Friday, March 21, 2014

SSN Canine Expert Hit By Car But Is OK And Recovering

Enjoying the pain meds...
Friends. Apologies for yesterday's silence. SSN's resident Canine Expert Frank was struck by a vehicle yesterday morning. He is doing OK but we're shutting down SSN Headquarters until Monday. There is a Clásico, Chelsea vs. Arsenal, and much more this weekend, so enjoy.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chelsea Win, Wenger At 1,000, Olympiakos vs. Manchester United, Know Your Enemy, Marina Hyde on FIFA, Cherundolo Retiring

Happy Humpday!

Didier Drogba's return to Stamford Bridge was a bit of a flop. Was it just a testimonial? Dude looked way past it. As did his mates Sneijder, Melo, and Eboué. If The Special One really expects Drogba to return to Chelsea, it will be in a wheelchair. Eden Hazard, meanwhile, whoa. That guy continues to tear it up. 2 - 0 to Chelsea was the final. Alistair Magowan filed this report. John Brewin was there, too. Want a little wrap? Done.

In yesterday's other match, Ronaldo scored a couple as Madrid won 113 - 2 on aggregate over hapless Schalke. Why was Ronaldo even playing, you ask? Because we sure did. The answer? To break records, of course.

Since Schalke is now gone, we'll take a moment to revisit an SSN favorite. Wonder how our old buddy is doing today...

According to Amy Lawrence, Arsène Wenger will manage his 1000th match for Arsenal on Saturday. Here are his Greatest XI, according to Amy Lawrence.

Sad news as word on the street has it that Yank Abroad stalwart Steve Cherundolo is set to retire. He's 35 and his knees are falling apart. Always an SSN favorite for his Bundesliga and National Team success, we wish him well in the next life.

Could FIFA's family be any more dysfunctional? Such is the question posed by Marina Hyde.

Liverpool are playing The Beautiful Game, thrusting forward, passing with alacrity, attacking as a potent force. Michael Cox talks the tactics that have enabled the Reds to turn into title contenders.

Sports Illustrated has a new series. Here's their intro: Over the next three months, will profile two valuable, but perhaps undervalued, under-the-radar players on each of the U.S. men's national team's Group G opponents at this summer's World Cup. As a result, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Asamoah Gyan will make way for their lesser-heralded teammates in this space. The first in the Know Your Enemy series is Germany midfielder Toni Kroos.

Back to today's action. The pressure is most surely on Moe as he leads his gang to battle at Old Trafford. Down 2 - 0, they'll have to go for it and make sure they don't give up that away goal. If there's another poor showing, you can bet that even the Prawn Sandwich Crowd will be upset. Is Moyes misusing Mata? Should he drop RVP? Should be a fun match to watch for the neutral.

Klopp = Joker
The other game pits Dortmund against Zenit St. Petersberg. Dortmund won the first leg in Russia 4 - 2, so this tie is done and dusted. Instead of a preview, let's take a closer look at that crazy Jurgen Klopp!

Finally, Jim White reckons David Moyes had an Alan Partridge moment at the weekend. Oh, dear.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FIFA Corruption, Scotland '78, Podcast, Scribes, Chelsea vs. Galatasaray, Americans Abroad, Defoe To Brazil?

Yeah, that was a total dive, by the way...
Loads, absolutely loads to get through today. We'll begin with the obvious. FIFA is corrupt. Qatar 2022? Yeah, right. The Daily Telegraph is claiming everyone's favorite CONCACAF Asshat Jack Warner got some dough shortly after Qatar got the right to host. You have to pay (Oh!) for the Telegraph's content so we'll go with the BBC's take on things.

As we know, The Guardian has been running a series on the World Cup (Stunning Moments!) in the lead-up to Brazil. Number Six is Scotland in 1978. Enjoy.

And just what the bloody hell is going on at United? What's the plan? What's the vision? What's the frequency, Kenneth? Jamie Jackson asks these vital questions.

Podcast! On today's Football Weekly, AC Jimbo has Philippe Auclair, Simon Burnton and Barry Glendenning in situ to give the hot talk on the weekend in the wide world of football. We start with the fun and games at Old Trafford, where Liverpool, much to everyone's delight, gave Manchester United a right old tonking. Can Liverpool go on to win the Premier League title? And will a bad week get worse for David Moyes and United when they try to claw back a two-goal deficit in the Champions League at home to Olympiakos? (Inevitably, yes.) Also in the podcast, we look back on Arsenal's victory in the North London derby and praise Fulham for finally starting to perform like they're in a relegation fight. Finally, we round up all the news that's fit to print from around Europe - including Scotland, where it's a first trophy in 18 years for Aberdeen. Does anyone have a number for Derek McInnes?

The time to Scribe is nigh...

Where? Brazil Who? Tim Vickery. What? Why a fully-fit Fred holds the key for Brazil

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? Donadoni wounds Milan but shows he may be their summer saviour

Where? France. Who? Julien Laurens. What? How many of '1993 Generation' star for France this summer?

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Forget Draxler, Huntelaar is Schalke's real key man

Where? Germany. Who? Uli Hesse. What? Germans and penalties: The facts and the fiction

It's Tuesday. That means Monday Musings from El Gabber. Today it's Rodgers' flexibility, Messi's 'record,' Bayern post-Hoeness, more.

There is football of import to be played today, don't you know? Specifically, Didier Drogba is back at Stamford Bridge as he and his fellow Turks (cough) attempt to oust Chelsea from the Champions League. Chelsea got that all-important away goal in Istanbul but a lot could happen tonight. Here's a preview. In the other match, Real Madrid scored 34 away goals in Germany against Schalke so that tie has officially been put to bed. No preview for you! That said, please enjoy Five Talking Points.

Sticking with Drogba, there have been smiles and frowns, ups and downs over his career. Take a gander.
Yeah, we bad...
'Merica! We've sent some boys oversees to play some of that there soccer. Sadly, Bobby Wood dressed but did not play in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-2 draw vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue on Saturday. Too bad for Woody. Here's everyone else.

This is quite hilarious. Jermaine Defoe scored two goals on his Major League Soccer debut and now wants to go to Brazil. "On a personal level, I'd like to score as many goals as possible for the club and go to the World Cup," said Defoe. Hah! Although it is England...

According to Jeff Carlisle, Defoe and his Toronto mates are #4 in the MLS Power Rankings chart. Here's his complete list. And some dude named Liviu Bird has his own Power Rankings he's like to share. Bird has Toronto at #11. So...

We'll finish with this: Keira Knightley loves Gary Neville's punditry. We have to admit, he is pretty good.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Villa Stun Chelsea, Liverpool Humiliate United, Rosicky Rocket Enough For Arsenal Win, Pirlo Magic, USA Hotlist, Rivaldo Retires, Defoe At The Double In Seattle

No comment...
Whew! What a weekend! Loads to get through today. Liverpool deepened the gloom at Old Trafford, Aston Villa stunned Chelsea at Villa Park thanks to an absurd flick from Fabian Delph (see Top Five Goals of the Weekend below), Arsenal managed to edge Spurs at White Hart Lane in a match played at a crazy pace for 90 minutes, Barcelona scored seven as Messi hit another milestone, Milan lost again, and Ronaldo scored the only goal as Real Madrid won at Malaga. And there was some Major League Soccer, too. We'll begin in England:

Miguel Delaney on Tottenham/Arsenal: Psychological Warfare
John Brewin: Three Things: Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Jamie Jackson: Five Talking Points: Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Kevin Palmer: Three Things: Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Richard Jolly on Tactics: Liverpool's diamond, selfless Santi

Stefan Szymanski of Soccernomics fame has a very brief, concise piece about why MLS can't provide a decent product on the pitch. The comments are quite entertaining. Cheers to David for pointing us in the right direction.

Speaking of MLS, here are Five Things We Learned from Week 2. And, according to the official MLS Website, here is Your one-stop shop for the absolute best MLS Week 2 had to offer. They call it ICYMI, which is short for In Case You Missed It. Brilliant. We love it...

We mentioned Andrea Pirlo and the word "magic" up top this morning. The reason? Another brilliant free-kick, this time late in Juve's match at Genoa with the game scoreless. The result? Genoa 0 - 1 Juventus. Here's Pirlo's strike and all the other Best Goals of the Weekend.

Right, so Juve will win Serie A this year for the 3,224th time. But there are still plenty of story-lines as clubs fight for Europe and to avoid the drop. Here's a wrap of the weekend action in Italy.

Over in Spain, shocking news as the top three all won and Ronaldo, Messi, and Costa played exceptionally well. Here's your weekend wrap.

Hot, hot, hot! Who's hot? Who's not? Joe Corona? Definitely Hot. Eric Lichaj? Not.

We mentioned in the subject line that Rivaldo has finally retired. Despite his incredible career, we took a quick poll amongst the SSN Headquarters staff, and sadly we'll remember him mainly for this: