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Morning Ticker: Harewood turns down Barbados (for now), Capello considers Beckham and Real Madrid’s touchdown

Good morning folks. If you have been waiting for your morning sampling of soccer news and notes, wait no longer.

Here are some interesting news tidbits from today and the weekend:

Harewood says no to Barbados. The U.S. national team’s path through World Cup qualifying almost got a bit tougher, and still might, after word surfaced that Barbados is courting Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood.

Barbados is facing Dominica in the first round of World Cup qualifying and was hoping to add Harewood for the decisive second leg on March 26 in Barbados. The teams tied 1-1 in the first match of the home-and-home series. Harewood, whose parents are from Barbados, would not rule out playing for Barbados in the future though so we could see him against the United States in June IF Barbados advances.

Egypt is Africa’s champion again. Mohamed Aboutriaka’s game-winning goal gave Egypt its second straight African Cup of Nations title on Sunday. Here is the game winner.

When someone figures out what Cameroon veteran Rigobert Song was thinking please let me know.

Chelsea eyeing Van Der Vaart. So much for Ronaldinho. Reports out of England revealed that Chelsea is scouting Dutch playmaker and Hamburg star Rafael Van Der Vaart. Does this mean the Blues are no longer on the Ronaldinho hunt? Good question.

Trapattoni set for Ireland job. Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni is set to become Ireland’s new coach once his contract with Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg expires in May. No word yet on whether Bruce Arena will apply for the soon to be vacant Red Bull Salzburg job.

Capello hints at Beckham recall. England manager Fabio Capello has hinted that David Beckham could be in line for his 100th cap when England face France in Paris on March 26. That sounds like good news for Beckham, but is it for the LA Galaxy, which plays its season opener on March 29 in Colorado? Probably not.

Real Madrid drops a touchdown on Vallodolid. The performance of the weekend went to Real Madrid, which thoroughly demolished Vallodolid on Sunday, 7-0. Yes, 7-0. Here are the goals:

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of your morning and be sure to check back in to Soccer By Ives for more news, notes and opinions as the day goes on.


  1. Egypt pays their players to stay home. Probably 2-3x more expensive than a similar level player from Argentina. There’s a reason players from countries like Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc don’t go abroad in big numbers. Especially to MLS.

  2. Kris,
    Egypt actually has a pretty strong domestic league and their best players get paid well to play in Egypt.The other African nations dont have that building in a natural competitor with the europeans,so young african players are cheaper.Also, language is a barrier for many of the Egyptian players, where alot of the other African players speak English or French many of the Egyptian players do not.

  3. I’m not sure what Song was thinking at the time, but after the event I believe he was grateful is was not playing for Colombia.

  4. Some notes

    The MLS doesn’t necessarily have to scout Egypt. The fact that barely any of their players make it to European leagues shows you that their quality isn’t as good as you think. The difference is they play as a team better than any other African team, except for the big 3 of Ghana/Ivory Coast/Camaroon. They are the anti-Nigeria–Nigeria’s whole roster play on big-named clubs, yet they are horrible as a team.

    They’ve been out of the Ronaldinho circus since 2007. They knew Lampard is close to being on his way out, so they’ve focused more to a CM/AM player. That’s why the focus lately has been on Luka Modric, Van Der Vaart, and Diego. VDV has the least of the chances to get there.

    Chelsea will have to pay more than anyone else for VanDerVaart because he doesn’t want to go there. He’s said he would like to go to Valencia first, then Juve second. If Chelsea really want him, they’ll have to break the bank and I don’t see that happening.

    They are not only tracking VDV, but Diego, Modric, Alonso, Lampard, etc, etc, etc. I don’t buy these “Team X is tracking Player Y” because with big clubs, they are tracking everyone and just eventually sign the player they can get the best deal for, financially and chemistry-wise.

  5. Does anyone else think that first RM goal should have been called offside? I think that it shows what crap the concept of “not involved in the play” has become. I admit I’m only seeing this on Ives’ linked video feed so I’m just guessing who is involved but it appears to me that the player on the right receives the ball, holds it then passes to Baptista, who then flicks it towards Robinho as he crosses from left to right. It seems to me that Robinho starts to try to get the ball but either can’t get to it or reconsiders after realising that he is offsides. After the ball is past him he throws both arms in the air to declare he is “not involved”. Meanwhile Baptista continues his run, picks up his own pass and slots it home.

    Is Robinho really “not involved”? I think that if the idea of offsides is to allow defenders to move forward because they don’t have to cover the other team’s player lurking near their goal, then the “not involved in the play” concept should really mean “not *able* to be involved”. Otherwise, the rule basically asks defenders to put absolute faith in the ability of the referees to always get the call right, which of course is not possible. I think a player should only be not counted as offsides if they are on the ground or on the far side of the pitch from the play and the ball never goes close to their side. Otherwise, defenders are forced to consider that a player has the potential to be involved, and protect against that possibility.

    I’m not sure if I’m making absolute sense here; maybe I’ll just summarise by saying: Sure, Robinho didn’t touch the ball, but he certainly made a scary looking run across the box that easily could have led to a goal. In that scenario, I would say he was involved.

  6. Ugh. And Barca lays another semi-egg.
    8 points behind. Doesn’t look very promising.

    And I was wondering the same thing about Egypt. Note to MLS: Please scout Africa, especially Egypt.

  7. On the Eqypt goal: you have to give credit to the referee for letting that play develop. There were two chances to blow for a PK on that play, but he was patient enough to play the advantage. So you have a world class play by Egypt in punishing the Cameroon blunder(s) instead of just another PK. NM

  8. Van Der Vaart has a lot of interest from big clubs(Juve has been mentioned as well), will be interesting to see where he goes.

    The Real Madrid game was fun to watch in a how many will they score kind of way. Totally in control of the game. Fun stuff.

  9. No offense to Marlon Harewood (or any blind Villans who might read the blog), but he’s not–er, what’s the phrase–very good.

    Nor are Barbados any good. So you put them together and you still end up with a crappy low-end CONCACAF team. I still will not take them for granted, but at the same time Harewood would not make them any more intimidating than they are now. Which is not very.


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