Slow times as the summer transfer season rolls on, with little on the field action to distract from the rumours. Milan snap up Ronaldinho, probably worth a pop at the price of a Darren Bent, while the Drogba and Berbatov sagas roll on interminably.
Well, there is the Intertoto Cup coming back. . .
- Superliga kicked back into action, and it was a rough night for the American teams as they took on Mexico’s best. DC lost to Atlante — with their coach characterising their display as “atrocious”, while the DCenters called it “surrender” — whilst Guadalajara took care of MLS champions Houston. The bigger question is, do fans actually care about Superliga? I find it a pleasant distraction, but it’s hard to take what’s basically a glorified exhibition series that seriously.
- One of the US’ best ever players, Claudio Reyna, retires today. Let’s hope he’s remembered more for his earlier career than his disastrous final sojourn with Red Bull New York.
- Ann Ramzy with her valuable USL weekly update — we need more of this.
- American Soccer News with a good article on American soccer academies
- Ah, the Intertoto cup is back. Such joy.
- And renaming the UEFA Cup the UEFA Europa League won’t give it any more prestige, both the Fanhouse and The Offside concur.
- So Many Balls reviews the first round of action in Champions League qualifying, and looks for a potential Cinderella.
- Hungary’s fabled Honved rose and may be falling again. The always excellent Jonathon Wilson reports.
- In what can’t be considered a surprised, disgraced rogue trader Nick Leeson seems to be running Ireland’s Galway United into the ground, but Simon Hattenstone still finds him “lovable”.
- Channel 4 look at the poaching of academy players around Europe, and calls Man Utd hypocritical for their snatching of Davide Petrucci.
- More disappointment for those hoping for an exciting Olympic soccer tournament, as Diego is blocked from playing by Werder Bremen. It’s no surprise Fifa aren’t stepping in to support a tournament they’ve always been more than ambivalent about — given its potential to rival the World Cup — but it’s a shame it’s being devalued more than usual. In this case, Fifa have said clubs must release players under 23; Diego is 23. What gives?
- Gavin Hamilton on the controversies of citizenship and international play, with Fifa sweeping “fast-tracking” under the carpet
- As ever, 101 Great Goals rounds-up last night’s action, including Superliga and Champions League qualifying.
Sometimes we have a tendency to focus on the dramatic tifo or the extremities of football fandom. But today we look at the mundane reality of five guys cheering in the rain with a damp banner, as Bahrain take on Japan. Courtesy of dokool via the Pitch Invasion Flickr photo pool.