Archive for April, 2009

Champions League Predictions: Let The Bands Do The Talking III

April 28, 2009

Its been awhile since we’ve asked some musicians to help out with Champions League predictions so here we go!

Barcelona – Chelsea

What does Chelsea need to do to Barca to beat them in the Nou Camp?

…and get on the outside – fast!

What does Barcelona need to do to hold off Chelsea’s streaking Florent Malouda, the dogged determination of Frank Lampard, and the ever-dangerous striker Didier Drogba?

Prediction: Barcelona 3: Chelsea 1

Manchester United – Arsenal

How does ManU need to come out early to break the hot streaking Arsenal’s confidence?

And how does the young Arsenal side need to approach this match against the Red Devils?

Prediction: Arsenal 2: Manchester United 2

Viola Take Roma Behind The Woodshed

April 26, 2009

The perennial fifth place Fiorentina sent a stong message yesterday that they want something more by embarrassing Roma 4-1.

My personal goal of the weekend (already) goes to the Viola’s Peruvian ace Juan Manuel Vargas for his 6th minute crusher into Roma’s net.

Watch it here:

Alberto Gilardino added two more goals for Fiorentina and Massimo Gobbi completed the butt whuppin’ with a 73rd-minute tap-in. Roma’s Julio Baptista grabbed a goal in the late going to prevent the shutout but the damage was done: 4-1 for the Viola.

Complete highlights here:

Edu Finding His Form With Rangers

April 20, 2009

LFV pal and guitar maestro Greg Seltzer has a nice piece on Maurice Edu’s latest goal for ‘Gers.

Ferrari Scores First Goal For Perugia

April 18, 2009

American striker Gabe Ferrari, on loan from Sampdoria, scored his first goal for Perugia last week in Serie C (Lega Pro) action.

In the match against a pesky Pistoise side, Ferrari scored in the 44th minute by converting a low bouncing free kick with a sneaky back heel. He also had two shots go just wide of goal in the Grifoni’s 3-2 win.

Check out the action here (look for his goal at the 2:01 mark of the video).

This strong performance should earn Ferrari some increased playing time, starting with today’s match against Arezzo. Perugia is currently in 9th place in Serie C1 with 36 points, 15 shy of a chance for promotion to Serie B.

Bernardo’s Napoli Chances Looking Up

April 17, 2009

Napoli primavera striker Vincenzo Bernardo seems to be inching closer to a chance to dress with the first team in Serie A action sometime before the season ends. After practicing most of the season with the first team, the New Jersey native has been spending more time playing each week with the primavera (reserve) squad and but drawing more attention from the Napoli management and local media.

In today’s primavera friendly match against Napoli’s first team, (which normally ends 7-0 for the first team) Bernardo scored in a 5-1 losing effort for the youngsters, drawing praise from Coach Roberto Donadoni in the process.

Donodani has a history of experimenting with young players so the chance that Bernardo could suit up sometime this spring could be on the upswing.

Gladbach: Renewed Interest in Onyewu

April 15, 2009

Its been awhile since we’ve had some gratuitous transfer rumors about Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu so let’s fix that right now.

Kicker is now reporting that Michael Bradley’s Borussia Moenchengladbach, which tried to acquire Gooch last winter, has renewed its interest in the 26 year-old Onyewu with a view toward picking him up on a free transfer this summer. Gladbach has already purchased Onyewu’s teammate Dante, who just scored his first Bundesliga goal for the Foals.

Of course to land Gooch, Gladbach will need to do two very important things; beat the offers of other clubs seeking his services (PSG, Fulham, Marseille, etc), and manage to avoid relegation.

According to Express.de (quoting the Belgian Sportportal), Onyewu is ready to sign provided Gladbach stays up in the Bundesliga. So, my spidey sense tells me that until you hear such a statement from Onyewu himself, it means this one is far from being a done deal. I have strong sense that Onyewu would prefer to play in the Premiership but will settle for a good situation in France (where L’OM’s Eric Gerets has him in his sights) or at Gladbach if England proves to be a bridge too far.

So, until you hear it from the Gooch himself, its all just speculation.

Dempsey Double Sinks City

April 12, 2009

American Clint Dempsey gave Fulham fans a nice Easter gift by helping his team to a 3-1 road win at Manchester City.

City took a 1-0 lead on a gorgeous shot from distance by Stephen Ireland in the 27th minute. Fulham looked to be on the ropes for the next 22 minutes before
Dempsey levelled to game at 1-1 by picking up a loose ball from Zamora in the 49th minute which the Texan easily stroked into the goal with his right foot.

Ten minutes later, Fulham’s Dickson Etuhu gave the visitors a 2-1 lead pouncing on a ball just outside the area and slotting it in for his first goal for the red and black.

Fulham and City continued to trade attacks including a 61th minute Dempsey header being easily handled by Man City keeper Given. In the 83rd, Zamora laid off a beautiful ball for Dempsey who, now using his left foot, poked it high inside the near post to cement to lead at 3-1.

The win solidified Fulham’s mid-table place in 10th with 40 points, two points north of 11th place Man City. Dempsey’s 6th and 7th goals make him Fulham’s leading scorer so far this year.

USA Bid Process Continues For 2018 or 2022 World Cup

April 11, 2009

Courtesy of U.S. Soccer…my own commentary to follow:

More Than 50 Metropolitan Markets in Consideration to be Host Cities;
Conference Call With U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and USA Bid Committee
Executive Director David Downs to be Held on Thursday, April 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (April 8, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee mailed letters last week to public officials and stadium operators in metropolitan markets across the United States in an initial and important step toward preparing a formal bid to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

In all, 70 stadiums in more than 50 metropolitan markets are in consideration, ranging in market size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark. The outreach by U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee truly represents a national campaign to welcome the return of the world’s most popular sporting event to the United States, with the comprehensive mix of metro markets and world class venues representing a chief asset of the U.S. bid.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and USA Bid Committee Executive Director David Downs will discuss the selection of the 70 venues under consideration on a conference call on Thursday, April 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Members of the media wishing to participate in the call should dial 800 335-2500 a few minutes before 12:30 p.m. ET.

“The United States is uniquely qualified to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 as demonstrated by the dozens of metropolitan markets with venues capable of staging World Cup matches in every respect, from the quality of their stadiums to their overall ability to accommodate thousands of fans, news media and visitors from around the world,” said Gulati. “We will soon begin discussions with officials from throughout the U.S. in the name of presenting a world class proposal to FIFA and the global soccer community.”

The letters mailed last week from the USA Bid Committee to public officials and stadium operators throughout the United States outline the bid process and criteria for venue selection. FIFA calls for each bidding nation to propose a minimum of 12 stadiums, each capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. Out of the 70 stadiums under consideration, more than 65 have a capacity above 60,000, and more than 20 have a capacity above 80,000.

In 1994, nine U.S. stadiums were used when the United States played host to FIFA World Cup, which then featured a 24-team and 52-match format compared to today’s field of 32 nations competing in 64 matches. Despite the smaller field and schedule of matches in 1994, the United States set an overall attendance mark of 3,587,538, a record that broke the previous tournament mark by more than one million fans and still stands today.

The 70 stadiums identified by the USA Bid Committee as candidates to play host to World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022 include National Football League stadiums, college football stadiums, and domed and retractable roof stadiums. The 70 stadiums represent 31 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Among the list of stadiums that are under consideration for the bid are historic venues such as:

Soldier Field in Chicago, site of the Opening Match of the FIFA World Cup in 1994.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., site of the Final Match FIFA World Cup in 1994.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the Olympic Summer Games in 1932 and 1984.
Lambeau Field, the legendary home to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Numerous time-honored college football stadiums, including Notre Dame Stadium, Michigan Stadium and the Yale Bowl.
Stadiums still under construction, including the new Meadowlands Stadium, the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium and the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
The deadline for the USA Bid Committee to hear from officials representing candidate markets and venues is Friday, April 17.
The United States is one of nine candidate nations that have formally declared their desire to host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The others are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. Qatar and South Korea have applied only as candidates to play host to the tournament in 2022.

FIFA has set May 2010 as the deadline for countries to submit their final paperwork to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will then study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee last week announced that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger accepted an invitation to join the USA Bid Committee and play a leadership role in the nation’s candidacy to play host to FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

“The support and commitment of Dr. Kissinger is extremely significant and representative of the spirit that will drive our U.S. bid from this day forward,” said Gulati. “We will continue introduce new leadership to the USA Bid Committee in the weeks ahead to show the nation, and the world, how serious and determined we are to bring the World Cup here in 2018 or 2022.”

ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:

Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sports growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.

ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE:

The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee include Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy, and former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Neil Buethe, U.S. Soccer, 312/528-1270, nbuethe@ussoccer.org
Jurgen Mainka, USA Bid Committee, 212/450-1403, jmainka@usabidcommittee.org
Jim Woodcock, Fleishman-Hillard, 314/982-7778, jim.woodcock@fleishman.com

Metro Market Stadium Location
Atlanta, Ga. Georgia Dome Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta, Ga. Sanford Stadium Athens, Ga.
Austin, Texas Royal Texas Memorial Stadium Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Md. M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Md.
Baton Rouge, La. Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, La.
Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field Birmingham, Ala.
Birmingham, Ala. Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Boston, Mass. Gillette Stadium Foxborough, Mass.
Buffalo, N.Y. Ralph Wilson Stadium Orchard Park, N.Y.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Kinnick Stadium Iowa City, Iowa
Champaign, Ill. Memorial Stadium Champaign, Ill.
Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
Chicago, Ill. Soldier Field Chicago, Ill.
Cincinnati, Ohio Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Browns Stadium Cleveland, Ohio
Columbia, Mo. Faurot Field Columbia, Mo.
Columbia, S.C. Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia, S.C.
Columbus, Ga. Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn, Ala.
Columbus, Ohio Ohio Stadium Columbus, Ohio
Dallas, Texas Cotton Bowl Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas Dallas Cowboys New Stadium Arlington, Texas
Denver, Colo. Invesco Field Denver, Colo.
Detroit, Mich. University of Michigan Stadium Ann Arbor, Mich.
Detroit, Mich. Ford Field Detroit, Mich.
Detroit, Mich. Spartan Stadium East Lansing, Mich.
Fayetteville, Ark. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Fayetteville, Ark.
Green Bay, Wis. Lambeau Field Green Bay, Wis.
Greenville, S.C. Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
Harrisburg, Pa. Beaver Stadium University Park, Pa.
Houston, Texas Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas Rice Stadium Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas Kyle Field College Station, Texas
Indianapolis, Ind. Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Ind.
Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville, Fla. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, Fla.
Kansas City, Mo. Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, Mo.
Knoxville, Tenn. Neyland Stadium Knoxville, Tenn.
Lexington, Ky. Commonwealth Stadium Lexington, Ky.
Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, Calif.
Los Angeles, Calif. Rose Bowl Pasadena, Calif.
Madison, Wis. Camp Randall Stadium Madison, Wis.
Miami, Fla. Dolphin Stadium Miami Gardens, Fla.
Minneapolis, Minn. TCF Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minn.
Minneapolis, Minn. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis, Minn.
Nashville, Tenn. LP Field Nashville, Tenn.
New Haven, Conn. Yale Bowl New Haven, Conn.
New Orleans, La. Superdome New Orleans, La.
New York, N.Y. Meadowlands Stadium East Rutherford, N.J.
Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Norman, Okla.
Omaha, Neb. Memorial Stadium Lincoln, Neb.
Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, Fla.
Philadelphia, Pa. Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz. University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Ariz.
Phoenix, Ariz. Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Ariz.
Pittsburgh, Pa. Heinz Field Pittsburgh, Pa.
Roanoke, Va. Lane Stadium Blacksburg, Va.
Salt Lake City, Utah LaVell Edwards Stadium Provo, Utah
San Antonio, Texas Alamodome San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, Calif. Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Oakland, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. Stanford Stadium Stanford, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. California Memorial Stadium Berkeley, Calif.
Seattle, Wash. Qwest Field Seattle, Wash.
Seattle, Wash. Husky Stadium Seattle, Wash.
South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame Stadium Notre Dame, Ind.
St. Louis, Mo. Edward Jones Dome St. Louis, Mo.
Tallahassee, Fla. Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, Fla.
Tampa, Fla. Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Fla.
Washington, D.C. RFK Memorial Stadium Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. FedEx Field Landover, Md.

Berhalter Leaving 1860 Munich For MLS

April 1, 2009

1860 Munich has announced that American defender Gregg Berhalter will be leaving the club immediately to continue his career back home on Major League Soccer (MLS). Berhalter’s contract with the Second Bundesliga club was set to expire in June 2009 but the club has agreed to release him early.

This marks an end to Berhalter’s long career in Europe after playing in the Netherlands, England, and for the past seven years – in Germany. Reflecting on his European career, Berhalter remarked that: “I had a very good and successful 15 years in Europe but the time has come to say goodbye and go home.” He thanked the club for their understanding to release him early and in a parting statement to the fans said: “I had a super time here in Munich and I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life playing in MLS.”

What remains unclear is which MLS team he will be playing for in the coming weeks as he starts a new 2-year deal with the league.

Berhalter made 23 appearances in the Bundesliga and 88 in the Second Bundesliga. During his stint at 1860 Munich, he made 73 appearances, scoring eight goals.