Archive for the ‘Liverpool’ Category

Some Great Soccer Writing

January 25, 2009

As we do every now and then, its time to point out some of the great soccer writing out there these days.

Here is piece of brilliant writing by Rob Hughes on how after a terrible storm took the lives of four boys in Barcelona, the team gave the grieving city something to cheer about.

Also, this one is three weeks old but its still worth pointing out Brent Lathem’s insightful article on Neven Subotic’s decision to play for Serbia instead of the USA. Brent offers some perspectives few others have been privy to (including yours truly) which I’ve got to say has opened my eyes. So, In my humble opinion, Brent’s piece is must reading for anyone who wants to know what happened.

And for you Liverpool fans out there enjoying the club’s success after the doldrums of the 1990s, the Observer’s Andy Hunter does a great job of examining the downfall of Kenny Dalglish in “The Day The Magic Walked Out Of Anfield.”

If you want to nominate some great soccer writing you’d like us to feature, just drop us a line here.

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Ronaldo Named 2008 FIFA World Player of The Year

January 12, 2009

Tonight at Zurich’s Opernhaus, Portugal and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, beating out Argentina and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Brazil and AC Milan’s Kaka (the 2007 winner), Spain and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, and Spain and Barcelona’s Xavi (Euro 2008’s Best Player).

As he presented the award, Pele remarked that at last year’s ceremony when he handed the award to Kaka, he turned and shook Ronaldo’s hand, telling him “next year I’ll be handing it to you.”

An emotionally charged Ronaldo dedicated the award to his family, his friends, teammates, and all those involved in his career.

Perhaps FIFA was tipping its hand before it made the announcement, having the Zurich Opera perform scenes from Handel’s Rinaldo just minutes prior to the final award presentation.

The World’s Female Player of the Year was also named; Brazil’s Marta, winning for the third year in a row.

The winners of the FIFA Best Player Awards are selected by votes from the captains of all 208 member federations’ national teams.

The winners of the 2008 FIFA Fair Play Award were Armenia and Turkey, who overcame years of enmity to play each other three times in 2008, including a September World Cup qualifier attended by both heads of state. These matches set the stage for both sides to begin a reconciliation process which continues to grow.

The FIFA Presidential Award went to the US Women’s National Team for their contributions to the popularity and growth of the women’s game around the world (not to mention their overflowing trophy case). Heather O’Reilly accepted the award on behalf of the team.

Benitez Blasts Sir Alex

January 12, 2009

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez comes out swinging against Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson’s record with the officials.

Gooch Plans To Surprise Liverpool

August 11, 2008

After scoring two goals over the weekend to help Standard Liege beat RSC Anderlecht 3-1 in the Belgian Cip over the weekend, Oguchi Onyewu has his sights on their next foe; Liverpool.

Onyewu told the Belgian press that he thinks Standard can surprise a team like Liverpool when he said “Now we must concentrate our Liverpool. There are always chances, I think nobody thought that Anderlecht would be eliminated but we surprised them.” He further told the national TV station RTBF that “In football sometimes the underdog can surprise you. Hopefully, we can do something on Wednesday to show what Belgian football is about.”

From the way Onyewu has comported himself the past few weeks, you would never know that he is perhaps on the verge of being transferred to a bigger European club. Regardless of whether he ends up at FC Koeln, Fulham, or somewhere in France or Italy, it seems he wants to go out of Liege with a bang. Standard will face Liverpool at home on Wednesday in the third round of Champion’s League qualifying.

A few quick hits from the weekend:

– Villarreal may be missing Giuseppe Rossi and Jozy Altidore in training but they can be proud that the pair has already scored a combined three goals in Olympic play.

– American defender Bryan Arguez did not play for Hertha Berlin in their 3-1 German Cup win over Trier this weekend.

– The US team played very well within themselves yesterday against the Dutch and coach Piotr Novak proved what a good tactician he can be with his adjustments and substitutions. The missed US chance near the end came back to haunt them after the Oranje equalized but the card collecting in the waning minutes was annoying. If anyone’s international stock rose yesterday, it was Sacha Kljestan and Freddy Adu (the AS Monaco discussion boards are buzzing already).

– I have a good feeling about the Nigeria game, when Altidore, Danny Szetela, and Benny Feilhaber will need to step up. The team is starting to gel and play with much more confidence. They seem to believe in their coach, his system, and each other – not a bad way to go into Wednesday’s match.

Gooch Goes Distance in Friendly Against Saint Etienne

August 3, 2008

American defender Oguchi Onyewu played a full 90 minutes for Standard Liege Saturday night in a 3-0 loss to French Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne. Despite the impending transfer of Onyewu, Standard coach Laszlo Boloni chose to use the Maryland native in the friendly.

This may indicate that he intends to use Gooch in the third round of Champion’s League qualifying against Liverpool starting August 12th. While this would “cup tie” Onyewu, making him unable to play in European matches the rest of the year, this may be a of little consequence since few of the teams interested in him are playing in the Champion’s League of UEFA Cup this season.

At the same time, a stout performance in a high profile match against the Reds may be just what he needs to get the offer he is looking for.

Arguez in Hertha Coach’s Doghouse

July 29, 2008

Accroding to several Berlin news sources, young American defender Bryan Arguez is in Hertha Berlin coach Lucien Favre’s doghouse these days after missing two practices in the past few weeks. His most recent was last week when he skipped an afternoon practice to join 200,000 other Berliners (including many other expat Americans) to see Senator Barack Obama speak in front of the Siegesaule. He probably would have been excused missing that day had he not already started a trend of missing and being late for practice.

After looking like he would see several early season starts as a stand-in for Swiss international Steve Von Bergen, Arguez may be blowing a golden opportunity. Last week he was on the subs bench but did not play in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool before 51,000 home fans. A shaky performance in a previous match and skipping practices have drawn public questions on his level of committment (ouch). Favre has several options on Hertha’s starting back line when the Bundesliga season kicks off in three weeks. Whether Arguez will be one of them looks less likely than it did two weeks ago.