Saturday, March 23, 2013

Costa Rica will file a protest after a snowy defeat to US

The U.S. won 1-0 but Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto was furious because the game was played on a snowy field.

He said that the Friday's World Cup qualifier game was an "embarassment to football" and promised to file an official protest.

"It was an embarrassment to football, disrespectful to the game," an animated Pinto told reporters.

The game was played at the 19,374 capacity Dicks Sporting Goods Park, home of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, nestled at the foot of the Rockie Mountains.

Pinto said the "legal conditions" for playing the game were not in place and a Federation official told Costa Rican media that an official protest would be made to FIFA on Saturday.

The referee stopped the game briefly in the 55th minute but only to ask ground staff to clear snow from the pitch markings and the game resumed after a few minutes.

Costa Rica's players showed little dissent on the field, going close to an equaliser in the second half, but they vented their anger after the game.

"Honestly, it was robbery, a disgrace, I've never played a game in these conditions," said midfielder Cristian Bolanos, who plays with Danish club FC Copenhagen.

"You couldn't see the ball ... if we had played without snow, we would have won, I am sure," he said.

Striker Alvaro Saborio, who plays in Major League Soccer for Real Salt Lake, concurred.

"We couldn't play in those conditions, they should have stopped the game in the first half," he said.

Had the game been abandoned it would have had to be finished in the following 48 hours, causing a logistical problem for both teams who play again on Tuesday.

U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati felt the referee had made the right decision.

"Frankly, (stopping) would not have been to the advantage of either of the two teams, since they both play on Tuesday," Gulati told reporters.

"Obviously you worry about the safety of players and being able to see the ball. The referee and the match commissioner made the decision that the game could continue and I think it was the right decision," he said.

Gulati said the decision to play in Denver in March had not been based on any desire to have difficult wintry conditions for Central American opponents, but was mainly due to the desire to spend a week at altitude before a game in Mexico City on Tuesday.

"If the thought is that we want to play Costa Rica in a situation where it could snow, then there are some places that maybe could have been better, like Boston or somewhere," he said.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FIFA medical chief against summer 2022 World Cup

KNOKKE, Belgium (AP) - FIFA's medical chief is against organizing the 2022 World Cup in the summer heat of the desert nation Qatar.

Michel D'Hooghe's opinion added a strong voice to the debate whether about Qatar should stick to the traditional slot of June for a World Cup or if the tournament should be moved to another part of the year to allow for a more temperate climate.

Even though D'Hooghe said that games and trainings sessions would be held in climate conditioned temperatures of 21 degrees C (70 degrees F), the many fans and officials attending the monthlong tournament would be faced much more with the scorching desert heat.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that for the time being ''it is a problem without solution.''

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lionel Messi spark Barcelona 4-0 win over Milan

Lionel Messi spark Barcelona 4-0 win over Milan, Lionel Messi

Barcelona pulled off a remarkable Champions League comeback when Lionel Messi struck twice in a thrilling 4-0 home win over AC Milan on Tuesday that sent the Spaniards through to the last eight 4-2 on aggregate.

Messi struck twice in the first half and David Villa scored Barcelona's decisive third goal in the 55th minute before Jordi Alba made it 4-0 on the break in stoppage time.

Barca ruthlessly dominated the Italians, who struggled to get the ball out of their own half for long periods, and David Villa struck a third for the hosts 10 minutes after the break before Jordi Alba killed off Milan with a breakaway goal in the second minute of added time.

Barca are the first team in the Champions League to ever overturn a two-goal first leg deficit without the benefit of an away goal while only four sides had successfully fought back from a deficit of more than one goal.

"We started really fired up, as you have seen. The early goal helped us a lot, but it was something we looked for from the first minute," Villa told Spanish television.

"We believed we could do it from the first minute, in fact from the final whistle of the last game.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri told Sky Italia: "It has been an extraordinary match from Barcelona but this is not the disastrous result it will maybe be depicted as but a chance to grow. To lose and go out after the first leg we produced at home upsets all of us but the lads shouldn't beat themselves up."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cute Furry Marten Disrupts a Soccer game

THUN, Switzerland -  The furry creature, called a marten, run onto the field a few minutes into the top division match between Thun and FC Zurich on Sunday and evaded efforts by players and match officials to catch it. Play briefly resumed when the animal ran into the stands, but the marten reappeared shortly afterward.

Zurich defender Loris Benito dived and grabbed the marten - receiving a bitten finger for his troubles as he tried to carry it off the field. His team's goalkeeper, Davide Da Costa, then managed to put an end to the creature's caper and bundle it off the field.

Zurich won the match 4-0.

Furry Marten Disrupts a Soccer game, soccer game, Marten

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jozy Altidore sets scoring record

Jozy Altidore sets scoring record, soccer, Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore sets a new record he is the new American leader for goals scored in a single season. The striker set the bar on Sunday, tallying his 24th goal of the season in the 69th minute as AZ Alkmaar lost at RKC Waalwijk. His left-footed shot knotted the score for his club but the opposition took the winner just 10 minutes later.

Earlier in the week, Altidore was magnificent, scoring twice and adding an assist as AZ Alkmaar defeated Ajax in Dutch Cup action. The powerful foward netted a header in the 74th minute before setting up Johann Berg Gudmundsson two minutes from time. Finally, he blasted a tremendous chip shot from 35 yards out to seal the victory. Alkmaar progressed to the Dutch Cup final, where it will face PSV.

Altidore’s mark of 24 goals is especially impressive considering the club still has 10 matches remaining this season. The New Jersey native could conceivably top 30 goals this season.