Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gripe All You Want, No One Is Listening News

Columbus release a press release today saying that head coach Sigi Schmid will definitely NOT be back with the team next season. Again, all signs are pointing toward Seattle for Big Sig.


Buuuuuut - Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports: "One source with knowledge of Schmid's contract situation cited a non-compete clause in Schmid's Crew contract that could preclude him from coaching the Sounders or any other MLS team in 2009. The Crew has reportedly filed tampering charges against the Sounders." What does that mean?


The FIFA Club World Cup starts Wednesday. See below for all the details.

CONCACAF Champions League

The 2 legged knock out stages will commence on Feb 24 and the pairings look like this:
1 Houston Dynamo v Atlante
2 Montreal Impact v Santos Laguna
3 Cruz Azul v UNAM Pumas
4 Puerto Rico Islanders v Marathon
1 Winner v 2 Winner
3 Winner v 4 Winner

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MLS Team News


Centerback Robert Burling had surgery on his ankle to take out some bone spurs (ouch) and will be ready for action in 2 months.
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Shawn Mitchell of the Dispatch on the end of the Sigi Schmid era with the Crew.
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Kyle McCarthy of writes about the direction Columbus now heads in without Schmid at the helm.
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The teams official blog gives us a quick update on a few happenings around FCD.
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Carlos Marinelli who was released by the team last month has signed with Millonarios in Colombia.
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Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America wonders why it is taking so long for MLS & Bayern Munich to work out a deal for Landon Donovan to go to Germany in January. Who knows. There are always lots of odd things involved in these kinds of deals. One thing that is usually part of any loan deal is a "buy out" price. I bet they are haggling over that one. MLS probably wants $15-20 million for him.
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They got the pictures to prove it - Beckman does some bungee diving in New Zealand.
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And more on Beck's pictures - two of his bodyguards got into a fight with a sleazy photo taker after Becks himself confronted the guy. Oooh.
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The teams website has audio of an interview with defender Michael Parkhurst on his departure from the team. Not much of a talker that Parkhurst kid.
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Jack Bell of the New York Times blog Goal knows what the Bulls really need for 09 - team depth.
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The teams website has a Q & A with forward Sebastian Le Toux.
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MLS Generation Adidas Team

The league has sent a Select team of their best young talent to England for a week of matches, training, and taking in the big time professional culture of world football.
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Matches & Scores:
-Mon Dec 8
Reading Reserves 1-0 MLS-GA - Read goal by David Mooney.
-Wed Dec 10
Chelsea Reserves 4-0 MLS-GA - Chel goals by Scott Sinclair(3) & Morten Nielsen.
-Thu Dec 11
Aston Villa Reserves v MLS-GA
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MLS College Draft Talk

The league will hold it's annual college player combine Jan 9-13 in Ft Lauderdale FL. Here the players who have been invited.
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Ives Galarcep of Soccer by Ives has a list of college players that could be part of the Generation Adidas program next year. This is the leagues program where talented players are given bigger guaranteed deals that don’t count against each teams salary cap. It's kind of a goof program, but it does work in keeping some young guys from going straight to Europe.
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MLS Rumor City - Don't Tease Me Bro!

The latest rumors from Soccer365. Always juicy to read. But sadly they seldom ever happen.
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MLS Expansion News

The Portland Mercury had two writers live blogging a city Task Force meeting last night on Soccer/Baseball stadiums. There are a few interesting things in here for the serious expansion geeks. Thanks to Brian for this one.
-One of the bloggers late does a recap.
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The Oregonian with an article on the Task Force meeting.
-And a little more from the same newspaper.
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The Portland Business Journal with more still.
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Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports looks at Barcelona's Miami bid.
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USL First Division News

USL1 has it's own potential player combine. This year it's Dec 14-16 in Charleston SC. Here are the players invited to participate.
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Soccer In America

Pretty good line up for tonight's Houston Dynamo All Access radio show hosted by Glenn Davis. Guests include:
-Bob Bradley - coach of the USA national team
-Dominic Kinnear - Houston Dynamo manager
-Adrian Hanauer - Seattle Sounders GM
-Marc Connelly - ESPN TV soccer broadcasts
Hear it all tonight from 7-9p central time on 790am in Houston, and on the internet at and
Or be like me and hear the podcast tomorrow. (see link in the right hand column)
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Americans In Europe

The Reading Evening Post reports that Marcus Hahnemann has a calf muscle strain that could keep him on the sidelines for 1 to 2 weeks.
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And after just coming back from a year long ankle injury Frank Simek suffered an unknown injury and had to be subbed out in the first half of a game that he wasn't even supposed to play in. He was filling in for another player who came down ill at the last minute. All three Sheffield Wednesday subs in yesterdays game were made due to injury. Oof.
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English Championship Division
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - v Norwich on Wed Dec 10
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(only players who saw the field are listed)

English Championship Division
-Bobby Convey - Reading - came on as a sub for the final 8 minutes as they beat Blackpool at home 1-0.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - started but was taken out in the 71st minute due to a calf muscle strain, as the team shut out Blackpool 1-0 at home.
-Eddie Johnson - Cardiff - came on as a sub in the 73rd minute as they team drew 2-2 at Burnley.
-Frank Simek - Sheffield Wednesday - started but was subbed out in the 38th minute due to an unknown injury, and the team drew at home 1-1 against QPR.
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Mexico & FMF News

A few months ago Mexican star Cuauhtemoc Blanco retired from international play after claiming his 100th cap. Not so fast Senor Mochalita. FIFA says he only has 97!
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Apertura Final
-Wed Dec 10
Cruz Azul v Toluca - live at ?pm central on Azteca America.
-Sat Dec 13
Toluca v Cruz Azul - live at ?pm central on Telemundo.
-Thanks to Luis for the heads up on TV channels.
-If anyone knows the kick off times please let me know.
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Corinthians fans are overjoyed that Ronaldo is going to play at their club, while fans at his original club Flamengo are furious. Should make for one hell of a game next year when they meet.
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European News


Bayern Munich has signed midfielder Bastien Schweinsteiger to a contract extension through 2012.
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Inter Milan were beaten in the Champions League again yesterday. Talk about backing into the next round. While Roma who started the season so poorly on all fronts won their group and are sailing high.
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Inter's notorious defender Marco Materazzi suffered a broken cheekbone against Werder Bremen in the Champions League yesterday. He had to have surgery to fix the break.
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The continued threat of fan violence has led to a ban on Roma supporters are Catania and Juventus supporters at Atalanta this weekend.
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John Molinaro of the CBC checks in from a little vacation in Barcelona. Always soccer action to write about, even while vacationing. I am jealous.
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Sid Lowe at World Soccer check out the conspiracy theories around La Liga. Via Sports Illustrated.
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UEFA Champions League

Matchday 6 Matches & Scores
-Tue Dec 9
Chelsea 2-1 CFR Cluj - Chel goals by Salomon Kalou & Didier Drogba. Cluj goal by Yssouf Kone.
Roma 2-0 Bordeaux - Roma goals by Matteo Brighi & Francesco Totti.
Panathinaikos 1-0 Anorthosis - Pana goal by Giorgos Karagounis.
Werder Bremen 2-1 Inter Milan - WB goals by Claudio Pizarro & Markus Rosenborg. IM goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Basel 0-1 Sporting - Spor goal by Yannick Djalo.
Barcelona 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk - Barc goals by Sylvinho & Sergio Busquets. SD goals by Olexander Gladkiy(2) & Fernandinho.
PSV Eindhoven 1-3 Liverpool - PSV goal by Danko Lazovic. Liv goals by Ryan Babel, Albert Riera & David N'gog.
Marseille 0-0 Atletico Madrid
-Wed Dec 10
Manchester United v Aalborg
Celtic v Villarreal
Steaua Bucuresti v Fiorentina
Lyon v Bayern Munich
Porto v Arsenal
Dynamo Kyiv v Fenerbahce
Juventus v BATE Borisov
Real Madrid v Zenit St Petersburg
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune reviews yesterdays matches, including the big big win for Panathinaikos that will take them into the knockout rounds.
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Luis Bueno of the Press Enterprise tells us which teams have impressed and which have disappointed in the CL so far this season.
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All 16 spots for the knock out stages have been secured now. So the last 4 groups will decided today who gets the #1 & #2 seeds, and the UEFA Cup spots for finishing #3 in each group.
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Group A # 1 - Roma
Group B # 1 - Panathinaikos
Group C # 1 - Barcelona
Group D # 1 - Liverpool
Group E # 1 - Manchester United/Villarreal
Group F # 1 - Lyon/Bayern Munich
Group G # 1 - Arsenal/Porto
Group H # 1 - Juventus/Real Madrid
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Group A # 2 - Chelsea
Group B # 2 - Inter Milan
Group C # 2 - Sporting Portugal
Group D # 2 - Atletico Madrid
Group E # 2 - Manchester United/Villarreal
Group F # 2 - Lyon/Bayern Munich
Group G # 2 - Arsenal/Porto
Group H # 2 - Juventus/Real Madrid
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UEFA Cup spot A - Bordeaux
UEFA Cup spot B - Werder Bremen
UEFA Cup spot C - Shakhtar Donetsk
UEFA Cup spot D - Olympique Marseille
UEFA Cup spot E - Aalborg/Celtic
UEFA Cup spot F - Fiorentina/Steaua Bucuresti
UEFA Cup spot G - Dynamo Kyiv/Fenerbahce
UEFA Cup spot H - Zenit St Petersburg/BATE Borisov
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Group Standings
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Even I have to admit that the group stage in the CL was pretty damn boring this year, and Scott Murray of the Guardian argues that the whole stage should be scrapped in favor of elimination series from the first round to the final. I like it.
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Matchday 5 will take place on Dec 17 & 18. Here are those Matches & Scores.
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15 of the 24 teams have already advanced before the last Matchday. Here they are:
-Ajax, Aston Villa, Braga, CSKA Moscow, Galatasaray, Hamburg, Manchester City, Metalist Kharkiv, Milan, St Etienne, Standard Liege, Twente Enschede, Udinese, Valencia, & Wolfsburg.
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The 8 third place finishers from the Champions League will make up the final spots in the 32 team knock out field. See those teams listed above.
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Group Standings
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FIFA Club World Cup

The FIFA Club World Cup starts December 11th in Japan.
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Matches & Scores:
-Dec 11
Adelaide United v Waitakere United
-Dec 12
Al Ahly v Pachuca
-Dec 13
Adelaide/Waitakere winner v Gamba Osaka
-Dec 17 - Semifinal
Al Ahly/Pachuca winner v Liga de Quito
-Dec 18 - Semifinal
Adelaide/Waitakere/Gamba winner v Manchester United
-Dec 21 - Final
Winner 1 v Winner 2
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Official web site


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