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Mid-Day Ticker: Ghana advances to ACN final, Robinho to Santos done and more



For a team missing its biggest names, Ghana sure is having plenty of success.

The Black Stars defeated Nigeria in Thursday's first African Cup of Nations semifinal, 1-0, behind Asamoah Gyan's 21st minute goal to advance to the cup final.

Gyan lifted Ghana past Angola in the quarterfinals with the lone goal of that match, as well.

Ghana, playing without Michael Essien, John Pantsil, Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari, has fielded a team comprised mostly of players from its U-20 World Cup championship squad and is a win away from taking the continental trophy.

The Black Stars will face either Egypt or Algeria in the Jan. 31 final.

Also happening Thursday:


Manchester City has loaned Robinho to Santos FC for six months, putting an end to a disappointing 2009-2010 campaign for the talented Brazilian forward in England.

Robinho, coming off a strong season last year, failed to deliver the same punch to the City attack while competing with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor for playing time. Now he is going home, but he won't come cheaply – Santos will be assuming all of the wages and bonuses stipulated in his contract.

Red Bulls fans circle your calendars – Santos comes to open Red Bull Arena on March 20.


England international and Manchester United centerback Rio Ferdinand was handed a four-match ban by the FA Thursday after elbowing Hull City's Craig Fagan in the back of the head Saturday. The suspension was initially a 3-gamer, but after Ferdinand denied any wrongdoing, the FA reportedly tacked on another game.

Ferdinand had just returned from a three-month injury absence.


Arsenal received great news regarding star centerback Thomas Vermaelen, when X-rays revealed that his leg was not fractured or broken.

Vermaelen, who was injured and had to come off in the first half of Wednesday's scoreless draw with Aston Villa, will likely miss some time, but not nearly as much as was initially feared.


Tottenham acquired former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan from Monaco for the remainder of the season. 

Gudjohnsen, 31, was thought to be headed to West Ham, but Spurs swooped in and nabbed the Iceland international from their Premier League rival.

With Aaron Lennon injured, Roman Pavlyuchenko rumored to be headed elsewhere and Mexican Giovani dos Santos loaned to Galatasaray, Gudjohnsen should be able to contribute immediately for the fourth-place Spurs.


Think Ghana's ACN showing improves its chances at the World Cup? Searching for RBNY-Santos tickets? What do you think of all the news coming out of the Premier League?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yea of course(sarcastic)…any time an African age defined team wins a tournament its because they fielded overage players! You are a tool! Unless you are saying all 11 players are overage, does it really matter? It is a team game, 1 player a few years older isnt going to make a huge difference.

    With the exception of 2-3 players that U-20 team is in the final of the Nations Cup, without Essien, Muntari, Mensah, Appiah, and Paintsil and have held 3 cleansheets.

  2. Hi Didier, yes Santos is playing on March 21st against Ituano, for the Sao Paulo Regional Championship. Most likely they will play NYRB with their B team.

  3. Is there any truth to the rumors that Santos has a league game right around the same time as the friendly with New York, and would thus be likely bringing a reserve side?

  4. OK it happens…Geoff Horsefield went from the Conference to the EPL….but it is very rare….and this guy is not an unknown quantity unlike what you used as an example.

    Scouting System? You do know, as I wrote earlier, that he was relased by Chelsea in 2003 as a trainee? It’s not like he wasn’t known and has scored 63 goals for Leeds the past three years….yet little or no interest.

    To say this is a guy Donovan should be afraid of is disrespectful at best and ridiculous.

    Are you a fan of the United States and Landon Donovan? Do you realize how good of a player he actually he is? Yet you say he should be afraid of a 26 year old who has spent most of his career in the third division of English football? If he was that good he wouldn’t have spent the past three years down there. Thats a fact…like it or not.

  5. Agree. further, info on USMNT can usually be found in better detail here on Ives or at (info directly from the source).

  6. I’ve often wondered the same thing and thought ‘bald eagles’ was a natural. How about screaming bald eagles or some other appropriate adjective.

    Friedel and Keller fit the name nicely….

  7. Big clubs? Really? He has scored 63 goals the past three seasons for Leeds and I haven’t seen the big clubs lining up for him. He was a Chelsea trainee and was released in 2003 by them. Which tells me he is the flavor of the day because he scored against United at Old Trafford. He still hasn’t played above the third division of English football. I’ve lived in England, my mother is English and there is a HUGE gulf between the third division and the EPL. His chances of being successful at 26 are slim at best.

    Tell me one thing he has done at the top level in England? Or playing for his country?

    Why would Donovan worry about a guy who is one year younger, never played top flight football or play for his country? Are you really serious?

    Landon Donovan is a great player who has proved himself on the world stage and he needs to worry about a guy from the third division? Really? Who will be lucky to be more than a squad player IF he even sticks with Everton.

    If this guy were so good he would have already been playing in the EPL. Trust me.

  8. oh, and 2 years ago Chris Smalling was essentially playing semi pro soccer, and now he’s been signed by Manchester united, so ya know, no scouting system is perfect

  9. Thankfully their reporting, for the most part, can be found elsewhere in better detail. The only part that really bothers me, like you mentioned, is the US MNT blog.

  10. So youre suggesting he can beat out Pienaar and Osman? I love me some donovan, I think he’s underrated, but he’s not Pienaar. I think he WILL be better than Osman, but not right now. You also forgot about david arteta, whos pretty damn good.

  11. Wait a second, I had to go back through this again… Neville plays defense; not competing with Landon. Pienaar is about the only one of these players who’d be competing for time with Landon, as he can play both sides. Osman only plays on the right, Cahill’s a central midfielder, Saha’s a center forward and nothing more, and Beckford’s on there twice. Landon can play on the left, like he does for the US. There’s he’s only got to beat Osman and Pienaar.

  12. yet he’s out on the flank… Everything I’ve seen suggests Beckford plays a Saha like role. Beckford’s mere presence doesn’t kill Landon’s chances of staying, they aren’t playing the same position on the field. Landon’s play will decide whether or not he stays at Everton.

  13. Hey IVES,
    What’s up with the ESPNsoccernet USMNT blog being on insider. How many people actually subscribe to that? It gets really annoying and I’ve almost stopped going to ESPN because of it.

  14. That’s pretty much what streams do. I could have played “musical chairs” according to how often they stopped then came back yesterday during City-Man U.

  15. hahahaha

    One time I was watching (in syndication) the Family guy episode where Peter started the chruch of Fonzie, and as soon as it went to commercial there was a scientology commercial. I nearly peed myself. That was much funnier then anything in the actually episode.

  16. “Bald Eagles” is nice, but a bit odd, unlike, say, “Super Eagles,” although just plain “Eagles” is, well, too plain. “Yanks” seems to be the default name, and while I like it, I’ve always thought we could do better.

    Donovan and Howard may like “Bald Eagles,” though. 😉

  17. Right… and Italians never fake anything, neither do Portugeese either.

    My favorite is when a player goes and fouls the hell out of another and then realizes that he’s about to get carded so he suddenly comes down with an injury and is rolling around on the gound too.

  18. beckford wont be coming until next year. He’s had some large, large clubs interested in him, so I think donovan should do some worrying, particularly since he’s younger, albeit not by much

  19. between beckford, cahill, pienaar, neville, osman and arteta, as well as saha and beckford, where’s he going to play? oh, and smartass, everton’s website has him as a forward, so they DO play the same position

  20. I’m pretty glad refs don’t take into account things like “well, that other guy fouled him a bit last time they played, so I’ll let the elbow to the head go this time.”

  21. Al Hadari (Egypt keeper) caught a corner, then hilariously and obviously bends his body down so his head swipes an Algerian arm, and then he goes down and clutches his head as if Rico Clark just laid into him. Unbelievable stuff… the sport a black eye.

  22. Beckford is playing in the third division of English football. To even compare him to Donovan is crazy. He is 26 years old and never played top-flight football or at the international level. Why would that put the stake in any thoughts of Donovan staying at Everton? Huge jump from League 1 to the EPL. Very few do it and very few have any success. I don’t think Landon Donovan has anything to fear with Beckford possibly signing with Everton. Beckford has proved nothing except he is a start in the third division. Nothing more, nothing less.

  23. Even if Donovan doesn’t stay with Everton, he’ll find somewhere to go. And honestly I just want him to have a dominant Cup and afterwards I don’t care if he stays in LA for the rest of his career.

  24. Good for Ghana,…but really,…who believes that their U-20 World Championship team was comprised of U-20s? More like U-25s.

    I would enjoy seeing Egypt advance and win the ANC. Come on you Pharaohs!

    IVES — quick question: I love the team names in the ANC,…Pharaohs, Desert Foxes, Black Stars, Elephants, Super Eagles, Indomitable Lions, etc. They are great. Why doesn’t the USMNT adopt our national symbol,…The Bald Eagle as their name and use the symbol on the uniforms?

  25. it appears as though Jermaine Beckford has signed a pre contract deal with Everton. I believe this puts the stake in any thoughts of Donovan making his loan permanent.

  26. yes, what he did WAS so awful. If you saw the play, he clearly elbowed him in the head. I’m sure your mother told you this but 2 wrongs dont make a right. Plus, Fagan’s actions were all sort of ‘soccer related” where as Rio’s was more of a deliberate swipe to the head.

  27. it would be cool if RB could sign Henry before the world cup b/c Robinho v Henry would be so raw

    btw Soler, Backe, and Williams seem to be doing very well so far in management

  28. Was it really that awful what Rio did to Fagan? Especially after Fagan had man-raped Rio prior. I remember the last time those two teams met, Fagan was fairly abusive along the left hand side throwing arms and kicking at players. Someone is going to snap on him one day and set him straight.

    Sidenote: Robinho is a va-j-j

    Sidenote #2: Congrats to a undermanned Ghana team. Well done.

  29. Boy do I wish the US leagues especially baseball would be this enlightened about appeals. If it obvious you did it, take your punishment. I hate the appeal, draw it out so you can play against the rivals, then have the same punishment.

    I believe in the Beretta principle: Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time…


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