Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A few things...

I will start a short string of goodbye-to-summer transfer Top 5's tomorrow with my seasonal Shrewd list. A few of these items may be slightly stale, but I've been distracted with window stuff and finally have time, so this is sort of an AFT, combined with a dash of Video Wednesday and a sprinkle of He Said What? - and it's long...

#1 - I have learned that free agent U.S. Under-20 forward Vincenzo Bernardo now also has Dutch and German clubs showing interest.

#2 - The U.S. Open Cup final is tonight, with D.C. United hosting Seattle for the silver. S365 has match notes, while WV Hooligan offers a preview and a prediction. I hate to be contrary, buddy, but I'm tabbing Seattle to win it.

Also tonight, new American Celtic keeper Dominic Cervi will be handed his debut against Benfica in Toronto.

#3 - The Daily Breeze's Nick Green explains exactly how good things have gotten on TV for stateside soccer fans.

#4 - My new MLS Club Ladder is up. And in case you missed it, my bit on U.S. U-20 attacker Mix Diskerud, complete with the Thomas Rongen Egypt usage plan. You can expect another interview with one of Rongen's key men before the weekend arrives.

We stick with S365 for Clark Whitney's weekly Bundesliga take and Andrew Discenza's Prem wrap.

#5 - A couple of MLS injury updates of note for contenders: Chicago's Brian McBride is ahead of schedule and versatile Galaxy ace Sean Franklin has returned to training.

Also, Goal's Greg Lalas scoops that Fire forward Chris Rolfe is set to move to Aalborg BK in January.

On a less sunny note, three league refs are being benched.

#6 - Up a little late, it's the MLS Goal of the Week nominees:

#7 - As we like to do, let's check out MOTD2's 2 Good 2 Bad:

#8 - The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson attempts to explain why the English transfer window didn't close with much of a bang - and perhaps uncovers a looming shift of power in UEFA?

#9 - I can't let it pass that Standard's Axel Witsel committed one of the worst, most brainless horror tackle offenses I've ever seen this weekend, severely breaking the leg of Anderlecht's Marcin Wasilewski. You can watch it here, but I'd suggest to not if you've just eaten or are squeamish - it ain't good, folks.

The Poland right right back, who seemed on the verge of a move to Hull City before this incident, is expected to be out for at least 12-15 months, if he is able to return to playing at all. He is set for a second surgery any day now. Meanwhile, Witsel has been suspended until November 23rd.

I have a hard time imagining Witsel doing this on purpose, but looking at the tape, I also have a hard time figuring out what he was doing. Thanks to the great Mauves English site Purple Dynamite, we can go through the reactions of players from both Anderlecht and Standard.

With Anderlecht also losing midfielder Jan Polak for six months from a reckless challenge during the game, I suppose Purple Dynamite should get it's say as well - the least I could do for their coverage of the chilling incident and an aftermath which saw ambush supporter riots, death threats and the bizarre apparent fallout for coach Ariel Jacobs.

You can offer a recovery note that will soon be placed on a huge card to be presented to Wasilewski here.

#10 - On another player misconduct note, I agree with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the Eduardo dive flap. People became way too hostile over what was far from the worst dump or field act, seemingly glossing over the fact that the forward spent most of two seasons recovering from a broken leg.

And after Witsel's foul, I think there can be no doubt that the furor over this incident was beyond overwrought.

- Greg Seltzer


bhamhawker said...

"ALSO" from Holland and Germany? Did I miss an earlier report with other countries in the race for Bernardo?

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, a few posts back. He has continuing interest from England and Spain.

Wanderer said...

Ouch. My leg hurt watching that video. Absolutely brutal.

bhamhawker said...

Thanks Greg.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Wanderer: Yeah, it is not an easy clip to watch.