28 September 2006

News Briefs 9.28.06

A bunch of things happened today, but nothing that really deserves to be its own post.

Liverpool secures £9m European Union grant. Promising, very promising. More in-depth thoughts on the stadium are here, but this is another good sign. The fact that the EU has confirmed the grant, which is to only be used for the revitalization of the surrounding area, not the stadium, means that Liverpool must have shown something akin to concrete proof of funding for the entire project. Not only would the EU have had to seen something substantial, but there’s no way the club would have let this much out and gotten this much press if they weren’t convinced they could pull it off. It still could be that Parry’s decided to rely on loans instead of outside investment, but I have to believe they’ve done due diligence either way, and I’m excited to see it go forward.

DC United and MLS furiously deny speculation linking Freddy Adu with Reading. Supposedly a six-month loan signing, with a view towards a £5m permanent move in January. I know, MLS shouldn’t sell their stars if they want to be taken seriously as a league, but I’m of a firm belief that if America wants its national team to succeed, its star players should be playing in Europe. And Manchester United and Chelsea have both been trawling after Adu before. But going to a big club, where Adu will toil on the bench or in the reserves is an awful idea. However, Reading doesn’t make much sense either. I understand both Convey and Hahnemann are there, and they would be crucial in helping him settle. And it’s a good size club for Adu, and in the Premier League. But I just don’t really see where he fits into a team with a midfield of Ki-Hyeon, Sidwell, Harper, and Convey, with other attacking players like Doyle, Kitson, and Lita. Adu would add both skill and credibility, but Reading needs help defensively. Plus, and no offense meant, I’d love to see them stay up, but it’s Reading, and Adu is supposedly the best US prospect we’ve had in generations.

No one wants to be West Brom’s manager. After firing Bryan Robson, who surprisingly saved them from the drop in 04-05, but couldn’t last year and had struggled this year, everyone seems to be running away from the position. Coventry won’t allow the Baggies to speak to Micky Adams (not that he wants the job anyway, mind you, says the club), Alan Curbishley’s refuted absolutely all conjecture that he’d be interested, Steve Round (Boro asst.) removed his name from consideration, and Tony Mowbray (Hibernian), Steve Cotterill (Burnley), and Dave Jones (Cardiff) are all mystified as to how their names came up. Not a good sign.

• UEFA Cup Round-up
- AS Nancy (Fra) 3-1 Schalke 04 (Ger). AS Nancy wins 3-2 on aggregate.
- Ajax (Ned) 4-0 IK Start (Nor). Ajax wins 9-2 on agg.
- Austria Magna (Aus) 1-0 Legia Warsaw (Pol). Magna wins 2-1 on agg.
- Auxerre (Fra) 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb (Cro). Auxerre wins 5-2 on agg.
- Bayer Leverkusen (Ger) 3-1 FC Sion (Swz). Bayer wins 3-1 on agg.
- Blackburn (Eng) 2-0 SV Red Bull Salzburg (Aus). Blackburn wins 4-2 on agg.
- Brondby (Den) 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (Ger). Frankfurt wins 6-2 on agg.
- CSKA Sofia (Bul) 2-2 Besiktas (Tur). Besiktas wins 4-2 on agg. after extra time
- Celta Vigo (Spa) 3-0 Standard Liege (Bel). Celta wins 4-0 on agg.
- Chievo (Ita) 2-2 Braga (Por). Braga wins 3-2 on agg. after extra time.
- Club Brugge (Bel) 1-1 SCP Ruzomberok (Slo). Brugge wins 2-1 on agg.
- Crvena Zvezda (Ser) 1-2 Liberec (Cze). Liberec wins 4-1 on agg.
- Dinamo Bucuresti (Rom) 4-1 FC Xanthi (Gre). Dinamo wins 8-4 on agg.
- Espanyol (Spa) 3-1 Artmedia Bratislava (Slo). Espanyol wins 5-3 on agg.
- FC Groningen (Ned) 1-0 Partizan Belgrade (Ser). Partizan wins 4-3 on agg.
- FC Superfund (Aus) 0-1 Livorno (Ita). Livorno wins 3-0 on agg.
- Feyenoord (Ned) 0-0 Lokomotiv Sofia (Bul). 2-2 on agg, Feyenoord wins on away goals.
- Grasshoppers (Swz) 5-0 Atvidabergs FF (Swe). Grasshoppers wins 8-0 on agg.
- Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Isr) 3-1 Chornomorets (Ukr). Hapoel wins 4-1 on agg.
- Heerenveen (Ned) 0-0 Vitoria Setubal (Por). Heerenveen wins 3-0 on agg.
- Iraklis (Gre) 0-2 Wisla Krakow (Pol). Wisla wins 2-1 on agg. after extra time.
- Kayserispor (Tur) 1-1 AZ Alkmaar (Ned). AZ wins 4-3 on agg.
- Lens (Fra) 3-1 Ethnikos Achnas (Cyprus). Lens wins 3-1 on agg.
- Liteks Lovetch (Bul) 1-3 Maccabi Haifa (Isr). Haifa wins 4-2 on agg.
- Metallurg Zaporizhzhya (Ukr) 0-1 Panathinaikos (Gre). Panathinaikos wins 2-1 on agg.
- Mlada Boleslav (Cze) 4-2 Marseille (Fra). Mlada wins 4-3 on agg.
- Nacional (Por) 1-2 Rapid Bucuresti (Rom). Rapid wins 3-1 on agg. after extra time.
- Newcastle (Eng) 2-1 Levadia Tallinn (Est). Newcastle wins 3-1 on agg.
- Odense BK (Den) 1-0 Hertha Berlin (Ger). Odense wins 3-2 on agg.
- Osasuna (Spa) 0-0 Trabzonspor (Tur). 2-2 on agg, Osasuna wins on away goals.
- PSG (Fra) 2-0 Derry City (Ire). PSG wins 2-0 on agg.
- Palermo (Ita) 3-0 West Ham (Eng). Palermo wins 4-0 on agg.
- Parma (Ita) 1-0 Rubin Kazan (Rus). Parma wins 2-0 on agg.
- Rabotnicki Kometal (Mac) 0-1 Basle (Swz). Basle wins 7-2 on agg.
- Randers FC (Den) 0-3 Fenerbahce (Tur). Fenerbache wins 5-1 on agg.
- Rangers (Sco) 2-0 Molde (Nor). Rangers wins 2-0 on agg.
- Sevilla (Spa) 4-0 Atromitos (Gre). Sevilla wins 6-1 on agg.
- Sparta Prague (Cze) 0-0 Hearts (Sco). Sparta Prague wins 2-0 on agg.
- Tottenham (Eng) 1-0 Slavia Prague (Cze). Tottenham wins 2-0 on agg.
- Zulte-Waregem (Bel) 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow (Rus). Zulte wins 3-2 on agg.

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