Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Soccer: Schedules for Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, July 28

7:00 AM ET Women's  Group F - Japan vs. Sweden City of Coventry Stadium
9:30 AM ET Women's  Group E - New Zealand vs. Brazil Millennium Stadium
9:45 AM ET Women's  Group F - Canada vs. South Africa City of Coventry Stadium
12:00 PM ET Women's  Group G - United States vs. Colombia Hampden Park
12:15 PM ET Women's  Group E - Great Britain vs. Cameroon Millennium Stadium
2:45 PM ET Women's  Group G - France vs. DPR Korea Hampden Park

Sunday, July 29

7:00 AM ET Men's  Group C - Egypt vs. New Zealand Old Trafford
9:30 AM ET Men's  Group B - Mexico vs. Gabon City of Coventry Stadium
10:00 AM ET Men's  Group C - Brazil vs. Belarus Old Trafford
12:00 PM ET Men's  Group A - Senegal vs. Uruguay Wembley Stadium
12:00 PM ET Men's  Group D - Japan vs. Morocco St James' Park
12:15 PM ET Men's  Group B - Korea vs. Switzerland         City of Coventry Stadium
2:45 PM ET Men's  Group A - Great Britain vs. UAE Wembley Stadium
2:45 PM ET Men's  Group D - Spain vs. Honduras St James' Park

The Mill +

Friday's Rumours


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

Japan forward Yuki Otsu scored in the first half in a 1-0 win over 10-man Spain on Thursday in men's Olympic soccer, hurting the Spaniards' chances of winning Group D. Gold-medal favorite Brazil scored three first-half goals then held on for a win in Group C. Moussa Konate scored late in the second half to lift Senegal into a tie against host Britain in Group A. South Korea wasted a number of scoring chances against Mexico as the two teams opened Group B soccer with a scoreless draw.

Great Britain 1 - 1 Senegal

Spain 0 - 1 Japan

Brazil 3 - 2 Egypt

UAE 1 - 2 Uruguay

Mexico 0 - 0 South Korea

Michael Cox: Five Conclusions

Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts

Friday MLS Forecast

The Forecast briefly discusses Tim Cahill's move to New York and scans the scene for the key themes in yet another busy weekend of MLS action.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympic Men's Soccer: Thursday's Information

I got a bit behind this morning and matches are already underway. Currently, Japan are up 1-0 over Spain, Honduras and Morocco are tied at 2-2, and Mexico and South Korea are scoreless. Later today we've got the following:

UAE vs. Uruguay
Gabon vs. Switzerland
Belarus vs. New Zealand
Brazil vs. Egypt
Great Britain vs. Senegal

North Korea women’s soccer team refuses to take field over flag dispute

On Wednesday, the North Korea women's soccer team refused to take the field for approximately an hour at Hampden Park in Glasgow because of a political slight. As North Korea was preparing to take the field for its match against Colombia, the scoreboard introduced the North Korea players with South Korea's flag beside their pictures.

Olympic Football - Which men will star?

Abdelaziz Barrada, M, Morocco
Defending champions Argentina failed to qualify for the men's Olympic football tournament, but there will be no lack of quality on display.

Brazil and Spain are regarded by many as the favourites to win the competition, which is hardly surprising given the depth of quality in both squads. 

Uruguay, who like Brazil have the coach of their full senior team in charge, also look strong, while Team GB will be competing for the first time since 1960. 

The tournament will showcase some of the best players in the world as well as numerous others on the cusp of a major breakthrough. 

The Mill +

Thursday's Rumours


MLS All Stars 3-2 Chelsea

According to Baxter's Law, the MLS All Stars are the new club champions of Europe. In 1967 Scotland became the first team to beat England following the World Cup, in a game infamous for Jim Baxter taunting the English by playing keepy-up on the Wembley pitch. As the first team to beat the World Cup winners since their triumph, Scottish fans proclaimed their team the new World Champions. So when the MLS All Stars beat Chelsea 3-2 in Philadelphia on Wednesday night - the first defeat for the London side as Champions League holders - a similar selective logic could be heard in some of the more tongue-in-cheek American reactions.

Manchester United 'temporarily postpone New York flotation plan'

Manchester United are thought to have postponed temporarily plans to launch their $300m (£193m) flotation in New York, after volatile US markets spooked the Premier League club into a rethink.

The move is the latest setback in a long-running attempt to list the company's shares, a move that had previously been earmarked for the exchanges in Hong Kong and Singapore, and comes as the club had been looking to kick off their roadshow presentations to potential share buyers this week.

Women's Olympic Soccer: Alex Morgan fires USA's Olympic fightback against France

Twice, Hope Solo stretched to her left to stop the ball. Twice, she couldn't quite reach it.

Bang! Boom! Two quick shots, and the US women's soccer team had an early hole at the start of the quest for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Fortunately for the Americans, they have firepower like no other squad in the world, enough to overcome such a deficit and take control, beating France 4-2 Wednesday as they opened their London Games far from London.

Women's Olympic Soccer: Japan put on a show as Coventry embraces spirit of Games

Japan 2 - 1 Canada

Norman Hubbard: Athletes give way to aesthetes at United

Sir Alex Ferguson seems to like pinning his colours to the corner of the unappreciated. The Manchester United manager's contrary streak has come to the fore on the club's pre-season tour. Not for the first time, he has defended the Glazers, despite the evidence United would have rather more spending power but for the debts they lumped on the club. Less controversially and more instructively, he has also described Michael Carrick as "the key player" in his midfield.

Gabriele Marcotti: Pippo Inzaghi made his own luck

Sometimes 90 minutes sum up a player's body of work. Perhaps no match epitomizes Pippo Inzaghi, who retired this week after a 21-year career, better than the 2006-07 Champions League final.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Mill +

Wednesday's Rumours


2012 Summer Olympics TV Schedule

Women's Olympic Soccer: Wednesday's Previews

Who: USA vs. France
When: 12pm EDT
Where: Hampton Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts

Women's Olympic Soccer 2012: 10 Rising Stars Who Will Break out in London

Kelley O'Hara, D, USA

Olympic soccer gets underway today and the continual growth of the women's game will shine.

Everyone knows about Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Marta, Homare Sawa and others. But when the matches begin look out for some of the younger athletes to break out and make a statement.

The women's game is no longer a select few of supremely talented players on one or two teams. The talent gap is continually closing and parity is creeping in. That is an exciting development for the sport that will only keep growing the sport growing in popularity.

Who are those that are going to break out in London?

John Duerden on Asia's hopes of gold, silver or bronze at the Olympic Games

The Olympics may just be entering the psyche of football fans in the UK, but in Asia the five rings have been a big deal for years and, for some nations, the thought of gold around necks at the Olympics looms larger in dreams than the Asian Cup.

United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Japan are all getting very excited about the next few weeks.

Cahill acquisition makes Red Bulls the clear favorite in MLS Cup chase

We've all been waiting to see which MLS team would make a blockbuster move before the July 27 transfer deadline. The Red Bulls didn't disappointMLS reportedly has agreed on a transfer fee that allows New York to acquire midfielder Tim Cahill from Everton of the English Premier League. This comes a little more than a week after New York made a trade with Vancouver for forward Sebastien Le Toux, and those upgrades make the Red Bulls the team to beat in MLS.

Richard Jolly on Tim Cahill: An Everton Icon

Even the celebrations were symbolic. Tim Cahill treated many a corner flag as a punchbag, bouncing as he boxed. For eight years, his fighting spirit helped Everton punch above their weight, his combativity copied by his colleagues. But, as the Australian prepares to trade Merseyside for Manhattan, the Toffees of Everton for the Red Bulls of New York, his methods provided a metaphor in themselves. Cahill stands under six feet, but he leaps above rather bigger men and 31 of his 56 Premier League goals came with his head. Rather than being camouflaged by a crowd of giants, he helped Everton reach unexpected heights. Eight seasons at Goodison Park brought seven top-eight finishes; his debut campaign remains as remarkable as it appeared then.

Italy 3-2 Brazil, 1982: The day naivety, not football itself, died

Brazilians may like to claim that their defeat at the 1982 World Cup killed a great style of play but it was really the day that the system triumphed over an already declining method.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

London 2012: Team GB v Senegal - Patrick Vieira's academy pride

In 2003, I visited Senegal with Patrick Vieira who was returning to the country of his birth for the first time in almost 20 years. It was there and then that he laid the foundations for the Diambars football academy which has flourished and, nine years on, has produced several Olympic footballers as Senegal prepare to make their debut in the world's oldest international football tournament.

The Mill +

Tuesday's Rumours


The Trawler: O'Driscoll move, Owls in for Barton

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: Manchester United's Company Man

There are times when being the manager -- or, more accurately, The Boss in (almost) every sense -- of the biggest Premier League club in the world calls for a bit of creative license.

Asked about the impact the ownership of the Glazer family has had upon Manchester United in its seven-plus years at the helm, Sir Alex Ferguson pulled no punches. "They have been great," he said. "They have always backed me whenever I have asked them. I have never faced any opposition.

MLS: Five things we learned in week 20

• FC Dallas unleash frustrations on Portland Timbers
• Kenny Cooper brace takes New York Red Bulls top in East
• LA Galaxy win SuperClasico with yet more DP goals
• Houston Dynamo beat Montreal Impact to go third in East

MLS Week 20 Power Rankings: Henry, Beckham showing true grit

In the heart of transfer season, with big-name signings taking place all over the world, here is a Designated Player-heavy look back at Week 20 in MLS:

Tim Cahill: Everton agree terms for New York Red Bulls switch

The fee is believed to be in the region of £1m for the 32-year-old, who has spent eight years at Goodison Park. Cahill is also understood to have agreed outline personal terms with the MLS club.

Tim Vickery in South America

The Paris Olympics of 1924 are best remembered in Britain for providing the backdrop to 'Chariots of Fire.' But for all the heroism of Messrs Liddell and Abrahams, something happened there with far greater consequences - the birth of modern football.

No one knew much about Uruguay as they sailed their way across the Atlantic to take part in the football tournament. But they strolled to the gold medal, and did it with a balletic, artistic style of play which captivated spectators and set off a fever for the game.

Four years later, to prove it was no fluke, Uruguay won the gold medal at the Amsterdam Olympics. Argentina came across as well, and they took the silver.

Monday, July 23, 2012

There is a darker side to German football – but how best to resolve it?

There are few places indeed where it is better to be a fan than in Germany. Hannover 96 fans, for example, can see their team play FC Bayern for a mere 13 Euros. That’s if they don’t buy themselves a beer, of course, which they’re allowed to do. Oh and they can vote for the chap who pours his money into the club – itself a far better “fit and proper person” test than anything cooked up by the organisers of English football.

And yet, for all there is to admire about Germany’s fan culture, there is a darker side. Hooliganism is a liberally used word, but the behaviour of a number of fans at a number of clubs continually threatens to undermine the privileges which German fans and German fans alone currently enjoy.

Monday MLS Breakdown

Vancouver's midseason retooling may lay the foundation for greater success.


Luka Modric Long-Lost Lovechild of Geddy Lee

Georgina Turner: Ferguson's indifference toward Berbatov could usher Spurs return

"I read the papers and I see they say £10 million is my price. I go and talk with Sir Alex, and he says to me £5 million. So who is telling the truth, what do you think?" asked Dimitar Berbatov of his million-plus Facebook fans earlier this week. "The truth is, I love this club, but I am not going to be useful to anyone if I am not playing." It is the latest in a string of posts on his timeline wondering what the future holds.

MLS halts partnership with Boy Scouts days after BSA reaffirmed ban on gays

MLS did not give a specific reason for the end of the partnership, which had lasted only since January. But on Wednesday, the Boy Scouts announced, after a near two-year review, that it had reaffirmed its policy to exclude “open or avowed homosexuals” from membership in the organization.

The Mill +

Monday's Rumours


Sid Lowe: David de Gea dreams of more Spanish football success

David de Gea puffs out his cheeks. "Imagine it," he says. "Standing there on the podium, the national anthem playing, a gold medal round your neck … it is a dream."

It is also tempting to tell him to snap out of it and stop being so greedy; tempting, too, to demand that he and his compatriots leave something for the rest of us.

Spain are world and European Champions. Last summer they won the European Under-21 championship and it is barely a fortnight since they won this summer's European Under-19 championship.

And now they want the Olympics.

Luka Modric fined for failing to turn up for Tottenham's tour of US

Luka Modric will be fined for his refusal to train and tour with Tottenham Hotspur, as his desire to leave the club turns ugly for the second summer in succession.

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, Justin Bieber wants to team up with David Beckham in a celebrity XI, Lazio's eagle mascot escapes into the mountains, Bangor City striker Leslie Davies is as good as Lionel Messi, the Japanese FA show a lack of class and drunken Germany fans celebrate the parking of a car.