Posts Tagged ‘CHAMPIONS LEAGUE’

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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – THIRD ROUND QUALIFYING DRAW

July 16, 2010

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – THIRD ROUND QUALIFYING DRAW

Third qualifying round – Non-Champions route draw
First leg: 27/28 July; Second leg: 3/4 August
Match Fixture
1 AFC Ajax (NED) v PAOK FC (GRE)
2 FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) v KAA Gent (BEL)
3 BSC Young Boys (SUI) v Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)
4 SC Braga (POR) v Celtic FC (SCO)
5 FC Unirea Urziceni (ROU) v FC Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Third qualifying round – Champions route draw
First leg: 27/28 July; Second leg: 3/4 August
1 SK Liepājas Metalurgs (LVA) – AC Sparta Praha (CZE) v FC İnter Bakı (AZE) – KKS Lech Poznań (POL)
2 FK Aktobe (KAZ) – FC Olimpi Rustavi (GEO) v Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) – FK Željezničar (BIH)
3 FC Sheriff (MDA) – KS Dinamo Tirana (ALB) v NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) – FC Koper (SVN)
4 PFC Litex Lovech (BUL) – FK Rudar Pljevlja (MNE) v Birkirkara FC (MLT) – MŠK Žilina (SVK)
5 FC Levadia Tallinn (EST) – Debreceni VSC (HUN) v FC Basel 1893 (SUI)
6 AIK Solna (SWE) – AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX) v Linfield FC (NIR) – Rosenborg BK (NOR)
7 FK Partizan (SRB) – FC Pyunik (ARM) v FK Ekranas (LTU) – HJK Helsinki (FIN)
8 FC BATE Borisov (BLR) – FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v FC København (DEN)
9 Bohemian FC (IRL) – The New Saints FC (WAL) v RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
10 AC Omonia (CYP) – FK Renova (MKD) v FC Salzburg (AUT) – HB Tórshavn (FRO)

JULY 12 – DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

July 12, 2010

JULY 12 – DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER TRANSFER WINDOW OPENS ON THURSDAY

The MLS transfer window opens this Thursday July 15, and in addition to a certain high profile signing being announced in New York, Seattle’s Blaise Nkufo, DC United’s Branko Boskovic, Chivas USA’s Giancarlo Maldonado and Toronto FC’s Mista will also become official members of their respective teams.

Here is the lowdown on who is coming, who is rumored to follow and (tear) who is just not an option.

RED BULLS SET TO NAME THIERRY HENRY ON THURSDAY

The New York Red Bulls have lined up a press conference to announce their second designated player on Thursday.

Though no names have been mentioned the signing will come as a surprise to no one and is widely considered the worst kept secret in the game.

(more…)

JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 8, 2010

JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

OZIL NOT GOING ANYWHERE, SAYS BREMAN

Interest in Werder Breman’s midfield maestro Mesut Ozil is at a fever-pitch across Europe. A situation that can only get more sensational with Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs claiming that no one in the World Cup has performed better than the German International, but Allofs was not putting his prize talent, who has a year left on his contract at Breman, in the shop window.

“Transfer income is one of our main income sources,” Allofs told German paper Bild. “But we also have to think about our sporting goals. We have the Champions League preliminaries coming up and we need a good team to be successful in Europe,”

“Mesut’s current contract runs until 2011 and we’re keen to extend his stay at the club. However, we’re not planning to cash in on him if he refuses to ink a new deal. We could decide to keep him until his contract expires.

“We’d rather not see him leave on a free transfer next year, but it’s definitely an option. Mesut is going nowhere for now.”

That is not stopping the giants of European football from making the attempt to snatch the 21-year-old. Ozil is being saught by Inter (more…)

2010-11 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING ROUND FIXTURES

June 25, 2010

2010-11 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING ROUND FIXTURES

FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND

Ties to be played 29/30 June and 6/7 July

SP Tre Fiori (SMR) v FK Rudar Pljevlja (MNE)

FC Santa Coloma (AND) v Birkirkara FC (MLT)

SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND

Ties to be played 13/14 July and 20/21 July

SK Liepajas Metalurgs (LVA) v AC Sparta Praha (CZE)

FK Aktobe (KAZ) v FC Olimpi Rustavi (GEO)

FC Levadia Tallinn (EST) v Debreceni VSC (HUN)

FK Partizan (SRB) v FC Pyunik (ARM)

FC Inter Baki (AZE) v Lech Poznan (POL)

NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v FC Koper (SVN)

PFC Litex Lovech (BUL) v SP Tre Fiori (SMR) or FK Rudar Pljevlja (MNE)

FC Santa Coloma (AND) or Birkirkara FC (MLT) v MŠK Žilina (SVK)

FC Sheriff (MDA) v KS Dinamo Tirana (ALB)

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) v FK Željeznicar (BIH)

AC Omonia (CYP) v FK Renova (MKD)

FC Salzburg (AUT) v HB Tórshavn (FRO)

Bohemian FC (IRL) v The New Saints FC (WAL)

FC BATE Borisov (BLR) v FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)

AIK Solna (SWE) v AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX)

Linfield FC (NIR) v Rosenborg BK (NOR)

FK Ekranas (LTU) v HJK Helsinki (FIN)

(more…)

SACHA KLJESTAN TO JOIN ANDERLECHT

June 10, 2010

SACHA KLJESTAN TO JOIN ANDERLECHT

United States and Chivas USA Midfielder Sacha Kljestan has completed a move to Belgian side Anderlecht.

The Chivas USA captain, who is the club’s all-time leader in assists and matches played, completed the transfer to the Belgian First Division champion on Thursday.

Kljestan, who had a brief loan spell with Celtic in 2009, will join an Anderlecht team that won the 2009-10 Belgian Jupiler League and qualifies for the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

“I’m very excited and proud to be joining a club like Anderlecht,” Kljestan said, “and I wouldn’t be there to sign with them today if I hadn’t been for Chivas USA.

“I’m ready to take this exciting step in my career.”

Kljestan will join his new team when the summer transfer window opens in July.

LIVERPOOL SACK RAFA BENITEZ

June 2, 2010

"... Milan is this way, is it?"

LIVERPOOL SACK RAFA BENITEZ

Liverpool have bought out the remainder of their contract with manager Rafael Benitez, essentially sacking the man who had managed the club since 2004, according to multiple sources.

Benitez’s stock had plummeted dramatically in recent years and rumors circulated wildly on Merseyside that Rafa was on his way out, but when he recently turned down the Juventus opening, it seemed like he would be back managing the team he made Champions League Winners for another season.

The original 5-year contract, signed just 12 months ago, stipulated that Benitez would be due $23.5 million if his contract was terminated, but the Anfield club worked with their manager of the past six years for a mutually agreeable compensation. A move which might imply that Benitez already has a job lined up.

The most likely scenario involves the position at Inter Milan, which was recently vacated by Jose Mourinho when he left the San Siro to take over as Real Madrid manager.

Benitez was bought out to the tune of $4.3 million, freeing the Spanish manager to take over at Inter Milan.

SHORT CORNERS: Soccer News and Notes From Around the World

May 24, 2010

SHORT CORNERS: SOCCER NEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTER MILAN: CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE

Inter Milan won the 2010 Champions League Final in Madrid on Saturday calmly and confidently, emulating their manager Jose Mourinho, by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 and thus claiming their first European title in 45 years.

The win over Munich was powered by Diego Milito who scored both goals for Inter in the 35th and 70th minute. “Il Principe” Milito’s composure, confidence and skill personified Inter’s play and he walked away with a deserved Man of the Match award.

Though Bayern had chances, they never looked like challenging after Milito’s first strike and Inter Milan were happy to pack the back and keep ten men behind the ball at all times.

(more…)

SOCCER ON THE BOX: Soccer on TV this Weekend

May 22, 2010

SOCCER ON THE BOX: Soccer on TV this Weekend

It’s really a can’t miss weekend on the box. MLS Week 9, Summer Friendlies, International Friendlies, the 2nd Leg of Mexican League Final.

Oh, and did I mention the 2010 Champions League Final featuring Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan up against Bayern Munich, managed by the ‘Special One’s’ former mentor, Louis Van Gaal’s. There is no shortage of drama surrounding this Final, taking place on a Saturday for the first time in the history of the competition. It really is must see TV for any fan of the game, and a (more…)

SOCCER ON THE BOX THIS WEEKEND: IT’S ALL TO PLAY FOR FOR THE LAST CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOT

April 23, 2010

SOCCER ON THE BOX THIS WEEKEND

A few weeks ago Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all had a shot at winning the coveted fourth place spot in the Premier League and thus securing the final Champions League slot. With all that European money and prestige on the line it is no wonder that the battle for the spot was so fierce.

It was Man City’s spot to lose, Liverpool had clearly fallen off the pace and Tottenham? Well Spurs schedule for the run in was going to be tough, maybe even impossible. They had to play all of the big three teams beginning with the North London Derby and the hated Arsenal. Spurs came away victorious and then played Chelsea as well as anyone has this season beating them too. It is now City that trail Spurs by 2 points. This weekend will see the final installment of the trilogy as Saturday morning brings us Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United on ESPN2 as our match of the week, with an honorable mention going to Arsenal v Manchester City on Fox Soccer Channel. Will this weekend decide both the Premiership title AND the Champions League spot? Doubtful as Manchester United can lose the title by losing to Spurs but Chelsea is unlikely to drop points while hosting Stoke on Sunday (also on FSC). In terms of the Champions League slot, regardless of the outcomes on Saturday Spurs and City must still play each other on Wednesday May 5, which could well and truly wrap up fourth position.

The Birmingham Derby, usually must see TV in it’s own right, is unfortunately on Fox Soccer Plus and thus not readily available.

I hope you have the Direct Kick package, because that is where all the action is at this weekend in Major League Soccer.

When Fox Soccer Channel was picking it’s match for this weekend, how did it overlook Columbus v Real Salt Lake? What a battle these two teams had over two legs in the first round of the playoffs last season. they are both thought of as the class of the league, though Columbus has already had two bye weeks and RSL has had to play a very tough opening schedule.  Chicago Houston would have been a great call too and the LA Galaxy going to KC also would have been something to see. Red Bull at Union was snapped up by TeleFutura and would be a tasty treat if TeleFutura’s coverage wasn’t so whack.  FSC brings us Chivas USA v San Jose Earthquakes. Sometimes I think the Fox Soccer Channel pick an inordinate amount of matches at the Home Depot Center because they just don’t like to travel.

ALL TIMES EASTERN

BOLD – MLS MATCHES

ITALICS – MATCH OF THE WEEK

FRIDAY

Germany, Bochum-Stuttgart 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes

Mexico, Tecos-Atlante 9 p.m. Galavision

SATURDAY

England, Spurs-Manchester United 7:30 a.m. ESPN2

Germany, Moenchengladbach-Bayern Munich 9:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes

England, West Ham-Wigan 10 a.m. FSC

England, Hull-Sunderland 10 a.m. FSP

Spain, Barcelona-Xerez noon GolTV

Italy, Inter Milan-Atalanta noon FSP

England, Arsenal-Manchester City 12:30 p.m. FSC

Spain, Zaragoza-Real Madrid 2 p.m. ESPN Deportes

Germany, Werder Bremen-Cologne 2 p.m. GolTV Premiere

Italy, Palermo-AC Milan 2:30 p.m. FSC

MLS, New York-Philadelphia 4 p.m. Telefutura

Spain, Valencia-Coruna 4 p.m. GolTV

England, Wolves-Blackburn 5 p.m. FSC

Mexico, Cruz Azul-Chivas 6 p.m. Azteca America

Colombia, Envigado-Nacional 7:15 p.m. GolTV

MLS, New England-Colorado 7:30 p.m. Direct Kick

MLS, Columbus-Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. Direct Kick

Mexico, Tigres-Pachuca 8 p.m. mun2, Telemundo

Mexico, Morelia-Monterrey 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes, Azteca America

MLS, Kansas City-Los Angeles 8:30 p.m. Direct Kick

MLS, Chicago-Houston 8:30 p.m. Direct Kick

Colombia, Real Cartagena-Cali 9:30 p.m. GolTV

Mexico, San Luis-Queretaro 10 p.m. Telefutura

Mexico, Atlas-Jaguares 10 p.m. Telemundo

MLS, Chivas USA-San Jose 10:30 p.m. FSC

SUNDAY

England, Aston Villa-Birmingham 7 a.m. FSP

Italy, Juventus-Bari 9 a.m. FSC

England, Fulham-Everton 10 a.m. ESPN2

England, Burnley-Liverpool 10 a.m. FSP

England, Chelsea-Stoke 11 a.m. FSC

Spain, Santander-Villarreal 11 a.m. GolTV

Spain, Almeria-Espanyol 11 a.m. DirecTV (Channel 456)

Spain, Mallorca-Malaga 11 a.m. DirecTV (Channel 457)

Mexico, Toluca-Puebla 1 p.m. Telemundo

Spain, Atletico Madrid-Tenerife 1 p.m. ESPN Deportes

Germany, Hoffenheim-Hamburg 1 p.m. GolTV Premiere

MLS, Toronto-Seattle 2 p.m. Direct Kick

Italy, Roma-Sampdoria 2:30 p.m. FSC

Mexico, Indios-Pumas 3 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol

Spain, Getafe-Sevilla 3 p.m. ESPN Deportes

Brazil, Santo Andre-Santos 3 p.m. GolTV

England, Cardiff-Sheffield Wednesday 4 p.m. FSP

Mexico, America-Santos Laguna 5 p.m. Univision

WPS, St. Louis-Boston 6 p.m. FSC

Argentina, Boca Juniors-San Lorenzo 7 p.m. FSE

MONDAY

Spain, Osasuna-Bilbao 11 a.m. DirecTV (Channel 456)

England, Crystal Palace-West Brom 3 p.m. FSP

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: DID INTER MILAN DO ENOUGH AT HOME?

April 22, 2010

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS

The First Legs of the Champions League semifinals are in the book, and though we some spectacular individual skill and brilliant tactical football, these two ties are far from over.  In reality, all four teams will have a reason to think the tie is theirs to win come next week.

DID INTER MILAN DO ENOUGH AT HOME?

Tuesday saw Inter Milan do what no one seems to have been able to do lately and that is to stop the outright onslaught that is FC Barcelona.  For all the self-love that exudes from Jose Mourinho and all the press he gets (good and bad) we sometimes forget that he is a brilliant tactician and manager. His strategy Tuesday at the San Siro, frustrated and slowed the impossibly quick defending champions to a normal pace.  He forced them to play football, which is something few understand as well as he does.  Pep Guardiola likes to let his team run and once they find their stride, they will run you into the ground and have you playing from behind.

Arsene Wenger saw this in the quarterfinals when in the first 20 minutes of the first leg. His Arsenal side could have been well and truly out of the tie. Fortune and the fact that Arsenal is a fast and free team also, helped save them and challenge Barcelona at their own game.  It didn’t work at the end of the day, as no team in the world right now is as good as Barcelona at that style.

It looked as if we were in for more of the same on Tuesday when Pedro scored for Barca inside of the 20 minute mark. Pedro has scored a goal in six (yes, that’s right… SIX) different competitions this season for Barcelona, and the goal Tuesday was his 20th of this, his first season.

Wesley Sniedjer equalized for Inter 10 minutes later and suddenly Barcelona slowed down a bit to settle into a football match.  That was a mistake

Inter continued to try and slow down Barcelona.  Ball possession, ball control and some fortune from the referees helped The Special One’s side regain a firm footing in the match, and eventually when the teams were both playing the same game, Inter took over.

Maicon’s Second Half goal was set up by the hard working Diego Milito and then Milito himself scored. the Argentine being the beneficiary of a blown offsides call.

Too late, Barcelona started attempting to ratchet up the pressure to counter the 3-1 scoreline, but Inter held fast against seemingly overwhelming Barca pressure. The score line became a result and Inter had claimed a famous victory, but was it enough to secure the tie

Barca are surely capable of outscoring anyone at the Camp Nou, so will Pep Guardiola  unleash the hounds?  Send everyone forward and try to get the goals back in front of their rabid fans? Perhaps Barca will sacrifice some of their offensive prowess in lieu of keeping Inter off the score sheet and thereby keeping the vital away goal out of Jose Mourinho’s reach.

Regardless, everything is left to play for next Wednesday in Barcelona.

SOCCER ON THE BOX: THE MID-WEEK

April 20, 2010

SOCCER ON THE BOX: THE MID-WEEK

It is impossible to escape the majesty of the knock out rounds of UEFA Champions League.  Every week we are treated to some of the best the sport has to offer.  Intelligent, quick and gifted players giving us sweeping challenges and magical goals. History, tension, passion and the beautiful game. The impossible match-ups that seem like they can only take place in a video game, but happen in front of your eyes every Tuesday and Wednesday.  A sort of weekly World Cup every spring, there is nothing like it, and this Tuesday will be no exception.

Defending Champions Barcelona are the best team on the planet in the past month or so, no team has been able to slow them down whether in La Liga or Champions League. They are the team that has it all, except of course the self proclaimed Special One: José Mourinho.

No Mourinho is not with Barca, he is the manager of Inter Milan, the team charged with stopping Barcelona in the semi-finals of this seasons Champions League which begin on Tuesday. No slouches themselves, Inter Milan are winners of the Italian Serie A four years running and have a very strong chance of making it five. The Special One, however will have his hands full on Tuesday, for Barca does not just have it all, it has it all and Lionel Messi the most entrancing player alive.

Lionel Messi  is riding the crest of a run of form that seems against all reason.  Many of us, in the years to come, will be attempting to explain Messi’s current form to those who hadn’t paid attention. Pay attention.

ALL TIMES EASTERN

BOLD – MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

ITALICS – GAME OF THE MID-WEEK

TUESDAY, April 20

FOX SPORTS NET

UEFA Champions League INTER MILAN-BARCELONA (live) 2:45 pm

FOX SOCCER CHANNEL

UEFA Champions League INTER MILAN-BARCELONA (delay) 5 pm.

FOX SPORTS EN ESPANOL

UEFA Champions League INTER MILAN-BARCELONA (live) 2:30 pm.

Copa Libertadores ESTUDIANTES-ALIANZA LIMA (live) 8 pm.

FOX SOCCER PLUS

Copa Libertadores ESTUDIANTES-ALIANZA LIMA (live) 8 pm.

WEDNESDAY, April 21

FOX SOCCER CHANNEL

UEFA Champions League BAYERN MUNICH-LYON (live) 2:30 pm.

Concacaf Champions League CRUZ AZUL-PACHUCA  (live) 10 pm.

FOX SPORTS EN ESPANOL

UEFA Champions League BAYERN MUNICH-LYON (live) 2:30 pm.

Copa Libertadores NACIONAL [URU]-MORELIA (live) 6:30 pm.

Copa Libertadores CLUB NACIONAL [PAR]-MONTERREY (live) 8:30 pm.

FOX SOCCER PLUS

England HULL CITY-ASTON VILLA (live) 2:40 pm.

UEFA Champions League BAYERN MUNICH-LYON (delay) 5 pm.

GOL TV

Italy UDINESE-ROMA (live) noon.

TELEFUTURA

Concacaf Champions League CRUZ AZUL-PACHUCA  (live) 10 pm.

THURSDAY, April 22

ESPN2

MLS DALLAS-SEATTLE (live) 8 pm.

ESPN DEPORTES

MLS DALLAS-SEATTLE (live) 8 pm.

FOX SPORTS EN ESPANOL

Copa Libertadores CHILE-U CATOLICA (delay) 2 pm.

Copa Libertadores SAO PAULO-ONCE CALDAS (delay) 4:30 pm.

Copa Libertadores INTERNACIONAL-DEPORTIVO QUITO (live) 6:30 pm.

Copa Libertadores CORINTHIANS-INDEPENDIENTE MEDELLIN (live) 8:30 pm.

GOL TV

Europa League HAMBURG-FULHAM (live) 3 pm.

Europa League ATL. MADRID-LIVERPOOL (delay) 8 pm.

Thanks to Soccer America, Soccer Insider and USsoccerplayers.com who I copy and paste this information from on a regular basis.