SHORT CORNERS: Soccer News Notes and rumors

Arrivederci...

SHORT CORNERS: Soccer News Notes and Rumors

JOSE MOURINHO TO REAL MADRID?

Jose Mourinho said that Saturdays champions League Final victory would be his last at Inter Milan, but Inter Boss Massimo Moratti tried to persuade the self styled ‘Special One’ to stay for a third season at Inter.

Those persuasions fell on deaf ears apparently.

The Portuguese superstar coach has agreed in principal with Real Madrid to coach the team to the tune of  $12 million per year for four years. This would make him the highest-grossing coach/manager in all of sports.

Special Indeed.

SUMMER FRIENDLY SEASON

Friendly Fever has had its first big weekend in North America, with 9 friendlies featuring or being hosted by club teams across the continent.

In Chicago, Red Star Belgrade prevailed over Paris Saint-Germain in penalty kicks to take the Sister Cities International Cup. 10-man PSG scored in the 90th minute to tie the score and force penalties.

Host’s Chicago Fire fell 3-0 to Polish team Legia Warsaw in the consolation match.

Last Wednesday SL Benfica thrashed New England Revolution 4-0 in front of 13,000 fans at a rainy Gillette Stadium. Benfica, who was visiting Foxborough for the sixth time since 1972, scored all their goals in the first 55 minutes against a Revolution side depleted by injuries, absences and stretched by a packed schedule.

Portuguese Champions Benfica then headed to Canada where the met Greek Champion Panathinaikos at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday. The match was an un-friendly friendly as Benfica’s David Luiz was sent off after collecting his second yellow card and both benches cleared for a puch-up.

Both teams net during the intermission and agreed to bury the hatchet, and the match progressed to a 0-0 end.

Meanwhile, in Montréal on Sunday Reda Agourram scored the lone goal as the host Impact played Serie A side Fiorentina to a 1-1 draw in front of over 8,000 at Saputo Stadium. Harris Seferovic scored to salvage the draw for Fiorentina.

Two MLS teams got wins against world famous clubs. Red Bull put three goals past Juventus before the Serie A side could put one back in an exciting match at Red Bull arena, while the LA Galaxy used a late Tristan Bowen goal to beat South American titans Boca Juniors 1-0 in front of 18,000 at the Home Depot Center.

TOLUCA WINS MEXICAN LEAGUE

It took penalties in the 2nd Leg of the 2010 Bicentario Final to decide it, but when it was over, Toluca had won their 10th League title over Santos Laguna.

los Diablos Rojos have won more titles than any other team since the League went to a two championship Apertura / Clausura format in 1996.

“This is a team that defines an era, preceded by an institution who takes things seriously and characterizes itself by that,” Toluca midfielder Edgar Dueñas told reporters. “This team always plays to win. We’re used to it.”

Both teams qualify for the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League with Toluca advancing directly to the Group Stage.

WORLD CUP TUNE-UPS

England beat Mexico Monday night 3-1 in front of 88,000 on the oft complained about pitch at Wembly Stadium.

The score line belied the match itself, which did not convince that either England can win the World Cup in 2010 or that Mexico can prove that this current squad can be the best Mexican team ever.

In other International tune-ups, Canada was thrashed 5-0 by Argentina in Buenos Aries and Portugal was held to a scoreless draw by 117th ranked Cape Verdes, yikes.

International Friendly Results

Monday May 24

Argentina 5-0 Canada

Australia 2-1 New Zealand

England 3-1 Mexico

Japan 0-2 South Korea

Portugal 0-0 Cape Verdes Islands

South Africa 1-1 Bulgaria

International Friendly Schedule

Tuesday May 25

Cameroon v Georgia

Greece v North Korea

Nigeria v Saudi Arabia

Paraguay v Ireland

USA v Czech Republic

Wednesday May 26

Chile v Zambia

France v Costa Rica

Mexico v Netherlands

Uruguay v Israel

FRANCE NAMES 23-MAN SIDE AMID BIZARRE ACCIDENT

Lassana Diarra has withdrawn from the World Cup due to a stomach ailment, leaving France with 23 players in camp and no decisions to make.

“Lassana Diarra’s problem was as much a heartbreaker, as it was a form of liberation. Indirectly, his departure has avoided having to tell a player he would have to go home.” Said French coach Raymond Domenech on Monday. “We are keeping faith with the 23 who are here, because over the past week they have proved how tough they are and that they want to go far,”

Defender William Gallas was rumored to be on the bubble due to a calf injury but is nearly back to full fitness, but was involved in a dune-buggy accident at French camp (part of Domenech’s unconventional World cup preparations). Gallas escaped with only minor bumps and bruises.

OBAMA WONT MAKE IT TO THE WORLD CUP

President Barak Obama will not be attending the World Cup in South Africa next month. In his stead will be Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

The decision to send Biden, who will also be making stops in Kenya and Egypt before attending the opening ceremonies of the World Cup in South Africa, ends speculation that the President himself would be representing the United States.

Reporters in Italy asked Obama last summer if he would like to attend the World Cup to which he responded

“That’s my goal. Get it?” Obama joked.

Biden will also be in Rustenburg to attend the US v England match on June 12.

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