Archive for July, 2009

Galaxy Acquire Trinidad International Chris Birchall

July 9, 2009

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, July 8, 2009) – The LA Galaxy today agreed to terms with Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Chris Birchall. The 25-year-old received his P1 Visa on Monday and will officially be added to the club’s roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Clearance (ITC), which cannot happen until the transfer window re-opens on Wednesday, July 15. Therefore, the first game for which Birchall will be eligible to play for the club is July 16 at New York . Per team and league regulations, details of the contract were not released.

“Chris is a player that I’ve tracked for a number of years,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “He is an experienced midfielder with good qualities on both sides of the ball who I feel he will be able to contribute immediately as we push for a playoff position.”

Prior to joining the Galaxy, Birchall had spent his entire club career in the England with the exception of a short loan stint in Scotland during the 2007/08 campaign. Born in Stafford , England , Birchall began his club career with Port Vale, playing nearly 80 league games. He made his debut for the club during the 2001/02 season and spent five seasons at Vale Park before being sold to Coventry City in August 2006.

Birchall went on to score twice in nearly 30 games during his time with Coventry City, while also enjoying loan spells with St. Mirren in Scotland and Carlisle United. In January 2009, Birchall signed a contact through the end of the season with Brighton & Hove Albion of England’s League One. He helped the club avoid relegation, playing in nine games in the midfield as Brighton finished three points clear of relegation to League Two.

An established international, Birchall has appeared 32 times for Trinidad and Tobago , scoring four times. Eligible to play for the country as his mother was born there, Birchall helped T&T reach the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the country’s first-ever appearance in the tournament. He scored in a 1-1 draw with Bahrain in the first leg of the two nation’s World Cup Qualifying playoff in November 2005. The Soca Warriors won the second leg 1-0 to book their spot at the World Cup.

Birchall played in all three of his country’s games at the tournament, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in each. This year, he has played in four of Trinidad & Tobago’s five CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, starting three of the matches.

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Charlie Davies Transfer: The Plot Thickens?

July 9, 2009

While the French media reported a few days ago that Hammarby’s American striker Charlie Davies had all but locked up a deal with Sochaux, methinks the phone lines are burning up between his agent and several clubs, to include Rennes, Saint Etienne, and at least one Bundesliga club.

Word on the street is that the price tag for the 23 year-old US breakout star of the Confederations Cup will be anywhere from is currently somewhere between € 2.5-5 million.
LFV friend in Amsterdam, Greg Seltzer, also reports that Croatian side Hajduk Split are in the mix. So who is the German club? Borussia Dortmund? Stuttgart? How about Bayern Munich, which is still in the market for a striker or two?
My spidey sense tells me that Davies and his agent and playing this one smart and letting the impact of the striker’s continued exploits in the Gold Cup sweeten the deal and add to the list of potential suitors. Stay tuned!

FIFA Suspends Bradley For 3 Matches

July 7, 2009

American midfielder Michael Bradley has been suspended three matches by FIFA for a post-match confrontation of referee Jorge Larrionda after being shown a red card in the 87th minute of the USA’s recent 2-0 win over Spain.

Read more about it here.

Brazil #1, USA #12 In New FIFA Rankings

July 7, 2009

Courtesy of FIFA:

Victory on all fronts for Brazil: after winning the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the Seleção have regained the top spot in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, thus relegating European champions Spain (2nd, down 1) to second place. The South Americans last topped the ranking in August 2007, a position to which they have climbed six times in the history of the ranking.

The Netherlands (3rd, down 1), Italy (4th, unchanged) and Germany (5th, down 2), occupy the next three places, but are some distance behind the leading duo. Russia (6th, up 3) have overtaken England (7th, down 1) and Argentina (8th, down 1), achieving their best position since August 1997 in the process.

Of the other countries that took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, finalists the USA (12th, up 2), Egypt (38th, up 2) and hosts South Africa (70th, up 2) have also progressed up the ranking. Egypt’s improved position despite their early exit from the tournament is due to their 1-0 victory over world champions Italy, which scored very highly in terms of ranking points. Meanwhile, disappointing performances by Iraq (94th, down 17) and New Zealand (100th, down 18) caused them to lose ground.

In other news, Algeria (47th, up 19) and Tunisia (49th, up 2) have climbed into the top 50 at the expense of Burkina Faso (51st, down 1) and Finland (52nd, down 3). Furthermore, the following teams have achieved their best position since the ranking was introduced in 1993: Australia (16th, up 13), Gabon (30th, up 18), Grenada (88th, up 14), Montenegro (98th, up 12) and Antigua and Barbuda (105th, up 9).

In the last four weeks, a total of 119 senior international matches were played: 16 FIFA Confederations Cup matches, 67 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and 36 friendlies. This brings the total matches played this year to 406. The many matches played and the devaluation of matches at UEFA EURO 2008 are the main reasons for the many changes in position in this edition of the ranking.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 5 August 2009.

Onyewu To AC Milan!

July 7, 2009

After much speculation and interest from over a dozen clubs, US and Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu has just signed a 3-year deal to join AC Milan. He will be the first American to play in Serie A since Alexis Lalas played for Padova from 1994-1996.

Gooch’s move to Milan makes much sense when one considers that the Rossaneri’s ageing back line was overdue for renewal, especially given the retirement of longtime great Paolo Maldini.

Charlie Davies In Sochaux’s Sights

July 6, 2009

French Ligue 1 side Sochaux are reported to have Hammarby’s young American striker Charlie Davies in their sights for a summer transfer.

His agent Lyle Yorks told French web site Foot1; “Yes, Sochaux is very interested and we’ll sit down to finalize his arrival very soon.”

Real Madrid Joins The Chase For Onyewu

July 6, 2009

According to media reports from the Real Madrid camp, the Spanish giants are considering adding American defender Oguchi Onyewu to their pantheon of Galacticos (as an alternative to Álvaro Arbeloa).

Meanwhile, Belgian news sources seem to indicate he is close to a deal with Ajax while the Italian media are focused on Genoa and Fiorentina. Reports out of Istanbul indicate Fenerbahce is out of the running while the lack of new rumors out of England only indicate that there must be contact with a least a few new Premiership clubs.

So, will it be Ajax, Palermo, Fiorentina, Genoa, Parma, Espanyol, Valencia, Fulham, Marseille, PSG, Real Madrid, or some other team?

Stay tuned because this one is far from over.

Justice For Eric Frimpong

July 4, 2009

At the behest of some friends who found this story first, we’re passing along this story of what looks like a miscarriage of justice against UC-Santa Barbara ace Eric Frimpong.

Its shameful that in 2009 on America’s birthday, such things are still happening in this country.

Read, make up your own mind, and if you think its as unjust as the rest of us do, please offer your support.

Zizzo Loaned To Fortuna Dusseldorf

July 2, 2009

American midfielder Sal Zizzo has been loaned from Hannover 96 to newly promoted Second Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf on a 1-year deal.

The 22 year-old Olympian and UCLA alum is expected to see more playing time in Dusseldorf and perhaps increase his chances for a senior US team callup in the coming year.

What do you think? Can Sal Zizzo recapture the mojo of his US youth team days and get onto Bob Bradley’s radar scope?


Dempsey On The Move?

July 2, 2009

Despite Clint Dempsey being quoted that he’d like to stay at Fulham, the 2009 Confederations Cup Bronze Ball winner may still be on the move. While a few clubs are rumored to be in the hunt, the name Everton has started to emerge in the English press.