Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 Top Players You Might have Missed

I wanted to put together a list of great players that many casual soccer fans may not have heard of or followed in the past. Some young, some old, some more well-known than others, all of these players have done very well and I think a few of the youngsters listed may find their way to the big clubs of Europe in the near future.

GK - Rene Adler - Bayer Leverkusen
DF - Per Mertesacker - Werder Bremen
MF - Simon Rolfes - Bayer Leverkusen
FW - Mladen Petric - Borussia Dortmund

GK - Steve Mandanda - Marseille
DF - Sébastien Puygrenier - Nancy
MF - Jeremy Toulalan - Lyon
FW - Pascal Feindouno - St Etienne

GK - Alberto Fontana - Palermo
DF - Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus
MF - Marek Hamsik - Napoli
FW - Marco Borriello - Genoa

GK - Carlos Kameni - RCD Espanyol
DF - Ezequiel Garay - Racing Santander
MF - Diego Capel - Sevilla
FW - Dani Güiza - RCD Mallorca

GK - Joe Hart - Manchester City
DF - Joleon Lescott - Everton
MF - Ashley Young - Aston Villa
FW - Tuncay Şanlı - Middlesbrough

If you closely follow any of these leagues and have some "lesser-known" players that you think deserve to be listed, feel free to leave your own list in the comments.

Friday, May 30, 2008

American Soccer Players who've returned to MLS from Europe

With Brian McBride recently announcing his return to MLS, I wondered which other American players have gone to Europe and then come back to the States to play in Major League Soccer. There's the controversial Landon Donovan return from Germany, the "it was supposed to be triumphant" Claudio Reyna return, and quite a few other "we didn't play much over there" players. Here's the American players currently in the league that have spent some time playing in Europe earlier in their careers.

PlayerCurrentEuropean Club(s)YearAppearances
Wade Barrett HOU

AGF Aarhus

Fredrikstad FK





Nat Borchers RSLOdd Grenland 06-0830
Conor CaseyCOL

Hannover 96


FSV Mainz







Jimmy Conrad KCLech Poznań 20008
Kenny Cooper DAL

Manchester United Reserves

Oldham Athletic





Ramiro Corrales SJ







Landon Donovan LABayer Leverkusen 99-057
Frankie Hejduk CLB

Bayer Leverkusen

FC St. Gallen





Ian JoyRSL

Manchester United Youth

Tranmere Rovers Youth

Hamburg SV II

FC St. Pauli









Jovan Kirovski SJ

Manchester United Youth

Borussia Dortmund

Sporting Portugal

Crystal Palace

Birmingham City











Ben Olsen DCNottingham Forest 00-0118
Ante Razov CHVRacing de Ferrol (Spain) 00-0119
Claudio Reyna NY

Bayer Leverkusen

VfL Wolfsburg



Manchester City











Robbie RogersCLBHeerenveen Reserves 06-07N/A
Zach Thornton NYBenfica20040
John ThorringtonCHI

Manchester United Youth

Bayer Leverkusen

Huddersfield Town

Grimsby Town









Taylor Twellman NE1860 Munich Reserves 00-01N/A
Greg Vanney LABastia02-0565

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Premiership Players on UEFA Euro 2008 Squads

England may have missed out on Euro 2008, but plenty of players from the English Premiership will be in Austria-Switzerland with their national teams. This is a list of all the 07/08 Premiership players that have been called up to represent their country in the upcoming Euro 2008 tournament.

Group A

Czech Republic
Petr Čech - Chelsea
Milan Baroš - Portsmouth
David Rozenhnal - Newcastle United
Marek Matějovský - Reading

Paulo Ferreira - Chelsea
Ricardo Carvalho - Chelsea
Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United
Nani - Manchester United

Johan Djourou - Arsenal
Philippe Senderos - Arsenal
Gelson Fernandes - Manchester City

Emre Belözoğlu - Newcastle United
Tuncay Şanlı - Middlesbrough

Group B

Emmanuel Pogatetz - Middlesbrough

Vedran Ćorluka - Manchester City
Niko Kranjčar - Portsmouth

Jens Lehmann - Arsenal
Michael Ballack - Chelsea

Tomasz Kuszczak - Manchester United
Łukasz Fabiański - Arsenal

Group C


William Gallas - Arsenal
Claude Makelele - Chelsea
Florent Malouda - Chelsea
Nicolas Anelka - Chelsea
Patrice Evra - Manchester United
Lassana Diarra - Portsmouth


Edwin van der Sar - Manchester United
André Ooijer - Blackburn Rovers
Robin van Persie - Arsenal
Mario Melchiot - Wigan Athletic
Wilfred Bouma - Aston Villa
Dirk Kuyt - Liverpool
Ryan Babel - Liverpool


Group D

Georgios Samaras - Manchester City
Stelios Giannakopoulos - Bolton


Fernando Torres - Liverpool
Xabi Alonso - Liverpool
Alvaro Arbeloa - Liverpool
Pepe Reina - Liverpool
Cesc Fàbregas - Arsenal

Andreas Isaksson - Manchester City
Olof Mellberg - Aston Villa
Freddie Ljungberg - West Ham United
Andreas Granqvist - Wigan Athletic
Sebastian Larsson - Birmingham City

Number of Players By Club: (45 Total)
7 - Arsenal
7 - Chelsea
6 - Liverpool
5 - Manchester United
4 - Manchester City
3 - Portsmouth
2 - Aston Villa
2 - Middlesbrough
2 - Newcastle United
2 - Wigan Athletic
1 - Reading
1 - Blackburn Rovers
1 - Bolton Wanderers
1 - West Ham United
1 - Birmingham City

More Euro 2008 Posts:
Foreign-born Players on Euro 2008 squads
Former 'Team of the Tournament' Players returning to Euro 2008
La Liga Players on Euro 2008 squads
Serie A Players on Euro 2008 squads
Bundesliga Players on Euro 2008 squads
Club Breakdown of Euro 2008 squads
Age-Analysis of Euro 2008 squads

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brian McBride Leaving Fulham

I don't normally post "breaking news" stories, but this is an interesting one for US soccer fans.

ESPN Soccernet
Soccer by Ives
The Red Card

2008 Real Salt Lake Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 Real Salt Lake roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Robbie Findley

Brennan Tennelle
Chris Seitz
Ian Joy
Kyle Reynish
Nick Rimando
Tino Nunez
Tony Beltran

Kyle Beckerman
Nat Borchers

Nathan Sturgis

New York
Chris Wingert
Kevin Reiman

Dustin Kirby

David Horst

Kenny Cutler

Nikolas Besagno

2008 New York Red Bulls Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 New York Red Bulls roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Kevin Goldthwaite

Jozy Altidore

Mike Magee

Zach Thornton

David Roth

New Jersey
Claudio Reyna

New York
Carlos Mendes
Chris Megaloudis
John Wolyniec
Kevin Mesa
Michael Palacio
Ricky Schramm

Chris Leitch
Luke Sassano
Seth Stammler

Jeff Parke
Jon Conway

Hunter Freeman

John Gilkerson

2008 Colorado Rapids Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 Colorado Rapids roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Jordan Harvey

Colin Clark
Conor Casey
Stephen Keel

Brian Grazier
Cesar Zambrano

Jacob Peterson

John DiRaimondo

North Carolina
Justin Hughes

New Jersey
Nick LaBrocca

New Mexico
Mike Graczyk

Herculez Gomez

New York
Mike Petke

Rhode Island
Nico Colaluca

Jose Burciaga

Ciaran O'Brien
Preston Burpo

Tim Ward

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2008 MLS Player Name Pronunciation Guide

Here is a guide to some of the most difficult names to pronounce in Major League Soccer this season.

Chicago Fire

Bakary Soumare
ba-CAR-ay soo-MAR-ay

Cuauhtemoc Blanco

Colorado Rapids
Pablo Mastroeni

Ugo Ihemelu
OO-go ee-HEM-meh-loo

Kosuke Kimura

Columbus Crew
Guillermo Barros Schelotto
ghee-ZHER-moh BARR-ohs SKEH-lo-TOH

Stefani Miglioranzi

Duncan Oughton

Frankie Hejduk

Guilherme So
ghee-HER-meh SAH

Andy Iro

Chivas USA
Sacha Kljestan

FC Dallas
Adrian Serioux

Pablo Richetti

Andre Rocha

DC United
Franco Niell

Marcelo Gallardo
Mar-Cell-o Ga-zhar-do

Houston Dynamo
Franco Caraccio

Dwayne de Rosario

Kansas City Wizards
Davy Arnaud

Los Angeles Galaxy
Ante Jazic
AHN-tay JAH-zic

Peter Vagenas

Able Xavier
able ex-AH-vee-AIR

Ruud Gullit
rood KHU-lit

New England Revolution
Amaechi Igwe
ah-MEHCH-ee IG-way

Sainey Nyassi
SIGN-nee ny-AH-see

Kheli Dube
Kelly doo-BAY

New York Red Bulls
Juan Pablo Angel

Jozy Altidore
JO-zee al-ti-door

John Wolyniec

Kevin Goldthwaite

Real Salt Lake
Fabian Espindola

Nikolas Besagno

San Jose Earthquakes
Kei Kamara
Kye Kuh-MAH-ruh

Toronto FC
Laurent Robert
Lo-rahn Ro-bare

Rohan Ricketts

Maurice Edu

Monday, May 26, 2008

Best Nations to Play if You're in a Goal Slump

If you're a head coach of a nation that is having trouble scoring goals or posting shutouts, here's a shortlist of teams you may want to put on your schedule in the future for some confidence building. The problem is, if you only manage a close win against this competition, the media will be all over you.

Here are some of the biggest world soccer blowouts since 2000:
Losing nation in Bold

American Samoa
Australia 31-0

Australia 22-0

North Korea 21-0

Kuwait 20-0

New Caledonia 18-0

South Korea 16-0

San Marino
Germany 13-0

Bermuda 13-0

Jamaica 12-0

UAE 12-0

New Caledonia
Australia 11-0

Turkmenistan 11-0

Zambia 10-0

Chinese Taipei
Kuwait 10-0

Socceroo Archie Thompson made the most of his appearance against American Samoa by knocking in a world record 13 goals. He's scored 8 goals in his other 29 Australian caps.

In September of 2006, Germany had struggled to a 1-0 victory over the Rebublic of Ireland in their previous Euro qualifier, before destroying San Marino 13-0. Lucas Podolski had 4 away goals and Schweinsteiger, Hitzlsperger, and Klose all had 2 goals a piece. Unfortunately for the Germans, 2 games later they only managed a 1-1 draw with Cyprus.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

World Soccer Team Nicknames

National Team Nicknames

Crescent Stars Turkey
Black Antelopes Angola
La Celeste Uruguay
Eagles of Carthage Tunisia
All Whites New Zealand
Bafana Bafana South Africa
Atlas Lions Morocco
The Elephants Cote d'Ivoire
Indomitable Lions Cameroon
Oranje, The Clockwork Orange Netherlands
The Pharoahs Egypt
The Reggae Boyz Jamaica
Soca Warriors Trinidad and Tobago
Super Eagles Nigeria
The Three Lions England
Black Stars Ghana
Les BleusFrance
TicosCosta Rica
El Tri Mexico
Seleção Brazil
The Crocodiles Lesotho

World Club Nicknames

Los Merengues Real Madrid
The Yellow Submarine Villareal
The Yellow Canaries Fenerbahçe
Bianconeri (White and Black) Juventus
Rossoneri (Red and Black) AC Milan
Nerazzurri (Black and Blues) Inter Milan
Giallorossi (Yellow and Reds) Roma
The Gas Men FC Tokyo
SquirrelsOmiya Ardija (Japan)
Palace Guard Beijing Guouan
The Zebras Charleroi (Belgium)
The Miners Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
Factory Squad Bayer Leverkusen
The Old Lady Hertha Berlin
The Billy Goats 1. FC Köln
Son of the Gods Ajax
Super Farmers De Graafschap (Netherlands)
Eagles Benfica
Panthers Boavista FC
DragonsFC Porto
LionsSporting Lisbon
ChivasCD Guadalajara
Los Millionarios River Plate

Feel free to list your favorite soccer team nicknames in the comments.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

World Soccer Player Nicknames

Here are some of my favorite soccer player nicknames from around the world. If you have more nicknames, feel free to add them in the comments.

Little MozartTomasz Rosicky
Captain Fantastic Steven Gerrard
Run DMB DeMarcus Beasley
der Kaiser Franz Beckenbauer
The Welsh Wizard Ryan Giggs
BraveheartGennaro Gattuso
The Beast Julio Baptista
King Kev Kevin Keegan
DoloSteve Cherundolo
Bull of the Bosporus Hakan Şükür
Baby-Faced AssassinOle Gunnar Solskjær
TemoCuauhtemoc Blanco
The Special One Jose Mourinho
ZizouZinedine Zidane
Black Panther Eusebio
Atomic Flea Lionel Messi
The Buffalo Michael Essien
Ginger NinjaPaul Scholes
El NiñoFernando Torres
McHeadBrian McBride
Il PhenomenoRonaldo
el PescaditoCarlos Ruiz
PsychoStuart Pearce
GodRobbie Fowler
DeuceClint Dempsey
CR7Cristiano Ronaldo
The Matrix Marco Materazzi
The Duck Alexandre Pato
GAMEddie Johnson
TitoDidier Drogba
DiabloMarco Etcheverry
The Rock Marcel Desailly
GoochOguchi Onyewu
The PhilosopherLillian Thuram
Red Bull Alexi Lalas
The Magic Dwarf Philipp Lahm
Captain Marvel Bryan Robson
HeyDudeFrankie Hejduk
PiojoClaudio Lopez
WaldoEric Wynalda
SegaGonzalo Segares

Friday, May 23, 2008

07/08 Europe League Champions and Top Scorers

This table shows the League Champions from each of the top 20 leagues in Europe, as ranked by the UEFA league coefficient. I've also included the top scorer from each league for this past season. Russia and Norway have only recently started the most current campaign so I included last years results for these leagues.

Nation07/08 League ChampionLeague Top Scorer ClubGoals
EnglandManchester United Cristiano RonaldoManchester United 31
SpainReal Madrid Dani GüizaRCD Mallorca 27
ItalyInter Milan Alessandro Del PieroJuventus21
FranceLyonKarim Benzema Lyon20
GermanyBayern Munich Luca Toni Bayern Munich 24
Russia (07)Zenit St. Petersburg

Roman Pavlyuchencko

Roman Adamov

Spartak Moscow

FC Moscow



RomaniaCFR Cluj Ionel DănciulescuDinamo Bucureşti21
PortugalFC Porto Lisandro Lopez FC Porto 24
NetherlandsPSV Eindhoven Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Ajax33
ScotlandCelticScott McDonald Celtic25
TurkeyGalatasaraySemih ŞentürkFenerbahçe17
UkraineShakhtar Donetsk Marko Dević Metalist Kharkiv 19
BelgiumStandard Liege Joseph Akpala Charleroi17
GreeceOlympiacosIsmael Blanco AEK Athens 19
CzechSK Slavia Praha Václav SvěrkošFC Banik Ostrava 14
SwitzerlandFC Basel Hakan Yakin BSC Young Boys 24
BulgariaCSKA Sofia Georgi Hristov Botev21
Norway (07)BrannThorstein Helstad Brann22
DenmarkAaBJeppe Curth AaB16
AustriaRapid Wien Alexander Zickler Red Bull Salzburg 16

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Naturalized Brazilians on other National Teams

This is a list of players that grew up in Brazil, but have eventually become naturalized citizens in other nations in order to play with their adopted country's national soccer teams.

Mehmet Aurélio - Turkey
Marco, his pre-Turkish, Brazilian name, moved to Turkey in 2001 at the age of 24 and played with Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe for a few years before becoming the first naturalized player to be called up to the Turkish National Team.

Alex - Japan
Alex left Brazil at the age of 16 to play high school soccer in Japan between 94-97. He applied for Japanese citizenship in 2001 and a year later was playing for Japan's national team.

Eduardo - Croatia
Eduardo da Silva was noticed by scouts from Dinamo Zagreb in 1999 when he was a 16 year old playing in Brazil. In 2002 Eduardo became a Croatian citizen and he has gone on to be a very important member of the Croatian National Team ever since.

Francileudo dos Santos - Tunisia
Tunisia's dos Santos was discovered as a 17 year old playing in Brazil by Standard Liege in Belgium. He went on to play with North African power Etoile du Sahel in Tunisia between 98-00. dos Santos had hoped to play for Brazil, but when that looked like it wasn't going to happen, he became a naturalized citizen in Tunisia in 2004 and has since scored 22 goals in 39 appearances for the country.

Antônio Naelson - Mexico
"Zinha" started playing in Mexico at 22, in 1998 with Monterrey. After settling into Mexico for a few years with Monterrey and Toluca, he became the first foreign born player to score a goal for the Mexican National Team.

Pepe - Portugal
Real Madrid's Pepe moved to Portugal from Brazil at the age of 18 in 2001 to play with Maritimo and eventually FC Porto. Pepe became a Portuguese citizen last year and appeared in a couple of Portugal's Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Deco - Portugal
Deco moved to Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 after being picked up by Benfica, who he never actually played with. Having lived in Portugal for six years, in 2002 Deco became a Portuguese citizen and his first international game with Portugal was against, you guessed it, Brazil.

Marcos Senna - Spain
Marcos moved to Villareal in Spain at 26 after playing professionally in Brazil for a few years. In 2006 he was granted Spanish citizenship and has since been called up for the Spanish team multiple times.

Roger Guerreiro - Poland
Roger is a very recent addition to the Naturalised Brazilian list, having just become a Polish citizen last month. He moved to Warsaw in 2006 at the age of 23 and was recently fast-tracked into Polish citizenship after being promised a place on the National Team by head coach Leo Beenhakker.

More "Naturalized" Brazilian's around the world:

  • Egmar Goncalves - Singapore
  • Marconi Amaral - Qatar
  • Emerson - Qatar
  • Fábio César - Qatar
  • Lucio Wagner - Bulgaria
  • Marcos Pizzelli - Armenia
  • Leandro Melina Gomes - Azerbaijan
  • Leandro de Almeida - Hungary
  • Erikson Noguchipinto - Japan
  • Tulio - Japan
  • Cristiano Cordeiro - Hong Kong

A quote from Sepp Blatter on the subject of Brazilians taking over other national teams:

"If we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil," he said, "then at the next World Cups, in 2014 and 2018, out of the 32 teams you will still have national teams, but we will have 16 full of Brazilian players."

Doesn't it defeat the purpose of international soccer to have so many Brazilians on foreign national teams? When a player can move abroad in their late teens/early twenties and play for another country just a couple of years later, there seems to be something wrong with the system. What's your take on the "Naturalized" Brazilian trend?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MLS - New International Players '08

[UPDATE: I originally posted this back in March. I've updated it to include all of the international players that have joined the league since that time.]

I recently received a request to put together a list of the new international players that have made their way to MLS this season. Well, I went over to the trusty MLS Players page and quickly put this list together. DC United definitely wins in the 'signing players from abroad' category with 6 signed this offseason. It'll be interesting to see if their strategy is successful this season.

Gino Padula (CLB), Marcelo Gallardo (DC), Franco Niell (DC), Gonzalo Peralta (DC), Franco Caraccio (HOU), Claudio Lopez (KC), Matías Córdoba (RSL)

Vardan Adzemian (LA)

Chris Sharpe (COL), James Georgeff (HOU)

Killian Elkinson (TOR)

Guilherme So (CLB), Rafael Gomes (COL), Andre Rocha (DAL), Alvaro Pires (LA)

Gonzalo Martinez (DC), Ivan Trujillo (KC), Oscar Echeverry (NY), Jámison Olave (RSL)

Costa Rica
Argenis Fernandez (NE)

Dan Stratford (DC), Tony Caig (HOU), Andy Iro (CLB), Rohan Ricketts (TOR)

Laurent Robert (TOR)

Patrick Nyarko (CHI)

Mauricio Castro (NE), Roger Espinoza (KC)

Ivory Coast
Olivier Tebily (TOR)

Alex Nimo (RSL), Adam Smarte (SJ)

Duilio Davino (DAL)

New Zealand
Jarrod Smith (TOR)

Emannuel Ekpo (CLB)

Lider Marmol (CHI)

Jose Carvallo (DC)

Tomasz Frankowski (CHI)

Kenny Deuchar (RSL), Tom McManus (COL), Kevin Souter (KC)

South Africa
Danleigh Borman (NY)

Raphael Wicky (CHV)

Trinidad and Tobago
Julius James (TOR)

Kheli Dube (NE)

MLS Foreign Players with Caps - By Team

These are the foreign players currently in MLS that have been capped by their senior international teams.

Chicago Fire

97 - Cuauhtemoc Blanco - Mexico
22 - Tomasz Frankowski - Poland
17 - Andy Herron - Costa Rica
3 - Gonzalo Segares - Costa Rica

Chivas USA
178 - Claudio Suarez - Mexico
75 - Raphael Wicky - Switzerland
35 - Maykel Galindo - Cuba
23 - Atiba Harris - St. Kitts and Nevis
12 - Shavar Thomas - Jamaica

Colorado Rapids
2 - Bouna Coundoul - Senegal

Columbus Crew
123 - Ezra Hendrickson - St Vincent and Grenadines
18 - Duncan Oughton - New Zealand
10 - Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Argentina
5- Alejandro Moreno - Venezuela

DC United
72 - Jaime Moreno - Bolivia
44 - Marcelo Gallardo - Argentina
36 - Gonzalo Martinez - Colombia
1 - Jose Carvallo - Peru

FC Dallas
80 - Duilio Davino - Mexico
9 - Adrian Serioux - Canada

Houston Dynamo
52 - Pat Onstad - Canada
45 - Dwayne De Rosario - Canada

Kansas City Wizards
58 - Claudio Lopez - Argentina
22 - Scott Sealy - Trinidad and Tobago

Los Angeles Galaxy
100 - David Beckham - England
72 - Carlos Ruiz - Guatemala
22 - Ante Jazic - Canada
20 - Abel Xavier - Portugal

New England Revolution
20 - Khano Smith - Bermuda
11 - Shalrie Joseph - Grenada
4 - Mauricio Castro - Honduras

New York Red Bulls
33 - Juan Pablo Angel - Colombia
6 - Dane Richards - Jamaica
4 - Chris Megaloudis - Puerto Rico
2 - Dave van den Bergh - Netherlands
2 - Andrew Boyens - New Zealand

Real Salt Lake
82 - Andy Williams - Jamaica

San Jose Earthquakes
69 - Ivan Guerrero - Honduras
10 - Peguero Jean Philippe - Haiti
5 - Gavin Glinton - Turks and Caicos
1 - Ryan Johnson - Jamaica

Toronto FC
106 - Amado Guevara - Honduras
59 - Tyrone Marshall - Jamaica
45 - Carl Robinson - Wales
18 - Olivier Tébily - Cote d'Ivoire
11 - Jarrod Smith - New Zealand
10 - Jeff Cunningham - United States
9 - Laurent Robert - France
4 - Marco Velez - Puerto Rico
3 - Maurice Edu - United States
1 - Marvell Wynne - United States

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Same-Nation Continental Cup Finals

With Manchester United and Chelsea matching up tomorrow for an all-English final in this years UEFA Champions League, I wondered how often the major continental cup finals have had two teams from the same nation. This list shows all of the continental cup finals around the world that have matched up two clubs from the same nation.

The winners are in bold and the numbers in parenthesis are that year's domestic league position for the clubs involved.

UEFA Champions League

07/08 - England
Man U (1) v Chelsea (2)

02/03 - Italy
AC Milan (3) v Juventus (1)
0-0 (3-2 pens)

99/00 - Spain
Real Madrid (5) v Valencia CF (3)

AFC Champions League

01/02 - South Korea
Suwon Samsung Bluewings (3) v Anyang LG Cheetas (4)
0-0 (4-2 pens)

96/97 - South Korea
Pohang Steelers (4) v Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma (8)

CONCACAF Champions Cup

2007 - Mexico
Pachuca (1/8) v Chivas (2/4)
2-2 agg. (7-6 pens)

2006 - Mexico
America (13/3) v Toluca (6/4)
2-1 agg.

2004 - Costa Rica
LD Alajuelense (2) v Deportivo Saprissa (3)
5-1 agg.

2003 - Mexico
Toluca (5/10) v Morelia (1/13)
5-4 agg.

2002 - Mexico
Pachuca (13/20) v Morelia (6/4)

1996 - Mexico
Cruz Azul (10) v Necaxa (6)

CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores

2006 - Brazil
Internacional (2) v Sao Paulo (1)
4-3 agg.

2005 - Brazil
Sao Paulo (11) v Atletico Paranaense (6)
5-1 agg.

It's interesting that outside of the two South Korean finals in Asia and the Costa Rican final in CONCACAF, the lower placed side in the domestic league wins every time. That's 9 out of 12 games where the lower ranked team has won.

The African and Oceania Champions League's have never had a same-nation final matchup.

Manchester United v. Chelsea is only the second 1-2 matchup in a final. Domestically second, Internacional beat league winning Sao Paulo in the 2006 Copa Libertadores. (I guess you could say that Pachuca v Chivas in 2007 was also 1-2, but I used the combined Apertura/Clausura rankings.)

The last all-English final in a European competition was in the 71/72 UEFA cup when Tottenham Hotspur defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on aggregate.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

2008 New England Revolution Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 New England Revolution roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Brandon Tyler
Rob Valentino

Amaechi Igwe
Matt Reis

Chase Hilgenbrinck
Doug Warren

Jay Heaps
Sam Brill

Steve Ralston
Taylor Twellman
Joe Germanese
Brandon Manzonelli

North Carolina
Wells Thompson

New York
Gary Flood

Chris Albright
Jeff Larentowicz

Rhode Island
Michael Parkhurst

Spencer Wadsworth

Adam Cristman
Brad Knighton

2008 LA Galaxy Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 Los Angeles Galaxy roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Alan Gordon
Brandon McDonald
Greg Vanney
Michael Gavin

Bryan Jordan
Charles Alamo
Joe Franchino
Landon Donovan
Mike Randolph
Peter Vagenas
Sean Franklin
Steve Cronin
Troy Roberts

Vito Higgins

Josh Tudela

Chris Klein

New York
Edson Buddle

Scott Bolkan

Julian Valentin

Ely Allen

2008 Kansas City Wizards Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 Kansas City Wizards roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Chance Myers
Eric Kronberg
Jimmy Conrad
Kevin Hartman
Matt Marquess
Sasha Victorine
Tyson Wahl

Nelson Pizzaro

Jonathan Leathers

Rauwshan McKenzie

Ryan McMahen

Kerry Zavagnin

Jack Jewsbury

North Carolina
Michael Harrington

New Jersey
Boris Pardo

Ryan Pore

Michael Kraus

Davy Arnaud
Lance Watson

Aaron Hohlbein

Saturday, May 17, 2008

FA Cup Facts since 1948

FA Cup Winners since 1948
10 - Manchester United
8 - Arsenal
7 - Liverpool
6 - Tottenham Hotspur
4 - Chelsea
3 - Everton, Newcastle United, West Ham United
2 - Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1 - Aston Villa, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Sunderland, Wimbledon

Biggest FA Cup Final Margin since 1948


Manchester United 4
Brighton and Hove Albion 0

Manchester United 4
Chelsea 0

Most Goals in a Final since 1948

1953 (7)
Blackpool 4
Bolton 3

The Last 11 Goalscorers in FA Cup Finals

Didier Drogba

Djibril Cisse
Steven Gerrard
Jamie Carragher (og)
Dean Ashton
Paul Konchesky

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ruud van Nistelrooy (2)

Robert Pires

Ray Parlour
Freddie Ljungberg

The last 5 FA Cup Final Matchups

Chelsea 1
Manchester United 0

Liverpool 3 (3-1 pen)
West Ham 3

Arsenal 0 (5-4 pen)
Manchester United 0

Manchester United 3
Millwall 0

Arsenal 1
Southampton 0

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicago Fire Premier

The Chicago Fire's Reserves, known as Chicago Fire Premier, are one of the most successful examples of a developmental system in US soccer. They have won their division title 6 out of 7 times in the PDL since being formed and have produced many notable former players.

Here is a list of some of the top players to come from the club:

Ray Burse
Brad Guzan
Matt Pickens

Jay DeMerit
Drew Moor
Dasan Robinson
Jonathan Spector
Danny O'Rourke

Ricardo Clark
Ned Grabavoy
John DiRaimondo

Chris Rolfe
Sinisa Ubiparipovic
Gavin Glinton

Thursday, May 15, 2008

English Soccer Players in Continental Europe

I may be overlooking something obvious, but off the top of my head I can't think of any English players currently in the other major soccer leagues in Europe. I'm guessing it has to do with the exorbitant prices attached to English players and the players themselves not wanting to go to Europe.

Whatever the reason, it seems odd to me that there are pretty much zero English players in other European countries. You'd think that a young player could go to a Lyon or a PSV instead of an Aston Villa or a Blackburn and get some Champions League playing time and experience a different style of play. Could this be a reason why England's national team has struggled in recent years?

This is a list of some of the well-known English players that have made the move to the continent in the past, some with more success than others.

Michael Owen - Real Madrid
Scored 16 goals in 41 games, but Owen was often a bench player at the club. I think he would have done well if he'd been given more of a chance, he had the most goals per minutes played in La Liga in 04-05.

David Beckham - Real Madrid
Beckham had an up and down career with Real. He famously helped lead the club to the La Liga title in 2007 after overcoming a banishment to the bench by Fabio Capello when word arose that he had signed with the LA Galaxy.

Jonathan Woodgate - Real Madrid
This Reuters Article pretty much sums up Woodgate's time in Spain. The 13 million pound signing had a very brief spell as an influential starter between about a million injuries.

Steve McManaman - Real Madrid
Shaggy was one of the more successful recent English exports to Europe. He helped Real Madrid to the Champions League title by scoring a great goal in the Cup Final in 2000. He was eventually phased out of the club by the "Galacticos" policy that brought in players like Zidane and Luis Figo.

Paul Gascoigne - Lazio
Gazza never really settled into Italian soccer as he struggled with injuries while there. He eventually made 47 appearances for the club, scoring 6 goals.

Paul Ince - Inter Milan
Ince was moderately successful while away from England. The former Manchester United player and England Captain ended up making 54 appearances with Inter and knocking in 10 goals.

Les Ferdinand - Beşiktaş
Rio and Anton's cousin had a brief loan spell in Turkey in 88-89. He did pretty well while there, making 24 appearances and scoring 14 goals.

Gary Lineker - FC Barcelona
Lineker did very well in his first season at the Camp Nou, scoring 21 goals in 41 games in 1986. In all he scored 43 goals in his three seasons in Spain before being phased out of the starting lineup in 1989 by his manager, Johann Cruyff.

Chris Waddle - Olympique de Marseille
The former Newcastle and Tottenham player was a fan favorite in his time at Marseille, being voted the second best OM player of the century in 1998. His 90-91 season was one of the best seasons of any English player abroad, and he was a contender for European Footballer of the Year that season.

Kevin Keegan - Hamburg
Keegan led the German club to its first Bundesliga title in 78-79 and was named European Footballer of the Year twice while playing in Germany.

David Platt - AS Bari, Juventus, and Sampdoria
The Early 90's England Captain and Aston Villa player spent time at AS Bari, Juventus and Sampdoria in Italy from 92-95. He was fairly successful while at those clubs, scoring 31 goals in 90 games in Italy.

Ray Wilkins - AC Milan and Paris St. Germain
"Squareball Wilkins", the former Chelsea, Manchester United, and England player, spent some time at AC Milan and Paris St. Germain in the mid 80's. He was at Milan during a fairly unsuccessful period for the club and only lasted four months in Paris.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

UEFA Cup Winners since 1978

Zenit St. Petersburg and Glasgow Rangers face off today at 2:30 EST in the UEFA Cup Final. Will Zenit become the second winner from Russia in the last 4 years? I'm guessing that Rangers fans will be there in force making it tough on the Russians at the City of Manchester Stadium. Should be an interesting game.

Winners of the Previous 30 UEFA Cups

78 - PSV Eindhoven NETH
79 - Borussia Monchengladbach GER
80 - Eintracht Frankfurt GER
81 - Ipswich Town ENG
82 - IFK Goteborg SWE
83 - Anderlecht BEL
84 - Tottenham ENG
85 - Real Madrid SPN
86 - Real Madrid SPN
87 - IFK Goteborg SWE
88 - Bayer Leverkusen GER
89 - Napoli ITA
90 - Juventus ITA
91 - Inter ITA
92 - Ajax NETH
93 - Juventus ITA
94 - Inter ITA
95 - Parma ITA
96 - Bayern Munich GER
97 - Schalke 04 GER
98 - Inter ITA
99 - Parma ITA
00 - Galatasaray TUR
01 - Liverpool ENG
02 - Feyenoord NETH
03 - Porto POR
04 - Valencia SPN
05 - CSKA Moskva RUS
06 - Sevilla SPN
07 - Sevilla SPN

Last 30 UEFA Cup Winners by Nation
  • 8 - Italy
  • 5 - Spain
  • 5 - Germany
  • 3 - Netherlands
  • 3 - England
  • 2 - Sweden
  • 1 - Belgium
  • 1 - Turkey
  • 1 - Portugal
  • 1 - Russia

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

10 Year MLS Veterans

This chart shows how the current players who have lasted at least ten years in Major League Soccer originally joined the league.


Draft Position


Chris Klein


98 College Draft

Mike Petke


98 College Draft

Jeff Cunningham


98 College Draft

Tyrone Marshall


98 College Draft

Pablo Mastroeni


98 College Draft

Carey Talley


98 College Draft

Diego Gutierrez


96 College Draft

Steve Ralston


96 College Draft

Jesse Marsch


96 College Draft

Matt Reis


98 College Draft

Ante Razov


98 College Draft

Kevin Hartman


97 College Draft

Joe Franchino


98 College Draft

CJ Brown


98 Supplemental

Ezra Hendrickson


97 Supplemental

Kerry Zavagnin


97 Supplemental

Zach Thornton


96 Inaugural Draft

Jaime Moreno


96 Allocation

Andy Williams


98 Allocation

Monday, May 12, 2008

2008 Houston Dynamo Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 Houston Dynamo roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Chris Wondolowski
Stephen Wondolowski
Johnny Alcaraz
Mike Chabala
Nick Hatzke
Patrick Ianni

Brian Mullan

Bobby Boswell
James Georgeff

Ricardo Clark

Brian Ching

John Michael Hayden

Geoff Cameron

Brad Davis
Erik Ustruck

North Carolina
Corbin Waller
Eddie Robinson

Craig Waibel

Richard Mulrooney

Kyle Brown

Corey Ashe
Wade Barrett

2008 DC United Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 DC United roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages..

Zach Wells

Dane Murphy

Bryan Namoff
Quavas Kirk

James Thorpe

Santino Quaranta

North Carolina
Clyde Simms

Mike Zaher

New York
Ryan Cordeiro

Marc Burch

Ben Olsen
Jeff Curtin

Domenic Mediate

Devon McTavish
Jeff Carroll
Jeremy Barlow
Pat Carroll

Sunday, May 11, 2008

World Cup Player Coaches

Multiple World Cups as a Coach and a Player

Franz Beckenbauer
Player: 66,70,74 West Germany
Coach: 86 Lost in Final to Argentina, 90 Won in Final against Argentina

Jack Charlton
Player: 66 England Won WC ,70
Coach: 90 took the Republic of Ireland to their first ever WC and advanced to the QF losing to Italy, 94 Lost in Second Round to Holland

Berti Vogts
Player: 70,74,78 With West Germany
Coach: 94,98 Germany Out in the QF of both WC - Won Euro 96

Player: 58,62 Brazil
Coach: 70,74,98 Brazil

Player Coaches from WC 2006

Oleg Blokhin
Player: 82,86 USSR
Coached: Ukraine to QF, lost to Italy

Alexandre Guimaraes
Player: 90 Costa Rica
Coached: Costa Rica in 02 and 06, both times eliminated in the First Round.

Paweł Janas
Player: 82 Poland, Achieved Third Place
Coached: Poland to First Round Exit

Jürgen Klinsmann
Player: 90,94,98 Germany Won the WC in 90
Coached: Germany to Semi loss to Italy

Kobi Kuhn
Player: 66 Switzerland
Coached: Switzerland to Second Round

Ricardo Lavolpe
Player: 78 Won WC with Argentina as a reserve GK
Coached: Mexico to Second Round Exit, lost to Argentina

Ilija Petkovic
Player: 74 Played with SFR Yugoslavia
Coached: Serbia and Montenegro to First Round exit

Marco Van Basten
Player: 90 Lost to West Germany in the Second Round
Coached: Holland to Second Round exit to Portugal

Player: 78,82,86 Brazil
Coached: Japan to First Round exit

World Cup Winners as a Player and a Coach

Franz Beckenbauer - Germany
Player: 74 World Cup Winner
Coach: 90 World Cup Winner

Zagallo - Brazil
Player: 58,62 World Cup Winners
Coach: 70 World cup Winner

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lyon Ligue 1 Dominance

Lyon has won the last six Ligue 1 titles in France and they are closing in on number 7 this season with a 2 point lead over Bordeaux with 2 games to play. This list shows the top two finishers in Ligue 1 over the past six seasons along with the top goal scorer for Lyon.

07/08 - 2 games left to play
73 - Lyon
71 - Bordeaux
19 - Karim Benzema

81 - Lyon
64 - Marseille
11 - Fred

84 - Lyon
69 - Bordeaux
14 - Fred

79 - Lyon
67 - Lille
13 - Juninho

79 - Lyon
76 - PSG
16 - Peguy Luyindula

68 - Lyon
67 - Monaco
13 - Juninho

66 - Lyon
64 - Lens
14 - Sonny Anderson

Lyon may have dominated the league in France in recent times but this has not always been the case. They sit tenth in the all-time results.

Here are the top 10 all-time French clubs:
  1. Sochaux
  2. Marseille
  3. Metz
  4. Strasbourg
  5. Bordeaux
  6. St. Etienne
  7. Lens
  8. Monaco
  9. Rennes
  10. Lyon

Lyon's biggest ever win was against Marseille in 1997, with an 8-0 home win.

Even with all of Lyon's recent league success, they have not won the league cup in France since 2000/01, the year before their amazing run began.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tough Historical Opponents for the US National Soccer Team

These are the nations that the US National team has historically had a difficult time winning against. They are nations that the US has more losses against than wins and draws combined. I guess the US shouldn't feel too bad, most of those are the same countries that everyone has trouble beating. Also, these records include the days when the US team was, lets just say, not so good.

  • Argentina 2-6-0
  • Belgium 1-2-0
  • Brazil 1-12-0
  • Chile 3-4-0
  • Colombia 3-10-0
  • England 2-6-0
  • France 0-2-0
  • Germany 2-6-0
  • Israel 1-3-1
  • Italy 0-5-3
  • Mexico 15-29-10
  • Morocco 0-3-0
  • Netherlands 0-3-0
  • Spain 0-3-0
  • Soviet Union 0-3-1
  • Ukraine 0-2-1

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Orange Soccer Clubs

This is a list of clubs that have predominantly orange home shirts. Interesting that 12 out of the 28 listed teams with the color are in the Asian region, with three each in Japan, Korea, and Iran.

Houston Dynamo - USA
Dundee United - Scotland
Shakhtar Donetsk - Ukraine
FC Lorient - France
Aalesunds FK - Norway
Litex Lovech - Bulgaria
FC Ceahlăul - Romania
Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor - Turkey
Queensland Roar - Australia
Shandong Luneng - China
Wuhan Guanggu - China
Bargh Shiraz - Iran
Mes Kerman F.C. - Iran
Saipa FC - Iran
Albirex Niigata - Japan
Omiya Ardija - Japan
Shimizu S-Pulse - Japan
Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix - Korea
Gyeongnam FC - Korea
Jeju United FC - Korea
Umm-Salal - Qatar
Puntarenas FC - Costa Rica
Chiapas FC - Mexico
Alianza F.C. - Panama
Chepo FC - Panama
Cobreloa - Chile
Envigado FC - Colombia
Club Atlético Minero - Peru

I'm pretty sure there are more teams out there in the smaller leagues of the world who rock the orange shirts. Let me know who I missed and I'll add them to the list.

Pictures: Houston Dynamo, Dundee United, '68 FC Lorient, Shimizu S-Pulse, and Queensland Roar

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

High Ranked Soccer Nations with Small Populations

These are the nations in the top 50 of the current FIFA rankings with populations of less than 5½ million people, which is about the population of Wisconsin or Maryland.

  • 13 - Croatia - 4,453,500
  • 15 - Scotland - 5,116,900
  • 27 - Uruguay - 3,460,607
  • 28 - Norway - 4,752,735
  • 33 - Denmark - 5,475,791
  • 34 - N. Ireland - 1,741,600
  • 35 - Finland - 5,306,601
  • 37 - Moldova - 4,128,047
  • 42 - Ireland - 4,339,000
  • 48 - Lithuania - 3,369,600

My first thought was, how in the world did Moldova come to be ranked 37, above nations like Nigeria, Australia, South Korea, etc.? They've beaten Kazakhstan (122), Malta (135), Bosnia (62), Hungary (57) and Latvia (72), and had a draw with Turkey (25) in the last couple of years so they're not exactly beating world powers. FIFA rankings just don't make sense to me sometimes.

Anyways, it's interesting to note that all of the nations are in Europe besides Uruguay. Paraguay (24) was also close to making the list with just over 6 million people.

Kind of the opposite topic, but it's still surprising to me that India and China, who have 200 times the population of any of these nations, don't have better national teams.

If you jump up to the rank of 52 you could also include Wales, with a population of 3,004,600, which would mean that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would all make the list, along with the Republic of Ireland.

Along those same lines, the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark, and Finland are doing very well with small populations.

Top 50 Nations From Smallest to Largest:
N. Ireland

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2008 FC Dallas Roster Maps

These maps show where the players on the 2008 FC Dallas roster are from. Foreign-born players are mapped by their nation of birth and players born in the USA are mapped by their hometown, as listed at the official MLS player pages.

Eric Avila

Aaron Pitchkolan
David Wagenfuhr

Dax McCarty
Blake Wagner
Anthony Wallace

Ray Burse

Michael Dello-Russo

Bobby Rhine

New Jersey
Andrew Daniels

Arturo Alvarez
Kenny Cooper
Drew Moor
Brek Shea
Chase Wileman

Abe Thompson

Josh Lambo

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lowest Paid Former MLS Best XI Players


Annual Salary


Bobby Boswell


Houston Dynamo

Zach Thornton


New York Red Bulls

Jonathan Bornstein


Chivas USA

Jose Burciaga Jr


Colorado Rapids

Greg Vanney


LA Galaxy

Brad Guzan


Chivas USA

Eddie Robinson


Houston Dynamo

Michael Parkhurst


NE Revolution

Wade Barrett


Houston Dynamo

Steve Ralston


NE Revolution

Kevin Hartman


KC Wizards