Tag Archives: Fernando Torres

Manchester City’s Biggest Loss and Chelsea’s Savior: Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge has been Chelsea's best for much of the season.

 By Kevin Koczwara

Mario Balotelli and Kun Aguero set the pace for Manchester City against Chelsea on Monday, Dec. 13. Chelsea looked vulnerable and in trouble again, something not all too unfamiliar this season for the Blues. Then the ball skipped to Daniel Sturridge, playing to the right of Didier Drogba, and he carved past a fumbling Gael Clichy, crossed a beautiful ball across the edge of the six-yard-box to a surging Raul Meireles, who scored his first goal for Chelsea since transferring in the summer from Liverpool — and since getting that terrible haircut. The game was level again. Chelsea no longer found itself in a hole, thanks to Sturridge’s play.

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U.S. Men's National Team can't handle Spain

By Melissa Turtinen

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Spain played effortlessly. They moved the ball where they needed to and passes were perfect, and if they weren’t they recovered smoothly not giving the United States Men’s National Team a chance to gain control of the ball.

Spain defeated the USMNT, 4-0, on Saturday and with the chances they had it should have been more. Spain proved that they deserve to be called the best team in the world with their control and perfect ball placement throughout the match.

“Three times now we’ve had a chance to play them and every time, believe me, you walk away incredibly impressed with how good they are,” said Bob Bradley, USMNT manager. “How they’re able to move the ball so intelligently, so skillfully. Just as you’re trying to close them down, the ball is already off and somewhere else. There’s not that many teams in the world that can show you that.”

Spain started the match in complete control. They had chances right away carrying the ball down the sides as the US attempted to clog the middle.

“You try and not let them come right through the center because they are so adept at opening up these little windows and getting people running through and playing balls. Yet, as you try to close that part away they’ve got plan B,” said Bradley.

Spain had a Plan B and it was successful. Spain moved the ball through the USMNT defense with ease. If the middle was crowded they took the ball down the flanks and crossed it in – the clogged middle seemed empty as Spain continuously moved the ball towards the goal.

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Spain arrives in Foxborough

By Kevin Koczwara

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=104087

Some photos from Spain’s practice yesterday, May 2, at the lower practice field at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.  Spain places the USMNT on Saturday, May 4.

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Chelsea and Lille on different paths this season

Didier Drogba and Chelsea had their hopes of repeating as English Premier League with the unexpected loss to Liverpool over the weekend. (Courtesy Eric P Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

In one of the more unpredictable weeks in the soccer world this year, there are a couple things to take note of, if you haven’t already.

1. Chelsea are struggling … still.

Despite their recent acquisitions of Davie Luiz and Fernando Torres, the Blues slipped, slid and went away with a whimper after their 1-0 loss to Liverpool. Naturally, much of the hype from the match surrounded the former Liverpool frontman, Torres, and how he would fair against his old club and if he would or would not celebrate if managed to score. Fortunately for the Reds new manager Kenny Dalglish, Torres was barely existent on the field, save for one scary moment that Jamie Carragher so gracefully blocked away.

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Dalglish deserves long-term to lead Liverpool

By Kevin Koczwara

Not many people thought Liverpool had a chance at qualifying for European competition next year when the club lingered closer to the bottom in October. Things changed quickly though.

Now, people are talking about fighting for the coveted fourth place in the Premier League and a chance to play in the Champions League, despite the team’s leading scorer and talisman striker, Fernando Torres, walking out on the club just before the January transfer window slammed shut.

The change in the mood around Melwood and Anfield is because of Kenny Dalglish. It’s that simple. Since his appointment as interim manager, Liverpool has been resurrected.

Chelsea latest to feel the King’s wrath

The Reds went into Stamford Bridge yesterday the underdogs, and riding a three-game winning streak. To top it off, Fernando Torres was starting his first game with his new club, Chelsea, after turning his back on Liverpool. Liverpool tried to arrange a gentlemen’s agreement with Chelsea when the two teams worked out the $80 million deal for Torres during the closing moments of the transfer window. It didn’t happen, and there was no way Liverpool could beat Chelsea in London without its best player, right?

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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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Chelsea and Liverpool Bid to Save Seasons [Part 1]

Roman Abramovich saw his Chelsea team failing to live up to potential this season, and he took some drastic measures and invested in the transfer market to ensure the team improved. (Courtesy Marina Lystseva)

By Kevin Koczwara

Neither Liverpool or Chelsea started the 2010/11 English Premier League season the way they wanted to. Neither team has lived up to any of their hype or their past glories. Both needed a change. Did anyone expect this to happen though?

Let’s start in London with Chelsea and work our way north to the Merseyside to visit Liverpool [Part 2].

The Blues started the season off like a piston firing on all cylinders, but it was as if someone forgot to check the oil and the they all started rubbing, grinding metal on metal before coming close to a halt. Chelsea scored 12 goals in its opening two games of the season and looked like it was going to run ragged on the Premier League again this season, maybe even securing another double – a bigger double, one that included Roman Abramovich’s prized Champions League trophy.

Things started to unravel for Chelsea in October. Frank Lampard got injured. Ramires hadn’t adapted to the Premier League’s pace and speed well (he is improving with every game and could be well worth the money spent). Youngsters Daniel Sturridge and company weren’t producing. John Terry and Alex seemed to be forming a strong partnership in the center of the defense, they both got injured. Didier Drogba fell off the boil, in fact he stopped starting and contracted Malaria – good excuse, but still, he slowed down and still hasn’t caught up to speed yet.

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Tremendous Torres Helps Liverpool Upset Chelsea’s Title Run

Fernando Torres has struggled for much of the 2010 campaign for Liverpool and his work ethic has come into question. But no one can question his hunger after he scored two goals against the toughest defense in the Premier League, Chelsea. (Courtesy Myo Kyaw Htun)

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool was suppose to just roll over for Chelsea like it did for Blackpool and Northampton at Anfield earlier this year, but it didn’t. Liverpool played with a passion and will to win that has been missing for much of the season to upset English Premier League reigning champions and current leaders Chelsea.

“I think the intensity’s been there in a lot of games but people notice results,” Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports after Liverpool beat Chelsea, 2-0.

The Red’s boss hasn’t had an easy time getting Liverpool on the right track or living up to the fans’ high expectations. Just a few weeks ago the team was in the relegation zone, but now, after beating Chelsea, the Reds are in ninth place, just two points behind fifth place Newcastle and only five points behind Manchester City.

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Liverpool's Lackluster Start Looks Familiar

Liverpool is the only English club that has won the European Cup (now the Champions League) five times. Courtesy Andy Nugent

By Kevin Koczwara

A cloud of negativity looms over Anfield these days. Liverpool was once the crown jewel of English soccer – winning trophies and attracting the world’s best talent. Now, the club is in disarray and lacks the passion that once was its calling card.

Liverpool has never won a Premier League title and hasn’t won England’s domestic top flight in 20 years. Dreams of winning a title this year should fly out the window. Even the manager has conceded to only fighting for fourth place and Champions League soccer, rather than for the English Premier League title.

The club’s American owners have been searching for a buyer since April, but anyone with half a brain wouldn’t buy the club for its owners’ asking price. The owners own a mountain of debt almost as high as Manchester United’s, but Sir Alex Ferguson and company seem to be doing all right – and the mountain isn’t getting any smaller.

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Liverpool In Transit

Courtesy Myo Kyaw Htun

By Kevin Koczwara

News coming from Liverpool’s home base, Anfield, hasn’t usually been the most uplifting news for a few years now. Owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks took on an investment too big for their bite that only got worse after the global economy tanked. Investors have come and gone in droves. Players have been upset by management and have been rumored to move during each transfer window with a lack of potential transfers moving to Anfield being slim.

This summer Rafa Benetiz was asked to leave his post at the club and then signed on to take over Jose Mourinho’s vacant post at Inter Milan, which are some heavy and big shoes to fill. The club was in flux and there seemed to be no end to transfer rumors for their talisman players (Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres), a shortage of cash, again, and a real limited supply of eligible, affordable, and qualified managers in the market to replace Benetiz — who really did need to go after he alienated much of the squad.

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