Archive for November, 2008

Jozy Starts Against Huelva

November 30, 2008

American striker Jozy Altidore made a rare start for Villarreal against Huelva tonight in a 2-1 win to put the Yellow Submarine in second place behind Barcelona. Altidore caused trouble for the Huelva defense early, creating a chance of his own which was stopped by keeper Riesgo.

Ironically, Recreatico Huelva was the destination for a possible January loan for Altidore but such talk died down in mid October. Now, having seen the goods, perhaps Huelva will be interested again, provided Villarreal boss Manuel Pelligrini can spare this young talent for six months.

Fellow New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi started and was substituted in the 90th minute while Altidore was replaced by Edmilson in the 78th with the team up 2-0.

Bradley Own Goal Helps Foals To 3-1 Loss

November 29, 2008

Just a week after scoring his first Bundesliga goal, American Michael Bradley scored another this week, just not for his team. So, when things were looking up for his new stint at Borussia Moenchengladbach, an own goal against Energie Cottbus didn’t help. In the early going, a 3rd minute header by Bradley could have put the Foals ahead early if not for a good save by Cottbus keeper Gerhard Tremmel.

Cottbus put ‘Gladbach under lots of pressure early and a 17th minute give-and-go put Ivica Iliev parallel to the goal where he lashed in a flat cross which glanced off Bradley and into the home team’s goal for a 1-0 lead which the visitors carried into halftime.

“Gladbach got some good chances early in the second half on combinations from Bradley and Alex Baumjohann but could not equalize. In the 51st minute, Cottbus scored again for a 2-0 lead before 59th minute Baumjohann goal got the Foals back in the game, making it 2-1.

Bradley was substituted in the 70th minute by Tony Jantschke and later an 85th minute Cottbus goal sealed the win at 3-1. The loss put ‘Gladbach into the relegation zone in 16th place with 11 points and a minus 14 goal differential. The Foals now have 23 matches left to score at least 38 total points, otherwise its a trip back to the Second Bundesliga.

Eleswhere in Europe, Freddy Adu watched from the bench as AS Monaco picked up a 1-0 win over Auxerre. Carlos Bocanegra and fourth place Stade Rennais take on fifth place Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow. A win for either side could mean taking over second place behind Olympique Lyon, provided Nice and Marseille stumble this weekend.

In Serie B, Danny Szetela went the distance in midfield for Brescia in their 2-0 win over Mantova in the Lombardia derby. The win bumped Brescia up to fifth place in Serie B with 26 points, just two behind leaders Sassuolo.

Happy Thanksgiving Soccer Fans!

November 27, 2008

Well, I’m off with my wife to the other side of Italy for a few days to check out the heel of the boot. We hope soccer fans everywhere have a great Thanksgiving and we’ll be back up online this weekend.

In the meantime, check out my new article at Soccer Times which gets more in depth on a few American players (pictured here) which readers have said they’d like to know more about. To find out who they are, check the link above.

Photo by Rodrigo Erades

Pearce Gets New Coach At Rostock

November 24, 2008

Just a week after Heath Pearce’s Hansa Rostock was crushed 6-0 at Kaiserslutern, a new savior has appeared in manager Dieter Eilts. After picking up only two points in their last five matches, a savior seems to be just what they need.

This is good news for American defender Heath Pearce, whose team is mired in 14th place and instead of seeking promotion back to the Bundesliga, is in danger of relegation to the 3rd division.

Eilts, a former German international with 31 caps, had a storied career at Werder Bremen making 397 appearances and was best know for his grit and incredible work rate in midfield and defense. Until recently he was the coach of Germany’s U-21 squad before the federation let him go three weeks ago. Eilts has always had a reputation as a level-headed player and coach and he is expected to bring this approach to the troubled Hansa side.

Eilts makes his coaching debut for Hansa tonight in a nationally televised match against 1860 Munich (Gregg Berhalter’s club). Pearce, suspended for two matches after a hard foul in last week’s loss to Kaiserslautern, will watch from the stands.

Tough Draw For USA In 2009 Confederations Cup

November 22, 2008

Courtesy of U.S. Soccer Communications Center:

U.S. TO PLAY WORLD CHAMPIONS ITALY, BRAZIL AND EGYPT IN GROUP B
OF 2009 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA

CHICAGO (Nov. 22, 2008) – The United States has been drawn into a powerful Group B along with reigning world champions Italy, five-time World Cup winners Brazil, and reigning African Cup of Nations winners Egypt for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be played from June 14-28, 2009, in South Africa. The U.S. kicks off action against Italy on June 15 at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, and then faces Brazil on June 18 in the same venue. The United States finishes group play on June 21 against Egypt at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Tournament hosts South Africa will open the event against Iraq on June 14 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. The two teams were drawn into Group A along with current European Champions Spain and OFC Champions New Zealand. Played in four venues during two weeks, the tournament will serve as excellent preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. [Opponent Capsules]

The U.S. opens Group B play against Italy, in what will be the fourth time the teams have met in a major international tournament. Most recently, the U.S. and Italy faced off the thrilling 1-1 draw in the second match of group play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup on June 17, 2006, in Kaiserslautern. One of the finest performances in team history, that match is as memorable for the massive support of U.S. fans as for the team holding off the Italians after being reduced to nine men. The United States has never beaten the current world champions, holding a lifetime record of 0-3-3. Italy, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, is participating in their first Confederations Cup.

Next up is a clash with two-time Confederations Cup winners Brazil, who qualified for the tournament after blanking favored Argentina 3-0 in the final of the 2007 Copa America. The U.S. and Brazil are meeting for the third time in Confederations Cup play, having met previously in the middle group matches both in 1999 in Mexico and the 2003 edition in France. Brazil captured 1-0 victories in both contests, Ronaldinho getting the winner in Guadalajara in 1999 and Adriano in Lyon four years later. Overall, the U.S. holds a 1-12-0 lifetime record against the five-time world champions, the lone victory coming Feb. 10, 1998, a 1-0 win in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. The teams faced off last year in Chicago, goals by Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey putting the U.S. level before Ronaldinho broke the draw en route to a 4-2 win for Brazil on Sept. 9, 2007 in front of 43,543 at Soldier Field.

The U.S. closes out group play against Egypt on June 21 in Rustenburg. They teams have only played once before, Egypt going out 3-1 winners on June 8, 1987, in Seoul, Korea Republic. The Pharaohs have been one of the dominant sides on the African continent, claiming a record six Africa Cup of Nations titles, including back-to-back triumphs in 2006 and 2008. Egypt is playing in their second FIFA Confederations Cup, having participated in the 1999 event in Mexico.

The U.S. will play its first two matches at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria. The stadium currently has a seating capacity of 45,000. Opened in 1903, the ground hosted matches for the 1995 Rugby World Cup and 1996 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. It is now used by Mamelodi Sundowns as their home ground.

The match against Egypt will be held at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg. The stadium is named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area. Upon completion, the stadium will seat 42,000. The South African national team played a FIFA World Cup qualifying game in the venue against Bakino Faso in 2001.

The U.S. is playing in its fourth FIFA Confederations Cup tournament, having appeared most recently in the 2003 event in a group with Brazil, Turkey and Cameroon. The team reached the semifinals of the 1999 tournament, beating Germany and New Zealand in group play before losing to hosts Mexico in the semifinals. The matches next year will represent the USA’s second time playing on South African soil, the team having defeated South Africa 1-0 on Nov. 11, 2007, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
Group B Schedule
Date Match Venue Time (local/ET)
June 15 Brazil-Egypt Mangaung/Bloemfontein 4 p.m. / 10 a.m.
USA-Italy Tshwane/Pretoria 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.
June 18 USA-Brazil Tshwane/Pretoria 4 p.m. / 10 a.m.
Egypt-Italy Johannesburg 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.
June 21 Italy-Brazil Tshwane/Pretoria 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.
Egypt-USA Rustenburg 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.

Next Stage of US World Cup Qualifying Starts Feb. 11th Against Mexico

November 22, 2008

Courtesy of US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Nov. 22, 2008) — The United States will continue its bid to qualify for its sixth consecutive World Cup finals on Feb. 11 against Mexico at home. The final round draw for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying was announced this morning from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 11-Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14 and Nov. 18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

Drawn as Team 6 in the Final Round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to South Africa as they open up against their biggest rival in the region at home and never has any consecutive home dates. The U.S. plays a fairly balanced schedule, bouncing between home and away matches, only to have back-to-back away games late in the qualifying stretch for Matches 8 and 9. Venues for the USA’s five home matches will be announced as they are finalized.

All of the match dates for Final Round qualifying are scheduled to take place on dates set aside for international play on the FIFA Coordinated Calendar for 2009. [Opponent Capsules]

After playing Mexico, the U.S. kicks off their away schedule of the qualifying campaign against El Salvador on March 28, and then returns home on April 1 to face Trinidad & Tobago. The halfway point for the Hexagonal arrives in June, with the U.S. facing Costa Rica away on June 3 and then returning to the U.S. to host Honduras on June 6, which will complete the first half of the Final Round. The Costa Rica match was moved from June 10 to June 3 to accomodate the USA’s participation in the Confederations Cup.

The second stand-alone date of the Final Round falls on Aug. 12 with the U.S. traveling to the unfriendly confines of Mexico. The U.S. will have two straight double dates, starting with hosting El Salvador on Sept. 5 before heading to Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 9. The three teams that will automatically advance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be decided on the final double date, which begins for the United States on Oct. 10 away to Honduras. The U.S. concludes the final round on Oct. 14 at home against Costa Rica.

The United States has qualified for five consecutive World Cup finals, amassing a lifetime record of 53-31-28 in World Cup qualifying play. With a record of 34-6-11 on U.S. soil, the team has lost only one home qualifier since 1985.

The U.S. advanced to the final round hexagonal as winners of Group 1, going 5-1-0 in the semifinal phase. The United States captured their first-ever road qualifying win in Guatemala, then defeated Cuba in the team’s first visit to the island nation since 1947. At home the U.S. continued to dominate, collecting a convincing 3-0 shutout victory against Trinidad & Tobago and a 6-1 win against Cuba that saw the U.S. qualified before the round’s conclusion. Dating back to the start of the second round, the U.S. won six consecutive qualifiers, setting the record for most consecutive games won in one cycle (set during qualifying for Germany 2006). The U.S. also posted three straight road victories in qualifying for the first time ever.

The U.S. and Costa Rica are nearly evenly split throughout the series history, each team maintaining dominance on home soil. The U.S. has never won a qualifying match in Costa Rica, going 0-6-1 lifetime. The teams met in the final round of 2006 World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. turning in one of their finest performances of the stage in the 3-0 win on June 4, 2005, in front of a raucous crowd in Salt Lake. With the U.S. already through to Germany, the Ticos returned the favor by earning a matching 3-0 scoreline on the return leg in San Jose on Oct. 8 at Estadio Saprissa. Costa Rica breezed through to the Final Round as the only team in CONCACAF that remains undefeated in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Ticos manhandled Group 3 that included El Salvador, Haiti, and Suriname, pumping in 20 goals while surrendering only three.

The U.S. has dominated the series against El Salvador, with only a single blemish on the 13-1-4 lifetime record. The U.S. has been particularly imposing in World Cup Qualifying, posting an unbeaten 4-0-2 record. The teams last squared off in the semifinal phase of qualifying for Germany, the U.S. collecting a pair of 2-0 wins in Foxboro and San Salvador. El Salvador has been in it since the first round, pounding Anguilla by an aggregate score of 16-0 before getting past Panama in the second phase in a series that included an impressive 1-0 win in Panama City. Drawn with Costa Rica, Suriname and Haiti, the Salvadorans comfortably took second place in Group 3 while posting a 3-1-2 record.

The U.S. and Honduras have one of the more unusual histories between CONCACAF teams in qualifying. While they have played only four times, three of those matches took place in Honduras. The teams met in the final round of qualifying for Korea/Japan, the U.S. pulling off a 2-1 a win in San Pedro Sula on the strength of goals by Clint Mathis and Earnie Stewart. Then on Sept. 1, 2001, in Washington, D.C., a quick goal by Stewart looked promising for the U.S., but Honduras stormed back to a 3-2 win to hand the U.S. their last home loss in World Cup qualifying to date. Coincidentally, it was the Honduras home loss to Trinidad & Tobago coupled with the U.S. win against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, that guaranteed the USA’s ticket to Korea.

Honduras had one of the hardest mountains to climb in qualifying and can proudly claim they reached the summit. The Catrachos were drawn into the most difficult of groups along with Mexico, Jamaica and Canada. After narrowly losing out away to Mexico in the opening game, Honduras reeled off three straight wins before falling to Jamaica in Kingston, setting up the dramatic final day. Needing a win to guarantee their place in the final round, the Hondurans pulled off a 1-0 shutout to vault past Mexico and claim first place in the group.

While Mexico holds a major lead in the all-time qualifying series, the U.S. has most certainly pulled even in the modern era. The United States has not lost at home to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier since 1972, and played two of their most memorable games in the previous two hexagonals. In the ‘Guerra Fria’ in Columbus on Feb. 28, 2001, goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart lifted the U.S. to a 2-0 victory, a result that would be repeated a few times over. On Sept. 3, 2005, it was Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley’s turn to tally as another 2-0 victory booked the USA’s ticket to Germany. It’s been another story in Mexico, where the United States has never won (0-12-1), the lone draw coming Nov. 2, 1997, in Mexico City.

Playing their first three games of the Semifinal Round at home after hurricane damage forced Jamaica to switch their schedule, Mexico quickly grabbed nine points. After a loss to Jamaica away, the Mexicans were twice forced to come from behind to earn a point against already-eliminated Canada, setting up an intriguing final match day. They were leading the group on points, but a slip in Honduras combined with a big Jamaica victory could have seen them eliminated from competition. An own goal sank their efforts in the 1-0 loss in Honduras, and Jamaica nearly pulled off the miracle when they won 3-0 against Canada. Tied on points, it was Mexico who inched through to the final round on goal differential.

The U.S. holds a 14-2-3 lifetime record against Trinidad & Tobago, with the series dating back to 1982. The U.S. can also claim 10 shutouts against the Soca Warriors, with six of those coming on home turf. It has been more than 12 years since Trinidad & Tobago have scored during their travels to the U.S., with the last goal coming during a 3-2 loss in 1996 in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. has owned the series in World Cup qualifying (9-1-2), although T&T will be buoyed by the 2-1 win on Oct. 15 in Port-of-Spain, their first-ever in qualifying against the United States. The teams met in the 2006 edition of final round qualifying; in fact, they met on the opening day of the group. Goals by Eddie Johnson and Eddie Lewis gave the U.S. a nice three points on the road to start the hexagonal, and then Brian McBride did the business in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005, in East Hartford.

Seeming to be battling Guatemala from the get-go for the second spot in the semifinal group, the teams shared the spoils by each earning a draw on the world. T&T capitalized on the penultimate matchday of the round, defeating the U.S. for the first time in World Cup qualifying history while Guatemala disastrously lost at Cuba. Already in the driver’s seat, the Soca Warriors ended all doubt by winning handily at home against the Cubans to move on to the final round.

The U.S. reached the Semifinal Round of qualifying after defeating Barbados by an aggregate score of 9-0 in the second round. The U.S. easily handled the visitors 9-0 on June 13 in Carson, Calif., the eight-goal win earning the record as the largest margin of victory ever in U.S. Men’s National Team history. The U.S. than fought through a rain-soaked field to win 1-0 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, six days later.

Following is the complete Final Round schedule:

CONCACAF Final Round of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Date Opponent Home / Away (Venue TBD)
Feb. 11 Mexico Home
March 28 El Salvador Away
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago Home
June 3 Costa Rica Away
June 6 Honduras Home
Aug. 12 Mexico Away
Sep. 5 El Salvador Home
Sep. 9 Trinidad & Tobago Away
Oct. 10 Honduras Away
Oct. 14 Costa Rica Home

Red Bulls Hold First Training Session In LA In Advance Of MLS Cup

November 22, 2008
New York and Columbus to meet on Sunday at The Home Depot Center

SECAUCUS, NJ (Friday, November 21, 2008) – The New York Red Bulls trained for the first time since arriving in California Friday in preparation of their first MLS CUP Finals appearance.

The team trained for an hour and half beginning at 11:00 AM PST and met with the media following the session. The full team trained under the direction of head coach Juan Carlos Osorio on a beautiful 80 degree day.

The team will train again on Saturday before taking on Supporters Shield Winners, the Columbus Crew, on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 3:30 pm EST at The Home Depot Center with the winner taking home the MLS Cup for the first time in franchise history.

The Red Bulls were the only MLS team to have a winning record vs. Columbus this season, with New York holding a 2-1-0 season series advantage. The Red Bulls defeated the Crew at Giants Stadium, 2-0, on April 5, and 3-1 on Oct. 18, but dropped a 3-1 decision at Crew Stadium on Sept. 18.

The Red Bulls will hold their official viewing party at Nevada Smiths, located on 3rd Avenue between 11th and 12th Steets in New York City. The viewing party for New York’s Western Conference Championship win over Real Salt Lake, brought out a packed establishment, with the MLS Cup viewing party expected to draw an even larger crowd of Red Bulls supporters.

Game Information: Western Conference Champion New York Red Bulls (10-11-9, 39 pts) vs Eastern Conference Champion Columbus Crew (17-7-6, 57 pts)
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. ET at The Home Depot Center
Television: ABC, TeleFutura (JP Dellacamera, John Harkes)
Radio: WADO 1280 AM (Ernesto Motta, Robert Sierra)

Predictions?

Is Eddie right or do you see a different outcome? Have your say in our comments section.

USA To Play Sweden In January Friendly

November 22, 2008
U.S. To Kick Off Busy 2009 with Friendly in Southern California;Final Round World Cup Qualifying, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup on Tap

I’ve got to say I like the selection of teams the U.S. Soccer Federation is picking for friendlies these days and Sweden is a good example. Strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larssson (pictured to the right) will be a stiff test for the US defense, not to mention winger “Kongo” Kim Källström (Olympique Lyon) , who serves up beautiful crosses to the forwards and can take powerful and accurate shots from distance (he earned his nickname for knocking a teammate out cold with a shot during a practice at the 2006 World Cup).

The well-organized Swedes, always tough to score against, will test the US midfield and attack to the hilt. Their central defense including Carlos Bocanegra’s partner at Rennes, Peter Hansson and Juventus’ Olof Mellberg have proven tough to crack behind a strong spine of Anders Svensonn and holding midfielder Daniel Andersson. When you lose possession against this crew, its a real dogfight to get it back. All in all, a good test for a US National Team which has been a juggernaut in CONCACAF this year but with remaining questions about how well they’ll compete against teams from Europe.

This match will give Bob Bradley a much clearer picture of where his team stands going into the next round of World Cup qualifying and next summer’s Confederation’s Cup.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off a busy 2009 schedule when they face Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.The game follows a training camp that begins the first week of January as the U.S. team prepares for CONCACAF Final Round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $60, plus special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150, go on sale to the public Monday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy’s, FYE and Ritmo Latino). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Sunday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. PT until Monday, Nov. 24, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

The U.S. will begin CONCACAF Final Round World Cup qualifying on Feb. 11, and along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago will be vying for three automatic spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place finisher will enter a home-and-away series with the fifth-place team from South America.

Sweden is also in the midst of FIFA World Cup qualifying, and after three matches is in fifth place in Group 1 despite an undefeated record that includes a win and two ties. Their campaign resumes on March 28, 2009, with a trip to Portugal. The Scandinavians have competed in 11 World Cup finals, highlighted by a second-place finish in the 1958 tournament and a third-place finish in USA ’94. In 2006, they advanced out of Group B along with England before falling in the Round of 16 to hosts Germany.

The USA and Sweden have met six times previously. The U.S. evened the series at 3-3-0 with a 2-0 victory last January in a game that saw Landon Donovan set the all-time U.S. scoring record. The U.S. is making its sixth visit to The Home Depot Center for a match, carrying a 4-0-1 record. Last year, in addition to the victory against Sweden, the U.S. trounced Barbados 8-0 on June 15 in their opening game of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The remainder of the U.S. schedule for 2009 will be determined this Saturday, Nov. 22, when the draw to determine the placement of teams in the CONCACAF Final Round hexagonal for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying will take place at 1 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Teams will learn their opponents as well as home and away dates for all 10 Final Round qualifiers that will determine the three automatic berths for CONCACAF in 2010 in South Africa. The Final Round will kick off on Feb. 11. The U.S. will also have games on March 28, April 1, June 3, June 6, August 12, Sept. 5, Sept. 9, Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.

Following the announcement of the CONCACAF Final Round draw, FIFA will conduct the draw for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be held from June 14-28 in South Africa. The United States will participate along with hosts South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

Bayern To Take Donovan On Loan

November 20, 2008

Bayern Munich has announced they will take the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan on loan until the middle of March. Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann told the Munich press that “Landon made a good impression in the last ten days and we’ve agreed a deal with MLS for a loan starting on January 1st until the middle of March.” Klinsmann did add however that the club is interested in hanging onto the California born forward until the end of the season since they need a fourth striker to fit into the scheme with Miroslav Klose, Luca Toni and Lukas Podolski.

“For me its a perfect setup. I can go into the second half of the season with four strikers.” said Klinsmann. He went on to say; “With Landon. I have another top man in my back pocket and he’ll travel with is to out training camp in Dubai on January 2nd.”

Despite taking Donovan on loan, it looks like Bayern will keep the unhappy Podolski, at least until the end of the season. Remarking on the decision, Klinsmann stated that Podolski will “need to deal with it.”

According to Klinsmann, what sold Bayern on Donovan was his speed (which he called “unbelievable”)and strength in one-on-one situations. In the coach’s words “He is completely different from our other strikers so this will make our attack harder to deal with.”

What do you think? Will Donovan get meaningful playing time, ride the pine, or become a breakout star? Have your say here by leaving a comment or vote in the poll (to the left of this article).

*Special thanks to Germany based Vagabond Keith Richardson for contributing to this report.

A Few Great Articles Worth Reading

November 19, 2008

Here are a few great articles worth reading today:

Bob Wagman’s excellent preview of the USA-Guatemala World Cup Qualifier. Its hard to find many writers who have been covering the US National team (or even US soccer in general) for more years, both at home and on the road.

Rob Hughes, one of the best in the business, provides an insightful look into Bernd Schuster’s lonely situation at Real Madrid.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger has a great piece on German media coverage of the Bundesliga and in particular, its impact on Bayern Munich.

And while your humble vagabond did not make the finals for the US Soccer Federation’s Best Blog competition (a big thanks to those who did nominate us), be sure to support our friends Du Nord and Soccer By Ives by voting here.