Around the Pitch in Soccer

January 19, 2009

Here are some of this week's top soccer stories from around the globe:

Love, And Suitors, Are In The Air

Early last week, the owner of Manchester City reportedly offered AC Milan approximately $160 million USD's for the rights to sign Kaka, the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year. Under the offer, Kaka would earn a salary of $23 million for the season, considerably more than he makes now. Despite those numbers, some are claiming that he may walk away from the deal.

There is much speculation about the offer, and the days ahead should provide clarification. For now, the press in the UK, long-known for its accuracy, is split down the middle, with half saying that Kaka has denied the offer, and the other half saying the deal is done. Some sources also have claimed that Spanish giant Real Madrid has matched the $160 million offer, in the hopes that Kaka will want to stay with a top club.

In Milan yesterday, as the 26 year-old Brazilian walked off the field, he put his hand over his heart, in a gesture intended for the 88,000 in attendance at the San Siro. The crowd reciprocated with a request for the midfielder to stay. Ultimately, it was unclear whether Kaka was trying to communicate a "goodbye" or an "I love you," in his emotional display. In either case, with Kaka and Milan, love is clearly in the air.

Today, Manchester City reportedly signed Nigel De Jong, the Dutch star of the German club Hamburg, for 13 million pounds. Since the January transfer window has opened, Man City also has signed Wayne Bridge from Chelsea for $10 million. As for Kaka's status, only time will tell.

David Beckham in Milan

In his second start in as many games, David Beckham played 81 minutes for AC Milan, making contributions and staying active on the right side of midfield. Milan beat Fiorentina 1-0 when Kaka slipped a through ball to a streaking Alexander Pato, who then showed that he knows where to put the ball. The Brazilian striker has scored six goals in his last four Serie A games, and has reassured Milan that everything will be fine, even if Kaka leaves for bigger bucks.

“The Hoffenheim Hitman”

Vedad Ibisevic's recently-confirmed partially torn anterior crucial ligament will cause him to miss several months of action. This is bad news for American soccer, as Ibisevic was leading the Bundesliga with 18 goals, and could have been the first American-groomed (from age 16-20) soccer player to become the Bundeliga scoring champion.

The 6’2,’’ twenty-four year-old Bosnian moved to St. Louis in 2000, and played college ball for Saint Louis University. He was spotted by a Bosnian coach who was visiting the U.S. at the time, and quickly asked Ibisevic to play for the Under 21 National Team.

Ibisevic eventually signed a contract with Paris Saint Germaine in 2005. After bouncing around, he landed on Hoffenheim and quickly became the star, helping them get promoted to the Bundesliga.

“The Hoffenheim Hitman” has been the primary reason behind Hoffenheim's Cinderella-like display of soccer, as they are currently tied for the top spot with Bayern Munich. Indeed, it is a rarity for a newly promoted team to not only lead the league, but also to have the league’s top scorer. Get well soon Vedad!

Subotic Snubs U.S. Soccer

Twenty year-old American soccer player, Neven Subotic, has notified U.S. Soccer that he will be playing for Serbia in the future. Born in Bosnia, Subotic actually holds an American passport, and has played previously for the USA at the under 17 and under 20 levels.

The strapping, 6’4’’ center back, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund, will soon be playing alongside Manchester United’s center back Nemanja Vidic in the Serbian backline during this years World Cup Qualifiers. Serbia's soccer website reported that Subotic simply has decided to “return to his roots.”

Landon Donovan in Germany

The German Bundesliga is set to resume on January 30th, and Jurgen Klinsmann is so impressed with Landon’s showing thus far that he wants him at least “until the end of the season.” If so, the Los Angeles Galaxy may have to wait until the MLS's mid-season to get last year's Golden Boot winner back.

However, if all goes well for Donovan, fans may have to wait even longer. The MLS and Klinsmann have both hinted that the purpose behind this trade is to determine whether there is any long term viability for Donovan in Germany. The 26 year-old has expressed that he would like to try playing at a higher level, and for a bigger club, so we know where his true focus lies.

If his play continues out of training, and into the second half of the season, he very well could have already played his last game for the LA Galaxy. This is why the next few weeks will be interesting. We’ll be watching his progress.

By Adrian Yeung
Staff Reporter for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...