Archive for the ‘Rennes’ Category

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!
Advertisements

Rennes Fans Vote Bocanegra Mr."Sex On Legs"

March 7, 2009

You couldn’t make this one up…

Courtesy of Ligue 1:

Carlos Bocanegra’s flawless displays at left-back for Rennes this season have won him many admirers, but it appears that the Californian’s surfer-boy good-looks have also not gone unnoticed.

The 29-year-old American has been voted the Breton club’s most sexy player in an Internet poll, and to celebrate his victory, all female spectators at Rennes’ match with Auxerre on Sunday – which is also International Women’s Day – will be given an eight-page publication with photos and a biography of the USA international.

Bocanegra, Rennes Grab A Point At Lyon

March 1, 2009

Facing a home side bent on revenge for a 3-0 loss earlier this season, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes marched into Lyon’s Stade Gerland tonight and took a point from the league leaders.

Rennes came out with a good measure of confidence, trading scoring chances with Lyon from the beginning . In the 12th minute, Bocanegra appeared to have given Rennes an early lead when, displaying an NBA-quality vertical jump, he out-jumped the keeper to put away corner for an apparent goal. Unfortunately, it was called back for a foul in the area.

Star Lyon striker Karim Benzema started after all but was effectively marked out of most of the match by Rennes captain Petter Hansson with no small amount of shirt pulling by the big Swede.
Bocanegra and Hansson both directed the defense well with Bocanegra also serving the midfielders and forwards with some clever through balls. Bocanegra also did a good job of preventing Ederson from sending any effective crosses across the Rennes goal.

Coming back into the drizzle from the halftime break tied 0-0, both teams played tug-of-war until the 63rdh minute when Benzema finally beat Hansson but then couldn’t beat Rennes keeper Nicolas Douchez. Rennes countered with a nice over-the-top ball to striker Jimmy Briand who muffed a golden opportunity to give his team the lead. Lyon then pounced quickly, thanks to quick and excellent distribution from keeper Lloris which was touched on to Kader Keita who then slotted the ball left to a criminally unmarked Kim Källström who cranked it into the Rennes goal for a 1-0 lead.

Rennes answered yet again with Briand being sprung by a through ball from Fabian Lemoine, finding himself once again one-on-one with the keeper, only to muff the shot in the 68th minute. Benzema left the match in the 73rd minute after suffering a sneaky hip check from Rennes midfielder Moussa Sow.

Both teams continued to probe and attack with Rennes shifting to a 3-5-2 in the 75th minute and Bocanergra becoming more involved in supporting attacks forward. Rennes applied good pressure on a tiring Lyon team from the 80th to 88th minutes and it looked like they would go home empty handed and frustrated by Briand’s missed chances.

But Briand finally came through in injury time, when a Lemoine long ball was flicked forward to him by Hansson, which he collected and fired home for a 1-1 draw. The result placed Rennes in 6th place with a total of 43 points, four of them coming against Lyon this season.

Bocanegra, Rennes Head Into The Lyon’s Den

March 1, 2009

American defender Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes teammates face perhaps their stiffest test of the year as they head into Stade Gerland tonight to take on league leaders Olympique Lyon.

Fresh off nearly toppling the mighty Barcelona on Wednesday night in the Champions League (a match which ended 1-1), Lyon coach Claude Puel is looking to carry the same attacking spirit into tonight’s match.

The real reason Bocanegra and his team will have their hands full is that this same red-hot Lyon is itching for revenge from a humiliating 3-0 loss at the hands of Rennes in the Stade del la Route-de-Lorient back on October 5th (their worst loss of the year). Lyon, a team accustomed to winning trophies every year, hates to lose – but to losing to those “upstart punks from Bretgane” really got their goat.

Lyon is expected to start essentially the same lineup as they used Wednesday against Barca with the possible exception of hometown hero and striker, Karim Benzema, who may be rested initially in favor of Frederic Piquionne. The six-foot, two-inch Piquionne is deceptively fast and always dangerous on set piece plays (not to mention he is even more dangerous when served by the sublime dead ball skills of Juninho).

Questions remains whether Lyon will be able to bring the same 90 minute intensity tonight against a better rested Rennes side. Can their boisterous home crowd help carry them through?

A road win could vault Rennes back to 5th place while a draw would bring then even with Lille in 6th place in Ligue 1. Lyon, sitting atop the league with a comfortable six point cushion over Toulouse, can always use the points but tonight, its all about pride.

Lyon has not lost at home so far this season while Rennes has only won three wins on the road (out of 12 played so far). Rennes has earned six draws on the road so stealing a point from a fatigued Lyon side could represent success for Guy Lacombe’s side, provided they can withstand the early barrage from the revenge-minded home team.

Bocanegra is expected, as usual, to start at left back for Stade Rennais, which is expected to play a 4-5-1 of striker Briand, midfielders Br.Cheyrou, Sow, Danze’, Mbia and Lemoine, a back line of Bocanegra, Aubey, Hansson, and Fanni, plus Douchez in goal.

More later after the match.

Bradley Own Goal Helps Foals To 3-1 Loss

November 29, 2008

Just a week after scoring his first Bundesliga goal, American Michael Bradley scored another this week, just not for his team. So, when things were looking up for his new stint at Borussia Moenchengladbach, an own goal against Energie Cottbus didn’t help. In the early going, a 3rd minute header by Bradley could have put the Foals ahead early if not for a good save by Cottbus keeper Gerhard Tremmel.

Cottbus put ‘Gladbach under lots of pressure early and a 17th minute give-and-go put Ivica Iliev parallel to the goal where he lashed in a flat cross which glanced off Bradley and into the home team’s goal for a 1-0 lead which the visitors carried into halftime.

“Gladbach got some good chances early in the second half on combinations from Bradley and Alex Baumjohann but could not equalize. In the 51st minute, Cottbus scored again for a 2-0 lead before 59th minute Baumjohann goal got the Foals back in the game, making it 2-1.

Bradley was substituted in the 70th minute by Tony Jantschke and later an 85th minute Cottbus goal sealed the win at 3-1. The loss put ‘Gladbach into the relegation zone in 16th place with 11 points and a minus 14 goal differential. The Foals now have 23 matches left to score at least 38 total points, otherwise its a trip back to the Second Bundesliga.

Eleswhere in Europe, Freddy Adu watched from the bench as AS Monaco picked up a 1-0 win over Auxerre. Carlos Bocanegra and fourth place Stade Rennais take on fifth place Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow. A win for either side could mean taking over second place behind Olympique Lyon, provided Nice and Marseille stumble this weekend.

In Serie B, Danny Szetela went the distance in midfield for Brescia in their 2-0 win over Mantova in the Lombardia derby. The win bumped Brescia up to fifth place in Serie B with 26 points, just two behind leaders Sassuolo.

Bocanegra, Rennes Top Sochaux

November 2, 2008

American defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance for Stade Rennais in a 1-0 win over Sochaux this afternoon. The win vaulted Rennes into 6th place after a slow start to the season.

Elsewhere in France, AS Monaco topped Havre AC 3-2 without Freddy Adu even on the bench. The win, Monaco’s first on the road this season, moved the club into mid-table after spending the last 12 weeks hovering just above the bottom of the table.

In Italy, Gabe Ferrari did not dress for Perugia in their 2-1 loss to Paganese. Danny Szetela and Brescia take on Livorno in a Monday night match while Vincenzo Bernardo is on the road with the Napoli reserves after recently battling against their first team in a 4-1 loss.

Speaking of Bocanegra, he’ll now go down in history as the first American player to have a car named after him (see below) after Spanish carmaker Seat unveiled its Bocanegra concept car a few months ago. The Bocanegra is set to be the mini-compact replacement for their popular Ibiza model.

The car was designed by former Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke who probably attended a few Fulham matches and remembered the name….not!

Actually, the car is named Bocanegra since the whole front bumper made out of black plastic, just like a 1970s SEAT model, the 1200 Sport, nicknamed the Bocanegra because of its black front end.

OK, so that does it for digressions to discuss Spanish car designs – I promise not to do them again until the Altidore model comes out. Of course references to obscure Soundgarden B-sides are always open game.

Bocanegra and Rennes Crush Lyon

October 5, 2008

Going the full 90 in central defense, Carlos Bocanegra and his Stade Rennais teammates shocked the French league tonight topping almighty Lyon 3-0. Mickaël Pagis scored a hat trick for the home side to hand Lyon their first loss of the season.

Meanwhile, Freddy Adu watched from the bench as his Monaco side dropped a 2-0 decision to Saint Etienne.

Onyewu: I Deal With Reality

August 23, 2008

Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu, seeming to be completely disgusted with the transfer process, told US reporters in Guatemala that “I only want to live in reality, and the reality of the situation is that I play for Standard. I enjoy it and what happens, happens.”

Meanwhile, the buzz coming from cognoscenti back in the States links Onyewu to Serie A side Catania, which is still looking to replace top defender Juan Manuel Vargas after selling him to Fiorentina. In what appears to be a late house cleaning, they also just sold defender Andrea Sottil to Rimini with three more midfielders and defenders on the auction block. The Sicilian club had a pretty porous defense last season and boss Walter Zenga is looking to shore up the back line.

Another coach looking to anchor the back line is Cologne boss Christoph Daum, who at one time was stalking Gooch like a teenager in puppy love. Its not clear now if Daum is still interested, given the club’s transfer focus on bringing in another attacking player.

All that said, I still think Onyewu will either stay at Standard to win another championship or he’ll be playing somewhere in France where there has been sustained interest in him since 2007. Plus, its hard to see tiny Catania outbidding PSG or Lyon, two of the bigger teams which still seem to be in the hunt. PSG was also looking at Dynamo Kiev’s Senegalese defender Pape Diakhaté, who is also being pursued by Monaco and Rennes (where Carlos Bocanegra is in desperate need of a quality partner in central defense). If Diakhaté ends up at PSG, perhaps Rennes will opt for Gooch, provided there is enough time left to make a deal – the clock is ticking. Two Americans at Rennes? Who knows.

Also when asked in Guatemala, Heerenveen’s Michael Bradley seemed mystified by the entire transfer process, telling US reporters: “I have no real idea what is going on but my agent tells me something may happen next week.” Greg Seltzer seems to think its Everton, Celtic, or Middelsbrough (a club which always seems to be linked to an American player but never seems to close the deal). Again, my spidey sense seems to indicate he’ll head be heading to Germany (Bayer Leverkusen?) but probably not Hamburg which found its replacement for Van Der Vaart in Mladen Petric, just purchased from Borussia Dortmund. In about a week, we’ll know the answer for sure.

There have also been whispers here on the boot that a few Serie B teams have taken an interest in Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni but its not clear if any of them are in a position to acquire him now or wait until mid season, when he would be available on a free transfer. Back in July, Serie A side Cagliari had also taken a discreet interest in Mastroeni but given the club’s modest budget, they may also be waiting for midyear.

Elsewhere today, American Jozy Altidore replaced Giuseppe Rossi in the 67th minute of Villarreal’s preseason match against Italy’s Udinese. Altidore’s side lost 1-0.

NOTE: In case you are waiting for the fourth and final installment of The Evolution of American Soccer Players in Europe, I’m waiting for the smoke to clear on this transfer season before finishing it up.

Bocanegra, Rennes Draw Marseille 4-4 In Wild Finish

August 9, 2008

France’s Ligue 1 got underway tonight as 19 teams try to break Olympique Lyon’s 7-year grip on the championship. American defender Carlos Bocanegra anchored the central defense for Stade Rennais in a battle with traditional power Olympique Marseille. It did not help matters that going into the match, star striker Sylvain Wiltord had been suspended after criticizing coach Guy LaCombe in an interview with L’Equipe. At the same time, the club has been in the hunt for a quality central defender to pair up with Bocanegra, bringing in Lucien Aubey from Racing Club Lens in the last two days – too late to start with the team tonight.

Rennes got on top early with an Olivier Thomert goal in the 6th minute but soon found themselves under a Marseille barrage starting with a 12th minute goal by Bokari Kone (who beat Bocanegra badly in the process) and one by Hatem Ben-Arfa in the 14th. Mamadou Niang added one in the 29th to make it 3-1, which held going into halftime. Thomert scored again in the 51st, making it 3-2.

The Rennes home fans saw a wild finish thinking they had at least managed a draw when Marseille’s Elamin Erbate scored an own goal to make it 3-3 in the 90th minute. Then, two minutes into injury time, Elliot Grandin thought he had the winner tapping in a goal to put the visitors on top 4-3. With injury time running out, a thrusting attack by Rennes led to midfielder Bruno Cheyrou finding the back of the net to make it 4-4 just before the final whistle blew.

An hour’s drive away in Lorient, Andrew Jacobson did not suit up as the home side collected all three points, beating Le Mans 1-0 on a Christophe Jallet goal.

While Freddy Adu readied himself to face the Netherlands in Olympic play, his AS Monaco teammates faced Paris Saint-Germain. After a scoreless 78 minutes, Frédéric Nimani knocked one in to give Monaco the win 1-0.

The English Coca Cola Championship also started competition this week as Jay DeMerit went distance for Watford in a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

Earlier in the week, Reading and Aston Villa faced off in a friendly featuring three American players. New signing Brad Friedel played the full 90 minutes in goal and made an impression on the Villa fans stopping a Stephen Hunt penalty in the 10th minute. The penalty was awarded after Marin Larsen took down Reading’s American midfielder Bobby Convey in the box. Friedel could do nothing in the 36th minute when a deflected ball got past him for a Reading goal. A few minutes later, Reading’s American keeper Marcus Hahnemann had to stop a John Carew header from tying the match.

Friedel made a few more key stops later before Villa equalized when Gabriel Agbonlahor slotted a cross past an onrushing Hahnemann in the 80th. The Royals start the Championship season Sunday against Nottingham Forest. Villa’s other American keeper, Brad Guzan, is in China to play with the US Olympic team.

In another preseason friendly, Clint Dempsey put in an unremarkable 15 minutes for Fulham in a 2-2 draw with Torino.

Over in Germany, Hannover 96 opened up its German Cup campaign tonight with a 5-0 win over 4th division side Halle with American Steve Cherundolo going the distance at right back. In the 79th minute, referee Lutz Wagner had to stop the match for 10 minutes due to fighting in the stands and fireworks being launched onto the field.