Friday, September 28, 2007

Marta's brilliance leads Brazil's rout of the U.S.

USA 0 - 4 Brazil

The streak is over, and so is the United States' bid for a third Women's World Cup championship. Brazil and its star player Marta put on a dazzling performance against the Americans and cruised to a 4-0 victory in the semifinals Thursday, ending the U.S. unbeaten streak at 51 games and sending the Brazilians into their first title match, against Germany on Sunday.


Breaking with a tradition that players who don't appear in games don't speak with the media, Solo offered a scathing indictment of Ryan's decision in a postmatch interview.
Solo also said she would have saved some of the shots that got past Scurry, the goalkeeper for the 1999 U.S. World Cup championship squad as well as Olympic gold-medal teams in 1996 and 2004.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Jen Chang's Take: Ryan's Decisions Hurt the U.S.
Martin Rogers' Take: Questionable Calls


"People say this is a step back, but I think Greg Ryan has put us three steps back – all the way to the starting gate," said Chastain, the 1999 World Cup hero who watched Thursday's loss from her home in Northern California. "He lacks the ability to communicate and is not in tune with his players, and he's obviously not a tactician or he wouldn't have made the decisions he did.


Self-belief has pushed Brazil to the brink of World Cup glory as the Samba Girls go in search of a title won by their more famous male counterparts five times.

Few would have wagered money on Brazil at the beginning of the tournament but their silky skills and unselfish teamwork have not only won over the Chinese fans but driven them further than they have ever been before.

Coach Jorge Barcellos said their philosophy has always been never-say-die.

Women's World Cup Final - Germany vs. Brazil: Preview
Sunday's women's World Cup final between Marta's Brazil and Birgit Prinz's Germany will be a veritable clash of styles.

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea are still getting over Jose Mourinho and the loss to Manchester United, but I think they will get back to winning in this local derby.

I think Fulham need to stand in something on the walk down the King's Road because they have had absolutely no luck with decisions this season.

However, Stamford Bridge is not a good place for your luck to start changing.

Prediction: 2-0

All Of Lawro's Picks

England's Premier League: Weekend Preview

No real massive clashes this weekend. Fulham's visit to Stamford Bridge is probably of the most note considering the upheaval at Chelsea. And there's another London Derby in the East End as West Ham welcome Arsenal to Upton Park. All the previews...

Fast Eddie's Betting Guide:’s exclusive guide to this weekend's Premier League matches for those who like to back informed hunches with a flutter for an extra dash of excitement and the possibility that the football results will deliver more than three points...

More Previews

Italian Serie A Preview: Matchday Six

Roma- Inter Milan

The match of the week sees the two joint league leaders clash at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma have already served up two Serie A classics in the past seven days against Juventus and Fiorentina and if recent history is anything to go by, another game to remember could be in store here.

Complete Preview of all the Italian Action

Spain: La Liga Updates and Previews

Villarreal are challenging Spain's established order after Manuel Pellegrini's new-look side made it four wins from five to top the Primera Liga for the first time in their history in midweek.

This after some bad omens at the start of the season, with top scorer Diego Forlan sold to Atletico Madrid and centre-back Roberto Ayala walking out on them without playing a game.

Real Madrid 2 - 0 Real Betis
Real Madrid returned to the top of the Primera Liga table on Thursday night
as second-half goals from Raul and Julio Baptista saw off battling Real Betis at the Bernabeu.

Convey Injures Leg

The U.S. winger looks set for another spell on the sidelines...

A rare old English week in the Fatherland

Germany might not be loved in England, but Bundesliga fans love the 'English Week' - well maybe not underachieving Dortmund's.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chelsea charged after Old Trafford incident

Chelsea have been charged by the Football Association with failing to control their players during their defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

Mike Dean, the referee, reported the club after at least four players, including John Terry, Claude Makelele, Michael Essien and Andriy Shevchenko, surrounded him after he sent off John Obi Mikel, the Chelsea midfielder.

Terry, the Chelsea captain, appeared to grab Dean's red card but the England defender has not been charged individually by the FA.

He DID grab his hand! How can the FA not charge Terry individually for grabbing a ref's hand to try and keep him from producing a card?! More absurdity from the "governing body." -Sanford

USA vs. Brazil: Teamwork vs. Individual Brilliance

Coach Greg Ryan knows the United States' Women's World Cup semifinal against Brazil on Thursday will provide the ultimate contrasting battle between teamwork and individual brilliance.

Ryan's team is a collective unit, having lived together in a residency program leading up to the tournament and operating with a high level of understanding and organization forged by hundreds of training sessions and more than 50 matches over the past two years.

While there are experienced veterans like Kristine Lilly and standout stars such as Abby Wambach, no one in the U.S. squad is put on a pedestal.

La Liga: Messi Leads Barca to 4-1 Win

Villarreal go top of the table for the first time in their history; Real Madrid play today: All the Summaries

Honours Even After Fiorentina And Roma Serve Classic

The marquee match of the fifth round of the Serie A lived up to expectations and then some as Fiorentina managed to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Roma in a game that on its own could stand to debunk the myth that Italian football is boring. A cheeky penalty kick by Adrian Mutu on 78 minutes salvaged his side a precious point after wonderful goals by Giuly and Manini sandwiched a first-half strike by Gamberini.

Inter pull even with Roma at the top while Milan lose to Palermo:
All the Summaries

Carling Cup: Manchester United humbled by Coventry

Coventry stunned an inexperienced Manchester United side to send the Premier League champions crashing out of the Carling Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted last night that he was "flabbergasted" by Manchester United's third-round exit from the Carling Cup after a dismal 2-0 home defeat against Coventry City.

Phil McNulty on Fergie's Shadow Squad Worry

Emmanuel Adebayor Interview

Despite all the debate around Thierry Henry's departure from Arsenal, Emmanuel Adebayor has not let the added pressure of replacing the Frenchman affect his game and, so far this season, has proven that he could be the Gunners' new attacking sensation.

With five goals in his last two Premier League games, the unpredictable Togolese striker, who according to Wenger brings a strong physical impact to the side, is currently in the form of his life. He caught up with ESPNsoccernet's Bruno Salla for a quick interview.

Americans Abroad

Coppell: Convey Not yet 100%
Adu Appreciates Benfica Chance

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I realize it's been a while since our last induction, so before we dive into Mr. Shittu, let's recap the squad as it stands currently:

Dean Windass - Starting Striker
Rod Fanni - Starting Right Back
Berndt Haas - Starting Center Back
David Seaman - Reserve Goalkeeper

Now then, on to our latest member...

Danny Shittu is a 6’ 3” defender who currently plies his trade for Watford in the Championship. He was born on September 2, 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria, but was raised in East London. Shittu played for Charlton (loaned out to Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers) and QPR proper before settling in Watford. His move to QPR was made permanent when he was purchased by a fan who also paid his wages. He’s appeared three times for the Nigerian national side. The imposing centerback runs the “Let me play football” camp that allows disadvantaged youths to, well, play football. Shittu says that he uses the camp to provide values and hope to some of London’s poorest children. So, Shittu is a good lad. There is no doubt that he deserves a spot on Sanford Soccer Net’s All-Name Team, and he’ll start next to Berndt Haas in the center of the defense.

Oligarchs Will be Oligarchs

Arsenal's new sugar (or should I say oil?) daddy Alisher Usmanov is making headlines in the UK right now by taking aggressive legal action against critics in the news media. Specifically he's had the webservers hosting a blog by author and former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, shut down. Notice to Arseblog: be careful about any criticism of team selection or the Board of Directors or you're next!

We asked Murray if he intends to stay on Usmanov's back. He replied: "There is room on Usmanov's back for an awful lot of people. You could get even more on his stomach, and possibly lose some under the overlap of his chins."

Women's World Cup: Germany 3-0 Norway

Germany reached the Women's World Cup final with an own goal and a quick-fire second-half brace against Norway.

Editor's Note: I will not post the results of USA/Brazil tomorrow morning due to the amount of individuals planning to record and view the match after the workday tomorrow. USA/Brazil results will be posted and discussed on Friday.

Little big man still retains ability to divide opinion around the world

Diego Maradona is coming to England, which feels a bit like issuing a storm warning. The Argentinian is about as likely to slip quietly in and out of the country as José Mourinho is to withdraw discreetly out of our lives.

Controversy is already in the air and we are still a couple of weeks from the revival of the famous 1986 World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and England being planned for Villa Park. While Peter Reid longs finally to catch up with the little man who danced away from him at the Aztec Stadium all those years ago, Terry Butcher has said that he would “rather gnaw my own arm off than share the pitch with the cheating little s***”.

Jol endures new role as caretaker and sets his sights on Christmas

Martin Jol has been called many things in private by various Tottenham directors during what has been a spiky managerial tenure. Yet the Dutchman cannot ever have envisaged the label that clings to him at present and undermines him most gravely - that which says "caretaker".

Major League Soccer: Crew, Fire and Rapids chase final playoff spot

The MLS playoff system remains far from perfect, of course. Four weeks still remain and the playoff question has been more or less answered for 10 of 13 teams. But that represents progress; it's better than having things more or less settled with two months remaining.

Chicago, Columbus and Colorado will scrap it out for the remaining playoff berth. That should be fun to watch.

Owen ruled out of qualifiers, set to see specialist

Club boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed Owen has a 3cm tear in his abductor muscle - an injury set to rule him out for most of the next month.

Is anyone surprised about this??

Chelsea line up Van Basten to be long-term successor to Mourinho

A report in Wednesday's edition of The Sun claimed that Chelsea's Russian owner had already offered the job to Van Basten, who sat behind Abramovich in the VIP seats as Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

And deny that they are making any move for him...

Barcelona aim to go top of Spanish league

Barcelona have an opportunity to catapult themselves to the top of the Spanish league if they can overcome Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.

The Catalonians, led by an in-form Lionel Messi, hope to continue their victory run after beating Lyon 3-0 in the Champions League and then beating Seville 2-1 in the Spanish league at the weekend.

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has meanwhile insisted that Barcelona can afford to leave their Brazilian star Ronaldinho out of the squad.

United States makes surprise change in goal for Brazil; veteran Scurry replaces Solo

Briana Scurry will replace Hope Solo as goalkeeper when the United States plays Brazil with a spot in the women's World Cup final on the line.

Coach Greg Ryan made an unexpected change in goal 24 hours before the semifinal, benching Solo in favor of the 36-year-old veteran who made the decisive save in the Americans' win on penalty kicks over China in the 1999 championship game at the Rose Bowl.

Germany: Bundesliga Tuesday Wrap

In the first of the midweek games Schalke win away at Duisburg, Hamburg shock Dortmund, Rostock grab their second win, while Werder and Wolfsburg end all-square.

Carling Cup Wednesday Preview

After impressive displays from Arsenal and Liverpool in the first of the scheduled mid-week Carling Cup ties, Manchester United and Chelsea will feel obliged to make it into the hat for the fourth round draw. But as this competition has proved on many occasions before, nothing can be taken for granted.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007:

Aston Villa v Leicester, 19:45
Blackburn v Birmingham, 20:00
Fulham v Bolton, 20:00
Hull v Chelsea, 19:45
Man Utd v Coventry, 20:00
Sheff Wed v Everton, 19:45
Tottenham v Middlesbrough, 20:00
West Ham v Plymouth, 19:45

Carling Cup Tuesday Review

The third round of the Carling Cup got underway tonight with Arsenal v Newcastle the pick of the ties. True to form, Arsene Wenger selected a team of young players on the fringes of the first team for this competition - and they were as impressive as the first team in beating a strong Newcasytle side 2-0. Liverpool beat Reading 4-2 thanks to a Fernando Torres hat-trick, while Giorgios Samaras scored a last-ditch winner for Manchester City against Norwich....

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Arsenal 2 - Newcastle 0
Blackpool 2 - Southend 1 (AET)
Burnley 0 - Portsmouth 1
Luton 3
- Charlton 1 (AET)
Man City 1 - Norwich 0
Reading 2 - Liverpool 4
Sheff Utd 5 - Morecambe 0
West Brom 2 - Cardiff 4

Choose Your Own Interview: Derby County's Eddie Lewis

What was the first concert you ever went to?

Lewis: Saw the Jackson 5 victory tour at Dodger Stadium. Sat about five seats away from Boogaloo Shrimp as well. I could have break danced all the way home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Chelsea Commentary From Williams and Hansen

Richard Williams: If Roman Abramovich keeps wearing his gaffer's coat - like he did last week - it could be curtains for Chelsea.

Alan Hansen:
Despite my gloomy view, Chelsea are not out of the title race.

Hagi's love affair with Bucharest ends in tears

Jonathan Wilson: The resignation of Romania's favourite son as coach of Steaua is the latest chapter in a saga of fiery friendships and huge egos.

Becali remains unrepentant. "I admit I humiliated Hagi," he said, before an alarming lapse into the third person. "It is very hard to work with Becali. You can't work with Becali if you don't get results."

Glanville's Top 50 Greatest Hits

The doyen of football writers picks his top 50 football moments of the past 65 years - he was present at every occasion.


May 1953 Rome: Hungary crush Italy

My first sight of that dazzling Hungary team at the belated inauguration of Rome’s Olympic Stadium. The Italy team largely composed of Roma and Lazio men were outplayed by Hungary, with Ferenc Puskas’s deadly left foot, Sandor Kocsis’s “Golden head”, Nandor Hidegkuti, operating behind them and Jozsef Bozsik bursting through from right half. 3-0 was the score.

The Big Interview: Ruud Gullit

The Dutch legend says his sacking by Chelsea was the worst moment of his professional life and claims he was betrayed by people he trusted.

He had spent the best years of his football life in Italy and was a central figure in a Milan team that won three Serie A championships and two European Cups. The tifosi loved him but, by the end, it was suffocating love. “One evening at a restaurant, the owner said, ‘Ruud, can you do me a favour? Can you come outside for a second?’ I said I’d prefer to just continue my meal. He insisted. So he dragged me outside and there were hundreds of fans just standing there, blocking the street and waiting for me to come and wave. I smiled and waved and they went away.
That kind of thing happened a lot.”

Lalas to keep Becks on a tight leash

Nearing the end of a season filled with frustration and disappointment, the Los Angeles Galaxy have decided it is time to get tough.

On the pitch, there are small signs of a harder edge, with the team looking more like the Galaxy of old in a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday. But it is away from the glare of the spotlight that a significant shakeup will take place over the next few months.

Even David Beckham could find himself caught in the crosshairs as Galaxy president Alexi Lalas prepares to usher in a tough new era that he hopes will avoid a repeat of this fractured and uneasy campaign.

Womens' World Cup: U.S. prepared for a physical clash with Brazil + Marta Focus

With a spot in the World Cup final on the line, soccer's old power and young challenger will collide when the United States and Brazil meet in Hangzhou (ESPN2, Thursday, 8 a.m. ET). And before assuming that's just some kind of metaphor, consider that the American team's medical staff has already had to add a staple gun to its triage inventory.

What's in a name? She's Marta and she's marvelous...

Americans on the Continent: Bradley Rolls On's J.R. Eskilson and Zac Lee Rigg take a glance at how the American players on the European continent fared over the past week.

Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgium)
vs. KVC Westerlo (90 minutes, 0 goals)

Onyewu started, as he has every league game, since returning from his loan stint at Newcastle. With the 2-1 home win over Westerlo, Standard move four points clear of Anderlecht at the top of the Jupiler League table. Israeli international Salim Toema was the day’s hero, scoring a brace for the home side. Next up: Sint Truidense VV on the 29th.

Italy: Serie A Midweek Preview: Round 5 looks ahead to the midweek Serie A action with a round-up of each game in Matchday 5...

Fiorentina - Roma

The match of the day sees league leaders Roma travel to fourth-placed Fiorentina. Both teams are unbeaten and both have been hugely impressive this season. Fiorentina showed that they have instilled some mental toughness into their armoury with a gritty 1-0 win against Catania on Sunday. This followed three successive draws in all competitions, including the impressive 1-1 draw at San Siro against European Champions Milan on matchday two.

Spain: La Liga Midweek Preview: Round 5

Round four of La Liga action showed a shift in momentum from Madrid to Barcelona. Will it turn into a seismic one, or turn out to be just an aberration? We will get some indication over the next few days!

Carling Cup Tuesday Preview: Can Magpies Steal Gunners' Thunder?

This midweek sees the Carling Cup enter its third round - the stage at which those clubs involved in European campaigns enter the competition. Their participation inevitably raises the interest level in a tournament which has enjoyed something of an on-off relationship with the British footballing public since it was conceived 47 years ago.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has released details of his squad ahead of this evening’s Carling Cup tie with Newcastle United.

Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone

Defenders: Phillipe Senderos, Justin Hoyte, Gavin Hoyte, Emmanuel Eboue, Armand Traore,

Midfielders: Denilson, Abou Diaby, Lassana Diarra, Alexandre Song, Fran Merida, Henri Lansbury

Attackers: Nicklas Bendtner, Eduardo, Theo Walcott

Norman Hubbard on Arsenal's Age of Change

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gay World Cup starts in Argentina

Gay World Cup kicks off in Buenos Aires

IGLFA website

le nou Camp Nou

Okay, it does look a bit like a cake strewn with Hundreds and Thousands [Jimmies or Sprinkes in Yankland?], but the Allianz Arena in Munich has proved that something a touch more adventurous can work.

Foster to give Nou Camp Gaudí-inspired facelift
More pictures

Sid:Ronaldinho misses Barcelona's big night out

Are Chelsea the new Hearts?

Uvidimsia Jose! I'm the coach now.

Abramovich tells Essien how to play football

Or perhaps the new Energie Cottbus?

Tim Vickery in South America

Why teenage player Kerlon's 'seal dribble' has sparked huge controversy in Brazil.

See Video Here

The Monday MLS Breakdown: Table Setting

Major League Soccer isn't geared for a single table ... yet. But as USA's Kyle McCarthy points out, the playoff system would be upgraded if a table system was used for seeding purposes.

Arsenal profits to provide £70m transfer warchest

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been promised a mammoth £70million transfer kitty after Arsenal revealed themselves to be one of Europe's richest clubs. Figures unveiled this morning show the Gunners' move to the Emirates Stadium has driven a near 50% increase in turnover to more than £200million for the year ending May 31, 2007. That sum means they are only edged into second place in the continent's money league by Real Madrid.

Germany: Bayern Cruise to the Top of the Table

All the Reports

German Bundesliga Table
September 23, 2007GPPT
Bayern Munich614
Hertha Berlin612
Bayer Leverkusen611
Eintracht Frankfurt611
Schalke 04610
Hamburg SV610
Arminia Bielefeld610
Werder Bremen610
Borussia Dortmund69
VfL Bochum68
VfL Wolfsburg67
VfB Stuttgart67
Hannover 9667
MSV Duisburg66
Hansa Rostock63
Energie Cottbus62

Italy: Juve Snatch a Point in Rome, Parma Snatch a Point in Milan

Roma 2 - 2 Juventus:
Totti Brace Not Enough

A Classic Match in Rome

R. Mehdi's Reports: How can a team (Milan) that perform so well in Europe against quality opposition, the 2-1 victory over Benfica flattered the Portuguese, play so poorly in the league? It's as if the players think Serie A is beneath them. Gilardino can't handle the pressure of playing for Milan. Inzaghi is incredible in Europe but useless domestically. None of this would be an issue if Ronaldo was fit. Ancelotti's negative tactics don't help either.

Police Arrest 66 Armed Lazio Fans As They Leave For the Match Vs. Atalanta

Spain: Barca Edge Sevilla

Barcelona 2 - 1 Seville: Messi Brace

Phil Ball's Column

All the Reports

Women's World Cup: USA Defeats England, Brazil and Norway Advance to Semis

USA 3 - 0 England
Brazil 3 - 2 Australia
Norway 1 - 0 China

Wednesday, September 26
Match 29: Germany vs Norway at Tianjin, 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, September 27
Match 30: United States vs Brazil at Hangzhou, 8:00 a.m. ESPN

England: EPL Review + Table

Manchester United 2 - 0 Chelsea:

Richard Jolly at Old Trafford

Angry Fergie Blasts Cole for Tackle on Ronaldo

Arsenal 5 - 0 Derby County: Adebayor hat-trick

EPL Replay: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

All the Reports

Premier League Table
September 23, 2007 Played Points
Man Utd714
Man City713
West Ham610
Aston Villa610