Monday, November 29, 2010

VIDEO: Panorama - FIFA's Dirty Secrets

July 11, 2010 - 06160734 date 11 07 2010 Copyright imago BPI FIFA President Sepp Blatter PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN Football men World Cup National team international match Final Johannesburg Portrait Vdig 2010 vertical Highlight premiumd Football.

Here's the show that has been causing such a stir, decide for yourself:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

VIDEO: Luciano Spalletti Celebrates Winning the Russian Premier League

Zenit St. Petersburg's head coach Luciano Spalletti is seen shirtless as he celebrates the champion's title after their Russian Premier league soccer match against Krylia Sovetov Samara at Petrovsky stadium in St. Petersburg, November 28, 2010. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

After leaving Roma and Serie A last year, Luciano Spalletti moved on to the Russian Premier League where he guided Zenit St. Petersburg to the title. Despite the freezing weather, Spalletti celebrated his team becoming Champion in true footballer style:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

David Beckham Back in the EPL?

Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham walks off the pitch after winning Game 2 of their MLS Western Conference Semifinal soccer match against the Seattle Sounders in Carson, California November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

The Guardian is reporting that Everton coach David Moyes is eager to sign David Beckham on a short term loan from Los Angeles Galaxy/MLS. This means the biggest MLS December soap opera has been renewed for another season.

The saga of David Beckham's time in and out of MLS since 2007 has been told many a time in many a post, so a quick summary here should suffice. After much grandstanding, breast beating, whining, ultimatum making, bullying, tantrum throwing, and appeasing, by all parties involved, Galaxy/MLS agreed to "winter" loans of David Beckham to Milan following the 2008 and 2009 MLS seasons. Unlike the European club loans of his Galaxy teammate, Landon Donovan, Beckham's return to the United States prior to the start of the 2009 and 2010 MLS season was not seriously demanded by Galaxy/MLS.

Let's face it, Beckham's desire to play for Milan in 2009 and 2010 was driven by his desire to secure a spot on England's 2010 World Cup squad. Beckham would turn 35 prior to the start of South Africa 2010; therefore, it seemed likely that it would be his last chance, last hope at ever raising the World Cup trophy, at least as a player.

Beckham's dream was dashed in March of 2010 when he ruptured an Achilles tendon while playing for Milan in a match against Chievo Verona. With an expected recovery time of 8 months, it was clear that Beckham would not play in the Cup and speculation ensued as to whether Beckham would hang up his boots for good now that the Cup dream was no more.

Say what you will about Beckham and his entourage, and we have, there's never been a doubt that Beckham is most at home, most comfortable, and most in his element on the pitch. Beckham was not ready to hang up his boots and, on September 11, 2010, he made his return to the pitch and the Galaxy.

In the wake of England's lackluster Cup performance, there has been speculation as to what, if any, role Beckham would have with the England National team as it attempts to qualify for Euro 2012. England Coach Fabio Capello had indicated that he could not see Beckham playing with the national side again, but subsequently crawfished slightly by indicating that Beckham might get called up for a friendly, if fit. Meanwhile, the Beckham camp has clearly stated that Beckham has not retired from international duty and will be available whenever England calls him into a squad.

At the age of 35, Beckham is not the player he was back in the 1990s, but he isn't washed up either. In a sense, Beckham is a bit like, not completely like, but a bit like Brett Favre of the NFL. They are both aging athletes who maintain that same competitive drive and desire that they felt as younger athletes. Neither was interested in pulling a Barry Sanders and both hope to avoid pulling a Hakeem Olajuwon (though Favre appears to be on that course this season).

The thought process of the aging athlete facing the retirement decision can be heard in this audio I got from Oscar De la Hoya back in 2008 when he was attending a Houston Dynamo pre-season match:

Shortly after that interview, De la Hoya announced his retirement from boxing.

According to ESPN, Beckham, who is in Australia with the Galaxy, had this response to the Everton interest:

"I think it's always nice to be wanted and it's always nice to have options out there and I've always respected David Moyes from the time I've played with him at Preston North End ... plus I respect him as a manager," Beckham said. "It's always nice to be wanted, but I'm a Man United fan and it's a pretty close rivalry so, I don't know."

While Brett Favre has seemingly used his post-retirement seasons as a means to exact personal revenge over his prior team, the Green Bay Packers, the above quote attests to Beckham's loyalty to Manchester United, the team where he made his name as a footballer, giving a new twist to this December's soap opera. Instead of a Beckham and European club versus Galaxy/MLS in a loan deal saga, we have the new spin of the European club having to find a way to convince Beckham to return to the league where he started his professional career. Should Beckham start to show serious interest in a winter loan deal, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a couple teams from other leagues in Europe show an interest.

If Beckham seriously thinks or wants a spot on the England Euro 2012 squad, I would not blame him for seeking a winter loan to Europe. Let's face it, while MLS keeps improving, it still doesn't replicate the quality of play found in the top leagues in Europe. On the other hand, as reflected in Beckham's responses to the Everton interest, the Achilles injury has reminded Beckham of his age and it seems his fitness and ability to play a potentially grueling schedule is now a bigger factor in his decision making process. The notion of taking some time to train with a European club during this off season and then making a move back to Europe after the 2011 MLS season might be a better move for Beckham's fitness. Weighing his fitness against keeping himself on Capello's radar is what will likely drive Beckham's decision.


Just wanted to note that Zach Woosley a/k/a The Ginge a/k/a GingeFC, probably the most infamous Everton fan in the United States, had this to say about the potential Beckham loan to Everton:

Everton could use the marketing boost honestly, I wouldn't mind him coming on a short-term loan

Meanwhile, according to this picture from Goodison Park on Saturday, it seems that one Everton fan got overly excited about his team's interest in Beckham:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Story of Thanksgiving - As Told by Texans Wide Receiver David Anderson

HOUSTON - AUGUST 25: David Anderson #89 of the Houston Texans runs on the field during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Reliant Stadium on August 25, 2007 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Here's the tale of Thanksgiving as told by David Anderson on 1560 The Game a couple years ago. A true holiday classic.

Turkey Time

PETA activists Laura Chamberlin (L) and Monika Meilleur promote the eating of Tofurky, a tofu substitute to turkey, for Thanksgiving in front of the White House in Washington on November 23, 2010.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

It's Thanksgiving in America, time to celebrate it with some Turkeys!

And the biggest Turkeys of the Year - The Hosts of Good Day New York:

AS Roma's Daniele De Rossi (L) challenges Bayern Munich goalkeeper Thomas Kraft during their Champions League Group E soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Rome November 23, 2010.  REUTERS/Tony Gentile  (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY)

This week I was honored to be a guest on the Minute+10 Podcast to discuss some Serie A.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

International Friendlies Commercial Break

NEW YORK - 1978:  George Best of the LA Aztecs is presented a trophy by Pele of the New York Cosmos before the NASL League match between the New York Cosmos and LA Aztecs held in 1978 in New York, USA. (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images)

It's an odd, mid-week FIFA International Friendlies Break, so what better way to celebrate than with some interesting historical, soccer related commercials?

Shep Messing Classic Commercial
Uploaded by flg8or99. - Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

And for good measure, how about an old Rodney Marsh interview:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marcelo Balboa & Bobby Rhine Talk MLS Playoffs with The Orange Slice on 1560

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 6: Steven Lenhart  of the Columbus Crew jumps up for a header against the Colorado Rapids on November 6, 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Conference Finals of the MLS Cup Playoffs take place this weekend with Colorado Rapids hosting San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30 pm central time on Saturday November 13th on Fox Soccer Channel and the Los Angeles Galaxy hosting FC Dallas at 8:00 pm central time on Sunday November 14th on ESPN2.

Marcelo Balboa and Bobby Rhine joined The Orange Slice on 1560 The Game in Houston to talk about the MLS Cup Playoffs:

Marcelo Balboa:
Bobby Rhine:

Houston's Stuart Holden Scores First EPL Goal for Bolton

west ham's mark noble battles with bolton's stuart holden FA Barclays Premiership. West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers. 21.08.10 Photo By Karl Winter Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Former Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden scored his first goal for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League during today's 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wolves. In fact, Holden's goal proved to be the game winning goal giving Bolton the always good to have 3 points on the road.

Click here for The Guardian's Match Report.

Here's some video of the goal:

Stu scores his first goal in English football from The Haptonstall Group on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maybe Big Soccer is Useful: Message Board Meltdowns

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 7: A fan of El Salvador yells towards the pitch against Guatemala at RFK Stadium on September 7, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

I wish I had come up with this idea on my own, but I didn't. Instead, I'm stealing this idea from RollBamaRoll over at SBNation - and I learned about it from Sean & John on 1560 The Game in Houston.

On Sunday, Lazio lost the Derby della Capitale to Roma, 0-2. Here's what Lazio fans were saying:

I love Reja but fuck him for playing for the tie in the first half... Fuck Baptista for unfairly continuing play after 2 Lazio players got hurt.... and FUCK FUCK FUCK to HELL the ref for fucking up on 2 merda handballs, 1 missed penalty for dragging down Mauri, and for giving a second penalty to merda after he saw 2 lazio players get hurt and merda unfairly continue play... I seriously hope he dies a very very painful death.

I watched this BS for the last time! It just makes me mad, it just seems as if those cunts always get the refs on their side! Lets get our revenge by winning the Scudetto! Keep positive rega we're still prima in la classifica!

We were owned by referees!!! these bastards need to go to the hell asap

If you believe in fate, or karma, then I am not surprised at all. We had some moments of luck earlier in the season, we all know the strange goals we scored or whatever the fuck. It came back to haunt us TODAY. It was always the chance it could happen TODAY and it has.

This referee is a fucking shitass

Things didn't go much better for Lazio, who lost to Cesena 1-0 on Wednesday:

Zarate once aggain was playing like he is alone in the pitch and is shooting a comercial about dribling, no collective game!!!

What a fucking disgrace. Reja must be fucking stupid for resting basically everyone. I knew we wouldn't score as soon as I saw the starting lineup. I never want to see that piece of shit diakite and gonzalez on the field again. I don't understand how most of our starters needed rest. They play once a week and the first time they get a wednesday game they are too tired to play? Fuck that. I guess if we make Europe then we are going to have a shitty ass season because our players have no stamina. To play 2 games a week. What a joke.

This past weekend, Columbus Crew were knocked out of the MLS Cup Playoffs by Colorado Rapids:

bahhh! terrible! i'm sick of my team

Lenhart with the touch of a rapist. Unbelievable.

remind me again of why Jason Garey is on the field?

Hold the ball up top? no

Keep possession? no

Finishing? no

a shootout with greenbaum, oh god, what sort of a sick joke is this? threw this game away

Meanwhile, the Seattle Sounders were again knocked out of the MLS Cup Playoffs, this time by the Los Angeles Galaxy:

This is awful. I've gone from thinking we wouldn't make the playoffs at the beginning of the season, to being excited that we turned it around, to right now wishing we hadn't.

A goal would be nice, just to pop that cherry.

I don't understand this team. We've got the players to play great attacking soccer, yet we suck at attacking. Anyone know when Jason Kreis's contract is up?

Speaking of Kreis, his Real Salt Lake won't be defending their 2010 MLS Cup Championship since they were eliminated by Dallas this weekend:

AND BORCHERS WITH A YELLOW! this is ********ing bullshit, that was NOT a yellow worthy foul at all.

If anyone from our side would like to begin playing like it was the playoffs - now would be the time...

this has turned into one of the worst Utah sports days i can remember. down 1-0 on a ridiculous against the run of play goal for dallas. utes get absolutely embarrassed at home. ugh.

ferreira dives more than a $2 hooker in the cat house. absolute bullshit.

im going to drink myself into a straight stupor, i absolutely cannot believe this. we DOMINATED the second half, all 45 minutes. what a waste of a season, the greatest RSL team will go down in the first half. ******** you MLS for setting up the WORST playoff structure.

ugh, im so pissed right now i could punch a baby. see you in february.

Despite being the only MLS team with three Designated Players, RedBull New York was eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs by San Jose:

Backe is shiting in his pant and is afraid to take out Angel....

I stayed up for that?

Complete and utter bollox!

That was a ********ing embarassment. ******** Angel. Hasn't won shit in his entire career.

Marquez: If you wanna retire ******** off and do it cos your moving on the pitch like you have

Angel: Goodbye and Good riddance

Henry: Go ******** off and watch the Nick you cheating, handballing frog

On Wednesday, Newcastle lost, 1-2, to Blackburn Rovers:

Hey, look, it's like we remembered we're supposed to suck at defense.

Type of match Hatem Ben Arfa could have won on his own. Instead, we have Kevin ********ing nolan

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ultras Tutto in un giorno il derby della Capitale - All in a Day

A trained eagle flies before the Italian Serie A soccer match between Lazio and AC Milan at the Olympic stadium in Rome September 22, 2010. The eagle, representing Lazio's traditional club symbol, is flying for the first time at the Olympic stadium. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER ANIMALS)

Tutto in un Giorno is an Italian television series that focuses on a certain event on one particular day through the eyes of four persons involved or connected to the event. On April 28, 2002, Tutto in un Giorno broadcast an episode centering on the Derby della Capitale, the entire episode is contained in the videos below.

The first leg of the 2010/2011 Derby della Capitale takes place on Sunday November 7, 2010, it will be aired in the United States on Fox Soccer Channel at 8:00 a.m. central time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Derby della Capitale - Fall 2010

Apr. 18, 2010 - Rome, Italy - epa02122994 Montenegro's forward Mirko Vucinic (L) of AS Roma celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal against SS Lazio during their Italian Serie A local derby soccer match in Rome's Olympic stadium on 18 April 2010. Today's match was the165th Rome's local derby match in total, the 134th in Serie A, with 16 derby matches in Italian Cup and 15 in friendly matches. AS Roma won 2-1 to retain the first place in overall standing with 71 points ahead of Internazionale FC Milano (70) and AC Milan (64.

One of the biggest matches in the world will take place in the Eternal City at 8:00 a.m. central time on Sunday morning when S.S. Lazio and A.S. Roma play each other at the Stadio Olimpico. This weekend's match will feature a Lazio side sitting atop the Serie A table with 22 points hosting a struggling Roma side that has only racked up 12 points after 9 match days in the race for the 2010-2011 Scudetto.

The match will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel and, most likely, ESPN3.

Here's some video to help you get ready for the match: