Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

Ibrahimovic To Barca?

July 17, 2009

The transfer season arms race at the top of Spanish football continues as today’s Gazetto Dell Sport and Marca indicate Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be heading for FC Barcelona in a 42 million euro deal. Its reported that Barça President Joan Laporta and Inter Boss Massimo Moratti came to an understanding on the transfer during a meeting last night in Milan.

It is also being reported that Barca striker Sammy Eto’o may be heading to Inter as part of the deal to acquire the the 27 year-old Swede Ibrahimovic, who is currently in Los Angeles training with his Inter teammates.

Ibrahimovic, who scored 25 goals last season for the Italian champions, would add to the Spanish and European champion’s already potent offense and make an ideal striker to play off the world’s best supporting striker in Lionel Messi.

There remains a chance that Chelsea could still swoop in make a grab for Ibrahimovic and even Moratti admitted on Sky Italia last night that , “We need to wait to see what the player wants.”

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Szetela To DC united

July 15, 2009

Midfielder joins. D.C. after two years in Spain, Italy

Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2009) – D.C. United today acquired midfielder Danny Szetela via its #2 allocation ranking. Szetela joins the Black-and-Red after spending two-plus years in Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie B. The 22-year old is currently with the team and will be available for selection upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. He is not expected to be available when United takes on the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium this Saturday (8 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet).

“We are pleased that Danny has decided to return to MLS and that he is now part of D.C. United,” said General Manager Dave Kasper. “He is a talented young player who now has some terrific international experience including two years playing in Italy and Spain, as well as all of his time at the U.S. Olympic, U-20 and U-17 National Team levels. Danny is very versatile and will compete for regular playing time in a number of spots on the field. We look forward to his future contributions to our club.”
Szetela originally joined Major League Soccer in 2004, when he was allocated to the Columbus Crew at just 17-years old. Over four seasons with the Crew (2004-07), the midfielder played in 34 games (24 starts), collecting three assists. In August of 2007, Szetela was signed by Racing Santander of Spain’s La Liga and in July of 2008, he was transferred to Brescia Calcio of Italy’s Serie B. While with Brescia for parts of the last two seasons, the Clifton, NJ native played in 26 games, tallying a goal and two assists.
Szetela has earned three caps as a member of the full U.S. Men’s National Team, which includes playing in two FIFA World Cup qualifying games last year. His first cap with the full national team came on October 17, 2007 against Switzerland, setting up the game’s lone goal in the 1-0 win.
The 5-foot, 11-inch midfielder has a long history playing with the U.S. youth national teams, as well, seeing time with the U.S. at the U-14, U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.
Last year as a part of the U.S. U-23 side, Szetela played in two games (one start) at the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games. All told with the U-23s in 2008, Szetela played in four games (one start).
As a part of the U.S. U-20 National Team in 2007, Szetela scored three goals in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada, starting each of the team’s five games. In all, he played in ten games (all starts), scored three goals and assisted on two others with the U-20s in 2007. In 2005, at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, he played in two games with the U-20s. He played in a total of six international games in 2005 with the U-20s.
As a 15-year old, Szetela joined the U.S. Residency Program in September of 2002, finishing the year with 23 appearances (17 starts). He was the second-youngest player on the 2005 Under-17 World Championship roster, starting all four matches of the World Championship, and helping the U.S. to a fifth-place finish.

Update: Altidore To Olympiakos?

July 11, 2009

Word from reliable sources indicates this one is not yet a done deal. Stay tuned.

Greek media are reporting that young American ace Jozy Altidore may be spending the next year with Olympiakos. The 19 year-old Villarreal striker, after turning more than a few heads in the recent Confederations Cup (including scoring against Spain), is still facing the prospect of not breaking into the Yellow Submarine’s starting 11.

Last year, Altidore, after making six appearances for Villarreal and scoring one goal, was loaned to second division side Xerez where he sat on the bench for five months. Recent statements attributed to the New Jersey native indicate he wants to find a situation where he can play every week.

The deal being reported in Greece indicates that a loan deal with an option to buy may be near and take Altidore across the Mediterranean to Olympiakos, where the young forward will have the opportunity to play in the Champions League.

What do you think? Could this be a good opportunity for Jozy or is he better off elsewhere?

Methinks any chance to play every week for a good club and get some Champions League action can’t be a bad way to get ready for the World Cup.

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.

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.

Still Speechless

June 24, 2009

USA beats Spain 2-0 to make it to the Confederations Cup Final.

Atletico Madrid Comes From Behind To Top Barcelona 4-3

March 1, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

Almost a year ago, seven goals were scored in the springtime Barcelona -Atletico Madrid match, six by Barca, one by Atletico. Tonight, seven goals were scored in the match except this time, four were by Atletico and three by Barcelona. Atletico’s come from behind win against the mighty Barca will go down as one of the top matches in the Primera this year.

This year:

Last year:

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Jozy Loaned To Xerez

January 31, 2009

After much speculation and a couple of false starts, Jozy Altidore’s loan deal from Villarreal to Xerez is now complete. The 19-year old American will join the Spanish second division side the rest of the year after scoring once in six appearances for the Yellow Submarine. His new team is currently first in Spain’s second division standings and looking for Altidore to add the spark they need to stay on track for promotion to the Primera.

“This is a good opportunity for me because I will be able to get more playing time which will help me adapt to this country and continue to develop my career,” said Altidore according to the club’s web site.

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.

Deportivo Takes Its Turn Behind Barcelona’s Woodshed

January 18, 2009

Barcelona has taken another Spanish primera team behind its woodshed, crushing Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 in the Nou Camp. 5-0 is the kind of score you expect when playing your reserve team, or a lower level club during an off season friendly, not another team in one of the best leagues in the world. Yet Barca seems to be making a habit of it as they stretch their lead to an amazing 15 points in La Liga.

Thierry Henry and Sammy Eto’o scored a pair of goals each with Lionel Messi scoring one. Check out the highlights below.

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