Friday, February 16, 2007

The Sweet Smell Of Small Victories News

I can hardly believe this is real, but Steven Goff of the Washington Post says on his blog, Soccer Insidef, that the talks between Chicago and Zidane are genuine. I am not sure what to think about that.
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Lots of first hand DC United training camp notes from fan blog The Soccer Show. Really excellent stuff including plenty of quotes from players, coaches etc.
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We got email today at du Nord from an anonymous insider, who claims New York Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena likes Minnesota Thunder midfielder/forward Ansu Toure so much that NYRB may stop searching for another striker.
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Mike Biglin of the Boston Herald talks to New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph about the transfer to Celtic that did not happen, and what lies ahead with the Revs.
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The Puerto Rico Islanders of the First Division have snatched defender Jay Needham away from DC United by offering him nearly double the money. MLS needs to change their minimum salaries NOW! It's disgusting what they offer these kids. The minimum deal as it stands right now is $12,900 for a year. Insulting. Shouldn't it at least be about $50,000? Good job Puerto!
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In other PR news, the Islanders will host a preseason tournament March 22-24 featuring themselves and the Los Angeles, Dallas and Rochester.
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For the third year in a row Columbus has paid tribute to their former coach Tom Fitzgerald, who died in 2004, by playing an exhibition in his home town of Tampa Florida.
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Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle looks at the Dynamo's incredibly packed schedule for this season.
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Colorado is heading to Spain as part of their preseason prep and will train at the home of Valencia, then play a friendly against them. Excellent.
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Tino Palace's newest writing is up at MLSnet - The Clean Sheet: One Crazy Summer (For this week Tino was paid in large plastic bags filled with small plastic bags.)
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Andrew Hush at Soccer New England talks to Rev's coach Steve Nicol about his teams trip to Bermuda for training. They leave today. This is their 3rd year in a row on the island.
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MLSnet with a story on Dallas's promising but at times troubled midfielder Ramon Nunez.
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Luis Bueno at Sports Illustrated had written last week about the attitude of the Mexican team after losing to the USA yet again. This week he answers emails from readers about that column. Really great reading.
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The USA U23's played a scrimmage match against Chivas USA yesterday. Bueno was also on the spot covering the game won by the U23's 2-0, for LA Soccer News. The one thing I find the most interesting about that scrimmage is not who was on the field, but who was on the sidelines. The Chivas USA coach is Preki. The USA U23 coach is Bob Bradley, and his assistant is Peter Nowak. That is one hell of a great soccer brain lineup.
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Grahame Jones of the LA Times with a look at the beginnings of the next U23/Olympic team.
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Everyone's favorite Hobbity diver Jamie Watson checks in from the USA U23 training sessions before the team heads to Japan today for a couple of friendly's.
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Honduras became the 5th and final Central American team to qualify for next summers Gold Cup when they beat Nicaragua 9-1 last night. The other CA teams will be Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama. They will join the other teams that have already qualifed: Cuba, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, USA and Canada. The tournament will be held June 6-24 in 6 American cities. Those cities are: Miami, Chicago, East Rutherford, Carson, Houston and Foxborough.
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The 2007 Copa Libertadores - the group stage is in full effect:
Thu Feb 15 scores-
-Maracaibo 2-4 Parana
-Cerro Porteno 0-1 Gremio
-A report on the matches via Sports Illustrated
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The English FA Cup 5th Round is this weekend:
Saturday Feb 17-
Arsenal v Blackburn
Chelsea v Norwich
Watford v Ipswich
Plymouth Argyle v Derby County
Middlesbrough v West Brom
Man United v Reading
Sunday Feb 18-
Preston v Man City
Fulham v Tottenham
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How far has Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello backtracked on his loathing for David Beckham? After saying DB would never play in Madrid again, the coach put him in the starting 11 last week, and now says England should recall him to their team as well. Aaaaaah. Isn't that sweet of him.
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The world press are all lining up to kick Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard. The word going around is that he will quit the team at the end of the season.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ has a story on the contrasts and comparisons of the teams from North & South Korea.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ previews the Champions League Matchday 7. Next week baby!
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Scottish newspaper the Daily Record takes a look at the financial success Celtic is currently enjoying, and team executives give a lot of the credit to their coach Gordan Strachan. FYI, du Nord are huge Strachan fans even though we have never understood a word he has spoken.
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Chelsea have announced that they are starting their own official page on You Tube. It will feature match news, daily news, and archival footage. Interesting.
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Christopher Clarey at the International Herald Tribune with the story of another film about French football, the previous being Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, called Substitute. This one was shot as a documentary by player Vikash Dhorasoo during France's run through the 06 World Cup. But mostly the film is about Dhorasoo and his failure to crack the line up during the games brightest moment.
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Jeremy Wilson at the Guardian tries to figure out why things are not going according to plan at Tottenham this season.
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I kinda like this idea for a new FIFA confederation configuration- Proposed by a poster called psveindhoven at It's not perfect but it's not far from it.
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Milan & Brazilian star midfielder Rikki Kaka with his latest diary entry for
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And UEFA also have a Q & A with Benfica & Portugal attacking midfielder (and another du Nord fave) Simao.
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The top 5 teams in each of the top European leagues:
46 Barcelona
43 Sevilla
41 Real Madrid
39 Valencia
39 Atletico Madrid
66 Manchester United
60 Chelsea
50 Liverpool
49 Arsenal
47 Bolton
48 Schalke
42 Werder
41 Stuttgart
37 Bayern
33 Nurnberg
60 Inter
49 Roma
42 Palermo
32 Empoli
31 Lazio
57 PSV Eindhoven
54 Ajax Amsterdam
53 AZ Alkmaar
50 Twente Enschede
42 Feyenoord Rotterdam
54 Lyon
43 Lens
39 Lille
37 Marseille
36 St. Etienne
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Big Euro matches this weekend:
-Lille v Lyon - #3 v the stumbling #1
Empoli v Roma - the surprise #4 v #2
Valencia v Barcelona - high powered #4 v even higher powered #1
Sevilla v Atletico Madrid - #2 v #5, more Spanish firepower on display from both teams
Catania v Fiorentina - another creepy empty stadium game, this time featuring the Toni-Mutu show


Anonymous Jason said...

The confederation idea isn't too bad in the Western Hemisphere, but becomes wildly skewed in the East. Namely, look at the 4th, "Asian" Federation. 16 of those teams in a WC? Or even only 8 in a 32 team field? You've got to be kidding me--any one of those making the second round would be an impressive achievement. Why should as many countries from that confed make it to the big dance as those from Europe? And why move the best Asian countries, the mideast, to a different confed.

If you really love this idea, maybe it should be a 3 confed setup: ALL of Asia with Africa as one, Europe as one, and the Americas as one.

9:39 PM  
Blogger This is said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

how long until Chelsea's jersey reads Google?

9:53 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

jason - your idea is good too, but 3 confeds is too few

i am actually fine with the way it is now, expect that concacaf and asia get too many teams in the world cup as it is
concacaf should get 3 and asia 4
that would leave two more spots for europe, who i think deserve it

but i never said i loved the 4 confed plan - here is exactly what i wrote:

"I kinda like this idea"...."It's not perfect but it's not far from it."

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

about the zidane rumors, never doubt goff. he is amazing esp for us in the dc/md/va wash post area.

10:05 AM  
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9:56 PM  

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