Saturday, July 25, 2009
I for one am glad to see this kind of passion coming from these MLS fans, who care enough about their club to be bothered by the way Beckham has disrespected the Galaxy over the past year. At the same time, its nice to see Beck's lacing up his "I-give-a-crap" boots for a change (glad they got packed in the luggage from Milan). How about more of that fire this year David, especially since you've missed 17 games and you're all rested up from your vacation with the Mrs? With Da Bruce at the helm and the Galaxy firing on all cylinders, how about winning a trophy or two?
All this said, if MLS wants to fine a player for misconduct, it should be commensurate with their salary in order to send the right message. A $1,000 fine sure packs a punch on those young players who are living in their cars (since their salary already puts them below the poverty level) but for Becks, come on. He can probably find that much loose change under the cushions of his couch.
Then again, if Beckham is half the cheapskate Donovan seemed to indicate in Grant Wahl's new book, perhaps MLS knew what it was doing on the level of the fine. But on whether he should have been fined in the first place, I'm not sure Becks, nor the fans (except the one who jumped down from the stands), really crossed the line.
The more you look at the videos, the more you see that this was nothing more than the kind of exchanges you see between fans and players in stadiums all over the world. We're seeing electric atmospheres in places like Seattle and Columbus (to name a few) so let's hope the league does not stifle the spirit they've worked so hard to build. This entire episode leaves me asking the same question LFV pal Phil Schoen asked recently; Is MLS Ready For The Passion?
The seven-time winner made his comeback this year after a four year hiatus from top level cycling. Young Spanish powerhouse Alberto Contador appears set to claim his second Tour title tomorrow after maintaining a 4:11 lead over second place Andy Schleck and third place Armstrong.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching is now the first to be fined after criticizing a referee on his Twitter page during a recent match against the Sounders.
More details here.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Foggia, which last saw Serie A action in the early 1990s, has been trying to claw its way back into Serie B since 1998, coming close to promotion in 2007.
Ferrari could see his first action for Foggia in their August 2nd Tim Cup match against Viterbese.
It is also being reported that Barca striker Sammy Eto'o may be heading to Inter as part of the deal to acquire the the 27 year-old Swede Ibrahimovic, who is currently in Los Angeles training with his Inter teammates.
Ibrahimovic, who scored 25 goals last season for the Italian champions, would add to the Spanish and European champion's already potent offense and make an ideal striker to play off the world's best supporting striker in Lionel Messi.
There remains a chance that Chelsea could still swoop in make a grab for Ibrahimovic and even Moratti admitted on Sky Italia last night that , "We need to wait to see what the player wants."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Thanks to New Jersey reader Marc S. for passing this one along.
Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2009) - D.C. United today acquired midfielder Danny Szetela via its #2 allocation ranking. Szetela joins the Black-and-Red after spending two-plus years in Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie B. The 22-year old is currently with the team and will be available for selection upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. He is not expected to be available when United takes on the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium this Saturday (8 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet).
Szetela originally joined Major League Soccer in 2004, when he was allocated to the Columbus Crew at just 17-years old. Over four seasons with the Crew (2004-07), the midfielder played in 34 games (24 starts), collecting three assists. In August of 2007, Szetela was signed by Racing Santander of Spain’s La Liga and in July of 2008, he was transferred to Brescia Calcio of Italy’s Serie B. While with Brescia for parts of the last two seasons, the Clifton, NJ native played in 26 games, tallying a goal and two assists.
Szetela has earned three caps as a member of the full U.S. Men’s National Team, which includes playing in two FIFA World Cup qualifying games last year. His first cap with the full national team came on October 17, 2007 against Switzerland, setting up the game’s lone goal in the 1-0 win.
The 5-foot, 11-inch midfielder has a long history playing with the U.S. youth national teams, as well, seeing time with the U.S. at the U-14, U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.
Last year as a part of the U.S. U-23 side, Szetela played in two games (one start) at the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games. All told with the U-23s in 2008, Szetela played in four games (one start).
As a part of the U.S. U-20 National Team in 2007, Szetela scored three goals in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada, starting each of the team’s five games. In all, he played in ten games (all starts), scored three goals and assisted on two others with the U-20s in 2007. In 2005, at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, he played in two games with the U-20s. He played in a total of six international games in 2005 with the U-20s.
As a 15-year old, Szetela joined the U.S. Residency Program in September of 2002, finishing the year with 23 appearances (17 starts). He was the second-youngest player on the 2005 Under-17 World Championship roster, starting all four matches of the World Championship, and helping the U.S. to a fifth-place finish.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Greek media are reporting that young American ace Jozy Altidore may be spending the next year with Olympiakos. The 19 year-old Villarreal striker, after turning more than a few heads in the recent Confederations Cup (including scoring against Spain), is still facing the prospect of not breaking into the Yellow Submarine's starting 11.
Last year, Altidore, after making six appearances for Villarreal and scoring one goal, was loaned to second division side Xerez where he sat on the bench for five months. Recent statements attributed to the New Jersey native indicate he wants to find a situation where he can play every week.
The deal being reported in Greece indicates that a loan deal with an option to buy may be near and take Altidore across the Mediterranean to Olympiakos, where the young forward will have the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
What do you think? Could this be a good opportunity for Jozy or is he better off elsewhere?
Methinks any chance to play every week for a good club and get some Champions League action can't be a bad way to get ready for the World Cup.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The latest tidbit, that ESPN paid Beckham's management company to produce a one-hour special on Beckham sounds even more crass than the previous charge that Becks was a cheapskate.
Wahl, a guy who works his butt off to develop his stories, called it "checkbook journalism," and he's 100% right.
“Chris is a player that I’ve tracked for a number of years,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “He is an experienced midfielder with good qualities on both sides of the ball who I feel he will be able to contribute immediately as we push for a playoff position.”
Prior to joining the Galaxy, Birchall had spent his entire club career in the England with the exception of a short loan stint in Scotland during the 2007/08 campaign. Born in Stafford , England , Birchall began his club career with Port Vale, playing nearly 80 league games. He made his debut for the club during the 2001/02 season and spent five seasons at Vale Park before being sold to Coventry City in August 2006.
Birchall went on to score twice in nearly 30 games during his time with Coventry City, while also enjoying loan spells with St. Mirren in Scotland and Carlisle United. In January 2009, Birchall signed a contact through the end of the season with Brighton & Hove Albion of England’s League One. He helped the club avoid relegation, playing in nine games in the midfield as Brighton finished three points clear of relegation to League Two.
An established international, Birchall has appeared 32 times for Trinidad and Tobago , scoring four times. Eligible to play for the country as his mother was born there, Birchall helped T&T reach the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the country’s first-ever appearance in the tournament. He scored in a 1-1 draw with Bahrain in the first leg of the two nation’s World Cup Qualifying playoff in November 2005. The Soca Warriors won the second leg 1-0 to book their spot at the World Cup.
Birchall played in all three of his country’s games at the tournament, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in each. This year, he has played in four of Trinidad & Tobago’s five CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, starting three of the matches.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Victory on all fronts for Brazil: after winning the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the Seleção have regained the top spot in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, thus relegating European champions Spain (2nd, down 1) to second place. The South Americans last topped the ranking in August 2007, a position to which they have climbed six times in the history of the ranking.
The Netherlands (3rd, down 1), Italy (4th, unchanged) and Germany (5th, down 2), occupy the next three places, but are some distance behind the leading duo. Russia (6th, up 3) have overtaken England (7th, down 1) and Argentina (8th, down 1), achieving their best position since August 1997 in the process.
Of the other countries that took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, finalists the USA (12th, up 2), Egypt (38th, up 2) and hosts South Africa (70th, up 2) have also progressed up the ranking. Egypt's improved position despite their early exit from the tournament is due to their 1-0 victory over world champions Italy, which scored very highly in terms of ranking points. Meanwhile, disappointing performances by Iraq (94th, down 17) and New Zealand (100th, down 18) caused them to lose ground.
In other news, Algeria (47th, up 19) and Tunisia (49th, up 2) have climbed into the top 50 at the expense of Burkina Faso (51st, down 1) and Finland (52nd, down 3). Furthermore, the following teams have achieved their best position since the ranking was introduced in 1993: Australia (16th, up 13), Gabon (30th, up 18), Grenada (88th, up 14), Montenegro (98th, up 12) and Antigua and Barbuda (105th, up 9).
In the last four weeks, a total of 119 senior international matches were played: 16 FIFA Confederations Cup matches, 67 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and 36 friendlies. This brings the total matches played this year to 406. The many matches played and the devaluation of matches at UEFA EURO 2008 are the main reasons for the many changes in position in this edition of the ranking.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 5 August 2009.
Gooch's move to Milan makes much sense when one considers that the Rossaneri's ageing back line was overdue for renewal, especially given the retirement of longtime great Paolo Maldini.
Monday, July 6, 2009
His agent Lyle Yorks told French web site Foot1; "Yes, Sochaux is very interested and we'll sit down to finalize his arrival very soon."
Meanwhile, Belgian news sources seem to indicate he is close to a deal with Ajax while the Italian media are focused on Genoa and Fiorentina. Reports out of Istanbul indicate Fenerbahce is out of the running while the lack of new rumors out of England only indicate that there must be contact with a least a few new Premiership clubs.
So, will it be Ajax, Palermo, Fiorentina, Genoa, Parma, Espanyol, Valencia, Fulham, Marseille, PSG, Real Madrid, or some other team?
Stay tuned because this one is far from over.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Its shameful that in 2009 on America's birthday, such things are still happening in this country.
Read, make up your own mind, and if you think its as unjust as the rest of us do, please offer your support.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Stay tuned - this one will only get more interesting.