Monday, December 05, 2005

Helping Hands News

-The stupid ball with a chip in it that's supposed to magically know when the ball is in the net will NOT be used at the World Cup. I hate the thing. Hooray Beer!
-Grant Wahl at Sports Illustrated heard me grumbling that all of his recent on-line stories have been for "subscribers" only, so his newest is available to us plebes. In it he talks to Bruce Almighty. Thank you Grant.
-One of the USA stars from last summers U-20 World Championship was young Lee Ngyuen, just out of high school at the time. He followed up that performance by leading his college team Indiana, as a freshman. That takes a lot at such a long standing powerhouse. Now the pro's are after him and he is all set to go. He just has to decide whether it will be to MLS, or head to Holland and PSV. If I were him and PSV was calling my name, I would be gone in a flash. He also happens to play a position the USA is very short on, and frankly so is the whole world. The Attacking Central Midfielder. The old fashioned #10! Go Lee Go! And come back to lead Team USA! Two other Indiana standouts, Jacob Peterson and Jed Zayner, are said to be turning pro before their senior year of college as well. Read the whole thingy at the Indiana Daily Student.
-USA Captain, Claudio Reyna made a triumphant return to Manchester City, coming off the injury gurney & leading his side to a 5-2 beating of Charlton. Good job amigo.
-Let's check in on my Everton-Wigan Challenge. After week 11 Wigan sat in 2nd place and Everton in 19th. I made the bold prediction that Everton would finish above Wigan by seasons end. So where are we today: Liverpool smoked Wigan 3-0, and Everton beat Blackburn 0-2. Not bad for me, but Everton remain in 16th place, while Wigan fall to 7th! Stay tuned.
-Carlos Tevez has led his team Corinthians to its fourth Brazilian league title! Hola Losito!
-Laguilla quarterfinal 2nd leg scores, including a shocker(!):
Monterray 4-0 UAG Tecos (7-0 agg.)
Necaxa 0-2 Pachuca (0-4 agg.)
Cruz Azul 0-0 Toluca (0-1 agg.)
Club America 1-4 UANL Tigres (4-5 agg.)
What was running true to form turned into a wild one, with Club America being ousted by Tigres who got in on a technicality (see last Monday). Holy Moly!
So Monterry v Pachuca & Toluca v Tigres in the semis. Sched to follow.
-A whimsical Q&A with Eddie Gaven of Metrostars via US National Players Assoc.
-Convey and Hahnemann again teamed up to destroy another Championship Division opponent. This time 3-0 over Luton. Convey sent in a cross for the first goal, and Hahnemann got his 15th clean sheet of the season.
-Simon Kuper writes in the Financial Times about the humble workers on the 1974 World Cup teams. (I originally wrote the year 1074 - which would be one hell of an interview even for a writer such as Kuper to score.) Last of the World Cup milkmen
-It's looking more and more like opening day in Chicago's new Bridgeview Stadium will be June 23.
-Neither DaMarcus Beasley, Cory Gibbs or Johnny O'Brien played in Holland over the weekend. They are all still hurt. PSV won. Feyenoord drew. ADO won. Their teams sit First, Third and Sixteenth respectively.
-Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune on the World Cup draw, which is going to happen Friday at 2pm central time live on ESPN2: Facing the moment of truth, to each nation its own mind game
-FIFA will seed all 32 teams for the World Cup Tuesday.
-Even though the deal is supposedly all done, the never ending string of BS surrounding the Metrostars stadium in Harrison New Jersey continues unabated. Why? Cuz Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer says so.
-The NCAA Cup aka the semifinals are now all set. Quarterfinal scores looked like this:
Clemson 1-0 Creighton
New Mexico 1-0 California
Maryland 1-1 Akron - Maryland advances 4-1 on PK's (how in the world do you only make one penalty kick??)
North Carolina 2-3 SMU
The 4 team Cup will look like this (semi's Friday, and final on Sunday):
Maryland v SMU - see it on ESPN2 at 3pm central Friday.
New Mexico v Clemson - see it on ESPN2 at 10pm central Saturday.
Maryland was the #1 seed going in, and New Mexico was #2. While both SMU & Clemson came in not even seeded (the top 16 got seeds)! So either we are going to see the final that everyone wants to have or we will have a major upset.
You can watch the final on Sunday at 1pm from Cary, NC, live on ESPN2!
-Steve Cherundolo scored the winner as Hannover beat Dortmund 0-2 on the road.
-Kasey Keller's Monchengladbach lost 0-1 to terrible Nurnberg. In other Gladbach news, Giovane Elber has walked out on the team, and the team reciprocated by tearing up his contract. He wasn't playing, cuz the coach didn't think he was good enough, so Gio bitched to the press, and that was about it.
-Real Madrid did as expected and blew coach Wanderlei Luxemburgo out the door! But the team did win 1-0 over Getafe on Saturday as Ronaldo returned with a goal, and Becks got the red card. So who gets the job? Post a comment with your prediction. The winner gets a lollipop.
Of course Phil Ball saw it coming from way way out. Chronicle of a death foretold
-Speaking of red cards. It's always nice to see Mexican moron Rafa Marquez loose his mind and get tossed from the match like he did on Sunday as his Barca beat Villareal 2-0. He is an idiot. And should never be Mexican captain, but he is.
-Portland beat UCLA 4-0 to win the NCAA women's national championship Sunday.
-Paul Gascoigne didn't last 6 weeks as coach of English lower division team Kettering Town. Anyone surprised by this raise their hand! I didn't think so.
-I watched Juve do what the Old Lady does best, take down the close competitors. They won at Fiorentina 2-1, with a late winner from Cameronesi. The first half was back and forth at a magnificent pace with both teams having several chances and each getting a goal. But that amazing Juventus defense played perfectly for the second 45 and then got the deserved winner late. It was honestly a near perfect performance from them in the second half. Juventus now has an 8 point lead on 2nd place Milan who lost to Chievo 2-1, and a 10 point lead over 3rd place Inter who beat Ascoli 1-0.
-Juventus are also set to get even tougher in defense as they have almost finalized the deal to sign Bayern defender Willy Sagnol for next year.
-They drew the names out of the hat for the Third Round FA Cup matches today. Here we go:
Blackburn v Queens Park Rangers
Burton/Burscough v Manchester United
Derby County v Burnley
Fulham v Leyton Orient
Manchester City v Scunthorpe United
Millwall v Everton
Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic
Watford v Bolton
West Bromwich Albion v Reading
Wigan Athletic v Leeds United
Games will be played Jan 7 & 8, with any ties being replayed Jan 13.


Anonymous ken said...

(how in the world do you only make one penalty kick??)

By hitting the post on your first try and having your third try saved by the keeper. Which meant, of course, that Maryland didn't even have to take their 5th PK. Some say that Maryland had an advantage by having the ability to scout the Akron PK shooters due to their previous game vs. UCONN going to PK's (won by Akron). Whatever, from what I've heard Akron had plenty of opportunites to put the game away towards the end of the 2nd period and during OT. So it goes...

But anyone saying that this is the end to Akron's "storybook" season would be right about the "end" part, but wrong about the "storybook" part. Akron is building a strong program that will continue to be a force in college soccer for years to come. Their success this year was no fluke and I expect bigger and better things to come for the program as coach Lolla continues to build a strong soccer tradition at AU.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous bq said...

Better late than never....

It's Tuesday night and I am just catching up on my Du Nord reading. Seems Blogspot was down last night when I checked a couple of blogs. So I digress from my point. Your comment oh senior wolf, of the great game that Bobby Convey and Marcus Hanneman had gets my blood rising even in this early Minnesota freeze we are currently in. I am picturing a EPL next year with a Leeds and a Reading competing and three more Americans in the EPL. How cool would that be.

6:43 PM  
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