DMB shines for Rangers…FK Zeta fans do not.

DaMarcus Beasley was welcomed to his new club Rangers last Saturday with a 3-0 win against Inverness CT. This game didn’t go off without a hitch however as Beasley was quickly introduced to the physical play that is Scottish Football.

Most clubs are trying to keep tabs on Celtic and Rangers, who are always fighting for the top of the league. Based on the fact that teams can’t spend nearly as much as those two clubs, sometimes clubs use other tactics to even the score. This normally means very physical play, to say the least.

He quipped after the match “It was the first game and I was up against guys who were definitely bigger than me.”

Well Beasley didn’t have to deal with any Scots on Tuesday, but instead settled into his new Rangers kit netting the loan goal against FK Zeta in a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night.

Rangers move on to the third round 3-0 on aggregate.

Beasley managed to put in a low hard shot in the 81st minute from about 22 yards out. The goal wasn’t necessary for the Gers to move on, but it was a shining moment for Beasley with his new Scottish side.

Rangers boss Walter Smith said after the game, ‘Our squad has plenty of new players, and I must say they did well. ‘

I didn’t get a chance to see this game, but look forward to the opportunity to watch Beasley at Ibrox this season.

The definate losers of this game were the FK Zeta fans. Remember that whole push to get rid of Racism in Soccer? Well apparently it didn’t reach the Zeta fans. Beasley and teammate Jean-Claude Darcheville were subject to racist actions during the game.

Beasley addressed the incident after the game.

‘That’s something FIFA and UEFA must fight with, and solve.’

This is the 21st century, and we are still having trouble with it. ‘That’s not normal, not just for us, black players, that’s not normal for all other normal people.

‘I’ve faced that kind of situation throughout my whole career in Europe, not so much during my playing days in England, but even in Holland I’ve had similar problems.

I can’t imagine what players must go through during these racist chants and taunts. Yelling at another player because he is on another team is one thing, but bringing race into the equation is simply out of the question. UEFA and FIFA need to investigate and fine the team.

But no matter how rude and degrading the chants were, Beasley ended up getting the last word, without saying anything.

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Thugs, beer train and amateurs

Let’s take a look at some soccer news worldwide, shall we?

Brazilians coach orders rough-house tactics

Flamengo coach Joel Santana obviously wasn’t happy near the end of a 3-0 defeat. A microphone down by the field caught him apparently telling his players to rough up the opposing Santos players.

“If they start clowning around, you have give them a good kick,” he was heard to say late in the match in an incident widely shown on Brazilian television on Monday.

Santana will likely face some repercussion. He claims, however, that he wasn’t inciting violence.

No harm, no foul?

German train stops for beer fix

A train taking Bayern Leverkusen fans to Hamburg for a German Cup match had to make a stop along the way to fix a broken beer tap.

They made a stop along the way for nearly half-an-hour “in order not to endanger the good mood.”

The victory on the train, however, was the only one of the day.

“Top-division Leverkusen’s 1-0 elimination from the cup by second-division St. Pauli in a first-round upset left its fans with plenty of sorrows to drown on the way home.”

Bayern Munich needs shootout to beat amateurs

True story.

Oliver Kahn, Miroslave Klose and the rest of the four-time Champions League winners took it to spot kicks to beat third-division amateurs Wacker Burghausen.

Manuel Riemann, Burghausen’s 18-year-old keeper, stole the show, but it was Kahn who made the game-saving stop in the shootout for the win.

Here watch some highlights

Leroy Lita hurts himself stretching…

Leroy LitaReading F.C. may be without forward Leroy Lita for the Premiership opener against Manchester United on Sunday.

He suffered a muscle injury while stretching in bed.

Boss Steve Coppell told the Evening Post: “Leroy is in a great deal of pain. He woke up and stretched while in bed and he has done something to his leg. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of.”

(snicker)

Telling bloggers not to ridicule stupid injuries is like telling a 3-year old to keep his hands out of the cookie jar.

Not gonna happen.

Lita will get no sympathy from me. He cheated participated in the U-21 Euro Cup when he was 22-years-old.

Karma, it seems, was a little late.

(My) MLS News Wire

This is the kind of post I always try to stop doing, but the addiction to the concept is too strong. So, until the next freak-out, I’ll post links to the three news items from Major League Soccer (MLS) the most interested me. If someone else on this site gets to it before me, I’ll bump it for something else (as happened with the Danny Szetela to Roma FC thing).

Here goes:

– The latest progress on a stadium (as opposed to the stadium) in Kansas City. Just add government funds…

– All of the hype machine hits Jozy Altidore; the cover of FIFA ’08, eh?

– Do you think the Los Angeles Galaxy is bad? Want to think they’re worse? Read this. The free shots to the balls appear toward the bottom.

U.S. Open Cup Primer

As rather saucily proclaimed yesterday, I don’t do previews (at least not unless someone introduces money to the equation, at which point that’s technically betting – something for which I’m always game). But with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (LHUSOC) resuming tonight with the quarterfinals – and given that tournament’s desperate, desperate need for exposure – I’m going to go halfway and chuck out a slew of previews written by others that I could (easily) find.

If you’re going for general information, you can’t beat the official U.S. Open Cup site; go there and you’ll get pretty much everything you need – not least links to where these games will air on the Web (I’m angling for the FC Dallas v. Charleston game; we’ll see how that goes). Also, Luis Bueno did his (better) bit for this cause by pimping the LHUSOC in the Press-Enterprise. Good on ya, Luis. Turning now to specifics…
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Disclosure: My MLS Biases

You know, until I confessed my soft spot for Real Salt Lake in this week’s power rankings it never occurred to me that some form of disclosure about my Major League Soccer (MLS) loyalties should be provided to readers. But, by golly, that’s just fair to people, isn’t it? I’ll be embedding this post in my profile – assuming I can figure how to do it – but, below, interested parties can find a list of all 13 MLS and how I feel about them.

Teams I Like
New England (my “official team”; I both pull for them and hate them)

FC Dallas (based on a series of blown predictions)

Real Salt Lake (do you love one-legged puppies? Well, then…)

Columbus Crew (you can take the boy out of Ohio, but you can’t take the Ohio out of the boy)

Teams I Hate

DC United (first love and it went sour; I think I hate success)

Los Angeles Galaxy (the object of most of my bile)

After that, I think I’m able to report fairly bias free. That’s not to say I have no opinion, views, or mental associations on the others. For instance, Kansas City remains the team whose existence I’m most likely to forget; ditto with Chivas USA (are they still playing? seems like I haven’t seen them in forever). I think Toronto will go here when the novelty wears off; then again, the whole Canada thing kind of sets them apart. I only like Colorado when they’re being thuggish assholes; go figure. I’ll probably hate Red Bull if they ever win the league, but don’t think I have to worry. As for the Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo, I think I’d chuck them in the “worthy opponent” file – even if Chicago hasn’t remotely earned that this season; call it neutrality mingled with respect.

Is that everyone? Anyway, I don’t think these are static positions, which means, depending on how long I keep at this, I may have to revisit this. But I think these opinions have remained roughly fixed since 2005.

MLS: Week 18 Power Rankings

It has been a shocking – shocking, I tell you – amount of time since I’ve done power rankings; have to go back to Week 15, in fact. Given the layoff, what I thought of each of Major League Soccer’s 13 teams way back when doesn’t strike me as all that relevant. So, consider this me getting back on the power-rankings horse (add an image of a bald guy with a plumbers’ crack trying to hoist himself on a horse if that helps) – and go easy on the crazy calls; I’m consulting my gut about future form more than usual.

Next time I do these, I’ll add some of the old features in which I confess the degree of separation between me and the games – i.e. whether I sat through the whole game or just part of it. For now, though, it’s time to ride that pony…
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