Iraq has had some tough times, to say the least. The country has been in turmoil after the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2001 from his dictatorship, and even before that the country was a walking time bomb. The country has its internal turmoil, but that doesn’t stop its soccer players from walking on the field, lacing up their cleats and putting on the Iraq jersey for international competition. The major difference between this team and most other international teams: They play soccer behind 10-foot blast walls and have security watching the gate for them, just in case someone decides they want interrupt practice.
MLSsoccer.net — Commentary: High-rollers not built for CCL success
Real Salt Lake doesn’t have the biggest crowds in Major League Soccer, in fact they have a pretty small regional population to draw from in Utah compared to some of the other teams in the league. So, RSL has to follow a smart recruiting and signing policy to attract players and win while keeping close tabs on the budget. Part of the team’s plan has been to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League and hope the potential of playing in North America’s toughest tournament will attract quality players for a cheaper price than a Designated Player like a Thierry Henry or David Beckham. So far the plan has worked to a tee. RSL won the MLS Cup last season and qualified for the CCL, now the club is working on improving on last season’s results with the quality off-season additions they made and by keeping a deeper bench than most other MLS clubs who focus on signing expensive designated players.
Sky Sports — Spearing boosted by backing
It isn’t easy to break into the first team of one of the World’s premier clubs, and Jay Spearing knows this. The Merseyside native, Spearing has been apart of the Liverpool Academy, captain of the reserve squad, and featured in two UEFA Champions Leagues matches for his hometown club, Liverpool, but he has yet to break into the regular rotation of midfielders.With the trust and guidance of Liverpool’s new boss, Roy Hodgson, Spearing hopes to use the playing time in the team’s UEFA Cup matches to impress the manager and improve his game.
Things don’t look so bright for Liverpool’s American owners. The Royal Bank of Scotland looks like it won’t be refinancing the owners’ enormous loan this time around, and that is trouble for Hicks and his partner George Gillett. Each owner has a 50 percent stake in the club and it looks as though they could be forced to sell their shares in the club if they can’t resolve the financing issues that have been running them ragged since taking over in 2007.
It was an ugly scene on Tuesday night at Old Trafford when Antonio Valencia was stretchered off the field during Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Rangers in their Champions League opener. Valenica broke his ankle and had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment. The Ecuadorian midfielder had successful surgery on Wednesday and could be back in action as early as February.