Tag Archives: England

Watch: Andrea Pirlo’s Beautiful Penalty Against England in Euro Semifinals

By Kevin Koczwara

England and Italy played to a dull 0-0 draw, the first scoreless game in this year’s European Championship. The game went to penalties and naturally the English lost. Italy prevailed. And Andrea Pirlo, the player of the game and maybe the tournament, continued his magnificent display with this penalty kick.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart tried to everything he could to put off Italy’s penalty takers during the shootout, but it didn’t work against Pirlo, the long-haired Jedi Master of the soccer ball. Watch as he scrumptiously chips in his kick. It’s just beautiful.

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Early observations on the 2011 Women's World Cup

By Kevin Koczwara

Last summer I dreamed of covering the Women’s World Cup in Germany. The men’s version had just ended in South Africa and I missed out on that chance. I knew the odds of covering the World Cup in South Africa was a million to one, and I knew that the one in Germany going to be just about that as well. Both for different reasons.

Women’s soccer is often been neglected by the mainstream media. In all the European newspapers I scourer for soccer news on a daily basis, almost none share any information or coverage of the women’s leagues in their respected countries. The American press barely covers soccer at all, so it’s not a surprise it almost completely ignores the women’s game, specifically the WPS, and barely keeps up with the U.S. Women’s National Team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world, by the way. It’s great to see that this Women’s World Cup in Germany has been getting the proper treatment the game and its players deserve from ESPN and the press.

With all of that said, here are some of my observations so far from watching the World Cup.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 29, 2010

New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston was called into the U.S. National team's camp before the World Cup, but he was unable to solidify a spot on the team after getting injured. Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

MLSsoccer.com — 24 Under 24: First names are revealed

A great series by MLSsoccer.com dedicated to naming the best young prospects on Major League Soccer rosters. If the MLS can be a successful league in the future it will need these players to step up their game and fulfill the potential seen in them. The list starts off at number 24, Dax McCarthy of FC Dallas, and works its way to number 21, Kevin Alston of the New England Revolution. Philadelphia Union starlets Jack McInerney and Roger Torres are squished in between Alston and McCarty.

ESPNSoccernet — The Devil inside — by Kevin Palmer

Dimitar Berbatov’s expensive arrival at Manchester United from Tottenham was s surprise to many. The transfer of the Bulgarian striker broke the British record at the time and went against the red Devil’s policy of only signing players in their teens or early 20’s.  It took Berbatov a few years to settle into Manchester. This season, his third with the club , Berbatov has put the Premier League on notice and displayed just why Sir Alex calls him a “genius” and why the Scot spent £30.75 million on the player. a hat-trick against Liverpool that included a highlight reel goal that will forever be remembered are only a few of things Berbatov talks to Kevin Palmer about.

The Guardian — Arsène Wenger thinks Arsenal’s Lukasz Fabianski will be ‘great keeper’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has received much criticism for his unwillingness to spend money on the transfer market to buy a true number one goalkeeper, something many fans and pundits believe is holding Arsenal back from winning the English Premier League. With the injury to Arsenal’s usual number one, Manuel Almunia, Wenger had to start back-up keeper Lukasz Fabianski in the club’s Champions League, 3-1-, win over Partizen Belgrade. Wenger always has faith in his reserve players, and Fabianski is no different. The French coach thinks his Polish keeper has a bright future ahead of him if he can stay confident and not waste the chances he gets. Fabianski will be Arsenal’s keeper this weekend as the Gunners take on Chelsea on Saturday.

Telegraph — Wayne Rooney presents Fabio Capello with England striker dilemma for Euro 2012 qualifier

The Wayne Rooney saga seems to never die. Now, the England and Manchester United forward will miss plenty of playing time because an injury. that’s not good for England as the team tries to qualify for the 2012 Euros because there is a real shortage of strikers on the bench with Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe also sidelined. Fabio Capello has some interesting choices to make in the Three Lions upcoming qualifying matches regarding his line up.

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Gerrard should be Capello and England's captain

 

Steven Gerrard has been Liverpool's captain for sometime now and he has displayed great leadership as his hometown club's captain. It's now time for Fabio Capello to name him the captain of England.

By Kevin Koczwara

When Fabio Capello began managing of the England National team in 2008, he the team’s most qualified players a chance to claim the captain’s armband by showing they could lead the squad on and off the field. One of the players Capello gave the opportunity to was Steven Gerrard, and the Liverpool midfielder could not convince the Italian manager.

Capello named Chelsea defender John Terry captain of the Three Lions, but Capello was forced to make an unexpected change.

When Terry’s extramarital affairs become public knowledge, Capello was forced to make a a tough decision and remove Terry from the captaincy. Terry’s affair affected the England locker room directly, his choice of mistress was a teammate’s ex-girlfriend. When the news broke about Terry sleeping with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, the England locker room and brutal English press forced Capello to look for a new leader.

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Rooney Saga Has Only Just Begun

Rumors of England forward Wayne Rooney's extra-marital affairs overshadowed the Three Lions 3-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy Ger1axg)

By Kevin Koczwara

Life won’t be getting any easier for Wayne Rooney in the next few weeks, in fact, life will be a little more difficult for the Manchester United and England forward as more stories come out about his extramarital affairs. This is part of being a famous athlete these days: you make the millions and you have to deal with the pressure of the public and the press.
It’s no secret that professional athletes, movie stars and just about anyone in the entertainment industry have affairs. It is almost understood by now that it happens. Last year’s Tiger Woods’ story was the media’s big story of the year, and why not? The public feasted on the allegations and the sexual preferences of the world’s single most popular sports icon.

English National Team players seem to have garnered a lot of this type of attention in recent years. They have become adept at creating news stories not about their skill on the field, but about their talents off.

John Terry was scorned during the build up to the World Cup for his misgivings. Terry slept with former teammate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend while Bridge and his ex were dating and Terry was his teammate. Because of all the negative media attention, Terry was relieved of his duty as England’s captain.
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What The Soccer Guys are Reading – August 26, 2010

Tottenham striker, Peter Crouch, might have made his signing all but worthwhile as the England international tallied a hat trick to guarantee his team's advancement into the group stages of the Champions League. (Photo Courtesy premierleagueinsider)

The Guardian – Spurs cruise into Champions League – Kevin McCarra

Despite falling in the first leg, 3-2, Tottenham roll to a 4-0 trouncing of Swiss team, Young Boys, in the second leg at White Hart Lane. With a new air of confidence surrounding the club, the Spurs believe they have what it takes to make it deep into the tournament.

The Independent – FIFA officials praise England for 2018 bid

Among the topics England proved above expectations were the level of government support and passion for the game in the country. Other such aspects were called “perfect”; giving the country a moral boost ahead of the decision. England faces tough competition in try to host the World Cup in countries as Russia, Belgium and the United States.

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What The Soccer Guys are Reading – August 16, 2010

Uncertainty no longer looms over the move of Craig Bellamy from Manchester City. The 31-year-old will be soon celebrating somewhere else. (Photo Courtesy lfotbol)

The Guardian – Manager, player relationship will finally see Bellamy off – Daniel Taylor

The weeks of speculation surrounding Welsh international, Craig Bellamy’s departure from overcrowded Manchester City are all but ended after manager Roberto Mancini banned the striker from all participation with the club. Bellamy is most recently linked with Cardiff City, Sunderland, Tottenham and Celtic.

ESPN Soccernet – Seasiders start dream season emphatically

After a promotion to the English Premier League, Blackpool were picked by many pundits to finish last in the league. But after the Tangerines embarrassed Wigan Athletic 4-0 to start the season, the Seasiders have started off on the right foot while Wigan have to cope with a tough early schedule and internal player issues.

MLSSoccer.com – New singing sees Revs shoot up standings – Kyle McCarthy

The streaky Revolution are currently on a eight-game unbeaten streak currently due to new signing, Illija Solica’s goal that helped the Revs past the Houston Dynamo, 1-0. Coach Steve Nichol praised his newest signing and thinks that more hard work and effort could help the Revs build into a better team perhaps aiding them into the playoffs.

Irish Times – EPL, England need dream team to believe in – Michael Walker

England is still feeling the lingering effects of a World Cup letdown and with a league that already has the top spots guaranteed to only a minority of teams, Michael Walker writes that the league’s ratings could feel the brunt of this lack of excitement. A team from the outside, like Everton, needs to create some drama.

The Guardian – Magpies staying optimistic ahead of Man U date – Louise Taylor

Former Red Devils keeper, Steve Harper and Newcastle teammates maintain a level head before today’s clash against Manchester United. The recently promoted Magpies found some interesting ways to bind together and form a sense of camaraderie that they feel can help them through their trip to Old Trafford and the duration of their season.

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O'Neill leaving Villa behind

Courtesy Dagur Brynjólfsson

By Kevin Koczwara

Randy Lerner has not had the best reputation as an owner in America. His Cleveland Browns bumble and fumble annually in the National Football League and the team looks to be on the bottom half of the NFL’s power rankings yet again this season. Lerner’s dealings in England get overshadowed in the states by his minimal presence in the owner’s box in Cleveland, but that is soon too change as Aston Villa fans and close to the whole of the population in Birmingham should soon be up-in-arms.

Martin O’Neill announced his resignation from the managerial post at Aston Villa yesterday reportedly because of disputes with management, specifically Lerner and the board, about the future of the club and the direction it was heading in. O’Neill managed and moved players on a limited budget while pushing the Birmingham club into contention for a top-four spot, European competition, and league cups. Now Villa will need to find a suitable replacement for one of the best managers in England who found himself in need of a change.

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What the Home Grown Player Rule Means for the Future of the English Premier League

By Cameron Dickinson

Since England’s disastrous World Cup campaign everyone has been coming out of the woodwork to bemoan the complete lack of young English talent coming through the ranks in the Premier League, particularly at the top clubs.

The second round would be all the nation could hope for such is the dearth of players available to Fabio Capello; indeed that would be a great achievement in 10 years time when the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ retires.

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Hodgson's Huge Task as Liverpool Manager

Courtesy nicksarebi flickr

By Kevin Koczwara


To say that Liverpool had a disappointing season last year is an understatement. The team was horrible for most, if not all, of the Premier League season and the Champions League. The club finished in an unprecedented seventh place and did not make it out of group play in the Champions League.

What made the poor season worse for the club was it finished with a record high of 86 points the season before and finished second behind rivals Manchester United. There were high hopes for the club going into the 2009-10 campaign, but nothing went its way.

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