Thursday, March 08, 2007

Weh Wah Dibbly Duh Gonk News

LA GM Alexi Lalas talking to Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe about what the arrival of the big money player does to his other players mentality: "...if they honestly believe they can be as good as the best players in the world, here's the opportunity to show it."

I have not seen this anywhere, and it seems like pretty important news - Trinidad & Tobago has suspended all national team operations immediately due to lack of funds! They have told CONCACAF that they may miss the Gold Cup. This is from the T&T website. The news is 2 days old already. Why isn't this a bigger deal?
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Brian McBride has been voted by the fans as Fulham Player Of The Month for February! Great for Brian. Not to be total cynic about this, cuz I love McBride, but as good as he has been for them, this does not say a lot about the team as a whole when he is their best player many times over the past year and a half.
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Columbus has won the lottery and get the rights to USA U20 midfielder Robbie Rogers. Did he make the Szetela face when he heard them say "It's Columbus"?
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You want a little of the latest MLS gossip? Here you go - Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer attended a UJA luncheon where the guest of honor was MLS Commish Don Garber. Many MLS and soccer luminaries were in attendance and the info flowed freely. Lots to absorb here including these two gems:
-An unnamed team is close to a Designated Player signing. (On a side note several people have been referring to this as a "DP" signing, but I am going to stay away from those initials due to other uses. And I don't mean Dr Pepper either.)
-Jimmy Conrad & Pablo Mastroeni were in New York to tape an episode of Emeril Live with chef Emeril Lagasse for the Food Network. I kid you not.
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The worst kept secret right now is that the LA Galaxy will take on Chelsea next summer in what is expected to be David Beckham's first game with his new team. LA is expected to officially announce that game tomorrow.
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Dallas took on Brazilian team Paranaense last night in the USA-Brazil Challenge Cup, but things did not go their way as they lost 3-1. Denis Marques scored first for Para in the 11th minute. Alex Mineiro made it 2-0 on a PK in the 21st. Ramon Nunez brought Dallas back to 2-1 in the 50th minute after some great teamwork got him free in front of the goal. Dallas keeper Dario Sala stopped a 2nd PK in the 58th, but Para got their third & the games final goal by Danilo Marcao just moments later. Chris Gbandi left the game early with a badly sprained ankle injured in a vicious tackle.
-The return leg back in Dallas will be on Saturday, March 31.
-And don't forget to see the inaugural Pioneer Cup match between Dallas and Columbus on Sun March 11. If you can't be there in person then you can watch the game on FSC. Kick off is at 5pm central time. The significance of this match is to commemorate the late owner of both teams Lamar Hunt. Check out all the info on contributing money to a good cause at the link listed above.
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Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune says former Chicago Fire defender Tony Sanneh is talking to the LA Galaxy & New York Red Bulls about finding a new team for him to play on. He is still recovering from surgery right now.
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Toronto midfielder Ronnie O'Brien knows MLS as well as anyone else on his new team, and he tells Irish website Eleven-A-Side that his new team won't light up the league right away. I appreciate his level headed honesty.
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Kosuke Kimura has become the first Japanese in MLS. He signed with the Colorado Rapids. From the Macomb (IL) Journal. Hooray Kosuke! Hooray Saki!
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Andrew Hush at Soccer New England says that The Revs are happy to be training in Cancun Mexico. I had to spend a night in Cancun once with air plane troubles and I found a very cool little place in downtown, far away from the Hotela Zonera. It was nice and sparse, with a killer outdoor eating place next door. The rest of Cancun sucks! Unless yer a cliched American party dude, in which case I'm sure Cancun totally rules.
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Interview with New England forward Taylor Twellman at South Coast Today - a Massachusetts newpaper.
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Even Is On has an interview with Brian Weilding who is the guy behind the Claudio Reyna documentary called The Goal.
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Andrea Canales gets busted wearing a FC Dallas hat at the Home Depot Center! Hilarious!
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Jose Garcia of the Arizona Republic with the latest on the Phoenix bid for MLS.
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The Charlotte Eagles of the USL Second Division have signed former MLS #1 overall draft pick Steve Shak. Why do we all keep piling that on Steve's shoulders? Cuz we're mean bastards, and we can.
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The staff of the US Players Assoc website with a roundtable discussion on all the latest topics including CONCACAF Gold Cup draw, David Beckham's injury, ticket prices in MLS and the Champions League.
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Clint Dempsey played a match with the Fulham reserves on Tuesday night, and even though they got smoked 5-1 by Charlton it sounds like Deuce played a good game. From the Fulham web site.
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And speaking of Fulham, my pal BQ turned me on to this really good Fulham blog, so I in turn have to show you the goods - Craven Cottage Newsround. I don't know what a "newsround" is (someone will tell me though), but I know a good website when I see one.
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As always thanks to BQ for all the Fulham updates. I don't even have to look for them anymore.
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Yanks Abroad previews the kickoff to the second half of the Danish League season. The winter break is over and several Americans, including Danny Califf & Heath Pearce are ready for action.
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YA also talks to American defender Jay DeMerit of Watford about the chances of him getting called up for the USA matches later this month against Guatemala & Ecuador. There is no doubt in my mind that Jay will be called into the camp.
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The Coventry Telegraph with more info on the "American" bid to take over Coventry City. Turns out the lead guy is not American at all, but was born and raised right there in Coventry, yet has made his wealth in America.
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Copa Libertadores - here are the week's matches:
Wednesday March 7
LDU Quito 3-1 Colo Colo
Deportes Tolima 1-0 Cerro Porteno
America 4-0 Banfield
-Match reports via Yahoo Sports.
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.
-Liverpool 0-1 Barcelona (2-1) - The Liverpeople knock out the champs after tying 2-2 on aggregate, but winning with their 2 away 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.
-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 1-0 Celtic, in extra time (0-0) - Milan win 1-0 on agg. Kaka with the goal.
-Arsenal 1-1 PSV (0-1) - PSV win 2-1 on agg. Alex with an own goal for Arsenal and another for his own team.
-Man United 1-0 Lille (1-0) - Man U win 2-0 on agg. Henrik Larsson got the games only goal.
-Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid (2-3) - ends 4-4 on agg, but Bayern win on 2 away goals. Roy Makaay & Lucio scored for BM, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy scoring on a PK for RM.
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du Nord Champions League roundup: Several more dull but intense games yesterday as Man U, Bayern, Milan & PSV advanced, and a peacock ruled the roost in Northern England. Manchester United was able to get past a really weak Lille with their second 1-0 victory, giving them a 2-0 aggregate. The Red Devils weren't that much better than Lille with their heavy touch, too many back passes and the only guy who could score being the one who is leaving the club in a couple of days. The worst part of the game though was the peacock in the black shirt with yellow accents that ran around the middle of the pitch all game blowing his whistle for all kinds of stupid things just to prove he was in charge! Cristiano Ronaldo got a yellow for diving that for once wasn't a dive. Senor Peacock gave the wrong Lille'r a card, only to correct the mistake a moment later, which led to ESPN TV announcer Tommy Smyth calling him a brilliant genius for correcting a mistake. Tommy can you hear me? He got the call obviously wrong, so how can it be genius or brilliant to simply correct it? This was the same ref who gave that horrible PK to Italy against Australia in the World Cup. Yes that idiot. Enough. Didn't Alianz Arena look amazing from the outside last night. That red glow is so surreal, you can actually see the faint aftereffects inside too. Very cool. Bayern Munich stunned us all with a Roy Makaay goal after only 10 seconds! 10 SECONDS! Astounding. Roberto Carlos who flubbed the ball and gave it away blamed the pitch. He said it was a "bumpy pitch". Where have I heard that phrase before? It's his old legs and brain that have gotten bumpy. Then Lucio made it 2-0 and Bayern were rocking! Late in the 2nd half Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored his 49th Champions League goal, via a PK, to make it 4-4 on aggregate but Bayern's 2 away goal were superior. Ciao Capello. Coach Ronald Koeman brought his hideously boring style to PSV this season and they brought it to London last night and tied with Arsenal 1-1 to give them a 2-1 agg win. PSV defender Alex got both goals! One was an own goal to give the Arse the lead, but his next was a late header to give PSV the win. From goat to glory in less than 25 minutes. The injury pile for Arsenal's Thierry Henry grew higher. Before the game he had foot & hamstring injuries, plus the long term Sciatica problem. He entered the match as a sub, and ended the game with a groin strain. If I was Wenger I would tell him to take the rest of the season off and get well for 07/08. And finally, after 183 minutes of dull catanacio, Rikki Kaka pulled off another of his trademark long runs that ended in a golazo and a 1-0 extra time win for Milan over Celtic. Yes folks, that was it for goals in the two games. Kinda lame for two teams with busted up defenses. This shoulda ended 10-9. Celtic thought they deserved a PK in extra time, but yer not gonna get that call at the San Siro guys. End of story.
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So now we have Roma, Liverpool, Chelsea, Valencia, Milan, PSV, Man United & Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. We will know the draw for the next round tomorrow morning. Let's hope for better in-game-action next round.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune reports on Arsenal v PSV in London.
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UEFA Cup - Here are the round of 16 match ups. Those games will be played today with return legs on March 15:
Newcastle v AZ Alkmaar
Maccabi Haifa v Espanyol
Rangers v Osasuna
Braga v Tottenham
Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk
Lens v Bayer Leverkusen
Paris St Germain v Benfica
Celta de Vigo v Werder Bremen
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Jonah Freedman at Sports Illustrated gives us the latest World Soccer Power Rankings (with a new #1).
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Manchester United are in tough shape forward-wise as they enter the stretch run in 3 competitions. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is out for at least a month with more knee trouble (the knees kept him out for 2 seasons prior to this one), Henrik Larsson is headed back to Sweden when his load deal ends in a week or so, Wayne Rooney has been playing with little nicks and bruises and a not so great scoring form, and now Luis Saha is out a month with a hamstring injury. Where do they turn? Ronaldo and Giggs up front? Who plays behind them? Scholes just got a 3 match EPL ban for taking a swing at someone the other day....... We shall see, but the race for the Premiershp title is definitely not over no matter what the "experts" are saying.
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One day after saying that they would let UEFA handle the situation of the brawl in Valencia, Inter Milan have released a statement saying they will do everything legally possible to get back at Valencia.
-Inter Milan back up keeper Francesco Toldo tells his version of what went down. What a crazy scene.
-Check out this photo taken at Valencia's Mestalla stadium of a placard design the home town fans laid out to "welcome" Inter. Wow.
-And here is another of Navarro' fist connecting with Burdisso's nose.
-Video link of the incident from an Arabic(?) station via You Tube. Shows a lot of tussling and then Inter guys chasing Navarro. The best part happens at 1:19 when you see Toldo slip into the Valencia dressing room and then security goes into action. Figo and Cambiasso struggle to follow Toldo, but are turned away.
-As much as I say that I hate this violence stuff, I have to admit that the lame soap opera nature of it all excites me and cracks me up.
-One last thing, Navarro has spoken on the phone to Burdisso. Navarro apologized and Burdisso accepted. Good work men.
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After several years of being chased by Italian tax authorities, Maradona is now being investigated by Argentine tax people too. Maybe he can go hide out in Cuba again.
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Long time Trinidad & Tobago striker Dwight Yorke has finally retired from international duty. Did you know he played in the game v the USA in 1989 when Paul Caliguri scored the goal that sent the USA to its first World Cup in 50 years?
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With Lyon, Real Madrid and Barcelona all going out early, what are the odds that Gerard Houllier, Fabio Capello and Frank Rjikaard will have jobs at their current clubs next season? Not good I suspect.
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Reuters New Agency with a great story on Boca Juniors slightly unconventional yet great forward Martin Palermo. I would love it if he came to a team in MLS real soon. And why not bring his strike partner Rodrigo "Rat Tail" Palacios with him. And have them stop in Honduras on their way north to pick up Olimpia striker Wilson Palacios too. Yessiree, now we're talkin'.
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Reuters also has a story about Spain finally beginning to take the racism problems in their football seriously.
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Ronaldo slagged off his old Real Madird boss Fabio Capello saying that his coaching methods are old fashioned. Then he said that his coach before that, Hector Cuper at Inter was worse! Hahahaha. Go Ronny, get busy, it's yer birthday! When is Ronny's birthday anyway? I oughta send him a du Nord t-shirt.
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Did you know Switzerland is playing 2 games in the United States against Jamaica & Colombia on March 25th & 28th? I have no confirmation on this. Anyone?


Blogger Kevin-- said...

Carlos' blaming the pitch is second only to Totti's blaming of his shoes awhile back as the lamest excuse ever.

9:34 AM  
Blogger sleepylabeef said...

what is up with that black thing on Alan Smith's face? at first i thought it was some mud but it never left his cheek or changed location. is that the effect of eating too much bangers and mash, rotting you from the inside out like Braveheart's uncle? all i can find on the intartubes is that he cut it in a reserves game - he needs to keep out of sight until that thing settles down

11:52 AM  
Anonymous joe ginto said...

"This was the same ref who gave that horrible PK to Italy against Australia in the World Cup."

STOP IT! Lucas Neal tripped Grosso and when he (Neal) went down in the box he also stuck his arm up in a further attempt to trip Grosso. I love the Socceroos but stop propogating that myth. It's tiresome.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Shak was a little bit of a dirty player when at UCLA.

2:19 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

did my own two eyes tell me it was a myth, joe ginto? no sir! i saw it go down and that is my opinion - it was a brutal call, and a horrible yet typical italian dive.

hate me if you want, but i am stickin to it!

you can have your opinion that it was the correct call. cool with me.

thanks for reading

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Brucio; the Socceroos got ripped off. It was a total dive by the Italian player.

That game should have gone to overtime, where Australia would have won !

Even a total idiot like Grahame Jones of the LA Times was able to see with his own eyes that it was a dive.
I remember how ticked off he was about that game last summer.

11:52 PM  
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10:00 PM  

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