Archive for July, 2010

After Tuesday’s Comments on Jozy, A Turkish Report

Still not in Ireland training with Villarreal, hmmm....

Update 07/28:

A Turkish report out Wednesday reinforces Beşiktaş is in the market for Jozy Altidore, claiming the club president is negotiating for Altidore’s service with a suggested transfer fee of $3M. That number would represent a significant discount from Altidore’s $10M tranfer price when he headed to Villarreal just two year ago.

Update 07/27: Ronald Blum of the Associated Press has the story:

“A lot of the top clubs around Europe have been in touch, and we’re just looking at what’s the best for Jozy’s career at this point,” his agent, Lyle Yorks, said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “It’s important to find a home for himself where he’s going to get games, continue to develop and really show his abilities.”

Yorks said he had had discussions with two Premier League clubs he wouldn’t identify. Fulham also has held discussions about Altidore, pending a decision on hiring a manager to replace Roy Hodgson, who left the Cottagers to become Liverpool’s manager.

TSG: Cautionary note, might be a little media dissemination here to put some pressure on Beşiktaş to up the ante on a transfer. Curious timing of the agent quote where Yorks has been mostly silent until now.


As TSG reported on July 17th, Turkey and the Black Eagles of Beşiktaş was a rumored destination for American and Villarreal striker Jozy Altidore.

Other rumors have and had Altidore headed to Ajax, but even with the Martin Jol-to-Fulham situation behind them Ajax remaine well endowed at striker with captain Luis Suarez still on the team. If he transfers, that’s another thing.

Lending credence to the reports on Altidore to Turkey, Soccer by Ives is reporting that Besiktas is the front runner and NTV Sports in Turkey is reporting that “serious discussions” are ongoing to secure Altidore’s services.

Video: Jozy Altidore on playing in the World Cup.

Post World Cup Doldrums, Where To Go?

Reader Patrick Sullivan wrote us and posed the following question (we’ll paraphrase):

Now that the World Cup is over, what does a newbie soccer fan do and how can I find some ways to root for a team that are “fun” and “hip?”

Here you go Patrick and others: a schematic for those new to the game or those fresh off the World Cup excitement who want to ratchet up the excitement level after South Africa:

1. Pick an EPL team to follow. Buy a jersey. Go to a bar.

ESPN is locked into EPL soccer for another year, at worst, on the dial on your televsion. The Premiership boasts some of the top talent in the world and its teams boast some of the best history. Just last week, TSG had a feature on Blackpool who are newly promoted the Barclays.

Pick a team to follow and purchase a jersey to cement your loyalty.

Should you be backing Birmingham and picking up a McFadden jersey?

First, though, do your research. Find a team that best evokes the spirit, flair or style of soccer that you like. Learn some of the history, star players, how the club grew to the stature of where they are now. Or think about the town the club is from, maybe it’s similar to your town.

Then buy your jersey, but be careful there too. More so than in American football, global football stars get sold all the time. Find out about how the player arrived at the club, see how long their contract goes for. If your team–gasp–gets relegated to a lower division will they have to sell the player whose name is on the back of your jersey.

Wait…I forgot to check…does my team have a chance to get relegated? (Ask those wearing Jozy Altidore Hull City jerseys to the gym these days.)

Is the player often injured–and why does this matter?

Continue reading

Donovan Goes William Shatner Again

Turtle comes back with a deal for Landon instead of Vince.

Playground: Divvying Up The MLS All-Stars And Manchester United

If you’re new to TSG, a few things were fond of over here are fake drafts, hypothetical teams and playing manager.

"Okay, I'll take Berba if I have to"

A few months back, TSG suggested that the MLS All-Stars be broken up with two captains (at the time we suggested Landon and Wayne) picking teams. What a great moment it would be to see Dimitar Berbatov standing all by his lonesome and Rooney looking around with the last pick and no else to take and finally stammering under his breath to Donovan, “Okay, I’ll take ‘em….you got me there.”)

With this idea in mind, TSG writer Brain Mechanick–and expert in running hypothetical player drafts online–and friend of the site Christian, a Manchester United expert and an expert on all things Mexican football, set out to compete (You, the reader, will vote below!) by picking sides from the MLS All-Stars and Sir Alex’s Traveling Circus.

Oh and please vote, there is a little skin in the game for both of them. If Christian wins, Brian has to write a piece for the site why the hated Red Devils will win the EPL this season.

But if Brian wins, Christian has to explain why this will be the year for Mechanick’s beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

The Draft Results: (Brian in Red, Christian in Blue)

Le Toux: The first MLS attacker picked after Lando...

1. Landon Donovan

2. Paul Scholes

3. Darren Fletcher

4. Ryan Giggs

5. Nani

6. Edwin Van der Sar

7. Omar Gonzalez

8. Jonny Evans

9. Javier Hernandez

10. Sebastien Le Toux

11. Rafael

12. Kevin Alston

Continue reading

Spurs Going Beyond Yankee 2000′s Blueprint

I’m finishing this piece as Portsmouth has taken the field against D.C. United Saturday wearing long-sleeve borrowed kits from their MLS competitors in searing East Coast summer heat. Going to make my point a tad easier.

Not likely...

Our first “The Business of Soccer” column in a while and sadly, for some, it’s been overrun by the Yankees-bid-for-Spurs rumor.

The Daily Mail–a newspaper in much the same way that the National Enquirer is aspiring to be CNN or a moped is considered a motorcyle–speculated earlier that the New York Yankees are interested in buying into the Premiership through club Tottenham Hotspur. Gotham tabloid, the New York Post, refuted the claim the next day.

The rumor was refreshed to conscience with a question in the Sports Guy’s mailbag on Friday. Thankfully, TSG offers more coherent analysis here on the topic.

Quite simply, the Steinbrenners buying into any Premiership team would be a boon as Steinbrenner management typically translates into using all means necessary to great a competitive and popular–financially-speaking–team.

Modric: One of the early names in Tottenham's assault on Top Four talent...

However, a look at Spurs shows a recent history where the club has departed a mid-table malaise and invested heavily in taking the team to the next level.

First, let’s take a look at the supposed offer and history.

The rumor is the Yankees have leveled a $653M USD bid for Spurs. That’s a value that represents a major premium to the current value of Tottenham but probably accurately reflects the potential upside of the next half decade.

Forbes recently valued Spurs at $372M that down from $450M USD (we’ll do all comparison in dollars in this column) in 2009. Revenue as well dipped from $228M in ’08-’09 to $186M in 2010 The bid is about 3 times revenue.

The one-year drop for Tottenham however was systemic as the global economy stripped anywhere from 10% to 20% off the value of EPL clubs over the past year. For comparison, clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea hover around $300M in revenue annually.

With Champion’s League revenue forthcoming this season, it’s safe to say that the Spurs value will return to $450M or trump that figure with more in the offing. The Yankees rumored bid would be fair value for an owner that wanted to hedge against the Spurs current trajectory.

Continue reading

Jersey Swaps: Where Kits Go To Die

For those new to TSG, part of what we try to do is be a conduit to players and coaches for your questions.

Reader “Tim” wrote in and asked us the following:

What do the players typically do with the jerseys they get from the other team after they’ve switch?  Do they wear them?  or just hang them on their wall?  Is Donovan hitting bars wearing at Torres jersey?

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o caused a minor stir when he swapped jerseys with a Tanzania player in 2008...

Well Tim, the answers that came in Thursday might be deflating for you but first some background.

The first jersey exchange is recognized to have happened almost 80 years ago, 1931, when France beat England. The French players wanted a little momento of their momentous occasion and requested the jersey of their English counterparts. Tradition born.

Just two years ago was perhaps the most (in)famous jersey swap. In a World Cup qualifying match between Tanzania and Cameroon, international star Samuel E’to exchanged jerseys with Tanzania’s Nadir Haroub. The Tanzanian Football Federation then claimed they could not afford a new jersey and demanded Haroub provide compensation for it. After public pressure, the TFF relented.

Tim, I’m sorry to report that, despite the tradition, the two players we spoke with Thursday night have no controversy, or grand plans, for their keepsakes.

Matthew, TSG: Got a reader question for you Sean. After the match, there is sometimes the exchange of kits. What do you do with the jersey you swap for?

Sean Franklin, L.A. Galaxy:  Afraid it’s nothing exciting. I usually just  give it to the equipment manager to make sure it gets washed. Then when I get it back it goes in the drawer. That’s about it.

Matthew: So you’re not displaying it or anything?

Sean: Nah, just the drawer. I don’t wear it out or anything like that. Probably not the answer you were looking for.

Matthew: Doesn’t change our opinion of you Sean.


Matthew, TSG: Landon, quick feature question from a reader if you don’t mind. What do you do with the jerseys you get in the swap at the end of the game? Any favorites?

We're guessing "Ghana 2010" is not Lando's favorite...

Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy: Well, I have a trophy room at home and they go in there.

I don’t know if I have a favorite. You know, I’ve never really thought about it. It’s nice every once in awhile though to be able to look back and remember some of the more memorable matches I’ve been in.

Matthew, TSG: Not one favorite?

Landon: Haven’t really ever thought about it.

Matthew, TSG: You’re going to disappoint some readers in that they never get worn again. You don’t wear them out for a run? Anything?

Landon: No, and I’m not wearing them out to bars or anything either.


Update:  Just got an update from Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy who we asked as well. (By the way, Dan Kennedy, also very generous with his time with TSG; much appreciated Mr. Kennedy.)

Dan’s answer: I have a small collection from teammates, opponents, and guys I admire, I plan on framing them at the end of my career…

Thanks Dan.

Some short weekend notes:

• Benny Feilhaber, who is rumored to be on the move from AGF Arhaus, comments on the World Cup.  Perhaps–apologies–the most bland interview ever though no fault of subject.

AGF is having a really hard time selling both Feilhaber and Jakob Poulsen as clubs know both players can be had and are thus underbidding for their services.

• Corinthians boss Mano Menezes has accepted the Brazil head coaching gig. Chilean skipper Marcelo Bielsa is rumored to re-up for 1-year with Chile.

• Got a roundabout source here who says Jay DeMerit, currently on holiday, is leaning towards coming back Stateside. Thought I would share this,though I have no direct knowledge nor have confirmed it. Sort of a “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors” kind of thing.

Yao was signed to Roy Keane's Ipswich Town through May....

• A name you may or may not know…much traveled (Livorno, St. Mirren, Red Bull, Ipswich Town) Devann Yao is training with West Ham. Yao, who played some American academy ball, would be an interesting candidate for new development US Youth Soccer Technical Director Claudio Reyna to use as a case study.

• Mark Hughes is now apparently on Fulham’s list. TSG has stated before that if Jol doesn’t get the job, it’s likely to be Hughes who the Cottagers pursue. Gareth Southgate remains our dark horse candidate (…and will likely remain just that).

• Carlos Captainegra made his new deal with St. Etienne official. Boca’s deal is two years with a transfer fee going the other way of 185K euros.


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