Friday, May 16, 2014

Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid For La Liga, Arsenal vs. Hull City For The FA Cup, Brazil Protests, The Joy Of Six, Puyol Retires, Friday Quiz

Who's ready for the World Cup!
And there goes another week. Tomorrow there are two matches of note and they both kick-off at 12pm EDT. Yes, unfortunate, but what are you gonna do? Two televisions? Picture-in-Picture? Whatever it takes, we suppose.

Right, so Barcelona and Atlético Madrid meet at Camp Nou tomorrow at noon EDT to decide the champions of Spain (that one is on beIN Sports USA) and Arsenal and Hull City meet at Wembley tomorrow at noon EDT to decide the winner of the FA Cup (that one is on FOX and will be called by Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda - Nooooooooooooooo!!!).

Here's your lot for Spain:
Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid: Preview
Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid: 13 turning points in La Liga title race

Here's your lot for England:
Arsenal vs. Hull City: Preview I
Arsenal vs. Hull City: Preview II

The end of the line for one of the greatest hair farms the sport has ever seen...
Here's your Serie A scenario ahead of the final weekend:
Juventus won the Scudetto 
Roma and Napoli won Champions League qualification
Fiorentina and Inter won Europa League qualification
Livorno, Catania, and Bologna have been relegated 
Torino, Parma, Milan, Verona, or Lazio can still claim final Europa League spot

How's this for a career? Barcelona first-team regular for 15 seasons. 21 titles including six Primera Division and three Champions League trophies. Capped by his Spain 100 times. Greatest hair of his era. That's what Carlos Puyol can hang his very large hat upon now that he's decided to retire. Gracias por todo, Carlos!

Jozy Altidore had a pretty shitty season in Sunderland. He played hard and had some decent matches, but overall he was disappointing. Grant Wahl interviewed the Yank Abroad.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, there were more protests yesterday as people burned tires near the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paolo and stormed a government building in Brasilia. Good times.

Who's ready for the World Cup!
It's been a while since we've enjoyed a good Joy of Six. Thankfully, today we've got FA Cup Final Heroes. Lord Arthur Kinnaird, anyone?

We're going to finish with a quiz this week. It's a tough one. Which club team can claim the most World Cup players? Think about it and click here for the answer.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sevilla Win Europa League, France Implode In 2010, DeAndre Yedlin, Italia 90, Aston Villa, Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March To Brazil

Hello there! The curse continues as Benfica's run without European success now sits at 52 years. They were ever so close, too. In the end, it was penalties that cursed the Lisbon side and the trophy will head across the border to Seville. Jonathan Wilson was at the Juventus Stadium in Turin for an exciting match that simply lacked goals. Jonathan Wilson wrote two pieces about the match. Plus, Mark Lomas has Three Things.

Jonathan Wilson has been busy because he's also got this look back at England's trip to Italy in 1990.

We watched this the other night on ESPN: “Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil." It wasn't bad. The access to the players and staff was interesting and there were some candid moments. We give it a thumbs up. The next episode airs May 21.

The German Football Federation appears to be an idiotic as their English counterparts. The national team trained at St. Pauli's stadium in Hamburg. The classic, "No Football For Fascists" sign that graces the ground was removed. Not cool.

The series continues: World Cup: 25 stunning moments … No17: France implode in South Africa. In open rebellion against their manager, France's 2010 squad self-destructed as Thierry Henry watched impassively.

We heard earlier this week that Randy Lerner plans to put Aston Villa up for sale. The American has owned the club for eight years. Richard Jolly takes a look at what he's done.

The idiots at Major League Soccer will keep playing right through the World Cup. Teams will lose their best players to the tournament in Brazil. How will they cope?

There's a lad from Seattle who plays for Seattle. His name is DeAndre Yedlin. He's got crazy hair. Let's take a closer look at one of the lesser-known men going to Brazil for the United States.

We're two days away from the winner-take-all conclusion of the La Liga season. Let's take a sneak peak, shall we?

As you should know by now, Arsenal will also try to win a trophy on Saturday. Here's a look at their catalog of catastrophe since their FA Cup win in 2005.




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Europa League Final, No Go For Nasri, No Go For Tevez, 50 Things Since Arsenal Won A Trophy, France/Argentina/Holland/Italy Squads

A pleasant Hump Day to you. 

She's angry.
Not so pleasant, however, for one Samir Nasri. Didier Deschamps has deemed Samir surplus to requirements and won't be taking him to Brazil. Nasri's girlfriend is pissed! Here's what she had to say (via Twitter, of course): "Fuck france and fuck deschamps! What a shit manager!" Damn, girl! Here's the French squad, then:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)
Stand-by players: Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Loïc Perrin (St Etienne), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoît Trémoulinas (Dynamo Kiev), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Rémy Cabella (Montpellier)

Argentina released their team today. Have a look, yeah? You'll notice the absence of one Carlos Tevez. Sam Kelly is in Buenos Aires and can explain.

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andújar (Catania), Agustín Orión (Boca)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fernández (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Hugo Campagnaro (Internazionale), Martín Demichelis (Manchester City), José Basanta (Monterrey), Nicolás Otamendi (Atlético Mineiro), Lisandro López (Getafe), Gabriel Mercado (River Plate)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Éver Banega (Newell's Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter), Augusto Fernández (Celta Vigo), José Sosa (Atlético Madrid), Angel Di María (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodríguez (Newell's Old Boys), Fabián Rinaudo (Catania), Enzo Pérez (Benfica)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Rodrigo Palacio (Internazionale), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Franco di Santo (Werder Bremen)
Good on her for finding a silver lining, though...

The Dutch? Yes, we must:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij, Daryl Janmaat, Terence Kongolo, Bruno Martins Indi (all Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV Eindhoven), Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem), Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Ron Vlaar (Villa), Joel Veltman (Ajax)
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Nigel de Jong (Milan), Leroy Fer (Norwich City), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven)
Forwards: Jean-Paul Boetius (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Quincy Promes (Twente Enschede), Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

The Italians? Va bene...

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (PSG), Mattia Perin (Genoa)
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juve), Giorigo Chiellini (Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter), Ignazio Abate (Milan), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina)
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Thiago Motta (PSG), Marco Verratti (PSG), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Romulo (Verona)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina), Mattia Destro (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

Want a running tally of every nation's team? Done.

That means most of the "big" countries have announced their squads. Hence, The Guardian has announced its squad of rejects. It's pretty strong, as you might expect. The Guardian also hired Brazilian legend Zico to pontificate on the World Cup. Today he's got this: A lucky draw and few injuries give the Seleção a great chance of going all the way – now they need to ramp up the atmosphere.

Our man in Lisboa Pedro Santos sent us this funny piece this morning. Here are 50 Things That Have Happened Since Arsenal Last Won A Trophy.

Up in Turin Sevilla and Benfica (hey, they rhyme!) will battle for the Europa League Trophy. Here's a preview. Curse? What curse? If you're so inclined, you can catch all the action at 2:45pm EDT on Fox Sports 1.

The Big Match this weekend (other than the FA Cup Final) is in Spain where Atlético Madrid will go to Barcelona to decide the title. Graham Hunter says the visitors must re-focus after last weekend's disappointment against Málaga. Meanwhile, Xavi, certainly not a favorite of us here at SSN, says that Barcelona deserve to win the title. Really, Xavi? Dick.

Back to the U.S. for a moment where Brian Strauss is checking out The Fight For 23: U.S. World Cup roster locks and uncertainties.

We already miss the Premier League. Thankfully, Phil McNulty has ten things we learned from 2013-14 season to remind us of how great it really was.

And finally...what was the most-watch Premier League match in the U.S. this season? Click here to find out. It's not what you think.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spurs Sack Sherwood, Rio Leaves United, Chris Gaffney On Brazil 2014, Scribes, USA Squad, Spain Squad, Ivory Coast Squad, New TV Deal For U.S. & MLS, QPR vs. Derby County

Ahoy! It is Tuesday and that means we've got a ton of stuff to wade through. We'll begin in North London where Tottenham wasted little time in sacking Tim Sherwood. You're fired. Thanks for a great five months, though. Word on the street is they want Southampton gaffer Pochettino to run the show at White Hart Lane. Whomever takes over will be their 11th manager in the last 12 years.

After 12 years, Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United. He's 35. He's had a great career: Six Premier League titles, Two League Cups, One Champions League. He doesn't get credited for the FA Cup United won in '04 because he was suspended for missing a drug test.

We'll stay with the Premier League for a moment here. There are 19 teams currently slated to play in the league next season. Out went Cardiff, Fulham, and Norwich. In have come Leicester City, Burnley, and...Derby County OR Queens Park Rangers. Yes, QPR won a thriller over Wigan last night to set up a date with Derby at Wembley (May 24). James Riach was at Loftus Road and filed this report.

Pitch Invasion! QPR fans celebrate their upcoming trip over to Wembley
Ahhh, the World Cup. A cultural wonderland of parties and feeling good. Sadly, FIFA has its own World Cup going on that involves taking public funds and creating profits for struggling corporate entities such as Budweiser and Adidas. Our man in Rio Chris Gaffney graced the box and is, as always, astute in his analysis of the shitshow that is Brazil 2014.

Speaking of Brazil 2014. The United States, Spain, and Ivory Coast announced their squads. Fernando Torres? Yes. Emmanuel Eboué ? No. Eddie Johnson? No. Brek Shea? No. Julian Green? Yes. DeAndre Yedlin? Yes. Sacha Kljestan? No.

Here are the Yanks:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Here are the Spaniards:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David de Gea, Pepe Reina
Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran, Jordi Alba, César Azpilicueta, Daniel Carvajal, Alberto Moreno
Midfielders: Xavi, Javi Martínez, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Ander Iturraspe, Cesc Fábregas, Thiago Alcântara, Juan Mata, David Silva, Pedro, Jesús Navas
Forwards: Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente

Here are Les Éléphants:
Goalkeepers: Copa Barry (Lokeren), Gbohouo Sylvain (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Mandé (Stabaek), Badra Ali (ASEC Mimosas).
Defenders: Kolo Touré (Liverpool), Bamba Souleyman (Trabzonspor), Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Brice Dja Djédjé (Marseille), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes), Ousman Vieira (Caykur Rizespor).
Midfielders: Cheik Tioté (Newcastle), Yaya Touré (Manchester City), Romaric (Bastia), Max-Alain Gradel (St-Etienne), Ismaël Diomandé (St-Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Constant Djakpa (Eintracht Frankfurt), Geoffroy Serey Dié (Basel).
Strikers: Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Gervinho (Roma), Giovanni Sio (Basel), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), Lacina Traoré (Monaco), Salomon Kalou (Lille).

So now we know who will be going to Brazil for the United States, but we still don't know who will actually play. And who will start.

Since we're talking U.S., we should probably take a moment to check in on Major League Soccer. The league has a new TV deal. Check it. And...we should get some Power Rankings. Bird's are here and Jeff Carlisle's are here.

Oscar has his own underwear...

It is Tuesday and that means Marcotti is musing. And gabbing. Here are today's topics: City's deserved success, Rodgers' achievements, more.

And we mentioned and as you know, it is Tuesday. Scribe Time!

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? German squad shows Löw's commitment to technical football

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstien. Again? Yes. What? Hamburg close in on unwanted title

And finally...we'll end on a light note. It would appear that Lewis Holtby tackled Howard Webb in last night's testimonial for Ledley King. Musta been fun...



Monday, May 12, 2014

Manchester City Win The Premier League, England & Ghana WC Squads Announced, Atlético Madrid & Barcelona Both Draw (Real Madrid Lose) Ahead Of Final Showdown, Aston Villa For Sale

A fine Monday to you! As expected, Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title at the Etihad yesterday. Here's your final table. You're looking at Champions League football for Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal. Everton, Tottenham, and Hull City will enjoy Europa League football.

So no more Premier League footie until August, folks. Stand by for the Championship Playoff Final (May 24 between Derby and either QPR or Wigan) to see who will win promotion, and the FA Cup Final (this Saturday between Arsenal and Hull). Otherwise, you've got this Saturday's mega-match between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona to decide the title in Spain, and then...the wait until June 12 and World Cup 2014.

Vidic's final match for United gets a bit bloody...
Let's get going with all the insanity in the Premier League from Championship Sunday and the 2013-14 season with an Insane-O Link Show:

Martin Rogers: Right man for the job

Woy announced his squad for Brazil this morning. Here it is. No Ashley Cole. Carrick only makes the waiting list. And rather odd that Glen Johnson is listed as a defender. Oh! We'll be here all week. Try the Corned Beef...

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Ben Foster (West Brom), Fraser Forster (Celtic)
Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Leighton Baines (Everton), Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Man City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Ross Barkley (Everton), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal). Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Rickie Lambert (Southampton).
Stand-bys: John Ruddy (Norwich), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Tom Cleverley (Man Utd), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Jermain Defoe (Toronto).

Meanwhile, U.S. opponents (are they not every four years?) Ghana announced their squad. Here it is:

Goalkeepers: Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), Jeffrey Schullp (Leicester City), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Albert Adomah (Middlesborough), Wakasu Mubarak (Rubin Kazan), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), David Accam (Helsingborg), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Afriyie Acquah (Parma)
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux)

Have your cake and eat it, too...
Right. So, Real Madrid lost to Celta Vigo while Atlético Madrid & Barcelona both drew. That means this weekend's match will be epic. EPIC! More on that tomorrow from the scribes.

USA Hotlist!  Hot: Fabian Johnson. Not: Omar Gonzalez.

You want to own Aston Villa, you say? Now's your chance.

Until tomorrow.