Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gedion Zelalem is an American, Liverpool Swamp Swansea, The Mill Returns, Pardew Back to Palace, Torres Back to Atlético Madrid, West Brom Sack Irvine

Danny Rose gets in the spirit...
Right! We gave all the SSN Staff plenty of days off for Christmas, including those who do not celebrate the holiday. It didn't seem fair to exclude them, frankly. Anyway, we're back (at least for a day or so) to get caught up on things. Last night, Liverpool cruised past Swansea thanks to Adam Lallallalanna's two goals, one of which was assisted nicely by Lukasz Fabianski. Poor Pole. Andy Hunter was at Anfield and filed this report. Richard Jolly was also present and left with Three Points.

Alan Pardew has left Newcastle, but not in the manner most expected a few months ago. He's about to take the job at Palace now that Neil Warnock is no longer the gaffer at Selhurst Park. Pardew played at Palace from 1987-1991. So who's next in line to hang with Mike Ashley at St. James', then? Not a terribly enticing post, is it? No. It's not. Meanwhile, West Brom have sacked Alan Irvine after just seven months, and Tony Pubis and Tim Sherwood are on the shortlist to take over at The Hawthorns.

Another guy who's going back to his old club is Fernando Torres. He's is going back to Atlético Madrid. Will it re-start his career? There's nowhere to go but up, sadly. Spanish expert Sid Lowe thinks it might actually head that way for El Niño. We sure hope so. 

Southampton fans get in the spirit...

We've reached the midpoint of the Premier League campaign. Thanks to Phil McNulty as he offers his team-by-team analysis on how it's all gone thus far. And to Ian Darke, as well.

Also looking back is Jonathan Wilson. He's got some tactical reviews. First: Three at the back is back in fashion. Second: Tiki-taka’s exile and counter-counters.

Where Are They Now? Stars of the 2014 World Cup and how they are doing with their clubs. It's all very interesting...

Regular readers of the blog will know that Uli Hesse is in Germany. Uli claims that there are issues looming for Germany's footballing landscape. Sounds ominous!

There's no avoiding it, folks. The Transfer Window opens once again in a few days. With said window ajar, the flood of rumors will cascade unabated. Here we go:

Ronaldo gets in the spirit...
One team having an unusually tough time of it lately is Everton. Nick Miller takes a closer look at the problems at Goodison Park

Good news for the Yanks. Gedion Zelalem is now an American citizen. This dude has potential, people!

We're going to cut it off there. We'll see who makes it into SSN Headquarters tomorrow. 



Friday, December 19, 2014

Liverpool vs. Arsenal, The Parkers, Roma vs. Milan

There goes another week, folks. Let's jump right in and prep for another few days of footie insanity, shall we? As is customary, we'll begin in the UK...

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: 50-50 Challenge

It's not just this weekend in the Premier League, peeps. It's the next two weeks that'll bring us fixture insanity as the only major European league to NOT take a winter break kicks into high gear. Who is best suited to take advantage of all the matches?

There's a Big Interview to enjoy this Friday. Why, look at that! It's Hot Carl Jenkinson. Take it away, Carl.

It's the end of the year and that means it's time for The Parkers! What the hell are The Parkers, you ask? Graham Parker's end of the year MLS awards. Duh.

Speaking of MLS, it looks like Brek Shea's forgettable time in England will end. He's heading to Orlando. Hope he likes purple...

Spain? Leaders Real Madrid won't play because they're off at that stupid World Cup Championship thingy. It looks like Barcelona host Córdoba, though.  Here's a Weekend Preview.

Over in Italy, Roberto Mancini has to deal with the club that gave him his glory years as Inter face Lazio. James Horncastle takes a closer look here. We posted the Weekend Preview yesterday because there was a match. Juventus won said match to move four points ahead of Roma, who welcome Milan to the Stadio Olimpico domani. Meanwhile, Paolo Bandini is wondering who (after Juve and Roma) will claim that last Champions League spot.

Tim Vickery has a column. How nice. Tim's been silent of late so let's see what's on his radar: Tim Vickery explains why the Club World Cup - barely noticed in Europe - is the highlight of the South American football calendar. Looks great! We're in.

And now...we're out! See youz next week.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Liverpool to Meet Chelsea in League Cup Semi, Martin Odegaard, D.C. to get a Stadium, Serie A

Now pay up!
The Capital One Cup Semifinals are set. It'll be Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Sheffield United vs. Tottenham. This after Spurs spanked Newcastle (David Hytner was at White Hart Lane) and Liverpool avoided further embarrassment by winning at Bournemouth (Dominic Fifield was at Dean Court). The two ties will take place during the weeks of January 18 and 25. Raheem Sterling's play prompted Liverpool Gaffer Brendan Rodgers to compare him to Alexis Suarez, but Adam Bate thinks it's the Suarez-like qualities that are lacking at Anfield this season.

In the Bundesliga yesterday, Borussia Dortmund couldn't manage to defeat Wolfsburg at home and thus remain in the relegation zone. It's incredible, really. How can a group-winning Champions League side with so much talent be such shit in the league? Michael Cox says it's because they have problems at both ends. Hmmm. Anyway, here's a wrap of yesterday's action in Germany. And here's an article attempting to articulate why The Bundesliga is the most exciting league in the world. Bam! The World!

Great news for footie fans in The District of Columbia: The City Council voted unanimously to allow D.C. United to move forward with a new ground and leave RFK. About time.

Hey! This is fun! Some Premier League clubs charge up to £600 for children to be mascots! Some don't charge anything. How exactly does that all work, anyway?

Things are suddenly going swimmingly for Manchester United, are they not? LVG has the Reds winning again. Here are Five Players he's turned around and made decent again.

Martin Odegaard has got all the big clubs hot and bothered. He's the newest kid phenom. He's from Norway. He's probably going to Bayern Munich. Jonathan Wilson has more.

Geez, Louise. Serie A's weekend begins today! Here's a preview of what's going to happen. Mainly, AC Milan will play Roma and Inter Milan will play Lazio. It's Milan vs. Rome, people!

That'll do it for today. Thank you.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sheffield United Stun Southampton, Chelsea Cruise, Bayern Buoyant, Gold Cup

It's Hump Day already? Geez. In the Capital One Cup yesterday, Sheffield United pulled a surprise and are headed to the semi-finals after dispatching of slumping Southampton. Richard Gibson was at Bramall Lane and filed this report. In the night's other fixture, Chelsea brushed aside Derby County. Jamie Jackson was at Pride Park and filed this report.

Today? You've got a shaky Liverpool at Bournemouth and Newcastle at Tottenham.

More Thierry Henry? No worries - Jonathan Wilson has you covered.

It's almost 2015 and you know what that means. Time to look back at what the sport gave us over the past year. Truth is, it was quite a lot. Paul Wilson has his 10 Memorable Moments right here.

Midweek matches in the Bundesliga yesterday: Bayern Munich won. Again. They've not lost. Yawn.

Quickie today. We'll finish with the Gold Cup. It's coming this summer to a town near you, including Frisco, Glendale, and Charlotte.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thierry Henry Retires from Football, DaMarcus Beasley Retires from the USMNT, Scribes, Capital One Cup

Hello, Hello, Hello. Thierry Henry has retired from playing out favorite sport. Long Live The King, as they say. He certainly brought a lot of joy to several SSN Staff over the years. Here are some facts and remembrances...

So, Thierry Henry got all. We all get old. Even DaMarcus Beasley gets old. The Editor had the pleasure of taking in The Kid's first professional soccer game for the Chicago Fire back in 1974. And...he's decided to terminated his tenure with the National Team. We love you, Kid! Keep playing in MLS until you're 45, please.

What the hell happened in La Liga this weekend? At least Five Things, you can be sure of that!

Capital One Cup, people! The Final Eight! Derby County vs. Chelsea! Sheffield United vs. Southampton! There is also midweek action in the Bundesliga. Kirsten tells us what to watch here.

Scribe time, yo! On Tuesday we travel the world to bring you the best insight from foreign dudes and dudettes. Check it:

Where? Spain. Who? Sid Lowe. What? Spanish football has become fragmented and flat.

Where? Italy. Who? James Horncastle. What? Jeremy Menez is finally fulfilling his potential at new club AC Milan.

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund the centrepiece of ‘Englische woche’.

Everton expectedly eased past QPR yesterday. Ross Barkley was particularly impressive. Richard Jolly has Three Points from Goodison Park.

Podcast! This week...AC Jimbo is joined by Barry Glendenning, Raphael Honigstein and Barney Ronay to round up the weekend's football action. After Manchester United comfortably beat Liverpool at Old Trafford, the pod debate whether United are now in the title race, and ask: where next for Brendan Rodgers? They also look at the rest of the Premier League news, including the diving at Chelsea and another win for Burnley. There's full reaction to the Champions League draw, which throws up a rematch of Manchester City v Barcelona and PSG v Chelsea. Plus there's your posts, World's Strongest Man chat and Barney's strange hotel experience in Ukraine.

Another Tuesday tradition is Marcotti's Musings. This week, Gabriele is gabbing about Man Utd-Liverpool reflections, Barca's blip, Bayern march on, Juve slip again.

What's up with Liverpool? Phil McNulty looks at how the club has gone "from ruthless to toothless in nine months."

Speaking of Liverpool, how are things going for Suarez since his move away? Graham Hunter says The Cannibal s the latest Barcelona forward signing to settle slowly.

And finally...we'll finish with a Top Tenner. Thierry Henry Moments.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Champions League Draw, Manchester United Defeat Liverpool, Monday Night Football

A very pleasant Monday to you! The Champions League Final 16 Draw was this morning. Here's how it ended up:

You'd have to say that Chelsea/PSG is the most alluring on paper. And City/Barcelona could excite if City can get their act together. Also, cue all those funny photos/videos of Wenger from his Monaco days. Michael Cox is on hand to let us know where the ties will be won and lost. Cheers, Michael.

Back to the action on the pitch over the weekend and we've got to go directly to Manchester United's victory over Liverpool. United were not particularly good; it was more that Liverpool were so poor. Sterling in particular should have scored a few, and Super Mario was not super. To be fair, De Gea had another fine afternoon, but none of his saves were particularly astounding. He was always where he needed to be. Let's get to the EPL action!

Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Phil McNulty at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Paul Wilson at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Three Points
Manchester United 3 - 0 Liverpool: Five Talking Points

Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: 'Swan Lake', 'disgraceful' or not a dive?
Chelsea 2 - 0 Hull City: Three Points
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium

So, a bunch of diving incidents this weekend. It's the foreigners, right? Wrong.

Over in Spain, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao drew in a Basque Derby (Sid Lowe was at The Anoeta and filed this report), Real Madrid cruised, but Barcelona couldn't score and drew 0 - 0 at Getafe, and Atletico Madrid suffered their first home league defeat in 28 matches!  Here's a review courtesy of a Nigerian newspaper. More mañana with Sid.

In Italy, Roma moved within a point of Juventus at the top thanks to a road win in Genoa and a draw by Juve against Samp. Here's a Weekend Review. More domani with Paolo.

There is more action to take in today if you are so inclined. 'Arry and QPR head up to Liverpool to face Everton. Here's a preview. Go to NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. EST to enjoy.

Football on Friday? It's a rarity but that's set to change. Money, Money Money.

That'll get us up to speed. More insight and focus tomorrow.



Friday, December 12, 2014

SSN Retreat Complete, Weekend Previews, Zabaleta, Serie A Alternative Guide to Roma, Stadium for D.C.?

North Korea: SSN Retreat Photo
OK, OK, OK. We decided things needed a bit of a shakeup at SSN Headquarters so we shut it down and headed to the North Korean border. Now that that's done, we can get back to business. The Champions League Group Stage is complete. The draw for the Knock-Out Round will be Monday. You know those big clubs with a lot of money? Don't worry - they're all looking good. As for the weekend's football, Manchester United host Liverpool, Milan welcome Napoli, and Real Madrid play Almeria this afternoon. Hit it and quit it:

Manchester United vs. Liverpool: Key Battles
Manchester United v Liverpool: Six classic Premier League meetings 

Woop! Woop! Roma: Serie A alternative club guide In their latest Italian football guide, the Gentleman Ultra profile Roma’s ground, fans and classic player Abel Balbo.

How great is Pablo Zabaleta? He's, like, totally pretty great, you guys.

Spain? Here's a wee preview. Real Madrid have some injury issues, apparently. Also, Mr. Moyes get's his first Basque Derby as Real Sociedad face Athletic Bilbao. Sticking with Spain, two of our favorite scribes have decided to tackle the alarming achievements of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They are Martina Hyde and Sid Lowe.

What the hell is going on in Germany? Let's let Kirsten Schlewitz get us up to speed. According to her, Bayern Munich face a tough test at Augsburg...

Wait. What? Kirsten's covering the weekend in Serie A, too? Sweet. She's telling us to forget Juventus and check out these three other intriguing matches in Italy this week.

Feel-good story of the day? Infamous bad guy Pepe bought the poor some food. Good on you, Pepz. More good news? It would appear that D.C. United will finally get that soccer-specific stadium they've been craving all these years. Good.

So Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal are the three Premier League teams left in the Champions League. Phil McNulty wonders how far they can go.

It's good to be back!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Man City vs. Bayern Thrills, Messi Marches On, Arsenal vs. Dortmund

Whew! Just when you thought Manchester City's Champions League campaign couldn't become more disastrous, they relinquish a two-goal lead at home to Bayern Munich while playing up a man! Who could save them? Kun, of course. Sergio grabbed a hat-trick and City's blushes were spared. What a match. Elsewhere, Lionel Messi (remember that guy?) scored a bunch to become the Champions League's all-time highest scorer as Barcelona cruised. We're pressed for time today because of that holiday thingy so we'll be brief. Go.

Manchester City 3 - 2 Bayern Munich: Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 3 - 2 Bayern Munich: Five Talking Points
Schalke 0 - 5 Chelsea: Dominic Fifield at the Veltins-Arena


Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview
Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview II
Ludogorets vs. Liverpool: Preview

Gotta go.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Champions League, Scribes, Aston Villa 1 - 1 Southampton, Copa America Draw

Archway Sheet Metal burns. It's all a bit curious...

No rest for the weary! More matches today, this time in Europe where Manchester City host Bayern Munich, PSG welcome Ajax, Barcelona go to Cyprus, Roma head to Moscow, Porto and BATE clash, and Chelsea are in Gelsinkirchen to face Roberto DiMatteo and Schalke. Let's bust some previews:

Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich: Preview
Schalke vs. Chelsea: Preview

How sketchy is this?! Firm locked in stadium land dispute with Tottenham hit by blaze. Hired goons?

It's Tuesday and that means it's time to scribe. Hit it:

Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Why are South Americans succeeding in England?

Where? Germany. Again? Yes. OK. Who? Raphael Honigstein. Again? Yes. OK. What? Roberto Di Matteo needs to justify big name status at Schalke

Yank Abroad Brad Guzan had another good game last night but couldn't keep out Nathan Clyne's late equalizer for Southampton and the match finished 1 - 1. Stuart James was at Villa Park and filed this report.

Sticking with Yanks, here's an MLS Playoff Rewind. Enjoy.

Time this Tuesday for Marcotti's Musings. This week, Gab is gabbing about...Arsenal woe down to Wenger, Milan sides have far to go, Chelsea impress.

Uli Hesse is talking, too. He wants to explain how attacking football's evolution has impacted defending. Good. Do it.

According to Kirsten Schlewitz, record-breaking Lionel Messi is both football god and mere mortal. Good to know.

This summer's big tourny is Copa America. The draw for the tournament that will take place in June took place yesterday. Check it.

And finally...here's your European Team of the Week.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Arsenal Lose to Manchester United, Milan Derby Draw, Liverpool Lose at Palace, MLS Playoffs, Monday Night Football

SSN's Special Correspondent for the Arsenal vs. Manchester United match on November 22, 2014, LT's view of the proceeding at the Emirates.

Happy Week of Thanksgiving! All of us here at SSN Headquarters hope you enjoyed the weekend of football. In the big match, Arsenal contrived to lose to Manchester United yet again. How exactly it all happened would be a bit confusing if it had not been happening with regularity over the past several years. Groundhog Day, indeed. Meanwhile, Liverpool continue to struggle and they looked quite poor at Selhurst Park yesterday, losing 3-1. Let's dive into all the action, yes?

Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Daniel Taylor at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Chris Bevan at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 - 2 Manchester United: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium
Crystal Palace 3 - 1 Liverpool: Dominic Fifield at Selhurst Park
Hull City 1 - 2 Tottenham: Three Things

Over in Italy, AC Milan and Inter Milan drew 1 - 1. Here are Three Things We Learned. A bit like the "big" Arsenal/ManU match, sadly, the Milan Derby no longer impacts the Serie A title. More tomorrow with Paolo.

In Spain, a certain Lionel Messi is dominating the headlines after his hat-trick against Sevilla. He's now got more goals than anyone else in the history of La Liga. Well done, lad. Here are his Top Ten La Liga Goals. Here are Five Things We Learned in La Liga this weekend.

Back Stateside, the assGalaxy edged the Sounders 1 - 0. Jeff Carlisle has Three Points from that match, and Bird want to give his take, as well. Meanwhile, The Revs won 2 - 1 in New Jersey in what sounded like a pretty good game (we didn't watch it). Doug McIntyre has Three Points from that one, while Grant Wahl has Three Thoughts. And here's more on both of those matches that ended with one-goal leads yet leave the teams involved in very different circumstances.

Monday Night Football tonight, friends! It's high-flying Southampton at a decidedly not high-flying Aston Villa. Check it out at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN if you so desire. 

And finally...Good 'Ol Gervinho tried to smuggle a woman onto his flight back to Rome from Ivory Coast.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Arsenal vs. Manchester United, Milan Derby, Barcelona vs. Sevilla, Lazio vs. Juventus, Liverpool Return to Palace, MLS Playoffs

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: 1926

There goes another week, Peeps! Enough of all that international crap. See you in 2015, national teams! It's time to to back to the real fun, and this weekend we've got some doozies. It's not quite the same as in years past, but whenever Arsenal and Manchester United meet, it's bound to be exciting. Instead of "who can make a statement of championship intent, " it's more like, "who can turn that frown upside down, at least for one match." Thankfully (and we never thought we'd see the day and still can't believe it), you no longer have to get that crazy dish or pay for that expensive sports package, or pay $20 to get into a pub: it's on the NBC. Let's begin, shall we?

Arsenal vs. Manchester United
12:30 p.m. EST on NBC

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: Preview
Arsenal vs. Manchester United: 50/50 Challenge

It must really suck to be a Wigan fan right now. Your Chairman busted out with some lovely anti-semitic quotes and also hired a confirmed racist, sexist, asshole. Here's one fan's view of the whole sad state of affairs.

And then there were four. Major League Soccer has some playoffs on Sunday. It's Donovan vs. Dempsey in the West, where the assGalaxy and Sounders clash (1:30 p.m. EST on NBC), and in the East, it is Red Bull vs. Revolution (5:00 p.m. on ESPN).

AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan
2:45 p.m. EST on beIN Sport USA

AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan: Preview
AC Milan vs. Internazionale Milan: 50/50 Challenge

Here's something nice from ESPN: With the latest international break coming to a close and the frenzy of the club season about to resume, we asked some of our writers to chronicle what they love, both past and present, about the leagues they follow. It's #WhyWeWatchFootball. Here's James Horncastle on the history and class of Serie A. Apparently, it all began for James back in 1994 with the outside-of-the-foot volley Alessandro Del Piero hit to beat Fiorentina 3-2 in 1994.

Iain Macintosh, meanwhile, shares his love for beer, brats, and the Bundesliga here. What's not to love?

Well, would you look at that! It's an Americans Abroad Weekend Preview, don't you know!

Spain! We've not forgotten about you. You now have David Moyes and he's ready to take his bow for Real Sociedad. Here's a Weekend Preview.

We mentioned the Boca-River match yesterday. The First Leg finished scoreless. Oh, well.

And with that we'll head to Saturday. Enjoy.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wigan Hire Malkay, African Cup of Nations, Franz Beckenbauer, Boca-River

Ivory Coast fans celebrate qualification for the ACN. The police are not so pleased...

We'll fly into today with the news that Wigan Athletic have hired Malky Mackay. The very same clown who texted the following whilst managing Cardiff City:

'Fkn chinkys. Fk it. There's enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around.'
On the arrival of South Korean international Kim Bo-Kyung
'Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers'
On football agent Phil Smith
'He's a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted'
On an official of another club
'Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.'
On a list of potential signings
'I hope she's looking after your needs. I bet you'd love a bounce on her falsies.'
On a player's female agent
A picture entitled Black Monopoly (where every square was a "Go to Jail" square)
Sent to members of Cardiff's staff

Smashing. Is he really an honorable man? We think not.

Oh, dear. Reigning African Cup of Nations champs Nigeria couldn't even qualify this time around. Here are the countries who will play in Equatorial Guinea beginning in January: 

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea (as hosts), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

Jonathan Wilson takes a look at why African football remains marginalized from the rest of the world. You can bet that the CAF has a lot to do with it.

Here's headline for you: San Jose Earthquakes to have first 'cloud-enabled' venue in MLS. We don't even know what that means.

England. Have they turned it around since Brazil? Are they on the road to recovery? Are they really any good? Phil McNulty wants to think about it.

France. We've kind of forgotten about them. They've been so bad and so argumentative over the last several years. Julien Laurens reminds us that with the young lads they've got, the future is actually pretty bright for Les Blues.

Grant Wahl. Franz Beckenbauer. Der Kaiser! Go.

Boca-River is one of the fiercest rivalries in the world. The gritty southern side of Buenos Aires vs. the fancier northern burbs. Maradona, Riquelme, Tevez, Gago, Palermo. Di Stefano, Crespo, Ortega, Ayala, Balbo. The two sides clash today in the Copa Sudaamericana. Yes, it's a secondary competition, but it's still Boca-River. Here are six players you should watch (6:45p.m. EST on Fox Deportes).

That'll do for this Thursday. Keep it tite.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ireland Thump the U.S.A., England Beat Scotland, Portugal Edge Argentina, Spain Lose to Germany, Belarus Beat Mexico

"I will not look at you." "I will not look at you either."

Geez. Hump Day already? Here we go. The Yanks did absolutely nothing to change the opinion of them around SSN Headquarters. They suck. What a barf-fest. Once again they failed to dictate play, couldn't put passes together, and lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Here's your fallout from Dublin:

Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Grant Wahl at Aviva Stadium
Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Alan Smith at Aviva Stadium
Ireland 4 - 1 United States: Three Thoughts
Doug McIntyre: U.S. has lost its fight


Let's move on to the rest of the planet, shall we?

Scotland 1 - 3 England: Daniel Taylor at Celtic Park
Scotland 1 - 3 England: Dominic Fifield at Celtic Park
Scotland 1 - 3 England: Three Points
Portugal 1 - 0 Argentina: Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford
Portugal 1 - 0 Argentina: Three Points
Spain 0 - 1 Germany: Three Points
Belarus 3 - 2 Mexico: Three Points

Tim Vickery is a favorite scribe of ours who plies his trade down in Brazil. Today, he's got THREE NEW DUDES who lit up their South American teams this month. They are...Roberto Firmino from Brazil! Jeison Murillo from Colombia! And...Carlos Sanchez from Uruguay!

And finally...your average Premier League club's fan. Here.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ireland vs. USA, Ronny vs. Messi, Own Goal of the Year

And...Tuesday is off and running! It's all very friendly today. The men representing the United States are in Dublin to try to improve upon their recent performance in London. If you care to see how that goes, tune your telly to ESPN2 at 2:45 p.m. EST and enjoy all the action. Elsewhere, our amigos from south of the border are in Belarus, the Greeks try to save face against Serbia, Portugal face Argentina at Old Trafford (Ronny vs. Messi!) , and Spain welcome Germany. And there's the little matter of the "friendly" between Scotland and England. Here are some things to prepare you for today's events:

Ireland vs. USA: Preview
Ireland vs. USA: Preview II
Scotland vs. England: Preview
Scotland vs. England: Preview II
Scotland vs. Ireland: 50/50 Challenge

Dood. As noted yesterday, Bosnia-Herz lost 3-0 to Israel. Israel! A shocking result, really. What's gone wrong with the Bozzers?

Dood. As noted yesterday, the Croatian fans disrupted the match with Italy at the San Siro with flares, flames, and the like. Here's the question: why? Here's the answer.

Grant Wahl would like you to meet the man who arranges every USA friendly. His name is Tom King. Go on, say hello.

Amy Lawrence is a favorite scribe of ours. Today, she'd like to discuss how modern football has made the fox in the box an endangered species. Indeed, forwards like Lukas Podolski and Roberto Soldado are being lost as teams now favour different qualities in their frontmen. Or, so says Amy.

Ooooo...Own Goal of the Year. Nice.

And finally...in honor of Scotland vs. England...a Top Tenner.



Monday, November 17, 2014

USA Lose to Colombia, Euro 2016 Qualifying, Bleh, Bleh Bleh

The San Siro lights up as...
...Croatian fans enjoy a night out in Milan.
A very dreary Monday to you. It's all a bit lethargic today, is it not? All these internationals. Some are friendlies, some are qualifiers. Ugh. Can we please get our club football back? Please? So, eons ago (Friday), we watched as the U.S. once again failed to control the match, couldn't score from open play, and finally succumbed to a superior Colombian side. Tomorrow, the Yanks face Ireland. Wake us up at the half and let us know what's up, OK? Meanwhile, here's your latest USA stuff and things and whatever:

Colombia 2 - 1 United States: Euclides Montes at Craven Cottage
Colombia 2 - 1 United States: Three Things We Learned

No real surprises in Europe, either. Spain won, the Dutch won, England won in a drab draw, Scotland scraped by Ireland, Italy and the Czechs drew...wait...what's this? The Faroe Islands beat Greece?! Holy Mackerel! Claudio Ranieri? You're fired!

England 3 - 1 Slovenia: Daniel Taylor at Wembley
England 3 - 1 Slovienia: Five Things
Scotland 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland: Ewan Murray at Celtic Park
Italy 1 - 1 Croatia: Three Points

More fun with Roy Keane! It simply never gets old:

Keane: "Ask Martin. What's he said?''
Reporter: "I think he's had enough of these (distractions).''
Keane: "Go and ask him. Go and see him in the lobby. You're not brave enough to ask him?''
Reporter: "I am brave enough to ask him.''
Keane: "Go and ask him. You're asking me what Martin O'Neill might be thinking? Why don't you ask Martin?''
FAI press officer: "All right ...''
Keane: "What if we qualified? Do you think it will be a distraction? Are you thinking it's all a distraction from the result the other night?''
Reporter: "It was the build-up to the game for 24 hours. Everyone was talking about it.''
Keane: "What was the problem?''
Reporter: "We were all talking about it.''
Keane: "Talking about what? Talking about something you don't have a clue about, and everyone writing lies. The usual nonsense. 'This happened, that happened...'''

The African Cup of Nations is next year. So far, these teams are in:

Equatorial Guinea (hosts)
South Africa (top two in Group A)
Algeria (top two in Group B)
Gabon (top two in Group C)
Burkina Faso (top two in Group C)
Cameroon (top two in Group D)
Cape Verde (top two in Group F)
Zambia (top two in Group F)
Tunisia (top two in Group G)
Senegal (top two in Group G)

And finally...Goals of the Week!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Euro 2016 Qualifying, USA vs. Colombia, Inter Milan Sack Mazzarri

And so another week comes to a close. We shut SSN Headquarters down for a couple of days because nothing was happening. The FIFA report on Qatar and Russia is a complete joke (as David Conn puts it, "Corruption, collusion and vote-buying are identified but not seen as damaging), and we really didn't want to think about the international friendlies that occurred. We do, however, have a soft spot for the U.S. National Team, so we're back today to take a look at The Yanks' match this afternoon with Colombia at Craven Cottage (2:45 p.m. EST on ESPN), along with whatever else is on tap for today and the weekend. Here we go.

USA vs. Colombia: Preview
USA vs. Colombia: Preview II
USA vs. Colombia: Preview III

Right. On to Europe. Miguel Delaney picks four "can't miss" qualifiers for you to check out here. He's got Scotland vs. Ireland, Romania vs. Northern Ireland, Netherlands vs. Latvia, and Belgium vs. Wales. Meanwhile, Adam Bate is looking at the players themselves. He's got Five to Watch right here.

Oh, dear. Germany play Gibralter. That could get ugly. Here are 9 Other Things To Look Out For in this next round of games. And tomorrow's game between England and Slovenia will be Wayne Rooney's 100th match for England. So...way to go Wayne.

New York City Football Club

It's been a shitty season for Inter Milan. What does that mean? It means Walter Mazzarri has been fired and Roberto Mancini is set to return. Mancini enjoyed plenty of success with Inter in his last stint as their manager. We'll see if he can right the San Siro ship this time around.

Speaking of new/old gaffers, we mentioned earlier in the week that David Moyes had taken over at Real Sociedad. Jim White points out that if things were going better at Old Trafford, Moyes would probably still be out of a job. Makes sense.

Hmmm. Interesting, this: Growing up at Fulham: Life as an American youth in a foreign academy

Let's check in with Guillem Balague. He's dealing with all things Spain, including Costa, Cesc, and the national side.

Damn. African Cup of Nations. Equatorial Guinea is the new host after Morocco bailed. Have a glance at the action, won't you?

Back to Italy: The top three sides in Serie A last season were, in order, Juventus, Roma and Napoli. After 10 rounds of the current season, those three teams are, once again, leading the table in the same order they finished last time around. But that is not necessarily a sign that Italian domestic football is set for an unexciting repeat of least season.

And finally...Richard Williams claims that the international friendly is an institution worth cherishing. We suppose if we could have headed down to Upton Park to catch Aguero, Messi, and Co. lighting it up we'd appreciate the meaningless matches a bit more. But, we could not.