Top Stories

Morning Ticker: Zenit wins UEFA Cup, Kahn retires,


Good morning all. With the UEFA Cup in the rearview mirror it is time to look toward what should be an entertaining weekend of soccer, particularly in Italy. I will be heading to Red Bulls practice today and reporting from there. For now, here are some stories from yesterday and this morning to get your day going.

Zenit wins UEFA Cup

After 72 minutes of trying to break down Rangers’ stingy defense, the attack-minded artists from Zenit finally broke through with a pair of late masterpiece goals to help Zenit post a 2-0 UEFA Cup final win in Manchester, England.

If you missed the match then you missed a stunning performance from Zenit playmaker Andrei Arshavin, who has surely rocketed up the wanted list of Europe’s top clubs. I think it’s safe to say that Roman Abramovich is getting a pile of cash ready.

Kahn retires

Long-time Bayern Munich and German national team goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has retired, ending a 21-year playing career. I will never forget his heroics at the 2002 World Cup, particularly how he stoned Landon Donovan on two occasions to keep the U.S. national team from pulling off an all-time upset. As much as he was an easy player to hate, there was never any doubting his quality when he was at his best.

Hull thumps Watford to reach promotion final

So much for Watford making its way right back to the Premier League. Hull City, which has never played in the top flight in its 104-year history, thrashed Watford 4-1 to advance to the Coca Cola Championships playoff final against Bristol City.

Jay DeMerit did get the start for Watford, but endured an ugly match in what could very well be his last for a club he served as captain of earlier this season.

Hicks hit by credit crunch

As if Liverpool fans didn’t already hate Tom Hicks enough, now there’s word that the American owner may not have the financial strength to carry out the building of a new stadium for Liverpool. News emerged on Wednesday revealing that Hicks has had to scrap plans for a stadium project in Texas. Anybody else get the feeling that Hicks should unload his half of Liverpool ASAP? If he doesn’t, you could see things get very ugly this summer.

Odds and Ends

Rio Ferdinand has signed a new deal with Man U through 2013. … Sven Goran Erikkson is set to meet with Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra regarding his future, though no decision is expected for a week, which might explain why Benfica has given up on hiring him.

That’s all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts on these stories, or any other stories emerging from the morning, in the comments section below.


  1. Speaking of dreadful officiating, can anyone recall which referee was officiating the US – Germany game in ’02?

    If you don’t already know, it won’t be hard to guess.

  2. Re: Hicks

    There is a big difference between Hicks being in financial trouble and not building a $0.5B complex b/c the market is in trouble. From what I’ve read – including the two articles you’ve posted – Hicks is backing away from the project because of the market climate won’t allow Hicks to make a profit on the project right now. My guess is that he could secure financing, but the rates would be extremely high b/c of the inflation expectations and other economic uncertainties. The situation in England is different since the pound is strong and the economy is growing with minimal inflation. If the US economy were as good as it was a few years ago, Hicks would have been able to persue the project.

    UK reporters are of course going to jump on this and twist the story around, but I don’t think Hicks will have a problem getting funding for a stadium in the UK.

    I actually think that – other than the public perception issues – Liverpool is in a better financial state than Man U.

  3. Interesting update on Convey from Reading Evening Post. Knee is still a problem so Coppell sent him home before Derby game for an injection. Probably means not available for US team.

    “Meanwhile Bobby Convey is back in the USA where he will have an injection in an attempt to clear up his troublesome knee problem.

    Coppell added: “He flew home early because his knee was still not 100 per cent.

    “I told him I wouldn’t be using him for our final game at Derby and we both made the decision that he would fly back to the States early and get an injection in his knee.”

    “The sooner he gets it done the better as he will come back in better shape.”

  4. Although the US deserved a penalty call in the match against Germany, it is important to remember that in the previous game Mexico deserved a PK for an O’Brien handball that the referee missed. Blaming the loss to Germany on one missed call is too simplistic.

  5. I thought we all agreed to never again mention U.S.A. vs. Germany 2002, due to the German players admitting they got outplayed and the uncalled intentional handball in the mouth of the German goal.

    Oh wait that was just me.

    Tampa Matt…are you serious? I’ll tell you where he ends up. In England. Possibly in the Premiership. Just because his current coach is a dick doesn’t mean he has been invisible for the past several seasons.

  6. Actually I thought most of the UEFA Cup was pretty dreadful, thanks to Rangers and their tactics, not sure the general population would have appreciated it…

    On the Hicks situation, it sounds like the banks are going to reign him in sooner than later, especially with the news that he doesn’t have the money to start a long planned project in Arlington, I just have one thing to say: GET OUT OF MY CLUB and sell to DIC!

  7. 1. Kahn: He was great that day against the US, but Fringes was the better keeper for Germany.

    2. Rangers: With the boring ball they play,they shouldn’t have made it that far. Wonder if DMB stays there. Although it would stuff Fulham full of more Yanks, I’d love to see DMB playing in front of Koncheski on the left wing for FFC.

    3. DeMerit: Wonder where he ends up? Any guesses. Couldn’t the Galaxy used a center back?

  8. US vs. Deutschland ’02 – Torsten Fringes was the perpetrator of the “last gasp hand ball on the goal line” as I believe Ty Keough called it during the live coverage.

  9. Now maybe Zenit can do something about being 14th in the 16 team Russian Premier League with the summer break looming. Then again, they have 3-4 games in hand on the rest of the league.

  10. It wasn’t Kahn who kept the U.S. national team from pulling off an upset in 2002. It was the handball and bad officiating.

  11. Lehman’s BS won’t be as fun anymore without Kahn there… But I’m sure being retired isnt going to keep his mouth shut, just wait til euro’s he’ll be bad mouthing someone this summer.

  12. Hey folks, apologies for the incomplete report earlier. I didn’t mean to post it. I’ll be adding to the post so keep an eye out.

  13. The image I have of Kahn is how, after all the talk of how upset he was at being #2 in 2006 after Lehman, he walked up to Lehman before the penalty kick shoot-out (with Argentina?), gave him advice and wished him good luck.

    Of course I’ll also remember Lehman’s cheat sheet stuck in his sock, which he referred to before each kick he faced 🙂

  14. Kahn’s saves on Donovan were certainly troubling images that will never escape the mind of a U.S. Soccer fan. Same with the image of a handball on the line keeping the equalizing goal out of the net. But yes, Kahn was certainly a tremendous keeper.

  15. Ives,

    Are you writing anything on Watford getting spanked 4-1 in the second leg of the promotion playoff? Or should I be more patient?

  16. I’m so happy that Zenit won. Rangers play such dismal football. When I die and go to hell, I’ll have to watch that Rangers-Fiorentina semifinal 0-0 for 210 minutes for eternity. It will be fitting payment for my sins.


Leave a Comment