USSoccerPlayers - Feb 10th, 2012

Friday's TV: Clausura

Morelia - Santos Laguna
9pm - Fox Deportes

Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna are top of the Clausura table after five games, with Morelia in 9th.  Gomez has been coming off the bench for Santos, subbing on in the 76th last week in a win over UNAM Pumas, not playing in the 3-1 win over Tijuana the week before that, and subbing on in the 73rd in a 1-0 win over Jaguares on January 21st.  Santos are unbeaten this season and on a four game win streak since drawing their Clausura opener 0-0 with Pachuca on January 7th.  

A league down in Mexico, GolTV has Leones Negros - Leon at 9:45pm.  All Times Eastern

Their Words

"Now, I’ve been in football for nearly 20 years and I have a good understanding of relationships with Managers. I do agree that the Manager is the most important person in a football club or an organisation like this, but there are moments when the Board and the Chairman have to step up to the plate when strong leadership is required." England Football Association chairman David Bernstein.

England's Management Exam

By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 10, 2012) US Soccer Players -- With Fabio Capello opting not to continue as England manager this week, the interplay between the coach and the administration is once again the topic du jour in world soccer.  Whether it's for club or country, the job role of the head coach has historically been a source of friction.  For England's National Team setup, the issue is simple.  The administration chose to act, stripping a player of his captaincy without the consent of the coach.  In turn, the coach chose to act. 

Now England is approaching EURO 2012 with an interim manager and conducting a job search for Capello's eventual successor.  That's not the optimal situation months before games count, but those running the Football Association had to consider the possibility when they made the decision to exercise their authority. 

In real terms, that's what coach - management issues are about, the exercise of authority.  Again, this has no separation between club and country and is rooted in the idea of the coach holding ultimate authority over playing decisions.  In English club soccer, it used to be more than just playing decisions.  Historically, the role of the manager included pretty much whatever the manager in question wanted to do. 

That's in stark contrast to another of the world's oldest professional team sports, Major League Baseball where the job of the field manager evolved into just that.  General managers and staff handle the player personnel decisions, while the field manager works with what the front office gives him.  Though the era of the English manager barely answering to the board is no longer common with clubs trying to maximize multinational appeal and the associated revenue streams, it's still closer to that than what's normal in baseball.  The North American pro sports corollary would be a National Football League coach, especially those coaches also holding the GM title. 

At least in England, the National Team job was different.  A coach taking that position up until the 1960's knew they would be dealing with a selection committee.  Like with baseball, the Football Association had a panel that picked the players, with the coach operating with whomever that panel selected.  That changed during Alf Ramsey's run as England manager, with his successor Don Revie turning the job into something that at least resembled the role of the club coach in the 1970's.  Revie wanted to use some of the things he'd done with Leeds United, and he was given the leeway. 

England's National Team job modernized alongside the role of the club coach, and the contemporary version is something that isn't seen as a significant obstacle.  Any manager of a successful club knows all about the club vs country issues, albeit from the other side.  The squad management issues are similar, especially for club coaches that don't have the luxury of financial backing to buy and pick whoever they want.  National Team soccer is about limits, in practical terms closer to the cost control model of Major League Soccer than the world all-star lineups coaches with elite club teams are able to field.  Continue reading "England's Management Exam" »

Wondolowski Re-Ups With Quakes

United States National Team player Chris Wondolowski has signed a new deal with the San Jose Earthquakes.  “I’m grateful to the organization for giving me a new contract for a second straight year and look forward to helping the Earthquakes get back to the MLS Cup Playoffs," Wondolowski said. "I think we have a great team heading into this season and I know I’m looking forward to that home opener on March 10th against New England."

Questions: Castrol, Rapids, Buddle, Pairings, West

By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Feb 9, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Tony looks at an innovative marketing plan by the Rapids, asks about Edson Buddle's childhood role models, and sees the Western Conference getting more difficult.

Who is the 31st best player in the English Premier League, according to the latest Castrol Rankings?

Clint Dempsey. Yes, these are the rankings that have David Silva as the 27th best player in England right now. Dempsey is the highest rated American in individual league ratings, not  surprise considering his contributions for Fulham.

How do you, a Rapids fan, get your name officially on a 2013 jersey?

Either make the team, or buy 2012 season tickets. As some other international clubs have done, the Rapids are printing the name of every season ticket holder into the fabric of their 2013 and 2014 home jersey.  With the hiring of Oscar Pareja, his talented assistants, and initiatives such as this, there seems to be some momentum in Denver, at last.  Continue reading "Questions: Castrol, Rapids, Buddle, Pairings, West" »

LA Galaxy set to test MLS' limits - from Fox Soccer's Ives Galarcep: A closer look at the Galaxy’s winter maneuvering provides ample evidence of just how it all came together.

Ching all business in facing Dynamo for first time - from's Matthew Doyle: “It felt kind of like a practice,” Ching told reporters afterward with a shrug.

Impact learns what it's up against - from The Montreal Gazette's Randy Phillips: "But in the end, what you come away with is that we have a lot of work to do."

Sebastien Le Toux warms to Whitecaps - from The Vancouver Sun's Bruce Constantineau: “I love to have a lot of freedom.”

Robert Kraft Considered Buying Premier League Club, But Lack of Salary Cap Cooled Interest - from NESN's Marcus Kwesi O'Mard: Kraft prefers an environment in which the amount of money he spends does not determine his team's chances of success.

Ladislao KUBALA International ground-breaker, Barça king - from His mistake was that he was too enamoured to keep word of Kubala’s genius to himself.

Weekend TV: Everton Face Another Contender


The USA Women vs New Zealand will be streamed live on starting at 4pm.

Manchester United - Liverpool
7:30am - ESPN2

A highlight game based on reputation rather than the Premier League table. Liverpool are 7th, 14 points behind second-place Manchester United with both clubs on 24 games played. It will be interesting to see if ESPN steps up their coverage in response to what Fox is doing with the Premier League on network television.

Everton - Chelsea
9:30am - Fox Soccer

Another high profile game for Landon Donovan's loan stay, with Chelsea 4th to Everton's 11th. “They’ve come off an interesting result against Manchester United so it will be an interesting game to see how they respond to that," Donovan said. "We feel good in how we’re playing, we like how we’re playing right now and our form has been pretty good so it makes for a really good match-up.”

Also in the Premier League, Sunderland - Arsenal is on Fox Soccer Plus at 10am, Blackburn - QPR is at 2pm, and Bolton - Wigan is at 6pm. On Fox Soccer: Spurs - Newcastle is at 12pm with Fulham - Stoke at 5pm. Championship on FS+: Blackpool - Portsmouth at 4pm.  Continue reading "Weekend TV: Everton Face Another Contender" »


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