An interesting debate has sprung up over at the AVFC Blog on whether the real Randy Lerner is what
the PR has led us to believe (a genuine fan who will spend millions to turn Aston Villa into a top
four side) or whether he's another businessman who saw the riches the Premier League [...]
Yes, I know what they say about repeating baseless rumours, especially transfer rumours. But this
one is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, Diego Forlan has stated in the past that he'd
like to return one day to the Premier League. Two, he's come along in leaps and bounds as a striker
once he [.
Here's an interesting threesome - or something like that. Carson wants his future settled, and he's
said several times already this season that he'd rather be playing at Aston Villa than sitting on
the bench at Liverpool. Liverpool have so far been reluctant to let Carson go, and it's rumoured
that if Benitez cannot convince [.
All Premier League highlights for Sunday 30 March 2008: Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough Early headed goal
by Ricardo Carvalho was the difference between both sides. Tottenham Hotspurs 1-4 Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspurs humbled in front of their home fans while Kevin Keegan is all smiles after
Newcastle second straight victory.
People said this season that the Premier League had a 'Big 3â€², not a Big 4â€², what with
Liverpool's inconsistent performances in the domestic league. Much of that was banter, but if there
was any genuine doubt it should have been cleared today with Liverpool's win over Everton. It's not
the manner of the win [.
Newcastle came back from a goal down to beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane four goals to one. Both
team started with 3 strikers up front but it was Newcastle who made it count in the end, taking
their chances and surging to a comfortable win. The result leaves Newcastle only 4 points behind
Juventus's Serie A clash at home to Parma today has been called off following the death of a
visiting female fan at a service station. Reports say that the 28-year-old woman died following
skirmishes between rival fans at the rest stop on the A21 motorway between Turin and Piacenza. The
incident will bring back memories of [.
Today's video roundup for English Premier League matches:- Bolton 2-3 Arsenal Arsenal scrapped
passed Bolton despite playing with 10 men for most of the match. Birmingham 3-1 Manchester City
Birmingham steer themselves closer to safety thanks to a Zarate double. Portsmouth 2-0 Wigan Defoe
proved to be a good buy with a double for Portsmouth against a poor Wigan side.
Euro 2008 kicks off on Saturday 7 June 2008 and Soccerlens will be covering it every step of the
way, from the on-pitch action to team news to the wonderful fans that will be traveling to Austria
/ Switzerland. Here's the full list of Euro 2008 fixtures, bookmark and share away. Once the
Cristiano Ronaldo will continue his quest to beat Denis Law's Manchester United scoring record with
a minimum of 8 games and a maximum of 12 (assuming that Manchester United reach the Champions
League final) left to go after the Aston Villa game later today. Ronaldo's current stats make for
fearsome reading - 34 goals so [.
To put it delicately, the situation at Liverpool with respect to the current owners is something
you wouldn't wish on your enemies. It is a nightmare come true, except that it is perhaps worse
than what you'd imagine a nightmare to be. However, manager Rafael Benitez has done the right thing
by publicly insisting he [.
Oh, how we've missed Jose Mourinho. From the day he arrived at Stamford Bridge, proclaiming that he
was the Special One, to his mind games with Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger, to his sporting rivalry
with Sir Alex, to his side's complete and utter domination of the Premier League, to his persistent
baiting of clubs, [.
Chelsea are to play their first ever match in China in Guangzhou in July, the English Premier
League club announced on Friday. Chief Executive Peter Kenyon confirmed that the city in the south
of China would host the opening match of the club's pre-season Asian tour, with Chinese Super
League team Guangzhou Pharmaceutical the opposition.
Chelsea have reacted angrily to having a potentially crucial Premier League match at Everton in
mid-April brought forward by two days to suit television, claiming the move could hand Manchester
United or Arsenal the title. Chelsea, who play Wigan on Monday April 14, will now travel to
Goodison Park on the Thursday of that week [.
Benfica are so serious about prising Carlos Queiroz away from Old Trafford to become their next
permanent coach that they are reportedly willing to make him their highest paid boss with the most
control of the club ever. Over three weeks after Jose Camacho jumped before he was pushed, the
Lisbon giants maintain their pursuit [.
Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal squad to Bolton on Saturday insisting that they can emerge from
their worst run in nine seasons to reclaim the Premier League title. Four draws and a defeat in
their last five matches have seen the Gunners slip from the top of the table to third spot, six
Can I begin with an apology? This is my first post on Soccerlens about La Liga and its turned in to
a bit of a rant. Sorry. You know that feeling of mild surprise you get when you look up from your
newspaper and suddenly realise that the train you had been waiting for has arrived [...]
Five of last season's champions in Europe's six major leagues look like defending their titles
successfully this season. The exception is Germany where last season's champions VfB Stuttgart are
currently sixth. If the other five win their domestic titles, it will equal the record set in
2005/2006. Two years ago, it appeared that all six [.
The Merseyside derby in recent years has been little more than a match between two local rivals.
But this year there is more at stake as Liverpool and Everton are fighting each other for the
fourth and final Champions League spot. What more can you ask for, to spice up the local rivalry?
Both teams [.
Soccer season in the USA is almost here. We've had some exciting times already, with both DC United
and Houston Dynamo advancing to the semi finals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the Los Angeles
Galaxy completing successful tours of Australia/New Zealand and Asia, FC Dallas traveling to
Brazil, and the United States U-23 team qualifying [.
Gerry McDonnell returns with his weekly betting column on the English Premier League. Marriage is
like a chicken vindaloo, it's something you have to try at least once, even though you know you'll
later regret it. I experienced my seven-year itch quite early, it was on the honeymoon.
Fortunately, my wandering eye didn't lead to [.
It's been a turbulent decade for Fiorentina, but it's happy times in Florence again, as the Viola
are winning both domestically and continentally. Along with challenging for a place in next
season's UEFA Champions League, Cesare Prandelli's side are set to face three-time defending Dutch
champions PSV in the quarterfinals of the UEFA [.
First-timer meets long-timer in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, as European newcomer Getafe face
off against Bayern Munich. While Getafe are experiencing Europe for the first time, Bayern have
been there and done that, six times in fact (four European Cup/Champions League titles, one Cup
Winners' Cup title, and one UEFA Cup [.
See, being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League isn't the end of the world. Rangers and
Sporting both finished third in their respective Champions League groups, not good enough to
advance to the knockout round, but enough to earn a place in the UEFA Cup round of 32. Both teams
have taken [.
Since taking over as manager of Zenit St. Petersburg, former Rangers and Dutch national team coach
Dick Advocaat has led the club to new heights, including their first national top-flight
championship in more than two decades last season. Now, along with chasing a title repeat, the
reigning Russian champions are chasing European hardware [.
In the midst of all that is serious in football; in between arguing who your team should sign and
who is the biggest threat to England's qualification for the World Cup, we should all take a little
time and enjoy ourselves. For this purpose I came up with a little game to take your mind [...]
Euro 2008 attracts many big advertisers, and they don't come much bigger than Coke. Part of
Coca-Cola's campaign for Euro 2008 involves a Football Language ad - the video is below, I leave it
to you guys to judge if it's good or not. WPvideo 1.10 Download this video "Coke Football Language
Ad for Euro 2008" was originally [.
Droplets of rain seeped through the roof onto my laptop in the familiar surroundings of Craven
Cottage. Just for a brief moment, I could have been watching an English league match. The pitch in
front of me was water-sodden, the journalist sitting next to me had a dulcet cockney accent and I
could barely feel [.
With the MLS season nearly upon us, I will continue SoccerLens' buildup to the new season by having
a look at each team's new kit for 2008. The MLS is unique because, unlike other leagues, Adidas
does all of the kits by agreement with the league. Here are the 08 MLS kits (click on the
In my previous Soccerlens column, I touched on the quality of soccer/football in the top domestic
US league called MLS (Major League Soccer). Clearly, the subject isn't an entirely comfortable one
for the fans of the league and most home grown American soccer fans do tend to follow it. I follow
it as well, sometimes [.
Just had a quick read through the comments of Chelsea captain John Terry here (his interview in the
ICON magazine published yesterday), and I'm afraid he should have kept his mouth shut and gotten on
with the game instead of giving this interview. He's quite passionate about football - we see that
at Chelsea so [.
Recently, there has been some criticism on the site about the state of soccer in the United States.
However, I feel that this is not true, and because of that, I have decided to refute these claims
based on the just finished 3-0 win in Poland. US Soccer has taken great strides in past decade and
First off, as a sort of disclaimer I would like to start off by conceding that I am by no means an
expert on the topic of football fanzines. I have read a few in my time, but have not yet had the
good fortune to contribute to one. Much academic work has been carried [...]
Euro 2008 promises to be massive - with or without England. Along with team beer and several
exciting stars expected to leave a mark on the event, there's also the small matter of football
fans (if anyone forgets, this is what we had in Germany 2006). I know a lot of bloggers will be
Bayern Munich's superstars Franck Ribery and Luca Toni can expect to sleep on the job next season
as new coach Jurgen Klinsmann introduces radical changes - including beds in the team room.
Klinsmann is set to replace Ottmar Hitzfeld as Bayern coach on July 1 and has already given
instructions for a number of bold [.
Everton have beaten off competition from Manchester United and Liverpool to secure the signing of a
seven-year-old goalkeeper. Harry Yates will join up with Everton after being spotted playing for
his junior side. After much interest from a number of teams, including Manchester United and
Liverpool, his parents decided the young goalkeeper from Heaton Mersey in [.
Having lost to Arsenal a couple of weeks ago a lot of journalists went on 'Milan are old, its the
end of an era' rants which personally I think is just a lazy theme that they can knock out quickly
and painlessly - this same theme could quite easily have been said when they lost [...]
Spain v Italy Wednesday 26 March 2008, Elche, Spain Spain take on Italy in a friendly game in Elche
tonight, with both managers having more or less finalised the squads (the core at least) that they
will be taking to Euro 2008. No sign of Raul yet in the Spanish squad, and I think by this [...]
Earlier this month Goal.com talked about the possibility of Giovani Dos Santos (#5 on the Top 50
teenagers in football list for 2007 and playing 28 games for Barcelona in all competitions - with 6
starts in the league - this season) moving on from Barcelona. Reports claimed that the top brass
were unhappy [.
In the furore surrounding Javier Mascherano's dismissal (can we get past that now, please?), some
interesting comments by Keith Hackett on Sunday morning (part of his column in the Independent)
almost went unnoticed - I say almost, and thank Mihir Bose of the BBC for bringing it to the
attention of the general public.
In June, 16 of Europe's best national sides will descend upon Austria and Switzerland for the 2008
UEFA European Football Championship, or as most people call it, Euro 2008. While many of the
continent's top teams will be on display, some of Europe's - and the world's - best will be as
well, so [...
Exeter City's somewhat shaky run of form has seen them drop five points off the playoff race. But
if their 3-1 loss at relegation-threatened Weymouth caused fans to fret at the widening gap between
City and 5th place, of just as much concern has been the news that Exeter are much more in debt
Football has undergone something of a revolution in the past few decades in many ways like tactics,
diet and players themselves on the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo perhaps epitomises this in some
aspects; his extraordinary free-kicks, willingness to float from one wing to another, dribbling
ability and of course not forgetting his unbelievable goal return hitherto [.
The headlines haven't been kind to Liverpool doughnut Javier Mascherano in the wake of Liverpool's
crushing 3-0 defeat to Manchester United. "Dumbest Man On The Planet!" blasted The Sun, and the
others weren't much more complimentary either. The man himself has since spoken out in disbelief at
Steve Bennett's decision to send him packing at [.
Anyone who thought La Liga was over has been proved wrong again. Every week it gets more and more
crazy as Real Madrid and Barcelona try to outdo each other to see who can waste most chances. This
week BarÃ§a did not play well but 17-year-old Bojan Krkic scored twice as they beat Valladolid 4-1,
When last season the Spanish title race was pulled down to the wire with three teams in contention
for the trophy going into the ultimate round of matches, there was a whisper of hope rippling
across the nation and especially among the Spanish football commentators that the duopoly could be
broken at last.
There has already been much written and much said about the sending off of Liverpool's Javier
Mascherano yesterday in the 'Grand Slam Sunday' game against Manchester United. He was dismissed
for two yellow cards and with his departure went any hopes Liverpool had of getting something from
the game and any outside hopes they had [.
It's one of those things that becomes obvious with hindsight - that brands don't necessarily make
football shoes good for your feet and that you need to extensively test football boots before
committing yourself to them in a proper game to minimise any injury risk. While the likes of Nike
(with their Mercurial Vapor IV [.
It was Grand Slam Sunday yesterday as Manchester United hosted fierce rivals Liverpool before
Arsenal played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In a rather uncharacteristic fashion, the games had a
fair dose of entertainment about them, but that was the only way in which this special Sunday
differed from the other special Sundays.
Little, it seems, can stem the tide of false news and rampant speculation that comes our way from
tabloids and news sources in general. There are some obvious culprits and some less so - but
overall, there's a lot that's published in the papers with the deliberate intention of misleading
the readers (whether the [.
Someone played a bad joke on Inter Saturday night, and Roberto Mancini wasn't laughing. And who can
blame him? Juventus waited until the return leg of the Derby d'Italia to come back to greatness:
true greatness, the kind that makes you feel part of European football's Elite. The Evidence? The
As we get closer to the end of the season, each and every match of the leading sides gets more and
more important. The impact of this multiplies when two of the teams face each other, and this is
exactly what happens on Sunday, when Chelsea host Arsenal. Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Tottenham on
To quote Guardian blogger Paolo Baldini, this fixture represents a match between "the Proud and the
Usurpers; the Honest against the Defrauded; the Champions against the... eh... actual Champions.
Don't let those pretenders from AC Milan or Roma tell you otherwise - from the moment Juventus
sealed promotion back to the top flight [.
Gary Andrews had never been to a Premiership game before, choosing instead to spend many a cold
afternoon watching non-league football. How would he fare at White Hart Lane? Relief was evident on
the faces of my travelling companions in the carriage. We'd managed to get the beer in for the
journey and had just made [.
With CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying also taking place this week, the Champions Cup squads were left
without some of their more talented young players. However, the show must go on, and the more
experienced players took to the pitch once again to defend their club's honor in the second leg of
the quarter finals.
Gerry McDonnell returns with his weekly betting column on the English Premier League. Even though I
was brought up as a Catholic, I have never followed a spiritual path. I blame an over-zealous
Priest for my descent into heresy; he was constantly on my back when I was young. If my memory
serves me correctly, Easter [.
Image courtesy of Luma Mufleh and the Fugees Family. Recently, Soccerlens profiled a humanitarian
non-profit organization that assists refugees: The Fugees Family: Pride and Prejudice in a Strange
Land. Due to being banned from a local pitch, their plight received mainstream American media
coverage. As a follow-up to this important humanitarian initiative, we are very pleased to [.
Every year, the Premier League plays on when major leagues across Europe pack it in for a winter
break. We've talked about the need (or lack thereof) of a winter break in the Premier League
before, with medical opinion supporting the case for a short break in December and January. There
are two arguments [.
The Football Formation Sketcher tool allows you to do everything from plot your world-dominating
Football Manager squad, to putting together lineups for your Sunday League matches, to aiding your
match reports. You have 16 formations to work with, including the standard 4-4-2, the 5-4-1, the
3-4-3, and even five and six-a-side formations.
We've talked a lot about youth football here on Soccerlens, especially where non-official ventures
such as the Ministry of Football and Fugees Family are concerned. It's all about developing a
community-level interest to invest in the game instead of waiting for the people in charge (who
often don't have enough money to invest).
Mexico v Ghana 20:00 GMT, Wednesday, 26 March 2008, Craven Cottage (Fulham) Mexico take on Ghana in
one of two friendlies in London on Wednesday evening, and the game will give England-based fans the
opportunity to see several up and coming football stars in the flesh. There's no place for
Guillermo Ochoa in the Mexico lineup unfortunately [.
Brazil v Sweden 19:45 GMT, Wednesday, 26 March 2008, Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) Brazil return to
their UK home, Emirates Stadium, to take on Sweden in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the
1958 World Cup clash. With squads likely to include Ronaldhino, Kaka, Gilberto, Ljungberg and
Ibrahimovic this match is expected to be a sell [.
Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Committee has imposed a fine of Â£2,520 on Lyon for "incidents of
an unsporting nature". This comes after an incident at the Stade Gerland during the first leg of
the Lyon-Manchester United Champions League 2nd round last month where a fan behind the Lyon goal
targeted Cristiano Ronaldo with a [.
It's not time to gloat yet - no way even near that. But after an assured performance by a
distinctly second-choice Manchester United backline and a cracker of a game over at White Hart Lane
(Tottenham v Chelsea seems to be the new Liverpool v Chelsea, albeit a lot more fun), Manchester
United move 3 [.
For the better part of the last 60 minutes, I've tried to make sense of the Mascherano sending off.
It is unfortunate that the match will be remembered more for the action of 2 men (Javier Mascherano
and Steve Bennett) than for Pepe Reina's keeping (sublime and shaky in equal measures) or Brown's
Drogba scores twice to help Chelsea come from a goal down to preserve their home record, keep
United's lead down to 5 points and perhaps most poignantly, deal a severe blow to Arsenal's title
chances. Avram Grant has come under severe criticism this season, and perhaps (perhaps) it is no
coincidence that the lack of [.
Tottenham Hotspur 4-4 Chelsea English Premier League Spurs fans could have been forgiven their
sense of foreboding ahead of this evening's kick-off. With little left to play for in the league
and having seen their side surrender three points at Manchester City last Sunday, concern was
abound that the end of their season could deteriorate as badly [.
Two international matches take place in London next Wednesday - but neither fixture involves
England. While the Three Lions play France in Paris, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium hosts an encounter
between Brazil and Sweden and Fulham's Craven Cottage sees Ghana take on Mexico. The prospect of
watching the likes of Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Michael Essien and [.
Roy Keane has done his hardman image considerable damage - he's brought in a psychologist to help
inspire his Sunderland players to success. But that's not the worst part of it actually - he's
brought in the same person who was appointed by Steve McClaren to help the England players, Bill
Beswick (he was also [.
Ahh... Lazio-Roma. Traditionally called "Stracittadina" (or conventionally "Derby della Capitale"),
these derbies are always full of excitement: Laziali and Romanisti go crazy for them, because on
top of providing plenty of entertainment (to neutral watchers as well), Stadio Olimpico bragging
rights for the entire season are at stake.
The English FA's initiative to increase investment in grassroots football as well as formal
recognition for the need to concentrate on helping referees, improving training / playing
facilities and training the coaches is much appreciated - as any such initiative from a governing
authority would be. The strategy outline can be downloaded here (8MB, so [.
Hugo has an interesting article up today on back-up goalkeepers - and one of the points he makes is
how first-choice keepers, when demoted to the bench, become easily frustrated and move off to
greener pastures. Hugo: ...it is in this light that we can see the desertion of a trio of excellent
goalies from a [.
For one reason or another, this season has seen a number of long-suffering back-up goalkeepers
finally venturing into the first eleven on a regular basis. Almunia at Arsenal has at long last
cast off the albatross of Mad Jens Lehmann from around his neck, leaving Lehmann to vilipend and
gnash his teeth together like Muttley [.
In this week's WagSnatch roundup, Beckham plays for his England and Hollywood future (what, you
think Indiana Jones is just about the money?), Rooney is getting bald, Coleen does not want his
name and Danielle Lloyd, famous for stripping in front of a lens, is in a titz over some 'personal'
In the Soccerlens forum, Frankie asks: The last few games seem to be causing SAF some concern: 1-0
against Lyon, 0-1 against Portsmouth and 1-0 against Derby. It's the old early season 1-0 routine
again, although this time not all the results are going United's way. The statistics over the last
2 games make for pretty [.
When Joey Barton converted a stoppage time penalty at Fulham on December 15th, Newcastle fans could
have been forgiven for thinking their side may well have turned the corner. After all, they had
bounced back from a humiliating home defeat to Liverpool- one that left enduring images of angry
fans yelling "You don't know what [.
Images courtesy of the Fugees Family. I was initially drawn to this story due to an event in my own
life. During high school in Washington, D.C., my football (soccer) team was not allowed to practice
on our home pitches. "Those fields are for the real athletes." As in gridiron football. We did have
use of [.
Over the past three seasons, Australia's marquee player system has quickly settled into two clear
classes â€“ the overseas marquee players and local players (usually, but not necessarily, returning
from stints in one of the many European leagues). Season 1 â€“ 2005/06 There were two Australian
marquee players in the opening season the A-League.
I write a lot about the English Championship and in that league the top four, Stoke City, Bristol
City, Watford and West Brom, are all doing their level best not to get automatic promotion. Only
Stoke have won in their last two games, and that is one in five for them. The rest of the [...]
While some of us are just big dreamers, there are a few who actually do have the talent to sign
that dream contract with one of the world's top clubs. But, not everyone has the chance to catch
the eye of that scout from Manchester United, Real Madrid, or even Blackpool. Well, [...]
As the non-league season gears up for its climax so, inevitably, do the lawyers, as the annual
courtroom battles begin that could have a significant say on the relegation places in the Blue
Square Premier. From a point of business-as-usual two weeks ago, suddenly the teams scraping over
the final two relegation scraps from the [.
Entertaining and unpredictable are the two words I would use to describe the first leg of the
CONCACAF Champions Cup quarter finals. There are several reoccurring themes in Central American
football, all of which were on display this week: lots of bookings, a bit of diving, and crazed
supporters. It will be interesting to see [.
As I have written previously, the Australian A-League introduced the marquee player system as a way
of attracting quality players while preventing expensive bidding wars that risked placing clubs in
financial danger before the season was even underway. A well selected overseas marquee player
offers more to a club and the League than just razzle [.
"See I was supposed to be a footballer but they kept pickin' the other kid who was a foot taller I
got lazy and less enthusiastic I stopped trainin' and turning up to matches started sabotaging the
manager's tactics but when I did play I used to score hat-tricks then I gave up now I'm in the
music biz and I wont ever let [.
2007 review Well, there isn't much to say about the Earthquakes. There used to be a San Jose
Earthquakes club, but they moved to Houston in 2005. All the players and most of the coaching staff
went to the Houston Dynamo, and the community of San Jose mourned the loss of their club. The Bay
2007 review 2007 was Toronto FC's first year in existence. While it wasn't always smooth (setting
the record for most consecutive goal-less minutes), they did manage a respectable six victories in
their first season. A lack of squad depth and an abundance of injuries hurt the team in ways they
would not recover from, ending up [.
Formerly the fans without a team, it's been a long time coming for The SOBs. The Sons of Ben are a
group of soccer fans from Philadelphia whose outspoken support lead to February's announcement of
an MLS expansion team landing to the City of Brotherly Love in 2010. The team will play in [...]
2007 review A fantastic season for Chivas ended in frustration. Injuries to leading goal-scorers
Maykel Galindo and Ante Razov led to the team scoring just once in their final three matches and
not at all in the playoffs. Before losing 1-0 on aggregate to the late surging Kansas City Wizards,
Chivas won fifteen, drew eight, and [.
2007 Review Missing out on a playoff spot and failing to score were the most common themes for the
Rapids in 2007. Despite drawing up an agreement to be Arsenal's American representatives, the
Londoners' magical footballing prowess did not rub off on the Rocky Mountaineers. They finished
five points and two places adrift of the last [.
2007 review After losing to Chivas de Guadalajara in the semi final of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup,
DC United went on to win the MLS Supporters Shield with sixteen wins, seven draws, and seven losses
in the league. Even if Chivas USA had won their last match, DC would have still won the Shield on
2007 review Owners of 2007's last Western Conference playoff spot, FC Dallas made great strides
with a very young team. They ended the regular season with thirteen wins, five draws, and twelve
losses, but they safely qualified for the playoffs and were seeded fifth. The US Open Cup is
usually a great competition for young players, and [.
2007 review Not too many things need to be said about the Dynamo in 2007. They won the MLS Cup by
using their established core of players (much like New England's core) and winning matches at key
times. For instance, they were on a three-game losing streak in early June when they came up
against their [.
2007 review To sum it up quickly, a season full of hope, glamour, and global expansion ending in
mediocrity, shame, and defeat on the pitch. Maybe that's a bit dramatic, but for the hype the LA
Galaxy were given in 2007, they were a huge disappointment. Fixture congestion and injuries led to
the Galaxy finishing fifth [.
2007 review In 2007, New England finished in second place in the MLS Cup for the third straight
season. In fact, the Revs have been finalists four times and semi-finalists twice in the last six
seasons, but they have never won an MLS Cup. This is agonizing for me personally because New
England has always been [.
2007 review 2007 was a year of ups and downs for the Wiz. Ultimately, defeat to eventual champions
Houston in the MLS Cup semi finals was about as good as they could have hoped for. Kansas City was
one of the most entertaining teams to watch last season, mostly thanks to manager Curt Onalfo's
refusal to [.
2007 review 2007 was another disappointment for the team established in 2005 in Utah. It was just
like their first two seasons in that they ended one spot off the bottom of the league table. They
won six, drew nine, and lost fifteen in a season that can be described only as another building
year. Coach Jason [.
2007 review New York were unlucky to have to play New England in the first round of the MLS Cup
playoffs in 2007. Finishing third in the Eastern Conference, with a record of twelve wins, seven
draws, and eleven losses wasn't enough to save former US manager Bruce Arena's job, but an
up-and-down season also led [.
It's a fact. Nobody wants to go up. Stoke are failing to seriously threaten teams who are reduced
to ten men, Bristol City are losing at home, Watford are missing penalties for fun and West Brom
are losing 4-1 at home to a relegation threatened team. Just what is going on! Let's look at what
The Schmap Premier League widget allows sport fanatics to spice up their website or blog with the
latest results from their favorite team, and contrary to its name, provides a lot more outside of
the EPL. The Schmap Premier League widget allows you to see the updated fixture list and results
from your [.
Australia's A-League was born out of the ashes of the old National Soccer League (NSL). The NSL was
plagued by poor management, ethnic rivalries and a low profile compared to the â€˜traditional'
football codes of rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules football (depending on which state
you lived in).
Dan Leo takes an in-depth look at US Soccer, the problems it faces and what the future holds for
soccer in America. Soccer isn't big in the US. It's not a major sport. It's not even a second tier
sport. It's below that. The top American soccer league MLS draws the attendance numbers similar to
small European [.
Frankie from the SL forum pops the question: 4 Successive draws against Birmingham, Wigan, Aston
Villa and Middlesborough. 8 points dropped in just 4 games. Six points dropped against teams
battling against relegation. Two very lucky draws in the last 2 home games; equalisers with 5
seconds left against Villa, and with 4 minutes to [.
It's been a rather exciting week for American soccer fans. For the benefit of those overseas (and
all those in the US that are living under a rock), I have compiled some of the more newsworthy
items in the past week or so: Cuban Olympic team depleted In any major competition, teams are going
to lose players [.
Gerry McDonnell returns with his weekly betting column on the English Premier League. There's life
in the old dog...unfortunately Like Wayne Rooney, I'm a lover of the old. I'm never happier than
when some wrinkled old seaside-bungalow hogger is regaling me with tales of a bygone age. If my old
man is to be believed, and he's [.
So near yet so far away! If Big Darius Henderson had converted from the spot at Ashton Gate I would
have been writing this article in a much more optimistic mood. What I didn't know at the time was
that Hendo actually had no chance! Anyway, there's a big weekend ahead at both ends of the [...]
With now only 8 teams remaining in each respective tournament, UEFA's headquarters in Nyon
(Switzerland) will host the draws on Friday afternoon for the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals of the
2007/08 UEFA club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The UEFA Champions
League draw will be made at 13.
Why is Frank Lampard so upset at not being offered a new contract? At his age and with his talents,
he could walk into any team (yes, even Liverpool with their stuffed central midfield) if he were to
leave Chelsea. And he wants to stay at Chelsea, then he already has a contract on [...]
Sunderland have led something of a yo-yo existance over the past few years. Promotion to the
Premier League with a record points total in 1999 was followed by two successful years in the top
flight with consecutive 7th place finishes. The next season was less successful and relegation with
a record low number of points [.
If Arsene Wenger, Alex Ferguson or Rafael Benitez could hand-pick their clubs' quarter-final
opponents in Friday's Champions League draw, it's likely they would take Schalke. Avram Grant might
be less inclined to revisit Germany after Chelsea's backs-to-the-wall 0-0 draw at the Veltins Arena
last November, during which the Premiership side were put under serious pressure by [.
PSV Eindhoven 0 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur (1-1 agg, PSV win 6-5 on pens) UEFA Cup Round of 32, Second
Leg Juande Ramos' grip on the UEFA Cup was finally relinquished at the Phillips Stadion, almost
three years to the day the Spaniard first scooped the trophy on this very ground, with former club
In today's edition of WagSnatch Roundup Ashley Cole has a sex ban, Clancy loves her cheeseburgers,
Posh launches a new line of men jeans, Chantelle is a wannabe WAG, while we also have a new WAG
alert, Danielle Lloyd is still sticking to her no-footballers resolution, what led Gazza to
depression and Goldenballs old flame [.
Cancel your SKY subscription. Sell the dog, re-mortgage the house, pawn your wedding ring, don't
renew your season ticket, walk past the bookies. Count your savings, find a travel agent and book a
flight to Brasil. Pack some football shorts, t-shirts, camera, a football and take your spirit of
adventure to the heart of the [.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times... Football is at war. This war is being fought
in boardrooms and courtrooms, in the media and in secret conversations and meetings between top
officials and powerful businessmen who care far more about their longterm ROI than the game. And
most importantly, this war [.
Cardiff City compete in their first FA Cup semi-final since 1927, when they take on Championship
rivals Barnsley at Wembley next month. With only one Premiership side left in the famous old
competition, never has the Welsh side had such a great chance of bringing the Cup back to Ninian
Park for the first time [.
I'm sure many of you would never have given Millwall manager Kenny Jackett a second thought. His
team currently sit in 18th place in English League One. He has never held down a really high
profile job and to my knowledge has never been linked with any top jobs when they have become
vacant or [...]
So, I've had a little time to rest up after the past week, and what a week it was. It wrapped up on
Sunday with the final two matches of the doubleheader, as Houston and D.C. played for the
tournament title. The Dynamo fans said that they were bringing several busloads for Sunday's match,
Unbeaten in ten matches, winners of the prestigious Algarve Tournament and among the favourites to
land the Uefa Under-17 championship this summer â€“ are England unearthing a new â€˜Golden
Generation' of talent fifteen years after the last great side to promise so much ? It was 1993 when
an England Under-18 side including Gary Neville, Paul [.
Football boot manufacturers Umbro have launched a brand new boot. The SX Flare is described by the
manufacturers as "The perfect boot for today's fast paced game". Top stars who are wearing the boot
include Newcastle and England striker Michael Owen, Everton and Australia star Tim Cahill and
Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson.
In French they would say: "Sortie par la petite porte" (exit through the small door). The
hypothetical Grande Inter who has been utterly dominating the Serie A for the past 3 seasons will,
for another year, remain but only a mirage in European context: an unachieved dream which the
millions of Nerazzurri fans will [.
In terms of excitement, drama and pure unpredictability, this season's title race is shaping up to
be the best for many years and just when it looks like someone is about to pull away, to put a bit
of clear water between themselves and second place, there's another surprise lurking around the
In my excitement to get my previews for the upcoming MLS season done, I've just remembered to write
one for the Champions Cup as well. North America's current version of the Champions League (to be
replaced next year with the CONCACAF Champions League), the CONCACAF Champions Cup is played
between eight teams, in the spring [.
After Milan's disastrous showing in the Champions League against Arsenal, many are predicting major
signings to be made in summer and names have been thrown around. Drogba, Benzema, Frey, and Thiago
are all said to be potential signings, but the one that shocked me the most was Shevchenko. Yes,
Reuters soccer blog will be covering Euro 2008 with several reporters but they are looking for the
help of our readers in relation to videos from the tournament. Reuters would like you to send your
own video contributions. If you're at a match in Austria or Switzerland then that would be ideal,
but if you have [.
Anybody looking for evidence that the Blue Square Premier is nearer to a proper fifth tier of
English football than the top level of non-league only need take a look at the teams battling
relegation. All the main contenders are part-time and at least two have undergone major financial
trauma recently, showing the difficulties of not [.
24 hours before the Inter Milan vs. Liverpool clash, there are mainly two ideas expressed by Inter
manager Roberto Mancini. Number 1: "Whatever the result tonight, I don't believe the whole season
should be based on this game". Number 2: "We are not at our best, we have players who are still
recovering and [.
So Watford had a pretty good weekend. They didn't play, but watched Charlton lose at home, Stoke
and Bristol City pick up only a point each and West Brom continue to keep an interest in the FA
Cup. Maybe we should have more weekends off! In a week where Championship footballers have hit the
headlines for [.
It really is a crazy time in La Liga. At the end of January Real Madrid had a nine point advantage
over rivals Barcelona, two weeks ago that difference was reduced to two points, but BarÃ§a's
successive defeats against Atletico Madrid and Villarreal have given Real Madrid the chance to move
eight points clear with [.
Lurking crisis shadows begone. Inter Milan are back on the winning track, obtaining their first
victory after 3 winless matches in the Serie A (4 if you count their little mishap at Anfield two
weeks ago), and making the party all the more special is the celebration for the Nerazzurri's 100
years anniversary, or [.
The stage is FC Barcelona's famous Camp Nou stadium. The scoreline? 1-0, although you'd be forgiven
for thinking that no-one cared. The reason for this lack of interest? One of the divo's clothed in
red and blue is prostrated pitchside, tears streaming down his youthful face. The moment is frozen
The Texas Pro Soccer Festival is wrapping up today, so there's only one more day of action to
report on after today. On Friday, I didn't go to the practices, which allowed me some extra time to
get some work done ahead of the evening's doubleheader, and also to finally get my hair cut. [...]
FIFA, world football's governing body, has revealed goal-line technology will not be introduced
into the game in the foreseeable future - despite three years trialling various systems. Speaking
at this weekend's International Football Association Board (IFAB) annual meeting, FIFA general
secretary, Jerome Valcke, said that his organisation has "decided to freeze, for the time,
goal-line technology [.
Ashley Stestanovich may have acted as a body double for Thierry Henry but the similarity between
the two ends there. Henry has legendary status at Arsenal, would be high on the list of all-time
greatest foreigners to grace the Premier League, and currently plies his trade at Barcelona.
Stestanovich is currently serving eight years for [.
Which league has experienced a 900% increase in foreign players since its creation? Which league
has seen players' annual salaries from 15 years ago left for dead compared to today's weekly
earnings? Which league, if left to continue its current state of rot, is nearing the ever-dreaded
apocalypse of football.
With a suitcase full of belongings at his feet, 15-year-old schoolboy Liam Brady stood nervously
inside Highbury's marble halls, day dreaming he would one day stride out of the nearby tunnel onto
the hallowed turf as a first team star. The apprehensive young Irishman not only had his bag, but
he also had the [.
On Wednesday, I interviewed Chivas USA forward Ante Razov after the team's morning scrimmage with
D.C. United here at the Texas Pro Soccer Fest. Razov is one of four players still active in MLS
that were part of the league's first season, and with the exception of a short stint in Spain, he's
One of the legends of the Republic of Ireland and Arsenal, Liam Brady, age 52, has agreed terms to
assist Giovanni Trapattoni. Mr. Brady signed a two year contract with an option for a similar
length after the initial term. He will join former Juventus teammate, Marco Tardelli, who is also
part of Mr.
Sunderland manager Roy Keane seems to think so: "Five major decisions have gone against us. We keep
talking about fairness but the decisions certainly haven't gone our way. You're looking at six
points lost. ... I find it very hard to take some of the comments that come my way from referees
and officials and generally the attitude [.
I wrote an article about the apparent fear of going up. The excitement of promotion but the almost
instant realisation that weekly humiliation may follow. That fear seems to be attacking nearly
everyone. Only Bristol City seem to be really marching on proudly towards the Premiership, whilst
West Brom may have recovered from their 'blip'.
Fiorentina 2 Everton 0. For Viola fans, that's what you call 'being on a good run'. After their
historic victory against Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico of Turin, the Viola have extended their
excellent moment of form and brought an end to Everton's 7 consecutive victories in Europe.
Tonight's 90 minutes have ended with [.
As the oldest football competition in the world - the FA Cup has seen its fair share of highs and
lows. Here in 2008 we are awaiting the quarter-finals, with only four top flight teams left and
only two of the perceived â€˜Big Four'. Last year saw those same two teams - Manchester United and
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United Premier League, White Hart Lane, 15:00 GMT, Sunday 9 March 2008
My profuse apologies to Tottenham and West Ham fans for the title of this article, but with Arsenal
and Chelsea flying high in the Premier League and in Europe, it's hard to make a case for either of
these two [.
A few questions that have been asked - some in the past 24 hours, others in the past year or so.
Surprisingly (or not) they involve the big four (and their two closest challengers), so let's look
at them one by one: Should Theo Walcott Leave Arsenal? Not till the end of next season at the [...]
While I'm here in San Antonio, my main task is covering the Texas Pro Soccer Fest from all angles,
not only for SL, but also one of the event's main organizers, Ziga-Zoga, and for MLSNet.com. So,
it's been a very busy week, to say the least. But on Wednesday, I was a [...]
Like Martin Luther King and Gandhi, I'm a fan of passive resistance; but there are some things in
life that we have to fight for. For me, it's a baby's smile, the love of a mute woman or more
affordable prices at the petrol pump. It's to my deep and lasting regret that a serious [...]
Football fans all over England sat back in disbelief this week as the ruthless powers that be on
the Football Association's disciplinary panel voted against a refereeing decision and rescinded
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard's red card.....Not! Sarcasm aside the latest developments
unfolding this week have only served to highlight the FA's favouritism for the Premier League [.
Manchester United v Portsmouth FA Cup, Old Trafford, 12:45 GMT, Saturday 08 March 2008 FA Cup fever
hits us again this weekend with it being Quarter Final time. There's real excitement as the likes
of Barnsley, Cardiff, West Brom, Middlesbrough and Bristol Rovers fight for a place in the Wembley
Liverpool v Newcastle United Premier League, Anfield, 15:00 GMT, Saturday 8 March 2008 Not a lot is
going right for poor Kevin Keegan. As his team slump towards possible relegation he has a visit to
his old stomping ground at Anfield to look forward to. Just a couple of weeks ago he saw tomorrow's
opponents go out [.
Last year, when three of the 'Big Four' from the Premier League safely negotiated their way to the
semi-finals of the Champions League, the English press drove itself silly trying to get the country
to pat itself on the back for the greatness of English football. Here were England's finest
conquering all before them [.
Now think about that headline for a second - doesn't it make you curious? Doesn't it jump out at
you as a paradox - regardless of the terms (and they were not as bad or acrimonious as the media
would like you to believe) Mourinho left Chelsea on, for him to say something like [...]
"We are top of the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. We
beat the holders at home, so why can't we win them both?" The words of an understandably excited
Cesc Fabrigas after Arsenal's wonderful victory in the San Siro. Arsenal are far from the only team
looking to do [.
There are some occasions when a big performance from the referee is needed. Of course it would be
more pleasant if referees did their jobs well every match, but that is not possible. That being
said you would expect that Europe's top club competition, where Europe's top players, top managers,
best stadiums and on occasion [.
It's after 6 in the morning here, and really, I should be asleep, but I have a couple of
event-related pieces to finish before I can call it a night. However, I feel obligated to respond
to this article, simply because in the time that I've been here in San Antonio, I've seen
Tuesday night at the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona have just beaten Celtic and 75,000 fans donning Barca
colours erupt with ecstasy. And why shouldn't they? After all, the premier institution of
Barcelona, the symbol and representation of all that is Catalan (and more importantly all that is
anti-Madrid) is now in the last 8 of [.
In today's WagSnatch Roundup â€“ is the Cole soap opera FINALLY over, Goldenballs gets chummy on LA
Galaxy tour, Posh in a deal for a new reality show, Goldenballs sister celebrates her birthday
(without a cat fight this time), Danielle Lloyd says no to footballers, new craze among the WAGs,
Rooney likes to float and [.
Well, that was a surprise. No, not Real Madrid losing at home to Roma (bye bye Schuster, hello
Jose?), although Roma must be commended for their excellent efforts (for full coverage, read
Chris's live blog / report). No, the surprise was seeing Liverpool fans searching on Google for
information on the 2nd leg game against [.
Soccerlens editor Eddie Griffin is in San Antonio covering the Texas Pro Soccer Fest, a pre-season
tournament / training camp for MLS teams DC United, Chivas USA, Toronto FC and defending MLS
champions, Houston Dynamo. Now that I finally have a chance to really sit down and knock something
out, I have a few tips [.
After a triumphant year 2007 in which the Rossoneri conquered successively the UEFA Champions
League, European Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup, the Red & Black king was forced to abdicate
his throne tonight. The mighty Gunners of Arsenal, lead by the brilliance of their talisman player
Cesc Fabregas, felt a bit of [.
With Europe coming to a standstill (or the whole world, if you believe Scudamore) for the 2nd leg
of the Champions League round of 16, we're not doing the daily news today, just a wrap-up of
Champions League action. Of course, there's the small matter of Liverpool being taken over (ok, I
mean under [.
Everything is ready for Real Madrid vs. Roma. Giallorossi supporters have arrived in the Spanish
capital, ready to face off against their Merengues opponents in a battle stadium chants. Meanwhile,
the two managers Bernd Schuster and Luciano Spalletti have already begun their 'battle of the
mind': a tactical showdown which will determine who holds [.
Milan have threw away all the good work done at the Emirates Stadium. 0-0 at Emirates, they had the
upper hand going into the second leg, but then, they threw it all away. Both sides started the
match nervously, and both sides had periods of domination but halfway through the first half
something inexplicable happened.
Steven Taylor, the much-hyped (and promising) Newcastle United defender: "The longer I hear nothing
from the club the more I fear they want to sell me. If there is no offer on the table by the summer
then I will have no choice but to look at my options." So, assuming that Newcastle United get
Andriy Schevchenko has been a great player by anyone's reckoning. Nearly 200 goals in just under
400 league appearances at Dinamo Kiev, Milan and Chelsea. He was European footballer of the year in
2004 and has been in the top ten on five other occasions. Six times he has been in the top ten of
The Blue Square Premier Race may be tighter than it's been for the past few seasons but, after
another unpredictable weekend, few would be against Aldershot Town taking the title and giving the
Hampshire town league football for the first time since the old Aldershot side went bust in 1992.
Following their narrow 2-1 at second [.
Following their last-minute 1-0 defeat at home to Blackburn at the weekend, Newcastle
midfielder/striker Alan Smith has issued a rallying cry to his teammates. "We've got to show to
everyone that we want to fight for the cause. It's getting tight but you always knew it would do.
We looked at our home games as [.
Today's roundup - a quick wrap of interesting links plus a look at today's Champions League games:
Stuff You Should Read... Breaking the Arsenal Narrative - now I don't always agree with MP (and
he's wrong about a few things this time too), but it is interesting to see a member of the media
who doesn't [.
There was once an Aladdin who used to gently stroke the side of his magic lamp and a genii would
rush out and serve him as he would ask him to. There was once a Frank Rijkaard who used to lightly
pat Ronaldinho on the back before matches and the Brazilian would tie the knot [...]
Following up on my previous article about why the MLS will be successful in the future, I have
realized that not many people know just how the MLS works today. Sure there are two tables, a
playoff system, and some weird rules about players and salaries, but who knows exactly what goes on
in this [...
Real Madrid's 2-3 victory at Recreativo put their advantage over second place Barcelona back to
five points this weekend after BarÃ§a went down 4-2 at Atletico Madrid. Brazilian star Robinho came
on as a substitute to win the game for Madrid with two goals in the last twenty minutes, but the
performance of the week [.
For much of the season, FC Barcelona were in crisis (and if you follow Marca or AS, then you would
be led to believe that Barca are immersed in turmoil almost forever). The team wasn't playing too
well, the players appeared physically under par, the Ronaldinho fracture was threatening to boil
and spill all over [.
It finally happened. After 31 straight matches without a loss, Inter were eventually forced raise
the white flag on Sunday, courtesy of a near-perfect Napoli team galvanized by the atmosphere of
their home stadium. Seems hard to believe doesn't it? The Nerazzurri had not lost a game since
April 18th 2007 (a 3-1 home [.
Fun, fun weekend, eh? Hmmmm...tomorrow I'll be previewing the midweek Champions League fixtures, so
keep a lookout for that. Today though, we have a quick roundup: 1. Teddy Sheringham to retire...
...and to take up a career as a professional gambler to put his sharp brain to good use. Or maybe
not. Which WAG was he banging [.
Before I start, I'd just like to write a few words about Teddy Sheringham who has announced his
retirement from playing at the end of this season. He will be 42 when he finishes and still oozes
class. It is a shame that his last season as a player may well end in relegation. Teddy has [...]
Liverpool fans are a funny bunch. Case in point: this article whinging about the *hate* the media
has for Liverpool, based on the brilliant insight that Chelsea and Manchester United ALSO rotate
their squads, and yet the respective managers get no flak for it. You MORON! They get no flak for
it because it WORKS!
Liverpool fans are a funny bunch. Case in point: this article whinging about the *hate* the media
has for Liverpool, based on the brilliant insight that Chelsea and Manchester United ALSO rotate
their squads, and yet the respective managers get no flak for it. You MORON! They get no flak for
it because it WORKS!
Images courtesy of AC Cugini Scuola Calcio. Each year, AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Football School)
takes young players on tours of Italy where they compete against Italian teams. This summer, there
will be an added bonus: 5 days with ACF Fiorentina, one of the oldest clubs of the Serie A, and the
next opponent of Everton [.
Champions League preparation wasn't the same ballpark game for Milan as it was for Roma on
Saturday. While the Giallorossi will be travelling to Madrid with a confident feeling (Roma put on
a brilliant display of footy today, winning their home game vs. Parma 4-0), the Rossoneri will be
coming from a rather bleak [.
Back with the fourth installment of his series on exciting young English managers in the Football
League, Hugo Steckelmacher looks at Scunthorpe United's Nigel Adkins, a man hard to pigeon-hole.
Come back next week for Paul Ince! Who needs Mourinho, we've got our physio â€“ Scunthorpe fans'
regular chant, home and away.
I have not written for Soccerlens before, but I did notice a general lack of posts about Major
League Soccer. Although the MLS is generally acknowledged to be in the Special Olympics category of
soccer leagues, I believe that reputation will change with time. I am qualified to talk
authoritatively about the future of the MLS [.
This is my first post in a while so I thought I would talk about the less than serious points of
the beautiful game. I have one very simple question to answer in this article; what would a
footballer do if football didn't exist? To put it kindly, footballers would have bugger-all in
terms of usage [.
The Newcastle United legend gives his thoughts on Keegan's start at Newcastle, and what the future
holds for the beleaguered club; discusses the England squad under Fabio Capello; and his own future
coaching and management plans. WPvideo 1.10 Download this video Wednesday 27th February 2008:
Shearer was in London to launch â€˜Have Your Say', the biggest global [.
The Premier League's controversial announcement to host an extra round of games overseas hasn't
been halted by the worldwide opposition to the plans, according to notes released from the Football
Supporters' Federation's meeting with the league's chief executive Richard Scudamore. Despite
strong opposition from FIFA's President, Sepp Blatter, and supporters' groups along with concerns
As a writer on this site, a site that takes it's football seriously and looks to go into some depth
to analyse the game, I am constantly reading, talking to people looking at fansites etc, in order
to find the big news stories and try to make sense of them for the readers. There is no [...]
Some people got pissed off yesterday on a few of the articles. Here's the thing - personal abuse
(i.e. calling the author shite) is not on. You want to do that, go and setup your own blog. If
you're going to comment, do the responsible thing and criticise the opinion instead of the man. On
This week, Major League Soccer will be coming to south Texas, in the first (of hopefully many)
Texas Pro Soccer Fest. From March 3-9, four of MLS' most popular teams and some of the league's
biggest stars will be on display in the San Antonio area, in a weeklong training camp and friendly