SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS AND NOTES

SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS AND NOTES

US 23-man roster, Pellegrini Sacked, TFC Win Voyageurs Cup, AC-DC Battle at RFK, Red Bulls Run in USOC, Holden in Bolton Extension, Fabregas leaves it up to Wenger and more…

UNITED STATES NAMES 23-MAN ROSTER FOR 2010 WORLD CUP

Bob Bradley named his 23-man roster for the US National Team Wednesday, and there were surprises for many fans.

Goalkeepers

Brad Guzan – Aston Villa

Marcus Hahnemann – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Tim Howard – Everton

Defenders

Carlos Bocanegra – Rennes

Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA

Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96

Jay DeMerit – Watford

Clarence Goodson – IK Start

Oguchi Onyewu – AC Milan

Jonathan Spector – West Ham United

Midfielders

DaMarcus Beasley – Out of Contract

Michael Bradley – Borussia Monchengladbach

Ricardo Clark – Eintract Frankfurt

Landon Donovan – Los Angeles Galaxy

Maurice Edu – Glasgow Rangers

Benny Feilhaber – AGF Aarhus

Stuart Holden – Bolton Wanderers

Jose Francisco Torres- CF Pachuca

Forwards

Jozy Altidore – Villarreal

Edson Buddle – Los Angeles Galaxy

Clint Dempsey – Fulham FC

Robbie Findley – Real Salt Lake

Herculez Gomez – CF Pachuca

REAL MADRID SACK PELLEGRINI TO MAKE WAY FOR MAURINHO

Real Madrid have sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini who lead the team to their largest points total ever in a season.

Though Madrid racked up points, they failed to win any silverware in the year Pellegrini was in charge, even though the team spent $308 on the likes of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema  and Xabi Alonso.  Worse, Madrid fans had to stand by and watch Barcelona win a second consecutive league title as well as snatching up a domestic treble in 2009.

This move, however, is less about Pellegrini’s performance as it is about clearing the way for the Special One who is set to arrive any day now.

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.

It will certainly be Jose Mourinho’s biggest challenge yet. Real Madrid, a team that thrives on ego is about to learn the definition of the word.

TORONTO FC WIN CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR

Toronto FC were not even in action tonight, but the Reds secured their second straight Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

Vancouver Whitecaps needed to secure a win at Montreal against the Impact tonight in order to stay alive in the NCC.

The two sides played a listless first half in front of 11,000 fans at Saputo Stadium, but the ‘Caps came out blazing in the second half getting a goal from Ansu Toure in the 50th minute. Vancouver seemed a new team.  It was not to be. Less than 7 minutes later Montreal drew level  on a deft move by veteran striker Eduardo Sebrango, how seemed to draw the Vancouver defense to him, then pushed a perfect pass to Philippe Billy who volleyed home.

TFC will likely hoist the Voyageurs Cup next Wednesday when the host Vancouver Whitecaps in Week 6 in the NCC at BMO Field.

The match, with just pride on the line, will likely be a 90 minute celebration for Toronto fans and Preki will be able to start his reserve side for the first time this season with a clear conscience.

Toronto will face Honduran club Motagua in the Champions League preliminary round on July 27 and 29 at BMO Field, with the return leg a week later in Honduras. It has not yet been determined who will host the opening leg of the aggregate-goals series.

STUART HOLDEN SIGNS EXTENSION WITH BOLTON WANDERERS

Stuart Holden had good a good day. Not only was Holden named to the 23-man United States World Cup roster, but the Scotland born midfielder found out that his Premier League club wants to keep him around a bit longer.

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle handed Holden a one-year contract extension, even though the US International has only played three matches for the club.

“He came to the club with the option of another year,” Coyle told The Bolton News.

“Like everyone, I have been really impressed with Stuart on and off the pitch since he came here. The players really like him, and he’s been terrific in each game he has played in for me.

“I’d love him to be a part of this football club for a long time to come.”

MEXICO DEFENSIVE WOES CONTINUE AS WORLD CUP TUNE-UP’S CONTINUE

The Netherlands were up on Mexico 2-0 after 45 minutes, but the could have been up 3-0 in the first 15 minutes of the World Cup warm-up match the two teams played in Freiburg Germany.

The Mexican side was really after the first quarter hour as the Oranje shredded El Tri’s defense. By halftime two goals from Robin Van Persie was all that the Netherlands had to show for their dominance.

The second half was different, though as Mexico controlled the pace of the match and eventually put a goal back, but regularly presented problems for the Dutch.

“We did not play during the first few minutes. We didn’t wake up until the 70th minute.” Mexico Coach Javier Aguirre told L’Equipe, “But after that it was very good and that’s what I want to see, even though our first half was difficult, especially defensively.

“Tonight my team played the second half with heart and character.”

Other Results from Wednesday

Chile 3-0 Zambia

France 2-1 Costa Rica

Mexico 2-1 Netherlands (Freiburg, Germany)

Uruguay 4-1 Israel

Matches for Thursday May 27

Belarus v Honduras

South Africa v Columbia

Denmark v Senegal

FABREGAS TO BARCELONA RUMORS HOT UP

In what is likely to be the highest profile player transfer battle of the summer, Cesc Fabregas has left his future for Arsene Wenger to decide.

the 23 year-old Fabregas, who has never shied away from the fact that he wants to play at Barcelona, and for his boyhood hero Barca coach Pep Guardiola, has left the dilemma to his current boss at Arsenal to sort out.

Fabregas has played at Arsenal for seven years and apparently has a great respect for Wenger.

“I will only say one thing, I have great respect for Arsene Wenger, for Arsenal Football Club and for the Arsenal fans,” Fabregas said in a press conference. “Sometimes not even in my house have I felt more loved than I have at Arsenal.

“I had a long conversation with Arsene, it is probably the greatest conversation I have had with someone in my life, and I respect him so much and I don’t want to say too much about this.”

Fabregas won’t have to say much at all, but fans of the game will be hearing about this affair all summer.

NEW YORK ELIMINATE COLORADO FROM 2010 US OPEN CUP

John Wolyniec’s two first half goals powered New York Red Bull to a 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids to become the 7th of 8 Major League Soccer teams to qualify for the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Rookie Conor Chinn added a goal in the 56th minute to give him three total goald in the qualifying tournament. Greg Sutton, acquired from Toronto FC before the season began notched his second straight U.S. Open Cup shutout.

The final qualifying slot will go the the winner of the DC United v Real Salt Lake ‘Win and You’re In’ match scheduled June 2 at RFK Stadium.

DC UNITED SURVIVES AC MILAN IN A THRILLER

Over 30,000 fans at RFK Stadium watched in delight as their side, hapless in Major League Soccer play, put two first half goals past Italian super club AC Milan.

Young United Goalkeeper Bill Hamid was called into duty early foiling an attempt by Alexandre Pato. Hamid, a back-up until playing his first ever MLS match two weeks ago, was now staring down the barrel of the Milan gun that included bullets such as Pato, Brazilian wonder Ronaldinho and the ageless Clarence Seedorf.

Milan controlled the first half but goals from Luciano Emilio and Chris Pontius had the home side up by two at the interval.

A Ronaldinho bicycle kick that lashed the post early in the 2nd half seemed to set the tone for a comeback, but DC had another bit of fortune.

Massimo Oddo’s awkward back pass fooled Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati and his clearance careened into the net of the back of Danny Alsopp. 3-0 to DC United.

The DC Faithful, so delighted in the first phase of the match, would be on the edge of their seats during the remainder, an injury to Brandon Barklage in the 66th minute would force United to play with ten men for the duration.

Oddo made up for his earlier culpability by slotting home a PK for Milan to get them on the scoresheet after Kurt Morsink handled in the box.

Oddo wasn’t done there as his blast from 30 yards out brought Milan within one goal of an equalizer. Milan kept up pressure for the remainder of the contest and Oddo missed his hat-trick when another long range bomb missed the target.

DC United prevailed 3-2 at the end of the day and hopefully gained something they can apply to an otherwise woeful 2010 MLS season.

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