Shevchenko to the MLS Rumors Resurface

The UK’s Mirror have re-opened the wound that is the Abrahomivich, Mourinho, Shevchenko rift.

Many blame the expensive Sheva blow-up as the straw that broke the camel’s back between Mourinho and Abrahamovich. Shevchenko just wants to play and right now – even with Mourinho gone – he still doesn’t. At what point is Chelsea going to cut their losses on a $60 million investment? Apparently, Sheva fears sooner rather than later. With the January transfer window fast approaching, Chelsea is ready to listen to offers, but there is one catch – Didier Drogba is leaving for a little over a month to play for Cote D’Ivoire in the African Nations Cup. Therefore, Chelsea could stick with Shevchenko – give him a month and be stuck with him the rest of the year – or bring another high-profile striker. Many are predicting Bolton’s Nicholas Anelka (whose wide-open miss against Liverpool this past Sunday was unexplainable). Either way, Sheva’s days at Stamford Bridge are numbered. 5 goals in all competitions this year won’t excite anyone, regardless of price tag.

The Mirror is reporting that the Red Bulls and the Revolution are the two teams pulling for a Shevchenko swoop, but past rumors have confirmed that D.C. United are just as likely to get in on the chase.  

At 31, is this the time that Sheva looks to make his final US career move? Or will Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan, etc. come in and snap him up for a couple years?

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UEFA Champions League: Turkish Delight

Group standings. 

Group A

FC Porto 1, Liverpool 1

Jermaine Pennant was sent off with 30 minutes to go, but Liverpool survived finding the equalizer well before Pennant’s ejection and hanging on from there. Lucho Gonzalez converted an 8th minute penalty to put Porto up early.

Marseille 2, Besiktas 0

Having trouble finding domestic success again, but Les Bleus found a way past Besiktas with two late goals from trusty Julien Rodriguez and Liverpool outcast Djibril Cisse.

Group B

Chelsea 1, Rosenborg 1

Mourinho’s last game was a dud and the real question of the day was did he know he was walking out before the game or was his exit brought on by the result? Abrahamovich’s man Sheva saved the Blues’ tail by scoring on a header in the 53rd minute.

Valencia 1, Schalke 04 0

Not a great overall week for Bundesliga clubs, but it was David Villa’s class in the 63rd minute that propelled Los Ches by the blue-clad Germans. Otherwise, it looked like everybody else was content to settle for a draw.

Group C

Olympiakos 1, Lazio 1

Luciano Galletti put the Greek champions up 10 minutes into the second half and Lazio struggled to find someone to do their bidding as both Rocchi and Pandev were being shut down. With 10 minutes to, Luciano Zauri found the equalizer and Lazio accepted a tie – but the real question is, was he offside?

Real Madrid 2, Werder Bremen 1

There is still long way to go before we can fully evaluate this year’s Madrid squad, but they have shown more heart and dominance then in recent season’s past. Raul scored in the 16th minute but Boubacar Sanogo cancelled that out a minute later. We all know, however, that if you’re going to shut down Real – you must not give Ruud van Nistelrooy ANY – and I mean ANY – room. Well, Bremen did. Ruud replied – scoring with 15 minutes to go.

Group D

AC Milan 2, Benfica 1

Benfica never really threatened and for us American fans, all we really want to know is why no Freddy Adu? Anywhere? Andrea Pirlo exercised his ‘I’m better than you’ card and put Milan up within 10 minutes of the start. Pippo Inzaghi caught the bug and scored not long after effectively digging Benfica a nice grave to lay down in.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2, Celtic 0

I don’t get it. Rangers can rally against the likes of VfB Stuttgart while Celtic gets out-classed by Shakhtar, but when it comes to domestic play, Rangers loses 4-2 to Hearts of Midlothian while Celtic goes their first 5 unbeaten. Hmmm. A real nice crop of Brazilians have come out of Shakhtar (Elano to Manchester City, Matuzalem, etc.) and Brandao will surely be the next one to grab Western Europe’s eye. Especially after his performance against Celtic, scoring in the 6th minute. Claudio Lucarelli added his own 2 minutes later. The Brazilians really dominated this game, however, with Brandao, Fernandinho, and Jadson all having respectable games.

Group E

Barcelona 3, Lyon 0

Thierry Henry opened his account with Barca, while Lyon fought themselves mostly for the first 20 minutes but when Barca’s class kicked in – there was no fighting. Lionel Messi and Henry scored within the last 10 minutes of the game to put it out of reach.

Rangers 2, VfB Stuttgart 1

Stuttgart struck early thanks to the revelation of last year’s Bundesliga champion, Mario Gomez. Rangers evened it up not long after through the efforts of Charlie Adam, who since his terrible play against FK Zeta has seen little time. Adam came through, but Fernando Meira silver-plattered the lead with a foul on Alan Hutton. Hutton scored making it 2-1, giving the Gers 3 vital points, and taking the unofficial MVP of the match as he had his hand in both goals.

Group F

Manchester United 1, Sporting Lisbon 0

Cristiano Ronaldo’s homecoming was a good one – except for the whole destroying the lives and dreams of every Sporting Lisbon fan out there sort of thing. Okay, a little excessive – as it’s just the first match of the group round but Ronaldo scored the goal (on a diving header no less) that gave the Devils the win.

Roma 2, Dynamo Kiev 0

An out-classing – much of which had to do with the goalscorers Simone Perrotta and Francesco Totti. Trying to rack up points and goal difference before they meet Manchester United for a revenge-filled rematch?

Group G

Fenerbahce 1, Inter Milan 0

Brazilian Deivid supplied the goal just before the half-time whistle and Inter couldn’t respond at all. Could it really be that the presence of Roberto Carlos could push a team over the top? Either way, the key to the Turkish Champion’s victory was the efficient shut-down of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as he saw very little in the way of chances.

PSV Eindhoven 2, CSKA Moscow 1

Vagner Love’s late 89th minute goal couldn’t counter the firepower of Danko Lazovic and former AZ/Ajax striker Kenneth Perez who struck in the 59th and 80th minute respectively.

Group H

Arsenal 3, FC Sevilla 0

Yikes. Arsene Wenger has created a monster or else a little bit of confidence goes a long way. Cesc and Van Persie put the game out of reach but Eduardo grabbed another goal in injury time to drive the point home. The Gunners have started strong in both their Premiership and European campaigns, but are they pacing themselves?

Slavia Prague 2, Steaua Bucharest 1

An entertaining Eastern European battle that involved a showcasing of some burgeoning talent that you could see in the EPL/La Liga/Bundesliga/etc. sometime real soon. Marek Suchy showed why he’s considered one of the brightest prospects since Niko Kranjcar. Goals were scored for Slavia by Zdenek Senkerik and Tijani Belaid and for Bucharest, Dorin Goian.

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.