Archive for January, 2011

Follow-ups: Carroll, Adu, Edu, Junior, More

Monday bullets & weekend follow-ups:

Andy Carroll to Liverpool: £35m puts the target striker in Anfield. I absolutely love this move for Liverpool. Homegrown player, sure to be in the national team picture, young target striker who still can knock it in. Great move for the Reds today.

Lots of transfer hubbub sure to come down the pike today: Luis, Torres, and more…

Gauranteed never to wear a Benfica kit again...

• Freddy Adu, according to Washington Post reporter Steve Goff, now testing out his wheels at Turkish 2nd division side Rizespor. Adu will be the only American, or European for that matter, on the team. Good job by Adu’s agent finding him something to get some playing time within the confines of his contract.

TSG looking good on our 2011 predictions right now, scoring on Bradley to the EPL and now Adu not to MLS  (yet).

Not sure why fans are pushing to have Adu “come home” to MLS. It’s not clear that we would develop in the States either–I don’t see any Championship side in England (or Germany for that matter) signing him up.

Continually at home, he wouldn’t be anonymous which is probably exactly what he needs to improve his game right now.

• USA vs. Egypt now might move to a new venue. Reached earlier in the week, a US spokesman said, “they were monitoring the situation, but had no plans to change venue yet.”

The US roster is supposed to be on this Wednesday. A location in Eastern Europe, like Vienna, would make sense, be convenient and earn a few dollars.

Michael Bradley to Villa reaching formalities stage.

• Maurice Edu with yet another left-footed lash…this time against Motherwell. You’re showing us something here, Mo. Jermaine Jones, predominantly lefty. Mo Edu, striking with his left. Doesn’t anyone want to just try a runout at leftback?

• Ireland’s truest Robbie Keane heads to West Ham on loan. An aside, does anyone miss Zola at West Ham more than Carlton Cole? Twenty-two (22) goals in 73 games with Zola at the helm. In the 82 games bookending Zola’s reign? Fourteen (14).

• Cheer the Americans at Anfield. Having locked up Luis Suarez, a report from the Guardian says Henry & Co. are now after Ashley Young and Charlie Adam. The days of Roy Hodgson seem oh-so-long ago.

• From Hall of Fame reporter (yes, t’is true) Frank Dell’Apa: Yura Movsisyan heads eastward to FC Krasnodar. The former RSL super sub coming up the ranks.

USA v. Chile Revisited: Selected Images

Once again, TSG photog extraordinaire Matt Mathai (@mathaim) does extraordinary work capturing in stills USMNT action.

HDC is a little tough on the lighting and Matt’s great work speaks to his ability.

Interspersed amongst the photos are some quotes from players in the mixed zone and some observations that just didn’t fit in any piece anywhere.

Enjoy.

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The Weekend: Commentary…Here

The mancrush is reaching unhealthy heights...

A rocky start to our 2011 “smattering of predictions” piece.

Our lay-up, Michael Bradley to the Premiership, just fizzled as Junior is Istanbul not Constantinople or Sunderland bound. (Update: Um, “just happened” … TSG looking a little better on the prediction.)

Yet, a rebound as TSG claimed that “Two Javier’s would join the world’s elite.”

Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez looked the part with yet another spectacular off-ball run and score this week against Blackpool.

While Javier number two–Pastore that is–didn’t net, but troubled Parma all day Tuesday as Palermo ousted Parma from the Coppa Italia.

The weekend sees surging Palermo head to the San Siro to take on Inter Milan in a skirmish of top sides in Serie A.

Here are few other games to look out for:

• Pachuca v. Cruz Azul

Heavyweights battle in a top Primera match-up. Eyes on Herc Gomez who banged in two last time he faced Azul.

• Bursaspor v. Galatasaray

A good chance–if you adthe it–to watch Junior’s new club in action. A critical battle as Gala takes on penultimate (check out that word selection John) side in the table.

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U-Turn: Michael Bradley Loaned to Aston Villa

Junior: "I just went the other way....."

In a silly season, that just got sillier:

ESPN reporting–and uncle Jeff Bradley at ESPN offering congratulations–that Michael Bradley has been loaned through the end of the year to Aston Villa.

Bradley could slot in immediately in the central midfield I surmise. But then again, Gerard Houllier loves to stockpile midfielders and he just brought in Jamie Makoun.

Shocking….

We’ve reached to our contact at Aston Villa to see if we can get any word on this and whether we can get Junior for 10 minutes if it in fact goes through.

(Lesson learned on yesterday’s report–apologies to the TSG audience.)

TSG: Where Erred

An apology to the TSG community on our “editoring” around Michael Bradley’s loan move.

In August of 2010, TSG commented on Jozy Altidore heading to Besitikas. It was off a media report, that said the deal was finalized. Of course, as we know, didn’t happen.

So, at TSG, we went over August and took a look at which media reports and tweets, primarily for American sources, twitter feeds and publications –but also using this site Football Transfer League–were most accurate versus their frequency.

We thought we painted a good enough of picture of when to put something up, but yesterday taught us to be a little more careful.

So our apologies to the TSG community. We probably would have made yesterday’s report a little “smaller” real estate-wise on the site and not had a follow-up in retrospect. While we weren’t wrong yesterday, we issued the story as a “Report”…I’m not sure we conveyed enough to the audience how closer to rumor (vs. truth) on the bar that it was.

Going forward, we’ll do full pieces with little consideration to timeliness. Unless you tell us otherwise.

TFIY: How I Became A Madridista

Real Madrid is my religion. This....my church.

Well, we’re back today with our fourth installment of The Fan In You, a series where a fan offers their perspective on how they came to root for the team they love. This week’s piece brought to you by our La Liga correspondent Donald Wine II.

When I was a kid, every fall I would play soccer in the youth leagues around my birthplace in Michigan.

I was good…really good.

I remember when I was 8, I scored 30 of my team’s 32 goals that season (my younger brother tallied the other two).

I wasn’t the next Pelé, but maybe I could have got a scholarship if I had stuck with it and not found my love for track.  But to me, soccer was a fun sport to play, and sports are always more fun to play when you’re good at it.

About that time is when I discovered that there was a world of soccer outside the United States.  My brother and I would get home from school in time to watch Champions League matches.  It was there I got to see some of the best teams in the world: Manchester United, Leeds United, Arsenal, Inter, AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid.  I would watch with awe at how these professionals played the game with such ease and with such precision.  In the end, I fell in love with Madrid.

Some people get roped into following a particular team because of their history, because they have family from there or they grew up there.  For others, their affinity for a particular player is what makes them follow a team.

Despite Real Madrid’s glamorous history and star-studded lineup and their vault full of silverware, it was indeed a player that convinced me to start following Los Blancos.  Don’t get me wrong, the constant winning is awesome.  Being able to see so many of their matches because of their perennial lineup of galactic superstars is a great thing, and of course that helped me further my love of all things Real.

My Hierro

Yet, it was the player that got me hooked to Los Blancos that will surprise you: Fernando Hierro.  Even though I played striker as a kid, it was a defender/defensive midfielder that got me really following Real Madrid.

I loved Hierro’s game, how he would control the back line but would still have an ability to press forward and put the ball in the net.  Hierro was one of the main reasons I would try to find more Madrid games on TV until a young striker emerged in the Real lineup that went by one name:  Raúl.  The Golden Boy, the King of Madrid, Raúl became my favorite player in the world along with Hierro.  His ability to score goals with either foot, in every single way imaginable, made him a god among the legions of Madrid fans around the world, myself included.  My two favorite players in the world, on the same team?  It was screaming “Halamadrid” for life after that.

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