hard time

Real Madrid

Gareth Bale says waiting for Tottenham to sell him was ‘stressful’

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Real Madrid's new world record signing Gareth Bale says it was "stressful" waiting to complete his move from Tottenham. The Welshman said he understood that Spurs had to do their own transfer business before letting him leave, but still says it was a hard time for him as he waited for the deal to be [.

Guardiola Hail’s Barcelona Attitude After Mallorca Win

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Barcelona picked up another victory on Saturday to keep their trail with Real Madrid remain on six points, aside from the 2-0 success, one thing that Barca coach, Josep Guardiola, strongly credited his team's is their attitude.

Barcelona once again were forced to play with 10 men against Mallorca as Thiago Alcantara received a marching order in the second half, but it didn't disturb the team's shape as they even managed to double their lead after the sending off.

Videos

Video: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney will probably stay at Man Utd

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Jose Mourinho indicated that he has pretty much given up on being able to lure Wayne Rooney to Chelsea before the end of the transfer window. The Blues boss suggested he would make a final enquiry to see if Rooney had changed his mind and now wanted to stay at Old Trafford. And he promised [...]

2012 Olympics: Honduras's MLS connection send Spain crashing out, 1-0

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The mighty Rojas are done for. Well, at least their U23 team plus Adrian Lopez and Juan Mata.

Los Catrachos, the Olympics version sent Spain crashing out of the tournament with a 1-0 win as Roger Espinoza who plies his trade for Sporting Kansas City mailed in a cross that was met by Jerry Bengtson of the New England Revs for a perfectly placed header past David De Gea.

Video: England women’s goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain nearly beheads a photographer

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Goalkeepers in the women's game often get a hard time, but OTP can't understand why. Look at the pinpoint distribution from Bristol Academy's Siobhan Chamberlain as she attempts to return the ball to Everton's Jill Scott but instead nearly beheads a photographer during a photo-shoot for the FA.


Arsenal

Arsenal Season Predictions – Perry, Felegy and Lachlan

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Hey guys. Us here at The Arsenal Offside have done a bit of a prediction for the season ahead. It was going to go up last week before the season actually started, but sadly I got distracted and wrote about some guy who decided to do what some little boy told him to and moved to Manchester United. What gives?

More than the last game: supporting a club is for life

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By Walter Broeckx

This season is not the best season we had in the recent history. A few very hard defeats to take on the chin. Losing one of the best players in the world. So compared to the last 6 seasons we have had a hard time at moments.

And this is why I [...]

Tactical blunder sends us packing

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Arsene Wenger has never been a great tactician, but tonight his bizarre decision killed us from the start.

The boss was looking, as we all were, at the state of the San Siro pitch. The wings looked deliberately battered to give us a hard time in one of our stronger positions. We've played on some bad pitches before, but this was something different altogether.

Major League Soccer

Vancouver Whitecaps Scouting Report: No Excuses Not To Dominate

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As the Seattle Sounders prepare for this weekend's match with the Whitecaps, it feels as if we've transitioned into a new phase of the season. For one thing, the team is coming back from the first full week break since after the Chelsea friendly in mid-July. The relatively long rest has given the team and the fans time to mentally prepare for the stretch run.

Portland Timbers Man of the Match: Really? Edition [Poll]

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Some will still point to the Cal FC loss as the worst game in the Timbers history as a Major League Soccer club, but last night's 5-0 loss that knocked the Timbers into last place in the league has got to be up there. Positives were few and far between and even the optimists here at Stumptown Footy had a hard time picking out someone to praise.

US President Barack Obama jokes about David Beckham’s underwear during LA Galaxy reception

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David Beckham found his line of underwear the butt of jokes during a reception at the White House with President Obama. It's customary for the President to meet the MLS Cup winners at the end of every season. But attention soon turned to Becks' moonlighting role with H&M. Obama said: "I have to say, I [.

US President Barack Obama jokes about David Beckham’s underwear during LA Galaxy reception

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David Beckham found his line of underwear the butt of jokes during a reception at the White House with President Obama. It's customary for the President to meet the MLS Cup winners at the end of every season. But attention soon turned to Becks' moonlighting role with H&M. Obama said: "I have to say, I [.

Obama jokes about David Beckham’s underwear line during LA Galaxy’s White House visit

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The MLS champion LA Galaxy visited the White House on Tuesday for the traditional winners' ceremony/photo op -- an event especially notable since it brought together the most powerful man in the world and the President of the United States. And President Obama's brief speech about the team quickly turned into a roast of David Beckham (who brought some impressive Three Musketeers style facial hair).

Impact lack discipline

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Growing up, we were always led to believe that the best defenders were the toughest players on the field. Often, 'kicking' players and collecting fouls and cards were signs of soccer's 'hard men'.


Years later, we've found that the best defenders are measured more by teams that win games and don't concede goals.

Breaking Down the Union: What Portland Needs To do To Win.

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Philadelphia Union are probably one the hardest teams in the MLS to score on due to their propensity to just defend and counter. A lot of their games last year were close affairs, 1-0 wins, and they had their fair share of ties, 15 to be exact. Last year offensively the Portland Timbers had a hard time with Philadelphia and only managed 1 goal against them but defensively they were able to shut down Sebastian Le Toux and Company and did not allow a goal against, Portland was the only team to do so against Philadelphia.

English Premier League

Carrick Back In England Squad

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Michael Carrick has been named in the England squad for the game against Italy next week. Having told the FA he wasn't interested in being considered for the squad if he wasn't going to play, Carrick was left out of Roy Hodgson's team that went to Euro 2012.

Despite statistically being the most effective English midfielder in the Premier League last season, along with Paul Scholes, Hodgson rated Scott Parker, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry more highly, meaning that Carrick wasn't asked to come out of 'retirement' and Jordan Henderson went in his place.

Arsenal v Manchester City Preview : Wenger Misses Mind Games

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Rare occasions

Arsenal go back into Premier League action with a match against Manchester City tonight and we'll be looking to rebound back with a positive result after our defeat away to QPR last week. For the first time since the inception of the Premier League, it is City who are challenging for the title and not us.

Kenny insists Liverpool have moved forward – Have your say.

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Kenny Dalglish is convinced that the Reds have made significant progress over this season, despite a dire performance in the Premier League.

Dalglish has spent around the £100M mark since succeeding Roy Hodgson in January 2011 and the Merseyside giants were expected to be serious contenders for a top four Champions League spot.

Voyage, Voyage, one part Desireless

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To describe results of the past week ‘topsy turvy' is akin to calling Robbie Savage, "rather punchable." Having returned from Milan late Thursday evening (cheers Easyjet) I haven't really had a chance to collect my thoughts in any cogent manner. Indeed, the fact that the Milan trip, the 90 minutes on the pitch apart, was such an enjoyable one may mean I'm feeling softer and cuddlier about the aberration of a non-performance than I ought to be.

Neymar Turns Down Chelsea For Spanish Side

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It is now emerging that Neymar will not be leaving Santos after all. Premier League club Chelsea have confirmed that they have ended their pursuit for the teen star after he committed his future to Santos until 2014.

Villas-Boas revealed that his side have failed in trying to sign Neymar and that he has already chosen his next destination which will most likely be Barcelona.

England

Extreme Makover Football Edition: What Michael Vick, John Terry, and Joey Barton Tell Us about Media Rehabilitation in 2012

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Recently, Michael Vick appeared on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption (PTI). Vick appeared on PTI to plug his new book, Finally Free: The Power of a Second Chance. In his nearly eight minute interview, the Philadelphia Eagles star openly acknowledged his problematic past and while contrite and thoughtful he also admitted the book was also an attempt to end the conversation about his history.

Noticias: Ibrahimovic Deems AC Milan’s Season “A Failure” And Blackburn’s Unlucky Chicken

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AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still reeling over the fact that Juventus snatched the Serie A title from under his nose - literally. No surprise there, given that Milan were pretty consistent this season and still failed to win a trophy. Yes, Gennaro Gattuso, you've been missed!

Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers @ Colorado Rapids Player Ratings: Here We Go Again Edition

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Player ratings for Sunday's match won't be quite as in depth as you're probably used to. This is primarily because we four writers here at Stumptown Footy are running into ourselves trying to finish up the post game coverage of the Colorado game while also getting all our preview game material ready for tomorrow's game.

Portland Timbers Transfer Window Trade Game

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We've already seen the Portland Timbers make numerous trades throughout the first half of the season. Mike Fucito came in, Bright Dike went out on loan, Steven Smith was recruited, Jorge Perlaza was exchanged for Portland-local Danny Mwanga. Really, it's been a busy seasons in terms of trades. Makes me wonder if the Timbers front office simply wasn't able to get everything done before the season kicked off, or if they were scrambling after ot performing as expected.

Mike Fucito Traded To Portland Timbers

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We get it, some of you don't really want to read about Mike Fucito anymore. But this certainly merits attention: the former Seattle Sounders player (and a favorite of this site) has been traded from the Montreal Impact to the ... Portland Timbers.

Yes, you read that correctly. The next time you see Mike Fucito on a MLS field, he will be wearing the uniform of our favorite rivals.

The Rest

Danish goalkeeper scores overhead equalizer in stoppage time

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Frem goalkeeper Jakob Kohler proved to his his side's secret weapon in a Danish Second Division East (the third tier of Danish football) match against Birkerod. In the 92nd minute, with Birkerod up 1-0, Kohler came forward for Frem's last-ditch effort to equalize off a corner kick.

After the ball was headed away from goal and a Frem shot was blocked by a defender, Kohler executed a beautiful overhead kick off the deflection and, to the surprise of everyone, scored an equalizer.

Portland Timbers Man of the Match: Fourth Time's the Charm Edition [Poll]

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After failing to shut out their opponents in their last fifteen league matches, a run that started in May, last night the Timbers finally were able to keep their opponents off the board in a herculean defensive effort. The Timbers didn't quite click on the offensive end of things but the team were able to put together several moments of magic in the first half that let them keep the pressure on Colorado and put one in the back of the net.

Montero shows his maturity as a super sub | Steve Kelley | The Seattle Times

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Montero shows his maturity as a super sub | Steve Kelley | The Seattle Times

We've given Steve a hard time about some of the articles he's written, but this is really good. Give it a read.

All In, All Out: a note on the amazing Megan Rapinoe

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In two interviews, four years apart, two different USWNT players casually identified themselves as gay to reporters. Neither did so with the solemn declaration, "I'm a lesbian." Both players answered a reporter's question in a way that snuffed out the presumption of heterosexuality maintained by mass sports media on those rare occasions when it addresses women athletes, a presumption it maintains in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

Spain v France – Match Preview – Euro 2012 – 23 June 2012

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Defending champions Spain start the Euro 2012 quarterfinals with a match against Group D runner-up France. The match will take place at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine with kickoff scheduled for 20:45 local time.

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque

"Everybody thinks we're favourites because we won the EUROs four years ago and the World Cup two years ago.

Roma dream of landing Benfica duo this summer

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Italian papers are reporting that Roma are keen on landing one if not both of Benfica's key playmakers this season Nicolas Gaitan and Axel Witsel. The Italian club though would have a hard time obtaining both players as each has a $40M buy out clause in their contracts.Roma was also linked earlier this season with Benfica defender Garay and are said to be treading the waters on all three

Saha: Still Got Fergie Hairdryer After Scoring Twice

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Two weeks after signing for Manchester United and on his second game for the club, Louis Saha scored twice against Everton within the first half an hour. He had scored a goal on his debut too so was feeling rather chuffed with himself.

When United went off 3-0 up at half-time, Saha was expected a pat on the back from Sir Alex Ferguson, but instead was given a hard time for not putting away all his chances.

Colorado Controls Consolation Game With 1-0 Win

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Last night the Rapids had an easy game against the Melbourne youth/reserves squad, controlling the game from end-to-end in a 1-0 win. The starting XI:

Cascio - Amarikwa - MullanLarentowicz - Castrillon - MastroeniZapata - Wynne - Moor - KimuraCeus
Other than Ceus and Amarikwa I wouldn't be shocked to see that same lineup on opening day in two weeks.

Andre Villas Boas – Out Before Easter?

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Andre Villas Boas Out Before Easter? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

It's a familiar story: Chelsea hire a new manager for a lot of money, Chelsea don't do as well under this manager as they did under Jose Mourinho, rumours  then begin to circle claiming that the manager is about to be fired and then finally (the bit that hasn't quite happened yet) the manager is fired.