Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cockeyed Optimist News


Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan is going NOWHERE! A fee had been agreed for Aston Villa in England to buy him, but his work permit application was denied at the final hour. In turn Chivas has given The Worm a new contract. Good move on their part. He earned it.


USA forward Landon Donovan does an audio interview with US Soccer on the rivalry with Mexico. Download or listen.


It's Bouna Time in Ghana! Colorado keeper Bouna Coundoul got the start for his native Senegal today in the African Cup of Nations

MLS News

Financing in Philadelphia for a stadium has taken another big step forward with the state kicking $45million in infrastructure. This could pave the way for MLS in Philly to be announced at any time now. (thanks to Christopher for the updates)
-Here is the artist rendering of the stadium.
-Article from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Contains quotes from Jeff Cooper who is leading the charge in St Louis for a team as well.
-The Philadelphia Daily News says the stadium deal financing will be announced tomorrow by the Pennsylvania Governor.
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Could he be taking "the curse" with him? Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer reports that former Metro Stars exec Nick Sakiewicz is headed to Philadelphia to help them secure and run an MLS team. All Red Bull fans hope he takes a large carry-on bag of "Meadowlands Curse" with him. I am sure we will know more in 30 to 60 days.
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Tom Timmerman of the St Louis Dispatch gives us a look at Philly from the view of their competition city.
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Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch with an article on Crew playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto who is back in town and ready for camp after an offseason of confusion. He said at one point that he was not coming back, and ripped some of his teammates in the Argentine press. What is he saying now?
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Mitchell on his Covering The Crew blog also has some great quotes from Columboss Sigi Schmid about the expectation for him and his team in this coming season. Yes Sigi is still pregnant. And a few more little interesting tidbits on Guillsche too.
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New Houston keeper Tony Caig tells a Gretna newspaper why he left Scotland for America.
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Seth Stammler has signed a contract extension with New York
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Over 3500 players have signed up for this years 2 editions of Univision Republica Deportiva's Sueno MLS. This is a reality show where player try to win a spot on Chivas USA and FC Dallas (who are new to the show this season). I really thought of this show as a total joke last year, but the kid who won the contest, Lorge Flores, ended up getting a contract with Chivas USA, made his debut, and is now playing regularly for the USA U20 team. His story is quite amazing to me. The show debuts Feb 15 and will run until March 30.
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For the about the 8th time in 3 years New York forward Mike Magee has had knee surgery. He is expected to be out for 6 weeks this time.
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Dylan Butler of the Flushing Times Ledger says Chicago hopes they found their next Damani Ralph with draft pick Dwight Barnett of Jamaica.
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Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe fills us in with more details on the 3rd and final failed bid by Preston for Rev's forward Taylor Twellman.
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DC United lost one of their new draft picks already as Andrew Jacobson has signed with Lorient in France.
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Billy Witz of the Daily Breeze looks at the life of a team (in any sport) that plays in a facility owned by AEG. It's never straight forward.
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The US Soccer Players Assoc has an interesting article by former Real Salt Lake GM Steve Pastorino, who sat down with the teams current GM Garth Lagerway. Great concept for a story. How did it go?
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MLS Rumor City

The Chicago Fire will take a look at Tomasz Frankowski next week. He is a Polish forward who has been out of action since destroying his knee last summer. The 33 year old last played with Wolverhampton in England.
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MLS Preseason Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Fri Feb 8
Ventura County Fusion v Salt Lake - at Buena High in Ventura
-Feb. 9
Kansas City v Columbus - in Bradenton FL
-Feb. 12
Kansas City v DC - in Bradenton FL
-Feb 13
San Jose v Houston - at PAL Stadium in San Jose.
-Feb 16
San Jose v Houston - at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco
Kansas City v Toronto (split squad for KC) - in Bradenton FL
Kansas City v Chicago (split squad for KC) - in Bradenton FL
-Mon Feb 25
Ventura County Fusion v Columbus - at Buena High in Ventura
-Sat Mar 1
FC Seoul v Los Angeles - at World Cup Stadium in Seoul South Korea
-Wed Mar 5
China All-Star Union v Los Angeles - at Shanghai Stadium in Shanghai China
-Mar 15
Dallas v Los Angeles - at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco TX
-(if you know of more MLS preseason matches please send them my way, thanks)

USL First Division

Thomas Dunsmore of Chicago Sports Weekly takes a look at the growing trend of foreign ownership in USL teams.
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Here is one that slipped under my radar - Portland signed forward Chris Brown from Real Salt Lake. Thanks to Joe at the Portland Timbers MLS blog for the info.
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Training in Carson CA in preparation for next weeks match v Mexico - Wed Feb 6 at 8pm central from Houston TX on ESPN2.
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US Soccer with photos from yesterdays training.
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US Soccer gives us some video of the team having a great time, yet still being very competitive.
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Jeff Bradley at MLSnet looks at the last 11 meetings between USA & Mexico.
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Midfielder Brad Davis checks in with a little fluff on the Houston website from USA training camp.
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As of right now it looks like Mexico will be missing at least one key player and possibly others due to injury - Nery Castillo is out with a separated shoulder, while Andres Guardado & Ricardo Osorio are said to have muscle injuries. I wouldn't hold my breath on those 2 missing out. It's important enough for them. It also looks like Jared Borgetti's days with the national team are over. On the other side of the fence, after a blowout last summer Pavel Pardo appears to have settled his differences with the coach and is back in. The only guy I will really miss is Oswaldo Sanchez, cuz we really had that moron's number - what a headcase.
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Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle with a great personal article on the upcoming USA-Mexico match. Fallas was born in Costa Rico but is about to become a US citizen, and his love of the USA national team has caught him by surprise. Does he have a new allegiance to sing? Awesome!
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USA Olympic Team

Training in Bradenton FL in preparation for Olympic qualifying in March.
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US Soccer with photos from today's training.
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USA U20's

Copa Chivas in Guadalajara Mexico
Matches & Scores:
-Sat Jan 26
USA 2-2 Club America
-Sun Jan 27
USA 1-1 UAG Tecos
-Mon Jan 28
USA 0-1 Locomotiv Moscow
-Tue Jan 29
USA 1-1 Estudiantes
-Wed Jan 30
USA 2-0 Santos - Sorry but I still don't know who scored the USA goals.
-The USA team finished 4th in their group and failed to advance to the knockout round. I find this pretty disappointing. Don't you?
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Ben Knight of the Toronto Globe & Mail's On Soccer blog wonders how Canada will select their entrant to the new CONCACAF Champions League.
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Copa Libertadores - The final qualifying round.

1st leg Matches & Scores:
-Tue Jan 29
Arsenal 2-0 Mineros
-Wed Jan 30
Cruzeiro 3-1 Cerro Porteno Cruz goals by . Cerro goal by .
Atlas 2-0 La Paz - goals by Ulises Mendivil & Eduardo Rergis.
-Thu Jan 31
Olmedo v Lanus
Ciencciano v Montevideo Wanderers
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Americans In Europe

Game action from Wednesday:
-Bobby Convey - Reading - started and played 85 minutes of 1-0 loss at Chelsea.
-Benny Feilhaber - Derby - did not dress for the teams 1-1 home draw with Man City.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - played the entire match as usual in goal, but lost 1-0 at Chelsea.
-Tim Howard - Everton - went the distance in a 0-0 home tie with Tottenham.
-Eddie Lewis - Derby - out with a knee injury and missed the teams 1-1 home draw with Man City.
-Jonathan Spector - West Ham - came on in the 81st minute to help preserve a big 1-0 home win over the Liverpeople.
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American Soccer Daily is reporting that Randers in Denmark has snapped up 2 young American players on the same day. The first is midfielder Lee Nguyen who has spent the last 2 seasons at PSV Eindhoven in Holland. The other player is forward Will John who has spent 3 seasons with Chicago & Kansas City in MLS. Neither player so much of any of field action with his team. The initial rumor had them going to Randers on loan deals, but these are both full transfer deals.
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Rumors from Belgium say that Club Brugge has offered a contract to talented USA U17 player Jared Jeffrey.
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Great news on Eddie Lewis via US Soccer: "Contrary to published news reports, Eddie Lewis does not have a cartilage injury to his knee that would require surgery and a month-long rehab. Lewis did a have a minor procedure, but is hopeful to be back in training tomorrow at Derby and be ready for the weekend. Buen suerte, Eddie!"
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European Cup Competitions

Copa Del Rey - Quarterfinals
2nd leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Wed Jan 30
Atlectico Madrid 3-2 Valencia - series ends tied 3-3, so Valencia advance on away goals tie breaker.
Mallorca 2-1 Getafe - - series ends tied 2-2, so Getafe advance on away goals tie breaker.
-Thu Jan 31
Athletic Bilbao v Racing Santander (0-2)
Barcelona v Villareal (0-0)
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Copa Italia - Quarterfinals
2nd leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Tue Jan 29
Roma 1-0 Sampdoria - Roma advance 2-1 on aggregate.
-Wed Jan 30
Catania 2-1 Udinese - series ends tied 4-4, so Udinese advance on away goals tie breaker.
Fiorentina 1-2 Lazio - Lazio adv. 4-2 on agg.
Juventus 2-3 Inter - Inter adv. 5-4 on agg.
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No Ibrahimovic? No Crespo? No Sweat! I have to admit that I am just giddy today over the fact that Inter's 17 year old forward Mario Balotelli scored 2 against Juve last night to help the team advance in the Copa Italia!!!! Late in the game Mauro Camoranesi of Juventus was shown a straight red card for a vicious chopping down of Super Mario.
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German DFB Pokal - Round of 16
Matches & Scores:
-Tue Jan 29
Alemania Aachen 2-3 Munich 1860
Hoffenheim 2-1 Hansa Rostock
Wuppertaler 2-5 Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Werder Bremen
-Wed Jan 30
Carl Zeiss Jena 2-1 Arminia Bielefeld
Rot-Weiss Essen 0-3 Hamburg
Werder Bremen Reserves 2-3 Stuttgart
Wolfsburg 1-1 Schalke - Wolfsburg adv 5-3 on PK's.
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Big Euro Match Mid-Week
-Wed Jan 30
Ajax 0-2 PSV - PSV extend their lead at the top to 8 points over 2nd place Ajax.
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European News

Reuters talks to former UEFA president Lennart Johansson about the job being done by current UEFA boss Michel Platini.
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Fans of both Liverpool & Arsenal have been stomping their feet and claiming that they are going to raise the money themselves to buy their beloved teams. Go for it. And good luck. but it's not going to happen.
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Harry Pearson (Billy Bragg's stunt double) of the Guardian with his thoughts on the type of American businessman that is finding English football teams such a investment.
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The Guardian with a story on an Iraqi player who, even though he met the qualifications, was denied a work permit to play for Man City.
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Oliver Holt of the Mirror tries to figure out if Beckman is more serious about playing for England, or getting ready for retirement.
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Word is now out that Don Fabio did not select Sir Beckman for the England friendly next week v Switzerland.
-Here is the England roster for that game:
David James
Scott Carson
Chris Kirkland
Wayne Bridge
Ashley Cole
Curtis Davies
Rio Ferdinand
Glen Johnson
Ledley King
Nicky Shorey
Wes Brown
Joleon Lescott
Micah Richards
Matthew Upson
Jonathan Woodgate
Michael Carrick
Steven Gerrard
Gareth Barry
Jermaine Jenas
Owen Hargreaves
Joe Cole
Ashley Young
Stewart Downing
Shaun Wright-Phillips
David Bentley
Emile Heskey
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Michael Owen
Wayne Rooney
Peter Crouch
-This list will be cut to 23 this weekend, and then down to 18 for game day.
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African Cup of Nations

Group Stage Matches & Scores:
-Sun Jan 20
Ghana 2-1 Guinea
-Mon Jan 21
Namibia 1-5 Morocco
Nigeria 0-1 Cote D’Ivoire
Mali 1-0 Benin
-Tue Jan 22
Cameroon 2-4 Egypt
Zambia 3-0 Sudan
-Wed Jan 23
Tunisia 2-2 Senegal
South Africa 1-1 Angola
-Thu Jan 24
Guinea 3-2 Morocco
Ghana 1-0 Namibia
-Fri Jan 25
Cote D’Ivoire 4-1 Benin
Nigeria 0-0 Mali
-Sat Jan 26
Cameroon 5-1 Zambia
Egypt 3-0 Sudan
-Sun Jan 27
Senegal 1-3 Angola
Tunisia 3-1 South Africa
-Mon Jan 28
Ghana 2-0 Morocco
Guinea 1-1 Namibia
-Tue Jan 29
Nigeria 2-0 Benin
Cote D’Ivoire 3-0 Mali
-Wed Jan 30
Egypt 1-1 Zambia
Cameroon 3-0 Sudan
-Thu Jan 31
Tunisia 0-0 Angola
Senegal 1-1 South Africa - Sen goal by Henri Camara. SA goal by Elrio van Heerden.
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Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul got the start for Senegal today!!!! Word has it that he made some fantastic saves too. Great for him.
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Because of the tie game between Tunisia & Angola they both advance knocking the other two out regardless of their outcome.
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Quarterfinal Matches & Scores:
-Sun Feb 3
Ghana v Nigeria - 11am central time
Ivory Coast v Guinea - 2:30pm central time
-Mon Feb 4
Egypt v Angola
Tunisia v Cameroon
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You can watch all the games for a fee or see video highlights for free at Telesud.
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Other African News

Didier Drogba of Chelsea & Ivory Coast, Michael Essien of Chelsea & Ghana, and Frederic Kanoute of Sevilla & Mali are the 3 finalists for the African Footballer Of The Year award which will be announced tomorrow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope England continues to lose without Becks.

8:00 PM  
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Great BBC docu on Aladdin Sane-era Bowie, "Cracked Actor. "There is a fly in my milk....I feel like that fly...!..."

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