Cover photo by Paul Rudderow
Further information on the rumored signing of Colombian keeper Faryd Mondragon from FC Köln, which gained some new freshness after reports in the German soccer magazine Kicker yesterday suggested the deal was done. Tip of the hat to philly.com’s unfortunately named The Goalkeeper for this quote from the Union: “There have been discussions, but the deal isn’t there.” (The Goaltender piece appears to be the first soccer news article posted by an Inquirer or Daily News writer since last week’s news that Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup. Apparently, nothing has happened with the Union, the Independence or in the world of soccer at large that readers of said news outlets might be interested in learning about. Moving on…)
The various reports on Mondragon’s possible move generally note the presence of fellow countrymen Roger Torres and Juan Diego Gonzalez on the Union, who are sure to help Mondragon feel at home in Philly. As would, no doubt, the presence of 18,000 joyous Union supporters should they witness a keeper properly setting up the wall, not fluffing soft free kicks and generally offering a steady and assured performance between the posts.
Portland unveiled their new kit yesterday to much fanfare. It makes me…yawn?
Colorado Rapids coach Gary Smith believes that play in MLS is of a higher standard than in England’s Npower Championship. Take that, Scunthorpe!
Here are some novel suggestions for how MLS can align itself with FIFA’s international calendar.
Big Soccer has an interesting post for the numbers aficionado comparing the average attendance figures of clubs in the old NASL with those in MLS at the end of each league’s 15th season, 1983 and 2010, respectively.
The expansion Western New York Flash have signed three players from championship and now defunct FC Gold Pride, among them Canadian forward Christine Sinclair.
All White Kit has a profile on Boston Breakers, the only WPS team to break the 50,000 mark last season in total attendance. They were also the only team to see their attendance average improve over the previous year’s numbers.
Lone American on FIFA’s Executive Committee Chuck Blazer talks extensively (and informatively) to Soccer America about the failed US bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Soccer America also dissects/speculates who voted for who in the rounds of voting to decide the 2022 host.
Conor Doyle, who plays for Derby County, was among those called up for the USMNT U-20 camp, which is something of a setback for the Ireland FA’s hopes for poaching him for their u-21 team.
In what is either a series of profiles of US soccer legends or ESPN analysts, Scotland’s the Herald talks to John Harkes. (Yesterday it was Alexi Lalas.) A pioneer for who saw success at Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and West Ham, Harkes says of that time, “An American player was looked up on as something different then. It was a case of the British game thinking: ‘Hey, we invented the game and what are you do coming over here?’”
NCAA College Cup
Sepp Blatter says that some Qatar World Cup 2022 matches could be played in neighboring countries. Are they making this shit up as they go along?
Blatter also says, “If we had wanted to make money, we would have gone to the United States.”
Not content with buying the World Cup, Qatar has become the first paid sponsor on the Barcelona jersey. Barcelona have reached a shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation that could result in “a potential revenue stream of €180m” over five to six years. (That’s almost $238 million.) Apparently the deal with UNICEF will remain in place. Is this a case of innocence by association?
So you are a Ghanaian agency investigating corruption in the Ghana FA. What kind of support does FIFA offer? An ultimatum threatening to ban the country from participating in FIFA sponsored internationals unless government ceases its “interference.” I seem to recall various FIFA speaking heads referring to British press reports about corruption at FIFA as “interference”…Reform shmeform.
Have Zidane and Materrazzi made up? According to Materazzi, “Let’s say that it was I who spoke most and at the end when he extended his hand to me I clasped it and didn’t let go until he looked me properly in the eye.”
Your Footy on the Telly™ listings
Friday, December 10
Pachuca v Mazembe, 11am on FSC (Club World Cup)
Hanover v Stuttgart, 2:30pm on GolTV
QPR v Watford, 2:30pm on FSP
North Carolina v Louisville, 8:30pm on ESPNU
Akron v Michigan, 11pm on ESPN2, ESPNU
Saturday, December 11
Bayern Munich v St. Pauli, 9:30am on GolTV
Manchester City v West Ham, 10am on ESPN2
Aston Villa v West Brom, 10am on FSC
Fulham v Sunderland, 10am on FSP
Udinese v Fiorentina, 12pm on FSP
Newcastle v Liverpool, 12:30pm on FSC
Sevilla v Almeria, 2pm on GolTV
Crystal Palace v Hull, 2pm on FSP
Genoa v Napoli, 2:30pm on GolTV
Atletico Madrid v Coruna, 4pm on GolTV
Everton v Wigan 5 p.m. FSC
Stoke v Blackpool 6pm on FSP
Al Wahda v Seongnam, 8pm on FSC (Club World Cup)
Sunday, December 12
Sydney v Brisbane, 1am on FSC
Bologna v AC Milan, 6:30am on FSP
Wolverhampton v Birmingham, 8:30am on FSP
Roma v Bari, 9am on FSC
Bolton v Blackburn, 10:30am on FSP
Tottenham v Chelsea, 11am on FSC
Juventus v Lazio, 2:30pm on FSC
Barcelona v Sociedad, 3pm on GolTV
NCAA championship match, 4pm on ESPN2
Leicester v Doncaster, 5pm on FSP
Monday, December 13
Manchester United v Arsenal, 3pm on ESPN2