2007/08 Soccer Thread - Euro Fever!

VicD714 wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

Funny, but all of my Mexican students always insist that the US National Team can only beat the Mexican team off of PK decisions...

You might want to pull this out, next time that comment is made.

USSF Website wrote:

June 24, 2007: USA wins 2-1
The USA's first goal came on a nice build-up from the U.S., who seamlessly moved the ball from the left to right flank at the midfield stripe through DaMarcus Beasley, setting up Jonathan Spector to send a perfect cross into the area for Brian Ching. The Hawaiian forward controlled the ball well, spun around his marker and was setting up for a chance on goal when Jonny Magallon clipped his legs from behind, setting up an easy penalty call for Guatemalan referee Carlos Batres.

Mexico was beginning to feel the pressure from the U.S. again when a dangerous cross from Jonathan Bornstein earned the USA a corner kick in the 72nd minute. As Donovan's corner kick slid into the area, it was headed out by the Mexican defense, falling to the top of the area where Feilhaber hit a one-time, full-volley blast out of the air and into the upper left corner past a helpless Oswaldo Sanchez.

Feb. 7, 2007: USA wins 2-0
Donovan was sure to connect on his next dangerous opportunity, this time the result of a corner kick. His out-swinger found Conrad who used some savvy moves in goal-mouth traffic to elude his marker and rose to bury his header from eight yards out.

In injury time, Sanchez didn't have any chance of pushing Donovan's shot aside as the dynamic midfielder slipped behind the Mexican backline near the midfield stripe to run onto a Ricardo Clark through ball and dribbled around the Mexican "˜keeper before banging his shot into the open net with authority.

Sep. 3, 2005: USA wins 2-0
Eddie Lewis served the ball to the back post where Onyewu was able to rise over his defender and headed the ball off the left post. The ball deflected across the goalmouth past Sanchez to the right side and Ralston had an easy header tap-in to push it to the back of the net.

Five minutes later, the U.S. doubled their lead as Beasley started and finished off a perfectly executed corner kick. Beasley played a short corner to Landon Donovan and he pushed the ball back near the corner of the penalty box to Claudio Reyna. With two touches the U.S. captain slipped the ball into the right side of the penalty box for a streaking Beasley, who collected the ball about eight yards out and curled a left-footed shot over the outstretched arm Sanchez and into the left side netting.

March 27, 2005: USA loses 1-2
The U.S. struggled offensively, getting only three shots in the first half, but finally got in a bit of an offensive groove in the second half and Eddie Lewis cut the lead in half with a well-placed strike in the 59th minute.

April 28, 2004: USA wins 1-0
The goal for the U.S. came in the 93rd minute on a free kick from Bobby Convey that was sent into the area and headed on frame by Taylor Twellman. Mexican goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez did well to make that stop, his impressive sixth save of the night, but couldn't keep the rebound from falling to Pope to score his sixth international goal.

June 17, 2002: USA wins 2-0 (2002 World Cup)

Unfortunately, the USSF website doesn't have match reports for games played before '04, just the final score.

The final tally. One PK by the US in seven games.

Changing the minds of children can be a difficult thing, to be sure.

BlackSheep wrote:

Funny, but all of my Mexican students always insist that the US National Team can only beat the Mexican team off of PK decisions, but this is how these last two games were decided in their favor.

This is so gleefully laughable. I love watching them rant and rave and come up with pissy excuses every time we beat them, and I hope it continues.

As far as Mr. Adu goes, Portugal may suit his style of game. From what i've read and seen, he seems like he'd be more comfortable playing a Continental style of football, where players of his style and stature (a la Leo Messi. Not saying he's as good as Messi, just size-wise) can flourish more, as opposed to the more physical pace of England, of which the MLS is a bit of a derivative.

Meanwhile, Arsenal won the Emirates Cup this weekend. However much faith you put into pre-season tournaments (hopefully, not a ton), here's a few names to remember.

Reyes is headed to Atletico Madrid, which, given that he actually managed to win La Liga with Real Madrid, may just kill him, given Atletico's time-honored habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Alex to Chelsea is still on. I think he's perfectly suited for the Premiership. Either way, he's not Khalid Boulharouz.

Arjen Robben is still supposed to be headed to Chelsea. Supposed to be.

I'm quietly considering writing up a season preview for the Premiership, but frankly, I don't think anyone who frequents the thread would be particularly enlightened by it.

Prederick wrote:

I'm quietly considering writing up a season preview for the Premiership, but frankly, I don't think anyone who frequents the thread would be particularly enlightened by it.

Dude, we like to hear your thoughts anyway. Get writing. =)

And I really think that of all teams, Arsenal are really going to surprise. I know that Henry is a loss, but I think they've got plenty of young talent just waiting in the wings. The heart and soul of that team was last year was not Henry anyway, it was Fabregas. ManU is going to be hard to displace without sustaining a ton of injuries, but I would have them slotted #3 ahead of Liverpool and behind Chelsea.

That being said, that's why we bother playing the games .... never know what'll happen until its done, isn't that right Real Madrid?

SNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXX....FriendliesFriendliesFriendlies....SNNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Seriously. Naught but friendlies. And "The Tevez Saga" (C) is showing signs of perhaps running longer than "The Owen Hargreaves Saga".

The news of note, in a nutshell.

Valeri Bojinov, of Fiorentina and FM fame, seems to be headed for Man City.

That whole MyFootballClub thing seems to be working out.

Here's one article.

And Another bemoaning foreign investment in the English game (what does Randy Lerner really want with Villa anyway, much less the Glazers and ManU).

Noone still knows whether Le Sulk is staying at Bolton or not.

And supposedly, ManU have signed a 9-year old. They say he's rather good. I say he's nine.

lol stepovers by a kid who almost cant get the ball between his legs..... o the insanity.

Not sure what the hoopla about foreign investors are. Its pretty simple business math. If your rich and you want to own a club why not the league with the best TV deal and still growing. The one article that mentions how other league clubs must be owned by its "members" isn't very clear as to what a "member" is. To me that can range from a fan to a rich old miser who inherited his part of the club which doesn't make him better then a prospective billionaire owner. The one thing most fans shouldn't be worrying about is their clubs finances when these guys come in. The majority of them are shrewd business men who in the long run will keep the teams afloat in the bad times and take some back for themselves in the good. The real question is why is everyone selling. You cant just assume that the English current owners are smarter and know that the market is inflated considering the guys buying are no slouches. There should be more articles bemoaning the English owners for cashing out and the English rich for not cashing in.

Now lets talk about one of those new owners and his team. Man city was being cute at first now they are just starting to scare me.

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson continued his remarkable spending spree today by signing two defenders. Croatia international Vedran Corluka and Spaniard Javier Garrido are the latest additions to the squad.
Manchester City have signed their third player of the day with the £8million capture of Brazilian midfielder Elano Blumer from Shakhtar Donetsk.

at first I was like ok new rich owner new manager makes sense. Now they seem to be really overextending themselves unless this guy is just super loaded and if he is well congratulations Man city. To be fair tho they can recoup huge amounts of this spending with attendance alone as they averaged just under 40,000 a game last season at home and are sitting on a 48,000 capacity stadium. Also interesting is the fact that 0? of his new signings have been English for obvious reasons as the market within England is inflated but you have to wonder how all these new players to the Prem will adjust it could be a real roller coaster for them this year. This is really shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons. Outside the big four we have Spurts, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, and Man freaking City trying to flex its muscles into the European spots. Its could be a very ugly year for the teams on the bottom half of the table. Bolton, Reading, Boro, Fullham, Wigan and West Ham even depending on how this Tevez debacle finishes strike me as clubs that could find themselves in serious trouble if they dont have solid starts and bank some points for down the stretch. This could be one wacky year.

Anyone running a *real* football fantasy league this year for Goojers?

The Tevez saga is officially over as West Ham and Man U have agreed on a $2mm pittance fee. Shady business all around as Man U's loss to the Hammers in the final kept them afloat in the Prem and now they validate the contract between Tevez and West Ham by 'paying' for the transfer.

BlackSheep wrote:

Anyone running a *real* football fantasy league this year for Goojers?

If by real, you mean for money, then no. My buddies and I usually run a league for ourselves on the Premierleague.com site. I'll probably start it up again, unless I find a better option. I don't care enough to pay for it.

Haakon7 wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

Anyone running a *real* football fantasy league this year for Goojers?

If by real, you mean for money, then no. My buddies and I usually run a league for ourselves on the Premierleague.com site. I'll probably start it up again, unless I find a better option. I don't care enough to pay for it.

I'm actually pretty cool with a non-money league. If you need someone for a spot, I'd be happy to hop aboard, if you don't mind a Fantasy Soccer noob. I've been playing FFL for years and years now, but I've never gotten a chance to bounce into a soccer league.

The Premierleague.com is not exactly the height of cool with regard to FSLs. Fairly basic but its free and its 'straight from the horse's mouth' so to speak. We can set up a separate Goodjer league if we have enough people interested, but if we don't, you're more than welcome in our league.

Haakon7 wrote:

The Premierleague.com is not exactly the height of cool with regard to FSLs. Fairly basic but its free and its 'straight from the horse's mouth' so to speak. We can set up a separate Goodjer league if we have enough people interested, but if we don't, you're more than welcome in our league.

Awesome, I'm not too worried about being cool. I'd rather really get a feel for the setup and how it all works. I know I've got quite a few people around here that would die to play in a league.

...and a double post.

I'd join again, but my track record with Fantasy Leagues is atrocious. I pay attention for exactly 1-1/2 weeks. Then completely forget about it. There's just no draw for me.

*Snigger*

*Giggle*

BWA-HAR-HAR-HAR

Oh god, Hossam, Oh god.

Van Der Saar came up huge in the shootout between Man U and Chelsea -- though I think that Cech might have been blinded by Sir Alex's legs! Yikes!

Prederick wrote:

Oh god, Hossam, Oh god.

Yeah. Pretty much how I pictured him acting. He's a pissant. After the shirt throwing incident and his selfishness on the field, Spurs are better off without him.

And reading Martin Jol's response makes me think he's got the same kind of idea about it all. Particularly if Ghaly's not been working hard enough in the off-season.

BlackSheep wrote:

though I think that Cech might have been blinded by Sir Alex's legs! Yikes!

Seriously. There should've been a warning. "CAUTION: OLD SCOTSMAN LEGS"

So we can make our own league on the EPL site, I found out and buy your team..

I already drafted my team: Tevez, Berbatov, Ashton up top (Crossing fingers on Tevez and Ashton, but he's looked good in preseason)

Middle of the Park: Hargreaves, Gerrard, Parker, Fabregas, Reo-Coker (Solid, all round. Homer pick on Parker, but I think he's what the Hammers need in a midfielder too...I waffled between Reo-Coker and Dyer, but Dyer was much more expensive and I think AV is a good change of scenery for Reo-Coker)

Back line: Carragher, Rosenior, Ingmarsson, Woodgate, Taylor (Was running out of money, but I got two quality starters and three flyers and every once in awhile players)

Keepers: Howard and Reina.

http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ind...

since I'm to lazy to do a preseason preview here's one from a writer i very much like who is 100 times better then anything I could come up with.

He pretty much has it exatcly how I would anyways besides fullham being relegated instead of maybe like birmingham.

http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/7089108

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/7089110

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/7088324

ps damn straight thats Arsenal in 3rd. Now begins the RVP era http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oDDWHhx3xU hopefully injury free!

Hopefully this will help to light a fire under MLS's ass. You'd think when your $250 million dollar golden boy speaks, you might want to listen. Link

David Beckham wrote:

"There is one major thing that should actually change. I don't know whether I am being too controversial, but I think the fact that there are four or five teams with FieldTurf. As professional athletes, you can't play a game like soccer on that sort of field. The reaction of players and what it does to your body, as a soccer player, you [need] two or three days off for that. Every game, every team should have grass, without a doubt. You can't ask any athlete to perform at a high level on the FieldTurf."

Not sure if that's even a real issue or concern to be honest unless the turf hes talking about is that old astro turf crap which I don't think exists in any of the fields.

Personally I've played on the stuff and although its different its consistent. A badly maintained pitch is much worse. Not sure what he means about the two or three days if its to adjust to the surface or if its hard on his body. Never had problems with it being hard on my body but at the same time I was playing rec league not mls soccer He better get used to it anyways as one of England's key euro2008 qualifiers is in Russia and guess what kind of surface they are playing on. Its been ok'd by UEFA and FIFA has been letting international games be played on the stuff for a good long while now. The majority of all the u20 World Cup games this year in Canada were played on it and the 7 games I saw live I really can't say players were struggling on it. Its abit more slick when wet but one of the games I saw live it was raining and the teams seemed to power through it.

Alright, I finally got around to creating my team. I know it seems early in the year, to start all this, but the first matches are Saturday. So, who's in on a GWJ league?

Keepers: Jaaskelainen, Howard
Defenders: Carragher, Shorey, Dunne, Dawson, Mellberg
Mid: Gerrard, Fabregas, Jenas, Hargreaves, Dempsey
Forwards: Kuyt, Berbatov, Fagan

Good pickup on Woodgate, Blacksheep, but as he's injured, I'll wait to pick him up. Maybe his price will drop.

Is the league already setup?

My team, first time doing this for footy but I'm a fantasy sports nut otherwise.

Forwards: RVP, Agbonlahor, Earnshaw

Mids: Ronaldo, Malouda, Milner, Mendes, Huddlestone

Defence: Mellberg, Lescott, Eboue, Carragher, Ingimarsson

GK: Cech, Kuszczak

pretty happy with my picks Earnshaw is a stretch tho but I have a crush on him from too many games of champ manager in the championship.

jowner wrote:

Not sure if that's even a real issue or concern to be honest unless the turf hes talking about is that old astro turf crap which I don't think exists in any of the fields.

Personally I've played on the stuff and although its different its consistent. A badly maintained pitch is much worse. Not sure what he means about the two or three days if its to adjust to the surface or if its hard on his body. Never had problems with it being hard on my body but at the same time I was playing rec league not mls soccer He better get used to it anyways as one of England's key euro2008 qualifiers is in Russia and guess what kind of surface they are playing on. Its been ok'd by UEFA and FIFA has been letting international games be played on the stuff for a good long while now. The majority of all the u20 World Cup games this year in Canada were played on it and the 7 games I saw live I really can't say players were struggling on it. Its abit more slick when wet but one of the games I saw live it was raining and the teams seemed to power through it.

Fieldturf sucks all around. The ball bounces different, slide tackling becomes a terrible chore, and playing longballs to corners often finds them simply rolling off because the field plays a bit quicker than grass. The other thing about fieldtur is that the ball just comes off so much quicker when launched... We love to put our boys on fieldturf, especially in the playoffs because they are a short-passing / control team a la many Latin-style soccer (they are all Hispanic though), especially when we go up against the suburban teams in our area.

Okay. Set up the League. The code is: 860015-142266.

Haakon7 wrote:

Okay. Set up the League. The code is: 860015-142266.

...and I'm in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ty9_yif3DQ&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9mWaqFx1U4

He's starting to make me afraid. He's almost a carbon copy of Ronaldo but for his age a much better finisher of the ball. If there's one thing these two do is just pick apart lower tier players which is going to give ManU a very scary consistency when playing the bottom half of the table. Its going to be hard for them to not retain the title when a bunch of their games are going to be over at halftime.

Ah, the first day has come and gone. I was going to write that season preview, I swear, but that was the week of my birthday, which I spent concentrating on getting totally sh*tfaced for about 72 hours straight. Anyway, here's how I think they'll finish...

1.) Chelsea
2.) Man Utd
3.) Liverpool
4.) Tottenham
5.) Arsenal
6.) Blackburn Rovers
7.) Everton
8.) Newcastle
9.) Aston Villa
10.) Middlesbrough
11.) Portsmouth
12.) Manchester City
13.) Bolton
14.) Reading
15.) West Ham
16.) Birmingham City
17.) Fulham
18.) Sunderland
19.) Derby County
20.) Wigan Athletic

And really, it's a tough call this year, because I have no idea where at least three teams (Manchester City, Newcastle, Portsmouth) will finish. All three are eminently capable of challenging for Europe or completely screwing it up and ending up in the relegation dogfight come March. Even the top three is a toss-up, as, if Liverpool don't blow it early this year, they could certainly be in the running to win the title.

Who's Going To Go Big?: A impossible question to ask, since someone from nowhere always has a breakout year. But i'll tip these names for big years.

Emmanuel Adebayor - I think he'll benefit most from Henry's absence. But then again, I think all of Arsenal may benefit, even if I don't see them coming even close to challenging for the title.

Nani - Well, of course. Here's the catch. It is entirely up to how he adjusts to the English game. If he's strong enough, and willing to take the punishment and keep on running, like a certain Portugese winger was last year, he could be something special.

Roque Santa Cruz - I think he could really be something special, alongside Benni McCarthy. Blackburn's setup seems to be perfect for a player like him.

Half of the Manchester City Team - Specifically Elano (Did you catch Sven's friends-making post-game comments? Quote: "England is in the past for me, because I never had anyone like Elano at England." No, that wasn't a bitter end at all.) but just about any of them could be good, if they're as good as the hype says. Bianchi could be good, so could Bojinov, what's important, again, is that adjustment.

Florent Malouda - Yes, i've seen him in exactly two games. But in those two games, he's been damn good.

Craig Gordon - If anyone not named Roy Keane keeps Sunderland up, I think it'll be Gordon. Although it certainly says something about the SPL if the best keeper in the league gives up European football for the relegation fight in England.

First To Get The Axe?: The first coach gone will be Alan Curbishley. Call it a hunch. Martin O'Neil, Little Sam and Gareth Southgate are all on the hotseat as well, I think. And Mourinho, but he's been on it since halfway through last year.

Rooney broke his foot.

Tottenham is shocked by a late, late goal.

Villa and the Hammers, who were on Fox Soccer Saturday morning looked pretty terrible for long stretches. Both sides really squandered a ton of chances -- Young seemed the only guy alive for AV midway through the match while Gerrard had three really legit looks at goals (and seemed to squander those chances pretty terribly). That being said, they almost pulled a point from Liverpool after that atrocious call of the ball meeting the hand in Liverpool's box followed by an equally terrible call that denied them the point on the other side when Gerrard was awarded a free kick from outside the box that was absolutely beautiful to behold.

The Hammers... yeesh. Boa Morte playing with himself caused the counter-attack. No one seemed to move to get open for anyone, they played with little cohesion, while Man City played beautiful soccer (Man City! I kept rubbing my eyes) Why Zamora is allowed to play is almost criminal because he was absolutely terrible. Bellamy had no help, Ashton and Etherington came on and actually provided a boost in the arse, only to watch Ashton really squander a shot he worked damn hard to get right in front of the box. I've never been an Etherington supporter or believer, so I don't really know what that possibly says about how I feel about this team. Ljundberg has to remember that he's not playing for Arsenal anymore...

There's my wonderfully slanted post-game reports.

I'll give a loaded slanted bias review of Arsenal's first game:

For the first 83 minutes I think until the penalty was awarded complete gloom and dread over the entire season. By the time the 90th hit 180 degree switch and pure excitement over the potential. Not gona lie the way Fullham scored and Arsenal reacted all I could think of was god no no no no not an entire season of this but pulling off the win with such a streaky player getting the winner was megatons of anxiety of relief. As far as individual play goes Hleb made a strong case of not losing his spot, Eboue looked effective as a right winger and works very well with Sagna who is damn solid and the best suprise was Bendtner who came on and looked like a super sub. Adebeyor has pretty much lost his spot on the squad unless hes brilliant when he comes back because this Bendtner kid is hungry to prove his spot. Between RVP, Da Silva, Bendtner and playing 5 in midfield Adebeyor is going to have to shine when he gets his chances to play.

On the Rooney injury. Manu might have to consider bringing in another striker depending on the Ole and Saha injuries. Having 0 strikers on the bench proved disastrous in the Reading game and assuming they hurry Tevez into action next game they could be dropping points early all because they sold Alan Smith too early and not closer the deadline, go figure. This season is getting dramatic fast!