Friday, January 18, 2008

Cracking The Ostrich Egg Is Tough News

According to Soccer America it looks like JP Dellacamera is going to replace Dave O'Brien as the lead announcer on all of ESPN 's MLS & USA games! This might be better news than any player signing. It also appears as though John Harkes will replace Eric Wynalda as the "color" commentator. The general consensus was that the Dellacamera-Harkes team was the best US TV commentators at the last World Cup. And could Bruce Arena join them?

~and~

Turns out that there's a chance Landon Donovan's next USA may not break the USA all time goal scoring record. FIFA is not recognizing one of the game he played in a scored a goal. So according to USA Donovan is tied with Eric Wynalda at 34 goals, but according to FIFA Donovan only stands at 33.

~and~

Is the USA going to play at Spain on June 4th? That would be great

~and~

USA & Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan is going to Celtic next week for an up close and personal try out


MLS

LA has sold right back Chris Albright to New England. This is a great pick up by the Rev's.
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Pablo Mastroeni is on his way out the door from Colorado.
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The word on the street is that the Chicago Fire has hired 3 new staff - First off Frank Klopas has been hired as Technical Director, then Chris Armas & Mike Jeffries have been hired as new head coach Denis Hamlett's assistants. I think those are all great moves.
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A $2million price tag is going to keep any MLS team from signing Celtic's Polish striker Maciej Zurawski.
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Even though we new about this deal 2 weeks ago, its final now today - Real Salt Lake have sold forward Alecko Eskandarian to Chivas USA.
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Shawn Mitchell who covers the Columbus Crew for the Columbus Dispatch has launched a new soccer blog - Covering The Crew.
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Bob Hunter also of the Columbus Dispatch says Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven could be out the door to another MLS team. (middle of the article)
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Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News speculates on Landon Donovan ever returning to play for the Earthquakes. I'm sorry, but this is just grasping at straws. This is NOT happening. Not now, not ever. On the other hand at least its an article on the team.
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[CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION] Great news for me and fellow Minnesota Thunder fans - The worst player in all of MLS last season, defender Adam Braz has re-signed with his old team in Montreal. Ok! Now we are talking. Not good enough to play defense in Toronto. That is saying something. I can't wait to heckle him again - he is one of the worlds great melt down artists. They come to St Paul on May 10! (Originally I wrote that he re-signed with Toronto, which was completely wrong. I got an avalanche of email correcting me on this one. Some chewed me out for picking on him. It seems that a lot of people care about Mr Braz. Good for him, seriously.)
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Forward Andy Herron will not be back with Columbus this season. So where is he?
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The Philadelphia Inquirer tries to ask and answer all the important questions about Philly's chance of landing an MLS team.
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MLS Superdraft

Former RSL GM Steve Pastorino at the Salt Lake Tribune says you need a backup plan for everything on draft day.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer says supporters group (with no team) the Sons Of Ben plan on storming the MLS draft in Baltimore today. Excellent.
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Former England coach Steve McClaren spoke last night at the convention affiliated with the Superdraft. ESPN has an article on what he talked about.
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Ian Plenderleith of the US Soccer Players Assoc has a Q & A with McClaren.
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Team USA

USA v Sweden - Sat Jan 19 at Home Depot Center in Carson CA - game time is 730pm central
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Official team blog.
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Goal.com previews the USA v Sweden match and takes a stab at guessing the USA starting 11.
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Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America thinks the USA roster for the game this weekend is very thin. Via Sports Illustrated.
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USA U23 aka Olympic Team Training Camp - in Bradenton FL

U23 official blog.
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US Soccer gives us an update from the U23 camp.
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The Minnesota Thunder has signed midfielder Luchi Gonzalez. He played for a few MLS, Euro & First Div teams.
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Ben Knight of the Toronto Globe & Mail On Soccer blog writes 2 columns, one with his own questions about the Canadian Soccer Association, and a 2nd article about a radio show that featured Canadian Soccer Association chairman Dominic Maestracci and general secretary John Billingsley. They took questions from the public which was pretty brave considering what a mess Canadian soccer is in. Good stuff.
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Luis Bueno at Sports Illustrated gives us a preview of the Mexican Clausura season which kicks off this weekend.
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Reuters with an article that says FIFA stand behind their man Jack Warner in his battle with the football association of the tiny island of Dominica. Dominica had filed a complaint about Warner's interference in their business.
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In a separate FIFA related matter, Reuters reports on 6 former FIFA employees who will go to trial in March after being charged with "embezzlement, fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy, harming creditors & falsification of documents." Is this the tip of the Iceberg?
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Copa Italia - Round of 16
2nd leg Matches & Scores (with 1st leg scores included):
-Tue Jan 15
Juventus 5-3 Empoli - Juve win 6-5 on aggregate.
-Wed Jan 16
Palermo 0-1 Udinese - Udi win 0-1 on agg.
Fiorentina 2-0 Ascoli - Fiore win 3-1 on agg.
Sampdoria 4-0 Cagliari - Samp adv 4-1 on agg.
Catania 1-1 Milan - Cat adv 3-1 on agg.
Roma 4-0 Torino - Roma adv 5-3 on agg.
-Thu Jan 17
Inter 3-0 Reggina - Inter adv 7-1 on agg. They must be furious about giving up that goal.
Napoli 1-1 Lazio - Laz adv 3-2 on agg.
-So Juve, Udinese, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Catania, Roma, Inter & Lazio advance to the Quarterfinal round.
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Top Goal Scorers in Europe’s big leagues:
La Liga
12 Luis Fabiano - Sevilla
11 Ruud van Nistelrooy - Real Madrid
11 Diego Milito - Zaragoza
10 Kahveci Nihat - Villarreal
10 Raul Tamudo - Espanyol
Bundesliga
10 Rafael Van der Vaart - Hamburg
9 Diego - Werder Bremen
9 Miroslav Klose - Bayern Munich
9 Luca Toni - Bayern Munich
8 Theofanis Gekas - Bayer Leverkusen
8 Mike Hanke - Hannover
8 Stanislav Sestak - Bochum
8 Mladen Petric - Borussia Dortmund
Serie A
10 David Trezeguet - Juventus
7 Kaka - Milan
7 Francesco Totti - Roma
7 Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Inter Milan
6 Marco Borriello - Genoa
6 Cristiano Doni - Atalanta
6 Adrian Mutu - Fiorentina
Eredivisie
18 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Ajax
14 Blaise N'Kufo - Twente
11 Robin Nelisse - Utrecht
11 Danny Koevermans - PSV
11 Roy Makaay - Feyenoord
11 Afonso Alves - Heerenveen
Premiership
16 Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United
14 Emmanuel Adebayor - Arsenal
11 Fernando Torres - Liverpool
10 Carlos Tevez - Manchester United
10 Roque Santa Cruz - Blackburn
10 Robbie Keane - Tottenham
10 Nicolas Anelka - Bolton/Chelsea
Ligue Un
13 Karim Benzema - Lyon
11 David Bellion - Bordeaux
10 Mamadou Niang - Marseille
10 Johan Elmander - Toulouse
10 Tulio De Melo - Le Mans
Portuguese Liga
12 Lisandro Lopez - Porto
8 Roland Linz - Braga
6 Joao Paulo - Uniao Leiria
6 da Silva Edinho - Vitoria Setubal
6 Miguel Nuno Gomes - Benfica
6 Ariza Makukula - Maritimo
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Big Euro Matches This Weekend
-Sat Jan 19
Villarreal v Valencia - the Valencia derby.
Hearts v Hibernian - the Edinburgh derby.
-Sun Jan 20
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - oh yeah, the Madrid derby and Atletico is looking good in 3rd place!
Sporting v Porto - a perennial powerhouse clash, with #2 v #1 this season.
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Talk in Liverpool has one of the teams two owners buying out the other - George Gillet will buy out Tom Hicks. We shall see.
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Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini gave his 17 year old son Filippo his debut in the teams 3-0 Copa Italia win over Reggina.
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Could Frenchman Gerard Houllier be named new coach of Ireland?
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Adriano scored both of his teams goals in a 2-1 win on his debut for Sao Paulo.
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The Telegraph of London with a story on Rio Ferdinand & Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United who helped out an inner-city football club. Great job guys.
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The Telegraph also has a story on Celtic's Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura who has been called a "genius".
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Readers of UEFA.com have voted these players as their starting 11 for 2007:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF)
Daniel Alves (Sevilla FC)
Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan)
John Terry (Chelsea FC)
Eric Abidal (FC Barcelona)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
Kaka (AC Milan)
Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (FC Internazionale Milano)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea FC)
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African Cup of Nations

Group Stage Matches & Scores:
-Sun Jan 20
Ghana v Guinea live at 11am central time.
-Mon Jan 21
Namibia v Morocco
Nigeria v Cote D’Ivoire
Mali v Benin
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du Nord's not very adventurous predictions on who will advance from the Group Stage
Group A: Ghana & Morocco are heavily favored over a decent Guinea & probably last place Namibia.
Group B: The toughest group - Nigeria & Cote d'Ivoire are favored, but Mali is a strong team, while Benin in the weakest link but they are not weak.
Group C: Defending champions Egypt & Cameroon are the favorites over Zambia & Sudan.
Group D: Tunisia & Senegal are probably the favorites, but both South Africa & Angola can advance too.
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In the USA the ACN can be seen on TV via 3ATeleSud. I can get it via Dish Network. It will cost you $15 to add this channel, so I say that you should sign up for it, watch the tournament and then cancel it. That's what I was gonna do, until they informed me that the signal was coming from a different satellite and I would need a $60 upgrade to pull it in. So much for that. Damnit all. You can also watch the games on line at Telesud.
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Sulaiman Folarin of Soccernet tries to solve the club v country conflict surrounding the ACN.
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Reuters with an article on what this ACN tournament can do for all of the host nation of Ghana, not just on the field.
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The Accra Daily Mail in Ghana says this is the moment of truth for their country.
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ADM also says their own national team was booted out of a hotel that they booked a long time ago so the hotel could crank up the prices.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune previews the tournament.
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The Independent of England previews the tournament.
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Greg Lalas writing on the New York Times Goal blog is off to the ACN and will be reporting in regularly.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam Braz didn't re-sign with Toronto, he re-signed with the Montreal Impact, the USL club he was with before he joined TFC:
http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3581874

6:06 PM  
Anonymous beoferret said...

I know I'm a minority among soccer fans, but I actually kinda liked Dave O'Brien as an announcer. Yes, he could have dropped a few of the human interest stories, but he does have a good voice for his job. Plus, I always appreciated hearing him (a traditional baseball guy) getting excited about a play or a player. It made me feel like soccer could really capture some of the old sports establishment, if they just gave it a real chance.

7:20 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

i will agree with you beoferret that o'brien has a solid voice
but he knew absolutely nothing about the game
we need people with knowledge in a spot like
we will get there
i just dont want espn trying to create announcers for soccer
i want them to go out and get us the very very best
is jp the answer - no, but at least he is the real deal
glenn davis would be a better choice fo right now
but he already has about 6 jobs in houston and hdnet
alan hopkins has a great voice calling games too
i hope he gets a chance someday instead of being the sideline lackey

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Good to see Braz will be back at the Jimmy this year - looking forward to having him flip me the bird again.

12:40 PM  
Blogger raysagres said...

I am very diasppointed with ESPN which I enjoy very much to hire JP Dellacamera an John Harkes to do their games. Their performance in the World Cup was disgusting. All they did was become cheerleaders for france and Italy. Their constant anti Cristiano Ronaldo was disgusting. Its very satisfying to watch Cristiano again this year play the way he is to shut up comentators like these two.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous tampasoccerfan said...

Dave O'Brian gone? OMG! That is the best thing for any football fan in the US. I am so happy. I would literally turn the volume off when he was the voice of MLS and World Cup games last summer. Uggghhhh. Thank you, ESPN for getting rid of him. Better late than never!!!

10:07 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i can understand where you are coming from raysagres

but the best thing cristiano ronaldo has done to shut up commentators and his critics is to stop the constant diving and whining

we all knew he was talented, but the shinanegans got in the way

i think that to shut everyone else up, cristiano had to shut up himself first

12:31 AM  
Blogger chankansin said...

Show must go on and on dish network.

6:33 AM  

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