The Growth of ‘European’ Soccer in the US

July 27, 2009

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Fragment from the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace)
“Ah, summer soccer in America. When we can finally kick back, crack an ice cold Miller Lite, and take in some of that industrious Major League Soccer all of these scallywags have been talking about … oh you’ve got Stella? Wait, Barca’s playing? Maybe next year….” (Foot Smoke)

Football For Breakfast (EPL Talk)
“On five hours of sleep, I pull myself from my bedroom, cross the hall to the living room and land on the couch. It’s a journey of maybe 20 feet, but it feels like Stage 20 of the Tour de France. I am a zombie on NyQuil dragging bags of concrete behind me. Liverpool FC face Singapore in a friendly 7am: Eastern. Standard. Time. No sane person would get up after so little sleep merely to catch a match where nothing was at stake. But I am not a sane person. I am a football supporter.”

7 Things We Learned About The World Football Challenge (EPL Talk)
“Chelsea’s squad returns to London today after an incredibly successful 10-day tour of the United States. While they were in the States, the club won the World Football Challenge, played in front of an average attendance of 68,687, demonstrated a renewed sense of enthusiasm and playing ability under new manager Carlo Ancelotti, and managed to wade off Manchester City’s advances toward captain John Terry.”

Szetela facing long road back for U.S.; Alvarez ready to switch sides (SI)
“From Olympic-team starter to Serie B bench-warmer in less than 12 months, Danny Szetela may be one of the few American players whose move to Europe actually set him back in the national-team pool. When Major League Soccer sold the former Columbus Crew starlet’s contract to Racing Santander of Spain’s La Liga in August 2007, Szetela was an up-and-coming player in the U.S. midfield rotation and already was a veteran of U.S. youth teams with loads of international experience.”

Spanning the South American age spectrum (BBC – Tim Vicker)
“It’s not often that Bolivian football makes headlines all over the world, but that’s what happened last week after a player made his first division debut a few days before his 13th birthday. Mauricio Baldivieso came off the bench for the last few minutes of Aurora’s match against La Paz. He had made a shrewd choice of father – Julio Cesar Baldivieso is not only one of the recent greats of the Bolivian game, he was also Aurora’s coach. But not any more.”

Roll on the footy! (BBC)
“I think I’ve had my fill of summer sport now, ta. By and large I enjoy a bit of football respite. But the pre-season friendlies have never done owt for my footy cravings. Vegetarian sausages, alcohol-free lager, silicone implants, football friendlies… all one and the same to me. I just want it to get under way and get a bit of order back into my life!”

Hicks & Gillett complete deal on Liverpool loans (ESPN)
“Liverpool’s American owners have concluded a deal to re-finance the bank loan they took out to buy the club in 2007. Co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are not expected to issue a statement, but the deal is believed to be for another year and will involve them paying back £60m of the original debt.”

Top soccer official to invite Obama to World Cup (AP)
“FIFA president Sepp Blatter has specific ideas on upgrading the popularity of soccer in the United States. He hopes he has an eager listener in President Barack Obama. Blatter plans to extend a personal invitation to Obama to attend the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when the two meet at the White House on Monday.”