Thierry Henry does not have many fans in the Republic of Ireland tonight.Â The best footballer
in the world, according to the Castrol Rankings, used his hand to put France through to the World
Cup Finals next Summer. While the Boys in Green are red with fury and probably wouldn't object to a
Hammurabi-like justice exacted on the former Arsenal ace, it should be kept inÂ mind why France
was playing Ireland at all.
On the pitch and among the fans, Celtic and Rangers may be the fiercest of football rivals.Â
When it comes to the business end of things, namely the mission to maximize their financial
potential by fleeing the Scottish Premier League, the Old Firm pair are partners in crime.Â Like
any good rivalry, Celtic and Rangers need each other.
There were two big New York soccer rumors reported in the media this past week.Â The first was
that Pele may be recruited by newly minted New York Cosmos owner Paul Kemsley to serve as President
of the organization, which he intends to build into a lifestyle brand as well as a football club.Â
The second is that David Beckham is eyeing New York, Miami or Montreal as the location in which to
exercise his right to start a new MLS franchise.
There will never be promotion and relegation in Major League Soccer. At least not in the
traditional, European sense.Â The franchise fees are too high to risk what would be perceived by
American audiences as a demotion to a minor league.Â No, there will never be promotion and
relegation in the MLS in the traditional sense.
In 2002, stubborn pride destroyed the Republic of Ireland's greatest ever hope of the ultimate
World Cup glory. The Irish squad comported themselves well in Japan & Korea, making the
quarterfinals before losing a penalty shoot-out to Spain. But every fan of Irish soccer looks
back at 2002 and asks what could have been, if the stubborn pride that caused the manager Mick
McCarthy and captain Roy Keane to butt heads on the island of Saipan, had subsided.
FC Barcelona's bid to put a MLS club in Miami is dead, according to the great Ives Galarcep, and
Vancouver now stands out as the front runner. With New York City, Montreal and now
Miami-backed-by-Barca fallen by the wayside and the Dow Jones at less than 50% of what it was last
Fall, it makes sense for MLS to make the safe play as far as expansion is concerned.
Nearly a fortnight has passed since the United States beat Mexico in the opening hexagonal
CONCACAF qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, and the one thing that stands out above all else from that
intense match is that Michael Bradley is on his way to becoming America's Roy Keane. While
Freddy Adu wastes away in Monaco, Jozy Altidore's Spanish journey finds him failing to get minutes
in La Liga Segunda and Giuseppi Rossi pretends he's not an American in an Azzurri shirt, Bradley's
February dominance for club and country make him the most outstanding Yankee outfield player plying
his trade on any side of the Atlantic Ocean.
A few days ago the New York Times reported that FC Barcelona is having second thoughts on
attaching their brand to the new Miami MLS franchise they have to this point backed. Bolivian
tech billionaire Marcelo Claure is the chief financier of the Miami bid. FC Barcelona was
thought to be splitting the costs of the MLS club with Claure, but from comments at Barcelona's
biannual financial meeting it appears the Bolivian may be on his own.
It was reported this week that the Philadelphia MLS expansion franchise has narrowed down its
potential names to a shortlist of four. Since there's no existing Philly club and fan base
coming over from the USL, as Seattle Sounders FC had, the field is wide open. The choices are
AC Philadelphia, SC Philadelphia, Philadelphia City and Philadelphia Union.
Major League Soccer is expanding at a rate of about one team per year, and despite the uncertain
economic situation in the world, is showing no signs of slowing down. When a major sports
league in the USA adds new franchises, one of the laments of the anti-expansion die-hards is that
the talent pool is diluted and the quality of play in the league overall will suffer.
When I read Thursday morning that Roy Keane had resigned as manager from Sunderland, I was
filled with an expected disappointment. I was hoping the comfort of a match coming up at Old
Trafford would have seen him through the week and perhaps a plucky draw or shock win would turn
things around. If he could make it to the West Brom match, winning ways would be
When Kenwyne Jones ran onto the pitch in the Wear-Tyne derby, the Stadium of Light erupted with
cheers and applause. Injured in an off-season friendly for Trinidad & Tobago, Jones was
feared lost for the season. His triumphant return against the hated Mags set the stage for a
run up the table and glory for the Black Cats.
The improbable run of the New York Red Bulls ended today. The good fortune and skill that
led RBNY past the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake showed itself again today in flashes but the
odds evened out in the Home Depot Center this afternoon.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto ran the show for the Crew setting up all three goals.
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols today joined the St. Louis bid for a Major League
Soccer expansion team. The newly crowned National League MVP is a boon to the St. Louis
effort as he is a first class sportsman with a first class reputation. St. Louis barely
missed out on last season's 2010 expansion sweepstakes with Philadelphia getting the nod.
When the whistle blew at the Showgrounds in Sligo Friday night, Sligo Rovers clinched a 2-0 win
over Bray Wanderers. Near the same time, a whistle blew in Dublin calling an end to a match
that saw Bohemians drop Cork City 3-1. This confluence of events sent Sligo Rovers, a club
headed toward financial ruin this Summer, into the money-rich Europa League and Setanta Cup
tournaments for next season.