UEFA Champions League 2009-10 Group Stage Draw Released

August 28, 2009

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“The UEFA Champions League group stage draw was released on Thursday with a few intriguing matchups. Group C contains Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Marseiile while Group F has defending champions Barcelona and Internazionale (Inter Milan).” (The 90th Minute)

Who will survive Champs League?
“Finally, the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League draw is done and we know who’s playing who and when. I really don’t like predicting who’s going to advance from the group stage, if only because I often get it wrong. (The last time I did this, for the 2007-08 season, I got 11 out of 16, marginally better than a blind monkey picking out of a hat might do).” (SI)

Champions League: Euro dreams will impact home front for Premier League clubs
“Manchester United, who were handed the most awkward draw of the English four, have important domestic fixtures, including collisions with Liverpool and City, following long flights in Europe. Although the English champions missed major opponents like Real Madrid and Inter Milan, Sir Alex Ferguson will not be too amused when casting his eye over the fixture schedule.” (Telegraph – Henry Winter)


Winds of gauge

August 28, 2009

“Is it too early in the Premier League season for a signpost weekend? By the end of Sunday everyone will have played three games and some four, which metes out to eight percent and 10 percent of the entire 38-game schedule. In the same vein, the average point total to win the league over the last five seasons is 90.4.” (That’s On Point)


Violent Episode Shocks British Soccer, Sparks Debate

August 28, 2009

“When West Ham drew Millwall in the second round of the Carling Cup, England’s secondary cup competition, there were audible gasps in the Sky Sports studio. Separated by two divisions, West Ham and Millwall rarely come head to head, but their historic rivalry is one of the fiercest in global soccer.” (NYT)


Argentina’s soccer season on hold due to massive debts

August 28, 2009

“This is the week Argentine soccer fans usually relish – the days leading to the start of the season. Not this time. It seems that one of the world’s most fanatical soccer countries will have to live without its game. For a few days, a week, a month. Nobody knows. Massive debt, estimated at $182-million (all figures US) for the 20 top-tier clubs, has forced the Argentine Football Association to scrap the Aug. 14 start of the season for all divisions. AFA officials have been scrambling for more than a week for an answer to the crisis.” (National Post)


Goals give hope to troubled UK town

August 28, 2009

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“As part of Al Jazeera’s Downtown series, our correspondent went back to Luton, north of London, to see how football is giving hope to the community and its economy. Al Jazeera first visited Luton in March. Since then, there has been only bad news for the town known for its international airport and long manufacturing history.” (Al Jazeera)


RPT-FEATURE-Soccer-Durban’s ambition exceeds World Cup

August 28, 2009

“Durban’s stadium will be one of the most dazzling in the 2010 World Cup but the brash port’s ambition soars even higher, like the spectacular arch spanning the arena with a view across the Indian Ocean. Intensely competitive with the more famous tourist mecca of Cape Town along the coast, Durban is pulling out all the stops to ensure nobody forgets it when the soccer World Cup is over.” (Reuters)


Sylvain Distin: Distinctly Average?

August 28, 2009

“Isn’t it exciting when your club makes a new signing? That’s pretty much what the summer transfer window is about – especially in a year like this one when there are no major tournaments. Unfortunately, as an Everton fan, I’ve become used to getting a bit frustrated as we struggle to compete financially with our Premier League rivals and don’t usually manage to bring in any players until late in the window.” (They think it’s all over)