Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, Jonathan Spector and West Ham United travel across London to Stamford Bridge where they will take on Chelsea in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff. That's lunchtime in England of course, and here that game will be on bright and early Saturday morning. Be sure to set your alarms for the 7:30 a.m. ET kickoff on Setanta.
Later on Saturday morning, Tim Howard minds the nets for Everton as his club travels to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth. Both sides are in excellent form, with Portsmouth unbeaten in their last five matches, and Everton's only blemish coming from their 2-1 defeat in the Merseyside Derby. Kickoff is a 10:00 a.m. ET, and you can follow text updates here, or catch the delayed broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET on Setanta.
At the same time, Reading travel to Middlesbrough and Derby County make the journey north to Sunderland. Both these games would seem to have significant implications for the relegation battle this season, as all four of these teams reside in the lower half of the standings. Derby, led by new manager Paul Jewell, will be looking to climb off the foot of the table against a Sunderland side that was thrashed by Everton last weekend. Benny Feilhaber will hope to make it two appearances in a row following his substitute cameo against Chelsea. For Reading, Bobby Convey tallied an assist in last weekends heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, and will likely retain his place in the starting 11 along with goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. Neither of these games are televised live, but the Reading game can be seen on FSC at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
The other big game on Saturday is in Portugal, where Freddy Adu and second place Benfica host first place FC Porto at the Estadio da Luz. Both clubs are undefeated in the Portuguese League, though Benfica are four points behind the leaders.
On Sunday, Heerenveen and Michael Bradley play away to NEC Nijmegen. Last time out, Heereveen lost for the first time in five matches against De Graafschap, but they still remain in fourth place in the table. To continue their pursuit for a UEFA Cup berth, they'll need to earn a win against an NEC side who have lifted themselves off the bottom of the table in recent weeks.
And finally, Monday afternoon action pits Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Fulham against Champions Manchester United. The game is televised live on Setanta, with coverage beginning at 2 pm ET. We'll have more for you throughout the weekend, so make sure to keep checking back here for the latest highlights and results...
Of Note: Hannover 96 is coming off of a tough loss against Schalke 04 last week and will look to get their charge for a European place back on track. Meanwhile Hansa Rostock have slipped down the table of late, but they are undefeated in their last five games at home. Cherundolo missed this past weekend's game due to lingering effects from an ankle injury sustained against South Africa, however he should return for today's game. On Sunday, Heath Pearce came on as a second half sub for Rostock who fell, 2-0, to Hamburg.
Up Next: The game kicks off at 2:30 pm ET. As we mentioned, its being shown live on Gol TV, and you can read a match preview here.
Of Note: AaB stormed out to a 2-0 lead, but were unable to hold out in the second half. Three goals from Tottenham in the second period condemned the Danish side to their first loss in the UEFA Cup.
Up Next: For the next match in the UEFA Cup, AaB host Getafe on December 6 at 2:45 pm ET. A result in that match is imperative for Califf and his club, who have only one point thus far in Group G.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Of Note: AaB drew their first and only match against Anderlecht, while Tottenham have won one and lost one thus far in Group G play. The two clubs have never met before in a UEFA tournament, and AaB will be looking to continue their improbable run through this year's competition. The Danish side were the unfashionable choice in the last round against Sampdoria, but after eliminating them, and tying Anderlecht in their opening match of the group stage, AaB see no reason to believe why their good form can't continue. Last time out for Tottenham, new manager Juande Ramos commandeered a 2-0 away win for Spurs over Hapoel Tel-Aviv in his first UEFA Cup match.
Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 pm ET, and you can read previews of it here and here. If you're unlucky enough to not be near a TV this afternoon, you can also follow along with live text updates at UEFA.com.
Of Note: Adu came off the bench in the 88th minute, but couldn't find the late game heroics his side needed to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage. Benfica still retain hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Cup, but in order to achieve that feat, they'll have to beat Shakhtar Donetsk on the final day.
Up Next: Benfica face two massive games in quick succession, when they host league leaders Porto on Saturday before traveling to Ukraine on Tuesday to face Shakhtar.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Of Note: Benfica have yet to lose in the Portuguese league, where they currently sit in second place, but they haven't managed to transition domestic success to the bigger stage of the Champions League. With only one win from three games, Jose Antonio Camacho's side is rooted to the foot of the Group D table. Yet there is still a fair amount of hope, as the Eagles are only three points away from second place. Any kind of result against AC Milan tonight would set the tone for rest of Benfica's charge toward the second round. Freddy Adu scored during his club's 3-1 victory this weekend, and he'll hope to get on the field for tonight's big game.
Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 ET. You can read previews of the match here and here, and follow along live text updates at UEFA.com.
Of Note: The loss leaves Rangers on seven points, though they still remain in second place in the group. Lyon's tie with Barcelona puts them level on points with Rangers, however the French Champions' inferior goal differential puts them below the Glasgow side in the Group E table.
Up Next: The Matchday 6 showdown between Rangers and Lyon at Ibrox will determine who advances to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Rangers only need a draw to qualify, while Lyon have to win in order to reach the stage they've been to for the past four years. Rangers last qualified for the knockout round in the 2005-06 season. Manager Walter Smith has already conceded that Beasley will be out of action for that match.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Of Note: The German Champions, having not yet hit the heights of last year, are already eliminated from the Champions League, however Rangers still have all to play for in Group E. Currently on seven points, the Glasgow club could insure their passage to the next round with a win tonight and a loss by Lyon, who face Barcelona at the Stade Gerland. Rangers were victorious over the weekend, as were Stuttgart, and the sides sit at second and seventh in their respective domestic tables. Beasley had an assist in the win on Saturday against Falkirk, and he spoke to Rangers' website about the possibility of qualifying for the next round of the Champions League. Beas should be starting tonight, and he'll look to add to his tally of two goals thus far in the Champions League.
Up Next: Read previews of the match here: BBC, UEFA. The game kicks off at 2:45 ET, and you can follow along with live text updates at UEFA.com.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Benny Feilhaber made his fourth appearance of the season for Derby, coming on in the 83rd minute of a 2-0 loss to Chelsea. The result meant that Derby remained bottom of the table, and four points away from safety. Today, manager Billy Davies has been let go by the club, who will look to right the ship ahead of Saturday's six pointer with Sunderland.
Fulham and Clint Dempsey drew 2-2 at home to Blackburn. Though all the headlines have been about Fulham's propensity to concede late goals, a point against obstinate Blackburn can't be too discouraging. Carlos Bocanegra was an unused substitute for the game. In other news for the Cottagers, captain Brian McBride is nearing a return from injury.
Tim Howard and Everton administered a 7-1 thumping to Sunderland. With a 3-1 lead at half-time, the Toffees were never in danger of dropping points, and they'll take that positive momentum into next Saturday's match against surging Portsmouth. The two clubs have been a few of this season's surprises in the Premier League, and both will be looking for a win as they surge toward qualification for Europe.
Jonathan Spector made a late substitute cameo for West Ham United, who drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur. The Hammers got out of jail when former player Jermain Defoe had a penalty saved by West Ham 'keeper Robert Green, to keep the draw and the point for West Ham.
Heerenveen and Michael Bradley were victims of a 3-2 loss against De Graafschap on Saturday. Heerenveen had previously won four games in a row in the Eredivisie, but were undone this weekend despite a late fight back. Having been eliminated from the Dutch Cup, Bradley's club now faces a week off, before returning to action on December 2 against NEC Nijmegen.
Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege had the weekend off, but they'll be in action on Friday in a top of the table clash in Belgium. Gooch and Standard will face first place side Anderlecht on Friday night. Standard Liege sit in second place, one point behind the leaders, and they'll attempt to maintain their unbeaten record in the Jupiler League.
Of Note: With Reading down 1-0, Convey squared a delicate ball across the top of the box for James Harper to first-time into the top corner. The score after 90 minutes of play remained 1-1, but in injury time Mancheter City midfielder Ireland hit a spectacular full volley past a helpless Marcus Hahnemann. The loss drops Reading to thirteenth place.
Up Next: Reading host Middlesbrough on Saturday the 12th. In the bottom end of the table, three points separate seven sides (these two included), so this weekend's match will be an important one for both sides.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Of Note: The goal is Adu's second in league play and fifth in all competitions since joining Benfica. The 18-year-old started on the bench, but came on in the 62nd minute for Nuno Gomes and hit a left-footed strike from the top of the box that just trickled in after going off the 'keepers glove and the right post. The victory keeps Benfica solidly in second place with 25 points, six ahead of Sporting Lisbon, but still a point behind leaders FC Porto, who also have a game in hand.
Up Next: Freddy and the rest of the boys will be looking to have a great week of training as they get set for a formidable task when they face AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Of Note: Beasley was in the starting lineup for the Glasgow side, and his corner kick picked out Carlos Cuellar for the opening goal after the 20 minutes. Rangers doubled their lead early in the second half, and though Falkirk did narrow the gap soon after, a third goal from Kris Boyd ensured the three points for Walter Smith’s team.
Up Next: Rangers travel to Germany on Tuesday where they will face off against VFB Stuttgart in the Champions League.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The News: Danny Szetela picked up his first minutes with Racing Santander’s first team when he started against Málaga on Wednesday.
Of Note: The 20-year-old midfielder cracked the starting lineup and played 66 minutes in Racing Santander’s 0-0 draw in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey. Szetela helped keep Málaga off the board in the away leg of the home-and-home while making his debut for the first team.
Up Next: After the international break, Racing returns home to take on Valencia in La Liga. The team will be looking to get back on track after falling, 0-1, last weekend at Deportivo la Coruña. The second leg against Málaga will be at home on January 2, 2008.
Monday, November 12, 2007
But wipe those tears off, friends! As you may have noticed, the MNT Blog is firing back up as the guys are landing and getting acclimated to South Africa ahead of Saturday’s match in Johannesburg.
While you won’t hear from us at the Global Blog for a little while, we’ll definitely be spending our vacation by keeping up with all the happenings in the Southern Hemisphere, and we suggest you do the same. Goodbye for now!
Of Note: Howard kept Everton in the game with some superb goalkeeping, but it looked as if Didier Drogba’s header would be the difference in the closely contested match. However, that was until Everton’s Tim Cahill hit a bicycle kick to rival Taylor Twellman’s. The Australian international’s superb goal came in the final minute of play, and ensured that the points were shared between the two sides.
Up Next: The international break! Awesome! After that, Everton host Sunderland on November 24.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
A brief wrap up of the goings on for Saturday’s league games…
Fulham slipped to defeat against
Friday, November 9, 2007
Some interesting games on TV this weekend, in what will be the last few days of club soccer prior to the final international break of the year:
(All times ET)
Everton and Tim Howard made it six points from two games after last night’s UEFA Cup victory over Nürnberg. The Toffees left it a bit late, but goals from Mikel Arteta and Victor Anchibe handed the English club a deserved 2-0 victory. At the back, Tim Howard and the defense kept an important clean sheet that will undoubtedly boost confidence ahead of Sunday’s mammoth clash with
Dan Califf and Aalborg BK claimed a late draw against
As a side note, both Califf and Howard are part of Bob Bradley’s initial 17-man roster that will travel to
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Everton and Tim Howard travel to
Aalborg BK, led by American defender and club captain Dan Califf, plays its first group stage game tonight against Belgian side Anderlecht. AaB (as the Danish side is abbreviated) has already played nine European games this season, as they had to qualify for the UEFA Cup through the Intertoto Cup. Califf and AaB defeated the heavily favored Serie A side Sampdoria in the qualification round in order to be drawn into group G. As you may remember, the MNT Blog spoke to Califf about that victory over Samporia during the recent camp in
The News: DaMarcus Beasley was in the starting lineup for Rangers last night, but
Of Note: The result leaves Rangers in second place in Group D with seven points. Significantly,
Up Next: Rangers have no game at the weekend, which means they head into the international break a bit early. Their next match is against
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Manager Carlos Alberto Parreira has called together a strong team to face the
Other notable inclusions in the squad are Bradley Carnell, a defender with German side
Winger Steven Pienaar is a teammate of Tim Howard’s at Everton, and the 25-year old is making an impression on Merseyside this season, where he is on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund. He is also the subject of this tremendously-scored highlight video chronicling his time at
Parreira has brought in players from five different countries across Europe, including five from
Stay tuned for an upcoming roster release for the
The News: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers travel to
And in case you haven’t seen it yet, we visited Beasley in the lead up to the Old Firm game in October. It is that kind of experience that Beasley and Rangers will have to draw on if they look to get something out of tonight’s game.
Of Note: Both clubs come into this match at the top of Group E after their draw at Ibrox two weeks ago. In that game, Beasley came off the bench for Rangers. However, after starting on the wing during his club’s victory this weekend, he’ll hope to reprise that role tonight in one of the world’s most famous stadiums.
Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET, so be sure to read the match preview here. The game will be shown live on ESPN Deportes, and re-aired on ESPN Classic at 5 p.m. ET. You can also follow live updates on UEFA.com.
The News: Freddy Adu was an unused substitute in Benfica’s 1-0 loss to Celtic last night.
Of Note: A lone Aidan McGeady goal was the difference between the two sides, as the
Up Next: Benfica will try to steady the ship win they face Boavista in the Portuguese League on Sunday. Adu and Benfica are yet to lose in the league this year, while Boavista, by contrast, are winless and hovering near the relegation zone. After the international break, Benfica will host AC Milan in a Champions League match where they must achieve a result.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The News: Freddy Adu and Benfica take on Celtic today in a Champions League Group D match at
Of Note: The teams last met two weeks ago when Benfica defeated Celtic, 1-0, at the Estadio da Luz. Adu came on as a second half sub in that game, and was part of the passing build up which lead to Benfica’s late goal. With that victory, the Portuguese club reignited its hopes of qualification for the next round, and it now sits only three points behind joint-leaders AC Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk. Celtic could equally use a victory tonight, and they’ll rely on a rowdy home crowd to help them achieve a positive result. You can read previews for the match here and here, and can also follow live text updates at uefa.com.
Up Next: Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m. ET, and since the game isn’t on TV, we’ll be sure to link you to highlights as they come on the internet. How do you feel about Benfica’s chances to progress to the next round? They’ve got some tough games ahead….What about predictions for tonight’s fixture?
Monday, November 5, 2007
The News: A strained calf muscle has ruled Jay DeMerit out of action with
Of Note: DeMerit was stretchered off the field during Saturday’s loss to
Up Next: Rest and rehab for DeMerit, who will look to return to the field in December prior to
Sunday, November 4, 2007
With a 2-0 win on Saturday, DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers made it two victories in a row before they travel to Spain for their crunch Champions League match with Barcelona. Beasley retained his place in the starting eleven as Rangers hosted Inverness at Ibrox, and it took only seconds for the home side to gain the lead through Kris Boyd. With their early advantage, Rangers didn’t look back, and the result was put out of reach for the visitors with an additional goal in the second half.
Over on the Iberian Peninsula, Freddy Adu again came off the bench for Benfica, who needed more late heroics to earn a 2-1 win against Paços Ferreira. This time the goal came from Greek international Kostas Katsouranis, after he tapped in a rebound off a Rui Costa free kick in the 84th minute. Adu came off the bench in the 81st minute for his fourth consecutive appearance for Benfica, who will travel to Glasgow to face Celtic this week. Check out highlights of the game here.
Tim Howard and Everton made it four wins in a row with their 3-1 victory over Birmingham on Saturday. The Toffees were in danger of dropping points, after Birmingham’s Olivier Kapo tied the game for Steve Bruce’s side in the 80th minute. However, late goals from Lee Carsley and record-signing Yakubu stole victory for an Everton team that now sits at eighth in the table, just shy of a qualification spot for Europe. Speaking of Europe, David Moyes’ team will travel to Germany this week, where they’ll face FC Nürnberg on Thursday in the UEFA Cup. You can see highlights of this weekend’s game here.
Jonathan Spector again came off the bench for West Ham early in the second half, this time with the Hammers defending a 1-0 lead against Bolton. Unfortunately, however, a late stoppage time goal from Bolton's Kevin Nolan meant that the game finished in a draw and the points were shared. Full highlights of the game here.
Meanwhile, Derby County’s troubles are mounting, as they went down 2-0 to Aston Villa. Neither Eddie Lewis nor Benny Feilhaber appeared in the game.
In the Championship, Watford suffered their first loss of the season, crashing to a 3-0 defeat at home to West Bromich Albion. After only 10 minutes, Jay DeMerit collided with an opposing player and had to be stretchered off with what looked to be a calf injury. We’ll keep you updated as we hear the prognosis.
Also in the championship, Sheffield Wednesday earned a 2-1 victory over Plymouth, as Frank Simek made his return to the starting lineup after a brief layoff through injury. The win moves the Owls away from the relegation zone, and they’ll look to further climb the table when they host West Brom on Tuesday.
Michael Bradley and Heerenveen beat PSV 2-1 to move up to fifth in the table. Bradley was again in the starting lineup for Heerenveen, whose victory ended a bad week for the Eindhoven club: on Wednesday, manager Ronald Koeman departed the club to take over at Valencia.
Standard Liege and Oguchi Onyewu drew 0-0 on Saturday against Excelsior. Despite remaining undefeated on the season, the draw sees Gooch’s club fall to second place, one point behind Club Brugge.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Of Note: Dempsey tapped home a Shefki Kuqi header in the 72nd minute, and the goal proved to be the game-winner. Fulham have had a nasty habit of conceding late goals this season, but this time they were doing the attacking in the second half, and David Healy’s 90th minute goal made sure of the three points. With the victory, Fulham jump to 13th place in the league, putting some breathing room between them and the relegation zone. For Reading, Marcus Hahnemann took the loss in goal, as they remain one point above Fulham in 12th place. Bobby Convey made his return to the Premier League from injury when he came on as a sub in the 76th minute.
Up Next: Fulham have a tough stretch of three games coming up. On Saturday, they’ll travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool, in a game that will be shown live on FSC. After the international break, they’ll take on Blackburn and Manchester United over the Thanksgiving weekend. Reading, meanwhile, are at home to Arsenal on Monday the 12th.
Friday, November 2, 2007
As always, we’ll be bringing you highlights and news items as they happen throughout the weekend. With a full schedule of games around
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Of Note: Nacho Novo and Kris Boyd were on target for Rangers, who move on to the semifinals of the competition. Beasley had a hand in the second goal for the
Up Next: Rangers welcome Inverness to Ibrox on Saturday, before hopping on a plane to the Nou Camp, where they will face
The News: Michael Bradley scored his fifth goal of the season, but it proved to be only a consolation as Heerenveen went down to
Of Note: Heerenveen traveled to
Up Next: Heerenveen have no time to hang their heads, as they host league-topping PSV Eindhoven on Saturday. DaMarcus Beasley’s former club is thus far undefeated in the league, and Heerenveen will look for a result to shake up the standings in the Eredivisie.
The News: Freddy Adu continued his run of good form, scoring from the penalty spot, and looking dangerous throughout the game, however it wasn’t enough to stave off defeat, and Benfica eventually went down 2-1 in the game to Vitória Setúbal.. With the loss, Benfica was eliminated from the Portuguese Cup 3-2 on aggregate goals.
Of Note: Adu made it two goals in two games, when he converted a penalty for Benfica in first half stoppage time. The goal was his fourth on the season, and third in the cup competition. In the second half, Vitória stormed back, grabbing an equalizer shortly after the break. Their constant pressure eventually paid off, and Edinho popped up seven minutes from time to bag the goal which eventually sealed the tie. For Adu, he started and played 85 minutes, but that will be scant consolation, as his side are now out of the race for the Cup title.
Up Next: Benfica and Adu will look to get back on track this weekend, when they face Paços de Ferreira, the side currently in fifteenth place in the league. Next Tuesday, Benfica travel to