Friday, July 20, 2012

Sanford's Euro 2012 Photos IV

Italy vs. England: Penne for the masses

The Joy of Six: Olympic football tournament stories

From British dominance to riots and the upstaging of Adolf Hitler, half a dozen memorable tales from the Games.

Liverpool to face Macedonia's FK Renova or FC Gomel of Belarus in Europa League third round qualifying

Brendan Rodgers' first competitive game in charge of Liverpool will see him face either FK Renova from Macedonia or FC Gomel of Belarus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.


Rob Shannon has watched his beloved Birmingham City a whopping 1,800 times in a row since 1974. And he only missed a game then because he was too ill to get out of bed.

The Mill +

Friday's Rumours


David Hytner: Chelsea-bound Oscar the brains of Brazil's Olympic team

The No10 is highly admired for his ability on the pitch and the battles he has fought off it.

Friday MLS Forecast

3. Will Alessandro Nesta make his debut at Houston?: It could happen after the Italian legend played all 90 minutes in a scrimmage on Thursday and Montréal coach Jesse Marsch confirmed he would travel to Houston this weekend. It isn't the best of scenarios to hand Nesta his MLS debut – one would suspect he didn't confront conditions quite like a Texas summer often during his storied career in Serie A – or the best of times to alter a back four that managed to emerge from Wednesday's 2-1 victory over New England relatively unscathed.

Grant Wahl: Women's Olympic Soccer Preview's writers will preview each event from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. 

First XI: The deals that could have been

With the transfer window back and in full swing, we take a look at a selection of incredible deals that could have been.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sanford's Euro 2012 Photos III

Italy vs. England

Rewind to 1966

Italy have been one of football's most successful teams since winning back to back World Cups in 1934 and 1938. However, they fell to one of the most shocking defeats in history on July 19, 1966, when they lost 1-0 to World Cup debutants North Korea.

Jamie Carragher invigorated and ready for new semester under Brendan Rogers as Liverpool train at Harvard

The symbolism of Jamie Carragher sitting studiously against the iconic backdrop of Harvard University is too much to resist.

The Mill +

Thursday's Rumours


Nice Own Goal


Jonathan Wilson: FA decision on Terry will bring sorry chapter to needed close

Sometime this week England's Football Association is expected to decide whether to charge John Terry over allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand in a league game last year. That may well be a necessary procedural step, even after Terry was found not guilty of the same offense by a magistrate's court last week, but this has become an incident in which almost no one, on any side, has come out with any credit -- with the exception, oddly, of the British legal system, which has shown itself robust, fair and transparent in explaining its workings.

MLS: Thierry Henry lifts Red Bulls to win, Galaxy fight back to earn draw

With record-setting temperatures stifling Red Bull Arena, New York coach Hans Backe asked captain Thierry Henry if he wanted to sit the game out. Henry declined and scored in the 71st minute to lift the Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

David Beckham and substitute Jose Villarreal scored second-half goals and the Los Angeles Galaxy salvaged a 2-2 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday night.

Spurs' King Announces Retirement

King, 31, had suffered severe knee problems in recent years and, with his Tottenham contract up this summer, has decided to end his playing career. He will now take up an ambassadorial role with the North London club.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dominic Fifield: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's extravagant journey reaches Paris milestone

In completing his move from Milan to Paris St-Germain, Ibrahimovic will become the most expensive player ever – and the club's owners are hoping they can conquer Europe at last.

United States international Ricardo Clark is released by Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht wished Clark the best of luck in his future on a statement released on its website but would not indictate reasons for the release or where the 29-year-old would play next.

The Mill +


Paul Doyle: Dempsey would fit Brendan Rodgers' style at Liverpool

Pay no heed to misgivings over Liverpool's proposed new signing – the American international is a ferocious competitor.

Clint Dempsey deserves an optimistic welcome from Liverpool.

Fulham warn Liverpool off launching a bid for Clint Dempsey

Fulham have denied receiving a bid from Liverpool for Clint Dempsey, and have insisted the United States international is not for saleSpeculation has been rife that the 29-year-old is set to move to Anfield, with a report on the Liverpool owners' official website on Wednesday suggesting a deal was complete.

France in shock as PSG go galactic

In the end, it was Zlatan who made it happen. After the nearly-but-not-quite moments of David Beckham, Carlos Tevez and Alexandre Pato, Paris Saint-Germain have finally snared the global superstar that Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) have craved since becoming the club's majority shareholder last summer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sanford's Euro 2012 Photos II

Spain vs. France from inside the dining room of the bar owner's house.

Manchester United Tops The World's 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams

Forbes estimates Manchester United is now worth $2.23 billion, 19% more than No. 2 Real Madrid, which is worth $1.88 billion. Soccer clubs hold the top two spots among the world’s most valuable franchises, but it is American football teams that dominate the rest of the top 50. All 32 NFL teams made the cut, led by the Dallas Cowboys, worth $1.85 billion, tied with the New York Yankees for third overall.

MLS: Five things we learned in week 19

• San Jose Earthquakes crush Real Salt Lake 
• Los Angeles Galaxy prevail in wild Portland Timbers visit
• Sebastien Le Toux debuts and scores for New York Red Bulls
• FC Dallas finally win as Colorado Rapids stumble again

Grant Wahl: Men's Olympic Soccer Preview's writers will preview each event from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. 

The Mill +

Tuesday's Rumours


Phil McNulty: Would Liverpool be making a mistake to let Carroll go?

Andy Carroll may have thought he had finally got his feet under the table at Liverpool after ending last season with the sort of flourish that suggested he had settled to life on Merseyside.

No-one could claim the 23-year-old had even come close to justifying the exorbitant £35m fee Liverpool handed over to Newcastle United in January 2011 as part of the proceeds from Fernando Torres's £50m sale to Chelsea.

There were some vital signs, however, of the return of the form that prompted former manager Kenny Dalglish to make the giant Geordie his prime target once Torres had taken his talents to Stamford Bridge.

Robin van Persie returns to Arsenal training and uncertain future as he is left out of club's kit catalogue

Robin van Persie returned to Arsenal training yesterday with the club apparently preparing for life without their captain, having excluded him from the latest edition of their online catalogue following his revelation that he will not be extending his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Sir Alex Ferguson focused on wrestling back crown for Manchester United

The Manchester United manager must realign a squad scattered by injury, rehabilitation and London 2012 commitments.

Kenny Miller moves to Vancouver Whitecaps from Cardiff City

The Scotland captain becomes the Canadian franchise's third designated player after he signed an undisclosed contract. The deal is subject to international clearance.

MLS Week 19: San Jose sweeps RSL; Sporting KC's deep bench

From San Jose's emphatic season sweep of RSL to another big moment for an unheralded rookie, here are five thoughts from Saturday night's MLS action:

The Trawler

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.

Gabriele Marcotti in Italy

You knew it was going to be a rude awakening. And it probably should have come sooner and more gradually, because we've all known about it for several years. But sometimes, you just have to go cold turkeyMilan's imminent sale of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris St. Germain is probably the first major side effect of UEFA's Financial Fair Play plan. Coupled with the departures of Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Mark Van Bommel, Alessandro Nesta and Pippo Inzaghi, it represents a massive overhaul aimed primarily at saving money and moving the Rossoneri towards FFP.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sanford's Euro 2012 Photos I

Spain vs. France

@*#! Can you guess which of these quotes came from the John Terry trial... and which came from Guy Ritchie movies?

John Terry's racism trial - and, it goes without saying, racism itself - is no laughing matter.

But the way that straight-laced and serious sports and news reporters have Tweeted excerpts from the expletive-filled testimonies has led to some surreal and darkly comic moments.

Reading them has occasionally been akin to leafing through the script of a Guy Ritchie movie. Which got us thinking...

Here's 40 choice quotes, half of which are from the Terry trial, and half of which are from the oeuvre of the former Mr Madonna. Can you tell which is which? Answers at the bottom of the article.

1) "He didn't smell or anything but I pretended"

2) "You got a toothbrush?"

3) "You’ve been stitched up right and proper"

4) "The consequences can kiss my black ass"

5) "My mum loves scouse c*ck"

6) "It's the mother of all f*ck-ups"        

7) "How can you call me a c*nt... you're the c*nt"

8) "An ugly c***? Look at yourself"

Grant Wahl: New York Cosmos' return to NASL is the first step to franchise revival

The first thing I noticed upon arriving at New York Cosmos HQ in Soho wasn't the black-and-white photo of Pelé hanging with Robert Redford, the huge Cosmos logo on the exposed brick wall or even the classic picture of Giorgio Chinaglia. Nope. The first thing I noticed was the number of employees: six. When I last visited the same Cosmos office in November 2010, at a time when the previous regime was busy lighting $10 million in cash on fire, there were at least 30 employees.

London 2012: Seven Olympic Footballers to Watch

Javier Aquino

From Neymar to Gastón Ramírez, who are the stars to look out for in the men's football tournament this summer?


In light of all the terrible things that get said about John Terry every day, we decided to head to Westminster Magistrates Court to speak to his assembled fans and detractors.

PSG Sign Thiago Silva, Ibra Deal Delayed

A statement on Paris Saint-Germain's official website read: "Thiago Silva, 27 years old, Brazilian international, from AC Milan, has this Saturday signed with Paris Saint-Germain for five seasons."

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's transfer to the French side will not be completed on Monday as expected.

Monday MLS Breakdown: David Beckham offers a reminder why he remains worth all of the fuss

The former England captain ignored the continued drama surrounding his actions to submit a man-of-the-match performance in Los Angeles' 5-3 victory at Portland on Saturday night.


The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Natasha Henry: John Terry 'sarcasm defence' leaves society in a dangerous position

Surreal. That is probably the best way to describe my week in court for the John Terry trial. As a football fan and a sports journalist for Britain's biggest black newspaper I had a vested interest in the proceedings. I was always apprehensive about what the evidence would portray about the world of English football, and the language we heard did not disappoint.

Off the Ball

Off the Ball may have taken a brief but well deserved break while Spain inevitably won Euro 2012, we're back for the 2012-13 season and will be scratching around the underbelly of football for the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories with renewed vigour. We kick off the campaign with a heady mix of booze, nudity and implied violence.

Michael Bradley Delight at Roma Switch

The American, who has won 69 caps for his country, had only joined Chievo last summer, but after impressing in Serie A, found himself a major target for several sides.

"This year has been very important to me,'' Bradley added. "I must thank Chievo because they gave me the opportunity to play in Italy and they believed in me when no one else did. When I heard that Roma wanted me, I only had the Giallorossi club on my mind.''