No Short Corners Archives for January 2011

My joke set-up: Gosh, who would have guessed...

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... the Prem has become just a vacation home for MLS veterans after another paycheck.Just kidding. But seriously, my how times have changed for American soccer. If anybody back home still holds any sort of inferiority complex about our domestic league, just go ahead and leave it out. The kid is alright if a big English club in and aiming to return to the Champions League can feel like turning to

Toffee Landon - Part Deux

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- Greg Seltzer

Kevin Giallorossi

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I was told this morning that Kevin Garnett would be buying into AS Roma and figured... hey, no rush, I can go do errands and post it tonight, nobody will know about this today.Oof.- Greg Seltzer

How does one make God laugh? Have a plan.

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For some reason (flight delayed?), Freddy Adu did not embark on his Rayo Vallecano trip until today. A day later arriving probably means he won't begin training with the club until Saturday, which would run his week there up until next Thursday or Friday.Just wanted to amend that up for everybody.- Greg Seltzer

The Taylor did it.

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We're on the wait for a goal clip (that may or may not arrive today) as Tony Taylor potted a penalty near halftime of Atlético CP's 2-2 draw with Freamunde. The American had his side up two and looking like reclaiming first place, but a late red card and two later leaked goals forced a share.- Greg Seltzer

I'm quite the idiot.

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Really, I should have known the KNVB would use any opportunity to take every possible chunk out of Ajax. Here is the match ruling from last week's AZ cup match debacle, to go with the Esteban Alvarado red card removal already announced:- Entire game replayed on Jan. 19th- Played at empty ArenA (oh, and sorry, but no KNVB ticket refunds)- Expected security fine for Ajax- No sanction of any kind

Your friendly neighborhood UEFA NextGen report

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This should have been up the other day, my bad. Don't fault Jacob...At this stage in the competition you would have every reason to believe that some dead rubbers would be played. Yet the "Look at Me!" nature of international youth soccer forbids such a thing.For instance, Celtic welcomed Marseille to Celtic Park with nothing tangible to play for.

Hi, I'm Freddy, wanna play?

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That Freddy Adu visit to Rayo Vallecano we talked about yesterday? He arrives there tomorrow.Consider the scheduling problem fixed.- Greg Seltzer

On the eighth day, the goodies still flowed, and they saw it was good.

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Let us not forget it's Chanukah, yo. Like any proper showcase, we've saved the juiciest morsel for last. Fair warning, though, it is conditional.Remember how Teal Bunbury had a Bolton visit at least temporarily nixed because of his Olympic camp call-up? Well, he wasn't the only one in Florida last week with scuttled plans.

He scores with his left, he scores with his right...

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You all know the words. Fulham's Clint Dempsey converted from close range near the hour to give the visitors a 1-1 share at arch nemesis Chelsea. Since we've taken to running numbers on Deuce this year, let's break down the tally:It was his first ever at Stamford Bridge, his second in five career Boxing Day derbies, his sixth league goal of the season (marking the fifth straight season he's done

On the seventh day of whatchacallit...

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Merry Christmas to most of you out there, and a happy Chinese food meal to everyone else. For the next-to-last day of goodie-palooza, let's get everybody up to speed with the curious case of Omar Gonzalez.Of course, he's been reportedly linked to interest from teams on both sides of the Atlantic drink, with some of teams named accurately and others not.

Have you heard about the midnigher rambler?

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Since it is now officially Saturday a.m. here and aside from one holiday stock-up at the market my tomorrow is reserved for general lazing about, let's dispense with as-of-yet unnamed goodie celebration day six.These silly season sagas often take sharp turns, and as such, this holiday nibble is really the goodie that wasn't.

Tardiness does not get one on the naughty list.

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As I sorted out my goodies satchel for today's offering, it occurred to me suddenly that I forgot to drop one yesterday. Thus, I owe two in this post. And so it will be done.First, I am going to corroborate/elaborate on a report from the always fine Columbus Dispatch's Adam Jardy. I often come to knock things down, this time I'm here to tell you the Crew beat writer has everything

What in the hell is going on this month?

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We picked up bad mojo somewhere. Maybe it was something I ate, I don't know. Whatever the supernatural cause, our month of weirdness rolls right along with a Jermaine Jones to-do quickly brewing over in Germany. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy gives the succinct yet full info and feel for the situation sparked by the Schalke man's midweek DFB-Pokal madness here.

Cavatappi al pesto, here I come!

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Remember back at the start of November when I wrote that the USMNT will be visiting Genoa to play Italy at the end of February?That remains so, but I've been told by an Azzurri birdie to expect that game's announcement in early January. Expect my travel menu to include items such as this...- Greg Seltzer

I've turned NSC into a Dutch police scanner.

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While also announcing that the referee had acted properly, the KNVB rescinded Estaban Alvarado's red card. No word yet about the status of the suspended game.- Greg Seltzer

This is meant to be a game. Let's get back to something fun.

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Like moaning and whining and pitching fits over Klinsi's January call-ups!!! YAY!!!!G - Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)D - Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (L.A. Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), George John (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)M - Kyle Beckerman (

This just in...

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As if it couldn't get crazier, Ajax has filed a police report with the finding that last night's jerkface pitch invader should have never been allowed into the stadium. The 19-year old was already handed a stadium ban for prior trouble with stewards. As it turns out, this fantastically stupid person has set himself for criminal charges well beyond what I originally anticipated thanks to his

They said what? - Ajax v AZ Cup Kookiness Edition

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It's been a strange December for Ajax, to say the least. I could do a whole other post on a wackiness rundown, but let's gather focus and get back into the rubble from last night's suspended Ajax v AZ cup match.I had a few words to say and you've added in some of yours. Now, let's hear some morning after comments from the folks involved.

Matt Besler can sell you tickets/chastise you for not buying them

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Can we all agree SKC has the best front office in the league? - Will Parchman

I've got mail!

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A regular NSC email-writer just jokingly asked me how long it took to research the assists portion of today's Running The Numbers edition of Postcard From Europe, kindly suggesting I may have some treatable psycho-soccer disorder.A: Best I can recall/estimate, somewhere between nine and a dozen hours.

Oi vey.

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What else is there to say? If you don't know what I'm talking about, here it is from tonight's KNVB Cup match at Amsterdam ArenA: the hooligan field invasion that spawned the red card to AZ keeper Estaban Alvarado that made Gertjan pull his team off that saw this contest suspended with Ajax up 1-0 a few minutes before intermission.

I almost forgot.

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It's been a busy day, but I'm finally here with your "fourth day of (TBD)" goodie. Actually... it's an effect-delayed goodie.The other day, U.S. Under-17 playmaker Alejandro Guido completed his second visit to Vitesse. During his six weeks there, he often trained with the first team and played some friendlies with the reserves.

This goodie brought to you by the fine folks at "Stop making things up"

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Forced goodie, it is - just not for the reason I'd anticipated. Mexican tabloids have sniffed a little something out and ran wild with bemus-able imagination on it, claiming Puebla are in advanced talks to sign an American they figure is either Juan Agudelo or Daniel Williams.Little girl not having it is wondering: "Is that the best they could come up with?

Handicapping the MLS offseason: The Eastern Conference, Part II

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We've reached the end of our MLS offseason rainbow. In lieu of breaking down all 10 East teams, I've decided to forego a look-in on Montreal. We're too close to the expansion draft to be able to break down this team practically, and there's not much to look at until we see how they play together. I will say this: I don't see the Impact escaping a freshman doldrums, but it should be a better year

No, this is not the "forced goodie"

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However, I need to jump in here real quick. A Swedish report or two from last night ran that U. of Virginia forward Brian Span was signing with Örebro. It makes sense as he trialed there this summer and the club liked him.However, I have great reason to believe he is actually joining Djurgårdens IF.

On the second day of goodie time....

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It's after midnight where I am, so consider yourselves served again.Truth be told, though, I may be forced into giving you a double goodie on this day. I've got one you're gonna enjoy with an oven timer threatening to ding on me.Also, we need someone to come up with a proper name for our winter silly season holiday, as "Festivus" is taken.

It's official: Twitter hates thoroughly unofficial NSC holiday celebrationing

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I was tracking this, but clearly doing do slightly late: Edson Buddle's agent just tweeted (sweet Moses, I hate that website) that his client is set to trial at West Ham United. It seems the new Ingolstadt coach is looking to shed payroll, hence the early winter vacation for the US international.Don't worry, I still have enough to complete the eight days of goodies for you.

Not a huge deal, but...

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I have finally just confirmed that the reported interest from Stuttgart for Timmy Chandler is real, as was a recent report about Wolfsburg's crush. However, the impression I get is that the former are more eager to land him... but also less likely to do so this winter. I found this all out when hearing about a New York-born Japan youth international left back wanted by the Schwabians (who clearly

Catching up

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Been a little under the weather this weekend, so I've been moving slowly - another way of saying sleep all day. I nearly plum forgot about the owed Carlos Bocanegra goal clip and took a while to notice Tony Taylor's strike in a losing cause on Sunday. It's now Monday, which means tons to do, which means quit the moaning and get 'er done.

WPS life support

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Women's Professional Soccer lives, albeit conditionally and mysteriously.On Monday night, US Soccer's Board of Directors agreed to sanction "Division I" five-team WPS for 2012 on the basis of arguments made by league officials citing growing support from the 2011 Women's World Cup, continued exposure for the sport promised by the 2012 Olympics Games, and potential expansion.

A pair (featuring Deuce)

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We've got two goals to talk about today, but thus far only one clip. While we're waiting on the video of Carlos Bocanegra's opener in a Rangers win, let's laud Clint Dempsey for his opener in Fulham's much-needed win. The U.S. star now has three goals in the last four games, taking his season total across all competitions up to eight.

The UEFA Honor Roll

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Down to the nitty gritty now, it's time for a refresh on this page.Champions LeagueRound of 16David Yelldell - Bayer Leverkusen v BarcelonaEuropa LeagueRound of 32Jozy Altidore - AZ v AnderlechtSteve Cherundolo - Hannover 96 v Club BruggeJermaine Jones - Schalke v FK Viktoria PlzeňSacha Kljestan - Anderlecht v AZOguchi Onyewu - Sporting CP v Legia Warsaw- Greg Seltzer

You can go away again

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I love it... Landon Donovan on Moysie's side - Part Deux.- Greg Seltzer

Spector eyes Blues Euro test

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Jonathan Spector's Birmingham City take on Slovenia's SK Maribor at St Andrews tonight, knowing their Europa League odyssey will come to an end if they fail to win."We are making a good run of it, " Spector told NSC, "so hopefully we can advance to the group stage. We definitely want to make the most of this and get as far as we possibly can.

Seeing Double (updated)

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Both Filham's Clint Dempsey and Anderlecht's Sacha Kljestan have bagged first half goals to put their sides on the board in Europa League Matchday 6 action (and each's side has subsequently added a second).The man they call Deuce deposited a redirected cross for his third Europa League strike of the tourney edition and fifth in his career.

Handicapping the MLS offseason: The Eastern Conference, Part I

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The Eastern Conference took some guff in 2011. Some rightfully earned, some not. The most egregious perpetrator of the conference's poor rep, however, dragged everyone else down, and that was New York. The Red Bulls were supposed to be LA's counterweight in the East, a team the Galaxy were supposedly going to eye up until the final.

A brilliant hat trick of nieces

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It's my blog and I can do what I want at any time - and at this time I want to boast, boast, boast! On Saturday, my brother and his wife completed my awesome niece treble in fine fashion, finally giving the world Audrey (who not only sleeps as constantly as her daddy, she has his "promptness").With her joining sisters Sam and Courtney (r-l), I am now equipped with an unstoppable niece army of

Who likes goals?

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Yes, I do have a man crush on Barca, if it's possible to crush on 11 dudes simultaneously. Or whatever. The build-up is prettier than the goal. RVP with the proverbial nuclear warhead missile launch. It pains me to admit that the Bundesliga has circled Serie A, but as a top-to-bottom league it's just better now.

WPS in ICU... or is it purgatory?

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The supposed deadline for WPS to find a sixth owner has come and gone. The 15-day grace period set by US Soccer passed last Monday with little fanfare or, more notably, outcry. While the silence was deafening, it appears that no news is good news for women's soccer in this country. At least for now.

Who's the boss?

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With all due respect to Abed Nadir, at Hammarby, it's now Gregg Berhalter.- Greg Seltzer

It's good ta be da king.

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Fourth time's a charm as the North Carolina Tar Heels finally won their second NCAA crown - in my old stomping ground of suburban Birmingham on a field I've trod many times, no less.- Greg Seltzer

A Heisman for the people

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Two quick orders of business on this glorious Sunday. One, stay tuned in the next day or two for part three of my four-part series examining the MLS offseason. For reference, here's part one and part two of the Western Conference outlook. And as for No. 2... Getcher RGIII chants ready for his inevitable NFL bum rush.

Just Gooch It

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The last American starter of the day is the first to ring the bell; Sporting CP defender Oguchi Onyewu was the star of the first half, most notably due to nodding home the 1-0 on 22 minutes. The game is now at halftime, so it could be a while before the clip surfaces.- Greg Seltzer

A new Villa lease?

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Not only is Brad Guzan set for his first EPL start tomorrow, it seems the club are ready to ensure he doesn't run out of contract for a while longer than June.Anybody else going to watch this one? I sure am. Without trying to seem like a joy profiteer from Shay Given's misfortune, Guzan has well-earned this shot (and a certain other one, as well).

Camp Porter

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We told you it was coming, and here it is (no Teal Bunbury visit to Bolton now?). Olympic boss Caleb Porter is now on the job and has summoned 28 players to Florida pre-Christmas. There are several new faces, including Freddy Adu, Will Bruin, two keepers fresh off EPL training visits a pair of Duke players and the re-emergence of Bryan Arguez.

Extra Time: Dilly Duka

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As promised, the annexed quotes from my chat with the Generation adidas squad member...On battling hard to stand out during talent-filled US Olympic camps: "That's all you can do. Go out there and just give whatever you've got in any situation they give you. Hopefully, they like you and call you back.

All I ask today: Say "Hmmmmm... " like you mean it

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I've wrestled back and forth for hours on how to address last night's simultaneous Champions League incidents in Amsterdam and Zagreb, obviously because of the team short-strawed with the outcomes. I have decided that it cannot be avoided. I suppose that I will just have to speak as objectively as my reputation allows.

Extra Time: Brad Friedel

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The latest edition of our new NSC custom acts as annex to today's Postcard From Europe with Big Bad Brad.On whether he could take over as cup goalie should they reach the late stages or a final:"That hasn't been discussed. We have a great group of goalkeepers, so there's no way that would be discussed.

Your friendly neighborhood UEFA NextGen report

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The fat lady has yet to sing, but it's all but over, or just plain over, in three of the four groups in this year's NextGen Series. From the top ... Celtic needed a serious dose of luck to keep their European adventure going. A group-dominating giant had to be slain by a relative minnow twice. They also had to beat Barcelona in Barcelona.

Handicapping the MLS offseason: The Western Conference, Part II

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So if we began with the West's five cake-toppers, the creme de la creme, those marching at the head of the column, now it's time for the stragglers. The teams which heeded the call to Go West Young Man but in some cases looked old, decrepit and tired instead and limped across the finish line in the worst of cases.

Just to drive you batty...

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The 2011 Generation adidas tour team will be special guests at the key Ajax v Real Madrid Champions League Matchday 6 tilt tomorrow night. I will be talking to a couple of those MLS rising stars before they head down to the game, and then more throughout their stay in the Netherlands.And just to tantalize you a little further, tomorrow's Postcard From Europe subject is none other than white-hot

Red Menace

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Clint Dempsey has tapped home a spilled Danny Murphy shot with five minutes remaining to put Fulham up 1-0 on 10-man visitors Liverpool. It was his fourth goal of the EPL season and sixth across all competitions this term.- Greg Seltzer

Who Likes Goals?

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You know what time it is. Cheekiest goal of the week goes to Super Mario. He's a horses backside, but sometimes he does fun things. Like this. Remember Carlos Vela? Chicharito Lite? He's still playing, if you were curious. Becks may or may not be done in LA.

Brazil Nuts

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I suppooooose the last post could have waited until the delightful highlights of the U.S. Under-17's duel with Brazil yesterday surfaced. What can I say? I got all excited. And this is worth a wait...- Greg Seltzer

To me, this is a big deal.

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The best answer for a new USMNT system? More of it, sooner. Now, we are actually fully designed to make these leaps we like to to talk about. Claudio Reyna is THE MAN.And gosh, I did not even recognize former Steamers goal monster Don Ebert at first.- Greg Seltzer

Jozy, sure. (updated)

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With his side down one, Jozy Altidore has bagged an insistent 20th minute equalizer from some dreamy combo play with Brett Holman.FYI: He now has five on the Eredivisie season (in the 14th of the 34 matches) and 11 across all competitions - well on pace to both fulfill my promise of 10 league goals and put him one short of a third place tie with DaMarcus Beasley in the category of goals in a

Jozy, sure.

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With his side down one, Jozy Altidore has bagged an insistent 20th minute equalizer from some dreamy combo play with Brett Holman. While we wait for the clip, let's just see if he's got any more in him today...- Greg Seltzer

Slicing Turkey

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The U.S. U-17's in action from yesterday...- Greg Seltzer

WPS Action

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US Soccer has given Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) until Monday to find a sixth team. You may recall that the league's Board of Governors recently voted to expel Dan Borislow's Boca Raton-based magicJack from the league. The relationship between Borislow and WPS has been fairly roller-coaster-esque from the start.

A Tale of Joy

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Yes, I'm taking a mini-break, but I wanted to share this important post from Prost Amerika. If there is one concept I admire and value above all others, it is fearless honesty. I'd say this fits that category.In the post, former RSL and St. Pauli defender Ian Joy shares a very personal story about his prior struggles with depression.

U-17's v France - The Pudding

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You know what's in the pudding, right?- Greg Seltzer