Diary of a Football Saturday Morning

A pretty normal Saturday morning during MLS off season. My friends intimate I should get a life, but I’m having too much fun. Doesn’t that count?

up at normal time, first game on tap at 8am: Villa v Wigan. Always enjoy watching Brad Friedel, still the best US keeper.  Note the budget only affords so much, so I’m limited to what’s broadcast on FSC, ESPN and when the season begins, MLS Direct Kick. That is of course unless I hunt down a soccer friendly pub with GolTV and Setanta that would be open at that hour. I don’t think so.

checked news, no not soccer news… you know, who’s shooting who and who’s calling who a liar news

ok, now my first soccer of the day, my desktop feed aggregator collects news from 21 sources:
Today’s news as expected has lots of Euro stuff, which is to be expected, but I’m a bit disappointed as it’s the next to last day of the winter transfer window no news yet on a permanent move by David Beckham to AC Milan. By now, unless you’re not paying attention, you know how much speculation of Beckham’s signing a permanent deal with AC Milan has dominated the blogwaves.

I have a particular interest in this saga, as Becks and Blanco are scheduled to play their last preseason MLS match in my town and I’ve never seen either of them. This is one of those “yeah I saw Beckham and Blanco play” stories I’ll tell for years to come, even if the game is meaningless. It will also help to show some potential investors that Phoenix, yup, Phoenix, the 5th largest city in the US, is ready to support professional soccer.

No word yet on Becks, although the cat may have been let out of the bag yesterday when he was not listed on AC Milan’s initial roster for their next UEFA cup matches. Seems like he would have been on the squad if they knew he was going to stay. A semi sigh of relief, but I’ll wait for the window to close before I settle in for what should be 6 weeks of eager anticipation. Of course, if Milan wants to pony up $15M, I say take the money. Here’s a piece by Andrew Hush on the potential move by Beckham(Sunday note: 2 more assists for Beckham in Milan’s win over Lazio).

Ives on Landycake’s first competitive action with Bayern Munich. Ives reported that he had some good moments after entering the game in the 77th minute. And before you all tell me I could have watched on GolTV, remember that budget thing.

Donovan at Bayern

Then there was the news yesterday that Celtic would not pay the MLS asking price($3.5M) for Sacha Kljestan according to Allen Ramsey at SI.com.  Good news for Chivas USA and MLS fans.
Ives also reported that Mike Grella, a TFC draftee in the ’09 SuperDraft is close to signing with the fabled but recently flawed English club Leeds United.

Villa v Wigan kicks off. Today’s 2nd EPL game on FSC is a tasty piece of work, Man U v Everton and the US #1 keeper Tim Howard.

Uh oh, I was mistaken that Milan’s final UEFA Cup squad was already finalized. Just refreshed my soccer feed and that AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti has until after Sunday’s match  v Lazio to name his UEFA Cup squad and the he’s undecided about Beckham, who’s carrying a slight leg muscle injury.
Don’t know how I missed this but ESPNSoccernet’s Jeff Carlisle has begun a 5 part series on “examining the structure and organization of the U.S. Soccer Federation and its youth programs”.

Friedel makes a fine save on Wigan’s de Ridder.

Villa is besieging the Wigan net. Still 0-0.

Friedel reduced to spectator as Villa continues barrage on Wigan goal. Still 0-0. Still checking my feeds. Nothing of note(at least for me).

Final Villa 0 Wigan 0. Just the kind of final score that drives American non-footie fans crazy. Next up in 30 minutes… Man U v Everton. Checking the feeds. Nothing new. Not really surprised as I suspect fans and bloggers are getting their footie fix.

Man U/Everton kickoff.

Ronaldo scores on PK late in first half.

Final Man U 1 Everton 0.

Morning over, Serie A games this afternoon. Can’t wait for the MLS season to begin.

Oh, by the way, while I’m indulging in my soccer vice, you can’t escape the Cardinals buzz that’s engulfed the Valley of the Sun. This too, shall pass.

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