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Monday, July 14, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014

Link to June Thread

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Finally we get to talk about what really matters: transfer rumors!

Oh, and there are some games too:

July 15: KR Reykjavik vs Celtic & other Champions League Qualifiers

July 16: Lanus vs Atletico Mineiro (Recopa Sudamericana Leg 1), Philadelphia Union vs NY Red Bulls, Champions League Qualifiers

July 17: Europa League Qualifiers, Hearts vs Man City (Friendly)

July 18: RB Leipzig vs PSG (Friendly), Tijuana vs Puebla, Querétaro vs Pumas UNAM

July 19: Seattle Sounders vs Tottenham Hotspur (Friendly), Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy, León vs América

July 20: DC United vs Chivas USA

July 22: Champions League Qualifiers 2nd Leg, Club Nacional vs. Defensor Sporting (Libertadores)

July 23: Liverpool vs Roma, Toronto FC vs Spurs, Sporting vs Man City, LA Galaxy v. Man U (All Friendlies)

July 24: Olympiakos v. Milan (Int. Champions Cup), Europa League Qualifiers

July 25: Sacramento Republic vs West Brom (Friendly), Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul

July 26: Man U vs Roma (ICC), Real Madrid vs Inter (ICC), NYRB vs Arsenal (Friendly), Chicago Fire vs Spurs (Friendly)

July 27: Milan vs Man City (ICC), Liverpool vs Olympiakos (ICC)

July 28: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

July 29: Defensor Sporting vs Nacional (Libertadores)

July 30: Real Salt Lake vs NYRB, Bolívar vs San Lorenzo (Libertadores)

Link to June Thread

Howling John Shade Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM | 608 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   301. frannyzoo Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4755735)
flop

and speaking of Jeremy Mathieu...would help Barca a lot, a little or none at all? I'm rooting for none, personally, but don't recall much about him at Valencia (probably a sign he's good) and his Whoscored ratings are just the good side of 7.
   302. puck Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4755738)

Scott, people have different tastes when it comes to friendlies but personally I enjoy them.

I agree. I've seen two, Rapids vs Everton (first soccer game I ever attended) and Rapids vs Swansea. I'm skipping the Man Utd - Roma friendly partly due to cost and partly thinking even more than usual the star players will either not play or not play hard (or not travel at all) due to the World Cup.

I remember the Swansea game far better than the Everton game. Swansea went half speed most of the time. Now and again they'd turn it on and just take the ball away from the Rapids and keep it. (This was the summer after their first season in the prem; Laudrup had just taken over, they were still good, still pressed and possessed the ball well.)

So I guess for me it has to be a team I really like, or there'd have to be a player I really wanted to see. Also remember from TV an AC Milan vs MLS friendly, this was a late May friendly so the Milan players really didn't care. But now and again Ronaldinho would try #### and that was quite entertaining. But not every team has a Ronaldinho.
   303. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4755747)
I've seen Spurs play two friendlies in New York. It was all right. The second one was fun because I watched it with a few knuckleheads from this thread and Bale tried to play as a #9.

edit: By "New York" I mean Harrison, NJ, of course.
   304. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4755804)
My experience in 1984 was that the supporters on the official train were primarily going to watch the game and support their team, while spending a few days with their mates. They certainly weren't the kind of threat that justified the closure of borders, though their capacity for alcohol (and ability to acquire industrial quantities in the minutes we had between leaving the train in Dover and getting on a ferry) was prodigious.

There were disturbances involving supporters of both clubs in city centre after the match, and I am pretty sure those involved at least a few of the people I had spent more than a day with, but it would have been a small proportion of the total. Serious hooligans (which Liverpool definitely had) wouldn't put up with the restrictions involved in this kind of officially authorized journey and found alternative means to both get tickets and get to and from Rome. If you took the train, you arrived in Rome hours before the match and were driven to the ground in buses under police escort, then escorted to the section of the curva to which we were assigned. There was no time for extra curricular activities, and the vast majority of the support re-enacted the same process in the return direction after the game (I didn't, because I wasn't going back to them, spoke Italian, knew Rome, and could get where I needed to be on my own). In that respect, my own experience was congruent with Bill Bryson's in About the Thugs (which I recommend to those wanting to know what English football was like at the time).

I don't want to give the impression that these were middle class softies with rosettes and wooden rattles, they weren't, but they also weren't hardened criminals (though the reality of surviving in Liverpool during the Thatcher years meant that a large portion of the population was operating at the edge or beyond it to at least some extent). All in all, they were "good lads", and I was genuinely saddened to find out years later that one of the guys whose name I had taken down had died at Hillsborough.

It is pretty much impossible to emphasize how much the match going experience in England has changed over the last 30 years. People will tell you that Yankees/Red Sox games in the 70s were different than they are now (and they were to a certain extent), but the magnitude of the change is light years away from that of going to a "high risk" match in 1984 and to a Premier League tie today.
   305. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4755823)
franny, on Mathieu, I'd say that he should help some, but that he clearly isn't the answer, especially as he is more of a fullback than a central defender.
   306. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4755829)
I've seen a handful of club friendlies: MLS All-Stars vs. Fulham, Columbus Crew vs. Leeds United, Columbus vs. Newcastle United, USMNT vs. Bayern Munich, and Cleveland Crunch vs. PSV Eindhoven.

They were fine. Nowhere near as much fun as an important league game or a World Cup qualifier, but they were worth seeing. The Bayern and PSV games are hard to put into perspective because they happened in 1994 and 1991, respectively, so it's not like I had a bunch of other live outdoor soccer with which I could compare them.

Funny story about the PSV match: A family friend was one of the heads of security at the (indoor) Crunch's home arena, so they asked him to work the (outdoor) PSV match. Somehow he wound up being the guy to put up the Dutch flag, and he unintentionally flew it upside down the whole match. I remember, clear as day, walking into the stadium, having my dad elbow me and ask if the Dutch flag was supposed to look like that. No. No it's not.
   307. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4755837)
Mathieu would be replacing or backing up Dani Alves. There was talk that Alves might be dumped - I guess Mathieu would make it more likely Barca get rids of him.
   308. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4755840)
A photo from the USMNT-Bayern game in Cleveland in '94. Notice the Bayern 'keeper rocking a Cleveland Indians cap.
   309. puck Posted: July 22, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4755878)
I missed most of that stuff about Dunga on the other page; I thought it was a joke.
   310. DA Baracus Posted: July 22, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4755884)
I saw AC Milan vs Club America at the Georgia Dome, which has no room for corner kicks. Many white people thought Club America was either the USMNT or an MLS All Star team. Most notably the kids we shared a suite with who came decked out in red white and blue with USA face paint. The actual Club America fans were numerous and loud though, good atmosphere on that side of the stadium.
   311. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4755891)
A minute of highlights from that Bayern-US game.

The Bayern keeper is Raymond Aumann.

This looks like it was played on turf, though I don't recall Municipal Stadium ever having anything but grass. Was the turf laid specially for this match?
   312. puck Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4755903)
Many white people thought Club America was either the USMNT or an MLS All Star team. Most notably the kids we shared a suite with who came decked out in red white and blue with USA face paint.


Hilarious. Thanks for the anecdote!

Mexican clubs sure draw fans. When the Rapids played Santos Laguna in the Champions League, it didn't draw a good crowd overall (just under 10,0000 I think) but more than half showed up in Santos gear. Stadium security was ultra paranoid and segregated the fans...Rapids fans were instructed to enter on one side of the stadium, Santos fans on other. Santos was impressive; they were pretty close to the height of their powers...they had just sold Chucho Benitez but had Peralta, Darwin Quintero, Daniel Luduena and Cristian Suarez on the attack.
   313. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4755912)
No real upsets after the second leg of the second round of Champions League qualifiers.

Teams advancing are: Sheriff (Moldova), Sparta Praha, Ludogorets (Bulgaria), Qarabag (Azerbaijan), Maccabi Tel Aviv, Slovan Bratislava, Partizan, BATE (Belarus), Dinamo Zagreb, Debrecen (Hungary) and Celtic.

There are six more matches tomorrow.

Maccabi may have issues with the next round if the current restrictions on flights to Tel Aviv continue.
   314. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4755925)
I saw Club America vs Real Madrid at Candlestick a few years ago. It was the worst traffic I'd seen in my life. It took about three hours to crawl from Berkeley, over the bridge and through San Francisco. When I finally made it to the vicinity of the stadium there were still several thousand cars waiting for parking spaces. We sweet talked a guard who let us sneak our car into a different area, and made it in time to see the second half. I think there were thousands of paying fans who had left on time that never even got into the game. Still not sure what happened to cause this.
   315. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4755926)
doublemint
   316. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4755946)
Not friendly at all.

Manchester City have announced that their under-21 game with HNK Rijeka has been cancelled on Tuesday after an alleged incident of racial abuse.

The club’s young midfielder Seko Fofana was allegedly the victim of abuse by a member of the opposing team in the first half.

A Manchester City statement read: “Following an alleged incident in the latter stages of the first half of the game, being played in Novigrad, Croatia, a decision was taken by the management staff to withdraw the City team from the field of play and cancel the game.
   317. Howling John Shade Posted: July 22, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4755947)
I saw Club America vs Real Madrid at Candlestick a few years ago. It was the worst traffic I'd seen in my life. It took about three hours to crawl from Berkeley, over the bridge and through San Francisco. When I finally made it to the vicinity of the stadium there were still several thousand cars waiting for parking spaces. We sweet talked a guard who let us sneak our car into a different area, and made it in time to see the second half. I think there were thousands of paying fans who had left on time that never even got into the game. Still not sure what happened to cause this.
I had tickets to this game but had to cancel because of law-firm life. My friends' description of the traffic made me feel a bit better about missing it.
   318. Howling John Shade Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4756035)
Klopp's opinion of the Hummels to ManU rumors: "If that's not a bullshit story, I'll eat a broom stick"
   319. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:11 AM (#4756136)
I'll eat a broom stick

That's basically the literal translation of the German version of "eat my hat". Well actually minus the stick...
   320. Richard Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:51 AM (#4756140)
I've seen a handful of club friendlies: MLS All-Stars vs. Fulham, Columbus Crew vs. Leeds United, Columbus vs. Newcastle United, USMNT vs. Bayern Munich, and Cleveland Crunch vs. PSV Eindhoven.

They were fine. Nowhere near as much fun as an important league game or a World Cup qualifier, but they were worth seeing.


This. When I went to 20 to 30 league games a season, I never used to bother with friendlies much, but now I don't live somewhere I can do that every week, I enjoy the occasional friendly.

Plus it's a chance to see players, or teams, in the flesh who you'd never see otherwise.
   321. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:25 AM (#4756143)
Yeah, the "probably never going to get a chance to see these guys" reason is a big reason why I got tickets. Thanks Keith and J!
   322. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4756168)
All this talk about friendlies so I went to take a look at stubhub for the Red Bull - Arsenal friendly at Red Bull Arena. Cheapest tickets - $150.

Bayern Munch - Chivas at Red Bull Arena $60.

Man City - Liverpool in Yankee Stadium: $66 for grandstand (they may be the worst seats ever).

I think that's it for local friendlies.

Just to add:
Man U - Madrid at Michigan Stadium (capacity 100,000+): $104.
   323. Richard Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4756194)
Brutal pricing.

Sheffield United - Fenerbache is a bargain at 7 quid!
   324. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4756231)
NYRB season ticket holders (who evidently get some kind of break on tickets for the Arsenal friendly) have been tweeting for a couple of days about how they are covering the cost of the rest of their visits for this season (and sometimes more) by selling such access to local Arsenal tragics.
   325. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4756236)
Frank Lampard is expected to be unveiled by NYCFC tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the rumors that Xavi will be joining Villa and Lampard have cooled significantly.
   326. DA Baracus Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4756265)
DaMarcus Beasely is headed to MLS, apparently to Houston.
   327. JuanGone..except1game Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4756304)
Frank Lampard is expected to be unveiled by NYCFC tomorrow.

I have a pre-dispossed hate towards NYC teams and anything Manchester related, but I'm probably going to have to make an exception for Super Frank. Hopefully, the press doesn't ask him about his feelings about 9/11 during his intro, or this may have a ring of Randy Johnson coming to the Yankees.
   328. DA Baracus Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4756314)
Freddy Adu's hard working agent has gotten him into talks with Serbian team FK Jagodina, who play in Europa League!
   329. puck Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4756399)
Freddy's agent must be one desperate guy himself (or herself).
   330. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4756438)
I admit to having never heard of FK Jagodina, who play in a town named after strawberries (the fruit, not Darryl).

As their surprisingly robust English Wiki page attests, they were a very minor club during the glory years of Yugoslav football (which is why I have never heard of them), and have only recently made their way up from the lower reaches of the Serbian pyramid, winning a cup and finishing third in last year's top flight.

They seem to have a bit of a tradition in having one minor international of African descent in their squad, and it is testimony to Adu's current situation that he appears to be vying for a spot once held by such players as Alfred Arthur (1 cap for Ghana), Lamin Suma (Sierra Leone U-20s) and Francis Bossman (1 cap for Ghana).
   331. PreservedFish Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4756483)
I wonder what Freddy's fallback career is. Surely there's a VH1 show that could use him?
   332. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4756485)
It sounds like Maccabi Haifa players (including Yossi Benayoun) were attacked by fans carrying Palestinian flags during a friendly match against Lille in Austria.
   333. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4756496)
Don't think that "fans" had anything to do it, Darkness.

And my supposition is that the Palestinian flag was a convenient prop for muppets who were primarily motivated by other ideologies.

I also wonder if the guy with the "Keeping it Ghetto" (translated) sweatshirt has any idea what the word means.

It's particularly odious given that Maccabi Haifa has been a progressive club, and one that welcomes both Arab players and supporters.
   334. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4756509)
Don't think that "fans" had anything to do it, Darkness.

And my supposition is that the Palestinian flag was a convenient prop for muppets who were primarily motivated by other ideologies.
Agreed on both points.
   335. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4756550)
Getting back to football, today's CL qualifiers saw once mighty Dinamo Tblissi ousted by Aktobe of Kazakhstan, but the other winners were expected HJK Helsinki, Maribor, Legia Warszawa, Malmo and Steaua Bucharest.

Old timers and history buffs will recall the last two as losing finalists and winners of the European Cup in the 1980s, while Legia's win over St. Patrick's deprives them of what would have been an extremely lucrative tie against Celtic.

The third qualifying round will feature the following ties:

Champions Route
Qaraba? FK (AZE) v FC Salzburg (AUT)
Debreceni VSC (HUN) v FC BATE Borisov (BLR)
ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
Aalborg BK (DEN) v GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Legia Warszawa (POL) v Celtic FC (SCO)
FC Aktobe (KAZ) v FC Steaua Bucure?ti (ROU)
NK Maribor (SVN) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) v APOEL FC (CYP)
AC Sparta Praha (CZE) v Malmö FF (SWE)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) v FK Partizan (SRB)

League Route
AEL Limassol FC (CYP) v FC Zenit (RUS)
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) v FC København (DEN)
Feyenoord (NED) v Be?ikta? JK (TUR)
Grasshopper Club (SUI) v LOSC Lille (FRA)
R. Standard de Liège (BEL) v Panathinaikos FC (GRE)


The winners of the "Champions Route" advance to the final playoffs for entry into the Group Stages, together with the five "League Route" winners and the five clubs from leagues with the top UEFA coefficients who were automatically placed into that round (Arsenal, Athletic Bilbao, Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli and Porto).
   336. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4756554)
I'll be in Loge box 120 for anyone who's at Fenway tonight. Feel free to post here if you want to meet at halftime
   337. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4756577)
Coco!
   338. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4756580)
Should I watch Liverpool or Spurs?
   339. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4756581)
Spurs are 1-0 up and MCoA says that Lamela is putting on a show.
   340. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4756582)
NBCSports feed looks choppy, almost internet-like. The camera angle is weird, but I'll attribute that to Fenway.

Edit: oh its weird that Ashley Cole is playing in a Roma jersey.
   341. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4756585)
Spurs are 1-0 up and MCoA says that Lamela is putting on a show.
Spurs are playing Lamela/Eriksen/Lennon behind Soldado and they're all interchanging like crazy. Lamela is definitely having fun.

edit: and yeah, the nbcsports fenway feed makes me feel like the commentators should be speaking in arabic.
   342. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4756587)
Borini walks off the field. I don't understand - I know the Borini transfer is in flux, but why risk him in a friendly if you want to get rid of him?
   343. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4756588)
Lamela scores again.
   344. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4756589)
2 for Lamela
   345. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4756592)
Did Toronto sign Brek Shea or does someone else have that terrible haircut?
   346. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4756593)
Coco²!
   347. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4756594)
Lamela is the guy who can make the single largest positive contribution to Spurs' season. And he also has to be motivated to show Sabella what he and Argentina were missing in Brazil. I really hope he pulls it off; he has the talent.
   348. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4756596)
Damn I wish Serie A was more available on TV a couple years ago. Totti in his prime must have been a sight to behold.
   349. ursus arctos Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4756597)
He definitely was.
   350. frannyzoo Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4756598)
My seat on the Lamela bandwagon was getting pretty lonely by the end of last year. It'd be nice to have some company, even if I can't say Spurs do much for me these days. I kinda want to root for Liverpool (sans the toothy one), but can't resist the temptation to punch Brendan Rodgers in the face every time I see him. I don't know what there is about that guy.
   351. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4756599)
"Borini walks off the field. I don't understand - I know the Borini transfer is in flux, but why risk him in a friendly if you want to get rid of him?"

I was saying the same thing before the match started!
   352. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4756600)
It's crazy how close the walls at Fenway are to the endlines. That can't be safe.
   353. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4756601)
Listening to everyone boo Ashley Cole is pretty great.
   354. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4756606)
Ashley Cole looked like crap in the beginning but he's been growing into the game.

Are Roma's players wearing that monitoring stuff underneath their kits? They look like sport bras.
   355. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4756610)
Liverpool have looked turgid going forward. Has Lambert even touched touched the ball?
   356. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4756618)
Do Ceballos, Kane, Carroll or Falque have any chance of making the team? I had all but forgotten about Holtby.
   357. Howling John Shade Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4756626)
Kane absolutely. He looked good at the end of last season and he's capable of playing centrally or on the left. He's Spurs third striker at the moment. Carroll maybe. Spurs fans love him, but the team has a glut of central midfielders. I don't think Ceballos or Falque has much of a chance, but anything is possible under Pochettino I suppose.
   358. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4756628)
Fryers and Dawson are not a good pairing.
   359. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:59 PM (#4756634)
Great first half from Spurs--lots of one touch passing and Lamela looks ready. He just looks ready. The second half is just dog shit. Lots of guys trying to dribble, no organization at the back. Bleh.
   360. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4756635)
Bradley and Lamela getting reacquainted. Weird to think they used to be teammates.
   361. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4756648)
Well, I guess that's a better way to end than penalty kicks. Dunno how Liverpool is going to pull off the quintuple now...

The good: Coutinho, Lucas, Fenway serving Smuttynose, the Scouser I was sitting next to.

The bad: most of the rest of Liverpool's performance.
   362. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4756653)
Not the strongest City squad. I guess they're saving some of the bigger names for Yankee Stadium.
   363. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4756701)
Fox is such crap. United is playing 3-4-1-2.
   364. J. Sosa Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4756706)
re: 350

Plenty of room on the Liverpool bandwagon!!! For a short time only we are offering a guilt free fan experience sans race baiting cannibals. Come one come all, this offer is for a limited time!!! *

*Not responsible for any drunk drivers signing for the club. Non refundable, all purchases final.
   365. J. Sosa Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4756708)
re: Rodgers

He is an acquired taste. I'd imagine he's mighty annoying if you don't root for Liverpool. Towards the middle of last season I started finding him amusing. He gives one of the more enjoyable press conferences in the league and he has clearly apprenticed at the Mourinho school of needling other managers and clubs. He also has a massive ego and is prone to referencing things like his self proclaimed brilliant deployment of a "nine and a half."

That said, to take the club from where it was at to second in the league in two seasons was amazing. If you doubt me, just ask Rodgers. He said last season that there was no comparison between his situation and Moyes because Rodgers took a crap team to glory and Moyes took a glorious team to crap. *

*Slight embellishment, but not by much. One of the funnier quotes from him last season. If you squinted you could see the marching band in the background tooting horns. As for the punchable face, I attribute that to the new set of chompers he got before last season. Part of me hopes he got that centaur painting of himself remade into the new likeness.
   366. frannyzoo Posted: July 24, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4756738)
The Galaxy/MUFC slipped by me and I just saw the score. Really? LvG must be somewhat intense.
   367. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 24, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4756744)
Bolton have been on a tour of Scandinavia with strong showings against Brondby, Vestjaelland and Mjallby. Or maybe all three of those teams are from Denmark, I know Brondby are and have never heard of the other two. The Mjallby game had 4 goals in the first 20 minutes.
Join the bandwagon now! Join the quest for promotion, behind the leadership of Kevin McNaughton, the only man in the world with a mostly gray head of hair and a beard that isn't gray at all.
   368. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4756748)
Bolton have been on a tour of Scandinavia with strong showings against Brondby, Vestjaelland and Mjallby. Or maybe all three of those teams are from Denmark, I know Brondby are and have never heard of the other two.

Mjällby is a Swedish top division team, notable for being from nowhere, though they don't actually play their cames in Mjällby (pop 1250), but in Hällevik (pop 813). They do draw fans from noted metropolis Sölvesborg (pop 8401) though.
   369. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2014 at 07:03 AM (#4756757)
In the silliest piece of Silly Season business ever Swedish club AIK has sold 23 yo powerhouse striker Eero Markkanen to Real Madrid for 2M€. I can only assume that they got him so they have a big guy on the off-chance that they hire Tony Pulis in the future.
   370. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 24, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4756777)
Didn't Markkanen go to Castilla, their 'B' squad? So even Madrid's reserve squad is spending millions of Euros.
   371. Mefisto Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4756799)
The Galaxy/MUFC slipped by me and I just saw the score. Really? LvG must be somewhat intense.


More a case of the Galaxy being inept.
   372. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4756806)
Yes and no, he's going to play with Castilla this season, but the contract is with Real. I'm sure it's all part of Zinedine's master plan.
   373. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4756828)
   374. Sean Forman Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4756841)
Had a great time at Fenway last night. My friend I was with has had season tix to the Sox for probably 30 years now and he was extremely disoriented by the field and the fans and the atmosphere. He's not much of a soccer fan, but he enjoyed it. Would have been nice to see some scoring or any offense for that matter.

FWIW and not much. Coutinho looked very good with the ball at his feet. Emre Can looks like quite the physical specimen, big strong and fast. Salih Ucan for Roma looked very good on the field when he came in. Adam Phillips was extraordinarily reckless in his ten minutes of play.

Huge Liverpool support in the stadium, less so Roma. Lots of neutrals with their jerseys on, Celtic, Chelsea, Arsenal, USMNT, Juve, etc etc. Only saw one Suarez jersey. Lots of Gerrard and Sturridge. Standard Chartered was getting huge ad impressions in Boston last night. Not sure what good it did them.

A lot of fun. Looking forward to attending some matches in Europe at some point. Also, Rebecca Lowe was in mid-season form.
   375. ursus arctos Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4756853)
It's always very disorienting when you see a park that you are familiar with configured for another sport, particularly if the fit is strained (as it was last night). Yankee Stadium was like that when the Giants and Cosmos played there, and will no doubt be the same with NYCFC, although the current incarnation of the Stadium is less baseball specific than its original. This was less true of the concrete doughnuts, which were built to be multisport facilities. The Jets at Shea didn't have the same otherworldly vibe as the Giants at the Stadium.
   376. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4756870)
Frank Lampard. I was already going to pass on NYC FC but it's nice to know that MLS is very specifically trying to keep me from latching onto a New York MLS team and that I'm not, in fact, dangerously paranoid. Anyway, I look forward to his pre-arranged photo op pilgrimage to Ground Zero.
   377. ursus arctos Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4756904)
For those who may not get Shooty's reference.

A manager at Heathrow's Post House hotel said: "They were utterly disgusting. They just didn't seem to care about what had happened.

He added: "We had a lot of Americans here and were simply trying to comfort them in their hour of need. Meanwhile these men were laughing and joking, taking off their clothes and abusing our guests."

One witness said: "One of them was walking around laughing with everything hanging out out while on TV there were crying firemen searching for bodies. It was sick."


It's genuinely surprising to me that neither the Post nor the News has brought this up, given their eagerness to find a 9/11 OUTRAGE! angle to any possible story (currently the white flags flying on the Brooklyn Bridge).

I guess that NYCFC's print advertising budget is larger than I had anticipated.
   378. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4756929)
My wife just received an e-mail ad telling her she should come see Bayern play Chivas as a way to "relive the emotions and excitement of the World Cup." Heh. Julian Green features prominently thereby explaining Pep's recent comments about how great he is.
   379. JuanGone..except1game Posted: July 24, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4757086)
Frank Lampard. I was already going to pass on NYC FC but it's nice to know that MLS is very specifically trying to keep me from latching onto a New York MLS team and that I'm not, in fact, dangerously paranoid. Anyway, I look forward to his pre-arranged photo op pilgrimage to Ground Zero.

I have a pre-dispossed hate towards NYC teams and anything Manchester related, but I'm probably going to have to make an exception for Super Frank. Hopefully, the press doesn't ask him about his feelings about 9/11 during his intro, or this may have a ring of Randy Johnson coming to the Yankees.

I come back from the dead (327) and you steal my joke without offering a Coke. Murderers get treated better than me and Suarez.
   380. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 24, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4757160)
365: I get the aversion to Rodgers from neutrals. He didn't exactly get off on the right foot, as Being Liverpool obviously did him no favors. Further, he speaks in these glowing, romantic terms about LFC, despite the fact that club has won nothing of note for close to a decade now. Unlike another manager hired that summer, he also didn't have didn't have detailed tactical notes published in a major newspaper for folks to fawn over.

We'll have a better idea about his tactical nous after this season. For the past couple years, he's been wont to mention how he tailored the team + tactics to suit Suarez(*). In addition to getting on without Suarez, for the first time Rodgers will have multiple options off the bench who are half-way decent. Throw in the addition of Champions League, and he's got quite a bit to deal with this year.

(*)I don't know if this actually means much. He's one of the world's best players and would probably do just fine in most systems.
   381. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 24, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4757174)
he speaks in these glowing, romantic terms about LFC, despite the fact that club has won nothing of note for close to a decade now.

Hey they won the Champions League in.... HOLY #### that was 9 years ago?!?!

Crap, I'm old. I'll go over to the corner and die of old age now, if that's okay with you all.
   382. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2014 at 05:25 AM (#4757407)
Fred is going back to Shakhtar, haven't the Ukrainian people suffered enough?
   383. J. Sosa Posted: July 25, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4757442)
FPH I had the same reaction when I saw a headline mentioning the Arod/Varitek kerfuffle was 10 years ago. 10!

Keith I think most of the romanticizing about LFC was calculated as Rodgers knows a substantial portion of the fanbase wants to hear that kind of drivel. That would be the portion of the fanbase that also tends to talk about fan ownership and being the best club in the world in the same breath. I've never been quite sure how to argue with someone that thinks that a Liverpool version of AFC Wimbledon would play Real Madrid off the pitch.
   384. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 25, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4757447)
Rodgers is funny when he takes on that quasi-religious pope of LFC persona. He annoys me when he starts talking about other clubs, though. I' was pretty happy AVB didn't get too involved with opining on other clubs (with the exception of Chelsea in which his spurned lover bit was kind of embarrassing). 'Arry couldn't shut up about anything, of course. On the other hand, there is a refreshing lack of bull#### from Pochettino. The media is going to hate him.

Speaking of Pochettino, here's an interview Morgan Schneiderlin from L'Equipe from last year about his tactics and philosophy. It's translated roughly from the original French. I can see why Pochettino is pressing so hard to sign him now. Also, it's interesting that Schneiderlin mentions that the Achilles heel for a team that presses is a route one team like West Ham. That makes a lot of sense. Anyway:

You spole about pressing earlier, do Pochettino asks to isolate the player in possession or does he prefer playing 1v1 all across the field, kind of « matching » a lot of Championship use to do ?
First of all, we have to close the central zones. He keeps saying it’s the heart of play and there’s always more options from the central zones: switches of play etc… He emphasises on blocking passing lanes. Anyway when I do press, I try to leave the worst passing option possible to the opponent. Pochettino asks us not to give the opponent the choice. But it requires a massive amount of work from a collective point of view. It’s not surprising after six or seven months working on it that we’re now able to harass and fully inbalance some of the teams we face. We couldn’t do that from the start as it’s a massive work put in at training.

He wants us to recover the ball as high as possible, so for that it’s usually up to a forward to trigger the pressing ; so then we’ve to follow. Personnally, I sometimes have to leave my zone to help on one side if a winger who was out of position because he was in a forward zone and couldn’t fall back in time. I’m the closest to the ball to intervene so then even if I’m tired, I’m kicking my ass. So then, the winger has to fill my zone and then we switch positions. This is the basic philosophy.

We have precise drills and patterns depending of the situation. On goalkicks, if they attack from the right side etc. Pochettino is all about detail, really. I recall that he showed us from the start that a meter or half a meter could block two passing lanes in midfield. We just had to move a step ahead or orientating our body a given way to face the opponent in order to put him into trouble

So then Lambert runs a bit more than before…
Even him runs more, says it all (laughs). It’s not his thing but he’s adapting to what the coach’s demands. It’s often him or Osvaldo who triggers the first wave of pressure. If one of the two starts, it triggers the whole process. Pressing is first and foremost a collective thing. If I’m coming out, the winger will react that way, so will my team mate in midfield and so on.

How is all that implemented on daily basis at training ?
You’re ought to know we play a 11v11 game every wednesday. It’s often against the reserves, or the academy ; youths basically but intensity is maximal. The staff implements several patterns of play depending of the situations. And as we changed the system – because Pochettino likes to play with a 10 and a lone striker – because Osvaldo and Lambert are both out and out forwards, it requires adaptation

We work on patterns to get the ball out from the back on goalkicks: the last two games, both CM had to get to both angles of the penalty box while the two CB had to spread to both sides of the box. Full backs have to get close to the byline and the midway line. The purpose is to get the ball out from the back on ground and not hoofing the ball on Lambert. If the pass toward Wanyama isn’t possible, we have the two center backs. If opponents close us down, so then both full backs are unmarked in a free zone. The aim is to find them as soon as possible in order to write off the most opposing players as we can.

If ever we don’t have a short option, that means that the opponent has closed us down as a team ans so then we’ve to play long on Lambert because it will be 1v1 in the air. But we often change that pattern because opponents adapts after a couple of games.

While attacking, there’s also the will to pass the ball on the floor and stretch opposing defences. Hence how crucial is your role as you’re a specialist to switch the play.
We must know how to oxygenate play, dictating the rythm, surprise the opponent. Pochettino asks me to switch the play often because he likes that. He wants us to devellop a genuine playing identity. Even falling back as a team is necessary, he gives us license to attack. He wants his full backs to get into attacking positions, put under presure opponent’s wingers. We always have to scan around. If you’re head first in Premier League…

That playing intelligence, is it the recipe of your success against the best teams ?
I do think so, indeed. But it’s because we’re more at ease with all the teams trying to get the ball out from the back, such as Chelsea, Manchester City or Swansea. We often speak about Arsenal or Swansea for ball retention, but Swansea really is the best there is in England. They’re really impressing. From now on, Bony gives them the running into depth which stretches the lines. Not a surprise if their manager is Laudrup with his experience as a player, his experience in Spain

Back to us, with all that work implemented by Pochettino, we’re now able to suffocate those teams. We saw that at Liverpool. Last season, we had a lot of struggles with teams playing route one football such as West Ham. Even this season, we haven’t played so well even if Jääskeläinen saves them.
   385. ursus arctos Posted: July 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4757484)
Gazzetta reporting that Spurs are now in Vlaar.
   386. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4757489)
Gazzetta reporting that Spurs are now in Vlaar.

Spurs are in Vlaar? Ouch!

Anyway, DO NOT WANT. Vlaar looked great against Argentina but that doesn't make up for how very ordinary he looked all last year. Why not just keep Dawson, then? Bring back the Ogbonna rumors!
   387. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4757525)
Was Ron Vlaar the only Premier League player to have a good World Cup?
   388. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4757529)
Why not just keep Dawson, then?

Yeah, keep Dawson, don't ship him to Villa.
   389. ursus arctos Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4757532)
Suarez had a good tournament, but then he went too far.
   390. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4757533)
Tim Howard had a good World Cup.

The silliness around Vlaar is just that everybody could use a center back.
   391. ursus arctos Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4757540)
Jose Pekerman is reportedly the 14th World Cup manager to leave his position (in his case, voluntarily).

The other 13:

Scolari (Brazil)
Van Gaal (Holland)
Lamouchi (Cote d'Ivoire)
Santos (Greece)
Zaccheroni (Japan)
Prandelli (Italy)
Suarez (Honduras)
Hitzfield (Switzerland)
Keshi (Nigeria)
Queiroz (Iran)
Halilhodzic (Algeria)
Hong (South Korea)
Pinto (Costa Rica)
   392. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4757555)
FWIW, by the way, Spurs ITK has nothing on the club being after Vlaar, though Vlad Chiriches may be sold to Roma which has everyone puzzled. There isn't a link to any CB except for Lovren and his price is scaring even Liverpool away. Schneiderlin is the player Spurs seem closest to signing.
   393. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4757559)
Joel Campbell had a decent World Cup. So did Schurrle. I heard that Spurs were thinking of doing some sort of swap deal with Dawson and Vlaar.

There is definitely a lack of top-end central defenders. If United is going to play three at the they're going to need at least two more central defenders.
   394. ursus arctos Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4757575)
Lampard penance tour already arranged.

The 36-year-old midfielder, who completed his move to the States on a two-year deal on Thursday, insisted he never meant to cause offence and will visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to pay his respects.

   395. Baldrick Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4757587)
Suarez had a good tournament, but then he went too far.

Awesome.
   396. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4757591)
The 36-year-old midfielder, who completed his move to the States on a two-year deal on Thursday, insisted he never meant to cause offence and will visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to pay his respects.

Ha! If the Mansours want to hire me to be their highly paid PR hack for NYCFC, I may be available. I am glad Lampard never meant to cause offense. What a guy!

Also, speaking of Lovren...looks like Liverpool got their man for 20 million pounds. Honestly, I don't get it, but there ya go. I mean, he's all right, but 20 million seems hyper inflated.
   397. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4757604)
Is he 2/5 as good as David Luiz?
   398. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4757611)
[Lampard] never meant to cause offence
...which, it seems to me, is another way of saying he didn't intend for anyone who'd be offended to find out what he'd said.
   399. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4757672)
Man U got actual real money for Bebe - 3M Euros with a 50% sign-on clause.
   400. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4757673)
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