Tag Archives: Javier Mascherano

What The Soccer guys Are Reading, Sept. 2, 2010

Carlos Queiroz has had a disappointing spell as Portugal's manager and the latest headlines surrounding him aren't promising. Courtesy RTPPT

The Guardian — Torquay raise ambitions after quickly completing tough turnaround — By John Ashdown

The last few years have been a long journey for Torquay. The West Country club was relegated to the Conference division and out of the Football leagues three years ago. The Gulls won promotion to League Two last season with a relatively inexperienced squad. Now, Torquay is on top of League Two and the only team in England to win its first four games in league play in any division. After all of the difficulties the club and its fans have endured over the last few years, the change and ascension of the club is remarkable.

MLSscoccer.com — For Union, friendlies part of learning process — by Shane Evans

MLS expansion team the Philadelphia Union took on 11-time Mexican champions Chivas de Guadalajara in an exhibition match yesterday. The Union scheduled the difficult exhibition match as another stepping stone for the club, a building block that manager Peter Nowak and the young squad can work with. Philadelphia won the match, 1-0, but they were far from in control of the game and have plenty of things to take away from Chivas.

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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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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 24, 2010

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott scored three goals against Blackpool om Saturday, which led to comparisons to Arsenal great Thierry Henry by manager Arsene Wenger.

ESPN Soccer – Hat trick draws Henry comparisons for Theo

After scoring three goals in Arsenal’s 6-0 thrashing of everyone’s second-favorite Premier League team Blackpool, Theo Walcott has drawn perhaps the ultimate compliment from manager Arsene Wenger. While Wenger praised his future as a striker, he also compared the 21-year-old Englishman to former Arsenal legend and current New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry. Walcott has struggled to find regular playing time since joining Arsenal, but with his manager’s backing 2010-11 could be a huge season for the youngster.

The Guardian – Liverpool reject €15m bid from Barcelona for Javier Mascherano – James Callow

Despite his refusal to play on Monday in a 3-0 loss to Manchester City, Liverpool is still holding strong on its financial demands for midfielder Javier Mascherano. The Argentine has already agreed to terms with La Liga side Barcelona, as part of his family’s goal to get the hell out of Liverpool. While Liverpool respects his wish to leave Merseyside, it will not agree to any contract that does not provide any financial benefit. Roy Hodgson will need a lot of motivation to start Lucas 36 more times. Continue reading

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Best and Worst Performers at the World Cup

Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Holland's captain at the World Cup, was a stand-out defender. Courtesy Paul Blank

By The Soccer Guys

Kevin’s Picks:

Strikers

Diego Forlan – Forlan was the most dangerous striker on the field every time Uruguay suited up. He was handed the Golden Ball by FIFA as the World Cup’s best player, and he deserved it. He scored vital goals and did everything for the underrated and under-appreciated Uruguay team.

David Villa – Villa’s five goals tied him for the Golden Boot with Forlan, Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder, and his goals saved Spain from elimination. Without Villa, Spain might have been watching the final match from home rather than playing and winning the world’s biggest sporting event.

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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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Liverpool Slip (Again) and Madrid Moves Atop

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool lost to Wigan this week for the first time in the English Premier League era. It was a sad display from last year’s runner up.With Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham all looking on, they must have been excited to see this uninspired squad.

Liverpool looked flat in their attack. They lacked the finishing touch and didn’t even register a shot on goal.Wigan was playing with 10 men behind the ball, but that didn’t stop Liverpool last year and it doesn’t stop the teams with Champions League aspirations.

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A Mercilous Mersey Derby

By Kevin Koczwara
It wasn’t a game for the faintest of heart or the admirers of the “beautiful game,” but one thing the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield did have was drama.

The game lacked a good amount of skill–especially in the first half–but it didn’t lack passion. The game was not only a local rivalry, but also had important table implications for both squads.

And it wasn’t the only important game this weekend in the English Premier League. Let’s look around the league at some other important results.

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World Cup Draw Part 1: Groups A & B

Courtesy Wikicommons/ Audrey & Patrick Scales

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s look at the first half of the Group Stages of the World Cup. The draw was Friday afternoon, and now that I have had some time to digest the pairings, I am going to make a few predictions. I will write a wrap-up of each group, two at a time, in this series. There will be four parts and all will be posted this week.

So let’s start it off with groups A and B.

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The Only Derby: Liverpool vs United

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the clubs championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the club's championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Manchester United head to Anfield this weekend to hopefully put and end to Liverpool’s title chances. A win for United would be the knockout punch for Liverpool, putting them down for the count with little to no chance at winning The English Premier League for the first time in 20 years.

A Liverpool loss would be their fifth in a row and could the final straw for Rafa Benitez — especially with rumors of Jose Mourinho filling his shoes swirling (he isn’t loved in Italy by any measure). Benetiz needs his side to perform the level that everyone expects of them, because it is believed he is at fault for the poor play of recent.

The way the match-up is working out right now is the efficient United are going into a floundering Liverpool–hampered not only by form but by injuries. That scenario could lead to one of two things:  A United blow-out, or a tightly contested game with a lot of cards handed out, and physical play.

Let’s look at all the factors coming into this game:

Injuries

Liverpool have the bigger question marks here.

If Torres isn’t fully fit come Sunday, then Liverpool are dead in the water because they don’t have another striker on their bench who can put the pressure on Nemanja Vidic, and any fear at all in the United back-line. If David Ngog starts, then surely Liverpool will be reaching for some attack and praying to the heavens.

Their best option to fill-in for Torres if he isn’t fit to go would be starting Ryan Babel on one side outside midfield position and Albert Reira on the other, with Voronin and Kuyt playing off one another. Kuyt, despite his stature, wins so many balls in the middle through hard work, can gain possession. And Voronin (I hate that I am saying this) is maybe the best option they have the bench for this situation. He is quick, and assertive. He doesn’t hold onto the ball too long and is looking to show the manager what he is made of. So he is a better fit than say Ngog or anyone else on the bench for this game.

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Champions League: Liverpool Done? AC Milan Miracle Turn Around?

Anfield is a fortress and has been known to intimidate opponents. It has a rich soccer history, and passionate fans, but that didnt scare Lyon on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

Anfield is a fortress and has been known to intimidate opponents. It has a rich soccer history, and passionate fans, but that didn't scare Lyon on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Kevin Koczwara

This match week in Champions League play saw some miracle wins, disastrous losses, and some thumping wins from struggling sides. Overall it was just another match week in Champions League play, and just another poor week in fantasy sports for me.

Let’s Start With Liverpool and Lyon…

Liverpool had a remarkable streak broken on Tuesday, their streak of 22 years without 4 consecutive losses was broken by French powerhouse Lyon. To top off the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the French club, was that the loss happened at Anfield, a fortress in the footballing world.

Anfield has been Liverpool’s home field since 1892(after Everton left for Goodison Park) and Liverpool has had 7 undefeated seasons of home league games there. Last year (2008-09) saw the team go unbeaten at home, which helped them come close to winning their first league title in 19 years.

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