Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 2:07 pm

Coach Klinsmann, Salute to a Free Spirit!!

Juergen Klinsmann is a great German footballer, nothing will ever change that but he's always reflected being a free spirited kind of player and gosh, I guess a diver as well, which he kidded about. Still, Klinsy has been involved with charity, went to Israel on some sort of "goodwill mission", married a Chinese American, moved to America, moved to California and even in his playing days at least at the 1994 World Cup USA came off not totally unlike a rock star, I still have the video of Germany being eliminated in that tournament by Hristo Stoichkov and Bulgaria.

That's our Manager there:
Must have been a cold day playing for Samdoria there, I doubt if he's wearing goalkeeper's gloves, I wanted to say Samdoria but that is a Bayern Munchen jersey isn't it,  one of a number of clubs he played for which of course, included a stint, perhaps 2 stints actually with the Spurs. It rarely surprises me that though he must love Germany, the Deutscheland, he sortof wanted to get out of there. I'm sure in the long run, things will work out for the USA under his reins and tutelage.

A free spirit and a free thinker, one time I ran into some German tourists here, we went to the Edelweiss German restuarant but they were a ball. One time, I bought something on German Ebay, I could not get the bank to wire the money over there for at least a low cost and the guy sent me the stuff from Germany still, an Addidas t-shirt, Beckenbauer, before the next day was over, I sent the $$ discreetly hidden in an envelope.

But that old German team from '86-+'94, an interesting team, maybe too much emphasis on winning and winning at all costs. Competitive nonetheless. How things have changed, prior to the 2006 World Cup, t-shirts were sold reading "Make way for the bad guys" in regards to the German team but that was a thing from the past, from the spitting incident between Riijkgaard and Voeller in 1990 to all of the many incidences the German team or more properly, the West German team had been involved in since becoming competitive but whose to judge it?? That Germany is certainly gone in the past. What did we see France do to make the World Cup in South Africa? Thierry Henry's handball against Ireland and then France went and were one of the worst teams there? The pressure is on the players. Though we aren't perfect in US Soccer, in no time soon are we going to see flying elbows that have got to be intentional or dives, at least on a grand scale, to advance or other like acts.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 8:37 am

Brum defeats Belgium's Best!?

With USA International Player at times and previously at West Ham, Johnathan Spector, PL relegated and Championship club Birmingham defeated Club Brugge Belgium in the 90th + 10 minutes of Extratime, there must have been some hold up in the game with 10 minutes of additional time. This result really goes to show how strong the English pro leagues must be.

But the game was marred by a head injury to Birmingham's Pablo Ibanez, who was stretchered off with his team-mate Guirane N'daw in tears.

So there was indeed something more to this game, the Blues may have risen more to the occasion.

Let's hope Pablo Ibanez, the Spaniard is alright, not to be confused with a Raul Ibanez, apparently playing in the MLB World Series.

With Stoke City quashing Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-0 it is given to reflection the performances of these teams along with Tottenham's win and Fulham's close loss.

The BBC stats are telling here.

Club Brugge defeated every English team previously in Belgium, West Brom, Chelsea twice, Ipswich, Nottingham and Tottenham except for one draw with Liverpool in 1976, 7 games altogether. So they were undefeated before yesterday's match. I wonder if one may read into this any kind of decline in Belgium as a footballing power? I'd think the National Team will return to it's former glory, lots of Belgian players on teams in England let alone Germany and France, Fellaini of Everton of course, is probably one of the most famous..

Update: After Sidney Crosby can we ever think a concussion is not that bad?? Well, it does seem Ibanez did not suffer a serious injury thank goodness and get well soon Pablo!

Manager Chris Hughton said: "Pablo was a real concern for us so we're happy it was just concussion and he's OK."
Category: Soccer
Tags: Europa, UEFA
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:12 pm

MLS shaking out.

We know now who will be in the playoffs. We do not know how the fixtures will go per the wildcard teams. I kind of hope Philadelphia can be nosed out of the seeded positions. Using this as a worksheet, here are the clubs in post season play.

Western Conference:

  • LA Galaxy (67 points) Play Houston
  • Seattle Supersounders (60 points) Play Chivas
  • Real Salt Lake (52 points) Play Portland Timbers
Eastern Conference:

  • Sporting KC (48 points) Play DC Utd.
  • Phila. Union (48 points) No more games
  • Columbus Crew (47 points) Play Chicago Fire
Wildcards as of now:

  • FC Dallas (52 points) Play San Jose Earthquakes
  • Colo. Rapids (46 points) Play the Vanc. Whitecaps
  • NY RedBulls (46 points) No more games
  • Houston Dynamo (46 points) Sunday vs. LA Galaxy
Maybe we will see some juggling in the standings yet. Philadelphia can be placed in a wild card position but that would seem to depend on Houston defeating LA Galaxy. At home, I guess it is a possibility. Would the Gals rest their stars? They just played that Champions League game in Honduras, that's a lot of travel and play.
Category: Soccer
Tags: MLS, playoffs
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:56 am

Iranian Players caught with cocaine.

Of all the countries that have tried to hire Diego Maradona as their coach? I wonder if Iran ever has??

From soccerway this morning:

Iran international Amou Lashgarian Hassan has been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle 690 grams of cocaine into Italy.
But imagine that! Not before it went through the UK and Netherlands and then to Italy.

Sad, sad, some of the things from that part of the world as this blog takes a bit of a look into more worldly affairs. I think some countries like Egypt and their former ruler Mubarak were not that bad, in fact, I have a good Egyptian Moslem friend, he has no problems with Israelis or Christians. God protect us from the scourge of Extremists. This International player may well be hung if he ever returns to Iran from what I know. And if this Hassan is a talent, he certainly has hurt himself in that area as well. I'm sure smuggling cocaine is going to carry a prison sentence.
Category: Soccer
Tags: mideast, scandal
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:11 pm

Beckham in Honduras

1st off: Please David, please do not pull this "we don't shave as long as we win" trick that the Gals, that is the LA Galaxy did last year. I know you did it with Landon Donovan but in the end, the Galaxy did not win it. This businesslike attitude is great. Also, in not being too much of a publicity seeker in this possible deal with Paris St. Germaine.

Down to business, the CONCACAF Champions League game was rather intriguing last night broadcast from Tegucigalpa, those poor parts of Latin America now that currently suffer but when you got the pelota, the ball, the women went wild.  I'm even reading Beck's is going to Indonesia with one Dennis Rodham sometime in the future.

Congrats to the Galaxy. I kindof hope they can win it this year in that they deserve it. Read about it here:

Category: Soccer
Tags: MLS
Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:06 pm

Championship League Rundown, 22 Oct.

Quick rundown, man, how this week has flown by, we were just talking about Tuesday's games and I don't know yet, if Birmingham City won in Europa.... but they must have played, they are the Sunday game.

How tight are things in the C-ship? The Coca Cola Fizzy Pop League? You see with the opener


Peterborough Leeds 7th vs. 11th and Leeds got a draw and still dropped places during the week. I have no idea who might win here, I assume Leeds can win it.

Cardiff City Barnsley

'Boro Derby

Ipswich Palace

Leicester Millwall, Millwall really needs a win, Beckford scored for Leicester CIty Wednesday, his first goal for the team as Sven's team makes a try for the playoff spots.

Hull City Watford

Blackpool Forest Doing this shorthand, I'm tired but it's more of a note to myself.

Pompey Doncaster

Conventry Burnley

Reading Saints, this looks like a good game, someone will surprise Southampton 'maybe', a ton of teams are playing very well but they are still 5 points clear with about 12 games played, pretty good.


Birmingham Bristol


Brighton, Hove and Albion West Ham , Man, Brighton, Hove and Albion started this season at the top and though they aren't dropping like a rock, they certainly do not have the same form. This would be a game that could get them back in the hunt, if they drop?? Maybe they'd end up in 13th place when all is done, surely they will know going into Monday's game.

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:42 am

"Bloody Confused" by Chuck Culpepper

Our library had this book, "Bloody Confused", it looked like it was going to be a great book, the amazon reviews show many think it is a great soccer/football book. For a book from the library or at a good used price, it's not too bad but I think it's far from great. The American, Culpepper follows Portsmouth soon after their promotion to the PL and in one of those years they were new to the top flight, they won, of course the FA Cup, quite a feat really. Maybe Redknapp was coaching them.  Anyway, it's a popular book, it's not too bad, it's fun reading, nothing to really weigh you down, it's not a hooligan book Maybe good but not great .

This came to mind about the book because the Big rivals of Portsmouth are??? Everyone??? Everyone knows this?? Of course, Southampton who are off to a very good start in the Championship league and while in the book, the Portsmouth fans would look down their noses at Southampton, the Saints, now it is Portsmouth who are on the skids and the way they dropped down, administration and all about 2 seasons ago but at least they did not go totally out of business. I always wondered what the author thought of his beloved Pompey with the subsequent events, something to research I suppose.

I look to see Southampton in the Premier League next year though it is a bit premature to assume they will be there.

Adopting Portsmouth as his team, he charts the strains that the 2006/07 season had on himself and the club and is completely taken over by Premiership fever. With a combination of fear, anxiety, desperation and envy, Culpepper finds out just what it is like to be a fan of a mediocre Premier League side. And not only does he find the pain, but he somehow wheedles out the joy as well.

I'd say the book "Bloody Confused" is more for those who are not real familiar with the Premier League, English football or in fact, European Soccer. "A season in Verona" is probably a similar type book about Italian football and in my opinion, in my opinion it was probably first. But all of these seem to be somewhat modelled on 'Fever Pitch' and then again, 'Fever Pitch' is modelled they say on "All played out".

But in the end, if you want a good soccer read, explore the library, they may have some. What one likes is really subjective and often depends on your preferences, your favorite teams, etc. and used, one can often find some good deals, especially when it seems a dozen books come out every month in the UK about football/soccer.

A bit off the topic but "Gas masks for Goal posts" is about British soccer/football during World War II, I've read bits of it and have had the book for a few years but I really need to buckle down and read the whole thing through. When World War II first started, I believe most football was cancelled and then, slowly came back. I've also gone through games for the English football team, the 3 Lions biggest rivals use to always be just in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales. England and Wales played a match at the Molineux during World War II, I need to refresh myself as to that story.

Category: Soccer
Tags: books
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:05 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:36 pm

Last Round of Fixtures for the MLS

There are some nuances about this last round of fixtures in the MLS and that is how it will influence post season play.

What I see mainly is that the Chicago Fire have a shot at the MLS playoffs, the Fire need to defeat Columbus Crew on Saturday and the game with the NY Red Bulls hosting Philadelphia Union would need to see NY lose for Chicago to have a shot at post season play. Well, the Red Bull Uion game is on Thursday night so at least, Chicago will know going into their game Saturday if they need to win but the Union do not have a whole lot to gain by winning except the chance to help see New York eliminated. I'm sure there are other factors as well, if Philadelphia were to win and Chicago were to win, it would go to some sort of tie breaker as the two would have 43 points.  I would think head to head would be the next tie breaker and then Goal Differential. Who knows if we will even see this scenario play out.

MLS quality of play seems to be vastly improving every year.

The Portland Timbers may have a shot as well with remaining games at DC United and at Real Salt Lake, 2 wins could help them catch the Colorado Rapids if the Rapids drop their last game vs. Vancouver. Looks like Portland loses head to head, perhaps this race is already over and it might explain why Colorado, Dallas and Real Salt Lake have been poor over the last month, they really have not had to win to make the playoffs but you'd think they'd want to avoid the wild card playoffs.

Category: Soccer
Tags: MLS
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