Archive for February, 2010

Impact 5 Freamunde 1


FREAMUNDE, Portugal – The Montreal Impact won 5-1 (halftime 2-1) against Sport Clube Freamunde, a second division Portuguese club playing in the League of Honour, Wednesday in Freamunde, in the first of three exhibition matches in Portugal, played under heavy rain conditions and wind squalls of more than 70 km/h.“Even if the score doesn’t truly reflect the game, the victory is fully deserved because the Impact was the best team on the field. The result is really fair,” declared Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “Maybe Freamunde didn’t approach the game in the best manner, while we came here with the same attitude than during a league match. I think we surprised them.”

Forward Roberto Brown opened the score at the 13th minute by deflecting with a header a corner kick from midfielder Felipe Soares, who was facing his former team.

Then at the 26th minute, Soares scored following a cross to the far post from defender Adam Braz, which forward Eduardo Sebrango then headed for Soares.

After a series of changes in the second half, the Impact added three more goals. At the 78th minute, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard completed the play of midfielders Philippe Billy and Rocco Placentino.

Less than five minutes later, Placentino scored Montreal’s fourth goal with a left foot shot to the right of SC Freamunde goalkeeper. On the sequence, left midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo crossed for Reda Agourram, who made a pass to Placentino, left alone on the right flank.

Agourram scored the last goal of the match at the 90th minute. On a long deep pass from Valentin Radevich, Agourram dribbled the goalkeeper before netting the ball in an empty goal.

“At halftime, we were leading 2-1 because we had controlled most of the first half,” added Dos Santos. “In the second half, they put more pressure on us and they tried to tie the game, but our players who got into the game were very dangerous. We did very well on counterattacks by adding a lot of speed. This allowed us to score three more goals.”

“I think we played really well and didn’t let the conditions affect us,” declared defender Adam Braz, who played the first 74 minutes of the game on the right flank. “We stuck to our game plan and played really well as a unit. It was a true collective effort and this shows in the score line. Every week and every game, we keep growing. Our goal is to keep improving because even if these games don’t count for points, they are still definitely important for us.”

Goalkeeper Matt Jordan played the full 90 minutes of the match and allowed only one goal. At the 14th minute, Jordan had no chance when the ball accidentally deflected on defender Simon Gatti just in front of the goal.

Eduardo Sebrango quit the game at the 35th minute, after suffering a mild concussion when he was hit in the face with the ball.

SC Freamunde is currently 10th in the 16-club ranking of the League of Honour Championship, with a record of six wins, seven losses and seven draws.

The Impact will play its second match in Portugal Saturday at 3 pm against third division club CD Ribeirao (Second division, Northen zone).

Matt Jordan, Simon Gatti (Amine Meftouh, 84th), Cédric Joqueviel, Stefano Pesoli, Adam Braz (Hicham Aaboubou, 74th), Filipe Soares (Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, 72th), Tyler Hemming (Patrick Leduc, 58th), Philippe Billy (Valentine Radevich, 88th), Tony Donatelli (Leonardo Di Lorenzo, 58th), Eduardo Sebrango (Reda Agourram, 35th), Roberto Brown (Rocco Placentino, 60th).

Absolute gem from the Sports Illustrated Vault’s Twitter feed today.


That’s Elton John, then owner of the NASL’s Los Angeles Aztecs, belting a free kick in front of George Best, circa 1976. Pics like this really make me wish I was around to watch this league in its heyday.

Love how Best has the number “11” on his shirt, but has the number “14” on his shorts. I’m guessing he probably left the correctly numbered ones at some supermodel’s penthouse suite the the night before.


North America

+ Negotiators for Major League Soccer players and owners failed to meet yesterday, two days before the latest extension in their labour talks is due to expire.

+ Steven Goff: Labour talks did not go well Monday in Washington — one source said they ended in a downright nasty manner.

+ Duane Rollins: The CBA – What I want to see.

+ Steven Sandor: CONCACAF keeping an eye on MLS dispute.

+ Galaxy star Landon Donovan has hinted he would be prepared to turn his temporary move to Everton into a permanent switch.

+ Real Salt Lake acquired 16-year-old midfielder Luis Gil from the Kansas City Wizards in exchange for a 2011 second round draft pick, an international roster spot and a portion of future transfer fees if Gil is sold to an foreign club.

+ The Kansas City Wizards announced that the team will not be renewing the contract of Argentine midfielder Claudio Lopez.

+ The Impact finally announced that Stephen Deroux will be returning to Montreal on March 1st and will resume practicing with the team on March 9th.

+ Avi Creditor: Chicago Fire blazes trail in MLS by taking academy teams to training camp.


Champions League 

+ Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored at the second attempt as the Champions League holders, Barcelona, escaped from Stuttgart with a 1-1 draw.

+ Bordeaux put themselves in the driving seat to advance to the quarter-finals after claiming a narrow victory at Olympiakos.

+ James Sharman and Kristian Jack preview today’s Champions League games.

+ Juliano Belletti, who has been out for a month with a knee injury, is set to return in place of injured duo Yury Zhirkov and Ashley Cole as Chelsea’s left back against Inter Milan today.


Europa League 

+ Benfica became the first team into the last 16 of the Europa League after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Bundesliga basement dwellers Hertha Berlin.



+ Wayne Rooney took his tally for the season to 27 for Manchester United by scoring a double against West Ham in a 3-0 win yesterday.

+ Daily Mail: Manchester United fans give Glazers the cold shoulder with Old Trafford no-show.

+ Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of Sunday’s Carling Cup final and England’s friendly with Egypt with a back injury.

+ Portsmouth will almost certainly become the first Premier League club to enter administration on Friday in a move that would effectively condemn them to relegation. It could also result in the club starting next season in the Championship with a further reduction of up to 20 points.

+ Tottenham are to seek further specialist advice to determine the root of the Aaron Lennon’s troublesome groin problem.

+ Tottenham have started practising penalties after training in a bid to end their spot-kick nightmare. Spurs could face a shoot-out in the FA Cup replay against Bolton.

+ Roberto Mancini’s problems with his Manchester City players have extended to Shaun Wright-Phillips after the England international turned down a new contract because he felt he was not being offered enough money.

+ Notts County announced today that the club will avoid going into administration this season and named Steve Cotterill as their new manager.

+ Sven-Goran Eriksson drew up a plan to sign David Beckham as part of Notts County’s ill-fated dream of reaching the top flight.

+ Concerns over English football’s financial wellbeing are set to deepen further with the impending release of a report from Uefa which shows that Premier League clubs owe more money than all the other clubs in Europe’s top divisions put together.

+ David Conn: Vast wages at the heart of Premier League’s £3.5bn mountain of debt.

+ Fabio Capello will issue a stark warning about personal conduct when his squad meets for the first time since explosive revelations about their private lives.



+ Monaco’s top-scoring winger Nenê has said he could turn his international ambitions from Brazil to Spain if it meant a place in the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

+ Milos Krasic has revealed that he is looking to move to Spain this summer rather than Italy.

+ Real Madrid’s leading scorer Gonzalo Higuain has played down the penalty row between Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo during the 6-2 win over Villarreal.



+ Former Italy defender Christian Panucci has had his Parma contract terminated by mutual consent.

+ Costinha has rescinded his contract with Atalanta after playing just 54 minutes in three years.



+ Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko will apparently cost Milan €40m if they decide to sign him this summer.

+ The referee who alleged he was sexually harassed by the former German Football Association’s refereeing advisor Manfred Amerell has spoken of his anguish.



+ Glenn Hoddle is poised to become the new manager of Nigeria. The former England boss flew to Africa last night to meet with the Nigerian Football Federation.



+ Flamengo striker Adriano feels he could make a return to European football despite distancing himself from a move to Roma.

Tuesday Bats and Blobs


Miccoli buys Maradona earring

Remember when Diego Maradona’s earring (which was confiscated by Italian tax authorities) sold for 25,000 euros at an auction earlier this year? Well it turns out the anonymous woman who placed the winning bid was actually working on behalf of Palermo striker Fabrizio Miccoli. And Football Italia tells us Miccoli was wearing the freaking thing when he scored against Lazio on the weekend. Apparently the veteran Italian forward is a massive admirer of Maradona, and named his son Diego in his honour.

Just as a side note here, I think every time I’ve seen Miccoli play – with the exception of the friendly he played at BMO Field with Benfica – he’s looked really good. Am I just consistently catching this guy on his good days, or is he actually a bit underrated? Serie A fanatics, please, chime in with your thoughts.


Pat Nevin’s Eyes


Continuing with the Pat Nevin love on the blog this week, here’s a little something from the department of the obscure. The people at Football and Music have been awesome enough to upload the unbelievably catchy (and rare) song “Pat Nevin’s Eyes” by The Tractors – and that’s not to the American country band The Tractors, but The Tractors that were on Probe Plus Records in the 80s.

Hot track! Have the feeling I won’t be able to find it on iTunes when I get home this afternoon though.


MLS Work Stoppage Looming?

Pretty ominous tweet from American soccer writer Grant Wahl this morning:

MLS strike? LA’s Chris Klein: "I’m optimistic by nature…it’s reached a stage now where I don’t have that optimism."



Felipe Soares – Far Too Thin for Pie Jokes


The Montreal Impact have arrived in Northern Portugal, where they’ll play three friendlies against local competition. The first match will be against against second division side Sport Clube Freamunde, which just happens to be one of the former clubs of new midfield signing Felipe Soares

“I’m very happy to be back home, and it will be special to match up against my former team,” Soares told “Even though we are at the start of preparation, I think that we can surprise them by our quality of play and our sense of organization. I would really like us to win this game,”

The Impact’s official site also mentioned that Soares was known as “Pastel” in Portugal because his father was a pastry chef. So there you go. I wonder if he made those Portuguese custard tarts. Damn things are like crack.

I’m really interested to see this guy play this year. Got a good gut feeling about him.


Crazy Goal

This happened last week, so it’s ancient by internet standards, but it’s new to me and even if you already have seen it it’s still worth another look:

Hat-tip to The Local Game for the find.


Impact picture courtesy of Pepe/



North America

+ More from Red Nation’s look back at Canada’s 2000 Gold Cup win – an interview with Paul Stalteri and an article dissecting the knockout stage win over Mexico.

+ Paul James: Christine Sinclair a true Canadian Icon.

+ Red Bulls trialist keeper Greg Sutton will get a half of action vs. Houston in the Disney tourney before the club makes a decision on the 33-year-old Canadian.

+ Kansas City has won Major League Soccer’s rights to sought-after 16-year-old American midfielder Luis Gil.

+ Word came out that Gil wanted to play for a team on the west coast, notably the Sounders or Real Salt Lake. A trade is likely, but Wizards executive Robb Heineman has said he’d like to speak with the youngster to see if he’s interested in playing in Kansas City.

+ Jack Bell: MLS labour talks get hot.

+ Sounders attacker Freddie Ljungberg has called this his longest preseason ever. (And there’s still a month to go!)

+ Ex-Chicago forward Damani Ralph is still on trial with the Red Bulls.

+ A spokesman for Major League Soccer confirmed Sheanon Williams is in Utah training with Real Salt Lake this week, but has not been assigned to the team. A "weighted lottery" will be held to determine which team will have Williams’ rights.

+ Niouky Desire signed a contract with Major League Soccer to play for the Revolution. The 23-year-old Senegalese central midfielder will occupy one of the team’s eight international roster spots, and he will join the team pending receipt of a visa.

+ The Wizards have placed midfielders Kurt Morsink and Kevin Souter on waivers, and trialists Nelson Pizarro and Alex Horwath have been cut from the team’s preseason roster.

+ The Yorkies: Rejected new foods at BMO Field.


Champions League

+ James Sharman and Kristian Jack preview Tuesday’s Champions League action.

+ Carlo Ancelotti has taunted José Mourinho ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League game at San Siro by saying that every neutral in Italy will be willing Chelsea to beat Internazionale because of the way the ­Portuguese coach conducts himself.

+ Frank Lampard will be fit for Wednesday’s clash with Inter Milan. The midfielder was a doubt for the Champions League first leg showdown at the San Siro after being struck down with a virus.

+ Luis Fabiano and Diego Capel have not travelled to Russia for the first leg of Sevilla FC’s first knockout round tie against CSKA Moskva today because of injury.

+ Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra is still suffering from a hamstring strain sustained in early February and will not make the trip to Greece as Laurent Blanc’s men take on Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League.

+ Olympiakos’ English striker Matt Derbyshire on life in Greece.



+ Ashley Cole has been linked with a move to Spain following reports that he feels ‘victimised’ in the wake of allegations regarding his private life.

+ Cole intends to fight any disciplinary action taken against him by Chelsea over allegations about his off-field behaviour.

+ Kevin Garside: Ashley Cole’s behaviour feeds the wicked intolerance of a nation of voyeurs.

+ Owen Gibson: Chelsea pull the plug on player power.

+ Ben Smith: Does Cole have a point — should Chelsea treat him the same as John Terry?

+ Peter Kenyon’s presence in Lisbon has fuelled reports that Angel di Maria is set for a £36million summer move to Chelsea from Portuguese giants Benfica.

+ Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has been charged with drink driving, Merseyside Police confirmed today.

+ Phil Jagielka could make his long-awaited Everton comeback this week as David Moyes wrestles with a defensive shortage against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League.

+ Portsmouth began the most critical seven days of their 112-year history by suffering a heavy blow to their hopes of surviving when Victor Cattermole, one of the ­parties interested in buying the club, ruled out taking over before Monday’s winding‑up petition.

+ Portsmouth’s troubles boiled over on to the training ground on Monday when a practice match erupted into fisticuffs between midfielders Michael Brown and Jamie O’Hara.

+ Carlos Tevez will meet his baby’s doctor to determine whether he can return from Argentina in time to play in Manchester City’s game against Chelsea on Saturday.

+ Sir Alex Ferguson’s increasingly fractious relationship with Anderson has left the Brazilian contemplating his future at Old Trafford and fearing that the repercussions will involve missing out on this summer’s World Cup.

+ Ferguson has underlined his authority at Old Trafford by banning young players from wearing coloured boots.

+ Aaron Lennon has suffered a setback in the build-up to the World Cup after feeling discomfort in his injured groin while training at the weekend.

+ Fabio Capello is planning to give Joe Hart his first start for England in the friendly against Egypt next week at Wembley.

+ Wigan have confirmed midfielder Ben Watson has moved to West Brom on loan until the end of the season.



+ David Villa struck both goals as 10-man Valencia held on to beat Getafe 2-1 at the Mestalla.

+ Sergio Ramos has dropped a huge hint that he may not end his career at Real Madrid.



+ Inter Milan have announced they will appeal against the three-match ban imposed on manager José Mourinho as well as the suspensions awarded to Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari by the Lega Calcio.

+ The President of the Italian FA Giancarlo Abete believes Inter boss Jose Mourinho is hurting Italian football.

+ Inter have apparently already agreed a deal with Genoa that will see Andrea Ranocchia move to San Siro this summer.

+ Livorno President Aldo Spinelli has promised ‘to retire’ his team if the refereeing doesn’t improve in Serie A.



+ Former Portugal and Benfica star Eusebio will be presented with the prestigious UEFA President’s award ahead of Tuesday’s Europa League tie between Benfica and Hertha Berlin.


Northern Ireland

+ Everton’s promising defender Shane Duffy has rocked Northern Ireland by deciding to change his allegiance, the Irish Football Association has confirmed. The 18-year-old Londonderry-born player has informed the manager, Nigel Worthington, that he wants to play for the Republic of Ireland instead.



+ Ronaldo has announced he will retire from football at the end of next year.

+ Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Adriano will get their first taste of this year’s Copa Libertadores competition as their sides kick off their campaigns in the third week of action

+ A fan has been killed and 17 more were injured in skirmishes involving rival supporters of Brazil soccer clubs Palmeiras and Sao Paulo.

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