Just something for some friends. Never mind this, for now.
Reign Name Harvey First Head Coach
Congratulations to Seattle Reign F.C.
I go into the reasons at ProSoccerTalk, but in their hire of Laura Harvey, the new women’s team in Seattle has shown some real imagination in their decision. Instead of going to the domestic game’s well, they’ve looked abroad and brought in one of the most successful club coaches in the world.
It’s consistent with everything I’ve seen from Bill Predmore’s group. The Seattle owner has impressed since his name first came up in association with the summer’s announced league (that never happened). He was willing to compete with Sounders’ Women for the area’s team, won, and all along has said the right things: not looking to make money; know the challenges; doing it for the sport.
Beyond those platitudes, we now see some serious initiative. It’s an amazing start.
Spurs, Gingerbread, and an ill-named contest
“It’s very abstract … We take it to the next level, you know?”
Clint Dempsey’s interpretation of his team’s gingerbread house.
I just hope this victory means more playing time for Michael Dawson and Brad Friedel.
São Paulo welcomes Lucio
After parting ways with Juventus earlier this week (after spending only half a season with the club), Lucio’s returning to Brazil for the first time in 12 years.
The former Internacional defender, who won three Bundesliga titles during his time at Bayern Munich, signed with São Paulo on Wednesday.
While in Europe, Lucio also spent time with Bayer Leverkusen and Inter Milan.
So São Paulo now have Lucio. They have Paulo Henrique Ganso. They have Luis Fabiano, Jadson, Paulo Assuncao, Denilson, Casemiro, and a goalkeeper that’s scored 100 goals (unofficial, but still cool).
Not bad, Brazil team that nobody north of the equator watches. Perhaps you can make that change.
Dear Foreigners, We Renounce All of You
Rapid Bucarest in Romania have elected to terminate the contracts of all its foreign players in an effort to reduce their wage bill. “We renounce all foreigners,” manager Danut Perja said, explaining now ex-players will be notified via email that their contracts will not be honored.
We have a copy of that email:
From: Danut Perja <email@example.com>
Subject: Your immediate unemployment
Date: December 18, 2012 0:00:01 CEST
To: Recipient List Suppressed;
DEAR FORMER RAPID PLAYER:
SURPRISED YOU ARE NOW FORMER? OF COURSE, WE ARE NOT.
IT CAME TO OUR ATTENTION SOME TIME AGO THAT YOU WERE NOT BORN IN THE BUCURESTI AREA. IN OUR GREAT BENEVOLENCE, WE OVERLOOKED THIS FOR SOME TIME.
WHEN WE SCOUTED YOU, WE LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.
WHEN WE SIGNED YOU, WE QUIETLY HOPED YOU WOULD RECTIFY THE PROBLEM.
AS YOU PLAYED FOR RAPID, WE ASSUMED THE PROBLEM HAD BEEN RESOLVED.
HOWEVER, IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION THAT YOU REMAIN NOT BORN IN BUCURESTI, A SAD STATE THAT HAS FORCED FATE TO CAST OUR CLUB INTO BANKRUPTCY AND MID-TABLE MEDIOCRITY.
HOW COULD YOU? YOU’VE HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME TO BE BORN IN BUCURESTI, YET YOU PERSIST WITH BEING FOREIGN. HOW ARE OUR FANS SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT THIS?
WE HAVE ELECTED TO RESTORE THE CLUB’S PRIDE. WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, YOU ARE NO LONGER UNDER CONTRACT TO THE CLUB.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO UPSTAIRS TO YOUR APARTMENT. WHILE YOU WERE READING THIS, WE HAVE CHANGED THE LOCKS ON YOUR RESIDENCE.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE YOUR CAR. IT HAS BEEN REPOSSESSED.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SEEK SUPPORT FROM YOUR GIRLFRIEND. SHE HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO ANOTHER PLAYER.
I WILL KEEP YOUR DOG.
YOU ARE FREE TO RETURN TO YOUR FOREIGN LANDS. AS A GESTURE OF THE CLUB’S BENEVOLENCE, WE SHALL SEEK NO FURTHER COMPENSATION FOR THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY YOUR UNFORTUNATE BIRTH.
RAPID BUCURESTI FOTBALL CLUB
Robbie Keane’s not even thinking about a loan deal. He isn’t even healthy. His Achilles is still not right, and until it is, he can’t even consider playing again.
But when his ankle is healthy? Well, this is Robbie Keane we’re talking about.
The man seems to like playing. A lot. And as any thriving soccer comedy tweeter will tell you, he’s not only played in a lot of places but has had long held affinities for all of them.
Adam Serrano sums it up well in his first sentence: “Robbie Keane is waiting to see if he can reach full fitness before even contemplating going on a loan this offseason.”
It’s only December 18.
Mixed Bags and Reminders
While it’s always nice to see your favorite players get recognition, Seattle Sounders fans should have very mixed feelings about seeing their best player spending time with an English Premier League club.
Perhaps no team in Major League Soccer depends on a midfielder as much as Seattle depends on Osvaldo Alonso. Without him, the defense’s average personnel would be exposed and fans would have to hop designated player Christian Tiffert can start managing the team’s play through the middle third.
Today’s pictures of Alonso at West Ham (posted by The Original Winger) are a reminder. Alonso’s probably not going to be around forever. Given the man’s age, contract, and immigration status, he could go at any time. A club like West Ham has the profile and financial resources to snag Ozzie. Given Alonso’s unique international status, appealing for a work permit shouldn’t be a problem.
There’s also Germany, Belgium, among a number of other leagues where Alonso’s playing style would make him an immediate fit.
It may not happen. Alonso may elect to play out the rest of his prime in Seattle. But at any time, should he decide to do so, Ozzie could elect to go, effectively forcing the Sounders to cash in.
Today’s photos are a reminder.
Of course “savior” is an exaggeration, but limit your vision to the club soccer world and the term applies to Stephan El Shaawary.
In preseason, Milan fans carried ceremonial coffins to the steps of the club’s office, protesting the death of their team after a slew of sales and departures.
With 14 goals in 17 games, El Shaawary has left few fans dwelling on the days of Ibra.
This one sounds a little too coincidental given what Corinthians did in Japan on Sunday, but give the player and price, the scenario makes sense. And if it jump starts a talented career, we’ll all be better for it.
Monday reports out of Italy have linked Milan attacker Alexandre Pato with a €15 million move home, set to join the world champions in the January window.
Why would a 23-year-old trade Milan for São Paulo, Europe for South America? Over the last season-and-a-half, the young Brazilian international’s only played 15 Serie A matches, scoring only once.
The team has Giampaolo Pazzini. They have Bojan Krkic. And most importantly, Milan has Stephan El-Shaarawy.
They don’t need Pato, and they don’t need Robinho, part of the reason each player’s being linked with moves back home.