László Kubala

June 30, 2009

“László Kubala Stecz (June 10, 1927 – May 17, 2002), also referred to as Kubala Stécz László, was a footballer and manager who played as a forward with, among others, Ferencváros TC, ŠK Slovan Bratislava, Vasas SC, FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. He also played for three different national teams, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Spain, as well as the Europe XI and the Catalan XI.” Wikipedia, The Independent, YouTube

Fernando Torres: Liverpool FC can compete despite lack of spending power

June 30, 2009

“LIVERPOOL striker Fernando Torres accepts the club’s lack of financial muscle means they are unlikely to be able to compete for star signings – but he believes that will not affect their chances of winning trophies.” (Liverpool Dail)

Bank dismiss fears over Liverpool debts (ESPN)
“Liverpool’s bankers Royal Bank of Scotland have dismissed fears about the future of the club by stressing they are ”financially healthy and able to service comfortably its debt”. American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are currently in negotiations to refinance the £350m loan they took out to buy the Reds two years ago, with less than a month to go until the deadline for an agreement.”

Pepe Reina’s Guide to His Teammates (Liverpool FC)
“In an exclusive interview with Liverpoolfc.tv, Pepe Reina gives the lowdown on his teammates and reveals who he is close to off the pitch.”

Paul Anderson returns to the City Ground (This Is Anfield)
“Paul Anderson has just completed a £250,000 switch to Nottingham Forest signing a three year contract at the City Ground earlier today. The move was confirmed after he passed a medical this morning and marks a swift return to Nottingham for Anderson who enjoyed a successful loan spell at the City Ground last season.”

The true Spirit of Shankly (This Is Anfield)
“On 25th May, 2005, Liverpool re-created history by winning our 5th European cup. In true Liverpool fashion, we faced adversity, stared oblivion in the face, and rose up to fight and triumph against all odds.”

Exclusive interview with David Fairclough (LFC History)
“David Fairclough can be proud of his scoring record at Liverpool. He scored 37 goals in 92 starts and 18 goals in 62 substitute appearances. Everybody knows what he was called at Liverpool.”

The death of Italian football?

June 29, 2009

“Italians once referred to Serie A as ‘il campionato piu bello del mondo’, the most beautiful championship in the world, but this summer there threatens to be an exodus of top talent that could mark the end of an era for Italian football. The rise of the Premier League and La Liga has already impacted upon the standing of calcio in European football and the gap looks set to widen.” (ESPN)

Eto’o and Tevez Potentially Agree To Join Manchester City (EPL Talk)
“Well, two days are left until the transfer window opens again and Manchester City look like they’ve signed two strikers to help Mark Hughes drag them up the table. I suppose they need some good news down at Eastlands after the ground flooded on Saturday due to flash floods.”

Of course! The US beats Spain and an oil company helps analyze player performance! (Foot Smoke)
“In case you weren’t aware, the ever-prescient governing body of soccer has partnered with Castrol GTX to develop the “definitive system” to rate player performance. Not only does it rate performance, but it rates performance objectively! According to a clarifying explanation on the Fifa.com website, the infinitely complex system ‘tracks every move on the field and assesses whether it has a positive or negative impact on a team’s ability to score or concede a goal.'”

Brian Glanville: Shouldn’t Michael Owen gracefully retire? (World Soccer)
“SHOULDN’T Michael Owen gracefully retire? Once such a golden boy, an 18-year-old star of the 1998 World Cup finals, beyond doubt one of the finest, purist English talents of the last couple of decades. A shocking series of injuries has taken the edge off his speed and his game, he has lost his England place, despite somewhat fatuous attempts in certain quarters to propose his return.”

Breaking Bad … or Good? (That’s On Point)
“As explained in the quickee recap post, I needed to walk this one off. There was simply so much swirling after Brazil’s nearly epic 3-2 comeback over the U.S. at the 2009 Confederations Cup final that it was like watching a mindblowing ‘Lost’ episode. I needed to hit pause on the DVR, pick the melted ooze that was once my brain off the floor and collect myself.”

Tijani Belaid

June 29, 2009

Czech Republic Soccer Champions League
“Tijani Belaid (Arabic: تيجاني بلعيد‎) (born 6 September, 1987 in Paris, France) is a France born Tunisian footballer. Belaid currently plays for Slavia Prague.” Wikipedia, YouTube

Pro Vercelli: No Time for Losers

June 29, 2009

“And I can say that with authority, because we are the champions. How are we the champions, when we’re not even halfway through the season? Keep reading. Let’s do this McKinsey-style, to bring some discipline to the lives of all the English majors in the audience.” (The Run of Play)

Pro Vercelli: The Nickel Objects of Our Dime Desire (The Run of Play)
“The two implacable enemies of a successful football club are stagnation and arrogance. Stagnation leads to complacency, to a drowsy sense of timelessness. If things have always been and will always be as they are, why should we bother being fierce? Arrogance leads to laziness and a bitter, spoiled entitlement. If we’re special for who we are rather than for what we do, why should we have to prove it?”

Pro Vercelli: Contest Results (The Run of Play)
“One of the first pieces of news I got after the Champions League final was that the board had decided to expand the stadium by more than 11,000 seats. In other words, our not-even-one-year-old arena is about to have its seating capacity increased by almost 40%. This is huge news, and it only heightens the importance of finding a good name for the place. And thus, to the contest results.”

Selecao comeback ends U.S. dream

June 28, 2009

“Lucio scored a late goal to give Brazil a 3-2 win over the United States and a second straight Confederations Cup title Sunday. The Brazil captain headed in a corner from Elano in the 84th minute to help the five-time world champions hold off a spirited American team that had taken a 2-0 lead at halftime. (ESPN)

Match Tracking Confederations Cup Final: Brazil 3, U.S. 2 (NYT)
“The final of the FIFA Confederations Cup was a tale of two halves. First half: U.S. 2, Brazil 0. Second half: Brazil 3, U.S. 0. Final: Brazil 3, U.S. 2”

U.S. vs. Brazil Live Commentary (FanNation)
“It’s a bit of a depressing end to a fantastic run for the U.S. at the Confederations Cup. For 45 minutes, it looked like the Americans were going to win their first major trophy. But the U.S. earned some respect at this tournament — I can’t tell you how many e-mails and texts I’ve received from my English, Spanish and Brazilian friends telling me how impressed they were with the Americans’ performance in South Africa, especially after the debacles of the first two games.”

Brazil crown fitting finale (FIFA)
“The final day of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 produced ten goals and two comebacks, as Brazil and Spain turned the tables on USA and South Africa respectively. When matchwinner Lucio lifted the trophy, he also created history for Dunga, who became the first person to win the tournament as a player and a coach.”

Brazil shows why it’s Brazil (SI)
“Pedigree matters. If it didn’t, we might not have witnessed what happened at Ellis Park on Sunday, an unstoppable rally that gave Brazil the Confederations Cup title in a 3-2 win over the U.S. Heck, when was the last time you saw a team come back from two goals down at halftime in a major final? (Apart from the 2005 Champions League final, that is.)”

Scrutiny for South Africa Year Before World Cup (NYT)
“On June 11, 2010, soccer’s World Cup — the world’s largest sporting event and, many believe, the most important — will open with an African host for the first time. The monthlong, 32-team tournament, to be held in 10 stadiums around South Africa, will present organizers with significant challenges regarding security, transportation and accommodation of the expected 450,000 international visitors.”

Brazil eye their place in history (ESPN)
“Only one team in the history of the Confederations Cup has ever defended the title (France in 2001 and 2003), but Brazil are well placed to become the second as they meet the U.S. in the final on Sunday.”

Selling shirts no substitute for skill (WSC)
“While the daily papers are full of transfer gossip, one recent summer trend has been noticeable by its absence this year. Hardly any English clubs seem interested in bringing over footballers from south-east Asia any more. The only player who has been linked with a move so far is South Korean midfielder Lee Chung-yong who is supposedly the subject of interest from Bolton and Manchester City.”

Into the flood again

June 27, 2009

“In the wake of the Wednesday’s crazy 2-0 win by the U.S. over Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals, we’ve seen the term ‘Miracle on Grass’ tossed around. Pardon me while I go vomit. Not to turn this post into another media examination, but drawing comparisons to the 1980 U.S. hockey win over the Soviets at the Lake Placid Olympiad is simple-minded thinking.” (That’s On Point)

Fearless U.S. braced for Brazil showdown (Guardian)
“The United States are one victory away from claiming a major FIFA competition for the first time if they can produce another shock against Brazil when the Confederations Cup competition reaches its climax on Sunday.”

Altidore, Afterthought in Spanish League, Stars for the U.S. (NYT)
“In the days before the United States stunned Spain in the Confederations Cup, forward Jozy Altidore sent a text message to his friend Joan Capdevila, the Spanish defender. ‘Be careful of the USA,’ Altidore texted Capdevila, his teammate at Villarreal in the Spanish league. Capdevila later joked that while Altidore’s sentiment was clear, his Spanish grammar was not.”

Gavin Hamilton: Some thoughts on the Confederations Cup (World Soccer)
“Ok, so we are still a way off the start of the new Premier League season, but the opening day fixtures are now out. See the full list of top-flight games and the early match betting.”

Kaka backs England for 2010 World Cup success (Telegraph)
“The South Americans have shown ominous form in progressing to the final of the Confederations Cup, where they will face the USA in Johannesburg tomorrow. Along with European champions Spain, Brazil look sure to go into next year’s tournament as favourites, but the Real Madrid playmaker believes they are not the only ones capable of taking the crown. ”

USA v Brazil (BBC)
“USA must make an enforced change, with midfielder Michael Bradley suspended after becoming the third American to be sent off during this tournament. Former Derby midfielder Benny Feilhaber is vying for Bradley’s spot with DaMarcus Beasley and Sacha Kljestan.”

U.S. aiming for upset in Confederations Cup final (ESPN)
“The United States are one victory away from claiming a major FIFA competition for the first time if they can produce another shock against Brazil when the Confederations Cup competition reaches its climax on Sunday.”

Betting Preview: Brazil v United States – Confederations Cup Final (101 Great Goals)
“While pre-tournament forecasters may have identified Brazil, the defending champions, as a likely finalist at the Confederations Cup, the United States arrived in South Africa in a state of flux and with most analysts skimming over the US challenge.”