Friday, March 07, 2008

Lookalikes of the Week Pt 5: Antonio Cassano and Mickey Rourke

One of these men is known as one of the great talents of his generation who threw it all away in an endless string of terrible decisions. The other is just a fuckwad. Which is which?

England: FA Cup and Premier League Previews

Pompey travel to Old Trafford (Cup), Arsenal go to Wigan (League), Liverpool host Newcastle (League), Reading host Citey (League), Barnsley host Chelsea (Cup) and Spurs welcome West Ham (League). Plus a few other matches...


Lawro's Predictions for the Weekend

Fasteddy's Hot Tips

Martin Rogers: Yanks Face Relegation Threat

Americans yanked from the Premiership?

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Inter host Reggina, Juventus travel to Genoa, Siena host Fiorentina and Roma are in Naples...


Maldini Hints at Retirement U-turn

Whoa! Hold the phone!

The Great Number 3 suddenly has second thoughts...

UEFA Cup Wrap

Tottenham 0 - 1 PSV Eindhoven
Wembley Hangover for Spurs

Fiorentina 2 - 0 Everton
Howard Keeps it From Being Worse


Give & Go: Bruce Arena, Part II

In the second part of's two-part interview with Arena, the former U.S. National Team manager opened up about the 2006 World Cup and the players he believes are the best in Major League Soccer.


The Joy of Six: Football's Lost Talents

From Nii Lamptey to Keith Gillespie, The Guardian picks half-a-dozen of those players who sparkled all too briefly.

6) Wayne Harrison (Oldham, Liverpool)

Harrison might be the only sportsman to retire having had more operations (23) than years (22). He was the most expensive teenager in the world, at £250,000, when Liverpool signed him from Oldham in 1985.

The Other Five

The Madness of Cassano

Once described as the 'The future of Italian football' by then Azzurri coach Giovanni Trapattoni following his €28m transfer from Bari to Serie A Champions Roma in 2001 petulance has prevented those lofty predictions from coming true.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lookalikes of the Week pt 4: David Hasselhoff and Jens Lehman

One of these handsome gents was Germany's #1 at the 2006 World Cup. The other one was Germany's #1 throughout the 90's. Jens is known for his quick reflexes and his bad decision making. The Hoff is known for drunkenly making love to a hamburger while suffering a savage berating at the hands of his teenage daughter. Separated at birth?

MLS Comes Down on Away Support

Classic MLS here. Since its foundation the league has always had a very top-down view of the product, from the ownership structure to the player contracts. They've always shown little support for fan run fan organizations beyond designated seating sections and bending rules to allow supporters in certain sections to stand for the duration of the game. It seems that this indifference has been replaced by active discouragement, at least in cases where the stadiums are more than half full. Toronto FC and the always moronic (at least in the Guppy era) Chicago Fire front office are conspiring to restrict attendance by traveling fans. Is this because they see traveling fans as a threat to the wholesome family oriented atmosphere coveted by most front offices or because they feel that guaranteeing tickets to traveling groups shortsells their own walkup sales. Regardless it's pointlessly stupid and sadly typical MLS move.

Mourinho on the warpath

Jose mate, join the queue...
"I will kill Chelsea"

Columbarium, Espanyol style

Looking for somewhere to deposit your ashes when you kick the bucket? Spanish club Espanyol has the answer...
Espanyol to let fans leave ashes in new stadium

Italian soccer turns Spanish eyes green

El Cid finds the Spanish media desperate to put some kind of gloss on the unthinkable - that their rivals across the Med play better football
You only win when you're sinning

Reading’s Hahnemann Still Keeping it Real

Martin Rogers catches up with the Seattle native...

“As soon as I get in the car, it really starts,” he added. “I’ll be listening to Slipknot or Tool, something really hard and in your face to get you pumped up.”

The 3-5-2: Remember These Names USA's Greg Lalas takes a look at some of the foreign imports to Major League Soccer.

Lider Marmol, New York Red Bulls or Chicago Fire. There’s a reason two teams are currently fighting over his rights. The Paraguayan midfielder is a Juan Carlos Osorio man, and I pity the fool who questions Osorio’s spooky knack for assessing talent.

Lookalikes of the Week pt 3: David Moyes and Moe Szyslak



Time right for Walcott?

Richard Williams says Theo Walcott's telling contribution at the San Siro showed that the 18-year-old is starting to come of age
Walcott ready to make his gifts really count

Tonight's UEFA Cup games

David Moyes has faith in his unsung hero as the Merseyside club switch their focus onto the Uefa Cup quarter-finals
Tim Howard cleans up act in Everton's goal
The north London club will parade the newly acquired Carling Cup in front of their fans at White Hart Lane before the Uefa Cup tie against PSV Eindhoven as the club look for more success
Juande Ramos wants Uefa Cup win over PSV
Getafe coach Michael Laudrup is hoping his side can obtain the right result as the travel to Lisbon to take on Benfica in the last 16
Laudrup Confident Ahead Of Benfica Clash
There's an all-German Uefa Cup clash in Leverkusen tonight, but it's Hamburg's Dutchman Rafael Van der Vaart who Bayer coach Michael Skibbe is worried about
Skibbe Wary Of Van der Vaart

Spotlight on Cesc

Cesc Febregas, whose skills lit up the San Siro on Tuesday, is compared by Michael Henderson to past Milan great Gianni Rivera. Teammate Almunia also thinks he's pretty good.
Cesc Fabregas follows Italian master
Cesc Fabregas plans his conquest of Europe

Another three for Torres

Fernando Torres amazed yet again at Anfield with yet another hat-trick, though the 4-0 score perhaps flattered the Liverpool performance in general
Fernando Torres vindicates Steven Gerrard
Benítez hails Torres hat-trick

Real disappoint again as Rome win in Madrid

Roma produced a superb away performance at the Santiago Bernabeu to deservedly knock 10-man Real Madrid out of the Champions League. The Giallorossi won 2-1 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate
An Italian job well done
Spalletti tries to quell Roma euphoria after win at Real

Neuer sees Schalke through after PKs

Schalke trainer Mirko Slomka hailed Manuel Neuer after the young goalkeeper inspired the Königsblauen to a surprise penalty shoot-out win over Porto at the Estadio do Dragão
Slomka Hails Super Keeper Neuer
Schalke must quickly come back down to earth

Ballack back on form

Michael Ballack showed against Olympiakos that his midfield partnership with Frank Lampard may yet be a success
Ballack winning his battle against the snipers and sceptics

Stroll in the park for Chelsea

It's hard to understand how Olympiacos qualified for the CL, let alone get through to the knock-out stages, so easy did they make things for Chelsea last night
Kalou caps cakewalk for rampant Chelsea
Avram Grant continues with balancing act

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Look Alikes of the Week pt 2: Del Piero and Springsteen

One of these men has played over 500 matches for Juventus. The other has played over 500 shows at Giants Stadium. Which is which?

Look Alikes of the Week: Rick Springfield and Filippo Inzaghi

The Diving Twat

Dr. Noah Drake

Cheers to VA Gray for this one...

EPL Preview: Liverpool vs. West Ham

An important mid-week fixture this, as a win for Liverpool will put them back in fourth ahead of Everton on goal difference. West Ham look to recover from their loss to Chelsea and return to the hunt for a European place.


Calcio Debate: What Was To Blame For Milan’s Exit?

AC Milan were deservedly dumped out of the Champions League last night by a hugely impressive Arsenal side.

Carlo Garganese analyses the reasons for the Rossoneri’s exit

Give & Go: Bruce Arena

The former New York Red Bulls and U.S. National Team head coach spoke exclusively with for a two-part interview.
: During this break, have you stepped away from soccer completely, or are you still following everything on TV and the internet?

Arena: I watch so much soccer it’s ridiculous. I love it. At home, I just got Setanta, as well. It’s absolutely great with all the games you get. It’s unbelievable, you get additional Champions League games, you get additional Premiership games and everything else you can imagine. It’s fantastic. I think my wife thinks I’m crazy at times because I’m always sitting in front of the TV watching. The other day I watched Gregg Berhalter play in the German Cup game against Bayern Munich. It was fun to watch.

The Bruce tends the Cornell net back in '72

Roberto Gotta in Italy

Roberto says that Everton better watch out because the Florence side are riding a wave...

Viola starting to play the right tune

Liverpool takeover drags on

This seems to be one of those soccer stories that just drags on for ages. Every newspaper says something different, while ever Liverpool fan seems to want DIC take over
George Gillett Jr and DIC in high-stakes poker
Dubai bidders warn Hicks they will not increase offer

Tonight's CL games

Fun in the pool with Robinho

In tonight's CL games Real seek to overturn a one goal deficit without Van Nistelrooy, but with an in form Robinho. Out of form Schalke will hope to hold on to their lead against Porto, while Chelsea will expect to beat Olympiacos. Liverpool play Inter next week.
Real Madrid hopes rest with Robinho
Totti tips advantage Roma's way
Grant relishes return to pressure of Europe

ManU and Barca stroll, Sevilla and Fener entertain

In the other CL games ManU knocked out Lyon and Barca eased past Celtic in two pretty uneventful matches. No nodding off at the Sevilla Vs Fenerbahce game though, where another five goals were scored, with penalties seeing the young Turks go through.
Lyon hand Ferguson fine wine but United keep Benzema bottled up
Celtic suffer one-goal thrashing
Historic night for Turks

Arsenal dispatch Milan

According to former Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi Arsenal wouldn't win the second leg because 'they were scared and narcissistic'. Spot on Arrigo, they looked terrified.
Any neutral would be delighted by Arsenal's win as their football was a delight. Admittedly Milan were poor, but Arsenal made them look poor. More impressive was the fact Arsenal had players missing. Hleb and Fabregas were again outstanding, but Flamini seems to improve in every game he plays. Not only did he outfight Gattuso, which is no mean feat, but his forward play was also excellent, especially his passing. In general Arsenal's passing was much sharper than in the first leg, where they opted for the long punt to Adebayor too often.
Cesc Fabregas puts Arsenal into quarter-finals
Enter Fábregas to mark end of Maldini's reign
Player Ratings

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday's Champions League Previews

It's a lovely day of football that we've got on tap. The most intriguing match has to be AC Milan vs. Arsenal. Is today the day that Arsenal’s season finally comes completely off the tracks? Or will this be the day that Milan’s frailties are exposed and their woeful domestic form comes back to haunt them? After a 0-0 tie at the Emirates, anything is possible at the San Siro. Meanwhile, Lyon face a troublesome trip to Old Trafford where Manchester United have been imperious. I can’t see the French side coming away with much here. Conversely, you never know what Barcelona will do these days. Up and down in La Liga, Celtic could go to Camp Nou and give the Catalans a run for their money. This one should be the most entertaining of the day’s offerings. And finally, there is the match that nobody is really discussing between Sevilla and Fenerbache. Kanoute and Kezman are leading their teams at the moment, with Kanoute’s Sevilla having claimed two away goals in the first leg, albeit on the wrong end of a 3-2 affair. This could go either way. Previews are below. -Sanford

AC Milan vs. Arsenal
Kevin McCarra on a jaded Milan
Lee Dixon's View

Barcelona vs. Celtic
McGeady thinks positive ahead of toughest test

Manchester United vs. Lyon

Sevilla vs. Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce dream of joining European elite

Quotes and Chants of the Week

"If you are driving to work, don't get into a car with Liam Miller because he gets involved in more car crashes than anybody I know."
Roy Keane puts Liam Miller on the transfer list after getting fed-up with his excuses for turning up late to training.

"There's only two Dave Kitsons!"
Villa fans to a red-headed Reading steward during the recent encounter at the Madjeski.

All The Fun

Americans in England: Keepers Delight USA's Matthew Braine runs down the happenings of the American players in England this past week.

Clint Dempsey. Fulham

Dempsey was curiously not included in the side that lost to Manchester United on Saturday. The U.S. international may have tweaked something and his absence is certainly questionable due to his impressive impact this season.

Americans on the Continent: The Unsung Hero

Hannover 96 and U.S. National Team right back Steve Cherundolo continues to thrive in Europe.

Gregg Berhalter, 1860 Munich (2. Bundesliga)

vs. Bayern Munich, A, 1-0 loss (120 minutes, 0 goals) (German Cup)
vs. Alemania Aachen, H, 0-0 (90 minutes, 1 yellow card)

The most watched soccer game in Germany this year featured an American playing his best game of the year. Berhalter showed up in full effect in the highly touted Munich derby in the German Cup. But 1860 gave up a penalty in the last minute of overtime that Franck Ribery converted on his second try. Berhalter probably would have been Man of the Match had Ribery missed his PK. The weekend action saw another flat offensive effort from 1860, but the back line put up a clean sheet, as Berhalter picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute. 1860 are 8th in the table. Up next: St. Pauli (2. Bundesliga), 3/10.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany + Bundesliga Table

The Schalke boss is under even more pressure after his side lost at home to Bayern for the first time in almost a decade.

Ribéry pinballs Slomka closer towards exit

2007/2008 German Bundesliga
Bayern Munich2213184728
Werder Bremen2213544320
Hamburg SV2211384117
Bayer Leverkusen2211653816
Schalke 04229583510
Eintracht Frankfurt2286832-3
Hannover 962298532-4
VfB Stuttgart211010131-3
VfL Wolfsburg22886301
Hertha Berlin22910330-3
VfL Bochum2289529-1
Borussia Dortmund22810428-4
Hansa Rostock22612422-11
Arminia Bielefeld22513419-24
Energie Cottbus21310817-13
MSV Duisburg22515217-14

Paolo Bandini in Italy + Serie A Table

Inter's unexpected defeat against Napoli was merely a wobble - talk of a crisis is premature.

Nerazzurri's latest hiccup won't stop their title charge

2007/2008 Italian Serie A
Inter Milan2618176134
AC Milan26115104318
Catania Calcio26512924-11

Norman Hubbard on Everton's Charge for Fourth + EPL Table

It is not merely Goodison Park's cramped stands, old-fashioned hospitality and antiquated atmosphere that can make a visit there resemble a trip back in time. The sight of Everton in a lofty league position, while embarking on two lengthy cup runs is like being transported back two decades.

English Premier League
March 2, 2008 Played Points
Man Utd2864
Aston Villa2848
Man City2845
West Ham2740

Phil Ball in Spain + La Liga Table

Barça play Celtic in the Champions League this week, and left Leo Messi on the bench. In his absence, the other vertically-challenged Argentine most often quoted as the 'new Maradona' was given centre-stage, and he certainly took it. Perhaps he should be called the 'new Messi', but Sergio 'Kun' Agüero, the youngest player ever to debut in the Argentine league at 15-years-old, finally began to look like he justifies the tags hanging awkwardly from him ever since his arrival from Buenos Aires.

2007/2008 Spanish Primera División
Real Madrid2619525934
Atlético Madrid2613854414
Racing Santander261178410
Sevilla FC26121133917
Real Betis26810832-5
Athletic Bilbao26710930-3
Deportivo La Coruña26812630-8
Real Zaragoza26711829-8
Recreativo Huelva26711829-11

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mapping out MLS’s next expansion

Martin Rogers looks beyond Philadelphia

Sheringham to end playing career when season ends

Former England striker Teddy Sheringham announced on Saturday that he will end his 26-year playing career at the end of the season.

Teddy leaves a helpless defender in his wake during the early stages of his career...

Spain: La Liga Wrap

Atletico Madrid beat Barcelona, Real sneak another win and Sevilla lose...

Italy: Serie A Review

Napoli 1 - 0 Inter Milan:
Inter suffer first league defeat

Juventus 2 - 3 Fiorentina:
Last-gasp win

Milan trail Fiorentina by four points in Champions League qualification race

England: Premier League Review

Key results:
Fulham 0 - 3 Manchester United
United stroll
Arsenal 1 - 1 Aston Villa
Late Bendtner equalizer
Newcastle 0 - 1 Blackburn
Owen apologizes
Everton 3 - 1 Portsmouth
Yakubu leads charge
West Ham 0 - 4 Chelsea
Lampard sent off in Chelsea romp
Middlesbrough 0 - 1 Reading
Reading find another gear

Ugly – Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Manchester United Pull Within One Point
General Review

The Insider at Emirates Stadium
Do Arsenal have the guts for the fight?

David Pleat:
Bolton's inability to suppress Steven Gerrard saw them swept away at the Reebok