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Saturday Kickaround

*Togo, which withdrew from the African Cup after the team bus was attacked in Angola, has been banned -- yes, banned -- from the next two tournaments.

*From Mark Lawrenson, in the Mirror: "Landon Donovan has been the best signing of the January transfer window so far. ... Donovan is neat, tidy, disciplined and has come in and coincided with Everton's season turning completely around." Everton visits Wigan today.

*More details from the Boston Herald about veteran midfielder Steve Ralston's decision to reject the New England Revolution's contract offer and seek other opportunities. Will a new collective bargaining agreement allow him to sign elsewhere in MLS (free agency within the league) without an interested team needing to acquire his rights from the Revs?

*Having already clinched a berth in the U-20 Women's World Cup, the United States seeks the CONCACAF title today against Mexico. The Canada-Costa Rica third-place match will determine the third berth from the region.

*Video from Estudiantes' 3-0 victory over Arsenal de Sarandi last night:

By Steve Goff  |  January 30, 2010; 9:04 AM ET
Categories:  Africa , Americans Abroad , Argentina , CONCACAF , England , MLS , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Orozco to Union, Ralston Leaves Revs, John to Fire
Next: Video: Adu Assist, Johnson Goal

Comments

The Togo decision is absolutely ridiculous. Banned and fined for being human? Seriously? Even FIFA wouldn't be this tone-deaf.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 30, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Classic case of Letter of the Law > Spirit of the Law. Crazy.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 30, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

CAF regulations: "A forfeit notified less than 20 days before the start or during the final competition shall entail [blah blah blah]."

What do the CAF regulations say the penalty is for staging a competition in a war zone? Or imposing inhuman penalties?

This is just ludicrous. Any recourse to FIFA? Can they threaten to reduce Africa's WC allotment in 2014?

Posted by: benonthehill | January 30, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think they were banned and fined for completely ignoring the requirement to fly instead of drive through that area of Angola/Congo which is one of the most violent areas on earth.

"Caf spokesman Souleymane Habuba offered sympathy for the Togo team but questioned why they had travelled by road rather than flying to Angola.

"CAF's regulations are clear: teams are required to fly rather than travel by bus," he said. "

It seems like the Togo football federation were the ones to put the team at risk to save a few dollars.

Posted by: Southeasterner | January 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Couple responses to that, southeasterner:

1) If it's one of the most violent areas on earth then CAF had no business asking teams to play there

2) the Togo bus was being escorted by Angolan government security forces at the time it was attacked, so everyone knew the itinerary and nobody made an objection; and

3) CAF's decision to not only suspend Togo, but also to fine its FA $50,000, seems counterproductive since they could have used that money for safer travel for their players

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Burch and Wallace at the Auto Show today from 2:30 to 4:00.

Posted by: goonerunited | January 30, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Hull goal: Hang on, wasn't this supposed to be the shot-shy derby? Jozy Altidore shows fabulous strength to hold off his marker and he cleverly tees up Jan Venegoor of Hesselink to lash in a fine low shot from 20 yards. Cracking goal."

BBC

Posted by: JkR- | January 30, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

LD's committment on the pitch is quite evident. His technical skills, mobility and calm on the ball are better then ever and he has integrated himself well with his teammates which offer LD an opportunity to raise his game to the next level. With further success, he may decide to make it a permanent move.

Posted by: juke2 | January 30, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This is the reason behind the Togo decision:

"The decision by political authorities contravenes CAF and African Nations Cup regulations."

FIFA and its minions don't like to have countries intervene in their business.

Posted by: Reignking | January 30, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Snobby imperial Westerners should not try to impose European concepts like "logic" or "reason" on the situation.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"Hull goal: Calamitous defending from Wolves. Ronald Zubar, moments after helping them get level, bundles into Jozy Altidore needlessly and concedes a penalty. Stephen Hunt, who has been heavily linked with Wolves this week, slams a left-footed penalty into the top corner to put the Tigers ahead once more."

BBC

Posted by: JkR- | January 30, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Arjen %$#@in' Robben!!! Is there anything that dude can't do?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 30, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I must be the equivalent of a kryptonite snakebite to Hull City and Jozy Altidore. I just tuned into a computer feed of the game and the second my download stopped buffering Wolves equalized to make it 2-2. And Jozy got subbed out for Amr Zaki before the ensueing kickoff.

Here's the feed for those interested:

http://www.atdhe.net/12498/watch-hull-city-vs-wolverhampton-wanderers

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 30, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Jozy missed a clear chance on a breakaway but appeared that Zaki was already queuing for the sub.

Posted by: inzzo79 | January 30, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

CONCACAF should extend Togo an invite for the Gold Cup, all expenses paid.

Posted by: delantero | January 30, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@delantero: I second that emotion.

Posted by: dsheon1 | January 30, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Is the CAF insane? How dare a country slight your reputations by... if they can even finish that sentence, they're mad.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 30, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The fine and ban are arguably more disgusting than the act of violence itself. I'm going to go puke up my brunch now.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 30, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks OWNTF for telling us that logic and reason are Western/European ideals, not African ideals.

That must be the most misanthropic post I've ever read on this thing.


Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 30, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF must think that FIFA authorities speak for all of Western/European culture, just as this one African soccer authority decision speaks for all African culture.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 30, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

CAF made Drogba forfeit the African Footballer of the year award a couple of years ago because he couldn't make it to the ceremony. This decision really doesn't surprise me.

If Togo can not play in tournaments and their World ranking drops their footballers could have problems getting work permits in the UK to play football. I believe your national team has to be in the top 50 to qualify.

Posted by: csd1 | January 30, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

off topic here I know, but is anyone actually receiving the HD version of FSC? The little watermark in the corner of the screen says HD but the picture I am seeing on FiOS looks not HD to my eyes.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 30, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

always sucks when one has to explain . . . my "joke" was obviously too dense by a long shot . . . nevertheless it was NOT to suggest that logic and reason only apply to the West, but exactly the opposite . . . to mock those who on this board and elsewhere subscribe to the quasi-Marxist view of cultural hegemony which holds that the ideas and ideals of the hegemonic group (here, the Enlightenment ideals of what we used to call Western Civilization) are in fact a means for the ruling or dominant class (or group of countries) to assert control at the expense of other groups who may have different and no less valid ideas or ideals. I don't myself believe that.

That's why vivuzelas suck no matter where they're blown.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 30, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The actions of Western Nations in Angola and other parts of Africa are not beyond moral critique. Evidence shows that Western influence can be directly correlated with the current situations in many places around the World. Before you make sweeping judgments against other it is important to evaluate what actions may have put them in a position to make those decisions, some of which may have been perpetrated by yourself or others you fail to evaluate as causing fault.

"Far from the war in Angola being the result of efforts to curtail Soviet ambitions, the new documents released by the National Security archive reveal that the Kremlin was reluctant to become involved in Angola. [1] The Stalinist bureaucracy had no desire to encourage popular revolutionary movements that might threaten their own hold on power. It did not initiate a proxy war, but rather responded to US moves.

It was the US administration, still stinging from the defeat in Vietnam, that started a quarter of century of war in Angola when it backed a two-pronged invasion by Holden Roberto's Front for the National Liberation of Angola (FNLA) from the Congo/Zaire and from South Africa in support of Savimbi's UNITA."

http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/155/25956.html

Posted by: csd1 | January 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? You link to an 8-year old screed by the "World Socialist Web Site," published by the "International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)" as a frikkin history and morality lesson?

The web site (today, in 2010) on its front page lists a book by Trotsky as "among the greatest works of the 20th century" and calls Tony Blair a war criminal.

And here's the coup de grace. Can't make this sh*t up:

"Washington’s “humanitarian” mission in Haiti is indeed of a piece with its wars in the Persian Gulf and Central Asia and its targeted assassinations of alleged terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

The Obama administration responded to the Haitian disaster with a military intervention and occupation. Its first priorities were not providing food, water and medical assistance to the quake’s survivors, but getting thousands of combat-equipped soldiers and Marines into the country and setting up a naval blockade around it to deter any Haitians from attempting to flee the catastrophe for refuge in the US."

Posted by: OWNTF | January 30, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

My research department is running on a limited budget and we are under time constraints. The bottom line is the US was a long time contributor to a proxy war in Angola. You can't dispute that. I was just trying to put a little whole picture perspective out there. All of the the views of the website referenced are not endorsed or paid for by CSD1 blog postings INC :)

Posted by: csd1 | January 30, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how this blog turned into an international politics class on moral debate. I'll take Thucydides stance on justice......

Jozy played well today. Anyone see Donovan? And can they give me a comment on Donovan's play?

OWNTF I got your joke, so thanks.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

56 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 30, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

It seems like the Togo football federation were the ones to put the team at risk to save a few dollars.

Posted by: Southeasterner | January 30, 2010 10:07 AM
----------------------------------------------------------------

If memory serves, the early reports claimed the decision had nothing to do with money. It was a question of time. To go from their training camp to an airfield where they could have flown into Angola would have taken several hours, and to get from the main airport to the game site would have been more hours on the road, in addition to the flight. It simply seemed to make more sense to take a shorter drive in the first place.

If anyone noticed a comment I posted a couple of days about a gag order regarding press report of an alleged affair by one EPL player with the girlfriend of another -- it seems news has leaked out. THe adulterous player was John Terry, and his then teammate was Wayne Bridge. English tabs are saying Bridge might even quit the England team, so he doesn't have to be in the same room as Terry. England may also be losing Aaron Lennon to abdominal surgery.

Posted by: fischy | January 30, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Erudite sarcasm on sports blogs is always a bad idea.

Good joke OWNTF but you turned the blog into poli sci 101 at the community college, lets keep this about soccer.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 30, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if Gillette had picked Terry instead of Thierry for the commercial with Tiger. Of course, they're both cheats.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 30, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Both "Terrys" I meant.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 30, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

If memory serves, the early reports claimed the decision had nothing to do with money. It was a question of time. To go from their training camp to an airfield where they could have flown into Angola would have taken several hours, and to get from the main airport to the game site would have been more hours on the road, in addition to the flight. It simply seemed to make more sense to take a shorter drive in the first place.
__________________________________________

The distance involved is about 1,000 miles. This is about 20 hours by bus, depending on the how good the roads are in the several countries between Togo and Angola, and about two hours by air. Would all that driving to and from airports really add 18 hours to the trip?

Posted by: universityandpark | January 30, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

universityandpark:

Togo's training camp was just over the border from Cabinda. It was supposed to be a couple hours on the bus, tops.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 30, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Keeping it 'about soccer'? You new here? Everything ties in somehow.

OW: don't explain your jokes, if people don't get them let them wonder. Given some of the stuff I've seen written on other blogs about this, eitherv Goffinho and minions are doing a great job filtering or the SI establishment is more enlightened than much of the intertubes. (or we just need new trolls, where's PB69 when you really need him?) how anyone from a confed run by Diamond Jack Warner can make snide, quasi-racist comments about bad governance in other Feds is beyond me.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 30, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Good news for Salvador Cabanas. His sedation was reduced to the point where he regained consciousness and was able to speak with folks. The neurosurgeon who's been working on him says he remembers nothing about the shooting but does recognize friends and acquaintances (so no long term amnesia). The doctor said at this point there's no sign of any permanent brain damage but cautioned that it's too early know for certain. He still faces risks of infection or recurrent swelling in his wounded brain but overall today showed the most hopeful signs of recovery since the shooting.

http://www.mediotiempo.com/futbol/mexico/noticias/2010/01/30/salvador-cabanas-desperto

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"THe adulterous player was John Terry, and his then teammate was Wayne Bridge. English tabs are saying Bridge might even quit the England team, so he doesn't have to be in the same room as Terry. England may also be losing Aaron Lennon to abdominal surgery."

Well now, locker room tension and unexpected injuries hit the English team . . . I'm beginning to hear the sounds of implosion come 12 June . . .

Over there, Over there
Send the word, Send the word, over there
That the Yanks are coming, The Yanks are coming . .
The drums rum-tumming, everywhere

Posted by: delantero | January 31, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

would love to see what the tabloids are doing with this, Mr. Goff

these quick thoughts come to an amateur's mind, what are the pros doing?

"captain on the Bridge!"

"well I'll just have to double-cross that Bridge when I come to it"

Posted by: OWNTF | January 31, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

No need to explain those (I hope).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 31, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Adu assists EJ goal this morning

Posted by: Reignking | January 31, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

http://i45.tinypic.com/23ivvra.gif


The Adu/Johnson goal. Don't want to hate on it, but...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 31, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The US Soccer roller coaster ride just took an interesting turn...

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 31, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Nutmeg!

Posted by: Reignking | January 31, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Did Adu start?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 31, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

No, came on in the 62nd

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 31, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

http://i50.tinypic.com/wp7px.gif

Adu in extra time, passing or shooting?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 31, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Shooting. Poorly at that.

Posted by: delantero | January 31, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone posted this yet. USWNT U20 1-0 over Mexico in the CONCACAF tourney (LeRoux 87).

http://www.potomacsoccerwire.com/news/458/9594

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Can't really tell. Was it deflected off the sliding defender? If so, then I say it was a shot. Otherwise, I"m inclined to think he was trying to cross it.

Posted by: fischy | January 31, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Togo's training camp was just over the border from Cabinda. It was supposed to be a couple hours on the bus, tops.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 30, 2010 9:17 PM
__________________________________________

Thanks for the clarification. I knew there had to be more to the story.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 31, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone posted this yet. USWNT U20 1-0 over Mexico in the CONCACAF tourney (LeRoux 87).

http://www.potomacsoccerwire.com/news/458/9594

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 31, 2010 12:21 PM
__________________________________________

What's more, for the second time in a week, we were treated to the bizarre sight of USA and Mexican players shaking hands after the final whistle.

Also, the Ticas upset the Hosers for the third and final slot.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 31, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"My 'joke' was obviously too dense by a long shot"

Not too dense -- just poorly written.

There now, we're friends again.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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