Sanford's Soccer Net Archives for January 2007

Alan Hansen's Column

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The weekend is over and when we all get our breath back after some fantastic football we can all agree on one fact - simply that the Premier League is in great shape.

Gabriele Marcotti: Why Premier League would love New York

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Audiences are global, so why not give them a taste of the product in the flesh? Clubs have been going on preseason tours for years, but, precisely because far-flung audiences are becoming savvy, they know that a midsummer friendly is, ultimately, a meaningless exhibition match. There is nothing like the real thing - when points are at stake – to satisfy the craving.

Raphael Honigstein: Amateurs rescue Stuttgart as goal drought grips Germany

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A third-choice right-back helping out on the left salvaged a win for Stuttgart as this week's nine Bundesliga games returned just 12 goals.

Sid Lowe: Sevilla put faith in testicular fortitude

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Manuel Jiménez's unfeasibly large gonads can't obscure the fact that replacing Juande Ramos is a massive task.

Paolo Bandini: Sluggish Rossoneri need injection of pace

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Milan's belief that their Serie A campaign will improve betrays a naivety over the club's shortcomings.

Brazil's long wait to host World Cup set to end

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Brazil's long wait to stage the World Cup will end on Tuesday (1430 GMT) when it is named the host nation for the 2014 finals. Brazil is the only candidate to stage the world's largest and most lucrative single-sport tournament after its bid was approved by FIFA's technical delegation last week. By the time the finals kickoff, 64 years will have passed since the South American country hosted the World Cup for the only other time.

Knee op rules Scholes out for three months

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United boss Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday a first scan proved inconclusive - but a second examination today has confirmed ligament damage, meaning Scholes will now be out of action until February.

Teams of the Week in the EPL, La Liga and Serie A

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Premier League

La Liga

Serie A

Allen Hopkins: Best XI for the 2007 MLS Season

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Sacha Kljestan, Chivas USA -- Better get used to his name as Kljestan is now officially on the radar. Finishing tied for second in the league with 13 assists is one thing, but putting together solid performance after solid performance is another as he has become one of the most consistent midfielders in the league. He has a great first touch and superb vision and is an accurate passer, fit and strong, and tough in and out of tackles.

Americans Abroad

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J.R. Eskilson and Zac Lee Rigg roundup the performances put forth by the Americans playing throughout several leagues in Europe outside of England. USA's Matthew Braine looks at each American players performance over this past weekend in England and Scotland.

England: Premier League Wrap

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Sun 28th October 2007Bolton1-1Aston Villa13:30
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Derby County0-2Everton14:00

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Sat 27th October 2007Birmingham3-2Wigan Athletic15:00

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Chelsea6-0Manchester City15:00

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Man Utd4-1Middlesbrough15:00

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Portsmouth0-0West Ham

Spain: La Liga Wrap + Table

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Henry and Messi lead Barca, Real Madrid Cruise...

October 28, 2007GPPT Real Madrid922 Barcelona920 Villarreal918 Valencia918 Atlético Madrid917 Espanyol917 Mallorca915 Racing Santander915 Real Zaragoza914 FC Sevilla812 Murcia912 Almeria911 Athletic Bilbao910 Osasuna89 Real Betis98 Recreativo Huelva98 Deportivo La Coruña98 Valladolid96 Getafe95 Levante91

Late Adu goal lifts 10-man Benfica to second

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Looks like Freddy is starting to settle. Good News.

Richard Williams: Berbatov pulls out all the stops as players seek to impress Ramos

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He may fit Spurs' proud attacking history but Juande Ramos has a host of problems to address.

Alive and unchecked - a wave of anti-Jewish hate

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'Spurs are on their way to Belsen, Hitler's gonna gas 'em again...' It's not a song you would expect to hear on a family day out at a Premier League game, but it is one of several anti-Semitic chants still heard at some top-flight grounds. While the message about anti-black abuse is in the public consciousness, campaigners say that anti-Semitism is alive - and unchecked.

MLS Weekend Wrap: Lower seeds are poised for upsets

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Steve Davis: With a trio of upset wins in the first leg, seedings were once again proved irrelevant in the MLS playoffs.

Italy: Serie A Reports

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Drab Draw For Genoa and Fiorentina

Roma beat Milan while Juventus are toppled by Napoli and Inter held by Palermo...

R. Mehdi: There was a conspiracy in favour of Juventus during Moggi's crooked reign now I would suggest, for this season at least, there is a conspiracy against them. That sick feeling most Juventus supports have in their stomachs right now, that's how it feels to be cheated.

Liverpool Versus Arsenal

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While another form of football was boring the pants of spectators at a muddy Wembley, the real game of the day in England was taking place at Anfield.

The match proved without doubt that Arsenal are the real McCoy. Liverpool, who badly missed Agger and foolishly risked Torres, were lucky to get away with a point. But for the posts and a fear of open goals Arsenal would have taken all three.

Phil Ball in Spain: Steak, Eggs and Juande Ramos

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I was out with my mates last Friday night in the local greasy Joe's (well - the owner's called José Mari actually), and after downing a fine round of 'filete con las obras' (steak with the works) - the works consisting of chips, red peppers and two fried eggs, we were just about to tuck into a plate of cheese and quince when the mobile rang.

Richard Jolley at Anfield + The Insider at Stamford Bridge

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English endeavour and Spanish silk cancelled one another out as the last two unbeaten records in the Premier League were preserved. As the dominant figures in their respective sides, it was fitting that Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas were the scorers at Anfield. In a clash of styles, their individual approaches epitomised the differences between the two teams.

Inter Tony Revoltion Manager

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With a spare hour I thought I'd check for any interesting soccer articles. Unfortunately it means sifting through crap like "Pop group Simply Red to split up". Fuck, I can't believe it's taken this long. Mind you, in a world where Gary Megson gets to be an EPL manager I guess anything can happen. Though out of interest, while you can certainly understand why he'd want to to, how the hell does that twat Mick Hucknall spilt from himself?

England: Premier League Previews

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Besides the Liverpool/Arsenal clash, Manchester City's trip to Stamford Bridge leads the weekend offerings and Sunderland entertain Fulham in a match-up of teams near the bottom.

SSN's snoozer of the week is Birmingham vs. Wigan.

Mushtaq Quraishi's Previews
Fasteddy's Hot Tips

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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The match of the week in Spain has Roma making the trip north to face Milan Without Talisman Totti...

Ballack set for Juventus Loan Move?

Calf Strain COuld Keep Vieira Out Until Next Year

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Sevilla vs. Valencia catches the eye...

Saturday, 27 October (all times local):
20:00 Mallorca - Espanyol
22:00 Athletic Bilbao - Betis

Sunday, 28 October:
17:00 Levante - Atletico Madrid
17:00 Zaragoza - Villarreal
17:00 Osasuna - Valladolid
17:00 Racing Santander - Gteafe
17:00 Murcia - Recreativo Huelva
17:00 Real Madrid - Deportivo
19:00 Barcelona - Almeria
21:00 Sevilla - Valencia

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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With a third of the season nearly over, Bayern have done what many predicted they would, and dominated the Bundesliga so far. Undefeated in their opening ten games, nobody has come close to stopping them. The next team to try is Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Before that Stuttgart face a make or break clash at home to Leverkusen, while title challengers Schalke and Werder clash at the Veltins Arena after their midweek Champions league exertions.

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

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Chelsea v Man City

I have to go for Chelsea here, because they just keep winning.

They are not playing particularly well yet, but Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are so important for them and their return to the side has made all the difference.

Magnusson: US move would be 'good for the game'

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West Ham United's non-executive chairman Eggert Magnusson thinks that taking the Premier League to the USA would be 'good for the game' and would boost soccer's global profile. With the NFL playing their first regular season game away from home, a debate has opened up over whether the Premier League should follow suit and take English soccer to the US.

Lehmann in Danger of Unsettling Arsenal

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As Arsenal equalled their highest ever score in the Champions League, with a 7-0 win over Slavia Prague, there was one player in the squad whose smile at the final whistle would have been forced through clenched teeth. Outspoken goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has had his say on many things throughout his career, but this week his attention was diverted onto events closer to home, and most notably his own manager, Arsene Wenger.

Uefa Cup Wrap: Bayern topple Red Star in Belgrade thriller

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Toni Kroos scored a dramatic 90th minute winner to give Bayern Munich a 3-2 UEFA Cup win over Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian capital tonight. Elsewhere, Tottenham lost to Getafe at White Hart Lane while Villarreal and Fiorentina drew 1-1.

Tottenham Board Confirm Jol's Sacking

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'We can confirm that the board has this evening asked Martin Jol, the club manager, and Chris Hughton, the first team coach, to stand down from their positions with immediate effect,' the statement read.

Martin Jol was the victim of bad luck and poor judgment by himself and Tottenham's board.

Sid Lowe: Despite the Sevilla coach's protestations in the summer, Juande Ramos always knew he would end up at Spurs.

MLS: Chicago holds on for 1-0 win against D.C. + Playoff Preview

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Chris Rolfe scored the lone goal to lead the Chicago Fire to a 1-0 playoff victory over D.C. United on Thursday night. The physical match included four yellow cards - two for each team - and 41 fouls.

Blanco's antics during the Fire's 1-0 victory over D.C. United in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Thursday night were occasionally comical, often shamelessly theatrical, undeniably entertaining and ultimately effective.

EPL Weekend Preview: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

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Wenger Reloads Again at Arsenal

Match Preview

Benítez told League title is a must

Andy Hunter: There are shades of Gérard Houllier in Rafa Benítez's excuses but the problems at Liverpool run deep.

Watch the match on Fox Soccer Channel on Sunday at noon.

Seven-day examination should reveal Arsenal’s title credentials

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Arsenal will not stand or fall by the results of their next two Barclays Premier League fixtures, though successive matches against Liverpool and Manchester United are likely to reveal more about the club's championship prospects than all of their previous games combined. Seven days could shape their season.

Sunday, October 28: Liverpool vs.

Tottenham 'better off without Dimitar Berbatov', says Harry Redknapp

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Harry Redknapp, the Portsmouth manager, believes that Dimitar Berbatov is contributing to Tottenham Hotspur's present predicament and has told Martin Jol to sell the Bulgaria forward before his bad attitude rubs off on his team-mates.

Rae's Say: 'Anti-football' getting results

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Derek Rae Takes a Look at the Champions League

Megson Named as New Bolton boss

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Gary Megson has been appointed Bolton's new manager and signed a two-and-a-half year deal at the Reebok Stadium.

After leaving Leicester to move to Lancashire he will take charge of the struggling side for the first time on Sunday when they face Aston Villa at home.

You talking to me? Given's Spanish lessons lost on Brazilian team-mate

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Newcastle United's Brazilian defender Claudio Cacapa was delighted to score his first goal for the club in the 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Monday but he was rather less enamoured of his goalkeeper Shay Given's linguistic skills.

Champions League Wrap: Robinho Rallies Real and Liverpool in Big Trouble

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Plenty of time for this man to focus on the Premier League??

Wrap: Real Madrid looked woeful against an inspired Olympiakos but pulled out a lucky win...

Besiktas 2 - 1 Liverpool:
Istanbul Not So Nice for Reds This Time Around

Chelsea 2 - 0 Schalke:
Drogba Leads the Way

AC Milan 4 –1 Shakhtar Donetsk:
Alberto Gilardino was the hero of the night, along with Clarence Seedorf and Kaka, as the Champions League atmosphere benefited the entire Milan side who rediscovered their best form in a 4-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

MLS Playoffs: D.C. United at Chicago Fire

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This is Chicago's final home game of the season, and the last for Fire captain Chris Armas. The midfielder has been with the club since its inception, helping lead the Fire to their lone championship in 1998, and said he will retire after this season.

Fan injuries at Italian stadiums drop by 80 percent

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Injuries caused by violence around Italian football stadiums have dropped by 80 percent since last season after tough new regulations were introduced, officials said on Thursday. A meeting between the police chief and the heads of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the league agreed the aim must be to tone down the regulations by the end of the year.

The match that put the belle in Belgrade

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Jonathan Wilson: If Red Star and Bayern Munich's Uefa Cup tie is as memorable as their European Cup semi-final encounter in 1991, we're in for a treat.


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It's hard not to pick Boogers when it comes to making the tough choices on who deserves to make the SSN All-Name Team and who is flicked aside. Boogers was born on January 12, 1967, in Dordrecht, Netherlands. The Dutch forward is now retired, but he played for a slew of clubs during his tenure on the pitch, including DS '79, FC Utrecht, Sparta Rotterdam, West Ham, FC Groningen and FC Dordrecht.

Lehmann issues threat to Wenger

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The 37-year-old told German TV channel Premiere: "I think - and this is aimed at my dear manager - one shouldn't humiliate players for too long.

"It's possible that some day I'll feel like talking about the whole issue."

D'Alessandro Thrown Out Of Training

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The fiery Argentinian tustled with compatriot Pablo Aimar last week during a practice game and has this latest outburst could see his future at the club put in doubt.

The Beautiful Game Takes a Dive

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While Dida made huge, unwanted headlines across Europe and in his native Brazil, it is outside the game's traditional strongholds in places like the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where the goalkeeper's disgraceful antics does the most damage.

Ireland Sack Staunton After Euro Failure

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The Football Association of Ireland will appoint an outside adviser to help them head-hunt a successor to Steve Staunton, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent this morning.

Search is on for a new U.S. women's coach

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Greg Ryan had always seemed curiously bulletproof, generally dodging the larger munitions in terms of media scrutiny. His highly favored team looked plodding in the Women's World Cup, but Ryan seemed to get a pass as all heads swiveled toward the Hope Solo fiasco.

'German champions, nobody knows why'

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Raphael Honigstein in Germany:
Stuttgart are only the latest Bundesliga side unable to cope with the trappings of success.

Champions League: Wednesday Preview

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Shakhtar are one of only two teams among the 16 who will be in action on Wednesday that still have a 100 per cent record after the first two matchdays. The other is Marseille. Given that the tournament's three most successful clubs are in these four groups - Real Madrid (nine titles), AC Milan (seven) and Liverpool (five), who between them have appeared in the final 30 times, it is perhaps surprising that none of the trio boasts maximum points.

Champions League: Arsenal run riot as United romp

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Arsenal and Manchester United edged closer to the Champions League last 16 with emphatic wins on an action-packed evening that also saw Rangers hold Barcelona to a goalless draw at Ibrox.

Rangers 0 - 0 Barcelona:
Defensive Display or Anti-football?
Lionel Messi blasted Rangers for what he saw as an overly negative approach during Barcelona's 0-0 Champions League draw at Ibrox.

The Joy of Six: Own Goals

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From Johan Cruyff's Total Own Goal to Janusz Jojko flinging a throw-out into his own net, The Guardian picks the greatest own goals scored.

Slowly, quietly, Rooney is starting to fulfil his potential

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Kevin McCarra: As he approaches his 22nd birthday, Wayne Rooney is now living up to great expectations.

Tim Vickery in South America

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Nowadays the domestic Brazilian game lives off scraps that Europe leaves behind. It contains three types of player: youngsters on the way up who are dreaming of a move to Europe, those who have gone and come back, either to wind down their career or because the move didn't work out, and those not considered good enough to receive the call.

Arrests Grow at Derby County

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The number of Derby County fans arrested for hooliganism has risen, with 70 picked up last season - an increase of 19 from the season before.

Adu scores tying goal for Benfica against Setubal

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Another goal in the Cup coming of the bench for Freddy. Better than nothing, I suppose...

Americans on the Continent

Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liege (Belgian Jupiler League)

vs. RAEC Bergen Mons, 1-1 draw (90 minutes, 0 goals)

Despite being sent off in Standard Liege's last match—a UEFA Cup loss—Gooch continued his consistent form, starting in the heart of Standard's defense.

Keller 'Devastated' By Injury Blow

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Fulham shot-stopper Kasey Keller admits he's ‘devastated' after picking up an arm injury in training that's likely to keep him out of action until the end of December.

Phil Ball in Spain

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It's been one of those rare weekends in Spain, with both Real Madrid and Barcelona losing. It's a while since this happened, and its occurrence always seems apocalyptic somehow, as if the natural order of the cosmos has been disturbed and the Earth has gone off in search of a different orbit.

Newcastle turn up the pressure on Jol as treble blow keeps Spurs in bottom three

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Newcastle 3 - 1 Tottenham

After watching Newcastle secure their best beginning to a season for a decade, while all too easily ending Spurs's six-game unbeaten run, Allardyce said: "We killed Tottenham's spirit by outplaying them and scored three goals with some superb football. Confidence is growing throughout the side."

Champions League Tuesday Previews

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Arsenal vs. Slavia Prague: Gallas Issues Rallying Cry

Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester United: Fergie Sees Goals Aplenty

Rangers vs. Barcelona: Rangers on High

Roma vs. Sporting Lisbon: Sagging Romans

General Preview

Footballer Hamann Banned From Driving

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The Manchester City footballer Dietmar Hamann was today banned from driving and fined nearly £8,000 for a series of motoring offences.

Hamann, a former German international and Liverpool player, lost his licence after his £70,000 Porsche Carrera crashed into a fence last year and he refused to tell police who was driving.

England: All the Action From the EPL

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No surprises this weekend but the Liverpool Derby had its share of controversy...


The Insider at The Emirates:
Arsenal 2 - 0 Bolton

P W D L Pts 1. Arsenal 9 8 1 0 25 2. Manchester United 10 7 2 1 23 3. Manchester City 10 7 1 2 22 4.

Italy: Empoli Stun Milan at the San Siro

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Before kickoff Brazilian goalkeeper Dida did a tour of the stadium bowing to fans, apparently to apologise for the incident at Celtic that cost him a two-match Champions League ban.

Spain: Real Madrid & Barcelona Lose

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Leaders Real Madrid and rivals Barcelona suffered their first Primera Liga defeats this season on Saturday at Espanyol and Villarreal respectively. Real were no match for team-of-the-moment Espanyol as they lost 2-1. Albert Riera and Raul Tamudo, who led Spain to a 3-1 victory against Denmark in their Euro 2008 qualifier last weekend, scored the goals at the beginning of each half.

Americans in England: A Quiet Weekend

Sanford's Soccer Net at related • 1 view USA's Matthew Braine recaps the weekend for American players in England, as well as DaMarcus Beasley in Scotland.

DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers
Vs. Celtic (15 minutes, 0 goals)

Beasley came on in the 75th minute of Rangers' 3-0 route of Celtic. The winger was on the field to witness the third goal, which came courtesy of a Nacho Novo penalty kick in the 79th minute.

MLS Report: Chicago Wins to Eliminate Galaxy

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John Thorrington and the Chicago Fire clinched the final playoff spot with a well-earned victory over a Los Angeles side that never seriously challenged.

Playoff Match-ups Set

Sid Lowe in Spain

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No matter that Juan Román Riquelme is still pulling Argentina's strings; at club level the midfielder is not being missed one jot.

This has to be one of the biggest stories in the sport at the moment. JRR is certainly one of the best players in the world. He is arguably Argentina's most important player. That's Argentina -- one of the top soccer powers in world football.

After England, more tears fall on Moscow's plastic pitch

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Commemorations of a frequently forgotten tragedy at the Luzhniki Stadium temporarily diverted attention from a thrilling race for the Russian title.

Clattenburg omitted from Premier League rota

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Official to miss out next weekend following criticism of his refereeing in Merseyside derby

Drogba denies he'll leave Chelsea in January

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'I am someone who has always campaigned for solidarity, so I've decided to stay until next summer'

Ian Holloway Column

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I want people to stop blaming the manager and have a right good look at what the players are doing. Steve will have asked them to do things and the bottom line is they didn't do them well enough.

MLS: Red Bulls 1, Galaxy 1

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Beckham makes an appearance and Cobi signs off...

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

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Aston Villa v Man Utd (1715 BST)

I have seen Villa play on a couple of occasions and they seem to lack a cutting edge, even though they have got some good players.

United, on the other hand, have multiple threats going forward and striker Wayne Rooney seems much happier.

Weekend Previews for La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga

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Spain: La Liga
Pires Looking Forward to Facing Henry

Italy: Serie A
Inter's Defensive Woes Worsen

Germany: Bundesliga
Klose Likely to Return for Bayern Munich

The 3-5-2: The Best One Yet

Sanford's Soccer Net at related • 5 views USA's Greg Lalas believes that the 2007 MLS season was the best one yet. Mostly, it was due to the additions of Designated Players, such as Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Juan Pablo Angel and David Beckham, but also because of imports such as Maykel Galindo and Luciano Emilio.

English Premier League Weekend Preview: Matchday 10

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The Liverpool Derby is the highlight of the weekend as Liverpool travel to Goodison Park. Elsewhere Manchester United face a tricky trip to Villa while table toppers Arsenal are at home to Bolton.

Fast Eddie's Hot Tips:'s exclusive guide to this weekend's Premier League matches for those who like to back informed hunches with a flutter for an extra dash of excitement - and the possibility that the football results will deliver more than three points.

DeMarcus in Glasgow: Old Firm, New Challenge

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Beasley, who signed with Rangers from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven during the offseason after spending the previous campaign on loan at Manchester City, is gearing up for his first Old Firm game. Nothing he has experienced in his career so far can prepare him fully for the experience, but just living in Glasgow for the past four months has given him a taste of the level of feeling the matches inspire.

All The Euro Action

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Russia 2 - 1 England
Deservedly leading 1-0 through Wayne Rooney's spectacular first-half goal, England were on course to earn a famous victory at the Luzhniki Stadium and secure qualification for next summer's finals in Switzerland and Austria with a match to spare. But then a series of lapses of concentration – starting with what McClaren called a "disgraceful" penalty award against Rooney for a foul that appeared to be committed outside the 18-yard area – turned the game on its head.

Switzerland 0 - 1 USA: Strong defensive effort leads to U.S. win

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As the American players walked off the field after their 1-0 win over Switzerland Wednesday night, the smiles on their faces said it all. Their five-game losing streak was over. A rare victory in Europe had been achieved, and in the process, several young players gave some tantalizing signs of future success. But what probably put the biggest smile on head coach Bob Bradley's face was the means by which the win was accomplished, because at the heart of the American triumph was a solid defensive effort.

Harry Potter thaws Moscow cold front in diplomatic relations

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Anglo-Russian politics are frosty like the weather, but Russian fans feel warmer about England.

England fans in hospital after fighting in Moscow

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Four England supporters have been taken to hospital after being involved in a fight in Moscow ahead of this afternoon's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia. A spokesman for Moscow police confirmed that the injured fans had been taken to the Botkan hospital, but it was not immediately clear how serious their injuries were.


Blissful hope of a nation raised on Hampden heroics

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Kevin McCarra: Scotland are once again a formidable team, but let's hope their wonderful run will not end now expectations are high.

Beckham not guaranteed place in Galaxy team

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'I'm not going to just change the line-up with the people coming back from injury,' he said. 'You can't do that with a team that's on a six-game unbeaten streak and has won five games in a row. 'For me it's a great message for people coming back that they have to work their way into the team. That's the correct way to have it.' Of Beckham's fitness, Yallop added: 'He's not close to being 100%.

USA Seeks Elusive Win in Switzerland

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The United States faces Switzerland on Wednesday with coach Bob Bradley looking to rediscover the winning touch as he nears one year in charge. Bradley, who took charge of the team on an interim basis in December before getting the job permanently in May, went 10-0-1 in his first 11 games, but has now seen the Stars and Stripes lose five straight since winning the Gold Cup final in July.

Freddy Adu struggling to get playing time in Europe

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Freddy Adu has been mainly a spectator with Benfica since arriving in Europe.

The 18-year-old American transferred to the Portuguese club last summer from Real Salt Lake and has played just 64 minutes over 2 1/2 months, appearing twice as a substitute. Now he's training with the U.S. national team ahead of Wednesday night's exhibition game at Switzerland.

Stadium construction for 2010 World Cup is on track

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Last week, officials from the governing body of world soccer, joined by South African organizers, visited four of the nine host cities to assess the stadiums in Johannesburg, site of the opening and final matches, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

"FIFA is confident progress is on track and going the right way," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said after a board meeting of the local organizing committee.

Burdisso Head Injury Mars Argentina Win

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Venezuela 0-2 Argentina

A headed from Gabriel Milito and yet another 'super-strike' from Lionel Messi saw Argentina pick up a 2-0 win in Venezuela, in a match marred by a very nasty head injury suffered by Nicolas Burdisso...

Euro 2008 Qualifiers: Countdown To Ecstasy

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Qualification is a case of finishing first or second, so does the maths and a spot of analysis to work out what is likely to happen, group-by-group...

And another summary of where we are at this point...

Qualifying round - Match kick-offs are listed in Central European Time:

17/10Grp ERussia17:00EnglandMore »17/10Grp BUkraine18:00Faroe IslandsMore »17/10Grp CMalta19:30MoldovaMore »17/10Grp DRepublic of Ireland20:30CyprusMore »17/10Grp FLiechtenstein20:00IcelandMore »17/10Grp FDenmark20:00LatviaMore »17/10Grp AKazakhstan16:00PortugalMore »17/10Grp EF.

Bolton decide to ditch Lee

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Bolton have parted company with manager Sammy Lee "by mutual consent", having taken just five points from their first nine Premier League games. The club's general manager Frank McParland, who joined Bolton in the summer from Liverpool, has also left.

And he wins the sack race...because Jose doesn't count. -Sanford

MLS: Mad dash for final playoff spots continues

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It's quite possible that both the Fire and Galaxy earn postseason berths. That scenario is now real because Kansas City keeps sliding. Curt Onalfo's men started with such a flourish but are just 2-7-2 since July. That's only eight points from a possible 33, leaving the Wizards with one foot on the proverbial banana peel.

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Venezuela-Argentina

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What: World Cup Qualifier Who: Venezuela vs Argentina When: Tuesday, October 16 2007, kick-off 20:40 (local time) Where: Jose "Pachencho" Romero de Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Argentina come into the clash as the overwhelming favourites, not only because of their impressive record against the Venezuelans, but because their football is at a completely different level.

Who Are The Early-Season Losers From Serie A?

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David Suazo (Inter) – The Honduran has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in Serie A in recent seasons with Cagliari but things just haven't worked out in Milan thus far. Despite a bright pre-season, Suazo has failed to score a competitive goal for the Nerazzurri and is lagging behind in the forward pecking-order.

All The Losers

Sid Lowe in Spain

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Thursday night at Las Rozas, the Spanish Football Federation's headquarters 25km north-west of Madrid. Training has finished and it's gone dark but a gaggle of fans still gathers behind the metal fence overlooking the car park, waiting for a glimpse of the players, an autograph, a hand to shake, a cheek to kiss, or a photo. Through the bars, Luis Aragonés appears.

The Euro 2008 hosts who are worse than Haiti

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Raphael Honigstein: Austria are in such a bad state that some supporters think they should withdraw from their own tournament.

"Getting into the quarter-finals wouldn't be a sensation, it would be a world-sensation," said Hickersberger. The head of the ÖFB (the Austrian FA), Friedrich Stickler is a bungling know-it-all but the malaise is no one's fault in particular.

Moritz Volz: If Sepp Blatter had his way I’d be working in a German restaurant

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Sepp Blatter, what are you on about? Your idea of limiting domestic club sides to five foreign players in a starting XI to allow home-grown talent to flourish is mad. If you had your way I would probably be working in a restaurant in Germany instead of playing for Fulham. But then, why am I surprised? The only decent thing you have suggested was that girls should play in tight shorts to increase the popularity of the women's game.

Phil Ball in Spain

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If you enjoy football it's always worth watching some kids' stuff. Because my 12 year-old son is now playing for a club in the feeder leagues in the north of Spain (each region runs competitive leagues from the age of 10, sponsored by a combination of municipal councils and the biggest local clubs) I get to see quite a lot of games. The great thing is that you often see aspects of the game in miniature that can lead you on to insights about the adult professional game.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

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Legendary Alabama football coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant used to conduct part of his practices perched high above the pitch, watching proceedings from a privileged position, one of the many he enjoyed as arguably the best-known person in the state of Alabama. Nothing sent his players into a state of frenzied terror more than hearing his booming voice amplified by a loudspeaker or, worse still, frantic footsteps as he flew down the ladder to tear into them for whatever misdeed the unfortunate souls had committed.

Richard Jolly on England

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As England head to Russia for their crucial Euro2008 qualifier they could do worse than take heed of former manager Graham Taylor's interest in the fortunes of a previous visitor to Moscow. Taylor, a hugely unfortunate, though not particularly good England boss, is fond of quoting Napoleon Bonaparte, who himself preferred lucky generals to good ones; but Napoloeon's luck famously ran out in Moscow with the onset of the Russian winter.

Switzerland vs. USA: Bradley looking to build for the future

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As has been Bob Bradley's habit since assuming the reins of the U.S. national team, his roster for Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland contains a bit of everything: something old, something new and something "huh?". Getting the most out of such a group has its challenges of course, and establishing cohesion in a short time frame is the most onerous.

Superb free kicks light up S.American qualifying

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Juan Roman Riquelme converted two superb free kicks to give Argentina a 2-0 win over Chile at the start of South America's World Cup qualifying campaign on Saturday.

Brazil struggled to an uninspiring goalless draw away to Colombia in their opening match of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday.

Blanco is the anti-Becks

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No player has had a greater impact on MLS this season than the explosive, 5-foot-9 striker. Since coming to the States in July, his creative and controversial playmaking has lifted the Chicago Fire from last place in the East to eighth overall, putting them on pace for a spot in the playoffs, which begin Oct. 25. While mainstream America drools over Beckham's brand name, it is Blanco who has at last made the league relevant to working-class Mexicans, pro soccer's most passionate U.

Don't get me angry!

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There are some people you just don't want to get rub up the wrong way. Mad Jens is probably one of them. So Arsene has a problem. Lehmann has warned his manager he expects to start against Bolton on Saturday.
I'm fit so pick me, says Lehmann

Señor Nice Guy

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There are some people who just seem to get along with everyone, gradually gathering more friends as they travel through life. Luis Aragones ain't one of them. Spain's head coach has triggered a controversy over his decision not to pick the national team's record goalscorer.
Aragones talks himself into Raul row

Mother Russia

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It's off to Russia for England and their crunch match in the group. There's problems for McClaren with the pitch, injuries and a cold front. No problems for the Ruskies though, they've got Guus Hiddink telling them what's what.
Cole injury forces McClaren into reshuffle for Moscow
Guus Hiddink lays smokescreen in plot for Russia's revenge
O'Connor warns England over 'nightmare' pitch

Scotland 3 Ukraine 1

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Sherlock Holmes observed that if one eliminates the impossible, whatever is left — no matter how improbable — must be the truth...
Case very nearly closed for Alex McLeish
Shevchenko backing inspired Scots to qualify

Feilhaber:Derby is my dream city

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"There were other clubs that showed interest, but none were so serious like Derby who came to me. Billy Davies called me himself and talked to me. I felt like they were the team that really wanted me the most and that influenced me also"
Feilhaber: I feel my football can still grow a lot

MLS Roundup

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The Galaxy have won five in a row sans Beckham. So, with that play-off spot tantalizingly close and David near full fitness there's just enough time for Bex to return and fuck everything up.
Galaxy Win Fifth Straight

Euro 2008 Roundup

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Republic of Ireland show their good side again as Germany qualify
John Toshack questions future with Wales
France and Italy turn screw
Tamudo: It Has Been Great For Espanyol
Germany relax after booking place in finals
Escude out of Lithuania game

Wake up sleepyhead!

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Marco van Basten, the coach, said it was the second time that the Liverpool midfielder has missed team meetings for this reason.
Babel dropped by Holland for oversleeping

Idiot Boo-boys target Lampard

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The constant abuse aimed at the Chelsea midfielder is doing him and England no favours, says Daniel Taylor:
Lampard falls victim to the mocking culture
And according to Henry Winter, it's all water off a duck's back:
Fickle England fans fail to ruffle Frank

Klinsi to replace Jol?

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According to The Observer Jurgen Klinsmann is ready to replace Martin Jol as manager of Tottenham Hotspur if he receives assurances about the club's future ownership:
Klinsmann 'ready for talks' over Spurs job

Fifa '08 review

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Despite impressive realism, Fifa '08 lacks the pace and hypnotic flow of the Pro Evolution Soccer games.
Fifa '08

"C'était comme un champ de bataille"

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Mali players Frederic Kanoute and Mamady Sidibe were both injured during crowd disturbances following their 2-0 win away to Togo in an African Nations Cup match, L'Equipe has reported.
Mali duo left bloodied after crowd attacks
L'Equipe: CAN 2008 - Graves incidents à Lomé

MLS Power Rankings: Chivas USA closing fast

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Every week during the regular season, ESPN takes the pulse of the league by ranking all 13 teams. The ESPN MLS Power Rankings consist of a consolidation of the votes by Andrea Canales, Jeff Carlisle, Jen Chang, Steve Davis, Frank Dell'Apa, Kristian Dyer, Ives Galarcep, Allen Hopkins and Rob Stone.

Euro 2008: Germany close, France and Italy sweat

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Twice former champions France are sweating in third place in Group B after their shock home defeat by surprise leaders Scotland last month and travel to the rocky shores of the Faroe Islands knowing they can afford no more slip-ups.
Qualifying round - Match kick-offs are listed in local timeDateGroupHome
13/10Grp DSlovakia15:00San MarinoMore »13/10Grp EEngland15:00EstoniaMore »13/10Grp BScotland15:00UkraineMore »13/10Grp BFaroe Islands16:00FranceMore »13/10Grp FIceland16:00LatviaMore »13/10Grp CHungary16:20MaltaMore »13/10Grp GBelarus18:00LuxembourgMore »13/10Grp FLiechtenstein19:00SwedenMore »13/10Grp DCyprus19:15WalesMore »13/10Grp DRepublic of Ireland19:45GermanyMore »13/10Grp FDenmark20:00SpainMore »13/10Grp AArmenia20:00SerbiaMore »13/10Grp ECroatia20:15IsraelMore »13/10Grp GRomania20:15NetherlandsMore »13/10Grp GSlovenia20:30AlbaniaMore »13/10Grp APoland20:30KazakhstanMore »13/10Grp ABelgium20:45FinlandMore »13/10Grp BItaly20:50GeorgiaMore »13/10Grp CMoldova21:00TurkeyMore »13/10Grp AAzerbaijan21:00PortugalMore »13/10Grp CGreece21:30Bosnia-HerzegovinaMore »

Lawro's Euro Predictions

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Scotland v Ukraine
(1500 BST)

I think that one of the interesting aspects to the remainder of Scotland's campaign is how they handle raised expectations, both from their supporters and within the squad itself.

The 1-0 win in France was one of their best results in recent years and, with three games of their campaign left, Scotland are top of Group B.

Te tu Gary?

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Could it be that after the Bolton Vs Chelsea match Gary Speed asked John Terry for some tips on playing the Brutus role? Will Speed and his Liberatores be the end of Little Sam?
Lee left looking over his shoulder

Campbell and Rooney set to step up

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England captain John Terry will miss tomorrow's Euro 2008 Group E qualifier against Estonia with Sol Campbell set to replace him.Meanwhile Rooney would like to start scoring again:
Injury toll catches up with John Terry
Rooney bidding to shine for England

Scotland and Ireland prepare

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Weir: We'll be failures if we miss finals
Shevchenko looking to dent Scotland's hopes
Steve Staunton adds insult to Ireland's injuries

Dida banned, Bhoys fined

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Dida gets a two match ban for bad acting, while Celtic get off with a 25 grand fine:
Nelson Dida handed two-match ban

Bonnie Scotland

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After losing Sky's cash five years ago, Scottish football's resurgence is down to homegrown talent:
How Scottish game came back from the dead

Should Gerrard be in the centre?

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Surely having someone named 'Stevie G' central to your plans is always going to be a bit dodgy. Scott Murray seems to think so:
Time for Benítez to give Gerrard a wide berth

Adu Should Play in the Hole

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After looking at the 21-player roster that Bob Bradley named for the U.S. National Team's friendly against Switzerland next week, USA's Ben Brackett believes this youthful side will be motivated to make their mark, with Freddy Adu leading the way.
Where to play Adu

The Guardian Joy of Six: Cracking Free-kicks

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From Matt Le Tissier's insouciance to Gazza's 'Schoolboy's Own' screamer, we doff our titfers to the greatest ever free-kicks.

6. Paul Gascoigne (TOTTENHAM v Arsenal 1991)

If ever a free-kick defined a man's career at the very top level of the world game, this was the one. It's easy to forget how unlikely the chances of a Tottenham victory in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final were: George Graham had organised Arsenal's back line so efficiently they would lose only one league game all season, while Spurs, with tactical genius Terry Venables winging it at the helm, were a dog's dinner.

Mind Games At The Top Of The Premier League

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There's a psychological diimension to finishing on top of the pile, and it's alive and well in the Premier League.

Interview: Di Natale Blossoming in Maradona's Shadow + Serie A Table

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He is the new man of Italian soccer. His goals, first and foremost, have propelled him into the national side, but Udinese's Antonio Di Natale, known by his friends as Totò, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

Serie A Table
CLUB GP W L D PTS GD Inter Milan75021711 Juventus7412149 Roma7412147 Fiorentina7304136 Genoa7313121 Palermo7322110 Udinese732211-2 AC Milan7214106 Napoli7331104 Atalanta7214100 Catania Calcio72239-1 Sampdoria72328-2 Torino71247-2 Lazio71247-3 Cagliari72417-3 Siena71336-2 Parma71336-4 Empoli71425-6 Reggina70344-8 Livorno70522-11

Feature: Six Young Stars In Spain This Season

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They call it ‘Liga De Estrellas' – ‘The League of Stars'. There were many stars that shone, each standing out for their club in one way or the other. So who is it going to be this season? Is it going to be Ruud again for Madrid? Will Ronaldinho shine after a lacklustre season by his own standards? Will Henry do it for Barcelona like Ruud did it for Real Madrid?

MLS to mull possible DP rule increase in offseason

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To the league's delight, DP's like New York's Juan Pablo Angel and Chicago's Cuauhtemoc Blanco have more than lived up to their considerable hype. The same can't be said for New York's Claudio Reyna (signed when the Red Bulls acquired Chivas USA's DP slot) and Dallas' Denilson, although the season isn't over yet. As for David Beckham, his maiden MLS season has been cut short by injury, but the boon to the L.

Ibrahimovic Perplexed By FIFA Omission

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Ibrahimovic, who is currently preparing for his country's Euro 2008 qualifier against Liechtenstein on Saturday, is not the only high-profile name to be left off FIFA's 30-man shortlist. Francesco Totti, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas and Luca Toni also failed to make the cut.

This list is absurd. Cannavaro? He's been awful since winning the World Cup, which if I remember, was in 2006.

Making the Cut for Euro 2008

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With just a few games left before the automatic qualifiers for the Euro 2008 championships in Austria and Switzerland are revealed, it is notable that not every country who were expected to progress will be there.


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The squad so far:
Dean Windass - Starting Striker
Rod Fanni - Starting Right Back
Berndt Haas - Starting Center Back
Danny Shittu - Starting Center Back
David Seaman - Reserve Goalkeeper

I've been asked how many players will make the team. The answer is 25. Here's number six:

Nicky Butt is a 5' 10" midfielder who was born in 1975 in Manchester, England.

Phil Ball in Spain + La Liga Table

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After a veritable glut of La Liga action the previous week, this one has seemed a little tame in comparison, despite the Champions League action in which only Valencia let the side down. Having lost out to Chelsea in the Mestalla, they surprisingly lost by the same score in the same stadium on Saturday night, after taking the lead early on, just as they had done against Chelsea.

Bradley Names 21 Players to Roster for Switzerland Friendly

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A youthful roster, including the likes of seven players without international experience at the senior level, have been named as part of the U.S. National Team's roster for next week's friendly against Switzerland.

Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tally Hall (Esbjerg), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jay Demerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Steve Purdy (1860 Munich)

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Eddie Lewis (Derby County), Danny Szetela (Racing Santander)

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburger SV), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)

River’s Undefeated Streak Against Boca Reaches Two Years

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River Plate took their undefeated streak against Boca Juniors to two years, after Sunday's comfortable 2-0 victory at the Monumental stadium.

Sorting Out the MLS Playoffs

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It's not very easy to figure out which teams could be matching up in the MLS playoffs later this month. USA's Pat Walsh takes a stab at it, complete with analysis over the final weeks of the regular season.

With just two weekends left in the MLS season, time is tight for teams whose playoff lives are still in the balance. A majority of teams already know whether they will progress on to the playoffs or clean out their lockers come October 20.

Sammy's Speed problem

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Things just aren't getting any easier for the diminutive Bolton manager. Now he's taking on fan favourite and all-round Mr. nice guy, Gary Speed.
Lee's fragile grip at Bolton weakened

Evil Club Owners

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Martin Samuel, always someone who enjoys a bit of a rant, especially at a nice easy target, takes aim at fat cat businessmen buying football clubs:
Businessmen wear replica shirts

Fallen Giants Dynamo Kyiv

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Dynamo Kyiv were once Champions League contenders, but they have failed to evolve since the death of an inspirational coach, write Jonathan Wilson:
Dynamo labour in Colonel's shadow

Who should partner Steven Gerrard for England?

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Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry have complimentary strengths and weaknesses but who is the right man to partner Steven Gerrard? Asks ex-Spurs manager David Pleat:
Fat Boy or Mr. Villa?

More Chelsea shite

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Guus Hiddink does a bit of Abramovich arse-licking [presumably while stuffing more roubles into his back pocket], but explains it'd be much better if it were his mate Henk dealing with the Russian on a day to day basis. Meanwhile, Chelsea wouldn't be Chelsea unless they were pissing someone off. Today it's Ajax. And just for a bit of fun, Ronaldo sticks the boot in:
Guus Hiddink reveals why he prefers Russian front to Stamford Bridge
Henk ten Cate's move to Chelsea angers Ajax
Cristiano Ronaldo writes off Chelsea challenge


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USA name roster, Ireland disappoints Ireland, McClaren keeps deluding himself over Robinson, Koumas questioned, Owen tells Big Sam to stick it, Scots praying they don't fuck it all up, and Joey Barton is still wont shut up
U.S. names initial roster to face Switzerland
Ireland admits to ongoing battle
McClaren shows faith in Robinson
Wales force injured Koumas to turn up and prove it
England beckons as Owen gets the all-clear
Chick Young's view on Scotland
Joey Barton: I'm still a dick, and club comes before country for me

Donovan takes prize again

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Landon Donovan captured the Honda Award as U.S. soccer player of the year in a landslide vote, winning for an unprecedented fourth time:
Donovan becomes award's first four-time winner

Arsene, please buy me

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Few would dispute that the Arsenal manager is a bit of a genius. But, as we all know, you can't be a bone fide genius without a bone fide flaw. Wenger's is a inexplicable complusion to buy large, cumbersome, slow central defenders who excel at looking really dumb. Prime examples being Pascal Cygan, everyone's favourite oaf Igor Stepanovs, and young Frankenstein's monster Philippe Senderos.

Managerial merry-go-round

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I know the 'n' is missing, but what the hell.

Looks like there's more movement at Chelsea, leaving a place for Martin Jol back in his homeland.
Jol on Ajax alert as Ten Cate flies into Chelsea
Ten Cate arrives to put a bit of Barça into Chelsea

Having stabbed Jose in the back, John 'Brutus' Terry is now kissing up to toady new boy Avram Grant:
Grant represents progress and the fans will love him, says Terry

Rafa misery

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Liverpool wallow in their misery despite unbeaten league record


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Man, this is where things really get exciting. I'm especially looking forward to Bolton's game against Aris Thessaloniki, and anyone thinking of missing the group C thriller Mlada Boleslav Vs Elfsborg needs their head checking.


Klinsi speaks

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Visionary Jurgen Klinsmann keeps his eye open for an opportunity and drops a few broad hints as to why the Chelsea job was not for him:
German legend keeps his options open

Euroland update

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Atlético's trip to the Camp Nou was billed as Agüero v Messi, but the Barça man stole the show, reports Sid Lowe:
Messi beats off challenge of another young pretender

Alberto Gilardino has broken his goal-scoring duck, but some of his critics are yet to be convinced, writes Paolo Bandini:
Gila monster shakes the monkey off his back

There have been a few surprises, but the table already has a familiar look to it, says Raphael Honigstein.

Gabriele Marcotti on Sepp Blatter talking crap

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Sepp Blatter meddling in foreign affairs again

Celtic ban fan for life but sweat on Uefa verdict

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Celtic yesterday issued a life ban to the supporter who invaded the pitch at Celtic Park on Wednesday night during the Champions league tie against AC Milan, though the club has been left sweating over the punishment being considered by Uefa for the episode. The supporter, who owned up to his act of stupidity by walking into Celtic Park yesterday and speaking with the club's officials, was later interviewed by Strathclyde police.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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The pressure is increasing on a number of teams as the new Bundesliga season progresses. Thomas Doll looks to end a losing streak at Dortmund, as does Rudi Bommer as Duisburg.

Felix Magath is seeking his first home win, while Bojan Prasnikar is under pressure to turn things around at Cottbus.

All The Previews From

England: Premier League Previews

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Liverpool welcome Spurs to Anfield in the top clash of the weekend...
Man. United v Wigan
Aston Villa v West Ham
Arsenal v Sunderland
Reading v Derby
Blackburn v Birmingham
Bolton v Chelsea
Liverpool v Tottenham
Man. City v Middlesbrough
Newcastle v Everton
Fulham v Portsmouth

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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Fiorentina – Juventus

The match of week seven sees second-placed Juventus travel to Florence to meet third-placed Fiorentina. The atmosphere in the Artemio Franchi is sure to be a hostile one as these two teams have never hidden their hatred for one another.

The bitterness really originates in the 1981-82 season.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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No fewer than eight Spanish sides found themselves in European action this week, concluding a whirlwind spell of fixtures that saw each of them play six games in just over two weeks. Nonetheless, the Spanish league doesn't wait for anyone, and each club will need to dust itself off ahead of another vital round of domestic ties. Barcelona's visit from Atletico Madrid is perhaps the most intriguing tie as we enter Matchday 7.

Argentine Apertura Championship Preview: River Plate – Boca Juniors

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What: Argentine Apertura Championship (Round 13)
Who: River Plate vs Boca Juniors (El Superclasico)
When: Sunday, October 7 2007, kick-off 14:00 (local time)
Where: Estadio Monumental de Nunez, Buenos Aires
River come into this mega-clash undefeated in the last four meetings...

UEFA Cup Wrap: Onyewu Ejected as Standard Liege Eliminated

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Two police officers were wounded in the Netherlands when hooligans identified as Ajax fans threw bottles at them, resulting in 38 arrests before the game, Dutch national broadcaster NOS TV reported.

While Bayern, Atletico and Tottenham were among the clubs to advance, Ajax was knocked out on away goals after a 3-2 home loss in Amsterdam.

Houston's Clark gets nine-game ban for horror kick

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Houston Dynamo and United States midfielder Ricardo Clark has been banned for nine games after a violent kick on an opponent who was lying on the ground. Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber also fined Clark $10,000 for the kick on Carlos Ruiz of FC Dallas in the 89th minute of Sunday's game.

Lawro's Premiership Predictions

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Newcastle v Everton

It is just not happening for Newcastle as quickly as they thought and I think it might be a while before Sam Allardyce has the club sorted as he would want it.

The problem for him is being granted the patience to achieve that, but the fans have to realise that the number of managerial changes in recent years has got them nowhere.

England: The Death Of 3 O’Clock Kick-Off

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Just one of this weekend's ten Premier League fixtures will kick off at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday.

Boca Suffocates San Lorenzo

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Our man Aaron Sheedy is on the ground in Buenos Aires and filed this report from La Bombonera where Boca rolled over San Lorenzo:

La Bombonera is an amazing stadium. The steep stands crowd so close to the field that even when you are on the top level at the end of the pitch, if you lean way out over the railing it feels like you could spit on the opposing keeper.

Champions League MVP Profile: Goran Pandev (Lazio)

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Despite an indifferent start to their Serie A campaign, Italian side SS Lazio claimed a valuable draw at home to Real Madrid on Champions League Matchday 2. The Spanish side twice took the lead, only to be denied by two strikes from Biancocelesti striker Goran Pandev, who constantly tore teh Madrid defence to shreds. He is's Champions League MVP for week two.

Who Is Italy’s Most Promising Youngster?

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Italy and Serie A are never short of promising youngsters. However out of the current crop of hot prospects, who is destined for the top? wants to know what you think. Here are five suggestions...

3) Alberto Aquilani (Roma)

It seems only injuries can stop this brilliant midfielder from becoming an Azzurri regular in the future.

Uncertain Future For Brazil’s Battling Women

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The Brazilian team returned from China with runners-up medals from the FIFA Women's World Cup but an uncertain future facing them despite a breakthrough performance. In the wake of their best-ever position at a World Cup Finals the team and Coach landed back in Brazil with a sad question mark hanging over how the sport will fare in the land that is almost synonymous with joyful football.

Denilson struggling to have an impact for FC Dallas

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No one quite knew what to make of Denilson as FC Dallas signed the mercurial former Brazilian international a few weeks ago. Here was a guy who graced two World Cup finals and was once the most expensive player in the world, and yet had bounced around the continents without distinction over the last few years.

Richard Jolly: Crouch's Shortcomings All Too Clear to See

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Peter Crouch has a unique rapport with the footballing public. He has attracted ridicule, a cult following and genuine support. Whether there is any great sense of sympathy now is a moot point, but Liverpool's lesser-spotted striker is a cause celebre, at least in his own mind.

U.S. Open Cup Final: This Time, the Revs Celebrate

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The New England Revolution have a long history of disappointing their fans in final games. However, the 3-2 victory over FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup Final was a different story altogether, writes USA's Kyle McCarthy.

Champions League: Celtic Defeat Milan and Dida is "Injured"

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Liverpool fall at Anfield to Marseille, Chelsea win in Valencia, Lazio and Real Madrid draw...

And they didn't even catch the fan!!

Liverpool 0 - 1 Marseille:
Anfield has built its reputation on raucous European atmospheres but an unfamiliar sound accompanied Liverpool down the tunnel last night. Boos reverberated around a stadium unacquainted with defeat in the Champions League proper since Rafael Benítez's Valencia won here in October 2002, and the uncharacteristic response was perfectly in tune with a performance the Spaniard readily accepted as the worst of his Liverpool reign.

SSN Special Report: River Plate Salvages a Draw

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Our man Aaron Sheedy is on the ground in Buenos Aires and filed this report from El Monumental where River salvaged a draw with Rosario Central:

It was a muggy and heated affair at Monumental Stadium on Sunday where River Plate played host to Rosario Central and managed to find the net in the 98th minute, yes the 98th, to get a most unlikely draw.

Tim Vickery in South America

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While Brazil's women were hitting the headlines for their splendid campaign in the World Cup, back home the players of Botafogo were greeted with a shower of women's underwear on their arrival at Rio airport.

The Top 50 Football Kits: 50 - 26

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From the pink jersey donned by Sicilian hardmen to the strip that hid blood on George Best's ankles, Nick Szczepanik has picked the best kits ever. The first 25 are below. Return tomorrow for the second installment.

38. Birmingham City 1972
The penguin outfit worn by Bob Latchford and Trevor Francis revived a season. There was a red away version and a strange third kit that was black on one side, gold on the other and red down the middle.

Champions League Wednesday Previews

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There are games in Lisbon and Liverpool, Valencia and Rome, Bremen and Trondheim, Glasgow and Istanbul.

And arguably the most intriguing ties are those in Rome, Valencia and Glasgow.

Lazio host Real Madrid, Valencia have a re-match with Chelsea following last season's quarter-final, and Celtic have another crack at Milan, who beat them 1-0 on aggregate last season in the first knockout round, a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Glasgow being followed by the San Siro return settled by Kaká three minutes into extra time.

Joey Barton feels Manchester City fans owe him a debt

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Joey Barton believes the newly-resurgent Manchester City would not even be in the Premier League but for his performances last season.

What a jackass! This from a clown who moons opposing fans, puts a cigar out in the eye of a teammate, starts a brawl in a preseason match and attacks another teammate in practice, sending him to the injured list.

The Big Interview: Teddy Sheringham

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After 23 years in the game the former England forward has a cabinet full of trophies. So why play on at Colchester at the ripe old age of 41?
Inside Teddy's Fridge:
2 Time Out bars. 5 tins of Foster's lager. 1 Caramel bar. 4 tins of Red Bull. 1 jar of Tesco's strawberry jam. 5 bottled beers. 1 jar of Colman's horseradish sauce. 2 bottles of Dom Perignon.

Champions League: Brits' success, Inter win

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Wins for Manchester United, Rangers, Arsenal, Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Inter Milan and Sevilla

Lyon 0 -3 Rangers:
Goals from Lee McCulloch, Daniel Cousin and DaMarcus Beasley clinched a win which was as remarkable as it was unexpected. Lyon have beaten Real Madrid 2-0 and 3-0 here in the past two seasons - and top the French league - but Alain Perrin's side will now struggle to get out of the group.

Bundesliga: Newcomers Karlsruhe boar their way up to third

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Raphael Honigstein:
After notching up a fifth win, newly-promoted Karlsruhe look set fair to become this season's Bundesliga overachievers.

Champions League Previews

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Lyon vs. Rangers, Stuttgart vs. Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev vs. Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United vs. Roma, CSKA Moscow vs. Fenerbahce, Inter Milan vs. PSV Eindhoven, FC Sevilla vs. Slavia Prague, Steaua Bucuresti vs. Arsenal

Matchday 2 of this season's Champions' League kicks off on Tuesday evening with eight matches on tap across the continent.

The Joy of Six: The Greatest Ever Football Kits

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From Johan Cruyff's limited edition Oranje shirt to Coventry's chocolate brown number, The Guardian pays tribute to some of the best kits ever worn.

All became instantly recognisable and iconic strips for - in design terms at least - otherwise unremarkable clubs. But the greatest wanton embellishment of the era was surely Cardiff's mid-70s get-up, which saw a yellow-and-white stripe loosely influenced by the London Weekend Television ident cascading down the left-hand side of a previously plain blue number.

Phil Ball in Spain

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Quite a week here in Spain, with three league games crammed into a space of seven days. Although it's still too early to make any sweeping statements, it's nevertheless interesting how such a short and intensive period of league action can make a difference to a team's morale, in both the positive and negative senses. Whether it makes a difference only in the short-term we will have to wait and see, but take poor Sevilla, for starters.

EPL: Summer recruits still bench-warming

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Others, however, are all too predictable. Nolberto Solano arrived at West Ham as the fourth player signed for the same position within three months. With more right wingers than the Norman Tebbit fan club, Alan Curbishley has not called upon the Peruvian yet.

Americans in England: Keller Stuffs Chelsea

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After two weeks on the bench, Kasey Keller got the starting nod in the goal for Fulham on Saturday. Thanks to the big 38-year-old's performance, the Cottagers earned an impressive point at Chelsea.'s Matthew Braine takes an American whirl around the EPL.

Americans on the Continent: Another Goal for Bradley

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Michael Bradley scored again last week, extending his streak to four games, but on the weekend, his club, Heerenveen, ran into the juggernaut that is Feyenoord.'s J.R. Eskilson and Zac Lee Rigg take a look at all the Yanks in Continental Europe.

Tottenham 4-4 Aston Villa

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Premier League Final - White Hart Lane Attendance: 36,094 Tottenham 4 - 4 Aston Villa Dimitar Berbatov (20)
Pascal Chimbonda (69)
Robbie Keane (pen 82)
Younes Kaboul (90)
Martin Laursen (22)
Martin Laursen (33)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (40)
Craig Gardner (59)
Spurs Fight Back to Get an Epic Point

Curtains for

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The amazing internet soccer resource is auctioning its domain names. This notice is currently posted to the site:

Auction of to take place in October

The "silent" auction of domain names,,,,, and,
as well as the rights to the "soccerTV" trademark
in the United States and the rights to the
soccerTV Update e-mail list (over 23000 email addresses), will be
conducted by Moniker and will take place on October 12-18, 2007.

More EPL Action

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West Ham 0 - 1 Arsenal: The Insider Returns to Upton Park

Premier League Replay: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Andrew Discenza spotlights what was best and worst about the weekend's action in the English Premier League...

The Cuauhtemoc Blanco Chronicles

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Cuauhtemoc Blanco is one of the most colorful characters in Mexican soccer history and even after moving to the United States, he still attracts magnified levels of adulation and controversy south of the border.

Yahoo! Sports followed his three-day trip to Los Angeles – the USA's biggest Hispanic market – as Blanco's Chicago Fire took on Chivas USA, the only Mexican-owned team in Major League Soccer.

Deuce Takes Out Terry

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Fulham forward Clint Dempsey will not face punishment over his challenge on John Terry that left the Chelsea and England captain nursing a fractured cheekbone.

Serie A Reports

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Serie A Round 6 : A moment of madness by Ludovic Giuly literally hands Inter the lead and the Nerazzurri run out 1-4 winners at 10 man Roma. David Trezeguet scores an injury time winner to settle the Turin derby. Fiorentina win the Tuscan derby in Livorno for the first time in 75 years. Antonio Cassano scores his first Serie A goal in two years in Sampdoria's 3-0 win over Atalanta.

Tottenham v Aston Villa

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Gareth Bale is bright spot in dark times
Match Preview

Moritz Volz on dressing room music

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The curse of the dressing-room - R&B

La Liga Wrap

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Sunday:Valladolid Collapse, Villarreal March On Villarreal - perhaps temporarily - top the table after a hard-fought victory over Villarreal, while Espanyol and Atletico Madrid also picked up consecutive wins. Real Betis got their first victory of the season, Murcia punished nine-man Valladolid, and Racing Santander took three points from a lacklustre Almeria side as La Liga's Sunday afternoon card unfolded.

MLS Round Up

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Streaks Alive!
Conference leaders D.C. United and Chivas USA continued their 11-game and 9-game unbeaten streaks, respectively. But two other streaks intrigued even more: Chicago's 3-game run of relinquishing late leads, and (gasp!) LA's 3 wins on the trot.

EPL match reports

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More Chelesa gloom:
Chelsea's woes near crisis point
More Arsenal joy:
Arsenal combine graft with craft
More Arteta magic
Everton shake Euro blues
More goals:
Benjani puts Portsmouth in seventh heaven
More drudgery:
Reality hurts for Gary Speed
More Blackburn success:
Straight-up Hughes puts McCarthy in his place
More Liverpool rotation:
Torres factor makes the difference
More ManU playing poorly but still winning 1-0:
Ronaldo takes advantage
More of Eriksson proving everyone wrong:
Man City stars shine on centre stage

Women's World Cup: Germany Retains the Title, U.S. Third

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Germany won its second straight Women's World Cup on Sunday, defeating Brazil 2-0 behind second-half goals by Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr. Prinz scored in the 52nd minute and Laudehr added a cushion in the 86th, helping Germany become the first women's soccer team to successfully defend its title in the World Cup or Olympics.

Abby Wambach gave the United States something more than bad memories to carry home from the women's World Cup.