Did you know that we live in a world where a man cannot buy a World Cup Diego Forlan Home jersey replica? A horrible world indeed.
This is how much I miss soccer; I found myself watching Juventus play the New York Red Bulls last night on FSC. Juve lost 3-1. It was an earlier replay from May 23rd and um, I watched it then too. This means I watched a two-month-old International Friendly that I had already seen...
August 15th is how many days away? 25 you say? Damn. Until then, here are updates on TLOCA allegiances.
The Cesc Fabregas saga has gone on for so long that I personally believe he will now never leave Arsenal. For at least 2 years. For at least 1 year. We're definitely keeping him this year.
Arsenal's first 5 games are: @Liverpool, Blackpool, @Blackburn, Bolton, @Sunderland.
I fully expect 15 points and a lovely +10 goal differential. While we're here, the Premiership will be decided this year in November and December for the Gunners beginning on Nov 14th:
@Everton, Tottenham, @Villa, Fulham, @United, Blah, Chelsea.
If we manage 14 points or more during that stretch, then Arsenal will be in pole position for the final stretch. Book it. Write it down. Do whatever you do with simple predictions like this.
US National Team
Rumors abound that the US Soccer Federation would like to secure Bob Bradley's future. This is a bad idea. To be sure, Bradley has neither underachieved nor overachieved with the talent he selected and is by no means a manager worth firing/letting go. I am simply a firm believer that National team head coaches should be changed every four years regardless of the outcome. Too many allegiances form during an incredibly long and drawn out qualifying campaign and coaches inevitably develop favorites. Outside of the obvious, Bradley trusts certain players for better - Feilhaber, Bradley - or for worse - Clark, Beasley. As a squad ages, it becomes impossible for an entrenched manager to objectively decide which older players to let go and which ones to keep (See Lippi, Marcelo). For example, by 2014, Tim Howard will be 35. Carlos Bocanegra will be 35. Clint Dempsey will be 32. Landon Donovan will be 33. I am not saying who should make the team, simply that Bradley might not be the best person to do so either. And if Jurgen Klinsmann wants the job for god's sake give it to him!
There isn't much news on the Italian front (release your schedule already!!) but in case you missed it, Roma signed Adriano, the Brasilian phenom who might finally have partied himself out. That means Adriano will join forces with Toni and Totti up front to form the most capricious strike force in professional football. They may run off 15 goals in three games or record only 3 shots attempted in five. Their back line remains quite great with Rossi, Juan, Mexes and Riise and the Roman side should make some noise this year again. This squad finished only 2 points back of Inter last year when they were fire burnin on the dance floor, so never count them out.
TH14Titi Henry, in what can only be Jim's wildest dream, signed for the New York Red Bulls and will play while Jimbo is in New York. And he's making his debut against Tottenham - hence my inclusion of Jim's favorite picture in the world (Click here to blow it up, priceless). Whatever you've done to deserve this Jim please let me know, that way David Trezeguet will sign for DC United and debut against Inter Milan. I demand a blog-post describing the event.
Brian still plays for the Chicago Fire - a team name I just realized after vague google searches is inappropriate - at 38 years old. He started practically all of last year and has 4 goals so far this year. In fact, on August 8th, Brian McBride might be on the field at the same time as Thierry Henry in what will surely be a 10-11 shoot-out in which both players score double hattricks in the first half.
Messi recently finished his vacation in Rio and visited Haiti after setting a world cup record for most shots attempted in a World Cup without a goal. Unlike Wayne Rooney though, Messi clearly made an impact in every game he played and his talents aren't questioned. I will hopefully write alot more about Messi after seeing him play in person.
Super Robert Pires
The Arsenal legend's contract has not been extended at Villareal but he is rumored to be on his way to Ligue-1 Saint Etienne. He may also get paid in Qatar (see Cannavaro, Che) or with Jim's luck he will also sign with the New York Red Bulls.
Uruguayan National Team
I seriously can't find that beautiful jersey. If I were in to getting out-bidden by 1 penny after days of stressing I'd turn to Ebay but I'm not. Yet...
Rumours abound that The Old Lady are after my man Diego Forlan. There can be no worse Diego already on the team, so that's probably a good thing. My patience with Juventus is razor-thin, so it's best to wait and see. Also, Juve didn't pick up Martin Caceres' loan option of 12milli and he's back to Barcelona. Again, not much news on the Italian front.
Our founder, Carlos Bueno, is back on the team after Real Sociedad inexplicably did not pick up his loan option. Uruguayan domestic soccer takes off for Christmas break around mid-December and doesn't resume until late January. That makes it just about impossible to see him play in the flesh. He also not so secretly hates Peñarol after they refused to pay him his contract and sued him during his subsequent tantrum. El Pais, Uruguay's newspaper, claims that Bueno's future will be decided shortly. If he doesn't find a place in Spain where I can see him play live for the first time I'll be so damn depressed. This story is developing rapidly so stay tuned.
He has an heir apparently and this is a big deal. A, uh, huge deal. Yeah, the rumors of him being infertile can now be put to rest. I'm simply amazed that he can walk after the repeated murder attempts he received when he played Spain. The officiating that game was a disgrace.
Uruguay. This is probably the only video I haven't seen. It's awesome. And finally...
Luca Toni, Wet Hair
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.