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Wednesday, 06 March 2013

Landon Donavan

Landon Donovan has been the best American soccer player over the past decade.  In recent months he has taken a break from soccer and doesn't plan to be back until April at the earliest.

This begs the question: Is Landon letting down his World Cup teammates as well as American Soccer?  The US World Cup team is already one result down in the hexagonal play for the World Cup 2014 with two more games coming up in March.

I understand the pressures of being in the spotlight and the expectations that come with it.  I did not play at the high levels that Landon has, but I wasn't very far off it.  So I fully realize where he is coming from.

I was actually disappointed when Donovan did not seek to negotiate a longer term permanent contract in the EPL.  He graced the English Premier League while playing on loan for Everton. Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Brad Friedel continue to do so as did Kasey Keller before them!

So does Landon have an obligation and a responsibility to the American game?

You can answer that, but I think he does.  He has done OK out of soccer financially together with the benefit of some outstanding experiences and accomplishments and he has deserved it, but he should give back as well.

The problem is by the time he is back playing, the US World Cup team will have played another two games with a further two more coming up in June.  Even if he is selected for those June games will be have lost something - that step, the sparkle and creativity?

Only time will tell



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London Olympics
Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The London Olympics is just around the corner. It will be interesting to see how many "amateurs" will be competing versus "professionals."

I guess the word "amateur" in world sports is just about redundant. Who does not get some kind of monetary return these days for competing in top sports?

But I bet you there is someone who is rightfully there for their sport and for the honor and who actually pays for the privilege. They will be difficult to identify.

Amateur or professional it promises to be a great event.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The David Beckham MLS playing career is due to come to an end on December 1st when the LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Final.

He claims he is looking for one more challenge – as a player.

Time will tell where that “challenge” will come from, but it’s not likely to be with a top European team – Australia has been a strong and persistent rumor.

Watching Beckham keenly over the MLS playoffs, not knowing his announcement was imminent, I saw a very fit and composed Beckham playing everything simple with accurate and often one-touch passes.  Only a few split the defense.  Most retained good possession but nothing earth shattering.  Maybe he is saving one or two specials for the final.

Whatever David Beckham’s next move is we shall have to wait and see.

However, there is a great chance that Beckham will be back to the MLS as an owner in the next two or three years.  That was always in the plans from Day One of Beckham Comes to America.

Go to this link on YouTube to see all of David Beckhams goals in the MLS.

Swarm Ball
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Spain Champions of Europe...and the World?
Tuesday, 03 July 2012

Spain comprehensively beat Italy on Sunday to become Champions of Europe.

As the reigning World Cup Champions (South Africa 2010) and repeat European champions, can it be said that Spain is the greatest national team in the world? 

Not many can dispute that. Argentina and Brazil might, but they don’t have the hardware and the consistent performances of recent years to prove it.

Next stop? Brazil 2014.

Goal Line Technology
Thursday, 21 June 2012

Finally it looks as if FIFA are going to move into the 21st century

It took another phantom goal where the eyes of the soccer world saw a shot by Marco Devic of the Ukraine hooked to safety by England’s John Terry.  The goal line assistant (AAR) missed it even though video replays confirmed the ball crossed the line. Human error is something we are all guilty of.

Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, having seen the incident finally, admitted that goal line technology (GLT) is “no longer an alternative, but a necessity.”

Chelsea Make Next Season's EUFA Champions League
Friday, 25 May 2012

Chelsea chose to make the EUFA Champions League by doing it the hard way.  Two months before the end of the EPL season it was almost certain they would not claim one of the top four places that give automatic entrance to the competition.  The only way was to become champions of Europe.

Paul Gardnier of Soccer America who is a Brit, but is often a strong critic of the British game, called Chelsea lucky.

While that may be to a certain extent true, you don't win the European Champions League just on luck.  There has to be much, much more - including more that a handful of top-class pros.  Having a billionaire owner like Roman Abramovich helps.  How he made his money I am not sure, but more than luck would have come into it.  That he provided Chelsea the funding to build an outstanding team was his choice.


Final Hurrah
Monday, 07 May 2012

The English Premier League plays its last league games for the
2011/2012 season this coming Saturday.

Manchester dominates the interest. A win by City over Queens Park Rangers gives it the championship. But don't write off QPR who are fighting for their very existence in the EPL.

While City and QPR compete, so do Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City. 
Bolton has to win and QPR lose for Bolton to stay up (Wolverhampton and Blackburn are already relegated).

In Sunderland Alex Ferguson will have his earpiece installed as he gets up-to-the-minute news on the City QPR scoreline. It could well influence his tactical decisions and substitutions. Nothing less than a win will do,but it won't make any difference if City win.

How Much can Change in a Week
Thursday, 03 May 2012

Last Tuesday Barcelona was ready to move into the European Championship final and really thought it would be an all Spain Final.  It was not to be.  Chelsea won.  Deservedly?  That’s debatable.

By Wednesday evening Real Madrid was out.  Beaten by Bayern Munich.  Deservedly?  I think so.

By the weekend Barcelona Coach Guardiola had announced he was stepping down – citing “burn out.”  Not surprising when he has led and motivated that excellent soccer team with outstanding success for 4-years.

Sunday Chelsea hit QPR for six and John Terry didn’t say a wrong word.  He didn’t need to.

By Monday Roy Hodgson was all but officially announced as the England Team Manager.

And then on Monday night the City of Manchester was turned upside down as Manchester City took over from Manchester United at the top of the EPL.

All in less than 7 days.

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