Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rooney out 2-4 Weeks

The potential Golden Boot winner, Rooney, having the greatest season of his young career will be out 2 to 4 weeks after sustaining an injury against Bayern Munich during the stoppage time. United is only one point ahead of Chelsea, and this may have dramatic effects on the Premier League title race, since they are playing Chelsea this Saturday for a crucial match they will probably decide the outcome of the Premier League.

Rooney will miss the vital return leg against Bayern Munich, and if he is sidelined for too long than he can miss the Manchester Derby. With Owen already out for the season, this will put a lot of pressure on Berbs.

According to the The Times, "England's worst nightmare", and just one word to describe what English fans need to do, "Pray".

English newspapers are far more concern about their hopes for the World Cup, but realistically Rooney is way too tough of a customer to miss the World Cup, I doubt he will miss any of the World Cup, but he may not be 100% fit.

Lyon Vs. Bordeaux

Lyon - vs - bordeaux
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Man U vs. Bayern Munich

Bayern Munchen v Manchester United
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Article from ESPN Soccernet written by Tom Adams:
Great Article about the MESSIah


The famously insular world of English football has been quick to crown Wayne Rooney as the best player in the world in recent weeks - unsurprisingly perhaps in a World Cup year - but in Barcelona on Wednesday night, Lionel Messi demonstrated exactly why those claims ring hollow with a masterful performance in a 4-0 rout of Stuttgart.

Speculation that Rooney is football's leading light is far from outrageous. It is not, for example, a manifestation of the unjustified national arrogance that was exposed so horribly when Hungary humbled an overconfident England side with a 6-3 victory at Wembley in 1953, shattering illusions of grandeur. But it should be recognised that Messi is on another level - a once-in-a-lifetime talent. There is no excuse for a superiority complex on the part of Rooney or England.

Tormenting the visitors from the Bundesliga with his superior technique and utter genius, Messi was a force of nature. His run and finish for the opening goal was stunning - a mazy dribble followed by a thunderous drive from the edge of the box.

Nine minutes later it was his glorious pass that released Yaya Toure, who squared for Pedro to turn home the second. Messi then made it three in the second half with a quick spin and finish.

Nominally employed in an unorthodox central role in behind Thierry Henry, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year was given licence to roam the Camp Nou turf and he did not disappoint, exuding threat on either flank or through the middle. But while his masterclass would represent the very peak of excellence for many a professional footballer, for Messi it was not even his best performance in the past week.

On Sunday, he took his league tally to 22 goals in 23 games with a delightful hat-trick against Valencia in a 3-0 win for Barcelona. After Barca's statement of intent on Wednesday night, he now boasts 29 in 32 games in all competitions. And while Rooney compares favourably in this regard - with 32 in 36 games - there is no disputing that in Messi, Barcelona have the world's finest player at present.

Sir Alex Ferguson's protege is in the form of his life though, there is no question about that. Deadly in the box, he has married a collection of predatory strikes with a catalogue of headed efforts. But they are not goals that cause jaws to drop in amazement and fans to forward on YouTube links with childish enthusiasm.

Messi, with his precocious dribbling skills, expert finishing, raw pace and brilliant football brain, scores such goals on a ridiculously regular basis. Moments that engage the imagination are his stock in trade, and he produced another on Wednesday night with that thrilling first goal.

Perhaps Messi is the 21st-century Diego Maradona to Rooney's Pele - a magician to rival a hungry and deadly accumulator of goals. A banner inside Old Trafford oft declares the Manchester United man to be the white incarnation of the Brazilian great while Messi has done so much more than a succession of Argentinean starlets to justify comparisons with a man who remains a deity in his home country.

But prior to kick-off, Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes just about got it right, saying of Messi: "He's the best in the world. What he contributes with his talent makes him stand out. He could become the best player in history."

Wednesday night's display has only reinforced such a view. Rooney, for all his talent and prolific form, is not in this league.

Atletic Bilbao vs. Racing Santader

Most exciting match this week. Awesome bicycle kick for a goal!

Starting Lineup's Man U vs Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich


22 Jorg Butt (G)
6 Martin Gaston Demichelis (CD-L)
5 Daniel van Buyten (CD-R)
28 Holger Badstuder (LB)
21 Philipp Lahm (RB)
23 Danijel Pranjic (CM-L)
17 Mark Van Bommel (CM-R)
7 Franck Ribery (LM)
8 Hamit Altintop (RM)
11 Ivica Olic (CF-L)
25 Thomas Müller (CF-R)

Manchester United


1 Edwin van der Sar (G)
15 Nemanja Vidic (CD-L)
5 Rio Ferdinand (CD-R)
3 Patrice Evra (LB)
2 Gary Neville (RB)
18 Paul Scholes (CM-L)
16 Michael Carrick (CM-R)
24 Darren Fletcher (AM)
13 Ji-Sung Park (LM)
17 Nani (RM)
10 Wayne Rooney (ST)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Champions League Preview March 30

Manchester United Vs. Bayern Munich

The 1st leg of the Champions League kicks off tomorrow, and the highly anticipated match up between the English and German soccer giants will have to hold its breath until the status of Arjen Robben is confirmed. Bayern is concern that Robben may miss the game due to a calf injury that he sustained as a substitute over the weekend against Stuttgart. Robben has been on fire during his limited time at Bayern, and is a focal point of there offense. In the past, Robben has not fared well against Manchester United, however it will be crucial for this match that he does play. Both Rio and Rooney are ready to go tomorrow.

At first glance, I would give the nod to Man U. Manchester just has a certain mystique about them, which they may be outclassed in certain positions and have holes, but yet always seems to shine under pressure. It must be Sir Alex. With the departure of Ronaldo and many aging players it seemed almost inevitable that they would not be this good. Rooney however has been given the chance as #1 and has not disappointed, Rooney is currently leading contender for the Golden Boot. Bayern have some game changers as well with Gomez, Riberry and Robben.

Bayern is vulnerable in the back, but have a potent attack with a solid mid field. Man U is all around solid with plenty of charisma and character. It will be an interesting match up,

Lyon vs. Bordeaux

Lets face it, this match is just not going be as interesting, but that does not mean it willn't be exciting.

Lyon is no longer King of France, ever since the departure of Juninho left the club. However, Lyon has been able to knock Real Madrid out of the CL, so they are quite a handful for any team. The Portuguese international, Lopez, is Lyon's best striker. I give the win to Lyon for this match, but Bordeaux is no pushover either.

Bordeaux is coming off a disappointing defeat by Marseille 3-1 in the final of the French Cup on Saturday. Bordeaux is tied for 1st in a crowded French 'Lique' with 2 other teams, and is only 3 points in front of 3 other teams. Bordeaux plays a good brand of soccer, and they were able to knock out the Greek side Olympiakos in the round of 16. All around team that plays well with one another and many different players can score, and their defense is superb. I would not be surprised if Bordeaux end up being victorious in this match up.

Iniesta Out At Least 10 Days

The FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will be out at least 10 days after sustaining a hamstring injury during the 2nd half. He will miss the 1st leg of the Champions match against Arsenal.

Iniesta should be ready for 'El Clasico" against Real Madrid.

Barcelona will miss Iniesta, he anchors the midfield and gives countless through balls to the likes of Henry, Messi and Ibrahi. He also has tremendous individual talent that can create a moment of sheer brilliance, ie. CL last year against Chelsea.

The Soaring Tico

The Costa Rican International, Bryan Ruiz, has been a simply outstanding in his inaugural season in the Dutch Eredivisie with Twente FC. Ruiz is a top prospect coming out of a league that is like the European farm system for soccer, and has constantly produced top young talent. Ruiz has the credentials for Twente to demand around a $15-20M Euro price tag. Ruiz has scored 22 goals in 29 league matches this year, and I cant tell you how many posts he has hit, not to mention the Europa match against Bremen in which he hit two posts.

The most impressive aspect of Ruiz's game is his vision and how smart he plays. He seems to always make the right moves, whether to pass and when to pass, or being in the right position at the right time, no matter what it is, Ruiz is always aware and consciously adapting to the game. Hes height can deceive viewers that might think he is not coordinated, but that could not be further from the truth. Hes touch is impeccable and his moves are basic but effective.

On Saturday March 27, Ruiz scored a hat trick in 4 minutes! An absolute microcosm of the type of magical season Ruiz is having.

Twente coach Steve McClaren was more than pleased with his star attacker's performance and made it clear that Ruiz has a bright future ahead of him.

"Bryan was once again simply outstanding. I can only hope that he will stay at Twente for a couple more seasons. He has a lot of potential," McClaren said to De Telegraaf.

"I am confident that he has what it takes to succeed in a stronger league as well. It's up to him to prove me right once he plays in, for example, the Premier League. Either way, Bryan has a bright future ahead of him."

I believe Ruiz is most likely to go to La Liga, probably Valencia, Sevilla, Villareal or Atletico Madrid.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Madrid Derby; Exciting Game

Real Madrid stay up on the top of the table with an impressive victory. They have a 3 goal average over the last 10 league matches, quite impressive. Two weeks before El Clasico, Real look like they are at the top of their game.

As Roma Vs Inter Milan; Game of the Week

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Barcelona's Lionel Messi: Champions League Match-Up With Arsenal Suits Us -

Barcelona's Lionel Messi: Champions League Match-Up With Arsenal Suits Us -

FC Twente vs Rotterdam

Bryan Ruiz is the next great superstar talent on Twente in the Dutch League that will surly cost a club significantly for his services. The Tico secured a hat trick in four minutes to compile an impressive 22 goals, including his 10 straight matches with a goal streak. Ruiz has been vital part of the magic season Twente is having, in 1st place by 7 points. Ruiz will end up transferring to a top European club, most likely in Spain, maybe Villareal, Valencia (depends) or Atletico.

Barcelona Vs. Mallorca; Ibrahimovic Goal

Ugly win, Barcelona lacked any inspiration on the field, a quiet win for Barcelona. Starting squad without Xavi, Busquets, Messi, Henry, or Pique with Jeffren and Pedro getting the nod.

1st Half

Early in the game, Mallorca looked to pull ahead with an incredible turnaround shot that ringed off the post with Valdes having no chance on that shot, however the rebound went right to a Mallorca player on the opposite side and Valdes was able to make an incredible save. Ibrahimovic had several good opportunities from inside the penalty spot, but was unable to muster any good shots on goal. The best chance came when Jeffren received a through ball from Kieta, and at 1st unable to get the ball under control was able to rifle a shot from a awkward position. Mallorca had a free kick 2 meters out from the box and it was a curler around the wall, and Valdes may have got a hand on the ball while running into the post.

2nd Half

Iniesta went off early in the 2nd half with an injury, and Messi sub'ed in. Barcelona desperately needed some Messi Magic. However, Messi seem rather lethargic and uninspired but of course Messi standards are quite high. In the 63rd minute, Barcelona had a corner, Milito held off the defender to get a foot on the ball, causing a rebound in the far corner that Ibrahimovic busted through the net. Messi had a chance coming in from the right and crossing toward middle with a shot but it sailed way over, usually Messi gives it a chance.

Overall, not a great game.

Arsenal Vs. Birmingham

Birmingham vs Arsenal 1.1 27-0310
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Beautiful goal from Nasri, Mistake from Alumnia leads Arsenal to drop two points!

Barcelona Vs. Mallorca

Watch Today's game on ESPN 360 at 11:55 PST. I will update the game on my twitter, SoccerReview

Chelsea Vs Aston Villa, 7-1 ownage on part of Chelsea, Lampard

Chelsea vs Aston Villa Highlights (7 1)
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Lampard scores 4 Goals, Breaks Records. Malouda adds a brace!

Wolfsburg Vs Mainz; Dzeko with the Brace!

Dzeko shows pure class in this game.

Bayner Munich vs. Stuggart

Bayern lose 2-1, Schalke has opportunity to move ahead in the standings with a win today against Bayer Leverkusen

3 Games to Watch Saturday March 27th

Chelsea Vs. Aston Villa
Was the Portsmouth game for real or is Manchester going to run away with the title?

Madrid Derby
Can Real put a hurting on their cross town rivals and secure important points to keep Barcelona at bay, for now.

AS Roma vs Inter Milan,
Cracking game, everybody is trying to catch Inter.

Spain La Liga Schedule March 27-29

Málaga v Tenerife 18:00

Mallorca v Barcelona 20:00

Zaragoza v Valencia 22:00


Deportivo v Getafe
Espanyol v Sporting Gijón
Osasuna v Almería
Xerez v Valladolid

Villarreal v Sevilla 19:00
Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid 21:00


Athletic Bilbao v Racing Santander 21:00

EPL Schedule: Saturday, March 27, 2010

English Premier League

Birmingham City v Arsenal 15:00 St. Andrews Ground

Chelsea v Aston Villa 15:00 Stamford Bridge

Hull City v Fulham 15:00 Kingston Comms Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth 15:00 White Hart Lane

West Ham United v Stoke City 15:00 Boleyn Ground

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton 15:00 Molineux

Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United 17:30 Reebok Stadium

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Watch World Cup 2010

With less than eighty days till the World Cup 2010 in South Africa the anticipation builds to see how the nations will fare this time around. The World Cup can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially to a casual fan, however when you concentrate on the most exciting aspects of the World Cup, it becomes easy to follow. In 2006, there was 64 matches with an average of 93 million worldwide viewers per match, and over 1 billion viewers in the '06 Cup Final between Italy and France; Soccer is more than just a sport, its life. I have compiled a top 10 list in order to help consolidate your thoughts and expectations for World Cup 2010!

1) Messi. To call Lionel Andrés Messi the best player in the world would not him justice. A player of a life time, his mesmerizing skill and tantalizing footwork would make even the most reluctant American a fan of soccer. Messi's uncanny ability to dodge and weave the opposition's defense is certainly unmatched in today's soccer world. The MESSiah is unpredictable, yet sublime every time he takes a step on the pitch. Argentina's ability to compete in the 2010 World Cup rests solely on the back of little Lionel. If never intended on watching the World Cup, I would strongly recommend that you give Messi 15 minutes of your time, and he will make a fan out of you! Messi is coming off his best year in '09, in which he won the FIFA World Player of the Year, however he is having an even more remarkable season leading the Spanish La Liga with the most goals (25) and the most assists (10), compiling 8 goals in the last 3 games. The Messi show is a runaway train, there is no stopping him. Messi has been the runner-up to world players of the year for two years in a row prior to last year's unprecedented Barcelona run at 6 different trophies, that made him a shoe-in. The image of the small forward cutting in from the flank and slaloming through an impossible number of defenders on his way to goal is a truly remarkable display of talent. When the Argentinian has the ball at his feet there is an air of expectation and apprehension that no current footballers, and no amount of statistics, can invoke. Simply put, Messi is magic, brilliant, and nearly God-Like sent from the heavens: the MESSIah.

2) Ronaldo and Rooney. Now with David Beckham out of the World Cup after he sustained a torn Achilles during an AC Milan match, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the title as the biggest celebrity in this year's World Cup. Ronaldo stands out on the pitch with his elusive step-overs, blazing speed, and his remarkable dance-like maneuvers. There is no mistaking Ronaldo when he's on the pitch, hes style is impeccable, and he will surely stand out for a rather weak Portugal squad. It is no coincidence that he cost Real Madrid a record breaking 132M Euro to acquire his services from Manchester United. Easily one of the most popular players in the world, its easy to see how he can be such a fan favorite, not to mention the millions of women fans that have fallen in love with him over his young football career. On the other hand, there is an interesting contrast with Rooney, in which these two superstars share an interesting history together. Rooney is proclaimed the Wonder kid of English Football. He made his professional football debut with Everton at age 16, and transferred to his current club Manchester United at age 17. Rooney and Ronaldo have always shared the limelight with one another, however this season with Rooney as the #1 option he did not disappoint. With 32 goals in all competitions, Rooney is on a blistering tear. Rooney is the complete package, he has an unlimited supply of endurance with the ability to play any position across the front three. His compact and powerful built gives him an advantage over much of the competition. Over the course of this season he is showed the ability to finish as well produce in the air.

3) African Sleepers. Host teams always seem to fare well in the World Cup. South Korea co hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002, and South Korea was able to defeat top side Portugal to make the improbable move on to the second round. They then defeated soccer giants Italy, but they would end up losing to the 2002 World Cup winners, Brazil in the semis. So, which African team stands the best chance to make a run at the improbable? This year I give the nod to Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Ghana is full of talent who play professionally all over Europe, lead by Michael Essien of Chelsea and new comer Muntari from Inter Milan. A defensive-minded team, that will have to hold off Germany, Australia, and Serbia in order to move on to the quarter finals. Ghana was the runner up to African Cup of Nations in 2010 to Egypt, and I would not be surprised to see them in the Semi's. Ivory Coast however is the most talented African Nation. With players like Kalou, Drogba, Toure's, Eboue and Kone the Ivory Coast is not short on talent. One huge obstacle, same group as Portugal and Brazil. I believe that Portugal is rather weak this World Cup and seem vulnerable enough for the Ivory Coast to take advantage, if they will have any chance. Can the Ivory Coast harness their talent and ability to make it far in the World Cup? It will be exciting to see!

4) Excitement. As obvious as this sounds, there is nothing like the World Cup. The pride of each nation being represented on the world stage is quite the spectacle. The energetic and devout crowds cheering on their side in which the extraordinary noise level never seems to cease. The sounds of horns and whistles throughout the game, the national anthems sung as fans put their arms around one another as to say that this experience is much more than just a sport. The atmosphere, even through the TV screen, is contagious. Its the unexpected that will keep you bound to your seat.

5) Prospective Talent. For those soccer virgins, I understand its difficult to get excited about some new prospect from a 'minor' nation that will end up going to some big club in the summer, but with a keen eye this can be the most exciting part of the tournament. Frank Riberry certainly made a huge splash in Germany '06, and he now plays for the German giants Bayern Munich and carries a whopping 150 million euro price tag in order to pry him away from Bayern. Who will it be this year? Here are some general points to look for when evaluating talent.
Ultimately, you want to look for a player that is pushing the pace of the game, someone that is light on their toes and has the ability to score at any point; A player that is not hesitant about his skill set or ability, and has a fearless attitude. Any type of attributes that puts him head and shoulders above the rest, like speed, dribbling ability, and vision. Statistics are not going to show you necessarily which players are having their coming out party. HAVING THE MENTALITY OF A SOCCER FANATIC THAT VIEWS MORE THAN JUST THE SCOREBOARD BUT ALSO THE TALENT LEVEL, is when you will truly appreciate the value that soccer has to offer, especially the WC.

6) Spain. Coming off their impressive Euro '08 championship, Spain is the top team coming into this years World Cup. Passing through the qualifying stage flawlessly, basically a dream team of superstars will represent Spain this year. Starting with arguably the best goalie in the world, Saint Iker this team is stacked from top to bottom. With possibly the best central defense duo of any nation, Puyol and Pique will support a truly formidable defense. Andres Iniesta and possibly David Silva on the mid field flanks, and either Xavi, Fábregas, and Xabi Alonso will easily give England a run for best mid field players. The forwards will be anchored by two superstars Torres and Villa. Spain is sporting a hell of a team. I believe Brazil and Spain will steal the show this World Cup. Spain can easily put up 3 goals a game, and I would expect to see them in the finals. Spain's style is entertaining, you will not want to miss a minute of their games!

7) Potential Top Goal Scorers.In order to consolidate who will have the best chance of winning the Golden Boot Award I have compiled a list of players that will most likely be in the running (list in no particular order).

A) Lionel Messi, Argentina
B) David Villa, Spain
C) Drogba, Ivory Coast
D) Wayne Rooney, England
E) C. Ronaldo, Portugal
F) Luis Fabiano, Brazil
G) Fernando Torres, Spain
H) Carlos Tevez, Argentina
I) Arjen Robben, Netherlands
J) Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina
K) Diego Martín Forlán, Uruguay
L) Luis Suárez, Uruguay
M) Alexander Frei, Switzerland

I will outline these players in more depth in my upcoming blog on potential Golden Boot and Golden Ball winners.

8) Sleepers. By far my favorite aspect of the World Cup are the small nations that upset the bigger nations. Every World Cup has at least one. This keeps you on your toes anticipating the major upsets. Other than the hosts that I already outlined as possible sleeper teams, there are some other teams that are worth discussing, but of course the point of a sleeper team is that you don't foresee it happening!

1) Paraguay- They played outstanding in the qualifying stage, and they have a team of young and talented players that form a well-balanced team. Roque Santa Cruz, Salvador Cabañas, and José Salcedo are among three top talents that will shine in the World Cup 2010.
2) Chile- Came out of nowhere to claim the 2nd spot in the qualification round; they have the ability to not only upset a powerhouse nation, but possibly make it to the semi's! Very well coached, Chile has the structure and discipline to do some damage in 2010.

9) Brazil. One word, Samba. Brazil are always carries the class of the tournament, and expect them to be there in the long run. With the resurgence of Ronaldinho, I expect to see some real samba all over the pitch. Robinho I expect to hit the world stage with a bang, and watch out for Vagner Love or Nilmar at the Striker position to score a late winner here or there. Analyzing Brazil could take 1000's of words to give them any justice, therefore just mark your schedule to watch some really good entertainment.

10) Hooligans. How can you write about a World Cup and not include Hooligans. The constant singing, the abrasive heckling, and the quasi-riot that will occur at nearly every game is surely something to keep your eyes out for. Just make sure to keep in touch with the World Cup headlines, and I assure you, the hooligans will not disappoint!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manchester United Vs. Fulham Goal Highlights; March 14 2010

Manchester United reach the summit of the English Premier League with a dominating second half performance. Only seconds after the restart Rooney netted his first of two. Berbatov added another as time was expiring.

Manchester United came in on a high note with the thrashing of AC Milan in Champions League, and Fulham appeared to have their hands full with a healthy Man U squad. Fulham welcomed back the American Clint Dempsey as he was sidelined with a knee injury and made his first start in 2 months. Berbatov and Valencia got the starts for Man U.

The first half was full of excitement and good play by Manchester, however they had a handful of missed chances. On form Darren Fletcher played a beautiful one two with Berbatov, and Fletcher set up on a tee for Rooney who scuffed the shot. Neville displayed his age and gave the ball away to Fulham which resulted in a blast from 35 meters out from Dempsey that tested Van Der Sar but soared just over the cross bar. United again should have opened up the scoring with a beautiful supply from Nani to Berbatov, but Berbs send it over the bar. The Australian goalkeeper kept Rooney off the goal sheet in the 1st half with a great save when Rooney struggled to control the ball under his feet outside the box, but was able to rifle off a shot. Zamora could have put Fulham up before the half, but scuffed a volley attempt that he sent over the bar. However, Zamora's volley attempt was quite impressive and it displays his confidence and form this season.

The second half was much more of a one sided affair as Rooney opened up the scoring within a minute of the restart. Nani supplied a low, weak cross from the left side of the box that reached Rooney at a snails pace past 3 Fulham players and Rooney put it away in the bottom left corner. Shortly after, Vidic sent a ball over the cross bar off a corner. Vidic then made a splendid stop when it seemed like Zamora was one on one with the goalie. Rooney notched his brace when Berbatov supplied a splendid pull back and Rooney just finished her. Berbatov broke with magnificent control off a clear ball from the back and did all the work for Rooneys 26th Premier league goal and 33rd overall. Berbatov got a much deserved goal from a great cross from Park.

Overall, Fulham put up a great fight, but on form Manchester United is a mighty foe. Their attack was relentless. Rooney's movement off the ball was splendid, and Fletcher's work enabled Man U to secure a vital victory.