I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised about this, but once again Sepp Blatter is a complete moron. Rather than comments about women’s rights or the lack of corruption in football, Blatter has now decided to criticize MLS and how it is run.
Blatter made his remarks in a recent interview with Marwan Bishara, Blatter said that in 18 years MLS officials should have done a much better job in making MLS one of the top leagues in America.
The world still awaits David Beckham’s decision on where he’ll play his post-MLS soccer … but we do have some sad, sad news as to where he won’t be playing. Despite the come-hither advances of Perth Glory and Australia’s top-flight A-League, Golden Balls has determined that Down Under is too far from his businesses to consider playing there, according to Fox Soccer’s site. The story notes that Perth Glory owner Tony Sage just happened to be in London — specifically, just happened to be at the world premiere of the Spice Girls-inspired “Viva Forever” show, hanging out with Mel B (who just happened to be in the Spice Girls, as did Becks’ famous wife).
(Totally a stalker.)
This means that should the A-League ever repeat its awesome HeskeyCam experiment from this past October, Beckham won’t be in Heskey’s sights. Clearly, the A-League’s only big enough for one massive England national star. We’re glad it’s Heskey.
Still on Beckham’s short list: AS Monaco, where Coach Claudio Ranieri announced this week that if the Monaco players don’t win their next Ligue 2 game, he’ll kill them.
MLS Cup’s happening tomorrow. Galaxy-Dynamo rematch, blah blah blah. David Beckham’s last game before he goes to Monaco, because certainly playing for that particular second-level French league team is as appealing as other Ligue 2 destinations like Metz (17th in the league this past year, but also the namesake of a really good new Canadian indie band), or Guingamp, a team with a stadium that holds 18,000 in a commune (as French hamlets are called) with a population of 8,000. Certainly, this has nothing to do with the awesomeness of Monaco. Also, Landon Donovan’s last club match (perhaps), because he’s so tired (maybe), or because he’s looking for another January loan to Everton (more likely).
Here’s what you need to know about the MLS Cup, though: there’s an anthem. And not just any anthem. It is:
1. A wee bit reminiscent of the UEFA Champions League theme;
2. In Latin, so they could be singing about anything, really — even, “It’d be great to get more than an 0.8 rating, or at the very least not get doubled up by a Chelsea-Liverpool EPL replay;”
3. Created by Audiobrain, a company that specializes in creating music for sports.
It may be a preordained MLS Cup — I have a horrible vision of Landycakes and Golden Balls scoring en route to something along the lines of 2-0 or 3-1 over the Dynamo. Yet, as one-sided and disappointed as the game might be, the anthem won’t disappoint. (Or, you know, it probably will — to the thousands who see it.)
1. Roberto Mancini’s Rants.
The Man City boss hasn’t been doing himself any favors recently by making comments that give people an idea why his players don’t respect him (as if that was any surprise.). He started by blatantly reminding everyone about all the various offers he received from different clubs around the world and how close he was to making a big money move to Monaco. Somewhere in the ballpark of £6.4 million a year. If that wasn’t enough, Mancini felt it necessary to write off City’s chances of success in the Champions League, stating: “I don’t think we’re ready for the Champions League.” Along with: “My players owe me three big performances.” (That’d be a statement I’d keep in the dressing room, mate.) and also: “I will not change anything” (If it’s broke, do nothing. Genius!) when referring to the squad. Everyone was thinking it, he said it. And now there’s probably no hope.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic beats the St. Etienne keeper with a Jason Statham type approach.
Nothing more really needs to be said about this one, does it?
3. New Zealand Prime Minister in media hot water for a David Beckham comment.
John Key has been accused of stating that David Beckham is “As thick as bat shit.” while visiting a school in Auckland. It is also said that he stated that Beckham is also “Handsome” and “A nice guy” (Before calling him as thick as bat shit. Imagine that.) Key is neither confirming nor denying the comment by telling the press “What I am saying is that somebody has overheard a personal conversation and that’s their recollection of it.” Either the Prime Minister is sticking to his guns or he could just realize that not too many people are going to argue this one. (Maybe both)
4. Mark Clattenburg facing charges for allegedly using “foul language” towards Chelsea players.
Clattenburg is not refereeing for the second week in a row due to said charges. It would appear as though Chelsea players couldn’t argue with the two red cards he flashed in the 3-2 loss to Manchester United, so they found some other bollocks to banter on about why the game didn’t go their way. Mind you, Clattenburg sent off Johnny Evans in the 6-1 thrashing of United by Manchester City last season so you can’t point towards favoritism. And it’s always nice to see justice served to players who choose to dive. He has support from both the Professional Game Match Officials Limited and the head managers of both clubs so he will likely return when the dust settles.
5. Liverpool fans get soaked by haywire sprinkler.
This was during halftime of the 1-all draw with Newcastle. You’ll never wash alone.
It’s finally here. The point in the MLS season when everybody takes a short, pointless break so the league’s best players can have a friendly against an EPL club in preseason form. This year, the opponent is Chelsea, who I am begrudgingly obliged to remind you are champions of Europe.
Now, if I had my druthers, I’d do away with this nonsense and just keep the league going. But that will never happen since this game does manage to generate revenue for the league, and you can’t say no to that, right? Besides, these games have often been pretty entertaining. More thoughts after the jump. Continue reading
Before we get to my brief dissertation on the goings-on at Wembley today, let’s note that The Deuce has deigned to show Arsenal v. Norwich City this morning, to the delight of sleep-deprived Gooners and Canaries everywhere.
So, either Chelsea or Liverpool will lift some hardware today. It’s quite interesting to me that the managers of both clubs need this cup win badly to keep their bosses from being overly upset about the mediocre league results. Two teams hoping the shiny glare of the FA Cup will make up for the other unpleasantness. King Kenny is hoping two cups will be enough to distract John Henry and co. from the fact that Liverpool will not take any part in European competition next season, and may well finish the year a spot below derby rivals Everton. Meanwhile, for Roberto Di Matteo, this is Phase 1 of his “Coffee is for Closers” plan to convince Roman Abramovich that he’s a winner who deserves to still have a job at the end of this month. Phase 2 will roll out in Munich later this month.
More match listings (including MLS!) after the jump.
Football is played in venues throughout the world, each with their own unique atmosphere and character, from the historic grounds of England, where nostalgia and adjectives go to die, to the stadia of Italy, where spectators have entire sections to themselves.
As a relatively young footballing nation, the venues of the United States may not have the history and tradition of some of the grounds around the world, but they are slowly building it. However there is one ground that offers something entirely unique of any sports stadium in the United States and that is RFK Stadium in Washington DC where you can experience the thrill of third world infrastructure in a first world country.
Lorber will probably regale you with his second attempt to watch MLS action this week, but before he does, I wanted to share with you all a special moment from Portland’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. Just after the start of the second half, broadcasters miked up Timbers gaffer John Spencer to ask him about the halftime changes he made, including the introduction of Darlington Nagbe. What resulted is magic- take a look, and turn the sound up:
THAT’S WHAT ‘E PROVIDES!!!!!!!