Good afternoon West Coast readers (and good evening to those of you on the East Coast). Today’s busy slate of soccer action gave us plenty of news, results and tidbits to digest. Here are some of the highlights:
France spoils Beckham’s 100th
Franck Ribery’s 32nd minute penalty kick spoiled David Beckham’s 100th appearance for England as France held on for a 1-0 victory in Paris. Beckham didn’t just play, he actually started for Fabio Capello’s squad, which managed just two shots on goal (France only had three).
Barbados edges Dominica, will now face USA
Dwayne Stanford came on as a second-half substitute and scored the only goal in Barbados’ 1-0 victory and 2-1 series aggregate victory against Dominica on Wednesday. The win pushes Barbados into the second-round of CONCACAF qualifying against the United States. The first match of their home-and-home series will take place at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on June 15.
Grenada puts up 10 on U.S. Virgin Islands
There aren’t many teams in the world that the Grenada national team is going to blow out, but it was made clear on Wednesday that the U.S. Virgin Islands is one of those teams. Grenada scored 10, yes 10 goals, to post a 10-0 victory in their World Cup qualifying match. Perhaps as shocking as the scoreline is the fact that New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph started for Grenada and didn’t manage to score a goal.
John O’Brien (Surf)aces
For all of those fans wondering where former U.S. national team midfielder John O’Brien was, and when he was getting back on the field, there is finally some news on him. O’Brien is now playing beach soccer. No,it’s not some new fly-by-night pro beach soccer league. He’s just playing soccer for fun. It seems the stories about his retirement from professional soccer are true, unless his comeback is going to include some beach work (hey, it worked for Rocky). At the very least, I hope this tidbit puts to rest those questions about O’Brien.
Villa blast topples Italy
The day’s best match-up featured Italy and Spain, which came down to one stunning strike from Valencia forward David Villa. His curling volley into the top corner of the net gave Spain the 1-0 victory. Here is Villa’s goal: