The Daily Sweeper (July 22)
What’s better — having your club bought by a bunch of internet nerds or the mafia?
- Luis Bueno says Superliga is leading to an increased respect for the American game in Mexican football — and speculates that it could soon offer a qualifying spot to the Copa Libertadores as a prize. I hope this doesn’t happen until the salary cap gets quite a bump, as MLS teams don’t have the depth to compete in yet another international tournament.
- The US Soccer Developmental Academy finals finished this week, with the Baltimore Bays winning the U-18s, and Carmel United the U-16s. Of the MLS teams amongst the 64 clubs who entered this season, Columbus Crew finished 3rd and the Chicago Fire finished sixth in the U-18s. The LA Times has a story on the amazing Chris Agorsor of the Baltimore Bays, national player of the year and scorer of four goals in one game against the Fire in the finals! He then started the final game injured, but came off the bench to win the game for the Bays and earn Man of the Match honours. [Thanks to Du Nord for the link]
- Freddy Adu is off to Monaco. Good for him — despite all the hype, he’s still got a great chance of being an outstanding player, as he showed in the US’s recent friendlies.
- Abby Wombach hopes to be back in time to debut for the Womens Professional Soccer league next spring.
- The change in Premier League rules to allow seven subs on the bench went under the radar, but its consequences could be significant. Writing in The Times, Kaveh Solhekol explains the concerns of Trevor Brooking and Stuart Pearce, who think that the larger benches might mean younger players at big clubs spending more time warming the bench than getting the opportunity to play by going out on loan.
- Two Hundred Percent wonders if the grand experiment of MyFC at Ebbsfleet is coming to a close, noting that “Their much talked about “team selector” went live last week but, according to reports, just 1,855 out of over 30,000 members voted on whether they should pick the team for their recent high profile against Charlton Athletic, and that number dropped to just 1,124 for the match against Torpoint Athletic, of the South West Peninsular Premier League.”
- An organised crime gang tried to buy Lazio, apparently the Casalesi clan of the Camorra.
- Wigan sign the “world’s best striker”, Egyptian Amr Zaki — gotta love those Fifa rankings.
- Everton fans continue to mobilise against a move away from Goodison Park, forcing the club into calling an extraordinary general meeting.
- EPL Talk with the five worst shirt designs in the league this year. And yeah, Bolton’s is atrocious.
- Tim Vickery explains why South American countries care so much about the Olympics.
- Some People Are On The Pitch updates us on South American World Cup qualifying, surprisingly led by Paraguay.
- Al Ahly won the bitter Cairo derby with Zamalek.