes center stage as Philadelphia rediscovers its attacking intent.


Women's Olympic Soccer: US coach meets with Solo over Twitter rant

Hope Solo met with the coach and captains of the U.S. women's soccer team Sunday to discuss her latest outburst of candor, a Twitter rant that did no good for the image of the squad and distracted from preparations for the upcoming game against North Korea in the Olympic tournament. Coach Pia Sundhage said Solo will not be disciplined for the series of tweets that criticized former U.S. player Brandi Chastain's commentary during the NBC broadcast of the Americans' 3-0 win over Colombia on Saturday.

Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated  the game has changed from a decade ago. 
Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game 

Abby Wambach Takes a Right-Hook to the Face.

Women's Olympic Soccer: U.S. Shut Out Colombia

Abby Wambach lay on her stomach, kicking the turf in pain from a freshly minted black eye. Had she been somewhere other than a soccer field, she might have responded differently to her aggressor. Instead, she merely broke the U.S. women's soccer record for goals at the Olympics. Wambach's second-half goal put her atop the all-time list Saturday as the Americans dominated feisty Colombia 3-0, guaranteeing a spot in the quarterfinals of the London Games soccer tournament.

Grant Wahl: Wambach bruised, closing in on history as U.S. beats Colombia

Player Ratings

Men's Olympic Soccer: Sunday's Review, Reports, & Analyses

Spain was eliminated from the men's Olympic soccer tournament Sunday after another 1-0 loss at the London Olympics. Honduras forward Jerry Bengtson scored the lone goal in the seventh minute, knocking a header past Spain goalkeeper David de Gea in the Group D pool-play match. Honduras is now second in the group with four points, two behind leader Japan, which had defeated Spain 1-0 on Thursday. At Wembley, England, Moussa Konate scored two first-half goals and 10-man Senegal handed the Uruguayans their first Olympic loss. At Wembley, England, Prince William and David Beckham looked on as Britain won its first men's soccer match at the London Olympics.

Spain 0 - 1 Honduras

Great Britain 3 - 1 UAE

Brazil 3 - 1 Belarus

Senegal 2 - 0 Uruguay

Off the Ball

Off the Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories. This week, AC Milan fans hold a mock funeral to mark the death of the club, Tom Hanks' life is incomplete without Aston Villa, Adelaide United announce a new signing that doesn't exist and North Korea don't like the South Korean flag very much, plus a tribute to Pippo Inzaghi, who hangs up his boots.