Daily Sweeper, 09.06: Amado Dreams, Fire Sales, Yanqui Rosters, My Tender, Tender Heart

OK…running behind…quickly, quickly.

– The Red Bull Offside was en fuego today…or it made me laugh out loud twice at the very least. How? By talking about Amado Guevara’s recently stated desire to return to Major League Soccer (MLS), specifically to New York (Dave Martinez’s post on RBNY’s hope of signing Francesco Coco made me laugh again, especially how he views competition from New England. The Guevara thing pops up a couple other places – Soccer by Ives and The Offside Rules, to name two – and all are worth the read. Where do I stand? Amado was always good for a laugh…sure, I’d take him back.

– I am so friggin’ ignorant as to the implications of those Andell people buying the Chicago Fire that I almost didn’t post on it. But, it’s big news, right? The Houston Chronicle ran an Associated Press piece (of poo), as did a couple other outlets (and, strangely, that plugged an upcoming movie…as if that’s frickin’ related?), which told one next to nothing. Luis Arroyave snuck in something for his Chicago paper, which usefully noted Andell picked up management rights to Toyota Park…that seemed significant, even if it seems the city of Bridgeview still owns (corrections welcome). USSoccerplayers.com ran a bit on it as well, but it took an older article they ran to make me feel remotely clued in.

– Speaking of Arroyave, he picked up an interview with Clint Dempsey, a player I like as much as anyone (had something on his blog as well with some more good stuff). And, if anyone ever doubted I’m a ludicrously soft-touch, doubt no more: I totally choked up over the connection with his sister.

– Even if I’m going to watch the U.S. v. Brazil game this weekend (to my shame! friendlies are for gullible twits!), I’m not doing any roster talk. Nope. Just refusing. This game won’t be educational in any way, dammit. Anyway, other people are doing this sort of thing, guys like Jen Chang and Jeff Carlisle (both for ESPN). But I posted it, didn’t I? I hate my weakness!!

– Finally, I want to give a big shout-out to Jozy Altidore for making me feel old with his latest post for the (vampiric) New York Times’ Goal blog. Thanks, kid. Like hairs jumping out of my scalp and the sagging of my once-proud pectorals didn’t confirm that, already. My favorite thing was my dignity till, oh, 25 minutes ago. Now…make this wretched feeling go away: who the hell is Paula DeAnda?

Well, hot damn!  Done in 15 minutes.  Talk at you tomorrow.

La Liga Para Todos Sept 6th–Tengo un gato en mis pantalones

Well I couldn’t be left out of all the fun that Jeff and Breton are having posting their daily pieces on the MLS and EPL, so I am joining in with my ‘daily’ (note parenthesis) take on all things La Liga. Note that most of my links are in Spanish because I’m an adopted Spaniard, so if you can’t read Spanish, lo siento mucho.

Here is some good Spanish music to start you out right. ‘El Besolla’ by La Excepción (its essentially about a Fútbol Sala team from the singer’s home ‘barrio’ Pan Ben, in Madrid.

Juan Román Riquelme said that he will stay put in Villareal until his contract is up in 2009, despite his well publicized falling out with manager Manuel Pellagrini last season.

Riquelme was essentially told that he ‘doesn’t fit into the plans’ at Villareal and will not play this season. Riquelme is probably glad he didn’t play in the 5-0 thumping by the hands of Real Madrid last week. This is a long way from being nominated for FIFA player of the year in 2005 based on his work at Villareal.

He was shipped off to Boca Juniors last season, where he did net 10 goals in 20 games and helped Juniors win the Copa Libertadores 2007. There was rumor that Boca wanted to sign Riquelme for good, but Boca denied an offer placed by Villareal, thus shipping the Argentinian back to España.

Pellagrini should get his head out of his ass and put Riquelme in as he is a proven goal scorer, but these things happen when coaches act like 12 year old school girls. Boca have said that they want to renegociate in December with Villareal, but we will see what happens. CHI will keep you posted.

Ernesto Chevantón is looking for an exit from Sevilla in December if he can find one. Chevantón has has a hard time fitting into the scheme of things over in Sevilla with the likes of Kanouté and Luis Fabiano upfront. Now with bringing in Kone from PSV Eindhoven, there is even less room in the Sanchez Pizjuan for the Uruguayan.

He is a great player and has amazing pace with the ball. Juande Ramos should look to keep him around, but unfortunately there is no where to effectively put him. He is getting looks from Racing and Galatasary, and wants to be out come the next transfer window.

La Liga has told the Spanish media companies to kiss and make up as Audiovisual and Mediasport still have not come to an agreement on televising La Liga games this season, thus turning Spain into a riot zone if they don’t come to some sort of decision soon. Trust me, you don’t want to take away football from Spaniards, you just don’t.

Miguel Ángel Portugal did a bit of whining in Marca today, saying that they ‘could have had’ Leo Messi, Giovani and Cristiano Ronaldo all on the cusp of signing with Madrid, but they never got them. Pity, it really is.

As my dad always said, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

La Palabra del día.

‘leche’—-Leche literally means ‘milk’, but it also means fantastic, great, ‘the shit’ As in this sentence.

Joder tío, Capel es la leche.

MLS Week 22 Collective Power Rankings

The Semi-Detached Pundit Collective (SDPC) has spoken.  And what they’re saying unfolds below.

I feel like Drew Carey introducing a familiar Price Is Right game (then why can’t I name one?), but the usual stuff applies: in parentheses after the current week’s ranking and average, you’ll see the most common ranking for each team (e.g. three #1 votes, which will show below as “#1 X 3”) and the previous week’s ranking and average. And, as usual, I’ll close with commentary…and I’m feeling a bit randy today (and I mean this in the archaic, Scottish sense).

Here are the participants for Week 20’s pool:

Center Holds It (Me)
Who Ate All the Cupcakes (keep ‘em coming, even if you forgot TFC*)
Sports Illustrated (Ryan Hunt)
My Soccer Blog
Sideline Views (Luis Bueno)
Fox Soccer (Keith Costigan)
ESPN (another collective)
D from The DCenters (see comments here)

(*I’m having a bit of fun here.  As I said in my rankings, Toronto is now the team whose existence I’m most likely to forget.  For the record, I translated the omission into a #13 ranking.)

And…drumroll, please….here are the collective rankings: Continue reading

EPL Daily: Sheva done at Stamford?, Fergie’s regrets, Man U wants another starlet

In the same vein as CHI’s most prolific poster Jeff, I have decided to adopt his ‘daily sweeper’ approach towards the EPL. Then we can touch on every little detail that I’ve wanted to share but not elaborate on…

There is still a lot to take place before out-of-favor striker Andrei Shevchenko even looks at coming to the MLS, but plans certainly just took a step forward.

“I don’t know why Mourinho isn’t playing me – I don’t understand it,” said the Ukrainian. “But I’m not worried. I will just wait for my chance to come.”

I’d be a bit worried. Solomon Kalou is on a fast track to become a starter at Stamford and Drogba isn’t going anywhere. Pizarro has impressed and should even more once he settles down…but it all comes down to, how can’t you play this guy? Or even give him another shot? Then at least you know whether or not to get rid of him or not – a question everyone is too up in the air about to decide upon.

Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be the man of the hour and a real chatty Kathy these days. First telling us all that there is no way that Beckham can transform American soccer by himself (which all in all is true, but the press messed with his words and said that there is NO WAY Becks can help American soccer step into the big three). Then, to make matters worse, he said something along the lines of, Beckham has never been the same since Victoria (once again, probably true – but why now? what’s the point?).

“He was never a problem until he got married. He used to go into work with the academy coaches at night time, he was a fantastic young lad”

Truth is, most of his rant has something to it in terms of the biggest obstacles the MLS/USL/PDL has to overcome. Fergie says they are – the geography of the USA and the loss of talent to overseas clubs. What he doesn’t see or care enough to talk about (and why would he?) are the youth initiatives, the growing connection between university/pro ranks, and proper scouting. What do you think? 

Fergie then goes on to say how much he regrets driving former Dutch defensive stalwart Jaap Stam out of Old Trafford (Stam was sold at age 29 for almost $40mm to Lazio). Who knew the guy was so conflicted…

Giovanni dos Santos – along with Andres Guardado, Patricio Araujo, Omar Esparza, etc. – make up the extremely promising youth corps that will be Mexico’s future. dos Santos, however, has already found his way to Barcelona and has been progressing through the ranks. It is this year he is expected to see some time, but since the U-20 World Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson has gone batty over the kid. Gio – for now – is still looking to sign a long-term contract with Barca, but considering how much Fergie shoveled out for Anderson and Nani, this move could happen.