The Daily Sweeper (July 16)
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.