Tag Archives: Ajax

Diamonds in MLS Rough: Michael Ballack is Just Fool’s Gold

By Kevin Koczwara

Drew Carey, a part owner of the Seattle Sounders as well as a comedian and former television star, took part in a panel discussion about soccer analytics at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday, March 3. He represented Major League Soccer on the panel that included mostly technical directors from European clubs. And yet, Carey, not a career soccer person or scout, unveiled the most wisdom on how teams are tying to use analytics, especially his team in a global market flushed with teams and money.

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Chelsea and Liverpool Bid to Save Seasons [Part 2]

Kenny Dalglish has revitalized Liverpool after he took over for Roy Hodgson as the manager. The Scot has brought back the treasured Liverpool Way and instilled those values throughout the club. (Courtesy 1000goals.com)

By Kevin Koczwara

In Part 1, I looked over Chelsea’s move for Fernando Torres, this is my look at Liverpool’s side of the deal. If you missed Part 1, click here.

What did Liverpool get with the sale of Fernando Torres? Well, it got $80 million to spend on Andy Carroll from Newcastle and to help pay off the fee for Luis Suarez from Ajax. The Reds got a two-for-one deal in a way, and they got some younger players at that.

Torres is 26-years-old and entering the pinnacle of his career, while Suarez is 24 and just emerging into the full-blown player he can be and Carroll is still 22 and beginning to understand how good he can be. If everything pans out with Suarez and Carroll and they become top-level players, then Liverpool swindled their rivals from London.

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Time neccessary for Winter and Mariner in Toronto

Paul Mariner takes over as Toronto FC's director of player personnel after leaving his post as coach of Plymouth Argyle. Toronto hopes the former New England Revolution assistant coach will have answers for the club's struggles with scouting and player development. (Courtesy David Saunders)

By Kevin Koczwara

Toronto FC fans may well be one of the best supporting groups in North America, but since becoming a member of Major League Soccer, TFC fans haven’t had the chance to sing their hearts out in a playoff game. It’s been four years. Six coaches have walked the line as the manager of the Reds. Still, there hasn’t been a Toronto post-season playoff game — just an MLS Cup between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas in November of 2010.

In 2010, former MLS standout Preki took over the reigns as the club’s manager. He didn’t finish out the season and Toronto finished 5th in the Eastern Conference, 11th overall, missing the playoffs, again. Could Total Football be the answer Toronto and its fans have been looking for? Only time will tell.

To find out Toronto and its fans must give Aron Winter, the Reds’ newly appointed manager, and Paul Mariner, new director of player personnel, enough time revamp a disjointed squad, bring in their own players and work the system.

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What The Soccer Guys are Reading – Sept. 16, 2010

ESPN Soccernet – Arsenal breeze by Braga

Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Vela net two goals a piece to see the Gunners by their Portuguese foe at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger had an obvious eye on this weekend’s opponents, Sunderland, as the Frenchman substituted Marouane Chamakh, Alex Song and Andrei Arshavin within seven minutes with the game well in hand.

Sky Sports – Ajax can’t handle Madrid – by James Pearson

Gonzalo Higuain  scored two goals, personally seeing his team over the Dutch side, 2-0, at Bernabeu. Beside netting two, the Argentinian forward was proving his team and its fans restless by his wasteful play in the box, before finally cashing in. Madrid are now level with AC Milan in Group G.
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What The Soccer guys Are Reading — Sept. 14, 2010

Ajax midfielder Evander Sno suffered a a heart attck during Ajax's reserve match on Tuesday night. Courtesy CrazyPhunk

Telegraph — German Bundesliga academies provide valuable lessons for Premier League — by Jeremy Wilson

Champions League soccer kicks off today, and a few of England’s top teams will be facing German opponents in the group stage of the tournament, and they will see just how good the Bundesliga youth academies are. Germany’s national team finished third at this year’s World Cup thanks to their up-and-coming talent that has percolated through the German leagues youth ranks. Clubs have been forced to pump money into their academies since 2000 and the results have been positive for both the league and the national team. With teams able to spend less on big-name transfers and focus their money on their academies the clubs have been making yearly profits while developing the next wave great German players. Maybe some other leagues around the world should take notice.

NJ.com — Giase: Sky Blue president Hofstetter hopes to see Women’s Professional Soccer grow healthier, despite departures —  by Frank Giase/The Star-Ledger

The Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) has almost finished two seasons — only the playoffs remain– and over the course of those seasons a lot has changed, but the league keeps cutting its losses and making progress. 2009 regular season champions the Los Angeles Sol folded after last season, but the league went on and is even trying to expand with a team maybe in Dallas or a rebirth of the Sol. As this season comes to a close the league is trying to stick together and weather the tough financial times at hand and resolve some of the issues that players have expressed.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 18, 2010

James Milner has finally sealed his lucrative move to Manchester City from Aston Villa. Courtesy vuhlser

Sky Sports – City Agree Milner Fee

The former Leeds United and Newcastle United player, James Milner, has secured a lucrative move to financial giants Manchester City from Aston Villa. Milner played an integral part in Villa’s 4-0 weekend thrashing of West Ham. Villa have been trying to stave off the big spending City but were unable too refuse a deal that sent the England international Milner to Manchester and Stephen Ireland and cash to Birmingham.

The Guardian – Craig Bellamy in debt to Roberto Mancini after fairytale Cardiff move – Stuart James

Manchester City banned winger Craig Bellamy from their training grounds over the weekend and now have finally offloaded the troublesome player to his hometown club, Cardiff City. The catch? City will still be paying the majority of Bellamy’s large weekly sum.The real shocker here is that Bellamy even goes so far as to wish the club and the manager good luck in the upcoming season despite the recent feud he has had with management.

BBC Sport – Real Madrid confirm signing of Germany star Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been rumored to be moving from German club Werder Bremen to Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City, but he ultimately sealed his fate with fellow German international and World Cup star Sami Khedira. The young German star has been one of the transfer markets hottest prospects after he impressed at the World Cup. Bremen were forced to show their hand this summer rather than next because the 21-year-old had not signed an extension on his current deal that expires after this season.

The Guardian – Arsenal offer ‘fanshares’ to dampen fears of takeover

The Gunners are offering their fans a chance to purchase 1/100 of a share (valued at £10,000 each) for the price of £100. Fans that purchase the shares will be able to attend general meetings and ask the board of directors questions. Arsenal are setting a new trend in the English Premier League as many clubs face backlash from their fans (Manchester United and Liverpool mainly) by including Gunners fans in the team’s finances. Will this scheme work out for the best or will it just make a mess of  the ownership system?

ESPN Soccernet – Spurs avoid Young Boys thrashing, Ajax held

Champions League play began with some surprising results. Tottenham looked dead in the water early against the Young Boys as they fell behind 3-0 in the first 30 minutes. The Spurs rallied back with two away goals but have an uphill battle to come at home. Ajax was unable to take advantage of Denys Garmash second yellow card in the 57th minute for Dyanmo Kiev, reducing the club to 10 men. The Dutch club does return to Amsterdam with an important away goal though. To get through to the next stage (the group stages) is a major financial boost for teams, so many of the teams competing now are dreaming of the big checks that come with a win next week.

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