Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Grab: 07.08

Goldenballs makes an appearance above the fold in The New York Times' Sports Sunday, looking nostalgically Euro in his Real Madrid kit. No real news here, the same proclamations about DB not necessarily being the savior of US soccer, but more of a link between the world sport and American culture. While this is hardly an original thought, how sad is it that MLS is trying desperately hard to become another NFL with the hope that one man, albeit a marketing machine, will change the popularity of a team sport? Do we have to revisit the fact that soccer just doesn't lend well to the American attention span? [NY Times]

In Blues' news, the France international midfielder Florent Malouda will move from Lyon to Stamford Bridge for a fee of around $27M, which puts Dutch international Arjen Robben closer to a move to Real Madrid. The 23-year old winger will still travel with the squad on their preseason tour of the United States. Also, former Israeli team coach and Pompey technical director makes his long-awaited move to Chelsea, where he'll report to Peter Kenyon as director of football. Should be interesting to see how his relationship develops with Jose Mourinho. While I do dip into 20/20 hindsight, you have to think that the Blues' current acquisitions of Claudio Pizarro, Steve Sidwell and Tal Ben-Haim, as well as Malouda and possibly Alex from PSV makes the $54M fee for Andriy Shevchnko look like child's play. [Fox Soccer, ESPN Soccernet]

All of Chelsea's moves, of course may pale to Sir Alex Ferguson's work at Manchester United, especially if the reports of Carlos Tevez coming to Old Trafford ring true. While the shroud of Kia Joorabchian's involvement in this potential deal that would see the Argentine international leave Upton Park remains, the addition of him, Nani and Anderson from Porto and Sporting, respectively. Throw in an over-priced, but reliable holding midfielder in Owen Hargreaves, and the Red Devils look extremely stacked, albeit mostly in attacking options. [Sky Sports]

My apologies to all SMiA fans out there. I was unable to find any provocative photos of Anders Frisk - please return my calls, Mrs. Frisk; that is, after you're done polishing Anders' coin collection. But I was able to dig out this entertaining display of a flamboyant Brazilian ref. Not that there's anything wrong with that. [YouTube]


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