There’s a new event that has sports fans in the United States buzzing with excitement. It performs especially well in the coveted males 18-49 demographic, and its numbers see a high spike among those who identify themselves as casual or passionate fans of soccer.
Gather ’round the tele, kids. It’s time for some Dempsey-Gazing.
As you probably already know, Clint Dempsey is having a fantastic season in the Barclay’s Premier League with Fulham. As his goal tally continues to rise faster than the price of unleaded gasoline, fans and members of the media speculate more and more and Dempsey’s future.
You may have heard he has one more year left on his deal with the Cottagers, but he’s said hoping to play Champions League football. Fulham’s options appear to be sell him this summer and reap a financial gain or keep Dempsey another year and then lose him on a free transfer.
Dempsey has also said he’d prefer not to relocate his family. This has led many to conclude that Dempsey is bound for Arsenal, Tottenham or perhaps even Chelsea this summer – a prospect that seems to have the American soccer community in a tizzy. (more…)
The CONCACAF Champions League group stage continues tonight, but not before UEFA’s Champions League begins the same stage.
In the local version the Los Angeles Galaxy are in Morelia to take on Monarcas. The fans there know and love Galaxy star Landon Donovan. And by know and love I mean absolutely hate his guts. Nevertheless, Donovan says he takes it all in stride and won’t be too impacted by the crowd as he seeks to lead his club to a dominant lead atop Group A.
The Group B leaders, the Colorado Rapids, welcome a Bob Bradley-less Santos. Permanent coach or not, Santos and the Rapids are the best two teams in the group and Gary Smith will put out a strong 11 in hopes of getting a nice cushion.
Across the Atlantic, Arsene Wenger has expressed concern that his club is falling behind other big name teams, namely Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, because of a lack of finances. Things have been grim for Wenger lately, and might continue to go south with his team taking on Dortmund later today.
ANTHONY MANNINO-All Sports have come down to a win now mentality with clubs having a short-term memory. Owners and fans seem to easily forget the past or think of the future. Sadly, the majority of the blame falls on the coaches and it is the coach who loses his job if the team falls. I know it is the coach’s responsibility and it is his job to be in control of the entire team, but how quickly coaches are fired these days is ridiculous. It is part of the job description their team must perform week in and week out or they could lose their job. The problem now is these expectations are becoming borderline impossible at some clubs and owners are making rash decisions to fire a coach after one bad year. The quick fix is not always the best; implementing a new system and adding new players take time to gel. (more…)
Schalke stunned defending champions Inter Milan 5-2 while Real Madrid thrashed Tottenham 4-0 in the first set of Champions League quarterfinal matches today. Inter Milan struck first with a Diego Stankovic volley just 25 seconds into the game, but the German side pulled away in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals. Meanwhile, Real Madrid completely dominated Tottenham, sliding four goals past them, including two from Emmanuel Adebayor.
In more Champions League action, Manchester United and Chelsea face off tomorrow in a rematch of the 2008 final while Barcelona are heavily favored against Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk. Phil McNulty weighs in on whether Drogba or Torres should feature against the Red Devils.
Andy Najar ended months of speculation today by announcing his commitment to Honduras. Najar, the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year has lived in the United States for the past four years, raising U.S. hopes that he might wait for U.S. citizenship.
With the recent addition of Dwayne De Rosario, the New York Red Bull are the best team on paper in the MLS, while the only thing that can stop Real Salt Lake this season is complacency.
Tottenham Hotspur and Shalke were the next two teams to secure their spots in the Champions League quarterfinals yesterday. Spurs held on to a 0-0 draw against AC Milan, to advance 1-0 on aggregate, while Shalke put away Valencia with a 3-1 to advance 4-2 on aggregate.
Lots of Europa League clashes today. For the complete schedule go here.
It’s never too early to get excited for Euro 2012 games. FIFA profiles underdog Montenegro as they prepare for their final qualifying matches.
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has escaped any punishment for shooting a 21-year-old Chelsea intern with an air rifle.
The U.S. Women’s National Team beat Iceland 4-2 on Wednesday to win the Algarve Cup.
New York Red Bull have added Finland veteran Teemu Tainio and Stephen Keel to the squad.
Chelsea took a big step towards defending their Premier League title with a 2-1 win over Manchester United this afternoon. Wayne Rooney (who many argue shouldn’t have even been playing) struck first for Man U, but second-half goals from David Luiz and Frank Lampard sealed the victory for the Blues. Man U skipper Nemanja Vidic was sent off with a second yellow card during stoppage time, meaning he’ll miss the Red Devil’s game Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
In other scores, Reading upset Everton 1-0 in FA Cup play.
On the eve of their FA Cup replay with Leyton Orient, Marouane Chamakh feels a win over the League 1 side will give the Gunners a needed boost after their heartbreaking Carling Cup loss to Birmingham, while Leyton Orient’s chairman is optimistic about his side’s chances.
Sports Illustrated looks at Maurice Edu’s blossoming career in Scotland.
Australia’s A-League has been reduced to 10 sides after Football Federation Australia deemed the North Queensland Fury too financially unstable. The FFA has been widely criticized for mishandling the growth of the league, as most of the teams in the league rely on FFA handouts and attendance has dropped.
Rising MLS star Teal Bunbury will look to make a return to Sporting Kansas City by mid-March. The forward injured his elbow two weeks ago during a pre-season game.
Tons of Europa League clashes this afternoon, including Liverpool vs. Sparta Prague, Sporting Lisbon vs. Rangers and Villarreal vs. Napoli. For a full schedule, go here. Americans Maurice Edu, Sasca Klijestan and Oguchi Onyewu all hope to help their clubs into the round of 16.
Arsenal star Theo Walcott is out of Sundays Carling Cup match with Birmingham with a sprained ankle, and could potentially miss the return leg of Arsenal’s Champions League tie with Barcelona. The injury came in yesterday’s 1-0 victory over Stoke where Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas was bothered by a hamstring injury.
The Royal family of Qatar is preparing to make a £1.5 billion bid for Manchester United, according to a report.
Despite their encouraging 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen earlier this week, Norman Hubbard suggests Chelsea are nearing the end of an era.
Lifelong Colorado Rapids fan Steven Emory is living every fan’s dream. After impressing at an invite-only tryout combine, which he won through a halftime contest, the 21-year-old has been offered a pro contract with the Rapids.
With the retirement of Ronaldo, Tim Vickery looks at Brazil’s future stars.
Chelsea beat FC Copenhagen of Denmark 2-0 in UEFA Champions League play, while Real Madrid and Lyon played to a 1-1 draw. Nicholas Anelka had a brace for the Blues, while Karim Benzema and Bafetimbi Gomis struck for Real Madrid and Lyon, respectively. In English Premier League action, Blackpool earned a surprising 3-1 win over Fulham, raising them to 5 points clear of the drop zone.
CSKA Moscow secured their place in the last 16 of the UEFA EUROPA League with a 1-1 draw with PAOK Salonika.
Barcelona superstar Xavi will be out 7-10 days with a calf strain. That means he’ll miss this weekend’s La Liga game against Mallorca, and possibly Monday’s matchup at Valencia. Barca coach Pep Guardiola will also be without Carlos Puyol, keeper Victor Valdes and Dani Alves. (more…)
You might not be excited about the United States U-17 squad, but you can at least appreciate their efforts. The Americans toppled Cuba, 3-1, in their opening match of the CONCACAF Championship. Alfred Koroma opened the scoring with Andrew Oliver and Esteban Rodriguez also finding the back of the net.
In other U-17 news, Costa Rica prevailed 3-1 over Haiti, and Canadian coach Sean Fleming somehow waited until Monday afternoon to announce his roster. (more…)
Former England boss Steve McClaren has been sacked by Wolfsburg after a series of poor results. McClaren led the German club to five wins, eight draws and eight defeats in 21 games, leaving them 12th in the Bundesliga. McClaren’s former assistant Pierre Littbarski will take over for the rest of the season.
With the retirement of Edwin van der Sar, Pepe Reina could be the next player to leave Anfield for a rival club.
Following Liverpool’s tactical mastery of Chelsea, Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian examines the place of three center-backs in today’s game.
Chelsea winger Florent Malouda says he would love to finish his career in Brazil.
In MLS, FC Dallas signed Brazilian midfielder Ricardo Villar and Portland stiker Bright Dike will likely miss all of the Timbers inaugural season with a torn ACL.
Lille is the new Barcelona according to Paul Marshall.