Nov 30, 2007

Friday Footy Linkage, Nov. 30, 2007

Soooo much action on the field this week, how is anybody supposed to keep up with the blogosphere? Luckily, there are many footy blogs that enhance--rather than detract from--what has been taking place on the pitch, making reading them a joy rather than a burden. Onward, non-denominational soldiers:

My favorite blog for Latin American soccer is hands-down Hasta El Gol Siempre. This week they have an excellent piece on the buildup to the Copa Sudamericana finals. The first leg kicks off tonight, so this is a timely feature. I was going to do my own story on this, but then I came across theirs and realized it was better than anything I could ever come up with. HEGS says tonight's game is the biggest in Arsenal de Sarandi's 50 year history. The team is a veritable giant-slayer, not only in the Copa Sudamericana but also in their domestic league where this past weekend they ended Boca Juniors' title hopes. Their opponents, Mexico City's Club America, are a strong--and rested--side, but appear susceptible to upsets. People I've talked to seem to agree that Arsenal can pull off the upset. First they'll need to survive the Estadio Azteca, sure to be a giant simmering cauldron of amarillo (that means yellow, right?)

Red Bulls fans finally have something to cheer about: a stadium! The Harrison project is finally, finally being kicked off. The designs look phat. They're up on several sites, but I think WVHooligan might have been there first. Actually, it might have been MLSZone. The damn place obviously can't get built quickly enough, but at this point I personally don't mind waiting--as long as they actually do worl (and make progress) on it! I think the long-awaited stadium will finally be the turning point for this franchise. By the way, the press box will be at field level (or right above it), behind the player benches. That's from the team's official site so it must be true. Maybe by that point soccer will be so popular I won't have to deal with this crummy day job and can devote myself to soccer reporting full time! (A boy can dream, can't he?)

The latest issue of World Soccer magazine had a neat cover story on the 50 Most Exciting Teenagers On the Planet. Ives was cool enough to type out the list (I would have done it, but unlike Ives I have that day job to tend to.). He, like me, noticed some glaring omissions. Actually two of them: Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu. I'm willing to forgive Adu, seeing as the piece was probably written this summer when Freddy was treading dangerously close to "whatever happened to" status. But Altidore needs to be on the list. Seems the gang at World Soccer forgot about a few continents; only two North Americans (both from Mexico) and no Australians or Asians, though Africa did feature pretty prominently. Actually, Ghana was the fourth-best represented country, after Brazil, Argentina and Spain. It's a good read though. Both the World Soccer piece and Ives' summary of it.

Finally, there was a good bit of noise ahead of the MLS waiver draft that took place at 3pm yesterday. Except, then nobody was able to find any results. It was like the draft had been canceled or something. Turns out it wasn't canceled, just that nobody was picked! I had to do a good bit of digging to get to the bottom of this one, but Korner Pocket finally delivered the goods on this. Thanks, KP!

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