Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HOT RUMORS on deadline day PART ONE

Hi everyone,

Sorry about the inactivity but shut up for a minute. I am writing this as fast as humanly possible because of the amount of rumors I have been tracking on this extraordinary deadline day. Here they are:

Better late than never

Giuseppe Rossi to Tottenham
Rumors are swirling all over Twitter and even Wikipedia seems to think the deal was done. Not sure if that holds true, but Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone exclaimed via Twitter that he could not believe who snuck into training today. Rossi or maybe...

Kaka to Tottenham
What?! Surely it can't be...but maybe. I've heard some things.

Gary Cahill to Tottenham for either Bassong or Bently
Not sure about this but I've heard murmurs.

Scott Parker signs for Tottenham
Now official.

Wesley Sneijder to Manchester United
Have not heard too much about this move, but I believe it will happen. Forlan has signed with Inter, opening the door for a possible exit for Sneijder. We shall see!

Luka Modric to Chelsea
I think this deal will happen today, given Tottenham's need to fortify the rest of their squad. Good luck getting playing time, jerk!

Raul Meireles to Chelsea for cash and Yossi Benayoun
This would be a ridiculous deal in my opinion. Liverpool look great with Meireles in the lineup...why would they do this DON'T DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF JEBUS.

Mauro Zarate on loan to Inter
I guess this deal is done, but who cares because he sucks anyway. Lazio merda.

Arsenal sign Santos, Mertesacker, and Park Chu-Young
Hard to believe, right? Wenger power!

Roma continue to own the transfer market
They will be putting pen to paper with Simon Kjaer and Miralem Pjanic well as possibly Fernando Gago. Great mercato.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daily Buzz - August 18

News and rumor(s), brought to you by the World Wide Web:

Romelu Lukaku finally signs for Chelsea
The promising Belgian youngster finally sealed his dream move to Chelsea, signing for €25m. The forward will be available for the Blues on the weekend.

American Thomas DiBenedetto finally takes over AS Roma
Though he was technically in charge throughout much of the summer, the final papers have been signed, making Thomas DiBenedetto and his consortium majority owners of Roma. Now if he could introduce the signings of Osvaldo and Kjaer as act one, that would be something.

Welcome: enjoy your first defeat to Slovan wherever the hell - today!
Bocanegra joins Rangers
USA skipper Carlos Bocanegra has left French side St. Etienne and landed in Scotland with the Glasgow Rangers. He joins his American patriots Mo Edu and Ale Bedoya in the side.

Diego Forlan to Inter?
I resisted putting this hot-rumor up but I keep hearing little birdies whispering about it. Word is Forlan's agent is in Milan today for a meeting. Forlan to Inter, Sneijder to United?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daily Buzz - August 17

Hello all:

It has been tough for me to post with some regularity as of late because of work get over it! One thing I have been able to do though, with all the swiftness in the world I might add, is check Twitter for world football least every 10 minutes! I've noticed this habit has become sort of an obsession. First step: admitting you have a problem.

I've also noticed Twitter is one of the most reliable news/transfer/gossip tools around. Most times, if a majority of people on your feed (for me, soccer folk) are saying Cesc is going to Barca on Monday...he is (he did). If they say Samir 'don't hate on me' Nasri is in line to join Manchester City today...he probably will. People you can follow on this silly little thing called Twitter are people who often confirm these deals have happened aka professionals in the field. So often times, their sources on transfers, news, etc. is legit.

So, being the oh so awesome blogger that I am, I plan on filtering these news bits and displaying them for you with (hopefully) strict regularity. And here begins the first edition of the Daily Buzz. Name - still debatable.

Samir 'I'm a little baby' Nasri finally leaving
Word has it that Nasri is a Manchester City player. The fee is £25m and the ridiculously annoying Frenchman will be earning £200k/week (£10.4m/year) plus a £5m signing bonus. Cha-CHING. Let's sweep this infuriating ego under the rug (Man City ha ha!) and hope Arsenal handle this cash with care...and buy Eden Hazard

Ade or Ruiz?
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is said to have his sights on either a loan deal for the wandering Emmanual Adebayor or a straight up money-buy for Twente hitman Bryan Ruiz (who Redknapp watched score in Twente's CL match last night with Benfica).

Roma Roma Roma: Osvaldo and Kjaer
My beloved Roma continue their assault on the transfer market with the nearing purchases of Daniel Osvaldo from Espanyol and Simon Kjaer from Wolfsburg. It looks to be that Roma have indeed high-jacked Atletico Madrid's deal for Osvaldo, which was said to be all but done, and snuck in a €17m bid for the player. As far as Kjaer stands, his agent both has stated that no contact from Roma has been made, but various sources seem to think this means he is definitely signing with Roma. Don't ask me how or why, I'm just reporting (and crossing my fingers). Sabatini POWER!

Eto'o to...I don't even know how to spell this Russian team's name

Picture of Eto'o waving which new sites like to post because it's like 'goodbye' 
Will Eto'o just leave the Serie A already? The babyman Cameroonian was set to have a medical in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala (googled it), but they decided to come to Milan and allow him to smell the cash on their bodies, presumably. I heard it's something like a €35m deal and Eto will make €400K/week. Suck it, Nasri!

That is all I feel like divulging on this initial Daily Buzz. Check out Twitter, amici.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jumpin' for Joy: Klinsmann 1 - 1 Mexico

Jurgen Klinsmann debuted as head coach of the United States last night against a top Mexican side. As you can see by the energetic airborne German above, the USMNT grabbed a critical moral boost by drawing with their rivals, who had beat them in the three games prior.

I'll be the first to admit, a draw in this game did not look likely after a dismal first half. The team played poorly. Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones looked lost in the middle of the park and the midfield in general seemed to be grasping for possession. The fluidity of year's passed seemed gone. Thus, the attack was invisible

But on came the second half! As the US team steadily gained some bearings, Klinsmann made a few changes that essentially flipped the game. Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea were introduced, immediately adding the tempo upfront that was needed. As a result, Jose Torres was pushed more central, close to his buddy Landon, and got to be more creative. Yay!!!! Well, it worked. Passing was fluent and once Robbie Rogers injected his pace into the game, the Mexicans were roasted. Who would have thought the decision to put in Robbie Rogers would tip the tie?! Klinsmann, that's who.

Winning this game was something we could have done, but as a first test for a coach in charge for only nine days, a draw is more than satisfactory.


Brek Shea is awesome. His marauding play on the left-wing was just what the doctor ordered in the second half. A great assist to boot.

Jose Torres needs to play in proximity to Donovan. When they were both attacking in the center, their inter-play was mind-blowing.

Landon Donovan: still the best.

Robbie Rogers...did I just say that?! He looked fantastic. His impact was immediate and he rightfully could have won the game for Klinsmann.

Juan Agudelo looked lively. I can see Klinsmann favoring the quick and crafty striker as the years tick by...maybe it reminds him of someone?

Kyle Beckerman should still get the call up every now and again. His work ethic and shutdown ability in the midfield kept the team in check during the trying times of the match.

Edgar Castillo was OK. Not a bad second cap for the young man. He was attacked pretty heavily for most of the match and managed the best he could. Needs to work on that passing though!

Michael Orozco put in a good shift. He played a quiet role in quelling the Mexican attack - one which really did not generate much in front of goal.

Michael Bradley fits in where under Klinsmann? I know what everyone is saying after this performance, but listen, Bradley is good...he just needs to be used correctly. I think Klinsmann allows for more time to figure this out.

Oh and in case you missed the game:

And in case you missed the epic Klinsmann celebration dance, click here haha.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw

Since I am American and have little to look forward to in terms of international competition over the next few years, here is a recap of the recent qualifying draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil:

Brazilian legend Ronaldo displaying an unfavorable fortune cookie message

African Zone Draw 
Group A: South Africa, Botswana, Central African Republic, Somalia or Ethiopia 
Group B: Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea or Madagascar
Group C: Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Gambia, Chad or Tanzania
Group D: Ghana, Zambia, Sudan, Lesotho or Burundi
Group E: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Sao Tome e Principe or Congo
Group F: Nigeria, Malawi, Seychelles or Kenya, Djibouti or Namibia
Group G: Egypt, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Comoros or Mozambique
Group H: Algeria, Mali, Benin, Eritrea or Rwanda
Group I: Cameroon, Libya, Guinea-Bissau or Togo, Swaziland or Congo DR
Group J: Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Mauritius or Liberia

Asian Zone Draw 
Group A: China, Jordan, Iraq, Singapore
Group B: Korea Republic, Kuwait, UAE, Lebanon
Group C: Japan, Uzbekistan, Syria, Korea DPR
Group D: Australia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand
Group E: Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia

North, Central America and the Caribbean Zone Draw (Round Two) 
Group A: El Salvador, Surinam, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic
Group B: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Bermuda
Group C: Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua, Bahamas
Group D: Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, St Lucia
Group E: Grenada, Guatemala, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize
Group F: Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, US Virgin Islands

North, Central America and the Caribbean Zone Draw (Round Three) 
Group A: USA, Jamaica, Winner of R2 Grp E, Winner of R2 Grp F
Group B: Mexico, Costa Rica, Winner of R2 Grp A, Winner of R2 Grp B
Group C: Honduras, Cuba, Winner of R2 Grp D, Winner of R2 Grp C

Oceanian Zone Draw
Group A: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, American Samoa/Cook Islands/Samoa or Tonga, Tahiti
Group B: Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea

European Zone Draw 
Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, Wales
Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta.
Group C: Germany, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan.
Group D: Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra.
Group E: Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland.
Group F: Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg
Group G: Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Lichtenstein
Group H: England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino
Group I: Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland

Intercontinental play-offs
Asia – South America
North, Central America and the Caribbean - Oceania

Source: FIFA

More in depth reviews to come, with the possibility of some outside commentary. Stay tuned, amici.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

USMNT: Jurgen Klinsmann Thoughts

As you may have heard, former German great Jurgen Klinsmann has been named head coach of the US Men's National Team. This represents a huge change in the dynamic of the US camp. Not only is Klinsmann aiming to guide the US team through upcoming competitions, but he is looking to lead American soccer on the whole.

Klinsmann's unveiling as USMNT coach...oh the joy!

According to Jurgen, his approach to the job will focus on developing more talent in the United States - which is awesome - and guiding the USMNT to the next level - not winning trophies, but getting involved in knockout matches starting in "quarter" or "semi." In year's past, coaches like Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley, both good coaches in their own right, have simply been the manager of the squad. As Klinsmann indicated in his introductory press conference, he will be digging deeper and acting as a multifaceted coach/developer. Sensible Soccer likey!

It is clear he has an understanding of our vast, somewhat inefficient system of development. His goal is to connect with people who know the problems that exist in this structure and hopefully come up with solutions to change things for the better. I think it helps that he seems to be a kick ass networker. I can honestly say I am happy with this decision - I am a supporter of development and energized people who get the job done. This seems like Klinsmann. Props to USSF President Sunil 'puppet-man' Gulati on this decision.

Sunil Gulati - USSF President/strange-faced puppet

Now, for the Klinsmann detractors: I know what you're saying and feeling after Klinsmann's press conference. "Development?? Long term? What about 2014. We need to do good!" Well, no sh*t Sherlock. I think obviously, Jurgen is going to use his talents as a coach to motivate and field the best squad we have while he's in charge. But honestly, in 2014, the best we've got is probably starting to get a little old, age-wise...hence a focus on development, a focus I support whole-heartedly.

I constantly dream of the day when I can wildly celebrate a huge US Men's National Team tournament win. To achieve this, we need better players. To get better players, we need a better system of development. To get a better system of development, the national conversation about how our system works needs to be open. Bring it, Klinsmann!

Jurgen's first game in charge:

USA vs. Mexico 
August 10th, 9pm
Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, PA

Talk about Baptism by fire! Anyhow, the German has selected a roster for the game, his first act as coach:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Edgar Castillo (Club America), Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), José Torres (Pachuca)

FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (Benfica), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Let's see what the golden-haired German can do in a mere 9 days!