Top Stories

Morning Ticker: Beckham gets England call, USA-Spain venue chosen, and Wednesday recap


Good morning folks. While many of you will immerse yourselves in college basketball action today, this Thursday is actually a pretty busy day in the soccer world even though there aren’t exactly a ton of games being played.

Today we found out if David Beckham will be called in to the England national team for its friendly against France next week and tonight is the decisive Olympic Qualifying match between the United States and Canada.

Here are some news tidbits to get your day started:

Capello calls up Beckham

David Beckham will have his chance for his 100th cap when England faces France in a friendly on Wednesday after being named to England’s provisional squad for the match. Both Beckham and Theo Walcott were called in for the match.

What does this mean for Beckham’s participation in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s season opener in Colorado on Saturday, March 29? Barring injury, it shouldn’t mean much considering Beckham pulled up double duty last year with almost no time between games. In this case, the matches are three days apart.

USA-Spain venue set

The U.S. national team will face Spain in Santander at Racing de Santander’s stadium, El Sardinero, US Soccer announced late Wednesday. Santander is a nice coastal city which should offer up some beautiful beach weather for those of you considering making the trek. It isn’t Barcelona or Madrid, but it has its own appeal. The stadium itself holds fewer than 23,000 fans, which should make for a loud, if cozy, environment.

Pachuca downs Motagua

On the same night that the Houston Dynamo defeated CDS Municipal to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, Pachuca also punched its ticket for the semis with a 1-0 victory against Amado Guevara’s CD Motagua. Pachuca will now face D.C. United in the Champions Cup semifinals.

Wondering who Houston will face? The Dynamo will meet the winner of the Saprissa-Atlante quarterfinal, which will be decided tonight in Saprissa, Costa Rica. Atlante won the first leg, 2-1.

ManU extends lead atop EPL

In case you missed it while filling out your NCAA brackets yesterday, Manchester United extended its lead to three points atop the EPL standings with a 2-0 win against Bolton. Superman, otherwise known as Cristiano Ronaldo, netted two goals in the first 19 minutes of the match, including this beautiful free kick:


Lazio downs Roma in Rome Derby

Lazio put a major dent in the title hopes of arch-rival Roma on Wednesday with a 3-2 victory in the Rome Derby. Velon Behrami scored the following goal in the 90th minute to give Lazio all three points and keep Roma from closing in on Serie A leaders Inter Milan:


San Jose wins Carolina Challenge Cup

The reborn San Jose Earthquakes won their first trophy by beating the Charleston Battery, 2-1, to clinch the Carolina Challenge Cup on Wednesday. With the Red Bulls tying Toronto in the early match, the Quakes clinched on the strength of a goal and assist performance from Ramiro Corrales.

FIFA continues Taylor witchhunt

Birmingham defender Martin Taylor received a three-match ban for his ugly tackle that broke the leg of Arsenal’s Eduardo DaSilva. FIFA doesn’t believe the ban was long enough and is lobbying the English FA for a longer suspension.


  1. I’d go to Santander over that toilet known as Madrid any day. Barcelona would have been great, but 20K in Camp Nou wouldn’t be so great.

    Mallorca would have been the best option. THAT would have been beach weather. 🙂 Santander is a good choice though. I couldn’t see us selling out a much bigger stadium as Brett mentioned above.

    Re Scott & CD’s back and forth: I’ve noticed that most in Western Europe hate the policy not the people. (which is ironic considering EU policy is nearly identical) It also matters on the person. If you aren’t a ‘when in Rome do as the Roman’s do’ kinda fellow, they will hate you just like many here do to tourists from other countries.

  2. Scott,

    Maybe they just don’t like you.

    Posted by: CD | March 20, 2008 at 01:37 PM

    Thanks for your intelligent response.

  3. kevin- not the same…. Spain is playing a less talented and less technical team, where if we had Spain the US would be playing a HIGH CALIBUR team….

    think about if Panama were to come to the US, do you think we could pull 23k+??

    when brazil came, 90% of the people there were wearing brazilian jersey’s, and 70% werent brazilian O.o

  4. RK,

    I would think no matter who Spain is playing, they could fill a large stadium. But I understand why they would want to play all around the country.

  5. Marca (the big Spanish paper) had previously reported that the Spain vs USA game would be held in Sevilla. When will we get confirmation from the two FAs? I’m in Spain in the beginning of June…so I need to know where to go to the game!

  6. Scott,

    I did meet people that disliked our foreign policy and questioned the the US’s socioeconomic domestic policy but I did not sense any hate. Don’t be afraid talk to them and don’t assume they hate you because of where you are from.

  7. Scott,

    Not sure what happened since January but I lived in Western Europe for 8 months, I was in Western Europe for two weeks two years ago and I will be in Western Europe in 3 weeks for another visit. Never met people that hated the US and never met anyone that disliked me because of my nationality. On my impending journey I will evaluate if my citizenship garners dislike.

  8. CD, I’m curious where you live? I have been living in Western Europe since January and there is a lot of truth to what Rob C said. Of course, it doesn’t apply to everyone but I have encountered many many visceral reactions when people find out that I’m American. And this includes English, Spanish, Belgian, Danish, and much more. There is widespread anger at US governmental policy but there is also enough dislike of the citizens as well to merit comment.

  9. I think these Euro teams and their fans will “get up” for a friendly with the U.S. because, well, people hate the United States. In Europe, I would imagine nothing is worse for your morale than losing to the U.S. in soccer. I think these games will be pretty intense.

    Posted by: Rob C | March 20, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Sorry to bust your ethnocentric world perspective bubble but Western Europeans don’t hate America. They might not be over impressed with some US governmental decisions but they don’t hate America.

    Spain had Liechtenstein in their qualifying group for the European Championship. Losing a match to Liechtenstein in a match that matters would be a lot worse than losing a friendly to a team that qualifies for every World Cup.

    But if your World perspective makes you feel better, by all means don’t let me alter it for you.

  10. Rob C- give and take really… i think the stadium will sell out but i highly doubt if we were in large euro stadium it would.. while i agree that they’d think itd be bad for the moral by losing to the US, i just dont see spain coming up to arms against the US in a friendly before Euro..

    england on the other hand may sell out Wimbley, but even to that point alot of the english fans ive talked to dont take friendlies all that seriously unless its against another top notch team.. BUT i do see them taking our game a bit seriously, as we do have history together 😛 bunch of colonials with pitch forks

  11. Hey folks, sorry for the Jardinero/Sardinero slip. Freudian?

    And boo on the weather forecast. I was going to make it a mini-vacation. So much for that.

  12. David, Spain seems to do that a lot. They like to bring the team around the nation, and not just the two largest cities with huge stadiums. Recently, they’ve played in Salamanca and I think Huelva (or somewhere else in SW Spain).

  13. kpugs- it wasnt malicious, taylor has one of the cleanest (if not the cleanest) record in the epl. only handed out a few yellow cards his entire career.

    yes it was VERY unfortunate, but it was merely an unfortunate turn of events. either way, 3 games, 5 games, the suspsension is up to the English FA and ill say they have a better view of the tackle and what the outcome should be.

    heck, Eduardo is even taking the high road and accepting it wasnt intentional… i agree that FIFA needs to keep their noses out of this

  14. Ives, I’m kind of surprised that you have no comment on Beckham’s presentation of the life time achievement award to Pele last night.

  15. Berger, I’m looking at those schedules and i can’t help thinking its almost a toss up. I could care less who wins I don’t like either of them anyway.

    And i’m really hoping that ESPN does the right thing and puts Euro08 on classic, I wouldnt want them to interrupt a marlins vs cubs game with an Italy v France game

  16. I think these Euro teams and their fans will “get up” for a friendly with the U.S. because, well, people hate the United States. In Europe, I would imagine nothing is worse for your morale than losing to the U.S. in soccer. I think these games will be pretty intense.

  17. Spurs-Chelsea match was easily the best of the current campaign. No thoughts on a dramatic 4-4 tie and Ashley Cole’s shocking tackle?

  18. I am thinking the Spanish fans might be a little more excited about the European Championships this summer than they are about a friendly with the US. Sounds like a good venue selection.

  19. Wow. Best match of the year in the EPL yesterday and it didn’t even make the morning roundup.

    If you have a chance to watch a replay of Spurs v Chelsea, it’s worth it, even if you already know the result.

  20. David Berger- i disagree. the smaller venue might be nicer. a sell out in a smaller venue of 23k fans looks better then 23k fans in a stadium 60k+.

    lets not forget we arent the cream of the crop for spain. what appeal does a friendly against the US (if you’re spain) have on the common spainard except to rub a win in our faces (if it happens). I for one, am glad its in a smaller stadium

  21. A couple corrections on the venue, Ives. Its El Sardinero (named after the beach it sits on), not El Jardinero. Second, Santander is like San Francisco at that time of the year, so it might not quite be beach weather. You are right though, Santander is a lovely city, especially up around the stadium.

  22. Beckham better not miss L.A’s opener.

    Why is US-Spain in such a small stadium? You would think Spaniards would be mad about that.

    The fact that RB has two ties in the Carolina Challenge Cup angers me greatly.

    I would prefer Arsenal winning the league instead of Manchester United. United has the easier remaining schedule.

    Manchester United remaining schedule: vs. Liverpool, vs. Aston Villa, at Middlesbrough, vs. Arsenal, at Blackburn, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham, at Wigan

    Arsenal remaining schedule: at Chelsea, at Bolton, vs. Liverpool, at Manchester United, vs. Reading, at Derby, vs. Everton, at Sunderland


Leave a Comment