Posts Tagged ‘premier league’

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JULY 23 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 23, 2010

JULY 23 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

O’NIELL: MILNER MAY MOVE IF MAN CITY HAVE MONEY

James Milner’s potential transfer to Manchester City had a moment of clarity today.

After days of rumored fallout’s and accusations, Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill made it plain that the England International may leave the club, as long as Manchester City pay the asking price, rumored to be in the $46 million range.

O’Niell won’t stand in the way of the 24-year-old midfielder desire to join City, but has made it clear that Milner has asked to leave the club.

“James and his agent came to see us before the World Cup and intimated that they would like to go.” O’Neill told Villa’s official website.  “Manchester City made an offer, which we told them (Milner and his Agent).

“There is a difference of valuation at this moment between the buying club and the selling club. That may well be resolved and if that is the case then absolutely fine.

“I think James’ agent has told our chief executive that he wouldn’t be signing a new contract. Obviously that puts a different slant on things, like everything else. If a fee is agreed, at the end of the day, the player can leave.”

City are preparing another offer of $38 million in hopes of resolving the matter, but whay Villa will do with the bid is unknown.

MARTIN JOL TO STAY AT AJAX-FULHAM LEFT SCRAMBLING

Martin Jol was apparently unaware that there was no exit clause in his contract at Ajax, according to the Fulham website.

(more…)

YANKEES IN BID TO BUY TOTTENHAM

July 19, 2010

YANKEE’S TO BUY SPURS?

The New York Yankees of Major League Baseball have made a bid to purchase London based Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for $687 million.

One of the most successful sports franchises in history, in terms of on field success, overall team value and profitability, the Bronx Bombers also posses the most globally recognizable logo and branding.

The news, coming just days after the death of long time Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, the move is being made by sons Hank and Hal who have operated the 27-time World Series Champions for the past few years.

Hank, in response to a recent question regarding the Steinbrenner’s possibly purchasing a sports franchise in a different sport, told reporters “The only thing would be a major soccer team in ­Europe, preferably in the Premier League. That’s always a possibility for me.”

Interestingly, the news falls at a time when Tottenham are to play two matches in New York City area.

Spurs will take part in the Barclays New York Challenge, beginning on Thursday.

American owners of Premier League teams have had mixed results. Andy Lerner , who owns the Cleveland Browns of the NFL also owns Aston Villa and Ellis Short who owns Sunderland have had no problems from fans, players or fellow ownership groups. The jury may be still out on Stan Kroenke who has slowly increased in stake in Spurs North London rivals Arsenal to 29.9 per cent.

On the other side of the coin is the Glazer family, who own the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United have struggled. There are regular, vocal open protests by United supporters who want the Glazer’s out.  There were even “Love United, Hate Glazer” signs at United’s preseason tour match in Toronto last week.

George Gillet and Tom Hicks, who own Liverpool FC have never been embraced by the Anfield supporters.

Strangely enough, current Spurs boss Harry Redknapp told reporters last season that he was against foreign ownership.

“With more ­foreign owners you get fewer British managers.” Redknapp said “Every club will have a foreign owner eventually and the lifespan of managers will get less and less.”

The Steinbrenner investment would certainly boost the influx of potential transfer money at White Hart Lane, and that just might sway the opinion of Redknapp who just an extension with the club.

US-MEXICO PLAYER TRANSFER NEWS

July 18, 2010

US, MEXICO PLAYER TRANSFER NEWS

US PLAYER REPORT

  • Everton captain Phil Neville told reporters this weekend that he knows L.A. star Landon Donovan wants to return to Everton.
  • US Team captain Carlos Bocanegra moved was sold from Rennes of Ligue 1 fellow French side Saint-Etienne.
  • According to the BBC, former Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley will sign an extension to stay on as head coach of the US national team.
  • Jozy Altidore is in high demand.  The latest clubs showing interest in legendary Dutch side Ajax and Turkish side Besiktas. Altidore’s current club Villareal has said they are entertaining offers for the 20-year-old American striker. Since then a myriad of European clubs from shown an interest. From Serie A sides Napoli and Palermo to Glasgow Celtic of the Scottish Premier League.
  • The sale of Michael Bradley from Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach to Everton has gained steam, according to the Express. Newly promoted Premier League side Blackpool is also rumored to be interested.
  • AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu has been targeted as Celtic’s back-up plan if the Glasgow super club can’t sign former England international Sol Campbell. Gooch has resisted all offers to be moved from the San Siro, longing for an opportunity to play in Serie A. He is even playing for free this season as a sign he wants to prove himself at Europe’s highest level. “He is adamant about staying at AC Milan,” Onyewu’s agent, Lyle Yorks, told the MLS website. “I’m really not even listening when something comes in anymore.” That doesn’t seem to stop the rumors surrounding the 28-year-old defender.
  • US midfielder Jermaine White may be pricing himself out of the reach of many clubs that could and would use him. After a trial with the Chicago Fire, Chicago (more…)

JULY 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 16, 2010

JULY 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

MANCINI: MAN CITY MUST SPEND TO WIN

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is not ashamed of his clubs spending spree, quite the contrary, the Italian believes the only way to win trophies is to spend big.

City has already spent $91 million this summer on David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng but clearly there is room for more changes at Eastlands as Mancini is still on the prowl for at least a striker and a defender to firm up the side.

Mancini admits that spending money on big-name players is the difference between most football clubs and Europe’s elite teams.

“Of course we have spent a lot of money this summer,” Mancini told The Mirror. “Everyone can see that is the case, but all the teams who have won the Premier League, or La Liga or Serie A in recent years have spent a lot of money. This is not a new thing.”

The City boss is quick to deny that spending money on new players means ignoring the Academy players trying to crack the first team.

“It is hard to win trophies if you do not invest in areas where you can improve. We are absolutely committed to the Academy and to developing our own talent. It is important that they know there is a path to the first team for them. We are working hard towards the kick-off on August 14 and everyone here has the chance to be in the squad that day.”

New City owner Sheikh Mansour has spent over $400 million in less than two years to put the Blue side of Manchester on par with the biggest clubs in Europe.

UNITED TO LOCK UP ROONEY FOR FIVE YEARS?

Wayne Rooney looks set to become the highest paid player in Manchester United history, according to the Mirror.

(more…)

JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

July 15, 2010

LUKAS PODOLSKI HAS PROVEN HE HAS THE STONES

JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

CHELSEA’S AFRICAN PAIR READY FOR PREMIER LEAGUE RETURN

Chelsea’s African duo Michael Essien and Jon Obi Mikel are set to return to Stamford Bridge after long injuries that kept both out of the World Cup.

Nigeria’s Mikel and Ghana’s Essien both had time during the World Cup to return to fitness and now look set to join the club for Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixture August 14.

“There should be no problem whatsoever,” Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins told soccernet. “Mikel is slightly in advance of Michael Essien but they are both working very well indeed.

“They have been working double sessions for the last week and we will get them really firing before the season starts.”

AC MILAN IN FOR PODOLSKI, BUT ONLY IF…

AC Milan will splash to cash to but German striker Lukas Podolski, but only if they can first find a buyer for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, preferably to a Premier League club.

The 1 FC Koln striker has come back into vogue after a successful run in the World Cup, and Milan have sized up the 25-year-old who is a more versatile player than Huntelaar, being able to play as a more conventional forward. Nothing however will move the Rossoneri to approach unless they have cah in hand for Huntelaar.

“Podolski will arrive only if one condition is met and that is the transfer of Huntelaar to the (English) Premier League, which would then open a few paths from a financial standpoint.” Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport 24.

BAYERN LOOKING FOR VAN DER WIEL

Bayern Munich have approached Dutch side Ajax regarding Gregory van der Wiel.

(more…)

JULY 14 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 14, 2010

JULY 14 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

RED BULLS FINALLY LAND THIERRY HENRY

The New York Red Bulls have made the worst kept secret in soccer a reality today by announcing the signing of France international Thierry Henry as a designated player.

Without question, Henry becomes the most decorated player to ever take the field in the 14 year history of Major League Soccer. Capped 123 times for France, Henry has a resume that includes World Cup, European Championship and Champions League titles, in addition to a number of domestic championships and scoring titles.

The highest profile signing for the league since David Beckham’s arrival, the former Arsenal striker will hope to revitalize a Red Bull attack that includes co-designated player Colombian Juan Pablo Angel.

The 32-year-old Henry will likely play his first match July 22nd against Tottenham Hotspur in the New York Football Challenge.

The announcement was made Thursday as the day marks the opening of the Major League Soccer transfer window, and Henry is expected to be the first of many designated players brought into the league under the new policies that allow for as many as three designated players per team.

Other signings ready to sign officially on Thursday include Spanish forward Mista who has signed with Toronto FC, Swiss international Blaise Nkufo who has signed to Seattle Sounders from Dutch Champions FC Twente, Branko Boskovich will join DC United and Venezuela’s all-time leading scorer Giancarlo Maldonado has signed with Chivas USA on a loan from Mexican side Atlante..

REDKNAPP EXTENDS SPURS STAY

Tottenham Hotspur have locked up manager Harry Redknapp through 2013.

The 63-year-old manager guided the White Hart Lane club to it’s first Champions League berth last season, and has been rewarded with a three year extension.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reacted to big money offers from .

(more…)

JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

July 13, 2010

JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

UNITED IN FOR BALOTELLI?

The Agent for Italian striker Mario Balotelli has confirmed that red sides of Manchester is interested in the 19-year-old’s services.

Inter Milan still has the player under wraps for three more seasons but for the proposed $50million price tag, the club could be persuaded to let him go, according to the players agent Mino Raiola who is heading to England to begin negotiations.

“The interest of Manchester for Balotelli is concrete and both clubs have confirmed it,” Raiola told Calcio Mercato. “The player is clearly happy to be followed by [Manchester United coach Sir Alex] Ferguson.”

The petulant striker clashed with then Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, but new manager Rafael Benitez wants to meet and evaluate the player before letting him go.

“I want to speak to him and get to know him better as a person.” Benitez said. “All the quality players are important to me. But I need to see him, get to know him and see how he works.”

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti thinks that Manchester United would be an ideal fit for the Italian sensation.

“They are a team with great tradition, which helps that type of player,” he told Sky Sport24. “Here, the environment is different and I think a player with his character could find it better than in Italy. It’s difficult to find a player so young with his quality, and England has a lack of players at that level.”

Ancelotti mentioned he would be happy to coach a player like Balotelli.

BAYERN WON’T BREAK THE BANK FOR LEFT BACK

Chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says that Bayern Munich will not sign Fabio Coentrao or Michel Bastos this summer, even though the team is in need of a left back.

(more…)

JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 12, 2010

JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

FABREGAS HAPPY TO STAY AT ARSENAL

Cesc Fabregas has been hinting at a move to Barcelona all summer , but he seems to have changed his tune regarding his current club Arsenal.

The Spanish international has called his North London side a “world-class club” and suggested he is ready to stay put for the coming season.

“All I can say is that this World Cup victory is for all the Arsenal players and fans. They are a world-class club.” the 23-year-old told reporters after Spains World Cup Triumph. “I had a text message of congratulations from Arsene Wenger. He said I deserve it. I just think this is for everyone at Arsenal who helped me get to where I am now. I am an Arsenal player and proud to be.”

Fabregas had previously made no secret about his desire to move to Barcelona for the coming campaign, the club he loved as a kid and managed by his boyhood hero Pepp Guardiola.

STUTTGART DENY MADRID BID FOR KHEDIRA

Rumors of German international Sami Khedira moving to Real madrid from Bundesliga side Stuttgart have yet to become reality, according to club director Jochen Schneider.

“We have no offer. That is based only on speculation in Spanish sport newspapers,” Schneider told Bild. “And after his holiday we will sit down together and see whether we can extend his contract beyond 2011.”

(more…)

OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

July 8, 2010

OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

BOB BRADLEY LINKED WITH VACANT FULHAM POST

US national Team Manager Bob Bradley is on a short list of candidates to take over the Fulham manager position vacated by recently named Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson.

Bradley, who is in discussions with US Soccer regarding his future, is in contention with Swede Sven Goran Eriksson and Croatian Slaven Bilic.

Glenn Hoddle, Mark Hughes, Tony Mowbray, Alan Curbishley and Gianfranco Zola, according to reports out of England, have all been eliminated from contention.

For his part Bradley is focused on his post-World Cup discussions with US Soccer.

“I think we’re in the midst of all of that,” Bradley told the Washington Post about the discussions. “Whenever there has been a four-year effort on both sides there is a little time that’s needed to look at things, to talk to some different people, to assess options and I’ve had some different conversations, one with Sunil Gulati and one with [U.S. soccer secretary general] Dan Flynn, so I think we’re moving through that period and we’ll see where it gets everybody.”

GOOCH WON’T BE MOVED FROM MILAN

US International Oguchi Onyewu is staying at AC Milan, no matter what.

(more…)

MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 28, 2010

MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

FABIANO LOOKS TO MAN U AND MILAN

Luis Fabiano has already netted twice for Brazil in the 2010 World Cup, but the Seville striker has made it known he is looking to leave Sevilla for a big club with a chance at some silverware, and he wants it all to happen rather quickly.

“As soon as the World Cup is over I will make a quick decision on my future – and while it is going on I hope Sevilla can open discussions.” Fabiano told the Daily Star Sunday. “I have enjoyed my time here but I now need to be at a giant.”

“I have a real chance of winning a World Cup here in South Africa, and that is what I must stay focused on even though I know my future has to be sorted soon. I have made it clear that I will not be signing a new contract with Sevilla and at 29 I now need to join a club where I can start challenging for the highest honors from the first season.

“The choice will come down to Manchester United and AC Milan. That is the sort of team I want to be signing for, one of the true giants of Europe. I think the way Manchester United play football is very attractive, I must be honest and say Premier League football attracts me and also the way Manchester United play football attracts me.”

“You think about being Wayne Rooney’s strike partner and that is very attractive for any striker. I think the style of Premier League football suits me and I think I could score goals and be very successful there. Their coach is a winner, their players are winners and they are one of the few teams in Europe challenging for the top honors season after season.”

The Brazilian also made clear the type of club he won’t be playing for.

“I have heard Tottenham Hotspur made an inquiry about me but, with all respect, that is not somewhere I am going to be able to win the Premier League (more…)

DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

June 27, 2010

DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

With The World Cup winding down, it is only a matter of time before Major League Soccer fans will begin to look forward to their teams’ to target tantalizing talent. So here is an occasional look into the rumors and facts regarding the potential crop of household names coming to a soccer specific stadium near you.

MLS TO BATTLE BIG EUROPEAN CLUBS FOR POSSIBLE DP’S

Thierry Henry’s quick exit from the World Cup with France will have many New York Red Bull fans sharing a secret smile. Henry is expected to ink a two-year designated player contract with Major League Soccer to play Eastern Conference leaders.

Although the deal has been long-rumored to be done, there are still rumblings that the player may end up in the Premier League.

Henry is not the only example of MLS having to fight for potential DP’s.

Reports out of Spain have Real Madrid icon and MLS DP target Raul being wooed by Serie A side Sampadoria and Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. These reports come justdays after Bundesliga side Shalke 04 put in a bid.

Capped 102 times for Spain and a life-long Real Madrid player, the 33-year-old has found himself surplus to requirements with Los Merengues. Schalke are looking for someone to replace Kevin Kuranyi who moved on to Dynamo Moscow.

Juventus Striker David Trezeguet is also being pursued by MLS but now seems to have an offer from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

(more…)

JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS, World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

June 25, 2010

JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS

World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

MEXICAN PLAYERS ON THE MOVE TO EUROPE?
Mexican winger Pablo Barrera is on the wish list of both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The attention by the Premier League clubs is so great that a deal with Serie A side Lazio was rejected by the 23-year-old, in order to learn more about the interest of the English sides.

The Roman club attempted to sign Barrera on a one-year loan from Mexican club UNAM Pumas with the option of making the deal permanent for a bargain $4.48 million.

Tottenham like Barrera’s versatility, as the player who can be used on either flank as well as up top.

Manchester United are also said to have been intrigued by Barrera’s performances in the Mexican League having scored 12 goals in 28 league games over the last year, as well as his super-sub role at the World Cup for Mexico.

“I hope I can go abroad to play in a traditional club in Europe, but first I want to do well in the World Cup,” he told Super Deporte.

“I like football in Spain … the Italian, English, I like various styles of the game. I aspire to that, I want to be in a good team, that’s all I want.”

(more…)

JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 18, 2010

JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The 2010-11 Premier League fixture list has been released and the opening weekend features some very intriguing big-club battles.

Newcastle United will have a harsh welcome back to the Premier League when the travel to Old Trafford to battle Manchester United.

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was hoping for a little easier of a start.

“It’s a tough start for us, we would have preferred a home game to kick the season off but you take what you get.” He told Soccernet. “We can take heart and confidence from the 1-1 draw we earned at Old Trafford two years ago on the opening day of the 2008-09 season. Villa at home the following (more…)

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…)

SHORT CORNERS – SOCCER NEWS AND RUMORS

April 27, 2010

SHORT CORNERS

SHALRIE JOSEPH LEAVES REVOLUTION

Shalrie Joseph has left the New England Revolution on an indefinite leave of absence to attend to family matters, according to the team website.  The leave of absence was granted by the team and apparently has to do with matters having nothing to do with soccer.

“It’s a completely personal matter, non soccer-related,’’ said Mike Burns, Vice President of Player Personnel for the Revolution “He asked for some time on a personal matter and it was granted, and it would be speculation to say how long he will be gone.’’

HERCULES GOMEZ CLAIMS MEXICAN SCORING TITLE

For the first time in history, and American can say he is the golden Boot winner in a foreign league. More exciting is that the foreign league is the Mexican First Division.

Hercules Gomez of Puebla ended the Mexican campaign with ten goals which gives him a share of the three way tie for leading goal scorer in Mexico’s top league.  Gomez, who many are clamoring for inclusion in the United States 23-man roster ahead of this summer’s World Cup, is also being courted by many teams as his contract with Puebla is up at the end of the Mexican Playoffs.

What MLS team couldn’t use a guaranteed goal scorer that has a history and familiarity with the league? Especially a Spanish speaker of Mexican lineage. Wake up Chivas USA!

CHARLIE DAVIES RETURNS TO FULL TRAINING AT SOCHAUX

US National Team striker Charlie Davies has returned to full training at his Ligue 1 side Sochaux. The club commented last week that Davies would not see action in the remaining weeks of the French season, but Davies return to full fitness after the horrific accident he was involved in mere months ago, suggests that he will get at the least a full two weeks of first team training before the end of the season.  Best case scenario, however, is that the 23 year old will see some top flight minutes before Bob Bradley needs to make a decision regarding Davies inclusion in the 23-man squad headed for South Africa.

HOUSTON INJURY WOES CONTINUE; CAMERON OUT FOR SEASON

The Houston Dynamo  injury situation went from bad to worse on Monday, when it was reported that midfielder Geoff Cameron is out for the season after tearing his PCL on Saturday against the Chicago Fire.

BECKHAM TO MISS OUT ON 2010 SEASON

David Beckham, Major League Soccer’s first and biggest Designated Player signing will miss out on the 2010 season completely. The England super star told Good Morning America on Monday that he is aiming for a November return to fitness.

YURA SCORING IN DENMARK

Former Major League Soccer standout Yura Movsisyan continues to score for his Danish club Randers.  The Armenian forward scored both his teams goals in 12 minutes this weekend giving him 5 goals in 9 appearances for Randers who sit in 9th position in the Danish Superliga.

RUMORS…

With ‘Every Player for Sale’ at West Ham United, could Jonathon Spector be heading to Major League Soccer?

Steve Cherundolo will be in Major League Soccer come the close of the summer transfer window, according to a prediction from the valuable du Nord.  The 31 year-old has played his entire senior career at German Bundesliga side Hannover 96, making 284 appearances in over ten years.

Olof Mellburg currently of Greek powerhouse Olympiakos is the latest in the post World Cup to Red Bull rumors.

FURTHER READING (NORTH AMERICA)

MLS: A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN (BEN BURGER-FOOTIEBUSINESS)

IMPACT’S STAR RISES UNDER SAPUTO (RANDY PHILLIPS-THE GAZETTE)

BECKHAM, CANUCKS AND THE SOUTH BAY (NICK GREEN-100 PERCENT SOCCER)

DC UNITED GETTING CROWDS, BUT…(STEVE GOFF-WASHINGTON POST)

WHERE WAS EVERYONE? (BIG APPLE SOCCER)

FURTHER READING (WORLD)

IRELAND: TRAPATTONI CALLS IN EIGHT UNCAPPED PLAYERS FOR SUMMER CAMP (DANNY HART GOAL.COM)

HOW BARCELONA SPAWNED MOURINHO AS IT’S NEMESIS (SIMON KUPER-FINANCIAL TIMES)

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE THIS WEEKEND (GUARDIAN)

FRENCH STARS+PROSTITUTES=BIG MESS (JAMIE TRECKER-FOX SPORTS)

HULL ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS COST OF THE DROP (SOCCERNET)

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

UPDATE-SUMMER FRIENDLIES: SPURS AND CITY IN NEW YORK, OLD FIRM AT FENWAY?

April 22, 2010

UPDATE-SUMMER FRIENDLIES

This summer is shaping up to be one of the most incredible in memory for fans of the World’s Game. More and more teams are announcing North American tours either just after the end of the European Season in late May or as part of a tune-up for the 2010-11 European Season in July.  The Big Apple has already seen legendary Brazilian side Santos FC this year and just days after announcing a match with Juventus comes news of three more European teams playing at Red Bull Arena.

NEW YORK FOOTBALL CHALLENGE

Red Bull Arena will host a four-day tournament called the ‘New York Football Challenge’ from July 21-25 which will feature New York Red Bull taking on Sporting Lisbon from Portugal and Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.  Spurs and City are battling for fourth place in the Premier League, the prize being the final spot in the prestigious and lucrative Champions League. City had already announced their plans to tour North America and have already penciled in a match in Atlanta against Mexico’s Club America.

“We have big ambitions for the Premier League next season, and this tournament will give us the perfect opportunity to prepare for our season with some highly competitive games, enthusiastic supporters and world class facilities,” Mancini said on the Manchester City website.

MILAN RETURN TO CHICAGO

The Chicago Fire have confirmed that AC Milan’s May tour of North America will have a stop in Chicago as The Italian Giants will take on the Fire at Toyota Park on May 30. This will be the second meeting between the two teams after a 2005 encounter at Chicago’s Soldier Field with Milan winning 3-1.

Milan have already scheduled matches against DC United at RFK Stadium on May 26 and Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium on June 2.

OLD FIRM AT FENWAY?

Many sources are reporting that Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers will contest the first ever Old Firm Derby to ever take place outside of Scotland this summer in Boston. The rumors of a potential July match between the two massive rivals had been focused around Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, but Steve Goff of the Washington Post reports that the site may actually be Fenway Park; ancient and revered home of the Boston Red Sox.

Both Celtic and Rangers have been busy penciling in July dates around North America in the past few days. Rangers is scheduled to play DC United at RFK and Club America in the massive Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Celtic is lining up a match with Toronto FC and a match in Philadelphia. None of this is confirmed, but watch this space.

MORE RUMORS

Manchester United may a date in Philadelphia in addition to their match to open the new Chivas de Guadalajara Stadium in Mexico and, of course, the MLS All-Star Game in Houston. another Portuguese powerhouse, Benfica may be playing the New England Revolution and possibly Toronto FC, again stay with me for details when I hear them.