Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hella Average News

Liverpool's new owners, Americans Tom Hicks & George Gillett, on their first big match at Anfield, last nights huge series win over Barcelona: Hicks - "I've seen a lot of sporting events all around the world, but nothing comes close to that." Gillett - "That was like nothing I have ever heard or felt."

MLS is setting up a lottery to decide which team gets the rights to young American right midfielder Robbie Rogers. Rogers recently departed Dutch club Heerenveen and signed with MLS. Seeing as several teams want the same player the league will do a similar deal to what they did with Danny Szetela a couple years ago. Of course Steven Goff of the Washington Post has the details on the story.
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By the way, do you remember watching the Szetela lottery on TV? They showed it live on ESPN News and when Columbus was the team picked out of the hopper Szetela looked like he was gonna puke. Hahahahahahaha. Easily the funniest MLS TV moment in a long time. Sorry Danny, I'm sure it wasn't funny to you.
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LA Soccer News has a Q & A with New York Red Bulls speedy young right back Marvell Wynne.
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Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune does not sound too broken up about Fire keeper Zach Thornton being shipped out to Denver. Ouch.
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More from Goff at the Wash Post saying DC United is close to signing another Brazilian. This guy is a midfielder called Fred, but no, he is not THAT Fred. The striker from Lyon is not coming to MLS, unfortunately. It's another dude who uses the same moniker. If DC signs him I will start calling him Fred2
-Fox Sports Australia raves about Fred2, who played for champions Melbourne last season.
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Dallas takes on Atletico Paranaense down in Brazil tonight.
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Both Joseph Ngwenya & Duncan Oughton of the Columbus Crew have received their American green cards, meaning they will no longer count as Internationals on the team roster.
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The Kansas City Wizards have gone to Buenos Aires for training. In true KCW style there is no other info available.
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The Rocky Mountain News points out the major advantage the Colorado Rapids have playing in the high Denver altitude, but notes that the team is not considered a "Major" sports team by some in town. Well, there might be good reason for that. Have you seen the teams attendance numbers? Those are not major league numbers. Frankly, they are embarrassing.
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Jeff Bradley's First XI: In The Crosshairs
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Both Ritchie Kotschau & John Thorrington are training with the LA Galaxy in hopes of getting a deal with the team after being cut loose by their previous MLS squads.
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Ian Plenderleith at the US Players Assoc looks at MLS ticket prices etc.
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Greg Seltzer at Yanks Abroad with an overdue rave story on USA & Fulham defender Carlos Bocanegra. Seltzer agrees with me in saying that 'Los has really come on strong this season.
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The Harvard Crimson with a nice feature story on college freshman and young USA U20 striker Andre Akpan.
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If you go to the CONCACAF website you can see their new video feature starring "my dad" Chuck Blazer introducing the 2007 Gold Cup.
-No word yet on the TV schedule.
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I hear they are going to lay real grass over the fake stuff at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for the Gold Cup. Great move, but why did they replace it in the first place. Thats why you hire a grounds crew headed up by brilliant turfologist like Groundskeeper Willie, or Carl Spackler. I guess the turf is cheaper. And New England has proven they are nothing if not cheap.
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Fox Soccer Channel has snagged back the rights to broadcast Italy's Serie A from GolTV. Starting next year and for 3 seasons FSC gets Serie A. I think this is good cuz FSC was in serious trouble of becoming Fox Premiership Channel.
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Copa Libertadores - here are the week's matches:
Tuesday March 6
Gimnasia 3-2 Deportivo Pasto
El Nacional 1-1 Libertad
-Match reports via Yahoo Sports.
Wednesday March 7
LDU Quito - Colo Colo
Deportes Tolima - Cerro Porteno
America - Banfield
Thursday March 8
River Plate - Caracas
Cienciano - Bolivar
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Champions League Matchday 8 yesterday & today - with first leg scores included:
Tuesday March 6-
-Lyon 0-2 Roma (0-0) - The Romans go away from home and score twice to advance 2-0 on aggregate. Goals by Francesco Totti & Mancini. Gerard Houllier may have just ended his days at Lyon with this blunder.
-Liverpool 0-1 Barcelona (2-1) - The Liverpeople knock out the champs after tying 2-2 on aggregate, but advancing with their 2 aways goals. Eidur Gudjohnsen got the Barca goal.
-Chelsea 2-1 Porto (1-1) - Chelsea had to come from behind at home to win it 3-2 on aggregate. Ricardo Quaresma scored first for Porto, but Arjen Robben & Michael Ballack struck back for the home team. Essien is pretty freakin good.
-Valencia 0-0 Inter (2-2) - Valencia get the needed stalemate at home to advance 2-2 on aggregate, winning on the 2 away goals they got last match at the San Siro.
Wednesday March 7-
-Milan v Celtic (0-0)
-Arsenal v PSV (0-1)
-Man United v Lille (1-0)
-Bayern Munich v Real Madrid (2-3)
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du Nord Champions League roundup: A big knockout day in the CL yesterday sent 2 of the last 3 Cup holders home, and a very strong contender out as well with their match ending in a brawl. Porto won it in 2004 & Barca in 2006, but they are both out. The 2005 champs Liverpool looked very good, while Roma stunned Lyon. My fave team Inter were so damaged in the first leg that they needed a huge match in Valencia but did not get it, so the Italian league leaders are out and the Bat Boys are through. The Valencia v Inter match ended really badly as Valencia player David Navarro (no, not the Jane's Addiction guitar player) came off the bench to sucker punched Inter defender Nicolas Burdisso in the face knocking him down and breaking his nose. This sent the other Inter players into a rage, chasing Navarro off the pitch and into the dressing rooms only to have stadium security keep them from tearing Navarro limb from limb. In London, Chelsea had to come from a goal down to beat Porto. Quaresma put the visitors ahead with a great run and powerful goal. Chelsea's team depth & experience really was the big factor in the second half though. And Michael Ballack nailed the series winner. Roma shocked all of us by winning at Lyon. Totti again proved his worth, scoring the winning goal, and showed us one of the reasons why Roma fans love him so damn much, even if others like me don't understand. But that's my problem to deal with. Liverpool were fantastic in sticking it to Barcelona every chance they got and were pretty unlucky not to score a couple goals and put the game out of reach early. Like the Chelsea-Porto match, this one wasn't the greatest to watch, but it was very intense and the Liver fans were unbelievable. I loved how the ESPN broadcast stayed at the stadium afterward while the fans sang "You'll never walk alone", with even some Barca fans nodding along and applauding at the end. An excellent day. I can only hope that today is as good.
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UEFA has charged both Valencia & Inter players with misconduct over the fight and aftermath. From the BBC.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune reports from last nights big match in Liverpool.
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Rob Smyth of the Guardian asks if Liverpeople defender Jamie Carragher is England's best defender. Well, after last nights performance v Barca he has again put himself in that spot, at least right behind Chelsea's John Terry. Hard to argue.
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English team Coventry City is in negotiations to be bought out by even more Americans. What is going on? The investor Gary Hopkins is being backed by Sports Capital Partners which has Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts as part of its organization. Soccernet with more on this story (and also on a Chinese group interested in buying Sheffield Wednesday).
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Jack Bell at the New York Times looks at the onslaught of big money Americans buying into the English game.


Anonymous BC Pangie said...

Getting Serie A is not half bad, but personally I'd like to see more South American Footy on the television.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous MetroFanatic said...

Szetela after the lottery:

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Demko said...

That inter-valencia brawl is one of the funnier things i've watched in awhile. navarro is one pathetic dude. Goff has a video link up.

What is the point of jack bell? Everything he reports has been chewed up and spit out on the internets for days by the time he gets to pointing it out in print. When are we going to get some real coverage from the ny times?

11:34 AM  

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