Monday, April 17, 2006

English Premier League and Bobby Convey Artical

English Football
I just watched Manchester United finish off Tottemham 2-1, which means with 35 matches played, the Red Devils have 79 points, 6 ahead of Liverpool for second in the league and in the automatic qualifying spot for next seasons Champions League.

Chelsea won today as well, 3-0 over Everton, but due to United winning their match, they still have to wait for the official claiming of their second straight Prem Title.

Next week English football provides two really interesting matches.

First is the FA Cup Semi-Final being held at Old Trafford, which has Chelsea playing current European Champion Liverpool. This is Liverpools only chance for a trophy this season and Chealsea have declared that they will be dissatisfied with this season if they do not claim the domestic double (FA Cup and Prem title).

The second match is Arsenal hosting Tottenham at Highbury. That match should be a war for several reasons. Firstoff, these two teams hate each other. Second, if Tottenham win, they will be 7 points ahead of Arsenal for 4th place, effectively keeping Arsenal from finishing in the top 4of the Premiership and force Arsenal to win this season's Champions League title just to make it into the tournament next season. If Arsenal fail to finish 4th this season and fail to win the Champions League, they will play in the UEFA Cup next season, which does not provide as much revenue through TV rights or gate draw. If they win the Champions League and still fail to make top 4, they will still play in the Champions league next season, and the 4th place team will play UEFA Cup ball next season. This should be a very tense and hard fought match.

USA Soccer has a really good article about Bobby Convey, former DC United Midfielder and current rising star for Reading FC in England. It is a very good sign that another main stream US news publication is highlighting the US players, it only helps increase the visability of the sport in the US.

Alexi Lalas is moving jobs, again. He has resigned from his postion of running the front office of Red Bull New York in favor of taking over control of the LA Galaxy. Some said that when Red Bull took over the NY club, he would be on borrowed time. However, I think that unless forced out, this is a bad move. He had the chance to really get things going up there in NY with an ownership group that has proven already that they want to build that club up. Now he is going to be the boss of the very man who he complained about as a player in France 98, Steve Sampson. That should be interesting.

Everything Else
Tomorrow is Leg 1 of the Champions League Semi-Finals, with AC Milan hosting Barcelona. In my opinion, this should have been the matchup for the final. This is a world class match. Two of the strongest, most historical clubs in European Football. These two matches should be completely awesome to watch as football fans. I predict that Barcelona wins the two legs and goes on to the finals. They might not win tomorrow, but they will get an away goal which when they return to Nou Camp, will be like money in the bank.
Prediction: AC Milan 2 - Barcelona 1


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