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01 February 6:26 de la tarde

En los años 60s, Gerry Marsden, vocalista del grupo británico Gerry and the Pacemakers, se encontraba en Nueva York presentándose en el famoso programa de televisión Ed Sullivan Show. Al mismo tiempo, Liverpool Football Club estaba de gira por los Estados Unidos.

Por eso a Marsden, fanático del Liverpool, se le ocurrió la idea de invitar al programa al equipo de fútbol que visitaba la gran manzana. Ed Sullivan accedió a que el equipo de soccer visitara su programa y aprovechando la oportunidad, Marsden, los invitó al escenario para cantar “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Tan pronto cuando terminó la presentación, Bill Shankly, director técnico del club inglés le dijo a Marsden: “Hijo, yo te he dado un equipo de fútbol, pero tú nos has dado una canción”. En el video anterior (en inglés), la gente de Vice nos muestra una mirada más cercana acerca de esta historia.

A partir de entonces, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” se convirtió en el himno de Liverpool FC, y acompaña al equipo cada vez que sale a la cancha. Además, la frase hace parte del escudo del club y se encuentra en la puerta de entrada al estadio.

La canción, originalmente, hizo parte de un musical de Broadway de 1945, titulado Carousel; la versión de Gerry and the Pacemakers es una de tantas, pero la más popular a nivel mundial, alcanzando el número uno en el Reino Unido.

Liverpool Football Club, es además propiedad de Fenway Sports Group, un conglomerado de empresas estadounidense que adquirió al club en 2010.

01 February 4:57 de la tarde

A crossbar challenge of a different variety from our friends at Manchester City. 

Something about this makes me giggle, but I can't put my finger on it. I think it has to do with James Milner's uber-casual kneedrop celebration at :57. Priceless. 

01 February 1:04 de la tarde

Add yet another name to the list of Hondurans connected with a move to MLS.

Toronto FC, who have already been linked to midfielder Arnold Peralta, are now reportedly chasing forward Rommel Quioto (above), according to Honduran outlet Diez.

According to the article, the president of Honduran side Vida, Carla Dip, says she has received an offer from TFC for the 21-year-old, who has featured for the Honduras Under-20 and Under-23 sides but did not make it on the London Olympics squad. He has one cap with the senior team.

"This afternoon, I received an e-mail in which they're interested in the player and they submitted an offer," Dip told Diez. "They would like for him to join them as soon as possible and it would be on loan. I spoke to Quioto and we hope that he can go."

The report finishes by pointing out how Vida were on the verge of transferring Peralta to Toronto a few weeks ago but the player declined at the last minute when an agreement was already in place.

Toronto FC did not comment on the report, with a club spokesman stating that the club doesn't "comment on players not on our roster."

 

30 January 10:04 de la tarde

North American soccer fans have heard it a thousand times from countless different voices, from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter on down: If you want to be a serious league on the world stage, move to a fall-spring schedule like everyone else (by which they actually mean Western Europe, of course).

This argument shrugs off a range of important factors behind MLS and other leagues’ choice of a spring-fall alignment, but perhaps the most important one is the simple fact that it can get awfully cold and snowy in places like Montreal, Chicago and New England every winter.

As it turns out, some people across the pond have taken note of this obvious fact, too, including one of the most powerful men in German soccer.

Namely Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, the chairman at Bayern Munich as well as the chair of the European Club Association, a lobbying group for more than 200 of Europe’s biggest clubs.

"Everywhere, be it Germany, France or England, summer is the best period of the year. And that is the season we don't play,'' Rummenigge told France Football magazine for its latest issue. "In deepest winter, when it is very cold and snowing, we play nearly all the time in conditions that are disagreeable for both players and spectators. It is not logical.

"My sense is that we are heading straight in this direction,” he added. “It's completely possible, even if this idea does not thrill our friends in South America.”

Laying out a future in which European leagues open in January and run until the fall, he predicted that the change would make for more pleasant conditions for both players and supporters and even help reduce the conflict between club and international soccer by leaving a month-long window for national-team play.

"In future, there could be two phases: one for club competitions, the other for qualifying matches or finals of the World Cup or the Euros,'' Rummenigge said. "For one month, national teams would be completely free to call up their players.''

That would also help resolve the looming problem caused by FIFA’s selection of Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup, allowing the desert nation to host the world’s biggest sporting event during the mild Middle Eastern winter.

Skeptical reactions from ECA and FIFA officials underlined the difficulties of making this sweeping change to the current status quo. But Stateside soccer folks can take heart from the news that Europe’s elite might actually be coming around to our way of doing things this time.

"It is clear that there will soon be negotiations to examine what can be done. My point of view is that an eventual change to the calendar shouldn't be viewed critically but more as an innovation that could improve the general context,'' Rummenigge said. "Changing the calendar carries risks but it is also an opportunity. The issue of the calendar will become more important the closer 2022 gets.''

30 January 5:43 de la tarde

Citoyens de Cleveland, réjouissez-vous. L’équipe nationale américaine jouera un match amical face à son homologue belge dans votre ville le 29 mai prochain. Les deux équipes s’en serviront pour préparer d’importants duels des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Les médias belges annoncent que Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois et consorts seront en stage aux États-Unis du 23 au 30 mai.

Par ailleurs, la saga Najar a pris fin. En effet, DC United a officialisé le transfert du joueur à Anderlecht. Le milieu droit était arrivé en Belgique il y a déjà plus d’un mois et avait laissé de bonnes impressions lors des matchs amicaux disputés avec les mauve et blanc. Il s’agit du premier transfert de l’histoire de la MLS d’un élément ayant le statut de « joueur formé au club ».

30 January 5:17 de la tarde

From the people who brought you "C.J. Sapong to Arsenal" a few weeks ago, here's a rumor that for some might prove slightly more credible.

The Football Magazine is reporting that English side "Blackburn Rovers are close to completing a deal for the one-time great hope of United States Soccer, Freddy Adu."

HACKWORTH: Adu won't be in training camp with the Union

The article says that "Rovers are currently discussing terms with the Philadelphia Union player and are hopeful of completing a deal before the end of the transfer window."

Rovers currently sit in 15th place in the English second tier, 10 points out of the promotion tussle. The club has been challenged in the attacking half of the field with just 38 goals scored, a total only better than six other clubs in the league. Earlier Wednesday, Blackburn sealed the signing of forward Anton Forrester to aid their offensive fortunes.

The Union had "no comment" on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday and Union manager John Hackworth indicated that nothing has changed when asked about the Adu situation on Tuesday.

Hackworth explained the falling out with Adu at the start of Union preseason training, indicating at the time that it had to do with salary-cap issues and a difference of opinion.

As for Freddy Adu, no word from his camp just yet. In fact, he hasn't made any public declarations or tweeted from his Twitter account since November 15.

30 January 12:02 de la tarde

Les États-Unis et le Canada se sont quittés dos-à-dos, sur un partage 0-0, seul score possible à l’issue d’une rencontre guère enthousiasmante que des joueurs hors-saison n’ont jamais été capables d’emballer.

Avec onze titulaires faisant partie des cadres de la MLS, l’équipe américaine a contrôlé le ballon pendant presque tout le match sans parvenir à en faire bon usage. Des qualités individuelles manifestes n’ont jamais été exploitées de manière collective. Le fait que ces joueurs n’étaient pas habitués à jouer ensemble sautait aux yeux et les imprécisions se sont multipliées au moment de donner le coup d’accélérateur qui pouvait faire la différence.

Les Canadiens, eux, ont regardé cela plutôt passivement mais toujours avec la ferme volonté de garder le zéro, ce qu’ils sont parvenus à faire. On peut en attribuer une grande part du mérite à Dejan Jakovic, le meilleur des siens sur le terrain. Kyle Bekker s’est aussi mis en évidence alors que Dwayne De Rosario s’est montré le plus menaçant pour Johnson.

Jürgen Klinsmann soulignait surtout l’effort des siens durant les trois semaines de stage qui ont précédé le match, qui ne lui a réservé aucune bonne surprise. Son alter ego Collin Miller était tout heureux de son premier point pris avec le Canada, et encensait le cœur et l’engagement de ses joueurs.

29 January 4:12 de la tarde

Honduran media outlets say it's a done deal.

According to multiple publications from the Central American country, the Vancouver Whitecaps are on the verge of signing 22-year-old defender Johnny Leverón. He has featured for the Honduras senior national team as well as the Catrachos' 2012 Olympic team and the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup sides.

The Vancouver Whitecaps confirmed that Leverón is a player the club is interested in, but they stopped short of confirming reports of his imminent signing.

The articles claim that Leverón was out of contract with Honduran side Motagua, paving his way to an MLS contract.

If the signing is confirmed, it would be the latest offseason transaction involving an elite Honduran player and MLS. Walter Martínez recently joined Colorado Rapids camp in search of a contract that would allow him to play alongside former Honduran World Cup player Hendry Thomas. Arnold Peralta and Alex López have also been rumored to be moving stateside.

There are five MLS-based players on the Honduras national team roster for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against the United States on February 6 and that doesn't count Roger Espinoza, who earlier this month moved to Wigan Athletic after a lengthy career with Sporting Kansas City.

29 January 1:46 de la tarde

Le match amical qui opposera ce soir les États-Unis au Canada (21h00 HE, direct Sportsnet, ESPN2 et Univision Deportes) verra s’affronter deux équipes dans une situation totalement opposée.

Sorti du parcours menant à la prochaine Coupe du monde suite à sa défaite 8-1 au Honduras, le Canada entame une (énième) période de transition, avec un sélectionneur par intérim (Colin Miller), des cadres fortement rajeunis et aucun plan d’avenir clairement défini. Sa première sortie de l’année s’est soldée par une défaite 0-4 contre le Danemark.

Si vous voulez mon avis, l’équipe nationale canadienne doit dès aujourd’hui faire majoritairement appel à la génération qui tentera bientôt de se qualifier pour la Coupe du monde des -20 ans et visera les Jeux olympiques 2016 à Rio, histoire d’avoir un groupe homogène qui se réunit le plus régulièrement possible. Parmi eux, certains ont déjà accumulé de l’expérience chez les pros, à l’image du Torontois Doneil Henry.

En face, les États-Unis s’apprêtent à entamer le dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Privé temporairement de certains cadres, Jurgen Klinsmann a sélectionné de nombreux joueurs archi-motivés à l’idée de gagner leur place dans le groupe. Les Canadiens auront intérêt à être plus attentifs défensivement que contre le Danemark face à des adversaires affamés ! Les Américains veulent être au sommet de leur forme pour leur prochain match officiel, le 6 février au Honduras, dont la sélection comporte de nombreux joueurs de MLS.