No Short Corners Archives for January 2009

Despite an opener from Charles Kazlauskas, Helmond Sport eventually fell 3-2 at

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Despite an opener from Charles Kazlauskas, Helmond Sport eventually fell 3-2 at Jupiler League leaders Go Ahead Eagles.It was the fourth strike of the campaign for the Brewers fan, who smashed home a free kick header.- Greg Seltzer[Photo: Helmond Sport]

A few things...

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#1 - After seeing two points grifted by Michael Dawson's late cracker, Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel told reporters that Brad Guzan's declaration of pushing the elder was no joke. He is pushing the starter, and the starter was terrific this week.Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspurvon curymunchie#2 - I think it is safe to say that we can expect to see AGF attacker Jeremiah White in a new shirt after

Who likes goals?

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I have started working on three totally unrelated Top 5 Lists. One will migrate to S365, but not the first one. That will drop here some time in the next 36 hours, and it will be covering the Euro-clubs that have unexpectedly stunk up the joint during the season's first half. And lemme tell ya: there are some teams that are really stinking it up and it is really a surprise how much.

Wenger's bugbear, Barca beat Real & Marcus returns

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Arsene Wenger is unhappy. Having lost Robin Van Persie for the rest of the season while he was on Dutch duty, the Frenchman's personally-crafted team lost 0-3 at home to Chelsea today to blow their EPL title hopes again.'Buy!' scream the fans but the Gunners still won't splash the cash. The growing accusation is that the failure to shift all the flats from the Highbury Stadium development is

Barnburner of the Week

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There were plenty of games with more goals, but most were blowouts. This one had "it".- Greg Seltzer

Leave it to Top Gear...

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I'm not a big car guy, but I love this show. And I love this clip.- Greg Seltzer

Video Friday

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It may seem like I've been slackin' off today because it took me so long to drop by, but I've actually been very busy with a stack of things and I think you may thank me for it next week. And now, on with the show...We begin with a CNN report on Iraq's FIFA suspension. Obviously it is not even close to the leading sadness in that country, but after seeing the team lift national spirits with a

Three simple questions: D.C. United

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First, let me start by wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving with lots of stuffing and a safe trip to all travelers. That greeting completed, I'm now gonna toss it over to Kim Kolb, a scribe over at the Screaming Eagles blog The Nest Liner.NSC: What went wrong?KK: The season didn't end in July. Injuries.

Guess who's coming to Mokum?

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The rumour has been floating around a while, and I can now confirm via local sources that the USMNT will be playing a friendly against fellow World Cup invitees the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3rd.For potential travelers: the match will start at 8:45 PM local time, with tickets ranging from €17-55.

The Deuce, the Deuce, the Deuce is on fiiiyooor!

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He don't need no water... and so on.Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey was moved up top due to an injury and almost immediately scored from close range to put the hosts up 2-0 on Blackburn with about 23 to play.If you're keeping score at home, that's his fourth goal in five Prem matches and makes him the club's top league scorer on the term.

Philly claims expansion draft 10

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Coach Piotr Nowak can finally start tinkering as Philadelphia Union have snagged their first haul of players in the MLS expansion draft. And here they are:*Jordan Harvey (Colorado Rapids) Andrew Jacobson (DC United)Brad Knighton (New England Revolution) Sebastian LeToux (Seattle Sounders) Stefani Miglioranzi (Los Angeles Galaxy) *Alejandro Moreno (Columbus Crew) David Myrie (Chicago Fire)Shea

The Three simple questions series will continue in the East later on, but there'

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The Three simple questions series will continue in the East later on, but there's still just too much going on right now to gloss over...#1 - 100% Soccer's Nick Green (who will also be a 3SQ participant) drops both a blog post summing up reported Club América interest in Landon Donovan and a Daily Breeze column on the Galaxy's veteran fixation.

Earth to FIFA

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Scour the website of the game's world governing body and you'd be hard-pushed to find any mention of the biggest issue in soccer last week. Gotta love them blazers in Zurich, like the three wise monkeys or Arsene 'I deed not see eet' Wenger when the elephant enters the room.Ah, here we are "FIFA Media Statement: FIFA Opens Investigation" - that's better!

Video Tuesday

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Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuube...Let's being with the news: D.C. United stalwart Ben Olsen retired today, and Behind the Badge has the presser for us.The ESPN gang breaks down the USMNT possibilities for next Friday's World Cup 2010 draw.As we always do about this time, let's rewind back to MOTD2's 2 Good 2 Bad.

A few things...

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Sean and I owe you guys and gals a huge thank you for making No Short Corners one of the finalists for Best U.S. Soccer Blog of 2009. You can cast your vote here and then also access all of the other "Best of 2009" categories. Thanks once again, and now on with the show...#1 - Sometimes, I really commit to a theme.

Three simple questions: Columbus Crew

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We resume our series of MLS ill fate by combing through the rubble of the fallen champs. To do this we need someone willing to get his hands dirty. Now, this may seem like an easy find in Columbus, but we didn't just want anyone. We wanted notorious yet oddly lovable BigSoccer curmudgeon Bill Archer.

Who likes goals?

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I will have a column on the MLS Cup that was over at S365 this afternoon. For now, we go "ooh" and "ahh" a half dozen times...Let's being with Demy "Gazza" de Zeeuw of Ajax. Frankly, I think this one (second goal on the clip) is better in quality than the original.Man United's Darren Fletcher lights the lamp with class (WARNING: get that volume down for this clip).

The Royal Army are now kings

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[click for wallpaper size]- Greg Seltzer

On tap: Los Angeles Galaxy v Real Salt Lake

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Instead of my usual big game prattle, I will do an impromptu quickie Top 5'er as my preview presentation.--Top 5 MLS Cup KeysThese five are ranked based on a combined factor of importance and "spectacularity".#5 - Watch your mouth, watch your challenges... just watch everything!With the way that MLS refs have thrown about the red card in 2009, nobody wants to be the guy who puts him team down a

Video Saturday

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I've decided that today's Cut of the Day will actually be a medley. Today, you will hear nothing but songs from South Park episodes. And why? Because I'm easily amused like that. The first one is dedicated to the L.A. Galaxy and Real Salt Lake...Let's flip the channel to ESPN for both a preview of Sunday's final and a stroll down MLS Cup memory lane.

Three simple questions: Houston Dynamo

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Let's dip into the playoff poll again, this time with one of the fallen favorites. We corralled Houston radio man Brian Zygo to tackle our Dynamo answers.NSC: What went wrong?BZ: In simple terms, a lack a finishing, the Houston Dynamo were having trouble putting the ball in the net. It took over 180 minutes of playing time in the first round of the MLS playoffs before the Dynamo scored a goal.

A few things...

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Oh man, I twisted the holy hell out of my ankle last night. Came down from a jump halfway on someone else's foot in the last minute of the game. Suddenly, my four flights of stairs up aren't so charming...#1 - Landon Donovan is your MLS MVP. He also won Goal of the Year. Somehow, he was beaten out for Save of the Year by Pat Onstad.

Three simple questions: Kansas City Wizards

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Our old ASD colleague Alex Abnos is an idea man, a musician. Today, he has all sorts of ideas on how to orchestrate a comeback season for the Kansas City Wizards. Lots of ideas. And-a-one-and-a-two...What went wrong?The short answer: this.The long answer: It's tough to point to any one thing, as I believe the team's failings in 2009 were the result of many little wrongs that built up over time.

The dance card is now full

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With Uruguay seeing off Costa Rica, the field for World Cup 2010 has been completed.Africa - Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South AfricaAsia - Australia, Japan, North Korea, South KoreaEurope - Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, SwitzerlandNorth America - Honduras, Mexico, United StatesOceania - New

Three simple questions: New York Red Bulls

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Yeah, we had to do this one sooner or later. And being the Empire Supporters Club die-hard that he is, my former American Soccer Daily co-hort Jason Endres found a way to make the "What went right?" answer as long as the "What went wrong?" answer. But ya know what... that's New Yawk, baby. Now put the Strokes' cut Someday on and read.

When Irish eyes are crying

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Ireland's exit was the stuff of nightmares if, like me, you have green blood coursing through your veins, or just cheer the underdog.Thierry Henry of all people...I've met him twice away from football and he is unfailingly charming off-field as he is scintillating on. But cross the white line when the stakes are as high as a place in the World Cup finals and private pleasantries evaporate in the

The Henry Heist gives us 31 flavors

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It will be talked about for a long time: a World Cup berth "handed" to France. Thierry's Henry helping hand assist (and a blown offside call) teed up William Gallas for the extra time clincher to leave Ireland feeling backhanded...... but that was hardly the only drama on hand.Earlier, Algeria, Greece and Slovenia procured invites to South Africa via upsets, with Portugal closing out a tidy sweep

U.S. v Denmark LIVE

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Until espn2 picks up the game, I'm relying on a sometimes reliable Danish stream, so let's hope we have no problems.As always, you can also follow along at the U.S. Soccer Matchtracker.The USMNT line-up:Guzan; Hejduk, Spector, Bocanegra, Bornstein, Holden, Bradley, Clark, Feilhaber, Altidore, CunninghamBack near kickoff.

A few other things...

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As you might expect, we have plenty of things going on today. Two or three plenties worth, actually...#1 - Let's begin with my double interview with Real Salt Lake strikers Robbie Findley and Yura Movsisyan.Other RSL tidbits:- Rogue Cavaliers Brigade blog Denz's Sopabox has interview videos- Have a ticket but no flight yet?

Three simple questions: New England Revolution

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Today, we continue our series by launching an inquest into our first playoff team, the Revs. How they managed to make the postseason, I'll Nicol know... erm... never know, but luckily we have someone here to make sense of all things Beantown ball. For this one, I pass it over to former American Soccer Daily colleague (and Holy Cross midfielder) Ryan O'Hanlon.

Video Tuesday

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I was watching Eastbound & Down again, and it hit me: we need a soccer equivalent, perhaps set in England to raise the likelihood of someone being that big a star at one point. I'm gonna think about this more, you watch TV...The ESPN Press Pass crew look ahead to a few of the remaining World Cup qualification battles.

The mad scramble for World Cup 2010 tickets begins........ now.

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The mission is simple if you choose to accept it: score USMNT ducats for the Cup next summer.Your first set of instructions is here.This message will not self-destruct, but chances are good it will go make peanut butter toast because it is hungry.- Greg Seltzer

Three simple questions: San Jose Earthquakes

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It was a difficult year for the Bay Area boot squad, but an easy choice on who to ask for some answers. Sorting through the Earthquakes rubble for us is ESPN & Center Line Soccer all-star Jeff Carlisle.NSC: What went wrong?JC: Just about everything. Players like Francisco Lima and Scott Sealy werent adequately replaced at the start of the season.

The MLS Best XI's are out!

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And by MLS Best XI's, plural, I mean the official league edition and Du Nord's three-layer extravaganza.How much do I agree with these lists? I guess you'll have to wait until I unveil my team of the season over at S365 later in the week.- Greg Seltzer

Mexico striker De Nigris passes away

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Another international has shockingly been lost. Former MLS target Antonio De Nigris, who was playing with Greek side Larissa, has died of a heart attack at the age of 31.This is hitting the El Tri community hard, as you might imagine. NSC condolences go out to his family, friends, teammates and fans.

Three simple questions: Colorado Rapids

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We move along in our series with the Rapids, who wildly disappointed fans by slumping down the stretch to miss out on the playoffs thanks to a closing day loss to arch rivals Real Salt Lake - who have added insult to injury by making it to MLS Cup. Yeesh. For this autopsy/look ahead, we turn to Class VI Grand Poobah Mark Bodmer.

A few things...

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A few NSC programming notes: there will be no Who likes goals? today, there will be a U.S. v Denmark LIVE post on Wednesday and I will name my own MLS Best XI at S365 later in the week. And now, your Monday morning croissants, juice and papers...#1 - The World Cup finals field for South Africa is now at 26, with Cameroon capping their glorious table comeback with a 2-0 closing day win (as

Barnburner of the Week

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It may have been a lighter weekend slate than usual, but we still woke up with a smoldering farm shed on Sunday morning. This week's prize match saw Nigeria rally from behind to take the lead and then require a late winner at Kenya.And all they got for their WCQ closing day troubles was a place at World Cup 2010.

Seriously... what the hell is he thinking?

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I'm not in the mood to mince words or getting all wound up through great elaboration, so I'll cut right to the point.Today, USMNT coach Bob Bradley called 23 players for a midweek friendly against Denmark in Aarhus, yet stunningly ignored AGF attacker Jeremiah White. This, my friends, is a bush league maneuver.

Bradley calls 23 for Denmark visit

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The USMNT list for the Aarhus party:G: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton), Troy Perkins (VÃ¥lerenga )D: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Edgar Castillo (Tigres), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)M: Michael Bradley (Borussia

And then there were two...

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After a pair of gripping conference finals, our MLS Cup match-up for next weekend takes the all-East flavor from last year's final out west. It will be the Los Angeles Galaxy (yes, THAT L.A. Galaxy... paging Sky, BBC, iTv and every rotten paper rag to the airport, pack as if staying in London) pitted against upstarts Real Salt Lake at Qwest Field in Seattle a week from today.

Father explains Enke depression

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If like me, you were wondering and wondering what got Hannover 96 and Germany keeper Robert Enke so depressed to end his life last week, his father has revealed a stunning cause: fear of failure on the pitch.And here's the kicker... Dirk Enke is a sports psychologist.Somehow, this episode just became much sadder and much more confusing.

Kiwis make WC return, Nigeria pull off rally bid

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With five playoff first legs beginning, we now have 25 teams already qualified for next summer's World Cup in South Africa.Early today, New Zealand finished of Bahrain in the Oceania/Asia playoff. Rory Fallon became a household name in his land forever by nodding home the lone goal of the tie to send the Kiwis back to World Cup for the first time since 1982.

Slovakia holds off dull-edged 'Nats

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Thanks to a first half spot kick from Napoli star Marek Hamšík, Slovakia edged out the USMNT 1-0 in Bratislava. The visitors were both shorthanded and short of ideas playing on a bumpy patch.Full report link and highlight reel to come, with my U.S. Player Ratings set to appear at S365 either tonight or early tomorrow.

A few things... again

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What can I say? Stuff is goin' on all over. It's relentless. You can't fight stuff...#1 - I've posted a capsule preview of the four UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs over at S365. Who is my upset pick this time? Bosnia, baby. And in case you missed it yesterday, my chat with Houston Dynamo ace Geoff Cameron.

Three simple questions: FC Dallas

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Sorry it took me so long to get to this, I've had some interwebs woes.Anyhoooo... here's the deal. We will try to go one-by-one through every MLS team that does not win the title, find a local guy close to the team and ask three simple questions about A) what went wrong this season to keep them from glory, B) what went right to give hope for next season & C) what the team's #1 player need is,

Video Thursday

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I'm off to play some soccer myself, but I'll be back later to start that MLS also-rans series I teased yesterday. For now, let's slink into the ol' beanbag chair for some tube...The MLS Goal of the Year and Save of the Year nominees have each been shaved down to a field of 10.The ESPN crew preview the UEFA World Cup playoff match-ups, which kick off on Saturday.

Remembering the Fallen

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Robert Enke's untimely death touched us all.It's almost hard to credit given that he achieved the sort of dreams millions of us fail to realize - representing your country, signing for Barcelona and being in line to play at the World Cup, but his personal reasons for dying were valid for him. Ultimately individuals make their own choices.

A few other things...

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I know we had one yesterday, but so much has been going on that we have another. And I meant to have it up sooner, so a few of these may be old news to some...#1 - The National Soccer Hall of Fame has unveiled this year's list of nominees, which includes the two gentleman pictured at left.#2 - Yesterday, MLS tabbed Seattle forward Fredy Montero as Newcomer of the Year and Chivas USA keeper Zach

Davies released from hospital

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U.S. and Sochaux forward Charlie Davies has now left the National Rehabilitation Center about a month after being badly injured in a fatal Washington D.C.-Area car accident.The #9 shirt released a statement, and the chief of surgery at his original hospital gave an encouraging prognosis.- Greg Seltzer

NSC's Prem Celeb Cool Table

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When it comes to the Premier League, the arguments could go on all night. The debate could turn ugly. The question even secretly burns in the mind of true believers.Which English top flight club has the most cumulative cool in the way of celebrity supporters?The four of us went off to research five clubs each, then came back with the data, made our individual tables and then averaged them out.

A few things...

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Later today, I will have that 'fun Premier League post' that I promised was coming a few weeks back. Sean and I put it together with a couple of NSC pals. Took a little longer than expected, but it's ready now...#1 - I've posted my Q&A with USMNT/IK Start defender Clarence Goodson, who I had somehow had never interviewed before last week.

Who likes goals?

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As you probably noticed, we've had some S365 machine ghosts to bust this weekend. That obviously slowed me down, and thus, this is late. It's still videos of sweet goals, though...Let's begin with some dude named Ricky at Real Madrid. Apparently, he doesn't mess around.Speaking of single moniker Brazilians, it seems Corinthians have a goal-sniffin' fella name of.

Bradley calls 22 for Slovakia game

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USMNT boss Bob Bradley has selected 22 players to gather in Bratislava to prepare for Saturday's friendly with fellow World Cup qualifier Slovakia.As you can see, I pegged much of the roster, with a few notable exceptions (like Tim Howard and the Mexican-based guys). However, I also expect some changes to the roster before the Denmark match that follows four days later.

Barnburner of the Week

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This was gonna be a tough call... until they came along.Ladies and gentleman, I give you Olympiques Lyon and Marseille. Grab your confit and sit tight for the next 7+ minutes.- Greg Seltzer

A boatload of goals

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Clint Dempsey has scored from the spot for Fulham in the first half against Wigan, earning him a league turkey for strikes in three consecutive frames. That game is ongoing, knotted at ones.Yesterday, we had Leeds United's Mike Grella and Wycombe's Jon-Paul Pittman bag their first career FA Cup goals.

Video Saturday

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Most of the sweet weekend games haven't started yet, so why not kill time with some tube?We begin with another promo clip from Wayne Rooney's Street Striker challenge show. In this clip, you get to see a bit of how the show works and meet a few of the kids. I despise and avoid most "reality challenge" programs, but I love this show!

A few things...

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I've lifted the F-bomb ban on Cut of the Day because it's Friday and I wanna...#1 - In the aftermath of last night's Real Salt Lake upset of the champs, James Edward pops the surprise cork and Shawn Mitchell does the Crew autopsy.#2 - After another loss to Benfica at home last night, Everton keeper Tim Howard knows his side is in a real scrap for the Europa League knockouts.

Forza Italia...'Danke, aber nein danke'

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*Even ardent Italophobes sometimes have to doff their cap to La Dolce Vita. The Stadio Olimpico was so sparsely attended for tonight's Roma v Fulham clash, that despite being a veggie, I thought about eating Saltimbocca alla Romana in honour of the stayaway fans.When they consider a game meaningless, Italian tifosi vote with their feet.

Who likes midweek goals?

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These are all from the Champions League and Europa League, and they are all of superb quality...Let's begin with a thunderbolt from Liverpool's Ryan Babel. I'm tellin' ya, Rafa... don't sell this one away on the cheap.Atlético Madrid's Sergio Aguero rescues his side a point against Chelsea with a choice free kick.

Marshall repeats as top MLS defender

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Columbus center back Chad Marshall has trophy-cased his second straight MLS Defender of the Year prize.Seeing as how he suits up in a few hours to decide the Crew's first round playoff tie, the award celebration will be either delayed and heightened or subdued.- Greg Seltzer

A few things...

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I think headaches should be outlawed on Wednesdays. I mean, you are as far removed from the most recent weekend as you are from getting to the next one. That's enough misery. A headache on Wednesday is overkill. I vote "no" on Wednesday headaches. What say you?#1 - Chivas USA netminding monster Zach Thornton was tabbed as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for a second time today.

U.S. U-17's trailing Italy 1-0 (updates)

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The game is in the 20th minute and U.S. ace Jack McInerney has just seen a penalty kick saved by the the Italy keeper.As always, you can follow along at the U.S. Matchtracker or watch on ESPN360.Back with the major updates only, followed by the wrap...--29'Beretta puts Italy ahead 1-0.- Greg Seltzer

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more!

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U.S. Soccer is inviting nominations for four "Best of 2009" categories, including (ahem) Best Soccer Blog, until November 20th.As they say, a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat. Eh, eh?- Greg Seltzer

Video Tuesday

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A little lunchtime viewing for you all...Let's begin with ESPN's MLS playoff first leg wrap, just in case you missed some of it.Yesterday we saw the MLS Goal of the Year nominees, and now it's time to run down the Save of the Year candidates.As always, we look back at MOTD2's 2 Good 2 Bad.We got back to ESPN to talk Champions League for two glamour teams in a pickle: Liverpool and Real

What USMNT squad would I call up?

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BAM!G - Guzan, Howard, PerkinsD - Bocanegra, Marshall*/Califf/Gibbs, Castillo, Cherundolo, Conrad, Goodson, Pearce, SpectorM - Bradley, Beckerman*/Cronin, Cameron*/McCarty, Dempsey, Donovan*/Beasley/Bedoya, Feilhaber, Torres, WhiteF - Altidore, Casey, Cunningham, Findley*/CooperThe players marked with an asterisk may or may not be available, depending on MLS leg two results this week.

MLS awards finalists named

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I thought this deserved its own post. The full MLS awards list and announcement schedule is in the article, listed below are the glamour prizes, with my balloted winner marked by an asterisk:Goalkeeper of the Year FinalistsKasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FCDonovan Ricketts – Los Angeles Galaxy*Zach Thornton – Chivas USAComeback Player of the Year FinalistsBrian McBride – Chicago FireBen Olsen –

A few things...

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How fun must it be to work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? This show is like Seinfeld with the evil turned up to 11. Sometimes, the best comedy of manners is the one without any (also see Curb Your Enthusiasm)...#1 - A few local all-stars hook us up with the view heading into respective first round deciders:- Bernardo Fallas on HOU/SEA- Nick Green on LA/CHV- Shawn Mitchell on CLB/RSL#2 -

Who likes goals?

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I'll get A few things up later, but for now, things are still accumulating nicely... Let's start with Denny Landzaat's classy Kakkerlakken consolation from yesterday. The trick is, you must watch through the entire highlight package to see it. You had to know I was gonna allude to this match somehow.

It's all Goooooodson

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[Photo: IK Start]IK Start defender Clarence Goodson scored his club's final goal of the 2009 Tippeligaen season to cap a 2-0 win over old MLS foe Troy Perkins and VÃ¥lerenga. Not only do we have the highlight clip, but we also have a closing day interview with the hero.- Greg Seltzer

Barnburners of the Week

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There were many candidates his week, and I ended up splitting it between a pair of fightback 3-2 away wins: Michael Bradley's 'Gladbach keeping Hamburg from the top and Napoli doing the deed at Juventus.- Greg Seltzer

U.S. U-17's advance to WC knockouts

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Thanks to Jack McInerney's second goal of the tournament and a second consecutive shutout, the U.S. Under-17 National Team has topped the UAE 1-0 to finish second in group play.Provided Italy gain at least in draw in their ongoing match with Uruguay, they will be the Americans' World Cup round of 16 opponent.

A playoff Halloween pumpkin

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NSC reader Jeremy was putting the fright into trick-or-treating Goats fans last night, and sent us the pic to prove it.- Greg Seltzer