Friday, January 03, 2014

Back in Business with La Liga, Serie A, FA Cup, Bob Bradley, The Mill, Americans Abroad

Oh! And it's the first Friday of 2014. How do you like that? The Germans will keep hibernating, but action thankfully resumes in Spain and Italy. The Premier League takes a wee respite while the FA Cup attempts to maintain its romance and market share. Ahem.

Lionel Messi. Remember that guy? He's almost ready to play again. Almost. It probably won't happen this weekend but he should be in action against Atlético Madrid next weekend. Here's a preview for this weekend as La Liga gets back in gear. And speaking of Atlético Madrid, do they have what it takes to topple the Big Two this year? Can they pull it off?

Over in Italy they'll be back in action as well, and with a doozy, no less. Leaders Juve welcome unbeaten Roma to Turin for a big-ass battle royale on Sunday (beIN Sport USA at 2:45pm EST). Elsewhere, third-place Napoli host Sampdoria and Lazio host Inter. Click here.

North London Derby. 1948.
Back in England they'll be contesting the Third Round of the FA Cup. The standout match has to be Arsenal vs. Tottenham (FOX -- yes, that FOX -- at 12:15pm EST) in the 174th North London derby.

Elsewhere, Derby County host Chelsea, Newcastle United host Cardiff City, Norwich City welcome Fulham, West Bromwich Albion host Crystal Palace and Manchester United host Swansea. Cup holders Wigan Athletic (the first side to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season) are home to League One (third tier) MK Dons. Here's some stuff you can read to further prepare:

Oh, dear. Apparently, some Stockport County fans stink.

Not tired of "End of Year" stuff? Good. Neither are we. Welcome to Americans Abroad: Best of 2013 Edition.

Nadderud Stadion. Bob Bradley's new home in Norway.
Hey! Bob Bradley has a new gig! He's been named the new coach at Norwegian club Stabaek. All the best, Bob!

Oh, boy. The Mill. Plus One. Oh, boy.

We'll finish with Adebayor. Why didn't AVB play him? According to some, it's all because of a hat.



Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year (our 17th) Happiness, The Mill Returns!, Premier League Updates, Serie A Returns, La Liga Returns, FA Cup, Podcast, Ye Ole Gunnar in at Cardiff

Ahoy! Happy New Year! If memory serves, this is the 17th year that Sanford's Soccer Net has existed in some shape or form. What began as an email to those with interest in Le Foot has morphed into various iterations over the years. This is the current form. Yes, it was in our dorm room at NYU where we first decided to start Def Jam. After hearing that cassette, we knew we had...wait...sorry...that was Rick Rubin. Anyway, BIG UPS to Bobbie BS and Tracksuit Bottoms for being there since Day One.

SSN Original Staffers Tracksuit Bottoms (left) and Bobbie BS (right) on the concourse at Craven Cottage
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. New Years Day action in the Premier League. The biggie was Manchester United vs. Tottenham. As with many of the biggies this campaign, it did not disappoint. Unless you're Moe Szyslak. In that case, you're pissed. Moyes thought The Lloris fouled Diving Ashley Young and United should have had a penalty. Tough to say. We can say that it's interesting to see United not getting calls all of a sudden. Speaking of, it seems like nobody is getting calls. Since that terrible mistake by Mike Riley gifted Chelsea a point against West Brom, the refs have been reluctant to award awards in the box. Perhaps that's just an incorrect perception on recent proceedings by those of us at SSN.

Right. What else? Arsenal stay top after leaving it late to beat gaffer-less Cardiff (not so anymore: Ole Gunnar is the new man in charge down in Wales), Manchester City are right there after cruising past Swansea, Chelsea keep pace, as do Liverpool, and West Ham are in trouble as Captain Kevin Nolan loses the plot. Here's your lot:

Table! The EPL will take a little break so the FA Cup can appear on the scene so let's have a look at the standings. Richard Jolly wants to talk Fulham and the return of Clint Dempsey. Please do so, Jolly.

Whew. We've got a Podcast, thank goodness. Word: And so, Football Weekly returns after a mere three days away for this, our first voyage of 2014, with AC Jimbo, Rafa Honigstein, Barry Glendenning and Paul Doyle in tow. We start with Tottenham's victory at Old Trafford, before discussing the genuine Premier League title contenders – ouch! – with Arsenal showing their mettle against Cardiff, Manchester City powering past Swansea, and Chelsea Mou-ing past Southampton. After catching up with important wins for Fulham and Aston Villa, we round up the rumours doing the rounds now that the transfer window opens again. Finally, we look forward to third round of the FA Cup and the return of the Serie A, with Roma taking on Juve.

Let's see here. Championship strugglers Barnsley have signed U.S. international Brek Shea from Stoke City on a 28-day emergency loan. Good luck, Brek!

Numbers? You want numbers? Fine. Premier League: 2013 in numbers

La Liga swings back into action this weekend. Before those in Spain hit the pitch, let's recall the winners and losers of 2013.

The Mill Returns
2014. What will happen? Grant Wahl looks into his crystal ball and ends up with 14 predictions. Number 6? Sepp Blatter will say at least one offensive thing about women. Come on Wahl, tell us something we don't know.

Well. Would you look at that? The Transfer Window is open once again. Hence, The Mill. Thus, your Plus One.



Monday, December 30, 2013

Premier League Insanity. Anti-Semitism & Anelka. Andy Cole Racially Abused on a Plane. The Year for United States Soccer.

What Up?! We opened SSN Headquarters to check on the dog, make sure the internet is working, and do some cleaning. Turns out it's pretty much all Premier League, friends. While the superstars of the leagues in Spain, Germany, and Italy rest and relax (or hit the dunes in Dubai), those plying their trade in England and Wales are hard at work. For instance...Sachin Nakrani was at Upton Park over the weekend and Nic Anelka is in hot water over some sort of French gesture. Oh. Well, then. "Ye Ol Reverse Nazi." even on the rare occasion when he scores goals and plays hard he still manages to screw it all up. Hey Le Sulk! Thanks for the memories and never fulfilling your potential and letting your brothers lead you down a dark, dark alley. Martin Samuel reckons Anelka should be banned for 16 games.
The big match yesterday was Liverpool at Chelsea. It did not disappoint. The Special One jumped around, Suarez jumped around, and Chelsea emerged 2-1 winners. Dominic Fifield was at Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere, Arsenal stayed top by edging (just) Newcastle. Louise Taylor was at St. James' Park. Here's the rest of everything that was in the Premier League Saturday and Sunday. Don't get caught napping -- we've got a whole slew of matches coming up in Wednesday.

Want to listen to some people talk about everything so you don't have to read? Thank The Good Lord for The Podcast: On the final Football Weekly of 2013, James Richardson has Barry Glendenning, James Horncastle and Marcus Christenson for company as he looks back on another wild weekend in the life of the Premier League. Near the top of the Premier League, Chelsea inflicted Liverpool's second defeat in a week, while Crystal Palace almost did the impossible and took points off Manchester City at the Etihad, but it's Arsenal who finish the year looking down on the rest after their ugly win at Newcastle. And at the bottom, Fulham put in a shocking display as they crumbled against rampant Hull City, while West Ham drew with West Brom (a result overshadowed by Nicolas Anelka's latest controversy) and Cardiff threw away the points at home to Sunderland. That, boys and girls, is pretty much it. Thanks for listening and have a happy new year.

2013 is coming to an end. As you know. And ya'll deserve an analysis of what went down in the U.S. of A., yo. Pipe this. Top moments in MLS? Knock yourselves out.

2013 is coming to and end. As you know. ESPN has picked its PL Team of the Year. Plenty to debate here.

Vincent Tan is a Wanker. A Surpreme Wanker. Malkay McKay got the sack. No, "you're fired", for him because there was no reason for the dismissal. We agree with Phil McNulty's take on the silliness.

Christ. Andy Cole was racially abused by some drunk idiots on a flight to Dublin.

Sid Lowe wants to wonder if a Boxing Day schedule could work in Spain. We oblige El Sid.

Right. That'll do for today. Enjoy the last hours of 2013.