Archive | January, 2010

CAF decison to ban Togo is shameful

30 Jan

As you likely know, the Togo national soccer team left the African Cup of Nations after an attack on their team bus killed three.  The Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to suspend the team from competing in the next two African Cup competitions and fine them $50,000.

The reasoning given was that the Togolese government told the team to come home and the “decision taken by the political authorities is infringing CAF and CAN (African Nations Cup) regulations.”

While this may technically be true, it’s shameful that CAF made this decision.  Common sense and decency must come into play when making decisions like this.  Who does it benefit to ban Togo?  No one.  This was a horrible attack that no one deserves to be punished for.  FIFA must take action to overturn this ridiculous ban.

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Donovan fitting in at Everton

27 Jan

Landon Donovan is showing that he is capable of playing at a high level in a league other than MLS. In today’s game against Sunderland, Landy notched his first goal for Everton in a 2-0 win. The U.S. midfielder has started all four games he has played since joining Everton on January 2.

After a couple failed loans in the Bundesliga, Donovan has finally found a place overseas he can fit in. He’s been a dynamic presence for the team that was struggling before his arrival. I’m not saying Donovan is the reason that Everton has won three of four, but he’s a quick, motivated player that’s eager to excel on a big club stage. In addition, playing for Everton is only going to help Donovan come World Cup time. He’ll be used to going up against and taking on world-class players on a regular basis.

There have been rumblings that Donovan’s two and a half month loan might be extended due to his excellent start, but as of right now, there’s nothing substantial to report.

Charlie Davies is Wolverine’s offspring

27 Jan

U.S. striker Charlie Davies, you know, the one that survived a car accident that looked like this:

is on track to be back with his club team Sochaux by April.  Of course, don’t rule out a World Cup debut in South Africa either.  This guy must have mutant healing powers.  The accident happened in October, two nights before the USA’s final World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.  Davies suffered several broken bones, facial fractures and a lacerated bladder (ew).  It’s a pretty amazing comeback for an athlete that’s suffered such physical and mental trauma (one passenger in the car died).

Davies is very confident in his chances to be an impact player for the U.S. in South Africa and the U.S. should welcome him with open arms if he’s able to play at that level.  He might not earn a starting spot, but he adds a spark to that team that it will need to make an impact over the summer.  Who knows, at the rate Davies is going, maybe he will be leading the front line. On the other hand, he’s been out of soccer for about four months already and being in game shape for the international stage is a lot different than excelling in rehab. His confidence in his own abilities will only help though as he looks to make a comeback.

In other positive news for the U.S., defender Oguchi Onyewu is close to being back with AC Milan after a knee injury in the World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.  He’s projected to be back with the squad in March.  Hopefully Onyewu will be heathly enough to play in South Africa.  He might not be the greatest defender ever, but he’s a solid player that contributes greatly to the stability of the back line.  Without him, the U.S. defense is somewhat in shambles. The big worry is going to be if he gets any game action upon his return to Milan.  He wasn’t playing much before his injury, so I’m sure this won’t help his situation.

Continuing the U.S. injury report, midfielder Clint Dempsey won’t need surgery on a knee injury suffered playing for Fulham as I already posted.  The club expects him back prior to the end of the season, but who knows when that would be.  The Premier League season ends in May, a mere month before the World Cup.  If Dempsey isn’t back in action before May, he’s going to have a hard time getting in good enough game shape for the World Cup.  Keep in mind, this is already a player that has been known to walk around the pitch a decent amount even when healthy.

Pot calls kettle black

26 Jan

Cristiano Ronaldo of all people has lashed out on divers in La Liga. Check out what the hypocrite had to say here.

Kuyt brace leads Liverpool to win

21 Jan

Dirk Kuyt scored twice to lead Liverpool to a 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday in a make-up game from the snowed out weekend.  It has to give the squad confidence knowing that they can win without the likes of Gerrard, Torres, Benayoun, Johnson and Agger.  In addition to winning, no one got hurt either, so that’s like two wins in one game!  Sotirios Kyrgiakos played a solid game at the back and had a couple opportunities to score, while Alberto Aquilani played in Gerrard’s usual position and assisted on Kuyt’s opening goal.

With the win, Liverpool moves up to sixth with 37 points, only one point out of fourth place and Champions League play.  Tottenham and Manchester City are fourth and fifth, respectively, with 38 points each.

Dempsey won’t need surgery

19 Jan

U.S. and Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey will not need surgery after injuring his knee over the weekend.  The news comes as a big relief for the U.S., which is already likely without the services of Oguchi Onyewu and Charlie Davies for the World Cup.  Fulham announced on its website that Dempsey is expected to return before the end of the Premier League season in May.

Dempsey hurt in Fulham loss

17 Jan

U.S. midfielder/striker Clint Dempsey was injured in Fulham’s 2-0 loss to Blackburn. Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has said Dempsey likely suffered ligament damage in his knee. He’s getting an MRI tomorrow, but hopefully the injury isn’t too bad. As much as Dempsey drives me nuts when he plays for the U.S., they’re going to need someone with his experience on the field if they are going to succeed in South Africa.

Dempsey is the latest U.S. player to be struck with injury. Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu are both likely to miss the World Cup after suffering injuries over the summer.