Tag Archives: Asamoah Gyan

Sunderland feeling affects of injuries and absence of Bent

The Stadium of Light hasn't had been so bright for Sunderland sincethe sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa during the January transfer window. (Courtesy Les Hull)

By Ryan Fleming

It can be hard to swallow, but the exit of Darren Bent has directly led to the downfall of Sunderland. Digest it fully, because it’s true. When Bent, an England international, was shipped to Aston Villa for 15m, manager Steve Bruce maintained that the team would trudge on without it’s best player.

Nothing that Sunderland has done backs up what the one time Manchester United star has said, and the most recent 3-0 loss to Fulham at the Stadium of Light further exemplifies the utter struggles that the team inherited.

In the team’s most recent loss, Bruce relied heavily on Stéphane Sessègnon up front to provide the needed attack while Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck and Frazier Campbell sat out due to injury. The almost-forced experiment was a complete failure.

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Bent move makes sense now and Arsenal setting up title challenge

Darren Bent's exspensive move to Aston Villa was highly criticized, but it proved to be the right move last weekend. Bent's goal sealed an important win for Villa over Manchester City. (Courtesy Bad English Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

It makes you think that maybe, just maybe these managers know what they are doing. A week after acquiring £24 million man Darren Bent from Sunderland, Aston Villa not only played with Manchester City, but beat them thanks to Bent’s first-half strike, not to mention impeccable keeping from American international Brad Friedel.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Sunderland, so after seeing him go, and the way it all happened, I was rather disgusted to see that outcome, but it got me thinking.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier does know what he is doing and maybe Steve Bruce, despite losing his No. 1 scoring threat can still get things done. Aston Villa had to dig deep, but they picked up Bent to assure that the club would remain above the relegation zone. My initial thoughts were skeptical. How could one player ensure that a club doesn’t go off the deep end and begin next season in the Championship? At least for now, the ex-Liverpool manager is looking pretty smart.

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Some of the Best From 2010 [Video Post]

By Kevin Koczwara

Three Goals to Remember

World Cup Final, Iniesta secures Spain victory with stoppage time goal
http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/l-ZGbvNHzf4?fs=1&hl=en_US

The World Cup’s Forgotten Star: Diego Forlan
Just one of his amazing goals from the World Cup in South Africa.
http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/CXA8jaeppnc?fs=1&hl=en_US

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Sunderland Making Mark on Title Race

Steve Bruce has led his Sunderland club to wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, along with draws against Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. (Photo Courtesy Struway)

By Joe Meloni

Seven months from now, either Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United will claim the 2010-11 English Premier League Championship. While headlines throughout the world will inevitably hail one of the clubs’ star players as the deciding factor in the title race – whether to excellence or injury – another group of players, likely to finish in the middle of table, may provide the goals and moments that give us our champion for this season.

Sunday afternoon, Steve Bruce’s Sunderland walked into Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and lit the table-leaders up for three goals in a dominating shutout win. Entering the match, Chelsea averaged more than two goals per game, while allowing a tidy 0.42 goals per match in 12 Premiership games this season. In those 12 games, the Blues pieced together a 9-1-2 record, and stood three points clear of second-place Manchester United with a game in hand and five points clear of third-place Arsenal. For fans in North London and Manchester, a pass was issued entering the weekend to pull for Bruce’s Black Cats in hopes of preventing the gap between Chelsea and their rivals from growing.
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Black Cats Claw Points From Gunners

By Ryan Fleming

Sunderland striker Darren Bent scored the equalizer in the 95th minute against Arsenal on Saturday.

When Darren Bent rifled the game-tying goal past Arsenal goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, on Saturday, Sunderland sent a statement to the league – we’re here to fight, so be prepared.

The Black Cats, which have only lost twice at the Stadium of Light in the last nine months, pulled off another upset in this new season, frustrating the Gunners and manager, Arsene Wenger, out of two all-important points. Following the second-half sendoff of Alex Song, 10 minutes after the break, the Gunners were totally outplayed and outworked.

Despite their 1-0 lead, the North London side scored on a fluke, once-in-a-lifetime sort of play. Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand’s clearance was blocked by Cesc Fabregas, which drifted over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and into the net.
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What the Soccer Guys are Reading — Sept. 13, 2010

It has been a great year for 23 year old Justin Braun. He has scored nine goals for Chivas USA and his manager thinks it is time for the youngster to get his international career underway. Courtesy chivasblog.com

The Guardian — Nelson Valdez hails a ‘dream come true’ as Hércules shock Barcelona — by Sid Lowe

The most improbable of wins, La Liga new comers Hércules defeats Barcelona at the Camp Nou, the Catalan’s home and a place that teams not wearing the Barca shirt lose. Barceloan just doesn’t lose at home. It doesn’t happen. Never mind to a team that was just promoted and by two goals. They don’t lose by two goals either, but it happened. And Nelson Valdez’s two goals are the reason, and he earned those two goals over his long journey from homeless child to international soccer player.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — August 31, 2010

Manchester City broke the transfer record fee in England when they signed Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid just two seasons ago. But the little playmaker has been a flop in the Premier League and had to be loaned out last summer to his boyhood club Santos for the season. Could he be on his way out of Manchester for good today?

The Washington Post – Bob Bradley to remain with U.S. National Team – Steven Goff

After leading the United States Men’s National Soccer Team to the Round of 16 in this summer’s World Cup, Bob Bradley has signed a four-year extension that will likely make him the leader of the USMNT for another World Cup. Bradley, who took over following Bruce Arena’s dreadful performance as manager in the 2006 World Cup, had been connected with the job atop England Premier League club Aston Villa, but he agreed to terms with U.S. Soccer on Saturday night. German national Jurgen Klinnsman, who has lived in California for years, was rumored as Bradley’s replacement.

The Guardian – van Persie likely out of a month – David Hynter

Arsenal fans worried that Saturday’s match at Blackburn was going to be more of the same – a loss or a draw instead of what should have been an easy three points. While the Gunners defeated Blackburn, 2-1, Arsenal fans did see a familiar sight, as van Persie left with an ankle injury. It is likely the Dutch international will miss at least one month due to the injury, which rules him out of European Championship qualifiers for the Netherlands and Champions League matches with Arsenal.

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A New Group of Stars Emerge At World Cup

Courtesy ???????? ????

By Joe Meloni

The stat lines of a few of the world’s best through the first few weeks of the 2010 World Cup may have left a few of the game’s newest fans a little confused. They’re wondering why Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead his nation deeper in the tournament with a dazzling set-piece or two. They sat waiting as Spain and Portugal battled in the Round of 16, but they wound up remembering the name Gerard Pique instead as the massive Barcelona defender helped stifle Ronaldo and the entire Portuguese attack. Those opting to watch Argentina clamored with anticipation while Leo Messi left a defender or two in his path only to hit a ball wide or send one sailing into the crowd. It was Messi’s countryman Gonzalo Higuain drawing most of the praise for the Argentines in their run to the Quarterfinals.

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Most and Least Impressive Teams of Round 2

Courtesy sam_herd Flickr

By Kevin Koczwara, Ryan Fleming, and Joe Meloni

We have already looked at the teams that performed the best and the teams that played the worst in the first round of play of the World Cup. Now it is time for us to pick the teams that overachieved and the underachieved in the second round of play.

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