My Foot and a Ball.
This is where it all begins in a Dortmund Hotel in Germany.
- A group of MLS executives are set to visit Portland, Oregon, to assess the feasibility of placing
an expansion franchise there by 2012. The committee will meet with Merritt Paulson among other
local officials and businessmen to determine whether they have the proper facilities to maintain a
club. The startup cost of an MLS franchise is $20m.
- The International Olympic Committee has placed their support behind UEFA President Michel Platini
in his quest to take football out of the hands of profit for the better of the sport.
- Failure to qualify for the 2008 European Championship could cost the England Football Association
as much as £8m in merchandising and revenue. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the good old boys
network who hire crap coaches? Never fear England fans, I will be shocked if they don't pull out a
spectacular performance against Croatia and Israel somehow rise to the occasion and at least draw
I can't help but be bewildered by this article on the Sunday Times Online by Mark Franchetti. It's
so candy-coated and awash in deceptive if not Orwellian jargon that only a mentally handicapped
person would believe a single word. If this is the start of the great 'Usmanov is just a regular,
good-hearted bloke' crusade, then the insincerity was undermined by a strenuous, unconvincing
- Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics GM and overall baseball genius, is set to deliver a keynote
speech at the ‘Future of Football Conference' in London on November 20th. The 'Moneyball' author
and innovator will play a role in the rebirth of the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS and is looking
to learn something about maximizing talent from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, and
(Summary is not available.)
Here are the re-links for your convenience. Cheers.
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group A
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group B
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group C
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group D
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group E
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group F
2008 Euro Qualifying Saturday Preview: Group G
Finally, we have group G and arguably the biggest match of the day as the Dutch travel to Romania.
Both countries sit atop their group table with 20 points, though the Romanians have the tie-breaker
due to overall goal difference. The Netherlands will be missing their number one, Edwin Van der
Sar, and striker Dirk Kuyt, while Romania is seemingly fully fit.
The biggest and really only significant match of this group is Spain at Denmark. Both teams need to
win this match if they hope to advance. Both sides will be missing key players due to injury as the
Danes will be without Daniel Agger and the Spanish, David Villa. Helping Denmark out will be the
return of Christian Poulsen and Spain should have ample firepower at forward to replace Villa,
though Torres is slightly hobbled.
Only two matches from this group on Saturday: England hosts Estonia and Israel travels to Croatia.
It's do or die time for the Israelis, if they lose this match they can kiss their qualifying hopes
good-bye. Even if they draw, there chances are slim. Too much has to happen for them to move on.
The good news is they'll be taking their strongest side to Zagreb, the bad news is Croatia is
Unless Ireland pulls off a huge upset on Saturday when the Germans travel to Dublin, this group is
done. A draw is useless, they need the three points or else and they might just be able to do it.
Die Nationalelf will be without the services of Miroslav Klose, Michael Ballack, and Tim Borowski,
but still, they'll have Torsten Frings, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Christoph Metzelder, and Per
Mertesacker among others to keep Ireland from scoring.
- Just when it looked as if Italian football was convincing everyone that they were cleaning up
their act, another match-fixing scandal has reared it's ugly head. This time Lazio coach Delio
Rossi has been charged with attempting to influence an opposing team in April 2006.
According to that article, "The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) alleged Rossi tried to ask club
president Claudio Lotito to contact Lecce officials and discuss tactics before their match.
Turkey has the most to gain this Saturday when they travel to Moldova. The Turks can take over sole
possession of second place in the group with a draw, but with a win and a Greece draw or loss,
could even find themselves on top. The problem is, even though Moldova sit at the bottom of the
group, they are still a formidable opponent at home having yet to lose by more than a goal there so
All top three teams in the group are involved in must-win matches if they want to keep their
positions on the table. The most intriguing of the three matches is without a doubt the Ukraine at
Scotland. The Zhovto-Blakytni must win to have any chance of advancing though it looks mission
impossible anyhow, and the Tartan Army need the three points just to keep ahead of their nemeses,
Italy and France.
Portugal can do themselves a huge favor by winning at Azerbaijan. The Portuguese appear to be
playing with fire after throwing away opportunities to assure themselves an early qualification
with three consecutive draws in their last three group dates, two of those being home ties. They
are plagued with injury with Jorge Andrade, Marco Caneira, Petit, Hélder Postiga, João Tomás and
Pepe out as well as Tiago, who is suspended, but should have plenty, including the return of
Ricardo Carvalho, to get the three points.