Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

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Jurgen Klinsmann had no problem scoring goals during his career, but he’s having trouble getting the United States to score with him as manager.
Jaime Ayovi scored in the 79th minute as Ecuador downed the U.S., 1-0, at Red Bull Arena in a friendly on Tuesday night. The Americans were shut out for the third time in five matches under Klinsmann.
The U.S. defeated Honduras, 1-0, on Saturday for the first win and shutout in the Klinsmann era, but one defensive error was all Ecuador needed to hand the Americans their third loss in their last four games.
“We take a lot of really positive things from that game,” Klinsmann said, “but obviously we are still upset because of the result.
“We didn’t allow much,” Klinsmann added. “But (Ecuador is) a team that if you allow one little thing, they can make that (the) difference.”
Ecuador opened 2014 World Cup qualifying Friday with a 2-0 win over Venezuela and Jaime Ayovi provided the lone goal on one of the club’s few decent chances against the Americans.
Walter Ayovi set up the goal with a cross from the left, and Jaime Ayovi got position on U.S. defender Tim Ream to head a one-hopper past Tim Howard from the middle of the penalty area.
Ream had entered the match as a substitute to replace captain Carlos Bocanegra and was right on Jamie Ayovi’s hip, but the Ecuadorian – who also entered the game in the second half – held off the 24-year-old to score.
“(Howard) never really had anything to do,” Klinsmann said, “besides the one goal that they scored.”
The U.S. opened the match well, and Jozy Altidore nearly scored in the opening minute of the game. But between that chance and Clint Dempsey’s deflected shot into the side netting in stoppage time, the U.S. failed to find the net.
The Americans are now winless in their last 13 matches against South American teams, dating back to a win over Ecuador in 2007.
The U.S. tied Mexico, 1-1, in its first match under Klinsmann, but has dropped games to Costa Rica, Belgium, and Ecuador since. There are two more open dates to play friendlies this year in November, but no matches have been announced.
– Steve

Rooney facing two-match ban

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Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is facing a two-match ban after he was caught swearing at a television camera during United’s 4-2 win over West Ham on Saturday.

The outburst came after Rooney converted a penalty kick in the second half to complete his hat trick and put United into the lead, moving the Red Devils seven points clear of second-place Arsenal.

An FA statement read: “The FA has charged Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for the use of offensive, insulting and / or abusive language. This charge relates to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday April 2, 2011.”

Rooney has until Tuesday, April 5 to respond to the charge, and if he either pleads guilty or is found guilty, he could potentially miss this weekend’s match with Fulham as well as United’s FA Cup semifinal contest with Manchester City.

– Steve

Schweinsteiger nets stoppage-time winner for Bayern

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored in stoppage time to lift Bayern Munich to a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena on Friday in the Bundesliga season opener.

Schweinsteiger directed a cross from Franck Ribery past Wolfsburg goalie Diego Benaglio on essentially the last play of the game, helping Bayern open defense of its title with a victory.

Thomas Muller scored inside 10 minutes for Bayern’s opener, but Edin Dzeko was on target 10 minutes after half for Wolfsburg, which lost in ex-England coach Steve McClaren’s debut.

Bayern started the season with Arjen Robben and Ivica Olic out with injuries, but 20-year-old Thomas Muller continued to build on his debut season and great World Cup campaign with the opening goal.

Muller worked a quick passing sequence with Toni Kroos, who is back at Bayern after spending one and a half years on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, and the young German duo combined for the opener.

Muller played the initial pass from the right to Kroos on the top edge of the box, then took the return pass and volleyed his own chip into the bottom-right with his left foot in the ninth minute.

Wolfsburg tied the match after halftime off a corner kick. Zvjezdan Misimovic drove the corner to the middle of the area to Dzeko, and the striker jumped to head into the upper-right corner from 10 yards. Dzeko led the Bundesliga with 22 goals last season.

Bayern failed to create many threats over the next 35 minutes as Wolfsburg got closer to a road tie before Ribery and Schweinsteiger combined for the winner.

Ribery swung a pass from near the left sideline to a few yards wide of the far post, where Schweinsteiger ran in and slid to poke the ball past Benaglio from a tight angle with his right foot.

On Saturday, Hoffenheim hosts Werder Bremen, Monchengladbach hosts Nurnberg, Cologne hosts promoted Kaiserslautern, Freiburg hosts promoted St. Pauli, Hannover hosts Frankfurt, and Hamburg hosts Schalke.

Mainz hosts Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

Marseille signing Remy has heart problem

Marseille revealed Friday that striker Loic Remy, acquired on Thursday from Nice, has a heart condition and will not make his debut Saturday.

Marseille acquired Remy, a 23-year-old who has played twice for France, for a fee reported to be more than $19 million. He passed his initial physical, but a heart condition was discovered later.

“It’s a mechanical problem,” Marseille Dr. Christophe Baudot said. “Further tests will be carried out on Monday, after which we should be able to give Loic more of an idea of what’s wrong.

“He will not play as long as there are any doubts. Remy will not, therefore, be able to make his debut this weekend against Lorient.

Remy, who scored 26 goals in 68 Ligue 1 matches for Nice, said after the move he was excited to join Marseille.

“Marseille is a massive club with great players, and it will be great to be able to play in Europe again after having had a taste of the Champions League with Lyon in 2006 and 2007,” Remy said.

“I’m leaving Nice to take a step up in my career. … I’m also going in the hope that this will benefit my international career.”

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

Boateng joing Milan on loan

AC Milan have completed the loan signing of Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng less than a day after he agreed to join Genoa from English club Portsmouth.

The 23-year-old will spend the whole of next season at the San Siro, with an option in place for a permanent deal with the Rossoneri.

Boateng recently impressed at the World Cup in South Africa, helping Ghana reach the quarterfinals, where they lost on penalties to Uruguay.

He made his name in his native Germany with Hertha Berlin before heading to England in the summer of 2007 to join Tottenham. A move to Fratton Park followed at the beginning of last season.

Boateng helped Pompey reach the FA Cup final, but missed a penalty in the Wembley showpiece, which his side lost 1-0 to Chelsea.

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

France bans Anelka for 18 matches

World Cup rebel Nicolas Anelka was banned for 18 matches by the French Football Federation on Tuesday following his conduct at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Chelsea striker was sent home from the tournament following an argument with coach Raymond Domenech during halftime of France’s match against Mexico.

The 31-year-old now seems unlikely to play for Les Bleus again following confirmation of his ban after a French Football Federation investigation which culminated on Tuesday.

France bowed out of the World Cup at the first hurdle after failing to win any of their group stage games. After Anelka’s clash at halftime of the 2-0 loss, the French players subsequently refused to train in the build-up to a 2-1 defeat to South Africa which ended their hopes of reaching the second round.

At the hearing, captain Patrice Evra of Manchester United was banned for five games following his role in the strike. Teammates Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan were suspended for three matches and one game, respectively.

Speaking after the Paris hearing, former deputy team managing director Jean- Louis Valentin said: “I sensed that the players are truthfully sorry and been left damaged and mortified at what took place.

“I believe that now it is imperative we turn the page and move on.”

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

German Ozil leaves Bremen to join Real Madrid

Real Madrid signed German international Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen on Tuesday, acquiring the 21-year-old attacking midfielder for a fee reported to be nearly $20 million.

Ozil joined Bremen from Schalke two years ago and, after his impressive outing in the recent World Cup, was one of the coveted players in the world.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid were all in the hunt for Ozil, but Jose Mourinho added his second German international in the transfer window Tuesday, pending a physical.

“We’re respecting Mesut’s wish to take the next step in his career at this stage,” Werder Bremen sporting director Klaus Allofs said.

Ozil helped Germany win the Euro Under-21 title last year before earning a key role in the senior team this summer at the World Cup. Germany finished third.

“His unique touch, unmatched individual technique, excellent ball control and deadly last pass make the German midfielder one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in European football,” read a statement on Real’s website.

Fellow German international Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho, Sergio Canales, Angel di Maria and Pedro Leon.

– Stephen (DS LLC.)