Archive for the ‘AS Roma’ Category

Save Of The Day: Julio Sergio, Man Of The Day: Diego

August 31, 2009

While Roma got shelled today 3-1 by Juventus, exposing its enduring weakness on the defensive end, newby keeper Julio Sergio did provide a moment of brilliance for the giallorossi.

Check out his brilliant save at the 9 second mark on the video. After that, check out Juve’s Diego channeling Maradona (with a brief intermission by Roma’s Daniel De Rossi with a gorgeous long range shot). After three years in the wilderness of Italian football, there’s only one thing to say for Juventus; they’re ba-ack!

And not to be outdone, Valencia’s Juan Mata and Pablo Hernandez put on a show of their own in downing Sevilla 2-0.

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Onyewu Transfer Saga – Part 17

May 24, 2009

Every time the transfer window opens, the rumors and guessing games involving Gooch’s future reach new levels of the ridiculous. With longtime interest from France and England, it now seems odd that the one club making the most public pronouncements is Birmingham City (while Turkish side Fenerbahce is also in the mix).

Personally, I think Onyewu would probably prefer to play for a Champion’s League club (Marseille anyone?) but sources in Belgium have long indicated he’s had his heart set on the Premiership. The real question is, would he prefer to play for a newly-promoted Premiership side (Birmingham), or play twice a week for a top French club?

A few other clubs which could use his services are Fulham, AC Milan, Arsenal, Roma, and Real Madrid which are all looking to bump up or replace key losses in central defense.

Personally, I can see Gooch going to Marseille, provided coach Eric Gerets sticks around. They play an attractive style of football in a system for which he is well suited, plus they should be able to show well in the Champion’s League next year. Unless Arsenal or Real Madrid comes calling, I can’t think of a better way for Onyewu to shine at the next level.

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:

Last Minute Champions League Predictions

February 24, 2009

If you’re like me and could care less about the Oscars (and are already tired of hearing about it), tonight’s Champion’s League matches are arriving just in time. Here are my predictions:

Arsenal 2 – Roma 1. Roma’s road form is weak in Italy and even worse when they travel to England. But, Roma are on a roll and won’t go down easily.

Inter Milan 2 – Manchester United 1. This game is pretty evenly matched in terms of quality but The Special One has Sir Alex’s number tonight

Atlético 1 – Porto 1. Atlético barely survives a Porto attacking flurry that nearly pulls off an upset.

Lyon 1 – Barcelona 3. Lyon will put up a good fight in the freezing cold Stade Gerland but Barca’s quality will overwhelm the home side starting in the 65th minute.

Eduardo Salvio: The Next Big Thing?

January 27, 2009

While Arsenal courts Zenith for Andrei Arshavin, Real Madrid begs and pleads for Cristiano Ronaldo, and other clubs are going after the hottest players in the game, there is still a wave of scary talent coming forward from the youth ranks. One in particular is 18 year-old Argentine wunderkind Eduardo Salvio who has already scored 4 goals in 14 appearances for Lanús, including putting two past Boca Juniors. He is also working his way up through Argentina’s highly competitive youth system, recently shining in the South American U-20 championship. Just three days ago, he led his Argentine team to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Peru, scoring the winning goal.

“I can play anywhere, inside or outside, but it does not frighten me to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper,” said a confident Salvio to Gazzetto. “My mirror player plays in another position, and he is Juan Román Riquelme.”

Salvio is a combination of fast, clever, and very technical and with his diminutive 5’5” frame, nothing but trouble for defenders once he has the ball at his feet. He is already being hailed as the next Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi (who are both mentioned as the next Maradona) in the great tradition of Argentine supporting strikers such as Carlos Tevez, Messi, Javier Saviola, and others.

Now, teams like Roma, AC Milan, Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina, Juventus, CSKA Moscow, Genoa, Sevilla, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Villarreal and Atlético Madrid are hot on his trail.

So, it is no surprise that in today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, we see that Juve’s management are making their move by sending chief scout Renzo Castagnini to Argentina to work out a deal before another club gets there first. They’ll be hard pressed to trump Napoli, which has always been a second home for Argentine players on the continent, including Maradona, Lavezzi, German Denis, and others. That said, Juve’s deeper pockets would probably carry the day.

According to Gazzetto, to seal the deal Juventus is ready to ante up with at least €8.5 million and plans to finance it through the sale of forward Vincenzo Iaquinta to an interested Russian club Zenit St Petersburg (which also indicates they are resigned to losing Arshavin).

But any deal may not happen until summer since Lanús president Alejandro Marón, has a stated policy that the club’s youth players must play a full season before any transfers are allowed.

Meanwhile, Juventus has reportedly approached Chelsea to discuss a loan deal for French winger Florent Malouda. Malouda has not fared well since the arrival of Chelsea boss Felipe Scolari but his old Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Juventus, thinks he can help the team challenge Inter for the Scuddetto.

Forget Beckham, Watch The Brazilians

January 10, 2009

It seems much of the English speaking soccer world is working itself up into a lather over whether the ageing David Beckham will play for AC Milan on Sunday against AS Roma. Beckham, on loan from the LA Galaxy, sought out the loan to stay sharp in order to stay in England manager Fabio Capello’s future plans.

The real story behind tomorrow’s match in the Stadio Olimpico is not Beckham but the chance to see a large portion of the Brazlian national player pool on the field at one time with 13 of them suiting up for the match. Add that to a mix of top talent from Italy and elsewhere and you’re in for some attractive attacking soccer. If he sees the field, Becks better have his wheels on, lest he be left in the dust.

On the AC Milan side, you could see Dida in goal, Kaka and Emerson in midfield, with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato up front in the attack (all served by Italy’s “Brazilian” Andrea Pirlo).

With a whopping eight Brazilians in the lineup, AS Roma features an all-Brazilian goalkeeping corps of Doni, Julio Sergio, and Arthur. The defense is anchored by Juan and Cicinho with the recently-recovered Taddei and Filipe in midfield plus possibly Julio Baptista up top at forward.

Both teams need a win as Milan is sitting in third place on 33 points and needs to secure at least an automatic Champions League spot.

10th place Roma, with 23 points, has struggled with consistency this year. Now, with their talisman Francesco Totti out with a hamstring injury for at least the next month, they’ll need to dig deep to top Milan tomorrow. The Rossoneri will need to overcome a road losing streak that has not seen them win away from home since a 1-0 win over Atalanta on October 26th.

But Roma is always tough to beat at home, having lost only once this season. Plus, with Milan missing mainstays defender Alessandro Nesta and defensive midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, I’ve got to give the edge to the Giallarossi.

(Full disclosure: I’m a former resident of a Roma neighborhood in Rome and my friends would beat me senseless if I predicted any other outcome).

Don’t have the game on TV? Follow along here.

Champion’s League: Night of The Greeks

November 5, 2008

Two Greek teams surprised everyone last night scoring a combined six goals and picking up four points from stiff competition. Werder Bremen fell to Panathinaikos 3-0 while Inter Milan, down 3-2 to Anorthosis well into the match, managed to salvage a point and finish 3-3.

OK, so I blew the call on the Inter-Anonthosis match but I think keepers Julio Cesar (Inter) and Arian Begaj (Anorthosis) combined for one of the most noteworthy goalkeeping displays we’ve seen this year.

Check out a few of their great saves here:

As for Roma putting three past Chelsea, that too was a real surprise, especially given the giallorossi’s league form lately. Roma looked more confident than normal while Chelsea looked tired from the early going (the muggy weather in Rome pobably didn;t help). Now if Roma could just play consistently on the road (a problem the past few years), they could make a run for the Scudetto (and perhaps more). I’m not holding my breath.

And the rest of the scores:

CFR Cluj 1-2 Bordeaux
Roma 3-1 Chelsea
Anorthosis 3-3 Internazionale
Bremen 0-3 Panathinaikos
Sporting 1-0 Shakhtar
Barcelona 1-1 Basel
Liverpool 1-1 Atlético
Marseille 3-0 PSV

Full highlights on the night here:

Suazo Linked To Roma

August 3, 2008

David Suazo, arguably the most dangerous striker in CONCACAF, has been linked to AS Roma. The Honduran’s agent, Giovanni Branchini, mentioned yesterday that a move from Inter to Roma was “possible.”

New Inter boss Jose Mourinho is in the middle of a house cleaning in which he has his eyes on a few of his old Chelsea players, but the club must unload some talent to make room for any new signings. At the same time, injuries to several key defensive players also has the nerazzurri looking for a stop-gap option in central defense.

Suazo, who scored 95 goals in eight seasons at Cagliari, has seen limited playing time since coming to Inter in 2007, scoring only 8 last season in 27 mostly substitute appearances. Meanwhile, Roma are in the market for a striker and reports out of the Eternal City indicate Luciano Spalletti has his eyes on Suazo.

Suazo reportedly prefers to stay at Inter but if the “Special One” puts him on the auction block, he could do worse than a stint at Stadio Olimpico.
UPDATE: As of Monday morning, La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Bologna is also interested in acquiring Suazo.

Totti Hints At Azzurri Return

July 20, 2008

AS Roma captain Francesco Totto has hinted he may come out of retirement to help the Italian national team in World Cup qualifying. The 31-year old who was a member of the 2006 World Cup winning team had retired from international play due to the effects of grueling league, European, Coppa Italia, and international schedules. Now, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport:

“If I’m well and I don’t have problems, it will be possible to address this issue in six months or a year.” The main reason Totti appears ready to return is due to the return of Marcello Lippi, with whom he got along well in 2006.

At the same time Totti has ambitions for Roma, second place finishers in Serie A the past two years, to make a more concerted run at the Scudetto this season. To do so, he figured they need to make two more key signings. Roma had been hoping to bring Julio Baptista to Stadio Olimpico on a loan but Real Madrid did not agree to terms. Roma is in desperate need of a quality winger following the departure of Amantino Mancini for Inter. Without a dangerous winger, their 4-2-3-1 system is not potent enough to stay near the top of the Italian game, let alone win it all. The Giallorossi have their eye on several options at winger. One is Fiorientina’s Mario Alberto Santana but the Viola appear to be counting on him to fulfill their own Champion’s League aspirations this year.

Another is Chelsea’s Florent Malouda who was a star for France and Lyon but has had trouble carving out his own role at Stamford Bridge. The English side may be willing to loan or sell him but there is a catch, another big club is also interested; Barcelona. If it comes to a bidding war, the deep-pocketed Catalans will have the edge over the Romans.

Finally, some Roman newspapers and radio commentators indicate that the most realistic option may be Atletico Madrid’s Jose Antonio Reyes. The vagabond Reyes, after bouncing to a new club almost every year looking for more playing time, seems to be the odd man out at Atletico. Thus, a move into a starting role at Roma may be just what he, and the Giallorossi, needs.