Thursday, May 18, 2006

Flattering Image News

The 2006 UEFA Champions League winner is Barcelona. 2-1 over Arsenal.
-Once the game was 30 minutes old it seemed inevitable didn't it?
-Arsenal keeper Lehman had to come out and try to stop Eto'o, and when he got sent off for taking Eto'o down I knew it was over.
-The Arse worked hard for a long stretch of the match with just 10 men & got a great goal. (However, I have to say that the deliberate dive that earned the free kick that Henry put on target that Sol Campbell headed home was completely embarrassing. The guy who flopped like that, Emmanuel Eboue, should be totally ashamed of himself. I really really hate that crap. I wish the leagues would start using video replay to punish those guys. A retroactive yellow card, or a fine would stop this garbage.) -Once Barca settled down and began their surgery on the Arse defense it was only a matter of time. But I must say that both goals would have been better defended by Lehman too. Oh well. It was a really good game for about 70 minutes.
-As for Arsenal's chances of pulling off a near miracle, if Henry had put away at least one of his 3 excellent chances on goal who knows what might have happened.
-One sad thing I have seen in reading the newspapers this morning is that Henry is blaming the refereeing for his teams loss. Lame.
-The man who made both great passes for Barca's goals was Henrik Larsson a late game sub. Larsson is leaving the club after this season to go play in his Swedish homeland.
-In the end the biggest difference makers for Barca were the 3 substitutes they made: Larsson of course, Belliti who scored the 2nd goal, and Iniesta who made some great passes in that siege on the Arse's goal. Iniesta also was replacing Van Bommell who did not have such a hot match.
-Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune was at the match: Lehmann reaches out and hands Barça the cup
-Dale Johnson of Soccernet with a match report from the stadium.
-The Guardian's match report.
-Jonah Freedman at Sports Illustrated recaps the final and gives us his latest World Club Rankings.
-Josh over at the excellent ThroughBall comments on the surprising half time guest appearance of Anthony Lapaglia to the broadcast. A couple years ago when FSC was doing their MLS Wrap show AL was a guest of John Harkes. He obviously knows a lot about the game and is a fan of the US team and league. I like it.
-And ESPN has announced the signing of a new expanded deal to show even more Champions League matches on TV and broadband next season.
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Marc Connolly has a Q & A with USA & Everton keeper Tim Howard for the US Players Assoc.
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Three new podcasts from US Soccer: Coach Arena, Brian McBride, and Tim Howard. Download and listen!
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A very exciting press release was sent out from Univision and TeleFutura yesterday regarding more soccer viewing choices for next season (see the middle of the pr page). They will be showing a MLS game of the week all season long, and they will also be showing the much talked about, but not formally announced tournament between MLS and MFL! Fantastic news!
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The Palm Beach Post has a feature on the sad story of Colorado's very young Haitian striker Fabrice Noel. Excellent read, especially if you don't know his story.
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Released yesterday, it's the All-American XI for MLS week 7. A panel of "experts" pick the 11 best Americans in the league for each and every week of the season. Always an excellent reading experience.
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Ethan G dropped a note to say that the potential owners of MLS Philadelphia are looking for input into team name & colors. Give yours here.
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Peter Wilt posted his own panoramic picture of Bridgeview at Big Soccer! At night with the lights on!
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Columbus officially announced that they will play a friendly v England's Everton on Wednesday, July 26, at Crew Stadium.
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What does Columbus General Manager Mark McCullers think of DC United: "I hate DC. DC is the team that I want to beat worse than any other team in this league. Our staff knows that because we talk about it all the time. It is my own personal vendetta." Ouch.
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Larry Morgan of the LA Daily News spends more time quoting Alexi Lalas who again says that coach Steve Sampson is not to blame for LA's awful team.
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Jeff Carlisle at Soccernet with a feature story on the rejuvinated career of DC United striker Alecko Eskandarian.
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Frank Dell'apa, also at Soccernet, writes about the possibilities of using New England's Portugese favorite son Eusebio as a pipeline to foreign talent.
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Lance dropped me a note to say that the Gatorade-US Soccer ad is now on Gatorade's website.
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Chicago striker Andy Herron is finally going to get to see the pitch for the first time in '06. He has now completed his 6 game ban for pushing and screaming at the referee, then not leaving the field in a timely manner, in last years playoff loss to New England.
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Mexican Clausura Playoff finals begin tonight with the first of 2 legs.
Thursday - first leg
San Luis v Pachuca - see it live at 8:30pm central on TeleFutura
Sunday - return leg
Pachuca v San Luis - see it live at 5pm central on Azteca America
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Lance also sent me a funny link to an article where Togo's German coach Otto Pfister talks trash about the German team. Come on dude, you coach Togo! Did you get passed over for the German job and are now bitter? Or was it the fact that they never considered you a real candidate in the first place? You are funny though. I bet German TV could use some more humor. Like this.
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Demko sent me a link to a new soccer book that Harper Collins just published: The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. The book contains a Dave Eggers piece that ran in the Guardian about a month ago. I linked to it at the time so some of you may have read it. But if not, then here it is again.
-And a dude at the Guardian's sister paper, The Observer, talks about his favorite football books. Some interesting stuff here.
-Lastly, their is a new edition of Simon Kuper's fantastic book Football Against The Enemy. Retitled for America as Soccer Against The Enemy. It predates by almost 10 years Franklin Foer's look at the world, culture and politics thru the eyes, ears and throats of soccer.
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My man Jesse has done a team by team look at the USL First Division, and his own league rankings. Check it out now. I will link to it every time he updates.
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Another addition to the Fellow Freaks doing soccer weblog's is the fantastically titled Eleven Devils, complete with excellent prose.
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Coming up on Saturday - MLS Week 8
Houston v Chicago - 3pm on ESPN2
New York v Chivas USA - 630pm on DK
Columbus v DC - 630pm on DK
Dallas v New England - 730pm on HDNet
Salt Lake v Kansas City - 8pm no TV
Los Angeles v Colorado - 930pm on DK
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USL First Division matches this weekend:
Portland v Rochester
Charleston v Puerto Rico
Seattle v Toronto
Montreal v Minnesota
Miami v Virginia Beach
Portland v Toronto
Vancouver v Rochester
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And don't forget that the USA Send-off Series begins next Tuesday night in Nashville.
Tuesday May 23 v Morocco - at The Coliseum in Nashville at 6pm central on ESPN2
Friday May 26 v Venezuela - at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland at 6pm central on ESPN2
Sunday May 28 v Latvia - at Rentschler Field in Hartford at 6pm central on ESPN2


Anonymous Ken said...

That Wilt Bridgeview pic looks like a painting.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous J. Michael said...

I would have liked to see Bergkamp subbed on after they fell behind. Otherwise, no complaints.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I'm not sure Eboue dived. He may have got clipped and lost balance. To read more on the final visit my blog.

1:49 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

matthew matthew matthew -
no offense, but either yer an arsenal supporter or on drugs or both
cuz eboue never got touched, i watched it about 4 times last night in slow mo
i watched the eto'o goal the same way and he was not offside

the action happened so fast that i can see where a referee can miss both calls, so i have no problem with the way they were called
my issue is with eboue and his dive, like i said, he should be ashamed and some how retroactively punished for it

2:40 PM  

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