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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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   501. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4759765)
In stark contrast to poor Schneiderlin, Tevez's father is free now.
   502. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4759766)
   503. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4759796)
In stark contrast to poor Schneiderlin, Tevez's father is free now.

Good news. Glad to hear it for everyone involved.
   504. ursus arctos Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4759816)
Reports in Argentina that the family paid a ransom in the range of USD 50,000
   505. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4759855)
So like... 2 days wages for Carlos?

Either way, just happy it is resolved for them.
   506. JH (in DC) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4760041)
The BTF EPL fantasy league has been renewed for yet another season!

I see a few of you already got the jump on registering, and if you played last year and renew, you should be offered the option to play in the league again. For those who didn't play, the game is at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ and the league code is 585849-148849.

Also, can whoever posts the August thread include this information in the intro?
   507. frannyzoo Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4760076)
My lowrate steam isn't good enough to confirm, but is this one of the ugliest RM kits ever? Oh, there's a close-up, damn that's not a good color, imho.
   508. frannyzoo Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4760107)
And Totti with a dummy & finish every bit as gorgeous as the RM kits are ugly.
   509. Randy Jones Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4760300)
Lukaku to Everton is supposedly done and going to be officially announced today.
   510. puck Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4760380)
Lukaku to Everton is supposedly done and going to be officially announced today.

Are you seeing 25 million pounds? I figured Everton wouldn't get him because they wouldn't be able to pay that kind of fee. Is that partly from the increased TV money and partly from the surplus of the Fellaini sale?
   511. Randy Jones Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4760392)
Only a couple places mention the fee so far, but I am seeing £24M, up to £30M with add-ons.

ESPN says that David Henen, who I don't recognize by name but apparently is also Belgian and has the same agent as Lukaku, is also signing with Everton today.
   512. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4760432)
Is Daniel Levy an evil force holding Tottenham Hotspur back?

Just so Shooty knows which bookmaker to avoid when visiting the UK.
   513. Sean Forman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4760436)
Was looking for lunch at Sabr 44 and came across this.

https://twitter.com/sean_forman/status/494521687677734912
   514. ursus arctos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4760482)
Julio Grodona has died unexpectedly.

Given his iron control over Argentine football for the last several decades (he's been president of the AFA since 1979), the aftermath is likely to be chaotic. Think a telenovella based on Game of Thrones

The AFA has announced 7 (seven) days of mourning, and the first round of the championship will be postponed.
   515. Mefisto Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4760682)
I see that the PL is going to use the shaving cream (or whatever) for free kicks. MLS is influencing the world.
   516. ursus arctos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4760721)
Lukaku to Everton for 28 million sterling.
   517. ursus arctos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4760749)
Not strictly transfer related but the Glazers (through Red Football) announced today that they will be selling between 8 and 9.2 million of their Class A Shares, which will earn them something in the range of USD 160 to 190 million. The club will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale.
   518. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4760783)
That much money for Lukaku may be fair in this brave new world, but I don't think a club like Everton should invest all that money in one player.

Yesterday Vidal was staying at Juventus, so of course he is bound for United today.
   519. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4760794)
Celtic's season is almost over, they got thrashed 4-1 by Legia in the CL qualifiers.
   520. ursus arctos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4760844)
In addition to Celtic, there were some other interesting results in today's first leg matches, including Feyenoord falling at home to Beisktas, a shock win for the Azeris of Qarabag over RB Salzburg and a draw for Kazakhs Aktobe against former champions Steaua.

Full results:

Legia Warsaw 4 - 1 Celtic
Aktobe 2 - 2 Steaua Bucharest
Qarabag 2 - 1 RB Salzburg
AEL Limassol 1 - 0 Zenit St Petersburg
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 0 - 0 FC Copenhagen
HJK Helsinki 2 - 2 Apoel Nicosia
Grasshoppers Zürich 0 - 2 Lille
Feyenoord 1 - 2 Besiktas
Ludogorets Razgrad 0 - 0 Partizan Belgrade
Standard Liège 0 - 0 Panathinaikos
Aalborg BK 0 - 1 Dinamo Zagreb
NK Maribor 1 - 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
   521. puck Posted: July 30, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4760852)
That much money for Lukaku may be fair in this brave new world, but I don't think a club like Everton should invest all that money in one player.


I took a look at their fixture list with the Europa league. I'm not sure how they're going to do it. Lots of reserves, I guess, and their League Cup lineups will be especially bare-boned.
   522. JuanGone..except1game Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4760879)
That much money for Lukaku may be fair in this brave new world, but I don't think a club like Everton should invest all that money in one player.

Bad bit of business from Chelsea as far as I'm concerned. We need HG players and he still has 2 years on his contract. He has yapped alot over the past 2 years, which I'm sure hasn't endeared him to Chelsea brass and his unwillingness to fight for his place isn't extremely attractive but he's a great young striker prospect which is kind of rare. I hope I'm wrong, but this feels like a potential Pogba type situation.
   523. Spivey Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4760891)
Lukaku seems like a very reasonable player for Everton to invest in. Everton isn't a small club, and he wasn't ridiculously priced. I'd take him all day over all of the Southampton crew going for around that ballpark.
   524. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4760899)
In addition to Celtic, there were some other interesting results in today's first leg matches, including Feyenoord falling at home to Beisktas, a shock win for the Azeris of Qarabag over RB Salzburg and a draw for Kazakhs Aktobe against former champions Steaua.

Feyenoord struggling is probably not surprising given the player exodus. The Celtic/Aktobe results remind me of a Kazakh side nearly eliminating Celtic last season. Also of note in those results is a Zenit loss to Limassol. I imagine Zenit has spent several orders of magnitude more on their team than Limassol has.
   525. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4760901)
Reading about Celtic-Legia, it could have been much worse. Legia failed to score two penalties.

Further reading...apparently Dnipro-Copenhagen was suspended because Dnipro fans attacked Copenhagen fans. To me, that should result in Dnipro getting kicked out, but this is UEFA, so...
   526. ursus arctos Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4760905)
I should have mentioned Zenit, and yes, Feyenoord have sold much of their team.

Evidently the Dnipro supporters are claimed they were provoked by Danes waving a Russian flag. The second half was delayed for 15 minutes, but they finished the match (which was held in Kiev, because Dnipropetrovsk isn't on UEFA's list of safe Ukrainian venues.

I wouldn't expect UEFA to look kindly on Dnipro, they don't have the kind of commercial or political backing that influences these decisions.
   527. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4760914)
Yet another exhibit as to why playing soccer in a baseball stadium sucks, and the sheikhs want to play a MLS team here for a season or two?
   528. Mefisto Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4760926)
Yeah, but they make up for the small field with terrible referees.

City just overrunning LFC in the first half.
   529. Mefisto Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4761002)
Something else I'd like to see more of: a female AR in the RSL/NY game.
   530. Swedish Chef Posted: July 31, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4761097)
Further reading...apparently Dnipro-Copenhagen was suspended because Dnipro fans attacked Copenhagen fans. To me, that should result in Dnipro getting kicked out, but this is UEFA, so...

It's a football competition, not a competition in who has the nicest fans (or which fans are best at baiting the other side). It should be decided on the pitch. There are other sanctions for crowd trouble.
   531. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:34 AM (#4761114)
I am so happy about Lukaku going to Everton. Mourinho has enough success that it's hard to bag on him, but this is just the height of arrogance. Rom could easily outscore the entire Chelsea striker corps this year.
   532. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4761123)
Was looking for lunch at Sabr 44 and came across this.

https://twitter.com/sean_forman/status/494521687677734912


Good stuff! Did anyone show up?
   533. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4761164)
Chelsea striker corps

The plural of corpse is corpses.
   534. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4761275)
Spurs have re-signed fan favorite Danny Rose to a 5 year contract. Heh!
   535. JuanGone..except1game Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4761309)
I am so happy about Lukaku going to Everton. Mourinho has enough success that it's hard to bag on him, but this is just the height of arrogance. Rom could easily outscore the entire Chelsea striker corps this year.

I think your forgetting about Diego Costa

Spurs have re-signed fan favorite Danny Rose to a 5 year contract. Heh!

I have no idea why I like Danny so much too, even as I'm not a Spurs fan and he hasn't exactly set the world on fire yet. Maybe its that he looks like the perfect size for a 2nd baseman, with the short and stout look.
   536. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4761314)

I have no idea why I like Danny so much too, even as I'm not a Spurs fan and he hasn't exactly set the world on fire yet. Maybe its that he looks like the perfect size for a 2nd baseman, with the short and stout look.

I was being sarcastic! I like him fine but in the larger Spurs universe he's the current most popular whipping boy.
   537. frannyzoo Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4761336)
The burned-out shell of RSO hosts Aberdeen today in Europa. I'm not so sure RSO even wants Europa this year, given what they will most likely be left with post-window. Of course, I'm fairly sure every team I've ever heard of doesn't really want Europa League.
   538. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4761353)
Of course, I'm fairly sure every team I've ever heard of doesn't really want Europa League.

Screw that. Winner gets a trophy AND a Champions League berth. Spurs better ####### want it.
   539. frannyzoo Posted: July 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4761371)
Shooty: It will be interesting, as always, to see how Pochettino plays that just about inevitable need for balance between EPL top-four and CL v. Europa knock-out rounds come next Spring.
   540. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4761572)
Shooty: It will be interesting, as always, to see how Pochettino plays that just about inevitable need for balance between EPL top-four and CL v. Europa knock-out rounds come next Spring.

League position will determine everything, I guess. It would be fun to see if Spurs were, say, tied for 4th going into the last couple of weeks and had a Europa Cup final mid-week how Pochettino would play it. I hope we find out!

Spurs are about to sign a unicorn...Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon who is English but NOT homegrown.
   541. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4761575)
Torino is up 1-0 against Random Swedish Team. Random Swedish Team is down a man, too.
   542. Swedish Chef Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4761579)
I can't see why anyone who has the chance to write "Brommapojkarna" passes it up.
   543. frannyzoo Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4761589)
From Wiziwig concerning a chance to see Hull City today:

Official statement of AS Trencin: The club was willing to sell the tv rights to the Slovakian Television for the amount of 5000 euros (lower as usual and normal League game, enough to cover costs), but the Slovaniak TV did only want the rights for free. As of that result there's no deal yet and probably there won't be any signal, unless one of the teams decides to start an own stream. But chances are really low for that...


Europa Fever....
   544. ursus arctos Posted: July 31, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4761808)
It ends 0-0.

Huddlestone had a penalty saved.
   545. ursus arctos Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4761885)
Franny needs to have more faith.

Real Sociedad 2 - Aberdeen 0
   546. ursus arctos Posted: July 31, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4762011)
Big wins for Torino and Olympique Lyon away, and two more defeats for Scottish clubs, while Zulte Waregem ship 5 goals at home to their Belarussian opponents.

First leg results:

Shakhter Karagandy 4 - 2 Hajduk Split
FC Astana 1 - 1 AIK
Neftchi Baku 0 - 0 Chikhura Sachkhere
Astra Giurgiu 3 - 0 Slovan Liberec
Dynamo Moscow 1 - 1 Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona
IF Elfsborg 4 - 1 FH Hafnarfjördur
Omonia Nicosia 3 - 0 Metalurg Skopje
Ruch Chorzów 0 - 0 Esbjerg fB
AS Trencín 0 - 0 Hull
Dinamo Minsk 1 - 0 CFR Cluj
IF Brommapojkarna 0 - 3 Torino
IFK Göteborg 0 - 1 Rio Ave
Kardemir Karabukspor 0 - 0 Rosenborg
Mladá Boleslav 1 - 4 Lyon
PSV 1 - 0 SKN St. Pölten
BSC Young Boys 1 - 0 Ermis Aradippou
Zorya Luhansk 1 - 1 Molde
Petrolul Ploiesti 1 - 1 Viktoria Plzen
RNK Split 2 - 0 Chornomorets Odesa
SV Zulte Waregem 2 - 5 Shakhtyor Soligorsk
Víkingur Gøta 1 - 5 HNK Rijeka
1. FSV Mainz 05 1 - 0 Asteras Tripolis
Club Brugge 3 - 0 Brøndby IF
Diósgyöri VTK 1 - 5 FK Krasnodar
FK Sarajevo 1 - 2 Atromitos Athens
Real Sociedad 2 - 0 Aberdeen
UMF Stjarnan 1 - 0 Lech Poznan
St Johnstone 1 - 2 Spartak Trnava
SV Scholz Grödig 1 - 2 Zimbru Chisinau
   547. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 31, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4762022)
Scotland's UEFA coefficient should be below Bulgaria pretty soon if this Ludogorets team is really a contender. They might be down there with Azerbaijan if they keep this up.

Currently:
22 Belarus
23 Scotland
24 Sweden
25 Bulgaria
26 Norway
27 Serbia
28 Slovenia
29 Azerbaijan
30 Hungary

SV Scholz Grödig 1 - 2 Zimbru Chisinau

The 3rd place team in Austria loses at home to the OTHER Moldovan team.
   548. ursus arctos Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4762104)
Ludogorets fired their manager today. They are clearly expecting better things (they also started the league slowly).
   549. J. Sosa Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4762129)
One of the more reliable Liverpool journos is saying Moreno is close. That is good news as I think fullback is probably the weakest position on the team. I think he is a year or two away, but I would be happy to have him.

Now if we could only get rid of Johnson... Barton was tearing into Johnson during the City friendly for dogging it. I know it is a friendly, but for the last couple of seasons it seems like every match Johnson does something stupid that irritates me. Manquillo is just about done, but I don't think he is ready yet.

I think I'd like to see Flanagan on the right and Moreno on the left. With Enrique and Johnson backing up. Maybe a right sided center back and a striker and that should be it this window.
   550. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4762176)
I was being sarcastic! I like him fine but in the larger Spurs universe he's the current most popular whipping boy.


I wonder to what extent that's residual antipathy from last season that, in part, is misdirected from the effect that the club's mismanagement of the LB situation had upon the season.

It still boggles my mind that Levy, Baldini, and AVB didn't look at the roster going into last season and think, "There's no way a club with legitimate CL aspirations can go into the season with Danny Rose as the no. 1 choice at LB."

First trade I made as Spurs in FM 2014 was for a LB (Ben Davies, as it happened to be), especially as there were no good LB options in reserve: Janny Verts can play a pretty decent LB, but, from all accounts really didn't like it and sliding him left also considerably weakened the central defense (and probably led to him getting hurt); Kyle Naughton is a cromulent PL back-up RB, but was horribly exposed on the left (surprise, surprise) and Zeki Fryers wasn't ready yet (if he ever will be).
   551. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4762185)
So, odd tangent.

I was thinking about the Spurs LB situation at work today and while thinking about Kyle Naughton, I found myself wanting to say something (snarky and overly harsh) along the lines of, "the only time you should even consider playing Kyle at LB is if there's been a plane crash."

Which got me thinking, I'm pretty sure all of the US professional leagues have a contingency plan for some sort of team-wide disaster that involves a draft of players from the remaining teams in the league, but have the major soccer FA's ever publicized what they would do in a similar situation?

Wouldn't EU labor laws and the way that soccer transfers are structured be a major hurdle to a US styled solution?
   552. frannyzoo Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4762227)
Watching Shaqiri tonight against Chivas (biggest gap in talent,by far, between clubs in the US-based friendlies I've seen so far), I was thinking Simeone and Atletico should become extremely coy in going extremely hard for the guy. He's gonna help whoever gets him, a lot. If he sits at Bayern as seems to be somewhat/very probable, that's a huge waste.
   553. Textbook Editor Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4762238)
Shooty: It will be interesting, as always, to see how Pochettino plays that just about inevitable need for balance between EPL top-four and CL v. Europa knock-out rounds come next Spring.


But... But... If they WIN the Europa League this year they don't need to worry about a Top-4 finish! Europa or bust! (I'm wondering if this is why they got Vorm, because they want to actively pursue the CL on, essentially, two fronts, and Friedel just won't do as a GK in the system they play.)

I'm pretty sure all of the US professional leagues have a contingency plan for some sort of team-wide disaster that involves a draft of players from the remaining teams in the league,


I vaguely recall reading an article somewhere about baseball's "contingency draft" plans in such an event, but it was years ago now and can't recall where I read it.
   554. ursus arctos Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4762253)
I think that the ubiquity of youth teams in European soccer preclude the need for a contingency draft. In the case of a disaster, Manchester United and il Grande Torino being the most famous but not only examples, the players who died are replaced by reserves and youth team players. In certain cases, the club may be exempted from relegation for a year or two, though neither Torino nor Man Utd required such dispensation. When the Lokomotov Yaroslavl hockey team was wiped out in a crash a few years ago, they chose to play their reserve team in the second tier, before retaking their place in the KHL the next season (there is no promotion and relegation in Russian hockey).
   555. zack Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4762262)
they chose to play their reserve team in the second tier, before retaking their place in the KHL the next season (there is no promotion and relegation in Russian hockey).

They were supposed to have a disaster draft, was that cancelled when they decided to play in the VHL instead? I find lots of references to announcing the draft but no references to the draft actually being held. The KHL is also "franchise"-based rather than clubs, though I don't know exactly how that works with the per-existing foreign teams that have joined.
   556. Swedish Chef Posted: August 01, 2014 at 03:01 AM (#4762325)
Which got me thinking, I'm pretty sure all of the US professional leagues have a contingency plan for some sort of team-wide disaster that involves a draft of players from the remaining teams in the league, but have the major soccer FA's ever publicized what they would do in a similar situation?

There is a possibility to allow transfers outside the transfer window (that some teams inevitably have tried to game with little luck). I assume it was written in for such an eventuality.

Otherwise, there's not a lot to do, players can't just be assigned like in the US, so planning isn't really needed.
   557. Swedish Chef Posted: August 01, 2014 at 03:04 AM (#4762326)
They were supposed to have a disaster draft, was that cancelled when they decided to play in the VHL instead? I find lots of references to announcing the draft but no references to the draft actually being held.

I think the plan was that the other teams would lend them surplus players to take them through the season.
   558. ursus arctos Posted: August 01, 2014 at 07:59 AM (#4762344)
That was my recollection, as well. It wasn't that Lokomotiv were supposed to be able to retain those players after the season. There were also rumblings about some ex-Lokomotiv players would return from North America.

Zack, I don't really follow the club/franchise distinction you are making. Most of the Russian KHL teams are traditional Russian hockey clubs, and are a number are sections of multi sport clubs that also have top flight soccer teams. Even the newer franchises outside of Russia tend to follow the model of youth teams, etc.
   559. Richard Posted: August 01, 2014 at 08:15 AM (#4762350)
Man Utd had one rule waived in their favour after Munich - they signed Stan Crowther from Villa and he was allowed to play for them in the FA Cup, despite being cup tied.
   560. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4762378)
Brede Hangeland has signed for Crystal Palace which has to be the most obvious transfer this summer along with Rio Ferdinand to QPR and James Rodriguez to Real Madrid.

Eric Dier to Spurs is official, as well. Evidently they was a clause in his contract that he couldn't be sold for more than 5 million Euros and a clause like that is to Daniel Levy what the Bat Signal is to the Dark Knight. Now to find out if he's any good...
   561. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4762379)
One of the more reliable Liverpool journos is saying Moreno is close. That is good news as I think fullback is probably the weakest position on the team. I think he is a year or two away, but I would be happy to have him.

Now if we could only get rid of Johnson... Barton was tearing into Johnson during the City friendly for dogging it. I know it is a friendly, but for the last couple of seasons it seems like every match Johnson does something stupid that irritates me. Manquillo is just about done, but I don't think he is ready yet.


It seems a bit silly to take a hard stand on Moreno yet willingly stump so much for Lallana and Lovren. But if they get the deal done, I won't complain.

The Manquillo speculation is interesting. As with you, I'm lukwarm at best on Johnson, but I'd be okay letting him play out his contract -- this is his last year, right? -- and parting ways after the season. Bringing in Manquillo, though, makes me think Johnson will be out the door in the next couple weeks. The rumor is a loan deal for Manquillo, so in my mind it doesn't make much sense to loan him and subsequently bench him. It's possible Rodgers saw enough from Flanagan last year to give him the keys and let Manquillo get cup and sub appearances.
   562. J. Sosa Posted: August 01, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4762387)
Yeah Keith, I haven't really understood the holdup with Moreno. Sevilla kept waiting and waiting and eventually all the Liverpool smokescreens evaporated (Bertrand, Davies, etc.). If it does happen it will be interesting to see what the final deal ends up being.

Johnson has one year left on his deal. There hasn't been anything solid on what the club is planning to do that I have seen. They may be content to let his contract run out, but I've also seen rumblings that if Manquillo does sign Johnson is on his way to QPR.

I've come to the conclusion that Rodgers is basically the Westhead of soccer. Moreno and Manquillo don't defend at all, they are basically wingers which is important in Rodgers' system and it is something they didn't really have last season. Johnson and Flanagan can't provide overlaps for 90 minutes. The game you could see this most clearly was the Palace match where Suarez was waving angrily at Johnson to make a run for the umpteenth time and he had nothing left. I don't fault Johnson in that instance, I just think as he has gotten older he can't do the things that made him useful as much and the things he has always been bad at have become more pronounced.

I've become convinced Rodgers is insane. He always talks about wanting "brave" defenders. I believe that is a euphemism for "dude who isn't afraid to be on an island for 90 minutes." It is fun to watch, and it works for the most part, but yes. Insane.
   563. frannyzoo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4762394)
Maybe Rodgers is auditioning for the job at Barca. His attitude fits perfectly with the idea that replacing Alvez with Cuadrado is the answer. I like Cuadrado, but he's just as likely, if not more, to leave Barca central defenders "on an island" as Alvez or anybody. Perhaps having "central" defenders like Mascherano desperately get back to lunge at counter-attacks is the new defensive genius. Maybe not.
   564. J. Sosa Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4762469)
That is a good call Franny, Rodgers has spoken openly of his admiration of the LVG era Barca. That was a little before my time following club soccer, but Rodgers has also clearly been influenced by modern Barca. The concept is not limited to Barca, but Rodgers does like to use his fullbacks in lieu of traditional wingers like Barca and he loves splitting his center backs and sliding a holder in between (Busquets for Barca, Gerrard for Liverpool). I've said before I think his comments on defensive breakdowns were disingenuous at times last season. He often attributed them to individual error and stated that they were not due to coaching deficiencies.

Well, that may be strictly true, but if you keep asking guys like Martin Skrtel to defend in isolation against world class attackers, bad things tend to happen. I also agree with your Mascherano comment, I've never liked how they trended towards trying to play with 10 midfielders. Barca was dominant, but I would argue that they could have been even more dominant if they hadn't been so stubborn about playing guys like Mascherano at the back. It left them vulnerable to smash and grabs.

Anyway, I'm not the first to compare the current Liverpool side to a fast breaking basketball team. There was a Grantland writer that compared them to the 7 seconds or less Suns which was fun, but a little imperfect. To me it looks like they intend to play at a pace even greater than that. I prefer the Westhead comparison myself. Everything they do is about trying to feed the offense even if it means conceding crosses and things of that nature.
   565. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4762522)
I agree with Rodgers in the sense that there have (seemingly) been an inordinate amount of silly mistakes at the back -- Toure's multiple flubs, Skrtel playing in Tevez in Rodgers' first game, Gerrard's slip, things of that nature. But I also think you're right in that his system as currently constructed -- specifically the full-backs bombing forward and Gerrard as the lone holder -- lends itself to moments of vulnerability.
   566. puck Posted: August 01, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4762599)
Watching Shaqiri tonight against Chivas (biggest gap in talent,by far, between clubs in the US-based friendlies I've seen so far)


Do you mean among non-US clubs playing friendlies in the US? Otherwise, while Chivas appears to be running an old-folks home, there still seems to be a bigger talent gap for something like Atletico Madrid-San Jose or Swansea-Minnesota's NASL team. (Despite Swansea losing; they also lost to the Rapids a couple years back.)
   567. ursus arctos Posted: August 01, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4762600)
Not to bunk Shooty's high, but here's my Benfica season ticket holding pal on Dier:

He reminds me a bit of Dominic Matteo; he can play almost any position on he pitch with equal inefficiency. He looked good in his debut season with Sporting, but that was only due to Sporting extremely poor that season. Hardly got a game last season and I couldn't see him getting many this season, if he had stayed.
   568. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 01, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4762612)
Not to bunk Shooty's high, but here's my Benfica season ticket holding pal on Dier:

Hey, I was just reporting the signing, I didn't say he was any good! He seems a strange one--Sporting fans as well as the club seem upset he's gone but non-Sporting Portuguese league fans don't see what the fuss is about. So, who knows. I can't imagine he'll feature heavily for Spurs this season. Maybe the odd cup game and then a loan in January if he impresses. The real actual first team player they're after (supposedly) is Matteo Musacchio from Villareal. I think 90% of that rumor is because he's Argentine, though.
   569. ursus arctos Posted: August 01, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4762647)
Mexican national team keeper Memo Ochoa has signed with Malaga.
   570. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4762665)
Frank Lampard will go on short term loan to Man City. He's a homegrown player!
   571. ursus arctos Posted: August 01, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4762667)
That is just a brilliant bit of FFP trolling by Man City. Well played.
   572. frannyzoo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4762693)
Puck, I hear what you're saying about Atletico v. SJ and such, but I'd say the Bayern/Chivas gap is bigger (and I didn't see Swansea play that NASL club). The Goats are going down, or should...they are pretty darn bad. And while I'd like to think Atletico is equal to Bayern...
   573. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 01, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4762694)
That is just a brilliant bit of FFP trolling by Man City. Well played.

Wow. Just wow.
   574. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 01, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4762702)
Thinking tactically, if a team plays with a high line and is going to have a lot of possession, wouldn't they prefer a great tackling midfielder than a plodding CB? Sure that generally leaves you more vulnerable to set pieces and crosses, but you gain a guy who can clean up counters better and someone (in theory) better on the ball.
   575. frannyzoo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4762737)
One big difference between uber-great Barca and current Barca was their precision in getting possession back quickly once lost. That moment of lost possession was the most critical juncture in their game. And yeah, great tackling bothersome midfielders were key to that (as well as, honestly, the idea that "hey, if we get caught fouling 'em here, it's a free-kick 65 yards from goal"). As Barca has aged, Busquets has been called on more and more and more, while teams have also gotten better at quickly getting things out wide, where Alba/Alves have almost always been tardy getting back.

Honestly, I don't know why RM hasn't won the last four/five/six/seven Clasicos, hands-down. The great thing about once loving a team you now dislike is that you know enough about them to hate them even that much more. Suarez to Barca is the bestest futbol Christmas present to myself I can imagine.
   576. frannyzoo Posted: August 01, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4762742)
In more serious news, here's one report on the Russian/Ukrainian hostilities as it pertains to soccer. I see Vorskla hosted Shakhtar today, and I found this trying to find out how the game went (other than the score).
   577. puck Posted: August 01, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4762784)
I don't think Chivas is going down, and if they do, it won't matter as the owner will buy another club and they'll basically switch. (I don't know exactly how this works, but that's what happened with Queretaro.) I also wouldn't be surprised if other shenanigans were to ensue first so Chivas isn't actually relegated.
   578. frannyzoo Posted: August 02, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4763022)
Bund 2 is here! Watching the Simulcast this morning puts a smile on my face. RB Leipzig is a bit of a moral dilemma. More strong Eastern German teams, good. World Red Bullization, not so good. But not as bad as Sheikhification. Maybe.
   579. ursus arctos Posted: August 02, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4763023)
Watched a bit of Carl Zeiss Jena - Dynamo Berlin (Regionaliga Ost) this morning for my own Ostalgie fix.

PSG won the French SuperCup (Trophee des Champions) by beating Guingamp in Beijing behind a pair from Zlatan.
   580. puck Posted: August 02, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4763064)
MLS is having its version of a futures game, though with the further twist that it's not just for young players but for home grown players. Game is Monday night.

The most famous of the home grown players, Yedlin, won't be in the game since he's in the regular all-star game. A couple of players from Montreal, Karl Ouimette and Wandrille Lefevre, also dropped out due to an upcoming CONCACAF CL game.

Roster:

Goalkeepers: Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew)

Defenders: Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Salcedo (Real Salt Lake)

Midfielders: Steven Evans (Portland Timbers), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)

Forwards: Caleb Calvert (Chivas USA), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)



I can't say I know all these guys but from what I've seen/read I doubt any stars are coming out of this group (if by "star" we mean guys more like Bradley/Donovan/Dempsey than Zusi/Gonzalez). I suppose it's partly the nature of this type of game--the better ones won't be around to play, like Yedlin, or Andy Najar.

Erik Palmer-Brown is the 17 yr old defender who got famous due to Juve's interest.

O'Neill turns 21 in Sept. and starts at centerback for the Rapids. I suspect he won't play because he's currently hurt.

Ashtone Morgan and Russell Teibert are Canadian and have been capped.

People say nice things about Harry Shipp but I've only seen one Chicago game.
   581. puck Posted: August 02, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4763066)
Oh, since we mentioned Chivas, I noticed that on Aug 6 beIN is showing Chivas vs AC Milan in the Nelson Munz Cup or something.
   582. puck Posted: August 02, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4763121)
I didn't realize players had testimonials before retirement. I saw there's one for Leon Osman and was really surprised there for a moment.
   583. ursus arctos Posted: August 02, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4763127)
The oldtime standard was that you got a testimonial after ten years at a club. Though that was established at a time when players really needed the money so raised.
   584. puck Posted: August 02, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4763134)
That's the occasion for Osman.
   585. ursus arctos Posted: August 02, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4763135)
If Osman wants to keep the old school vibe going, he should buy a pub with the receipts.
   586. JH (in DC) Posted: August 02, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4763164)
Zardes has looked good in the recent LA games I've seen.
   587. Mefisto Posted: August 02, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4763165)
LA has been playing great soccer lately.
   588. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: August 02, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4763271)
Americans playing soccer stuff:

- Apparently Jermaine Jones turned down an large offer to play for the Chicago Fire. As a soccer fan in Chicago I'm a bit bummed that my burgeoning soccer fandom has coincided with the nadir of the Chicago Fire organization. Not sure why Jones is turning down this offer though.

- Alfredo Morales scored a goal for Ingolstadt in 2.Bundesliga today.

- J-C Gyau started for Dortmund II today and Junior Flores made the bench.
   589. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 04, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4763995)
Soccer administration is the greatest job in the world

There seems to be literally nothing you can do or say that will cost you your job. It's quite remarkable.

(BTW, yeah, Italy, the way to fix your league is to restrict even more the talent the clubs can bring in. That is brilliant.)
   590. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 04, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4763998)
BTW, you La Liga watchers need to feel me in on Musacchio. The reaction from Villareal and Barca fans makes me think he must be pretty good but I watched Villareal approximately ####-all times last year so have no idea.
   591. frannyzoo Posted: August 04, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4764006)
Shooty: Musacchio is a very good pickup. Not that Whoscored ratings are definitive, his 7.25 for last year in La Liga seems about right. While not exactly the tall CD you'd want, esp. in EPL, he did well when I saw him playing for what was a pretty scattered Yellow Submarine squad. He's also only 23 and will improve. Perhaps most important, he's a central defender and there seem to be so few of them around these days.

As a newly minted Barca hater, I applaud Spurs getting Musacchio. He's one that would have helped them, imho.
   592. Randy Jones Posted: August 04, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4764037)
Someone make an August thread.
   593. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 04, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4764041)
Thanks frannyzoo. It's a weird transfer that seemed to come out of nowhere but is definitely a position Spurs need to strengthen. Pochettino seems to want to rebuild the defense with youngish guys who are good with the ball at their feet which, of course, makes sense. Davies, Vertonghen and Musascchio will be 3/4 of a slick passing backline. And Kyle Walker. (I love Walker but "slick passing" is not how I would describe him). Ideally these guys will play together for the next few years and grow in cohesion. All of this assuming Musacchio signs, of course. Spurs have been here before...

BTW, there are all kind of weird shenanigans between Villareal, River Plate and Musacchio's agent going on with this transfer. Lawsuits, threats, public gnashing of teeth. Multi-party ownership is a bear.
   594. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 04, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4764127)
Sunderland are wasting, er, I mean, spending 10 million pounds on Jack Rodwell for some reason or other. It just seems a club like Sunderland need to be smarter with their purchases. Man City could afford to waste money on him but conspicuous consumption is a way of life for Man City.
   595. ursus arctos Posted: August 04, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4764201)
Shooty, Tavecchio also distinguished himself over the weekend by claiming that he was being treated more harshly "than the guy who killed Kennedy". He didn't specify which one.

All kinds of rumblings that Real Madrid are going to sign Falcao after selling Di Maria to PSG. This window is just nuts.
   596. frannyzoo Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4764649)
Atletico should get Zakaria Bakkali (I'm such a sucker for pacey wingers!), but not until he's a few years older. I flew atop the Bakkali bandwagon last Summer, but his injury and subsequent lack of playing time got him back under the radar. The kid wants European football, so it's either a matter of Atletico somehow finding a 2014-2015 Europa league team they can loan him to, or wait and possibly pay much more/be unable to get him in a few years. In other words, the classic FM dilemma. Those buy and loan-out deals just seem to have such a low, low success percentage for the parent club.

August thread, anyone? Bueller? Tracy Flick?
   597. ursus arctos Posted: August 05, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4764745)
ESPN Deportes actually does some reporting (contacting adidas) and it turns out that that Real Madrid sold 900 James jerseys on the day of his presentation. (link in Spanish).

As the article notes, that is somewhat short of the 345,000 in 48 hours and 415,000 in 72 hours cited by various Spanish press outlets.
   598. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 05, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4764777)
A conclusion to the Pepe Reina saga, as he's apparently off to Bayern if he can agree on wages. I get it from Liverpool's perspective -- he's on huge wages, and I think they partially subsidized his time in Naples last year -- but not from Reina's. He's not that old -- is he really content to just be a back-up at this point?
   599. ursus arctos Posted: August 05, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4764793)
It has been clear for a while that he was willing to be a backup at Barcelona, but that was a bit more understandable, given how many FCB players he knew from the national team. It would be interesting to know what his wages will be at Bayern, it may be that there just weren't many Champions League contenders who could afford his wages and offer him a shot to become the starter. Madrid discarding Diego Lopez probably didn't help Reina's situation, either.
   600. Howling John Shade Posted: August 05, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4764796)
August thread, anyone? Bueller? Tracy Flick
I submitted one yesterday, but it seems to have vanished into the ether.
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