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Morning Ticker: Fluminense dumps Boca, Argentina blitzes Mexico and Honduras rolls


Good morning all. It’s the day after a truly crazy Wednesday of soccer news. Starting with Jozy Altidore’s transfer to Villarreal and ending with a flooded MLS match and Argentina’s thrashing of Mexico, yesterday had it all.

Today should be just a bit calmer. You have tonight’s MLS match between the Red Bulls and Chivas USA, which could be Altidore’s home farewell as a Red Bulls player, but other than that things should be pretty slow.

Yesterday’s madness kept me from posting my Euro 2008 Group C preview but I should have that up some time today, with Group D coming tonight and my tournament predictions on Friday.

For now, here is some news to get your day started:

Fluminense reaches Copa Libertadores final

Brazilian club Fluminense knocked off defending champions Boca Juniors in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night. After the teams tied, 2-2, in the first leg, Fluminense capitalized on a pair of ugly Boca mistakes to earn a place in the final against Liga de Quito. The final is set for June 25 and July 2.

Argentina thrashes Mexico

Lionel Messi scored a goal and helped set up two more as Argentina put a 4-1 whooping on Mexico in a friendly in San Diego.

Newly-appointed Mexico coach Sven-Goran Eriksson watched from the stands as ‘El Tri’ were ripped to shreds by a dynamic Argentine attack led by the dynamic duo of Messi and Sergio Aguero.

To be fair to Mexico, several key players did not play (Rafael Marquez, Pavel Pardo, Giovani Dos Santos and Guillermo Ochoa) but that still didn’t accound for how easily Argentina shredded a Mexico defense that did still feature regulars Carlos Salcido, Ricardo Osorio and Johnny Magallon.

American fan can take heart in knowing that the U.S. team looked better against Spain than Mexico did against Argentina, but that will only last a short while with Argentina on its way to face the Americans at Giants Stadium on Sunday.

Honduras pummels Puerto Rico

The European-based trio of David Suazo, Julio Leon and Wilson Palacios combined for all four goals as Honduras downed Puerto Rico, 4-0 in World Cup qualifying action in Honduras. While this result isn’t exactly surprising, Mexican fans might want to get a little worried to see Honduras’ top players doing so well ahead of the second-round of World Cup qualifying, which will likely feature Mexico, Honduras and Canada figthting for two spots in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.

Eto’o apologizes for attack

From the "What was he thinking?" department comes word that (for now) Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o apologized for his assault on a Cameroonian journalist. Apparently Eto’o headbutted the journalist after being called illiterate in a clash between players and journalists. I don’t mind saying that if a player tries to headbutt me I’m shooting a double-leg and going to some ground-and-pound.

What do you think of these stories? Share your thoughts below.


  1. … and the problem with a Boca fan getting beat up is??? 🙂 (just joking). Por Siempre River!

    Fieldsy, you’re right, the atmosphere is totally different from a Euro game. The other semi between LDU Quito and America was similarly electric. That’s why I’m trying to get the word out to American soccer fans: look south for some really exciting soocer. In some ways, it’s better, more exciting soccer than the best leagues in Europe.

  2. i watched the boca vs. fluminese game last night and it was one of the best games of the copa libertadores. the atmosphere was electric and they didn’t need to throw tissue paper at players taking corners to have a home field advantage. the goal by washington to tie the game was brilliant. the only scar on the game was the fight between boca fans and brazilian police. one brazilian police officer was really beating a boca fan.

  3. Ives,

    I understand your predicament, but I do think that the major S. American club competition does merit attention, and also the Brazilian and Argentine leagues. Maybe you could hook up with the blogger for, a great blog site on La Primera, or, another one, if you want someone to do for those leagues what you’ve done for MLS teams. I haven’t really found one for the Brazilian league.

    Oh, and two name to watch out for:

    Diego Buonanotte, 20, River Plate, another mini-dynamo, tearing it up.

    Damian Escudero, 21, Velez Sarsfield. An amazing #10.

  4. ives, why you keep pointing out that mexico we’re missing players when argentina we’re also missing tevez, riquelme , cambiasso, etc. . that was a asswhooping either way you look at it. please quit pointing that out . thanks.

  5. Christian – I didn’t say that ‘Mexico don’t have a player of their caliber.’ I said ‘you could argue that these two players are better than anyone on the Mexican team right now.’ Clearly it’s open for debate, and guys like Pardo, Dos Santos, Guardado, & Neri are in that debate. Mexico has much greater attacking depth and a better team in my opinion, but those two guys have a singular ability to turn a game, perhaps moreso than anyone on el tri. So what I said was not ridiculous. It was debatable.

  6. Dave, he is refering to the DC-Dynamo match that was postponed because of a massive thunderstorm last night.

  7. Jeery-

    I agree with you. Right now Honduras’ biggest opponent is Honduras. Their mental weakness makes them capable of losing to Guadeloupe and T&T, but talent makes them capable of beating Mexico and US. Really Rueda is great and hopefully he is good with mental problems as he is with tactics. Raw talent in Honduras is great, player development (mental and physical) not so good.

  8. De Guzman and Suazo are great players but to say that Mexico don’t have a player of their caliber is just ridiculous. Not too long ago the american fans were proclaiming that Michael Bradley was a better player than De Guzman. hehe, i know, it’s ridiculous.

    I think Pavel Pardo is just as good as De Guzman, although De Guzman is younger so he has greater potential in the long run.

  9. nico –

    Agreed, Rueda is a tactical Genius and trust me Honduras is only gonna get better, the lack of Def was honestly due to the poor conditions on the field but there are some tweaks that need to be made especially on dead ball situations, like someone mentioned earlier at this time Suazo could be the best player in the region however our MF is stacked with defensive and playmaking players ! mark my word dont be surprised if u see Honduras get to the Hex and earn a WC spot

  10. I watched the Honduras game. It was an impressive result considering the conditions. The game was delayed an hour or so due to rain and water on the pitch. The ball couldn’t move at all the firs half, the score would have been 10-0, or similar, on a dry surface. Honduras looked good up front, but weak in the back. Moreover, I think Rueda is a very good coach. I think more attention should be given to him.

  11. Hincha, I just know more about and watch more European soccer. I’m a firm believer in the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none.” People can pretend to be experts on every league in the world, as well as men’s and women’s soccer, but the reality is you can only watch so much soccer and follow so much. I’m not saying I don’t know anything about Latin American soccer. I know more than most, but I focus far more on American soccer and European soccer (which might explain why I actually know how to spell Villarreal unlike some people, Ohhh).

    I try to touch on Latin American soccer when I can (and I’m positive this wasn’t the first Copa Libertadores report I’ve ever done) but I can’t cover it all.

    The truth is it is an area of the soccer world that needs more coverage on SBI and as soon as I can find somebody to help fill that void I will make sure it gets more coverage.

  12. Ives, im hearing that Boro has edged Everton in the Michael Bradley sweepstakes. They say Everton offered 5.8 million a week ago and was turned down and had yet to make another offer. Boro swooped in and for only 200k million pounds more got Bradley. Can this be right. It must be the relationship Heerenveen have with Boro. Boateng and Afonso Alves both played there

  13. Hey Guys,

    Any word on Adu’s injury? Was it at all serious or was it just a bruised foot? What are the chances that we will see Adu, Altidore and Donovan starting against Argentina? We’re going to need all three of them and more to compete in that game.

  14. Ives,

    Neven Subotic signed with B. Dortmund, or so is reported on Do we know what’s going on with his international status. Seems like he’s the real deal, and while the centerbacks did a better job against Mexico it’s becoming clear that Gooch/Boca are not the cream of the crop. We need Neven! Any info you have would be helpful.



  15. the takedown would not only be highly respectable, but Ives’ street cred would reach dizzying heights.

    you know your typical media guy would just duck, cover, and try to cash in for big $$$ the following day.

  16. I must’ve seen that qualifying grouping before, but after thinking about it, Mexico has a truly tough group there, and I would not trade places with them for our US group for anything. Luck of the draw for the US. You can easily argue that in Suazo and De Guzman, both Honduras and Canada have a player that is better than anyone on the Mexican team right now. Yikes! I’m actually rooting for Mexico to make it to the Hex b/c I think it’s good for the region that us and them duke it out for supremacy, but it ain’t no guarantee they make it this time around. And the fans have to be jittery after having failed to qualify for the Olympics and hiring a ‘gringo’ coach from Sweeden of all places.

  17. Ives, is there a reason you pay so little attention to S. American soccer? This is your first mention, I think, of the Copa Libertadores. There have been some scintillating games on in the last few rounds which you have ignored. Also, there’s a great race coming down to the wire in the Argentine clausura and some great young stars showing their stripes in those matches.

  18. “I don’t mind saying that if a player tries to headbutt me I’m shooting a double-leg and going to some ground-and-pound.”

    lol! I’ll wager you fight better than Kimbo Slice. And you probably need those skills for the next time you see Eddie Johnson. 😉

  19. Ives:

    After reading that last line, I have to think you were a wrestler at some point? Double-leg takedown, 2 points, then throw the half? Am I wrong?


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