Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recalling the Past Decade

The decade of the Galactico and the underdog, of Becks in America and billionaire owners in England, of the Moggiopoli scandal and ZiZi’s headbutt.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Experts Are Created, Not Born

By: Coach V

Last week I got email from a parent / coach. He and his son were watching the SoccerU series together, session by session and working on all the technical skills at home. He was amazed at the level of improvement in his son’s skills. Even his coaches had commented at his club. He started to question whether or not he should move his son to a different club. He knew there was a “better ranked” club about an hour away from his home town and thought that might help his son. What he didn’t realize is that HIS efforts, away from the structured practice, were the reason why his son was improving. My response included many of the points below.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beckham Versus Giggs

Beckham has more world wide fame but Giggs has more trophies: David Beckham has paid the price for leaving Manchester United

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Q. & A. With U.S. and Houston Midfielder Stuart Holden

From the NY Times:

What sort of things do you do, specifically, to work on the strategic aspects of your game?

I’ve always been a fan of the sport. I watch a lot of soccer. I watch Premier League, La Liga, M.L.S. games whenever they’re on. I’m always watching. Watching players that play my position. Players like Xavi and Iniesta, those guys at Barcelona. Their movement is unbelievable. I think if you look in the Confederations Cup, Spain probably did the least running of any team in the tournament. Their movement on and off the ball is so good.

I try to watch my own games when I can. I will sit around on a Sunday after a game and watch the tape. Look at things I’ve done well and look at things I haven’t done so well. You can always learn from your own game as well as watching the players who are the best in the world.

How important was it for you to watch the game and develop the strategic knowledge to play at a high level? When did that kick in for you?

I think growing up, it forced me to think the game a little bit more because I was never the biggest, I was never the tallest, I was never the fastest. I was always a player that was technically gifted, but if forced me playing against those guys and to show well, that I had to really think the game and outsmart your opponent. Put yourself in a position that you can show well and impact the game without being the biggest and the fastest.

Obviously, as I’ve matured physically, I had that aspect to my game. Probably my second year of college, things started to click a little bit more for me and that is when I ended up leaving and going to Sunderland and being in that environment. Then, coming back to Houston under Dominic Kinnear and John Spencer I really feel like in the last four years, my game is at a whole new level than when I first came to M.L.S.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Updated: Win a Pair of Nike CTR360 Maestri Soccer Cleats

(*All Men's and Women's sizes available)

Step 1: Become a fan of SoccerTrainingInfo on Facebook

Step 2: Post a link of the best move, goal or highlight clip you've seen on YouTube, DailyMotion, MetaCafe or another video site, on our fan page.

Step 3: Send us an email when the link is live on the fan page:

We will select the best clip at the end of the month and the winner will receive the Nike CTR 360 shoes, valued at $160.

Learn more over at our main site.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

LA Missed Dema Kovalenko

Sadly he missed the MLS Cup final with what I hear was a viral infection. There's a nice piece about him in the NY Times:

But Kovalenko strolls into the Galaxy’s locker room with a not-so-menacing 12-pound Lhasa apso named Bentley tucked under his arm.

The presence of Bentley, who responds only to commands in Russian, comes with the permission of the team’s coach, Bruce Arena, and the blessing of the equipment manager, Raul Vargas, who had a nameplate made for him.

The dog is so dear to Kovalenko that he placed Bentley under his seat last winter when he flew to Ukraine to visit his family. Just hearing his name turns a pit bull of a player into a pussycat.

Read more..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beckham: Friction Helped the Galaxy

The team came together after the controversy:

"I don't have to say anything about myself, I'll leave that to other people to decide," Beckham said. "But I love playing soccer, I work hard for my team and my team-mates and myself and my manager and the fans, and I hope that's enough for people. But there's nothing wrong with a bit of controversy in a club. It brings players and teams together and it's done that."


Monday, October 19, 2009

Robbie Rogers: Tips from Juergen Klinsmann

Robbie Rogers talks about the game against Costa Rica and how he developed into the player he is today, which is a potential World Cup roster winning player, a European club landing player, and just a general rising star. Rogers is unique because he can got at defenders and create goals.

FANHOUSE: You spent time with Juergen Klinsmann while growing up in California. What impact did that have on your development?

ROGERS: In Huntington Beach I played some PDL and some men's league with him. He played under a fake name. He didn't want media and other people coming out. He just would teach me little things on the field, talk to me off the field, talk to my family about what he thought maybe would be a good way for me to develop as a young player, as a young professional. Just gave me different ideas about soccer.

I remember him always telling me that the only time that you're really going to be playing well is when you're happy. I went to Holland and I wasn't happy and I wasn't playing the way I want to be playing. That for sure, happened. Just when I watched him play. He was always moving and always running. He was never stagnant, always playing quickly. I definitely learned from him just playing beach soccer and pick-up games. He was definitely someone I watched when I didn't know him, and then when I got to know him he was a great person as well, a great role model. He really helped me.

Read more over at Fan House...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charlie Davies

More on Charlie Davies over at SI by Grant Wahl:

"I remember when I was 7 years old," Charlie recalled recently, "I was dribbling from 4:00 in the afternoon until about 8:00 doing the same exact drill for four hours and crying in between doing the drills, and him just saying, 'Keep doing it until you get it right.' Finally, it got to be 8:30 and it was pitch-black, and I finally was doing it right. And we were able to go home. He took me to Taco Bell. That was his thing when I was a kid. If you score today and do well, I'll take you to Taco Bell afterward."


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Game On: U.S. Arrives in Honduras

The team lands in Honduras.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pablo Aimar Recalled to the Argentina National Team

Is Pablo Aimar the savior for Argentina? Diego thinks and hopes so, as he's been recalled for their last two qualifier games:

The Benfica play maker affirmed that Argentina don't have a saviour, but that is what he referred to Maradona as during his playing days.

"Since Diego stopped playing for the national team we haven't had a saviour," said Aimar.

When he arrived in Ezeiza on Monday, Aimar also thanked the praise he received from Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who said that he would like to play with him.

"For him to have said that fills me with pride. There's no other word to define my gratefulness."


Thursday, October 8, 2009

US National Team Gets Ready In Miami

Team training in the heat of Miami to get ready for Honduras. Looks like a pretty serious training session.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Landon Donovan Interview

Excellent interview with Donovan. The one thing I'd say is he has to go play in the EPL or La Liga. He's just too good not to play in the top leagues and experience the atmosphere week in and week out. I'm sure Jozy is telling him it's amazing playing against Liverpool:

It was time to check in with Landon Donovan, to get some quality one-on-one time with the Los Angeles Galaxy and U.S. national team standout.

He agreed to an interview in the middle of last week, after practice and after his now-regular hour-plus deep-tissue massage session with Galaxy trainers. He met me at the outdoor dining area behind the south goal at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, Calif. When we finished, he left the facility in his black Maserati, planning to get a haircut.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Clive Owen: Liverpool Fan

The Children of Men and Duplicity star is a Liverpool fanatic and wouldn't mind running a soccer team at some stage in his life:

Owen does not dream of being a soccer player, or a sportswriter (“A guy who writes the games up—it’s just one guy’s take”); but a manager, that’s tempting. “To be involved in the high end of footballing in any capacity, and spend your life going to amazing games, would be incredible,” he said. In Namibia, while shooting “Beyond Borders,” Owen caught a Liverpool game on a TV in the middle of the desert (“They managed to get a wire out to my tent, so we had cable”); in Milan, for “Duplicity,” he squeezed in an Inter Milan Champions League game, and afterward, in the locker room, met Zlatan Ibrahimović, who gave him his jersey. In Thailand (for “Beyond Borders” again), Owen’s driver turned out to be a Man U supporter. “He couldn’t afford cable,” Owen said. “In Thailand, soccer games air at 3 or 4 A.M., but I let him come to my place and watch the games. I said, ‘You can watch it, but don’t wake me up.’”


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Video: Barcelona Training Tips

Barcelona and Nike have teamed up for some very cool videos showing you how to train and get better as a soccer player. First off is a solo training drill.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Liverpool Jersey Sponsor Deal

Standard Chartered said Monday that it will become the main sponsor of Liverpool Football Club in a four-year deal reportedly worth 80 million pounds ($132 million)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Master the Ball

If a youth player needs to learn one thing it's this - good players want the ball and ask for the ball.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Interview: Clint Mathis

I have given Grant Wahl a hard time for his book The Beckham Experiment, just because he didn't really acknowledge that without Beckham he'd have no book, but here he whips up a good interview with Clint Mathis.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finally, Dunne Is No Longer A Manchester City Player

Out of all the trades that Manchester City have made this year, signing Tevez, Barry, Santa Cruz, Adebayor, and Toure, getting rid of Richard Dunne has been their best move yet.

Dunne is probably the top own goal scorer and red card getting player in the EPL. He is also constantly getting beat and dives in on every occasion. I hate to say it, but he is a disgrace. And he was captain of the Manchester City side. Robinho must be doing a samba dance right now he's so happy.

However, it is not a good day for Aston Villa, Brad Friedel, and perhaps Brad Guzan, will have to keep out Dunne's shots, since he's their new central defender. I'm sorry Aston Villa fans, hope Dunne helps more than he hurts, but I doubt it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pictures: Barcelona Versus Chivas

Some pictures and details from the Barcelona game at Candlestick in San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Messi: Giving Away Secrets

So you want to play like Lionel Messi? Well, you've got some more information to work with. In this video, Messi gives away some of his secrets.

Beckham & The Galaxy: Shirt Sponsor Herbalife

How is the LA Galaxy sponsor and essentially the company who helped bring Beckham to the MLS doing? Herbalife released their earnings today:

On Monday, the company said its second-quarter net income fell 28 percent as unfavorable currency moves and higher taxes hurt earnings. The company earned $48.3 million, or 77 cents per share, down from $67.1 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier. Sales fell 11 percent to $571.8 million from $639.7 million.

The results met Wall Street forecasts, but the company narrowed its full-year guidance, to a range of $2.97 to $3.03 per share, while setting third-quarter guidance between 66 cents and 69 cents per share.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pep Shakes Beckham's Hand

That was quite a free kick by David Beckham to tie the game for the Galaxy. Pep Guardiola shakes his hand after he leaves the match, which end 2-1 to Barcelona.

Hat tip to DayLife for the image.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We've Got It Good

Residents play soccer in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, Friday, July 31, 2009. At least 369 illegal Haitian migrants were repatriated to Cap-Haitien since January alone, according to U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti. They left the country, in overloaded boats, toward north, south and east to the U.S. and Caribbean islands, while smugglers shepherd others west to the Dominican Republic and sometimes on to Puerto Rico. Others fly on commercial aircraft with plans to overstay tourist visas.

Source: DayLife

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beckham Banners

As the LA Galaxy gets ready to take on Barcelona on Saturday, Beckham was asked again about BeckhamGate and those banners:

Beckham said it really doesn't matter what the fans do, even if more negative banners are almost certain to be present Saturday.

"I wish I had time to make banners," he said with a grin. "If they have more banners, it's down to them. I've had it a lot worse than I've had it here."

Beckham, for example, was villified by English fans and media after the 1998 World Cup, in which he was red-carded during a second-round loss to Argentina that eliminated England from the competition. One headline in a British newspaper even called him an "idiot."

"I've had it bad in all the places where I've played," he said. "It's just part of playing soccer."

I wonder what kind of banners Beckham would make? 'Posh I Love You', that might be one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Keep On Winning They Don't

No one says things like Jose Mourinho:

"I had many conversations before Chelsea and I decided on a divorce,'' he said. "It was difficult for me because we loved each other but the relationship went in one direction and it was best for everyone.

"Since I left I became champion again but they have not been champions again. I keep on winning and they don't."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Beckham Fined $1000

The guy makes $5 million a year plus endorsements.

David Beckham has been fined $1,000 by Major League Soccer for his conduct toward a fan during an exhibition game.

What did he do? Just yelled at a member of the LA Riot Fan group.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shaq Challenges Beckham

Shaq is a twitter fanatic it seems, and someone who always likes to throw out a challenge. This could be good for Beckham though, take him away from Donvoangate and LA Riot fansgate.

The Real Shaq said
: Dear david beckham, I kno u heard about my shaq vs show, anyway u will never score a goal on me, I challenge you lil man

Don't believe Shaq can play keeper? He's done it before, when he was with the Suns. The big man would be pretty intimidating. Why don't they bring Shaq out to the Home Depot center, let him take a few shots...

Bill Simmons: 10 more reasons why he loves sports

Yeah, I'd have to agree. How many people have actually bought this MLS sports package? I like to know how many exactly. Well, if you say all the players moms went ahead and bought the package for the season: 16 teams multiplied by say 20 players that's 320. Then let's go ahead and add on some MLS hardcore fans (2000), throw in a few more, and my guess is 3,000. I think that's generous.

No. 922: MLS Direct Kick
Does anyone else crack up each time they see this commercial? "For just $74.95, you can watch every MLS game!" OK, maybe I don't crack up, but there is some mild guffawing.

Read more over at ESPN...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Who's Standing Up for Beckham?

I've been posting and writing about The Beckham Show the past few days, mainly because I disagree with a lot of what other sites and blogs are saying about Beckham. I think all the people who've trashed Beckham lately haven't ever played soccer at a high level or perhaps at all. And I'm not saying I played at an extremely high level either, but I did play and can see what Beckham brings to the game.

Beckham had a hand in both goals in the game versus AC Milan. And, if Eddie Lewis had a right foot he would have had a hand in three goals. But the move that showed what Beckham brings to the game was just before he came off the pitch. He played a couple of beautiful give and go passes with Galaxy forward Bryan Jordan along the right touchline - quick, short, crisp passes. The final pass a deft touch that put Jordan nearly through on goal, if Jordan only clipped the ball around the last defender or put the ball through his legs.

I'd like to hear what other MLS players have to say about Beckham. Do they want him in the MLS? Do they think he's unprofessional? Most soccer players are now probably scared to say anything though, since Grant Wahl's book came out. Now, most MLS players are probably going to give the rote and boring post game cliches, so they don't end up in a book.

And I know Beckham is making a pile of money, but the guy can play. Donovan said it himself: "There's not another player on a team in this league that can make those plays. It was an exciting game."

If you look at the Galaxy now, they are definitely more well rounded side. And, most importantly, they have a keeper in Donovan Rickettes. LA Galaxy fans should be made not so much at Beckham, but the management, for getting rid of Joe Cannon a few years ago and then taking forever to sign a keeper like Donovan Ricketts.

Do you remember the moment where Gregg Berhalter tried to head the ball over the goal early in the first half against AC Milan, and Ricketts tipped the ball over the bar? Well, last year that would have been a goal and the LA team would have fallen on it's face after that.

Beckham brings an intensity to the game that I think many fans don't appreciate just yet. He may have to leave for them to realize what he brought to the game.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Can Your Brain Fight Fatigue?

Your brain has to get used to suffering so it knows the body isn't in trouble. If the brain is telling the muscles they're working too hard and you should stop, then it's hard to break through that stage when playing soccer let's say.

However, if you train, if you get in shape - meaning your brain gets used to working hard, then you won't feel the pain and want to stop. From the NY Times:

“I think the training effect of this theory is potentially very profound,” Tucker says. “Training is no longer simply an act of getting the muscles used to lactate or teaching the lungs how to breathe harder.” It’s also about getting your brain to accept new limits by pushing yourself, safely. “Once your brain recognizes that you’re not going to damage yourself,” Foster says, “it’ll be happy to let you go.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tens of Millions of Soccer Moms

Article about The Beckham Experiment in the WSJ. But this was interesting:

Alas, tens of millions of U.S. soccer moms have left quite a carbon footprint shuttling their kids to games and yet haven't produced a single first-class, world-wide soccer superstar. Mr. Donovan has the talent to be that player but has not played well during his stints in Europe. That has brought him back to America -- and to the clash of wills with Mr. Beckham.

When is the United States going to produce a true soccer star - and not a keeper? Or was Giuseppe Rossi the first, and we just missed out on persuading him to play for the U.S.?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Manchester City Needs to Get Rid of Dunne

I've said this before and I'll say it again, Manchester City can continue to sign some of the best players in the world, but if they don't get rid of defender Richard Dunne they're not going to crack the top four.

Manchester City have now signed or are about to sign: Bellamy, Adebayor, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Robinho, and now, maybe even John Terry. And Terry would be the key signing, because he would most likely push City to let go of Dunne once and for all. Dunne is the own goal king of the EPL, and would only bring down the pile of money that is Manchester City if he stays.

There's even some talk that City will sign David Beckham, if he doesn't return to AC Milan.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Not Ruud Instead of Owen?

How come Manchester United didn't sign Ruud Van Nistelrooy instead of Owen? I don't think Ruud and Ferguson parted on the best of terms, but wouldn't Ruud fit back into Manchester United side nicely?

Real Madrid has told most of the Dutch players, including Ruud, that he's no longer wanted. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Ruud sticks around and has another fine season at Madrid. Barcelona said they wanted to get rid of Etoo last year and he want on and had one of his best seasons ever. It may just be all talk.

Iraqi Soccer Team Comes Home

The score did not matter so much — well, it mattered some. More important was that Iraq’s itinerant national soccer team, displaced for years by war, finally returned to Baghdad on Monday night to play a home match at home.

In a dusty summer swelter, tens of thousands of Iraqis poured into Baghdad’s shabby Shaab Stadium and for the first time since 2002 filled it with a cacophony of clapping, clanging, chanting and cheering for the one thing that unifies Iraq more than any other.

“Iraq! Iraq!” they chanted hours before the match, the stadium filled past capacity and genuinely festive like nothing Baghdad had experienced in years.

Read more at the NY Times.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Beckham Blew It

From The Beckham Experiment - the new book by Grant Wahl of SI about Beckham's attempt to be the savior for American soccer and play for the LA Galaxy:

After his five-month loan to Italian superclub AC Milan, David Beckham is expected back with the Los Angeles Galaxy and scheduled to play on July 16 against the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium. But when he takes the field the mood will be far less giddy than the one that heralded his arrival in the U.S. in 2007. In Beckham's two years with the Galaxy he has successfully sold jerseys and served as celebrity eye candy, but the soccer story has been an epic disaster, from his injury-plagued season in '07 through a loss-filled campaign in '08.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tears of Joy Maybe...

Dempsey was in tears after the game, and it look like Donovan was a little choked up too, coughing a bit while doing the post game interview.

I don’t know why exactly Dempsey was crying though. He’s supposed to be the tough rapper not the sensitive leader. However, the team did so much more than was expected, and maybe that was why he was in tears after the match.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is La Masia?

La Masia is where Messi developed into the player he is today.

La Masia, named for the 300-year-old stone farmhouse where it is based, is Barça's premier soccercentric academy. Players train almost exclusively with the ball. Coaches teach system fundamentals like placement and space, and when to dribble and when to pass. Small-field drills, with 11 players facing off in 17x14-yard spaces, help develop vision, reflexes and precision. "Messi's team would win in five minutes," says Barça assistant and former juniors coach Tito Vilanova. "It was too easy."

From ESPN,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is a Vuvuzela?

The horn you are going to hear in the 2010 World Cup and are now hearing in the Confederations Cup is the vuvuzela.

A vuvuzela, sometimes called a "lepatata" (its Setswana name) or a stadium horn, is an blowing horn, approximately one metre in length, commonly blown by fans at football matches in South Africa. The origin of the name is disputed. It may originate from the Zulu for "making noise," from the "vuvu" sound it makes, or from township slang related to the word for "shower."

From Wikipedia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What is the Castrol Index?

This is new to me. But it looks like Castrol is a sponsor of the 2010 World Cup and has created a rating system for the world's best players.

For the Confederations Cup the top three players are David Villa (didn't he miss a pk), Fernando Torres, and Kaka.

For the US, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley are in the top ten.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Myanmar: Police State Doesn't Keep Soccer Fans Away

From the WSJ: Under the Police State's Watchful Eye, Fans Brave Monsoons, Vendors Hawk Betel Nuts

Public displays of emotion are uncommon in Myanmar, a secretive police state. It's technically illegal for more than five people to gather in one place, and while the rule is selectively enforced, many residents live in fear they're being watched by military intelligence.

But little of that seems to matter on game days of the Myanmar National League, the country's first professional soccer league and a rare local experiment in free expression. Launched in May, it features eight teams, players from as far as the Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Argentina, and the ever-present watchful eye of Myanmar's military machine.

More photos and interactive graphics Most player salaries range from $200 to $1,000 a month. The Man of the Match -- awarded for each game's top performer -- gets the equivalent of $500. By comparison, Spanish club Real Madrid just offered $131 million to attract Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hookers Help US Beat Egypt

Is this why the US was able to beat Egypt and extradorinarily make their way into the semifinals to face Spain?

"The Sunday World newspaper of Johannesburg bore a front page headline that said, “Hookers: 5, Egypt: 0.” An accompanying story quoted an unnamed police source saying that police had confirmed that some of the Egyptian players had picked up prostitutes in apparent celebration after the victory over Italy."

Read more of at the NY Times Goal blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Give Freddy Adu a Shot

What does Freddy Adu have to do to get on the field? I know it’s too late for him to play for Ghana, and I know he doesn’t want to or should he, but he’s earned some more time on the pitch for the national team. Especially when the United States keeps getting crushed. He is a player who can do the unexpected. He is creative. They’ve got to give him a chance. The US loses to Brazil 3-0 and he doesn't get on the pitch.

The one reason he's not getting on in the Confederations Cup is that the US has gotten two early red cards and been a man down, but still, Adu is young and needs the experience, especially if you plan on using him in the World Cup.

For Adu, he's got to find a new club team to play for, and actually play. And he shouldn't come back to the MLS, just find a team in Europe, whatever country, that will let him play 90 minutes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hahnemann Back in the EPL

I though Marcus Hahnemann might end up back in the MLS, but he's signed a 12 month deal with the newly promoted Wolves side. From SoccerNet:

Wolves have signed Marcus Hahnemann to mentor goalkeepers Wayne Hennessey and Carl Ikeme, according to chief executive Jez Moxey.

Hahnemann has joined the Championship winners after being released by Reading and Wolves hope he will add experience to the squad alongside Hennessey and Ikeme.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CR7 to Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo will join his old friend Ruud Van Nistelrooy at Real Madrid. What will Manchester do with the pile of money they just got from the seemingly inexhaustible Real Madrid bank?

Perhaps the Cristiano trade will turn United back into a more cohesive side. They did come to rely a bit too much on Cristiano in many ways. If Barcelona proved anything, it was that the side who shared the ball the most ends up on top. United, with Cristiano, were of course a terribly successful side, and he scored some of the biggest goals for the club. At times, carrying the club on his back to win games. But now, maybe the team can actually gel together more and win games collectively. It's a hope at least. Or, they could cede the reigns to Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. I doubt that, will all the money they have gained they can buy top players and look towards the future.

Now Real Madrid has Kaka and Cristiano, who are they going to get rid of? Guti for one I'm sure.

Price tag for transfer: $131 million dollars.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tranfer Fee for Kaka: $90 million

Kaka will sign with Real Madrid. What about Cristiano Ronaldo, will he join him?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Review: Nike Training Jacket

Here’s a quick review of a jacket I just bought: I picked up a Nike training jacket the other day from SoccerPro. It can be worn while playing soccer or just casually. I actually like it because it has pockets with zippers on the side, so you can throw in your wallet, keys, and cell phone when you’re wearing it casually.

But the jacket is also perfect for going to the gym, running or training. It’s not overdone either, with too many colors or flashy features. It’s simple and comfortable. Can’t go wrong with some Nike soccer gear. Nike is still at the top as far as putting out high quality soccer gear.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Guardiola: Barca In His Blood

Good article on Guardiola. He should just retire now and live on as a legend.

He was always destined to return to the Nou Camp after 17 years as a player, yet, writes Pete Jenson, in one season as coach he has even eclipsed his mentor Johan Cruyff

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barcelona Versus Manchester

CL Final is nearly here: game on. Here's what Guardiloa had to say before the game:

''I want my players to play beautiful and I want them to be daring and to show to the world why we have been so successful and lift the cup.

''That is my only worry, I don't want to have any regrets after the game that we didn't do this or that on the pitch, in other words we didn't show the play that we have been able to do so far.''


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No Drinking for Tottenham Players

Redknapp told The Sun: "I'll implement a strong rule next season that drinking is a no-no here. Footballers should not drink.

"You shouldn't put diesel in a Ferrari. I know it's hard but they are earning big money, they are role models to kids. They should dedicate their lives to playing.''

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Will Tevez Stay at Manchester United?

I hope Manchester United will keep Tevez. I loved how after he scored he cupped his hands around his ears, wanting to hear more of the cheering from the fans but also saying can you hear this Ferguson. The fans also chanted Argentina for a while.

Ferguson said:

"I didn't read the papers," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "You hear things, but, look, he is a Manchester United player. The fans love him. Our fans love triers. When players try, the fans love that."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Sit or Stand

Do real fans stand throughout the game?

In fact until the 1990s, stadiums in England included large standing terraces where spectators were treated like cattle. In America, however, custom and shouting have always kept people down in front at big-time baseball or basketball games.

"I don't see myself going to watch a game and sitting down," says Oscar Zambrana, a Bolivian-American in Virginia who runs the D.C. United supporters' group, La Barra Brava. "To me sitting down is kind of boring."

Read more at the WSJ.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Barcelona Has a Chink in Their Armour: No Free Kick Specialist

Barcelona need somebody who can take a free kick.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MLS Gets $10 Million for Beckham Loan

That's a lot of money, shows how bad Beckham wanted to play for AC Milan and not play in the MLS:

Beckham is with Milan on a timeshare deal, but will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy on 1 July until Christmas.

"We asked for $10 million, we got our $10 million," said MLS commissioner Don Garber. We don't know where it's coming from, either."

"He can't get paid from Milan. Milan could pay us. He could pay them."


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Richard Dunne: Worst Professional Soccer Player Ever?

I'm tired of seeing Manchester City lose games due to Richard Dunne. Sure, this UEFA loss wasn't entirely his fault, at least he didn't score an own goal, but he hurts his club a lot more than he helps.

Why in the world would you keep him on your team, and even name him captain, when you're going out and spending big money on players like Robinho. It defeats the whole purpose. You buy a player who can help create goal scoring chances but keep a player who scores own goals and gets red cards and repeatedly fouls player unnecessarily.

Today, as Manchester City battled with Hamburg, Dunne kept fouling players when their backs were turned to goal, they weren't going anywhere, and the referee continued to warn him. He was on a yellow card and still didn't stop.

City had a ton of chances in the game, Elano cracking both the cross bar and the post with impressive free kicks. And Felipe Caicedo scored a great goal but he also missed a few sitters. The point is though, for City to become a big time club they're going to have to get rid of some of their old time players, and they'll have to start with Dick Dunne.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Marta in the NY Times Magazine

I think Marta might be able to play in the MLS, or at least if she did you'd see a player go at a defender on the dribble. She has no fear and will take any player on. Read the article here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Altidore Speaks

By way of Ives, Altidore talks about his situation in Spain:

Things can happen fast in football...
Yeah, I mean look at the kid [Federico Macheda] at Manchester United. Things changed really quickly for him. He went from the youth team to scoring a crucial winner [against Aston Villa] in no time. You have to be ready because things can change in the blink of an eye. I'm a hungry player, and I hope to be ready at all times.

Read the interview over at FIFA...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Federico Macheda

This win could give Manchester United the bit of confidence they need to win the league and push back Liverpool. It is a goal for history - take a look. A lot of games to play but a young former Lazio youth player nets the winner against Aston Villa in a 3-2 thriller.

Formerly a member of Lazio's youth system, Federico Macheda joined United in September 2007, signing professional forms nearly a year later on 22 August 2008.

A powerful forward with a natural goal scorer's eye for goal, 'Kiko', as he is known to his team-mates, was born in Rome and was regarded as one of the most promising prospects of a generation in his homeland.

Having relocated to England to further his career, Macheda has quickly moved up the ranks at United. He started out in Paul McGuinness' Under-18s side, but has become a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reserves.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Soccer Is Ruining America?

What other game, to put it bluntly, is so boring to watch? Read the article over at the WSJ.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Diego has come a long way. Some great pictures of the legend from the past.

And the story:

Many of the Argentine players, however, seem thrilled to be playing under a legend.

"He was the greatest in the world," Javier Zanetti, a veteran national team player, said at the practice facility Thursday. "And today for him to be coach, it's a very beautiful thing for us."


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dempsey's Development

By way of Soccer By Ives:

I've morphed into a more of a complete footballer and someone who can get forward and back and is not a liability defensively,” he explained. “That was something that some thought was a weakness in my game but this year I've shown it's one of my strengths. I feel I'm more of a complete player, my passing and the tempo of my play has got better by taking less touches and being smarter.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beckham Pays to Play in Milan

No exact figure has been said but Beckham is paying to stay with AC Milan:

"A lot of players show their affection just with words. David Beckham is one of the very few who has shown it with deeds," Galliani told Italian television.

"I won't cite any numbers, but I can say that the player has made an incredible economic commitment, paying a lot of money from his own pocket."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beckham Cements AC Milan Deal

Beckham will come back to LA, but only for half the season and then make his stay at Milan more permanent. Read story at LA Times.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sounders Outpace Mariners in Ticket Sales

The Seattle Sounders FC may be the upstarts on the local sports scene, but the new pro soccer team appears to be having little trouble attracting sponsors and ticket buyers.

That’s despite a recession and competition with the Seattle Mariners, who also are selling tickets and sponsorships leading up to their season start in April.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bellamy Haunts Former Clubs

Manchester City tied Liverpool today, and Bellamy notched the goal for City. Time and time again you see former players take revenge on their former clubs.

This was the fourth time this season that Bellamy has scored against a former club, having netted for West Ham against Newcastle and Blackburn, and for City also against Newcastle.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One of the Best Keepers in the EPL: Tim Howard

Some high praise for Tim Howard:

Moyes praised American goalkeeper Tim Howard for a 61st-minute save that prevented Villa striker John Carew from equalizing for what would have been a 2-2 tie. Howard played after recovering from a leg injury he sustained in the United States' 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Mexico on Wednesday.

"Tim came back from the USA's match with a terrible leg injury," Moyes said. "Frankly, he had no chance of playing at that point. But he wanted to give it a go and made a crucial save that was the turning point."


Friday, February 13, 2009

Beckham Heads Back to LA?

I find this hard to believe. I don't think this is over. In some ways, doesn't the MLS want Beckham to play at the highest level? No. This is business, but will this come back to haunt them? Beckham doesn't want to play for LA. Can't he buyout his contract? Either way, Beckham has an out clause and thus will be gone in a year.

David Beckham will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy next month after AC Milan declined to make a higher bid before a deadline passed for reaching an agreement to acquire the English midfielder.

Beckham told the Galaxy he wanted to stay with the Italian club, which made an initial offer that was rejected by the Major League Soccer team. Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber set yesterday’s deadline to complete a potential transfer.

“We did not receive an acceptable offer,” Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena said last night in a statement. “As a result, David remains an LA Galaxy player and we look forward to having him back with the club starting March 9.”


Thursday, February 12, 2009

U.S. Win Sheds Light on More Than Dominance Over Mexico

For many American, Mexican and worldwide observers, the United States’ 2-0 victory over Mexico in Columbus on Wednesday (Ring a bell?) symbolizes the official shift in power of the region’s best team from Mexico to the U.S.

The win means that the United States Men’s National Team is now 9-0-2 at home against Mexico since 2000, with many of the results being by the familiar score of 2-0, or “Dos a cero,” as some U.S. fans tauntingly chant. It also means that Mexico has all but given up its right to claim supremacy in the CONCACAF region.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quakes Get Amway

And they might get Beckham - at least visiting.

Alioto said any Beckham losses to the Quakes would be more than offset by their recent sponsorship deal with Amway. Because Amway also sponsors AC Milan, the deal might even lead to a Quakes-AC Milan exhibition match this year, he said. "We might have David Beckham here anyway."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Etoo: Stadium Steward

Etoo has to be one of my favorite players, his earnestness for the team is infectious, and here he just wants to get the game started again so Barcelona can win. Check it out over at

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Brandon Prideaux Interview

Came across this interview with Brandon Prideaux from a while back, but I liked this answer he gave about not being selfish. It's very hard to be a good teammate when you're not playing. Not saying you should stick with a team if you're not getting a chance, but if your team is winning, you've got to support the team:

While you may not be an all-star, you seem to be part of successful sides wherever you go. What is it you try to bring to your club everyday?

My competitiveness. I really want to win, no matter what. I’m willing to do whatever it takes. If that means sacrificing for the team, I’ll do it. I had a year (2004) back in D.C., when I played half the season and toward the end I wasn’t playing. That was one of the most special years for me personally. We won it and I ended up swallowing my pride and doing what was best for the team. That’s the most important thing if you want to have success, to do what’s best for the team and organization, and not be selfish. I look back on that year, to be on the bench I could’ve been down and drug the team down, and been a bad locker room guy. I think I did the opposite. I tried to keep a good attitude and work hard in training. Most successful teams are filled with character guys, players who think of the team first.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beckham Stay in Italy

Love this quote from Klein. He doesn't come right out and say it, but it's clear he wants Beckham to stay at Milan where he's happy. If you had a friend who was playing with Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pirlo, Pato, and so on, in Italy, you'd want him to stay too.

"Do we talk about it? Yeah, we talk about it all the time," Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein said of himself and his teammates. "We've talked to him a little bit. But it's the same as you hear in the press. He's enjoying his time but he knew he was going to enjoy his time before he left. I count David as a friend. Speaking for myself. I want what's best for him. That may not be what's best for the Galaxy at this point. It may be."

Jozy Altidore Loaned to Xerez


More playing time with a club would also assure Altidore's continued development with the U.S. national team, where he has emerged as one of the most exciting attacking players in years.

Deportivo Xerez now lead in Spain's second division, and Altidore could conceivably help the club earn promotion to La Liga.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beckham Torn

Don't know how he can leave AC Milan:

Update: Beckham scores off a free kick

"To play here is the dream of any player," said Beckham in an interview with Corriere della Sera. "But deciding is not easy; it's a situation that requires time.

"I am under contract and I have a lot of respect for Galaxy. But the possibility to play at Milan is something special. I knew I would have fun but I didn't expect to have so much fun.

"The truth is that the Americans are doing everything to improve the level and reputation of their football. The league in the USA is young. I think 10 years have to go by to achieve results."


Sunday, January 25, 2009

No More Landycakes

Do we now have to give up the nickname Landycakes, since it appears Donovan is set to conquer Germany with Bayern Munich?

Sasha's Hat-trick Versus Sweden

Is he headed off to Celtic, after scoring this hat-trick versus Sweden he might just be.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Messi: Barcelona for Life

I love this quote from Barcelona's Lionel Messi:

"I want to remain here for the rest of my life, and I hope I can."

I don't know if you can really see it in the video below, but Eto'o was demanding the ball as Messi yo-yo the ball across the top of the box before he cut the ball across to the far post and into the goal. I don't know how he was able to slice the ball to the far post like that - an incredible shot. There were a few laughs exchanged with Henry, Messi and Eto'o after the goal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beckham Ain't Going to Leave AC Milan

I just don't see Beckham coming back to the LA Galaxy. Especially when Kaka says this: ''Perhaps these first two months will lead to six months or to one year, to more contracts. I certainly would like to play more with him.''

Then there's the fact that Landon might be gone too, extending his staying in Germany. If Beckham wants to continue to play for England and play in the World Cup in South Africa, why would he come back to LA? I just don't see it happening now. He gave the MLS a big push, but his days in LA I think are numbered. What do you think?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Roma-Milan Dissapoints, Becks Starts

Sure, the much anticipated showdown between AS Roma and AC Milan provided some moments of brilliance, including two goals by Pato early in the second half, but the game as a whole did not live up to its billing.

Overall, the game was slow to progress with lots of standing around by both sides. Pato provided a spark to AC Milan with goals in minutes 48 and 53, but play was a bit sloppy in what was more or less a boring game for a 2-2 draw.

Surprisingly, David Beckham started for Milan in his league debut, going 89 minutes in a very free role out of midfield. Beckham was listed as a holding midfielder in the starting line-up, and played in exactly that role in the beginning of the game. After about 20 minutes, Beckham could be seen drifting to to the right wing in more of an attacking role. Once that movement began, he was on that right wing quite frequently, though he did track back centrally for defensive cover.

All in all, his play was average. Clearly, he is being asked to play a simple role, with expectations being placed on his ability to control the tempo of the game with smart passes. He played fairly well in the center of the park, though his wing play was obviously not what it once was. Known for his signature crosses, Beckham was unable to find a teammate on any of his services. Though he needs to work on that, boss Carlo Ancelotti seemed to be impressed enough to keep Beckham in the match for almost its entire duration.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Being Diego Maradona

What’s that movie, 'Being John Malkovich', how about 'Being Diego Maradona'?

Friday, January 2, 2009

MLS Needs a DP WAG

Is there a Wives and Girlfriends culture in the MLS yet?