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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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, read more...

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.

Read more...

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.