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Wednesday Kickaround

*A successful day for three English Championship clubs employing Americans, but two players had to leave with injuries. Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, reportedly being pursued by Spurs, departed the 1-0 victory over Blackpool in the second half with a calf injury and might miss a few weeks. Compatriot Bobby Convey made a rare appearance, playing the final nine minutes. Eddie Johnson came on in the 73rd for Cardiff City during a 2-2 tie with Burnley, but Sheffield Wednesday defender Frank Simek left with what's believed to be a hamstring problem late in the first half of a 1-0 triumph over QPR.

*Marcelo Gallardo's agent appears to end speculation that the Argentine midfielder is departing D.C. United anytime soon.

*CONCACAF will conduct the Champions League quarterfinal draw sometime today with the four group-stage winners (Atlante, Marathon, Pumas and Santos Laguna) being paired against the four runners-up (Cruz Azul, Houston, Montreal and Puerto Rico). The first legs are set for Feb. 24-26.

*CONCACAF has decided to begin the 2009-10 Champions League's preliminary stage in late July, a month earlier than this year's event. (As far as I can tell, D.C. United will start play at that time.) Group play will begin in mid-August.

*Soccer on TV today:
Euro Champions League, Porto-Arsenal 2 p.m. Setanta
Euro Champions League, Real Madrid-Zenit 2:30 p.m. ESPN2ESPN Deportes
Euro Champions League, Manchester United-Aalborg 2:30 p.m. ESPN2
Euro Champions League, Juventus-Bate 4:45 p.m. ESPN Deportes
Euro Champions League, Dynamo Kiev-Fenerbahce 5:45 p.m. Setanta
Euro Champions League, Lyon-Bayern Munich 7:30 p.m. Setanta
Club World Cup, Adelaide-Waitakere 5:30 a.m. (Thu.) Fox Soccer Channel

By Steve Goff  |  December 10, 2008; 7:08 AM ET
Categories:  Argentina , CONCACAF , D.C. United , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Schmid to Sounders


A lot of fighting between posters over Gallardo on the link posted, not unlike BS...

Posted by: Barracudas | December 10, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to believe he is coming back -- I think he can be a real difference maker. However, I also think Gallardo wants to help River. He will be worshiped as a savior if he can lead River back to glory.

This also might be a good time for United to potentially dump his contract if they believe Gallardo cant adapt. Best case is he pulls a Schletto and worse case is this past year repeated.

Posted by: strago | December 10, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Off topic, but found this in the AP story about Ronaldo moving to Corinthians:

"His decision was confirmed Tuesday by a team spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because she was not authorized to release the information. She said the announcement was expected this week."

The team's spokeswoman -- and how many can there be? -- spoke anonymously because she wasn't authorized to speak about it at all.

When she gets fired from Corinthians, there is undoubtedly a job for her in Washington.

Posted by: joedoc | December 10, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Happy if Gallardo stays, not bothered if he leaves. He's talented but I doubt he can dominate a side the way Schelleto did for the Crew. Lot of money for a dog that doesn't draw fleas. United needs to get younger, faster and stronger, whatever happens to number 10.

Posted by: oz4dcu | December 10, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

You sure it's Real Madrid/Zenit on ESPN2?
Last I checked it was still the Ronaldo show.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse


You mean the Cristiano Ronaldo show. The Ronaldo show would have transvestites. Might be more interesting.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | December 10, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Oops, I hadn't read the comments and was unaware *the* Ronaldo was in the mix.
I thought he was looking to play for Flamingo?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah it is Manchester United/Aalborg on ESPN2. Checked again.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Real Madrid-Zenit match will be live on ESPN Deportes at 2:30. It'll also replay on ESPN Classic at 5pm.

Posted by: go_terps | December 10, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Only a couple 3rd place/UEFA Cup slots up for grabs tonight in the Champs League, all 1/2 positions secure...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Posted by: Kev29 | December 10, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

133 days to the opening match.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

My bad. 102 days.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 10, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

*Marcelo Gallardo's agent appears to end speculation that the Argentine midfielder is departing D.C. United anytime soon.

By Steve Goff | December 10, 2008; 7:08 AM ET

I think Gallardo needs a new agent. Soon.



Posted by: jayrockers | December 10, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd say Hahnemann would be a step up for Tottenham.

Posted by: fischy | December 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting frustrated by not being able to read spanish. I think it's about time to change that.

Posted by: TCompton | December 10, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that those 'English is the official language' laws don't work...right :-)

Posted by: seahawkdad | December 10, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Pretty entertaining ManU-Aalborg match so far (54'). Both defenses have been exposed: Man U for not marking tightly and Aalborg for that easement in the center that forbids defenders from being there.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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