Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

9 Ecological Boundaries We Don’t Want To Cross

September 27, 2009

Welcome To The Anthropocene!

Chris’ latest piece is up at Elephant Journal discussing how close we may be to approaching several ecological tipping points from which we won’t be able to recover.

The more complete version of the study cited in the Wired article proposes setting nine critical planetary boundaries we should not cross, lest we invite ecological catastrophe.

Looking at the recent past, I’m not very optimistic that world leaders (especially ours in the US) will give these boundaries fair consideration in their policy decisions. This should only give us even more reason to understand these scientists’ findings and redouble our efforts to convince others of the impending drastic life changes if we don’t take action soon.

No more hitting the snooze button on addressing man-made climate change, its time to wake up!

Sochaux: Davies Starts With A Bang

August 17, 2009

American striker Charlie Davies wasted no time making an impression on the Sochaux faithful scoring two goals in his debut. With his team down 2-0 against defending French champions Bordeaux, Davies came on in the second half and showed great composure with a great turn and finish (2:30 on the video below). Davies later scored in injury time slotting home a corner kick for his second tally (4:56 on video) since arriving in France.

Unfortunately, the 23 year-old’s efforts weren’t enough with Sochaux losing 3-2.

Check out the action here:

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.”

Davies To Sochaux: Done Deal

July 9, 2009

According to reports in Sweden’s Aftonbladet and France’s L’Equipe, Hammarby’s American striker Charlie Davies will move to Sochaux of the French first division for an undisclosed transfer fee. Sochaux had recently sold striker, Mevlut Erding, to Paris Saint Germain, and has founds its replacement in the 23 year-old who is currently with the US team competing in the Gold Cup.

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!

Kljestan Hat Trick Powers US To 3-2 Win Over Sweden

January 25, 2009

A Great Win But Come On Folks – Not Even 10,000 Fans In The Stadium?

Sacha Kljestan scored the 11th hat trick ever for the U.S. Men’s National Team Saturday evening to earn a 3-2 victory against Sweden to open their 2009 campaign at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. If any club was on the fence about signing him, last night’s performance should have his agent’s phone burning with calls.

In a fairly tepid first 45 minutes, Kljestan provided the U.S. with a 2-0 lead going into the locker room. His first goal was a stunning 35-yard free kick that he placed perfectly into the upper left corner, before following up that effort by burying a penalty kick with five minutes remaining in the half.

With Sweden pulling a goal back in the 73rd minute, it was Kljestan once again who answered for the U.S., taking a feed from Brian Ching to bury a left-footed shot just one minute later. In the 89th minute, Sweden struck again to make things interesting, but the U.S. was able to kill off any last minute attacks for an equalizer.

The three goals by Kljestan were the first of his career with the full team, and put him in unique company as only the second player ever to open his national team scoring account with a hat trick. The only other player to pull off the feat was Aldo “Buff” Donelli, who tallied four goals in a 4-2 victory against Mexico on May 24, 1934, in the lone qualifying match for the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

“Getting a hat trick is pretty exciting for me,” said Kljestan. “I’ve never scored more than one goal in a game as a professional, so it’s definitely exciting. I’m just as happy about the win and I’m glad we held on in the end. It was great to do it [score a hat trick] here at the Home Depot Center. I have a lot of friends and family that come and support me every game, so that was pretty cool to have them here.”

The victory kept the U.S. undefeated in eight matches at The HDC (7-0-1) and was the eleventh straight time the U.S. has either tied or won their opening game of the year, with the U.S. also defeating Sweden 1-0 to start the streak in 1998. Overall against Sweden, the U.S. now holds a winning record with four victories and three losses in seven games.

Despite a fairly inexperienced roster, the U.S. was able to control the majority of the match and provide an effective attack, especially in the second half. Of the 18 players on the roster, 13 had less than 10 career caps, and six of the starters chosen by U.S. head coach Bob Bradley had less than 5 caps, including two – goalkeeper Troy Perkins and midfielder Robbie Rogers – who earned their first caps on the night.

The slow and controlled beginning of the match was jarred awake by Kljestan with his stunning free kick in the 17th minute that gave the U.S. the early lead. Ching, the leading U.S. capwinner on the roster (33), was brought down by Marcus Lindberg about 30 yards out and on the free kick Rogers ran over the ball allowing Kljestan to unleash his drive into the upper-left corner of the goal.

The U.S. continued to control most of the possession and doubled their lead near the end of the half with some nice possession play that led to a penalty kick. The ball was knocked out wide right where Ching was able to collect the ball and touch it to John Thorrington along the sideline. With Marvell Wynne involved in the attack, Thorrington slipped the ball through for him and he took one touch to get into the penalty area before getting tripped up by Adam Johansson. Kljestan stepped up to bury the penalty shot to the right of the goal as Dahlin went the opposite direction.

During the first half, the U.S. was able to thwart Sweden’s attack as captain Danny Califf and fellow central defender Michael Parkhurst controlled the backline, while midfielder Ricardo Clark also broke up numerous attacks. Wynne and Jonathan Bornstein were also staunch in their defending on the wings, while also choosing wisely when to dart up the sideline and join in the attack. Overall in the first half, Sweden only had two shots, and just one on goal, which came from Mikael Dahlberg in the 24th minute, a 18-yard effort towards the lower left post that Perkins was able to cover with ease.

Kenny Cooper came on to replace Charlie Davies to start the second half, and the 6-foot-3 forward almost tallied two minutes in when he got his head to a Rogers corner kick. The header got past Dahlin, who had challenged for the service, but Lindberg was able to clear it off the line and over the bar.

Despite controlling much of the play, Sweden pulled one back when Alexander Farnerud supplied a service into the penalty area for Daniel Nannskog, who lost Bornstein at the right post and finished past Perkins with a diving header.

The U.S. was quick to respond a minute later. Once again it was Kljestan getting the accolades with the finish, but the set-up by Ching was what provided the U.S. breathing room once again. Following a long ball from the back from Califf, Ching brought the ball down with an impressive first touch at the top of the penalty area between two defenders which allowed him to turn and then slip the ball to the left for the streaking Kljestan, who slammed his one-timer into the right side netting.

The action continued with Sweden getting another great opportunity a few minutes later, but Dahlberg’s header from six yards out bounced in front of the goal and bounced over the bar.

Sweden did tally their second goal of the night when Farnerud served in another dangerous cross and this time Dahlberg didn’t miss the opportunity, heading it off the right post and into the net.

Cooper had one final chance to give the U.S. another two-goal lead, when he slipped behind the Sweden defense for a breakaway against Dahlin, but his touch around the ‘keeper was too much and Dahlin was able to recover and make the save on his shot from a tight angle.

“It’s important to start the year off with a win,” said Bradley, who opened the calendar year with a victory for the third straight time since taking over in late 2006. “When you’re in a long camp, with three weeks and a lot of work, it’s nice at the end to have the reward of winning. From a coaching standpoint there’s always going to be things, at this time of year, that you feel good about, and there’s always going to be things that need improvement.”

Chris Wingert was the third player to earn his first cap with the MNT on the evening, coming on as a 79th-minute substitute for Bornstein.

The U.S. now looks ahead to their opening match of the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifying against archrival Mexico on Feb. 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The match, the first of 10 games in the final round – commonly referred to as the ‘hexagonal’ – will kickoff at 7 p.m. ET and fans can watch the match live on ESPN2 HD and Univision, or listen on the Futbol de Primera radio network.

Tickets for the USA-Mexico match go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

Match Highlights Here:

U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report

Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: January 24, 2009
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. PT A
Attendance: 9,918 Weather: 59 degrees, mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary:
1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
SWE 0 2 2

USA -Sacha Kljestan 17th minute
USA -Kljestan (PK) 40
SWE – Daniel Nannskog (Alexander Farnerud) 73
USA – Kljestan (Brian Ching) 74
USA – Mikael Dahlberg (Farnerud) 89

Lineups:

USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Marvell Wynne, 2-Danny Califf (capt.), 4-Michael Parkhurst (3-Ugo Ihemelu, 82), 6-Jonathan Bornstein (15-Chris Wingert, 79); 17-John Thorrington (20-Chris Rolfe, 61), 13-Ricardo Clark, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 30-Robbie Rogers (22-Brian Carroll, 69); 10-Charlie Davies (27-Kenny Cooper, 46), 11-Brian Ching (29-Eddie Gaven, 77) Subs not used: 18-Jon Busch Head Coach: Bob Bradley

SWE: 12-Johan Dahlin, 7-Markus Jonsson, 8-Marcus Lindberg, 9-Max von Schlebrügge, 5-Adam Johansson; 10-Andreas Dahl (14-Rasmus Elm, 62), 6-Daniel Andersson (capt.) (13-Martin Ericsson, 71), 20-Gustav Svensson, 16-Samuel Holmén (15-Alexander Farnerud, 62); 11-Mikael Dahlberg, 19-Daniel Nannskog Subs not used: 1-John Alvbåge, 2-Patrik Anttonen, 3-Rasmus Bengtsson, 4-Mattias Bjärsmyr, , 17-Andreas Johannson, 18-Andreas Landgren, 21-Denni Avdic Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck

Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 13 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 15 / 15
Offside: 2 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
SWE – Daniel Andersson (caution) 27th minute
USA – Danny Califf (caution) 59 Officials:

Referee: Silviu Petrescu (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hector Vergara (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Clark (CAN)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Sacha Kjestan

Countdown To USA-Sweden Friendly

January 24, 2009

In just a few hours, the US National team opens its 2009 campaign in a friendly against Sweden in Carson, California. The match will feature a US side drawn primarily from MLS (so they may not be as sharp) against what will basically be a Swedish B team.

Still, its a good chance to see some of the up and coming talent who will be competing for spots in the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup teams. And while almost everyone doing a preview of the match has focused exclusively on the US team, kudos go to Andrea Canales for providing a good look into what to expect from Lars Lagerback’s side.

For those Stateside, you can catch the match at 5:30 (Pacific) on the Fox Soccer Channel or Galavision. In Western Europe, the game time is 2:30 AM but unless you are in Sweden, you’ll need to find it through a streaming web service.

If you are in Columbus, head on over to Claddagh Irish Pub ( 585 S. Front St. ) to join Crew captain and all-around great guy Frankie Hejduk for a USA vs. Sweden viewing party this Saturday, Jan. 24. Hejduk will be signing autographs and engaging in a meet-and-greet starting around 7:30 p.m. and he’ll then be sticking around to watch the match. Four members of the Crew are in Bradley’s side for the match including midfielder Brian Carroll, Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers and goalkeeper William Hesmer.

In other news this weekend, Clint Dempsey and Fulham had a bit of trouble putting down an upstart Kettering side in FA Cup action.

Also, Javier Saviola, the perpetual Argentine would-be sensation is once again looking for a new team after not fitting in at Real Madrid (which follows being bumped out of Barcelona in 2007). While he is currently linked to Plymouth after a potential deal to Boca Juniors fell through, Saviola remains a talented and potentially explosive player looking for the right situation.

Note to MLS: Take a good look at Saviola (who is available now) before its too late. He could add a creative spark to any team and he’ll put butts in seats.

USA To Play Sweden In January Friendly

November 22, 2008
U.S. To Kick Off Busy 2009 with Friendly in Southern California;Final Round World Cup Qualifying, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup on Tap

I’ve got to say I like the selection of teams the U.S. Soccer Federation is picking for friendlies these days and Sweden is a good example. Strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larssson (pictured to the right) will be a stiff test for the US defense, not to mention winger “Kongo” Kim Källström (Olympique Lyon) , who serves up beautiful crosses to the forwards and can take powerful and accurate shots from distance (he earned his nickname for knocking a teammate out cold with a shot during a practice at the 2006 World Cup).

The well-organized Swedes, always tough to score against, will test the US midfield and attack to the hilt. Their central defense including Carlos Bocanegra’s partner at Rennes, Peter Hansson and Juventus’ Olof Mellberg have proven tough to crack behind a strong spine of Anders Svensonn and holding midfielder Daniel Andersson. When you lose possession against this crew, its a real dogfight to get it back. All in all, a good test for a US National Team which has been a juggernaut in CONCACAF this year but with remaining questions about how well they’ll compete against teams from Europe.

This match will give Bob Bradley a much clearer picture of where his team stands going into the next round of World Cup qualifying and next summer’s Confederation’s Cup.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off a busy 2009 schedule when they face Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.The game follows a training camp that begins the first week of January as the U.S. team prepares for CONCACAF Final Round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $60, plus special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150, go on sale to the public Monday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy’s, FYE and Ritmo Latino). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Sunday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. PT until Monday, Nov. 24, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

The U.S. will begin CONCACAF Final Round World Cup qualifying on Feb. 11, and along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago will be vying for three automatic spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place finisher will enter a home-and-away series with the fifth-place team from South America.

Sweden is also in the midst of FIFA World Cup qualifying, and after three matches is in fifth place in Group 1 despite an undefeated record that includes a win and two ties. Their campaign resumes on March 28, 2009, with a trip to Portugal. The Scandinavians have competed in 11 World Cup finals, highlighted by a second-place finish in the 1958 tournament and a third-place finish in USA ’94. In 2006, they advanced out of Group B along with England before falling in the Round of 16 to hosts Germany.

The USA and Sweden have met six times previously. The U.S. evened the series at 3-3-0 with a 2-0 victory last January in a game that saw Landon Donovan set the all-time U.S. scoring record. The U.S. is making its sixth visit to The Home Depot Center for a match, carrying a 4-0-1 record. Last year, in addition to the victory against Sweden, the U.S. trounced Barbados 8-0 on June 15 in their opening game of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The remainder of the U.S. schedule for 2009 will be determined this Saturday, Nov. 22, when the draw to determine the placement of teams in the CONCACAF Final Round hexagonal for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying will take place at 1 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Teams will learn their opponents as well as home and away dates for all 10 Final Round qualifiers that will determine the three automatic berths for CONCACAF in 2010 in South Africa. The Final Round will kick off on Feb. 11. The U.S. will also have games on March 28, April 1, June 3, June 6, August 12, Sept. 5, Sept. 9, Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.

Following the announcement of the CONCACAF Final Round draw, FIFA will conduct the draw for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be held from June 14-28 in South Africa. The United States will participate along with hosts South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

World’s Largest Soccer Tournament Starts Today

July 13, 2008


While facts and rumors on the professional transfer season continue to hold the attention of many soccer fans, the world’s largest soccer tournament starts today in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Gothia Cup, a youth tournament, drew 1,551 teams last year with over 33,000 boys and girls in categories from U-12 to U-18, scoring over 22,000 goals. In 1976, the USA took part for the first time with the club Texas Longhorns. Over the years, the USA is the second largest participating country (after Germany).

A number of highly successful players have played in the tournament over the years such as Gothia Cup winners Xabi Alonso (Spain), Adebayor (Togo), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Ze Roberto (Brazil), and Alan Shearer (England). The most successful club team so far has been is the 1984 Tahuichi Academy which saw 8 of its players go on to represent the Bolivian national team at the 1994 World Cup in the USA – a team which included DC United’s Marco Etvheverry and Jaime Moreno.

Dozens of American youth clubs are involved in this year’s tournament including the Slammers Futbol Club (Newport Beach, CA), Eagle Rays (New Rochelle, NY), Sockers FC (Chicago, IL), Roanoke Stars (Roanoke, VA), and the Boulder County Force (Boulder, CO).

The Gothia Cup runs from July 13th-19th.