Tag Archives: Europa League

Something needs to be done to the Europa League

The Europa League has become the forgotten competition in Europe.

By Ryan Fleming

A few colleagues and myself have been talking about the recent European match that took place late Wednesday afternoon. To the surprise of most of us it was the Europa League Final. I was aware, obviously, but many who follow the sport really had no idea. What was surprising to us was how little UEFA put into letting fans know that FC Braga and FC Porto were playing something all-together much more important than just another European match.

In respect to both Braga and Porto, perhaps the lack of interest in the Final could be the teams that were playing. Again, respect has to be given to both of the teams and Porto especially for winning the Europa Cup, 1-0, but much of the world outside Portugal probably did not care all that much about the match. This, in itself is an issue. And UEFA is squarely to blame.

I don’t don myself a problem-solver or an architect in making things better. But alas, I have proposed some changes to make this all-important game something of importance in even the most casual of fans.

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Liverpool continues turnaround by beating Manchester United in derby

Dirk Kuyt works tirelessly for Liverpool and does whatever the club asks of him. His hard work paid off against Manchester United when he scored three goals, all from less than six-yards out, to secure Liverpool's win over its dreaded rivals. (Courtesy n.macca Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Kenny Dalglish celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday, but the real party was put off until Sunday when ‘King Kenny’s’ men beat up on Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, 3-1. The win, a crowning achievement over Liverpool’s hated rivals, marked the high point thus far for the remarkable turn around under Dalglish.

Since his appointment, Dalglish has lead Liverpool to a 5-2-2 record in the league, wins over top-four teams Chelsea and Man United are the highlights of his time. The Scot brought faith back to the club, something that was sourly missing. His moves in the January transfer window reignited the team.

The purchase of Luis Suarez from Ajax could be the best buy of the year for any team. Suarez quickly adapted to the Premier League. His performances so far would put him in contention for EPL Player of the Year despite making so few appearances because of the January transfer. He’s a game changer, and he is just getting started.

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Clint Dempsey, the American Model for European Success

Since moving to Fulham, Clint Dempsey has enjoyed a productive career and become a fan favorite at Craven Cottage. (Courtesy Nick Sarebi)

By Kevin Koczwara

Clint Dempsey, Texas native and one time New England Revolution player who set the Major League Soccer record for transfer overseas, $4 million, scored the United States only goal in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He became the second American ever to score in two different World Cups, joining Brian McBride, this summer when he brought the U.S. men’s national team level with England in Rustenburg, South Africa.

Yet, since winning the 2006 Honda Player of the Year Award, given to the best American soccer player and voted by journalists, Dempsey’s path to success has almost fallen on deaf ears because he plays for a semi-small club in England, Fulham, not the domestic MLS, a huge club in Europe, and he isn’t named Landon Donovan.

Donovan has been a great ambassador for the game of soccer in America. There is no doubting that. But, what Donovan hasn’t been able to do, and this is partially because the MLS won’t let him, is ride out his career overseas in one of the world’s top leagues. Yes, Donovan had a great short loan spell with Everton last year, and he should look to do it again this year, but that was a quick spell where he fit into the team’s plans perfectly. Neither side had much to lose. Everton was skidding, and Donovan was still a star in the U.S. with the Los Angeles Galaxy. There was no risk because Donovan knew he would still be star when he returned to Los Angeles.

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Serie A Preview – Juve to unseat Inter

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero are hoping to overtake Inter Milan, the five-time defending champions of Italy (Photo Courtesy James Adams)

By Kevin Koczwara

Inter Milan dominated the world of top-flight soccer last season. The club won its domestic title in Italy, Coppa Italia and the one trophy the club’s fans and ownership had been dreaming of for 60 years, the Champions League. Inter was on top of the world, and when that happens in the world of soccer, people take notice and try to build off of your success.

Inter Milan needs to find a way to handle this season without manager Jose Mourinho – the “Special One” – who bolted for Real Madrid at just days after winning the Champions League title with Milan.

Inter’s league title didn’t come without tough competition. Roma made a valiant run for the title in the later months as they strung together win after win, but it was unable to knock down the reigning and eventual champions.
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Cheating: An Epidemic

Cheating doesnt just happen on the playing field, it happens in everyday life as well. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer on the planet, but his cheating has lead him to be the black sheep of all cheating husbands and wives. (Courtesy WikiCommons/Keith Allison)

Cheating doesn't just happen on the playing field, it happens in everyday life as well. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer on the planet, but his cheating has lead him to be the black sheep of all cheating husbands and wives. (Courtesy WikiCommons/Keith Allison)

By Ryan Fleming

We have seen it in soccer and other sports. And we’ve seen spouses do it to each other, most recently Tiger Woods to his  wife, Swedish model, Elin Nordegren. Cheating unfortunately is almost a part of life, a part that a great majority of us would like to remove sooner rather than later. It’s also a part that many like to hide for fear of repercussion and humiliation. Why do it then?

Unfortunately,  the terrible deed is spreading like a contagious disease with no end in sight. The football world is now being effected and FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is now conducting their investigation.

Match fixing has spanned through nine countries and has reared it’s ugly head in over 200 known Champions League and Europa League matches. Again, the question arises, why? As the investigation continues it’s teams in the lowly bottom divisions of countries like Croatia, Switzerland and Germany where football is a part of life and so much, perhaps too much, money can be made.

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