Archive for the ‘Coppa Italia’ Category

Coppa Italia Shock: Sampdoria Beats Inter 3-0

March 4, 2009

The shocker in Coppa Italia tonight is the 3-0 butt-whuppin’ Sampdoria just handed the mighty Inter Milan 3-0, with all goals coming in the first half. Samp is on a tear, having just put the wood to AC Milan, and now beating up on the other Milan team. Regardless of who the coach has been the past few years, Inter knows how to win the Scudetto but they always seem to choke in the Coppa.

The question now for Jose Mourinho’s Nerazzurri is whether they can leverage this loss into the motivation they need for their Champion’s League second leg match against Manchester United in Old Trafford.

Other upsets in European cup play tonight was Bayer Leverkusen’s 4-2 win over Bayern Munich, which knocked the Bavarian powerhouse out of the DFB Pokal (German Cup). This loss is sure to put extra pressure on embattled Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whose team is making a strong showing in the Champion’s League but not in the Bundesliga.

The fifth place Bayern, is only four points shy of league leaders Hertha Berlin and it seems winning some silverware may be necessary for Klinsmann to keep his job.

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

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.

Update: Adu Named To Squad For Match Against Caen

August 23, 2008

It looks like AS Monaco’s American newcomer Freddy Adu may see his first Ligue 1 action tonight against Caen after being named to the 18 man squad. Fellow newcomer Dario “The Pitbull” Simic, a Croatian defender, transfered in from AC Milan, was also named to the Monaco squad in its third week of competition where they are in 4th place at 1-0-1 with 4 points.

The other 16 named to tonight’s squad of Les Monégasques are: Roma, Ruffier – Mongongu, Nkoulou, Modesto, Muratori – Pokrivac, Leko, Perez, Gosso, Meriem, Diaz – Ménez, Pino, Nimani, and Bakar.

At the same time, Toro News is predicting American Danny Szetela will be in the starting lineup for Brescia in tonight’s Coppa Italia match with Torino.

UPDATE: Freddy Adu came on in the 86th minute in a 1-1 draw with Caen before a half-full stadium of 9,000 spectators. Monaco’s Frédéric Nimani was the main man for the home side, scoring a 51st minute goal and constantly causing problems for the Caen defense. Next week Monaco travels up to the Alps for a battle with Ligue 1 newcomer Grenoble, a team which is curently in third place while ASM sits in fifth.

Danny Szetela started and went the distance for Brescia in a 2-1 loss to Torino to end their Coppa Italia campaign.

Szetela: Back At It With Brescia

August 21, 2008

American Danny Szetela, just back from playing in the Olympic soccer tourney in China, is back into the swing with his Serie B club Brescia. Last night he started and played a solid 75 minutes in a 4-1 preseason friendly win over Darfo (…don’t ask). Coach Serse Cosmi substituted five of his starters in the half to look at new talent and rest his players for Saturday’s Coppa Italia match.

Indications are that Szetela has a good chance of starting Saturday against Serie A side Torino to determine who makes it to the fourth round of the hunt for Italy’s second most coveted club trophy.

Also, hats off to the US ladies for their gutsy 120 minute performance to win the gold medal twice in a row, beating a quality Brazil side by playing team ball.

Unlike most of you reading this blog, I’ll be waiting for a DVD in the mail to see the US men’s win over Guatemala 1-0 last night (or this morning Italy time). My friend Bob Wagman, who was at the game, has a nice detailed report on on Soccer Times.