Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When We Needed You Most News

Looks like young American midfielder Danny Szetela is headed out on load from Racing Santander. Sounds like a great idea to me as his playing time has been barely minimal. Now let's see where he goes.


Benny Feilhaber is NOT going to play in Israel. His club Derby and Maccabi Tel Aviv could not reach a deal. But the club is talking to MLS about him coming home to play in America. Stay tuned. News from the Derby County website.


Is anyone who follows MLS surprised to learn that Adrian Serioux owns a pit bull? I didn't think so. Name? Knuckles.

In listening to Glenn Davis' radio show on Monday night, the Houston Dynamo Power Hours, we learned that Dynamo forwards Joseph Ngwenya and now Nate Jaqua are pursuing overseas deals. Ngwenya has had insufficient offers but nothing else concrete has happened yet.

The reason Polish forward Maciej Zurawski has not made a move to a MLS team (LA & Columbus have both been mentioned) is that Celtic want $2 million for him. That's not gonna happen.

More heavy rumor mill action: 2 things from Steven Goff of the Washington Post on his Soccer Insider blog - "Morelia [of Mexico] is trying to acquire DC United's Luciano Emilio, which would be quite a feat considering he is under contract here and would command a large transfer fee. Ridiculous. Word out of Chile is that Columbus's Marco Gonzalez wants to join Universidad Catolica."

It's official now - KC sends left full back Jose Burciaga to Colorado for a 2nd round draft pick.

Dan Loney at the US Soccer Players Assoc takes a look at the failed Taylor Twellman transfer to Preston in England. He goes after the leagues overall low low low salaries. One thing I have to say on this subject, and excuse me if you have heard this all before, but Preston are lowballing MLS on Twellman's fee, and this tactic has to be stopped. Too bad its happening to guys like Shalrie Joseph last year and Twellman now, but the only way to stop it is to say no to these ridiculously low offers.

A picture of Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the new Best Buy sponsored Chicago shirt. I guess I am surprised to see they didn't slap that big Yellow Tag Best Buy logo on there. Although it might just look like a big ol' Yellow Card. (I am not sure who sent me this, but a note to whoever posted it -I stole it, and I thank you greatly for sharing it with all of us.)

-Here are a couple more photos of Fire players in the new kit. This link is from ImSeeinRed on the Section 8 message board.

Nick Firchau of the Chicago Sun Times writes about the impact a front of shirt sponsor could have.

Chicago Fire has produced a tribute video to recently retired Chris Armas. I hope the team brings him back to get a nice standing ovation from the crowd this season. Thanks to Luis for tipping us off to this.

Grahame Jones of the LA Times with a story on the Galaxy's acquisition of forward Carlos Ruiz from Dallas.

Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America on the return of Carlos Ruiz to Los Angeles. You have to imagine that Ruiz is ecstatic.

Tobias Xavier Lopez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram on the departure of Ruiz from Dallas.

Diego Aparicio of the Dallas Morning News also on Ruiz.
-Dallas coach Steve Morrow admitted that the team has been in talks with Argentine forward Claudio Lopez.

According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, little known DC United developmental player Bryan Arguez has been sold to Hertha Berlin in Germany. Awesome for him. Really brutal for us when kids like this are bailing and the league plans to add 2 mores teams in the next 2 years. We needs these guys to stay.

The San Jose Mercury News with the story on the Earthquakes acquiring defender Nick Garcia from Kansas City yesterday.

The Merc News also talks to EQuakes keeper Joe Cannon about his return to San Jose.

The Ohio State Lantern with an article on their alum, Dallas keeper Ray Burse.

Aaaaaaaahhhh, the Zidane stories are back again. I saw a rumor article about Zidane coming out of retirement the other day, but chose to ignore it, hoping it would go away. But like herpes it's back again for Round 11. Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports this time.

Jack Bell of the New York Times with an article on Colorado keeper Bouna Coundoul who is at the African Cup of Nations with his native Senegal. Coundoul is the only MLS player in the tournament.
-Bell with a little more on Coundoul on the Times Goal blog.

The Real Salt Lake preseason will look something like this: Salt Lake City, Oxnard CA, Sunrise FL, Rosario Argentina

MLS Combine
Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree with his Day 3 recap.
Jen Chang at Soccernet with a wrap up. He says defenders are the best bet.
Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives with his Day 3 review.

Steven Goff at the Insider blog talks to potential #1 overall pick Patrick Nyarko.

I have been told by some sources that Ohio State's Roger Espinoza has signed with MLS via Generation Adidas. But he was not on that list MLS published and if he signed after the list had been released then they have not found a reason to let us know that. We shall see.

Word has very quietly leaked out that ESPN2 will be broadcasting the first round of the MLS Superdraft starting at 1pm central time on Fri Jan 18.

Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune with his Chicago Fire draft preview.
-Arroyave also looks at how other teams are sitting.

Steve Davis at MLSnet calls this draft unpredictable.

Jeff Bradley at MLSnet with his First XI - the best of the Superdraft.

Guamster on Big Soccer posted a link to a video interview with Seattle part-owner Drew Carey on the Craig Ferguson show.

Where are they now: The Voice in Botswana catches up with local & former MLS player Dipsy Selolwane who has joined Jomo Cosmos in South Africa. They loooooove their Dipsy. (second story down)

The Miami Herald says that a potential MLS team in that city will now have an option on where to play - a second home is being bandied about.

Grahame Jones of the LA Times with his weekly world soccer news recap - Corner Kicks.

Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune with his weekly round up - Trophies, Red Cards & Notes.

Ravi Ubha of the Seattle Post Intelligencer with his weekly world soccer news roundup.

USA Training Camp in Carson CA
-Official team blog.
-US Soccer has an audio interview with coach Bradley, plus Landon Donovan & Jimmy Conrad. Listen to or download here.
-Official training photos from the 12th and 15th.

I noticed something very interesting in those photos - Clarence Goodson is in them. We were told he left to go to Norway to sign with Start. So I guess that means he is back! Great effort on his part.

Dave Lifton at the US Soccer Players Assoc does a Q & A with former USA great and now TV guy Eric Wynalda.

Ives Galarcep writing for the Herald News says Giuseppe Rossi has until Feb 1 to change his mind and play for the USA national team instead of Italy. Galarcep says it will be Italy.

Word from the Netherlands is that Michael Bradley has turned down contract extensions from his club Heerenveen, so the club will look to sell him next summer. Let's hope his current season continues as it is now, and he goes somewhere excellent.

Jeffrey Marcus of the New York Times Goal blog looks at the brutal seasons being had by the clubs and some of our Yanks Abroad.

USA U23 aka Olympic Team Training Camp - in Bradenton FL
-U23 official blog.

The LA Times with a great article on the next battle ground for American youth soccer development - club v school.

The USA U18 team will hold a big training camp in Bradenton FL Jan 17-24. An incredible 72 players were invited. How do you work with that many? Here is the roster. The one thing that bums me out is that not one kid from Minnesota is on that list.

English FA Cup
12 matches that ended in tie scores last round will be replayed on Tue & Wed this week. Here are all the games.
-Several Americans are in action:
-Tue Jan 15
Reading 0-1 Tottenham
-Marcus Hahnemann sat this one out.
-Bobby Convey went the distance in the losing effort.
Millwall 2-1 Walsall
-Zak Whitbread did not dress for the win.
-Wed Jan 16
Man City v West Ham
-Tue Jan 22
Bristol Rovers v Fulham
Sheffield Wednesday v Derby
-The 4th round will be played Jan 25, 26 & 27.

Another American involved in a Cup match was Oguchi Onyewu who's team Standard beat Genk 2-0 and will advance to the Quarterfinals.

American defender Zak Whitbread signed a new 2 1/2 contract extension with Millwall.

Copa Del Rey - Round of 16
2nd leg Matches & Scores (with 1st leg scores included):
-Tue Jan 15
Barcelona 0-0 Sevilla - tied 1-1 on aggregate, so Barca advance on the away goals tiebreaker.
-Wed Jan 16
Levante v Getafe (0-3)
Espnayol v Athletic Bilbao (1-1)
Racing Santander v Zaragoza (1-1)
Valencia v Betis (2-1)
Valladolid v Atletico Madrid (0-0)
Real Madrid v Mallorca (1-2)
Villareal v Recreativo Huelva (0-1)

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 v Cagliari (0-1)
Catania v Milan (2-1)
Roma Torino (1-3)
-Thu Jan 17
Inter v Reggina (4-1)
Napoli v Lazio (1-2)

Kevin Keegan has been hired again as the manager of Newcastle. He was their coach in the mid 90's and did fairly well.

Michael Hann of the Guardian places the blame for recent Newcastle failure at the feet of legendary ex-player Alan Shearer.

Ex-Fulham manager Chris Coleman has been fired from his job running Real Sociedad in Spain. Just a couple weeks ago he said he would be there until at least the end of the season. So much for that. Sociedad currently sit in 5th place in the Segunda Division (2nd div).

Manchester City has made young German star striker Lukas Podolski their next transfer project. Podoloski can't get a game at his club Bayern Munich because he is behind Miroslav Klose & Luca Toni.

A very interesting new agreement has been signed by FIFA & UEFA for "financial contributions [to the clubs] for player participation in UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cups." This could be very very big. I would assume all the other confederations will be pressured to follow suit, but what will it do for small teams that have success. And what about qualifiers and friendly matches. Will there be compensation for that too?

The Telegraph of England has an interview with Croatian coach Slaven Bilic. And one this Bilic makes perfectly clear is that he feels English players are to blame for their defeats, not management or "the system".

Gregory Sica at Sports Illustrated tells us about the Latino power behind the mighty Inter Milan. I love this aspect of the team, it sure wouldn't be the same if it was all Italians I tell you that much. As a matter of fact they only have 1 Italian in the real first team (which goes about 20 players deep), and that is the massively hated/loved Marco Matterazi.

In the calendar year 2007, Inter Milan only lost 1, yes 1, Serie A game, and amassed an incredible 92 points. Impressive.

African Cup of Nations
-In the USA the ACN can be seen on TV via 3ATeleSud. I can get it via Dish Network.
-Jack Bell of the New York Times with an article on Colorado keeper Bouna Coundoul who is at the ACN with his native Senegal.
-Bell with a little more on Coundoul on the Times Goal blog.
-The Ghanaian Chronicle says "beware the Yellow Card" (which they hilariously call "The Materazzi's").
-Business Day of Africa previews Group B.
-Reuters with a story from Guinea where a bus caravan for fans heading to Ghana has been canceled due to the huge threat of highway bandits in Ivory Coast. Sad.
-Paul Doyle of the Guardian with Group previews: Group A - Group B - Group C - Group D(coming tomorrow)


Blogger Zathras said...

"Fairly well" is an understatement for Keegan's reign in Newcastle during the 90s. He took them from the LAST place above relegation to divison 3 to within a point of the EPL title. Twice.

Elsewhere he might be said to have been anywhere from "Fairly good" to "Fairly shit," but at Newcastle, he did quite well.

Of course, the odds of him doing very well there in his 2nd stint are about the same as Rossi playing for the USA.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. I think I am going to puke if I see the Fire with those ridiculous jerseys on. They really need to change the best buy logo to something a little more classy.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

The fire jerseys are crap. wow. I can't believe they didnt go with the tag.

As for the big U18 camp, MN doesn't have any players that are nearly good enough and it stems from a poor standard of coaching, lack of quality indoor playing opportunities and rediculious club structures. Colin Monestareo (bad spelling) from Wayzata is the only player I know of who is going off to play D1. He's headed for Madison and the Badgers are nothing special on the national scene.

I'm surprised there aren't more players from Illinois.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Stone said...

I can confirm Espinoza is GA. He was at the combine. He was a late signing (after initial list was distributed).

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't blame Rossi for wanting to play for Italy. But I don't know if he ever will, so maybe the U.S. would be a better bet for him.

His life, though, best of luck to him.

7:59 PM  
Blogger digchros said...

The big thing they always say that needs to happen to make MLS more relevant is national discussion of the league other than on gameday. Maybe it's just me, but this offseason seems to have the drama that should warrant at least a little mention on the national scene. The whole Twellman angle is totally unique to any American sport, was that ever discussed on one of those horrible ESPN argument shows? Even the Carlos Ruiz trade has angles that are relevant enough for at least a mention on SportsCenter. One of the villians/stars of the league goes back to the most high profile team, there's got to be something there. Even with all of the coaching issues, Osario to New York, the New England assistant everywhere, first black coach in Chicago.

I don't know, I'm not asking soccer to get top play on ESPN or anything, I'm just saying, if you want talking points about the MLS in the offseason, here they are. There are characters that this league can build itself around, they just aren't so far.

And this is going off on a tangent, but I can't figure out if the soccer is just underreported over here or if it is just too tame. When TO speaks his mind everybody takes notice. Read the London Lite just one day and you have five such stories per day. Hell, how many times can Drogba say he wants out of Chelsea before it becomes a big deal? Kobe Bryant did it and it was everywhere, in England nobody seems to notice. It is the opposite here. Either the characters we need to speak up aren't speaking or aren't being heard and until that happens MLS is barely going to break into the mainstream. Where would it be without Beckham?

10:50 PM  
Blogger FC Uptown said...

2.5 million to MLS for Twellman too low? Who else is stepping up to grab TT? The guy's going through a divorce, will shortly lose half his money....let him take a chance in England and grab some cash.

6:02 AM  

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