Friday, March 27, 2015

Euro 2016 Qualifiers, Simon Kuper, Crotch Grabbing, Xavi to Qatar

A little Roberto Mancini to start your weekend off right...
Hey. We're at the end of a dull, dull week. Let's just get to it, shall we? Brazil beat France in Paris yesterday, but it was only a friendly, so we don't really care. Tim Vickery does, though, and we like Tim. Here's his report.

There are some matches that actually matter today (and through the weekend) as European nations attempt to book their tickets to France 2016. Let's have a gander.

Spain vs. Ukraine: Preview
England vs. Lithuania: Preview

Sharp Dressed Men

The damage of the international games: What to look out for in MLS. Here's what else to look out for: Crotch Grabbing! Vinnie Jones would be so proud.

Simon Kuper has an article out today. The Soccernomics guru is writing about how football really is a thinking game. We never doubted that. What we did doubt was the use of Wayne Rooney as an example to prove the theory...

Xavi is set to leave Barcelona for the monied shores of Qatar at season's end. Uhhh, good luck?

And good night.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Denmark Defeat the United States, Jonathan Wilson on Argentina

Hello, Friends! It was a pretty classic match in Europe for the USA Men's team yesterday. Shambolic defending (even Nick Bendtner can get a hat-trick against these clowns), another great game from Jozy Altidore (Sunderland fans shaking their heads in bewilderment), and another match where possession was at a premium. Yes, the U.S.A. went down 3 - 2 to The Claire Danes in Aarhuus. Here's all you need on that:

Denmark 3 - 2 United States: Simon Evans at NRGi Park

Denmark 3 - 2 United States: Three Things That Stood Out
Denmark 3 - 2 United States: Five Things We Learned
Denmark 3 - 2 United States: Winners and Losers

Finally, some Argentina news and analysis. We feel like there's been a dearth of coverage from down there lately. Good thing Jonathan Wilson is on the case. Here's his lead: Can Gerardo Martino end Argentina’s cup drought with Copa América glory?

Speaking of Argentina, they're in D.C. to play El Salvador on Saturday. So, of course, they went to watch Les Boullez.

That's all there is, peeps. We'll be back tomorrow with Euro 2016 qualifying crap.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Denmark vs. USA

Happy Hump Day. It's rather a rather quiet and uneventful one, to be honest. The Yanks play the Danes in Aarhus in what could be described as a 2018 World Cup preparatory game. Or, it could be a 2015 Gold Cup preparatory game. Either way, it's a friendly that will teach us...nothing. But, it might be fun to watch. If you're interested, you can get your kicks at 3:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN. Here's a Preview. Here's another Preview. Also, there's some dude named Cody Cropper on the squad. It says he's a keeper for Southampton. Interesting. Leander Schaerlaeckens is none too pleased about The Diving German's propensity for calling up loads of different guys.

Terrance Boyd is a Yank Abroad. He's plying his trade at Red Bull Leipzig, which is perhaps Germany's least popular club. That can't be easy.

Goals of the Week? Yes, that's probably a good idea. The one by Birtalan Botond in the Gyirmot vs. Bekescsaba match is quite lovely.

That'll be just fine for today. Enjoy.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Aleksandar Holiga on Davor Suker, Sid Lowe in Spain, Minnesota United, Podcast, Kaká, Juan Mata, Major League Soccer

Milan fans are not pleased with Berlusconi...

What is up? A very pleasant Tuesday to you and yours. We're going straight to the Twin Cities this morning where it is expected that the announcement will be made to tell The World that Minnesota United FC will become the newest Major League Soccer member.

Speaking of The World, it's Tuesday and that means it's time for Scribes!

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Could Lucien Favre be Pep Guardiola’s future Bayern replacement?

Where? South America. Who? Tim Vickery. What? The man who took the No. 10 shirt off Lionel Messi

Where? Spain. Who? Guillem Balague. What? Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have weaknesses

Where? Croatia. Who? Aleksandar Holiga. What? Davor Suker: is he doing more for himself than for Croatian football?

Marcotti's Musings, people! Gab's gotta gab. Today he's got...Barcelona claim Clasico points; Man United see off Gerrard and Liverpool. Solid.

Podcast! On today's Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by the motley crew - but not the Mötley Crüe - of Jacob Steinberg, John Ashdown and Gregg Bakowski to look back on a stonking weekend in the wide world of football. We start at Anfield, where Louis Van Gaal - and Steven Gerrard - out-tactic-ed Brendan Rodgers to give Manchester United the win and put breathing space between themselves and Liverpool. After analysing the rest of the action in the Premier League, we dial up Sid Lowe to get the skinny on Barcelona's victory over Real Madrid. Finally, we celebrate Bristol City's Wembley triumph, get up to speed with the Championship promotion picture, and even have a (moderately informed) word about Scottish football.

We're entering a period of international football. The doldrums. In Irons. This article might cheer you up. Maybe.

Juan Mata. What's the deal? Why did it take this long for him to get some playing time at United? And why was he dropped at Chelsea? Barney Ronay takes a look at the little maestro.

With all the hoopla surrounding NYCFCYFCYC's genesis, it's easy to forget that other "New York" team that plays down in Harrison, NJ. Apparently, that's fine with them. Want more Major League Soccer? Good, because we've got it. Here's a Weekend Review (of sorts) and here's an article from Jeff Carlisle on the Earthquakes long journey to their brand spanking new stadium and here's an interview with Kaká. Phew!

And about a European Team of the Week? Nice, right?



Monday, March 23, 2015

Barcelona Win El Clásico, Gerrard Loses the Plot and Liverpool Lose, Bayern Munich Lose Match and Robben

Camp Nou gets ready...
How DO you do? Some fine (and weird) moments over the weekend. Over at Camp Nou, Barcelona won the latest version of El Clásico and now lead La Liga by four points. That guy, Luis Suárez, was the hero on the night for the Catalans. As you might expect, El Sid was at the ground. Let's rock to the beat of everything Barcelona/Real Madrid, beginning with Sid's report(s):

Barcelona 2 - 1 Real Madrid: Sid Lowe at Camp Nou
Barcelona 2 - 1 Real Madrid: Sid Lowe at Camp Nou II: Electric Boogaloo
Barcelona 2 - 1 Real Madrid: How They Rated
Barcelona 2 - 1 Real Madrid: Three Quick Thoughts
Barcelona 2 - 1 Real Madrid: Talking Points

There were other matches in Spain's top division. Fernando Torres scored in one of them. Sevilla defeated Villarreal for the third time in 11 days in another. Here's a La Liga Wrap for that ass, as well as Five Things We Learned.

Stevie G's 38 seconds are up...

Back in England, the match at Anfield is dominating the headlines. Steven Gerrard, as you might expect, is getting a lot of the ink due to his substitution stamp. Elsewhere, Chelsea almost contrived to blow it at Hull, QPR are in real trouble, Sunderland couldn't get a win for their new Dick, and Tottenham almost lost at home to Leicester. Go:

Liverpool 1 - 2 Manchester United: Phil McNulty at Anfield
Liverpool 1 - 2 Manchester United: Barney Ronay at Anfield
Liverpool 1 - 2 Manchester United: Five Talking Points
Ben Lyttleton: There He Goes Again
Newcastle 1 - 2 Arsenal: Louise Taylor at St. James' Park
Newcastle 1 - 2 Arsenal: Three Thoughts
Hull City 2 - 3 Chelsea: Richard Gibson at the KC Stadium
Hull City 2 - 3 Chelsea: Three Thoughts
Tottenham 4 - 3 Leicester City: David Hytner at White Hart Lane

Neymar arrives at the stadium...

...and poses with his teammates after the win. Ahem.

Major League Soccer! It's certainly off and running now, folks. Here are Five Things We Learned from the weekend, including the fact that the New York Red Bulls now show signs of life after Henry. Oh, and the Chicago Fire suck.

Sticking with the U.S. for a moment, there are friendlies (yawn) coming up and The Diving German has named his squad. Check it.

Bad news for Bayern Munich. Yes, they lost a match. No, that won't keep them from winning the Bundesliga. What's more worrying for the Bavarian Giants is the injury to Patrick Stewart Arjen Robben. He'll miss more than one Champions League clash, it would appear. More Germany? Check out these numbers.

Down in Italy, Carlos Tevez scored again to give Juve another victory, and Lazio won their sixth on the trot. Here a Serie A Wrap for that ass. More domani with Paolo.

That's solid for the start of the week! We're all caught up. Until tomorrow.