Tag Archives: Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United come to New England for friendly with the Revolution

By Melissa Turtinen

Back in March the New England Revolution confirmed that they would be playing a friendly against Manchester United on July 13, but what were they thinking?

Man United is a world powerhouse when it comes to soccer. They have won 19 Premier League championships, have the Premier League Player of the Year with Nemanja Vidi? and skilled striker Wayne Rooney among an array of other worldly talents. The match was already destined to be a struggle for any MLS team, but now with recent hardships facing the Revs in league play, they’re likely to not only lose but to be embarrassed.

The Revolution is the underdog – way under – in this match. They are sitting last in the Eastern Conference (3-8-7, 16 pts.) and haven’t won a game since their 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 1 – essentially donning them one of the worst teams in the league. While Manchester United had a different previous season, finishing atop the Premier League, winning the title going 23-4-11 on the season and reaching the Champions League final, but losing to Barcelona, 3-1.

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The Premier League’s Best of 2011

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s sad to see Blackpool’s “Tangerine Dream” come to a close this weekend. Ian Holloway’s side was one of the most entertaining and crowd pleasing teams in the English Premier League this year. Blackpool’s unknown players made a stamp on the Premier League this year, and hopefully the Seasiders find their way back up with Holloway captaining the ship again — it would only be right, and he is far more entertaining than Roy Hodgson, Roberto Mancini and Avram Grant added together and then multiplied by 1,000.

Birmingham did it’s best to stay up for a second time, but Alex McCleish’s no offense approach just couldn’t work for a second year in a row. It’s no surprise the Blues went down if one looks at the horrible goalscoring record the team had this year, 37 goals scored. That’s not a joke. In 38 matches, Birmingham scored a measly 37 goals, less than one a game. Hapless West Ham and Wigan scored more than McCleish’s team.

Speaking of West Ham, well, we all knew they were going down once they hired Avram Grant. Last year Grant lead a woesome Portsmouth team straight out of the Premier League, and he wouldn’t have needed the point deduction of the club going into administration to do it. He would have managed to lose those points anyways. He did get Portsmouth into the FA Cup final, but he lost that just he like he seems to lose every other cup final. If Grant is hired by another Premier League team next year, that one will surely go down as well, just as the Hammers did. It’s fate. I should be hired before he gets another job in the Premier League.

But enough with relegation. Let’s look at some of the best from a year that went by in the EPL.

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Derbys Not Bringing the Excitement Promised

Manchester City and Manchester United weren't the onyl teams playing an important local derby last week. Roma beat Lazio, 2-0, on Sunday, keeping their cross-town rivals from staying at the top of Serie A. (Courtesy wikicommons)

By Kevin Koczwara

Manchester United and Manchester City played to a 0-0 draw in what was hyped as one of the biggest games of the year because of the two teams close proximity and since City’s recent – and seemingly endless – spending spree. Not to mention, Sir Alex Ferguson and his club don’t care much for their “noisy neighbors.”

Roberto Mancini sends his City side out with seven defensive-minded players – four defenders and three holding midfielders– behind the ball and only three – more like two-and-a-half because James Milner is not a pure force on the wing – attacking players with the hopes that Carlos Tevez would be able to wreak havoc on the United defense with his skilled link-up play and ability to win the ball at any time on the field. The substitution of Tevez in the injury time for Emmanuel Adebayor was ludicrous. The £25 million striker was once one of the English Premier League’s most feared strikers when he was leading the charge for Arsenal, now he is a late substitution for Mancini to waste time in a derby he does not want to lose.

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Injuries Plaguing World Cup Hopefuls and EPL Top Teams

By Kevin Koczwara
There is no substitute for depth in professional soccer. Skill can overcome some hard-ache, and hard-work can definitely make up for a lack of skill, but nothing can make up for a deep bench in the long grueling seasons of soccer. Many teams in the English Premier league are seeing some of their European aspirations heading to the training room instead of to the field, and some players are seeing their World Cup dreams shattered.

This year is different than most because players are training harder, playing harder, and have played more often in the past year or two than regularly. Why is? Simple, the World Cup is coming up and just about every player dreams of putting on their countries uniform and walking onto the grass of a World Cup Final. But they must show their worth in club matches and in international matches. And the wear and tear is showing.

Let’s look over a few teams and players that have been hit enormously by the injury bug, and let’s see who will definitely be sitting out the World Cup because of an injury.

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Derby Highlights Courtesy of FootyTube

I search the internet for match highlights every weekend, and each weekend I come to the same conclusion: FootyTube is the best highlight Web page on the internet.

Here are the highlights from the Manchester United v Liverpool match at Anfield from Sunday.

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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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