The police had a busy week in American soccer this weekend, whilst British clubs continued to argue about who does the most “tapping up”. All in all, a pretty depressing news round-up.
- Wannabe hooligans? West Ham fans clashed with Columbus fans yesterday at Crew Stadium, apparently after 30 or so Hammers entered the Crew’s North End at half-time (hello, security?), which is home to several of their supporters groups — ironically, including the “Hudson Street Hooligans”, named after the movie Green Street, a film about West Ham’s hooligans. Further trouble after the game resulted in a tasering and a police helicopter heading to the stadium, according to firsthand reports.
- There was also trouble in lower-level American soccer. The police were called to Crystal Palace’s USL-2 game against Western Mass Pioneers after their coach drew his tactics out on the visitor’s dressing room wall. This follows previous trouble when Palace visited the Pioneers earlier this season, with the former’s team coach attacked.
- And here’s another weird one: New England Revolution players subdued a naked passenger who tried to open an emergency door on their flight.
- EPL Talk gives us the FSC and Setanta schedules for Premier League viewers in the States this season.
- In MLS, all four games were drawn on Saturday (parity!), leaving New England and Real Salt Lake both top of their respective conferences. The game of the weekend came with the Galaxy stealing a late draw against a profligate Red Bulls side, Landon Donovan saving the day in front of almost 50,000 fans in the Meadowlands.
- Crystal Palace supremo Simon Jordan blasted the entire sport in the News of the World, as he prepares to sell the Championship club. This seems to have been sparked by his dismay at the fee Palace received from Spurs for their young starlet John Bostock, but his critique extends to all the unpleasant aspects of the modern game, from greedy agents to hyped-up WAGS.
- Tottenham and Manchester United continue their battle to make the most hypocritical statements about tapping-up; come on, fellas, we know you all you do it to others, just spare us the sanctimony when it happens to you.
- As the Beautiful Game rightly comments, Porto’s reinstatement in the Champions League despite being convicted of bribing referees four years ago stinks.
- Another Bundesliga club is trying to stop one of their players going to the Olympics, but Brazilian Rafinha is having none of it and plans to ignore Shalke’s order that he stays in Germany. The Bundesliga’s determination to ignore Fifa’s mandate that players under 23 called up to the Games have to go is pretty brazen.
- Speaking of the Games, Britain’s 2012 Olympic organising boss Seb Coe says he’s talked with Alex Ferguson about him taking charge of the British team in 2012.
- The New York Times reports on a Brazilian company called Traffic, who spend their money buying up the best young talent, lending it to Brazilian teams, then reaping most of the reward when the youngsters move on to Europe. A fairly depressing, if unsurprising story.
- The Argentine Football League will experiment next year with “vanishing spray”, to rid the world of the terrible scourge of defensive wall encroachment.
- Bill’s Sports Maps with a superb illustrated look at this year’s Olympics contestants, including their previous records.
- Finally. . .Richard Whitall at Soccerlens asks: Is Sepp Blatter a Marxist?
- 101 Great Goals has another fine round-up of much of the weekend’s action worldwide, including European friendlies, Superliga, and MLS.