Friday, May 23, 2014

By Popular Demand

No Donovan In Brazil, Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid Champions League Final Insanity, Luiz To PSG?, Championship Play-Off Final

Hey Hey Hey! It's Friday! 

The Diving German announced his final 23 for Brazil yesterday and one Landon Timothy Donovan did not make the cut. The Golden Boy of his generation has failed to make the Brazil 2014 team. As you might expect, The Interwebs are freaking out.

What do we think? It's a mistake. Yes, he's 32 and it's an old 32. Yes, there is the Bayern Munich history. Yes, he and Klinsmann obviously don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. Yes, he bailed and went to Cambodia. But he's simply still too good (especially in Internationals) to completely leave him off the squad. What do the pundits think? Let's get to it:

Grant Wahl: Five Thoughts

Another left out is Brad Evans. Apparently, he has a sense of humor. Good for him.

Here are the 23 who will be on the plane:

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (RSL)
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Looks like Jurgen's son is an asshole.
Jonathan Watts is in Rio and has an update on how the preparation is proceeding. Not well, as you might expect.

OK! Enough of that stuff about some tournament next month. Let's get to tomorrow's MEGAMATCH in Lisbon:

Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Preview
Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Preview II
Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Preview III

It seems like ages since we heard from Marcela Mora y Araujo in Argentina. Good to know she's still scribing. As you might expect, she wants to talk Simeone and the possibility of him taking over the national team.

It looks like everyone's favorite Sideshow Bob look-a-like will no longer be gracing Stamford Bridge. He's going to Gay Paris, apparently.

The Joy of Six? European Cup final goals. Top Tenner? European Cup finals.

Two other teams have a rather important match tomorrow. It's Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley for the right to return to the Premier League. Here's your preview. Check the action at 10am EDT on beIN Sport USA. Here's another look. One QPR fan's dog ate his ticket! No shit! Thankfully, it'll be OK. Whew!

That's all the time we have for now, folks!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taking Two Days Off

It's all a bit slow at the moment, so we're going to take a couple of days and do some spring cleaning around the headquarters. Luis Suárez injured his knee in training and is now a doubt for the World Cup, which would be a big blow to not only Uruguay, but to the tournament itself. As expected Bacary Sagna is set to sign for Manchester City. And...that's about it. We'll be back tomorrow with all the guff about the Champions League Final.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More Van Gaal, Scribes, Portugal Squad, Serie A Season Review, What Is A World Cup Spot Worth?

Oi! What's this? The BBC's European football expert Andy Brassell is taking on the role of master of ceremonies as he hands out imaginary awards to his Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, and names his Best XI of the season. Sounds good.

Grant Wahl has asked a very good question. It is this: How much is a roster spot worth for U.S. players in Brazil?

Louis, Louis, Louis, Looooeeeee...
As noted yesterday, one of the biggest clubs in the world finally has a new manager, and the reaction by the pundits is overwhelmingly positive. Here's more on that:

You know what sucks? Agents creating bullshit waves in order to make money. That's all Yaya Toure's agent is doing with this absurd rant about his birthday. SSN would certainly never go out of our way to defend the powers that be at Man City, but come on Seluk.

Scribes, yo!

Where? Brazil. Who. Tim Vickery. What? Brazil braced for more World Cup protests

Where? Italy. Who? Paolo Bandini. What? Serie A signs off with Europa League battle

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Guardiola breathes again after Double

Where? Germany. Who? Uli Hesse. What? Bundesliga maintains goal-scoring reputation

Portugal has named its squad for the tournament set to take place in 23 days in its old colonial backwater of Brazil. Wait. Nani?!

Goalkeepers: Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting).
Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Z. St. Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia).
Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Rafa (Braga).
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg).

You'll have to forgive us for overlooking the action Stateside over the weekend. What with the Primera Liga title up for grabs and a scintillating FA Cup final and all. Let's make amends. Here are Five Things We Learned in Major League Soccer on Saturday and Sunday. Power Rankings? But, of course. Jeff Carlisle's got New England, Real Salt Lake, and Seattle leading the table. That Bird guy's got Real Salt Lake, Seattle, and then New England. So there.

Domestic leagues are done. Dusted. Sorted. Time for the Season in Reviews to hit the airwaves. Let's begin in Italy with James Horncastle's Serie A 2013-2014 Season Review.




Monday, May 19, 2014

Atlético Madrid Win La Liga, Arsenal Win The FA Cup, Manchester United Appoint Louis van Gaal, Giggs Retires

NOT Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Happy Monday. Honors even (1-1) at Camp Nou presented the Primera Liga trophy to Atlético Madrid on Saturday. Which is odd, because Xavi said Barcelona deserved to win the title. Anyway, it's Atlético's first title since 1995-96 and it's the first time in a decade that the title hasn't gone to either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Ain't change nice? As you would expect, SSN had people on the ground, but sadly, we've yet to receive their report. Only a photo (see below), which doesn't help us much...

SSN's Primera Liga Title-Deciding Match Correspondents at Camp Nou

Here's your lot from Spain, beginning with El Sid's report & his analysis:

Atlético Madrid 1 - 1 Barcelona: Sid Lowe at Camp Nou

Meanwhile, at Wembley, Arsenal went two goals down to Hull City but managed to claw back and get the go-ahead goal in extra time. It's Arsenal's 11th FA Cup and their first trophy in nine years. We figured we'd mention that just in case there was some way in hell you missed all the commentary on that subject. Speaking of commentary, how God-awful were Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda? Wynalda should be banned for life. He simply has no clue. According to him, Aaron Ramsey is English. Enough of that, though. Here's your lot from London:

Arsenal 3 - 2 Hull City (aet): Paul Wilson at Wembley
Jonathan Wilson: The drought is over

Manchester United have a new gaffer: Louis van Gaal. Barney Ronay takes a gander at the anti-Moyes disciplinarian. John Brewin says get ready for a Dutch revolution, while Gab Marcotti claims Van Gaal's past offers little insight into United's future. The Dutchman's appointment means Ryan Giggs will stay on as his Number 2. It also means Ryan Giggs has finally officially retired. What a career. Just 963 games, 34 trophies, and 23 years.

In Italy, Juventus won to set a points record, while Inter Milan and Roma lost essentially meaningless matches. AC Milan won their match but didn't make Europe. Here's your final table. More domani with Paolo.

Whew! That'll do for today.