05 Sep

Diego Maradona & Romario Have Had It Up to Aquí with CONMEBOL

Ex-futbolistas Diego Maradona and Romario are ready to tag team the evil corruption within next year’s World Cup host federation.

The duo gave a seething criticism of CONMEBOL yesterday at meeting at the Corinthians headquarters in Sao Paolo.

But are they the right men to lead the line fighting corruption in South American football?

In front of reps from 20 clubs and one Uruguayan lawyer, they offered a rallying cry to stomp out corruption in their dark corner of the shadowy world of FIFA.

“We have seen, with astonishment and great sadness, that football is for just a few,” Maradona said after the meeting, ”It doesn’t belong to the clubs, the supporters or the players. So we are going to form a commission to unmask these people who do so much harm to the game.”

Romario, the ex-Brazil striker , is now member of Congress and leads a campaign against the 2014 World Cup, claiming it’s been tainted by money laundering. In an interview with Brazilian Rolling Stone last year, he called the event the “Cup of Lies”. After which, he posed for this photo..

Romario said Wednesday, “We have to get more people together. The clubs, the ex-players and the current players have to take the fight to CONMEBOL. It’s a movement for transparency and dignity in football.”

Read more after the jump…

01 Sep

NBC gifted perfect timing for Derby Day

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NBC’s coverage of the Premiere League has been excellent so far this new season, and today’s Super Sunday September 1st Bonanza could not have been better timed.  Fresh off of College Football’s first Saturday, American sports fans were primed for more on-the-field action Sunday morning. With the NFL not kicking off for one more week, the NW England and North London derby match-ups slotted in as cheekily as Daniel Sturridge’s goal against United.  Furthermore, there are hardly 4 teams with larger US support than the 4 that performed today.

NBC’s EPL coverage has been really spectacular thus far, with the in-studio portions linking all the live coverage as smoothly as Arsenal’s link-up play leading up to Oliver Giroud’s winner against Spurs, and the thorough Match of the Day recap nicely allowing all Arsenal and Liverpool fans to languish in their team’s success well into the evening.

The popularity of Soccer is growing in the United States. I remember roping all my American friends into watching the World Cup in 2006 on my new, state-of-the-art HDTV, being grateful that I had access to every match of the tournament. Now, not only can I watch every single match of each EPL round,  the scores from the top leagues are given the same prominence on ESPN’s bottom ticker as “Popular Tim Tebow’s” release from the Patriots.  NBC’s coverage of the EPL is leading the sport in the right direction. Even the MLS is getting some snazzy new spots which will hopefully help lift all ships with the rising tide.  I for one am one fan who counts himself lucky.

31 Aug

After Riots, Bogotá Fútbol Hooligans Leave Their Mark

PlazaProtestedit

Newsbreak. Part of the TK now lives in Colombia. Has done for almost seven months. Most of which was spent on rural farms or in coastal hammocks.

But now, living in Bogotá, the surprisingly modern, nearly 1st world capital city, I’m much more connected, and can hopefully broadcast more of what this amazing South American ‘capital de fútbol‘ has to offer. Here’s a quick snippet.

Read more after the jump.

26 Aug

Suggest this…MNF

In this classic SportsCenter spot, Scott Van Pelt started a trend that has unfortunately not quite caught on fire.  No, its not  making being bald look cool (although he does), nor is it having lunch with sports super stars (great idea though it may be). It is transferring over to Europe the thing that America has gotten the most right, by far.  Sports Coverage.

25 Aug

David Trezeguet: He’s Still Got It

Golazos, Video No Comments by Sam Mathius

Yes, David Trezeguet is still alive and he’s still scoring golazos. Here’s his first strike for his new club, Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina. This could be the best goal ever scored by a 35-year-old dude in the history of football. OK, there may be some slightly better ones, but how many of those strikes were assisted by a 32-year-old Maxi Rodriguez? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Honestly, Trez could be one of the most underrated players we’ve ever seen. In his Serie A career, he averaged a pretty stunning 0.57 goals per game. Still not convinced? Look at his record with the Les Bleus: his 34 goals are behind only Michel Platini (41) and Thierry Henry (51). More impressive, his 0.47 goals per game at the international level pips Henry’s rate of 0.42 goals per game.

I’m not saying he’s better than Henry. But I am saying he’s scoring in the Argentine top-flight while Henry has managed just 7 goals in the MLS so far this season. I’m just saying.

24 Aug

Want to be Millwall FC’s New Kitman?

As a kitman, you have one job. One job!

Don’t forget the kits.

Tomorrow morning, there may be a vacancy at Millwall FC, as their befogged kitman failed to remember the one set of items that provide him employment.

So this afternoon, Millwall FC lined up, embarrassingly, in the away shirts of their opponents, Sheffield Wednesday. The Lions played the first half in the blindingly yellow Wednesday kits, which apparently prompted ‘you’re not fit to wear that shirt!’ chants from Sheffield fans.

By the second half, Millwall had scrambled and located their orange third kit to finish the match in. But wait, what? Why the third kit? How do you forget the away strip, settle for wearing the away shirts of your opponent, then locate the third shirts by halftime. Why not just wear them from the beginning? Or, why were the third kits easier to retrieve than the away ones?

Google maps tells me Sheffield is about 3.5 hours away from West London, and if said kitman sped his sweating ass back to retrieve the shirts, and he grabbed the 3rd kits, then we can safely assume he LOST the away shirts entirely. Or they were stolen. Which would mean there’s an even better story to investigate – Who stole shirts? Where are they? and Can I buy one?

Regardless, the side didn’t seem too distracted by the apparel nightmare. If you give a damn, they left Sheffield with a 2-2 draw after an 87th minute penalty by Andy Keogh.

By the way, Mr. Kitman Sir, I didn’t mean to belittle your role earlier. I know washing, folding, and hanging them up in the dressing room in the CORRECT cubbies are among the bevvy of duties you must juggle as a 2nd division kitmanmanman.

23 Aug

Can Reddit save Arsenal’s Season?

Arsenal No Comments by Petar
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Arsenal’s Summer Spree[/caption]

Arsenal’s inept transfer policy has been well-documented this summer, not least by the excitable readers of Reddit.  As an Arsenal fan, I found this particular thread very interesting.

It posed the scenario of what would be a good strategy on spending £100M to save Arsenal’s offseason.  There were the true attempts at resurrecting the silly season for the Gunners with posts like Xenbatsu’s formula of ”Sakho, Schneiderlin, Gomis, Cesar.”

Or for more of a hipster option,  Bulbasauro’s recipe would be, “Rui Patricio, Mangala /Garay, Fernando, Cardozo.”

Of course, there were the tongue-in-cheek comments like smthingawesome’s  “Downing, Carroll and Spearing for the full budget.”

And I had a particular chuckle with bradabayor’s  opinion that “Yaya Sanogo. That should just about do it,” as well as Kikipowa101′s outside the box thinking that ”Lionel Messi. £300M (+ £1, for the secret clause)”

But my favorite comment came from lie_smith: ”Soldado, Paulinho, Willian, Lamela, maybe even Chadli, and Capoue as well…That’d probably be a good start.”

Cheeky Spurzyness aside, he makes a very good point.  Every player Spurs have purchased (minus Lamela and Willian) would have been a solid signing for Arsenal.  A goal scoring forward with Champions League experience, a playmaking Brazilian (yes, Arsenal have not a single one of those)  an affordable and crafty winger, and a solid defensive midfielder.  And when you look at the money Arsenal are rumored to be throwing around for the likes of Benzema and Di Maria, the prices Tottenham paid for their players are looking like a good deal of business too.

Rarely do I look over at Tottenham with the slightest twinge of jealousy, but this summer, I am certainly taking a peak.

So maybe it’s time Wenger brought in some help at the Emirates. He can’t play manager, scout, director of football, and janitor all at the same time.

14 Aug

Walking a tightrope while drunk: Avoiding the Drop

EPL No Comments by Chris Boulay

Getting promoted to the English Premier League is one of the greatest achievements for some clubs, while others are just righting wrongs of past failures. The Championship is a meat grinder, and if not careful, teams that dwell there for too long have a habit of getting chewed up and spit out into oblivion. For the fortunate few that come up, they are typically greeted with a swift kick in the pants by the more established sides looking to keep the drop door sealed. The battle to stay up is messy, awful and fun.

12 Aug

Worst. International. Break. Ever.

Weak Footed No Comments by Sam Mathius
[caption id="attachment_8140" align="alignnone" width="504"]Chad Kroeger is the only person giving this international break thumbs up. Probably because he sucks, too. Chad Kroeger is the only person giving this international break thumbs up. Probably because he sucks, too.[/caption]

It’s better than Christmas for us football fans. The excitement builds as the domestic European season nears, no matter if you’re a fan of Scunthorpe or Sochaux, Napoli or Newcastle. All we want is to see our boys get ready to take on a new campaign, training hard with each other, laughing and paling around on the training ground, giving you that sense of optimism that this might be the year, even if you’re a Fulham fan.

But there it lurks. The Grinch of football… the mid-August international break. All that pre-season camaraderie and on-field chemistry that’s been built up is thrown out the window as players head out to play in international matches as enticing as Croatia at Liechtenstein.

Obviously, there are few friendly matches that will provide the same quality level of preparation for Mario Mandzukic to take on a Bundesliga campaign as Wednesday’s fixture in front of a raucous Rheinpark Stadion, sure to be at its 7,789 capacity. Even so, there are few reasons to pay attention to the upcoming mid-week internationals. Most of us will be watching as we clutch a rosary/koran/torah/other religious paraphernalia praying to God/Allah/Robbie Fowler that our club’s star striker won’t get injured.

Now… with that said, there are a few matches set for Wednesday that just might activate some peoples’ salivary glands. Here’s the TK “Top Five Best Worst-timed Internationals 2013″ list:

USA v Bosnia-Herzegovina – 2:25PM EST – ESPN2

Italy v Argentina – 2:45PM EST – Move to Europe/South America

Belgium v France – 2:55PM EST – ESPN3

Portugal v Netherlands – 3:25PM EST – ESPN3

Mexico v Ivory Coast – 9PM EST – ESPN2

05 Aug

Walk Like A Giant: Determining What Makes An English Club “Big”

biggie

Defining success means different things to different supporters. It can involve wins, trophies, fan support, landing players considered to be “world class” and probably some other measurements that are completely ludicrous and based on superficial, entitled feelings. One aspect where this draws contentious opinion among supporters is finding out who is a “big club” and who gets the unsavory title of being a “small club.”