Jumat, 28 September 2012

Armenian striker Yura Movsisyan's life has gone full circle as he stars in Russia

Yura Movsisyan - FC Krasnodar
Yura Movsisyan was good with his familys move to California. He was 12 years old, and, after moving from his birthplace in Baku, Azerbaijan, to various places in Europe, Movsisyan was getting used to relocating.

After settling in Pasadena, though, Movsisyan was thinking he could stay close to home to compete in MLS. But being selected by Kansas City in the MLS draft meant Movsisyan would be on the move again.

Two seasons with the Wizards. Two-plus seasons, including an MLS Cup title, with Real Salt Lake. Two seasons with Randers FC in Denmark.

Now, Movsisyan, 25, is in his second year with FK Krasnodar, and leading the Russian Premier League with eight goals in nine matches.

Movsisyans impressive start to the season is setting up some interesting scenarios. Russias big clubs Anzhi Makhachkala, Dynamo Moscow, Lokomotiv, and Zenit Saint Petersburg have expressed an interest in Movsisyan. At this pace, Western Europe is also going to be taking notice.

But Movsisyan is not automatically going to pack up and go to the highest bidder. Partly because that bidder might well be right where he is. Krasnodar players earn plenty, thanks to club president Sergey Galitskiy, an Armenian-Russian business magnate.

They havent been in the mood to sell him and they certainly have the resources to keep him, said Patrick McCabe, Movsisyans agent. The question is, is he going to stay in Russia? Thats difficult to answer right now, because salaries outside of Russia are much lower. And he has added more value to this club when they paid $3.5 million (2.7m) for him they didnt have high expectations, and he has outperformed them.

McCabe returned this week from a meeting with club officials after watching Movsisyan knock in two goals in a 6-1 victory over Mordovya.

They are going to make a strong effort to keep him, McCabe said of Krasnodar. At the same time, the money you can earn in Russia is beyond what can be made with some [English] Premier [League] clubs. Hes 25 now and he knows he doesnt have a long career, so he wants to make the most of it and do whats right for his family. He wants to play in the Champions League or Europa League, but its also a business decision. This is a job he has to do for himself and his family.

He took a big risk when he went on a free transfer from Salt Lake to Denmark. Thats when he put himself on the map.

Movsisyan was a 22-year-old starting striker back then, alongside Robbie Findley, as Real Salt Lake won the MLS Cup title in 2009. Movsisyan scored eight goals in 2009 bringing his overall tally to 20 goals in 83 appearances for Kansas City and RSL. Movsisyan turned down what McCabe termed a strong effort to keep him by RSL, going to Randers FC.

Movsisyan soon committed to play for Armenias national team, just before Krasnodar was gaining promotion. There were unusual circu mstances Krasnodar had finished in fifth place, but higher-placed clubs could not meet first division standards. Krasnodar needed a striker and Galitskiy tapped into his Armenia connections to recruit Movsisyan.

So, Movsisyans life has gone nearly full circle, as he moved to Krasnodar, near the Black Sea, less than 1,000 miles from his birthplace in Baku.

Last season, Movsisyan hit 14 goals in 37 appearances as Krasnodar finished in 10th place.

I knew if I came in and scored goals things would be good for the club and myself, Movsisyan said in a phone interview. And now, for me as footballer, a soccer player, basically Im scoring and Im used to scoring goals.

It is very competitive. There are world-class teams and there are good strikers playing in this league - Aleksandr Kerzhakov [Zenit], Roman Pavlyuchenko [Lokomotiv]. Any of them could be the top goalscorer, so I am happy to be on top alone. Its enjoyable to see, especially pl aying in a club like this, which is a new club.

I would say I am getting extra attention from teams. Im playing well and they know who I am and my ability. Every game I try to be more precise with my chances. Maybe, before, I would get three or four chances and score one. Right now, one or two is enough to score.

This could be a breakthrough season for Movsisyan. He has displayed potential since emerging as a 17-year-old playing for Arsenal FC in Los Angeles. The next year, after performing for Pasadena City College, Movsisyan became the No. 4 pick in the 2006 MLS draft.

In his first season with the Wizards, Movsisyan produced 0 goals in 10 appearances. Movsisyan had five goals in 18 games before being sent to RSL in 2007.

No one predicted he would have come as far as he has, McCabe said of Movsisyan. His game has developed over the past two years, playing on the national team, Euro qualifying I think he got a regular run of games . The first year, he didnt play at all in Kansas City. Only in Salt Lake did he get regular playing time, and even then he wasnt starting every game because Findley and [Fabian] Espindola were there, and that frustrated him.

At Randers he played January to December, basically the full game, 90 minutes, every game, and with the national team. His confidence was high. He played as a lone striker with Randers and Armenia, and they were not that strong, offensively, and so they play on the break. And that suits his strengths. His hold-up game has improved, hes developed his finishing. He always had speed and one-on-one ability. But a lot of people didnt think Yura would pan out he showed flashes of speed and strength, athleticism, but was he going to be consistent enough? His goals to games ratio was not that great.

He had to put it all together and, now, his maturity as a person has helped. When he was young he was prone to frustration and wanted to play all the time. He didnt understand what he needed to do.

Fate, politics and socio-economics have taken Movsisyan on some long journeys.

The Movsisyan family moved to the U.S. seeking asylum, which was not approved until Movsisyan turned 19. Before that, Movsisyan was a person without a state he didnt have a passport, only a refugee travel document, McCabe said.

But Movsisyan was all right with staying in southern California for football and he was planning to play for the USA.

Then came the draft. Chivas USA would have selected Movsisyan with the fifth pick, according to McCabe.

(Former Chivas coach) Bob Bradley was a big fan of his, McCabe said.

Bradley then became national team coach. But Movsisyan lost patience awaiting citizenship and also felt the pull of his homeland.

Definitely, I did have a chance to play for the U.S., it was a matter of time, Movsisyan said. But I just decided I wanted to p lay for Armenia, just because I like to represent my country, and I think Armenia could use help, they could use my services a lot more than the U.S. Thats why it was the right decision to play for Armenia.

Movsisyan's wife and two children, could someday re-trace the steps which brought him to the U.S.

Yuras an adventurer, McCabe said. Hell go where the interest is. Hell take a risk and he bets on himself he doesnt lack confidence. He would like to come back to MLS, and not too late in his career.

But stability is not a bad idea, either. The Russian league is healthy financially. The Winter Olympics will be held at nearby Sochi and the country is preparing for the 2018 World Cup.

For weather, this is probably one of the best places in Russia, Movsisyan said. Of course, with the Olympics and World Cup, things will definitely progress and cities will become more developed and things will get better. There will be newer buildings. R ight now, its pretty nice just because the football is going good. No complaints at the moment.

Armenia is placed in a difficult World Cup qualifying group and will meet Italy in Yerevan October 12.

Weve got a win and a loss, which is not too good, Movsisyan said of qualifying.

But we have a very young team and these games against Italy, Denmark and the Czechs are just going to make us better. Its a good group and a talented group of guys. Now, everyone has a chance in football football is so diverse and any team can beat any team at any time.

"Playing at home gives us a boost. There will likely be a lot of people in the stands cheering us on. We want to make a good showing but we cant forget they were a finalist for the Euros.


Goal of the Week: Juninho misses out by just 15 votes as Hasanov takes the prize

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After Thierry Henry ran away with it in last week's competition, our latest Goal of the Week contest has been the closest ever!

Jasur Hasanov, of Bunyodkor, clinched the accolade ahead of Juninho by just 15 votes!

Be sure to check out next week's competition on Monday, as we pick our favourite efforts from the Goal Show.

QPR agree 5 million Hoilett settlement fee with Blackburn

 Junior Hoilett
QPR have agreed a settlement fee with Blackburn Rovers worth up to 5 million for summer signing Junior Hoilett.

The two clubs have come to an amicable agreement over a compensation figure for the winger following two months of negotiations, which will avoid the case going to a tribunal.

The west London club will pay Rovers 3.8m rising to 5m for Hoilett, who signed for Mark Hughes' team in July after his Ewood Park contract expired.

Although the 22-year-old had become a free agent, Uefa rules state that Blackburn are entitled to a training fee because the player is under the age of 24.

Hoilett joined the Blackburn academy as a 13-year-old and went on to make 92 appearances for the first team before he moved to Loftus Road on July 27 after signing a four-year contract.

Blackburn were hopeful that a tribunal would award them a similar fee for Hoilett to the 7.5m paid by Chelsea to Manchester City when they signed Daniel Sturridge in 2009 but a maximum 5m is enough to convince the Championship club to stay out of court.

Hoilett was one of 11 new players signed by QPR during the summer in what was a radical overhaul of a squad that only avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of last season.

The Canadian claimed he shunned interest from Liverpool, Newcastle United and Sunderland to join the west Londoners.

Rabu, 26 September 2012

Cartoon of the Day: No glove lost between Friedel and Barthez

Brad Friedel took to Twitter on Friday to defend himself against comments made by Fabien Barthez regarding new Tottenham signing Hugo Lloris.

"He [Lloris] is faster than Friedel, he jumps higher, and he is very strong mentally," the former Manchester United man said. "What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I am not concerned. He will become the centre-piece for the club."

Exasperated by the former France shot-stopper, the American launched a counterattack on the social networking site.

"Just saw Barthez comments," Friedel wrote. "I normally don't comment on such crap, but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must.

"Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name."

Fred or LA Galaxy's Juninho? Pick your Goal of the Week

Juninho - L A  Galaxy

Thierry Henry was crowned last week's winner with more than 80 per cent of the vote. The former Arsenal star scoring directly from a corner for the LA Galaxy.

As always we select our favourite five strikes from the Goal Show and ask you to pick your winner.

First up is former Lyon striker Fred. The striker returned from suspension with a bang to score for Fluminense.

A GOTW regular now, as Juninho scores this thunderbolt for the LA Galaxy against Toronto.

At number three, former Derby County man Giles Barnes. The midfielder finding the target for the Dynamo's in their Concacaf Champions League victory.

Seattle Sounders striker Eddie Johnson comes in at number four, as he found the net in the Concacaf Champions League.

Completi ng our selection is Jasur Hasanov's free-kick against Adelaide for Bunyodkor.

Selasa, 25 September 2012

Chelsea face Asian Champions League winners or Monterrey in Club World Cup

Chelsea FC Victory Parade - John Terry, Jose Bosingwa and Mikel
Chelsea will face either Monterrey or the winners of the Asian Champions League in the Club World Cup semi-finals.

The Mexican club qualified for the competition by winning the Concacaf Champions League for North and Central American and Caribbean teams, while the Asian tournament remains at the quarter-final stage.

Monterrey and the Asian Champions League winners will meet in the quarter-finals of the Fifa competition to determine the world's top club, which will be held in Japan over ten days in December, to earn the chance to face the Blues.

Chelsea qualified for the competition by winning the Uefa Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich on penalties at the Allianz Arena in the final.

Saudi Arabian teams dominate the list of eight contenders still competing for the Asian Champions League. Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli are all still in the tournament.

Sepahan of Iran, Guangzhou Evergrande of China, Adelaide United of Australia, Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan and Ulsan Hyundai of Japan also remain in contention.

In the other side of the draw, the winners of the J.League - Japan's top flight - will qualify as hosts and face Auckland City, who won the OFC Champions League in Oceania, in a play-off.

The winners of that match will face the AFC Champions League winners of Africa, with that tournament currently at the semi-final stage, in the quarter-final. The victors there will go on to face Corinthians, winners of the Copa Libertadores in South America, in the semi-final.

The African teams still in contention for a place in Japan are Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Esperance of Tunisia, Sunshine Stars of Nigeria and Al-Ahly of Egypt.

Snoop Dogg appreciated Ronaldo's style on and off the pitch

Snoop Dogg
You may not know this, but rapper Snoop Dogg is an old school football fan.

Goal.com caught up with Snoop for a few minutes at a promotional event on Monday night, and the hip-hop legend spit some football knowledge when asked about his favourite player: Ronaldo.

"That's Ronaldo from Brazil from back in the day," he told Goal.com. "When I first started watching soccer, going to Europe for the first time, he was the one who was the most dynamic to me. I loved the way he played. He played with a lot of style, he was good and he had the different hairstyles. His hair was pretty."

Snoop currently keeps tabs on the U.S. national team. He participated in a charity flag football game with Hope Solo earlier this year and appreciates the Olympic gold medal-winning goalkeeper's attitude.

"She's a rider," he said. "I played with her in a celebrity flag game and she's tough. I know she's tough on that soccer field beca use she was tough in that flag game, and we were playing insane."

But while Snoop is a fan of soccer, it appears that his heart will always be with American football. The "Gin and Juice" rapper has a charity called the Snoop Youth Football League, which brings inner-city youngsters onto the football field to help them learn life values.

Snoop is currently promoting FIFA 2013, but he's never going to give up on the Madden franchise.

"I love Madden, I can't live without it," he said with a smile.


Sabtu, 22 September 2012

Bryant: I'd like to swap places with Messi for a week

Kobe Bryant, Fan FC Barcelona
Kobe Bryant has jokingly suggested an exchange deal between LA Lakers and Barcelona involving himself and Lionel Messi.

The NBA superstar travelled to Europe this week to shoot a commercial for Turkish Airlines together with the Argentina international, and he would be happy to trade places with the 25-year-old for a week.

"It would be fun if I spent one week with Barcelona and Messi played one week with the Lakers," Bryant told reporters.

"What the commercial will be like? Probably Messi will play football and I will play basketball..."

Bryant, 34, is a renowned Barcelona fan and took part in a training session with the Catalans back in 2011 when he visited the club.

Friedel hits out at 'ignorant' Barthez over Lloris comments

Brad Friedel, Tottenham Hotspur
Brad Friedel has slammed former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez following the Frenchman's comments which suggested Hugo Lloris should be the first choice at Tottenham.

The situation at Spurs is a tense one, with four goalkeepers on the books competing to be first choice. While Friedel is reaching the end of his career at the age of 41, he has been performing well this season for the club, before the deadline day arrival of France captain Hugo Lloris.

And Lloris' compatriot Barthez suggested that the choice was a simple one, telling Le Parisien: "Lloris is one of the five best goalkeepers in the world.

"He is faster than Friedel, he jumps higher, and he is very strong mentally. What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I am not concerned. He will become the centre-piece for the club.

"Hugo is a calm guy, a good worker. Tottenham will not let him stay on the bench for a long time."

But the comments seem to have upset the American keeper, who took to Twitter to highlight his issues with the former Manchester United man's comments.

"Just saw barthez comments," Friedel tweeted. "I normally don't comment on such crap but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must.

"Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name."

In the two games since Lloris' arrival, both keepers have played once, with Friedel taking charge of the 3-1 away win at Reading, and Lloris stepping in for the 0-0 home draw against Lazio.

Jumat, 21 September 2012

Goal of the Week: Thierry Henry eases to victory following corner strike

Thierry Henry - Tim Cahill - New York Red Bulls - MLS

In one of the most one-sided Goal of the Week's in recent memory, New York Red Bull's Thierry Henry secured over 81 per cent of your vote following his memorable goal direct from a corner versus Columbus Crew.

In second place was Belgium's Guillaume Gillet with 11.03% for his piledriver against Croatia in World Cup 2014 qualifying while Robbie Keane scraped into third spot with his strike versus Colorado Rapids.

Be sure to check out next week's competition on Monday, as we pick our favourite efforts from the Goal Show.

Dempsey & Caulker aggrieved by disallowed Tottenham goals

Alvaro Gonzalez, Aaron Lennon - Tottenham-Lazio
Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey has expressed his frustration after having a goal ruled out for offside in Thursday's 0-0 Europa League draw with Lazio.

The north London side also had strikes from Jermain Defoe and Steven Caulker ruled out by officials at White Hart Lane, as they kicked off their Group J campaign with a stalemate.

And the 29-year-old American, who was making his full debut for the club following his move from Fulham, believes his goal should have stood.

Dempsey told ITV: I thought I was level with the line. It was a good ball from Bale, I got on the end of it and thought I opened my account but it was offside.

That's the way it goes sometimes but they defended well, set up to counter-attack and were tough to break down but we had some chances and were unlucky to not get the goal tonight.

It's good to get games and get more minutes. I'm trying to create chances, get on the end of things, I can play other positions but they were tough and sat back and played on the counter. But we did have some chances and were unlucky not to get a goal.

Caulker also felt aggrieved that his headed goal was ruled out by refereeOvidiu Alin Hategan for an alleged push on Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri.

The 20-year-old said: I thought it was a little harsh but I haven't seen the replay yet. I was glad to keep the clean sheet and hopefully we'll go forward in the next game.

They are one of the strongest sides in our group so we're pleased with the point but we set out to win. But we'll rebuild and go again.

Kamis, 20 September 2012

Thierry Henry's corner kick or Robbie Keane's effort? Pick your Goal of the Week

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Clarence Seedorf was crowned last week's winner with 47 per cent of the vote. The former AC Milan star scoring a volley for Botafogo.

As always we select our favourite five strikes from the Goal Show and ask you to pick your winner.

We love a free kick on GOTW, and here's Diego Giartte's effort for strugglers Atletico Goianiense against Fluminense.

At number two, Robbie Keane finishes off a well-crafted team move for the Galaxy against Colorado Rapids.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona man followed in David Beckham's footsteps after scoring directly from a corner kick against Columbus.

At number four, another free kick, this time James Rodriguez's strike for Colombia against Chile.

Our final goal from this week's Goal Show comes from Belgium's G uillaume Gillet, who struck a belter against Croatia.

Chicharito feeling fit after summer break

Paul Scholes , Javier Hernandez
Manchester United striker Chicharito says he is feeling fi, after having a "proper rest" during the summer for the first time since 2010.

The striker was not considered for Mexcio's Olympic football squad this year, which gave him a rare break during the summer months - having played in World Cup 2010 and Gold Cup 2011 in successive years.

He said that the break will have helped his fitness, and the rest will benefit his performances on the pitch - saying he hopes to replicate the sensational form of his debut season in Manchester.

"My first season [2010-11] was very good for some people and for some people it was okay," Chicharito told reporters.

"My second season was okay for some people and very bad for others. Me? I'm happy and I'm enjoying my football. I just hope that the break this summer helps a lot.

"I had a proper rest and played my first pre-season with the team, so it's going to help my fitness. I'm the happiest player in the world to play for this club.

"I'm always ready if the boss asks me to start or be on the bench. I'm focused on the most important thing - the game tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it."

Chicharito is expected to feature in the Red Devils' first Champions League game of this season against Turkish side Galatasary on Wednesday.

Rabu, 19 September 2012

Thierry Henry scores direct from a corner - all the MLS goals and action

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Selasa, 18 September 2012

Friedel enjoying 'healthy' rivalry with Lloris at Tottenham

Brad Friedel, Tottenham
Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel has insisted there is no problem between him and Hugo Lloris, describing the competition as "healthy".

Lloris was a deadline day acquisitionn from Lyon in a deal that could rise to 12 million but Friedel has kept his place in the Spurs starting line-up with a string of impressive displays.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas publicly stated his intention to stick with the American as his first-choice goalkeeper, a claim that didnt resonate too well with French national team manager, Didier Deschamps.

But Friedel has no issue with the raft of competition for one spot at the club, with Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini also waiting in line.

"Hugo has come in and is a really nice person," Friedel told talkSPORT.

"He's a super goalkeeper but we have two other really good goalkeepers in Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini.

"We have friendly, and healthy, competition for places and hopefully we will have long runs in all the cup competitions and there's going to be plenty of matches to share around."

Lloris on the other hand, who is expected to start Thursdays Europa League clash with Lazio, wants to be given consistent playing time at some point in the season but has been reassured as to his position in the squad.

He told LEquipe: "I am in an adaptation period, I've had very few training sessions, and there are players that I didn't know. But I am expecting time on the pitch.

"Things were very clear from the start on Sunday. I was at the disposal of [Tottenham goalkeeping coach] Tony Parks and Brad Friedel.

"That pitch, that atmosphere, that gives you desire to play. Moreover we got three points that made us start our season.

"For me, it is a period to manage. Obviously I have desire. I came here to play.

"I am at the club, I know where I have to go to. I had a talk with the coach, as he said, and I know everyone at Tottenham wanted me to come."

Enjoying life in Major League Soccer, Alessandro Nesta defends Milan boss Allegri

 Kenny Cooper, New York Red Bulls; Alessandro Nesta, Montreal Impact; MLS
Alessandro Nesta is still adjusting to life in Major League Soccer, but that has not stopped him from following developments back home in his native Italy.

Once a legendary centre-back for AC Milan, Nesta has come to the defence of his former boss Massimiliano Allegri, who finds himself under increasing pressure.

Milan have started poorly, winning only one of their opening three matches. The Rossoneri's lacklustre performances on the pitch have led to increasing speculation that Allegri could be dismissed if the results do not improve.

Yet, Nesta does not believe Milan's head coach is the reason for the club's recent ineptitude. Instead, he points to the Serie A giants recent financial difficulties which forced them to sell Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain and release several veteran players, including himself.

"Its the reality of whats going on in Europe. Milan is a reflection of the ec onomic difficulties any business is going through in Europe," Nesta told Goal.com through a translator.

"You have to cut and find ways to save money or bring in more money, and thats what Milan did. Selling those two players [Ibrahimovic and Silva] was an economic decision, but losing two players like that, will be hard to replace."

Nesta hopes that fans of Milan will be patient with the club coach as the team goes through a period of transition.

"As for Allegri, the criticism is unfair. I think fans are smart enough to realise the team is new and needs time to gel, but also selling two key players like Ibra and Silva will hurt the team," he stated.

While Nesta continues to follow and support his former club, his focus is now on new employers Montreal Impact. Once considered to be one of the world's top defenders, the 36-year-old hopes that his experience will help the new MLS side. Montreal have won three out of the five games that he's started, proving that his leadership in the backline has been effective.

Nesta explains that he is still adjusting to physical nature of MLS but is happy with life in his new city.

"Its been a great experience so far," Nesta said. "The city is beautiful, the fans have been great and the team is treating me well. The level of soccer in MLS is growing, so there will be some growing pains. Its not at the level it is in Italy or Spain, but it is definitely getting better.

"Its also very different than my previous experiences. Its more physical."

In their first season in MLS, Montreal has not been short of ambition. In addition to signing Nesta, they also added fellow Italian, striker Marco Di Vaio and pursued high-profile stars like Nicolas Anelka and Alessandro Del Piero. Still, the team currently sit five points adrift from a playoff spot held by fifth-seeded D.C. United.

Nesta says that due to all of the addi tions to the squad, the team only recently started to gel. He has not given up on the playoffs yet, but it appears as if he's waiting for a full season to show what the Impact can really do.

"Its going to be tough to make the playoffs," Nesta explained. "We had a loaded schedule earlier on, which meant we played a lot of games before the team really came together. And other teams ahead of us have games in hand, so it will be difficult, but we wont give up. We will just take it one game at a time."

Despite still adjusting to life in MLS, Nesta still follows the Italian national team with great interest. He was part of the 2006 World Cup winning side and believes that Italy could be back on its way to being a contender after a strong showing in the Euro 2012 tournament. Nesta argues that Spain's recent success is not unlike the triumph of previous World Cup winners and believes that Italy is beginning to show their potential.

"Every few years, a new crop of players comes out for a national team and dominates for a little while," Nesta said. "Spain is in that situation now. But Italy is young and with some time to gel, can continue progressing from its runner-up position at the Euros this year."

Mario Balotelli is one of the players who proved himself during last summer's tournament and many insist that Italy should build its attack around the Manchester City star. Nesta hopes that Balotelli will continue to score for the Azzurri but expects the striker's team-mates to share the scoring load as well.

"All Balotelli has to worry about is scoring goals," Nesta said. "Thats his job and thats what he must concern himself with. Attacking is the responsibility of the entire team, he just has to bury his chances when he gets them."


Sabtu, 15 September 2012

New York Red Bulls sign Kaka's brother Digao

Dig√£o - Fluminense
New York Red Bulls announced the signing of defender Digao, the younger brother of Real Madrid star Kaka, who was previously a free agent.

The 27-year-old joined AC Milan in 2005, but only managed to make one Serie A appearance for the Rossoneri, and was farmed out on loan to several clubs.

His contract at San Siro expired in 2011, but he caught the eye on trial with the MLS side and secured a permanent move to the Red Bull Arena on a one-year deal.

"Digao has impressed our coaching staff during his trial in the past week and we want to continue evaluating him for the remainder of the season," the club's sporting director Erik Soler told reporters.

"He has earned a solid amount of experience for a number of European sides and we are glad to add him to our roster."

Kamis, 06 September 2012

Jonathan dos Santos not thinking of leaving Barcelona for Sevilla, says agent

Jonathan dos Santos vs. Pardo - Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad
Jonathan dos Santos will stay at Barcelona, despite a long-standing interest from Liga rivals Sevilla, according to the player's agent, Vicente Montes.

The Mexican has been the subject of speculation regarding a loan move to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with his path to the first team apparently blocked.

However, the 22-year-old's representative has reiterated his client's desire to stay put, claiming that he has never thought about leaving Camp Nou.

"The opinion of Jonathan dos Santos has not changed," Montes told Orgullodenervion.com.

"He did not mark a deadline for making a decision."

Michel had lined up the player as an addition to his midfield options, Sevilla currently sit in seventh place in La Liga, having taken four points from their opening two matches.

Rabu, 05 September 2012

Colorado Rapids - Portland Timbers Betting Preview: Expect goals in bottom of the table clash

Martin Rivero, Colorado Rapids; Sharlrie Joseph, Chivas USA; MLS
After Saturdays 1-0 defeat in Portland saw Colorado slip to the bottom of the Western Conference table, the Rapids have a chance for instant revenge when the Timbers visit Dicks Sporting Goods Park this evening.

The hosts ran out comfortable 3-0 winners when the sides last met at this ground in June, and they are clear favourites at 33/50 (1.66) with Bet 365 to collect all three points this time.

However, Oscar Parejas men have lost nine out of 11 since then, so the visitors may fancy their chances of picking up their first ever hat-trick of league wins, at 4/1 (5.00) odds.

The two sides have never drawn since Portlands entry to the MLS in 2011, but you can get odds of 14/5 (3.80) if you think th ey will be sharing the spoils this time out.

Those wondering why these teams are currently propping up the Western Conference need look no further than the league table's goals against column, as the pair have conceded more than anyone else this season.

Having kept just 10 clean sheets in 53 games between them so far this season, it would be a major surprise if the defences came out on top this evening.

A bet on both teams to score would have paid out in seven of the last 10 featuring these sides, so should be fairly safe today at odds of 4/5 (1.80).

Despite their recent defeat, Colorado have usually had the upper hand against the Timbers in league meetings.

The Rapids beat Gavin Wilkinsons 3-1 side in their firs t ever MLS game, and came out on top in the next two encounters.

Having won their two home fixtures against Portland by an aggregate score line of 6-1, tonight's hosts will be confident of putting a couple of goals past the visitors in this game.

At odds of 7/4 (2.75), a combined bet on a home win featuring over 2.5 goals is surely too good to miss.

Sign up with Bet365 for up to 200 in free bets and back Al's selections for this game

Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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Selasa, 04 September 2012

Dempsey reveals 'relief' over Tottenham switch

Clint Dempsey - USA
Tottenham's new signing Clint Dempsey has admitted he is relieved to have secured a move to White Hart Lane after a tense end to his spell at Fulham.

The American was linked with a move away from Craven Cottage throughout the summer, with Liverpool said to be his preferred destination, before agreeing a 6 million switch to Spurs on deadline day.

And Dempsey is delighted to have moved to a side where hell not only have the chance to play in Europe, but also without unduly unsettling his family.

Dempsey told The Guardian, "I'm very relieved and looking forward to getting back to playing.

"I think the team is a perfect fit. They qualified for a place last season for the Champions League but missed out on a technicality.

"But it's still in London. My family doesn't have to move far. My daughter, she can go to another international school and be on the same curriculum. It couldn't have worked out any better i n that regard."

After netting 23 times in all competitions for Fulham last season, Dempsey had made no secret of his desire to play for a Champions League club.

And despite not being the case for Tottenham this season, he believes there is sufficient quality within the side to do so in future.

"I always wanted to play at the highest level possible. That was never a secret. That's something I always said.

"It would be a dream of mine to play Champions League and you want to play on the best team possible to try to get there.

"That's definitely a team with a lot of quality in it but now it's all about the team that I'm with."

After five years at Fulham, Dempsey concedes he was disappointed to leave on sour terms after refuting reports suggesting he refused to play but is now looking forward to his career at Tottenham.

"I'm disappointed in the way I was portrayed in the end with Fulham, he admitted
"There were some things that were said that weren't true. That's in the past.

"It's about looking towards the future. I'm looking forward to playing with Tottenham. It's a great team, a great club.

"I want to thank the fans of Fulham. It's been five great years."

Beckham stars for LA Galaxy - all the MLS goals and action

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Senin, 03 September 2012

Maurice Edu completes Stoke switch from Rangers

Maurice Edu-Rangers
Maurice Edu has completed a move to Stoke following his exit from relegated Scottish giants Rangers.

The United States international midfielder had earlier this week completed a medical and agreed terms on a three year deal with the Potters, but was waiting for details of a work permit to be finalised.

Edu announced on Twitter: "Stoke City, it's finally official! Excited & looking forward to this next chapter in my career. Thanks for all your well wishes & support!"

The 26-year-old combines stamina with technique and can also play at centre back, and played at the 2010 World Cupfor the United States, for whom has won 37 caps.

The Potters earlier today completed the signing of Charlie Adam from Stoke, and the pair are set to competefor one of two central midfield spots with Dean Whitehead, Glenn Whelan, Wilson Palacios and fellow American arrival Geoff Cameron.

Minggu, 02 September 2012

Tottenham complete audacious 6m swoop for Dempsey

Clint Dempsey of Fulham

Tottenham have completed the 6 million signing of Fulham forward Clint Dempsey on a three-year deal.

The 29-year-old arrived at the club's Spurs Lodge training ground on Friday night to finalise terms with the north London club.

Dempsey, who rejected a move to Aston Villa on Friday, has made clear his intention to leave Craven Cottage this summer, prompting Fulham boss Martin Jol to force him into training on his own for much of pre-season.

Liverpool have made their interest in Dempsey public and have been locked in negotiations with Cottagers officials over the west Londoners' asking price for the midfielder, as exclusively revealed by Goal.com.

Fulham accepted a bid of 5 million plus 2m add-ons from Villa on Thursday night but the Anfield outfit have been unwilling to match their terms due to the player's low re-sale value.

The USA international has antagonised the Cott agers with his behaviour since returning to pre-season and owner Mohamed Al-Fayed is refusing to grant him a simple passage out of Craven Cottage.

Dempsey has made it clear that his preference is to quit Craven Cottage for Liverpool, whose manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he has made enquiries about signing the player.

As revealed by Goal.com earlier this month, Dempsey has been training on his own after making it clear he does not want to play for the Londoners again while waiting for a move to Liverpool to materialise.

Goal of the Week: Ronaldinho tops Beckham and Drogba to win our latest bout

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Ronaldinho has been crowned the winner of the Goal Show's Goal of the Week! The former Barcelona and AC Milan favourite showed he has lost none of his wizardry.

Following up in second place with 29.50 per cent of the vote was David Beckham, who scored direct from a corner for the LA Galaxy, while Didier Drogba finished in third spot with 23.78%.

Be sure to tune in next week!