Happy New Year Readers!
Much like broken New Years resolutions The Soccer List is back from it’s Christmas vacation, refreshed and with sharpened blades ready to take on the biggest stories in football, and failing that stories which might be amusing (Editors note: Not a guarantee). This edition of the list, will take a look back at some stories from the past month, which fell by the wayside because Christmas month at SC101’s Canadian HQ generally involves some very good wine. So, put the kettle on because we could be here a while!
No. 1 – United States Soccer Federation Name Men’s and Women’s ALL TIME XI…. Hope Solo Not Amused!
The USSF capped off it’s centenary celebrations by getting some journalists and former players together and deciding who their best players of
the last 20 years all time have been! On the men’s side of things Joe Gaetjens only received TWO votes despite scoring arguably the most important goal in United States footballing history way back in 1950. Given the fact that the Men’s National Team have only been good (relatively speaking) since World Cup ’94, the roster in 4-4-2 formation of GK: Brad Friedel DF: Marcelo Balboa, Carlos Bocanegra, Eddie Pope, Steve Cherundolo MF: Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Tab Ramos, Claudio Renya FW: Eric Wynalda, and Brian McBride isn’t overly surprising, no matter how nice it’d have been to see some of the builders of football in America crack the squad it is after all the All Time team.
On the Women’s side things got down right catty! Most people surveyed picked World Cup winner and 2 time Olympic gold medalist Briana Scurry as the best goalkeeper in the history of the program over NO TIME World Cup winner and double Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo. This infuriated Hope Solo who launched a scathing attack on Julie Foudy and the “Ponytail Posse” blaming them for her having been overlooked, which I found ironic because when I build a team one of the things I look for is having the ability to play nice with the other kids and Hope Solo has never struck me as having that no matter how skilled a goalkeeper she is.
Arguably the most interesting selection for the team was 24 year old striker Alex Morgan who has only been a member of the national team since 2010! Despite being arguably the most explosive attacking player in the women’s game today; I don’t think her accomplishments are yet at the level of Shannon Boxx or Carli Lloyd who were omitted . The Women’s roster played out in a 4-3-3 and contained GK: Briana Scurry DF: Joy Fawcett, Brandi Chastain, Carla Overbeck, Christie Rampone MF: Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilley FW: Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Alex Morgan.
No. 2 – Cardiff City Haven’t Won the World Cup, Malky Mackay SACKED!!
Malaysian McDonald’s franchise owner Vincent Tan is quite a man, he knows how to pair brown leather driving gloves with a dress shirt and football kit which both happen to be tucked into a pair of slacks! He also has quite the mustache and has a bizarre celebration where he pats the top of his head with both hands while smiling manaically! Despite this he is sure he knows his soccer and he’s shocked that Cardiff City (the club he owns) haven’t won the World Cup, despite the fact that they aren’t a national team as such, or indeed at all. So shortly after saying he wouldn’t sack Malky Mackay, he sacked Malky Mackay and brought in ex Manchester United supersub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to win Cardiff City the World Cup, and possibly blow up the moon!
No. 3 – 15 Year Old Jessie Fleming Debuts for Canadian Women’s National Team
While a women’s international invitational tournament wouldn’t normally make The List, London, Ontario’s Jessie Fleming is a bit special. The 15 year old mutli-sport athlete has been described as a “once in a generation talent”, and joins former/potential future women’s national team player Kara Lang as having made their senior debut at 15 years old. Not only that the youngsters boot of choice is the Adidas Copa Mundial, in a day and age where, speed, agility, suction cups, and what not are marketed to make you play better, it’s great to see a youngster who’s said, just get me a quality well built boot and I’ll do the rest! Kudos to Jessie Fleming who I’m sure you’ll see this summer suiting up for Canada at the Women’s Under 20 World Cup and possibly next summer at the big dance the Women’s World Cup!
No. 4 – Manchester United Out of FA Cup, Living on a Prayer in League Cup
What a week it has been for supporters of Newton Heath LYR FC, knocked out of the FA Cup at home to Swansea, and dropping the first leg of the League Cup semi-final to Sunderland who are of course led by The Soccer List favourite Phil Bardsley GOAL MACHINE, who scored the first goal of the match (don’t listen to everyone who said that it was Ryan Giggs, that’s harsh on Giggs, Bardsley’s ball was going in the net). As the League Cup is pretty much the only silverware that Manchester United can win this season (they were knocked out of The Dog and Duck Cup in a Quarter-Final Replay at Melchester Rovers), the pressure surely has to be on David Moyes who appears to have been allowed access to the cupboard right after it became bare. So Manchester United fans enjoy feeling how most supporters feel, as though their club is utterly useless!
No. 5 – New Reviews to Check Out
Right so lots to cover here since the sabbatical, so lets quickly get cracking shall we. The gaffer has been a busy boy over the last 40 days busting out reviews of the Adidas adiPure 11Pro Samba Edition, the brand spanking new Adidas F50 Samba, and Nike’s latest release in the Tiempo series the Tiempo Legend V so have a look see and see what he makes of some top tier boots.
But that being said Bryan isn’t the only one who’s been busy, Jim has also been cranking out reviews over the last month dropping in with three of his own. He’s offered his opinions on the XBlades Sniper Speed, the XBlades Legend Speed, for you turf junkies the Nike Hypervenom Phelon TF; as Jim is our resident injury specialist he usually includes a few nuggets of info in his boot reviews about how they’ll do on the injury prevention/recovery front.
Hopping across the pond to the mean streets of Dundee and Kevin has got his hand on yet more handmade boots and has been nice enough to
brag tell about his experiences with the Cinquestelle Classica AG and Ryal’s Italia; so if you like reading about handcrafted, no nonsense boots which bring back memories of the days of yore, Kevin is your man to read this week!
Also in December I took another look at a futsal staple the Joma Top Flex and walked away thoroughly impressed with them, so if you’re in the market for a new pair of indoor kicks check that out.
No. 6 – Blades on the Road to Respectability!
The month of December saw my beloved Sheffield United go undefeated! A 2-nil FA Cup win away at Cambridge started the month and was followed by a 1-nil at home to high flying Swindon Town, a dour nil-nil draw at Stevenage, a 1-1 draw with Oldham, and concluded with a Boxing Day treat, a 3-1 hammering of Tranmere Rovers. Just like that we were climbing up the table to respectability! New Years Day saw us take a bump losing 2-1 to Walsall, but all would be forgotten on the weekend.
Following the win at Cambridge in the FA Cup Second Round we drew ourselves a plum tie for the Third Round, Aston Villa away! In the same week which Villa manager Paul Lambert moaned about having to play the FA Cup (and then fielded a lineup featuring Christian Benteke) 6000 intrepid Blades fans ventured down the M1 to the M6 before probably getting lost at Spaghetti Junction (look it up) for an away day to be proud of! Nigel Clough’s charges tore into a seemingly apathetic Villa side, beating them to every ball, winning every tackle, and taking the lead through Jamie Murphy after only 20 minutes. Villa drew level 15 minutes from time, but it was Ryan Flynn who won the match for the Blades with an absolute WORLDIE of a goal which sent me (listening at work on the radio) dancing around the room and Woooooo-ing like I was Ric Flair and grinning like an idiot with excitement over playing either Norwich or Fulham in the Fourth Round.
So that does it for another addition of The Soccer List, which if everything goes well with my brain and fingers will be back to it’s pre-December weekly format. So until next week, Ray Hudson would want you to make some magisterial passes like Chameleon Eyes!